Archives September 2022

Story Updates!

A couple days ago, I completed a Writing Prompt on reddit that involved Little Red Riding Hood. I’m pleased to announce that I will be expanding this story into a series to develop it further. I already have several interesting concepts that are going into the story. I’m currently putting together a preceding scene which I should be releasing soon. I will post these first two scenes on Royal Road and then link it under the Serialized Menu option.

Be sure to check it out if you’re interested in seeing this fun new spin on Little Red Riding Hood, Wolf, and a Grandmother that wouldn’t have been written into a child’s storybook 🙂

Family Practice

[WP] Even in a zombie apocalypse, the duty of a doctor will not stop.

With reading glasses slid to the tip of his nose, the old man reads through the paper’s article. He sits in his old recliner, in his robe and underwear with half a glass of whiskey on the table next to him. He scoffs and downs the rest of the drink. He shakes his head as he rolls the glass around in his palm.

He throws the glass and it bursts against the far wall. “Bunch of brain dead pricks. Wouldn’t know malpractice if it bit ’em in the ass.” He scoffs and rereads sections of the article. “Unethical? Inhumane? Don’t they see what’s going on out there? How in the hells are we supposed to figure any of this out if we don’t try anything new? I’ve been running my own family practice for 37 years! What makes a 20 something year old brat think he knows better than I do?”

A knock sounds on the front door. The old doctor looks towards the front door and then over to the clock. 11:47. “Who in the world would be here at this hour?” He closes his robe and makes his way to the front window. He peers out, seeing only blackness. The knock comes again. “Who’s there?” He leans against the door but hears no response. Again, a knock.

Growing impatient, the doctor reaches over and flips on the porch light before yanking open the door. “What in the hell do you–” He cuts short as he recognizes the corpse standing in his doorway. “Francis? Geez! You’re all climbing out of your graves now too?

Francis takes a lumbering step through the doorway and the doctor back pedals, trying to find furniture to put between them. “Now just stay back.” He finally backs into a rack next to the fire place and pulls out a fire poker.

Francis casually walks past the doctor. He walks over to the kitchen table, pulls out a chair, then sits down before looking over at the doctor, expectantly. The doctor just stares, confused. Francis finally raises a hand and points to his right jaw where bone is exposed. The doctor shakes his head. “I realize you were a faithful patient Francis but this is a little ridiculous. I must be dreaming.”

The doctor zones out and looks away from the kitchen. Francis groans and points at his jaw more insistently. “Yeah, I can see that Francis. Your jaw is rotted through. What did you expect? You’ve been dead for over a year.”

Another knock raps on the door. The doctor and Francis both look to the door then back to one another. “Did you bring anyone with you?” Francis just stares blankly and his teeth click together in response. The doctor shakes his head. “I’m talking to a corpse, expecting a coherent response. I really am loosing my mind.”

The knock comes again and the doctor goes back to the front door. He pulls it open to see a line of former patients leading away from the front door. “Barbra? And Ron? Is that little Susie back there too?” The doctor rubs the back of his head before pushing the glasses higher up on his nose. “This is going to be a long, awkward night.”

Hell’s Riddle

[WP] When you were sent to Hell, you expected fire, brimstone and hordes of demons. But upon your arrival you found nothing but a barren wasteland and a single lonely imp.

Had it been hours? Days? How long have I been here exactly? I had always heard the saying, “hell hath no fury like a woman scorned,” but as I look around, I see no fury at all. There is no fire or pain, only this endless, featureless expanse of red-grey.

Everything lacking contrast is a different kind of suffering. My feet walk on a surface but there is no distinguishing it from any other direction. Surely, this is hell isn’t it? It must be. I died after all and I imagine Heaven’s gate keeper would have quite the laugh if I showed up there.

The only sign of life and the only feature in this place is the single imp that now follows me. It doesn’t respond–well not coherently anyways. It seems half dazed, eyes opened in narrow slits and looking straight ahead. It just floated there when I initially approached. I tried asking it questions but every time I spoke, it opened its mouth, releasing a brain piercing scream that drove me to my knees.

I finally gave up on asking questions or talking to it. I tried walking away only to be met with another scream. Every step that I took led to another bolt of pain that entered my head and radiated through my entire body. After trying to walk away in multiple directions, I finally stepped in a direction that didn’t elicit that pain inducing scream. The imp has been following me ever since but I dare not ask why. Am I being tested in some way? How far will I need to travel in this direction? I wonder what happens if I stop walking this direction?


Little Red Hooded Slayer

[WP] Little Red Riding Hood, The Big Bad Wolf, and the lumberjack all have to put their differences aside when they hear the moaning of the undead outside the cabin they’re in.

“My, what big teeth you have,” says the red hooded girl.

“All the better to—” The door bursts open. “Yelp,” cries grandma as she pulls the covers over her snout.

The red hooded girl orients on the door, a stun gun at the ready. “Jack,” she says. “What are you doing?”

“We’ve got company Sarah. Training is going to be a little more life and death this go round.”

Grandma’s eyes suddenly fall on the stun-gun in Sarah’s hand and her wolfish eyes narrow. “What’s going on here?” grandma asks, pulling the covers from over her snout. “What do you mean training?”

“Sorry wolfie, ole boy,” Sarah says with a mock apology. “You’re helping me get stronger.”

Jack approaches a window and pulls back the curtain. “Did you bring anything lethal?”

“Well of course not. I keep my grenades in my other picnic basket. Why would I need lethal?”

Wolfie pulls the bonnet from his head, curls his claws over his snout, and closes his eyes. “All this time? You’ve just been using me for—for training? Those times I almost had you…was any of that even real?”

“Sarah, Wolf, we don’t have time for any of that right now.” A thump collides with the window. Jack back pedals away, axe in hand.

“Spill it Jack,” Sarah says. “What’s out there?”

Jack levels his eyes on her and says one word. “Zombies.”

“You’re shitting me?”

Wolf growls and stands abruptly, then throws the bonnet on the floor. “You two have been playing me all this— wait, did someone say zombies?”

“Here,” Sarah says, tossing the stun-gun to Wolf. He fumbles it before securing it. “You know how to use that thing?” She doesn’t wait for a response as she kneels in the floor, pulling the cover from the basket and tossing bread aside. Wolf grips the weapon with both hands as he leans to look over the bed to see what she is doing. She pulls a panel from the bottom of her basket and removes a pair of silver pistols. She pulls back each slide in turn to chamber a round, checks the magazine capacities and resets the mag before lifting her skirt to check the extra magazines tucked into her garter. Jack and Wolf exchanges glances and Jack just shrugs.

“I thought you didn’t bring anything lethal?” Jack asks.

“Are you kidding me? Where do you think the boy scouts got it from? I’m always prepared. Let’s get out of here before we’re surrounded. Oh and Wolf—” Wolf jumps and fumbles the stun-gun again but recovers his grasp. “Don’t eat them. We have no idea what ingesting them would do to you and I’m not keen on fighting an undead Big Bad Wolf just yet.”

She walks past Jack as she leaves the room. Wolf’s shoulders slump as Jack offers an apologetic shrug, then beckons Wolf to follow.

Make Right

[WP] Your trusted friend killed you and took the credit for single-handedly defeating the greatest evil and saving the world. As you lay dying, however, you hear a voice offering you a second chance at life…on one condition.

“Greatest evil? Hardly. But you do have potential. What would you do for more time, I wonder.”
Your vision wanes as a growing pool of blood stretches away. Someone speaks but you can not see them. You try to lift your head but you can’t move. Am I paralyzed, you wonder. Who are you?… the words you want to ask but can’t manage the strength to speak.

“I am your closest companion. I’ve always been here. You’ve just not needed me yet. If we’re being literal, I’m simply your shadow… but oh how much more I am. You can’t perceive of my true presence and your kind has only managed a crude concept of my nature… but I digress. You are dying and you don’t have time to speculate the meaning of my existence. I’m simply extending an offer, a chance to set things as they should be and for you to become what you’re capable of becoming.

You continue to try lifting your head to see who is speaking. Who? The word keeps forming in your mind as you focus on making your mouth form the word. You hear a sigh.

“You’re in shock so this is difficult for you to understand. All I need is for you to will your answer. Do you wish for another chance? A chance to make things right? You can have a new chance on life. My only requirement is that you let me… drive from time to time. If this is acceptable, just give me your mental assent and it will be so.”

Make things right? Yes. Make things right.

Your vision sharpens. The blood retreats back across the floor, then from your clothes as it all funnels towards your back as a knife wound closes. You roll over and sit up, your clothes now completely dry of blood. You look over to your shadow as it seeps into you. Your eyes cloud over, becoming a solid, featureless black. Your mouth curls into a smirk. “Now…let’s see if we can get them to revise their definition of Greatest Evil.”

A Deal In Chocolate

[WP] There have been many sacrifices made to summon you, as well as a plethora of motives – from the extreme, to the simplistic, to the downright absurd. But one particular sacrifice catches your eye: a young child simply offering you a bar of chocolate, claiming that you, a deity, must be “hungry”.

The demigod sits atop his throne, bored as his cheek props against his knuckles while the other hand continues to swipe left on videos that cycle in front of him.

“I dedicate this…” Swipe.
“Please lend me…” Swipe.
“I’m killing them all for…” Swipe.

The demigod doesn’t respond and continues to swipe at regular intervals, until he doesn’t. There’s a small child that seems to set something on an alter. She looks upwards and the demigod feels as though she’s staring right at him. He waits to hear her plea as the single snot bubble continues to expand and contract from her left nostril. She finally turns and begins to walk away, causing him to lift his head. As she continues to walk away, he quickly stands and a portal opens in front of him. He looks over to his alter to see a single candy bar resting on the marble surface.

“Little girl,” he calls out. The girl freezes, drawing her shoulders up as she tenses. She slowly turns back to see the demigod standing with the still open portal behind him. “Come here child,” he says, beckoning her. She slowly makes her way back with her head bowed, stopping just before him. The top of her head barely reaches his knee so he lowers it, planting it on the lush grass that blankets the meadow around them. He’s still several times her height but he attempts to appear smaller for her. “Tell me child, why didn’t you ask anything of me?”

The girl is still looking down, as she pinches and prods at her shirt. “Momma says…”

“You must look at me child. It’s alright. You’re not in trouble. I promise.” After a moment, the girl finally looks up but continues to pull at her shirt, while the snot bubble flares more rapidly. “That’s much better. Come now. Tell me, why you didn’t ask anything of me?”

“I told momma that I wanted to ask you but she says no. I hoped you could help since you was momma’s favorite but she says you already work too much an that other people always ask for stuff an that you won’t have enough time for helping momma get better.”

The bemused demigod turns to look back at the alter, then points. “Why the chocolate bar though?”

“Whenever Aubrey gets done putting away her toys, momma always gives me some chocolate, since I worked hard. Momma says you work hard too so I brought you some chocolate since momma couldn’t.”

“This momma sounds like a bright woman. Tell me, why would such a woman have an interest in the Lord of Shadows?”

Aubrey shrugs then begins to rock from side to side. “Momma says you’re the best and that you’re her favorite, after Aubrey.”

The Lord of Shadow chuckles. “Is that a fact? Well Aubrey, summoning me is no light matter.” He looks over his shoulder and the portal closes behind him. “I accept your offer and I’ll help your momma but know that after that’s done, I will be bound to you for the rest of your natural life.”

The girl panics. “But momma says I can’t ask you for help.”

The Lord of Shadows raises his hand, calling for silence. “It’s alright. I won’t tell momma. This will be our little secret, okay?” The girl nods reluctantly. “Now that we have that settled, I believe the problem lies with a certain insurance adjuster refusing to pay some bills. How about we go pay him a visit?”

Hunted Hunter

[WP] I’ve heard of stories of the monsters that lurked in the dark, creatures that would rip you apart mercilessly in a heartbeat. But when my father, the last of my family, had an axe split through his skull by a band of killers, I realized I had nothing left to lose by fleeing into the shadows.

The line of trees ahead of me are back-lit by the brightest full moon I’ve ever witnessed. As I flee my father’s killers, the shadows of the haunted wood seem to reach towards me. We rapidly approach on a collision course and I’m forced to wonder if I’m only trading one demise for another.

I spare a backwards glance as I break the threshold. Torchlights bound across the darkened field as they pursue. My fear for my life is the only means that pushed me into this place. Let us hope their blood-lust doesn’t also rise to the task.

All aid of the moon’s light abandons me as the treetop canopy robs me of illumination. With hands outstretched, I barrel through branches and barbs alike. My stride is high kneed as my footing becomes unsure and awkward. My shirt snags on something. I spin, then tumble through the underbrush. All is still for a moment and I strain to listen for my pursers.

“Spread out! He can’t have gone far!”
“B-but… this is the haunted–“

“Enough of that nonsense. No such thing. You know the boss’s rule. No witness. Now get in there and root him out.”

Still they come? Was it not enough to rob me of my family, my home? With my head pressed into the forest floor, them bursting through our front door replays through my mind. Just do as we say, they said. No one will get hurt, they promised… they lied. I picture the axe falling from behind my father and the plea in his eyes, urging me to run. My teeth are forced together as a tear is forced out of my eye.

I look back towards the voices, then sit up as my will firms. The trees ahead of me become back-lit by torchlight but my vision is adjusting to the dark and I won’t need it to see. I unsheathe the blade that is strapped across my back and melt further into the shadows. I can’t speak to whether or not this forest can kill but it will contain death this night. I’ll run no longer.

The group of torchbearers make their way through the woods, nervous looks on all of their faces. A branch breaks just outside of their torchlight. They all orient on the sound, then another sound makes them do a 180.

One of their number is collapsing to his knees, the torch drops in front of him as he grasps at a blood fountain in his neck. The other men back away from their comrade as he collapses, face down.
There are just the three of them now. They each make frantic turns, grasping their torch and waving it as if to bat away the darkness.


The moment’s soundtrack is that of flickering flames, frantic breathing, and their own heartbeats that sound as though they are beating against their eardrums. The symphony is interrupted by a new whirling sound as two of the three turn towards it. The third’s head rocks to the side as a blade plunges into his temple, where he immediately falls like a felled tree.

One of the last two survivors takes off running in another direction. Only a few moments pass before his outcry is cut short. The last of the men stands firm, his torch in one hand and a hatchet in the other. Blood still drips off the weapon’s edge. His eyes play tricks on him as shapes seem to form outside of his torchlight.

“I know you’re there! Show yourself!”

As if to answer his command, a shape steps into the survivor’s torchlight and then walks past him. It’s the boy they were pursuing. He’s covered in blood and doesn’t acknowledge the torchbearer as he walks over and crouches next to the knife bearer. He takes hold of the handle and pauses.

“I suppose I should thank all of you.” He wrenches the blade back and forth before prying it from the corpse’s skull. “Fleeing into these woods.” He waves the blood drenched blade as he gestures around them. The dropped torches have set the ground on fire and it now illuminates the entire area around them. “Killing all of your men…it made me remember something…something important.” He smacks the wet blade against the flat of his hand. “You see that wasn’t my father…not my real one anyways. He found me out here when I was younger. When you killed him, I thought you had driven me from my home but instead, you drove me back to it. So I guess I should thank you. Please, allow me this parting gift.”

The torch’s flame seems to flicker in a great gust of wind and suddenly the boy is behind the torchbearer. The torch falls from his hand, then he collapses to his knees, the impact causing his head to tumble loosely across the forest floor. The boy’s silhouette then disappears from the fire’s glow.