Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Agent Clarissa

This story was inspired by my friend, Melissa Craig and her mysterious background.

Clarissa was an agent for the Australian secret service.  She had spent her whole career infiltrating the mob and now it was ruined by a partner she hadn’t wanted in the first place.  She told the chief up front Mackenzie was no good.  But he didn’t listen.  The men at the station all thought she couldn’t handle herself.  It wasn’t true.  She’d taken on more than any of them had.  Who was at the casino the night Baby Face Cortez was moving the shipment?  Who broke it up?  Who bankrupted the biggest family in Sydney for almost a year?  It was all her: Clarissa Pfeiffer.  But the papers didn’t know and no one gave her credit.  She was undercover.  Glory wasn’t the point of what she did but, damn it, she could use a little.

Now, a gun was pointed straight at her head.  Clarissa wasn’t afraid of death.  She knew it was a part of life, especially in her line of work.  If they wanted to shoot her they would.  There was little she could do to stop them.  It only killed her no one listened.  Men never did; especially back at the department.

She remembered starting out; thinking she could make a difference.  The only place to go was up and Clarissa relished it.  Life was simple and clear-cut.  She didn’t worry over power games, or gender bias as a street cop.  She went wherever Sydney needed her.

Mackenzie stared at her with guilty eyes.  He was crooked.  But he hadn’t always been that way.  Mackenzie had been a good cop at one time or another.  He just let the job get to him; the long hours, the strain on his family.  He started looking for a way out.  That’s how the families turned cops; always offered them a little more than what they had.  On the city’s budget that wasn’t a hard thing to do.

A goon or two approached to disarm Clarissa.  One tried to cop a feel and she gave him a swift elbow to the groin.  He smacked her back across the face but she refused to flinch.  Mackenzie looked sick watching the whole scene.  He cared for her.  They had dated for a short while, before he met his wife, but things didn’t work out.  Their personal relationship started interfering with work and they called it quits.  It was mutual but both kept feelings for each other.  Or at least, Clarissa thought they had…

She was lost in thought and didn’t see one of the other goons come at her.  He grabbed her hair and forced her to a corner.  It was painful but she knew it would be over soon.  The mob didn’t waste time with undercover agents caught in the act.

“Mackenzie tells us, you’re a spy,” said the lead boss, punching her in the stomach.  “That’s good news for him but very bad for you.”

Clarissa coughed up a small amount of blood but refused to give him the satisfaction of begging.  That’s one thing he would never get from her.  She’d seen good cops after they broke; they were never quite the same.  It was one thing to have your body wrecked, but another thing to feel like you’d betrayed a cause you fought for and believed in.

“We’ll let you live.  We only want one, little thing.”  He was holding Clarissa’s cheek up as his goons held her back.  “Tell us the names of the other agents, Mackenzie didn’t know.”

“Eat shit,” replied Clarissa, spitting at his face.  He wiped it off and smirked at her.

“It looks like this one’s going in the river.”

The two goons grabbed her by both arms and led her out the door.  Mackenzie stood watching, hating himself for it.  She had loved him.  But, he couldn’t love her back.  She was too perfect.  Mackenzie needed to feel like he was better.  It was in his nature; why his relationships, especially his marriage, failed.

It was getting to him.  He needed the money.  He needed to get away.  But damn it, the way they were touching her.  It lit a fire inside him.  Those fucking goons, he thought as one forced a kiss on her lips.  She was getting closer to the door that led to the car that drove to the river.

The boss’s holster was within reach.  He wasn’t a careless crime lord.  He just knew a guy like Mackenzie didn’t have the guts to make the move and ninety-nine times out of a hundred he would have been right.  But, not the day they laid their hands on Clarissa.  He was married to someone else but she was his.

Mackenzie grabbed the gun.  In a flash he shot the boss and went running after the two goons.  They were surprised but unshaken.  Clarissa was pushed in the car by one while the other stayed to deal with the rogue informant. 

“Give her up and this won’t get ugly,” said Mackenzie.

“The pig’s already headed away.  There’s nothing you can do.  Maybe next time you shouldn’t turn in the girl you’re crushing on.”

“And maybe,” said Clarissa pointing a gun from behind him, “you shouldn’t leave an Aussie secret agent alone with your partner.”

Before he turned around she threw a punch and knocked him out cold.  He would join his partner, already handcuffed in the car.  In the meantime, however, Mackenzie and Clarissa were left to face each other.

“I didn’t think you’d come through,” she said.

“You know me.  I always stick to the plan.”

They didn’t waste more time talking.  Mackenzie ran up to Clarissa and wrapped his arms around her.  She did the same.  It was the moment both had waited for.  Their lips touched and soon more.  The criminals were watching but neither cared.  Clarissa undid Mackenzie’s belt.  He took off her shirt and started working on her bra.  Before long, they had made love in the grass nearby.

“So, what do we do now?”  Mackenzie asked.  Both were staring at the stars.

“I’m done with it.  I hope you are too.  Maybe we can settle down somewhere.”

“What will we do?”

“Oh, I have a few dreams.  I’ve always wanted to write erotica.”

They laughed together; Mackenzie not knowing she was serious.  But she was.  Clarissa had never been more certain.

Monday, August 27, 2012

The Moment

the moment is always higher
vibrant, more alive than
what comes after;
doubt and wanting
for a feeling passed.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

My First Kindle Short: Witherspork!

Hello, everyone! I recently published my first short story on Kindle, Witherspork.  You might remember me posting some of it on the Spice way back when.  Well, I think it was a little lengthy for a series here, but you can read it all from start to finish now for just $1. Hope everyone gives it a shot!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Rest in Peace, My Hero, Neil

Like many, I was very sad to hear about the passing of Neil Armstrong today. He was a tremendous figure in history, but more importantly, a tremendous person whose duty and dedication to his country surpassed all else. To sci-fi geeks like me, he meant more to than even that. He was a symbol for what we could achieve if we worked hard enough. We could look up at the sky and see his triumph, one small step for man, as something to strive for. While we dreamed, someone was really doing it. And maybe someday we could too.

I grew up seeing a generation inspired by Neil and his words. They wrote of space travel and new worlds. I saw technology he and others used become the basis for modern life. But, more importantly, I saw his message and hope for mankind live on. I will admit I cried. But, I am also glad that such a person as Neil Armstrong was alive to change the world. Men and women like him, not the buildings, monuments, or even documents are what truly embodies America.

Friday, August 24, 2012

The Soda Fountain of Youth

For Annie
Few people achieve immortality.  It’s just not an easy thing to do.  You can spend years formulating the right elixir or time machine and even then, things don’t always work out.  My Uncle Ted ended up with half his face from the 1930s.  And, my second cousin, let’s not even talk about him.  We tell the neighbors he’s a golden statue we bought off Craigslist.  Alchemy was not Remy’s friend.  That’s why I steered clear of all things mystical, science fiction and remotely magic.  For about twenty years, it worked out fine.
Things took a horrible turn in the wrong direction a little after my 19th birthday.  I was eating at McDonald’s with some friends.  It sounds innocent enough, right?  We talked over our jobs, the women in our life, where things were headed.  But our sodas were getting low.  I offered to refill them, being the nice guy I was.
The girl behind the counter said the fountain was acting up.  I told her I was pretty good at fixing things and said I could help out.  She told me to go for it.
Naturally, I had no idea what I was doing.  She was cute and I wanted to impress her.  Girls love a guy who fixes things.  “The rotary compressor in the ice dispenser must be on the fritz,” I stated knowledgably.  It sounded smart enough.
I took off the cap to have a look.  It was even more confusing than I initially thought.  Who designed these things?  I didn’t waste time thinking.  I threw a few syrup bags around and tied a hose or two together.
“Done!” I said smirking at the check-out girl.  She smiled back.
I filled up the drinks and went back to my chair feeling good about myself.  My friends reached for them thirstily, having devoured their fries while I was gone.
“So…” my friend Jake said.  “I saw you talking with that girl.”
“Oh, yeah,” I replied.  “I think I might get her number.  Or at least an add on Facebook.”
“I’d bank on the second,” my other friend Vince said.  We shared a laugh but it didn’t last long.  Jake’s hand started bubbling.
“What the hell did you put in my drink?” he shouted.
“I didn’t put anything in.  I just fixed the fountain and…”
I feared for the worst.  We had all been sipping our drinks.  Why did I have to mess with the soda fountain?  My ancestry had finally come back to haunt me.
The bubbling subsided but it was the least of our worries.  Jake’s whole hand was soon half its original size.  His teeth were shrinking too.  Soon, he didn’t even fit inside his clothes.  In fact, he was a small lump crawling around in them.
“Everyone quit drinking their sodas,” I told the others.  “I’ve created the fountain of youth.”
Normally, there would be some skepticism but they did as they were told.  I went to pick up baby Jake and headed back to the soda fountain.
“Did anyone else drink from this?” I asked the girl behind the counter.
“Yeah, an older woman and her husband, why?”
“No reason,” I said.  They would be fine.  In the meantime, I had to take care of the fountain as crazy as it would make me look.  Next to a bench outside there was a model of Ronald McDonald.  I set the baby on the bench and heaved up the model, knowing what I had to do.  I walked back inside and on the count of three I lugged it into the machine.  Soda sprayed everywhere, but I was sure its immortal properties were broken.
Phones started dialing for the police as I casually walked back to my table with what were now my nine year old friends.  I looked down at my own hands.  They were starting to bubble.  The police would see a table of nine year olds but not anyone who could have broken the soda fountain.  I guess take that as a small consolation.  At least my face didn’t end up in two different decades.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


You say that you are there
When I can only see an ocean
Stretched past the horizon,
Reaching anywhere
But where I am;
Distant waves,
A splash of sound,
Faintly heard,
Lost in the air.
There’s ripples from your voice;
The tide’s forsaken me.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Interview by Tracy James Jones!

Hello, everyone.  I did an author interview with Tracy James Jones he just posted on his site.  Be sure to check me out there and scroll down to read on the other great authors!  I'll also be on a podcast later this week, The Melissa Craig & Charity Parkerson Show.  So look for that too :-)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


your touch
sends ripples through
my skin to marrow,
remotest vessels
in the corners
of my heart
sheltered in their fear
before your whisper
broke the years
of bad cholesterol,
woke arteries in atrophy
and new life flowed.

Monday, August 13, 2012

A Big Group Hug For Everyone Who Comments (My Blog Feels Lonely of Late)

Two Cops and a Crazy Person

“He steals from the rich” said a scraggly tall cop named Pip.

“Like Robin Hood?” his partner, Reggie asked.

“Not exactly.” 

“What does he do? Take it for himself?”

“Not that either. It’s more complicated. I’ll show you.”

Pip opened the gate to a white, picket fence and stepped into a suburban backyard. There was a child’s swing and a fire pit adjacent. Pip and Reggie walked up to the fire pit.

“I don’t see what we’re looking at,” said Reggie.

“Look closer,” replied Pip.

“Oh…” Reggie finally realized, seeing the remains of hundred dollar bills burnt hastily.  “He must have been in a hurry.”

“My thoughts exactly.”

“So what are your thoughts less exactly?”

“I think he robbed some people, got in over his head and tried to cover it up before skipping town.”

“It sounds pretty cut and dry. Why did you say it was complicated?”

“Well, that’s what would happen ninety-nine times out of a hundred.  But something tells me there’s something much bigger going on. This is a small fire pit. He stole thousands of dollars. There’s no way he burned it all in here.” 

“So, he wanted us think he burned it?”

“No, my hunch is, he wanted us to think he was planning to burn more.”

“That’s a bit idiotic, Pip.”

“Is it? Look at the facts. He’s stolen a huge sum of money, there’s not a trace of any funding or laundering. And as far as we know he hasn’t spent a dime of it.”

“So he’s going to burn it all?”

“Yes and he wants us to know it.”

“Let’s just get back to the station,” said Reggie.  Pip followed him to the cruiser.

They poured over evidence at headquarters for the next three days. The criminal’s background was completely clean. He graduated in business, got a decent job and worked in finance before getting fired during the recession.

“I found something interesting,” Reggie said to Pip who had fallen asleep on his desk. “PIP! Wake up, for Christ sake! I’ve got something.”

“Oh… what?” he asked drowsily.

“It sounds like our culprit fell off the radar after they fired him.”

“Where’d he go?”

“That’s the thing. Nobody knows. Solomon Lester skipped town. He didn’t contact his parents, fiancé or anyone.”

“It sounds like a typical nervous breakdown.”

“Not if you look at his postings online. He was into some pretty radical philosophy.”

“Let me guess; wealth redistribution?”

“I won’t get into a political debate with you but yes.  Only, this is a bit more extreme than what Fox News would have you believe on Obama.  Solomon doesn’t believe in the monetary system at all.  He wants to completely eradicate it.”

“So that’s why he’s burning it.”

“Exactly. And why you said he was planning to burn more.”

“He’s going to do this publicly.”

“But where?” 

“Remember that barge they couldn’t locate on the news the other day?”

“Yeah, I remember hearing it.”

“We have to get to the docks.”

Reggie and Pip packed up in a hurry and left.  A large crowd greeted them along the shore.  They were watching a gigantic blaze.

A loud speaker rang out from the water.  Solomon was about to address his audience.

“My people, hear me!” he shouted.

“Not one for modesty, is he?” whispered Reggie to Pip.

“You have toiled,” continued Solomon. “You have sacrificed. And for what?  I will tell you! A failed system!  Throw your wallets to the ground.  They are useless.”

“This man is crazy delusional,” Reggie whispered again.  “He thinks burning one barge of cash is going to change the entire balance of economics?”

The crowd’s sympathies were with Reggie as they laughed at Solomon’s remarks. He did not seem perturbed at the least as he continued speaking.  “You doubt me,” he remarked. “But this is not the only barge!”

A hundred ships suddenly sailed into the horizon. Their stacks of cash were visible from hundreds of yards away.

“You are seeing the accumulated spoils of the true thieves!  Euros, dollars, Yen, Yuan burning away!  I ask you once more, throw your wallets to the ground!  Liberate yourselves!  We will never be rich together, but my brothers and sisters, we will all be poor!”

Reggie and Pip watched stunned as people began throwing their wallets and purses to the ground.  They looked at each other for a moment and in unison began to do the same.

“He has a way with words, doesn’t he Pip?” Reggie asked.

“I suppose he does, Reg.  I suppose he does…”

Thursday, August 09, 2012


Insomnia takes the form
Of sleep in increments
Of two or one;
Three if I’m exhausted,
Four when I near death.
But even then, I’ll pace
The parlor, refusing to
Lay down – smelling
My own floral arrangements,
Wishing everyone would lighten up,
Take off the black and
Tap a keg with me
Inside the grave vault.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Dark Stuff

I'm not usually very dark as far as writing goes. I'm a fun guy. But, I have a few ones here that are a bit of a departure from the usual.

Nice Guys Finish Dead

Nice guys finish dead,
still beating hearts inside their hands
held out to you while bleeding out,
and crying their last tears
in hope they wash your
callousness away
or drown you
with them
in a jaded hell.

The Slow Knife

The slow knife
cuts into us,
draws blood
and leaves two
empty sacks
along the curb
without our noticing.

The slow knife,
drowns out memories
with steel, stains hope
with blood.

The slow knife
penetrates and
uses love against
our hearts.

The slow knife
is the first knife
is the last knife
is the nail inside
our coffin.