Thursday, July 30, 2015


This is my Friday Frights for this week. The theme this month is Terror In The Water. Maybe the terror in my story is actually an Avenging Angel. See what you think . . .

Avenging Tears

Down his craggy face the tears fall, slowly at first, building up intensity as they race across his shirt, pour onto his trousers, and explode onto the steps of the Memorial as a raging river. Nothing stops them as they travel in unity to the Reflecting Pool.

The water in the pool boils up towards the rapidly darkening skies, whirlpools and eddies changing the surface and the very color of the tepid inferno. The reflection of the Washington Monument can no longer be seen in the pool, and black mists twirl upward, blocking out the monument in its entirety. Within seconds, nothing can be seen through the dark pea-soup fog.

Tourists stumble around, searching for any light at all that might show them a way out of this conundrum. The great man on the chair has no answer for them. They are on their own. Work must be done tonight. Warnings have gone unheeded. The evil needs to end.

Water flows over the side of the pool, puddle after puddle becoming separate entities, no longer attached to the pool proper. They writhe against the path beneath them, almost as if in the throes of birth.

They are in the throes of birth.

Dark creatures, entities of substance, form, rise up, and take to the paths surrounding the area, unsteady at first, but gaining confidence and purpose with each step. Footfalls are heard everywhere. Hundreds of beings take off in every direction, following the scent of the goal at hand. Ghostly apparitions follow them with their long blind eyes, knowing what is happening and wishing to take part. But tonight is not their night. They have fought before. A new army is advancing tonight.

The city has never seen an evening such as this. It is darker than dark. No moon. No electricity. Not a single automobile with a functioning engine. Nothing casts light, and terror that is thicker than the black fog rides the air. The Capitol is a giant hush. No one dares utter a word for fear of drawing the unseen to them. Damn be anyone else. These are a hardened people - hardened to the feelings of others around them. A contagion, worse than any experienced here before, has calloused their hearts and shrunken their souls. No one cares anymore.

They move silently through the streets, branching out the farther they go, all their senses locked in on their targets. There are no beating hearts to betray their presence. They have none. Their souls rule their actions.  The spiritual and physical components of them only require the will to do what is right. Justice . . . justice drives them. But tonight the blind-folded lady will be dealing with a different set of laws. Justitia, Lady Justice, will be swinging her sword to a new form of reason and justice. The Dark ones are the arbiters of truth this evening.

Cigar smoke drifts through the Senate office of the Junior Senator from Wyoming: the good stuff, a finely rolled Cuban. The elite ones get to smoke these. It matters not that they are illegal for the masses. So was alcohol during prohibition, but that didn't stop anyone with a few bucks from getting their fill of bath-tub gin. The Senator and the Big Oil lobbyist sit silently, not wanting to incur the wrath of what everyone else, as well as themselves, is afraid of.

The door opens and two of the Dark Ones enter the room. They advance towards their prey. No noise comes from either of them, but the pressure of their presence in the air alerts the inhabitants to the fact they are not alone. The cigars are forgotten now and fall from their hands to the carpet.

Nooses of suffocation wrap around the two, tightening as they work their way upwards. They grasp for every breath, but none is coming. Their open mouths absorb long tendrils, slimy and putrid tasting, the ends cutting like knives into their throats. Blood pours from the many wounds, trapped inside, not able to gain passage to outside their bodies. The entities completely occupy all the space now. Choking only makes things worse and their final effort to breathe is met by the sharp tentacles cutting through to their lungs.

Suckers attached to the tentacles suck out what is left of the oxygen in their lungs, and the duo flop about in the air, reduced to rag dolls . . . lifeless rag dolls. With a show of disgust from those acting as their judges, they are tossed to the side. The released pressure on their necks allows the blood to gush out, joining the disdainful emptying of bowels dirtying the carpet. The entities spit the remnants of their last breaths at them and leave the room.

The hunt goes on for those pretending to be legislators. They are merely heartless, soulless miscreants, wishing only to pad their pockets with easily obtained loot. Big business rules this city and hence the country. Both parties are co-conspirators in the wholesale selling of America to the highest bidder.

Everyone is here this week. There are big bills to be voted on. Ones affecting the lives of many citizens . . . citizens sold down the river. No bills will be voted on this week, though. Unless someone is left to vote, and the chances appear slimmer with every kill, with every withdrawal of breath from one of the 535 elected officials, and every tainted dollar from a lobbyist taken from them and shoved up the asses and down the lifeless throats of those wishing to bankroll a retirement fit for a king. It appears the retirement funds are vanishing for Congress.

The silent army marches, their dark uniforms blending in not only with the blackness surrounding them, but the evil desires of those they hunt. They are efficient and, by the time the war is over, all those who would take from the people what is theirs are remaindered to their new state of being, one filled with much pain. There will be plenty of time for them to dwell on the fallacies of their deceit.

                                                                    *    *    *    *

The Vice President walks into the Oval Office. Through a haze of diffused light returning to the room, he sees the President slumped over his desk. Running to him and gazing on his face, it is apparent that he has been through a horrifying experience. His death mask is terrifying, all his features frozen into a bizarre impossibility of visual interpretation.

Others are in the room as well: the Commander In Chief's Cabinet, called here last night for a special session, one the Vice President was told not to attend. All of them are dead, their features resembling those of their leader.

He walks to the window and stares out into the still dark evening. Lights are returning slowly, but they are off in the distance. Other than the White House, everything close by is still dark. The President's computer jumps to life, and he walks to it. The news of the massacre flashes across the screen. No members of Congress can be found alive, the headlines say. The streets and their homes are littered with bodies.

The Vice President knows the truth for what it is. He is in charge. No one else is left.

Sitting in a chair, he stares at the lifeless bodies and out the window again. He shakes his head and ponders about what needs to be done. He can't let the country down. It is time to do what should have been done long ago.

                                                                       *    *    *    *

The Dark Ones return to the Reflecting Pool and salute the man in the big chair before they slide back into the water. He stands and salutes them back. When the last of them have returned to the water, he sits down again.

He reflects back to the days of the Civil War, to a time of turmoil like no other. His beloved country was heading back towards the same path once more. It was much better to fight against the few trying to destroy what belonged to so many. War is never pretty. This one was short and just. Only those deserving to die did.

"The new President will do a fine job, " he thinks. He is just; he cares.

Darkness leaves the city. A beautiful sunrise greets all who are up . . .

Blaze McRob


This is my first Friday Frights tale for this week. I wrote this last year, and since it fits our theme this month of Terror In The Water, I decided to put it back up this week. I will post a new story tomorrow. Fishing is great, but watch your surroundings . . .

Silver Lake Bloodfest

     No moon shines tonight on Silver Lake, making this a perfect time to be tossing out a surface plug and catching some Bass. A bright moon is as bad as broad daylight to the eyes of the hungry fish. Not able to see a thing, I wade into the water adjoining the vast weed bed, careful not to disturb any lunkers which might be prowling around on this hot August night.

     It's sneakers and shorts for me. The water feels good against my still hot flesh. For a while now I have been acquainting my senses with the location of the weeds, the lily pads on the other side, and the general topography of the beach. Overgrown now, this was once a busy swimming beach when the Boy Scouts had a camp here. That was then, and this is now. A lot of grooming would be needed to return this swimming hole to its former glory.

     Frogs splash around in the weeds, before the sounds of their evening frivolity come suddenly to an end. That can only mean one thing: the Bass are moving in; the big boys, waiting to grab the choicest morsels for dinner. Huge splashes erupt everywhere, and I know I'm moments away from some fast and furious action.

     Before I make my first cast, a huge bonfire goes up on the opposite shore as if by magic. What the . . .

     The light makes its way to where I'm waiting to fish, effectively shutting down the action of the Bass. In one brief moment, this great fishing opportunity has been destroyed. Waist deep in the water, I'm lit up as much as if a dozen bright flashlights were shining on me.

     Pissed as all hell, I start wading back to shore when I sense something coming along the shoreline in my direction from the opposite side of the lake. It moves fast, eating the distance between us in a hurry. Shit! There's more than one! They're coming from both sides, intent on . . .intent on what?

     As fast as I can, I retreat into the protective cover of the tall weeds, up to the top of my chest in the water, knowing damn well I need to hide. The stench of rotting flesh and mold attack my senses, and I have all I can do to stifle a retch reaction. Yes, that's all I would need. That would pinpoint my location as surely as if I were to jump up and down in the water shouting, "Here I am, mother fuckers! Come and get me!"

     There are more by the bonfire and others coming in my direction. What is it they're after? Why are they coming towards me?

     Barely a sound comes from my lips as I breathe. Even as deep in the water as I am, the fear radiating through me sends hot flashes through out my body at the same time thick goose bumps break out all over me. My senses are so alive, trying to react to the horrors of the unknown, that I feel the aquatic bugs swimming through the water around me, their close proximity causing the sensation of their crawling on me, trying to get me to break away from my silence and betray my whereabouts.

     Closer the entities approach, more of them, many more. The air is foul to the point of almost complete oxygen deprivation. The bugs crawl though the hairs on my legs, my arms, and my chest, stopping here and there to root around, some of them seemingly burrowing below the skin line, and blood flows from where leeches move in on me. I am their prey, a giant smorgasbord of bloody delight.

     Still, I don't make a move. Not even when the crayfish come in for their share of the feast do I utter a sound or move a muscle. My terror at what awaits me on shore is far greater than anything I am experiencing.

     But . . .but am I really experiencing all my body shouts out to me? Sensory overload. Yes, that's it! The anxiety of trying to hide from whatever started the fires and is swarming over the beach is pushing me over the edge. Are they real? Am I wrapped in some sort of dream from which there is no escape. Wake, damn it! Wake!

     I can not wake. There is too much pain. This is no dream. What is, is. These things after me are real. The assaults on my body are real. Why the fire? What do they want?

     Talk, more like mumbling actually, comes from the creatures' midst. Humans! They are human. No, they can't be. No person I ever smelled had an odor anything close to what these bastards have. But . . .

     Somehow, they know I'm hiding in the weeds, and they come to get me, creating a swatch wide enough that there is no way for me to escape. I try to swim for it, dropping my fishing rod and moving as fast as I am able to in the water, but it is all for naught, as I knew it would be. Still not seeing what these things are, I am pulled from the water and carried-more dragged than anything, actually- to the bonfire.

     It is not until they throw me down on the beach adjacent to the bonfire that I see the horrid manifestations of abnormality before me. All of them, in one way or another, are grotesque in their appearance. Absence and deformity of limbs abound, as do their faces, which are all similar.  They are all related to one another. That is quite evident, but this goes far beyond conceptions of normal families. Inbreds. All of them. They stand around me, mocking me, now speaking so I can understand them.

     "We knew you would be here tonight. Often we have watched you fish, knowing you prefer the darkest cycle of the moon. That is unfortunate for you, because this is a special Dark Moon. Very special. This is our feast night, the night that our sustenance allows us to return to some semblance of what humanity would say is normal. It has been a long time since we have been considered normal."

     I stare in horror as they prepare a giant barbeque spit of sorts, and once it is ready, they strip the clothing from my body and lash me to it. With shouts of delight ringing through the hot summer night, the demons suspend me over the fire, turning and twisting my constriction of terror, burning my flesh, singing my hair, periodically jerking me out from the flames of Hell just long enough to grab handfuls of my flesh to stuff into their sadistic mouths of deformed teeth and moldy crevices.

    Trying to yell into the night air, I find I cannot as I no longer have any means to do so. My vocal cords are gone, a tasty treat for one of my tormenters.

     "Welcome to our dinner party. Thank you for being our main course."

     Digging deep into my chest, the leader pulls out my still beating heart, blood dripping everywhere, and says, "And my dessert as well."

     My spirit hovers above, the only part of me they can not consume . . .

Blaze McRob

Wednesday, July 29, 2015


I'm really excited about this project with Zack Kullis! Zack writes some really gritty horror. I have to up my game to keep up with him.

If you're looking for over the top horror where nothing is sacred, this will be your cup of tea. Blood-red tea. The world is filled with horrific bastards. You will find out about them when you read Club Blaze. This collection of short stories will be novel length. Read a tale or more before you go to sleep for the night. Sleep is over-rated anyway. Make certain you have plenty of fresh linens for your bed because cold sweat will permeate every fiber of your sheets. Your mind will shudder in fear, while at the same time begging that you read more.

Webster defines fear as:

 "an unpleasant often strong emotion caused by anticipation or awareness of danger."

How about:
fear, dread, fright, alarm, panic, terror, trepidation mean painful agitation in the presence or anticipation of danger. fear is the most general term and implies anxiety and usually loss of courage <fear of the unknown>. dread usually adds the idea of intense reluctance to face or meet a person or situation and suggests aversion as well as anxiety <faced the meeting with dread>. fright implies the shock of sudden, startling fear <fright at being awakened suddenly>. alarm suggests a sudden and intense awareness of immediate danger <view the situation with alarm>. panic implies unreasoning and overmastering fear causing hysterical activity <the news caused widespread panic>. terror implies the most extreme degree of fear <immobilized with terror>. trepidation adds to dread the implications of timidity, trembling, and hesitation <raised the subject with trepidation>.

Ah, that's a little more like it. Thank you, Webster, for shedding more light on the subject. Hmmn. That should be more Dark on the subject.

No mamby, pamby stories in this tome!

Blaze McRob

Tuesday, July 28, 2015


I've had a number of posts I've shared from Melissa Bowersock. This is another great one. Sometimes we think we have everything lined up for a story only to discover we need to take a detour. Melissa explains, on the Indies Unlimited website offering, that maybe the decision isn't as difficult as you might imagine. Or is it?

I have only included a snippet below. Go to the link above and read the article in its entirety. Well worth your time.

Blaze McRob

                                                               *    *    *    *

Writing: Stay the Course or Follow the Muse?

For the past nine months or so, I’ve been working on a book that almost refuses to flow. I love the story, get excited about the ideas floating around in my head, but every time I sit down to work on it, it’s like pulling teeth. I don’t know what it is that makes it difficult. I have much of the story line mapped out, I know the arc of the characters, I know how it all ends, but I feel like I have to almost literally drag the details out of my keyboard. Nine months and five chapters. Not a good pace.
Not that I care about my own pace. I have no deadlines, so if a book takes three months or twenty, it doesn’t matter so long as I get it done and I’m satisfied with it. However, I would really like it to be a bit easier than it has been.
But then, one day, the kernel of a new idea popped into my brain . . .

Saturday, July 25, 2015


Son of Fenrir, by Jon Olson, is this week's Scary Saturday Tale! I have only included the very beginning here, but you will see that it starts out powerfully and it keeps rolling. Jon wasted no time in getting to the action - my kind of writing. Hit the link above and read the story in its entirety. While you're at the Pen Of The Damned website, read more from Jon, all at the price of free.

This tale is one mean motor-scooter!

Blaze McRob

Son of Fenrir

His left arm hung from its socket, the blood running from deep gashes down its length, dripping off his fingers in a steady stream and collecting in a pool on the ground next to his foot. Hunched over, tired, with labored breathing, he still held his axe tightly in his right hand. Blonde hair, caked in dirt, sweat and blood, hung in front of his hardened face covering blue eyes that had yet to concede defeat.
With a Viking’s defiance, Anders Randalson looked into the eyes of his opponent.
Wolf like and taller than the average man, the creature was made in the very image of Fenrir.
The beast was not without its own battle scars. A deep cut ran from its right ear down the face, narrowly missing its right eye and ending at the snout; its torso decorated with lacerations and contusions.
“You have fought bravely, Norseman,” the beast hissed, foam dripping from its parched and thirsty lips. “It is over, though. Accept your fate and I will make it quick.” It swallowed hard before continuing. “The Valkyries are here to take you to Valhalla.”
Anders let his eyes depart from the beast to take in his surroundings. Bodies littered the coastal plains, with the earth itself a crimson brown thanks to the liters of spilled blood. The trees that sporadically grew from the ground were bare and void of any vegetation, almost serving as markers of the fallen . . .

Friday, July 24, 2015


This is my Friday Frights for this week. The theme this month is Terror In The Water. Sometimes terror is present, but water makes it visible . . .

Concealed No More

Rain. Two weeks now and no end in sight. Almost a whole year's worth already. The swamps surrounding the small parish town of Bakers are filled to the point that all traffic to and from the tiny hamlet stops at the edges of Bakers Brake, the swamp's official name, and a calling card for tourists.

There are no tourists here now.

Steady, pouring rain saturates everything, including the mind-sets of the inhabitants. They're trapped here now. The power is down and who knows when it will be restored. For the time being, they're a little island set off from the rest of the world. No roads means no escape. Until the water recedes and the roads become a viable form of travel, the residents have to hunker down and deal with what is here.

The Cypress trees struggle for survival, their knees finding it difficult to get the oxygen they need to survive due to the height of the water. Spanish Moss swings eerily from above, the moldy odor spreading throughout the entire region. Gators slap their tales in defiance of Mother Nature, pissed off that all is not to their liking. This is August for God's sake. They should be able to bask on land if they wish and not be subjugated to the harsh, unusual climes.

He leans against an oak tree sitting at the edge of the swamp, far enough away that he doesn't have to wade knee deep in the rising waters. The tension in the air surrounds him, not that from the storm, but from inside the cluster of houses sitting before him. They know he's here. No one has ever seen him, but he is the stuff of legends, an unknown entity lurking about, ready to make its presence known. And not in a good way.

Even the gators make a path for him. "They're smarter than the people," he thinks. "Much smarter."

The air traps the frightened whispers of the inhabitants, and he delights in their mumbling as they reach his ears. However, all this water in the air is getting to him, and his delight changes to anger. This does not suit his purpose. Stealth. Concealment. That's what he needs and wants.

Hunger tears away at his mind. He needs to feed. Even the nutria have moved away from here to more hospitable lodging, and he prefers the food inside the houses to their flesh anyway. He waits patiently for the time being. They know he's coming; they had best share with him tonight. The entire last week has yielded nothing for him.

                                                           *    *    *    *

"I know it's out there, Fred. The willies are in the air. Even through the noise of the rain I hear something."

"Grow a pair, Herman. What could be out there other than gators? You and the others are crazy. Every fucking night you put food out for it. Gator bait: that's all you're doing. We'll wind up with a well-fed, twenty foot gator on our doorsteps one night, and it will all be because it's living high off the hog."

"I'm putting out food tonight. When it eats, it leaves us alone."

"Sure, and what about this fucking storm? How long before we're able to get out and stock up on provisions? The myth can starve. I want to eat."

"Suit yourself. I'm not taking any chances."

Fred is pissed and storms out of Herman's house, his red face ready to explode.

"Asshole," Herman says, as Fred slams the door behind him. He takes what's left of his dinner, pretty much an entire roast, cooked over the coals in his fireplace, places it in a large pot, and slips it onto the porch. "Come and get it," he shouts out into the teeth of the storm.

Fred hasn't reached his house yet and hears Herman bellowing into the night. "Stupid shithead," he thinks. "He's fixed me my dinner." Waiting a few minutes for Herman to get back inside, he grabs the pot from off the porch and takes it back to his house. He locks the door behind him and tosses a few logs on his fire so he can see what he's doing.

                                                             *    *    *    *

He has seen the entire show played out for him as he leaned against the oak. His meal, his rightful homage, was stolen by this Fred guy. There will be hell to pay for this!

Venturing to Fred's house, he peers inside a window and watches him eating his meal. That roast belongs to him. He races to the front door and tears it off its hinges. Fred stares at him in disbelief, the seven foot frame of this enormous man only visible to him because of the heavy rain beating down on him, outlining his invisible form. There is no escape.

"Here. Eat this roast. I'm sorry I took it. I'll fix you more food to go with it."

The monster is having none of that, and when Fred tries to reach his shotgun, he grabs him by the neck and snaps it like it was a twig. He tosses the bastard to the side and sits down at the table and eats the roast. Water drips from his body as he eats, falling to the floor and rendering him invisible once more. When his meal is finished, he gets up and looks around the house, able to see enough from the light of the fireplace to tell him he will spend the night here. No one can see him here anyway.

He grabs Fred by the back of his broken neck and his belt and tosses him outside. "Good night, fucker," he thinks out loud. "Roast in Hell."

                                                                 *    *    *    *

Herman is the first one to spot Fred the next morning. Looking much like a dead hog rooting around in the mud, he can tell he's dead, but he rushes out into the rain to see if he can help him. He lifts his face out of the mud and stares at the contorted face of his friend, frozen in a picture of horror.

"Oh shit!" he says, as he looks at the door torn off its hinges. "What did this?"

Not wanting to investigate alone, he runs around the village, knocking on doors, and alerting the other residents. All who come know only too well what happened. What they had feared for so long was coming to be.

Herman and six other men venture inside Fred's house and stare at the dieing embers from the fireplace. The pot still sits on the table, empty now, and the visual of what must have happened plays through Herman's mind. Not bothering to check the other rooms, the men rush outside and regroup in old John's house which doubles as a sort of town hall.

"What happened, Herman? Any ideas?" John asks.

"I know what happened, John. Fred and I got into an argument over feeding whatever is lurking out there. He said there was no way we should continue on with this nonsense. I disagreed and he stormed out of my house. I put the rest of the roast I had cooked in a pot and set it on the porch. It was the same pot that sits on Fred's table now. He must have come back, grabbed the pot, and taken it back to his house. Obviously, this creature, whatever it is, got hungry, knew where the meal I had left for him was, and tore down the door to get it."


"Then why have we been feeding this thing all these years?"

The house becomes silent. "That's what I thought. You guys do whatever you want, but the food supply being low or not, I'm feeding it."

Argument erupts and Herman leaves, not wanting to argue the matter any longer. He knows what must be done, and will not be stopped.

                                                           *    *    *    *

For the next few nights he comes, taking the pot on Fred's table and bringing it to Herman's house, where he fills it up with what was left for him, and brings it back to his new residence. As generous as Herman is, it fails to fill the enormous vacuum in his stomach. None of the other houses are leaving anything for him.

His patience comes to an end.

Night after night, he breaks into the other houses, taking whatever food he finds and bringing it home. Three men are torn apart as they try to stop him, scared by his ghostly-looking form and the water dripping down onto the floor at its feet. Dead men tell no tales, but one cannot hide what is happening. Yet still, they leave no food.

Herman can see Fred's house easily enough from his porch and knows the creature has taken up residence there. He is not afraid; he's doing his share. The others were warned.

The rest of the townspeople band together, loaded down with firearms, intent on stopping this once and for all. They go to Herman's house to get him to join in but he refuses to have a part in it.

"I warned all of you," he says. "But you wouldn't listen to me. Simply feed it and you will be left alone."

"It's too late for that, Herman," John says. "Four of us are dead now. We can't be held captive by this thing any longer."

The men stare at Fred's house then back at Herman. "The beast is living there now, isn't it?" John asks.

"Beats me," Herman says. "Go over and see if you have the balls."

"You're coming with us."

"I said before that you're on your own and I meant it."

One of the men rams the butt end of his rifle into Herman's gut and knocks him off the porch. Another one grinds his heel into his back as he lies face-down in the mud.

All at once he's there, his ghostlike form showing itself in the pouring rain. He's outnumbered, but he is big, strong, and fast. In the midst of the confusion and fear, not a shot is fired at him. Retreat is on the cowards' minds. But that's not about to happen. The giant takes one man down after the next, red blood mixing with the mud, creating a demonic mix of rust colored mayhem. Bones crack, easily heard even through the pouring rain. Soon, only Herman is left.

A moist smile forms on the lips of the beast as he walks to his house.

                                                          *    *    *    *

Spanish moss gently swings from the Cypress trees; gators flit around; nutrias hover all over the edges of Bakers Break. Herman guides the tour boat to the edge of the swamp and the passengers disembark and make their way to the converted cabins waiting for them. A huge pit is filled with wood and fired up. No one will starve tonight. An immense hog rests on the spit, accompanied by corn on the cob, potatoes, shrimp, and much more.

The guests eat their fill and Herman gathers up a huge portion and sits it on the porch of Fred's house, inside the same pot that has taken up residence there for years now. The house looks really nice with the new door and improvements done to the exterior. The inside has been overhauled as well.

"Eat well, my friend. Eat well," Herman says as he sees the door open and unseen hands taking the pot inside . . .

Blaze McRob

Thursday, July 23, 2015


  This is my Throwback Thursday version of Friday Fights this week. I'll have another one up tomorrow. Our theme this month is Terror In The Water. The big guy above appears to be just that. The reason I'm posting this story as an extra this week is because I found out it was posted on a Bigfoot website. I was wondering why, since it is a fiction piece. Or is it? At any rate, I was happy it was posted there, but surprised no one asked me for my permission, although credit was given to me. I am sorry to say that the man running the website has passed on. I wish you well, sir and hope you meet up with many Bigfoot where you are.

Spring Creek Bigfoot

     I haven’t been back to this part of the country in years. 1969 is when I left Klamath Falls. It was a tough decision to make, but Oregon was not a good place to find a job, and when my tour was up with the Air Force, I was forced to leave.

     None of that matters anymore. My wife from those days died, as well as two others, and I just divorced my last wife. I guess you could say my luck with women is not very good. And now, it doesn’t matter about the economy. I’m retired and can live wherever I want.

     This part of the country has been calling to me since I left. It feels good to be home again. I’m not sure about my housing at the moment, but I have my camper and it is spring. I have plenty of time to find some permanent housing before winter sets in.

     Leaving town one morning, I drive along Klamath Lake for quite some time. This lake is huge, thirty miles long, I believe. Swinging along the Williamson River which enters the lake at the northeast end, I smile when I drive by the gambling casino the Klamath Tribe has built. It’s not large compared to a lot of Indian casinos, but it has a nice homey appeal. Okay, so I’m part Native American myself and enjoy seeing this tribe which was taken advantage of for so many years pocketing some of the white man’s money. The strange thing is, I’ve heard there is more respect now between the two cultures than could ever have been imagined.

     Before long, I’m at Spring Creek and pull in to a camp site. I don’t need any fancy hookups, and I go back to the last spot available. Privacy is what I’m after. I have waited for too long to be surrounded by tall, thick forests and be able to fish in a stream where you can see the pebbles on the bottom of the creek in twenty feet of water. Never have I seen water as clear as this, and the sight as the stream comes bubbling up from a gigantic spring is awe-inspiring.

     I’ll get in some fishing later, but I want to visit the headwaters first and feast my eyes once more on the beauty of the area. I put a pot of coffee on in my camper as I set everything up, finding my thermos first so I can take it along with me. There’s nothing quite like a fresh cup of coffee in the midst of a forest of pines and evergreens.

     Even though it’s April, there’s a decided nip in the air, and I’m glad the beard I used to grow for the winter months only is now a permanent fixture. I very rarely trim it and it still has that mountain man look to it. It is unique in that it curls out to the side and down as well. Some people tell me to get rid of it, but why should I cater to their tastes? I like it and I’ll keep it.

     At the moment, the steam from my coffee as I walk gets trapped in my beard and ice crystals form. I laugh, knowing the visual this would be for some hiker coming around the bend on one of the trails back here. As long as I’m not mistaken for one of the Bigfoot supposedly residing far back in the forests, and the person I surprise is not packing a weapon and scared out of his wits, I’ll be okay. Ever since ‘Nam, I have not particularly been fond of people carrying weapons when they’re around me. Most people don’t know when or how to use them.

     The gurgling of the springs is sending out a joyous message to my ears, but I don’t hurry. There is usually wildlife of all kinds scattered around the perimeter of the headwaters and maybe I’ll be able to spot something.

     But when I arrive, all I see is what appears to be a woman-that’s what the length of her hair tells me anyway-bathing in the chilled waters. How she can withstand the cold is beyond me. I start to turn around so as not to appear to be a peeping-tom, but I step on a twig and it sounds like a rifle bullet echoing through the still morning air.

     I don’t complete the turn. This is no lady; this is one of the Bigfoot I thought was only a legend. He rises from the water and shows me his massive size. Never have I seen anything like this creature before. He is not scared of me at all, as if he would have reason to be since I am a dwarf compared to him. But the look on his face is one of a quizzical nature. To him, I appear to be as strange as he is to me.

     The beard! That’s what it is. He feels at ease because of the hair on my face.

     After staring each other down for a while, he decides to get out of the water and comes closer to me. For some reason, I have no fear of the big guy and even welcome his approach. This will have to be one of those stories that never gets passed on to anyone else because . . . well, because no one would believe me for one thing, and if people actually thought these things were more than mere legends then someone would feel the need to kill it as proof that it does exist.

     Not wanting to startle my new friend, I let him do all the advancing and wait to see what happens next. Someone shouts behind me, and the idiot tries to get a shot at him with his hand gun. I charge the bastard, tear the gun out of his hands, and toss it far out into the spring. My furry friend takes off for parts unknown, traveling at a speed I would have not thought possible.

     “What did you do that for?” the guy asks me. “That was one of those Bigfoot things. Do you know how much one of those would be worth?”

     “Do you have any idea how much your life would have been worth to me had you shot it?” I say. “You wouldn’t be talking to me right now or probably for ever. Get your worthless carcass out of my sight before I get even more upset than I am at the present moment.”

     Grumbling under his breath, being a whole lot emasculated without his weapon, he runs for all he’s worth. It takes me a minute or two before I realize it’s not me he’s running from. The son-of-a-bitch is going back to the camp to get his friends.

     Shit! Will anyone believe this twerp?

     The Bigfoot is nowhere to be seen, so I get back to the camp in a hurry. I need to find out what’s going to happen.

     It doesn’t take long before it’s apparent the idiot has told everyone he could grab a hold of that the legend is truth and this thing is roaming around nearby. “Had it not been for some big bearded guy, I would have been able to kill it. We need to go back and get this thing, dead or alive.”

     “You need to grab a crowd to make you feel important, jack-off?” I say. “Maybe I should have thrown you in the spring along with your gun. You disgust me.”

     “Does this mean that what Jack says is true?” one of the men gathered around asks.

     “No,” I say, “it merely means he was going to fire his revolver in my direction, and I don’t take too kindly to that shit.”

     “No, it’s true, damn it!” Jack says. “This big hairy beast came out of the water and rushed towards us. I took out my gun in self-defense.”

     “You puny fucker! I can’t see you taking down a squirrel with a bazooka.”

     The crowd is laughing now. Hopefully, I convinced them that Jack is seeing things and merely wants to be big man on campus. Yet, the mood could turn ugly in a flash.

     I’m fixing up my lunch inside the camper when it shakes from a fierce pounding. Running to the door, pissed off that someone has the nerve to be so insolent, I fling it open and stare into the face of the Fish and Game guy.

     “Do you always try to destroy property like that?” I ask.

     “Watch your mouth, bud. We folk in Oregon don’t take too kindly to trouble-makers like you.”

     “Trouble-maker, huh? And exactly what did I do?”

     “You tossed Jack’s gun into the spring and threatened to beat him up.”

     “Is that so? And I suppose this came straight from the mouth of the little weasel himself?”

     “It doesn’t matter. What’s important is whether or not one of those creatures is close by.”

     “If you want to know, go and search the forests. Banging on my door is only going to get me even angrier and I’ll slam it in your face. Now beat feet!”

     Okay, that wasn’t a very smart thing to say, and I compound things even more when I do slam the door in his face.

     He grabs ahold of the door knob and flings the door back open. That’s not too kind on the hinges. “You’re annoying me, Ranger. I’ve said all I’m going to say to you.”

     He pulls his sidearm. “It’s either here or in town in jail. You’ll loosen up one way or the other.”

     The fucking gun again. I wouldn’t allow Jack to do it, and this Bozo won’t either.

     “I’ll say this calmly, and I’ll only say it once. Put that damned gun away. I have done nothing to warrant this kind of action.”

     He laughs. “See this badge? I’m the law. You do as I say.”

     While he’s still full of himself, I kick the gun from his hand and pin his arm behind his back. “That was a mistake, Ranger. A very stupid one. I will not have a gun pulled on me.”

     Snatching his cuffs, I place them on him and drag him to his feet. Hearing the commotion, a bunch of the guys come to my camper and stare at the Ranger. “Sorry, boys, but there seems to be a prevalent attitude around here that it’s okay to pull a gun in my presence.”

     “But . . . but he’s the law,” one of them says.

     “I don’t care if he’s the Pope. It’s not going to happen.”

     The Ranger’s gun is lying on the floor of the camper, halfway between me and the mob. If I didn’t have a hold of the Ranger I could easily beat them to it, but Jack of all people springs on the damned thing and levels it at me.

     “Looks like I got the bead on you, buster. Let go of the Ranger.”

     Let go Hell! I fling the man at Jack so he doesn’t fire off a shot at me. In his confusion, Jack fires a round that hits the Ranger square in the chest, and he drops immediately, dead as they come.

     “You made me do that!” Jack shouts.

     I’m in some deep shit now. Jack is shaking, the gun still in his hand, and some of the others draw theirs as well.

     A mighty roar comes from behind the men, and one after the other are picked up and either torn to shreds or flung into something so hard they black out. In seconds, my savior has neutralized every one of them. Most are dead and the others probably will wish they were when they wake up. They will be hurting puppies.

     My friend from this morning stares at me with a look on his face asking that I approve of what he has just done. Shit! I’m thinking like a Bigfoot now. I go to him and give him a hug as best I can, thinking that is the best way for me to thank him. It must be the universal sign because he hugs me back. Too hard, perhaps, but at least I know he’s on my side.

     It looks like a war ensued in my camper. This will be hard to explain. Damn it! I won’t even try. Distance. We need to put distance between us and whoever might come after us.

     As we’re clearing the bodies from the camper, those still alive gradually wake, but that does not bode well for them. Soon, no one having witnessed what happened is alive. As much as I try to intervene in the slaughter at hand, my friend knows only that these people tried to harm his new pal and they must be disposed of. I suppose he’s right. Witnesses would not have been good.

     I motion for the Bigfoot to have a seat in the back of the camper. It is imperative we get out of here as fast as we can before people arrive and see the carnage which has taken place here. There is open space between the front seat and the back. Hopefully, he won’t be too upset with the ride. I’m certain he has never been in a vehicle before.

     We hit the main road and head back towards the lake. I have no idea where we’re going, but at least my passenger is not upset. All I would need now would be for him to freak out on me and jump out of the camper.

     He taps me on the shoulder and points to the right once we’ve traveled a few miles. An old dirt road sits there, one I’ve never seen before in all my years up here earlier. I turn onto it and the camper does a pretty mean jostling job. This is not a heavily traveled road. After a few miles, we come to a place that says, “This is as far as you’re going, Mac.”

     Walking to the back of the camper, I open the door and my guest jumps out. From the look on his face, I can tell he wants me to go with him. Why not? We have been through a lot together already. What do I have to lose.

     We travel for a few miles together, the excitement on his face building the whole time. I have no idea what’s going on, but I do know that if we don’t get there soon, we’ll be walking in darkness.

     The lake stares me in the face. I had no idea a section of it came this far north. Cabins sit back a ways from the shore, and smoke comes from the chimneys inside. As near as I can tell, this must be part of the old Reservation, a section that has gone un-noticed for some time now.

     A few people from the Klamath tribe come out to meet us, and before my eyes . . . my astonished eyes, my friend’s family comes out as well, rushing to greet him. And from the side come more of his kind. This must be how it’s always been here. The Bigfoot and the Native Americans living in harmony, the tribe doing its best to protect them from the white man.

     Far off in the distance, I hear the sounds of wolves welcoming us.

     I know now why this place has been calling to me. I belong here. They are a part of me, and I am a part of them.

     It is good to be home . . .

Blaze McRob

Wednesday, July 22, 2015


Blacktop, by William Meikle, is free today. I have a bunch of William's books and short stories and can say that you'll want to take advantage of this freebie. Hustle me lads and lassies and procure a copy! This story is classic William Meikle.

Blaze McRob

                                                                  *    *    *    *

 Book description:

 A car crash, an awakening and a post apocalyptic landscape are only the start of his problems. He's alone apart from a mute companion, there's nothing but wrecks on the highway, and somewhere, somebody won't stop singing. He heard the crash on the highway. But he didn't hear nobody pray.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

William Meikle is a Scottish writer, now living in Canada, with twenty novels published in the genre press and over 300 short story credits in thirteen countries. He has books available from a variety of publishers including Dark Regions Press, DarkFuse and Dark Renaissance, and his work has appeared in a number of professional anthologies and magazines with recent sales to NATURE Futures, Penumbra and Buzzy Mag among others. He lives in Newfoundland with whales, bald eagles and icebergs for company. When he's not writing he drinks beer, plays guitar, and dreams of fortune and glory.

Friday, July 17, 2015


This is my Friday Frights this week. The theme this month is Terror In The Water. Since I have decided to alter which of my novels is coming out first, and this one hits our theme, I am shamelessly posting the first two chapters here. I hope you enjoy this sneak preview.

Mists Of Papoose Pond-Chapter One

     I can't sleep. My bedroom is stifling, even though it's usually cool in the early morning hours in this part of Maine.

     "Shit!" I mutter to myself. "I might as well grab a smoke and go outside where it's cooler."

     Slipping into my boxers, I grab my Camels and my lighter and hightail it outdoors where I do enjoy a little more refreshing air. I slide up to the railing of the porch and sit, watching the mists roll across the pond.

     Pond, that's a misnomer for you. Nothing in Maine is the same as any place else. Anywhere else, this would be a lake. It's three miles long by a mile or more wide. In New Jersey where I come from, that's a damned lake. What difference does it make?  They call it Papoose Pond, so Papoose Pond it is.

     My family has been coming up here for years. At least until my grandfather stopped bringing us. All at once, for no apparent reason, he decided he no longer wanted to spend a week in the rustic cabins in southwestern Maine. Being the tight-lipped German he was, no one was about to get any information out of him. Stubborn was his middle name.

     What difference does it matter? My siblings and I have long since split apart, my parents and grandparents are dead, my wife is now my ex, and I just want some me time for a change. Fuck everyone else. This is the perfect place for it: the getaway; my retreat into relaxation before I throw my life back together.

     My grandfather told the owners of the pond many years ago that they should fix things up a bit, modernize, get with the times. They did to a point but still manage to keep the rustic look and feel of the place. And the fishing? Still fantastic! Crappie and White Perch still hover around twenty inches long and have deep, thick bodies. As for the Bass fishing . . .just try plying a surface plug through the waters at night and see how far it goes before some Largemouth or Bronzeback plasters the living hell out of it.

     I caught my share of fish hours ago, keeping only enough for some fish stew later in the day, but the sounds floating around, catching my ears, are not the ones associated with fish frolicking and chasing their smaller counterparts before closing in on them for the kill. These sounds are different. I have heard them before, even from my bed. This morning they are closer because I am outside.

     The smoke from my Camel curls up into the air, dancing about, trying to mimic the mists rolling in from out on the pond. They're coming in from the north end where the lily pads sit thick at the edge of a deep water drop off. This is the best place on the pond to catch the giant White Perch and Crappies. It is adjacent to the Crooked River access, and springs are in abundance there.

     Something else also resides there. I have always felt it, not knowing what it is, but feeling it play along my skin, teasing me, and creating goosebumps before vanishing into nothingness.

     From something to nothing in a matter of minutes. Not one time but many. Could this be what caused my grandfather to stop coming here? Did the fear finally get to him? Maybe he found out what it was and wanted no part of it. I'll never know. Dead men don't talk.

     Or do they?

     What about the day we had a giant stringer of huge fish on the stringer, attached to the oarlocks of the row boat? Somehow the stringer managed to come free from its attachments and the fish slowly sank towards the deepest part of the lily pad area. My grandfather had plenty of time to snag the stringer with the oar in his hand, but he froze, unable to move, and the stringer and the fish vanished from sight. I started to ask him why he made no effort, but I stopped, knowing the kind of answer I would get: or wouldn't get.

     The mists come closer and closer to the cabin, and even though it sits some fifty yards from the pond's edge, the dancing droplets of condensation seemingly pirouette their way across the beach to where I'm sitting, first ankle high, then reaching mid way up my chest. The cigarette smoke joins with the swirling fog and they cavort as one, creating a calming feeling massaging my unsettled mind.

     Peaceful shapes dance all around me. I smile at ballerinas performing their amazing tip-toe jumps and landings, the mists opening and closing to accentuate their delicate, precise movements. I put my cigarette out, thinking I can go back to sleep, contentment putting me in the mood.

     A sudden chill hits me before I can get to my feet, bone-chilling cold, causing my hands to turn blue instantly. The ballerina's faces vanish, replaced by monstrous, billowing towers of inhuman shapes.

     Substance . . .substance comes from the distortion of the mists! Flesh and bone hovering over me, smiling at me; no, not smiling: leering at me!

     Brownish-yellow teeth, sharp and pointed, force their way into prominence when the creatures open their mouths, tongues lapping at miniscule lips, telling me where their next meal is coming from. Me! They want me!

     I run to the door of the cabin, hoping to get inside and lock the door behind me so they can't get inside. Sure, as if the door will pose a problem for these monsters!

     A huge, scaly leg reaches out and trips me, sending me to the floor of the porch. Gigantic webbed hands reach out to me, the sharpened, elongated nails threatening to tear me apart. Water drips off these creatures combining with a slime from their powerful chests and finds its way into my eyes. I scream in pain as blindness overcomes me!

     It's just as well. I don't want to see what's going to happen next. Let it be over! Let it be over!

     The pressure of the air coming down on me, forced by the behemoths' closeness, intensifies. They are almost on me!

    Mists Of Papoose Pond-Chapter Two

      In a blind stupor, I try once more to move away from my antagonists, crawling on my hands and knees, my side, scooting on my back and ass, everything and anything. What difference does it make how I get away? It doesn't. Away! Away from them, no matter how!

     Somehow, I reach the door, pull myself up on it, and fling it open. I stumble inside and slam it shut behind me, turning the lock, reaching for the dead-bolt before I realize there is no deadbolt. Shit! No fucking dead-bolt. I'm doomed!

     I back up slowly, away from the door, and, as my sight gingerly  returns, I keep my eyes focused on the only thing separating me from the behemoths. Mist rolls into the room from under the bottom of the door. Shit! Will the magical vapors reassemble once they're inside the room and revert back to the demons that attacked me? But why do that when they're certainly strong enough to tear the door apart as if it were balsa wood?

     The moving mists dance about in the gentle air currents accompanying them from the porch to the inside of the cabin, forming into indescribable shapes that are gorgeous one second and hideous the next. My mind can not comprehend what is going on, why I am being tortured by the inconsistensies of my conscious dreams, teasing, taunting, pulling me deeper and deeper into a snare of confused chaos threatening to drive me mad from the horrors within and about me. My already weakened psyche slips ever closer to the edge . . .the edge of the abyss waiting to completely encapsulate my mind.

     Yet just before I fall over the precipice, the mists retreat and with them go the remnants of my fears.

     I sit on the edge of my bed, still shaken, my knees knocking against each other so hard I fear I will lose function in them. Taking them into my ice-cold hands, I move my legs apart and shove my pillow between them.

     Damn the new anti-smoking laws! I need a smoke now, and I'm certainly not going back outside and puff on one. The cancer stick cops will have to get past my unwanted visitors if they wish to stop me. Fuck them!

     Nicotine courage. Jesus, am I that far gone? I'm hiding behind the vapors of white paper and tobacco burning and sending up a smoke screen. I can't hide a single finger behind that!

     A beer . . .let me get a beer. Sure, I'll have a one man party, maybe see some pink elephants even.

     My fridge is well stocked with cold longnecks. I came up here to fish and relax, but a man can't fish 24/7 can he? After retrieving a bottle, I tip toe to the cabin door and place my ear against it. Nothing, no sounds at all, and the cold chill from the creatures has gone, the heat having returned.

     With less sense than my dick had when fucking my ex-wife, I unlock the door and venture outside. I am alone. Not even the rolling mists are present anymore. I release a huge sigh and sit on the porch swing this time, wanting my back against the cabin so nothing can sneak behind me and the cabin walls.

     Six beers and half a pack of Camels later, the sun starts rising in the sky to the east, down by where the campsites are located. It won't be long before the whole lot of them will be up, burning toast over camp fires in those metal toaster contraptions that never work,cussing at their kids for wanting to go swimming before the adults have had a chance to drink any coffee, and the pleasant sounds of controlled mayhem from too-cold showers taken before the water has had a chance to warm up.

     Since I haven't had any sleep, I'll wait until they're all in full swing before I hit the sack. Not that I don't want to socialize or anything, but . . .but I don't want to socialize. I want to be so tired that I drop like a log and cut some serious Z's. I'll just watch and listen to the show for a bit.

     The ludicrous goings on I had anticipated come into being full-force. I shake my head and slip inside, locking the door behind me. The beer has relaxed me enough to where I'm not drunk, just relaxed, ready for some sleep. Nothing should happen out of the ordinary during the  daylight hours, especially with all the ruckus going on now. I just hope there's not so much noise I can't sleep.

     I lie down naked on the bed after shutting the windows on the side of the cabin facing the mayhem on the beach. It's quiet enough. I can get some sleep. I'll sort out this shit that happened later on. Good rest and a clear mind will aid me.

     Not too surprisingly, my dreams are a bit on the wild side but not enough to break my rhythym of sleep. I don't wake from my much needed slumber.

     Until . . .

     Screams, agonizing shrieks of pain from adults and children both attack my ears. I'm awake in no time at all, rushing to my door to get to their source, almost forgetting I need to put some clothes on.

     Shit! A delay. From the sounds outside, I better hurry: time is of the essence.

     I rush out into the bright sun, and it takes a few seconds for my eyes to adjust to the light. People are running past me, away from where the huge disturbance is. What's going on? Why is no one else going to the aid of the people needing assistance?

     Everything is centered around the beach area: the beach itself and the water going out as far as the ropes and buoys. Swimmers and their rescuers are trapped in the water, something trying to drag them under, entities able to cause large enough wounds to turn the water a bright red.

     I rush to the edge of the water and start pulling bodies out of the lake, getting them up on shore where they'll be safe. But will they? Most of them are covered with leeches, not your standard three to five inch leech. These guys are huge! They're two feet long if they're an inch, and they appear to be working as a team to keep their prey  in the water where they can control them easier.

     Normally, a burning cigarette placed on the leech's point of attack, their sucker-like mouths, would be enought to get them to relinquish their grip. Not with these guys. They're just too damned big.

     My eyes spot some old blow torches probably used up here in the winter to thaw out frozen pipes. I rush to them, hoping there's still some fuel left in the bottles. It takes some work turning the knobs, but incredidbly, there is butane left. I waste no time in using them against the leeches, and just like their smaller counterparts, the heat drives them away from the bodies of the stricken.

     One of the campers rushes to my side and neatly slices their heads from their slimy bodies once they're no longer attached to the swimmers. In no time at all, her long,blonde hair is soaked with blood.

     "Stay here while I pull some more bodies out of the water!"I shout. "Don't go into the water yourself."

     She nods and I rush to the water's edge, dragging in body after body. I must move them far enough away so they won't wander back into harm's way because of the shock they're in now. It's a good plan, at least until some of the damned leeches release their hold on them and grab me instead. Soon, I'm covered with the bastards. I try pulling them off me, but that doesn't work. I knew it wouldn't!

     "Hold still while I get those things off you!" the blonde shouts.

     She wades right in with the torch in one hand and her knife in the other, heating them up and slicing and dicing non-stop until I'm free of the vermin. I look at her in amazement as she does the same to the swimmers I jerked from the lake.

     I finally get some other campers to help us out, and after a bit, the water is cleared. The best that we can do at least. Shock and the loss of blood has taken its toll. Quite a few of them are dead, floating face down in the water, no movement from them at all. We snag them with paddles and buoys on ropes, but it's too late. They're gone.

     Exhausted from my efforts, and weakened by the loss of blood, I wander around the beach in a stupor, the heat of the sun taking even more out of me. Pain! Pain such as I have never felt before attacks my entire body. I understand what's happening: I'm in extreme shock.

     My mind and body are totally out of synch. It's like my mind, my soul, want to distance themselves from the physical me. I try to will them back in to my body. C'mon, damn it! Get together! Get whole again!

     I watch as my body slips to the sand beneath me. Fuck! I beat these things! I can't kiss off now . . .

Blaze McRob