The Old Life

“You should totally get on social media, Dad,” Gregg says. “You’re living in the dark ages.”

The school bus pulls up and honks. Gregg grabs his backpack and runs out the door. As I stand in the doorway, I can’t help wonder when my thirteen-year-old became so wise. I chuckle and close the door, then go about my daily routine.

Life is easy since I don’t work and we don’t make a whole lot of mess. I sit on the couch and open my laptop and sigh. I miss the old days, when I had more things than could ever be done in a day. Now, I have hours of solitude and quiet until Gregg gets home, then the house is filled with talk of video games and daily happenings at school.

“Maybe I should check out social media.”

I go to Instagram first and look at the website. “Hmm, only for phones. That won’t do.”

I go to the next social media that pops into my head.

“Okay, so in order to see what Facebook is all about, I have to start an account? That’s weird. Moving on.”

Typing social media into Google leads me to my next stop.

“Twitter looks interesting.” I open an account and spend the next hour flipping though people’s feeds and typing things into the search bar. A few key words later, I discover the dark side of Twitter and grin. A quick look at the time, and with a flick of my arm, the drapes are closed behind me. Privacy.

The more I look, the more I like. The more I like, the more I love. The more I love, the more I miss my old life. The life before Gregg…the life before Susan…the life before plastic surgery…the life I was meant to live. I have tried for the last fifteen years to deny it, but I can’t anymore. I just can’t.

My heart races and blood pounds through my veins again as I type my profile.

“Why not write the truth?” I say to myself. “No one would believe it anyway.”

It’s hard to type with my razor-sharp fingers hitting the keys, but they’ll get used to it. I can’t wait until Gregg gets home to tell him who his dad really is.

This one was inspired by the M.M.H.B Challenge, but does not meet the requirements (word prompts) but I totally wanted to write a story from Freddy’s POV.


Are You Lost?

Why all the rumpus?
Go grab the compass.
It has to be there, hurry.
I think I heard something scurry!
Oh, my, what is that?
Is it wearing a hat?
Throw it in its lap,
Now all it needs is a map.


The Fairy Tale Killer (PG-13/R)

“I would like,” the dinner host said while pouring everyone a glass of Chianti, “to thank you all for coming tonight. I have been away, and I apologize for that, but rest assured, I have returned.”

His guests applauded lightly and smiled. They did miss his monthly dinner parties. Everything on the table was exquisite. The finest china and crystal ware. Their host spared no attention to detail. Why even the design on the wine glass flute was the same as the napkins.

The host sat at the head of the table and signaled to the waiting staff that they were ready. One by one waiters clad in formal tuxedos brought out plates for his guest.

Liver pate led the evening and chilled brains in aspic rounded it off nicely. Everyone was pleased.

“You are a master chef,” a guest said. “How do you do it?”

The host smiled graciously and leaned a little over the table. “Old family recipe,” he whispered.

The guests laughed and congratulated him once again on another fine meal.

After the guests left, the host busied himself in the kitchen doing dishes when a local news report interrupted his classical music performance recorded at the Met. He grumbled a little, but listened in.

“It’s nerve-wracking,” a distraught, worried woman said. “I just want my son to come home. He’s a good boy. Never done anything wrong.”

The dinner host laughed. More like a murdering, repugnant, scum, he thought. I watched as he menaced that elderly couple.

“Police believe he may have been the latest victim of the Fairy Tale killer who takes young men then leaves their bodies dressed as fairy tale characters in the city park,” the reporter said. “So far six young men have been found.”

The dinner host stopped drying the wine glass and laughed even more. The Fairy Tale killer was a loathsome peasant who was half insane, but did provide an excellent cover for his activity. If people only knew half of what crossed that man’s little mind, they would shudder. He was a hateful little man who would eventually get caught. In fact, the dinner host knew he would get caught. Next week, in fact, if he planned it right.

He turned off the radio, finished his glass of Chianti, and began humming a Goldberg Variation. As he hummed, he flipped through his recipes. He smiled thinking of his next dinner party. A hair-raising scream from below the kitchen silenced his humming. The dinner host grinned.

“Perhaps a little snack first.”

This was written for M.M.H.B Challenge. I took some liberty with the required words on this one because it would just be silly otherwise.

Want To Play A Game (I’ll say PG-13/R)

I sit and watch as the young man clad in all black stalks his next victim. People like him are repugnant, hateful little things that slither back to the shadows with each morning sun. A hair-raising scream echos down the darkened alley, letting the silent world know he found his latest prize.

The young man walks proudly out of the alley wearing a smug grin unaware of the nerve-wracking night playing out at 42 Westmore as a woman sits by the window wringing her hands waiting for the only daughter that will never come home.

I watch as the young man enters the bar to spend what few dollars she had in the purse that her mother gave her when she graduated from college. As he walks in, a woman in a short red dress walks out and I decide to follow her.

She doesn’t look worrisome or menacing, but there is something loathsome about her. The way she carries herself. I have seen that walk before many times. She needed a few drinks to stiffen her resolve, or weaken it. I can’t tell yet, but I follow her down to the docks where the shadow men work loading and unloading.

They work in the shadows because they are not fit for normal society. Some still have murderous intents and some just leave shuddersome wakes with every step. I watch as the woman in red slides her way through the men. Touching and smiling as she goes as if she was Carmen. I chuckle picturing this woman on the stage during a performance of a very beautiful opera. No, someone like her belongs in the sea. Yes, perhaps she is a siren, luring the men to their death.

She signals to one of the men with an enticing finger and they enter a small, shack in the shadows of the docks near me. I watch as both enter. I watch as only she leaves. I wait and watch. I watch as the man’s coworkers find him. I listen as talk of what to do and eager pleas to not return to jail spread across the dock. I watch as the man’s friends toss his body into the outgoing tide.

The woman in red has been watching too. She struts back into the world of street lights and next targets. I follow her back to the bar where she strikes up a conversation with the young man in black. I watch them from across the street. I watch them for the next few hours as they drink to their successes. Both leave the bar with their evening prize. I follow them to the cheapest hotel they could find. I sit outside and wait. Wait as long as I need.

I smile and think of the fun I am going to have with these two. I know I shouldn’t, but I start thinking about which one might actually do it. Will either of them want to? Do they really have an ounce of self-preservation in their body? Tonight I will find out.

I pick up my tape recorder and push record. “I want to play a game.”

This was written for M.M.H.B. Challenge. The required words are in bold.