The Start of Something

book, characters, death, excerpt, excerpt of the day, Short story, Uncategorized, Writing

I was only a young boy when they first came to me. I was supposed to be sleeping, but instead I had my flash light on under my covers reading my favorite comic book. If my mom knew, she’d tan my hide. But I did it anyways. If I had been sleeping…I doubt they ever would have found me. But I had to know what happened to my favorite characters. Did they defeat evil? Did they lose their damsel?
I never found out.
Now I live in fear, for every day when I lay in bed she comes to visit me. With her three other friends. The most beautiful sirens I have ever seen, except it’s not real. None of it is. I lost track of reality that day as a young boy with a flash light.
I’m now a shell of a man, a man who has to sleep with the lights on.
It’s pathetic really. I mean…they have to be a figment of my imagation. There is no way three raven haired women come into my room every night to taunt me. To feed on my soul.
Or do they?
God…the confusion is the worst part.
My parents never believed me. They told me it was a nightmare, it was in my head. They took me to the best doctors in town for them to say the same things. Sooner or later I realized my best bet was to agree with them, to not tell them that it was real. That I had the scars to prove it littered around my body. They became a shameful secret. I was a shameful secret. My mother and father never told anyone what was happening to their son, they simply pulled me from school. Told their friends I was out, or I was sick and that’s why I wasn’t around.
When I finally finished my schooling, I packed my things in the middle of the night and left. I was hoping that maybe if I left that house…the four women wouldn’t follow. But they did. And now they’ve got me trapped down here…because they no longer simply come at night. Now that I’m alone? They come whenever they feel like it. They’re going to kill me. I know they are, I can see it in the gleam of their eyes as they stare at me. In the pitch of their laugh as they taunt me and ridicule me. Telling me that time is running out to be a good boy.
I’m not a boy, I’m a god damn twenty-four year old man, but you’d never know it.
Hell, maybe I’m already dead. This is hell, it just has to be.

 

-Turner

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It’s going down, Jacob

Blog, characters, death, excerpt, fiction

It’s going down, Jacob.Newest installment. Enjoy.
It’s been too long since blood has coated my skin. Since I watched the light drain from the eyes of a victim.

I’ve been so engrossed in my Angel I’ve put my urges to the side, just soaking up as much of her as I can. Most of the time she knows I’m there, but I still lurk in the shadows. I just can’t help myself.

My mother has called a few times to discuss my abrupt exit from dinner two weeks ago, but I’ve ignored them. I know I’ll have to call her back eventually for appearance sake, but until then, I’m going to bask in the after glow of my kill.

The body is already rolled up and buried deep in the forests ground. My blade is sheathed in its home, resting against my hip. However the blood remains, I run the sticky remnants between my fingers as I make my way back to my car.

Just then my cellphone rings. I check the time, my fingers leaving a red smear on the glossy surface of my I Phone. I’ll have to disinfect the damn thing…again. The ringing stops by the time I’m finished my thought. It’s three am and Angel’s name is flashing across my screen.

“Angel.”

“Jacob…Jake…I need help.”

My heart stutters.

“Excuse me?”

I hear a whimper. “I’m…I’m out, and…someone is following me, Jacob.”

My fist grips my phone so hard I’m scared I’m going to shatter the glass.

“Where. Are. You?”

“Just down on West Haven…can you come? Please?” Her voice is a whisper. A whisper that shoots straight through me.

“Keep walking, head towards the closest store you can. I’ll be there soon.” With that, I hang up.

I pick up my pace until I’m sprinting through the dense underbrush, bursting out into the night when I reach my car and throw myself in. Not even buckling my seat belt, I peel the car out and head straight to my Angel. Whoever is following her is going to be the second victim to feel the fury of my blades tonight.

How I love blood. How I will relish in the feeling of this stalkers as it sprays my face.
-Turner

Twitter: @turnercollins_

The Paul Series pt. 1

writing

So if you’ve been following this blog for a while, you’d be familiar with Turner’s “Jacob” series. If you aren’t aquainted with Jacob, take a look back at his journey to understand him a little better. I created a sister series tied to Turner’s “Jacob” series, called the “Paul” series. Paul is the cop assigned to surveiling Jacob after a string of disappearances.

 

I’ve been watching this creep for hours. He’s been watching her for hours. She’s been watching television for hours.
I glance down at the file in my lap, brushing powdered sugar off the photo of the creep. Name’s Jacob something, too long to pronounce. His friend, the girl in the house, was the victim of a sexual assault a while ago. The prime suspect in that case disappeared before he could be arrested. I flip through a couple of pages to the police report. Jacob was questioned in connection to the disappearance, but nothing concrete come from it. What a waste of time.
Assigning me to this case was the chief’s idea. Something to get me away from the desk, 9-5 gig. A little surveillance on a suspected murderer was just the thing. If I had to hear one more speech about the merit of not just calling myself a cop, but truly becoming cop, I was gunna shove my box of Dunkin’ Donuts down his throat. I said yes to get him to shut up. I seriously doubt this kid could cut up a body and hide the evidence. More likely he’s going through one of those goth-depression phases. My son went through one of those when he was sixteen. After two months of crucifixes and eyeliner, he was done.
I toss Jacob’s file onto the passenger seat and leaf through the second file. It’s full of disappearances within the last few months. A Mr. Harris, along with three other guys have vanished. The one commonality between the disappearances was each guy had been convicted of sexual assault or had allegations of sexual assault. So someone seems to be targeting these guys, but no bodies have turned up as of yet. For all I know, they all skipped town and hit up a toddler’s pageant. Bunch of perverts.
Grumbling, I pull my coffee from the cup holder and swallow it back. I could be watching the game right now, drinking a nice cold brew instead of ice cold coffee. Glancing at my watch I see that it’s 11:43pm. I’ve been sitting here since 8pm.
I snatch the radio from the console and click it on. “This is officer Pemberton on the Jacob what-his-face stakeout.”
“Hey, Paul. Catch that little shit jerking off to his girl yet?”
I chuckle. Kevin gets it. Chief can shove this assignment up his ass. “If I do, you’ll be the first to know, Kev. I’m heading home now.”
“Take ‘er easy.”
“Same to you.”
I put the radio down and glance over to the creep one more time. He’s still standing in the same spot, across the street from the girl’s house, staring in her front window. He wears a black hoodie, hood pulled up over his head, and blends into the shadows just outside a nearby street lamp. My best guess is he’s some love sick guy that got rejected and just can’t let go. Murderer? No. Pathetic? Yes.
I start the car and pull the seatbelt over my stomach. The belt doesn’t go the whole way and I’ve got to yank it a few times for it to buckle completely. Without another look at the creep, I make a U-turn and head home. With luck, I’ll be able to catch the last quarter of the game.
 
 
 -Collins

Death changes things

life

  
My grandpa died in September of 2009. That was hard of course. I missed a couple of days of school, I just couldn’t deal with it. The funeral came and went. I soldiered through without shedding a single tear. The whole process made life feel like a damp sponge. Cold, and watered down.
I thought that that process was the worst of it, the grieving and the loss. But I was wrong, and I found this out in a strange way.
It was the following month in October, on Thanksgiving day to be exact, that I really realized the impact that my grandpa’s death would have on our family. On every significant holiday, four times a year, my grandma would prepare a turkey dinner for everyone, and everyone would make the drive to her and grandpa’s house to have a family dinner.
But this time it was different. My grandma didn’t have the energy or the inclination to make a dinner. She was still grieving and she was hollow. She was tired. So we picked up grandma and headed over to Denny’s.
I’m not sure if you’ve been to a Denny’s on Thanksgiving, but basically they serve nothing but turkey dinner and the place is packed. So we waited for a table, sat down, ordered. I looked around at the other tables of families. There was this heavy atmosphere to the restaurant, a quietness. For a room so full of people, it was surprisingly quiet. I looked around our table as we ate, and our table was quiet too. Everybody ate somberly without much effort to speak. I watched my grandma’s face, fork in one hand, bun clutched in the other, as she normally did, and it broke my heart.
The intention was the same: have a nice turkey dinner with family. But the reality was so much different. I sat there utterly defeated as I realized what my grandpa’s death did to us. It robbed us of normality, of tradition, of joy. Because he wasn’t with us, it didn’t feel worth it to go to the effort.
This experience will stick with me for the rest of my life. Everything felt like it was taking place underwater, in slow motion. It just didn’t make sense.
The next holiday, Christmas, was only slightly better. My grandma made dinner and the family gathered at her house, but again, it was silent as everyone ate. There was no conversation, no small talk. It was as if the energy to be happy was zapped from everyone as they entered the house. Many family members took turns glancing to my grandpa’s vacant seat at the head of the table and the cloud of anguish was heavy over our table.
With each holiday, everyone got a little better, a little happier. It seems like death steals our ability to be happy. With time though, things have gotten more normal, because his absence has become normal. Now in 2016, seven years later, everyone enjoys themselves again.
It is not selfish to be happy or have a good time without that person there, but it takes time to realize that. I look around the table at these dinners now and I see what I used to see before my grandpa’s death, family.
The longing that we would feel when we looked at his chair has been replaced with memories that bring smiles to our lips instead of tears to our eyes. Death changes everything, but how you let it change things is up to you.
 
-Collins

Get to know me 

excerpt, excerpt of the day, writing

 Here’s an excerpt from the new story Turner and I are working on. Enjoy getting to know Erika.

“You… you can see me?” he stammers.
I roll my eyes. “Of course I can see you. You’re dead.”
The guy’s expression saddens and he draws his legs into his chest, wrapping his arms around them. “I guess that confirms it. Paolo can see me and—“
“That’s the name of the weird patient who just stares at me all the time?”
“What—“
“What are you doing near my collection?” I ask, cutting him off. “Are you trying to steal it?”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he says, his tone thick.
I gesture to the women’s washroom. “You’re bored already and you want to steal my things. We’ll I’ve got news for you. It’s off limits. Now beat it.”
He stands slowly, using the wall for support. “I won’t steal anything. I’m no thief.”
I look him up and down. “Your ensemble says otherwise. Now if you’ll excuse me I’ve got to add this necklace to my stash.”
He arm shoots out, grabbing hold of my wrist. “Wait, please.”
Turning, I pull my wrist from his grip and huff. His dark hair falls in limp waves around his face and swishes against his cheeks as he stumbles back a step. “What?”
He rubs his hands together as if he’s trying to keep warm. “Are you dead, too?”
I laugh. “That’s a dumb question if I’ve ever heard one. You just grabbed my arm didn’t you?”
“Yeah.”
“I can see you and talk to you right?”
His eyes lower. “Well, yeah.”
“Then obviously I’m a ghost just like you.”

-Collins

my short story titled “Jagged”

life, Uncategorized, writing

Cruising through my computer, I found this short story I wrote five years ago. I’d completely forgot about it. It’s interesting to compare how I wrote then, to how I write now. What a time warp!

 

Her face contorted into jagged lines of pain. Red liquid dripped from the knife clutched in her hand by her abdomen. The same knife she plunged into herself not a moment earlier. She wrapped her other arm around her stomach as the knife clattered to the tile floor. She soon followed, crumpling like paper to the ground.

I rushed to her, my face still painted with horror. As she drew sharp breathes I cradled her body to my chest.  I glanced down and gently moved her hand from the wound, her crimson blood flowed from the gash like a river, and I knew she would not make it.

Her eyes fluttered, and between waves of pain she whispered “Don’t worry about me now… I did this for you. Be happy.”

Shock must have colored my features because she repeated her words again, “Don’t worry, be happy.” She moved her hand to my face, cupping her palm against my cheek.

She jerked suddenly, her eyes rolling back. The pool of red was large now, circling my knees. A gurgle escaped her lips, and I knew only moments, maybe seconds were all she had left, so I held her closer.

I could feel her heart beat slowing, calming until it just quivered.

With one last thud, her heart stopped, her movements stilled and her hand dropped from my cheek. I knew the only person I loved was gone.

-Collins

status update

advice, character, death, life, status update, writing

So what’s the word on killing characters? Turner and I have been pondering this question the past few days. When is it necessary? When is it believable? When should it happen?

In addition to wading through the editing pool of “Betrayal Comes First,” (we are about waist deep right now), we are about three quarters through writing the rough draft of the sequel. This book has given rise for the need for certain characters to die, and it’s a fine line deciding who to off. It’s much like playing god, or being a heroine on an adventure with sacred prophecy to fulfill. In the end, characters must die for the plot to be furthered, but who to kill is the ultimate question.

When you decide who to kill, the problem becomes how to kill them and how to make it believable. You don’t just want to shoot everyone (well sometimes in your head you do, because it would be easier) but you can’t do that.

Comment below about how you deliberate killing characters and how to do it. We’d love to hear how our fellow writers deal with such hurdles.

-Turner Collins

Excerpt from my story titled “Traffic”

character, death, excerpt, excerpt of the day, life, sad, writing

Like a greyhound off the starting line, Dory shoots past me before I have time to grab him. He hurtles down the street, and in a matter of seconds, collides with Kale. They go down in a heap, rolling and shouting. Christian is bowled over and lands on his hands and knees, the umbrella landing a few feet away.

“You bastard! You slept with my girlfriend!” Dory yells as he sits on Kale’s chest, pounding into his face.

I run to them, catching sight of people’s shocked expressions in the café window. “Stop!” I plead.

Christian looks agitated as he stands and grabs the back of Dory’s sweater. “It’s not worth it,” he says sharply.

I come to a stop and kneel down beside Kale. His lip is split and the rain mixes with the blood, creating a read waterfall down his chin. “Kale, just get out of here before—“

His eyes flash angrily and he pushes me away, “Get away from me.”

I hear a yelp from Christian and in a second Dory is back on Kale. Kale throws a punch and Dory’s head snaps to the side with the impact. He recovers quickly and grabs Kale by the jacket, hauling him to his feet.

Christian jumps in again between them. His nose his streaming blood. Dory must have got him when he was trying to free himself. “Cut it out,” he shouts this time, pushing Dory back a step. “You’re better than this.” Dory’s face is a mask of rage as he tries to get past Christian a second time. Dory is as loyal as it gets, if you go after someone he cares about, you can guarantee he’ll come after you.

Kale’s face turns into an amused grin as he wipes away blood. “It’s better you hear it from me now, you know, before you guys get really serious.”

“Shut up Kale!” I bark. I can’t believe Kale continues to egg Dory on. Does he want his ass kicked?

Kale smirks in response and turns to go. Dory gets around Christian by elbowing him in the ribs. I run to Christian as he doubles over, the wind knocked out of him. At the same time Dory grabs Kale arm and Kale spins around landing a punch to Dory’s stomach. He grabs his sweater and thrusts Dory to the side. He stumbles forward and into the street. Into the street right into traffic.

Before I can react, before I have time to scream, Dory looks up just in time to strike the windshield of a red SUV. His body flies up and over the vehicle, landing with a sickening crack on the cement. He doesn’t move again.

In a matter of seconds all hell breaks loose. People are screaming and yelling around me, running to where Dory lays motionless. Cars are honking their horns. Christian lifts his head and sees what I’m seeing. I look over Christian to watch Kale’s face pale before he turns and darts away across the street. Tears mingle with the raindrops hitting my cheeks and I choke back a sob.

I wonder if Lena will feel bad about cheating on Dory with his friend. I wonder if she will know he died protecting her reputation, one that she tarnished herself. I wonder if she’ll know he died for nothing.

I sit on the curb with Christian’s arm around me until somewhere in the distance, sirens sound.

-Collins