THE PARCEL

It arrived on a Tuesday. It was unexpected and entirely mysterious in its origin.

“What the hell is it?” Jinni asked in giddy excitement as she signed the delivery man’s handheld.

He shrugged. Three years on the job now, he couldn’t be bothered. Still a smile overtook him as he heard her last squeal before the closing of his elevator and her apartment door parted them forever.

Packages and cards had always been a source of ‘my favorite things’ for Jinni. They offered the comfort of mystery in a life that had for her twenty-three years on earth offered so little. And now this unexpected parcel dredged up the few and far in-between good memories, those fond recollections of birthdays and Christmases past, they clawed their way free from the dark swamp as if buoyed by the brown cardboard box that arrived that morning.

“What the hell is it?” she repeated as she carried the bowling bag sized box to the coffee table and sat Indian style on the futon to give it her undivided attention.

DSYR INDUSTRIES. That was all the label offered. Jinni pursed and chewed her lips as she let herself enjoy the mystery. It was all so odd.

Money was short enough. She hadn’t ordered anything that could be forgotten. Family was far and few and unconcerned with her. For that matter she couldn’t think of anyone who might even know her address. She’d cut ties and done a good job of it.

Still, there on the label was her name—and even spelled properly for once—Jinni Richards.

“Okay, gang, let’s unwrap this pickle.”

The plot only thickened.

Inside the cardboard package was yet another box. The size of a bird’s nest, she decided the moment she saw it. Cradled in Styrofoam peanuts. Wooden. Perhaps pine. Old and roughhewn. Black nails like spider’s eyes to hold it together. So simple and pretty that Jinni thought it was the end all.

But when she placed the little box on her knick-knack shelf, the thing flipped to another side as if to right itself and bolted several inches to knock two other tchotchkes to the floor, where one little porcelain angel suffered to break in her fall.

Jinni clasped her mouth in gasp and retreated once more to her couch. Over the course of an hour she half-heartedly convinced herself that she’d not seen what she saw. She’d always been a clumsy girl.

 

to be continued….

PACKED UP THE SERIAL NOVEL

I concluded this wasn’t the best place for the serial novel. That baby was going to grow and soon be drinking milk from the jug without putting the cap back on and filling the sink with dirty dishes and socks.

So I kicked him out. But fear not; I’m no monster. I gave him a nice new home with a view of the lake and plenty of room for tearing off his shirt and sprouting fangs.

Yup, now OLDFANGLED, the tale of a geriatric werewolf, resides over at The Never Read Pages.

Chapter Two might even show up this weekend….

SONGS to WHISTLE WHILE CLEANING UP BLOOD

Released! Set free! It’s been loosed upon the unsuspecting public!

Blood Songs

Stories from beyond the map’s edge. Cryptids and creeps. Deranged charlatans. Troubled souls seeking redemption or revenge. Strange things and weak, piddling people.  Stories thick with lies. These are weird tales indeed, caught up someplace between myth and fact, without existing in either or maybe, once upon a time and place, true in both….

 

THE NIGHT WATCH

thenightwatch-front master cover

 

Murder, sex, magic, and ancient Rome.

A serial killer preys upon those who are truly the most dangerous game…the gladiators. As the killer collects macabre trophies, it falls to the Prefect of the Night Watch to end the madness.

But this is Rome, where blood spills like wine, and dreams…they are all too often nightmares.