Saturday, September 7, 2013


Sensing Things

"Can you see now?" Came the gentle voice again. Dan grimaced, he felt bloated and sluggish but not violently ill.
"I can't see anything. I can. . . I sense or feel things."
"Tell me what you sense."
"I hear voices that come unbidden. I don't know where they come from. Like radio waves from far away. I can see outlines on rare occasions of people in red light halos. The people in these halos frighten me for some reason. Don't know why."
"Do these sensations cause you pain?"
"Sometimes. More fatigue than pain. Where am I? Who are you? I was. . .I was in the hospital-"
"You are home now. You were rescued some weeks ago from the river. These sensations, the "sickness" are the start of a power developing inside you, Dan. A power to discern the light from the darkness. You are one of the first ones that I have seen that has this ability out in the wild."
"In the wild?"
"By yourself in the world with no one to guide you. Of the few I've seen with the power of discernment the power itself destroys them or they are destroyed before they are powerful enough to wield it." Dan shifted in alarm. He tried to remove his blindfold but his hands felt numb and weak.
"What do you mean destroyed?"
"Relax. Relax Dan. I will not harm you." The voice soothed. He felt it like a breeze caressing his raw nerves and he settled down. Whoever it was, the Voice they wielded had some sort of power.
"I mean, that there are others who do not want you to see them. The ones in red. Your power was released under stress. That is usually how it happens. By accident. when I look at you Dan I see a halo around you too. A blue light. The light of humans. The Others, they are not. . . .human. They look, act and behave like humans. They are very good at it because they have been here on earth for a very long time. But they are a cancer and that cancer looks like red halo light. You can now see them and you will be able to sense them more often. There are other levels to this ability Dan."
"What levels?"
"Fighting. All will come in time. Just rest your mind and continue sensing and feeling your way through the darkness with the blindfold on. Your eyes are important but I want you to learn how to see with more than just your eyes. The whole world is lost and blind because they ONLY see with their eyes." He heard footsteps falling softly away as whoever it was - his captor or helper - left the room.
Dan did not know what to say or how to proceed. He still wasn't entirely sure he was not dreaming. He obeyed and tried again, sensing. Suddenly a siren blared out of the background noise of the day - he guessed it was day from all the ambient background noise sifting through - and it disrupted his concentration. He put his hands to his ears and blocked it out with difficulty until the siren died away and then tried again. He sensed immediately someone beside him and jumped.
"Good. Good. You knew I was here. I was looking for that. You can take the blindfold off for now." Dan hesitated at first, then tore it off. There was a tall man standing by the bed. His bed. With deep gray eyes, impossibly pale with a wide-set mouth and white hair. He wore a long black coat.
"My bones, they were broken. My back!" Dan grabbed it but there was no pain. "I remember someone. Red-Rag." The man nodded.
"Yes. They tried to break you, those hoodlums. Thralls of the red-shifters. The real danger, believe it or not is not them. It is what has been done to them. They were once men, like you and for all intents and purposes, they still are on the outside. But those fellows have been turned into thralls. That is the intent of the red-shifters for some of humankind. To take over in every way." Dan stared at him intensely until he began to sweat. There was no sense in questioning the strangeness in this situation and the fact that he had no real idea who this man was because life had radically changed when he was thrown into the river. He proceeded on.
"What are red-shifters?"
"The ones who have infiltrated human culture and populations. The Others. The ones who want to change, consume and destroy humanity for their own purposes. The problem is that we do not know what their ultimate purpose is and why they want to do what they want to do. I and others are still discovering this as we go. We only know that they mean you great harm."
"And. . . who are you?" Dan asked, sitting back and watching him closely.
"A helper. I will tell you more later when you meet the others on the team I am putting together."
"The one I told you about?"
"Ah. Right. Other people like me." Dan scanned the man again. He felt no sinister vibe or danger from this man at all and he had scanned and studied his feelings around him for some days now. He looked outside. The day was overcast and cast a pall gray over everything.
"Well, if I am to meet with your team-"
"You are to be the leader of this team. If you wish."
"Oh. Well. I think I can find a way to handle that if I have this great power, as you say. But if I am to meet this team of people you put together and lead them, it seems I need to at least know your name." The man gazed serenely at him before answering.
"I will be meeting with some of the others later this week, to gather them together. Then I must find a safe haven for you all to meet. I think I may have found such a place. And my name is Trillion."

Saturday, July 6, 2013



Andrew was finally home from a long day at the store with a million things on his mind, the foremost one he was about to re-examine tonight. He threw his coat and keys on the couch and went to the desk and picked up the letter again. He'd been corresponding with a mysterious person off and on for nearly a year now. Andrew owned a tiny bookstore and he sold used science fiction, fantasy books and some horror, though he was not a fan of those and after some of the things revealed to him recently horror now disturbed him. It was a weird "thing" with him, nothing personal against horror. 

He barely kept the book store afloat but one day he had received a mysterious letter from a person named T telling him that his store was a portal to another place and then told him, showed him, exactly how this was so. It had shocked and intrigued Andrew but this was the truth. T had offered a felicitous arrangement. T would help keep the store afloat.
It really was a portal, a wormhole. He was warned that it needed to be protected from the others.
"What others?" He'd asked. He found out, to his fright that these "others" were all over the place, trying to overtake the world and that they had been here for a long time. They looked human. They seemed human but they were not human. He and T were now busy trying to fix the portal and improve it so that it would work reliably, because as of now it did not, and also to make sure it remained hidden from the others. The evil ones. T had seemed to know so much about these things. It was as if this was just out of one of the many books he sold in his store. So many of them had gotten here through portals like it but T had said that he and others he knew long ago had destroyed many of these portals or found a way to close them off but that was why so many others had gotten here in the first place. They were in a dash to hide any other found portals. Dangerous work. He had to admit he got a thrill from it all, even though he had a hard time sleeping now that he knew what he knew. T contacted him the old fashioned way. Through written letters. He rather liked  letters by hand. No one ever did that. Except T. He often wondered if T was a time traveler. Or something else. He had never seen T before. The letter read:

You must take this most seriously. It is not a game. It is real and those of us who are rebelling against this are in danger of execution and all humans are in danger of extermination. Just because we have closed up the portals does not mean that humankind is safe. They cannot act directly because they are not as powerful as they thought they would be, yet, but the day is coming when they will become far more powerful than they are now. Then they will not have to use subterfuge. They are evil, Andrew. Make no mistake about it. They are poisonous and insidious. There were several times in history when they nearly succeeded in wiping humanity out. The World Wars were the most recent examples. They use your own weaknesses and imperfections to try to engineer the destruction of Man and Man has shown that if they only keep trying they may succeed. Evil, unlike Good, needs no one to champion its cause. It triumphs because of a universal truth: everyone has darkness within and it is inherent and its call is seductive. It is so easy to be wicked and men would rather be seduced by it than fight against it. I should know; I have been educated by the ultimate tempter and I have paid dearly for it. Remember this Andrew. Remember it. Do not tarry in your decision too long.

- T

His heart beat quickly. Everything he looked at, smelled, touched could have been put there to seduce and blind him by the "others". Now was as good a time as any to put the monumental plan in motion. Andrew was not sure he was ready but T was pushing him and the things he had seen only begged the question: why did he continue to sit on his hands? The group had to be formed. He got out a piece of paper and a pen and wrote T back:

You were right all along. It is just that I have meager resources and I am nothing but a scared, confused bookseller with a bum leg. You are asking an underachiever who can barely run his own business in the black to help you save the world. Yet, it is my world. Let's do it. Let's get the group together. If you say there are others like me who know what is happening, we must get to know who we all are to stop them. My bookstore can be used as headquarters.


He slipped the paper in an envelope and wrote the letter: T on the front and he went to the backyard and stuck it in the little fake mailbox he used to communicate with T and then he made dinner, watched a little TV and drank some beer and went to bed.
. . .

The next morning he got up and went to the box in the back yard. His fingers trembled slightly. Sure enough, there was another letter from T. His letter was gone. He opened the new letter and read it.

I shall get the group of chosen ones together. It will be difficult work but I think I can convince them. One is seriously injured, in the hospital. In any case, in exactly three weeks, on Friday, we shall all meet each other for the first time at the bookstore. 8pm. If this time is inconvenient, let me know and I shall work out a better date and time. Time is of the essence.


"Well then. It begins." Andrew looked up at the sky. It was gray, foreboding and ready to drop a river of rain. He felt a few cold drops fall on his arm. "It begins." He sighed and went back into the house.

Friday, March 8, 2013


The Looking Glass

Late that night she awoke screaming in terror. Sweating profusely, she clutched at her shirt, choking and gagging. She sat up straight, her stomach roiling. Once again she was waking from a nightmare.
Breathing laboriously, thoughts scattered, she wiped the sweat from her face and pulled her knees up pressing them against her chest. She buried her chin between them, shivering in the cold sitting on the bed staring into the dark. The intensity of this latest dream burdened her with a heightened sense of dread that she had not experienced before. Yet, she could not remember what it was that she'd dreamed about. She glanced at her dresser across the room. The box. That was the problem. She had to get rid of it. 
It was late dusk and the weak embers of sunlight were still hanging about. She could still see most objects in the room if she squinted. Wine bottles were spread about on the floor. She finally got up and went to the bathroom, turned on the hot water, letting it run. 

Time passed, she couldn't remember how much. Hot steam billowed up from the sink and drifted towards the ceiling. She rinsed her face. The air became very warm and moist. Steam curled and wafted all around the bathroom turning it into a sauna. She wet her hair, running her fingers through it and then reached for a towel. She frowned, looking around her. The bathroom was enveloped completely in thick steam. She couldn't find the door. Then she heard soft clucking noises and snapped her head around, looking for the source of the sound. There it was again, then a soft, mocking laugh. She slowly lifted a hand and wiped the steam away from the mirror above the sink. There, her reflection was staring back at her. Except it didn't behave like a reflection. It wore a dark, blood red tailored Italian suit and a silk, ink black tie. She merely stared at it, stunned.
“Hello Mary. It's about time we got reconnected.” The voice was deep and mellifluous, like oil. Her own voice. Only the timbre was different.
“Who...who are you?” Mary felt an odd sensation coming over her. It wasn't quite terror.
“You've forgotten already?” It smiled widely, showing a set of beautiful white teeth. The canines were sharp.
“Come now. It's time for me to collect, Mary. I thought that leaving a few clues would help you remember your debt.”
“The box, Mary. The box. Remember?” She slowly sank down, seating himself on the edge of the tub, voluminous steam swirling everywhere. A dim realization began to dawn.
“No, no......”
“Let's not make a fuss. Come with me now.. Give me my due.”
“But you don't understand. I never opened the box.”
“What do you mean you never opened the box? Everyone always opens the box."
"Well I didn't. therefore I don't owe you anything. Have a look for yourself. And furthermore, I will never open that box. I don;t know what I was thinking when I took it but you can have it. back. I'll go get it for you." The reflection stared at her dispassionately and said nothing. She went to the bedroom and opened the top drawer to her dresser and took out the bright red lacquer box, about half the size of a shoe box. She set it on the counter in front of the mirror.
“I have nightmares and terrible headaches every night and I've felt sick to my stomach for weeks. It's this thing. It's cursed. Take it!”  At this the reflection laughed.
“Some people are made of stronger stuff  than you. If you have nightmares it is because of your own guilt. Coward! Who would turn away from the chance of such power but a frightened fool? Control of all that you see is only at your fingertips. All you have to do is open it, Mary." It said. Mary detected an edge in its voice. She shook her head. The voice softened.
"Come, now. Hold out your hand and touch the mirror once again.” The voice became quieter, hissing  like a snake. Mary felt a force pushing down on her willing her to disobey her own mind. She was now fully terrified. The powers of the red box and the parameters of the moral box she was in were finally coming into focus.
“No!” She repeated stubbornly, her voice trembling. The  reflection's eyes changed. The brown pupils turned black and became unusually large, like a cat's eyes in the dark, full of predatory malice.
“I will come at a later time. Take care.” The reflection smiled broadly. It was a million watt smile, bright as a Las Vegas night. A smile that was not reflected in the eyes. It would come again, of that she had no doubt. She had the perceptive power to see it and others in mirrors and this perceptive power tormented her. Accepting the box - and the power offered with it was a mistake. There was no other alternative.

She would have to burn it.

Monday, February 11, 2013


Red Shoes

He took the same path he always took, down the cruddy alleyway. The air was ice-chilled and the long wisps of breath snaked around his head he exhaled. A rich film of frost covered the grasses in the backyards and the weeds that choked the pebbled ground. Broken glass, tattered clothes and gaping potholes littered the alley. Strolling along, Jack passed by dilapidated garages, broken down cars and weather worn back fences. He neared the large brown garbage bin sitting against the pale blue concrete of his favorite diner. The diner sat right in an intersection of the alley path and a main arterial street. The whole neighborhood was mostly a dead place filled with overgrown back yards of foreclosed homes. He walked around to the front  and checked his watch.
 10:30 a.m. 
He pushed open the door and slide into a booth. The waitress, the new one who had the unsettling gaze,  who reminded him of a poisonous insect, eyed him steadily as he came in and drifted slowly over to his table. 
"Coffee?" She asked. Her voice was flat. She was staring with those unreadable, unblinking eyes. They were pale gray and if you were looking at her from afar she looked blind.
"Black coffee. No sugar." He muttered. There was something that caught his eye just below. She was wearing red, red shoes. He'd never noticed that before. She went off to fetch the coffee. He couldn't remember if he had ever seen her wear red shoes before. They were flat and very pointy, like knives. The diner was nearly empty, save for a few customers and the old T.V. on the wall blaring across the room, showing an old film. The Stranger. He was pleasantly surprised by this. Usually it was a game show or the news. No one else in the place seemed to care or even notice. Out of  the corner of his eye he could see the red shoes coming back with the coffee pot. He turned his head so he didn't have to look at her weird eyes or her ugly shoes. She poured the coffee. He feel the gaze burning into him, like a sudden, sharp heat flash, as he imagined it. Then she left his table without a word to wait on another customer. 
Relieved, he sipped his coffee and started to watch the movie but found himself drifting, gazing out of the window. He still felt like things were off, like he was suppose to be doing something or remembering something. The kind of unpleasant thought that gnawed at him like a hungry rat. He watched the cars rattle down the street. A car, an old black Buick Monte Carlo approached, slowed down in front of the diner and then sped around the block. It had whitewall tires and the chrome shined like platinum. A beautiful, well kept  car. Looks  like a '73 or a '74 he thought appreciatively. It came around the block again. He couldn't see who was inside. The windows were tinted too dark. It slowed down and then stopped in front of the diner. He admired the paint job and the body. It looked powerful, built like a bull. Suddenly, red shoes went in the back of the kitchen. he watched and listened as he heard her open a door somewhere in the kitchen. The car suddenly went around the corner again. Jack suddenly got an odd, creepy feeling. He drained his cup, threw a couple of dollars on the table and headed out the door. Everything was off. He didn't know why and he suddenly felt like getting home instead of lingering. The waitress was leaning into one of the car windows. She straightened up and stared at him with that pale, unreadable, unblinking stare. She suddenly smiled at him. Unsmiling, ice cold eyes with bright white teeth. Teeth with tiny, unnaturally sharp canines. Startled, Jack breathed in sharply. What in the world? He whirled around on his heels and took off. He could hear the low growl of a powerful engine behind him. The car was coming down the alley behind him. He walked faster. Suddenly the engine roared like an angry grizzly bear. He jumped, his heart lept in panic. His ears were burning. He ran down the path trying to find a yard with an open gate to turn into as the car followed him, engine roaring. He ducked into a narrow passage between two small garages and waited for the car to pass. The engine died down to a purr. A purr that vibrated through his body and made his teeth rattle just a bit. It slowed down and stopped for a few seconds. He peeked out from his hiding place. The windows were black as night. There was something else. He had thought, back at the diner, that the car was black. It wasn't. It was a red so dark it seemed black. Jack stood there trembling, afraid of who might come out after him. After some seconds it sped away down the alley. 
He was bewildered. Who was that? What do they want? What's going on? How did I ever manage to wake up? Should I be dead? Dreadful thoughts flooded his mind all at once. Maybe that's what he was trying to remember and couldn't. Imminent death. An angry bookie, maybe? He thought of the waitress's grin. Werewolves? He hadn't done any betting recently. Was he just losing his mind? Even though the cold air bit his fingertips, he barely noticed it through the sweat pouring off of him. He'd thought to go to the store to get some groceries today but decided he'd had enough. He was ready to go home. He was almost relieved that some small clue had been revealed to him. He still didn't understand what had just happened or why but it was a start. Someone or something was after him. Like Red Shoes, for instance. He could work with that. Wouldn't be the first time.

And it was far better than wandering around in the dark, trying to recall things that wouldn't reveal themselves. 

Friday, February 1, 2013


The Sickness

It was always that feeling that made him think that he was both drunk and keenly alert. A hyper-sensitivity to everything around him, yet his limbs felt like flailing, boneless appendages. It usually struck at night and it was here again. Dan had taken to going for a short walk whenever the sickness came on him. He was making his way - slowly - down West Burnside. It was now a ritual. He passed by the same unnamed bar he always did, a mouldering building with filthy, blacked-out windows. The door suddenly swung open letting the wild laughter of the crowd escape. They were packed in every crevice like lice. He ambled across the street to escape the noise. Dan caught the scent of strong, dank smoke and alcohol and a mind-bending Tom Waits song blared from a radio somewhere inside. He was again being transported into that realm of mental distortion. Everything was real and not real. He leaned against a building to keep from falling over, to catch himself. Footsteps and cars rumbling over the street sounded like crashing drums. He felt disconnected from his body in that delightfully frightening feeling of flying forward with nothing to stop him. Just stop, please just stop. Oh, when will the black-out happen again? He lurched his way, painfully, towards the waterfront. The black waters of the river cast rippling images of the city lights from its surface. He heard the slapping of waves against the river wall below.
"Oh." He mumbled. He heard footfalls behind him. Slowly Dan turned. There were five men staring down at him. One of them, standing in front, was wearing a bright red rag tied around his head.
"What do you want?" Dan couldn't keep his tongue straight and the words came out slurred. None of the men answered him. Even in the dark and with his compromised vision their eyes looked  like boundless black holes sitting in their heads.
"Think anybody'll miss this one?" Murmured one of them.
"Nah. Throw him over."
"What. .  .what do you want from me? Please!" Dan said. Electric sparks of fear, which translated as pain radiated through his body. They surrounded him. He staggered trying to break through the circle. Unfortunately his plea sounded more like a whimper. He staggered through managing to push one of them away.
"Nothing man. Nothing." Said Red-Rag, grinning. "Hey! Where you goin'?" The others sniggered. They trailed him, pushing him along, kicking at him.
"I don't have anything!"
"We don't want anything from you." Said one of them.
"Look, we got things to do. Finish it." Said Red-Rag. Dan made an attempt to escape, half-leaping away. He started to run which turned out to be more of a clumsy gallop. Except for himself and his tormentors the waterfront was empty. They all converged on him like wolves on raw meat. He screamed and one of them began punching him savagely until his screams died into the whimpers of a tortured animal and he lost all sense. He felt the bones crack and break and his body sprang alive with new pain. He then felt himself flying through the air until he crashed into a wall of ice cold water.

. . .

 They dropped him on the ground and began punching and kicking him until he lost all sense. Then they threw him over the wall into the river. The freezing water filled every orifice; his nose, lungs, brain. He was falling and a kind of dreaminess overtook him as he drowned. Images and memories he did not understand flooded his mind and then it wasn't cold anymore. Beneath him he sensed there was light. Soft blue light but he couldn't hold on any longer and everything went black.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

An Introduction

Hello folks! This is Victoria and this is a new blog I'm developing for my short fiction. Look at it as a place for continuous - or serial - speculative fiction, flash fiction pieces and vignettes of scenes and poetry. A place for adventure, marvels and wonderment in science fiction and fantasy stories and anything that travails the path in between the two.

I do hope in the future to open the blog up for story submissions. It won't be this year but I will keep that desire in mind. Until then, I look forward to the solo ride and I hope that you will too.