Home Sweet Home

After months of living in a bug-infested apartment, you decide it’s finally time to get a new place. While you’re shopping for a new place to live, you drive past a beautiful Victorian house with a large lawn. A sign in the front says “FOR SALE,” so you decide to call the realtor out of curiosity. The price is so incredibly low that you have to buy it. It’s moving day, and once all your stuff is in and the movers have left, you notice a strange stain on the wall in the bedroom. You peel away the wallpaper to discover a giant hole in the wall, and inside, there’s a body. Who is this person, who killed them, and how are you going to get rid of the body?

Post your response (500 words or fewer) in the comments below.

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129 thoughts on “Home Sweet Home

  1. Reaper

    No time to edit, so this week’s is a little rough. Please forgive that.

    Digging to China

    In the dim that infests a single twin room, resting like a cavity, dead center, in an end of the road motel, the darkest of dreams will visit one’s mind. Even when they one is wakeful, or leastwise fitfully unable to sleep. When rest eludes the body the mind traverses plains unknown to all but psychotropic enthusiasts and romantic poets.

    Humanity likes to imagine that a man living in destitution does so alone. Each cavern a pre-emptive tomb for an unknown soldier in the war against capitalism. No one is ever alone though. If one is not indulging in vacation provided by acid, the other inhabitants, the bugs crawling over one’s skin, must be real. It is enough to make one fantasize.

    It is said that every man has at least one homo-erotic fantasy in their life. Mine was high tech. A robot penis. I imagine it would be hard, cold, and taste slightly oily. Such a creation would ejaculate a super hero. I contemplated giving my first and last blow job and the force of the machine’s pleasure driving my thinking machine out of its case. A short step from deviant lover, to abstract artist. The robot in my dreams would paint the wall in red and gray. Crafting an image a psychiatrist could use to diagnose madmen.

    Wiping the insects from my flesh I knew a change of location was necessary. Thus did I go from nearly dead to wandering vagrant. A dumpster, a cardboard box, an abandoned tent. Any one of them would do, sleeping under the stars would do good for my soul after so long in confinement. Then I saw it.

    A Victorian treasure stood before my eyes. A for sale sign out front gave me hope. Not to purchase it, no. Men like me, those unemployed and lost to society, did not own homes. Instead I meandered to the convenience store and borrowed their phone.

    No offers were as yet on the table, and no showings for at least two weeks. The asking price was high enough to make a millionaire blush. I would be able to squat in this home for months, if I was lucky. If I was very careful.

    My possessions were sparse to say the least. I laid out my winter clothes, the mud stained item I would don, over the urine stained items I currently wore, when it grew cold. I laid out the faded blue piece of foam that served as my bed. As i prepared to lie down I looked at the wall.

    Amidst the beautiful paper was a stain. I recognized the type. It was much as the mark left by sweat from a desperate man will imprint on a threadbare mattress when one foregoes sheets to save on water.

    Peeling back that paper I found a hole that echoed the ache in my heart and lack in my soul. The dark cavern was filled with a corpse I recognized. How could I not? One is bound to know one’s own face.

    I drew back in horror, thinking of who to blame. I wanted to lay this at the feet of jack-booted government thugs. The wished to blame it on the indifference of corporate fat-cats. I knew though. I knew it was me. I left this corpse here when I gave up and gave in. In the homes of the hearts of every man over twenty-five there was a sacrifice like this. Laying discarded, waiting to be found.

    I knew this must be disposed of. Nobody must ever see what I had done to myself. I thought of what those heroes on television would do. Retrieving the plastic utensils I kept for the rare occasion that a man of mercy provided me food I began to consume the remnants of the evidence of my crimes.

    1. Kerry Charlton

      I just thought I knew dark, but this is far below dark. It is the rant of an insane person, so deep in despair, he’s willing to cannibalize his own body. That said, your writing has a beauty all to itself. There is no one on this website that writes like this. Someday I might try it, but I’m not really sure about it. You certainly woke me up. I saw a man in front of a convenience store yesterday afternoon. I thought about going over and talking to him. He wasn’t a beggar but I have never seen a man portaying that depth of misery. Was I foolish to think about trying to help or just plain afraid? I guess i I will never know.

  2. Critique

    Wesley’s middle aged figure quivered in an undignified jig in the middle of the tiny kitchen causing the dishes and cutlery on the counter to jump their own dance. He waved a paper in the air and chortled when Mavis came through the door.

    “Mavis. The house. Is. Ours!”

    Mavis placed her purse and neatly folded jacket onto a nearby chair and said calmly. “You’ll give yourself a heart attack Wesley.”

    “Start packing my dear.” Wesley laughed. “The possession date is this weekend.”

    “Don’t you think it’s a bit big for just the two of us?” Mavis asked. “It all seems… rather sudden dear.”

    By the end of the week Wesley and Mavis had moved into the story-book Victorian house that boasted an expansive yard on the outskirts of town.

    Wesley stood arms akimbo, in the middle of the living room, a beatific smile on his face, and turned a full circle.

    “Mavis.” Emotion choked his voice. “This is a new beginning for us.”

    Mavis stood looking up at the ceiling, a frown on her chubby face. “Do you smell something?”

    “Mavis, no one’s lived here for a long time. It’s musty.”

    Mavis was already planted her sensible shoes on the spiral staircase.

    Sniffing out each room like a bloodhound, Mavis finally stopped just inside the master bedroom.

    “It’s in here.” She said and switched on the light.

    Wesley wrinkled his nose. “I smell something too.”

    Mavis pointed to a dark patch that seemed out of place on the vintage wallpaper. “What’s that?”

    Wesley walked over and ran his fingers over the area. The paper rolled off in his hands.

    “It’s wet.” He said and rubbed a little harder.

    His hand suddenly caved a hole in the wall and they jumped in alarm.

    “What is that?” Mavis covered her nose to keep from gagging.

    Wesley continued to pull large chunks away and a fetid stench mushroomed around them. Then they were screaming as a skull – long hair matted grotesquely to the bone – fell out onto the floor.

    “Stand back.” Wesley held his arm out protectively as they stared in horror.

    They drove in frozen silence to the police station. Neither willing to voice their true thoughts.

    The sheriff had no trouble believing the white faced middle-aged couple sitting in front of him. “The house is a crime scene now. You won’t be allowed back in.”

    “I think it was a little girl.” Mavis said as they sat numbly beside each other on a bed in a flea bitten motel nearby. “Who would do that to a child?”

    Wesley rubbed his hands over his face. “All along it seemed too good to be true.”

    “That poor little girl. And to hide the body like that.” Mavis said.

    “I sure hope there’s a clause or something that allows us to back out of this.” Wesley laid his head wearily on a lumpy pillow.

    “I wonder what her name was?” Mavis stretched out fully clothed beside him on the bed.

    1. Kerry Charlton

      So much emotion in this story, all for the sweet, middle-aged couple. First a dream, then a broken drean, finally a nightmare that will never leave them. I can just imagine mybeing in their place, especially finding a dead child. Lots of power herer Critique.

    2. cosi van tutte

      Hi, Critique!

      This story is just so sad and chilling. Especially this line: “I think it was a little girl.” Mavis said as they sat numbly beside each other on a bed in a flea bitten motel nearby. “Who would do that to a child?” 🙁

      1. Critique

        Thanks for commenting Cosi 🙂 Yes, it’s definitely a sad and chilling story – I would like to have expanded on this one – may still do that.

  3. Witt.Stanton

    “Found you,” I muttered under my breath, lifting the battered, red gasoline can. The girl’s body had been shoved into a wall, and the hole plastered over; the stench of foul play reeked the air. In my line of work, it was stuff like this that brought vengeful spirits, and this case was clearly no exception.

    I drenched the girl’s remains, then pulled out my lighter. In a smooth movement, the flame flickered to life, dancing next to my calloused thumb. It was high time to put her to rest, once and for all. The house was old and drafty, Victorian or whatever the realtor had called it. I shook my head. The perfect place to stash away an unwanted body. Out of the way, and creepy as hell.

    Her killer must’ve thought dumping her body here would hide his guilt. I just wished it was that simple. You can’t run from your past, and most certainly not from a pissed-off ghost girl aching for revenge. The dead body of her killer had washed up on shore not a mile from this house, throat slashed and arms broken, matching the marks on a girl’s body in front of me. To top things off, my EMF reader was singing like a metal detector over an iron ore range.

    I was ready to drop the lighter when I felt a cool breeze rip across by shoulders and a hot rush of pain. I swung around, pulling the gun from my waistband in a fluid motion. The ghost girl stood in the door, semi-transparent in the dim light, eyes black and fingers warped into claws. I fired a salt round at her head, and she vanished.

    She was suddenly next to me, and I jumped out of the way as she raked her hand inches away from my chest. Her face twisted, and her teeth extended into pointed fangs, similar to those on vamps. At least she wasn’t one of those sparkling bastards. “Watch it,” I growled as I rolled to my feet, and slid a knife from the holster on my thigh. “I’m the good guy here.”

    She took another swing at me, digging into my wrist. I jerked my arm away as I flicked on the lighter with my other. Again the flame flickered in the darkness. She lunged at me, arms outstretched and teeth bared. This time I was ready. She wasn’t human anymore. I tossed the lighter onto the decaying body of the girl, turning my head away from the rush of heat as it caught.

    Simultaneously, fire consumed the form ghost as her body burned. I lay face down on the floor, shielding my eyes. It only took seconds for the small body to become a writhing inferno of fire, and then it was over. Unsteadily, I got to my feet. Blinking, I wiped some soot from my eyes. Well, at least for the girl, it was over.

    I gave the scorch mark on the floor a slight nod, then headed out of the house, holstering my knife and gun. My ’67 Impala was waiting in the drive, right where I left her. With a grin, I slammed her doors shut, cranked up the radio, and with a swirl of dust vanished into the night.

    1. Kerry Charlton

      Neat story Critique, reminds me of Dashiell Hammett’s writing. This is a fifferent groove and I can tell you enjoyed it the way your writing was headed.

    2. jhowe

      Nice little ghost mystery here. I liked how the MC kept his cool, or her cool if she’s female. I also liked how you staged this in the past without having to tell us; that is unless the MC is into restoring vintage Impalas. I could tell the lighter was a Zippo because today’s lighters go out when you let go of them, which is another indication of lore. Loved the final sentence.

  4. Beebles

    Sorry about the spacing but it might not post, so I can’t be bothered to split it.
    ———————–

    ‘Clean it!’
    Ted’s heavy frame loomed over me as he thrust the sponge into my hands. The proximity of that muscular physique I used to crave, now just made me flinch. I could smell his musk and his anger. I hoped Jodie had the sense to stay in her room.
    Ted pointed to the stain on the wall.
    ‘Clean it, you lazy bitch.’ He shoved my head and left the basement.
    I picked the hair from my damp face. My hands were shaking as I put the sponge to the dark oval patch. I was sure it was getting bigger. The more I scrubbed, the bigger it seemed to get.
    We had only been in the house a few days. Ted had decided we were moving away, out of the district where we had lived since we married. The district I grew up in. When I cried to be leaving all my friends, he threatened me with the belt.
    ‘Good,’ he yelled. ‘Maybe you won’t spend all your time gossiping and get some bloody house work done!’
    We knew no-one here. I think that was why he brought us.
    The next morning the stain was still there. My stomach tightened when I saw it was now about two feet square. I ran my hands over it. It was bone dry. When Ted saw it he took my skull in his huge hand and flattened my face against the wall. I thought my nose would break.
    ‘You stupid bitch,’ he hissed in my ear. ‘You’re not coming out until you scrape that wall bare.’
    He released me. I was sobbing.
    I screamed as something metal clattered against the wall close to my face and fell to the concrete floor. When he was gone, I slid shaking to the floor. Vision blurred by tears, I groped and found the wallpaper stripper at my feet and began to scrape.
    To my horror, I had barely scratched at the wall when the plasterboard gave way.
    ‘Oh shit, oh shit oh shit.’ The words just emptied from my mouth in panic. Ted would be furious. I put my hand to the tender strap marks around my midriff at the thought.
    Gasping, I cleared the broken board from the wall to reveal a void beyond. An old fireplace, and something hanging there, just beyond the light. Trembling, I pulled more of the plaster away.
    I shrieked and leapt backwards. From the cold cement I stared at the void and for the first time in however long, I was relieved to hear Ted thumping down the stairs.
    ‘What the fu…’ he cried, eyes burning as he looked at me. I pointed at the wall.
    ‘You stupid … bitch,’ he said, but his tone was instantly more measured.
    ‘Well bugger me.’ He turned to me, that sickening grin on his face. I felt my hand still clamped around the decorating tool.
    ‘What’s in there?’
    I rode the pain as he grabbed my hair and dragged me across the floor. He thrust my head through the plasterboard. I fought for breath, face to face with the stinking, corroded human skull. Its articulated carcases hung confined in its brick cell, one crooked boney finger extended, as if beckoning me in. I was suffocating, the gaping jaw of that unholy wretch sucking the air from me.
    When I thought I would pass out, Ted yanked me back to sprawl on the floor. He was laughing. Then he swung a leg over into the fireplace.
    ‘Let’s see who your friend is?’
    Then he was gone. The floor on the other side of the wall gave way under his weight and he was sucked downwards. I heard, rather than saw his hands grasping at the gruesome body as he fell, pulling it after him. His scream echoed, receded, then stopped abruptly with a dull crunch. Like stepping on a bag full of roaches.
    I am not sure when, but it was Jodie’s innocent calling that brought me back. I dried the tears and scrambled from the basement to cling to her.
    Within a month I had sold up. Jodie and I moved to the West Country. When friends asked about Ted I told them the truth.
    That he had fallen for somebody else.

    1. Kerry Charlton

      I was swept in with the first sentence. About a third of the way through the story, I already had the ending. One small suggestion, forget the 500. Show a paragraph where she put new gyp board up closing off his screams. Then tape and float to more screams then paint the wall where there are no sounds. Congradulateing herself for the good work. And, the last sentence says it all, good riddence to the SOB. Great read Beebles on a crippled web site. Somehow, they’ll get it fixed.

      1. Beebles

        Thanks Kerry. Looking forward to reading yours when i get the chance, busy working thank god! Yeah, felt a bit abrupt at the end , well all the way through actually. I like the idea of silence. might work that into the website version.

  5. Beebles

    Hard to condense.Needs work.
    —————

    ‘Clean it!’

    Ted’s heavy frame loomed over me as he thrust the sponge into my hands. His proximity, of that muscular physique I used to crave, now just made me flinch. I could smell his musk and his anger. I hoped Jodie had the sense to stay in her room.

    Ted pointed to the stain on the wall.

    ‘Clean it, you lazy bitch.’ He pushed my head roughly and left the basement.

    I picked the hair from my damp face. My hands were shaking as I put the sponge to the dark oval patch. I was sure it was getting bigger. The more I scrubbed, the bigger it seemed to get.

    We had only been in the house a few days. Ted had decided we were moving away, out of the district where we had lived since we married. The district I grew up in. When I cried to be leaving all my friends, he threatened me with the belt.

    ‘Good,’ he yelled. ‘Maybe you won’t spend all your time gossiping and get some bloody house work done.’

    We knew no-one here. I think that was why he brought us.

    The next morning the stain was still there. My stomach tightened when I saw it was now about a foot long. I ran my hands over it. It was bone dry. When Ted saw it he took my skull in his big hand and pushed my face tightly against the wall. I thought my nose would break.

    ‘You stupid bitch,’ he hissed in my ear. You’re not coming out until you scrape that wall bare.’
    He released me. I was sobbing.

    I screamed as something metal clattered against the wall close to my face and fell to the concrete floor. Then he was gone. I sank down against the wall. Vision blurred by tears, I groped and found the wallpaper stripper at my feet and began to scrape.

    To my horror, I had barely scratched at the wall when the plasterboard gave way.

    ‘Oh shit, oh shit oh shit.’ The words just emptied from my mouth in panic. Ted would be furious. I put my hand to the bruises around my midriff at the thought. They were still tender.

    Breathing hard, I cleared the broken board from the wall to reveal a void beyond. A n old fireplace. Something yellow hung there, beyond the light. Trembling I pulled more of the plaster away.

    I shrieked and leapt backwards. From the cold cement I stared at the void and for the first time in how ever long, I was relieved to hear Ted thumping down the starts.

    ‘What the fu…’ he cried, eyes burning as he looked at me. I pointed at the wall.

    ‘You stupid … bitch,’ he said, but his tone was instantly more measured.

    ‘Well bugger me.’ He turned to me, that sickening grin on his face. I felt my hand still clamped around the decorating tool.

    ‘You just had to find a friend, didn’t you?’

    I rode the pain as he grabbed my hair and dragged me across the floor. He thrust my head through the plasterboard and I fought for breath as I found myself face to face with the stinking, corroded human skull. Its articulated carcases hung there in it’s brick cell, one crooked boney finger outstretched as if beckoning me. I was suffocating. As if the remains of that unholy wretch were sucking the air from me.

    When I thought I would pass out, Ted yanked me back to sprawl on the floor. He was laughing. Then he swung a leg over into the fireplace.

    ‘Let’s see who your friend is?’

    Then he was gone. The floor on the other side of the wall gave way under his weight and he seemed sucked downwards. I heard, rather than saw his hands grasping at the gruesome body as he fell, pulling it after him. His scream echoed and receded. Then stopped abruptly with a dull crunch. Like stepping on a bag full of roaches. I sat for a long time in silence. When I heard Jodie calling, I dried the tears and left the basement.

    Within a month I had sold up. Jodie and I moved to the West Country. When friends asked about Ted I told them the truth.

    That he had fallen for somebody else.

    1. ReathaThomasOakley

      Wow! Powerful story here. I do wonder where Ted and body landed if she was able to sell the house so quickly. Glad it finally posted.

  6. Kerry Charlton

    MIKE HAMMER”S REVENGE

    PART FOUR
    FINALE

    [Part one -three] Crime Log/Beautiful voice

    {Post # 14, 13 failures]

    Two white gorillas, each carried 250 pounds of muscle, appeared at the top of

    the stairs. Confused that they might be seeing a drunken, domestic battle, they hurried

    down to help. When they saw it was Ruth and Sam Spade, they reached for their steel,

    but Mike cold-cocked the biggest and he tumbled down the narrow flight of stairs,

    landing like a small Buick. The second goon had grabbed his rod but had little time to

    use it, as Sam smashed the back of his head with his 38.

    It didn’t slow him down much and he managed to fire one round which grazed

    Ruth’s cheek. Mike placed his gun against the goons ear and squeezed the trigger. He fell

    like a redwood tree and lay still on the stairwell.

    “The hell with being the good guy,” Mike said.

    The three charged up the stairs and burst through Big Jake’s door. Effie and Dee

    Dee were tied to chairs and stripped nude. Big Jake held a long carving knife, tested with

    his thumb for sharpness He laughed as he saw Ruth leading the gumshoes, both pistols

    drawn and dripping blood from her cheek..

    “Goodbye Jake“, she hollered and emptied both guns into his body. Amazingly,

    he lunged toward her and managed to squeeze off one shot which blew a hole through

    Ruth’s neck. He then staggered back and fell over his desk with enough lead in him to

    cast an army of toy soldiers.

    A dead stare overtook Ruth’s eyes as Sam took off his coat and gently laid it

    across her body,

    “Dames”, he said, “you never realize they can be heroic when they need to. He

    kneeled next to her,

    ‘I’m going to miss you ‘doll face’, we all will.”

    Mike took off his coat, covered Effie’s nakedness and untied her, moved over to

    Dee Dee and covered her with his shirt and released her ropes. Both girls were still in

    shock, having come close to being butchered by a mad man. .Sam remained by Ruth’s

    body with a look of disbelief.

    ` The bouncer and four minions from the club entered the room cautiously, rods

    drawn. Mike stood behind the door and stepped in view,

    “It’s finished boys, the party’s over. There’s no sense in killing each other.”

    The bouncer caught the fright in the eyes of the captured girls and dropped his

    gun to the floor and mentioned for Big Jake’s thugs to do the same. “how many times I

    wanted to kill him myself,’ the bouncer thought, as he remembered scenes like this, and

    had seen what Jake could do to women.

    Probably only the bouncer knew how much Jake really hated women The prettier

    the girl , the more intense the hate consumed him. And now, all this was behind him, no

    more cow tailing to Jake’s weird desires. ‘Dead men don‘t do sex,’ the bouncer thought..

    A couple of patrons had called the police, they stormed the night club, releasing

    the patrons who were more than happy to leave. Sgt. O’Malley climbed the back stairs

    over one thug who had broken his neck with his fall down the stairs, another whose

    brain had splattered across the upper part of the staircase. When O’Malley entered the

    room, he sighted the partially covered Dee Dee and Effie, Big Jake lying across his desk

    in a pool of blood. His body looked like a rancid piece of Swiss cheese. Then his eyes

    really blinked, Sam Spade and Mike Hammer, were talking to a mountain of a man and

    four more who looked like more thugs,

    He noticed Ruth’s body lying on the floor,

    “Anyone left breathing is under arrest,” O’Malley said. Five more police entered

    Big Jake’s office. It resembled a black and white, where ten characters surrounded a

    detective, while the story was laid out for the audience to understand. However O‘Malley

    understood none of it and two gumshoes, two half dressed women and a bouncer and

    four thugs were loaded in three police cars that headed downtown.

    ‘Lieutenant Houlihan’s gonna love this one,’ O’Malley thought as the cars sped to

    their destination.

    .
    . . ..

  7. Kerry Charlton

    MIKE HAMMER”S REVENGE

    PART FOUR
    FINALE

    Part 1 -3 Crime Log/Beautiful voice

    {Post # 13, 12 failures]

    Two white gorillas, each carried 250 pounds of muscle, appeared at the top of

    the stairs. Confused that they might be seeing a drunken, domestic battle, they hurried

    down to help. When they saw it was Ruth and Sam Spade, they reached for their steel,

    but Mike cold-cocked the biggest and he tumbled down the narrow flight of stairs,

    landing like a small Buick. The second goon had grabbed his rod but had little time to

    use it, as Sam smashed the back of his head with his 38.

    It didn’t slow him down much and he managed to fire one round which grazed

    Ruth’s cheek. Mike placed his gun against the goons ear and squeezed the trigger. He fell

    like a redwood tree and lay still on the stairwell.

    “The hell with being the good guy,” Mike said.

    The three charged up the stairs and burst through Big Jake’s door. Effie and Dee

    Dee were tied to chairs and stripped nude. Big Jake held a long carving knife, tested with

    his thumb for sharpness He laughed as he saw Ruth leading the gumshoes, both pistols

    drawn and dripping blood from her cheek..

    “Goodbye Jake“, she hollered and emptied both guns into his body. Amazingly,

    he lunged toward her and managed to squeeze off one shot which blew a hole through

    Ruth’s neck. He then staggered back and fell over his desk with enough lead in him to

    cast an army of toy soldiers.

    A dead stare overtook Ruth’s eyes as Sam took off his coat and gently laid it

    across her body,

    “Dames”, he said, “you never realize they can be heroic when they need to. He

    kneeled next to her,

    ‘I’m going to miss you ‘doll face’, we all will.”

    Mike took off his coat, covered Effie’s nakedness and untied her, moved over to

    Dee Dee and covered her with his shirt and released her ropes. Both girls were still in

    shock, having come close to being butchered by a mad man. .Sam remained by Ruth’s

    body with a look of disbelief.

    ` The bouncer and four minions from the club entered the room cautiously, rods

    drawn. Mike stood behind the door and stepped in view,

    “It’s finished boys, the party’s over. There’s no sense in killing each other.”

    The bouncer caught the fright in the eyes of the captured girls and dropped his

    gun to the floor and mentioned for Big Jake’s thugs to do the same. “how many times I

    wanted to kill him myself,’ the bouncer thought, as he remembered scenes like this, and

    had seen what Jake could do to women.

    Probably only the bouncer knew how much Jake really hated women The prettier

    the girl , the more intense the hate consumed him. And now, all this was behind him, no

    more cow tailing to Jake’s weird desires. ‘Dead men don‘t do sex,’ the bouncer thought..

    A couple of patrons had called the police, they stormed the night club, releasing

    the patrons who were more than happy to leave. Sgt. O’Malley climbed the back stairs

    over one thug who had broken his neck with his fall down the stairs, another whose

    brain had splattered across the upper part of the staircase. When O’Malley entered the

    room, he sighted the partially covered Dee Dee and Effie, Big Jake lying across his desk

    in a pool of blood. His body looked like a rancid piece of Swiss cheese. Then his eyes

    really blinked, Sam Spade and Mike Hammer, were talking to a mountain of a man and

    four more who looked like more thugs,

    He noticed Ruth’s body lying on the floor,

    “Anyone left breathing is under arrest,” O’Malley said. Five more police entered

    Big Jake’s office. It resembled a black and white, where ten characters surrounded a

    detective, while the story was laid out for the audience to understand. However O‘Malley

    understood none of it and two gumshoes, two half dressed women and a bouncer and

    four thugs were loaded in three police cars that headed downtown.

    ‘Lieutenant Houlihan’s gonna love this one,’ O’Malley thought as the cars sped to

    their destination.

    .
    . . ..

    1. Critique

      Blazing guns, blood and gore, beautiful dames, and fast action – no time for second chances. Ruth’s heroic move ended up tragically for her – I was saddened. I’m not familiar with Mickey Spillane’s writing but I can assume you nailed it with this story 🙂

  8. Kerry Charlton

    HOME SWEET HOME

    ANNA LEE

    It wasn’t easy saving money for a down payment on a home and using the roach rifle day and night in Frank and Delores’ apartment on Biscayne Boulevard in South Miami. Their lives changed when they drove through Coconut Grove by Biscayne Bay and noticed a Spanish Revival home literally leaning their way as the couple walked the crumbled pavement to the front door and passed the ‘For Sale’ sign.

    The little lady barely reached five feet, burdened with more years than she could remember. She introduced herself as Anna Lee. Her price was amazing for four thousand feet of house even if it did lean. At closing, she picked up her cashier’s check. Anna Lee smiled a wicked grin, as she walked toward the exit door of the attorney’s office. She turned quickly,

    “Take good care of Charlie, she said. He gets lonely if you don‘t sit and talk to him.”

    “Who is Charlie?” Frank asked, but she had disappeared out the door and vanished in the hallway.

    “Don’t bother,” Delores said, ‘she’s halfway to crazy.”

    They started to empty the house with two feet of rubble clinging to the walls and corners. When Frank emptied the pantry, a hidden door placed at the rear side of the small closet appeared. Bolted from the closet side, the slide both refused to budge.

    “Maybe it’s telling you something. There’s no telling what’s on the other side of that door.”

    Once thing Frank always admired about Delores was her common sense, ‘Leave it alone’ he thought, ‘listen to her.’ And them his curiosity kicked in,

    “Where’s you sense of adventure?” he stated

    “Frank, you thick-headed Dutchman, find the WD40 and open the damn thing.”

    It still took a large hammer to tap the slide bolt back. When the door pried loose, the smell of Tut’s Tomb drifted up the wooden staircase. ‘Could it be a bomb shelter from the fifties?’ Frank wondered. And he started down with a large flashlight,

    “Aren‘t you coming with me?”.
    “Scaredy Cat” she said. “wait up brave one, I’m coming.”

    Stairs counted to sixteen as the basement was carved from solid coral rock. In one dark corner sat four chairs with posts embedded in the rock next to each one. Skeletons were shackled to each post.. Names were posted on each set of bones, William, 1957, Charles, 1981. Edward 1993 and finally the latest, Charlie 2013. Bits of flesh still hung on his bones.

    A chilling thought arose as Frank glanced at the opposite corner. A fifth chair and post sat empty
    .
    “Sit down in it, Scardy Cat“

    “Are you crazy Delores? What makes you think I‘d do that?”

    “This will I imagine as she pointed a 38 his way. Would you rather die instantly?”

    “You wouldn’t dare use that“.

    An explosion occurred as a bullet ripped through Frank’s arm.

    “Sit down.”

    He staggered to the chair and sat,

    “I‘m going to bleed to death unless I get help“

    .”You move one muscle, you’re dead. The bleeding will stop. Doesn’t Anna Lee sound familiar?”

    “I remember a song……….”

    “She is my great aunt, dummy.”

    Delores shackled Frank to the post with one hand while holding the 38 against his head with the other.

    As she headed up the stairs, he heard her whisper,

    “I’ll bring some fried chicken for you eat tomorrow.”

    .

      1. Kerry Charlton

        Thanks MCKEVIN, good to see you back. Posting is a real problem with most of us. Responding’s okay, but copy and paste is a nightmare, I’m heading down now to read your story.

    1. ReathaThomasOakley

      Fun story, plus I loved, burdened with more years than she could remember.

      Interesting this story could post and others not. Did you do something different? I’ve had trouble staying logged in, so several issues, I suspect.

      1. Kerry Charlton

        Thank you Reatha, I was just lucky. I’ve tried posting the finale to Mike Hammer’s Revenge twelve times. I think I’ll try one more before the magic disappears.

  9. Pete

    The house was a dream for Richard, who after living with roommates since his divorce was finally going to hunker down and write the novel. It was all perfect, the small, turn-of–the-century Victorian, and the novel, a dream come true.

    The first day he got situated at the desk in the spare room. No matter that all of his possessions were still in boxes, Richard aimed to get cracking, hoping to getsomething worth keeping on the thumb drive before the cable people came out.

    Only nothing much happened. Richard’s mind was still packed away somewhere downstairs, and after a few fruitless hours of bumbling he took to staring at the ridiculous wallpaper with the villas and grazing bulls, the cactuses and the men in sombreros napping in the shade.

    Richard stood to open the window, to get a breeze in the room and clear his head. That’s when he heard the mariachi band. Strange, Richard leaned his head out, only birds. Back inside, fiesta.

    It seemed to be coming from within the house. Richard knelt down, his ear leading him towards the sound of a trumpet, when his shirt snagged on something sharp. An ivory tip protruding from the wall, about the size of his thumb.

    Richard took a closer look, he wasn’t a particularly brave man, but as a homeowner he felt the need to investigate. He peeled at the corner, then, still hearing the music, he ripped right into the wall. The trumpet went silent.

    “Gracias.”

    A small but very real matador tore out of the wall from the darkness, leaping over the dead bull that was lying like a slab on Richard’s floor, a silver sword plugged into his neck.

    The matador continued on in a most cordial manner, though he wasn’t pleased tht he’d torn one of his knee-highs. He introduced himself as Frank, and after a quick bow he cut his eyes at Richard.

    “What, you think I cannot be named Frank, no?”

    Richard shook his head, trying to come out of whatever was happening. “No, it’s not that, what are you doing in my house?”

    “Your house.” Frank-spat to the ground. “This is no more your house than you are a writer.”

    By then the band was clambering over the bull. Richard lost cound of how many of them, just as he lost his grip on the English language.

    “Who…is, what, why is therel…?”

    “This bull, as you call it, is no bull at all.” Frank leaned in close, standing on his tip toes being that he was a shade under five feet tall even with the high rise shoes. “This, my pasty friend, is a metaphor. Are you familiar with metaphors, yes?”

    Richard nodded, unable to peel his eyes from the dead creature. A few of the band members were praying, making crosses with their hands. Part of Frank couldn’t help but to wondering why this hadn’t come up during the home inspection. He made a point never to hire family or friends for jobs again.

    “You see Ricardo, you write, yes, but you do not write well. You take too many, uh, short clips. You don’t let the writing simmer and marinate and…uh..”

    Richard looked away from the stag. “Did you mean shortcuts?”

    Frank marched over to the laptop, making a spectacle of leaning close to the screen where he shook his head. He whipped his cape back with a snap, puffed out his chest. He placed his gloved hands on his hip and the corners of his mouth parted like two duelers preparing for battle. “This is no good, Frank. You know it, I know it,” he nodded to the band section. “They know it.”

    “It’s just a start. I’m just, the move was stressful. This is the first time I’ve been able to write. How did a damn bull get in my house?”

    The matador was on him in an instant, waving a finger and perhaps auditioning for a Spanish soap opera. “No. No, no. Not about the bull. You have killed it that is how, with your passive, drippy-slippy-sloppy jumble. You have run this bull into the ground. It is you. You must bring it to life. Make that proud beast stand, snort, huff and become proud.

    “So, does that make you a metaphor too?”

    “I,” he said, poking Richard on the chest. He snapped his fingers with his free hand and a lone trumpet blared, “…am Frank the Matador. He stomped his foot and the band fired away, blasting into a song. Frank motioned to the desk.

    “Now, type. Bring that bull back to life.”

        1. Kerry Charlton

          Being in San Antonio, I could relate to this. Entertaining is what jhowe called it. It’s more than that. A crazy jaunt through the internal mind, convincing Rixchard to shape up and start writing well. Well Pete, you obviously have met seen the dead bull for you write with a lot of carefree zest in your stories, Bravo, Senor.

    1. cosi van tutte

      Hi, Pete!

      This was such a fun story! Although, for some reason, I imagined Frank having a French accent.

      And just so you know, I love this line -> “You have killed it that is how, with your passive, drippy-slippy-sloppy jumble.” 😆

  10. Observer Tim

    WRITING EXERCISE

    Okay, this is a bit of a twist, but what the heck. I’ve been in a novelling trance for the last while.

    “Vanessa, are you sure you want to use these answers?”

    To be honest, I’d totally forgotten what I put down. We’d filled out the questionnaire at the beginning of the semester, and Wanda our TA’s the kind who wants the Creative Writing lab to be “fun”, so I’d just written anything that came to mind.

    “Of course I’m sure, Miss Wanda.”

    “All right; draw a card, and we’ll fit your words into that story.”

    This is so kindergarten. I drew a card and announced it to the class.

    “The Queen of Spades.”

    “All right, I’ll have your story tomorrow.”

    That night Wanda took out the book and started copying, using Vanessa’s chosen words in place of the blanks in the story.

    _Vanessa_ carefully ignored the noise of the Garrisons’ arguing. “I have to move,” she thought to herself. This was supposed to be a good apartment for a student, but it was obviously the drunken party kind of student, not a bookworm like herself.

    She stepped in and noticed movement; the place was crawling with _elephants_; they were everywhere, on the sofa, under the kitchen table: there were even two sitting on her television. She was deathly afraid of _elephants_, so she ran out and closed the door. “I’ll have to call an exterminator,” she thought.

    Vanessa leaned against the wall, chest heaving; the story was supposed to be read in class, not to actually happen! “What did I put on that form?”

    After the _elephant_ incident, _Vanessa_ decided to get a new house. She checked everyplace and found a few places on _Craigslist_ and one in _Discovery Girl_. She checked that one out first and found a beautiful _gothic mansion_ in a lovely _mountaintop_ near the center of town. And the price was fabulous! She snapped it up fast as a _trip to the bathroom_.

    Well this isn’t so bad, if a little weird, she thought to herself.

    _Vanessa_ had just moved in when s/he found a large _chocolate_ stain on the bedroom wall. When s/he started to clean it her hand went right through the wallpaper and into a space beyond. Inside was a _Egyptian Tomb_ with the perfectly-preserved body of _Dracula_. Beneath him was an inscription that read “_Happiness is a warm puppy._” His/her eyes slowly opened.

    Wanda looked up from the printout in her hand. “What do you think of the story, class?”

    There were general howls of laughter, except for Vanessa.

    Vanessa shouted, “But it all actually happened!”

    “I am well aware of that, Vanessa. You’re in this class because you have a similar special power to mine. What you write tends to come true. Your project for the next week is to write a plausible way out of this situation; if you succeed, it all goes away.”

    “Is it too late for me to make different choices?”

    1. jhowe

      I used to know a guy on here with the name, Observer Tim. I wonder if you’re related. He wrote a lot of these quirky stories that really made a person laugh.

      1. Kerry Charlton

        Hello Tim. I once knew a man from Nantucket,,……No that’s not right, it’s Canada.,, who’s laughing his rear off because he’s living with elephants. And us, well…. Try 117 in the shade in Phoenix, 120 degrees in Las Vegas. And we don’t have elephants to play with just scorpions and rattlers. You write a cozy story in Canada, we write on tin wrapping rolls in Greek because we didn’t study Latin. If you think this is a rant, go play with your elephants. Be sure you have a large snow shovel to clean up with.

  11. SkyFox

    It’s a good idea to check the house first.
    Unless you might end like me.
    Staring at the waterlogged hole in the wall.
    Now you’re thinking.
    ‘It’s a hole. No biggy.’
    To which I reply with, it isn’t just a hole.
    It’s a hole with a god damned body in it.
    Its ghostly white hands were clutching at the air, its eyes staring, blank, half rotted, teeth stretched into a silent scream. The wall around was marred with white lines. Whoever it was had scratched at the walls.
    I shivered and wrapped my coat tighter around myself.
    I knew this was too good to be true.
    A 3 story house with 6 bedrooms, 3 ultra-modern bathrooms, two living rooms and a marble swimming pool. All for $46, 000.
    The thing. No the body, was slumped forward, with what look liked rotted ropes tied around the wrist. I backed up, my feet tripping over themselves, desperate to get out. Until someone grabbed me from behind, sweaty hands clamping around my mouth, frantic breathing echoing in my ears.
    The sound of something slicing through the air and the impact. Right on my head. I slumped to the ground, the tiled floor cool against my cheek, my hands grasping weakly. A laugh above me and two dusty black shoes stepped into my vision. It was the last thing I saw before the world went black.
    ———————————
    I opened my eyes, blinking at the darkness. Where was I?
    It all came rushing back. The car drive here, the sneezing retail agent eyeing at me, the initial excitement walking in, my mouth gaping open like a fish in wide eyed amazement. Exploring the rooms and finding the stairs to the basement. Walking over and placing my hand on the stained area, and pressing lightly. The tearing of the wall as I staggered back in horror. The body. Oh god the body. Where in the hell…
    I reached out carefully, my hand connecting with something hard. I pushed, feeling along the space. Roughly 3 meters by 2 meters. I stepped forward, tensing and moved hand out to feel the area. Until I felt connect with something knobby, something uneven. I moved my hand up, falling into sockets and diverts. I keep moving my hand until I felt something pliable. I swallowed, the only sound in the darkness. I moved my other hand out and felt something round.
    I screamed.
    Now I knew where the body was.
    I screamed and screamed until my voice was hoarse, pounding on the wall. My body felt weak as I slumped to the wall, heaving sobs racking my body. The darkness was suffocating, and the body… Oh god. I buried my head in my hands, rocking slowly back and forth, back and forth.
    “Let me out…”
    “Anyone…”
    “Please!”

    1. Kerry Charlton

      An “Inner Sanction” story if I ever read one. I sensed something from the beginning this wasn’t going to go well, but it is a lot worse than I thought it could be. A great horror story here with complete helplessness from the MC .

    2. jhowe

      Frightening. The fear of being trapped in the dark realized. I really liked that first full paragraph where you described the discovery of the body.

  12. shanster

    My heart just about stopped. Mouth hanging open, I stare at the body for what seems like hours. I hear a car door slam on the street outside and the sound jolts me out of my shell shocked state. My brain kicks into overdrive. What is one supposed to do in such a situation? Do I call the police? What if they think I did it? The house is under MY name. What’s my alibi?! Oh god. Why don’t they teach ANYTHING useful in school? Oh GOD. I’m going to jail.
    “Worst. Housewarming gift. EVER.”, I say out loud, “Take me back to my bug ridden den.”

    I debate googling variations of “dead body in house what to do”. But what if the NSA is watching? Is that suspicious? What if that’s one of the trigger phrases that bring the FBI knocking at my door? No, that’s not the solution. Where do you get information from when Google can’t help? Should I call mom? No. No, no. That’s even worse than the FBI. Why did Jani have to be camping off the grid? Isn’t this literally what best friends were for?! To help each other hide dead bodies?? Why is mine so bad at it? Why do bad things happen to good people?!!

    I stare at the body and contemplate my options, drawing on all my deep breathing and meditation tactics from that wellness workshop I went to last year. As my mind starts to quieten, I realize this is a very good looking dead person. Despite the Victorian-looking outfit. Except no way that body is that old. Maybe he was an actor. That makes sense, he certainly has the look… “Shut up,” I tell myself. “Not appropriate.” Still…that luscious dark hair, the chiseled jawline…too bad I didn’t meet him when he was… “NO. Focus.”

    I wonder if I can just patch the hole up again and call the realtor to sell the house again. Yes, that will do it. Then it will be the next owners problem. Brilliant. I’m surprised it’s taken me this long to figure this out…I’m usually great at running away from problems. Yes, that will be best. Best to not get caught up in it at all. Suddenly energized, I whip out my phone to call the realtor. As I scroll through my contacts to get to her name, I start thinking up a great story to tell her about why I want to get rid of my new acquisition so quickly. As I’m deciding on a tale about going to care for an ill grandparent in some far off country, I realize that the phone isn’t ringing. This number is not in service? What? No. This is not happening. THIS is happening? This is suspicious, right? A person with a business selling homes doesn’t just decide to cut their number one day. What now? Is she mixed up in it? Should I try to hunt her down to get to the bottom of this? But what if it’s just a coincidence and she has no idea about the body? Is that possible? This is just too much. Overwhelmed with a sudden burst of panic, I whip my cell phone at the body and yell, “WHY ARE YOU HERE?”

    As tears start blurring my vision, I hear a rustling sound coming from the hole in the wall and a deep voice lilts, “Ouch. It is typically not considered good manners to wake up the genie that’s about to grant you three wishes by chucking something at them.”

      1. chandra_wd_writer

        This is frustrating. Not sure when WD will fix this issue. My posts aren’t going through as well. A lot of us have faced this in the recent weeks 🙁

  13. flyaway

    The corpse was of an old woman. Her white wispy hair was shoulder length, framing her wrinkled waxy face. There were tiny brown dots scattered around her face, like stamps of time, and her lips had become thin lines. But under this evidence of age, I could still make out the familiar features: the pointy eyebrows, the crooked nose, the high cheekbones… I was staring at myself, as a much older woman.
    I felt both frightened and intrigued. Was she even real? I bent down next to her slumped body and reached out to touch her face. It was eerily similar to stroking a limb that fell asleep. Everything seemed to indicate that she was real and really dead. I didn’t understand what I had found. Through my confusion, it took me a while to notice that the hole wasn’t a hole, but rather a tunnel. I dig through my phone and found the flashlight app. Lighting the path ahead, I could make out more figures, all similarly slumped against the side of the tunnel.
    I could heart my heart pounding in my chest as I came near the first body. His russet hair and round thin-frame copper-rimmed glasses meant that this middle-aged man was a friend of mine from work. I had only talked to him an hour ago on the phone and here he was, almost twenty years older. His face seemed to be frozen in a look of anguish: His eyebrows were knit together; his nose wrinkled up; and his mouth curled down and left slightly open. It seemed that however he died must have been painful. A pressure formed in my chest and my body screamed, “Run! Don’t look back!”. But I saw no danger and wanted to keep walking.
    The next body was my mother. Then, my father, sister, childhood dog, first-grade teacher… I knew each person that I came across, but knew that each was still alive. Yet here they lay, some seemingly a few years older than when I last saw them. I was seeing the deaths of all of those whom I’ve cared about in the past and present.
    No longer able to ignore the fear, which tied knots in my chest, I turned around and ran out of that tunnel as fast as I could. The price and beauty of the house was not worth the disturbing secret it hid.

      1. Kerry Charlton

        I found it rather intriguing. At the least, it was unsettling and I felt extreme danger for your MC. Split and run was a very good idea.

  14. dustymayjane

    I didn’t care to peer a second time into the dark hole behind the stained wallpaper. One look at the decomposing flesh would be enough to haunt my dreams for the rest of my life. Sweat beaded on my forehead and I ran out the door shaking. I closed my eyes and tried to breath. Terrible visions of bodies swarming with bugs rolled around in my mind. I asked “Why me?”

    I leaned against a large oak tree that shaded the front lawn. I had been so excited to have a yard to tend, grass to cut, flowers to grow. I even thought that having a wife and kids was a real possibility.

    I looked around the neighborhood and gave a self pitying chuckle. I guess I don’t belong here. This perfect street, this perfect house. Not so perfect after all.

    I had no choice but to return to my old apartment. I knew it was infested even if the landlord had it exterminated and vowed it was clean. The bugs clung to the walls and skittered beneath my sparse furnishings. None of my neighbors ever saw them however, and I overheard them talk about me seeing things.

    I loaded my belongings up as fast as possible, left the key under the doormat and called the realtor. “I can’t stay in that house. Please just get rid of it for me. The key is under the mat.”

    A month later I received a deposit of the same amount I paid for the house in my bank account.

    I was curious at the quick turnaround and returned to the same street.

    I slowed my car down as the house came into view. Its large oak tree standing watch as a beautiful wife tended the roses. A boy played catch with his dad and a girl jumped rope. The smell of fresh cut grass wafted into my open window.

    I rose my hand in a wave. “Hello. I was just driving by and was wondering if I could have a look inside. See I grew up here.” A little lie wouldn’t hurt and I had to see for myself.

    I was welcomed through the door, through the rooms. I stopped at the wall where I had seen the body. The wallpaper was the same but there was no stain, no stench. No sign of the hole I’d revealed only a few weeks ago.

    “It’s a great house? We can’t believe what a steal it was. When did you say you lived here?”

    I looked up and back to the wall. There, crawling out from it were bugs, thousands of them. I looked on in terror as they ate holes through the now stained wallpaper, revealing the body I remembered. I ran from the room to my car and tried to escape the madness.

    “What happened?” The woman asked her husband.

    “I’m not sure. He looked at me like I had bugs crawling from my face and ran away.”

    “Poor man.”

  15. MCKEVIN

    April 06, 2016…
    A certified letter arrived at Tracy’s bed bug infested apartment on Dickens and Keeler. The Humbolt Park Chicago neighborhood had changed for the worst and undesirables were everywhere. Tracy knew he’d soon have enough money saved to move but fate had something else planned.
    “Sign here. “
    The devilishly handsome postal worker said. Tracy initialed his pad, watched the postal worker’s firm butt as it disappeared next door then ripped the letter open. The letter stated Carnell Wright had died under mysterious circumstances, an investigation was pending and that Mr. Wright’s vacation home had been deeded to Tracy. The two men never got along and Carnell was Tracy’s former work supervisor. Tracy pinched himself when he shook the envelope and keys fell out.
    June 06, Moving day…
    The smell of homemade spaghetti lingered in the air of Tracy’s new kitchen. The head mover placed a final box on the floor while Tracy removed two dinner plates from his newly painted pantry.
    “Marinara sauce smells good and sir I need your signature here.” The mover said pointing at his clipboard. Tracy signed then smiled at the mover who had arms like machine guns.
    “Thank you.”
    Tracy said returning the pen.
    “Man, this place is nice.”
    “I’m still remodeling.”
    “Remove the old wallpaper, paint and it’ll be good as new.”
    “Thanks for the suggestion.”
    Tracy’s fiancé appeared like clockwork as he showed the mover out the door.
    “Dinner’s ready Walter.”
    Tracy and WC hugged then pecked each other’s cheeks.
    “I need to wash my hands.”
    WC was headed down the long kitchen hallway when he noticed a loose piece of discolored wallpaper. He yanked it off and the stench of death immediately filled the space. A flood of maggots fell from the hole to the floor. WC jumped at the sight.
    “You alright back there?”
    Tracy hollered from the kitchen as he scooped spaghetti onto carnival glass plates.
    “I don’t know yet!”
    WC yelled back as he covered his nose and pulled away more wallpaper. He saw therotting corpse of a man still wearing his glasses. Green flies flew from the eye, nose and mouth sockets.
    “WHAT?”
    Tracy curiously asked as he placed a salad, bottle of red wine and warm breadsticks on the kitchen’s table.
    “TRACE!-”
    WC called out as he reached for what looked like a journal near the corpse’s hand.
    “Whoa…”
    WC screamed when the hand fell off.
    “Walter?”
    Tracy heard the commotion, looked in the direction of the hallway but decided to ignore the noise then placed silverware on the table.
    “Plate’s ready! Walter?”
    Dazed, WC didn’t respond as he continued reading the journal’s February 06, entry.
    “Carnell agreed to sell me his vacation home but refused to recommend me for a work promotion. That was the last straw! I surprised Carnell at his vacation home, placed my Glock 45 to his temple and made him sign over the deed before I blasted his brains out. I hid him in the hallway, cleaned the blood then mailed the documents to Walter Caine Carnell’s attorney. “

    1. angelprojekt

      Ooh, was it Tracy, was he framed, or did everyone hate Carnell?! Surely Tracy wouldn’t hide a body in a hall and take his fiancé there. Interesting that there’s a confession about hiding the body, hidden with the body. There’s more to this story!

      1. MCKEVIN

        Actually, it was Tracy. Thank you very much for asking. Lol. Not only did Tracy murder Carnell, he also has affairs with the devilishly handsome mailman and the owner of the moving company whose name is Will. The murder doesn’t alter the couple’s marriage plans but it does set the stage for an interesting future. Stay tuned.

        1. Kerry Charlton

          Stay tuned, I will, waiting for the next part. Description of corpse and maggots, made the old stomach turn Ugh! Ugh! Neat stuff MCKEVIN.

  16. ShamelessHack

    Live here many suns and moons.
    Many bugs here.
    Mate Ugga not happy.
    Have to move. Find new place.
    Walk two suns and moons.
    No find place.
    Walk three more suns and moons.
    See cliff.
    Look like good cliff. Have nice cave.
    Ugga! Come look, new cave. Good, uh?
    No bugs in cave.
    Ugga like.
    Good.
    What back here?
    Hole in back of cave. Someone in it!
    It old friend Bong.
    Bong look pretty bad.
    Bong dead.
    Ugga! Guess what?
    New cave come complete with food supply.
    Bong last us for many suns and moons.

  17. angelprojekt

    It’s seven or eight minutes before the screaming stops.
    “Ma’am, I need you to get ahold of yourself. I cannot understand you if you are screaming.”
    “I- I know, I’m sorry.” I sob. Breathe. “I’m calm.”
    The operator asks for my location, which I don’t know, and when I explain my emergency, she asks for details of the body, which I also don’t know.
    My throat stings. “I just ran out and called 911. Do I have to go back in there?”
    “No, ma’am. You should leave the house and wait someplace safe until the police arrive.”
    “I don’t know anyone in this neighborhood.” I whine, feeling helpless.
    “Do you have a car?”
    “Yes.”
    “Go wait in your car, with the doors locked and the engine running, outside of your garage. If you have someplace safe to go, leave your home and we will let you know when the officers have checked your house.”
    “I can’t think of anywhere,” I whine again. Wanting to be helpful, I add, “I’m getting in my car.”
    “We have you pinpointed at the 300 block of West Elm. Does that sound correct?”
    “Um, I think so.”
    “Officers are on their way. You can stay on the phone with me until they arrive.”
    “Thank you.”
    I ramble on the phone, berating myself for buying a house without an inspection, wondering aloud if a serial killer lived there, declaring that I’ll have to tear the house down, and bemoaning the loss of such an adorable house.
    Finally, a squad car pulls up behind mine in the driveway and one officer approaches me with a flashlight held high.
    “Evening, ma’am. I’m Officer Johnson. You reported a body?”
    “Y-yes,” I stammer. “In my bedroom. Upstairs, first door on the right.”
    “Would you like Officer Tate to stay with you?”
    Officer Tate’s jowly glisten is visible even in the low light radiating through the windows of the old house. I decline.
    It’s seven or eight years before Tate and Johnson emerge from the house, Tate scowling and Johnson smirking.
    “Ma’am, we’ve searched the house thoroughly,” says Johnson. “Will you come with us?”
    Puzzled, I follow. It must be safe if they’re letting me come back in, but I wonder who else will have to drop by… the coroner? Do they know who previously owned the house? I’m so lost in thought that the sight of the body doesn’t register until I’ve almost stepped on it.
    There, on my bedroom floor, armless and legless, mouth gaping.
    “Did you know that there’s a closet on the other side of this wall?” asks Johnson.
    I shake my head, stunned.
    “Some of the walls in this house are literally paper-thin. You found a thin spot that opened up to the closet. The previous owners left a few things in there: first aid kits, a defibrillator. And this CPR dummy.”

  18. cosi van tutte

    Be careful what you wish for.

    Yeah. That’s what they always say. What do you mean, who’s they? I don’t know. They. The people who always say those sort of things.

    Everyone knows those kind of people. I do. You do. That freckle-faced kid over there…Well, he knows at least five.

    What? Why am I going on about a boring clichéd witticism? Oh, it’s all because of this new house I bought.

    You see, I’ve been living in this old, ramshackle bust of a house. Standard ranch. Nothing fancy. Nothing fine about it. I mean, it has all of its windows and floors and such. It’s not…you know, dead or anything. It’s just…Well. I’m so sick of living with bedbugs. Don’t judge me. Those things are not my fault. They came with the house.

    They’re why I decided to move.

    I always wanted to live in a genuine Victorian house. A real mansion. You know? One of those sweet painted ladies with fine trimmings and gables and Tiffany windows and real solid oak floors. A real house with real history and real…well, real realness.

    I wanted a house that had seen some serious stuff in its lifetime.

    I wished for it. First full moon, shooting star. You know, the whole works. And sure enough, my wish came true.

    I found this Victorian house for sale. It was everything I wanted and then so much more. The owner was selling it for—get this—TWENTY-NINE DOLLARS! Sorry. Didn’t mean to shout so loud. I just get real excited over good deals.

    I thought that house was a good deal.

    I really, truly did.

    Twenty-nine dollars for the house of my dreams that didn’t have any roaches or bedbugs. I had made off with the motherload! Woot!

    Well, turns out no. No woot.

    I didn’t bother with inspecting the house. I just told the owner, “Yeah. I’ll buy it. Twenty-nine dollars? Yep. I’ll do it.”

    I should have done an inspection.

    A top to bottom inspection.

    It would have been a good idea for sure.

    I mean, I would have definitely noticed that bloody wall in the basement. Probably would have asked the owner about it.

    I might have insisted on finding out what was on the other side. Right then and there.

    You know, it’s always a good idea to find the dead body in the wall before you pay for a house. Saves you a whole lot of shock and drama.

    Just sayin’.

      1. Kerry Charlton

        This is my kind of MC, Cosi. Nothing bothers them. easy people to live with, Liked the internal banter a whole lot. Very clever way of writing a story.

  19. Geezer Muse

    Hello,everyone. Not having any luck posting, even with my alias. ‘Geezer Muse. I post part four the conclusion of ‘Mike Hammer’s Revenge along with parts 1 -3. kerrybcharlton.blogspot.com

    Thanks for being patient.

  20. igonzales81

    “Look, I know what I saw.” I fight to keep my voice down, to stay in control, but I can hear the quaver, the rise in pitch, that presages a total breakdown.

    “Hey, hey, stay calm,” Phil says. “Just take a deep breath.” He glances at the hole in the wall, the ragged edges of crumbling drywall and stained wallpaper. “Let’s think about this a minute.”
    That’s Phil, always trying to reason his way through stuff. “I’m trying to be calm,” I say through clenched teeth. “But there was a body there when I called you ten minutes ago, and now it’s gone.”

    “Okay.” He shakes his head, not in a way that says he doesn’t believe me, but like he’s having a hard time reconciling what I’m saying to what he’s seeing. “Okay. So why did you open the wall in the first place?”

    “The stain. And the smell. I had to see what was causing it.”

    Phil glances at me, looks back to the hole. I can tell what he’s thinking. I’ve always been a bit high strung, prone to going off on some extreme tangents. It’s the price I pay for having a vivid imagination. But I’m not imagining this.

    “Tell me about the body,” he says.

    “What?”

    “The body. Was it a man or a woman? How tall was it? Did it look like it’d been there a while?”

    I don’t have to think back far; I don’t think I’ll ever forget what I saw. “A man. Maybe six feet. And it had definitely been there a while.” I think back on the desiccated flesh, stretched tight across the prominent bones, the empty eye sockets lined by ragged gashes, the lips skinned back from teeth that seemed impossibly large. “A long while.”

    “Okay.” Phil steps over to the hole, pauses. He plants his hands on his hips, absently taps a foot against the floor. “Okay. But if there was a body, then where is it now?”

    “I DON’T KNOW!” Calm just isn’t going to happen.

    “Whoa, whoa, whoa. Take it easy.” His hands make placating gestures, like he’s smoothing linens in a drawer. “Let’s…let’s just…think about this. I’m gonna go get you a glass of water. And then…and then maybe we should call the cops, or something.” Phil backs out of the room, doesn’t take his eyes off me. “I’ll be right back.” I hear his footsteps recede, the creaking of the steps as he goes downstairs.

    Okay. He’ll be right back. But I’m not waiting. I take out my phone, hit the emergency call. A glass of water, really? Right now, I don’t want anything but a lot of flashing lights and sirens.

    The call connects, and I’m immediately put on hold. Typical. I wait, drumming my fingers against my leg, wiping the sweat off my palm. It’s taking them forever to pick up. Why have I been on hold for so long?

    And where’s Phil? It’s not that big a house, and he knows where the water glasses are.

    Now I hear his footsteps, the creaking of the stairs. Is it my imagination, or is he moving really slowly?

  21. Barouches

    I sat on the steamer trunk full of my bedding that I had yet to unpack. Elbow propped on my knee, I held my head in my hand. Before me, aged floral wallpaper stood peeled back like petals of a flower, revealing a gaping wound in the wall of my new bedroom. Broken down lathe and plaster hung from the wound and littered the floor beneath.

    What had started out as an interesting little quest to discover the source of a stain had laid waste to the rest of my afternoon; perhaps even the rest of my life. Yes, if this were made known, the rest of my life would be over. I shifted position a bit and after rubbing my eyes, rested my chin in my hand and sighed. The hard ball rolling around in my stomach grew, and the more it grew, the tighter it knotted.

    Filmy white dead pupils gazed up into the nothingness in the cavity of the wall, and the fingers of each hand were seized in the grips of rigger. Both were frozen as claws as one might find on an animal lying on the roadside. The wrists were bound by wire wound so tight that the wrists had almost been severed. I supposed I should have been more distressed to see the body of someone I knew well instead of my concern for the wreckage of my future, but there was nothing I could do for him now.

    I had suspected they could be savage, though not this savage. They had set me up over two years before by depositing half a million dollars into my bank account. I had just gotten out of prison for that fiasco and was getting my life back together with the help of family. No one had believed me then, nor would they believe me now. I was just beginning to repair relationships that, even now, were tenuous at best.

    I didn’t know who they were, and I didn’t know why they had selected me as their target. I did know that apparently they were prepared to take this to some bitter end. If anything had become abundantly clear, it was that I couldn’t protect those around me. Not my friends. Not my family. No one.

    The very reason I had moved out was to spare my roommate, I had just seen him leave the apartment the night before. I thought that distancing myself from those I knew would protect them. I know now that I was wrong.

    It was probably best if I dumped out one of the packed cases and filled it with what I needed to run. Without a doubt ‘they’ had already notified the authorities, and if I wanted to protect anyone else in my family, or my friends, it would be best if I disappeared where even ‘they’ couldn’t find me.

  22. Teatimeprose

    This was my second trip back to the house but each time I pulled up to the long driveway, I could not help but be in awe. A large Victorian house built in the antebellum days and restored for modern living sometime in the early 2000’s. In short, it was my dream house -only better.
    Even the movers, who so graciously helped me arrange some of the heavier furniture, only had compliments and praise. None of us could believe how incredibly low the price had been. “Luckily”, I beamed with self-praise, “when I saw such an amazing house with a “FOR SALE” sign, I called the realtor on a whim. Talk about luck!”. The movers left sometime near dusk, their footsteps trailing off as I closed the door. All you could hear through the open windows were the sounds of crickets on a warm summers night.
    As I made my way to my room, a box of clothing cradled in my arms, I thought about how a few days ago my apartment had been crawling with bugs. All kinds of icky bugs. I shuddered at the months I spent at constant war with those little critters. When I got to my room on the second floor, I dropped the clothes with a loud thud. I smiled at the sight of my bed, so warm and inviting on a long day. Immediately, I plopped myself down and stared at the walls imagining the decorating possibilities. My gaze stopped abruptly on a large rust-colored stain in the corner near the closest. I sat up and walked quickly over.
    As selfish as it is, I couldn’t help but think that I better have gotten a discount for such a blatant flaw. I touched the stain and found that the area was soft, pliable. My heart beat faster. Oh no… More bugs… I quickly found an edge of the wallpaper and tore as quickly as possible until the wall was bare. More than bare. Behind the wallpaper was a giant hole in the wall, inside a sight far worse than bugs. I’ll admit, I must’ve screamed for a better part of 5 minutes. My insides twisted and writhed as I stood before a body long-past decomposition. Its features twisted in fear and agony. I stepped back to discover that where once its eyes sat, two small cameras had been placed.
    “Oh shi-“, I turned to grab my cell phone. Desperate to call the police.
    The woman who had sold the house now stood in the doorway, her face twisted in satisfaction.
    “No calling the police. You are going to get rid of this body for me and you will never speak of it again. This buyer didn’t listen as you can see…” Her smiled faded as she grabbed a pistol from her pocket. “Bring the body to the fireplace.”

  23. ReathaThomasOakley

    Home Sweet Home

    Angela stopped drumming her fingers on the steering wheel.

    Relax, she told herself, no need to hurry. We’ve got all the time in the world. She looked again at the small group gathered around her mother on the apartment house sidewalk, and smiled. Edie had made friends in the twelve years she’d lived here, leaving would be tough. Finally, after one last hug, she was in the car, fastening her seat belt.

    “Just had to make certain they know what to do tomorrow, after David is here,” she explained in a rush.

    “Yes, Mom. Check that he got everything, leave the keys,” Angela laughed. “My brother is nearly forty, I’ll bet he and his friend can get the furniture and boxes without you being here. By tomorrow night everything will be in our new place, our new home.” Angela started the car. “Our new home.”

    Edie relaxed against the seat.

    “I just wish you weren’t so secretive about all this, I mean a surprise is one thing, but I’m completely in the dark.”

    “You’ll see, Mom, you’ll see.” Angela glanced over at her mother, at her rough hands and graying hair. We’ll change that, she thought, make you young again.

    Today was the culmination of a master plan Angela’d been working on for nearly five years, five years in a crummy apartment in a distant city, working her way up in the company, saving every dime she could, but it would all be worth it if she could make her mother happy, make her not so anxious all the time.

    Angela could barely remember what life had been like all those years before her father had deserted the family, but she remembered the after time, the seven hard years before Edie finally had him declared dead, and the house was sold. Then the small apartment, college, the job, and finally today.

    Angela had requested, and gotten, the lateral move back to her hometown, was still saving for a place large enough for her mother to live with her when the miracle happened, a For Sale sign in front of the perfect house. She’d made a healthy down payment, and had moved in three weeks before, with Smokey, her cranky old Persian. Strange what he kept doing…

    “What?” Angela hadn’t realized her mother was talking. “Sorry. Yes, a really nice house, older but in great shape, I’ve been busy getting it ready, little cosmetic work still to do, but I thought you could help me.” She gave her mother’s arm a gentle squeeze. “Just a little help. You worked so hard for me and David, now you can take it easy. Isn’t that what retired folk do?” She turned the corner into a residential street and slowed down. “Won’t be long now.”

    “Angela? Where are we going? Where are we?” Edie sounded frantic as she clutched her seatbelt strap. “Angela! Answer me?”

    “Oh, Mom, this is the surprise, our old house,” Angela said with pride as she stopped the car in front of the big Victorian with a pick up truck in the driveway. “Everything just fell into place. Motivated seller, unbelievable price, great interest rate. Still can’t believe I’m living here as an adult.” She unfastened her seat belt. “I’ve been painting and planning,” Angela stopped. “But, there’s something strange in the basement, Mom. One wall seems shorter than it should be, in a store room Smokey won’t go into. A contractor friend of David’s is here, that’s his truck. He’s going to do a little demo, see what he can find.” She opened the door. “Ah, there he is. Wonder what’s wrong, he looks like he’s seen a ghost. Mom? You getting out? Mom?”

        1. Kerry Charlton

          I kind of agree with Tim, Columbo would be perfect here. Again, I’m dying for you to put these together in a book. It would make a wonderful success with lots of meney pouring in, weather you needed it or not. And what has happened to the site, it’s dead still?

          1. ReathaThomasOakley

            Kerry, I’d love lots of money pouring in, just can’t figure out how to get it started. Thanks.

  24. jhowe

    Joe Stapleton sits on a U-Haul box labeled kitchen supplies and stares at the new hole in the wall. It’d been covered with just a layer of wallpaper and now the void looms, gaping, the tang of who knows what waifs out. He searches for a flashlight, finds one and peers into the wall cavity. Retching, he stumbles back, hands shaking, sweat breaking out on his face. It’s apparent now why the house had been the steal of the century.

    Joe pours a water glass half full with bourbon and downs it. He had managed to pull the body of his ex-wife from the wall and she lays prone on the floor, eyes open, mouth agape, splotchy bruising on her thin neck. His heart races as he recalls how he’d come to buy the house. The unknown realtor had called, left a message, related a price beyond belief. The offer was made and here he is, cell phone in hand, finger poised over the send key he knows he won’t press. There’s too much dirt out there to overcome: the Facebook battles, the public skirmishes, the messy divorce, the unaffordable alimony payments, and now the dead body that he had all but threatened numerous times when she was alive.

    He clears the 911 pending call and tries to think. He wraps her in a moving blanket and lugs her to his garaged SUV, stuffing her in the back. She would have to wait a while before he moved her. Inside, he removes the wallpaper on the entire wall. He sees the cut-out portion of drywall and recalled seeing a piece about this size in the basement. He retrieves it and it fits perfectly. From the garage he gets his screw gun and a handful of screws. His carpenter skills take over the operation and soon he has the opening filled, mudded with drywall compound and ready for a coat of texture paint.

    Joe jumps in the SUV, drives to a 24 hour big box store and buys paint and a roller. Returning home, he sees the quick drying compound is almost ready. He drinks a little more bourbon and quickly paints the wall. Into a big trash bag goes the construction waste, paint can, roller and all the sweepings from a thorough clean-up.

    For brevity’s sake, he doesn’t elaborate on how he disposes of the body into a building foundation form scheduled for concrete fist thing in the morning.

    Joe unpacks boxes, enjoying his day off, organizing on the fly. The knock on the door is expected. The police detective that his ex-wife had been seeing on the down low smiles, a warrant in his hand, a uniformed officer by his side. Joe is gracious and cooperative. The officer searches the house while the detective stares blankly at the off white wall.

    “Anything wrong Mike?” Joe says.

    “No, nothing’s wrong.” The voice is mechanical, distant. As the cops are leaving, Joe shakes the detective’s unwilling hand and says quietly, “Life’s a bitch Mike. Peggy screwed up my life and I heard she stated screwing up yours too.”

    Mike said nothing.

    “Say hello to Sheila for me,” Joe said.

      1. Kerry Charlton

        A true MC with nerves of stainless steel. Amazing story of how he derail his ex wife’s lover’s plot
        But I’d bet a weeks pay it isn’t over yet
        Now to worry about your.MC.turning an.ignition key on with a bomb wied to it
        Fast and furious this story was

  25. Jay "The Doc" Wilson

    I feel like the prompt is needlessly elaborate lol

    “After months of home shopping, you find an incredibly cheap house and buy it right away. After moving in, you notice a strange stain on the wall. After peeling away the wallpaper, you discover a hole with a body stuffed inside. Who is this person and who killed them? Why? How do you deal with the body?”

    Anyway, can’t wait to start on this one, but 500 words? Pfff, right. haha Looking forward to reading the stories. 😀

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