Hellpets – Part 1

            “Who’s a precious little baby? Who’s the sweetest kitty?”

            Old woman I will end you.

            “Meow meow. Meow meow.”

            Get out of my face Hag!

            “Oh! Duchess Minerva Skimbleshanks! Don’t be naughty!”

            I will bite your finger off.

            “You sit there on the chair and think about what you’ve done.”

            The only thing I’m thinking about is how happy I’ll be when this assignment’s over. You are, by far, the worst human I’ve ever watched over. You don’t even know magic. You can’t use tarot cards. Burning sage in people’s homes doesn’t make you a witch.

            “I’ve never heard you meow so much Duchess. You sure are a chatter box this morning.”

            Sit on a cactus Fustilug.

            “Oh my. I’m feeling a bit flushed. I better get some water.”

            Please stop telling me everything you’re thinking.

            “Oh. Something…doesn’t feel right. I better…have a sit down.”

            Is it happening? Don’t tease me old woman. And with the shattering of glass, she is down. I didn’t think you would ever croak. Enjoy Hell. Say hit to Carol in HR.

            I’m a Hellcat. I was born from the fires of Hell. I work as a familiar to humans. I watch over them until they die and make note of any magic abilities they have. Most humans have no magic. And morons like the corpse on this kitchen floor think they have magic when they don’t.

            And my name isn’t Duchess. It’s Haura. I can’t communicate with humans to tell them my name, so I have to put up with whatever they call me. This old woman was more irritating than any other I’ve been around. Maybe I’ll have time to eat some of her body before my manager shows up with my next assignment. Damn! Someone’s at the door.

            “Mom, are you home? I brought you some bagels from this new bakery near my office. Mom? Oh, hello Duchess. Pst pst pst.”

            Like mother like daughter. I hate your whole family.

            “Do you know where mommy is? Is mommy home?”

            I despise baby talk. Please stop.

            “Maybe she’s out for a bit. Let’s make ourselves a snack. Oh my God! Mom? Mom!”

            Sometimes I think humans believe screaming and crying will reverse death.


Read Part 2

Fiction Friday: Highway 491

I drove down Highway 491 in early June of 2008. My watch said 3am and I hadn’t seen any other cars for at least an hour. I started to get that uncomfortable feeling. The one you get when things don’t feel right; like something bad will happen. I looked out the windows up at the sky. I expected to see a bunch of bright lights flying around. I never believed in aliens, but for some reason I kept looking up.

I finally stopped looking feeling foolish. I put my eyes back on the road and I saw it. It felt strange that I didn’t see it before; a circus tent with cars parked all around. Some of the cars looked old, but shinier than mine; like restored classics. I couldn’t understand why a circus performed in the middle of the night. 

Is my watch broken?

I had driven for a while and needed the rest, so I pulled over. I at least wanted to see the old cars from all decades; as much as 80-years-old.

I never saw a circus themed car show. After looking at a few of the classics, I went inside to see what the show.

The smell of popcorn attacked my nose as I entered. I could feel something crunching under my feet though I didn’t hear it from the loud music. Peanut shells covered the ground. An elephant in the center ring balanced things on its tusks. No one stood at the entrance, so I found myself a seat.

Everyone in the audience wore clothing from different decades. I didn’t notice at first how strange people looked. When I saw a man with one of those curly mustaches throwing popcorn, I started looking at everyone. One section had a group of soldiers dressed in World War II uniforms. A bunch of flower power hippies threw flowers instead of popcorn in another section. No one noticed me or any other people around them. The performances in the three rings hypnotized the audience.

I leaned over and spoke to the man next to me.

“What kind of show is this?” I said.

The man looked at me confused and uncomfortable. Without answering he returned to watching the well-trained elephant. After the elephant, a group of clowns ran out from behind the trainer and started goofing around. I decided I had stayed long enough and began to leave.

A man in a candy-striped jacket and straw hat stood at the entrance with an over exaggerated smile. He put one of his hands up.

“You cannot leave.” He said.

“I’m sorry I didn’t pay, but no one was around.”

“Admittance is free, but you cannot leave.”

The wide smile on his thin face and shrill voice made me uncomfortable. 

“Why can’t I leave?”

He snickered.

“It is almost time for the finale. You do not want to miss that.”

He gestured for me to sit back down.

I returned to my seat but looked back every now and then to find the creepy man still standing there watching me. Before the clown act ended, I noticed a young man and woman walking into the tent greeted by the creepy man. I found it strange that the girl wore a blue shirt that said Clinton 2016. I took my chance and snuck out behind the creepy man while he spoke to the couple.

As I left, I could hear the Ringmaster on the loud speaker.

An excerpt from “Highway 491” from the short story collection The Morbid Museum.

Fiction Friday: Disengagement

The room was a sullen gray with brutal fluorescent light raging down from the high ceiling. Nothing was on the walls except a long mirror on one side of the room. A long black table sat positioned in the room’s center with only two chairs; one on either end. Peter Dominic sat alone, handcuffed with his head in his hands sobbing. As he sulked, trying to remember how the last few hours must have unfolded, a man and a woman entered the room. The woman carried a manila folder. Peter believed this folder contained everything that happened and personal information about him.

“Good evening, Mr. Dominic.” The woman said.

The man who entered the room with her stood behind by the door.

The woman continued.

“My name is Detective Hartley. You know why you’re here so why don’t you tell me what happened.”

“What was her name?” Peter said.

“I’m sorry?”

“The woman I… I killed. What was her name?”

Detective Hartley looked surprised. She looked through the file.

“Her name was Sarah Nicole Morris.”

Peter wiped his eyes.

“Sarah Nicole Morris. Could you tell me about her? What did she do for a living? Did she have a family; children?”

Peter still felt upset about the incident. He was not a killer.

“She was studying at the community college to be a radiologist. She lived in an apartment with her boyfriend, they didn’t have children.”

Peter closed his eyes.

“Please tell the boyfriend I’m sorry.”

Detective Hartley grew impatient.

“If you’re sorry, why did you kill her?”

“I wasn’t trying to kill her. I thought she was someone else; something else.”

“What do you mean something else?”

“I don’t know if what I saw was real or not. I’m not sure if I was being brainwashed or if I was hallucinating but I never wanted to hurt anyone. I never wanted to kill Sarah.”

Peter sobbed and dropped his head back into his hands.

“Mr. Dominic?”

He didn’t respond.

“Mr. Dominic?”

Detective Hartley felt Peter was playing her for a fool. She smacked the table causing Peter to jump.

“Tell me what happened. Why did you kill Sarah Morris?”

Peter wiped the tears off his face and cleared his throat.

“It was an accident. This all started in the morning on my way to work. I had finished eating breakfast and was about to leave.”

***

“Thank you, sweetheart. I need to go now before I’m late.”

Peter kissed his wife as he finished chewing the toast his wife made for him. He was double-checking his briefcase when the phone rang.

His wife answered.

“This is the Dominic’s. Oh! Hello Jason. Peter was about to… I suppose he… all right hold on.”

She covered the receiver with her hand.

“He needs to talk to you.”

“Can’t it wait until I get to the lab?”

Jason had never called him this early.

“He sounds upset. Something could be wrong.”

Peter took the phone from her.

“Yes Jason? What!? No, nothing was unusual last night. Around four in the morning? You’re sure? And it’s already hit? Yes, I’ll meet you at the sight. Okay. See you in about… twenty minutes.”

Peter giggled as he closed his briefcase.

“What is it dear?”

“A meteorite landed last night outside of town. Jason got a call from the lab’s security about all the instruments making loud noises. He’s on his way out to the site now.”

Peter couldn’t contain his enthusiasm.

“That’s wonderful Peter. Take lots of pictures for me.”

She was always supportive of Peter’s interests.

***

“I rushed out the door and drove ten miles over the speed limit all the way to the meteorite. This was something that excited and thrilled me and I was proud to be a part of it all.”

Peter was silent for a long period.

“What kind of music do you think she listened too? What might her hobbies have been?”

Detective Hartley thought the only way to keep Peter talking was to tell him about who Sarah Morris was. She had information in the file but not a great deal. She gestured to her partner to come closer and whispered in his ear. He left the room. The detective continued her questioning with a different approach.

“I will tell you what I can about Ms. Morris, but I need you to continue with your explanation Mr. Dominic.”

“Have you ever killed anyone, Detective?”

“No.”

“Then you don’t understand how it feels to take someone else’s life. It’s sickening, like I may vomit. Please tell me something and I’ll continue.”

Peter said with hopeful eyes. Remorse was the only emotion he could display.

Detective Hartley sighed.

“She was five-nine and brunette with green eyes. She was very healthy and was a life guard volunteer with the YWCA.”

“She sounds like my wife. Tell me more, please?”

“The more information you give me the more I give you.”

Peter took a deep breath.

“When… when I arrived, Jason was taking samples. He was running tests to check for any radiation and magnetism. I couldn’t believe how large the meteorite was…”

An excerpt from “Disengagement” from the short story collection The Morbid Museum.