Posts Tagged ‘short story’

[Read first installment here]

Catastropia – Part Two

nature animal wilderness head

Photo by Pixabay on

“Don’t shoot!” Chuck barked as he pulled his girth free from behind the wheel. Jake leveled the weapon over the top of the door, using the frame to steady his aim.

“Why the hell not?”

“Aside from the victims in the car? There’s a BOLO for two cats that got out of the preserve a few hours ago.”

“Two?” Jake responded, his face sheet white.

Chuck continued to the trunk and opened the special kit each unit carried at all times. Inside was an unassembled rifle along with what appeared to be fancy playing darts. Jake joined him at the rear of the vehicle.

Furtively glancing about, his shoulder pressed up against Chuck’s, Jake said in a low voice, “Two?”.

“Glad to see you’re comprehending the English language buddy. Yes, two. As in dos.” Chuck formed a peace sign and held it in front of Jake’s face.

“Then where’s the other one?” Jake whispered.

Like a bad dream that didn’t stop upon waking, Peterson appeared alongside the car.

“Guys,” she said forcefully as she tapped her watch. “Tick-tock. We need to get these patients looked at and transported to the ER. What’s the hold up?”

Chuck cocked the rifle and headed towards the driver’s side door which remained winged open. Behind him, Jake shared the latest information with Peterson.

“So what? You’re going to shoot at that thing? Within inches of injured patients?” Peterson’s shrill voice knifed through the pelting rain.

Chuck heard the slosh of footsteps from behind him. Reflexively he removed his finger from the trigger. No sooner had he freed his hand, Peterson grabbed his arm.

“For fuck’s sake,” he took a step back. “You could have gotten yourself shot or worse, one of the patients shot.”

Peterson glared at him as Jake yanked her back and threw her against the sedan.

“Do I have to cuff your sorry ass? Those are tranquilizers. Even if Chuck misses, the harm to your patients is minimal.”

“The hell it is,” Peterson screamed back while Chuck once again sighted the animal.

“That tranq will bring down an animal at least twice the size of one of those patients. All kinds of bad things could happen. Life threatening—”

“Knock it off you two,” Chuck barked. “Jake, take a look at this.”

While Jake peered through the scope, Chuck turned a wary eye on Peterson whose face likened to that of a beet. Wondering why she wasn’t moving, he glanced down to see that Jake had cuffed her to the rear door handle. He couldn’t help but grin. For one, the department had all but phased out the old cars—theirs being one of the last; meaning that had they had a newer model, that little feature wouldn’t be available to them. Secondly, he had a mad distaste for the blond. It started back when she had just come on board with Winslow Fire. It was long overdue she finally got her comeuppance.

“Jesus,” Jake breathed, pulling Chuck’s attention back to the present. “What the hell is going on here? Did that son of a bitch tie that cat to the roof before or after?”

“No idea,” Chuck replied. “I’m guessing after because I don’t see the victim.”

Jake moved the weapon and thus, the scope downward to confirm Chuck’s observation. “What are the odds the other cat got to him? I don’t see him anywhere.”

Both were stunned into silence when a loud growl erupted just behind them.

The Adventures of Jake & Chuck is a never-ending interactive (you get to add your thoughts and ideas to the adventure by commenting) story with weekly installments published here (be sure to follow so you’re notified when new posts are released).

Beginning as spear carriers to a novel, these two hilarious characters were not about to be relegated to taking the main characters from point A to point B. Their nagging  insistence brought about their own vignette published in 2008 titled Jake and Chuck Blow S[tuff] Up, which documented the Winslow Police Department partners as they attended mandatory Weapons of Mass Destruction training in the desert. Look for a release of that story here in the upcoming weeks.

Feed the muse! Comments and likes are much appreciated.


Part One

car blur rain window

Photo by Tookapic on

Jake finished writing the citation and passed it over to the driver, one Daniel Huckster of Winslow, to sign the promise to appear in court or complete the tasks as outlined and turn in the signed off items to the courts.

The rain had started once again. Gullies were becoming streams, streams had the makings of rivers, and the rivers were in the beginning stages of supporting pontoon boats. Meaning that their evening would quickly become a nightmare. It never failed. Some jackhole would come zipping down Winslow Ave, hit the sharp turn, and slide off either into oncoming traffic or the ditch. And just as inevitably, they’d go into the opposing lane when there was a vehicle, the ditch when the road was clear.

Firefighter/medic Kim Peterson and the latest recruit—Jake didn’t bother to memorize the name (there was a reason Peterson was referred to as a man-eater and it wasn’t the way Hall and Oates sang about); were posting nearby the slippery slope, but that didn’t alleviate the need for police presence. Nonetheless, the downturn in staffing that particular rainy March night combined with the uptick in traffic (Winslow High was hosting a basketball tournament), meant that no one from the police side of the equation had the luxury of posting nearby.

“Please drive extra carefully, Mr. Huckster,” Jake tore off the pink copy of the citation. “On account of the rain and the number of teenagers we have roaming the streets this evening.”

“Will do, officer. Thank you,” the man said with the utmost sincerity.

Jake shook off the rain like a sheepdog before stepping into the warmth of the squad car. “Nothing finer than giving the recently retired auto shop teacher a fix-it ticket,” he remarked as he buckled in.

“That was Huckster?”

“Ayup. Bought the car off of the school last week.”

“Which explains why the plates came back as Lila Spencer,” Chuck remarked as he dropped the gears into drive. Both watched as Huckster eased away from the curb with his hand stuffed out the window in the appropriate hand signal in lieu of the turn signals—hence his citation. Huckster turned down Calaveras Street and headed towards home. Chuck drove on until Winslow Ave and headed towards the school.
The tournament apparently ended. The parking lot outside of the gym was lit up like the red light district.

“Ten minutes,” Jake said.

“Really? That long?” Chuck harumphed. “I won’t give it more than five.”

“You’re on.”

Both settled back as they waited a block away, tracking the movements out of the east and west driveways.

Eight minutes later, less than a few hundred feet from the nose of the cruiser, a Ford Taurus broadsided a Toyota Camry.

“Guess who’s buying dinner tomorrow night,” Jake grinned as he reached over and flicked on the wigwags. He then reached for the mic and radioed it in.

Except dispatch told him to wait. The radio traffic right after gave the reason. Fire was dispatched, medics were already on scene, and Jake and Chuck, Adam fourteen, were reassigned to the scene of a head-on collision.

By then Jake was already at the vehicles. Once assured that there were no life-threatening injuries and given the go-ahead from dispatch to relay the details and get a second unit sent out to cover the collision, he hustled back to the cruiser.

“What the hell?” Chuck murmured as they neared the scene.

Jake was in the process of opening his mouth to say the same thing, or a variation thereof.

The fire crew had already arrived. They’d pulled up alongside the scene and directed the apparatus spotlights onto the mangle of vehicles. But that they’d seen a dozen times at that very spot. What got their jaws dropping was the most peculiar sight. So peculiar that Jake had his weapon drawn.

“I knew there were cats in the area, I just never saw one before and definitely not that big,” Jake said.

Chuck’s phone rang. Jake grabbed it and answered. It was Peterson.

“You see this?”

“Yeah. Stay in your rig.”

“No shit.”

The wildcat stared at them from the roof of the truck. Jake dialed back out, this time to the fire captain. He told them to stay in the engine.

“I doubt that pistol’s gonna do you much good,” Chuck said.

Jake agreed. Holstered his weapon. Reached for the shotgun.

“What are you planning on doing?”

“Shoot it.”

“I think we should get fish and game out here.”

Jake opened his door. “We don’t have that kind of luxury of time,” he said just before he stepped out and sighted the rifle.

Jake & Chuck’s Adventures is an interactive (you get to chime in with your own thoughts and ideas by leaving a comment) never-ending story that appears in installments weekly here.

As always, comments, likes, and ratings are much appreciated and help feed the muse.


The Wrestling Match In My Head

The Wrestling Match In My Head


I’ve noticed, as I’ve grown older, that I have a spatial gap memory deficiency. One second I’ve got a list of things to (more…)


Jester (Photo credit: mrpolyonymous)

A while back a couple of characters from a novel-in-progress crept off the pages, demanding to have their own story told. Those two havoc wreaking souls did just that and come Christmas 2012 their first short story, “Jake and Chuck Blow Sh…tuff Up” warmed the hands of my family. This recently passed Christmas crept by without the second vignette making it off the dogearred notebook pages, titled “The Twelve Misfortunate Years of Jake and Chuck’s Christmases”. Other commitments and my well-honed ability to procrastinate got into the way. (more…)


Get Your Copy Today!

It doesn’t matter what genre you prefer to read or even what your preferences are when coming to reading a short story, this anthology is amazing! Second Avenue Second Hand anthology by Lemon Twist Press features ten authors from all around the world that come together to tell a story that weaves around a quaint second hand shop in Bottle Bay. Each tale is unique, each author’s voice is very different, and the stories range from cheeky humor to dark horror. What makes this anthology shine is how the publisher/editor selected the individual stories to tell an overall story. You won’t want to put it down until you’ve reached the end and then, you’ll be wanting more!

Print and digital versions are available now. Here’s my link to Powell’s Books for Second Avenue Second Hand

My story, Put a Ring On It is one of the stories in this anthology, but don’t let that be the selling point in either direction. This truly is a unique anthology. I would love to hear your feedback when you do read my story and thank you in advance for taking the time and effort to leave feedback.





I’m thrilled to announce that my story, Put A Ring on It, is being published in the anthology, Second Avenue Second Hand, on October 3, 2013.

Even more exciting: you have a chance to win a free copy between now and November 5, 2013. You can do that over at Goodreads. Don’t have an account there? No worries, it’s free! Now go on, get over there and enter to win. I’ll be here when you get back.


The Cowboy


Five hundred head lowing in the yard, seventeen days driving, bone weary, in need of a bath and a comfortable bed and where do I end up? A bar outside of Nashville, dust still in the seat of my pants and a Stetson hiding the smell of the range but not by much. (more…)

Their Survival by Kathie LeungThe gravity of the situation hasn’t come to Norm Schaller as he sits in the hall, flipping through a backdated copy of Modern Science while his wife, Delores, is fitted to the machines.

When they call to him, he takes great pains to put everything back in order before he slowly walks down the corridor. It isn’t because he is a neat freak or rather as the term most popular today goes: obsessive-compulsive. It isn’t age, his doctor cleared him a month earlier on his fifty-seventh birthday with an “exceptionally clean bill of health.” He needs these extra moments to summon up his mental blinders shielding her pain from registering in his brain. To pull on an invisible mask, pushed over his face to prevent her from seeing his struggle.

It’s not worth the time or trouble. He knows as much. Thirty-four years with her, most of his entire adult life together through better or worse; things can’t be hidden. And this, of all they‘d endured together, had moved into the number one slot under the “worst” heading. (more…)


poster (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Bryson Dart folded his T-shirt and tucked it into the bureau drawer then crossed the room to his desk, flipped on the lamp clamped to the edge, and pulled out his journal from the desk drawer as he sat down. Smoothing out the pages he reached over and pulled a pen from the cup, then started his entry. All he was able to write was the date: January 1, 1977 before he thumped the paper with the end of the pen rhythmically.

Pausing, he looked up at the wall covered with an array of posters mostly of Farrah Fawcett along with a few that included the sex goddess with her Charlie’s Angels co-stars. (more…)