Killing Time

An old oak tree tops the isolated hill.   Leaves gone with the cold wind of change.   At its feet, stone slabs rest weary upon scrub.   The green drained from the earth.   The howl of the wind echoes in the void here.

A solidarity figure rests high in a saddle.   The dark clothes match the scene.   The horse looks made of shadow.  It’s head raised.   It’s nose twisting to find a scent.  The tail snaps side to side. Time had slowed.   The pale Sun frozen in the sky casts a hazy glow.

A muffled voice shatters the scene.   It’s origin distant.   It’s direction approaching.   The solitary man hears but fails to garner his attention.  Horses show from the other side.
Three encumbered by three men.

The solitary man walks the shadow horse toward the tree.   A left hand produces a single strand that arches gently over a branch.  At its termination, a loop dangles. 

Of the four men, only one regrets it’s killing time.

Also added to ..

In the Beginning

dark | side | thursday | fourteen
by andy townend
Do you need, desire or crave a new challenge? Are you open to sharing your dark side? Then read on.


Do you have a dark side?

Or, think you may have one. Or indeed worry that you might have one. Or, for that matter, worry that you don’t and would like one? If so, join me here each week for dark | side | thursday.

Over a period of 52 weeks, I am writing a story. A dark story that will unfold as the weeks pass. Each Thursday, at 13:00 UTC, I will post a new chapter. Each chapter will be exactly 500 words long, and will be accompanied by a photograph. You can catch up on the story so far by clicking here on dark | side | thursday

Share your dark side?

I invite you to join me either by writing your own dark story, week by week, or, if that is too much, by dropping by, now and then, perhaps when the mood suits you or, perhaps, when it doesn’t, and by sharing a photograph, poem or a suitably dark piece of prose. To cross over to dark | side | thursday create your post, tag it dark side thursday and link to it by clicking on the dark | side | thursday badge below, where you can also find all the contributions so far. Or you can simply share your link in the comments section of my weekly post. And, should the mood take you, you can add the badge to your post…….

The office building was a block of white brick and glass. A row of concrete pillars separates the parking lot.  Jimmie sits perched on one.   His grey and white flannel hung loose over a wife beater tee.  His jet black hair slightly spiked.   A cigarette fills the air around him. He looks like a distorted view of a king in his court.

“Jules, I’m here.   This is your shot to back out.” The phone in his hand is reaching voicemail.

Jimmie drops a plastic bottle.   The wind tumbles it toward a row of cars.  He gets up a leisurely follows the stray.   The wind pushed in toward a silver compact about five deep on the street side.   Just catching it as it goes between two cars.   A flash of metal no-one sees.   The top of a blade finds a rubber brake line.   A single drop bleeds.

A smiling man throws the entry bottle in the trash can. Then vanishes.

Emerging from the same building comes Celeste. Her brown hair drawn back, purse and bag on right side, cell phone in left hand. She is headed for the silver car.

“Oooh, he never answers! Yes, I know leave message. … hey it’s me. I’m doing to look at something. Call me! Really call me!” Her voice tell herself, it ain’t happening anyway.

She opens the car and throws the bags on the passenger seat. Hoping in the driver’s seat, she is off. She had a hot buy on a collection at an estate. A quick couple of rights and she is on highway.

Her phone rings as she merges. “Julian, you have the worst timing! I’m getting on highway! Hang on, I’m putting it on speaker. Oh shit! ! The brakes. ..” a loud sound of twisting metal. An impact with glass shattering. Then dead quiet.

“Hello. Hello?! Are you there? Hey answer me!” Julian pleads. There’s no response.

Julian stares at his phone. The reality of the moment hits home. He had a missed call. He didn’t want to take it. He had a change of heart but it didn’t matter now.

He pauses and calls 911. His mind reels. He was part of this. They will know. They will find out. But he has to call.

“What’s your emergency?”

“There’s been accident on highway 71. By Snow exit.”

“Thank you sir. We know. Are you involved!”

Click. The call drops.

Julian is paralyzed. His little house closes on on him. What has he done?

There’s more. .. kind if a throwback Thursday


                                                                                         PHOTO PROMPT -© Madison Woods

In a moment the moon would break free.  It’s silvery beams cast to the earth.  Everything would be revealed.  Hours of concealment precariously hung in the balance.  Hushed sounds of earth being returned to an altered resting place fills the night air.  A breeze picks up the musty smell and stirs it into the whispering maple trees.

“Whhhoooo,  oooouuu,  who coo”. The night calls in an owls voice.  

Two shadows dance around a vile mound of unconcecrated ground.  Black hoods hide their features.  The moonbeams send down scouts to survey their hidden agenda.  The pace of their scurry increases.  

An opening in the clouds meets the opening in the woods.  Before the night sky, a field of blood.  Ground tear open.  A pickup sits peeking out on to the scene.  The final shovel of dirt has been put into place.

“It’s a shame he didn’t have anything but the truck.”  One figure rests against the shovel that came from the truck.

“The next one needs to have more meat on them if you plan to shot until the gun is empty!”

The moon opens upon the men. The field covered in mounds of different heights.

“Moondog!  That means good hunting ahead.”

Submitted as part of Friday Fictioneers challenge, and later added as part of Dark Side Thursday


Deputy Riley was lost in thought.   Gustav had left after finding the body.   He was one of the migrant workers.   Their shanty town was miles away.  Since he didn’t wait for truck to go home.   He had to be on the way there.   Putting the car in drive, Riley was off.

The ambulance had come to collect the body in the vineyard.   Nothing more than a couple interviews was done here.  No answers.  Just a body that was left out for days.  A single foot print on her back and some bruising.  Clothes were ordinary but torn.  A Nevada driver’s license with Rochelle Williamson and $12.28 in left pocket.

Sleepy towns turn out people from all over to investigate or take a look at a criie scene. Twelve deputies and auxiliaries combed the vineyard. Miles of grapes. A dozen footprints that looked different. If it wasn’t coffee, no-one found anything the first day.

Hard dry gravel roads kick up a trail of dust behind the squad car.  A simple culvert provides the only break.  Deputy Riley is chasing what could be a ghost.  

Below the underpass, Gustav shakes.  His mind is accompanied by the ghostly image of that girl.  Her face a deluge of white, purple, and blackish red.  Horribly swollen on on side.  No eyes to stare back with.  An inaudible grown somehow stirs in his ears.  

The sound of the car erases the image.  Gustav froze with fear until the car sound fades.  It goes away in slow motion.  His heart pounding.  He can’t get caught.  He’ll get send back.  He can’t tell anyone what he saw.  

“La Santa Meurtes, por favor!  POR FAVOR!!!!!”  Gustav futile prayer echoes as it finds its way out on his little cave.

Dark Places – Dark Side Thursday

Part of Dark Side Thursday writing. Showing a little dark side… ok maybe I’m lightening up. My favorite girl Rachel returns. ….


Every yard has its secrets.   Things even light barely touches. Mysterious but slightly inviting with door perched open.  It probably just for storage, but skeletons live outside of closets sometimes.  Oh wait, aren’t always kept in closets….

Happy tales begin with warm sunnier days, feelings of hope, a smile, a glance, chance encounters.

Two strangers. Dice rolled together. Mixing clumsy, an awkwardness, real plays out on stage of two and an audience of hundred nut paying attention.

Rachel backing out a door with two hands full. She’s striking in pale and auburn pulled back ponytail. To Reggie, she is striking by means of a glass door. His frap-mocha thing was strawberry, now it’s pink color on his white shirt.

“Oh no!” And “oh shit” dance in the air. Rachel is a natural wonder at people. Seeing a 6 foot two, man suddenly dressed in pink. This is suddenly the most hilarious sight ever. Laughing apologies.

Reggie is stunned. His drink was screwed up and now on his shirt. His temper was not well contained. “What the hell is wrong with you? It’s bad enough you dump it on me and you’re laughing at me? ! You stupid bitch! ”

Rachel is a little taken back. She’s running a solution through her mind. “Hey calm down. Accident. I get you another pink thing.”

Reggie is suddenly calm. Even looking at what who his yelling at. She’s not very threatening. “Sorry. . I’m an idiot… bad day before this. ”

He charms her into dinner. She’s even willing to cook for him. A non GMO, vegetarian, with tree nut allergies didn’t get these offers much.

Rachel is good at hiding intentions. She offered, felt a little strange afterward. Stranger coming to her place. But be had stirred some old feelings. A little bit of company would do wonders. Damn she might actually like him too.

The ride out to the country isn’t good for a nervous person. Reggie has always hated the outdoors with wild creatures every where. Buildings meant civilization. This girl wasn’t looking so good. Trees start to sway along roadside. A corn field runs beside him on both sides. He looks side to side. He has seen movies about theses kind of fields.

“Turn left in one hundred feet” his phone causes him to jump. It’s been twenty minutes since the concrete disappeared. He can see what looks like her house.

“What the hell? The house is half underground. A normal front but it hides most of the rest. To the side grown up fields and a garden. Other side corn field. “Oooh I’m not liking this….. damn she’s right there’s. I guess I have to go through with it.” Fake smile in place.

“Wow you’re really out of town. Do you want to hide from everyone? (nervous laugh) you don’t like hide bodies out here, do you?” Reggie is slightly shaking.

“If I show you where they are, you’ll have to join them.” Singing her words, Rachel discovers what feelings be really stirred. “Are you scared? If I told you I got over that phase, would it help? ”

“Ugh, I was joking. Just thought it was funny. Wow, your eyes are so green and intense.” Reggie is being led to the door.

“Seriously, out here it’s peace and quiet. No-one looking at what’s going on. No-one to hear you, week scream.” She’s playing with her words, slow, deliberate.

Once inside the door, Reggie relaxes. Rachel lifts her left arm plunging a blade into his shoulder blade straight through the heart.

“Ain’t love a many splendor thing. I guess you’ll join the party in the shed.”

Rachel thinks about the way things used to be too often. A cured vampire may lose taste for souls, but the thrill is still there. The thrill is still there.

The girl has a history: