Category: Fiction

Bears and Berry picking

Went berry picking the other day. It was just me and thousands of raspberry stalks, all thorny and stabby. The place was dead quiet when suddenly I heard chatter from at least a few people.

“Oh NO!” I thought, “My berry picking patch is ruined. a crowd will stomp down all the bushes, causing the ripe berries to fall to the ground.”

I headed towards the voices, only to discover they were both coming from the same person, a very old man, chattering loudly to himself. I went over to talk to him.

“Anyone else picking berries besides me and you?” I asked.

“Nope” he replied, and went on talking to himself.

“Um, Sir, who are you talking to?” I asked, almost afraid of his answer.

“Nobody” he said.

Just when I was about to high tail it out of the area, in fears the guy was insane, he went on to say:

“I ain’t talking to nobody. There’s nobody here but you and me. When I am alone, I talk loudly so if there is a bear around, he will think someone else is here and maybe chase them. I figure I have a 50% chance he will go after the other guy.”

I guess he did have some logic, albeit a bit insane.

“Gangway!’ he yelled, as he ran past me.

I began running as well. “Who we running from?” I asked.

“The bear” he said, “he is coming behind us!”

“So” I said smartassedly, “You logic didn’t work. The bear didn’t chase the other guy, he chased you!” I said.

“Nope, my logic makes perfect sense. The bear IS chasing the other guy, which happens to be you!” He said this as he ran to the left, leaving the bear hot on my heels.

I got out ok that day, but I learned a valuable lesson. Never try to figure out logic, and never interupt people who talk  to themselves.






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.

don’t get me drunk!

When he met her, she was this sweet little thing. He seen her first when he visited the school library. There she was, her blonde hair in a pony tail, tied up in a bun. The polka dot dress she wore was so long it touched the tips of her toes, and she was so very quiet. She moved quietly from one shelf to the next, putting the old books back where they belonged.

He made frequent visits to the library, more than he ever made before. In fact, he was so shy, he rarely went anywhere in the school except for home room, where he sat in the corner of the class, rarely making a sound. The other kids made fun of him all the time, calling him cruel names and even pushing him when they passed.

He never made friends easily, and even the teachers avoided him. His marks were poor, and he was often unclean. One would guess he might be a victim of abuse, but nobody ever seen his parents. He just seemed to show up one day, and nobody took the time to talk to him, or even ask him where he came from.

Acne pimples covered his face, which was about the only thing normal about this thirteen year old kid. His hair was greasy and his clothing was often tattered. He seemed very uncomfortable around other kids his age, but not around Kathy, the school librarian.

After so many attempts to gain her attention, Freddy decided to try something different. Going against everything he ever did, he simply got up, walked up to the desk and asked her out.

“How about you and me get out of here this afternoon? Go for coffee?” he asked, not a quiver in his voice.

At first she appeared surprised, but she quickly warmed up to him. “Me? You want to have coffee with me?” she asked, obviously surprised.

“Okay, but I don’t want coffee, it keeps me up. I would rather a soda, at your house.”

Freddy didn’t know what to say. At thirteen, he was just getting started with girls. He certainly wasn’t ready to have her over. Besides, with his parents out of town, and his older brother home ‘taking care’ of him, he didn’t want to be embarrassed. But she asked to come to his house.

“Sure, but it will have to be after seven. My brother goes to work then and I really don’t want him around.” he said.

“I will be there at 7:30. but I must warn you, don’t try anything Okay?. Don’t be like those other guys and think you can sneak alcohol in my drink and take advantage of me. I like you, lets keep it that way!” she advised.

Freddy couldn’t wait for the school day to end. “Imagine, the prettiest girl in school, one who is actually a senior, three years older than me, wants to come to my house, on the first date!” he thought.

That night, Freddy shooed his brother out the door as quickly as he could. Once he knew he was alone, he washed his hair, and put on some of his dad’s aftershave. He made sure he had plenty of ice, and brought out two glasses, and set them on the table. He walked the floor, waiting for the door bell to ring. At quarter past eight, the doorbell chimed.

He peered through the window and watched her. Her hair, now hanging loose, was shoulder length. She wore a dress quite different than the one she had on today, this one tight and very short. She wore high heels that made her appear much taller than he remembered, and as she waited, she coated her lips with the reddest lipstick.

Freddy was quick to open the door, his heart beating out of his chest. “Come on in” he invited, almost too excited to talk.

When she came in, there was something different about her. “I need a drink, I am so nervous, just pop please, no alcohol!” she admitted.

Freddy went to the kitchen, and poured up each a glass of soda. he filled each glass with ice, and before bringing the drinks into the living room, he had a devious idea.

He remembered her specifically stating that she didn’t want him to get her drunk. Was this an invitation for him to do it? After all, he never mentioned anything about alcohol, she was the one who brought it up. Was she expecting him to try something? Did she want alcohol? Did she want to get drunk, maybe let loose? He couldn’t take the chance on missing out on such a great plan. After all, look at how she is dressed!

He went to his dad’s liquor cabinet and found the bottle of Vodka. He remembered his dad commenting on how easy it was to sneak the stuff into his afternoon coffee. No smell, just the warm feeling in your gut.

At first he thought of abandoning the entire idea, but he fought against it. He poured two shot glasses of Vodka into her pop, and headed out to her side.

“Here’s to us” he said, praying she didn’t smell the booze. She gulped the entire glass down. “Could I have another, I am parched!” she said.

In seconds, he had her glass refilled, this time with even more booze. After three glasses, he knew she was drunk.

Just then, something happened. Her fingers, once dainty, began to grow. The nails grew, stretching to nearly double their length. Her once perfect mouth grew wide, and her teeth fell out. Her hair turned a cold grey, and her eyes seemed to pop from their sockets. Her once perfect body became that of a monster, the bones nearly sticking from her clothes. Her feet also grew, and her entire body became covered in hair.

“I asked you not to get me drunk. Look at what you did to me! I asked you, but you wouldn’t listen. You are just like all the other boys! Now you will live to regret your dishonesty” she said, her voice raspy and coarse.

“Regret it? Are you kidding?, You are beautiful!” he said, his own body going through similar changes.

In minutes, the setting of the room changed drastically. No longer were there two young people, their innocence and youth making them beautiful. In fact, now the room appeared to surround two monsters, something out of a horror movie.

“You are the woman I waited for my entire life” he said, his long tongue slithering across his pimple infused face.

The two monsters locked in embrace and together, they created the next generation of beasts. When they finished, their bodies began to change back to their original form.

“See you at school tomorrow?” he asked.

“Sure thing, I will be there all day!” she said, excited.



where the water doesn’t run

PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields
PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

There is a lump in the sand
where the water doesn’t run.
Nobody goes there, not the father
and not the son.

A while back
when tempers flared,
a father lost control
and it’s what you see here.

His son, teased and tortured
and then bullied some more;

he took his own life
he couldn’t stand it anymore.

The  dad, confused and hurt
visited the bully one night,
he didn’t want to fight
but they did.

When they finished

there was only one.

Before taking his own life,

he buried the bully beneath the sand.

where the water doesn’t run.


This sad little tale of bullying and retaliation the frustrations of having your son bullied and feeling helpless,is brought to you by this week’s Friday Fictioneers. I hope you enjoyed the story.

Charlie’s diet

This year, Charlie decided to work extra hard to keep the ab he seen earlier this week. He created a plan to eat healthier, at least in his mind he did.

When he got to work today, he wasn’t long bragging to the other staff members about his new diet.

“Anyone can give up junk food, but I am going one step further!” he said.

The other staff members grew curious.

“Rather than give up potato chips, I only eat half the bag, and then, with my immense will  power, I plan on throwing out the half eaten bag. Eventually I will wean myself from the stuff altogether. Then watch the abs.”

Georgette, ever doubtful, tried to rain on Charlie’s parade once again. “Why don’t you just not eat potato chips? That would make more sense!”

Later that day, Georgette noticed Charlie’s ass sticking out of the company’s dumpster.

“What you doing?” she asked.

“Cutting out waste. I think I accidentally threw out three quarters a bag of chips instead of half a bag. Don’t want to waste food, there are children in the world starving you know.” he said.

“You sure ain’t starving…..” Georgette thought to herself


Charlie’s ab

Charlie, a somewhat overweight fifty something is in the shower. He peers down at his feet and exclaims “A Nab!”

“I can’t believe it, I have a Nab!” he thought, “It’s not much, but it is a nab. I remember seeing one there when I was a young man.”

Charlie could not keep this good news to himself. Throwing on a pair of boxer shorts, he headed downstairs.

“You guys won’t believe this, but I, Charlie Cormack of Washburn street, Cincinatti have a Nab!” he bragged, to his wife and teen-aged son.

“So you had a nap, big deal. You are old, old guys always take afternoon naps on Sunday afternoon.” said his son, in a discouraging manner.

“Not a Nap, a Nab, you know, Abdominal Muscles. I have one! Want to see it?”  he asked.

Of course his kid wanted no part of this. For all he was concerned, this was gross and he wanted nothing to do with it, even if his father did have an ab.

Jenny Cormack wanted to see it, Charlie’s long suffering wife remembers a much thinner (but certainly not muscular) Charlie, the handsome young man she walked down the aisle with so many years ago.

“Where is it?” She asked.

“Here, let me suck in my gut for a minute. You have to bend over, look towards my feet, it’s right there.” he said, proudly.

“I don’t see anything except for that small lump below your belly button, you should probably see a doctor about that, it could turn into something” she said.

“It’s not a lump, it’s a Nab.”

“I have been working out you know, at work. I always take the stairs!” he bragged.

The next day, Charlie was up early. Jenny was awaken by her husband’s wheezes. He was on the floor, doing pushups.

“Gotta keep that Ab, maybe I can find more. Who knows, by next week, maybe I will have a six pack.”

Jenny knew Charlie all  too well. This kind of stuff happened every January. She also knew that the only six pack Charlie was going to bring home would be the six cans of his favourite beer he guzzles every Friday evening. Like every year, she didn’t say anything.

He was out the door in a breeze, briefcase behind him, almost slamming into he door. He was at work early, the first time since last January, and was set up on his computer, ready to start work by 8:30, half an hour early.

When the company coffee break arrived, Charlie was in the middle of the crowd at the coffee machine. Georgette, the boss’ secretary, with her big hair and tight dress was standing next to Charlie.

“I have abs” he bragged, “Well, at least one. I work out you know” he flirted.

“You have abs? You? I doubt that. Flabs maybe, but you certainly don’t have abs.Just look at yourself, you are fat!” Georgette said, in her usual snotty manner.

“What Gym do you work out at?” she asked. “Gym? I have no time for those things. I work out here at work!” he said.

“How do you work out here? We have no gym here.” she said.

“I take the stairs!”

“The only stairs is the three step stair that leads to the vending machine. You go there three times each day, to buy chips and bars, that isn’t working out!” she corrected.

“Hey, that’s nine stairs per day. It’s still exercise, I could take the elevator, if we had one, but I choose to take the stairs, and that’s why I have this ab!” Charlie said.

“It isn’t exercise, it’s poor eating!” she argued.

Charlie didn’t care. He was convinced that he was in shape. After all, he did have a Nab.



Friday Fictioneers: Laying the blame


“I don’t think I should be in here!”

“We wouldn’t be here if you did your job.”

“Hey, he was supposed to clean up afterwards. They should never have found that bracelet.”

“It wasn’t my fault, I was going to clean it up, but then you showed up!”

“I really liked that girl, and you killed her!”

“She wasn’t good enough for you, at least that’s what Momma said.”

“I said no such thing. I said that you weren’t good enough for her.”

The blame game went on for hours….trouble was, there was only one person in the cell.

This little tale of multiple personalities is brought to you by this week’s Friday Fictioneers’ photo prompt. Please click on the froggy for more stories based on the prompt.

Friday Fictioneers: WHO???

PHOTO PROMPT – © Dale Rogerson
PHOTO PROMPT – © Dale Rogerson

To set the scene, Stanley and Charlene are an elderly couple living in outport Newfoundland. Stanley dropped by a local farm and picked up a live chicken, and while passing a little stream, he caught a few tiny fish.

What you got there? asked his wife.

What does it look like? he answered.

A live chicken and a few little fish?

That’s right! No more red meat or processed food for me!

What you talking about?

The WHO said that it causes cancer!

Who said it?

The WHO!

The band?

no, The Who!


The WHO, that’s who!

Stanley, I think you have finally lost it.

The World Health Organization. They said that eating processed food and red meat causes cancer.

Did you leave the door open?

Yeah, why?

I think half your supper just ran out the door…..

This little chuckle is brought to you by Friday Fictioneers. click on the little froggy (which also isn’t red meat) for more stories.


Friday Fictioneers: Town Gossip

PHOTO PROMPT © David Stewart
PHOTO PROMPT © David Stewart

Old Tim was a guy who lived alone, in an old house near the end of the road in Cator’s Gulch. His yard was surrounded with a rusty old fence, with ‘Keep Off’ signs everywhere. I remember one sign that read ‘Keep Out. Trespassers will be shot’. When you are a kid, you tend to believe signs like that. I never went there.

Rumor has it his wife died in a house fire. They say Tim changed that day. He became bitter and dangerous.

I hear Tommy McGill visited him once, to offer his friendship. Nobody seen that boy after.

This sad reminder of hurt and loneliness is my entry into this week’s Friday Fictioneers. Click the little froggy for more stories based on the photo prompt.

Sunday photo fiction: Fear of cats

Copyright Al Forbes
Copyright Al Forbes

He sat there, staring into the big cat’s green eyes. The cat stared back, each of them waiting for the other to make a move. Tommy remembered how his house cat tortured the mice in the backyard, and now he knew how the mice must have felt. Not knowing what to do, Tommy let out a ‘meow’.

This confused the large animal, who remained staring at Tommy. By repeating ‘meow’ and slowly backing up, Tommy was able to escape the cougar’s reach. He knew that one swipe from that massive paw, and he would be as good as dead. The large cat certainly had the advantage, as it was dark in the tunnel and he could easily see whatever Tommy was doing. Tommy wasn’t so lucky.

Tommy lost his footing on the slick ground beneath him. Suddenly the cat pounced. Tommy found himself under the 100 lb. monster, helpless and unable to escape. The cat began to toy with Tommy, swatting him with his paw and pushing him side to side with its nose. Like the housecat, the cougar then pretended to ignore its prey, waiting for him to try an escape. Tommy remembered his housecat do the same thing.

Only he didn’t move. He played dead. Tommy was fortunate that the cat only wanted to play and wasn’t hungry. Eventually, the cat got bored and moved on.

Tommy quickly backed out of the tunnel and headed home. When he arrived, his mother was waiting for him. “Tommy, guess what? We just adopted a little kitten for you.” she said.

“NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOooooooooooo!” he said. Apparently Tommy recently developed a fear of cats.

This is my entry into this week’s Sunday Photo Fiction.  Click this link for more stories, or to add your own story. CLICK HERE