Flash Fiction “Peephole”

Peephole

James didn’t believe he deserved any of the things in his apartment. The big screen TV sitting on the solid oak entertainment center was a constant reminder of how he didn’t deserve to be alive. His chest moving up and down was a constant reminder. He didn’t deserve to be alive after what he had done. Not after the screeching tires broken glass, blood, and the screams. Oh god the screams. The screams woke him up at night.

Everyone told him it wasn’t his fault, even his parents. But every time he looked into their eyes he saw how they felt. It was there. The place behind their eyes, as obvious as a blinking light. “You killed her.” It said. “You killed our baby girl, you killed your sister.” Non of the late night crying sessions with his mother, or the reassuring pats on the back from his father made the blinking light go away.

Sara never wanted to wear her seatbelt. James never made her. She was 20 years old and an adult, at least on paper. Gone were the days of being big brother. He wished he had endured the eye roll and made her wear the damn thing. He relived that moment backing out of the drive way every day for the last 2 years, going over every detail, the sun setting, his sisters hair blowing across her face, the flash of the truck bumper, the screams, and then silence. He couldn’t relive that moment anymore, and he wasn’t going to. The gun he purchased a day ago would remedy that. One bullet and things would be set right. One pull of the trigger and the agonizing guilt would be laid low like the bad guy in a spaghetti western.

The gun sat like a brick in the palm of his hand as he raised it to his temple. He felt a lightness come over him. In two years he hadn’t felt this good. This is right, he thought.

He almost pulled the trigger when he heard the knock at the door. The suddenness of the rap left him confused for a second and made him think the gun had gone off and ended his miserable life. He looked around the room, and everything was as it was. James got up from the couch and walked like a zombie to the door. He leaned his head against the hard wood, exhausted by just a few feet. He contemplated going back to the couch and getting on with it.

The door vibrated against his head as he leaned. His desperate feeling turning to anger. He looked through the peephole. The image on the other side of the door wavered as James’ eye adjusted finally focusing on a face he had not seen in 2 years. His sisters face looked perfect. Beautiful like he always remembered. He sighed and opened the door, not glancing back at the physical deed done. Not looking at the wreckage that laid on the couch clutching cool hard steel.

If you liked this story, you can purchase my short story, “A World Without” on Amazon. Just click the image.

a_world_without_book_cover (3)

Domestic Twilight Zone

wormholeI am obsessed with the old Twilight Zone episodes. One of my favorites is “The Parallel.” If you haven’t seen it  I suggest you do. The story is about an astronaut orbiting the earth whose communication systems stop functioning and he blacks out. he wakes up back on earth with no memory on how he got there. When he finally meets back up with his family everything is the same,  just with subtle differences. I won’t tell you the ending.

A month ago I was looking at my 15 month old baby boy. I watched him play with his new plastic truck as he squealed with joy. My eyes went from him to my wife, and back.  I had been blessed with such happiness that I could not believe I deserved. This little piece of the big world was mine. This is my reality and believe me I cherish and would guard it with my life if I had too.

After a while of letting the joy I felt in that moment wash over me, dark thoughts started to creep. The darkest one being what would I do if I lost my family, or if something within my life were to drastically change. This is a normal thing for me because I started watching the Twilight zone at age 8, and started reading Stephen King novels at age 13.

I started thinking  what it would be like to come home to an empty house. The routine of my life gone and never to return… It gave me a stomach ache just to think about it. Don’t get me wrong. I love silence and being by myself every once in a while, but to never walk through the door and hear my sons squeals of laughter, or feel my wife’s hands around me ever again… Just writing about it makes me shudder.

So to be exercising the demons so to speak, I wrote a story of a husband and wife. It was amazing how fast it came out of my over active, and somewhat demented brain. The short story is called “A World Without.” It is short and sweet, I didn’t want to stay in that world for too long. I hope you enjoy it. Click the book cover below to purchase  it on Amazon Kindle.

a_world_without_book_cover (3)“At Norworld, we prolong life through A.I. We take away the suffering with technology.” 

 

Rest in peace Richard Matheson

I know a lot of people are saying “who is Richard Matheson?” He was one of the most influential writers of our time. There are very few writers who can say they influenced writers such as Stephen King and Anne Rice. Stephen King named Matheson as one of his biggest influences, and Anne Rice has said Richard Matheson’s short story “A dress of white silk,” was one of her prime influences for her vampires. Still not impressed? Not much of a reader? More of a movie buff? Ever seen a little movie called I am Legend, starring Will Smith? Or What dreams may come, or Button, Button, a.k.a. The box, or Hell house, a.k.a. The legend of Hell House, or The twilight zone episode, where the man freaks out on a plane saying there is a man on the wing? Yup! You guessed it, all written by Richard Matheson. Even if you don’t read books, you have been exposed to this man’s work. Pop culture lost a great writer yesterday, but this man will live forever with his contributions to books and movies.

Here’s a list of some of this great authors work.

Movies:

The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957)
Beat Generation (1959)
House of Usher (1960)
Master of the World (1961)
The Pit and the Pendulum (1961)
Burn Witch Burn (1962); a.k.a. Night of the Eagle (screenplay co-written with Charles Beaumont and George Baxt based on the novel Conjure Wife by Fritz Leiber
Tales of Terror (1962)
The Raven (1963)
The Comedy of Terrors (1963)
The Last Man on Earth (as “Logan Swanson”, based on Matheson’s novel I Am Legend)(1964)
Fanatic (1965)
The Young Warriors (1967)
The Devil Rides Out (1968)
De Sade (1969)
The Legend of Hell House (based on his novel) (1973)
Somewhere in Time (based on his novel) (1980)
Twilight Zone: The Movie: Fourth segment “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet” (1983)
Jaws 3-D (1983)
Loose Cannons (1990)
The Box (2009)

Real Steel (2011)

Novels:

Someone is Bleeding (1953)
Fury on Sunday (1953)
I Am Legend (1954) filmed as The Last Man on Earth, The Omega Man, I Am Omega and I Am Legend
The Shrinking Man (1956); filmed as The Incredible Shrinking Man and subsequently reprinted under that title; also the basis of the film The Incredible Shrinking Woman
A Stir of Echoes (1958); filmed as Stir of Echoes
Ride the Nightmare (1959); adapted as an episode of The Alfred Hitchcock Hour and later filmed as Cold Sweat (1970 film)
The Beardless Warriors (1960); filmed as The Young Warriors
The Comedy of Terrors (1964), with Elsie Lee; filmed as The Comedy of Terrors
Hell House (1971); filmed as The Legend of Hell House
Bid Time Return (1975); filmed as Somewhere in Time and subsequently reprinted under that title
What Dreams May Come (1978); filmed as What Dreams May Come
Earthbound (Playboy Publications, 1982), as by Logan Swanson[4] — editorially abridged version; restored text published as by Richard Matheson, 1989[citation needed]
Journal of the Gun Years (1992)
The Gunfight (1993)
7 Steps to Midnight (1993)
Shadow on the Sun (1994)
Now You See It … (1995)
The Memoirs of Wild Bill Hickock (1996)
The Path: A New Look at Reality (1999)
Passion Play (2000)
Hunger and Thirst (2000)
Camp Pleasant (2001)
Abu and the 7 Marvels (2002)
Hunted Past Reason (2002)
Come Fygures, Come Shadowes (2003)
Woman (2006)
Other Kingdoms (2011)

Generations (2012)
Books of note


                                                                                                                                   

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