The Sale. Part 19.

The revolver was shaking in Silas’s hand as he pressed it against my skull. Water streamed down his face, mingling with his tears. I closed my eyes tightly. I could hear a rush of breath escape Aisha’s lips.

The hammer clicked. Again. And again. Nothing.

I opened my eyes. Silas was inspecting the weapon, his teeth gritted. He swept the useless pistol at my head, but I rolled away, avoiding the blow.

Aisha screamed, raised her knife and charged the huge fellow. Silas didn’t miss this time, clocking her above the temple and sending her stumbling and stunned to the grass. I tackled the big man’s legs and he gave way. As Silas hit the ground I started crawling my way up his body, but a well-placed shoe heel hit me directly in the mouth and knocked me off. I could taste salt and iron as sweat and blood mingled with saliva. I spat and rolled across the lawn away from him.

Silas climbed to his feet, the butt of the revolver in his hand, cursing and crying. Soaked with rain, he looked like a giant silhouetted scarecrow against the whitewashed house wall.

“Junifer,” he sobbed. “My Junifer…”

I kneeled next to Aisha, who groaned and held her temple. Her face was painted in blood, her hair hanging in strings down her back and chest. I grabbed the knife from the grass beside her.

“Give it up, Silas,” I said. “You can’t stop us now.” I rose up, bent over in pain, shaking from exhaustion and blood loss. “We’re going to the police. Your little house of horrors is done.” I smiled at the melodrama of it all.

“No,” he replied with a grimace. “It’s you who’s done.” He ran at me, flailing the pistol butt as he did. We connected. We both fell. Silas grunted.

“Nicely played,” he said, wheezing. The knife hilt extended from Silas’s chest—he gasped for breath as a murky blood stain grew beneath his shirt. Then he was silent.

Aisha clawed her way over to where I had fallen. “John,” she whispered, the drumbeat of rain punctuating her words. “Is it over?”

I lay my head back as she placed hers on my chest. “It better be,” I said. “I don’t think I can get up.” The rain continued its obsessive caterwauling on our shivering bodies. Aisha and I laughed; the manic laugh of insane asylum inmates, just prior to admission.

To be continued…

Missed earlier instalments? Click here to read more.

What is The Sale?

The Sale is an unplanned, multi-part short story I created to challenge myself as a writer. My intention is to write an episode as often as possible, generally (but not always) ending with a cliff hanger, then work out how to solve the issue and continue the story.

Only you can tell me if it’s successful, or not. I hope you enjoy my little experiment.

Cheers

Steve 🙂

Another Sunshine Blogger Award! Thanks heaps – I am not worthy!

Thanks so much to beingmimismumma for the nomination for another Sunshine Blogger Award! I would love to answer the questions you have posed for me, however I’ve got two uni assignments due!!

But don’t despair: here’s a link to my previous answers from a few days back! (Big cop out, I know, but sometimes life gets in the way…)

Cheers

Steve 🙂

Sunshine Blogger Award. I don’t think I’ve ever been accused of bringing sunshine, unless it was out of my…

Thanks, Mairi, for nominating me for the Sunshine Blogger award. Please check out Mairi’s cool blog, Hitting 60!

It’s always nice to be nominated, but it takes me so long to write a post about it – DOH! I may be a mature-age student with little to do, but I have only limited time in which do little. If that makes sense…

The Sunshine Blogger Award is given to bloggers who are inspiring and creative (or, in my case, depressing and morbid). Once nominated, a blogger is required to:

  • Thank the blogger for nominating them and link back to their blog (Tick!)
  • Answer the 11 questions asked by the blogger who nominated you (Aghhh! More work! See my answers below…)
  • Nominate 11 other blogs and give them 11 questions to answer (Because I’m lazy I’ll nominate some, but I may not make the total number. Does this mean I’m disqualified?)
  • Notify your nominees (Aghhh! Even more work! Can’t they just read my blog post?)
  • List the rules and display the sunshine blogger award logo in your post (Aghhh! Yet more work. Oh, alright, I’ll do that bit. I suppose it’s the least I can do…)

My answers to Mairi’s questions

Do you believe in God or another deity?

I sure do! The Big Guy Upstairs (as I like to refer to Him) and I have been in cahoots for about four years now. Every day is an adventure and every day is a blessing. Even when I’m depressed (which is often).

Don’t believe me? Check out this poem in His honour.

Are you a quick thinker or a deep think?

I’m a bit of both. And a bit of neither. I’m usually in two minds about that sort of think (see what I did there? I’m so funny, I crack myself up).

How long does it take you to write your average sized blog?

Depends on the size of the average-sized blog. A poem usually takes me about 10-15 minutes. About the same amount of time it takes me to deliver my ablutions.

Yep, I write most of my stuff on the loo. Not joking.

Why do you blog?

If I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again: I have no life.

Actually, that’s not the real reason. The real reason was to use it cathartically and to encourage me to write every day, as I’m a lazy writer. It’s worked so far.

How many books do you read a year?

I’d love to say 100, but it’s more like 40-50. I’m slowing down in my old age. Uni and life gets in the way.

What was the last book you read and when?

I’m currently reading a number of books: The Zom-B Chronicles (Darren Shan), On Writing (Stephen King), The Making of a Poem (Mark Strand et al), Reaching Toward the Heights (Richard Wurmbrand), Stories of Your Life and Others (Ted Chiang), The Book of Joy (Dalai Lama/Desmond Tutu), Cultural and Media Studies: A Semiotic Approach (Thwaites et al), Batman Rebirth: Volume 1 (Tom King) and the Star Wars: Age of Rebellion Role Playing Game core rule book.

I’m also reading a few e-books on my iPhone: Slow Horses (Mick Herron), Skykeep (Joseph R. Lallo), and The Language of Bears (John Eidswick).

And, of course, the greatest book of all: The Bible (The Big Guy Upstairs).

I always have a number of books on the go at any one time. It’s exhausting.

What country are you blogging from?

The great and wonderful land of Australia, where the skies are always blue, and the people are too (well, I am, anyway).

What is your current profession?

I am a humble, slovenly, misanthropic, mature-age student with a penchant for writing half-decent poetry. I just published my first e-book of poetry, so I suppose I can call myself an author, now.

Do you have a hobby outside of work and blogging?

I love playing table top role playing games. I love working out (HARD!). I love walking other people’s dogs (HARD!). I love writing and recording music (HARD! I mean, not hard as such, actually more laidback…). I love spending time with my son (although that’s not really a hobby).

I love being miserable. Oops, shouldn’t have said that last one; now people will think I’m depressed, or something.

How many times do you laugh a day?

Not as much as I used to or would like to. But I get a few in here and there.

Were the above questions thought provoking?

They certainly took me long enough to answer. Who made up the rules for this thing, anyway? How about five questions, next time. Or better still, two.

My Questions for Nominees to Answer:

  1. What’s your favourite aeroplane story? Or airport story? Or failing both of those, your favourite time on a bus. (Oh, come on, you must have travelled on a bus at least once…)
  2. When you get up in the morning, do you blow your nose? No? Wow, you must get quite a blockage up there. How do you breathe at all? Are you a zombie or something?
  3. Now that we know you’re a zombie, how do you prefer your brains? Straight from the skull or with some kind of relish?
  4. If you were in a zombie apocalypse, which best friend would you want to have with you? (Make sure all your friends get a chance to read your answer so they can snub you when they find out it isn’t them).
  5. Okay, so now we know you have no friends. Are you a basement lurker or do you have your own place? If you have your own place, I know a guy who would make a great room-mate.
  6. How many more of these questions do I need to make up?
  7. Are we there yet? If you answer no, you should describe the scenery you are seeing RIGHT NOW outside your window in the form of a 39-line Sestina.
  8. There once was a man called ‘Backstabber’. He had some problems with his _________ . He bent over once, ended up with a ________ , and finally went back to his _________ . Fill out the spaces in this inspirational limerick. Make sure it’s funny (HAH! There’s a catch to everything).
  9. If you are a depressing person, are you on meds? What are they and where do you get them? Send some to me so I can test them out. If you’re on non-prescription drugs, send those as well. (REMEMBER, KIDS: Say NO to drugs.)
  10. I’m running out of ideas for questions. How much more of this to go? Not there yet? Damn!! Make up your own question.
  11. Ever been nominated for an award before? You have now. Enjoy my nonsensical questions. And write something interesting for this non-question.

My Nominees (Sorry, I’m tired. These wonderful blogs will have to do):

Thanks for making me work so hard, Mairi! Now I really am tired.

Cheers

Steve 😊

The Sale. Part 18.

Junifer Vasilikov limped closer. In the moonlight we could make out a ghastly, bloody smear covering her features. Her hands were empty. “My mother was killed by a vacuum cleaner,” she said, wearily.

Aisha leapt to her feet, knife at the ready. I stood up and we faced Crazy Junifer, together. I raised my hands in a conciliatory gesture.

“Junifer,” I said. “We don’t want any trouble. We just want to leave this place.”

The mad woman’s eyes were wide, her tears mingling with dewy raindrops. Every few moments she would quirkily brush her hand across her wet, stringy hair, as if something annoyed her there.

“My mother…” she said, the words almost a whisper. Junifer lowered her head. She stood trembling.

“Junifer,” said Aisha. “Please let us go.” She lowered the knife to her side and extended a shaky hand.

Junifer sobbed. The light rain was drizzling, now, and our clothes were wet through. Aisha looked at me sadly, indicating to go around the poor woman. I stepped to the right.

Crazy Junifer leapt forward, screaming like a banshee and clutching at Aisha. The two grappled, twisting around as I watched in abject horror. Then Aisha pushed Junifer away.

A trip. A scream. A nauseating crunch. Junifer had fallen down the open hatch next to the house.

Aisha stood in shock. “I didn’t mean to—is she?”

I knelt and glanced over the rim. At the bottom of the ladder, Junifer’s body was twisted, broken and deathly still. A pool of blood grew around her as I watched.

The rain’s intensity had increased, the sound of each drop a hammer beat on the mansion’s roof and walls.

“NO!” screamed Silas. I looked up; he was standing over me. He must have come around from the front of the house. His face was a contorted cacophony of pain and rage. Watery rivulets cascaded down his forehead and cheeks. His eyes were wide with fury.

“I’ll kill you,” Silas screamed.

To be continued…

Missed earlier instalments? Click here to read more.

What is The Sale?

The Sale is an unplanned, multi-part short story I created to challenge myself as a writer. My intention is to write an episode as often as possible, generally (but not always) ending with a cliff hanger, then work out how to solve the issue and continue the story.

Only you can tell me if it’s successful, or not. I hope you enjoy my little experiment.

Cheers

Steve 🙂

The Sale. Part 17.

The climb down was a blur of motion and fear. The air was musty, mouldy and laced with the smell of our sweat-soaked and angst-ridden bodies. At the bottom of the ladder, we stood before the exit panel to the basement storeroom. Aisha gripped the knife tightly, ready to stab anyone who might be waiting on the other side. In the gleam of the flashlight, her bruised and bloodied face was contorted and twisted in a psychotic melange. My expression wasn’t much better. In our torn and dirty clothes, we resembled vagrants without a street corner.

The storeroom was bright. Both exit doors were open. We cautiously tiptoed to the lab entrance. On the floor were smeared blood and strands of sticky hair—the remnants of the fight with Junifer. Her body was nowhere to be found.

The lab was as it was before, less Silas and his omnipresent revolver: the steel tables with built in restraints angled at forty-five degrees; the sideboards filled with test tubes and equipment; an array of vicious looking implements obviously designed for torture; the ever-present smell of antiseptic. I searched the room while Aisha stood watch at the doorway. There were no guns, but in the rear, in a space behind an aluminium storage cupboard, a steel ladder to a trapdoor in the ceiling.

“Aisha,” I called. “I’ve found a way out.” I blinked back a tear, palpable relief in my voice.

She ran over. “Go,” she said. “I’ll be right behind you.” We hugged shakily; the pain of our wounds was sneaking back now the adrenaline was wearing off.

I climbed. At the top the hatch was locked with a simple sliding bolt. It worked it loose and pushed the trapdoor upwards.

Fresh air licked my face. A light rain dusted the grass as I stumbled over the rim into the dark night. I fell to the ground. The moon reflected off the whitewashed house wall behind me. Aisha collapsed next to me. “We’re finally out,” she said.

A twig cracked.

A dark figure stood several feet away, silhouetted against the moon, long hair flitting like Medusa’s snakes in the breeze. Each word it spoke was emphasised through clenched teeth. “My-mother-was-killed-by-a-vacuum-cleaner,” said Crazy Junifer.

To be continued…

Missed earlier instalments? Click here to read more.

What is The Sale?

The Sale is an unplanned, multi-part short story I created to challenge myself as a writer. My intention is to write an episode as often as possible, generally (but not always) ending with a cliff hanger, then work out how to solve the issue and continue the story.

Only you can tell me if it’s successful, or not. I hope you enjoy my little experiment.

Cheers

Steve 🙂

Guide to the Unrequited Love Affair

Unrequited Love. That thing you have when you don’t have a thing—Clayton’s love (okay, only oldies may get that joke). Here’s a short guide on how to do it:

  • Fall in love with a person who is far too good for you, or is unobtainable. This could be a ‘love at first sight’ thing, or it could be a love that develops over time. Like a bizarre rash or a mild fungal infection.
  • Realise they are far too good for you, so avoid them whenever you can. Make sure you beat yourself up about not being good enough for them.
  • Learn to be miserable most of the time. If you’re already depressed this will simply reinforce how badly you feel about yourself.
  • Try and organise your time so you can run into them by chance. This will fail miserably, of course, because you have no idea what their schedule is as you were previously avoiding them and thus don’t know them that well.
  • When you do run in to them, make sure your conversation precludes any indication that you like them. Once they leave, beat yourself up about how stupid you are. Be miserable.
  • Realise you don’t know really know the person you’ve fallen for and that your conception of them is an idealised fantasy. Beat yourself up some more about how stupid you are.
  • See your unrequited love in public with another person, assume they are together and beat yourself up about it. Find out later this is not the case. Beat yourself up about how stupid you are.
  • Write poetry to reflect your passion and your sad and sorry state of mind. Realise your unrequited love hates poetry. Ensure that your unrequited love never sees your poetry.
  • Spend sleepless nights agonising over why you love this person and how you’re not good enough for them. Be miserable.
  • Find out the person you love is now in love with someone else and write more poetry to address how badly you screwed up. Get used to being miserable. (Oh, you already are. No worries.)

Note: No stalking! It’s weird enough that you’re in unrequited love with a person you don’t know that well, but don’t push it over the line into creepy/illegal territory. 

Come on people! Now you know how to fall in unrequited love, get out there and get to it! A whole new world of infinite yearning and morbid sadness is waiting for you!

Of course, you could try another tack, which is asking said person out and seeing if they say ‘yes’. But that would be too simple for your overly-complicated and insecure mind, wouldn’t it?

Cheers

Steve 😉

The Sale. Part 16.

At the top of the stairs, another corridor: four sets of doors, two on each side. Aisha smiled grimly. “I know this part of the house. The bedroom I hid in is the last door on the left.”

“The secret passage,” I said. “We can take the ladder down to the pantry and double back around behind Silas. We’ll be closer to the entry.”

There was a crash as the door at the bottom of the stairs slammed open. “Come back here!” screamed the aging butler/mad scientist/serial killer. A bullet impaled the frame next to me. Aisha and I rushed through the door she indicated and shut it behind us. We grabbed the dresser and dragged it to block the doorway.

The room was much as we’d left it. The panel of the secret passage stood open across from the antique four poster bed Aisha had lain under for a day.

The entry door rattled against the dresser, Silas cursing as he pushed. We ran for the passage, closing the panel behind us.

“We have to move quickly,” said Aisha. “Or Silas will work out what we’re up to and be down in the pantry before we get there.” We moved hurriedly through the tight and musty passage, my flashlight beam reflecting off floating dust motes and stringy, hanging cobwebs.

“Then let’s go down to the basement. He won’t be expecting that,” I said.

“Are you crazy? Last time we did that, we almost got killed.”

“We might be able to find a weapon.”

“I seem to remember you saying something similar last time. And we have a knife, now.”

“I was thinking more like a gun.”

“I’m sure Silas leaves AK-47s lying around everywhere,” Aisha said, raising an eyebrow. “If we do find something, I hope your shooting isn’t as bad as your throwing.”

“Hey, it was a heavy flashlight.” I paused and grinned. “If we get a gun, maybe you should handle it.”

Aisha’s strained laugh died as we reached the top of the stainless-steel ladder. I went down first, shoulder pain searing with every movement, gripping the Maglite in my mouth.

“I don’t want to even think about how bad this could turn out,” Aisha said.

I mumbled unintelligibly and kept climbing down.

To be continued…

Missed earlier instalments? Click here to read more.

What is The Sale?

The Sale is an unplanned, multi-part short story I created to challenge myself as a writer. My intention is to write an episode as often as possible, generally (but not always) ending with a cliff hanger, then work out how to solve the issue and continue the story.

Only you can tell me if it’s successful, or not. I hope you enjoy my little experiment.

Cheers

Steve 🙂

‘The All or the Nothing’ – My first book of poetry is available NOW!

The All or the Nothing - Stephen Thompson (c) 201762 poems to make you laugh, cry, get depressed or get drunk by!

My first book of poetry is available as an e-book for $5.99 from the following distributors:

Please support me, a literally starving artist, in my quest for truth, justice, meter and rhyme.

Cheers

Steve 😊

Some Leibster Award Goodness: I’d like to thank the academy…

Hey, hey, hey! Thanks so much to littlemissbearpaw for nominating me for the Liebster Award! I am honoured, humbled and somewhat stumped, as always, as to why I got nominated. But thanks for liking my stuff, anyway!

The rules for the Liebster Award are:

  • Acknowledge the blog that gave it to you and display the award
  • Answer the 11 questions that the blogger gives you
  • Give 11 random facts about yourself
  • Nominate 11 blogs and notify them of their nomination
  • Give these blogs 11 questions to answer.

My answers to littlemissbearpaw’s questions:

  1. What is your favourite blog post that you have written provide link and why?

My blog posts are my children: it’s too hard to choose which is my favourite. They get envious and squabble amongst themselves when I do.

Maybe I could use this to my advantage. Use their self-loathing, petty jealousies against them, turn them into an army to take over the world. BWAH HA HA!!!!

Oops. Sorry, got a bit distracted, there.

  1. If you could travel to any time period which one would you go to and why?

I would travel back to yesterday so I could finish the things I was supposed to do then, and thus have today free. Then tomorrow I’d have to go back in time again to today, to finish what I didn’t get done, today. And then I’d have to…

Damn these paradoxical time loops! Like fruit loops, only not as sugary sweet…

  1. What is your favourite holiday and why?

Being a lay-about, mature age student, almost every day is like a holiday.

Except for all the manic depressive episodes that bring me back to earth…bummer.

  1. What is your favourite holiday treat?

Occasionally, I like to eat. Nothing in particular, just food. A bit of gruel and some water. Maybe an occasional crumb of bread.

Actually, dark chocolate. Mmmmmmmmm…

  1. Do you read? What kinds of books? Which is your favourite?

I’m a big reader. Not exceptionally tall, but reasonable size. (Oh, I’m so funny. Not.)

As to books, my fave of the moment is Breath, by Tim Winton. I reviewed it a few weeks back (shameless plug for blog and link!)  

  1. What is something you ‘nerd’ out about?

How much Star Wars has changed and how much I despise the big corporate mouse for making a mockery of my childhood. Damn you, Disney!!!!!!!!!

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (in the style of poorly acted Anakin Skywalker’s initial Darth Vader Scene in Revenge of the Sith)

  1. What is your favourite kind of weather and why?

I like rain, as it matches my mood and provides me with lots of inspiring and morbidly depressing ideas.

And it’s wet. Which provides me with all sorts of sexual innuendos to fuel my sexual innuendos.

  1. What is your favourite Christmas memory?

When the whole family got together to celebrate Christmas.

Now the family is separated by distance, injustice and the tragedy of years, and it’s just not the same celebrating with friends and strangers. But it’s something, at least.  

  1. What is your go-to comfort food?

My go-to comfort food is…food. But never junk. I’m a health nut who works out four times a week, after all.  

Oh, and dark chocolate.

Did I mention that earlier? Maybe I’m reliving my previous day? I must be a Time Traveller!!!! Oh, wait, no I’m not.

  1. Introvert or Extravert?

Introvert who manages to manically leap into extrovertedness (yeah, I like to make up words) when he’s coming out of a major depressive phase.

I thrive on loneliness and longing. Oh, that’s not introverted, that’s just sad. My bad.

  1. Do you have special plans or a direction for your blog in 2018?

My plan is to be alive.

Aside from that: more sadness, longing, whimsy, plaintive moaning and bitter regret. And the occasional joke. And maybe a few sexual innuendos.

Sorry, but eleven is too much hard work, so here’s less than eleven blog nominations and less than eleven questions:

 Noms:

 Questions for Noms to answer:

  1. How far can you throw a ball? What do you mean, ‘what size ball?’ Just a ball. This isn’t a freaking physics dissertation.
  2. If you could throw a ball at anyone, who would it be? Why? I don’t know, maybe you don’t like them. Or maybe you think like a child and it’s the only way to get the attention of that girl/guy you like.
  3. If balls ruled the world, what kind of world would it be? Ball-like, I assume. But I’m not answering the questions, you are.
  4. What’s the biggest ball you’ve ever handled (is that a sexual innuendo? Possibly). Was it heavy? Soft? Hard? Round? (Okay, this question has just gone totally sexual innuendo. You can choose to skip this if you’re offended,)
  5. If you were to invent something, using only balls as your main component, what would it be (Trick question? Or not?).
  6. Why does this person have balls on the brain? Lack of insight? Run out of ideas? You tell me.

Thanks again, littlemissbearpaw!

Cheers

Steve 😊

PS My spelling is English, not American, which is why there’s an occasional odd ‘U’. That’s life. Just when it’s going well, the odd f’U’ appears when you least expect it.

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