Posts Tagged 'Short Story'

A Dog With Dry Skin

Once more this is a posting of one of my short stories that requires a pretext. I submitted the story as it is and it was rejected for content. So I submitted an edited version to The Great Hites Podcast The unedited version is being run here on this blog.

If you don’t want to read through the story you can figure out why any audio I record refuses to work on wordpress. Once you figure that out I’ll be able to post the audio recording of the story for you to listen to instead of having to read it. Until then you’re going to have to read it.

A Dog With Dry Skin
a short story written by Eldon KR

I don’t know why I didn’t see it coming. In all honesty I should have, and I normally would have. But I had been with her for so long that I really didn’t expect any of this. I had an addon for Firefox that would always reload the tabs that were last viewed when the browser was launched again. Occasionally I’d see things like price checks on plane tickets, rental cars, things like that. I never really thought anything of it. She told me she was leaving me in November. I was blindsided. Everything seemed like we were doing great. She didn’t actually end up leaving to go back to Texas until the second week of December.

The goodbye sex we had before I had to take her to the airport was more an act of pity on her part, I think. I mean, when two years of your life is getting back on a plane for home because she didn’t know what she wanted out of her life, you’re not exactly a stud in the sack are you? But I knew that she was leaving for a month before she actually did, so there was plenty of time for the “I’m never going to see you again” fornication. Except for the fact that for most of this time she led me to believe that I could fix whatever was wrong and that she’d be back. There was also the “I can’t believe you’ve done this to me I wish you were dead” hate sex after I found out that she’d been using my bed, and my car to cheat on me with some guy I knew down the road for that month she was getting ready to leave. The guy that I’d known since the first day I moved up here, the guy I went on odd jobs with in the summer.

Every time I was out in Indy to see my friend, or in class, or somewhere around town they were in my bed. Every time I was at home, she had to go get cigarettes. Or she just felt like going for a drive, or to Walmart. There was even one time when he was at the house and she said she had to take him over to Eric’s house to do some work. At ten o’clock at night. Yeah, the guy who had me spend most of the summer painting his garage and doing work on his house, let the kid use his spare bedroom as a bachelor pad because I was at the house. And she didn’t feel the need to tell me any of this was going on until she thought that she caught something.

I’d like to take this time to reiterate that I should have been able to put all the pieces together. And I know what you’re thinking, if she had already broken up with me why did it matter? Well, it mattered to me because I was led to believe that she’d come back, and that she needed a break, and her sister was about to have a baby and she needed to be there. Oh shut up, it was a really hard time for me and I was going to hold onto any small glimmer of hope that I could like a drowning man to an inner tube. Anyway, it mattered to me because this whole time this was going on, she was being sneaky about it. We were still sharing a room, and a bed. We were still sleeping together. Sometimes she still told me she loved me. I felt wronged.

I played Celldweller on the way to the airport in Indianapolis. It was a band I’d discovered that she actually liked. And the soundtrack would provide no awkward small talk, and no awkward silences. I dropped her off at the airport. She kissed me and told me she loved me. She said if I could find work and get the money that I could fly to Texas to kidnap her and bring her back to Indiana. All I could do was hold back my tears and tell her that I loved her too. It wasn’t until I got back on the highway that I started crying, and screaming, and punching my steering wheel.

My friend in Indy knew this would be a tough time for me and said I could hang out with him and his wife for a few days and we could get drunk, talk about zombies, and play video games. I’ve never been too terribly good with directions in a place I’m not at often. I find one easy to memorize route to get to some place and I stick to that route. If there was another place I needed to learn how to get to in Indianapolis it was usually just a different variation on that one route that I’d have to memorize. So it didn’t take me long to get lost trying to get to his house on the way back from the airport. That and it’s really easy to miss an exit on the highway at night when you’re crying. I’m not down with all the macho manly man crap. If I’m hurting on an emotional level then dammit, I’m going to cry.

Moving on, I called my friend told him I was lost. He gave me directions to get to his work from where I was because it was easy to get to his house from where he worked. Well, yet again I made a wrong turn and got all turned around and lost again. So he told me to pull off the road and wait for him in the parking lot of a near by White Castle until he got off work. I was sitting in this parking lot for about four maybe five hours. To keep myself awake to decrease my chances of being robbed I spent that time listening to the first book of the Archangel podcast. The sun was starting to come up and I saw. my friends car enter the parking lot and he engaged in an impromptu game of bumper tag to make sure I was awake before he parked his car. We sat in the restaurant and he ate while I talked. I followed him back to his house, got some sleep, and we spent the next few days pickling our livers and playing Gears of War, good therapy in my book.

The next week of December rolled by and I still wasn’t used to sleeping alone. It was the week of Christmas, my grandmother got me a membership to The Smithsonian, still not sure what privileges that entitles me to, but the magazine is pretty good. Christmas day came around, I say day and not morning because nobody wakes up before noon at this house without a legitimate need to. I walked into the living room and there was a cardboard box on the floor. I asked my mom what was in it, she tells me to lift up the box and see what was under it.

As I approached the box I heard a muffled bark from beneath the cardboard. Excited I lifted up the box and was shocked at what I saw. My mother had gotten me one of those robot dogs that you’d find in the toy aisle at Walmart. I was slightly annoyed by this, as it appeared to be a gag. I’d gotten a robot dog, instead of an actual puppy. I’d wanted one since I moved up here and I was finally living in a place that had a yard, instead of an apartment, or a dorm, or in a car. I went along with it anyway seeing as it was Christmas, and a gag gift was better than no gift at all. I didn’t get used to sleeping alone, and having a whole bed to myself until recently. Yeah, I had to brave through the cold winter nights alone. But now I had a dog with dry skin to keep me company.

Creative Commons License
A Dog With Dry Skin by Eldon KR is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

http://www.archive.org/download/ADogWithDrySkin/ADogWithDrySkin_vbr.m3u

Using Great Hites to get myself motivated.

Some of you may or may not know about Great Hites.
I’ve heard about the podcast for some time. For those of you who don’t know what it is, and haven’t clicked on the link yet, Great Hites is a podcast where each week they give you a prompt. You then write your own short story based on the prompt and then you submit it. From my understanding that’s basically it.

Every now and again I post with my progress on the novel I’m working on, “Checking In”. Well, I haven’t actually made any progress on that book in the last couple of months. I haven’t felt really motivated to move the story forward at all. I’m at a key point in the story where act one gives way to act two, if you will. I know where the story needs to go, but I’m not exactly sure how to take it from where it’s at now to where it needs to be in my head. I want the transition to come naturally, I don’t want to force the transition. Being that the story is somewhat character driven I might make decisions in the book that would be outside what that character would normally do.

I’ve been so concerned that I’d fuck something in the story up by forcing something that I haven’t touched the novel. Just yesterday I decided to start participating in the weekly prompt for Great Hites. This will help me to flex my writer muscles to expand my horizons beyond that which I’m comfortable writing. And by writing things that I’m not used to writing and then submitting it whether it sucks or not I believe that I can get past my current writers block on my novel. And might actually gain a few fans of my writing in the process.

I’ve written up the short story for Great Hites, and I made some finishing touches to it. I felt that I should submit it here as well so that those of you that read this can get a feel for what my writing style is, and maybe get some feed back on it.

This weeks prompt for Great Hites is: “Silver bullets, the real reason that some cowboys carried them.”

I personally don’t like writing about vampires and werewolves. I mean, fuck, who isn’t writing a vampire or werewolf themed novel these days? It’s just my own opinion that the whole scene is cliche, overrated, and played out. But a prompt is a prompt. So the rest of this post is going to be my weekly submission to Great Hites. I would appreciate feedback, and would also like to say that this is the first story that I’ve submitted on such a scale. All the other things I’ve written have only been circulated to a small number of friends just to get their opinion on it. Well, this and the first 14 chapters of “Checking In”. But the BOaC blog is dead and you can’t hear any of the audio on that anymore. Don’t worry BOaC will return soon. Anyway, without anymore chatter I present to you my short story for Great Hites:

Suspicions and Silver Bullets

A short story written by Eldon KR

The sun began to crawl it’s way back down below the horizon. Ezekiel felt a cold sweat working it’s way down his spine. As he urged his nervous mount to keep moving forward. There was a 5 hour ride to the next town in front of him. It would have been a good idea to stop for the night. But he was out in the open. He wasn’t going to bed down unless he could conceal himself in some way

He spurred his stolen steed into action once more as the last of the sun seemed to sink below the earth. Ezekiel was going to make it to the next town or outpost if he had to ride this horse into the ground in the process. He didn’t hear it over the frantic beating of hooves at first. But after four failed attempts at lighting a cigarette on a fast moving horse he slowed his mount, struck a match on the saddle and extended it to the hand rolled cigarette between his lips. That’s when he heard it, a howl.

The horse had heard it too, and with the horse acting as antsy as it was, it was probably close. Ezekiel’s whole body tensed up as the first howl was answered by another, and another, and another.

“Shit!” he cried

He’d let his match burn down and scorch his fingers, he tossed the match and stowed his cigarette. Ezekiel spurred his horse forward again but this time the animal didn’t need much encouragement to run like hell. At this point he only had two options. He could continue to run like hell until the horse died or he could hide. With nowhere to go to ground for the night he only hoped he could outrun those wolves.

“Wolves,” he laughed to himself, “those things are no more wolf than I am a fuckin’ gorilla.”

He pushed his horse for another ten minutes before he chanced a glance behind him, through the dust left in the wake of his frenzied horse he saw two sets of glowing yellow eyes. Panicked he kept spurring his horse, hoping that this animal’s need for survival would make it run even faster. No such luck. It wasn’t much longer before he could actually hear them panting and howling behind him, he could almost feel the fetid breath against the back of his neck. One of the creatures swiped at him, he could feel the claws lightly brush past his leg.

He reached for his holster and drew his gun, the black gunmetal of his M1875 glinted against the moonlight as he thumbed back the hammer. He turned and fired aiming for the closest flurry of fur, and teeth and eye shine. His shot went wide, but they slowed down. He spurred the horse again and kept his gun hand ready. He noticed movement a few yards off to his left. He saw another man riding for his life, pursued by two more of the manwolves. He began to form a plan.

He turned and fired upon his pursuers once more and heard one of them yelp in pain. Ezekiel steered his mount in the direction of the man who was also running from the wolves. They were nearing a small canyon, at the bottom was a river. The only way to traverse said canyon was to cross a bridge, If Zeke could time it just right he could find some measure of safety floating down the river for the night. He positioned his horse so that he was right next to the man and the look of sheer terror etched into his face was met by Ezekiel’s own look of determination. He waited just until they were about to cross the bridge and steered the stolen horse into the scared man’s own mount. Man and horse toppled over one another to the ground as Ezekiel leapt from his horse, over the bridge into the water below.

Before he could clear his own horse he heard a gunshot and felt something bite into his hip. This caused him to miscalculate his jump, he toppled head over heel as the cold water below rushed up to greet him, his shoulder collided with a large stone protruding up from the river. He managed to surface and swim to the bank. He pulled himself out of the water, and lost consciousness to the sound of howls, growls, and the death cries of man and horse alike.

Ezekiel woke up moments later to the sound of gurgling, gasping breaths. He looked down to his feet as he felt a hand on his boot. This unknown man he’d sacrificed to save himself had somehow ended up on the river bank, twenty feet below where he’d been attacked. The man’s body was bent and broken at odd angles. He was moving in ways a man shouldn’t be able to. The man was riddled with places where claws raked across his clothes, and sharp teeth had gouged his flesh. Zeke wasn’t sure but he was willing to bet that the hand that wasn’t grasping his boot was keeping his entrails from spilling out.

“Help me.” The man wheezed.

The damned man tried to gasp for breath once more, he opened his mouth and a blood bubble formed, it popped and sprayed tiny flecks of blood when he inhaled. Ezekiel reached for his holster, finding his pistol he helped the stranger in the only way he knew how.

Zeke woke up from a fitful sleep at first light, he kicked the dead body back into the river. Now he had to climb the 20 feet back up the small canyon, he wasn’t that far from the town now. If he was lucky the wolves weren’t able to finish both of the horses, and he would have some semblance of a breakfast before he got started.

As he stood his body was rocked by a blinding pain in his hip, he could barely move his left leg. There was a rattling in his chest and he doubled over as he was overcome by a coughing fit. In grasping his chest he noticed that his right shoulder hung limply and he remembered vividly the night before. There wasn’t much he could do about his leg, but he couldn’t climb with his shoulder the way it was. He looked around and noticed a bull whip on the bank. The stranger from last night must have had it on him. He grabbed it, put it between his teeth. Zeke bit down on the bull whip as he squared his body up and reset his shoulder. Luckily the pouch he kept his tobacco and matches in was somewhat waterproof. He rolled and smoked a cigarette while waiting for most of the pain to pass.

With one leg completely useless and a shoulder pain that nagged him with every movement it took him the better part of an hour to get back to the top of the canyon. There was a considerable amount of his horse left from the night before. But his stomach lurched with one look of it. He grabbed his saddle bag, slung it over his good shoulder. He saw a rifle laying near the remains of the other horse, it was the right length that he could use it as a crutch and keep his weight off of his shot hip. His slow journey to the town was mainly a blur of pain, and fatigue from the heat. He made his way into town by noon.

His intentions were to head straight for the saloon and drown the noise of his pain out with a cheap bottle of whiskey. He only made it as far as the horse trough just outside of the saloon, where he collapsed. When he woke he noticed that he felt clean and bandaged. He also noticed that his legs were shackled and he was also bereft of weapons.

“He’s awake.” A gruff man’s voice said from somewhere out of his line of sight.

Ezekiel heard the clanking of keys in a cell door, followed by a door swinging open on old metal hinges. A man with a sheriffs badge and a drawn gun approached him.

“Care to tell me why you and yours saw fit to terrorize our town, and kill our cattle last night, Changeling?” the sheriff asked

The Sheriff thumbed back the hammer on his pistol as punctuation for his question. The chamber rotated and he saw the glint of silver accent the cold black gunmetal of his interrogator’s Peacemaker.

“What the fuck are you talking about?” Zeke asked.

“Last night after the moon rose, all the town folk had to board up their doors and windows to keep the wolfbeasts out that have been antagonizing our town every night for the last week. Every morning we wake up with less and less cattle. Last night some of them got into the saloon and my deputy shot one of them in about the same place our town doctor pulled a silver slug out of you.”

“I was running from the wolves last night, I crossed paths with a man who was also running for his life. He panicked and shot me.”

“We’ll just see about that. The moon is going to rise within the hour. If you don’t change, we’ll apologize and send you on your way with clean clothes, a hot meal, and a fresh horse. If you change, well we’ll have one less hazard to worry about in these parts.”

“Alright, I’ve got nothing to worry about.”

“Bill, Cover me.” The sheriff said as he holstered his weapon and reached for his keys.

The man who was presumably Bill stepped into the cell with a shotgun. The sheriff unshackled him and began to back out of the cell. Once they had locked him in Bill pulled a rope outside the cell that caused a trap door to open above him. The door swung open to revealed a barred opening. He could see the faint shape of the moon. Soon the sun would set and the moon would shine.

Bill and the sheriff stared at him intently. Bill never lowered his shotgun, and the sheriffs hand rested against his holstered pistol. The seconds passed by slowly, Ezekiel never took his eyes off of the moon as it grew in shape and light. The temperature grew in his cell and he began to sweat. He felt sick. He felt the bile in his empty stomach undulate. His stomach lurched and he doubled over, clenching his midsection as he rolled to the floor. He was able to drag himself to a bucket in the corner of his cell and put his head into position as the contents of his stomach, or lack thereof, staged an escape attempt via his esoughagus. With each wretching gasp he felt significantly worse. Sicker, more feverish, shakier.

His left calf began to burn with a white hot pain. A searing pain that penetrated his muscles and shot up his spine. When the pain reached his head it felt like somebody was striking the backs of his eyeballs with hammers as if they were ringing church bells. Ezekiel’s body tried to fold itself in half in the wrong direction as he was rocked by the tremors of pain that ran from his calf to his brain, using his spine as a superhighway. He lifted the leg of his tattered pants, and amongst a latticework of cuts, and bruises he noticed four slight scratches, as if he was barely grazed by claws.

He realized now that he could smell everything around him. The unwashed bodies of Bill and the sheriff, the tobacco tucked behind Bill’s bottom lip, the whiskey on the sheriff’s breath. He could tell you everything that the two men had eaten since they’d last washed their clothes. Their heart rates increased. Ezekiel could actually hear their hearts beating. The full light of the moon came to bear upon Ezekiel through the hatch in the ceiling and his skin began to itch.

He gazed down at his arms and noticed he was becoming hairier. He cried out in shock and blood filled his mouth, With fingers attached to a hand that was growing hairier by the minute he probed the inside of his mouth. He’s just bitten through his tongue. He could feel his teeth changing shape, becoming sharper and elongating. He glanced up at the moon once more. The light that it was giving off was blinding, it was the brightest thing that Zeke had ever seen. Brighter than the sun itself.

And that’s when the trembling started. At first his knees and elbows just felt wobbly as he fell to all fours. But what just started out as a little uneasieness became a full on seizure. He cried out as he felt his face elongate, his cries turned into snarls as spine stretched and his rib cage expanded. Ezekiel was writing on the floor, foaming at the mouth. His eyes were rolled so far up in his skull that he could have been staring at his own brain. The whites that he was showing to the two frightened men outside of his cell were jaundiced and blood shot.

As night fell the air was punctuated by shotgun blasts and pistol fire as they intermingled with howls, and all ended with a whimper.

Creative Commons License
Suspicions and Silver Bullets by Eldon KR is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.


Archives

August 2017
M T W T F S S
« Apr    
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031  

Twitter

Powered by FeedBurner

Eldon's  book recommendations, reviews, favorite quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists

%d bloggers like this: