Tale Weaver #78 – Countdown 


He looks at his phone.   We’re two minutes late already.   The trains never run late, not two minutes.  He tugs at the ball cap pulling it down a bit more.   The urge to look side to side is overwhelming. Inventory of the surroundings becomes a bigger need add time goes by. 

The backpack lists a bit to the right.  The contains weren’t as secure add they should be.  The drill isn’t going well.  

“Where’s the train?” He mumbles.

“There’s a hold up down the line.  It’ll be here momentarily.” An officer stares through him.  

His eyes don’t meet the officers.   They shift to the phone to confirm the train is still late. “It should have been here already.   I’m going to be late.   Are you sure it’s still coming?” He offers.

“There’s a scare.   Someone called in a threat.   Dark clothes, backpack, you know it takes a while to find those types.” The officer replies walking in front of him. “You know maybe like you….”

He looks at the officer.   The officer’s dark eyes, cropped hair and clean cut face is tight as a drum.  Displeasure his expression. 

“Sir? I’m not sure what you mean.” He replies.   He struggles not to breath, or breath too quickly.  He feels doubt.  His mission was simple.

“The backpack!  Let’s see it!  ID, I need that too!” The officer puts out his left hand,hid right hand tests on butt of his gun. 

“I’m a currier.  Here’s the backpack.  My ID is in the front!”  He hands off the pack and backs away.

The officer stares dead through him.  Never acknowledging the backpack.  He twists his head towards his shoulder.   “I have suspect.  I have secured the bag. Will holdfor back up.”

“It’s costing me $50.  I was supposed to be at drop off at 2.  They’re giving me a bonus for being early ” He talks, thinking of back up. His hands find themselves up. 

“Who? Who is giving you this $50?”  The officer asks smiling.   He knows the answer.   In his heart he feels it. 

“The guy is addressed to.   My boss, said the guy pays cash….all the time…$50 is big!” He replies.

“You’re going to meet someone you don’t know the name of…… and you get more money….. if you hurry…But don’t know his name?!  You see why I don’t believe you.”  The officer smiles still “we have you on tape.   We counted down the minutes to get you.   You can’t hide from us…ever!”


Conspiracy People, and Other Curious Sorts

Houston we have a problem!  Any one with a valid reasonable idea.   Please feel free to share.   And it would be the National Guard helping flood victims in West Virginia not the United Nations.  Just a little strange


Welcome to Ohio!


The dull thumping of the helicopter blades shake the walls inside the house.   A family of four hides in the basement.  They have been through this before.   They know what’s coming.   It’s the same life for two years. The places change, but the people are the same.

Nizar holds his wife, Amira.   She curls over Sharma and Tarek.   The huge 1200 for home is empty save for them , a couch, and a couple beds.  They were told they were safe now.   The promised land of America.   Everyone here starts with a chance.   The vibrating walls says different.

Nizar remembers a dark car ride into Lebanon.  His family split for two weeks.  Their gold bought them passage.   Not peace.  In a week, it was a refugee camp.   Registering his child as criminals for lack of an official immigration form.  

Truck driving skills landed him work inside the camp.   He would transport the sick to infirmary, then food back on same truck.  The sick infected some of the food.  More bodies would flow one way.

He won a slot to Greece.  His family would be shipped like cargo to another place further from the death of his home town.  Another country, a different language.   He was told the had no way to support the refugees.  They would be homeless.   But it was away from the street violence. 

There was no peace. The people of Greece were not ready for his kind.  Years of stabbings followed the refugees across the country.   The family unable to speak the language ended up in a traveling mass.  The nomads plotted across the country. Shortly the government placed then on trains to move then further along.   Cattle cars made to house people.   The conditions of the camp seemed better.

The rails ended in Germany.   Another camp, another chance.   Another job helping by driving a truck.   Another chance.   This time it was permanent.   The intake to America.   Refugee gold.   A house, a government sort for him for a year, education for his children.  The land of milk and honey lays a plane ride away.

His mind is jarred.   A large crash upstairs.
Voices call out.   The family doesn’t move. The sounds of feet above them.   There was no furniture to hide under.  There were no objects to conceal.  The only thing was to wait.

The soldiers came down the stairs.  Automatic weapons raised.   Full battle dressed men against a small unarmed family.  Their words a mystery.

“Get up! Hands where we can see them!   Everyone step apart.   Feet spread! Stand against the wall!  Hands out!  Move! Move! Move!”  Yells one of the men from the back.

The family looks dumbfounded.   They don’t know the words but have an idea of what is required.  Slowly they give in.

“Sergeant,  I’m not sure they understand English.” Steward looks at his leader.

“Steward, they will!” He snaps back.

This is highly fictionalized! The photo taken over a residential street of an unknown raid. There was no publicity afterwards here. So on top of the Governor of the state declaring we were afraid to help non European refugees, it felt appropriate.

Deal of a Lifetime

Tyler and Carol sit out the the Fishbowl.  A set of tents setup like a starfish. Inside is the newest stupid idea in restraurants.  Immersion dining.  Seafood served in low light and partially submerged in seawater.  The new place to be demands payment first.

“How do we know if they are here?  You don’t even know these people.  You paid a lot for this.  And you’re making an app for them?  How can you make anything on this?”  Carol was brought under duress.  Business is not her job, getting them paid is.

“I’m telling you, they wanted a face to face!  The app is mind controlled.  They want a small company.  We need the money.  Don’t ask questions!  They speak a little weird.  But foreigners deal in cash.  Something we need.” Tyler looks around as he explains.  “We need to go in.  Better they don’t see us in this car.  They might low ball us.”

The restraurant is a pond with clear lucite seats.  The water level is up to the back of the booths.  Clear floating walkways lead you to where you need to be.  Light is at a premium, just like the prices.

The hostess take them to a back area.  Two figures sit with their backs to them.  Stepping down into the booth, they smile and look for faces.

“Greetings!  Fremania and Dorman are we.  Tyler and Carol, we believe.”  Dorman speaks.  His face is distorted.  Grey skin with almost tan features on both of them.  Large faces more pyramid shaped than round.

“Hello, Fremania and Dorman.  I’m Tyler, we spoke earlier.  This is Carol.”  Tyler reaches to shake hands. They don’t respond at first.  Slowly they reach toward him as if unsure.

“We have a need for developing an application for mind interaction with devices.  You would call it something like a link to thoughts.  We have a network that amplifies brain waves and converts thoughts to messages.  It’s all kind of at the beginning phase, as you would say.  With access to the link can you fulfill an app to connect to others?” Dorman explains to Tyler.

“I’m not sure I understand completely.  There are some specs on this device?  I will need to know data loads, speeds, streaming, and operating systems.  There is a lot of pieces to line up.  How do you convert brain waves to messages?  It seems like…. Well complicated system.” Tyler looks taken back. Thinking mind control…converting it to messages…this is really, really lucrative opportunity.

“Tyler, we are speaking through your mind.  Very lucrative.  Very much allowing for mind to speak without filter.  But the idea of no keyboards, no devices but a link to a true wireless experience.  You would be a rich man.  We would have a service with great demand.  It could change the world.  We can only give limited system data.  What’s necessary to form a link.  Your world will change forever!” Dorman  closes his deal.  The words hang in an empty thought.

“Why us?  There are bigger companies. More complex ways to insure security.”  Tyler nerves take over.  Thoughts swim between money and who are these people.

“We’re your benefactors!  Money for you.  Name a price!  For us, small is good.  No questions from shareholders.  No CEO turnover.  No government questions.  We are beholden to ourselves and so are you.  Are you ready to change the world?!” Fremania tries her sense of reassurance.

The Elevator Ride

The elevator opens.  It’s late close to midnight.

  “I can’t wait to get home.” Pushing the lobby button.  Waiting to count the floors as the numbers light and go dark. Each bing, one step closer to home.

Two brings and a stop.  I move further back in the elevator.  A fortish woman gets in. Stares at my like am a psycho killer, and takes her place in distant corner.  Flexes her hands, keys flash in light.  She paces in place.  Feet kind of half stepping to nowhere.  I lose track of the bings and the lights.

The elevator chunks into the cradle at the bottom floor.  The delay of a half second seems like an hour.  I can’t wait to get away from her already. The nerves are like perfume of a skunk.

There’s one way out.  The revolving doors long locked in place. The side door with push button to open, followed by another one just like it.  It’s a three turn twisted path.

The door opens. The start pistol sounds.  She off. An imaginary race.  Is she fleeing from me?  Her pace is ragged. Herky Jerky.  A few paces and a side glance. I want to scream “Lady there’s two people here!  You are leading me to your car if I’m the killer you think I am!”  I shake my head.  Every psycho movie the killer catches the running victim. Why?  They run to the door that takes time to open.  The victim is preoccupied with only the killer.

Scared lady cuts a corner too sharp.  The trash can sitting in same place for ten years bites at the ankle.  

“Ouch! Ankle bone glancing off hard object.” I quietly say to myself. Wincing a little.

It slows down the last turn for her.  We are twenty feet apart and she gets to the door.  It doesn’t open. Horror film comes to life. She is ready to panic.  She slaps the button four times like a child trying to smash a bug.  It hesitates before surging open.  I’m at arms length.

“I was they would fix that door!” She makes eye contact for the first time with me.  I’m focused on her because she is dangerous with those keys.  She’s trying to talk normal.  Her tension could choke the life out of a room of people. She try’s to read me.

  I’m too tired to be read. I really don’t care anything about her.  “Just please get out of my way” my mind says.

She hits the second door button the same way.  Her body is sideways to me.  She can clearly see I maintain as much space away from her.  Her tension peaks as the door slides open.  Once again she leads herself away.  She goes left, I go right.

My sight falls to my car.  One hundred feet away. One car left in that side.  Echoes of shoes tell me where she went in the covered section.

I get to my car.  A second vehicle comes around a far corner.  It’s approach is following lines that mean nothing in an empty parking lot.  It circles toward the door I just left.  It is security patrolling the lot.  On the left, a SUV moves down a ramp toward the garage exit.

My car gets me to the same exit, where a gate will get me home.  There are yellow lights in my rear view.  

“What the hell?!” I throw out to the world.  I see a man approach my car as the exit nears.

“Sir? Can I help you with something?” He offers me.

“I don’t think so.  I’m leaving. The exit is still open, right?”

“There are some people who have seen people loitering here.  We didn’t know if you needed help or saw something.” He tells me.

“Well, I can tell you.  I was the only car in the lot.  It was there for hours.  You would know that if you patrolled the lot.  The lady who just called you.  Tell her to let the strange person leave first.  Or she would lead me to her car. In a deserted garage in the dark. With you driving around an empty lot.”

He stares blankly at me.  He has a flash light.  Maybe he could find a clue with it.

Ship of Fools


Providing our photo prompt this week is Sonya, author of the blog, “Only 100 Words.”

“Ship of fools! Did they really think we’d let them walk in to our country!   I’m telling you Rustov, these people are crazy.   Just because we accept others, didn’t mean we’ll take then cause they show up!  The nerve of them.  I bet there’s a couple terrorists in that ship.    Damn foreigners.   They try taking over Europe. Now they’re here.” Machiano sits tobacco juice on the dock.  

“We are all mutts here.   No one but the injuins are from America.   Funny, whop calling Arabs terrorists.” Rustov looks at the person he’s stuck guarding a ship of illegals with.

“Fucking terrorists!   Just blew up the ship now.   Damn Germans brought them here to keep then out of their county!   When they blow up a bus or subway, I’ll remind you.   YiuYou fucking bleeding heart.   Let then all in.   What about the ones who live here?” Machiano points his finger an inch deep in Rustov chest.

“They might live here peacefully like us.   They’re families.   Kids, hopes, dreams.   Are you afraid they’ll do better than you?  You know some will stay.” Rustov swipes his finger away.

“Don’t make any if it right!”

Opportunity is a Deadbeat

West and Seventeenth.  Each corner has a Brown brick building.  The decay of them spirals into a faint mist in the August night.  A lone figure watches over the intersection.   It’s flashing yellow light cries to be seen.  Above the street, few of the uppers have light in them.   Not even the ghosts are seen here.

Connor leans on a metal fence covering what was a grocery.  It’s worn metal curves into a bed for those who can’t lay down.   His fingers cradle a cigarette.   It’s being nursed along.   The pack is empty.   The cigarette butts recycled twice already.   A cell phone and a cd.   His possessions are few.   His place is important to the job.

Down the block, across to the right.  A small shop, Pawn R Us, window promises the commodity no-one here has, cash.  The little sign in corner says protected by DNG Security.   Not tonite.  Opportunity is meeting preparedness, what you call luck.

Darkness at nine calls for the gang to meet.   They hold up in a small flat.   Ten blocks relieved of the neighborhood where they will travel.   It’s five guys, six never comes in contact with them.   Safety in numbers only when no-one is caught.

Danny has the plan.   Computer open.   He’s working a video.   Editing it down.   Fifteen minutes.   No-one looks at him. No-one talks to him.   Invisibility is his thing.   They all respect it.  For without him, it’s no job, no pay, and if it goes bad no future.   He is without risk.   It’s good to be king.

Nigel puts the three others together.  His game is simple.  Deception.   He barks ideas.
Precision strike is the order of the day.   They have a twelve minute time frame.   The security cameras come back live quickly.   No escape.   No door movement.  No shadows.   Nothing shows when it’s live.

Driver sits a block off.   Eighteenth and west, old tire and jack sitting by.   Looks are important.    He’s thrown out of circle. Then there are two with jobs.

Pawn shops exist in two worlds.  One above boards where they make money.  And one below boards, where money goes to be cleaned.  These gentleman are carpenters by trade. Accomplices by circumstances.   The need to eat motives the right people.   There spoils are drug money.  The risk is worth more than living out means.

Nigel covers their work.   The back office and store front are covered in cameras.   Only two places that are off camera.   Their search pattern is reduced to small area.   The safe is watched by two cameras.   That’s the legitimate business.   Valuables known, easy to report.  Harder to get rid of.   This is easy.   Find hollow space, take cash.   Twelve minutes two men, two four by five foot squares. Nigel runs the point at the side door.

In the heat of the city, a truck rolls down a hill.   The only thing in its way a transformer.   West and fifteen.  The pole pushes against a building,  a spark and darkness.  Backup systems click on.  Computers restart.   The clock has started.   A dark figure opens a door.   Two rats scurry after bits of sustenance.

A man far away looks at monitors showing and recording nothing.  The loop is in.   Left behind as a memory while the system resets.   An automatic log in follows.  Absolute perfection as machine provides everything a man needs to know.   There is no trail of bread crumbs. Just a video showing nothing.

The men find two holes.  Fifteen hundred dollars.  It’s not the score they were told.   Nigel is eight minutes in.   Two dumbfounded cohorts are sent back in.   There a bathroom.   Damn it.   The plan was simple, they gave up.

Across the street, a dark figure kicks a can.   A cell phone flashes light against a cd.  It shines down an alleyway.   It falls on two eyes.  A couple quick shots.   Two careless bodies found in a bad place with no real reason.  A solitary figure turns a corner.   Two blocks away a truck waits.   Two people nervously watch the digital clock change numbers.

Two streets away.   A police car comes to a stop at the top of an alley.   The lights flash back on.   The curtain falls on the last act to two career losers.