What an Odd flower

What an Odd Flower.

Read to you by Chris Hite

This comes from 100 Word Stories

What an Odd Flower

“What an odd flower,” The museum curator said. It was the most polite thing I had heard all day. Screaming and yelling were more the order of the day.
“Yes It is a very rare breed,” I said trying not to look at it myself, because I knew what it would do. It did it to the dog, and the mail man and the first woman I took it too. “It has not been seen before.”
“Is is a hybrid?” He asked trying to figure out what to do with it.
“Not really it. . .” Then it ate him too.

A Diffrent Kind of Vampire

A Different Kind of Vampire Audio.

Read to you by Patrick Hite

This comes from 100 Word Stories

I’m not the kind that you read about in college. I’m not the kind that you saw in the movies, no matter which movies you saw. You know Banicula, the rabbit vampire, I am not even like that. I am a different kind of vampire. I am not afraid of the sun, or crosses or water of any kind. I do not sleep in a coffin! I don’t have to feed every night. I am the kind that you don’t even realize has you in their grasp until I have stolen all the jelly from the donuts in your meeting.

Hear the promo For Nina Kimberly The Merciless found At Ninakimberly.com

And Not a Drop to Drink

And Not a Drop to Drink Audio.

This comes from 100 Word Stories Weekly Challenge week # 117. OIL

And Not a Drop to Drink

“Albert! You aren’t drilling another well are you?”
“Ma, you know we got to find some. We are going dry here. It is about darn time we had our own supply.”
“But Albert, you ain’t had nothing but bad luck with that in the past, and look at the state our yard is in.”
“This time will be different.”
“That is what you said the last few times and look where it gotch ‘ya.”
“Would you please lay off ma?”
“No, we need water to drink and all you keep doing drilling is oil.”

Going Down with the Ship

Going Down with the Ship

Going Down with the Ship.

This comes from 100 Word Stories Weekly Challenge week # 116.

The sirens Rang out all over the ship.
“What the hell is going on?” The captain asked over yet another explosion.
“Sir, we seem to be having some problems,” The engineer answered with a sheepish smile on his face.
“I’m getting that feeling, can you be a bit more specific?”
“Well sir, that is a problem, see the book does not mention anything like this.”
“What book? What are you talking about?”
“The book, the one that I get all the ideas from.”
“Show me this book,” he pulled out an ancient looking magazine. The title barely legible, ‘Popular Mechanics.’

The Exam

To make up for my slowness in getting the stories and the audio done for the challenge I am going to release some of the shorts that I have done recently for other projects.

The Exam Audio.

This comes from 100 Word Stories Weekly Challenge week # 115.

The Exam

The exam meant the difference between freedom and life long imprisonment. The problem, no one knew what it was. So we stood there in line and waited our turn while our imaginations ran wild. I watched men as hard as rocks melt, blubbering before the questioner. In all my time in the line I had only seen one person volunteer for the test. The door opened and shut, and he was gone.
Then it was my turn, “Take the exam?”
“Yes.” he point to the door.
As it shut behind me a voice said. “You are free to go.”

Mister Johnson – The Very minor god.

character sketch Monday:

Alexandra is a strange girl. When she was born, so was her personal god – Mister Johnson. This was no guardian angel, but an actual god came into being. The God of Alexandra. She would hold no gods before him, and she would pray to, worship, and sacrifice to him. He had the body of a heron and the face of her mother’s third grade teacher, which upset her mother considerably when she found his visage burned into Alexandra’s morning toast. She is a good girl, trying to follow his seventeen commandments (including Thou Shalt Not Eat Fat Free As Long As Thou Keeps Thy Weight at a Reasonable Level) and find small rodents to sacrifice to him. She was a kind girl and always tried to go for the sickly ones. She quickly realized that her cat, Midnight, also knew of her god, and would bring her sacrificial mice to help keep her god happy.

But when Alexandra was 17, she displeased her god, and she felt his wrath.

The New from Poughkeepise Day # 76

Mister Johnson – The Very Minor god

When Johnson, or Mister Johnson, as his one and only subject called him was called into being he knew two things: first that he had only one subject, Alexandra, an otherwise normal little girl, and second that he was a very minor god. Alexandra made up for being his one and only subject very well. She was always faithfully completed penance with never a complaint, she even did extra from time to time. All in all what more could a god ask for. From time to time he would check with the other gods and none of them had as successful a track record he did, one hundred percent faithfulness from their subjects. He was the envy of all the other very minor gods. Not one of them even came close.

This made him proud, and in return he took good care of his faithful subject. He made sure that she never got sick, she never so much as stubbed a toe. He even gave her special powers from time to time. When that brat Thomas Middleberg pulled her hair and teased her in second grade, Mister Johnson made sure the she could catch him on the playground that afternoon, despite the fact that he was much faster than her normally. That was why on the day that it happened it was so very devastating.

The second of July had started like any normal day for Mister Johnson. Alexandra had woken him with her morning prayer. She sang softly in the way that he had taught her, and he was very happy that her voice was starting to take on the qualities that maturity would bring. It was a soft and soothing way to wake up.

*****

Today she was going to ask Tom Middleberg to the Sadie Hawkins Dance. She had fallen for him many years ago when she had chased him down on the playground. He had kissed her on the cheek that day so that she would not hit him, saying he was sorry for being rude to her. From that day forth she had a crush on him, but he had paid her little attention. When she had found out that the school was going to hold a traditional girl asks the boy dance, she had begun to pray.

*****

Today was important for another reason. Today was the day that he was going to fix the one thing about his existence that had always bugged him. He was going before council to present his record and get his status elevated from very minor god to minor god. But, in truth he had much higher aspirations.

“Mister Johnson,” the head of the council said. “We have seen your record, and it is positively glowing.” A round of here heres would follow. “It is in the judgment of this council that instead of the normal adjustment from very minor god to minor god, that you be elevated to the level of major god. And because of your incredible achievements you will be given control of the entire southern hemisphere.” Clapping and cheers breaking out as he finished the proclamation.

“Johnson…Johnson” The man with the annoying little voice as calling him again. He stood up and made his way to the little barred window.

“I’m Johnson,” he said.

“I will need proof of that.” Johnson pulled out his very minor god ID and showed it to the annoying little man.

“Oh, you are a very minor god,” he said never making eye contact and shaking his head. “You will have to come back on Wednesday, the council only takes up
very minor god issues on the third Wednesday of February on leap years.”

“But I have this appointment, and a spotless record.” He said holding out his slip and record.

“Let me see that.” he said snatching it from Johnson. As he did his dirty fingers left smudges on the nearly glowing record. Johnson felt is blood boiling at this. But he controlled himself. “Oh I see you are that Johnson. Yes, yes have a seat the council will see you in a little while.”

*****

Alexandra, like her god, was not having the best of days. She had asked for and gotten the things that she had wanted from Mister Johnson, but the extra height and other endowments she had been given were making here a little awkward. She did her best to compensate, but she was still having a little trouble. Oddly enough when she had prayed to him for a bit of grace he had not answered her. No matter, she would go it on her own, but she had decided to put the encounter off until the end of the day when she had had more time to work on her balance.

*****

“Johnson!” The annoying voice said.

“Yes?”

“The council will see you now. If I were you I would turn off your prayer catcher, in the off chance that it goes off in there it will reflect badly.”

“But what if my subject needs me?”

“As always if your prayer catcher is off your subjects’ prayers will go to pray mail that you can pick up later. But emergencies will be routed through the switch board here, and we can interrupt you if it is really important. But you better hope that
doesn’t happen.”

Johnson reluctantly turned off his pray catcher, but as he did he noticed that the signal was non-existent. He wondered how many of Alexandra’s prayers he had missed. He truly felt empty without them. He made his way to the council chambers. The two huge doors were made for the much older and larger gods, and he had to struggle to get one of them open enough to get in. When he finally got in, his toga was wrinkled and his record had picked up a new crease as well. He thought about trying to straighten them but felt the stares of the council upon him. He walked quickly forward and handed his paper work to the clerk, who looked at it in dismay. She checked her paperwork against his twice before taking to the huge bench where the nine super elevated gods sat. They looked casually at his record, passing it quickly from one to the other.

“It says here that your record is clean Johnson.” the least of the super elevated judges said blandly “That is rather impressive.How have you managed to keep your subjects happy?”

“Alexandra has few demands, and I have carefully taught the proper prayers and they are coming along nicely as she grows.”

“Ahh but how do you teach that to all of your subjects with no discontent? Surely there must be some that don’t like you.” Second most elevated judge said. This was not going as he had imagined.

“Well that is the thing, I only have one subject.”

“One!” Bellowed a particularly large god. They all passed his record around again examining it more carefully this time.

“How did this happen?” He asked the head god. There was silence among them and some very knowing glances were exchanged. Finally the head super elevated god spoke.
“Johnson, it appears that there has been a mistake. A god, even a very minor god is normally not given the care of just one subject, that is normally the dominion of the guardian angels,” He paused looking at the record again and frowning. “Hmmm… it says here that you have even given powers to the girl from time to time. That is not normally allowed, but otherwise you seem to have done a remarkable job with her. We are going to review your case and…”

Just then there was a knock at the chamber doors. The Clerk obviously annoyed at the interruption hurried to answer the door. There was a brief exchange that Johnson could not hear then the clerk came forward and handed a prayer mail recorder to Johnson.

“Well, you have interrupted us… Let’s hear it, if it is that important.” The head god said. Johnson, mortified of what it might be tried to figure out how the device worked. Alexandra had never had an emergency before. The worst thing that happened to her were nightmares and he could usually take care of them before they got bad. Then he remembered Thomas and the time he had pulled her hair. Just then he found the play button and pushed it.

“Mister Johnson,” her young voice sung with obvious strain. “Why have you forsaken me. He dumped me I hate you, ” The final came with such force that it shook the recorder in his hand.

When the echo died down the head god shook his head sadly and said, “This changes things a bit you understand.” He handed Johnson’s now considerably less that perfect record back to the clerk. Johnson looked down at it. It now had an ugly red scrawl across it, ‘Guardian Angel training needed.’ He took it a walked slowly out of the chambers. She would pay for this, he thought.

Less than for Keeps

Anything Goes Sundays:

Imagine an alternate Playing For Keeps (released August 25! ) universe where there are no heroes, just people with really lame superpowers. As the most powerful people in town, they form factions/gangs. The city falls into a somewhat lame, yet terrifying, gang-driven world.

The New from Poughkeepise Day # 75


Less than for Keeps.

Lester stood on the corner in stunned silence for a moment. The idiot had just stolen his wallet, and now he stood a few feet away dancing and holding it up in the air. He had a little shimmer about him but he was far from invisible. Lester walked over to the younger an smaller man and stood there towering over him.
“Give me that, you idiot” He said cuffing the other one on the back of his head. “You know,” he paused for a second reading the name written on the back of the boy’s jacket, “Keeper, you are not invisible.” He stuffed his wallet in his pocket and walked away.
“Shows how much you know, you must just have super eyes.”
“I don’t” Lester yelled back.
“Well Maybe you do and don’t know it.” Lester just kept on walking ignoring the stupid young punk.
After a few moments another young man separated himself from the crowd around Keeper, “Man I was going to tell you I was pretty sure people could see you. At least you didn’t go out naked like that guy in that stupid movie.”
“Yeah I should have known this field the guy on the blanket sold me wouldn’t work.”
“They never sell anything really good.”
“You can say that again.” He looked at his friend, heck you hid in that crowd better that I managed with this thing. He took the shiny belt off and tossed it on the ground. As he did it shocked him. “Ow! man I am not having any luck today. How about you Stymied?”
“Only if you count not being able to get anything done.” Stymied answered.
“Well that is kind of your power.”
“Yeah but it is kind of lame. I wish the gang had been able to give me a better super power.”
“I know what you mean man.”
Just then five members of a rival gang rolled in. They all had the skate boarder punk super power.
“What are you too losers doing here? You know this is our turf,” said the oldest one. He obviously also had the absorb large amounts of pain for long periods of time power, because he was covered in tattoos.

“Look we don’t want any trouble, we were just leaving.” Keeper said.

“Yeah just leaving.” Stymied repeated.

“Not before we give you a reminder of why you should not wander in to other gangs territory.” Said one who had at least three other powers that included the ability to withstand many piercings, and the ability to handle large amounts of hair gel before coming out in the morning.

“Thanks for reminding us. If there is one thing we can do it is to remember something being taught to us.” Stymied answered quickly pulling on Keepers arm.

“I don’t think so.” said the tallest of the rival gang and he brought his fist down on Stymied’s head.

After it was over the two walked away with only a few bruises a split lip and cut along keepers arm.

What are we going to do Tonight?

The New from Poughkeepise Day # 74

First Sentence Saturdays:

The meeting of the Young Ladies’ Baking and World Domination Club came to order as usual, but because Miss Peabody was out sick, this time the meeting had to be chaperoned by Coach Wilkins.

What are we going to do Tonight?

The meeting of the Young Ladies’ Baking and World Domination Club came to order as usual, but because Miss Peabody was out sick, this time the meeting had to be chaperoned by Coach Wilkins. The coach was a bit more of a task master and wanted to play more of a role in the club than Miss Peabody normally did.

“Come on now ladies let’s get this show on the road,” the Coach said. “Ginger, role call, now!” She barked

“Ma’am we don’t normally call role.”

“You do today. What kind of group doesn’t call role. Hop to it.”

“Very well,” Ginger sighed. “Let me see the notes from the last meeting Sarah we will just go on that.” Sarah compliantly handed over the notes. “Alright then, Ginger Wright,” She said reading the names. “That’s me and I am here.”
“Come on lets be serious about this,” Coach said.

“Oh alright, Molly James?”
“Here.”
“Mary Ann Heart?”

“Here.”

“Lucy Bell?”

“She went home sick today. How I love that poor girl.” Sarah said

“Ok, no Lucy , Sarah Marlow?”

“Here.”

“Theresa Button?”

“Here.”

“Susan Pinkerton.”

“Here.”

“Alright that is all the names on the list, everyone is present except Lucy and Miss Peabody.” Ginger reported handing the notes back to Sarah and taking her seat.

“Good,” The coach grunted. “Now Secretary, read over the notes from last time.”

“But Coach, we don’t do that either?”
“What kind of secret take over the world kind of group is this?”

“Take over the world? We don’t do that here. That is just in the name, to make it interesting,” Ginger snapped a little more than she had intended.

“Now that is the spirit. But, what do you do then?”

“Mostly we talk about baking,” Sarah said honestly “Some times it devolves into a conversation about boys, but usually Miss Peabody pulls us back on track when that happens.”

“This is highly disappointing,” the coach said sitting on a desk in the middle of the group of young women. “This club has really gone down hill since I was a member.” She shook her head ruefully.

“You were a baker?” Mary Ann asked.”

“Goodness no, I helped hatch plans, back then in the baking the name was just a cover.”

“What kinds of plans did you hatch?” Sarah asked.

“Why do you want to know Marlow? what are you going to bake it into a pie and hope it pops out like four and twenty black birds?”

“Coach!” Ginger pleaded.

“I’m sorry, I just hate to see an organization with as proud a history as this one fall like this. Why in my day, we had plans that would have astounded you. Like midnight raids, runs for president, taking over the UN.” She stopped and shook her head again. “I guess that is all in the past.”

The girls looked at each other, and waited. No one spoke for many long minutes. Finally Ginger got up and closed the door.

“Prove you were a member.” She said when she returned.

Coach Wilkins eyed the girls a little suspiciously. Then she did it. She took off her shoe and showed them the sole of her foot. Just under her big toe, in the part that was hardest to see When walking barefoot, was tattooed a small group of letters. YLBWD.

“She is good,” Said Theresa.

Sarah and Theresa reached for their bags and walked to opposite corners of the room. As the coach watched, now looking a little nervous, they pulled the dampening field generators they had made only a year ago, from their bags and set them up. Then they all came back to the center of the room. Ginger set up a small screen and Lucy appeared on it.

“I was beginning to worry about you all.” Lucy said. Wherever she was the background was dark.

“Sorry we had a little delay, Miss Peabody didn’t show and we had to verify the coach.”

“She didn’t show?” Lucy asked sounding a bit alarmed.

“She was tied up.” Coach Wilkins answered, “Not literally, the principal needed to talk to her this afternoon. So I filled in. We were both members about the same time.”

“Alright then,” Ginger said with a sigh. “Lets get started. Susan can you give us a recap of the days events?”

“Yes, Pinky what are we going to do tonight.” The coach asked breaking a very rare smile.

Susan hated when people called her that, and it managed to break her concentration, so she did the only thing she could do while she looked at her notes. “Same thing we do every night. Try to take over the world!”


Creative Commons License

What are we Going to Do Tonight by
Jeffrey Hite is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

Based on a work at
GreatHites.blogspot.com.

Run For Your Life

Mode Room Press

You are In a hospital in St. Petersburg
With a piece of glass
The fields smell of carrion fumes
A panhandler is asking for change
while a widow is poisoning the tea

Run For your Life Audio. Down load and enjoy


Run For Your Life

At first Ted could not remember where he was, but the voices outside his door brought the past nights events back into the front of his mind. They were Russian of course and this was the Mariinsky hospital St Petersburg, Russia. Last night there had been an argument with his landlord and the police had been called. He had not been part of the argument, and was trying to keep a low profile as he had for the three years since he had been planted there; but the police raided all of the apartments, they found the two books that could be made into a transmitter, and while being questioned about them one of the police bashed him over the head.
He remembered bits of the ambulance ride and was grateful that at least they were bring him to a hospital and not tossing him right in a prison. Not that it made much of a difference because as he tried to sit up to get a better look at the room he was held in place by wrist and chest straps. His legs were free for the little good that would do him.
There was some one at the door now talking to two people, presumably the guards. He decided it would be best to pretend to be a sleep. The doctor came in and shuffled around the room for a few minutes not speaking. Then Ted could feel him come near.
“Come now comrade, I know you are awake, your breathing is much too shallow for you to be sleeping. I would hate to have to use this device to wake you.” Ted reluctantly opened his eyes at the sound of arching electricity. The Doctor held in his hands two probes with an arcing spark between them. “There, that is much better. You see the power of suggestion is very great. I am Doctor Kuznetsov. My job is to make sure you are healthy enough that our friends out there can find out more about you. If you cooperate we may not see much of each other, if you don’t, well lets just say we will be good friends.”
“I don’t know what you are talking about.” Ted answered
“No need to speak in Russian, in fact, I prefer you did not. You dirty the language.” His voice took on an unkind edge. “Besides we all speak in English here. Oh and by the way that is the kind of attitude that is going to have us seeing more of each other.” Before Ted could react the probes were pressed against his side. His body spasmed and he convulsed against the restraints.
“What did you do that for.” He gasped in German this time
“Don’t speak Russian to me again. That was the lowest setting. This will not kill you, but it can be extremely painful.”
Ted breathed deeply to calm his heart. He knew that he had to get out of there and quickly. He looked around the room for something anything he could use to help him escape. The only thing in the room as the glass I.V. bottle. It would be hard to reach with his feet but he had to chance it. He waited until the doctor’s back was turned and swung his feet up and kicked it loose. It crashed down on his bed frame spraying blood and glass everywhere. Almost instantly the two guards were in the room with them, guns drawn.
Doctor Kuznetsov held up a hand and they stopped. “That was very stupid of you. I am not sure what you were trying to accomplish but that was the only bottle of blood that you were to be given. Now it is all over you. You were to have enough of your own blood all over you don’t you think?” Before Ted could answer the probes were pressed against his sides again. The glass in his hand cut deeply into his palm as he mercifully blacked out.
When he woke again the room was empty. The blood had been cleaned from the room and his body with what smelled like straight bleach. He waited a long moment before moving anything other than his eyes. outside the small window in the door he could see the shadows of two men, but no voices. And his legs were now also tied down.
He opened his hand slowly and painfully extracted the shard of glass he had hidden there. Thankfully though the straps were tight, they were not thick and he set to work cutting them. It took him nearly an hour to get through the one strap with his limited movement. But once the first one was off he could use his hand to get the rest of them loose. He rose from the bed as quietly as possible and checked the room. There was only, a single chair and the bed. His clothes were no where to be found. The window was not locked but they were three stories up.
Ted worked quickly and using the straps and the bed sheet created a rope that would get him within ten feet of the ground. he wasted no time and climbed down. Still in his hospital gown he knew he had to get out of sight quickly. He ran down narrow streets keeping to the darkest parts of the city, always heading West, always making his way to the one place no one wanted to go. The killing Fields. There he would be able to strip some poor soul of their clothes at least.
An hour later when he made it the sky was already dark. The Killing fields were really no more than a square between four low buildings. The guilty were dragged here and summarily shot. The bodies were usually left for two or three days as a warning to others. The fields smelled of the fumes of the dead. After a short prayer he found a man about his size among the dead and took his clothes and out f respect he dressed the man in his hospital gown.
With No money, and no papers And the only way our of the Soviet Union being Finland over a hundred miles to the north, he was in for a very long few days. There were two trains out of St. Petersburg the one at midnight made the most sense to try to be on, but both would be well guarded. He would have to take his chances. For now he had to get to the train station without getting caught. He had walked about a mile before he found a bicycle. He knew the man would report it missing in the morning, but with luck he would be nearly half way to Finland before then. He got near the train station and hid the bike in an alley.
At 11:40 he found the train that he was looking for. The train itself was bathed in flood lights and men with dogs patrolled the grounds. The rails were dark half a mile out side of the train yard, where the train would have had time to get up speed, then every mile or so after that would be a guard tower with a light, watching the train from above, so riding on the top was out. Staying in the shadows he moved along the length of the train. The cargo cars were all locked, so riding in the train was out. That left under it. That was dangerous at best. Catching a moving train, was difficult, Catching a train moving a full speed was even more so, and catching a train a full speed and then getting into the under carriage of one of the cars in under half a mile was going to nearly impossible. Ted thought briefly about going back and getting the bike and then though better of it. This would be dangerous, but he would have to chance it, and besides it was the fastest way out.
He left the train yard and made his way around to the tracks beyond the lighted area. There were few places to hide here so he would have to take great care not to be seen by the conductors. He flattened himself against the slope leading up to the rails and waited. He could hear the sounds of the train starting. In a few minutes it was nearing him, and he prepared to move. He waited until the first three cars had passed and the ran stooped to beside the train until he was in its shadow. As one of the box cars passed him he saw the ladder on the back that he hoped would be there. He Tried to catch it but it was moving too fast, he would have to wait for the next one and jump. The next three cars were tankers and had no hand holds. The next car was a box and the ran and jumped for the ladder. He caught it with one hand and was dragged for a while, legs pumping wildly, while he tried to grab hold with the other hand. Finally he was able to pull himself up.
After a few moments of catching his breath he remembered that he needed to find a way to hang on under the car so that the guards at the next tower would not see him. His fingers and legs ached, but he lowered himself back down and looked under the car for a place to hang on. The train was still picking up speed and there seemed to be less room than he had suspected between the bottom of the car and the tracks, but there were a series of metal bars he could hold on to, and maybe even wedge himself between so he would not have to hang on for the whole trip. As he lowered himself down, he found out how close he was to the tracks. His left foot slipped off the ladder rung as he held himself upside down, it fell and hit the track sending waves of pain up his leg and ripping off his shoe. Painfully he lifted the leg and slid it between one of the bars and the train car, then even more painfully, because now the weight was on the injured leg, he repeated the same thing with his other leg. He pulled himself up and hooked his arms over the bars and waited. In an odd moment to pessimism he realized that if some astute guard noticed the odd shoe on the track they might halt the train, and he would have little or no time to get away. Jumping off a moving train would be suicide and anyway he could not run far, he was pretty sure his ankle and possibly his knee were sprained.
What followed were among the longest hours of his life. The train stopped twice at country stations. The security was lighter here than in St. Petersburg but it was still there. At the second station he had to move twice as the guards were checking under the train. In this maneuver he managed the gash his arm. When the train was moving, although the threat of discovery was much lower, there were other things conspiring against him. Though it was late spring, it was night and they were pretty far north. It was never very warm and the winds seemed brutally cold. The bars on which he was hanging, cut off the circulation to his limbs and he had to keep shifting so that he did not loose feeling. This was not comfortable, and consider he had had nothing to eat or drink in at least eighteen hours he was beginning to feel weak from the constant exertion, not to mention the danger of slipping.
When it was over he was almost to tired to move. He could not be one hundred percent sure that this was the right station, but he would have to chance it. He had no more energy to hang on, and if he missed the right station he would start heading east, which would undoubtedly put him in a much worse situation.
As soon as he thought it was safe he let his legs down. Putting his weight on his injured leg was more painful then he had imagined and the cut from his arm was bleeding quite badly. it left a small trail of blood. They would both have to wait. He waited until the guards were at their furthest point from him and made a break for the tree line thirty yards away. It was a very long run on his injured leg, and when it was over he was sure that both the knee and the ankle were sprained. So he sat ten meters inside the small wood, behind a tree and rested.
It seemed like only seconds later that he was awakened by the wet slap of rain on his face, but it must have been much longer because the sun had risen and was halfway up the sky. He looked cautiously around. He could see the train station but not as clearly as he had worried he would be able to, and there was a village in the distance about ten miles to the north that he could see out the other side of the little corps of trees. It would be a very long walk but he was much closer than he had been before. Still sitting he ripped part of his shirt and wrapped it around this still bleeding arm. It was still bleeding but at least it had slowed. He wrapped his suit coat, dirty though was it was around him an it covered the tear for the most part. Again he thanked the dead man for being well dressed. Then painfully getting up he looked around for something he could use as a walking stick. It took several long minutes of looking to find one that was both strong enough and long enough, in this little cluster of trees.
He made his way slowly and it was already dark when he reached the town he had been aiming for all day. As he entered the town he crept cautiously between the out buildings of a small farm. He was not sure if he had made it over the boarder, but as he watched a man separated himself from the a building several hundred yards up the road. He held out his hat to a passer by and a few coins were dropped in. He had made it to the west.
Three days later he sat in the office with the local Bureau chief. They had been briefing him for 8 hours now and Ted was exhausted.
“Ted, it is unfortunate that you had to pull out when you did. But that is the way the dice falls. But you did uncover something important. We have been looking for your Doctor Kuznetsov, for about three years now. He is pretty infamous as, ah well… an applier of pain. He had been a Nazi during the war and the Russians recruited him as soon as the war was over. According to his widow who we pulled out of Estonia three years ago, he was dead. She had killed him by poisoning his tea, but your report throws all that into question.”


Creative Commons License

Run for Your LIfe by
Jeffrey Hite is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

Based on a work at
GreatHites.blogspot.com.

Dream Keepers

This is day three and I am already making excuses. Not a good sign, but I will make up for it. This week I had to go on a business trip and well I wanted to spend yesterday with my kids so I didn’t get any writing done. Now I am stuck in a hotel room with nothing but time so….

Enough about me. On with the story.

The New from Poughkeepise Day # 73

General Stuff Fridays

People think that there’s one Sandman who puts people to sleep and gives them dreams. Nope. Dreams are fabricated by humans; but once they’re dreamed, if they’re not harvested by the dream keepers, terrible things can happen. They make songs about how your dreams can come true, but do your really want that?

Dream Keepers

“Humans have such fragile minds that they cannot yet mold their dreams in to the reality without damaging it.” The instructor droned for what had to have been the four millionth time since he had started the course. “If their dreams are not harvested within a day or at least a week, it will being to drive them mad, any longer and the dream with begin to manifest itself in ways that are completely out of their control.” Now there was something new. Dreams going out of control. That was something that would have to be explored Zach thought of the possibilities.

When the lecture was let out nearly three hours later, the idea that had formed in Zach’s mind at the beginning of class had been buried under a mountain of other things that he would need to pass the finally exam only a week later. He had two more classes today and was supposed to meet with the very young very charming recent graduate of harvester school for dinner tonight. It was not until much later that day that he remembered it at all.

“Zach! Are you paying attention to me?” The field instructor asked.

“Yes, sir!”

“What did I just say?”

“You were discussing the practical methods of dream collection that is passive and less harmful to the host.”

“So you were listening. Good. Tonight I am giving you charge of the Paulson household. Collect the dreams and report back to my office by 9:30 tomorrow.”

Zach watched the older catcher go and headed glumly to the Paulson home. There were only two of them and they always had boring dreams. He liked he dreams of kids and younger adults they were always more interesting, or what about that guy they had seen in the video last week, his dreams actually contained real demons. Now that would be a case to handle. But the Paulsons’ dreamed of their children, and schools in the past, occasionally each other; even their nightmares were nothing to get excited about; what if I show up late to work, and naked, and have to give a speech. That was about as good as they got.

He sat quietly on their headboard waiting for the first sings of waking and carefully began extracting first misses Paulson’s and then mister Paulson’s dreams. Neither of them were awake yet, but this was the easiest time to get the dreams, when the mind was not yet fighting to keep hold of the idea or thought that it had last had.

Some of the catchers believed that it was better to let them go until they were already awake and then pull the dream, but that was much more work, and Zach was not in the mood to hang around the Paulson house any longer than he had to. But then he remembered. Leaving a dream for more than a week would cause it’s manifestation. Then he remembered something else. That if you got dreams and humans mixed up the dreams became contaminated and could go completely wild.

If he left a dream in mister Paulson, first the bean counters would notice that he was not turning in enough, and second the administrators would recognize whose completely boring dream it was, and he would get blamed, and probably expelled. But if he were to take just the hint, the idea of a dream from misses Paulson and give it to her husband that could get interesting. So he took the her dream and stripped it of the idea, that would never be missed, and he took mister Paulson’s dream, and then carefully ever so gently on the final threads of the dream he was pulling out, he slid in the idea from misses Paulson.

The older man sat up at once. Zach barely had time to break the connections before mister Paulson’s brain pulled the dream back in. He left then but he could still hear the man’s heart pounding.

“Are you alight dear?” misses Paulson asked groggily

“Yes, I think so, but I have had the strangest dream.”

“What was it?”

“I can’t quite remember.” He said shaking his head

The Following night as expected he was given the Paulson house again. This time he didn’t wait until they began to wake. He immediately pulled her dreams while they were still fully formed, stole the idea and as he was extracting the dream from mister Paulson, again slipped her idea back in. This time since he was fully asleep the idea had a chance to take hold and it formed a completely new dream, which he left with mister Paulson. With two completely formed dreams he would have the right amount and now there was now a third completely formed but contaminated dream in mister Paulson’s head. Tomorrow night he would extract it and it should be something every interesting. Satisfied with his work he took the too dreams to the administration and then headed off to bed himself.

A knock at his door woke him. “Zachery K. Smithwell?” The very official looking man asked

“Yes.”
“Were you in charge of the Paulson house last night?”
“Yes,” He answered as his stomach dropped to his knees.

“We checked our records and it is clear you turned in the correct number of dreams, but it appears that mister Paulson has gained the ability to generate more dreams and they are manifesting themselves very quickly and quite dangerously. Your instructor said that you should see this. Please come with us.”

Zach put on his uniform and followed the two elder dream catchers to the Paulson house. When they arrived he could not believe what he saw. Mister Paulson had himself and his wife in the backward tree house that he had built for their children. The grass around the house was on fire, and he was screaming at the top of this lungs in a language that Zach was pretty sure mister Paulson had never spoken before. There were nine dream catchers all of first class status, attempting to extract the demon infested dream from mister Paulson’s mind but not having much luck at it. He watched in amazement as they poked and prodded the dream demon first this way and that, as it lashed out at them. Finally two of them caught it off guard and started to pull it in. It would be a long hard fight, but it looked like they would win it.

“If no one gets hurt, I will not report what you did.” Said a voice from over his shoulder. Zach turned with a start to see his field instructor.

“But, I…”
“Don’t try to deny it boy. I will have to expel you for lying. But if no one gets hurt then I will chalk this up to experience.”
“How did you?”

“Did you really think I was going to leave you alone to collect their dreams. If you had done your homework on the Paulsons you would have found out that they have a history of minor demons. We have been watching them for years, knowing that it would only take a minor cross contamination to cause a problem.”
“But if you knew then why?”

“I have seen your type before. Been there myself in fact, and I knew it would take an experience to get you to pay attention. You will fail your exam next week, and have to take my course over again, but I think you will be alright in the end.” The instructor smiled.


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Dream Keepers by
Jeffrey Hite is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

Based on a work at
GreatHites.blogspot.com.