Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Tis the season of giving, I brought you some words... Despite the Darkness #2

I'm feeling generous I guess. Here is the next bit of the story I'm working on. Please comment and share. I dedicate this section to the WB7EPL, WB7DSA, WB7BAC, and family vacations; without which I would probably not feel such childish wonder along Highway 20 as I do every time I pass over it.

Despite the Darkness

The drive was done in the relative silence of a car traveling at high speeds on the highway with Oldies playing over the stereo and the people inside not talking to each other. The snow was growing thicker on the ground as they moved further into the hills. The landscape changed suddenly when they turned a corner; what were once gently sloped hills turned into a steep sloped ravine blanketed in deep white. The road was clear of traffic in both directions, so they were the only ones traveling up into the mountains in the slush.

“We should have taken Highway 2.”

“This is a straight shot to Mom’s.”

“It’s going to be closed.”

“There aren’t any signs and I checked the DOT hotline before we left.”

“Uh huh.”

He sulked in the driver’s seat while Jan sulked in the passenger’s. The Beach Boy’s Good Vibrations came to a climax and the DJ cut to the local news.

“A string of disappearances in the North Cascades have authorities baffled; Skagit Sherriff’s Deputy Malcom Mead and a Forestry Ranger Amanda Muir didn’t come home two nights ago from their patrols along Highway 20, leaving no clues as to their whereabouts. Listeners are encouraged to call the Skagit County Sherriff’s Office with any information on their disappearance. Meanwhile, the Seattle Police Dep…”
He turned the radio off with a stab of his finger, ignoring the look from his wife. Snowflakes began to fall in earnest; big, wet ones that started to cover the whole road and the windshield.

“We’ll make it,” he said as much to himself as to his wife. The wipers were turned from intermediate to full shortly after. The sun was now set and visibility was cut down by the heavy snowfall.

They had passed the Ross Lake Dam and were almost to Washington Pass when even Isaiah way in the back could see the amber lights flashing ahead. He gripped the steering wheel, girding himself for the inevitable “I told you so.”

“Huh.” There it was.

He slowed down as the scene became clearer - a huge excavator was desperately fighting a shifting, sliding section of hillside that had come down onto the road. Boulders and huge evergreen trees were mixed with mud and snow to cover the whole road. A police car’s lights, parked back from the accident, came on as further reminder that the van should stop.

The Sherriff’s Deputy reluctantly got out of his warm vehicle to personally stop the van’s forward progress.

“Did you miss the road closed sign?”

“Didn’t see one and I checked before we left.”

The deputy sighed. “They said they had it up and would announce it on the radio…“ He shook his head like a man shakes out cobwebs, “Not your problem. This slide’s going to close the pass at least until morning; you folks will need to turn around.”

“We need to eat Steve.” It was less a comment and more a command.

“You passed a little town a few miles back, it’s a company town, but they have a bar and some cabins you can rent if you’d rather stay the night.”

“Canyon Creek?”

“Yeah, they don’t get many visitors.” The deputy smiled crookedly.

“Thank you, we’ll head there.”

“Drive safe.”

The window went back up and the van turned around.

“We should go home and go Highway 2 in the morning.”

“You wanted to eat.”

“Not at some bar!”

“Where are we supposed to go Jan? You’re the one who’s hungry.”

“Dad, I think we should go to Canyon Creek.” Isaiah’s small voice from the back stopped his mother’s retort.

“Honey, we can make it down to a nicer place in just a little bit, o.k.?” She projected back to her son in that pleasant compromising voice, that really meant no compromise.

“No… we won’t.” Isaiah’s voice drifted off and he looked out into the dark woods that were passing by.

“I need to at least stretch my legs and go to the bathroom.”


Questions? Comments? Bribes?

Thursday, December 04, 2014

A sprig of writing to keep you warm... Despite the Darkness #1

In keeping with my extremely flaky posting schedule I'm sharing the beginning of the story I'm working on. Despite the Darkness is my attempt at a Horror/Thriller which I've never done before. Its another story I have bits and pieces of in my head and thankfully my wife is kicking me out of the house once a week to help spur on my writing. I probably won't serialize it, but if you like it let me know and I might post more... maybe. 

Despite the Darkness

   The razor blade hovered just over skin, the blood just beginning to well up, the arm frozen for a moment, eyes locked on the dark red slowly running down his cheek.
  “We’re ready to go.”
  He didn’t move and the blood dripped onto his undershirt. She sighed and groaned in equal measure.
  “You’ll have to change. We’re going to be late.”
  “I’ll be just a minute.”
  She left, mumbling about taking care of things the night before. He staunched the bleeding with a piece of toilet paper and closed his eyes to avoid looking at the blood-shot eyes that looked back too closely. In his mind he saw a flash and heard the scream. He gripped the counter as it grew in intensity, his breathing becoming labored.
  Light crept in from the edges and breath slowly came more normally.
  “Yes, Isaiah,” he asked through gritted teeth.
  “I love you.”
  Eyes opened and those accusing eyes looked back despite the brightness of the vanity lights.
  “I’ll see you in the car.”
  “See you in the car, son.”
  He finished shaving, cutting himself twice more, but somehow persevering to the end. He’d missed several spots, his skin was raw, and the clean shave only accentuated the other disheveled aspects of his appearance. He rolled on his deodorant, brushed his teeth, and then went into the bedroom. His bag sat empty on the bed, a pile of clothes beside it. He tossed in underwear, tee-shirts, jeans, socks, a fleece, jacket, and his a dog eared book he’d been nursing for a good three months. Stopping just before he zipped up the bag his hand shook. The case on the top shelf in the closet beckoned to him… like it had the whole night and the long nights before.
  Jan hated that it was in the house and now its contents were in his hand before he realized he’d moved to pull it down and open it. The black metal was cool and the weight was calming in his hand. It wasn’t loaded but a handful of practiced movements could fix that. So they did.
  I love you. His hands passed the firearm from hand-to-hand, each feeling the heft and smoothness of the piece. It finally rested in his strong hand, his right hand… his shooting hand. I love you. The gun began to feel more and more foreign in his hand, its familiarity slipping like a veil. Treating it now less like an old friend and more like a dead rat, the gun went back into the case, and the lock was refastened. He zipped up the bag, changed his shirt, and then left the house. The case sat on the bed. I love you.