Thursday, December 26, 2013

Zombies



Zombies

They came in waves; some running, others hobbling, some were actually crawling, limbs useless; I wanted to puke.

You know how soldiers always say if you weren’t scared you’re a damn liar. I’m here to tell you I was terrified; I’ve never came so close to shitting or pissing my pants for hours on end. There’s no disgrace in saying it; no one wants to die like that. One fucking bite; you’re off to the races, first comes the fever, then body aches and puking, blood oozes from every pore; coma and then death. Or if you’re really unlucky you get eaten alive; now there’s a pleasant thought; I’ve seen it, why do you think I’m so fucking scared all the time.

When the war first started you got the benefit of the doubt; now one scratch and they shoot you or put an axe in your head. I’d rather have a friend axe me than turn into one of them. Kind of came as a silent agreement over the months between the ranks that if you got a bite, no matter how small it was a death sentence; carried out on the spot. Some groups waited a few days to see if you started getting sick, having a high fever, or puking any running blood. That came to an end when some infected would just make the jump without ever showing a sign of anything wrong. One minute you’re having a conversation and the next all hell breaks loose and a bunch of people get bit or clawed and then you have to kill everyone with broken skin and zombie matter in any wound. It didn’t take much; a drop of blackened blood, piece of grey flesh landing on any open wound; incredible how little it took to become infected. We had one guy that wasn’t even in the front line that had a drop of black blood blow over the wire fence landed in his left eye. We put him down two days later as he made the jump.

Sorriest day of my life was when I was walking guard duty and I heard a moan from just over the wire. I looked but I couldn’t see a thing. I walked to the first row of wire and could just make out a small figure on the other side of the mounds of barbed wire and concertina. I pulled a few rolls apart and moved slowly between rolls of razor sharp wire towards the small figure with out stretched arms bagging to be rescued. Ten feet away the little thing jumped into the wire; teeth snapping, finger reaching for a piece of fresh flesh. I brought my AR up and centered the sights on the little girl’s forehead; squeezed the trigger and jumped like I was the one shot when it went off. Grey material sprayed over the black asphalt top of the street. She slumped into the wire and laid still; black goo dripping in thick ropes of glutinous glistening strings pooling into black lakes that looked like crude oil. The smell whiffed over the wire; a combination of rot, defecation and stagnant putrefied water. The little thing was still twitching as I made my way zigging and zagging through the rolls of wire towards the outer rolls. A whole crowd had run to the sound of the rifle blast and stood watching as I pushed my way to the broken body. The closer I came the more morbid the scene was; the gelatinous black liquid glistened in the morning sun, casting bright silver blinding light into my eyes. As the distance shortened I realized the figure I’d just killed in my mind’s eye wasn’t the beautiful little girl in a fluffy pink dress lined with white lacing I envisioned; matted hair, grey flesh with blistered open sores oozing black puss and grey stringy globs of white grey goo sliding down to crusted blackened stockings that once were white. Black knee length dress with a big collar now stained with black blood gelled clumps from the collar down the long sleeves ending in little clawed hands with razor sharp nails. The once lovely girl now zombie was still occasionally twitching; I raised my axe and drove it into her head splitting it wide open; liquefied black grey brain matter gushed out on the asphalt joining the pool of gelatinous putrefied matter slowly running in a slow stream towards the eager mouth of the storm drain. I puked on my shoes.

At first no one knew what was going on; Rise of the dead is what the newspapers and TV anchors were shouting at the top of their lungs. As the crisis grew most people just hid away in their houses hoping it would blow over in a few weeks like the flu; they soon joined the ranks of the undead. It finally got to the point the local news was showing the police shooting the zombies in the street. We lost a number of our Officers before they discovered only a head shot would stop a zombie. Within the first month the National Guard was called in to backup the Police; what a mistake. Trigger happy Guards men started shooting anything that was walking or crawling; can’t blame them; they were scared to death, just like the rest of us. The National news was freaking out calling for full U.S. forces to put down the festering undead. Oh they did finally; they brought in all the big guns, rockets, tanks; the whole nine yards. Blew up thousands of undead and soon to be undead; only thing was none of them seemed to realize that you had to put a hungry zombie down with a precession head shot, not blow them apart and create thousands of crawling land mines to step on and get bit.

Two months into the zombie wars a new and deadly weapon joined the ranks of the undead; just as undead but twice as effective were the new zombie dogs, cats and all kinds of animals. They’d been bitten by the undead and made the jump to the infected. No one was safe in the barricaded buildings and sand bagged walled bunkers. The dogs and cats would clear the obstacles and be inside the bunker as though there were no defenses at all. We very soon realized roll after roll of wire; concertina, barbed, chicken, hog wire was the only way to slow them down enough to get a head shot. Do you have any idea how many rounds of ammunition it takes to hit a running zombie dog before it bites numerous people; axes, Tommy hawks, all kinds of old weapons made the come back to weapon of choice when the bullets ran out. They ran, jumped into the wire not seeming to realize they’d be wrapped tight; fighting to get untangled only wrapped them tighter. Lucky for us; make your way slowly through the wire and put an axe between their eyes was the only real way of handling them. It took time for us to become callus to the snarling, snapping of the jaws; growls, screams as they fought their hardest to get to one of you. It was terrifying; nearly all of us were traumatized, just hearing a dog bark or growl would loosen bowels.

Our food stores ran out in the fourth month; we knew they would and had been rationing food for weeks. Five scared volunteers slowly made their way through the wire and hugging the side of the nearest building headed down Aspen street towards the closest super market anyone could think of. Ten blocks; might as well have been ten miles. We were all standing on top of anything that would get you high enough to see over the barricades and wire. A few even had binoculars; unbelievable what some put in their bug out bags. The small group made it one block; still within unaided eye sight when they jumped the first zombie. Instead of putting an axe to its head; someone shot it between the eyes. The zombie dropped like a rock. All five turned back towards the wire as one; a couple even pumped a victory fist in the air. The bark of the gun announced to every zombie within ear shot that dinner was served. The first to get to the group was a huge German Sheppard and a medium sized boxer. We could clearly see three of our people go down under the weight of the Sheppard. It was a massacre; the first human zombies hit the group like linebackers no more than thirty seconds after the shot. It was all over within a minute; a pile three or four deep with countless numbers undead were fighting to get to the fresh meat; at least it blocked the grisly view as they were torn to pieces. One huge zombie fought his way out of the feeding frenzy and walked away eating an arm ripped from a shoulder. Funny; no was hungry for dinner that night.

The fresh meat got all the zombies in the area wound up and we were under attack for eighteen hours straight; the first eight rows of wire were smashed flat to the ground with tangled screaming zombies tearing at the wire; they just never seemed to get tired and lay still; only after smashing their heads would they stop fighting and snapping. Three additional high wire rolls had dogs and cats tangled; nothing is more nerve racking than the sound of snarling dogs and screaming howling cats ripping fur and limbs to get to you. The last two rolls of mixed wire had two dogs and one little zombie that had crawled and weaved its way through the openings in the wire but was finally stuck tight. They were dispatched with a single bullet from our reserve ammo stores. Another wave would have broken through and put us all in hand to hand combat with the undead. It was voted that following morning that further forays into the zombie zone had to have armored protection; wasn’t a single dissenting vote.

After a large scale attack like this the worst was clearing the wire. We counted two hundred and thirty five human zombies and sixty two animal zombies tangled in the wire after the attack. Each had to be put down and then cut out of the wire without damaging the wire roll. The tricky part was not getting bit or clawed by a nearby zombie as you dispatched the ones you were working on. A few we had no choice but to use our dwindling supply of bullets on. Bodies too tightly and closely wrapped in the wire to safely clear; out stretched hands grabbing and possibly ripping open our hazard suits. Nearly every gunshot brought more zombies hoping for a quick meal. We’d have to retreat slowly through the wire rolls as the zombies hit the first wire and charged as far as they could get before the wire stopped them. Some would make it right to behind you; a shot would ring out and the roll of wire just behind you would sink to the ground. It was nerve wracking work. We would cut the zombies from the wire and another crew would carry the pieces outside of the furthest roll and dump them in a pile. The pile was growing and becoming a problem; it was blocking the view of any attacking zombies from that direction. Someone decided we should dump gas on the pile and burn the huge pile down a bit. The pile was lit up and bellowing smoke clouded the camp.

They came out of nowhere; the smoke covered their approach and they were in the wire and on us before even a single shot rang out. Brainless; but even the undead recognized a tactical advantage when they saw one. Seven zombies tackled the body crew and took them down without losing a single undead; five more made the charge over the fallen wire hopping easily over the out stretched hands of their tangled comrades and hit two of our hazard suited people cleanly taking them down and tearing through the flimsy material; sinking teeth deep into the fresh pink flesh. Already on guard but blinded by the smoke our sentries opened up with everything they had; all twelve zombies went down along with four wire clearers by stray bullets. We lost nine people in five minutes and fourteen since the failed mission for provisions. Retreating into the relative safety of the camp the survivors were summary stripped and closely checked for bites or any wounds that would signal the need for an immediate execution. The clamor of gun fire brought a new wave of undead into the already damaged and flattened wire; three making it to the last roll of wire and through grasping clawed hands were put down with axes. One terrier made the jump using a fallen zombie in the wire as a spring board over the last defenses and into the camp. Some scattered running for their lives; others stood and cornered the small dog and hacked it into pieces. We were very luck not to lose anyone in the last attack. New suits were put on; double tape covering rips and tears from our escape from the wire. More men assigned to the cleaning crew; we had to repair the wire as soon as possible. One more attack and the camp would be easily be breached; we were all in danger of joining the undead.

The camp was put on lock down; no noise, no fires, no lights of any kind. We worked five hours straight to dark; managed to get four rows of wire stood up and reinforced. The whole camp was on high alert through the night, no one slept; we all were watching the remaining wire. At dawn we resumed clearing, stacking and reinforcing our defenses. Again at dusk the camp went into lock down; dark and quiet as a tomb. Ammunition reloading and any cooking were restricted to day light hours; three hard days of work brought our camp back to nearly original condition, short of the kinked and weakened wires.

Ten days after the onslaught of the hordes of undead we felt like we were ready again. Our loss of man power could never be gained back; we had no hope of anyone being alive in our immediate area. Occasionally in the beginning after this small group built the first camp with defenses that held against the initial acts, you’d hear a shot or two as hold outs in barricaded homes were overrun. Later nothing; not a peep that would lead you to believe there was anyone left outside the wire.

There were a few things that a callused defender had to notice and comment about; the undead didn’t draw any flies. Not a single fly would land on the rotting corpse of an undead. Fact of the matter, there wasn’t hardly any flies. The undead ate every piece of anything that they thought might be worth eating; and maybe a whole lot more that wasn’t. Lots of new things were discovered and noticed; not a lot to do inside a small camp unless it’s under attack. One thing for me that was hard to take in the beginning was the lack of airplanes, the sound of traffic, not a single combustion engine roar to fill the air; it was so quiet.

Sitting at a small table having lunch someone whispered “I hear a truck!” then a few heard the diesel engine in the distance they freaked out; it was a surprise they weren’t shot on the spot.

We were saved; the Authorities had finally arrived and we would be free again, free at last. The camp erupted in war woops and shouts. The diesel engine was getting closer and the pop, pop of a few rifle rounds as it made its way closer to the camp. All the camp was at the wire straining to see the first tank come as it came around the furthest corner we could see too; nearly six blocks down the straight stretch of Aspen street. We all held our breath; the tank was a yellow school bus with heavy wired windows and reinforcements on every inch of its surfaces. Zombies were clinging to every purchase they could find; the hood and the bus top were piled four deep with zombies. A bottom zombie would slip; loose hold and a whole pile would fall off, hit the ground and fight one another for a foot hold to get back on. The big yellow bus chugged down the street towards our camp; so slow from being loaded down with bodies it could barely move at a walking pace. The yellow monster stopped ten feet from the first roll of wire and cut the engine. Two shots rang out and a couple zombies fell from the windshield directly in front of the driver. Our people with binoculars shouted “It’s a woman” then fell silent as zombies closed the gap. Six hours we stood and watched the bus; covered with zombies like ants on the mound; a few would realize the camp was there and peel off the bus and stormed the wire. We finally saw that to clear the bus we had to get the zombies to attack the camp. I walked slowly through three rows of wound wire before the first zombie saw me and jumped from the bus and dove into the wire; soon the bus was clear and the first two rows of wire were full of thrashing zombies caught like flies to fly paper. We put down the zombies and cleaned the wire; the driver of the bus once it was abundantly clear that we’d put downed the entire horde, opened the door to the bus and stepped out on the asphalt. She was gorgeous, shoulder length strawberry blond hair; tanned perfect skin, and a figure that showed she’d been eating right as the rest of us had ate little or nothing for the last few weeks. She took command of our cleaning crew and box after box of food and ammunition was carried off the bus. When it was finally unloaded she jumped in, fired the diesel up and backed the bus out of the way of the firing lanes. She locked the yellow bus up tight grabbed her M16 and followed me through the labyrinth of wire to the inner camp.

We couldn’t help it; she was grilled and questioned until the wee hours of the morning. What we found out was that there were millions of zombies and their numbers were growing exponentially by the day. We were crushed. She told us she was maybe two maybe three days in front of a huge wave of zombies that were eating their way west over running every fortified camp they found. There was no way of stopping them in her opinion. We’d have to flee or join their ranks.

We didn’t have much time; we’d all need to have transportation fortified like the bus. There was a school bus about two blocks down fifth street; abandoned across both lanes, door wide open and empty of children. The lights had been going the first time I saw it; we’d have to jump it to get it started and then move it down to the camp. We broke into teams; team one cut the wire from the walls to the outer perimeter. Team two with a rifle team (thanks to our new supplies) went after the school bus. Team three found two SUV’s (the big ones) and pushed them back to the camp. Rose our savior and bus #1 driver turned out to be a self taught welder and with two teams help would wire the second bus and SUV’s into fortified transportation. She would also rig all four vehicles with no climb wire rolls so the zombies couldn’t climb or hang on the vehicles. We knew right where to get the no climb wire; the County lock up was four blocks down and a couple streets over, Roses bus was put to immediate use to bring rolls back we cut from the fences.

Team one completed the wire cuts and rigged heavy lashed cables to points along the rolls of wire; pulled they opened and spread the rolls of wire apart, making an exit opening we could drive through. They finished just as we arrived with the second bus, the SUV’s were pushed through the wire less than an hour later. The huge battles over the last week had depleted the number of zombies in our area and we only had two encounters, quickly putting them down with axes; nice and quietly, not a single dog came after us.

Work went on round the clock; we spread every piece of concertina wire we had left around the front of the camp towards where the onslaught should be coming from. Welding smoke filled the air and sparks flew in every direction; tanks were filled, supplies lashed inside of both buses. The SUV’s had little surprises welded to their bumpers with quick releases.

Here’s the plan; we’d learned from experience that zombies came in waives. The first wave of zombies were always the worst; they were the ones that were in the best shape, no parts damaged from being infected; like arms bit off, legs broken. These were the ones that ran full blast into the wire; could jump the first row like OJ Simpson; the dogs and cats were always with this group. The second wave was much slower; damaged goods. Slow; dragging legs, arms missing or ate to the bone in areas. The third wave was very slow; they’d show up after all the shooting and axing, during the clean up. Crawling, dragging themselves along with one arm, mostly going in circles with one leg; they were pathetic but deadly. You’d think they were dead, ignore them laying on the ground; then you’d get a bite on the ankle; your dead. We strung all the wire we had to catch as many of the first wave as possible; not to kill them but to entangle them in the wire so they’d spend the next years fighting to get loose. We’d hold fire on these until the wire was over whelmed and full of bodies. Then load the busses; leaving fire teams to knock down as many as possible as the zombies climbed over their buddies trapped in the rolls of wire. Pull the wire openers and drive West to find a ship to take us out to sea; trying to avoid any conflict that we could along the way. If we were lucky we’d be able to pick people up on the way.

Rose was wrong; a good thing. She was four days in front of the army of zombies. We had just enough time to make a few adjustments to the perimeter wire and finish the last upgrades we figured out as the buses and SUV’s were being fortified. It was an amazing thing to watch. Nine O’clock on the dot we began to hear them; moaning, you could actually hear teeth gashing together. It had the effect of turning your legs to mush and bowels to water bags. I’ve never heard anything like it; ever been to the zoo when the lions roar; something deep in your brain goes off like a land mine. All you want to do is run and never stop. This was much worst; how much worst we were about to find out.

The whole crew were manning the walls; this was our last stand in our home; a home that had saved us to this point and we were going to give them a good fight before letting them own it. The ones with the binoculars stood on the highest points to give Intel so we could move people along the walls and fortify areas that looked to be the hardest hit; then make a run for the buses. What we didn’t expect is the lookouts reaction to what they saw; must have been horrible to have a close up view of what was coming. Gasps, moans of unintelligible words, tears dropping like rain, one gal threw her binoculars down and ran for the buses screaming; took two men to keep her from locking the doors leaving the rest of us locked out.

Six blocks down the road, just at the bend, we could see running zombies; no real direction just making sure they kept in front of the pack to get the first good bite in on anything that flushed and ran. These were the ultra fast, the runners, the jumpers the climbers, the ones that you weren’t going to get away from. I have to say it was an amazing thing to see; they didn’t even get around the full corner when they saw the wire and live fresh meat in the distance. The first real wave was clearly broken into multiple fractions of the fast zombies. The real athletes were closing the gap to us so fast I don’t think you could have hit them with a rifle; fast doesn’t even give justice to the speed. They were flying towards us; next distinct group was the normal fast zombies; I couldn’t have out run anyone of them, but fast is the correct word for this group. Next came zombies like I will be if I get infected; running but not like a sprinter, they were running as fast as they could; none of them wanted to get left over scraps. Behind them was the draggers, cripples moving as fast as they could get their broken limbs to take them; they went on forever, they just kept coming around the bend.

A mutual gasp went through our group; this was going to be a very short battle. The first wave hit the wire at top speed, jumping the first couple rows of wire and landing anywhere from on top to almost past the third roll; we held our fire. I stepped backwards, you couldn’t help it; fuckers made it half way through the wire in a single leap; we hadn’t seen any zombies like this before. They started to pile up in the first to the third rows of razor sharp wire; zombies now were now using the fallen and tangled to walk on and were in row four and five of wire. The order was given and everyone let loose with as many bullets as we could fire making sure it was a clean head shot; we slowed them down but dropping them in place just built the pile higher and the fast ones used the growing pile to jump farther into the wire closing the gap with incredible speed. Four minutes of firing was all we had; they were now falling at our feet and we were seconds from being overrun. One zombie leapt so far he went over our heads and landed behind the firing lines. I shot him in the back of the head as he skidded to a halt and tried to turn around to come back for us. Hit the buses a scream went out; grenades by the hand full’s were tossed from the first row of wire all the way out into the street; which was now full of the slower horde. Thank god for eye protection; rotting black grey flesh of zombies rained down on us as we fought to get on the buses before they overran the walls. Without eye protection a bunch of us would have to be shot and thrown off the bus in short order.

I was third from the last in line for the bus #2; turned out I was the last. Zombies broke the walls and caught the last two at the door. Doors were bolted and reinforcement rods were slammed in place. Engines were started and as the first SUV inched forward the lashed cables pulled the wire apart out the back of the camp. We followed the two SUV’s into the street clearing the last of the wire. Both SUV’s split and from the back around the spare tire areas sprang out rolls of concentina wire. The SUV’s roared around the zombies tangling them in the wire; when they had as many as would stick in the sharp wire they cut the lines and joined the buses rolling down Aspen Street heading West out of town putting as much distance between us and the mobs of zombies.

I could go on about the small battles we fought on the road to the West Coast, but that’s for another story and it’s time for all of us to hit the hay and get ready for another full day tomorrow; so good night and sweet dreams, see you all tomorrow morning at chow.

Epilog: Rose and I have been married for two weeks now; the service done by a clergyman we didn’t even know we had in our group. We’ve made land fall once; zombies everywhere so we keep sailing around looking for a zombie free zone; even picked up a few people on small boats, man were they glad to see us steam over the horizon. I think we can hold out for a few years if we can keep finding good water and the catch from the sea provides enough for all of us. Us…… oh that’s right; we’ve added three new members to us in the last month. That makes 37; I wonder if we will ever inhabit the world again.

I truly think not; the zombies number in the millions and unless you kill them they will last until they rot completely away; from what I’ve seen that could take decades or more. The last zombie I saw on dry land as we sailed from the docks looked like he waved good bye to me; god in heaven I hope that’s not what I saw.

From the Ramblings



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Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Click

Click

Barely discernible over the gentle murmur of rustling leaves and vines making soft rubbing sounds against the bark of the trees in the gentle breeze Lukas whispered “Do you see it?”  Eyes Straining, watering from the long hours peering through the powerful spotting scope Manuel spit “I don’t see a fucking thing, we’ve been” then went silent as his eye picked up a slight movement in the distance.  Manuel tuned the scope to the spot and moved the setting of the scope to the highest power without taking his eye off of the jungle where the movement had been.  At 45x power he could make out individual ribs and veins of the leaves; field of view narrowed by the high power setting of the spotting scope he only partially saw the puff of the burning powder as it pushed the 150 grain bullet out the barrel of the sniper rifle at just over 3000 feet per second.
 
Sgt. Pete Miller Ret. Knew he was a hunted man; you kill a cartel boss, you can count on it.  He was a little pissed off the reward for his head was only $50k; alive $75k.  They wanted him dead but wanted him alive a whole lot more.  The punishment they would deal him would more than make up for the extra cost of bringing him to the cartels form of justice.

Manuel’s brain had just enough time to realize what he’d just seen as Lukas’s head exploded and sprayed blood and brains against the side of his face.  Instantly rolling to his right and digging his head into the soft jungle litter saved his life as the second bullet ripped past his head nicking his left ear and making a nice half circle with burnt edges, smooth as glass.  The first crack of the rifle joining the second nearly coming together as one huge explosion; Pop, pop as 20mm grenade rounds lifted into the air.  Manuel rolled and jumped to his feet making a good five meters before the grenades landed, one behind him, one boring it’s self into the leaves and twigs just at his feet.
 
“Impossible; I’m the best” Flashed in Manuel’s brain milliseconds before the blast lifted him ten feet straight up into the vines, splitting him neatly in two; a red spray spotting the myriad of jungle leaves like a fine rain.  The local police would believe he had stepped on a land mine; wrong only for the fact that Lukas and Manuel hadn’t attempted to follow the trail left for them by Miller.  Maybe in the next few weeks a villager would show them what a true mine could do to the human body; they’d need a dust pan to get all the pieces; Miller was packing some good shit.

Lying in the jungle litter; shadows, muted light flickering reflecting from innumerable rain drops Miller watched the two hit men set up their shooting position.  Not a bad set up he thought; to bad Miller had already laid several land mines and his own position over looking his back trail.  He watched as both carefully concealed themselves and cut a few vines blocking their view of the low shallow valley walled on both sides by low but formidable rock formations; ones that would make climbing a very difficult if not an impossible task.  Bracing his rifle on his pack and settling down for the long wait he snacked on a protein bar and thought back on his first jungle mission.

Jungles of Vietnam;  long after the formal war ended, Miller found himself part of a handpicked team looking for a General of the Vietnamese Army who was responsible for the murder of America service men captured during the war.  His death would remind enemies of America that justice would be handed out regardless of how many years separated evil deeds.  Miller third man in line, five meters between them heard the metallic click of his last step.  Freezing in place, standing in the middle of the narrow thin trail holding his breath Miller eyes showed he understood what the click meant.  All six members froze in place, each looking to see who had stepped on the detonator switch; then hit the dirt when it wasn’t them; waiting, expecting the explosion.  Slowly heads began to rise above the litter and vines looking to see who was standing on the mine.  Whispered orders, hand signals, a quick assessment; six men evaporated into the jungle putting at least a hundred meters between them and Miller standing on an old rusting U.S. land mine.  All recognized the model as one that would leave a huge crater; one of the biggest in the U.S. arsenal. Many times U.S. troops would rig multiple mines together with a single trip wire; whole trail systems would explode at once killing anyone along the trail for at least a hundred and fifty meters.

Sweeping the jungle for other killer teams Miller decided the two men were the only ones in the immediate area.  Placing the cross hairs of his scope on the top of the man’s head, the one who was the shooter Miller shook a fine vine with his left hand waiting for the men to discover the movement.  Mr. Right side saw the movement first; raising he head slightly brought him cleanly into the center of the cross hairs in Millers scope.  Miller noticed that Mr. Left had just spotted the movement as he slowly increased the pressure on the trigger.  These two appeared to have military training but obviously it had been many years and skills had deteriorated with lack of practice or continued training.  Killing Mr. Right first would assure no return fire and would force Mr. Left to make a hasty retreat to Millers left away from the dead man if Miller’s second snap shot missed.  It would all depend on Mr. Left’s reflexes and training.  Miller had already made plans for Mr. Left if he happened to evade the .308’s wrath.

Waiting thirty minutes for the team to slowly quietly leave the area Miller found himself thinking of his life, what was and what could have been.  He checked his watch and decided it was time to live or die depending on whether the U.S. made land mine was still functioning.  It must have been laid towards the end of the conflict; after the North was able to slow the tons of traffic of arms and munitions towards the South.  That made it at least 35 years old sitting in the jungle floor, covered in mud, wet, cold and rusting.

Two in the bag Miller knew he could look forward to swarms of hunter killer teams descending on the area; blood money was hard to turn down, besides how hard could it be to bag an American in your own jungle.

Slowly, deliberately, Miller raised his boot from the mine.  No reason to run, no reason to jump, plow head first into the jungle floor; this mine alone would create a crater larger than Miller would ever hope to clear and live let alone if it was teamed with a bunch more up and down the tiny trail.  He’d never even know if it went off; he’d be blown to tiny pieces so fast no one’s brain could comprehend its own destruction that fast. 

A little more weight off, a little more; click.

After the jungle settled down from the 20mm grenades and the insects again began to make their mating calls Miller relaxed but continued to scan the jungle for movement of hidden killer teams.  It was just unlikely that this team was working completely alone.  A huge explosion and a scream answered that question as one of Miller’s mines went up in a cloud of litter mixed with blood and bone fragments.  It was the closest mine that he had laid to his shooting position; meaning that whatever tripped it had already evaded three he had carefully laid and hidden with great care.  Was it a jungle animal ran through Miller’s mind; the answer came as a human left hand and other torn and obliterated human parts rained down all around him.  Miller dug deep into the wet earth for cover as machine gun fire sliced and cut vines and small trees in lethal fragments searching for soft tissue to rip and tear.  A grenade landed two feet from Millers face; rolling to his left away and into a small depression in the litter saved him from all but a few splinters of shrapnel. Miller found himself in the middle of a well planned and perfectly executed ambush; the two fools he’d killed were bait to bring him out of hiding and into the sights of a large killer team.  His sniper rifle, pack and his equipment was strewn about the hide by the first grenade; made useless by the explosion.  Pulling his .45 from his hip Miller waited for the killers to check their kill.

Click; silence.  Miller looked down at his foot; his boot was two inches above the protruding three prongs pushing through the ground litter.   It could be a hang fire his mind was screaming, or it could be rusted and water goo filled and no longer working.  Miller knowing he was a dead man slowly walked into the jungle away from the tiny trail.

Three came into the small clearing to Millers right; silently searching for the concealed sniper.  These were dead men and they all knew it; either the sniper was dead, or they would be in seconds, cannon fodder for the remaining team members.  Miller pulled pins on three grenades and held them tightly to his chest waiting for the exact moment when it would do the most damage.  A huge back Sheppard burst into the clearing and straight for Miller’s hiding spot.  A trained kill dog at least a hundred and fifty pounds used to flush hidden quarry from the jungle brush.  These guys had it all; Miller clutching the grenades with his left arm raised his .45 and dropped the Sheppard’s snapping jaws two feet from his face.  Throwing his grenades and firing into the jungle Miller only hope was to take as many with him as possible.   Pinned to his spot by withering fire; grenades landing all around him; the calamity of fire and grenade explosions drowned out the beating of rotor blades directly over Millers head.  Quad thirty trails of tracers tracked through the jungle seeking flesh.  Mini guns from four ships rained down from above cutting the jungle tangled trees and vines to the ground.  Bullets rototilled the leaf litter leaving only feet of unturned earth around Miller’s slight depression in the ground.  A camouflaged helmeted figure landed at Miller’s side; jerked him to his feet and wrapped a belt around his waist; he was hoisted to the waiting helicopter in less than two seconds and with rotor blades cutting tree tops off they made their way east at top speed.

The sun was warm; the beer cold in Miller’s hand.  His new friend scantly clothed with beads of fine sweat between her breasts; ran a slim finger down the partially healed gouge that split Miller’s right cheek through four days of stubble.  Sipping his beer Miller thought “It’s good to be alive”.

From the Ramblings


t

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Joey the Clown

Joey the Clown

What a great idea having a clown for Bobby’s birthday party.  The kids will love him and all the parents will think you’re the best.  Joey the Clown wasn’t even that expensive and he brings his own balloons and party gifts.  You made quite the deal on this one; if the other parents only knew what a steal you got on this deal they’d just die.  No literally, right after they tear your heart out you fucking bitch.

DA:                         Mrs. James; how did you come to know the Defendant Joey Miller?

Mrs. James:        Well I met him at the grocery store; he was, was in his costume; his clown suit and had a sign.  A sign that said clown for hire.  So I; I booked him for my son’s birthday.

DA:                         Your son’s birthday party? A party at your house?

Mrs. James:        Ummmmm yes, at my house; I HAD NO IDEA, NO IDEA, THIS ISN’T MY FAULT!

DA:                         Objection your Honor.

Judge:                   Mrs. James answer the question; only the question.  Please

Mrs. James:        OH LOOK AT THEM; LOOK AT THE WAY THEY STARE AT ME; IT WASN’T MY FAULT, IT WASN’T.

Judge:                   One hour recess.

A low murmur went through the crowded Court Room as the judge left the bench.  A few thought they were watching a witch hunt; one of which they were all willing to fight to get to be the one too light the fire to send the bitch to hell.

Joey the clown showed up early to the James house; a two story mansion and a full basement; two large pillars holding up the front facade, with white siding except the shutters which had been painter a soft grey color to compliment the early colonial architecture; a little drab, but huge; four thousand square feet and on a nice piece of property overlooking the St. Luis River.   Joey rubbed his hands together in excitement.

Nancy James greeted Joey at the front door; walked him through the entrance and into the living room area just left of the front hall.  A spacious room with high ceilings and one grand chandelier in the center of the room.  In the mid day sun it was set on a low setting, just enough to set off the cut of the crystal, but not enough to cast a shadow; saving energy was not a concern in the James house hold.  Joey placed his trunk on the serving table; with rolling eyes he ask Nancy when the children would be coming.  A slight chill ran up her back; being the finest of hosts Nancy got Joey a glass of water; the party would start in twenty minutes.

Children began arriving in ones and twos; Mother dropping off their four year olds without a worry; the James’s were well known in town being that they owned a good half of it. With horns, hats and candy the party was off to a good start; even the Martin boy was behaving to a point; his autism making him a hand full at the best of times.

Soon it was Joey’s turn to entertain the children; he made crazy faces and danced; they all laughed and laughed; he next twisted balloons into horses, cats, dogs and one that looked just like a sword.  The children were so engrossed that Nancy had to yell twice that the cake was ready; everyone ran for the
kitchen.

DA:                         Mrs. James, did you ever ask for identification or do any type of back ground investigation or ask for references?  You just let this person into your house full of four year olds?

Mrs. James:        He’s a clown…a clown.

DA:                         Nothing in his demeanor; his actions raise a red flag to you?  You let him take all eleven four year olds down into the basement?  You nor any adult going with them?

Mrs. James:        He’s a clown; they act funny; you know; he kept laughing all the time, but don’t they all do that kind of thing?  No, your question; we were having drinks, there was just me and Mrs. Ellis; we were just up in the dining hall; I’d had only two glasses of wine.

DA:                         Mrs. James… what about the screaming; tell me about the screaming.  Why’d you ignore all the children screaming?  Did you not tell the Police that the children were screaming for at least thirty minutes if not longer?

Mrs. James         He was doing magic tricks; don’t you scream during magic tricks?  I always scream; I’m scared of magic tricks and magicians…  I didn’t do anything wrong; nothing, nothing at all.  I didn’t do anything wrong here.

DA:                         Mrs. James; what was the first thing that made you think that something was wrong?

Mrs. James         Well; it got quiet; and then I thought I heard crying; so I went right away to check.

DA:                         What did you find Mrs. James?

Mrs. James:        The children; there was blood everywhere.  I thought; I thought someone must have fell and hit their nose; but no, no, no they were all laying on the floor; I thought; thought they were doing a magic trick; but all the blood; you could smell the blood; it made me sick; I called Bobby my son, but he didn’t answer; all I could hear was; was the clown laughing, laughing; he just never stops laughing.  He cut my Bobby’s head off; clean off, it was just sitting there; all the children were cut; little Mary, Mary Williams her head was almost all the way off.

DA:                         Mrs. James; why didn’t you call the Police?  Why did it take so long to call the Police?  Mrs. James; Why?

Mrs. James:        I was in shock; I needed another drink; I just couldn’t believe it; he just kept stabbing them and stabbing them; I could hear the laughing; he just wouldn’t stop laughing; IT’S NOT MY FAULT, NOT MY FAULT…

Judge:                   Bailiff please remove Mrs. James from the Court Room.

DA:                         Judge I’d like to remand the Defendant over to trial; this Office has more than shown the neglect of the defendants actions in this horrible crime.  Your Honor, Mrs. James failed to act in any manner to save any of the children from Joey Miller a known killer and child molester in this community.

Judge:                   The defendant will be held on one million dollar bail; next Court date August 15th @ 3:00pm for plea.  This Court is adjourned.


From the Ramblings.

t


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

H-ham

H-ham

Jimenez checked off his name on the filthy clipboard.  Who ever thought to pass a clipboard down the line?  With a silent chuckle Jimenez rolled his eyes and said to himself “the new Lt. that’s who” he reached out with his right hand and tapped Simpson on what he hoped was his shoulder; the board disappeared into the ink black of the night.

Jimenez went back to scanning the front with his night vision goggles “I wonder if the Lt. thought about whether we’d be able to see the fucking board in the pitch black out here without night eyes?”  Again shaking his head and a silent snicker he went back to watching for any movement towards the front of their position. 

The night was as dark as an ink well; so dark little round flashes of light, light up in your eyes as heavy charged protons rocket through eye fluid and passes into the earth leaving a flash as it goes through.   No moon, heavy cloud cover without a breath of wind; no crickets, owls, nothing but silence; it was so quite you could hear your joints creak.

 Simpson found where Clark was because Clark’s stomach was rolling and growling so loud you could hear it three meters down the line.  Simpson jammed the board into Clark’s left arm hard enough it made a thud sound. An almost silent squeak from the front was heard immediately; everyone in hearing distance knew what that was.  No one moved or even drew a breath for what seemed like minutes.  Twenty yards to the right and at least fifteen to the front a cricket sounded; again the nearly silent squeak.  Jimenez, Simpson, Clark, Stark and Franks all had the target acquired. 

The 15th light armor division had been deployed for over fifteen months.  Casualty rates stood at 82%; 47% wounded; 29% dead, and 7% missing and presumed dead or captured; which meant dead. The recently promoted third Commander in two weeks was screaming over the secured phone; Johnson the Company Staff Sergeant knew he was trying in vain to explain that he no longer had a command and the reason they didn’t know who the hell he was, was because the other two Commanders had been killed so fast the paperwork hadn’t gotten to the rear yet.  He needed men; and needed them fast.

Everyone knew what the score was; they were going to be overrun just a few minutes before first light of morning.  Not enough light that you could see in, but the faint light of early morning that you start the battle in and finish after it’s a bright sunny day with everyone dead.

Something touched Jimenez’s right arm; so softly that he barely felt it but Jimenez was as tense as a coiled spring.  He slowly, barely moving looked to his right and pulled his night eyes off his face.  Sergeant Williams was three inches from his face with a great big grin.  Jimenez rolled his eyes and took a breath.  Williams moved forward with lips to Jimenez’s ear said “H-ham when they come” a softball sized weapon was pushed against his side.  Jimenez’s eyes rolled up in his sockets.  He started to whisper to Sergeant Williams “OH no fuc……..”  Sergeant Williams was gone.  Jimenez could hear him moving down the line. He thought he could hear other’s gasps, but he knew better.

Around 3am a slight breeze kicked up from the rear of the 15th’s position and gave a slight reprieve to the astounding silence of the night.
 
Stark slow crawled toward where he knew Jimenez was dug in; so slowly it took over fifteen minutes to cover the four meters.  He was greeted by the flash suppressor of Jimenez’s rifle pointed at his forehead as it appeared out of the blackness.  Moving to Jimenez’s side and placing his lips directly on Jimenez’s ear, he whispered “H-ham’s?” Stark pulled back from Jimenez’s ear and looked directly in his eyes.  He saw the same look, the same blood shot watery stare.  Jimenez only slowly shook his head.  Without a word Stark started the long crawl back to his position.  Tears leaked out of both eyes, small dabs of mud caked on both sides of Stark’s cheeks as he made his way back.

Juan Dean Jimenez was a born athlete; lettering in every sport but picking up girls, he was a school favorite and home coming king.  Entering the Marine Corps one week after graduation he wanted to be a lifer.  Basic was a breeze; his only set back being when the DI’s found out his middle name “Dean” and tore into him for having a gringo middle name.  “Didn’t your momma mean “Bean” not “Dean” and you’re father just fucked it up!”  From that point on his nick name was “Bean”.  It had nothing to do with the fact that he was full blooded Mexican and was the first generation to call America their home.  It was the weird middle name.  A few of the other boot’s asked him why he had such a fucked up middle name; Jimenez would just shrug it off and never an answer was given.  The truth was his mothers, father was a gringo from Texas and they wanted a part of him passed down the line.  After boot camp and secondary school Jimenez was assigned to the 15th as a grunt.  It never entered his mind to be anything but a pack carrying grunt headed to the front line of whatever action the United States might be in.  The Corps tried twice to promote “Bean” finding that he flat turned them down each time; he was where he wanted to be.

The night breeze slowed, then turned 90 degrees and picked up its pace.  Coming out of the South it carried heavy smoke and ash from yesterdays fighting down south.  The air was smoky but had a strange nasty taste to it; like burnt barbeque sauce and a fallen cremated hamburger patty.  It made you want to cover your nose and mouth; you knew in your heart you didn’t want that in your mouth.

Jimenez moved the canister up from his side and lifted it with his right hand.  He tested its weight and guessed at a half pound.  How far could he throw 8 ounces?  He knew a baseball weighed 5 ounces and he could throw an advancing runner out from the outfield fence with ease.  So about 275 feet if he guessed right and more than likely shorter with a cold arm; say two twenty five max; subtract wearing BDU’s and a chest rig, 150 feet on a good day.  If what they said in special training was right, this was going to be close, very close.
 
Hearing movement in the distance they all knew that enemy troops were moving closer to the front line. Number of reinforcements was a guess but by the sound it was a lot.

The stars where still out bright in the night sky, but looking to the horizon to the east you could tell the stars were beginning to fade. 

Over the last weeks both sides had run their supply lines to the point of exhaustion.  Not being able to keep up with anything but the simplest of supplies; small arms ammunition and short food allocations was the best both could hope for.  This was going to be a battle straight out of the WWI manual; straight up the middle as fast as you could run; shooting anything that looked alive.

Two hours they’ve been moving men forward; it was clear to Jimenez and the rest of the squad why they’d been issued H-ham’s and ordered to use them before they could be overran; without them it was going to be a short day and a turkey shoot.

With the sky glowing in the east they came.  The American’s fired their weapons to empty and then threw their H-ham’s (Hand Held Atomic Munitions) as far as their arms were able.  With a payload of 500 pounds of TNT; estimated detonation kill zone of 150 feet; leaving a 40 foot wide, 8 foot deep crater; first blinding white light; hammer strike, and then churning blackness.

Jimenez threw his H-ham with everything he had; jumped into his hole and waited for the bang.  It was an eight second wait; flash of light; floating, twisting in the air Jimenez knew he’d been too close to the blast zone and waited for the hard landing. 

Waking minutes; hours later eyes caked with wet ash, lungs choking on dust; white ash three quarters of an inch thick on his blouse; the ash looked like white grey corn flakes, with the slightest movement, touch of breath they’d crumble to a fine powder.  The slightest movement would free them back into the air.  Jimenez rolled over causing a cloud of choking thick dust; rising on one elbow he looked towards the front.  Where once was flat land there was now a shallow depression; with high edges and smoke filled bottom.
 
The figure with heavy white robes rode with ease as the stallion pranced and danced; hooves kicking up clouds of powder fine grey dust dimming the blinding white light from the sky.  Raising a hand to block the light Jimenez grin grew wide as he watched his squad march behind the prancing stallion.  He fought hard to join them; straps cinched tight kept him pinned to the hospital bed; nurses ran from gurney to gurney in feeble attempts to stem the flow of blood and dying.  An over head speaker scratched out a dreary speech “a great victory, I’m proud to be part of the forces….”  

From the Ramblings

t

Monday, October 21, 2013

Jimmy Duke

Jimmy Duke

The body rose to the surface slowly, having lost most of its buoyancy over the months tied to the bottom of the lake.  Two minutes later the diver also floated to the surface; just as dead as the young mutated woman.  The crime scene went crazy; ignoring the woman’s floating corpus the State Police Officers grabbed the diver out of the water trying to bring him back to life.  Diving mask full of vomit confirmed the horror of the find.

Number 7 was a young white woman, someplace between twenty and twenty five years old.  Blond hair, about five foot six inches.  Anything further just wasn’t possible; her head had been removed crudely leaving just enough scalp to id hair color; hacked off hands and feet removed with an axe type of weapon.  Stomach torn open internal organs ripped from her body; connecting tissue showing rips and tears, not knife marks.  Sex organs mutated by heavy axe blows and pulled from the body; showing no knife marks, just torn flesh. The body was a ruined shell of what use to be a human being.

Jimmy laughed until he couldn’t breathe watching the TV news story showing three big State Police men in a little boat dragging the dead diver over the side of the boat nearly tipping it over. It was hilarious; with tears streaming down his face he was just howling; the next door neighbor banging on the thin wall bringing him back to his senses.  Pulling hard on his fifth beer of the morning and throwing it against the wall along with a “GO FUCK YOUR SELF” at the top of his lungs; he knew who would be next.  Jimmy toned it down a little not wanting the old bitch to call the police on him.

 With a chuckle he sat back on the tread bare couch turning on his mental movie of Jenna his latest and twelfth victim; smiling and snickering he played the movie over and over.

Jimmy was an easy going petty thief that had discovered by accident that he was also an up and coming serial killer after killing one of the neighborhood kids he caught in his apartment going through his shit.  Stealing peoples stuff and money was one thing, but taking their lives was a whole new game; a game he couldn’t get enough of.  He had found a vast reservoir of rage and hatred that had been untouched until now.

Tuesday morning shortly after 8am found Jimmy at his neighbor’s door.  He’d waited listening closely at his own door for all the floors little worker bees to leave the building making his floor nearly empty; empty except for him and old Mrs. Stock his next door neighbor.  Tap, tap on the door and he could hear her coming to him.  Jimmy had a news paper he’d picked up out of the recycle been in one hand covering an eight inch kitchen knife in his other gloved hand.  He’d found the kitchen knife going through a garbage can two blocks from his flat.  Sharpening it against a concrete wall as he watched people looking for a target, it was now razor sharp.   Mrs. Stock with a “humph” of displeasure at being bothered opened the door to the hallway.  Jimmy with a big grin on his face stepped into her and plunged the knife into her left eye with enough force it jammed and stuck solidly into the back of her skull.  Standing at the open door not breaking the threshold Jimmy watched as Mrs. Stock stumbled backwards, hands waving and trashing the air; a small squeak coming from her wide open mouth; a fine line of vitreous humor, the fluid of the eye and a small line of blood ran down her left cheek; three cats dashed for safety.  The old bitch stumbled across the room hitting the far wall, sliding down to a sitting position, dead just as a he wished her to be.  Jimmy reached inside pulling the door to him; locked and closed it with his gloved hand; leaving the building giggling Jimmy walked twelve blocks before dropping the glove down a storm drain then tossing the newspaper into an empty recycle bin.  He couldn’t wait for the evening news.

Two months later and Mrs. Stock the old dead bitch still hadn’t been found.  Jimmy’s apartment was beginning to pick up the scent from his dirty work.  He’d have to do something soon if someone didn’t wake up to the stench and call the police.  The smell was getting that bad.  How can it be that no one checked on his neighbor bitch in two full months; no wonder she was such a bitch?  Jimmy decided to go out just to be away from the smell.  Coming out of the elevator Jimmy nearly ran into the super of the building coming into the elevator.  Jimmy recognized the super Ed Kock from when he moved into the building a year ago.  “Say don’t you live up on the seventh?”  Jimmy cool as ice said “Yeah; just heading out, problems?”  “Yeah 7E says the floor smells bad.”  Ed said rolling his eyes into his head.  Jimmy “I noticed that too, must be a dead rat in the vents, who knows?” “Well, I’d better find something; I’m tired of the constant complaints for those people!” The elevator door closed and Jimmy hurried out the double doors into the not so clean smell of auto fumes and old garbage.

Ten minutes later the sounds of sirens filled the air in the direction of the Hampton apartment building.  Jimmy was six blocks away sitting on a bench watching down 2nd street to where the sirens were stopping.  Yep, Ed had found Mrs. Stock’s body.
 
Jimmy sat out as long as he could; finally he headed to the Hampton.  Still three cop cars outside; he knew they’d want to talk to him just like when the kid disappeared a few months ago.  Jimmy was exceptional at evading trick questions and his short interview went well.  He asked the Detectives to come into his apartment and look around if they wanted; they did, but he was way too clever to have anything out that they could see.  He had a little something from each of his kills but nothing big that would stand out. They were all hidden away nice and tight where even a hard search would likely not find anything.  He was turning into a pro.

With the heat off Jimmy went out on the hunt.  Having to go to the grocery store for need of a few things; he’d also found it to be a great hunting ground.  He wasn’t disappointed; standing there on aisle four was just what he was looking for.  She was about five foot three, brown hair, decent build; and Jimmy saw his opening and as any predator would see; there on the left forearm where tiny marks that would open the door to his next kill.  Stepping just around the end of the aisle so he wouldn’t be seen he reached into his coat pocket and pulled out a syringe filled with dark liquid.  Strolling up to the young woman “Hey baby; looking for some time” he rolled his wrist so she could see the ready syringe.  “Oh I think I just found a party” with a giggle and rolling her eyes.  “Well let me buy your stuff and we’ll go” with a wink they were off to the register.

Walking just two blocks to the girl’s apartment gave little time for conversation but the girl had already told Jimmy her name that she was new to the area, knew no one and needed a fix real bad.  Shutting the door behind her and throwing the three dead bolts, Jimmy was floating in anticipation to getting down to work.  Dumping the small bag of groceries on the counter Sara turned and stuck out her hand; she was in very much in need of a fix.   Jimmy tossed the syringe to her and she only then did she realized she been taken.  The right hook came out of nowhere; she didn’t see it coming and her eyes nearly pooped out of her head when the fist drove into her head hard, snapping her neck and sending her sprawling on the floor.  “Bitch” was all that was said; on top straddling her Jimmy drove his knuckles into the soft tissue under her neck perfectly cutting any chance of getting another breath.  Eyes bulging Sara pushed off the floor with her hips and threw Jimmies weight forward over her head.  Sara had been raised with three brothers and fighting back was engrained in her head.  Tipping forward Jimmy had no choice but to release his grasp and tumble forward.  Now laying flat across on top of Sara, his chest across her upper chest and head; Sara bit hard and deep into Jimmies right shoulder like a cougar.  The coppery taste of blood filled her mouth and her body with adrenalin.  All knees and elbows she pushed Jimmy to the left and connected with a wild elbow to Jimmies nose.  Jimmy with a second scream of pain rolled to his right and kicked as hard as he could in the direction of the wild cat he’d ran into,  His booted foot landed directly on the bridge of Sara’s nose breaking it.  The fight was over; Jimmy sprang like a cat picking up a heavy wrought iron door stop that had been rolling under his back leaving a huge bruise.  He pounded it into Sara’s face until it was bloody mush.

Lying panting on the floor with blood gushing out of his damaged nose Jimmy listened carefully to the sounds of the building above his labored breathing. All quiet; no running feet, no sirens.   Rage exploding Jimmy blacked out; without any conscious thought Jimmy got to work.

“Don, this is a bad one; I’ve never seen anything like it, it’s like a pack of wolves tore her apart.”  Detective Bob Williams cautioned Detective Don Hilderman before he entered Apartment 3B.  Even from outside you could smell the vile stench of death.  The sight that met the two detectives was far worse than the smell.  It sucked the breath from their lungs; floor, ceiling and walls turned from off white to pink to dark red, burgundy with dried blood and pieces of stringy entrails sticking to the walls. Viscus chunks sat on books selves where they had landed; some leaving red trails as they sank slowly to the floor.  Clearly a large section of lung hung from the cheap overhead chandelier caught on one 30 watt bulb; a stalactite of dried blood reaching eagerly towards the floor.  Pooled red almost black blood escaping the horror and flowing off toward the living room in a now dried river.  Intestines partly attached to the stomach torn and split; undigested food and feces from exploded bowels covered what once was a small tan sofa.  Detective Hilderman holding his handkerchief over his mouth and nose slowly rotated his eyes from left to right taking in the ghastly scene; far right  next to a blood stained lamp like it was part of the collection of blown glass orbs, was one of Sara’s eyes sitting in its pool of mixed blood and intraocular fluid.

Detective Don Hilderman twenty seven years with the force threw up his dinner on his and Bob Williams shoes; splashing up on both Detectives pant legs.  Eyes rolling he turned on his heels and ran for the door. Detective Bob Williams held his vomit all the way to the entry way; exploding his stomach contents down the door frame and into the hallway.  Cops from three boroughs jumped and ran out of the way of the two escaping puking Detectives.

Jimmies mind still in complete insane rage stood over a pile of ripped and tore meat that once was Sara Benson; one time daughter; part time junky as blood dripped from his hands and clothing.  Jimmy blew a large blood clot from his right nostril; hitting and sticking to the bottom of an over turned chair.  Very slowly Jimmies mind was slowing coming down from the rage and centering on self preservation and escape.  Jimmy stepped over the remains and for some unknown reason picked up the bag of groceries off the counter with blood covered hands and calmly walked out the front door of the apartment without closing it and down to the street.  Mouth breathing from his blood plugged nose Jimmy used alley ways and side streets to make it to his apartment and then waiting until no one was in sight ran for the stairway.  Placing the groceries on the table he reeled into the shower, leaving dripping blood in his wake.

It took just twenty minutes; the first person to open their front door, immediately smelling the stench of blow opens bowels and viscous fluids.  Walking down the hallway to the open door Jan Miller fainted straight away at the sight of the explosion of rage and hate.  Her husband hearing the thud was fast behind her; not wanting to leave his wife, but succumbing to the most primitive part of the brain to flee; flight took over and he ran banging into the door frame so hard he fell and crawled to the phone; screaming hysterically into the phone the 911 Operator had no idea what the problem was.  She pulled up the address to the incoming call and dispatched Police without knowing the problem; just that it must be bad.

The very next morning a task force was assembled and Detectives from eight boroughs were out in force talking to everyone in the area.  It short order they realize that the newest crime scene was smack in the middle of numerous unsolved murders and disappearances.  After a full days investigation it was found that they had two different person’s blood.  DNA analysis was ordered ASAP.

Jimmy Duke’s apartment sat directly in the center of the pin up board with a large map of the general area covering and hanging limp off its sides.  Around it was fifteen colored pins depicting either missing or dead people; one being just next door to his apartment.  Jimmy was the main suspect.

Jimmy had cleaned up the apartment getting rid of bloody clothing, shoes even the bloody grocery bag.  Its contents still sitting on the kitchen table where Jimmy now sat wondering what prison life would be like; providing he didn’t get the death penalty. He’d even cleaned out all his souvenirs from his other kills and bleached everything in the apartment.  He was ready as he would ever be for them to come for him
.
The task force had decided that Jimmy was their man; they obtained search and arrest warrants.  The knock came at 11am on the dot.  Jimmy looked up at his cheap wall clock and was kind of surprised that it took them so long.  The long arm of the law was in slow motion.  Jimmy was arrested and asked for an attorney even before they read him is Miranda rights or asked even one question.  He was ready for them.

Ten hours of searching, down to even pilling the wall paper off the walls found nothing.  Not one piece of evidence could be found.  Every inch of the apartment had been carefully photographed and every item logged into evidence bags.  There was not one thing left in the apartment; not even dust.

Two days later Jimmy was dancing down the street outside of the County lockup.  Yelling at the top of his lungs towards the Court House “YOU GOT NOTHING MOTHER FUCKERS” Jimmy was the happiest man in the world.  The DNA came back tainted from the Detective’s barf.  The surveillance wasn’t lost on Jimmy; it was a great game seeing and walking up saying hi to the Detectives that were watching his every move.  He’d give them the finger, dancing and laughing in their faces.  They were left with nothing to do but drive away or call to get picked up by the team.

Detective Don Hilderman was furious; he’d been embarrassed by his puking in the crime scene.  Arresting Jimmy just to see him released; a stack of bodies five feet deep at his feet.  Even the media had picked up on the story and was hounding him.  He poured over every photo; he’d held in his hand every single item from Jimmies apartment.  He just couldn’t find a single clue to put Jimmy to the crimes
.
Sitting down to dinner with his wife at 10:15pm that night; his mind on the case, nothing else.  His wife talking from the kitchen was speaking to deaf ears about her day, going to the grocery store; all the little things that kept her busy all day long.  Don felt a pin prick in his mind; what did she just say?  “Honey I missed something you just said about what you did today…..say it again” Donna without missing a beat started over again on her day; she was talking to no one.  Detective Don Hilderman was out the door heading to the Office; he had his case and Jimmy was going to jail or the gas chamber
.
With the whole team assembled in the conference room with all the hundreds of pictures and items bagged and logged from Jimmies apartment sitting around them on tables and pinned to boards.  Detective Hilderman told the team what he was looking for; members that had taken pictures and logged items jumped to action.  Ten minutes later they were all standing as Hilderman read the list of groceries from the blood stained grocery receipt and marked off each item from the picture on Jimmies table.
 
A perfect match.

Eleven months later Jimmy Duke sat on death row still wondering why he'd picked up the bag of groceries and took them home.

From the Ramblings

t

Sunday, October 20, 2013

The Switch

The switch

The switches’ must have come from the big willow tree out front of the house along the driveway.  Only once do I ever remember one breaking.  My child’s memory was the damn things being about three inches thick. Probably more like a half inch really; incredibly flexible.

My brother and I would be marched out to the wood shed like the condemned we were.  If you made a fuss you’d get the switch every inch of the way to the shed. I think it must have hung on a hook out on the covered and screened in deck.  I don’t remember ever seeing it there, but it would just appear as we marched out.  I’m not sure how it was determined who would go first; I think it must have been decided by one’s body language, shuffling feet would get your number up in a hurry.  It was very important to stand very still and quietly while the other got his beating.  No crying out, shuffle of feet; making that mistake would double what you had coming.  Going first was the hardest I always thought; you were expected to stand still, no crying while positions were switched.

I remember one time school shoes were bought and my brother didn’t like his, so he was wearing them outside to help break them in.  We were playing around the woodshed; he put one shoe up on the chopping block and played like he was going to chop it in half.  Double bladed axe went up, came down and cut that shoe almost in half; like a knife through butter.  That was one beating I’ll never forget.

I have no idea where mom was; I’ve thought about it for years, still no idea.  Invisible.

Mom was good; she’d dress us up for school in long sleeves and pants to cover the bruises.  Even in summer with the sweltering heat; long sleeves and pants.

I have to say the worst was when my brother was only getting his beating; I’d stand so still, not even a breath.  Sometimes I’d get so dizzy I’d stumble; that would get you a turn on the switch.

In the before times; From the Ramblings

t

Friday, October 18, 2013

Stormy skies

Stormy skies

You can feel the rumblings in the air like far away thunder.  The air takes on a heavy charged funny electrical smell like hot wiring; moods begin the shift; sideway looks, little subtle verbal jabs; sounds like far off firecrackers echo off the walls and fill the house.   The storm is coming………

My brother and I would run hide in our rooms; spend hours outside trying to put distance from the brewing storm; it’s coming, building massive in its fury; vibrations like earth quakes shake the tiny house; stomachs twist into knots; there is no way to stop it, make a mistake, get in the way and the eye of the storm will focus on you and you alone; so alone.

In the years since I've watch hundreds of thunder storms build, filling the skies with huge angry black clouds, super charged particles dance in closed eyes.  I remember so clearly; voices sounding like thunder, the crack of lightning mirrors a hand hitting a face; the low boom of a body blow.  The tears fall sounding of tiny fragments of broken glass hitting the linoleum.  The distant slam; boom of a door splintering as any escape is denied.

Muted insults like a jack hammer hitting the concrete.  These are my memories; I share at last.

In the before times; The Ramblings.

t

Monday, September 9, 2013

Rose

Rose

Damn I gonna miss that girl.  I kind of fell in with her by just a fluke of damn luck.  She was dancing at a piss ant dive strip club just outside of Denver by about twenty miles out on a piece of black top that only people that don’t want to run the main roads use.  Fucking place was a fall down drunk joint; not in any city limits, out too many miles on a road to nowhere for the County Deputies to care to drive out to unless forced by a worthless fight call.  Dudes were passed out on the freaking floor and it was only ten o’clock.  The parking lot looked like a cheap ass “junk yard” car lot; cash sales only with no refunds.  Every car in the parking lot was at least fifteen years old with fenders dented on every corner and some along the sides.  What a junk yard; the clientele had to be a bunch of losers, druggies that must have been turned lose by their fat old ladies with heads full of curlers or so dope sick they couldn’t make it down to the dive or just paroled looking for a drink and a fight, kicked loose from a seedy trailer park or the County lock up.  About every fifth running wreck was a old but nice pickup; even with the dents, the kind that screams “Red Neck” right down to the gun rack in the back window; a couple even sported old mangy dogs sitting dead bored in the bed of the trucks.

I’d just come across the State of Kansas, what a fucking place.  I’d been told it was flat as a pancake, but that was a hell of an understatement.  Four hundred miles on my tired old oil smoking Plymouth road runners’ speedo; two quarts of oil every fill up whether she needed it or not; blue cloud of burnt oil followed us everywhere we went.
  
Another three hours across some god forsaken State my eyes were straining just to see the white line.  The night sky was lit with banks of neon lights; they covered every inch of the tar paper building I could see up a head on the two lane highway.  I’d seen those types of joints before and they begged “come on in, have a couple a beers, there’s titties to be seen”.  I pulled into the dirt parking lot leaving a plum of dust in the air so high and wide that the next four cars wouldn’t be able to see the neon until they were already passed; pulled right up to the front door and it occurred to me that I’d just driven into the sixties like on an ol’ Twilight zone TV show.  If I was a little smarter I’d a backed out and kept going until morning; driving until finding the next Texaco station where I might just be able to score another six pack of Bud and a fresh pack of smokes before they cancel my card.

Good sense was not on the menu so parking next to one of the better looking wreaks; I jumped out and headed for what I expected to be a real let down.  At the front door was a bouncer; fat fuck, crew cut and over the hill in his early twenties, that looked to be about a decade and a half ago.  Fat fuck said “$10 cover charge” and put up a full ham sized arm towards my chest to stop my advance.  I kept on going until his hand was on my chest and pushed him back a full step.  Again he said “$10 cover charge” in his “I’m so fucking fat and scared shitless someone will call me out voice” I looked down at his hand and he quickly pulled it off my jean jacket; my favorite jean jacket.  I looked him in the eye and said “I’m with the band”.  “$10 cover charge” he said softly for the third time.  I looked at him with my “Are you fucking kidding me look” closed the distance he made with his retreating step.  Face flushing and taking but another step backward he wasn’t happy with my aggressive manner and in his face attitude; we were now inside the joint and the music was obviously from a cheap recording and crap speakers that must have come from one of the dollar stores.  “$10 fucking bucks to cover the band fuck face” I growled in his fat face so close my lips brushed his like a soft kiss.  He jerked back and I walked around him into the stinking nasty assed dive; it was smaller than it looked from the outside.  There were maybe ten tables spread around the square building and six rickety stools at the shabby dirty bar.  The place smelled of old beer and older barf with a twist of body odor thrown in; made you breath short shallow breaths through your nose so you wouldn’t get any in your mouth.  The floor was uneven; boards warped, cracked with golf ball sized holes every foot or so.  It came to mind; “I wonder how a couple of these fat ass losers made in here without going right through the floor”.  There was a spot light shining on one giant round ball hanging from the ceiling looking like it was going to drop like a stone and kill someone at any moment; it must have been four feet across.  It was made up of broken mirror pieces glued on some sort of round; something? It was hanging in the center of what was supposed to be a dance floor; luckily they had high ceilings or the girls would have to dance around the stupid thing.  The dance floor was a half circle and only about ten feet around.  It was raised three feet above the main floor of the bar; broken linoleum tiles and some kind of patch material was all twisted and uneven as much as two inches from one spot to the next.  The thought of seeing one of the girls do a spectacular naked spread eagle fall entered my mind and I dismissed it with a quick smile and a shake of the head; I have crazy thoughts some times, funny ones but crazy.

I took a seat next to the junky dance floor still thinking about a spread eagle fall into my arms when the barmaid that had to be in her sixties asked me what my pleasure was.  I smiled my biggest shitty grin and said “Oh I think you know” followed by a twisted toothy grin.  That was all it took and she was all smiles and gushing friendly, I’d just made her day.  “I’ll just take a Bud; no glass needed” With a wink she was off.
 
My Bud was back in a flash and I asked her when the floor show was going to start.  “Bout ten minutes or so” was the answer with a toothy grin and a slight toss of what had to be the most dyed hair in America.  She bent over the little table showing every inch of wilted tits that were so over the hill that the hill couldn’t be seen in the rear view mirror.  I gave her a little nod and dismissed her; her reply was a deep huff with twisting her wrinkled lined mouth into what use to work as a pout; she was off like a rocket.

Ten minutes turned into twenty and finally the music picked up a notch or two and the drunks all started to clap and shout; even woke a couple up from the floor.  Five minutes later just as I was beginning to think that no one was going to come out; I about shit myself sitting right there in my hard ass seat with my warm and almost empty Bud in one curled fist; out comes one of the most beautiful women I think I’d ever seen.  I damn near pissed myself right then and there.  She was about five ten, tits hard as rocks that had to be “C’s” if not bigger and the thinnest waist under those big bad girls I’d seen in years.  Thank god no cheap costume was hiding her stomach, those abs; six pack going on a short case.  Thighs that a body builder would have been proud of; lines of muscles rippling under tanned perfect skin.  Toned calves; triceps that had to be gym built; biceps that were groomed to perfection if not a little large for a medium sized woman born and raised in heaven.  Her hair was nearly white it was so blond, free flowing well past the middle of her back; thick like a thatched roof.  My face ached from the stupid smile on my face.  A hard punch in the shoulder brought me back to the moment; did I want another Bud?  Oh hell yes, yes, yes, yes; another huff was all I noticed as my eyes were glued on what had just walked into my life.

The goddess on the raised floor above me swayed, twisted and spun; high kicks showing flexibility was just one of the many talents she possessed.  Her movements to the shit music straining from dollar store speakers was probably the best I’d ever seen; smooth, sensuous, perfect.  “Perfection of movement and rhythm” was what my brain was saying.  Perfect smile; teeth so white that the flashing light from the spot light off the mirror ball reflected blinding white light from her teeth into my eyes.  Eyes an incredible deep sea blue.  Why were my eyes watering so? I was in the presents of an angle from heaven and my mind was not thinking pure thoughts as the front of my pants would attest too.  In an instant her bit was up and she left the floor as quickly as she had appeared. I found myself standing at the edge of the dilapidated stage, it was all I could do not to jump up on the stage and follow her like a moth to a flame.

 Somehow another Bud had appeared in my fist and was almost gone; magic. 

I sat there stunned for more than just a few minutes without noticing that another dancer had taken the stage and was trying to get someone to realize she was working her ass off spinning, kicking, grinding it out just trying to get noticed.  I wasn’t the only hard dicked patron in this shit hole sitting there with glazed over eyes, dizzy light headed from what we’d just been blessed to see; it sure wasn’t the beer and a half I’d drank or even the joint that was smoked out on the road.

I left a twenty on the table and started looking for a way into the back rooms where I had to find my angel.  Off to the right side of the bar were the doors going to the shitter’s, Men’s or Women’s; hidden off to the left of the opening was a single recessed door with peeling paint that at some point in the last millennium looked to be red.  It had an “Authorized Person’s Only” sign hanging by a bent nail on the upper half of the door.  It was leaning heavily to the left since someone hadn’t even put the single nail in the center of the sign.  My heart was pounding as I twisted the knob and found it to be unlocked.  I stepped through the door into a dark hallway that had maybe six doors on both sides of the hall.  I silently closed the door on its rusted hinges without a squeak of protest and put my ear to the first of four doors without hearing a sound coming from inside.  The fifth door on the right I could hear the faint movements of a person and gently knocked.  I small sweet woman’s voice called in response “come in” I opened the door and looked straight into a mirror against the wall no more than six feet away.  The reflection was that of my angel from heaven in body powder and nothing else.  She was pulling her blond wig off and didn’t act as though she even knew I was there staring at her naked reflection in the mirror.  She made no move to cover up, only turned and said “Oh…. I saw you in the audience…. Did you like my performance?”  “I loved it” I croaked; somehow the sight of her perfect breasts and body had taken the air from the room.  She wasn’t blond, but strawberry blond and the carpet matched the curtains perfectly.  The color was more strawberry than blond but not to the point you’d call her a red head.  She was breath taking even in the foul dim single sixty watt light bulb over the dressing room mirror.

I finally realized I was standing in her dressing room where I wasn’t supposed to be with a raging hard on and she being completely naked; I realized the weirdness and said “I’m sorry my name is David and I just wanted to talk to you after the incredible performance you just did” She waved a arm dismissing my compliment, making her right breast raise and bounce with the jester.  “Yes, you are David from Chicago…. I’ve been waiting for you” With that announcement her nipples raised to full erection; she didn’t seem to notice.

“They call me Rose that is the name that I use here I have no other I know”.  She made another dismissive wave and turned back to the mirror again working on wiping clean the makeup from her gorgeous face.  As the colors came off her incredible beauty increased.  The makeup was covering and taking away from her natural beauty.  I stood transfixed by the sheer beauty that was before me, she was becoming more breath taking by the minute. 

“How do you know that I’m from Chicago”  “I just came into this crap bar less than an hour ago”.  Another dismissive wave sent chills up my back as I again watched her breast make its journey up and back to the natural position. 

“I’ve been waiting for you David of Chicago”  “I need a ride to my people, will you take me there David of Chicago?”  What do you say to the most gorgeous woman you’ve ever laid eyes on and she asks you five minutes after meeting her to give her a ride; plus that is the direction you’re going anyway? 

‘Ummmmm……… Of course”…

She had her bag packed; one small suitcase that was no larger than the standard airline carry on.  She finished cleaning the paint off her face and tossed all her make up; which wasn’t much, into the suit case with a click she shut it and headed out the door.

“Wait; don’t you have to get your check or something from dancing” as I raced to catch up.  She’d already made it down the dark hall and was going through the “Authorized Persons Only” door.  She spoke over her shoulder not slowing down “Nope, my time here is over and my debt is paid.”  Across the bar room floor with a wave to the bar tender and past the fat assed bouncer with no more than a slight wave of her hand.  Standing just outside the shit house door of the tavern slash strip club she surveyed the parking lot as though she would know which my ride was. 

To my dwindling surprise she walked to the passenger side of my Road runner and waited for me to open the door for her.  I wiped the surprised look off my face and opened the door for her; as she got in she said “We need to go West, David of Chicago” 

I got in the driver’s seat and leaving a cloud of blue oil smoke and dust in the air; we headed West through Colorado towards Idaho; she was asleep within two minutes and laid her head against my shoulder.  Her strawberry blond hair covered her face but the slow delicate breaths told me she was fast asleep.

Two hours later and a hundred and fifty miles later she woke and told me she had to be at the meeting place no later than June 21th the summer solaces; and fell instantly back to sleep.  At dinner our first night I asked her where we were going and she handed me a satellite photo of the Middle Sister Mountain in the Cascade Range in Oregon.  We had two full weeks to get there.  That was all the information I was going to get; she changed the subject, gave half answers and laughed when I asked her for more detail on why she had to be at the Mountain on the summer solaces.
Our time passed in a flash; traveling, eating, sleeping and making love every night.  I fell completely in love with my Rose.  After the first day I didn’t ask any more questions; I was so mesmerized by Rose anything she asked or said was taken as a fact.

June 21st came to us as we were making love; wrapped in twisted sheets of the Best Western in Sister’s Oregon.  It was a small resort town with too many gift shops to count.  We woke at 8:00am the morning of the summer solace.  Rose was wired higher than a kite; there was no comforting her and the thought of calming her down was not an option.  She rushed me into the Plymouth and off we went towards the Mountains.  She sat in the passenger seat with her legs crossed up in the seat.  The only thing holding her in the seat was the shoulder strap.  Her eyes were closed and she directed me left or right as we came to cross roads.  We left the black top and headed higher on gravel and then dirt roads.  Dirt roads turned into logging tracks which the Roadrunner just couldn’t make up.  This didn’t faze Rose; she just instructed to back up and go right at the bottom of the road; all the time never opening her eyes.  After several miss turns and logging roads she suddenly said “Stop; this is as close as we can make it.”  She leaned across the seat and gave me a long hard kiss on the lips.  “Good bye David of Chicago, I will see you again and we will be lovers once again for ever.”  She reached into the back seat, grabbed her small luggage and out the door she slid.  “I will see you again; David of Chicago; I will send you a message when I’m coming back”  Without a second look she was gone into the brush of the Middle Sister of the Cascade Range.

I’m telling this story now because today in the mail I received a postcard with a strawberry colored rose on the front and a message that read “Tomorrow David of Chicago, June 21st the summer solaces, I will see you then.” Signed “Rose”

I’ve waited forty seven years for my Rose to return.  I can’t wait to see her.

From the Ramblings
t