Category Archives: Stories


Rebecca Besser


Lindsey Melbourne glanced at the clock in her car’s dash as she drove, and groaned when she noticed the digital display change to 12:00. She’d hoped to be home before midnight, but that hadn’t happened thanks to the congested highway. She hated traveling alone, and the repeated long periods of time she’d had to sit and wait on road construction had made the already dreaded trip even worse. But all of her traveling woes faded into the background as she entered her hometown of South Coffeyville, Oklahoma.

The lights of the small town were few and far between at the late hour and Lindsey figured everyone was tucked into bed and asleep; she yawned, wishing she was too.

As she traveled through the quiet streets, heading toward her little house, the wind picked up suddenly and violently, shaking her car.

“Great,” she muttered. “I’ve gotten home just in time for a storm.”

With a deep sigh, she hoped she wouldn’t have to sleep in the narrow cot in her musty basement. Tornadoes were a common occurrence that she didn’t love, but was always prepared for.

Finally arriving at her house, she pulled into the driveway, shut off her car’s engine, and opened the driver’s door. She sat there for a few moments, listening to the howling of the wind as it swirled and moved around standing objects. The lamenting wail was a sound she was very familiar with, and though it posed an ominous threat, it was still the sound of home.

Her house stood before her, shrouded in shadows and darkness. The windows glittered as the street lights shone on them while they rattled, buffering away the frigid air to keep the inside warm and safe. She couldn’t wait to get inside to take a hot shower and curl up in her bed for the first time in a week. Closing her eyes, she practically groaned, thinking of her comfortable sweats that she’d be free to walk around in after being dressed for “business” almost nonstop for six days; the only time she’d been free to be comfortable were the precious few hours she’d been in her hotel room to sleep between meetings. The life of a law partner with a prestigious client in the city was taking its toll on her, and she’d only had the status for a month.

Opening her eyes and turning slightly toward the passenger’s seat, she picked up her purse. When she moved the small leather bag, snack wrappers fell to the floor and she bent to pick them up with an aggravated sigh.

When she sat back up, something bright outside the passenger’s door window caught her eye and made her breath catch in her throat. Just beyond the glass was a mini-tornado that swept across her yard, toward her car. These were usually common in the dry season, when the wind speeds accelerated in gusts across the flat landscape. What was different about this one, though, was that something was glowing in the center of it.

The small, whirling cloud moved toward Lindsey and her car at a tremendous rate of speed, and she expected it to disperse when it hit the solid doors and windows of her vehicle, but it didn’t. A harsh grinding sound filled the interior and sparks flew into the air as the mini-tornado tore into the metal panels, shocking her into momentary immobility. But, when the inside molding of the vehicle started to show signs of damage, she knew it was time to get the hell out of there.

Clutching her purse to her chest, she scrambled from the car and slammed the door behind her before heading up her driveway and around her porch at a dead run.

Another of the glowing cyclones came down a small alley between her house and the next, and as if sensing her, gave chase.

Lindsey kicked off her high-heeled shoes and ran faster, rushing up the wood steps of her porch, fueled by fear and panic.

The new mini-tornado took a more direct route and started grinding into the wooden supports of the porch, intent on reaching her.

“Oh, God!” she squealed as the air filled with smoke from the friction of the mini-tornado spinning against the wood. She dug out the keys to her front door as the acidic smell of the smoke burned her nostrils, making it hard for her to breathe. “Yes!” she screamed in triumph, finally wrangling her keys from her purse as she dropped it to the boards beneath her to rid her hands of its bulky burden.

Seeming to hear her—even over all the noise of the porch demolition—the first destructive whirlwind stopped attacking the car and headed for the porch…and Lindsey.

She chanced a glance around her after she jammed the key into the deadbolt of the door, and turned it while her eyes shifted elsewhere. To her heightened horror, she saw that the entire neighborhood had the strange cyclones attacking their houses. One of her neighbors—an elderly woman by the name of Paula Louise—opened her front door to see what all the noise was outside her front door, which was almost ground through.

Lindsey opened her mouth to warn the woman, but it was too late.

She watched as mini-tornado on Paula’s cement front steps stopped spinning, and from it stood a thin, tall, beige-colored creature with a white glowing orb in the center of its chest; the creature’s eyes glowed as well. She realized for the first time that the whirlwinds were actually beings and not bits of dust and dirt spinning in the wind as she’d assumed.

Paula stared up into those glowing eyes and Lindsey witnessed a content, peaceful smile spread across the older woman’s wrinkled face. She stood and stared up at the creature and actually leaned into it when it spread sheer tan wings and wrapped them around her. The monster opened its large mouth—exposing twisted black teeth that jutting from it in wavy rows—and bit her neck, spraying blood on the doorjamb and door.

Paula went limp in the creature’s bloody embrace.

Scared almost to the point of going into shock, Lindsey managed to get the door of her house open and herself inside, right before there was a loud groan and her porch caved in on itself. She slammed the door closed and relocked the deadbolt with shaking hands while the horrific scene from next-door played over and over again in her mind; it seemed like Paula had just accepted her fate—the inevitable fact that she was going to die. Fear had twisted the old woman’s features for a moment before her eyes had met the eyes of the creature, and Lindsey couldn’t help but wonder what the other woman had seen there that had brought on the peace and calm she’d witnessed, even in the face of death and pain.

Shaking her head to dispel what she couldn’t understand, she went into action and grabbed the handset of the phone off a small round table sitting in her living room and dialed 9-1-1; her call was answered instantly.

“9-1-1 dispatch—what’s your emergency?” she heard a woman say in her ear.

Lindsey fought her chattering teeth and tried to answer, but all that came out was a pitiful squeak.

“Hello? I’m sending an officer to your residence right now! If you can hear me, help is on the way!”

“Th…th…thanks,” Lindsey finally managed.

“Can you speak?” the dispatcher asked urgently. “My name’s Rose, and I’ll stay on the phone with you until help arrives. Can you tell me the nature of your emergency, so I can make sure to send the assistance you need?”

“Tornadoes…little ones!” Lindsey cried out in a hoarse voice. “Monsters!”

There was a brief silence on the other end of the line.

“Ma’am, did you say monsters?” the dispatcher finally asked. “Are you on any prescription medications?”

“No!” Lindsey screamed. “I’m not crazy! There are mini-tornadoes outside that are actually monsters! One of them killed Paula—I saw it!” Fleetingly the image of Paula and the expression on her face flashed through her mind. She thought about telling the dispatcher about it, but didn’t see how it would be relevant. Paula was dead and that’s all the woman needed to know.

There was another brief pause.

“Someone has been attacked and was killed?” the dispatcher asked.

“Yes!” Lindsey screamed and jumped when a loud bang sounded from outside her house, close to the front door. “Hurry! They’re after me!”

The dispatcher started speaking again, but Lindsey didn’t catch what she said because the line went dead.

“Hello?” she cried into the handset, shaking it and smacking it off her other hand like her futile efforts would bring it back to life. “My cell…” She paused and looked around, dropping the handset onto the floor; it landed with a resounding thud.

Another bang sounded outside the house, shaking the wall and rattling the windows.

Lindsey whimpered as she realized her cell phone was still in her purse, and it was outside on the broken down porch…with them.

In the distance, she heard sirens. She headed to the closest window to check it out, hoping the police had come to her rescue. Pulling back the curtain with a shaking hand, her mouth fell open at the view beyond the thin pane of glass—the neighborhood was in shambles.

Glancing high on the wall to her left, she read the clock that hung there; its hands indicated that the time was 12:32. To her it seemed like everything was happening in a flash, but in reality, time was ticking away as it always had—steady, without changing.

Looking back out the window, Lindsey whimpered again as she witnessed all of the mini-tornadoes on her street—thirty or so—converge on the police officer as he exited his vehicle.

They stopped spinning and stood to their full height, which she guessed to be around eight feet tall, considering the height of the officer in comparison.

The beings stood and watched the man they’d surrounded, and everything went silent for a moment. The officer moved to draw his sidearm, but paused when his eyes made contact with one of the creatures’. A smile of pure joy spread across his face and he opened his arms wide, as if to hug as many of the creatures as he possibly could.

Without warning the beings leaped into the air with a howl and became one, swallowing the man between them, as if the circle of their bodies had been the teeth of a giant open mouth. Blood spewed through the air in a gory display of slaughter as the officer’s body exploded.

Lindsey covered her mouth and turned away from the window, falling to her knees. She looked around at her home and knew there was nothing she could do to ward off the group of creatures intent on her death—and the death of everyone else, it seemed.

An extremely loud noise rent the night, sounding like a jet engine had just started up beyond the walls of her house; the howls in the street also intensified, since the beings were now one. Echoing calls answered the massive monster outside, sounding eerily similar.

Lindsey was scared to turn back to the window again…and look outside, but she had to know what was out there, what was coming for her.

Standing slowly on shaky legs, she braced herself with a couple of deep breathes before she gripped the curtain once again, and peered out into the darkness.

The huge combined being was standing in the middle of the street, staring off toward the edge of town, panting. Five others of the same size had joined the one who’d killed the officer, and they were all facing the same direction.

Frowning, Lindsey turned and shuffled over to another window, one facing the direction of the creatures’ gaze. Out in the middle of the field, half a mile away, was an enormous tornado-creature with a glowing center. Since this one was larger, she could see what was going on inside it, despite the distance.

While she watched in awe, the huge creature stopped and its body melted back together to form the hideous, black toothed monstrosity that it was. Giant wings with pulsing veins spread out wide behind it and shuddered with every breath it took, and its torso throbbed as the glowing force of energy centered there expanded and grew as it once again spun and became transparent.

A large, black hole was behind the spinning, tan, glowing cyclone, hovering a few feet above the waving grain in the field. The monster’s energy and motion shot out bright bolts of static electricity, which appeared to keep the hole open as the edges sucked it in and sent it back, creating a conductive, symbiotic bond. Within the hole were green stars above a purple, barren, mountainous landscape. Skulls and oddly shaped bones of creatures she couldn’t identify floated in the atmosphere and were strewn about on the ground, leading her to believe they’d devoured everything in their world and had come to do the same to hers.

She focused on the landscape and her breath caught in her throat when she saw hundreds, thousands, millions of the creatures beyond, waiting to come through what she assumed to be a portal open to a different dimension. She’d never really believed there were different dimensions until now. All the movies she’d seen and the science fiction books she’d read over her lifetime didn’t even come close to helping her accept the reality of something this huge…this real. Instantly Lindsey knew there would be no hope for humanity. There was nowhere for them to run, to hide—no way for them to defend themselves against an invasion of this size and magnitude. The human race was doomed, and from what she’d witnessed earlier, they would accept it with a smile and go quietly and willingly. There would be no epic battle in the vain hope of saving the world. Death would be the crib in which the souls of humanity slept peacefully after being torn from their bodies through a sadistic trick.

Right before her eyes, the creatures in the purple world began to spin, and as they shot themselves through the portal, the large spinning creature who held it open flung them through the air, raining them down upon the Earth.

Lindsey was so intent on watching the display of power being unleashed on mankind that she didn’t notice the floor under her feet was trembling. Her attention didn’t come back to her immediate surroundings until a loud creaking and crashing from above shook her house and made her lose her footing; she fell to floor, sprawling in her cream-colored silk blouse, sleek navy blue skirt, and ruined stockings. She stared up in wide-eyed fright as one of the mass beings from the street pulled off the top of her house like it was wax paper, and looked down at her.

She screamed, half-sat up, and crab-walked backwards in a vain attempt to get away.

Thick, slimy, bloody slobber dripped from the creatures’ mouth and landed on the hardwood floor with a sickening plop, and the light from its eyes and chest lit the dark interior of her home. Forcibly she kept her eyes averted from the monster’s, knowing that if she looked into their depths she would become a mindless, delirious slave to its will.

Glancing everywhere except at the creature looming above her, Lindsey struggled to her feet and darted from the living room, heading down the hall to the basement door.

The being roared angrily as it reached for her and just missed her as she turned the corner into the hallway.

She fought the urge to cover her ears and protect them from the loud sound, and instead put them to better use, opening the basement door. She stepped down into the darkness and closed the door behind herself.

The house shook again and the foundation shivered, causing dust and dirt to fall from the ceiling. Lindsey assumed the roof had been ripped all the way off and now the creature was destroying the internal walls to get to her; loud crashes and thuds above her confirmed this to be true.

Panting and scared, she reached out in the dark and flipped the light switch at the top of the stairs to the “on” position—nothing happened. With a sigh, swiping at the dust and cobwebs tickling her nose, she headed down the narrow stairs leading into the depths of the basement. Before she knew it, her feet reached the cold cement floor. She felt her way along to her destination, passing objects by throwing her hands out in front of and around her to locate them.

Above her more crashing and roaring could be heard, and soon another of the monsters joined the first in its attempt to get to her; she knew this to be true when she heard grunts, growls, and roars overlapping and joining in with the first.

Finally she reached the small back room she used for a tornado shelter; it was in the far right corner of the basement and held a small bed and her emergency food stores. But, the best features were that the door to the room was made of metal and could take a beating, and the right corner of the basement was completely underground, where the left side of the basement was half-exposed above ground and had a small door leading out into the backyard. Fleetingly she considered heading outside, but she knew what awaited her out there and figured her best bet would be to hide and hope they thought she’d gotten away and leave her alone.

Slamming the heavy metal door shut behind herself, she latched it and stumbled her way over to the narrow cot. She sat down, leaned against the cold cement block wall, drew her knees up to her chest, wrapped her arms around them, and began to pray in incoherent babbles.

The sound of destruction beyond the walls of her safe haven grew louder, and Lindsey could see lines of glowing white light around the door.

They were coming, and they were coming fast.

“Please, God! Please, God!” she whispered over and over again, rocking herself and squeezing her eyes shut.

The light from around the door made her eyelids glow red and she wanted to open them to see how bright the room was, knowing it would be shining like the sun.

A loud boom, boom, boom sounded from the door, before a harsh clang signified the metal had finally given in to the abuse.

Lindsey cried out, still holding her eyes tightly shut. She could feel the beings’ eyes on her and could hear their ragged breathing. Fear held her paralyzed and she just wanted it all to be over—she wanted peace, she wanted calm. A single thought filled her brain, scrolling through like a marque: Open your eyes and end it—accept the inevitable like the others and die in peace.

Taking in a deep, shuddering breath she reassured herself there was nothing else she could do; letting out the breath, she opened her eyes and turned her head toward the creatures above her, just beyond the doorway. She was half-shocked to see that they’d also torn out most of the ceiling when they’d taken out the door, allowing her the ability to make eye contact.

Picking one of them, she gazed directly into its glowing eyes.

Lindsey lost herself in those eyes, feeling peace, feeling like she was being welcomed by the universe; it beckoned to cradle her in its arms.

Without realizing what was happening, she was scooped up by a wart covered, raspy clawed hand, and drawn toward the creature’s mouth. As it opened to eat her, the glow intensified and she felt calm and free…finally.


Copyright © Rebecca Besser, 2011 & 2018


4 New Book Releases – September & October

It just so happens that I’m involved with 4 new books being released in September and October (2017)!

Crazy right?

But…Halloween is Horror Christmas, so it kinda makes sense.

Here are the books you should be looking forward to:

Zpoc Exception Series: Re-Civilize:

Book 3 – Liam

by Rebecca Besser

Middletown 3: Metal Apocalypse

Treasured Chests

A Zombie Anthology (for charity)

Available for pre-order! Click on cover to visit title on Amazon.

Murder They Wrote


The first book is the continuation of my Zpoc Exception Series: Re-Civilize, and all the other books are anthologies with one of my stories included.

More information will be forthcoming as each title is released, or gets closer to its release date, so stay tuned!


©Rebecca Besser, 2017. All rights reserved.

Valentine’s Day – A Dark, Twisted Love Story – Burning Passion by Rebecca Besser

buring passion


By Rebecca Besser

            There she was, his beautiful blonde siren, leaving her house to go to work. She did a really good job of pretending she didn’t notice his old gray van sitting a block down facing her house. She swung her hips provocatively – like she knew he was watching – while she walked to her car in her smart navy business suite that was tailored to fit her perfectly; it drove him crazy when she wore it and teased him with the contours of her body. He fantasied about taking it off of her slowly while she moaned and begged, panting with her heated desire to have him.

She pushed the button on her remote to unlock her shiny black BMW convertible and it chirped once with a flash of the lights.

She opened the door to climb in, but stopped suddenly and looked up at the house – a man was standing in the open doorway. He blew her a kiss and waved, and she did the same in return.


            Doug Thomas seethed with rage as he laid his binoculars on the passenger’s seat beside him. How dare that bastard blow kisses to my woman? he thought while growling and punching the steering wheel.

“She’s my woman!” he screamed, gripping the wheel with both hands until his knuckles turned white.

He started the van and clenched his jaw to wait for “his woman” to pull out of her driveway and head to work. He followed her shiny black car and glared at the prim and proper two story house “the bastard” was now closing the door on as he too prepared to go to work.

Doug followed the blonde object of his affections all the way to work, and he parked and watched her walk into the corporate law office with his binoculars. Once he was content that she was safely inside, he headed off to his own job at a recycling center.

Four weeks ago he’d been released from a mental care facility. He was keeping up with his therapy visits and had procured a job at a recycling center, working part-time. The entire three years he’d been incarcerated they’d counseled him in how to be a good citizen and productive member of society. Along with the long talk sessions, they’d also given him a handful of pills to take. He no longer ate the mind control drugs, as he thought of them – he’d stopped taking them as soon as he’d walked out the door of that horrible place. He honestly believed that the drugs were what had kept him in their grasp, and that they’d intentionally toyed with his mind to make him their mindless pet; he refused to live that way. He was finally free and he was determined to break their hold on him.

He had done one thing that was suggested in therapy: he was building relationships. The troubling thing, though, was that none of the people he’d built relationships with seemed to want to reciprocate.

His girlfriend, for example – the blonde in the BMW – wouldn’t acknowledge him at all, and she was cheating on him. Of course, it wasn’t her fault. She was too nice to hurt the bastard’s heart. He honestly believed she’d tried to break it off with the man, but he wouldn’t let her go – he had the sneaking suspicion that he was beating her and she was scared for her life. That’s why he had to watch her all the time and keep her safe.

They’d been spending a lot of time together for the last couple of weeks. He drove to work with her – like he’d done that morning – and he had lunch with her every day. Yesterday he’d met her at a restaurant and he’d sat at the table beside her. It was the crazy woman beater’s fault he couldn’t sit with her so they could hold hands and look deep into each other’s eyes. The blankness he’d seen in her eyes every time she’d glance over at him and smiled broke his heart. He’d paid for her meal and that had brought a spark to her eyes – he knew she’d known it was him by the smile she’d been wearing as she’d headed out the door and back to work. This had deeply pleased him. She didn’t acknowledge their relationship often, but when she did it brightened his world.

Doug drove his van through the dregs of the city to the recycling center, and pulled into the rough gravel parking lot that was choked with dumpsters and beat up, rusted vehicles of various ages. He squeezed the van off to the side of the lot and parked. As he was getting out, he heard a gruff voice barking orders to the workers within the grey, filthy, nondescript metal pole building the crusher was housed in. He grabbed his work gloves from behind the driver’s seat of his van, slammed the door closed, and headed toward the building.

He didn’t notice the harsh, sickening sweet odor of the intermixed soda and juice seeping out of the dumpster with the aluminum cans, or the molding, rotting smell of various vegetables and foods rotting in the tin can dumpster. His mind was filled with the beautiful face of the woman he loved, and he breathed deep of the memory of her perfume, which he’d gotten a breath of from the scarf she’d dropped for him last week. The treasured item was sealed in a gallon storage bag at home under his pillow where he could be alone with his thoughts of her and pretend she was there with him.

“Where have you been, maggot?” Hank Townsend snarled as Doug walked through the door of the metal building.

“I had to take my girlfriend to work,” Doug said, slipping on his gloves, grabbing a shovel from against the wall and jumping right in to help with loading cans into the crusher.

Charles Davis – his coworker – glanced at him as they loaded a shovel load of cans at the same time and smiled briefly before getting back to work.

Hank laughed harshly.

“I don’t see how an ugly fuck like you could have a girlfriend. She either has to be blind or you have the biggest cock in the city! That’s the only way a woman would ever be with you.”

Doug paused and turned his head to glare at Hank, but the man was already outside; the heavy door banged against the frame as it closed behind him.

He growled angrily.

“Don’t let him bother you,” Charlie said, smirking. “He’s just jealous ‘cause he ain’t gettin’ no pussy.”

Doug looked at Charlie and couldn’t help but laugh; he shrugged and got back to work. But the words his boss had said cut deep. He knew he wasn’t a good looking man – his reflection in the side of the stainless steel machine attested to that – but he liked to think that his kind, caring heart made up for his lack of stunning good looks.

“You havin’ lunch with her again today?” Charlie asked. “At that fancy café place?”

Doug shrugged and said, “Yes, I plan to, if that’s where she wants to go.”

“Man, you’re a lucky dog to have such a classy lady,” Charlie said, then smirked as he continued deviously, “You givin’ her some hot sausage, ain’t ya? To keep her interested?”

“I would if she’d let me,” Doug growled. “I’m still trying to get her to leave that beating bastard. I’ll kill him if I have to, just to keep her safe.”

Charlie shook his head and sighed.

“Why do the moth’fucks get the great broads and smack ‘em around?” he asked heatedly. “It just don’t seem fair when here we be, wantin’ nothin’ mo’ than to give ‘em the lovin’ they deserve!”

“I don’t know, man,” Doug said, shoveling fast to help burn up the hot rage that was taking hold on him while he thought about another man hurting his woman. “Life’s not fair. I will keep her safe though, and I’ll make sure she’s damn happy when she finally comes to me.”

“I knows ya will!” Charlie exclaimed with a smile. “An’ if you need any help wit’ that, ya call ol’ Charlie to come help ya out!”

Doug laughed and said, “I will, you old pervert! But I think I can handle her all on my own.” He winked and continued to work hard so he could have a long lunch with the love of his life.


            Noon came fast, and the crusher building floor was clear, so Doug and Charlie headed off to lunch. They knew there would be plenty more work for them when they got back that afternoon, but this was the highlight of their day.

Leaving the grimy, smelly metal building, they went their separate ways with a smile: Charlie ate a packed lunch sitting on the tailgate of his battered pickup truck; and Doug drove off to have lunch with his woman.

He found a parking space mere seconds before his blonde goddess came out to her car. The sight of her made his chest tighten and his manhood swell; he didn’t know how much longer he could handle this game of her being his but living with another man. He had to have her soon – all her teasing was making him hot and hard with wanting.

Doug followed her to the same café they’d eaten at countless times before, and was disgusted when “the bastard” met her in the parking lot and kissed her and groped her ass. He fumed and punched the steering wheel in a fit of rage; it took all he had not to get out of his van, march over to where the couple stood, and beat the bastard down right there in front of her so she would know she didn’t have to be afraid of him any longer.

“I love you!” he yelled, but knew she couldn’t hear him.

His hands began to shake and the world around him faded in and out of darkness – one moment it was all bright sunshine with cars parked around him, the next it was pitch blackness with hot rage burning just under his flesh.

He started scratching his arms in an attempt to relieve the pain, and the next thing he knew – when he glanced down – blood was dribbling down his arms from where he’d torn through his skin with his fingernails.

“Fuck!” he screamed, and fumbled to retrieve the first aid kit he had stored on the floorboard behind the passenger’s seat; this wasn’t the first time this had happened.

After his shaking, blood slick fingers finally got the latch open, he grasped a couple of bandages to apply to the wounds, but he didn’t put them on right away. Instead he looked down at the red liquid seeping out of his arms and thought about passion. It’s because I love her so much she can do this to me, he thought. She makes me feel so much and gets under my skin and I just can’t help myself. I have to protect her…make her mine. Soon! Very soon, my love, I’ll rescue you from the hell that is your existence.

With sharp, decisive movements he dressed his wounds, noting that the pair were no longer in the parking lot, but had wandering into the café. He couldn’t see them through the windows and he figured they’d chosen one of the back booths. Yeah, I know what you’re up to, you fucker, he thought. You’ll take her back there so you can smack her or pinch her and no one will see. You’re a sick fuck, you bastard!

He fumed and raged inside as he climbed out of the van and headed into the café. He’d thought about driving down the street to a fast food joint to buy himself something to eat, but he decided that fuck no he wasn’t slinking away like a coward. She was his woman and he wouldn’t give her up to “the bastard” without a fight.

I was right, he thought and almost screamed, when he saw them sitting close together in a private corner booth. He noticed the bastard had his hand on her knee under the table, kneading and squeezing it while they talked. You’re gonna leave bruises where no one can see, aren’t you, you fuck? his mind ranted as he took a seat at a table where he could watch them at an angle.

A waitress came to take his order and she blocked his view of the couple, which annoyed him greatly; he glared at her the entire time he was placing his order, and she practically ran away from him as soon as she was done.

Doug’s allotted lunch time passed quickly, without him even tasting the food he’d ordered. He had to leave and go back to work before the couple, and he thought about staying, but decided he shouldn’t push his luck with Hank after being a couple of minutes late this morning.

He paid his bill at the register, threw one pissed off glance back at the couple in the corner and stormed back out into the world alight with harsh sunshine. The warmth did nothing to improve his mood though, as he knew it would be sweltering at the center while he worked through the afternoon.

He climbed into his van, started the engine, and pulled out into traffic without even looking to see if anything was coming. Luckily, this time, nothing was, and he sped through the streets, cursing at the other drivers to vent his pent up emotions.

When he arrived back at the recycling center, he noticed that they’d had a delivery of cans over lunch, and he knew he’d be stuck in the crushing building again. With a sigh, he parked, got out, and headed back to work.

Charlie wasn’t inside when he went in, so he figured they must have received a load of glass too – crushing it was Charlie’s favorite job.

Doug was glad for this because he had a lot on his mind and he didn’t want to discuss “the bastard” being at lunch. His mind swirled with random, chaotic thoughts of how he could handle the state of his love life. His thoughts were so jumbled with emotions, ranging from crushing depression to burning angst, that he couldn’t make sense of anything.

I know, he thought, finally deciding on a plan after working for a couple of hours and using up some of his energy so his mind could clear, I’ll talk to my therapist about it tomorrow morning at our meeting! He’ll know how I should handle everything.

With all his problems set to be resolved the next morning by someone else, Doug happily worked the rest of the day, dreaming about all the things he’d do with his woman once she was freely his.


            The next morning was overcast and Doug frowned as he stepped out the door of the heap-of-trash trailer he was renting. He knew the place wasn’t pretty, but it was functional, and was all his for as long as he paid the extremely low rent – that’s all he needed. He was saving up his money so that when his woman came to him, they’d be able to get a nicer place to live in. Everything he did or suffered was for her and he knew that’s why she loved him so much.

He locked the door behind himself and walked over to his van. On impulse, he slid open the back, side door and peered at the bed inside; it was still made up neat with clean silk sheets. He smiled, envisioning his blonde goddess naked laying across it, loving the feel of the silk beneath her and aching for the feel of him on top of her.

“Soon, precious,” he whispered, “soon.”

He slid the door closed and opened the driver’s door to climb in. Just as he closed the door behind himself a torrent of rain fell from the sky, coating his windshield with little droplets and making him feel sealed off from reality – something he liked intensely.

He sat there and thought about his woman: how her skin would feel…taste; how she would sound when she moaned his name; how it would thrill him to excite and satisfy her; and how it would feel to be satisfied by her body.

Without giving it any thought – letting his natural urges take him – he unzipped his pants and got himself off while he imagined having sex with her.

Once he was finished, he cleaned up with some fast food napkins he kept in the glove compartment and rushed to make it to his therapy appointment on time. If he was late or missed, he could end up back in confinement and he didn’t want that. For some reason they’d previously deemed him unstable and thought he could pose a threat to the general population when he’d supposedly raped and killed a young woman. He’d told them repeatedly that they’d had a long term relationship and she’d consented to the sexual contact, and that he didn’t know who’d killed her, but it hadn’t been him. He was devastated without her and had been more than willing to let people take care of him while he’d grieved, hence his stay at the mental care facility. The stay had been court ordered, but he hadn’t fought it.

The short-term stay had become more long-term when they’d charged him with rape and murder, having found evidence against him. He still maintained he hadn’t done anything wrong and that someone else had done everything and was framing him. He vowed to find whoever had done it all and kill them, ranting like a mad man at anyone who opposed him.

That’s when the pills had started. Those mind controlling drugs that had kept him enslaved to their will. But he’d tricked them…tricked them all by not taking them once he was away from their choking grasp.

Despite everything, it had been hard for him to leave and go back out into the world. He’d loved Melissa – the young woman he’d been accused of raping and killing – and didn’t know how his heart would ever mend. He never thought he would be able to love anyone again, until he’d first seen her, his blonde goddess. She’d been jogging down the street – one he just happened upon as he drove aimlessly – and he’d instantly fallen in love with her. Sure, most men would have lusted after her in those skin tight exercise clothes that emphasized every curve and dip of her body, but he’d looked beyond all that to her soul. She had a truly beautiful soul. The sad thing was…it was being tormented by the bastard she was living with, and her beauty, her heart, her life was being smothered by his heavy hand. Her soul cried out and begged Doug to love her, to help her. After that, he made it his life’s mission to do right by her and free her for real happiness with him.

Now, as he drove through the city to his therapy appointment, he hoped all the battles he’d been fighting to get to her were worth it. He knew that he’d get some sound advice from his counselor, because he always had.

He pulled into the prestigious medical building parking lot and parked his van. He climbed out, slammed the door behind him, and checked to make sure he hadn’t gotten anything on his pants and that they were fastened properly. Once he was sure of his appearance, he headed for the main door of the brick building; they slid open in welcome but he didn’t go in. He turned left and walked around to the back of the building where an alley lay between it and another. He walked into the dim passageway and headed toward a large cardboard box lying on its side.

“I’m here,” he said, stopping to stand in front of the opening. “Right on time too.”

“Did you bring payment?” a voice croaked from within the tan confines of the box.

“Of course!” Doug said, reaching into the back pocket of his pants, withdrawing the agreed upon payment – whiskey. “I wouldn’t come to see you without payment.”

The voice in the box laughed.

“Good,” it said. “Set it down and let’s begin.”

Doug sat the bottle down on the pavement that was slick with a coating of slime built up from the rain and alley grime.

A hand reached out into the faint light and curled its long, thin fingers around the bottle, lifting it; the bottle disappeared, along with the hand, back into the box.

Doug didn’t know for sure if his therapist was a man or a woman, but he always assumed that the person inside the box was male, so he called the therapist a he. Once, when they’d first started their strange sessions, he’d thought about asking why they were meeting in an alley, while he hid in a cardboard box, but he’d decided that would be a rude question. He wasn’t opposed to sitting in the outdoors to talk about the things in his life that bothered him – he actually liked it better than a confining room. He figured the therapist had read that in his file and wanted him to feel more comfortable. He also assumed he knew about his privacy/trust issues and that’s why he’d insisted on hiding; keeping things anonymous made Doug feel more comfortable sharing. The only thing that did bother him was that there was nowhere for him to sit and he had to stand through the entire visit, or plant his ass in the sludge of alley grime.

Shifting from one foot to another in nervous frustration, Doug tried to tame his thoughts enough to share them.

“It’s complicated…” he started. “I’m in love, but the woman is stuck in an abusive relationship with another man and I don’t know how to help her.”

“Free her,” the voice croaked from within the box. “Follow your heart and free her.”

“How?” Doug asked. “She’s with this man and he seems to follow her everywhere – he never lets her out from under his thumb.”

“Does she love you?” the voice asked.

“Yes!” Doug all but shouted, getting angry. “She loves me so much, but can’t get free of him.”

“You’ll have to take care of him then,” the voice said quietly. “You have to get him out of the way so you can be together – it’s the only way.”

Doug sighed. “That’s what I thought, but I wasn’t sure. Thank you for your advice.”

“That’s what I’m here for,” the voice said. “Is there anything else I can help you with today?”

“No,” Doug said. “I have some planning to do. Thanks again.” He turned and walked out of the alley, climbed back into his van, and headed home.


            Dusk was starting to change the appearance of the world when Doug stepped out of his trailer. He breathed deeply of the sweet, cool air evening brought with it and smiled broadly. Tonight was the night he and his blonde goddess would be together once and for all. They would be free to love each other, like they should have been for a long time now.

He practically bounced down the decaying wooden steps leading to the ground and danced all the way to his van. He had so much to look forward to with his woman free to love him back.

He climbed into the van – which tonight he thought of as his grey steed – started the engine and was off. Streets, cars, and people went by in a blur as he headed toward his destination; in less than twenty minutes he was parked down the street from the prim and proper two story house where his love had been held prisoner. He watched the place for a little while and there didn’t seem to be anyone home, so he got out and walked toward it. When he reached the driveway, he turned and walked up it like he was supposed to be there. He knocked on the front door and was pleased when there was no answer. He circled around to the back of the house and investigated a sliding glass door that connected the kitchen of the house to a cement patio; it was locked. With a sigh he decided he would have to break in, but he’d actually expected it to come to this.

He turned and picked up one of the heavy, metal patio chairs and slammed it into the glass of the door; it shattered loudly and splinters of glass sailed through the air in every direction.

Doug didn’t mind the sting of the shards; it was a small price to pay to rescue his princess from the evil dragon. That’s how he’d begun to see the adventure he was on. He was the knight is shining armor, accosting the cursed castle to rescue the damsel in distress so they could live happily ever after. He’d always loved fairy tales, so he thought it logical that he should star in one. After all, he was pure of heart, valiant, and willing to sacrifice himself for those he loved.

He stepped over the threshold of the broken door and looked around cautiously. He’d expected there would be an alarm, but after a quick check, he realized they didn’t even have a system in their house. He thought that odd, but then shrugged it off knowing they lived in a “nice” neighborhood where nothing probably ever happened.

He moved through the house, picking up random object and pictures, looking at them and then putting them back down where he’d gotten them; there was something surreal and eerie about being in someone’s house while they weren’t home, but it didn’t bother him, it excited him. He couldn’t wait for someone to get home from work so he could put his plans into motion: if “the bastard” arrived first, he planned to kill him and throw the body out back; and if his blonde goddess got home first, they would get to know each other and express their love freely and he would kill the man when he arrived. He was harboring some thoughts of making the bastard watch while he and the blonde goddess slacked their passion with each other, like he’d made Doug watch so many times when he’d touched her, but Doug didn’t feel like sharing. He wanted her all to himself so she would feel free to enjoy herself.

While going through a stack of mail, he discovered the name of his woman.

“Bree Heller,” he read aloud. “What a beautiful name…” He sighed and whispered her name again, “Bree.”

A noise from the door – sounding like keys jingling and one being inserted into a lock – alerted him that someone was home.

He dropped the envelope he’d been reading and stealthily made his way over to the foyer to hide inside the archway leading to the living room.

The bastard came through the door as it opened. He turned and kicked it shut with his foot, juggling his briefcase and a large takeout bag full of containers.

Doug’s stomach growled as the aroma of Chinese food waft to his nose.

The bastard’s head shot up and looked in the direction of the living room; he froze, listened, and stepped into the living room.

Doug heard the man coming and watched him step into the room. He waited until he glanced in his direction before slamming his fist into the bastard’s face.

The bastard hit the floor with a loud thud and Doug stood over him grinning.

“Thanks for picking up supper, you fuck!” he exclaimed with glee, righting the takeout bag so the food wouldn’t spill; he took the bag to the kitchen, sat it on the counter, withdrew a large knife from the cutting block, and went back out to the living room.

He stood over the prone man who was dressed in a slate gray business suit, having a hard time deciding if he wanted to finish him quickly or make him suffer. He finally decided on quickly, because he knew Bree would be home soon and he wanted to prepare them a special dinner at the table with the food the bastard had brought.

Kneeling down, he sank the blade into the bastard’s neck and sliced it all the way across. Blood shot out into the air as he cut, then seeped out into a puddle once he was done.

“She’ll be happier without you,” Doug said, smirked, stood, and kicked the bastard just because he wanted to.

He took the time to walk back to the kitchen and put the bloody knife in the sink before he dragged the body outside to the patio. For some strange reason, he thought it would be funny to sit him up in one of the chairs and make it look like he’d fallen asleep, so he did it while giggling hysterically.

“You look like an ass,” he said to the bastard, shaking his head as he went back into the house, crunching through the broken glass.

He washed his hands and looked through the kitchen cabinets until he found what he was looking for – plates and wine glasses. He took two of each out and carried them carefully to the dining room, where a large dark wood table sat quietly. He set them down and went back to the kitchen for the bag of food and cutlery.

He’d just finished setting the table when the front door opened and closed. Then he heard the sweetest voice in the world calling some man’s name; it wasn’t his.

“Bree, my darling,” Doug said, walking out into the living room to greet her. “Welcome home!”

She froze halfway through the living room, her eyes wide with fear. Without warning, she dropped her briefcase, turned, and ran for the front door.

Doug, expecting this of her, knowing she wouldn’t know the bastard wouldn’t hurt her anymore until she’d seen his lifeless body, bolted forward and caught her just before she could reach the door. He wrapped an arm around her waist and whispered Shh! in her ear when she started screaming. When she wouldn’t be quiet, he clamped his hand over her mouth and dragged her through the living room and the kitchen to the patio so she could see for herself that she was safe.

Her eyes fell on the lifeless body of the bastard and she went limp, sobbing.

“That’s right,” Doug said, thinking her actions were from relief. “I’ve freed you from him so we can be together. You don’t have to be afraid anymore!”

She shook her head and sobbed harder.

He turned back toward the house and half-carried, half-dragged her to the dining room, where he sat her in a chair at the table.

“Are you hungry?” he asked. “What would you like?” He spread his hands, displaying the array of food containers on the table.

She shook her head and covered her face with her hands.

He sighed and said, “I know this is a lot to take in at once, but we don’t have to hide our love anymore! You don’t have to be afraid anymore.” He reached over and pulled her hands down from her face. “No one is going to hurt you anymore. I love you and will take care of you.”

He noticed that her eyes were crazy and her breath was coming hard in sobbing gasps.

“I think you need to relax before supper,” he said, standing and extending his hand toward her. “Come with me.”

She jumped up from the chair and tried to run out of the room, but he easily caught her again.

Bree fought hard, screaming, biting, and kicking.

With a deep sigh, Doug said, “I didn’t want to have to do this, but you’re leaving me no choice.” He drew back his hand and slapped her hard across the face; she crumpled to the floor in a ball, sobbing even harder than before. “I’m sorry… I didn’t want to hurt you, but you need to calm down.” He pulled four large cable ties from his back pocket and used them to bind her wrists and ankles before he carried her upstairs.

When she wouldn’t direct him to the bedroom, he started checking every room until he found the master suite.

“Oh, what a lovely tub,” he said, depositing her on the bed and looking through the doorway into the bathroom. “That’s what you need…a nice hot bubble bath to help you relax.” He winked and headed that way to start the water.

He turned the taps on the large, two person bathtub and adjusted the water to the perfect temperature. He then chose some fragrant bubble bath from the counter and added it to the water.

Once the bubbles were forming nicely, he stripped off all his clothes and headed back out into the bedroom.

Bree lay on the bed where he’d left her, still sobbing.

“Please, no,” she begged. “Please, please, please, no!” She squeezed her eyes shut tight.

Doug knelt by the bed and brushed her hair away from her face and kissed her forehead.

“It’s okay,” he said. “I’ll take care of you.”

With strong hands he ripped her clothes and slowly slid them off of her body while letting his hands trail over her soft skin.

“Beautiful,” he whispered. “More beautiful than I could have ever imagined.” He didn’t stop with just touching her and began to lick her skin and then nibble.

She screamed, but Doug believed it was from passion and that he was somehow fulfilling her fantasies, so he kept going.

When he took her it was more rapturous than he could ever have imagined, and he felt their souls touch and become one. He knew she felt it to by how she shuddered with ecstasy and groaned.

“I’m sorry, my love,” he said, getting up from the bed. “I couldn’t wait to have you.” He caressed her tear slick cheek and headed into the bathroom to turn off the water that was still running. While doing so, he accidently spilled the bubble bath solution on the floor, because in his haste he’d forgotten to put the cap back on.

“Shit!” he exclaimed and righted the bottle before setting it back on the sink. “I’ll clean that up later.” He came back out into the bedroom, picked her up, and carried her over his shoulder into the bathroom.

He was just about to lower her into the water when his feet slipped out from under him and she went flying through the air.

Bree screamed and landed with a thunk and a slash.

Doug picked himself up off the floor and peered into the tub – he couldn’t see Bree at all. He scooped away some of the bubbles that were swirled with thick, red blood, and peered into the water.

Her lifeless eyes stared up at him, and he could see more blood swirling out into the water from a dent in her skull.

Tears filled his eyes as he fell back onto the tile floor to sit on his butt; his hands were shaking and he was having a hard time breathing.

His love had been taken from him just as they were finally free to be together. He felt robbed by life – cheated. Anger and pain warred within him for release, but there was nothing for him to lash out at but himself.

He stood and glared at himself in the mirror. Brown eyes stared back at him from a plain, nondescript face. He reared his head back and smashed it into the glass, shattering the reflected image of himself. Large pieces of the silvery glass fell all over the counter and into the sink, shattering into even smaller pieces.

Doug reached down and grasped a long, knife shaped piece, gripping it tightly, not even paying attention to the pain of it cutting into his hand. He stabbed at his face with the shard, desperate to get the pain, the burning, out of his head. He couldn’t take anymore disappointment and hurt. Everything he loved was always taken from him.

He screamed as he sank the glass into his flesh again and again. Chunks of skin and meat fell into the sink and blood ran in floods down his neck and chest. When the burn eased and he didn’t feel the pain anymore, he stumbled over to the bathtub and looked down at his beautiful Bree. His blood dripped into the water, turning the bubbles pink and them red; the water soon changed to the color of passion as well. The color of passion, he thought, as he fell to his knees, too weak from blood loss to stand any longer. Her blood and mine. Her passion and mine.


Three days later…

Doug woke up in a room with blank, off-white walls, a window covered by a metal grate, and straps restraining his body to a single metal framed bed in the center. He glanced around apprehensively, but his face hurt terribly when he moved, so he tried to hold still.

Distantly he heard a door open and the sound of footsteps getting closer.

“Ah, I see you’re awake,” a woman in light green scrubs said. “I’ll get the doctor – he’ll want to see you.”

She vanished from view and footsteps receded, and again a door opened and closed.

He didn’t know how much time passed while he was laying there; he couldn’t think straight because his mind was fuzzy.

The mind control drugs… he thought and chuckled to himself, wincing in pain as his face muscles moved under their protective gauze.

He jumped when he heard the door open and close again, and this time two sets of feet walking across the hard, smooth surface of the floor.

“Douglas Thomas?” a male voice asked in a somewhat bored, overly calm tone. “I’m not surprised to see you back here…since your escape almost a month ago the authorities say you’ve been up to your old hi-jinx: raping and killing innocent women. It seems that this time you also killed the woman’s husband. You know you’re not getting out again, right? We know how you escaped and have taken measures to prevent it.”

Doug laughed and tested his restraints.

“You can’t control me,” he muttered. “I’ll be free to love!”

“What?” the doctor said, stepping closer, trying to hear what Doug had said.

“You can’t control me!” Doug screamed at the top of his voice, thrashing violently on the bed, laughing. “I’ll be free to love! You can’t stop me!”

The doctor shook his head and he and the woman left the room.

Doug kept muttering to himself, envisioning Bree’s beautiful face.

“Bubble bath of blood,” he raved. “Passion! Red, burning passion!”

His rants and laughter soon turned to sobs, and the sounds of his inner torment floated out into the corridor and down the empty hallway to haunt anyone who came close enough to hear. He knew he would never get out again, but it didn’t matter. His heart was broken beyond repair, and he’d remember it for the rest of his life every time he looked in the mirror. The damage was done. The burning passion had taken his very soul and twisted it beyond repair.


©Rebecca Besser, 2016. All rights reserved.

Santa Suit by Rebecca Besser – An Evil Christmas Story

Santa stepped out of the electronic toy factory and looked out at the other, surrounding buildings, each a factory that made different types of toys. He breathed deeply of the cold, dry, clean air of the North Pole as he watched elves scurry this way and that, getting ready for Christmas that was three days off. They were in the homestretch, preparing for their biggest day of the year and everyone was working hard.

He smiled as he stepped down off the landing onto the stairs leading to the courtyard. The smile disappeared when he slipped on the ice-coated concrete and his feet went out from under him. He fell hard, smacking his head off the edge of the landing.


Cinnamon Sparkle was coming out of the Cocoa House Café with her cart, ready to make her deliveries to each of the factories off the square. She glanced up just as Santa fell and knocked himself unconscious. For a moment, she just stood there with her mouth hanging open, not believing what she’d just witnessed. But the sight of his bright red blood leaking out of the wound on his head and freezing in long thin trails on the stairs as it met the ice convinced her what she was seeing was reality.

She darted back into the Cocoa House Café and screamed, “Get help! Santa’s hurt!”

All activity inside the café halted. Elves that had come to the café on their break, to enjoy some hot, fresh cocoa froze with wide eyes and mugs in midair to stare at her. Servers kept pouring cocoa into mugs, overflowing the dark, hot liquid onto the candy cane stripped circle tables. The workers behind the counter stopped what they were doing, oblivious to the workings of the machines they were using as they whined on.

As if as one being, waking up from a nap, all the motion returned to the café in an instant. And the name on every elf’s lips was “Santa!” in a single cry of concern and anguish.

The flurry of activity continued as everyone charged out of the café’s door, knocking Cinnamon Sparkle out of the way as they went by. The elves streamed through the door and spread out in various directions, some going to help Santa and others going to various locations to get the medical team and more elves to help if they were needed.

All progressive toy making and preparation activity came to a halt. Every elf in the North Pole was now concerned about their leader. Without him, there would be no Christmas.


Mrs. Clause sat beside the hospital bed that held her unconscious husband.

“There’s nothing you can do for him?” she asked Dr. Tinsel without looking up from Santa’s slack, expressionless face.

“If there were, I would have done it already,” the doctor replied. “He’s in a coma. He could wake up in an hour or a year.” Dr. Tinsel shrugged. “There’s no way of knowing.”

Mrs. Clause turned her eyes to the doctor; unshed tears clung to her white lashes.

“What about Christmas?”

Dr. Tinsel sighed, opened his mouth to speak, shut it again without uttering a word, and shrugged.

He turned and left the room.

Mrs. Clause looked back at her husband and let her tears flow as she sobbed.


Claws clicked and scratched against hard, hot rock as a lowly demon rushed into the throne room of Hell.

“Master, master,” he cried, coming to a halt at the feet of Satan, “I have news for you, master!”

“What do you want, you sniveling wretch?” Satan asked, annoyed with the intrusion of his sanctuary. He was planning out the regiment of torture to be dealt to the most recent souls sentenced to his lowly domain.

“Master, I have news from Earth,” the demon hissed out swiftly, knowing he’d better talk fast to save his own hide. “Santa Clause is injured.”

Satan lifted an eyebrow. “Why should I care about Santa Clause being injured?”

“My master, be kind to your servant and hear me out…” the demon implored and watched for a sign of permission to speak.

Satan sighed and waved his hand, giving the demon the go ahead. He figured the sooner he gushed out his pathetic thoughts, the sooner it would be over and he could get back to his evil business.

“Thank you, thank you,” the demon gushed, and then continued. “My master Satan, you and Santa have the same letters in your name, but in a different arrangement. Would that not give you enough name power to take over his identity?”

“I can only do that if the subject is dead,” Satan said with an air of speaking to someone simpleminded. “The soul must leave the body completely for me to take the possession I would need. I’m much larger than you mere demons and require more space, you know.”

The demon shifted his weight excitedly from foot to foot while wringing his tail in both his claw tips paws nervously.

“But, master, Santa is in a coma!” he squealed. “His soul has left his body for now. It’s the perfect time for you to destroy Christmas like you’ve always wanted.”

Satan stood from his thrown with a roar. “What?!”

Every demon present in the throne room cowered and whimpered. The demon in front of Satan, who had brought the news, threw himself prostrate in front of his master with a fear-filled cry of anguish. His entire body shook with terror.

“Is it true? Is it possible?” Satan asked the room at large. “Someone find out if it’s true and possible! Do I have the name power to take over Santa’s identity?”

A flurry of activity took over Hell as all available demons rushed to do his bidding.

“Rise up, lowly coward,” Satan said to the demon that had brought him the news. “If what you say is true and it’s possible for me to ruin Christmas, you will be promoted to an advisor’s position.”

The demon rose slowly, bowing every few seconds with many thanks uttered from his mouth.

It wasn’t long before the intel that Santa was in a coma was confirmed. However, the name power wasn’t 100% confirmed. The demons could only come up with enough information to confirm that there was a 72% chance of it being enough power, since all the letters were the same, but in a different order. With that percentage, Satan knew he could take over Santa’s identity, but his time allowance would be limited. If Santa started to pull out of the coma, in essence, his soul returning to his body, Satan knew he would slowly be pushed out again.

Satan decided it would give him just enough time to bring terror to the people of Earth for Christmas, and that’s what mattered to him.

Satan gloried in the news and rushed to get his “Santa suit” on, as he jokingly called it.


Mrs. Clause sat beside her husband’s bed, holding his hand and talking to him, hoping he would wake up.

She gasped when Santa squeezed her hand.

She looked at his face with a huge grin, overjoyed that there was a sign of life from him. The grin slowly melted away when she saw the malicious, twisted smirk on his normally merry face. His eyes darted all around the room, taking everything in before he lifted his head. His eyes finally settled on her, and while there was a margin of recognition, there was no warmth or love in their depth.

“I’ll get the doctor,” Mrs. Clause said in a hoarse voice, trying free her hand from his without making too much fuss. She was freaked out and she hoped the doctor would say this was all normal and she was overacting. She didn’t feel things were…right with Santa. He wasn’t himself – she was sure of it.

He let her go and sat up slowly. He focused his attention on his hands flipping them over and back, looking down at them while a grin spread across his face.

“Excellent,” he said in a husky, deep voice.

Mrs. Clause had a hard time not fleeing from the room. She was deeply disturbed, but forced herself to walk calmly. Once she was out in the hall, she stopped to catch her breath and compose herself. She didn’t want to seem frantic and scared when she spoke to the doctor. She didn’t want him to think there was now something wrong with her.

With each step toward the nurse’s station, she noticed the grim expressions on the faces of the elves that worked in the North Pole hospital. She took note for the first time how hard it was for them to smile at her when they made eye contact. It struck her how much Santa’s injury had drained the joy and Christmas spirit from all their lives. She just hoped that Santa’s return to consciousness would lift their spirits once more. She hoped the magic of Christmas would be re-sparked. The children of the world were depending on it.


“Santa,” Dr. Tinsel said as he entered his patient’s room, “how are you feeling?” He was smiling, excited that Santa had come back to them so quickly. He couldn’t wait for it to be announced that Santa was back and Christmas wasn’t going to be cancelled.

“I feel great,” Satan-Santa answered, grinning at the doctor.

Dr. Tinsel paused and his brow wrinkled as he looked at Santa. Something was off with his voice; he hoped it was just from the time of unconsciousness. It wasn’t that strange for someone in a coma to get a dry throat and have a hard time speaking when they awoke. But that was usually someone who had been in their coma for weeks or years, not a little less than twenty-four hours.

“Wonderful,” Dr. Tinsel said, extracting Santa’s chart from the foot of his bed. “A nurse is going to come in and check your vitals, and if everything is okay, I’m going to release you from the hospital.”
“In time for Christmas?”

“Yes, Santa,” Dr. Tinsel said, feeling relieved to see a glimpse of the Santa he knew; his face lit up when he mentioned Christmas. “You’ll be released before Christmas if everything on your tests looks all right. We wouldn’t want to disappoint the children, would we?”

Satan-Santa laughed. “No. We wouldn’t want to disappoint the children.”

The hairs on the back of Dr. Tinsel’s neck stood on end at the sound of Santa’s laugh. It wasn’t right. It wasn’t a merry, jolly sound, but evil and sinister.

He glanced over his shoulder and spied Mrs. Clause standing just outside the doorway, frowning. He could tell from her expression that she was noticing the differences too. When she glanced at him, he smiled. He planned to explain that a head injury could cause some temporary changes and they just needed to exercise patience until everything was healed and back to normal.


Satan-Santa stood at the window to Santa’s office with the fingers of both hands entwined behind his back. He was grinning as he watched the elves scurry this way and that, trying to meet the new demands he’d placed on them for the Christmas deadline. He couldn’t believe how much power he had over the entire work force. At that very moment, he was waiting for elves to bring him the naughty and nice list. He was going to completely reverse it all so the naughty children would get the presents they wanted and the nice children wouldn’t.

He turned at a brief knock at the door to watch ten elves bring in box after box of papers containing the naughty and nice list.

“Is this all of it?” he asked.

His assistant, the head elf, Hazelnut frowned and shook his head.

“No, Santa, this is just for the children whose last names start with the letter A.”

“Ah, yes,” Satan-Santa said, “I’d forgotten. My head injury… Things come and go for me, but it gets better all the time.”

Hazelnut smiled sympathetically and ushered the other elves out of the room.

“We’ll leave you to it. Let us know when you’re ready for the letter B section of the list.”

Satan-Santa nodded and they all left him alone with the list. In minutes he had it done, using his evil powers to make the changes quickly and easily.

He sent for the B section, then the C section, and so on and so forth until he had the entire list redone. He knew the delivery mix ups alone would cause chaos for the emotions of the children that believed in Santa, and that pleased him. He planned to go well beyond just the list though, to spread his evil on Earth, and he needed to hurry before Santa’s soul found its way back to his body.

While in the coma, Santa’s soul was essentially a balloon filled with helium, still connected by a thin string to his body. When all the helium made its way through the rubber as it aged, he would slowly sink back into his mortal self and Satan would be kicked out of the “Santa Suit” he was now wearing.


Christmas Eve dawned bright and cold at the North Pole. The elves were in a near panic finishing up their work in a surge of unbridled excitement. They’d even finished making the strange scary-looking dolls Santa had ordered them to make at the last minute. They didn’t like them, but they’d made them, figuring Santa knew what he was doing. He was their leader and had never steered them wrong before; they trusted him blindly even though he seemed a little…off.

Everything was prepared, just as it always was, right on time.

All the elves gathered in the square to see Santa off; they lived and worked their entire lives for Christmas and didn’t want to miss a single moment of the joy and excitement.


As Satan-Santa stood in the sleigh, waving at all the cheering elves, he couldn’t believe how easy it all was. He was positive that elves were the stupidest beings on Earth. He was going to enjoy every second of ruining Christmas. He was overjoyed that he would have access to countless innocent children to do what he wished with them. Never before had he had such broad access to human children all at one time. He was drunk with the power, and that drunken state came across as overwhelming joy and happiness to the elves. They thought it was Christmas spirit and that’s what he wanted them to think.

In minutes he was off, calling out the names of each reindeer in turn as he knew he was supposed to. He’d learned all of their names just for that purpose – he had to keep up his ruse.

As the sleigh took to the air and all the elves cheered, Satan noticed that his vision became blurry for a moment and he felt a mild weight settling over him. In that instance, he knew Santa’s soul was beginning its journey back to his body.

“Just wait a little longer, you fat jolly bastard,” Satan mumbled. “I have terror to unleash!”

He sailed through the sky, off to visit the houses where children slept, waiting for someone kind, loving, and full of Christmas Magic to bring them what they were hoping for.

The first house he stopped at was that of a naughty child. He left five presents for the child, since there was a surplus of toys from the original naughty and nice list – there had been more nice than naughty children then. That made it possible for him to be overly generous after he changed the list around.

The next house he came to, there were two nice children. For each, he left one of the strange dolls he’d had the elves make, after chanting a short incantation over them. As he turned his back to leave, their eyes started to glow red and their little arms and legs began to twitch. He knew that by the time he was off to the next house, two demons would inhabit his version of voodoo dolls and would torture the children and kill the adults in the house. Once their deed was done, the demons would be welcomed back into Hell, birthed to a new rank and position in his kingdom for their faithful service.

As the sleigh glided from the house’s roof, Satan-Santa heard the bloodcurdling screams coming from within. In his mind’s eye, he imagined the walls of the children’s room being painted red with their parents’ blood when they came to check on their screaming children. The children would be left alive, because their young innocence would deny him their souls. But the adults – most of them – would become his in Hell. And when the children grew up orphans, they would carry pain and sorrow in their hearts. One day, their souls would belong to him too, since most would fester in that pain for the longevity of their lives.

Satan-Santa went from house to house, repeating his gifts for the naughty children and the nice children. Each house he stopped at, he felt more and more pressure settling over him. Until, halfway through the night, he could barely breathe. He knew his time in Santa’s body was over, so he landed the sleigh in the middle of a city, spoke his incantation over all the remaining dolls, and left Santa’s body.


It took a little over an hour for Santa’s soul to return to his body completely. When he became aware of the world around him it was to the sounds of people screaming in pain and children calling out and crying with fear and loss. He didn’t know what was going on, but he knew he was in his sleigh, in the middle of it all.

He wasn’t sure if he should take off or stay where he was, but when thousands of little blood-soaked dolls with glowing red eyes surrounded the sleigh, he knew he had to leave; the reindeer kicking the evil dolls out of the way as they took to the air. He knew Christmas had to continue, that he had to move on. He didn’t know why he didn’t remember the last few days or how he’d gotten to where he was, but he didn’t have the time to dwell on it.

As the sleigh crested the rooftops, he was surrounded by war planes from the local military. While Santa was trying to figure out what was going on, below and in the air, missiles were deployed in his direction.

Santa had time to breathe the word “no” just before the missiles hit and the reindeer were blown to bits in the center of a fireball. Just as he realized what had happened, he was consumed as well.


Satan watched from Hell as Christmas was ruined forever. He hadn’t reached as many homes as he’d set out to, but the loss of Santa was more than he could have hoped for. He hadn’t counted on the households without children calling the police and the police calling the Air Force to take care of Terrorist Santa.

He wouldn’t make it to the rest of the houses, and that would let down the children that still believed. The news reports about the night would have ruined his reputation, but with no Santa at all, Christmas would have no hope except for Christ. But he’d fooled the majority of Earth’s population into not believing in Him long ago. Now Christmas had nothing left.

All the demons of Hell celebrated their master’s success.

©Rebecca Besser, 2014. All rights reserved.

Happy Thanksgiving! – Turkey Day by Jaime Johnesee

Author Jaime Johnesee
Author Jaime Johnesee


Thanksgiving is my favorite time of the year. I love having so many of the people I care about gathered around sharing what we’re thankful for. I just absolutely love what the holiday represents. I don’t want to get into the history and the politics of the holiday, I only want to speak about the spirit of it. It’s very important to take the time to appreciate the things around you. With our busy lives we so often forget to take that time. Sometimes we take the people, and things, we love most for granted.

Also, the food frigging rocks. Succulent turkey (or tofurky) with that crisp buttery skin, steamed Brussel’s sprouts topped with butter, creamy mashed potatoes with thick gravy made from the giblets, cinnamon sweet potato casseroles with toasted marshmallow topping, ended with the tangy spice of pumpkin cheesecake… Bliss.

So, in the spirit of being grateful and sharing, I’m grateful to share this NC-17 short story with you – Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. May your families and friends be healthy, happy, and grateful for you.


Jaime Johnesee


Turkey Day
by Jaime Johnesee


Every year we would go to the Jacobsen’s farm and pick out a turkey. I hated the screaming of the bird when Mr. Jacobsen would grab it to lop its head off. Every damn time that turkey would scream and every year I would beg my dad not to take me back there. I didn’t like it, didn’t understand why we couldn’t just buy a frozen turkey from the grocery store. He didn’t listen, and so, year after year I had to participate in the slaughter of a poor, defenseless, admittedly tasty animal.

Although I shouldn’t say defenseless because this one time Jacobsen got his ass handed to him when a big thirty pound tom decided to fight for his life. The turkey broke his nose and punctured his right eye before a farm hand managed to pull the thing off him. I was rooting for that turkey. I’d like to think he went to his grave a hero. He was absolutely delicious as a sandwich, so I guess he had that going for him.

Dad died before Thanksgiving this year and, as I held the frozen Butterball in the aisle of our local grocery store for the first time ever, I found myself oddly missing that much-loathed trip. I put the store brand turkey back in its place on the frozen pyramid and walked out of the store. I’d go to Jacobsen’s and get the turkey myself. My wife and I would dedicate the dinner this year to Pop and we’d make sure all his favorites were on the table.

I waved goodbye to the cashier, my neighbor, and headed for my car.

“Looking for a turkey, mister?” The boy approached on my right and startled me. He couldn’t have been older than sixteen.

“Yeah, I’m going to Jacobsen’s right now, actually.”

“I can get you just as good a bird for cheaper. Won’t make you watch the end, neither. ”

That appealed to me greatly and I stopped and faced the kid. I’d never seen him around before.

“Which farm?”


“Which farm do you represent?”

“Oh, uh, Smythe’s.”

“Are the turkeys organic?”

“Are they what?”

“Organic. No antibiotics, hormones, fed a good diet, allowed to run free?”

“Sure thing, mister.”

“Lead the way, kid.”

We got into our cars – his a beat up, blue and gray 1977 Jeep Honcho. I followed him to Oak Street and grunted as I realized he was taking me out of town. I preferred to buy as local as possible so this wasn’t something I was comfortable with. It was the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and I wanted to get the turkey and get home quickly. I had a case of beer back home that wasn’t going to drink itself. Holidays were stressful times and the only times of the year I actually drank. Then again, family will do that to you.

The boy drove to the edge of the county and just when I was about to turn around and head back (any savings on the turkey would be offset with the amount of gas my SUV would guzzle), he pulled into a driveway that led through a dense patch of woods. I began to feel slightly uncomfortable about the whole thing. As my car slowly drove through the thicket lining either side of the tatterdemalion drive I felt sure that there was no way someone could possibly live there. The driveway looked like it had been overgrown for at least two years. I ignored my instinct to back up and head home, certain I was going to get a turkey, go home, hole up with my case, and drink the whole damn weekend away. Uncle Fred hitting on my wife was not going to bother me this year. It’d still bother her though, for sure.

I pulled up into a yard that was just as overgrown and choked with weeds as the driveway. The house sat derelict and broken. The windows were boarded up and the porch roof had collapsed. Nobody lived here, nobody could – the second story had collapsed into the first. I stopped the car and threw it into reverse, but I was too late. Another truck blocked me in. It was the twin of the one in front of me. Fuck, I thought to myself. They were going to rob me, or worse. I’d seen Deliverance I knew what crazy guys did to sane ones. I felt no urge to squeal like a pig. I locked my doors. It was stupid and pointless as I was basically in a windowed box. If they wanted in they’d get there.

A man climbed out of the Honcho behind me and came to my window.

“You looking for a turkey, son?” He was old, at least seventy, and I relaxed a little.

“Yes, sir.”

“Why you looking so nervous, boy?”

“Well, sir, I’m blocked in at a house I don’t know by two people I don’t know. It’s a mite uncomfortable.”

“Aw, yous just a poor baby, ain’t ya?” He chuckled.

“Sir?” I was certain the squeal-like-a-pig moment had arrived and I screamed at myself not to cry.

“What sorta turkey you want, son?”

“Twenty-pounder would be nice.”

“Oh, yeah, bird like that’d be real nice for sure. Bet it’d cook up nice, buttery, and crispy on the outside, moist and juicy in the center.”

“That’s what I’m hoping for. My family just loves Thanksgiving.”

“What decent family don’t?” He gave me a mean sort of squint and I nodded my agreement. I took a quick look at the boy who had lured me here and saw him get out of his Jeep. He went around to the back, took out a tarp, an axe, and a bag of apples. It reminded me of some crazy Wile E. Coyote trap and I just stared, transfixed as he began setting out the tarp. A small TV tray came out next and on it the boy assembled a myriad of odd tools.

“What are those for?” My voice came out much smaller and squealier than I had expected.

“For guttin’ the turkey. You can’t take a turkey home with the innards left inside. Why, that’d ruin the meat.” A small bead of drool appeared at the corner of his mouth.

What the hell had I gotten myself into? I was starting to feel slightly panicked when the boy grabbed a cage from the back of the old man’s Honcho and set it on the tarp. There was a turkey inside. I almost sighed with relief.

“He be ready soon. You gon’ watch him end that bird’s life, right?”

“He told me I wouldn’t have to.”

“If you’re to be takin’ a soul’s life then you ought to look ’em in the eyes while you do. Dontcha think?” He looked at me hard and I felt like I was sitting in my old family home  getting chastised by my father. My horrible, evil, rotten father. Suddenly, I hated this man. I despised his very being.

“Stupid fuckin’ turkeys,” I mumbled.

I was never able to face the truth behind what really went on at the Jacobsen farm with my dad. That’s why he created me. I was there to step in for him at those moments.

When the old man stuck his face closer to mine in an effort to hear me better I grabbed the pen from my shirt pocket and thrust it up through his jaw. He started trying to scream, but the blood pooling in his mouth made screaming near impossible. This wasn’t my first time wielding a pen. I prefer close kills. It’s something Daddy taught me. Well, drilled into me, really. All those neighborhood pets he got me started on. Yes, sir, every Thanksgiving we went out and found us a turkey. As much as we liked the Jacobsen’s family, the meat we got off them was getting too stringy. The homeless that showed up to work their ranch tended to be way to lean to make good turkeys. This year was different. This year there’d be two.

Oh, I couldn’t have taken the two together, but I have a good chance with the boy now that the old man is gone. I opened the door of my car and stepped out, moving closer to the boy with every step. He had his hands wrapped around the turkey’s neck and didn’t even see me pick the axe up. I swung it overhead and let gravity do my job for me, it slid into his skull and he doubled over, releasing the turkey in the process.

The bird looked at me and said, “Hey, thanks, man” before running off into the woods.

“Happy Thanksgiving, bird,” I called as I went to load my turkeys into my car. The family would be eating good tonight. We had so much to be thankful for this year.


Visit my interview with Jaime Johnesee to learn more about her and her “Bob the Zombie” series:

Bob The Spy graphic

©Jaime Johnesee, 2014. All rights reserved.

Winter of Zombie 2014 – Jay Wilburn’s “Dead Song” Teaser

Author Jay Wilburn


Excerpt from “Dead Song” appearing in Zombies: More Recent Dead with Prime Books. Soon to be a full length novel exploring the world and life of Tiny Jones.


Dead Song

By Jay Wilburn


The man walked into the dark room and closed the door behind him. He put on the headphones and sat down on the stool. Images of zombies flashed on the screen in front of him. He ignored them and opened the binder on the stand. He pulled the microphone a little closer and waited.

In the darkness, a voice came over the headphones and said, “Go ahead and read the title card again for us slowly so we can set levels.”

The man read with particular slowness and articulation, “Dead Doc. Productions presents The Legend of Tiny “Mud Music” Jones in association with After World Broadcasters and Reaniment America, a subsidiary of the Reclaiment Broadcasters Company, with permission of the Reformed United States Federal Government Broadcasters Rights Commission.”

He waited silently after he finished.

The voice finally came back on, “Sounds good. We’re going to get coverage on the main text for alternate takes. We’re also going to have you read the quotes as placeholders until we get character actors to replace them. Read them normally without any affected voice. If we need another tone or tempo, we’ll let you know and we’ll take another pass at that section. There is also some new material we are adding into the documentary.”

“Okay,” the man answered.

The voice ordered, “When you’re ready, go ahead with section one, then stop.”

The man took a drink of water, swallowed, and then waited for a couple beats. He began, “Dead World Records was one of the first music companies to come online after order was restored. They were recording and signing artists during the height of the zombie plague. Tobias Baker and Hollister Z are credited with founding the company.”

“They operated from a trailer and storage building on Tobias’s family farm, surviving off the land, and clearing zombies from the property between recording and editing.”

A black and white image of zombie pits scrolled across the screen as the guys in the booth ran the images to check timing. The man ignored it.

He continued, “They do deserve credit for recognizing the continued value of musical culture and history while everyone else was focused purely on survival. They had the vision to gather and record the unique musical evolution of the Dead Era which shaped all music that came after it.”

A grainy video of the men working in their studio rolled on the screen. The man stopped and watched as he waited.

The video froze and the voice said, “Skip to section four. The text is edited from the last time your read it. Read it over once and tell us when you are ready.”

The man obliged them by scanning it over. He said, “Ready.”

The voice said, “We’re rolling on section four.”

The man took another drink before he began, “The real unsung heroes of the rise of Dead World Records Inc. are clearly the collectors that agreed to bring the recordings back to the studio. Many of them were musicians themselves and trekked hundreds of miles through zombie infested territory to find musical gatherings of the various unique pockets of survivors.”

A picture of Tiny flashed on the screen with his name under it. He was wearing shorts, hiking boots, and holding a walking stick. A picture of another man wearing a helmet and carrying a bat replaced it. The name below it was Satchel Mouth Murderman.

The man continued, “Music from this period is clearly defined by both isolation and strange mixtures of people and cultures. The gatherings of these musical laboratories (many of which were destroyed and lost long before the zombies were) is the legacy of men like Tiny “Mud Music” Jones.”

Stills of Tiny with arrows pointing him out passed over the screen.

The man read on, “Tiny traveled farther and gathered more than any other collector. His introverted style and musical talent won trust and entry into enclaves of people no one else could penetrate. Some historians believe much of what we know of Dead Era culture is built off the exploration of Tiny Jones.”

*   *   *   *   *

zombie collection cover 2

The stench of frozen rotted meat is in the air! Welcome to the Winter of Zombie Blog Tour 2014, with 10 of the best zombie authors spreading the disease in the month of November.

Winter of Zombie 2014 Blog Tour

 Stop by the event page on Facebook so you don’t miss an interview, guest post or teaser… and pick up some great swag as well! Giveaways galore from most of the authors as well as interaction with them! #WinterZombie2014


AND so you don’t miss any of the posts in November, here’s the complete list, updated daily:

©Jay Wilburn, 2014. All rights reserved.

The Three Zomb-Egos by Rebecca Besser


By Rebecca Besser

            It was an overcast afternoon when Shawn, Nathan, Cal, and Tim met at the local bar in a small town in Virginia. They’d become friends online and planned the get together so they could discuss their most common interest – zombies.

            The establishment was nothing short of pathetic on the outside, which almost made the men decide to traverse elsewhere, but Cal joked that it looked like his apocalyptic dream house, so they decided to stay.

            Inside the alcohol peddling abode, the men found a plethora of zombie and science fiction collectables, proudly displayed in lighted chrome and glass cases.

            “This place is sweet!” Shawn exclaimed, and the others agreed.

            They seated themselves at a round table toward the back of the empty deserted room, and took in the sight of the place for a couple of minutes.

            “Oh,” Tim said, jumping up and dashing over to the bar that ran almost the full length of the right side of the room, “light sabers!” He picked up one of the toy collectables and swung it to make the plastic cylinders extend from the base, just as he pushed the button on the hilt to make it light up; an electronic hum rent the air as he swung it.

            All the men’s faces lit up and they joined their friend at the bar to play with the sabers.

            “Could you imagine having a real one of these babies when the Z-poc happens?” Nathan asked with glee painted across his face, making him look like a kid.

            “That would be kick ass!” Cal said, but was disappointed when he noticed there were only two sabers.

            Shawn, having also arrived at the bar too late to have a saber of his own, frowned.

            “Let’s just see how well those things do against zombies…” he said, and moaned, lunging toward Tim like a zombie from hell.

            Tim, Cal, and Nathan laughed, and Tim swung his saber playfully at Shawn.

            Shawn didn’t give up his attack easily, though, and soon had Tim pinned against the bar, snarling like a raging hungry beast intent on having Tim for lunch.

            Cal, amused by Shawn’s actions, did the same to Nathan, and in seconds they were on the floor, rolling around.

            At that very moment, the proprietor of the establishment came in through the back door, heard the noise out by the bar, and called the police. He’d been outside, taking bags of trash to the dumpster, and when he’d returned, he found lunatics in his bar!

            The police told him to stay hidden, so he went into his office and locked the door behind him.

            The noise continued for a while, and was abruptly ended when something glass shattered.

            “Oh, shit!” Shawn exclaimed, noticing that they’d knocked a glass off the bar with their playful tussling; he looked around, but didn’t see anyone. “Hello?” he called, hoping someone would answer him.

            Cal and Nathan stopped wrestling and looked up, and around, to see what had broken and what Shawn was yelling about.

            “You’re probably going to have to pay for that,” Cal said, motioning to the broken glass on the floor.

            “I know…” Shawn said, still searching for someone who worked there, so he could do the right thing and offer to pay for the damage. “Where the hell is everyone?”

            Tim laughed. “Z-poc!” He started moaning, limping, and shuffling in circles.

            Shawn shook his head, and still trying to find someone, spotted a broom and dust pan behind the bar. He didn’t want to go back there, in case someone did finally appear – they might have a gun and think he was robbing the place – so he picked up the light saber Tim had put down and grabbed the other one out of Nathan’s hand.

            Nathan protested with a whine of, “Hey!” but Shawn ignored him.

            Cal nudged Nathan to distract him from losing his toy and started moaning and pawing at Nathan like he was a zombie; Nathan shoved him away, and did the same.

            Shawn, meanwhile, was using the sabers – one in each hand – to try to pinch the broom and dust pan together so he could pick them up and lift them over the counter; he kept getting frustrated because the cylinders kept folding down when he tilted the sabers at a certain angle.

            Tim, Cal, and Nathan got bored with aimlessly shuffling around the room and trying to bite each other, so they converged on Shawn in a horde of chomping teeth and (what they hoped sounded like) deadly moan.

            They were all around Shawn, clawing him with wild eyes – while he tried to shove them off, focused on his broom retrieval task – when the police came charging in with their guns drawn.

            “Freeze!” they yelled. “Put your hands up where we can see them!”

            All four men froze and spun to face the officers; Shawn accidently slapped Nathan and Tim in the head with the light sabers as he lifted his arms.

            “Sorry,” he muttered.

            “No talking!” one of the officer’s yelled – the tall, bald, skinny one. “Drop your weapons!”

            Shawn opened his hands and let go of the plastic toys, and as they fell, one hit Cal in the head, and the other bounced off the top of the bar and into a row of liquor bottles, knocking them to the floor. They all shattered with a tickling of glass and a splash of liquid.

            “Smooth move,” the other officer said – the short, slightly chubby one. “ All of you – turn slowly and put your hands on the bar.”

            “What’s going on?” Cal whispered to his friends.

            “I don’t know!” Shawn whispered harshly. “Shut up.”

            “Hey!” the tall officer said. “No talking!”

            The room went silent as the four men were patted down by the two officers.

            “Stand up, put your hands behind your heads, and turn around,” the short, chubby officer commended; the four did as they were told.

            “Where are you from, and what are you doing here?” the tall, bald officer asked.

            No one spoke for a moment, and then Nathan – who had experience with law enforcement – spoke up.

            “We’re friends who met online,” he said confidently. “We’re all writers, and we decided to meet for a drink, since we lived close together.”

            “Oh, really?” the tall officer asked, glancing at his partner. “Can we see some ID please?”

            Shawn produced his, and so did Tim.

            Cal and Nathan searched their pockets only to realize they’d left their wallets in their cars.

            The officers, getting aggravated, decided they would have to go and get them.

            “We’re going to take a small field trip outside together,” the short officer said. “I don’t want any fun business from any of you, understand?”

            The four men nodded and proceeded as they were instructed outside.

            Nathan and Cal were allowed into their cars to retrieve their wallets.

            The officers then had them walk to the rear of their vehicles and stand with their hands behind their heads while their IDs were examined.

            The chubby officer glanced up and noticed the license plate on the back of Shawn’s car. He did a double take and then looked at Cal’s…and Nathan’s. He couldn’t help but laugh.

            “What the hell?” he asked. “Are you zombie worshippers or something?”

            The four men frowned in confusion and shrugged.

            “We all write about zombies,” Nathan said, trying to understand the man’s meaning. “Why? Did you recognize one of our names? Have you read our books?”

            All four of the men’s eyes lit up as they looked hopefully at the officers, expecting at least one of them to be a fan of their work.

            “No,” the short, chubby officer said, and motioned to the license plates. “I was referring to those.” He glanced at Tim’s car. “Who doesn’t have one? Does he still need to be ‘initiated’ into the group or something?”

            Tim looked down at the ground and clenched his jaw; he didn’t want to admit he didn’t have a zombie license plate like his friends. He wanted one, but just hadn’t gotten one yet.

            Shawn stared off into the distance.

            Cal looked down at the ground and kicked at a small pebble that was lying in front of his foot.
Nathan shifted his weight from one foot to the other with nervous energy.

            “Not going to tell me, huh?” the chubby officer asked. “Fine, I have my own way of finding out. I’ll run the non-zombie plate.”

            He walked over to the police cruiser and opened the door. He slid into the driver’s seat and typed on the cars computer, pulling up the license plate that didn’t have anything to do with zombies.

            He climbed back out of the car and sauntered back over with a triumphant look on his face.

            “So, Tim,” he said, “are you just not zombie enough to have a zombie themed license plate? Or won’t your wife let you?”

            Shawn, Cal, and Nathan burst out laughing.

            “Shut up, you fucking wacktards!” Tim snarled.

            “He’s just jealous we’re better zombie men than him,” Cal joked.

            “His wife did say he moans like the dead…” Nathan said with a snicker.

            “He’s been known to prance around town screaming, ‘I’m a rainbow vampire! I’m a rainbow vampire!’” Shawn said, and doubled over laughing.

            “You’re all bastards,” Tim said, and sighed; he noticed the officers were laughing too.

            “Calm down, my friend,” Nathan said, trying to catch his breath.

            “Look at it from a zombie perspective…” Cal said, “…at least when the Z-poc happens, they won’t know you’re out to get them.”

            The officers were shaking their heads at the men and their antics.

            “Okay,” the tall, bald officer said, “let’s get back to business. What was going on in the bar?”

            The four men told them about finding the light sabers, pretending to be zombies, and the broken glass.

            “Well,” the chubby officer said, “as long as you pay for the damages, and promise to leave, we won’t take you in.”

            “Thank you,” Shawn said, even though he now had to pay for multiple bottles of liquor because the cops made him drop the light saber and knock them over.

            The officers escorted Shawn back inside the bar and let the owner know what had happened. He paid for the glass and the alcohol, and then made his way back outside where his friends were waiting.

            “I guess we survived that,” Shawn said.

            “Well, we are all survivors!” Nathan said, grinned, and winked.

            The four men said goodbye and headed their separate ways, knowing that their story would someday be told online…




©Rebecca Besser. All rights reserved.