souveniers

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PHOTO PROMPT © Karuna

He took souvenirs,

and played with them

as if they were his own.

Until guilt set in

and he would bury the tems

next to the bodies

in the dirt behind his home.

Nobody knew he existed

because his father, the mayor

hid his son

and his secret

from the world.

Once a day he threw

food

to his child

who he hid away in the basement.

He wasn’t supposed to get out

but at night he did

and he found kids

asleep in their bed

who had toys

but won’t be needing them

because soon they will be dead.

This morbid story of a young serial killer is my entry into this week’s Friday Fictioneers.

Defiance

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PHOTO PROMPT © J Hardy Carroll

After the bomb exploded, bodies were strewn everywhere. Teams moved quickly to remove the dead, before the entire congregation arrived to help with the cleanup. Despite their hard work, the place would never be the same again.

Those responsible admitted it proudly, as if it was their destiny.

Whoever thought they could bring down the house of the Lord with a bomb were sadly mistaken.

Despite his grief, the old pastor gave the sermon of his lifetime. he started out with these words: “This place is but a building. The Lord’s home is wherever we shall gather in his name.”

This is my entry into this week’s Friday Fictioneers. My condolences to the families of those lost in the Manchester Bombing. Senseless killing seems to be commonplace those days. What is most disturbing to me is how people are claiming responsibility, as if this is something to be proud of. Thanks for reading.

There’s no other kinds

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PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bultot

Harry took his wife out to a local diner for a Mother’s Day meal. The man was outraged when the waitress brought a bottle of No Name Ketchup to the table.

“No name brand Ketchup? You call yourself a restaurant? Fake Ketchup?” he hollered, embarrassing his poor wife.

“I only use Heinz Ketchup! If it ain’t Heinz, there are no other kinds!” he yelled. “I have been using Heinz all my life, just ask my wife!”

“Relax Harry, you have been using No Name brand for years, I just refilled the Ketchup bottle with whatever was on sale” she admitted.

Happy Mothers Day to all the special moms out there, especially those who live with stubborn men like Harry. This story is my entry into this week’s Friday Fictioneers. I hope you enjoyed this, and thanks for reading.

Frank’s Salvage

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PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Steam bellowed from the busted radiator, as Susan paced the deserted highway.

A ratty old tow truck appeared in the distance. The driver rolled his window down,  “Name’s Frank. Looks as if you have a bit of trouble. Hop in my  truck, I’ll tow you to my garage and fix it.” She sensed something, but ignored her intuition and stepped inside.

Upon her entry, Susan noticed something odd. No seats, no dashboard, and worst of all, no floor. As she fell to her death, she disappeared into the oblivion.

“Another car for my collection” the Devil said, as he drove away.

This little tale of hospitality and horror is brought to you courtesy of Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ Friday Fictioneers photo prompt.  Click on the froggy for more intriguing tales based on the photo.

a penny for your thoughts

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PHOTO PROMPT © Sandra Crook

Alexander and Peter inherited their parents’ fortune, and spent their time bickering.

Alexander enjoyed picking up pennies from the street and adding them to his bank account; while Peter was so wasteful, he threw money out the window of his plane.

On this occasion, Alexander was driving to town to buy groceries. He drove the rusted Mercedes convertible his dad left him. Suddenly, he lost control of the car as it left the road.

Search crews located Alexander’s car in a deep ravine. He was DOA. The autopsy revealed he died from a massive brain injury. A penny was found inside his skull.

This ironic tale of the fast and the frivolous is brought to you courtesy of Friday Fictioneers. Click on the froggy for more stories based on the photo prompt.

Someone had to pay

Bill volunteered at a local orphanage. He spent hours playing board games with the kids and telling them funny stories. The kids really loved Bill, at times he was the only person who came to visit.

The staff at Care Lots Orphanage also enjoyed Bill’s visits. He could sit  and talk for hours, reminiscing about his years in the Marines, and the many adventures he experienced.

The one thing Bill never spoke of was his childhood. Orphaned as a child, Bill bounced from one foster home to the next, suffering abuse in one form or another from parents who wanted to do the ‘right thing’, and who never really understood the pain the little boy experienced.

Bill’s home life was also very sad. Two failed marriages and several kids who may or may not have been his left him battered and heart broken. He managed to find odd jobs so he could send a bit to his kids, but most of the time, the mothers kept the money for themselves.

A huge man, Bill towered over the entire staff of the orphanage. A plaque was donated to the orphanage honoring the many years of volunteer work Bill had done. “A big man with a big heart” was inscribed on the plaque, along with a picture of Bill and the kids.

Today, the new manager of the orphanage asked to talk to Bill.

“We were looking at your files here, Mr. Hillman. We don’t see your code of conduct anywhere. We need you to fill out this form, which includes a criminal record check. It’s not like we don’t trust you, it is just a legality.” said the  man.

Bill’s head fell. “I don’t, I mean, I can’t get you one. I have a criminal record. It happened years ago, after I left the marines. I have since straightened myself out. I am waiting for the governor to issue a pardon. I have paperwork from the government and from the military”

“We are sorry, Mr. Hillman, that isn’t good enough. We certainly can’t have you working with our children if you can’t be trusted.”

Bill was astonished. Beaten, he stood up and attempted to leave. One of the kids came running. “Bill Hill, where you going? Me and Tommy wants to play a game!”

Bill worked hard to hold back the tears. “I am only going for a little while, things will be okay, I promise” he said. He knew different, but couldn’t bring himself to tell the truth.

“It’s not fair!” he thought, as he walked home. “Those poor kids, they have nobody!”

When he arrived at the apartment, he pushed the door in and fell across the couch. Quite the sad thing really, such a large man crying his eyes out, but who could blame him? The only peace Bill has found has been working with the kids; kids nobody wanted.

Drowning his sorrows with a bottle of cheap whiskey, Bill reminisced to when he was a small boy. His father never stuck around, so it was up to his mother to raise him, to love him. She did neither. She didn’t like sleeping alone, so she quickly found someone to share her bed, and that someone didn’t want a stupid kid ruining their fun. Sharon Hillman began pushing Bill away, often locking him outside the house to fend for himself.

When Child services showed up at her doorstep, she wanted nothing to do with the boy. Drunkenly, she hollered and screamed at the social workers, ordering them to take the boy away. That’s what they did.

Bill was eight years old when he was first set up in the Kindle’s home. Roy and Helen had just lost their boy to Cancer, so Bill was to be his replacement. The Kindle boy was so smart in school, but unfortunately, Bill struggled. The boy was a hero in the school sports program, Bill was not. Bill wasn’t any of the things their boy was, and because of this, Bill suffered.

Helen tried to beat some sense in the boy. “I will make a man out of you yet!” Helen screamed, all the while beating Bill with her belt. At night, the terror increased, as Bill was ‘visited’ by Roy, who promised to make everything alright, as long as Bill didn’t tell Helen what Roy was doing to him.

When the gym teacher noticed bruises on the boy, he called Child Services. Bill was taken away from the Kindles, but the abuse continued. Every home was worst than the one before.

By the time Bill was sixteen, he had enough. He tried to end it all. He couldn’t even do this right, and after several visits to the Emergency Department of the local hospital, the police got involved.

One officer, who had a soft spot for the boy, suggested he join the Armed forces. Bill agreed; the best move Bill ever made. He loved the organized schedule, and for once, he found something he was good at.

Three tours in the Middle East, and Bill was finished. No longer could he take the violence, the hate, and the killing. He wasn’t meant to do this, and wanted out. His Commanding officer rejected his requests, so he just walked away.

Bill drifted from city to city, from state to state. Alcohol became his only friend, and one night, while sleeping off his latest drinking binge, some lady walked up to him and kicked him in the stomach. “Worthless bum, go out and get a job!”

Bill looked up at the stranger, but seen a much different person. He seen his mother. This time, she wasn’t drunk, and she wasn’t with a strange man. “You worthless little boy!” Bill heard. Whether it was the words of the stranger, or his PTSD, Bill reacted quickly. Clenching his hands around the woman’s neck, he proceeded to strangle her. A police car drove past, and the officer was quick to spin around.

Bill was arrested, but the lady chose not to press charges. “My husband was a Marine, a real mess when he came back. I am going to give this man another chance.”

This was the first time a woman was nice to Bill. He wanted to thank her for her kindness. Following her home, he waited until she was in the house. He planned to knock on the door and talk to her.

Bill glanced into the large front window of the lady’s home. He seen her, standing over her small boy. He watched as she slapped the child. Despite not being able to hear what was being said, he knew exactly what was happening. The child was being abused.

Bill barged into the home, and grabbed the boy. He pushed him out the door, and proceeded to take him away. The woman tore at Bill’s face, and screamed loudly. A neighbor called the police. Bill was arrested, and sentenced with attempted kidnapping.

One of the neighbors made an attempt to help Bill. She knew of the constant abuse the woman put her kids through, and wanted it to stop. Of course, the abusive woman was the wife of a Marine, a true hero, so nobody listened.

When Bill was released from prison, he disappeared from the public. He moved often, and lived from day to day. His only solace was working with kids at the various orphanages he visited.

After being barred from Care Lots, Bill’s life changed. “Someone has to pay!” he said to himself. He spent time walking through the park. This is where he met Nicole Simmons. Sitting on a park bench next to her, Bill began a conversation. “Where are you from?” he asked.

“Baltimore” She said.

“Married?” he asked.

“I was, not anymore.”

“Kids?” he inquired.

“Don’t get me started. I had two boys for two different guys. I was young back then, and couldn’t afford to keep them. Hard to make it on your own, you know how it is.” she said.

“I hear you. Hey, why don’t you join me for a drink, my treat!” he offered.

“I shouldn’t, but it’s been a long day.” she said.

Bill walked with the girl, and offered a short cut through the brush at the end of the park.

“So tell me about your kids. Are they with their dads?” Bill asked.

“Not their dads, but they are safe, with another family.” she said. That was all Bill needed to hear. “Someone has to pay, someone has to pay” Bill repeated. When the girl became nervous, she tried to run, but Bill was a large man, with large hands. His grip was too strong. Making a fist, he clobbered the tiny woman, sending her reeling across the path. Removing a .45 from his belt, he ended her life.

It was easy to carry her home. She didn’t weigh much. Bill dug a small grave behind his house, and buried her. He put a small headstone on top, and repeated. “Someone has to pay!”

Cathy Green was a haggard women. Spending way too much time in the bar, she had little time for her small kids at home. One night, while Bill was drowning his sorrows, he overheard a conversation between Cathy and some drunk at the bar. She bragged how two of her oldest had been removed, and were in better homes now.
“These people have money, I don’t. When my kids are grown, they can come back and take care of me.”

Bill waited for the club to close. It was located in a rough part of town, so there wasn’t much traffic, especially after 4 in the morning. He took her life quickly, not even giving her time to scream or fight for her life. She was buried next to Nicole.

A few more nights, a few more women. Someone had to pay, and pay they did, with their lives. Bill moved from town to town, ‘Protecting’ the kids by murdering their mothers.

Returning home, he noticed a white envelope stuck in the front door of his apartment. Ripping it open, he read it.

To William Hillman.

This is a notice of the removal of your children from your estranged wife. If you do not respond within 30 days, the children will we sent to Child Services and adopted out to a good family.”

The letter was dated March 30, two months ago.

“That bitch lost my kids. They are gone to a foster home. Oh My God!” he thought, tears washing his face clean.

He knew where Sally lived. He had visited a few times, in an effort to see the kids. There was a car in the driveway, not hers. Bill never hesitated. “Someone has to pay” he said. He repeated the words to himself as he kicked in the door. The man who was at her house ran for his life, but Sally never made it. Bill choked the life from the woman who bore his kids, the woman who took them from Bill, and allowed his kids to be taken from her as well. Someone had to pay.

The man who fled the apartment called the police. Bill was arrested soon afterwards; after all, someone has to pay.

Cross Examination of a Murderer

Lawyer: “Did you, William Hillman, brutally murder eight innocent women?”

William: “No”

Lawyer: “Did you bury those innocent women, who were all young mothers, in your backyard?”

William: “No”

Lawyer: “William, we found the bodies. Your DNA is everywhere. We have the murder weapon, which is registered in your name. I am asking you once more, did you murder those innocent women?”

William: “NO! Those women were not innocent. Those women abandoned their children, forcing them to live in foster homes, where they were abused. My mother did the same to me. She was not innocent either.

dead

PHOTO PROMPT © Liz Young

Word Count: 100 words. More on this story, check out ‘Someone had to pay’

This little tale of the verification of innocence and one man’s

pain and suffering is my entry into this week’s Friday Fictioneers.

There’s more stories here…

 

put on your dancin’ shoes

shoes

PHOTO PROMPT © Magaly Guerrero

Charlie stared with envy as the young couple danced across the floor. The old guy remembered a time when he and Thelma danced just like this. Sadly,  hard work and raising a large family left little time for dancing anymore.

Today being their 50th anniversary, Charlie had quite the surprise lined up for his wife. “Put on your dancin’ shoes, let the jukebox blow a fuse!” he hollered. The ‘Ya All Come in is having a dance and we are going!”

It wasn’t long before Thelma was ready to go. On this night, the old couple danced like  two teenagers.

This little ditty about keeping the fun in a marriage is brought to you courtesy of Friday Fictioneers. Be sure to click on the little froggy to check out the many other stories based on this week’s photo prompt.

 

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eat it if you are hungry

Gregory was a typical teen…lazy and spoiled. Gregory complained about everything, and while his suffering parents tried their best, they soon realized there was  no pleasing this brat.

“What’s for supper?” he demanded.

His step-father responded “Pizza, I made it myself”

“You expect me to eat that? I want takeout Pizza or nothing!”

“If you are hungry, you will eat it!” the parent said.

“No I won’t, I rather starve than eat that crap!” the teen said.

When Tom returned from work, half the pizza was gone.

“I left some for you. It’s not half bad” said the teen.

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PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson

This tale of the frustrations of raising a teen is my entry into this week’s Friday Fictioneers. Thanks for reading, and feel free to comment.

More stories here…

Cats in the attic and other cat tails

 

Please pardon the dual pun title. This blog post is all about the cats in my family. Currently, I have two, my brother has four, my parents have two, as do both my sisters. My wife, who loves cats is allergic, but thanks to Benadryl, she manages.

When I was a kid, I fondly remember Gypsy, a little tabby someone gave my parents. Back then, there was no such thing as spaying or neutering your cats. You simply had a cat and she had lots of kittens.

Gypsy must have been quite popular with the male kitties in our community. She managed four litters each summer. We were fortunate to know lots of people, because we gave away a lot of cats.

At one time, we had fifteen kittens at once. My sister Tammy used to carry the kittens around in beef buckets. Everywhere you looked, there was a kitten popping out of something, and it was quite hilarious at times.

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Me and mom and our cat Gypsy

We had so many cats, Dad had to do something. One day Gypsy ‘ran away’; at least, that’s what we were told. The reality was, my parents could no longer afford to keep all those kittens, and were quickly running out of people to give them to. I bet my dad still feels guilty, but (as he told us when were older) one day he took Gypsy for a car ride to the local dump. “Lots of mice and rats for her to eat here” he told mom, as they drove home.

When I got older, and my first marriage was over, I found my  home very quiet. I decided to adopt two kittens. A friend of my parents had a litter of kittens at their home, and this is where I found ‘Rascal’. Rascal was and is still one of my favourite cats. He was a little grey tabby with a white belly, and from day one, he was special; a real ‘People Cat’.

Rascal used to cry a lot, probably from being removed from his mother, so I visited a local pet shop and found him a buddy. ‘Killercat’ was a little black kitty who liked to bring knives into my bed, hence the name ‘Killercat’.

Killercat and Rascal were the best of friends, and I loved watching them play. The worst thing I ever did was get Rascal neutered. Something went wrong with the procedure, and when he came home, the stitches let go. I had to rush him back to the vet. This was the beginning of a very difficult time for both myself and for Rascal as well. Once they did the ‘fix’, he had problems with his urinary tract, and after spending the next three years traveling to and from the vet clinic, my beautiful cat had to be put ‘asleep’. I cried with him the entire night, as we had to wait until morning to bring him into the vet.

The Vet suggested putting him on strong medication, but when asked if the medicine would ‘cure him’ or just prolong his pain, I decided to do the humane thing and let the vet put my little buddy to sleep. This was very difficult, but when you agree to be a pet owner, I believe you have to do things like this sometimes.

Killercat was devastated when his buddy didn’t return home from the vet. All the times before, he would be waiting patiently by the front door, and when Rascal came home, Killercat would wash him and the two of them would cuddle. This time, I returned home alone. It was almost as if my cat had went into shock. He just sat there, with a lost look in his eyes, crying. I truly believe animals mourn their loved ones when they pass away, and Killercat’s reaction  proved it.

After a few months of only owning one cat, I decided to look around for a ‘friend’ for Killercat. A friend of mine told me a lady down the street from her had a litter of kittens to give away. What I found was quite the opposite.

Apparently this lady was none too smart. She always wanted a Himalayan Persian, and her new husband was quick to get her one, at a price of $800. The young un-neutered Tom Cat arrived, and seeing how the lady had to attend school that morning, she left him home with her un-spayed female tabby. Her new cat had quite the welcoming party, as in a short while, the lady was greeted by five more members of the cat family. Four of the kitties looked exactly like pure bred Himalayan kittens, but the other one didn’t.

The cruel lady took the runt of the litter, a cute little tabby with the face of a Himalayan, but the short fur of the mother, and hid her away in a cardboard box. When people came to purchase the ‘Pure Bred’ kittens, the little tabby kitten was nowhere to be seen.

When I arrived at the door, the little kitty ran to my feet. It was almost as is she was asking me to rescue her. ‘She is a bit shy, she always has been’ the owner told me. She even told me what she had done to the little cat, bragging how she sold each of the other cats in the litter for $500 each. She didn’t want anything for this one, who  I named ‘Misty’.

Misty was very shy, as I expected. Killercat hated her. They never got along, and Misty chose to live her life in the basement, often hidden away. She was never cross, and could be pet by only certain people. She also never grew. She is as tiny now as she was in 2002.

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Killercat and Misty

Killercat, on the other hand, was never the same cat as he used to be when Rascal was alive. He had gotten so cross, I didn’t trust him around anyone but myself. Although he was the prettiest thing, with his big green eyes and the totally black fur that covered his body, I urged people not to get close. He actually bit a few of my friends.

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The Infamous Killercat

When I met my wife, Killercat tried his dominance with her as well, but was surprised when she stood her ground. It was as if he appreciated this, and the two became very close. He never growled or threatened to bite her again.

A few years later, Killercat began to have trouble with his urinary tract. A few costly trips to the vet and not many results, I decided to put an end to his suffering. As before, I had a difficult time with this, but the thought of him crying at night was too much for me. I brought him in to the vet, and surprisingly, she actually suggested putting him to sleep.

When I got home, I told my wife “No More Cats!” I said that once Misty passes on, I don’t want cats in my home again. It is just too hard when you have to put them down.

That evening, while watching TV, I heard a cat meowing loudly. My wife and I ran to the basement to check on Misty. I thought for sure she was the next to go, but she was as content as ever, sleeping in her little bed. Again we heard the sound, and knew it couldn’t have been Misty.

I ran outside to discover a tiny, skinny little tabby hiding under the front tire of my truck. I sat on the ground and called the little thing over, and although hesitant, he came to me. My wife came out with a bowl of cat milk (No, we didn’t milk a female cat and fill a jar, this is actually a pet product, a low lactose milk made especially for cats).

The little thing didn’t know what milk was, but when I put my finger in the bowl and then held it in front of him, he soon learned. I had to count my fingers to see if he had ate one or not. He drank five bowls of milk before cuddling into my lap.

“You know what you said, NO MORE CATS” my wife reminded me, knowing how the little thing had already won his way into my heart.

“Where will we keep him? We can’t leave him out here, its starting to rain” I pleaded. “We can take him in, I will get a kennel” My wife offered.

Well, once he made his way into the house, there was no going back. We had just adopted (Bought) a little Sheltie puppy, and worried at her reaction to the little kitten. We didn’t have to worry much, as the two of them became the best of friends.

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Chance and Marley

We named the little kitty Emily. This name didn’t stick, mainly due to my cousin informing us that ‘Emily’ was much more like a ‘Elmer’; so Emily quickly became ‘Chance’. We chose this name because it was only by Chance he showed up at our door that night.

I have to say, Chance is the best cat I ever had. Of course he doesn’t get along with Misty, who still lives in the basement, but he is as much a ‘People cat’ as Rascal was. In many ways, he reminds me of Rascal.

Chance spends nights in the basement, but as soon as I wake, he is quick to come upstairs and greet me. He stands on his tippy toes and meows so that I can bend down. Upon me doing this, he kisses me. He has to have his kiss from both me and my wife every morning. In the evenings, he likes to cuddle with my wife on the couch, or run and tease the dogs and get them to chase him. From time to time, you can see him hanging from the neck of Marley, our sheltie. They play all the time.

You can still find Misty here as well. She is the oldest cat in my family, but she still looks like a kitten. She comes out more lately, possibly due to her love for my wife. Misty gets so excited when my wife pets her, she drools, which my wife is also allergic to.

If you have never had the pleasure of owning a cat, you certainly don’t know what you are missing. I love cats, always have, always will.

Oh, I almost forgot, the title ‘Cats in the attic’ relate to a story about one of my brother’s cats. My brother was having work done on his house, and one of the carpenters left the attic door open. My brother had this huge cat named Tiger, who was, like most cats, quite curious. Without being noticed, Tiger climbed the ladder and ran into the attic. The carpenter, who was unaware of this, closed the attic door and removed the ladder.

When my brother arrived home, he looked everywhere for his cat, and was mortified how maybe he got out when the carpenter may have entered the house. After spending hours outside looking for his cat, my brother had to face the obvious. His cat had ran away. He was almost in tears when suddenly he began to hear meows coming from above. My brother explained how he believed he was losing his mind, but soon came to the suspicion that maybe the cat was really above, in the attic. When he opened the attic door, the huge cat leapt out and ran for the bed for safety. A big relief for both my brother and especially for his cat.

 

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Chance thinking he is going on vacation with us

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Where’s Waldo I mean Chance

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Me and my good buddy