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A Thanksgiving (sort of) Drabble

A Thanksgiving Drabble

“Food’s wonderful!” exclaimed Elizabeth.

“For sure,” agreed William.  “They definitely know how to put on a spread!”

They were seated at a beautifully laid table full of every traditional Thanksgiving dish, with some new ones thrown in for variety.  Around the table, the other six guests were busily helping themselves.  Everybody remarked on how good, and how much there was.  They ate with no thought of tomorrow and all too soon, the food was gone.

The host smiled and waved at them from his secure booth, and threw the switch that sucked the life from the band of condemned murderers.

End

 

Amazon Kindle: amzn.to/11sqD5Y

Title: The Light Who Shines
Author: Lilo Abernathy
Genre: Urban Fantasy / Paranormal Romance / Mystery
Amazon Rating: 4.7 Stars
Amazon Reviews: 153
Regular Price: $4.99
SALE PRICE: $1.99
Kindle Daily Deal Date: Thursday, November 20th, 2014 (One day only)

 

Synopsis

When Supernatural Investigation Bureau agent Bluebell Kildare (a.k.a. Blue) arrives at the scene of the crime, it’s obvious the grotesquely damaged body of the deceased teenage boy was caused by far more than a simple hit and run; and she vows to catch the killer. Using her innate sixth sense, Blue uncovers a powerful magical artifact nearby. She soon discovers it acts as a key to an ancient Grimoire that was instrumental in the creation of the Vampire breed and still holds the power to unravel the boundaries between Earth and the Plane of Fire.

Blue and her clever wolf Varg follow a trail that starts at the Cock and Bull Tap and leads all through the town of Crimson Hollow. Between being sidelined by a stalker who sticks to the shadows and chasing a suspect who vanishes in thin air, the case is getting complicated. If that isn’t enough, Dark Vampire activity hits a record high, and hate crimes are increasing. However, it’s Blue’s growing feelings for Jack Tanner, her sexy Daylight Vampire boss, that just might undo her.

While Blue searches for clues to nail the perpetrator, it seems someone else is conducting a search of their own. Who will find whom first?

Danger lurks in every corner, and Blue needs all her focus in this increasingly dangerous game or she risks ending up the next victim.

Turner: Bitter Change – available now!

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Turner: Bitter Change (Book 1 of the Spaceships and Magic series) out now!

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Change happens. It’s a fact of life. But what if the change is so drastic it irrevocably alters your entire society, your whole world?

Fifteen year old Juri Turner lives in such a world. She knows nothing of the previous way of life, only what she reads in old books and magazines or overhears from roaming new nomads because she was born five years after the Artesio came from somewhere in the galaxy and rolled right over anything Earth had to offer as a defense. She lives in a deteriorating society ruled by a puppet government set up by uncaring aliens who have their own unknown agenda. However, she has problems of a more personal nature.

Starting at the age of three, she began experiencing a transformation, changes of which the most notable are scales growing all over her body, and, for no discernable reason, her parents formed an intense dislike of her. As she later discovers, so does anyone else with whom she comes in contact. She is bewildered – and bereft – but over the years, after a fashion, she has managed to find ways of coping.

One of her ways of coping includes stealing, and she now finds herself in solitary confinement at a government institution for the rehabilitation of wayward youth where she suddenly begins undergoing even more changes. They’re drastic and are accelerating, and there is no way she can keep them hidden.

What happens when her new alterations are discovered and she’s sent to a different location? Does the witch she meets there have answers to what she’s becoming?

Follow along with Juri as she struggles to learn what she is and to understand why she has been subjected to such a bitter change.

This is a story of change, and of hate, love, and betrayal; of a coming of age, and of spaceships and magic…

 

(See three chapter excerpt here)

Last Night – a short horror story

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Sherman had no intention of getting stuck in the mud, so he drove his pick-up into the clearing and brought it to a halt on the dry stretch of packed earth several feet from where the water lapped at the edge of the swampy shore.

He jumped from the cab and hustled around to the truck bed, opened the tailgate, and, muscles straining, tugged the heavy barrel out.

He rolled it the short distance to the water’s edge and shoved it in.  He gave a smug smile as he lit up a smoke and watched the gray barrel sink with hardly a ripple into the dark, murky depths.  It barely disturbed the ragged water weeds that covered a good portion of the surface.  A stray cloud occluded the full, rising moon, briefly casting the clearing into darkness, before drifting on across the sky.

He tossed his half smoked cigarette butt into the water, climbed back into his pick-up, backed up cautiously, and headed out of the trees and onto the highway.

Later, he lounged on the couch in the living room of the old house, feet on the coffee table, watching TV and swigging his sixth beer.  Something Ida would never have allowed him to do.

He looked over at the chair where his wife usually sat playing with that damned doll, brushing its hair, straightening its frilly dress, talking to it.

He’d rammed the pickaxe through its eye, cracking one side of its face.  He chuckled, remembering Ida’s outraged screech.  She was looking at the doll, mouth open, when he brought the pickaxe down through her skull.

She couldn’t stop him now, not from the bottom of the swamp.  She and that stupid doll were down there together, forever.  He’d carefully cleaned up the mess, and with some judicious cramming, everything had fit neatly into the large barrel, including the doll, and his pickaxe.

He gave a wet, satisfied belch, flicked the TV off, got up and staggered upstairs to bed, still fully clothed.

A full bladder awakened him.  He opened his eyes to a pitch black room, confused.  Hadn’t the lamp been burning when he laid down?  Why was it so dark?  Bulb must have blown, he thought through a fuzzy brain, as he stumbled to his feet and began feeling his way to the bathroom.

He reached the door, pushed it open, and stepped in, fumbling the light switch on – and gaped in shock.  It wasn’t the bathroom.  It was the attic room of this ancient, decrepit house his wife had dragged him to months ago, and directly in front of him, close enough to touch, was the doll, somehow grown larger, nearly as tall as he was.  Her cracked, one-eyed face leered at him through her bloody, mud splattered hair.

Hot urine rushed from him as his bladder gave way, but he never noticed as the doll  raised the dirt-streaked hand that held his pickaxe, and brought it down through his skull.

End

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“Aw, it’s jus’ a stupid bird,” said Wally cautiously poking his head out the door of the mausoleum.

The large raven, its ebony feathers gleaming a shade of indigo blue in the light of the full moon, sat silently on the stone gate and cast a beady eye at the stubby, plump man peering out at it.  Wally ducked back in.  “Come on!  Don’t be so jumpy.  Ain’t no such thang as haints! Thinka all that shiny stuff they buried wit’ old man Brome.  We gonna be in the money!”

Bob, a frown on his pinched face, pulled his ball cap low on his forehead.  Jim, the third partner in crime, a tall thin man, held a battery powered lantern and led the way through the small entry.  They reached the stone steps that led down into the crypt.

Jim held the lantern out, peering into the gloom. “Y’all watch yer step.  Ain’t no hand rail.”

Single file, the three grave robbers started down.  It would be an easy job. They didn’t even have to dig. It was a private mausoleum on the old Brome estate, nobody around for miles.  They’d handily gotten over the stone wall onto the grounds, and even better, the door to the mausoleum wasn’t locked.

“Wha’ wuz that?” hissed Bob, pausing. “Y’all hear that? Sounded like footsteps!”

In front, halfway down the stairs, Jim stopped. He cocked his head listening. Then he shrugged and continued down. “Naw, ain’t heard nothin’.  It’s jus’ yo’ ‘magination.”

They headed into the gloom, peering around.  “Tha’s where they laid th’ old codger,” said Wally, eagerly shining his flashlight toward the back.

Jim went over, pulled the drawer out and lifted the lid of the coffin. “Wha’ th’- were’s th’ old bastard at?” he exclaimed looking down into the empty interior.

Upstairs, the door slammed shut with a loud bang.  Wally jumped, his heart thumping.

Bob sucked in a terrified breath and edged toward the steps.  He stumbled into Wally who dropped his flashlight as they both fell, Bob grunting out a pained “oof!” as Wally landed on him.  His hat flew off, his stringy hair flopping around as he scrambled to get to his feet.  His eyes rounded with fright as a shadowy figure stepped out from a corner, and old man Brome stood there, yellow eyes glaring balefully at the thieves.

Jim turned to run and fell over his partners huddled on the hard floor. His lantern went skidding off and fetched up against the booted foot of the old man.

“Hello, boys,” Brome rattled out in a dusty voice. “You’re right, there’s no such thing as “haints”. However,” he grinned, his pointed teeth glistening in the light of the fallen lantern, “did you ever hear of ghouls?”

The smell of urine permeated the air as he strode toward the cowering men.

Outside, the raven fluttered down from the gate, settling on the grass. It listened to the faint screams coming from the mausoleum.  It waited.

End

Shelter – a short, post apocalyptic story

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Randy looked up at the darkening sky.  “We’d better hurry and find shelter, Brie.  Storm’s coming.”

She gripped her bag tightly, nodded wearily and trudged behind him across the grassy plain.

“There!  That’s a building there, at the edge of this sweep.  Come on, let’s wait inside ‘til this blows over.”

Brie squinted.  In the distance, she made out a small, deserted shack.  She stumbled on.  She was tired and needed to rest.  It would do.

The shack looked even shabbier as they neared.  The doors and windows were missing, and it looked as if, at some point, it had sustained a fire.  Cautiously, Randy edged up and eased his head into the door opening.

“It’s clear.” He went in and peered up at the shadowy ceiling and rafters.  “Don’t seem to be many holes.  It should keep us pretty dry as long as we stay away from those window openings.”

Brie followed him in.  They’d stayed in worse.  Lightening flickered behind her and thunder rolled.  She looked around the dim bare room.  Nothing to sit on except the floor.

Randy shucked his bow and quiver of arrows, and his dilapidated back-pack, setting them down against a wall.  She sat her just-as-ragged bag beside his, slumping down the wall to the floor, hugging her knees.  He sat down beside her and placed an arm around her shoulders, pulling her close.  He was tired, too.

They fell asleep huddling in a corner away from the broken windows, listening to the rain pelt the little shack.

Brie woke up first.  The storm was over and it was pitch black.

“Randy? Rain’s stopped.”

She rummaged in her bag pulling out one of her precious kitchen matches and a candle.  She lit it.  And screamed.

Randy opened his eyes and looked into the face of a monster.  It grabbed him around the neck with a huge hairy hand, the candlelight glinting off its jagged rotted teeth, its yellow eyes gleaming.

Still shrieking, Brie scrambled up and rammed the candle into it left eye.  The thing roared, dropping Randy and clasping its eye.  Randy, coughing from being choked, groped in the darkness for his bow, pulled out an arrow quickly nocking it, and rose to his knees unable to see anything in the dark.

“Down Brie!” he shouted.  He heard a soft thud, prayed it was her hitting the floor and loosed his arrow toward where he heard the howling creature.

There was a gurgling snarl and Brie gave a muffled cry as something fell across her back.  It didn’t move.  Light flared as Randy lit a candle.  It was dead.  He’d gotten it through the neck.

He moved its arm from Brie, made sure she was all right and set about making a fire just outside the door.  Brie found their lone knife and began hacking away at the thing’s pelt.

They didn’t know what kind of monster it was – mutated human or otherwise, they didn’t care – they would eat well tonight.

 

End

Martin’s Cafe – a short horror story

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“How much further?” asked James peering out the side window of the truck.

Marcy, keeping one hand on the steering wheel, used the other to gesture.

“Another quarter-mile then I’ll hang a left.  Frank said we’d see it on the right a half-mile down.”

“I hope he knows what he’s talking about.  This is costing us a bundle.  I don’t want to get there and have this be one of his jokes!  Somebody might call the cops.”

“Relax.  Frank wouldn’t joke about this.  Okay, here’s the turn.  Keep looking for it on your side.  It’ll have a sign: “Martin’s Cafe”.  Frank said to drive on in and Grant will take care of us.”

“I see the sign.  There’s a man out front.  Wonder if that’s Grant?”

Marcy pulled the truck around the graveled lot, parking between two other trucks already there.  She and James got out.  The man approached them, smiling, hand outstretched.

“Hello.  I’m Grant. You must be Marcy and James.”

“Yes,” said Marcy, as they shook his hand.

“You’re the last guests to arrive.  Follow me and I’ll get you taken care of right away,” said Grant, turning to walk toward the building.

They looked at each other, grinned, and trailed Grant into the building where they were seated in a raised area on comfortable chairs with a small table in between.  Grant provided them with drinks and told them they would be served shortly.  They could smell the wonderful scent of bacon coming from the back, presumably the kitchen.

They looked around and saw several occupied tables in the dimly lit room.  It was quiet, no one was even carrying on a whispered conversation.  They didn’t have long to wait.

The double door’s at the back swung open and a man and woman dressed in green uniforms came out pushing a serving cart of filled salad bowls.  These were served to everyone.

As they ate, the only sounds heard were the tinkling of forks going in and out of the bowls.  The servers came and cleared the bowls away as soon as they finished.

A few minutes later, the double doors opened again, and Grant came through pushing a much larger serving table.  He parked it in the middle so that everyone could see from the raised seating area.  The large cover was removed and the room filled with appreciative murmurs at the sight of the superbly roasted meat.  It was the source of the delicious bacon aroma permeating the air.

“Choose your cut,” said Grant.  “I will slice and it will be brought to you.”

As each request rang out, Grant sliced and the servers served.  Then it was James and Marcy’s turn.

They’d already decided.  “Rump, medium.  Thinly sliced, for the both of us,” announced James.

Grant smiled, nodded, and began to carefully cut thin slices of meat from Martin’s well-cooked ass.

“Remember,” he said as he placed the meat on plates, “When you send your friends back, tell them to look for “Luther’s Cafe.”

End

Book Return – a short horror story

 

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It lay atop a red, upholstered pillow on a bench in the lobby of the hotel.  I picked it up.  There was no title on the scratched cover and it was adorned with an undefined, brownish pattern.  It was held shut with a small, buckled strap trimmed with raised decorations, and had a bright blue, tasseled bookmark hanging from the bottom.

There was no one around so I took the old book to the counter.

“I need your name, Sir,” said the clerk.  “If it’s not claimed, it’ll be yours.”

“In that case, just toss it.  I don’t need it.”

“Yes, Sir.”

Two weeks after I returned from my trip, a box bearing the book arrived at my home with a note that said since there had been no claim, it was mine.

I shrugged, supposing the clerk had put my name on it after all.  I had no wish to keep the ancient, decrepit volume but decided to take a look inside before disposing of it.  I unfastened the holder, allowing it to fall open.  There were several missing pages and the other yellowing leaves were blank.

It was apparently a journal or diary and whatever had been written before had been removed.  I didn’t need it so I put it back inside the box in which it had been shipped and tossed it in the trash.

That night as I was leaving, the book was on my kitchen table.  Puzzled but deciding I’d absently laid it down instead of actually throwing it in the trash can, I dropped it in the garbage on my way out.

But it was back when I returned.  I checked to make sure no one was getting in and no one was.

Again I threw the book away and again it returned.  Unsettled, I flung it once more.

The third time it came back, I found it lying open on the table.  I snatched it up and words written in a familiar script began to appear and continued for several pages.  My heartbeat quickened as I read what was being written and I sat down, shaken.  The handwriting was mine.

It was a description of certain activities in which I’d engaged including my most recent ones.  I took it outside and placed it into a metal bucket, poured in lighter fluid, and set it afire.  I stirred the ashes, noting the blackened buckle and decorations, satisfied.

The book was lying open on the table when I stepped back into my kitchen.

With ice coursing down my spine, I read the new entry.  I pulled out my gun.

The dark entity that appeared after I pulled the trigger tore out the pages, placing them beside my shattered head.

“Come with me, now,” it said.

We left, but before we moved on, it stopped and laid the book on the upholstered, red pillow of a bench in a hotel lobby.

I watched as a man picked it up and took it to the counter.

End

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It was Zeke who found the solution.  Everybody else was too busy running to think of how to fight the things.

“Zeke! Gitcha ass outchere ‘n git ‘n th’ celler!” yelled Granmaw.  She grabbed the kid’s hand and started down the steps.  The kid looked back and saw Zeke come out with a big pan and set it in the yard.

The zombies came shambling up, took a sniff, and fell to eating.  They all dropped dead, with satisfied smiles.

“Yep,” said Zeke. “Et theyselves ta death, they did.”

Everybody always did say Zeke’s barbequed ribs were to die for.

END

The Wait – a short story

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It drifted, waiting.  For what it was waiting, its purpose for being, it didn’t know.  It knew only two things: that it existed, and that it would know when the time came for its wait to be over.

It viewed its surroundings impassively, seeing without understanding what it saw, studying the sparkling points of lights, the thick pulsating cable that vanished into the vague darkness above it, and the glowering crimson-hued disc of churning vapors that floated beneath.  Occasionally, a larger, brighter light would flash before it, momentarily startling it from its state of quiet waiting.  It always returned to this state, content to merely abide for now.

It had no sense of the passage of time; all it knew was the wait, but after a while, gradually, it became aware of a difference, of a disturbance, a ripple of subtle change in its environment.

Its anticipation rose.  It knew its birth was imminent.  The time was nearing for its wait to be over.  Soon it would know for what it had waited, the why of its being, its reason for existing.

More points of light flickered into being around it, pulsing with colors, growing brighter and brighter, filling its entire space with brilliance.  And suddenly, it knew its purpose and that its wait was, at last, coming to an end, and it was filled with delight for its purpose was truly wondrous.

It was born with a suddenness that elicited a cry of surprise, relief, and joy from its parent.  It burst forth with a dazzling flash and was quickly written into a manuscript, becoming the story that was the result of the idea, the brainchild that had incubated and waited in the recesses of the mind of the writer.

End

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