Category Archives: Events

Nerves Like Daggers (A to Z Blog Challenge)

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**To read the first part of this story line: Mental Challenges
**To start from the very beginning: From the Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas

Nerves

“Nerves Like Daggers”

The Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas

The house had been booby trapped.

Luckily for those under his command, Sargent Detective Gil Katsaros held back his men in respect to the local police force. Rovas and Berrak were behind them when the explosion forced them all to hit the ground. Shrapnel flew by Rovas and Berrak, but wood slivers and other debris pierced some who were closer to the house. The five members of the local force were scattered around the burning mess of a vacation home.

Berrak helped tend to the wounded with some of the other officers, after making sure Rovas was OK. He, after checking she was all right, went with the Sargent Detective to examine the scene after they called the local authorities.

“EMTs and fire trucks are on their way,” Gil told Rovas as they went to check on the status of the downed police. Three of them were dead; the other two, one a female cop, were still hanging on. Both were unconscious, which Rovas thought was a blessing for them, seeing how badly they were injured. While the others did what they could until medical help could arrive, Rovas and Gil continued searching the perimeter. The house was still ablaze and too hot to get too close to.

Gil drew his gun, offering Rovas his back up piece. He shook his head and produced his own gun from under his coat. Gil’s eyebrow went up in a bit of surprise, but he let it go immediately.

“I’ll take that, Gil, if you don’t mind.” Berrak had come quietly behind them, aware of her presence when she arrived.

Gil’s face twitched, ready to say no, but Rovas turned and gave his wife his gun. He took Gil’s back up. “I feel better if Berrak has a gun that she’s practice on already. Home protection, after…” he trailed off.

“Right. There’s not much we can do here while the fire burns so hot.” Gil walked over to his second in command and spoke to him out of earshot of Rovas and Berrak. “They’ll stay her for the medical team and back up, and will call me when this area is secure. I’d like to go check out the surrounding area, but…” Gil said, kicking himself as he was saying it, “…stay close to me.”

Rovas only gave him the look. He nodded. Berrak fell to her husbands’ side as they made their way into the trees that surrounded the property. To the west was a small beach area; the east, behind the remains of the house, was forest, a small hill in the near distance led to the south. Open land and the main road were due north. If John Peters was still in the vicinity, Rovas agreed with Gil: the forest would be the first choice to hide or escape through. Everything else appeared too wide open.

They scoured through the copse of trees, searching the tops of the sturdiest trees as well as any large groupings of shrubbery. They heard the sirens in the distance. Rovas remained intent in his hunt for Peters; Gil was glad to hear the sound, knowing reinforcements would soon be freed up to join them. Berrak was unsuccessfully looking for any markings of Peters passing this way. There were none.

She turned around, looking back along the way they came. The land had risen slightly as they walked, which now gave them more of a panoramic view of the burning house and more of its surroundings. Around a bend in their search, she spotted something: a bright glint of light to their left. She prodded Rovas, who tapped Gil. They began to crouch just as they heard the sound of a rifle firing.

Gil went down in a spray of blood from his shoulder. Two more shots rang out, missing them.

“Berrak, stay with Gil. Call for help.” She began to shake her head, but Rovas was already off. As he ran, he flicked the gun safety switch. He heard Peters cutting through the brush more than saw him. There were glimpses, but not enough for a clear shot as he ran. There was more than a twenty years difference in their ages, but Rovas was spurred on by adrenaline and anger.

Rovas followed Peters as the hill rose steeply. Peters fired off another shot, turned and ran again.  He missed, but this allowed Rovas to lesson the distance between the two. The killer crested the hill and disappeared completely from sight. Wary, Rovas made his way to the top, expecting another bullet.

He crept to the top and peered over. The hill sloped down with a radical drop. He saw Peters sling his rifle over his shoulder. From the distance, Rovas saw Peters take out a piece of paper, a knife, and watched him drive it into the trunk of the tree closest to him. He climbed onto a waiting motorcycle and put a helmet on. As he revved the engine, Peters turned and looked up.

Rovas and Peters locked eyes for an instant.  Peters reached up and closed the helmets’ shield and kicked up the stand. Rovas took aim with his gun and fired off four shots. Peters drove off at high speed and was gone in a flash.

A medic was tending to Gil as Rovas came to where he left them. Berrak was by him before he could say anything. She checked him over to make sure he wasn’t shot. She found nothing more than scrapes. “I’m ok, I’m ok,” he said to her as she dabbed at the blood on his hands and then face. “It’s only a flesh wound.”

“This is not a time for joking around, Zarian.”

The half smile faded from his face. “I know. He got away, Gil. Had a blasted bike hidden away. He left us a present where he stashed his motorcycle. We’ll pick it up soon.”

“Military planning all the way around. Take the enemy out, stake out the high grou…ouch!…high ground. Plan your retreat.” Gil grumbled. “Bastard.”

“Your shoulder?”

“Through and through,” said the EMT, Jill. “We’ll take him to the hospital for a full check up. Yes, you are going to the hospital,” she said, before Gil could say anything.

“I assume you’ve already had this argument while I was gone.”

She turned to him, tight-lipped but smiling nonetheless.

“Gil, go. We’ll be right behind you.”

Rovas put his arm around Berrak’s shoulder, pulling her into a hug as the others made their way back to the house.

“I was worried,” she said.

He just nodded his head, which she felt alongside hers in the embrace. They stood like that for a little bit, then made their way to the car.

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“The Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas” is my theme for this year. Cold case files for the good inspector to delve into, trying to make sense &/or solve. My plan is to use a variety of genres within this overarching theme to allow me to play and, of course, challenge myself. Some cases might bleed into another case. Most will be stand alone. We’ll see, won’t we?

As to the Blogging from A to Z challenge, I’ll let the words of Arlee Bird (founder of said challenge) tell you what this is all about:

The brainchild of Arlee Bird, at Tossing it Out, the A to Z Challenge is posting every day in April except Sundays (we get those off for good behavior.) And since there are 26 days, that matches the 26 letters of the alphabet. On April 1, blog about something that begins with the letter “A.” April 2 is “B,” April 4 is “C,” and so on. You can use a theme for the month or go random – just as long as it matches the letter of the alphabet for the day.

The A to Z Challenge is a great way to get into the blogging habit and make new friends.

So, join me (and the over 1700 other blogs involved) starting on Friday, April 1, 2016 and ending on Saturday, April 30th. Comments and such are always welcome. I hope you enjoy the stories.

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Inquiries (A to Z Blog Challenge)

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**To start from the beginning: From the Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas

Impulsive2

“Inquiries”

The Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas

The tiny caskets were lowered into the earth. The entire Palmont family was there; Gerald was holding both his parents hands, while Janice and April held each other, slightly apart from their mother and father. Berrak was standing off to the side, towards the back, while others gathered around, the first to the grave site trying to touch or hug the girls. Most still didn’t understand Janice and April’s avoidance at the chapel: here, the rebuffs left nothing to misunderstanding.

As the mourners were leaving in small clumps, Berrak gathered herself to join them. She noticed that Janice was staring at her. Neither of them moved for a moment, Janice did a small wave to Berrak, then looked to her parents, then to April. Berrak caught her eyes one more time. She nodded and left.

Khazarian had stayed at home. He felt that he had done all he could do for the girls. The case closed. The funeral, in his opinion, was for them to come together again as a family. He was not part of that process. Berrak disagreed, so she went while sat at his desk, looking over the notes he was adding to the Palmont children’s file. Plus, the file notes about their abductor/rapist, John Peters. Sargent Detective Gil Katsaros had called early in the morning, bringing him up to speed on the proceedings.

John Peters was ex-military, a fact Berrak fathomed by the way Peters held himself while they were in his kitchen. “His posture was stiff, and he clasped his hands tightly about his back,” she said. “I’d be surprised if he didn’t have a military background.” She was right, of course. Each turn of events with his wife left an ever growing sense of respect for her, even with a high regard to begin with.

What he was loathe to tell her was that Peters’ lawyer had him plead not guilty, by way of PTSD. An insanity plea. Khazarian shook his head when Gil told him, this, noting the anger in Gil’s voice over the phone. At this point, Peters was locked up in a secure mental ward, undergoing psychiatric examination to either support or deny any of this. His military file was sealed. Both of them were extremely curious about that, but there was no way they could get that information. It would be on the shoulders of the prosecutor.

There had nothing in their data system about Peters. He had no arrests, no outstanding tickets, and nothing more than an expired meter ticket from three years prior. Bank statements came up clean. There was nothing that outwardly appeared unusual.

That is what gnawed at Rovas. Psychopaths walked among them, he knew all too well.

Rovas completed updating the files, copying down all that the Sargent Detective shared with him. He had a light bite and returned to the study, looking over the files to other cases on the desk. Berrak returned soon after.

“How was it?”

“Dreary. Dreadful. A funeral.” She sat facing him. “Why is it worse when it’s children?” Pausing, not waiting for an answer. “I know, I know. I know all of the usual reasons, the life ahead never happening. This…this was just compounded by what Janice and April-and Gerald-went through.”

Khazarian got up, knelt in front of her, and gave her a hug. He held her until she stopped crying. She gave him a kiss. He patted her back and returned to his chair.

“Zarian, got your shirt wet,” she said as she wiped her face dry with a tissue.

“It’s not the first time. If that is the worst…”

“I know.” Berrak took in the stack of folders on the desk, noticing one was open, some of the papers flipped over. “Is that…”

“No. The Palmont case is closed. I’ll tell you later about what I gathered from Gil about John Peters.” They both involuntarily twitched at that name, he in his shoulder, she in her face. “This file, well, this one does not involve any children.”

He pushed it over to her. Berrak took it, turned it right side up, and began to read.

“Really? Lacing marijuana with Heroin? Why is this…oh. Five deaths.” Looking up, she continued. “Obviously, you didn’t find the one, or ones, who did this. Do you think we could find something after…” she checked “…seven years?”

“Read on,” Rovas answered.

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“The Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas” is my theme for this year. Cold case files for the good inspector to delve into, trying to make sense &/or solve. My plan is to use a variety of genres within this overarching theme to allow me to play and, of course, challenge myself. Some cases might bleed into another case. Most will be stand alone. We’ll see, won’t we?

As to the Blogging from A to Z challenge, I’ll let the words of Arlee Bird (founder of said challenge) tell you what this is all about:

The brainchild of Arlee Bird, at Tossing it Out, the A to Z Challenge is posting every day in April except Sundays (we get those off for good behavior.) And since there are 26 days, that matches the 26 letters of the alphabet. On April 1, blog about something that begins with the letter “A.” April 2 is “B,” April 4 is “C,” and so on. You can use a theme for the month or go random – just as long as it matches the letter of the alphabet for the day.

The A to Z Challenge is a great way to get into the blogging habit and make new friends.

So, join me (and the over 1800 other blogs involved) starting on Friday, April 1, 2016 and ending on Saturday, April 30th. Comments and such are always welcome. I hope you enjoy the stories.

Delicate Decisions (A to Z Blog Challenge)

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Delicate

“Delicate Decisions”

The Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas

The morning started not with coffee with his wife but a dialogue, one Khazarian had hoped would not happen, but knew it was eventual. Just not this soon. Berrak was sitting up straight in her chair, arms folded tightly across her chest. He took a glimpse towards the coffee equipment, sighed, and sat down opposite his Berrak.

“Why?” She nodded her head towards the file folder he had placed beside himself on the kitchen table. Berrak stared at him. Khazarian noticed her eyes were wet.

“I rarely, as you know, ever brought work home. Yes, even though that time that work followed me here. I’ve had cases that…I have cases that were never solved, that baffle and gnaw at me to this day. You know that as well. Berrak, you could always sense how I was feeling,” he tried, with a smile.

“So?” It didn’t work. “Again, I ask ‘Why’? Those cases belong to your old unit. You’ve done enough. We’ve done enough.”

“Do you really believe that?”

A tear made it’s way down Berrak’s cheek.

Rovas sighed, reached out a hand towards his wife. It took a moment for her to unclench. Berrak took his hand in hers.

“I do not do this to punish us. You. All this free time…I have not yet adjusted to this new routine. Going in early, the hustle of the day even without a major case, and when it was major…” He shook his head. “I never thought I would miss it as much as I do. I also did not anticipate that cases unsolved would come to haunt me with such a vengeance.”

The room was silent but for the ticking noise of the wall clock. Berrak soon cleared her throat. “I am assuming that that folder holds one of those cases?”

He nodded. “Yes.”

“Tell me about it.”

“Tell you…about this investigation?” Rovas’s eyes widened.

“Yes.”

“Berrak, I don’t wish to…”

“‘Zarian, how will you…well, we…adjust to our new regimen, if you don’t let me in. I am no longer at arms length. Tell me. Please.”

Rovas sighed. “You won’t like this.”

Berrak sighed louder. “‘Zarian…”

Rovas took his right hand back, reached for the folder, hesitated, and then opened the case folder.

“Do you remember, almost five years ago now, the story of the missing Palmont children? Janice, April, and Gerald, ages 9, 7, and 4. On that late summer afternoon, the three seen on the beach, just a few blocks from their house. Witnesses who knew them said they were playing games with an unknown man, blond, tall, thin, who they assumed was a relative of their mother’s,  resemblance enough for them to not be overly concerned.

The children were seen leaving the beach around dinner time. They were never seen again. No clues. We could not find this blond man. It went totally cold and was filed away”

“Could they still be alive?”

“I would like to hope so. I doubt it.”

Rovas was flipping through the pages, glancing at what little they had gathered. Berrak got up, moved her chair around to sit next to her husband. Khazarian looked at her.

“Where do we start looking?,” she said, leaning her head on his shoulder.

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“The Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas” is my theme for this year. Cold case files for the good inspector to delve into, trying to make sense &/or solve. My plan is to use a variety of genres within this overarching theme to allow me to play and, of course, challenge myself. Some cases might bleed into another case. Most will be stand alone. We’ll see, won’t we?

As to the Blogging from A to Z challenge, I’ll let the words of Arlee Bird (founder of said challenge) tell you what this is all about:

The brainchild of Arlee Bird, at Tossing it Out, the A to Z Challenge is posting every day in April except Sundays (we get those off for good behavior.) And since there are 26 days, that matches the 26 letters of the alphabet. On April 1, blog about something that begins with the letter “A.” April 2 is “B,” April 4 is “C,” and so on. You can use a theme for the month or go random – just as long as it matches the letter of the alphabet for the day.

The A to Z Challenge is a great way to get into the blogging habit and make new friends.

So, join me (and the over 1800 other blogs involved) starting on Friday, April 1, 2016 and ending on Saturday, April 30th. Comments and such are always welcome. I hope you enjoy the stories.

“…and Old Lace” (A to Z Blog Challenge)

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and old lace

“…and Old Lace”

The Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas

 

Being married for forty-one years, Berrak made coffee exactly how her husband liked it, az şekerli. She liked hers çok şekerli, sweet like her nature, and fixed it accordingly. Khazarian would never be called sweet by anyone except Berrak. He had no room for sentimentality when he was working, and only relaxed, just enough, when he was home with her.Now he was home all the time, and it grated on his nerves. Not Berrak. Never Berrak. But, not working, arresting criminals and bringing them to justice. He did not know how to retire.

Holding his demitasse cup still almost full, Khazarian stood, bent over to kiss Berrak, and went into his study. He licked his lips and smiled. “Yes, she is sweet,” he thought, as he made his was to his desk and sat.

Rovas stared at the folders on his desk, the one he looked over just the night before. He knew this was a major infraction, his having old case files at his house, him not on the job anymore. It weighed on his mind for more than a moment. Sighing, he also realized that these open cases would remain so if they just sat in a box in the department’s storage. Taking a sip of his coffee, he opened up the file.

Twelve years had passed since the last of three like murders occurred. The papers played puns with the way the three women had been murdered: strangled by their lace veils. The “(Arsenic and) Old Lace Murders” headline shouted out on the newsstands after the second murder, and even more so after the third.  Each of them a bride for only a week, only just returned from their honeymoon.

He went over the facts, as they had them, and reached nothing new in summation. Each newlywed was found in her bedroom, strangled, the twisted veil still wound around her neck. They had little in common besides being newlyweds, brunettes, and of medium build and height. Differing economic ranges, different positions (the last one didn’t hold a job). Different areas of the city. They were found in various states of undress, but no sexual violence. Each was sexually active, but…newlyweds.

And then it just stopped. No reason why it started that they could find, and nothing after the last murder. Frustrating. With no new evidence, the case eventually went cold. The husbands all had solid alibis, as did neighbors, co-workers, bridal parties, caterers, wedding photographers…the man hours they put in, and nothing.

Unsolved, and new evils coming in by the day, these finally became less of interest. But, not to Rovas. Each unsolved case stayed with him.

Turning on his laptop (grudgingly relied on at first; seeing it’s usefulness in the last years), Rovas went searching. His computer search lasted almost a week, which then led him to walking the crime scene areas again, after so many years. All three residences had changed hands. Two of the three allowed him inside, to just look around the room. The third residence (which was the second of the three murders) was not at home when he called, and had not gotten back to him. He retraced his steps, mentally and in person, all to no avail.

The missing home owner bothered him. Working at night, with Berrak asleep and all offices he needed information from closed for the evening, he took a chance.  Calling his old department, and speaking with Sargent Detective Katsaros, eventually yielded Rovas a name: Micheal Avgoustidis. Online searches revealed a bit about him: a lawyer, widowed, still single, no children. His ex-wife cause of death was listed as accidental, falling down a flight of stairs. Her death three months earlier than Rovas’s first victim. He checked for a photo, and stopped, staring.

The ex-Mrs. Avgoustidis was brunette, of medium build and height.

Rovas felt he needed to take a closer look at Micheal Avgoustidis.

…to be continued

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“The Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas” is my theme for this year. Twenty six case files for the good inspector to delve into, trying to make sense &/or solve from this list of cold cases. My plan is to use a variety of genres within this overarching theme to allow me to play and, of course, challenge myself. Some cases might bleed into another case. Most will be stand alone. We’ll see, won’t we?

As to the Blogging from A to Z challenge, I’ll let the words of Arlee Bird (founder of said challenge) tell you what this is all about:

The brainchild of Arlee Bird, at Tossing it Out, the A to Z Challenge is posting every day in April except Sundays (we get those off for good behavior.) And since there are 26 days, that matches the 26 letters of the alphabet. On April 1, blog about something that begins with the letter “A.” April 2 is “B,” April 4 is “C,” and so on. You can use a theme for the month or go random – just as long as it matches the letter of the alphabet for the day.

The A to Z Challenge is a great way to get into the blogging habit and make new friends.

So, join me (and the over 1800 other blogs involved) starting on Friday, April 1, 2016 and ending on Saturday, April 30th. Comments and such are always welcome. I hope you enjoy what I’ve got planned.

Came The Wind

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leavesThe golden, brittle leaf brushed over the top of her shoe, resting  in mid air for a moment. Another gust blew, picking up the leaf and spiraling it away, under a sky filled with darkened clouds. Alice shivered in her coat, the hem overlapping her knee high skirt. She bunched the top together, clutching it closed, having already pulled up the collar. She stared down at the marble and stone work that lay around her, the past staring back up at her. More leaves blew past her and the others, milling around for a moment, then taking off to skitter across the grounds.

The side comments seemed endless to Alice. A few suffered in silence, getting hugged, heads leaning against shoulders for support, comfort. Alice drifted from one group to another, paying attention to the tone of the voices more than the actual words. The elder set, the few who could barely walk, stayed by the cars. They huddled near the aunt who always needed to be the center of attention, her husky voice talking about anything but what lay before them. A few tears, clutched tissues, and a dreary day filled them all.

The service done, the discussions turned to who was following whom, where they were going, who had to leave. Hugs and kisses were passed around, and the car doors opened, and then closed. One by one, the cars pulled away.

Alice looked on. As the last car left, a vortex of leaves swirled together in the spot left vacant, a mini tornado of golds and oranges and browns. Alice turned to watch the receding tail lights pass through the gates.

The leaves dropped to the ground.

Get Grandma Drunk! (and AtoZ Blogfest info)

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“Another Margarita!”
The call goes out to Dad,
In the kitchen carving  turkey.
Grandma is lightly buzzed,
The night  not right until she’s completely lit.
 
“Another Margarita!”
The giggles keep on flowing,
Grandchildren laughing, ribbing,
As Grandma sips hers on ice,
Malaprops dropping left and right.
 
“Another Margarita!”
Dad has one, two,
The night flies swiftly, swiftly
Grandma’s head lolls to the side
Snoring gently, festivity complete.
 
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I’ll be participating in this year’s AtoZ Challenge, my second.

Last year I was just finding my feet with Tale Spinning, and attempted a month long ongoing story. I played with different styles, different voices, and had an interesting piece come out of it. I may still revisit the world of Winston, Elora and Daniel.

This year, I am writing on a theme: The Apartment Building

I have titles for each of the letters of the alphabet (thanks go to my SO for helping out with those). None are written yet, as I will try my best to do what I did last year: write and post daily.

It’s not too late to join in.

26 entries over the course of the month of April.Start on April 1st with A, skip the following Sundays, and you’ll finish with Z on the last day of the month.It’s an exhilarating experience to be part of.

Hope you enjoy!

(if you want to join in, the challenge is over 1,200 strong! click on the above image)

Wednesday’s Child (Writers’ Platform-Building Campaign)

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Wednesday’s Child

Shadows crept across the wall. They blinked in an out of existence as the cops moved around,  the harsh light emanating from the flashing beacons on their cars. Disgust, anger, and weariness mingled in the air; another kid, in a string of kids, one for each day of the week, now. Detective Issen squatted down next to the remains of the body. Her flashlight scoured the area, noting details as she went along. She was in professional mode. Although sickened by what lay before her, she had a job to do.

The mental notes ticked off in her head as her partner wrote his down: girl, obvious from the lack of clothing; young, maybe ten, maybe eleven;  filthy blonde hair, matted; deep slashes across her legs and arms, going in opposite symmetrical directions; chest decorated with five deep looking punctures, too round to be a knife, pretty much equidistant from each other; right pinky missing; face, enough damage to swell the nose, mouth and eyes, making it hard to determine what the girl looked like, before.

She closed her eyes, standing, focusing on the patterns from all the bodies.

She heard the shot that sent her reeling.

everything faded…

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Writers’ Platform-Building Campaign

Rachael Harrie of Rach Writes has been running the Writers’ Platform-Building Campaign for a bit now; this is my first attempt at one of her prompts. I’m not sure, yet, if I’m too late to join in on this, but…I took a shot at the one posted for today.

There will be a number of other writers joining in; links to their entries can be found on Rachel’s blog page. Please visit the other writers blogs and leave them a comment.

The Rules:

Write a short story/flash fiction story in 200 words or less, excluding the title. It can be in any format, including a poem. Begin the story with the words, “Shadows crept across the wall”. These five words will be included in the word count.

If you want to give yourself an added challenge (optional), do one or more of these:

  • end the story with the words: “everything faded.” (also included in the word count)
  • include the word “orange” in the story
  • write in the same genre you normally write
  • make your story 200 words exactly!

Complete rule and regulations can be found on Rach Writes

In case anyone was wondering, I used three of the “added” challenges: the ending prompt, normal genre for me (thriller), and it’s exactly 200 words (not counting the title). There was a photo prompt we could have used: I decided not to use it this time around.

Origins: Entitled

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Over at BornStoryteller (my non-fiction blog) today, I am taking part in the Origins Blogfest. My tale of “when did your writing dream begin?” can be found if you click HERE: Origins of Creativity in Writing.  There are close to 200 writers participating, so I hope you have a chance to check some of them out (click on the logo or link above to find the Linky List).

As to why I chose to join this Blogfest…(1) someone very special to me suggested it and (2) I do like Origin stories, real or fantasy. I’m going to take this a step further and play with some origin stories this week. Not sure how many I’ll generate, but…

Origins: Entitled

The silver spoon that Richard P. Robinson was born with was entrenched deeply in his maw. The verdict, mostly paid for, was in his favor. Acquitted of any maleficence, he walked out of the courtroom, free of any consequence of the murder of the prostitute, Helen Jewett. A broad smile marked his 19 year old face as he sauntered out of the court house, his roommate, Tew, by his side.

Mrs. Rosina Townsend, the madam who found Helen’s smoldering body, room ablaze, roared out of the building behind Richard. He turned to face her, grin locked in place, as her heard her protestations of his guilt. Her slap in his face was empowered by her anger, sending Robinson reeling into Tew, causing both men to fall. Held back by others as they rushed out of the building, or up the court steps, her cursing could be heard along the concourse. Joined by the other prostitutes, whose testimonies were disregarded, Rosina Townsend was finally calmed down enough to be led back to her brothel.

No one helped Robinson to rise, although he noticed a few helped Tew. He brushed off dust from his suit, fixed his tie, and re-affixed the smile that had been slapped off.  Without looking back, Richard walked down the steps. Tew followed, keeping a discreet spacing between them. Tew followed him into a pub, some fifteen long New York City blocks away.

Sitting in the rear of the bar, his back against the wall of the small, dark booth, Richard Robinson downed his beer and shot of whiskey. He was ordering his third round while Tew was still working on his first draft. The noxious smell of the place-of stale beer, cigarettes, cigars, vomit and piss-made Tew feel queasy at the best of times. Listening to Richard rave on, mixed in with the din of the other patrons,  added to the nausea Tew was feeling.

The story swirled around the confines of the booth, looping around, coming to a halt, beginning anew, as Richard got drunker. The gist, as far as Tew could make out, for Robinson had never talked about his private life before this: Richard deserved better than what life had dealt him. His father, wealthy enough, had died early, leaving his widowed mother and him some money to live in style. It did not last. By the time Tew took up sharing a flat with him, Richard was alone, mother dead as well, and finding himself with a fund he could not touch until he turned 21.

Richard talked of the many nights he enjoyed at the brothel, spending the money he made at the hardware store he worked and the small stipend he got from his still wealthy relatives. He talked of bedding Helen Jewett often, and the others, and while such talk made Tew squeamish, he listened with attention. Richard harangued Tew, spewing out morally reprehensible acts he had committed too and with “those harlots!”

With another round in place of him, Richard went on. He was superior, he said, and to be made to live like this, when he should be with the elite, drove him mad. He talked about his lashing out at school mates, of beatings he gave of those who displeased him, of forcing himself on a family friend’s daughter (“she wanted it,” he said) and getting her with child. With his mother dead, and alone in the city, downcast, It was easy to release his passions on these dirt tramps in whatever manner he suited. Deviant acts of violence against “those women” were offered in such detail that Tew had to finally excuse himself. He went out back of the pub, retching to relieve some of the horrible discomfort he felt.

Returning to the table, Richard was gone, his mug of beer knocked over and running along the table and onto the greasy floor. Tew went out the front looking for him, but to no avail. Walking quickly, he made it back to where he lived. Tew packed his few belongings, which was easy as he was wearing his only suit, thought to leave a note, but decided against it.

He closed the door and left the run down apartment building. Kicking debris out of his way, Tew made off, hoping to leave the devilment of Richard P. Robinson far behind him.

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AUTHOR’S NOTE

The story above comes from a true murder in NYC in the latter part of the 1800’s. I found out about Helen Jewett through an article in Sunday’s Daily News: an interview with the great Martin Scorsese. When asked about movies he’d still like to make, this murder was mentioned as one of the “lurid tales” of old NY that intrigued him.

It swirled around my head all of Sunday, and through research (first dug up by my SOand then later myself) this story came about. Tew was Robinson’s roommate; no last name was given in the newspaper article I read. The story above, while based on real life, is totally fictional and is mine.

Thank you, Mr. Scorsese.

You Ain’t!

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You ain’t gonna tell me what to think

You ain’t gonna tell me what to say

You ain’t gonna tell me what to read

You certainly ain’t gonna tell me how to bleed

What I care for; What I think

Mine to choose; I ain’t no sheep

 

What I choose, for my own good

Not hateful, it’s understood

Freedom to live, in my own way

Your condemnation will not sway

But try cutting me off

Try shutting me up

You ain’t…you ain’t…you ain’t…

 

You ain’t gonna tell me what to think

You ain’t gonna tell me what to say

You ain’t gonna tell me what to read

You certainly ain’t gonna tell me how to bleed

What I care for; What I think

Mine to choose; I ain’t no sheep

 

Tails of the Fox: Nine Haiku’s

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This was submitted for the Third Sunday Blog Carnival: 60 contributors of poetry, fiction and writer blog posts. Please visit them to expand your literary horizons.

Tails of the Fox: Nine Haiku’s

Our Story Thus Far…

It ancient Japan, Chiyoko had bribed Kitsune, the trickster Fox, with his favorite food, a freshly caught kunimasu salmon that was ready to spawn. From that day forward, Chiyoko would be known, and feared by many, as The Kitsune-Mochi, the Fox Witch. On a path of vengeance against the wicked, The Kitsune-Mochi used the powers of Fox to call on lesser demons (oni) to right wrongs. That is, until she crossed paths with Red Helen, a beautiful oni made up of a hundred-hundred deadly butterflies. Their parting was not amicable.

Fox, while liking being fed, does not like being held under anyone’s sway for too long. He plots to change this…

(1)
Dreams of giving chase
Nestled in Fox den; at dark
Fortunes change in light

(2)
Embrangled tightly
Fox waits for chance to break free;
Desire, Bidding time

(3)
Kitsune-Mochi sits
Trickster Fox food devours
Her will, for now, done

(4)
Vengeance Spirits come
Engulf the wicked, ensnare
Fox yawns; time is near

(5)
The Fox Witch grows tired
Her grief so long to abate
Lamentable, she

(6)
Red Helen, intrigued
Plotting with traitorous Fox
Smiles deadly poison

(7)
Asleep, alone; NOW
Driven winds of hundred wings
Deadly red blanket

(8)
Curse uttered slowly
Kitsune-Mochi spins away
Defeats betrayal

(9)
Fox Witch hunts the Fox
He slinks in shadows and dusk
Wrath is on his tail

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To learn more about The Nine-Tailed Fox in mythology

I have collected all of my stories & narrative poems on The Fox Witch in one spot:

If you’d like to read the series (as is, to this point), please go to The Prologue: The Kitsune-Mochi Saga

Author’s Note on This Posting:

I was asked to submit a Haiku for a competition by someone who has read my work (mentioning Coconut Music specifically). I haven’t written one in about five years, even though I do it with students. The compliment got me thinking, and drove me to try a new tactic for this series, which I do love. I hope it works on some narrative level, even if you’re not familiar with the myth or the previous work I’ve written on this. I’d appreciate any comments you might have. Thanks.