I Smell A Rat #newcago #horticulture #pandemic #flashfiction #reading

 

New Cago was not a very cultured metropolis before the epi & pan demic. Kids were shoving things up their noses or in their veins. It made sense that there was no room for something for the mind to synthesize.

Then the libraries were closed. So most people read their cereal box for entertainment. But Lily kept a lovely assortment of classical and tasteful books.

Her favorite subject was horticulture.

I could read it and be out like a light at the end of a shift.

But after she died, I started noticing her hand writing and circles in the margins.

Hard not to notice what she had been researching before the wild fire epidemic.

Lil, this is bizarre- the night after you died circles started to appear in red.

One of her notes, ” good if given early but a little too much and they won’t wake up – ever.”

Another had lines through it and question marks. “I know this should work but I’m not seeing the results…” and another comment “why is this only working on a few people????”

And another one that rose the hairs on my back it read more like a sci-fi. “Subject should have demonstrated signs of immunity. I inoculated myself at the same time. If my research is correct, he will start to exhibit…”

“Oh Lil.   OH LIL!!!” I took my head and my hands wondering again if her research was the cause of her death.

“Death” some days it sounded so peaceful.

“Sam. Sam.” I heard a pounding on the steel grate of the door.

“Yeah coming. Hey Peely.” Here was the one good kid in the neighborhood.

“This is for you.”The errand boy that we were both so fond of handed me a box. Our eyes looked at each other then at the brown square.

I opened the box. It was that hat with rounded corners. “I’ve been looking at this for months.” The card underneath was in her handwriting.

“Peel, ya know what I hate most about this town?”

“Yeah Sam, I know. It’s so damned lonely.”

“and unpredictable.” My head felt like a pinball machine with the silver ball hitting every bumper and bell possible.

I looked in the envelope flap and saw the four names with the same prefix: R-A-T.

And that’s where we will start at cleaning up this mess Lil.’

 

Okay you caught me chasing a pandemic. I’m blogging about elderly issues, but sometimes I get sidetracked.

Reading is important for the elderly. One 90 year old (with Alzheimers) is reading one of his many favorites: a biography about Einstein. The only thing I can understand is the title and the pictures.

Keeping the mind engaged through reading and even the visuals in books is important. We can create new pathways even in an old brain.

 

How do you keep your mind active???

 

 

I’m revamping a Noir crime series I wrote in 2013. The story centered around crime in a metropolis called New Cago but the main antagonist was a deadly disease ( pandemic) lurking in dark corners. If you like Noir and you have time to read come back for more in the days to come. The stories do stand alone so they can be read in any order.

An Old Dilemma part 1

An Old Dilemma part 2

Whats the worst that can happen

Someone Needs to Survive

The Letter L #atozchallenge #noir #fiction

 

I slowly traced the letter “L” in the thick wool carpet. I left her blood stain to help me keep my edge.

“Lily I can’t let go of this. I know you would want me to help”

I felt a tug was it sleep? a drug? pulling me down, down down…

****

A scream erupted the silence

I took off in a sprint into a darkening alley

that sucked me along

Further and further I ran

There’s a wall no way up, no way around.

Then I saw it an old rusty hinged door.

Blocked

A dame screamed

blood splattered onto the backdrop of the fog

 the door slowly opened

 it was more like a portal to…

The bleeding woman was gone

                                                          the place seemed familiar

precariously

I hung on a ladder

no top and no bottom

just endless rungs.

I could taste the sepia tinged air

the haze burned my eyes

another scream reverberated in the ladder’s metal.

I knew this was not Newcago

it seemed wherever I go

someone needs help

I looked down,

considering.

I pulled my makeshift mask

taught against my face

“Climb I must”

***

Happy Tuesday. If you are visiting from the A to Z Challenge, I took the easy way out and took one of my two posts for Tuesday. I’m writing about elderly issues for most of the challenge.

 

NewCago is a noir, metropolitan area that is plagued with a string of  bad guys and a deadly disease without a cure. (these stories written in 2013.) Sam (a private detective) seems to be the only one who can stay alive long enough to protect the citizens. How long can his luck last???

Someone Needs to Survive #covid #newcago #flashfiction

“Find Broken Nose” the guy gasped.

“Never heard of him.”

The guy grabbed my collar and pulled me close to his lips. “Get my kid brother outta this cesspool.  His real name is Gregory. He looks like me just younger.” The mic said as his number came up.

“Do I really need to pull this mask off to see what your brother is gonna look like?” I snapped on my stretched out latex gloves and pulled my cloth mask on.

“Lily, how do I get myself in these situations?”A breeze nudged past me; on it was her fragrance. “Lil, for you I’ll find the kid.”

I went to Buzz for info. That guy was as old as the boarded up hardware store.

“Sure at least I think it’s him. Only one I’ve ever met with that name.” I kept trying to put distance from the guy as Buzz leaned forward. “He’s not a little kid. He’s more like a sassy know it all.”

“Ok, ok just point me in the right direction.”

He was easy to find. Good thing cuz the mask did a good job of concealing his broken nose.

“It’s your brother’s.” I held up the watch as proof.

“Correction that was dad’s.” he snatched it out of my hand.

“I got a message for ya from your brother who died in my arms. Get out before its too late.”

“Too late already happened.” The kid hung his head “Ma died this morning. For some reason I’m immune.” I could hear the tears catch in his throat.

“I pulled out my wallet and gave him everything I had but a buck for coffee. There’s a bus at 3 be on it. Someone in your family needs to survive this…”

 

***

I’m revamping a noir crime series I wrote in 2013. The story centered around crime in a metropolis called NewCago but the main antagonist was a deadly disease lurking in dark corners. If you like Noir and you have time to read come back for more in the days to come. The stories do stand alone so they can be read in any order.

An Old Dilemma part 1

An Old Dilemma part 2

Whats the worst that can happen

 

What’s the Worst that can happen in Newcago? #newcago #noir #fiction #virus

 

 

It’s a messed up place full of crumpled and empty lives. Yeah there are some nice ones, but they are cowering cuz they’re afraid. They should be we’re in NewCago. She was the metropolis of the ages until something went wrong.

Now people know better than to go out after 6 at night,  even the cops.

As the clock chimes the hour in city hall, you can hear the clang of metal clad doors being closed and quadruple locked.

The fancy folks have doors that close without them even touching a thing. Lead bars  drop into feet of metal lined concrete. Our windows rattle from the collective thud.

I was getting antsy from being inside. I teased my girl, ” It’s like living in a coffin for half of our lives. Let’s go have some fun while everyone is inhaling the last of the day’s stagnant air behind bars. What’s the worst that can happen?”

“Sure Sammy, let’s go on the town for a change.” She put on her favorite shade of lipstick. It’s not like she needed anything to make her look pretty. She was a knock out without it.

So there we were linked arm and arm like kids.

“Having a good time?” She smiled as she wiped mustard off the corner of my mouth. I loved the way her eyes looked when she took a deep sip of soda from her straw and her laugh always made my heart skip.

“It’s always good with you, Sam.”  I noticed the catch in her voice; she sensed the motion first.

I felt her body tense and instinctively pulled her down against the wall.

I heard a shot. “We got lucky with that one.”

I looked at her usual steady gaze. The red wasn’t from her lipstick. She silently whispered sweet goodbyes but they were short. Too short.

“Lily, why this? Why now? You are…You were days away from a cure…

I SHOULD BE DEAD NOT YOU!!!”

It’s a messed up place full of crumpled, empty lives and I’m thrown into the cement mixer of black, white, and red.

I’m revamping a noir crime series I wrote in 2013. The story centered around crime but the main antagonist was a deadly disease lurking in dark corners. If you like Noir and you have time to read come back for more in the days to come.

This will take you back to the first installment “Life In New Cago Where Crime Never Sleeps

An Old Dilemma, New Crime #Newcago1 #fiction #disease

I inhale it every night before 6 – Courage (my dead lover’s not mine)

I looked at my watch.”5 pm time for the cops to crawl into hiding.” I chuckle. ” I don’t have the luxury of steel bars.”

A long banshee like scream bites into the last flicker of day and the night begins.

Decency’s doors are closed and it’s just me and the bad guys.

I threw the paper down. “Ramping up early?”

“I’ll try to stay decent baby.”

“I know you will Sam.” I heard her voice echo in my head as I inhaled her lily.

***

Another long night banging around in the trashcans of Newcago,  I needed a drink.

“A tall soda and a cheese steak at Tony’s sounds like the way to end a night.” I was the only company I kept these days.

I noticed the dame – she was a looker. I couldn’t get a read on the guy beneath the brim.

“Yeah, the regular,” I nodded. Sally and I go back to days when drinks came from the hose in the horse’s mouth.

I couldn’t help but hear dollface coughing then breathing hard. Her face turned blue in the matter of a minute.

Too late to call 911;  her beautiful lips were pinched and her brown eyes glazed over.

“The disease squad will be here soon,” I said under my breath.

When I looked back over, I noticed something was missing. The lout she was with had sprinted off. The sparkler around her wrist was no longer sparkling.

“Baby, Newcago is not like life on the farm…” I said to no one.  “Playing is for keeps.”

***

I pulled this series up from my 2013 archives. If you enjoy noir (more sepia) crime stories you might enjoy these as I breathe a bit of life through my Covid-19 protection gear into them.

 

 

Zilch, Zophiel, Zero… #atozchallenge

a to z

Zilch, is all’s I ever got. My wife, the harpy, continually nags me to take her places.

I thought, “Peru is some place.”

The Inca ruins were breathtaking.

All I heard was, “The mountains are freezing.

So I bought Marjorie a coat made from  mountain goat’s wool.

Later that day, we climbed to Machu Picchu.

We were standing on a cliff enjoying the magnificent view when a Harpy Eagle swooped down and seized her.

Soaring into a canyon, he dropped her on the jagged rocks.

He thought she looked like a tasty goat.

Now how’s that for ironic?

A Harpy eating a harpy.

***

Many thanks to my friend Steve Slack who pulled off not only a great “Z” for the end of the A to Z Challenge, but he did it in less than 100 words – Bravo Steve.

And here’s a tantalizing tidbit from Matt Harrill’s new serial The ARC Legacy that will be coming in 2016

***

His hands balled in fists, Zophiel dropped to his knees, his robes spreading about him.

Tears of purest light streamed down his face, glistening like the first rays of dawn on the morning of the first day. His head hung low.

“Metatron, my brother, is dead…” The whisper came from clenched teeth.

The lips peeled back as his shoulders trembled, the feathers on his enormous wings starting to shake as grief very evidently became rage. Those nearby took a step back.

“They did this.” His eyes opened, and the crystal blue had been replaced with irises of darkest night. “Release Nibiru,” he growled. “Unleash the host.”

“Zophiel, no,” Ioviel gasped. “The world will end.”

“The world has ended.”

***

And one final visit to the dark streets of New Cago…

“Luz, we are down to Zero!” Sam’s hands grew numb as he held a lifeless hand.

It was true the last of his friends (and hers) were dead.

Sam was all that was left, strangely he was more driven.

“Our blood gives you the best chance to succeed, Sam.”

“All my friends are dead and I’m supposed to be comforted?”

“No time for tears, Sam.” A woman who was wearing one pink slipper whispered.

****

“Zeek,  today is your lucky day!”

Sam held a list. He gladly put a line through the last name – in blood.

Many thanks to the A to Z crew for another great year. I would like to put in one more mention for the Fill the Cracks program for children Orphaned by Ebola. We appreciate any support – reblogs, tweets…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Spoiler Alert!!!

The writers are loose

“R” Evil Rides by Leslie Moon

red glow Harley B&W

Today is the “R” for A to Z challenge. This week I am stepping into the writer’s circle and writing a week- long serial set in the metropolis of NewCago. It’s a bit noir, crime and even some fiction. Though this is a serial, I do understand some of you will be dropping by via A to Z so you can read each day as stand alone microfiction.

The NewCago series – Missed , Never, Oldest Trick, Poison, Quill

 

” Mrs. Rhanovic…” I screamed as I ran to pick up a fuzzy slipper in the middle of the street.

Every morning, I see this dear old lady getting her New Cago Daily. Sometimes the delivery guy is mean and throws it on the curb.

But why is her slipper in the  middle of the road? I retrieve the slipper and feel a gust of wind blow open my coat.

“Too late, Sammy, she bit the dust this morning. No bright-eyed detective to protect this fair citizen of New Cago. Seems you always fail those closest.”

Recently, I had a premonition of doom. A motorcycle with red flames lurked in the corners. I could never see the face of the rider.

“Yeah, I can’t die either. Seems like I’m the Yin of your Yang.” His evil chuckle struck my gut.

My mind tried to wrap around the idea of evil that could not die.

“You demon.” I shook the slipper as he drove off.

I tried hard not to imagine what cruelty was being inflicted by this piece of road slime.

‘I’ll find something to curb your malice…’ I thumbed through Luz’s books of cures for evil.

 

And today are some great bloggers to meet :