Tag Archives: story

Fighting Me


I’m just fine
I’m just great
I have everything
A love, a home, a dog, a cat.
A job, a friend or two or three.
So why do I wish to punch a wall
Inflict pain upon the
inanimate.
Melancholy, anger, anxiety, and loathing
climb over me amidst
my calm.
Consuming in the oddest moments
of my day.
And Nothing can reach me
not even me.
For that Me is hidden high on a mountain
far, far away from my shadow
which walks in the light
with everyone else
occasionally staring up
wondering when I will come down.
But the Me up there knows
no one really what’s to see.
Not really.
Everyone else has blinded
themselves,
so how could they ever truly
see Me.

by Philip Wardlow 2018
(character study in poem form for a Book I’m writing)

My Progress ?


Booklight

 

Thought I would update everyone on the progress on my Book I plan on putting out this year as a collection of  Horror, Fantasy, and Science Fiction all in one.

Shooting for a Lucky 13 stories to go into the Book… Hey!  Maybe that phrase could be part of the Title of the Book. Nah,  it’s probably been over done…I will have to think on it…. 🙂

Check out my progress so far in my writing on the various titles going in the book.

BTW I still need artists for various small sketches to donate an original drawing or artwork based a story or two. Nothing big. just some original stuff would be nice to give it a little pizzazz!

OKAY see below my list of stories either done or in the work.  WISH me luck!

Go HERE for Synopsis of some of the stories below:

Finished Stories

  1. The Summoning *
  2. Witch Hunt *
  3. Bits and Pieces*
  4. Flight Through the Forest
  5. Demon in the Details*
  6. Time Stopped
  7. Roadkill (Novella)
  8. Fire Extinguished

Stories at about 90% Done**

  1. Power in Me

Stories about 25% Done***

  1. The Well
  2. Sinkhole
  3. To Take a Life

Stories at intro to 10%

  1. Alphabet Killer
  2. Thousand Years
  3. Year of the Crow
  4. The Circuit Board

 

TheReader

 

 

 

Any Takers? Need assistance on my Upcoming Collection of Stories


 

sculpturebook

I plan on Self-Publishing 10 to 13 stories in a Collection in Electronic Format such as on the Kindle and other forms of electronic media and also produce a limited number of my book in Paperback form with real paper and everything …  🙂

That’s where some of you may come in.  I am NEED of one of  two things from some of you talented people out there in the world.

Editing

First thing I am need of, are proofreaders and/or  readers/reviewers  of my stories to tighten up my grammar and my typos, and to possibly catch any blatant writing pitfalls I might fall into from time to time, and to tell give me real feedback on each story in regards to critiquing them constructively. I  will need a few people to help in this  to expedite the process so I can get my collection ready for publication in regards to good story content by mid year which is fast approaching.

ArtSketch

Second thing I am need of, are artists to provide me with small black and white sketches pertaining to each and every story.  I will then sprinkle those pieces of art throughout the pages of the book to  visually capture and entrance the eye and add a little bit of spice to the book 🙂

 

For both requests at needing your help,  I am sorry to say I cannot compensate any who might help me in my endeavor. I will most assuredly will give credit where credit is due with each picture used in the book. I will also as part of the forward cite all the help I have received on the stories in regards to the editorial process put forth by anyone who has helped guide me to get this book out to try and making it the best it can be.

So please feel to contact me directly at my  email address at  philipwardlow@gmail.com if you wish to help me with this endeavor and I would be forever in your debt…:)

I want this Book to be  something I can be proud of from the ground up and with your help I know I can make it happen. I have read many of your guys blogs and know you have much talent.

I am working diligently on finishing up a few of my stories and will be looking for help with the editing and review process as each are finished.

In regards to the Artwork needed, I will be writing a brief synopsis  of each story or a description soon to this blog of what may be actually wanted for an image.  I do want to give the artist free reign  at thinking of something appropriate to capture the eye and also the spirit of the story.  ( if the artist wishes upon request I can send them the entire story to read to really get a feel for what the piece of art might be)

So again, please feel free to contact me at philipwardlow@gmail.com if you are interested in helping me with my writing project… 🙂

Thanks again!

 

What Lurks in me….


Lurking

 

Do you wish to know what lurks and crawls in this brain of mine? Do you wish to know the avenues it takes , the good and the bad, the beautiful, the bloody, the bombastic, and the golden moments that drown?  Well welcome I say with a  devilish grin wearing my suit of pure white for we are all aspects of all the shades that color the world.

YOU are not exempt.  Perhaps in your readings of me and the stories you hear  you will see a little into yourself, filtering out all the crap that seems that so often gets in the way of the truth that is you.

So read on, to three  of my eclectic samples not quite finished  in my future collection of the macabre, to the fun, to the poignant, to the mysterious “what if” of it all… 🙂

 

I ASK YOU, MY READERS, MY FOLLOWERS, TO PICK ONE OF THE THREE STORIES FOR ME TO FINISH BASED ON THE EXCERPT OF EACH BELOW.

****

 

#1 To Take a Life

 

Sebastian saw the woman sitting in her favorite spot yet again this early Saturday night. Always the same table, the one right at the edge of the dance floor and closest to the bar. She would start the night ordering drink after drink, usually a red wine sometimes a white and just stare ahead seemingly at nothing.

Hours would pass and the club would slowly fill with people and there she would be sitting. Alone. No man had ever approached her to ask her for a dance as she sat. Perhaps they were afraid to approach her, perhaps they thought she wanted to be left alone, perhaps they thought she was out of their league. Perhaps, the word, NO, was already written on her face before they ever would have approached to pose the question in the first place.

Sebastian knew secretly, if they had asked, she probably would have said yes to every one of them. But they never had. So she would sit andvampire watch them all dance from her place at the table. Watch, as the men and women moved on the floor to the seductive beat which pulsed and coursed through the club and bodies wanting to find release from the week’s drudgery called life. Sebastian knew their every whim, their every desire as he always did. They were an open book to him. All you had to do was listen.

This night however he only had ears for the woman who had come here every Saturday night for the last three weeks. Her name was Ms. Evelyn Greer , a pale face contrasted with short shoulder length dark auburn hair, green almond shaped eyes, and full red lips. If she were to ever break a smile he was sure it would have been stunning. A beauty of a woman, majestic in a certain way she held her self. But there was a dullness to her, muted was the word that came to mind, like a dimmer switch to a light turned way down low.

She was to be his tonight. She had marked been many nights ago. She was the one and she had only but to ask him to end her.

 

 

#2 From a Dark Place

 

Joseph carefully placed the five white candles he had just purchased into the big brown suitcase amidst the other items he had already collected. He hands went to close the suitcase but instead they caressed a black leather bound book which lay inside. His eyes went wide and his pupils dilated ever so slightly as he stared at it. He traced the raised symbol on its cover emblazoned in red with his index finger. His finger ran along the entire perimeter of the symbol at all its five points where the continuous line was traced. The symbol was five lines in the form of a star where each point touched the raised circle which surrounded it,  what a lovely symbol he mused. Could there be anything more perfect he wondered. A sly smile came to his lips because for all his studies he new the true power of that symbol while others only thought they knew. He had become an adept at the mysteries of it.

“Joseph!” a woman’s voice called to him in a wail from somewhere downstairs in the house.

“Joseph, what the hell are you doing? Spaghettis all done! Christ on a crutch, move your ass!” she yelled again. Joseph could almost picture the spit flying from her mouth as she yelled at him. Fucking fat cow. He would be glad when he was done with her. Joseph couldn’tpentagram remember choosing such a bitch of a woman for a wife but he must have, for she lived in his home and occasionally wanted to have sex because of that damn ring on her finger and his own. The weight of the ring seemed to increase more everyday. He wanted to stuff it down her damn throat. It was maddening. No more, no fucking more. Tomorrow, Joseph’s life was about to change.

“Joseph!” she wailed again.

Joseph slammed the suitcase shut, secured the latches and locked them by rotating the combination on each with his thumbs all at once.

“Coming Elizabeth!…..you bitch.” Joseph said the last to himself in a whisper as he tucked the suitcase deep up under his side of the bed and quickly got up to go downstairs for dinner. He would suffer through it with the heifer just for one more night. Spaghetti was his favorite he thought idly to himself.

 

#3 The Power In Me

 

Three ping pong balls revolved in midair, each one following the other in a tight circle as they flew.

“I shouldn’t be able to be doing this Carl!” she yelled at the bald little man, sitting across the table from her in the kitchen of her house. Carl was wearing a smug little grin on his face that annoyed the hell out of her. He was always full of himself, today more than usual. He knew something he wasn’t telling her. Shit! She was losing her concentration. One of the balls slipped out of its rotation and fell.

“True and not true,” he replied back glibly to her, as he deftly caught the fallen ball with his left hand inches before it hit the table.

“What the hell is that supposed to mean?” she asked, her eyes staring ahead at the two remaining balls still rotating in front of her. She thought of a figure eight, and immediately the balls begin to swirl in that configuration. It was equally cool and frightening at the same time, she thought, but Carl didn’t have to know that.

“Angela, you have taken to this extremely well. It seems you are a natural. I have to give our co-workers credit. They were betting you would do well the first time right out the gate. Not many can pull off even one ball this quickly, let alone three. Guess I will have to pay up when I get back to the office.” Carl chuckled to himself, rolling the little white ball he had caught, back and forth between his hands on the dining room table still smiling at her smugly.

Angela took her eyes from the two remaining balls which spun and looked directly at Carl.

“You mean there are others who can do this? Out with it Carl, I’m sick of the games. You’ve been playing them too long, first with my husband now with me. Be straight for once, or for god sakes I’ll shove these balls down your goddamn throat.”

Carl’s smiled slipped a little her under dark stare. Carl involuntarily swallowed when he suddenly realized the balls were still continuing to spin in their figure eight pattern without her looking at them. Damn, she is good, he thought. But she didn’t have to know that; she was arrogant enough as it was. A lot like him more or less, he thought, but still soft.

“Well.” Angela said to him, more of a command than a question.

Carl ignored her tone. “You remember that project three years ago that kept Scott away so many hours at night?”

She remembered all too well, the late nights, and all the arguments that followed, telling her he couldn’t discuss his work with her because she didn’t have the clearance. It still rankled her a little still to this day. Angela only nodded as she looked at him as the balls continued to spin, so Clark continued.

“We had found something amazing. To be more exact it found us. One of the lab geeks directed to synthesize some of the proteins from a plant brought back from Brazil accidentally combined two cultures in the synthesis we were working on with the lot. The other plant was from an older expedition we had done years ago in the Congo in Africa. Scott himself had pulled it from the incubator a few days later. Lot forty-two.”

Angela noticed Carl’s eyes dilating as his hand gestures became more animated as he spoke. This disturbed her for some reason and she didn’t know why.

“Oh, the things Lot Forty-two revealed to us Angela!” Carl found it hard to contain himself as he talked.

“We didn’t know how much until we began the human trials. You did not know this, but Scott your husband, was one of the first volunteers. The committee had been paranoid of it getting out to the general public so everything was done in house; very hush, hush.”

“I am sorry to say this Angela, but he was a fool.” Carl said flatly to her from across the table.

Angela’s eyes suddenly flared from a dull to electric green.

An invisible force compressed against Carl’s chest, to send him flying and to go slamming into the wall behind him. Plaster crumbled around his head and tumbled off his nice black suit coat he wore.

Now I am going to have to go to the dry cleaners tomorrow, Carl thought idly….

Powerinme

 

 

 

 

Letting Go – A Very Short Story


 

 

building

 

 

Letting Go~

“I’m gonna let go, but I don’t know where I’m gonna fall to?” asked the dirty faced little boy who hung limply from a clothesline in the pitch blackness over a deserted alley some four stories high.

“That’s right Michael,” said the other much older boy who hung out the window with one hand in a tight knuckled grip on the window sill and the other on the clothesline from which Michael hung.

“You gotta drop straight down and let us see what you’re made of.  We’ve all had to do it, you won’t be the first,” the boy said, in a matter fact tone.

Michael looked up from where he hung at the older boy who had spoken to him, his face and body were hidden in the myriad of shadows the surrounding buildings cast upon him. It seemed to Michael that the shadows spoke to him, the voice didn’t belong to anyone at all just a disembodied entity wanting him to fall to his doom. Michael looked up higher to the stars overhead, his only source of light. He gazed at the nighttime sky, the dancing twinkling night.  He had never noticed the stars twinkle as much as he did this night. It made him ponder, it made him think. It made him come to a decision.

He took one last look, time to see what he was made of he thought. He gave the shadowy boy a nod and let go. Just like that.

He fell for an eternity. His long hair was pulled upward as he heard the rush of air flow past his ears.  The beat of his heart was the only other intrusion upon his senses as he fell. The stars above were lost in a deep blackness that couldn’t be pierced, like falling down a well at night.

Thump!

He had landed and he was alive. Somehow he was alive.  Michael got up and stood amidst the cheering, hooting and hollering of the other boys that had waited down below. Then he simply turned from them and walked away and never looked back. He did look up though at the twinkling stars.

The End

 

 

by Philip Wardlow 2015

Cracks and Crevasses – A short little horror story


 

cracky

 

 

Her leaving was quite sudden.  Her warmth will be missed,  but  my love that I had known for these many years  turned out to be simply a bitch.

Now I sit in this house we once shared…its a big bold hold of a house, with cracks in the walls and crevices in the floor boards that lead to the in between spaces and nowhere.

I would have fixed them all, all those broken pieces left unattended over the years, but now what’s the use.  There really is no call to repair something that only brought me to despair.

Never good enough.  “A hole in the wall, ” was my only gift to her,  she had ever said.

Now gone.

Then they began to come.

Out of all the those holes and cracks they seeped.

The Monsters liked to crawl  from where they laid hidden and nip at me when I turned away.  They are an annoyance, their pestering, their little pains. I have gotten scratched on many a occasion,  a bite mark or two when ever deep asleep or not quite quick enough on my feet at night.

I felt them grinning there in the dark.  I couldn’t  see them in the cold dead spaces of the room as they hid but I knew there was  an upturned lip or a crinkling of the eyes. I felt them there drinking me in.

I tried not to think about  them as I drove to work,  or as I sat at my desk, or went to the bathroom or ate my lunch in the  breakroom. Sometimes, I even thought one or two had hidden in the trunk of my car and came to work with me.  For I felt their presence always….

Its was oppressive.

It hadn’t  always been like this. Once I had been free. No monster nipped, scratched or bit.  For they didn’t exist in my home.  Back then, there were no shadows to hide them. No cold spaces to give them comfort.

I am not sure how they found me. For I sure as hell didn’t let them in. I never asked them to come into my home.  I hate them. All of them and they hate me.

There are so many,   skinny ones, fat ones, ugly ones,  ugly skinny ones, ugly fat ones,  foul smelly ones, red eyed, green eyed, black eyed, no-eyed even. So, so many.

I keep them back.  Even though there are many, they are not very brave, not at all. They may grin from the dark but they cower. They are afraid of me in some  small way.  I have yet to figure out why.

I know they don’t like my boot when I give one or two of them a good kick.  Oh no, they don’t like the boot, not at all. Then I grin back at them and I sense them cowering more.

They are weak little Monsters and I have my big black steel toed boots to keep them at bay. I wear them all the time even in bed. Not in the shower though. That would be silly. I lock the bathroom door tight, remove my boots in a flourish, still laced but loose, enough to slip back on in a flash.

Naked, I jump in the shower, scrub scrub scrub, then out in a moment between a heartbeat  of their indecision to possibly break down the door.  I scramble for my towel, dry off and put on my clothes for the next day, slip into my boots and crawl into bed.

They are not as clever as me. Not by far you see.

Until I wake up and find my legs secured, and tied tightly  to the bed .

Hmmm…my arms won’t move… they seem to be tied at my sides as well. I am all snug, snug, snug

They all are there, perched on my footboard.  Waiting for me to wake up this whole time. They just stare at me, colored eyes shining and no eyes and lifeless and all.

Why do they wait?

Why don’t they  rent, why don’t they tear and rip and claw?

A taloned appendage slips off my  boots and with a clunk they both hit the bedroom floor.

Then the grins began. This time I can see them.  Some toothless, or black and decayed as death,

some mouths with lolling tongues licking lips which drip, milk white saliva which issue a delicate hiss

upon my sheets.

They creep as one …like a low rolling wave they come. Up my body, over my feet, calves and knees…blood seeps, staining the white bed red.

Thighs are on fire as they continue to eat and eat…

All I can do is look on…pain, oh the overwhelming pain, drowns me as the wave of teeth and claws and malice munches me, a wide awake nightmare…of my Monsters finally taking their due.

Darkness falls complete as my eyes are plucked and eaten…how is it that I still live?

My mad mind is all that remains intact.

Until they reach my brains for their final snack.

My mind settles….then drifts…the pain is gone and  I meander in a pool of blood red mist…

Images come,  blurred and dim,  a focus , a purpose coalesces ….

A man sleeps before me angry and mean, fear filled and hopeless as I sit looking through a lit crack into his room and give him a little grin.

 

by Philip Wardlow 2015

Time Enough – A short story


Hourglass,_dying

Time Enough

By Philip Wardlow

I saw her and time stopped. Literally it stopped. Except me. I was the only thing still moving, still breathing, still conscience, still in the real now as I called it. At least I think I was anyways. That part has never been truly clear to me. Being real that is, because I felt apart, always apart, never a part of.

She was just crossing the street at 5th Avenue and Broad Street. You know the place. She was right on the corner where that wonderful bakery presided.

The smell at that corner was just heaven. Hmm…I noticed I could actually still smell the sweet aroma of cinnamon in the air even as time was stopped there on that corner. Must be the molecules suspended in the air entering my ol’factory of a nose that I had walked right into. I breathed in deeply the nostril massaging pleasant sweet smell of cinnamon again. Remember, it’s the little things. Always.

The smell made me wonder if time had stopped everywhere and not just on this street, or this city , or state, or country, or Earth, or solar system, but perhaps everywhere in the entire universe. Just for me.

Was I this special to be given this power – this gift – had it been given? But I digress. Back to the lovely smell of the bakery…no, no, no. I meant her, the women, just beginning to cross the street at 5th and Broad.

Her name was Angelica. And she was angelic, gloriously so, with long dark hair, full lips, bright green magical eyes. She walked with the grace of a ballet dancer on long legs in black high heels. And I was here to save her life.

How’s that you say?

I had just seen her end in a bloody mess with legs splayed at very acute and obtuse angles on this very street she was standing. In not more than five seconds (if time were to resume) an old grizzled taxi driver would be turning the corner down the street to end any future days she might have left. So I had taken upon myself and backed time up ten seconds because that was not about to happen on my watch. Not to such a lovely creature as her.

I have completely forgotten where my real life began relative to where other people’s lives are at, like this Angelica, as it relates to my own life.

I mean, is she older than me or I am older than her? I mean in the sense of the chronological order of events as they have unfolded thus far in this universe. You follow? Oh I’m sorry, I forgot to mention something vitally important.

You see, every time I stop time or go backwards in time and do something just a smidge different, then resume, I find things have shifted ever so slightly around me. Like a nudge or a ripple flowing out from the place of change. That ripple is a fickle thing, for you see it may get smaller and smaller until the last thing in the time line just weakens and dies out with no one the wiser but me.

But at times if the change is big enough, then a big ripple or nudge is produced.

To my dismay, that if it is truly a major nudge, a divergence happens out in time at a certain point. Meaning a new timeline occurs. A new possibility comes into being down many avenues that had never existed. Then I’m screwed. For you see I find I am unceremoniously pulled like a piece of taffy into that new existence and the other is gone forever.

To count, I have screwed myself over one-thousand three hundred fifty five times…sorry, make that one-thousand three hundred fifty six counting saving Angelica at this very moment. If I am truly being honest she is the reason for over eleven-hundred of those times. The rest happened because I was young and stupid. Now it’s just because I’m young and in love which is its own kind of stupid.

I have saved her life so many times in so many different ways it has created a major divergence each time. So I’m stuck in the new timeline with her and the rest of the universe I guess. Which is fine I like being stuck in that way. I couldn’t bear to be stuck in any time without her.

But damn it all to hell, either she’s the most un-luckiest girl in the world, or she’s just one of those people simply destined to die.

Do I believe in destiny? Fuck no.

I do believe something in the Universe is gunning for my sweet Angelica and I am going to find out who or what, even it kills me first, else my name is not –

Shift ~

The din and cacophony of the city came crashing into me like a thousand locusts knocking against my ears. I was always amazed at how quiet the world was when I forgot about it in that instance when it was stopped.

Time hates to be stopped… forward, backward, not a problem, but it’s very reluctant to stand still. Yes, it obliges me, but I can feel it fuming to start up as again as soon as I stop it. It’s a like a tea kettle on the stove coming to a slow boil. If I don’t start it up in time it always strains and strains and builds and builds and then boom. Time starting back up that way always gives me a headache. But I digress. I have something to do and I only have seven seconds do it in now.

“Excuse me Miss Ward.”  She ignored me of course like she always does in these circumstances and kept on walking to cross the street.

I then did the only thing I could think of in that moment. I pulled hard on the lapel of her rain coat and dragged her bodily back to the doorway of the bakery shop out of harm’s way.

“What the hell are you doing!?” she asked, looking at me frightfully, eyes like big green saucers, but at the same time balling up her fist ready to slug me. She was a good slugger. I think I have been hit at least a hundred or more times by her. I have gotten pretty good at avoiding her punches. Most of them anyways.

“I am attempting…” I was about to finish with “to save you”. But was interrupted by the taxi driver plowing through the intersection flinging the unluckys into the air with his one ton yellow deathmobile.

I caught a glimpse of the old man behind the wheel as he plowed through them all, slowing nary a bit. He looked right at me at me in that slice of a second. I swear he did. And he looked pissed, with his face all scrunched up like he had bitten into a lemon and I had taken his puppy away from him. Something tickled inside of me when our eyes connected. I swear I saw him mouth the words “you” before he sped on by and around the next corner leaving carnage in his wake.

Angelica collapsed in my arms after that. I pulled her into the bakery and had her lay back in one of the booths as the rest of people in the place streamed out to ogle or help with the accident.

Now was my best chance, I had to find that old man behind the wheel before time shifted and I was pulled again like taffy into the next divergence. He was part of this in some way. I could feel it. She was safe. Again. Time to go.

“You knew didn’t you?” She looked up at me as she laid there in the booth.

“Yes.” I said. I leaned in and kissed her on the forehead and she didn’t pull back from it. I turned from her to leave. Time was a wasting even for me.

“Wait. Where are you going? Who are you?”   Angelica looked to me for answers. Always she asked the same questions. Long ago I had stayed and had answered them and many others. But not anymore. Besides, she would forget me with the next shift as always. And that was too painful to bear again.

“Why your guardian angel of course.” I said, as I gave her a sly grin I knew she loved so well. I exited the bakery in a flourish and a wink as I stepped out of time.

Shift ~

The End (or to be continued)

The Well – short story Prompt


I follow a fellow writer named MC Hunton over at her blog. She recently started challenging herself and fellow followers to do a writing piece based on a certain writing prompt every Monday . I finally got off my lazy butt and did one like I promised her I would.  The writing  prompt this week was entitled  Monday Muse: Sound.  You basically have to write anything having to do with a noise or silence that won’t go away.  I believe the only rule was that you had to write for thirty minutes straight and just flow with it…..

So here it goes… the story is NOT done but I think I made  a pretty good start.  I will definitely try and finish it up soon I hope. Let me know what you think.

Well1

The Well

by Philip Wardlow

Momma would send me every morning to go fetch the water from the well that sat behind our house some fifty yards back near where the woods started. I hated that chore more than anything something awful.

I walked sleepily to the open back porch outside in my pajamas wearing just my slippers. The sun was still trying to sneak its head over the hill as the stars were still wide awake and dancing in a dark blue shy sky. This morning was especially  chilly when I grabbed the bucket at the back door. I saw every breath I took float away like I was taking a smoke like my daddy used to do.

I stood there in the doorway staring out at the backyard all the way back to where the well was. I could tell it was just waiting for me like it always does. To me it looked a like a squat little frog made of wood and brick, staring at me. Even two of the bricks which made up the wall of it were placed just so and colored just so different from all the rest, that it made ‘em look like eyes staring back at me in the dim light of the morning night. I imagined a big tongue rolling out of the hole of the well just waiting to slurp me up all green, slimy and wet.

This morning there was a fog rolling all along the ground from account of the cold. It wasn’t too thick. Pieces of it slunk around the yard moving left to right out of the corn field to cross over and go past the chicken coop on the far side and continue on like it needed some place to be. I noticed that none of the fog got too close to the well. It seemed to want to have nothing to with it as it meandered across the yard.

I shivered and wondered if I would hear it again. I  heard the sound all the time.  Dear lord, I hope I don’t hear it again, I said in a silent prayer inside my head.

“Josephine, get your butt going with that water! It ain’t gonna get itself,” I heard my momma yell at me from inside the house.

“Yes, momma.”

I mustered my courage and walked across the dark yard toward the well with the water bucket wrapped in my arms tight to my chest.

The chicken coop was quiet as I passed by, the hens and Old mister Rudy the cranky old rooster hadn’t yet caught on to the fact of that it was a new day on hand just yet. They didn’t make a peep as I walked on by ‘em to the well.

The blue pines rose up behind the well and towered above, swaying in the breeze. My own  shadow  was swallowed by theirs as I approached the well. It was always darkest in this part of the yard as the sun was still buried deep behind ‘em.

I sat the bucket on the edge of the well and secured the hook to the rope and sent it over the edge and started to slowly lower it down.

I looked out at the thick clump of dark trees behind the well. Anything could be in there. I began to imagine that something would wait for me on my walk to the house when my arms were heavy with a bucket full of water and take me from behind and drag me into the woods and my momma would never see me again. I thought a silly thought then. My teacher calling my name at roll call.

Josephine Stevens – she would call out twice to the classroom but I wouldn’t answer her. Because I just simply wouldn’t be anymore.

I found myself cranking the line to lower the bucket even faster….

Then I heard it….the noise.

….to be Continued…….:)

The Power In Me – Excerpt of Short Story by Philip Wardlow


Power

The Power in Me

Three Ping Pong balls revolved in midair, each one following the other in a tight circle as they flew.

*

“I shouldn’t be able to be doing this, Carl!” she yelled at the bald little man sitting across the table from her in the dining room of her house. Carl was wearing a smug little grin on his face that annoyed the hell out of her. He was always full of himself, today more than usual. He obviously knew more than her. Shit! She was losing her concentration. One of the balls slipped out of it’s rotation and fell.

*

“True and not true,” Carl replied back glibly to her as he deftly caught the falling ball with his left hand, inches before it hit the table.

*

“What the hell is that supposed to mean!” she said, her eyes staring ahead at the two remaining balls still rotating in front of her. She thought of a figure eight, and immediately the balls begin to swirl in that configuration. It was equally cool and frightening at the same time, she thought, but Carl didn’t have to know that.

*

“Angela, you have taken to this extremely well. It seems you are a natural. I have to give our co-workers credit. They were betting you would do well the first time right out the gate. Not many can pull off even one ball this quickly, let alone three. Guess I will have to pay up when I get back to the office.” Carl chuckled to himself, rolling the little white ball he had caught back and forth between his hands on the dining room table still smiling at her smugly.

*

Angela took her eyes from the two remaining balls, which spun and looked directly at Carl.

*

“You mean there are others who can do this? Out with it, Carl, I’m sick of the games. You’ve been playing them too long, first with my husband, now with me. Be straight for once, or for god sakes I’ll shove these balls down your goddamn throat.”

*

Carl’s smile slipped a little her under dark stare. He involuntarily swallowed when he suddenly realized the balls were still continuing to spin in their figure eight pattern without her looking at them. Damn, she’s good, he thought, and arrogant. A lot like him more or less, he thought, but still soft.

*

“Well.” Angela said to him, more of a command than a question.

*

Carl ignored her tone. “You remember that project three years ago that kept Scott away so many hours at night?”

*

She remembered all too well, the late nights, and all the arguments that followed, telling her he couldn’t discuss his work with her because she didn’t have the clearance. It still rankled her a little to this day. Angela only nodded as she looked at him as the balls continued to spin, so Clark continued.

*

“We had found something amazing. To be more exact it found us. One of the lab geeks directed to synthesize some of the proteins from a plant brought back from Brazil accidentally combined two cultures in the synthesis we were working on with the lot. The other plant was from an older expedition we had done years ago in the Congo in Africa. Scott had pulled it himself from the incubator a few days later. Lot Forty-Two.”

*

Angela noticed Carl’s eyes dilating and his hand gestures became more animated as he spoke. This disturbed her for some reason and she didn’t know why.

*

“Oh, the things Lot Forty-two revealed to us, Angela!” Carl found it hard to contain himself as he talked.

*

“We didn’t know how much until we began the human trials. You did not know this, but Scott, was one of the first volunteers. The committee had been paranoid of it getting out to the general public so everything was done in house; very hush hush.

*

“I am sorry to say this ,Angela, but he was a fool.” Carl said flatly to her from across the table.

*

An invisible force compressed against Carl’s chest, to send him flying and to go slamming into the wall behind him. Plaster crumbled around his head and tumbled off the nice black suit coat he wore. Now I am going to have to go to the dry cleaners tomorrow, he thought idly.

*

“Release me, Angela.” Carl said quietly. She indeed is a natural. In front of her the two balls still wove their figure pattern in the air. If only it could be different.

*

Angela saw no fear in Carl at what she had just done to him. More so, a calm demeanor seemed to settle into him, like a mask had lifted. She herself was scared at what she had just done. Where had it come from? This was so much different than revolving balls in the air. This new power seemed to have welled up inside her and she had just let it go all at once at him in a stream. It was still flowing; like a fire hose turned wide open at the hydrant.

*

“Why say such a thing about Scott?” Angela’s dark eyes seemed to glow as she stood up and walked slowly around the table to him. Carl just stared at her, not blinking. The force increased upon his chest as he sank even deeper into the wall.

*

Because he knew the initial trials were unstable, he knew it could possibly kill him. But he went ahead with it anyway. He wanted to be one of the firsts. His vanity won out and it was his undoing in the end. ”  Carl gasped for breath from the pressure she was exerting on his chest.

*

“The drug he and the others had taken was unrefined, the levels too high for their system. The power consumed him; it drove him to lash out violently with the power for no reason. You must have suspected.”  Carl looked at Angela challenging her to disagree as he fought to breathe.

*

“You should remember his dark moods when he came home.   He had to be put down! Now let me go!” Carl controlled his breathing. This game is at an end. The committee be damned, he thought.

*

Angela ignored him. She pushed harder and the power flowed from her like the heat from the sun. Along with the power, anger filled her. Anger at this little man who had taken her husband away, anger at the lies he now spouted about him.  Her power escalated as her anger took a foothold in her, each resonated and drew upon the other. They were feeding each other.

*

Continue reading The Power In Me – Excerpt of Short Story by Philip Wardlow

The Fourth World – One aspect of my Novel


Trickster – is at one and the same time the destroyer and creator, giver  and negator, he who dupes others and who is always duped himself….He knows neither good nor evil, yet he is responsible for both. He possesses no values, moral or social…yet through his actions all values come into being.

– Definition of the Trickster was borrowed from the great Sphere of Knowledge called the internet

coyote_the_trickster_by_coyoteflutesong