One More Light

One More Light

by Robert J. S. T. McCartney

It happened again. The dream where trillions of stars went out in the night sky. One by one, then dozens, until finally, all that remained was the full moon that slowly faded to nothing. The icy chill of nothingness wrapped its fingers around us all. Something we, as a whole—as humans, were not accustomed to. Sharing the same fate, the same grief. The light of the universe had gone out. There was no hope left. There was only death.

As I stared around, I saw people running rampant in the streets. The only light that lit up the sky was the faint glowing of city streets and raging fires. I thought it funny in a way. All the times we spent polluting the air with fake images, adverts, lights and otherwise that masked the beauty of the universal splendor that encompassed us. We were but a drop in the ocean. Now, though, the ocean had dried up.

I was gifted with an unusual ability. The one I didn’t understand, at least at the time. Now that the sun had died and the rest of the universe had gone dark, we were probably the only place left in existence that dared defy the darkness. I thought, so very like us; to confront, challenge and try to fight against the odds. Sadly, it wouldn’t be something we could ever hope to win.

The planet was beginning to freeze, and casualties were already high. Many countries resulted just ending it all by nuclear war. A lot of people committed their last acts of sin, proclaimed their love to their significant others and families, killed themselves, murdered other people. Observing it was hard, though enduring it was as hard.

I spoke of a gift that I possessed. On the day of my death, I said goodbye to my wife and kids. I was jettisoned from my body. I traversed in spirit through a blue-white portal that took me to the realm of the living…in another universe. I opened my eyes and looked around. Indeed, I was alive. How I could not tell you.

Then there came the telltale signs of the end to which I bore witness to. I tried to reason with my family and friends. I tried telling everyone. I tried social media, blog posts, anything I possibly could. I was called a liar, a crazy person, banned from church, labeled as insane, and that I should have my children taken away from me, and my wife divorce me.

Weeks before NASA had some reports that said stars in various solar systems were dying at a rapid rate and that it was spreading fast. I had sat with my wife and kids when I watched the announcement and had a grin on my face. I had told them all the truth, but none would listen.

On the evening of when the stars went out as I had once experienced it, I told my wife and kids that I would see them again. I gave them an embrace and like before; I left my body. My physical form dropped to the ground, and I was sent to another universe.

I had stopped counting how many Earths I have visited. Each time, I felt like I was getting more and more lost with why I have such a gift. What purpose was there in my ability? What good was it if I can’t save my family, friends, let alone humanity? I don’t want to be a hero…I only want to be with my family. I don’t want to carry our problems to the next world, where it seemingly already exists. So many thoughts, hypotheticals and such flooded my racing mind as I traversed universes.

While I was lost in thought, I could have sworn I saw myself but dismissed it as a possible reflection of time, since it seemed like a mirrored hallway when I’d reach the precipice of traveling from one point to another. I shook my head and disregarded it as just a coincidence.

At last, I came to a universe where the light was still lit. Our world, however, was nothing like it was when I had left. Irradiated and in a unique stasis field, where only our solar system existed. However, humans had become disfigured and decrepit—resembling the walking dead, but with our typical wit and sense.

I noted the surrounding and how familiar it was to me.

“How did you get here?” a raspy woman’s voice inquired.

“The light in this universe hasn’t gone out yet?” I replied.

The woman shook her head. “It has. Our solar system is the only one left in the Darkness.”

“What happened then?” I asked.

The woman’s black eyes looked to the ground and then back to my eyes. “A man came from another time with a gift that could provide us with new lives,” she gestured with his hands, “this is what became of us. He, however, has been gone for some time.”

She cleared her throat and asked again where I came from.

“I come from another time. Where the Darkness, as you so call it, took place,” I said.

The woman nodded. “A lot of people died you know.”

I nodded in reply. “I know, I was there until I finally started traveling.”

The woman began to weep.

“What’s wrong,” I asked her.

She wiped away a murky tear and gave a broken smile. “We never once stopped believing you’d find us again.”

 

 

 

This was also posted on A.B.Normal Publishing and Media Group.

Johnny Nightwalker: Guardian’s Duty

***

On the ground, people and the Guardians fought the terrors that Omega had unleashed. Dogs, cats, squirrels, birds, every able bodied beast or reptile fought alongside humans. Casualties were mounting. Though they had the sheer numbers and cunning, it wasn’t quite enough.

Then, there came the other handlers. Teleporting in from around the world, all ready to lend their hand in defeating the almighty Omega. Some launched missiles, while others hurled balls of fire. One shapeshifted into different animals much like Snake had. Every handler that wanted to break free from the Agency and lead a normal life had come. Johnny felt a surge of pride.

However, Omega had other plans in mind. He had taken note of this incursion and had motioned his own counterattack plan. The earth began to shape into rocky behemoths. Metal debris combined and metallic killing machines. The air became acrid and toxic, quickly making those weakened only weaker; dying or collapsing. Water pooled together and formed massive blobs that deluged human and animals; drowning them in waste and blood.

“We’ve got to do something!” Chico said as he watched more and more of the horrors form and slaughter around him. “Johnny’s power isn’t enough!”

Red looked around at the fallen. “Lads and lassies…it’s been a pleasure.”

“If we’re going to go out, let’s do it with a bang, no?” Pierre readied a pack of explosives to himself.

“We know we can’t go back to our old selves… it’s inevitable. Perhaps—perhaps this is how it was supposed to be,” said Chico sadly.

“Aye, it was nice knowin’ ya. If we ever meet again…we’ll…I’ll buy ye a pint,” said Red as he gave a pat to Chico and Pierre.

Nearby a familiar yelp was heard. Rottie the Rottweiler had fallen. There wasn’t much of her pack left anymore. There weren’t much of any of the handlers either. The Guardians and the remnants of earth’s forces were diminishing quickly.

“Boys…” said Pierre.

“Farewell…” they all said together.

***

JOHNNY “NIGHTWALKER” IS AN ONGOING A.B.NORMAL PUBLISHING EXCLUSIVE STORY BY ROBERT J. S. T. MCCARTNEY. CHECK HERE FOR MORE POSTS.
Previously

Johnny Nightwalker: Aftermath

“Lad, you’re alright,” shouted a familiar voice.

Red, Chico, Pierre, and the other guardians, followed by a horde of people appeared.

“I guess we’re late?” asked Chico, looking around.

“What about them? They killed people,” voices from the herd of individuals began to spout cries of vengeance against the former Horsemen.

“they’re not the enemy. They’ve…done wrong, yes. But they were engineered for that at the start. They’ve defied their existence and destiny of hate, ravaging, and death,” said Johnny as he looked to the disparaged group.

“Bullshit!”

“Kill them!” The crowd erupted into a frenzy.

The trio sighed.

“Yes, look at this pathetic lot. Strike them down. Kill them! Take their lives! Pave the way for the future…the future where man submits; is subjected and subjugated to their errors! See only the wrong! Kill them in your god’s name!” Omega’s voice boomed over the field.

No…it can’t be!

There, he manifested before them all, hovering in the air.

“Cower at the sight of your God. The Alpha—The Omega! Kneel!”

Troves of people tried to flee, while some knelt one fear for their lives. The runners were all slain by an invisible force.

“Suffer. Die. Give yourselves to me,” Omega said.

He raised his arms to the heavens and summoned the beasts of a nightmare, the very ones Johnny remembered from his dream.

The sky began to turn crimson under the high sun.

“Let the day become the last any of you shall ever come to know!”

War collapsed to the ground, his brothers around him. “We can’t beat him,” he said.

“No, not alone,” said Johnny.

“How? What chance do we have?”

“I need your powers…only then can I do it.” Johnny sighed. “But it comes with a price.”

“Whatever it is…whatever it takes…we’ll do it,” said War. “It’s only fitting that we correct the mistake we did…and helped unleash.”

“So, how do we do this? Hold hands,” asked Famine.

***

Up high, Omega hovered and observed the spectacle as automatically and systematically picked off any people that dared tried to flee. “How cute, they think they have a chance,” he said aloud. “No matter… nothing matters whatever you have concocted for a plan against me, it will fail. That’s all you were—ever will be. Failures.”

Johnny began to assimilate the Horsemen’s powers. Red, purple, and blue all illuminated from Famine, Death, and War. Soon, they became nothing. Johnny fell to his knees and gasped for air.

“All that power and it’s wasted on you—you! Of all the things that were created,” Omega roared. Then he sighed, “Though, I suppose I should thank you. You are just one neat little package ready to be stolen from the Christmas tree. No more mommy. No more daddy. Let’s see who gets bragging rights,” Omega grinned.

Johnny stood up, poised with a vengeance that coursed throughout his veins. “I will make you pay for what you’ve done. To my parents—our parents, the people of this planet, the Horsemen. EVERYONE. I will end you and what chaos you dare try to usher in.”

Omega waved a finger at Johnny, a beam of lightning arced down in front of him. The attacks became more frequent. He tried to dodge as he could. He felt the energy and heat that rushed to him. He clenched his eyes shut and shielded himself.

“Johnny,” Chico and the other guardians cried.

He stood there unscathed—the lightning absorbed. He rolled it around his hand and between his fingers. Johnny then eyed Omega mischievously.

“Is this yours?” he said.

He hurled the ball of lightning at Omega and teleported behind him. Bringing both of his hands over his head and smashing Omega down towards the blast. There was a glorious explosion of blue-white that rained down sparks below.

The cloud dissipated and revealed an unharmed Omega. “That was amusing. However, as you can see…” Omega gestured with his hands, “not even a scratch.”

Johnny gritted his teeth and readied for another assault.

JOHNNY “NIGHTWALKER” IS AN ONGOING A.B.NORMAL PUBLISHING EXCLUSIVE STORY BY ROBERT J. S. T. MCCARTNEY. CHECK HERE FOR MORE POSTS.
Previously

Johnny Nightwalker: Alliance

Johnny gritted his teeth and clenched his fists. “You really are a monster. You have no hope of redemption.”

“And you have no hope of beating me,” Omega said with a grin.

“Enough talk!” Famine rushed with an attack, head on.

Omega leisurely turned his attention to his assailant. He dodged every swing, every kick. Famine grew frustrated and growled at this.

He laid a hand down on the ground. Vines, bones, rocks, dirt, and other greenery erupted underneath Omega’s feet.

Famine grinned as he stood proud, his prey in his clutches. “I’ve got you right where I want you, fiend.”

Omega made no effort to resist. “Right where you want me, eh? I guess you forgot about a little something…” The large makeshift hand crumbled away from him.

“what? What the Hell?!” Famine took a step back.

“let me demonstrate to you how it’s done…properly.”

Omega raised his right arm. The earth shook violently and erupted underneath Famine. He was engulfed by the very same method.

“Your power betrays you, peasant. It’s no longer yours to control,” said Omega as he tightened his grip on Famine.

“Brothers…help…me,” Famine struggled to say.

Death appeared behind Omega and manifested a brilliantly glowing scythe. It radiated with a holy aura. He brought it down and willed it through the hulking man.

However, it shattered as it struck Omega, leaving Death startled. He manifested an orb of purplish-black at their nemesis’ face.

“Perish…” he said with a low raspy voice.

Omega laughed and took a deep breath. He blew the ball of energy back at Death, knocking him down.

“I think it’s time for you all to know your real place,” Omega said. An invisible force hoisted Death into the air, “Say goodbye to your brothers, War.”

No…I…can’t…

Johnny sent a swarm of nanomachines at Omega. He swung about wildly, swatting and batting at the incessant insects. No matter how many he destroyed, more were replicated.

“Your pathetic parlor tricks will get you nowhere, Omega shouted.

War reached to his feet and willed everything he had into his right fist. He waded through the shimmering cloud of machines and appeared before the brute. He swung with all his might he had left. It sent the monster that was Omega, hurling through the air. An icy blue shockwave radiated throughout Omega’s body; his grip on Death and Famine broke. The nanomachines followed and did their job of disassembling and dismembering.

“You think you’ve won? You’re pathetic! Just wait—” Omega’s voice was cut off as he dissipated into nothingness.

It’s over.

The four all sighed in relief.

JOHNNY “NIGHTWALKER” IS AN ONGOING A.B.NORMAL PUBLISHING EXCLUSIVE STORY BY ROBERT J. S. T. MCCARTNEY. CHECK HERE FOR MORE POSTS.
Previously

Updates and Other Things

Hey, Folks.

I thought I’d do some updates of what is slated to come out for the Summer and rest of the year. What does that entail? Let’s list it out!

  • The Chronicles of Bob: The Chronic Suicidal in all formats.

This means paperback, hardcover, and digital. Digital will be up first and priced at $2.99 on Amazon and right here at home. Purchase links will be available two weeks before widespread public release on A.B.Normal Publishing. Print editions will follow simultaneous of the Kindle release.

  • The Conclusion of Johnny Nightwalker

This story will be wrapped up soon. We can then wave goodbye to one of our suburban heroes for good…or maybe not. Who knows?

  • Lynaly’s Requiem

The Lilah’s Guide to Hoyle prequel is being edited, and well, I want to do more additions to it. That’s the beauty of working on something you love (and when it’s in your hands). The Lodestone Files and Abnormal Side Effects…those will be retouched (or remastered) with extras. More on that below.

Anyway, I will release this novella at $0.99 when it is finished. Spring/Summer 2018 release pending extra curricular activity. There will be a new edition where both stories (Lynaly & Lilah’s) are as they were supposed to be… One.

There will be a new edition where both stories (Lynaly & Lilah’s) are as they were supposed to be… One.

This, in turn, will lead to the planned special edition of Lilah’s Guide to Hoyle. It will include the uncut version of Lilah’s Guide to Hoyle, the bits here and there that were cut, and what Al and I had called “The Lilah Bible.” It probably isn’t anything substantial, but I like creating things for everyone to see and enjoy. This edition will also include the novella about Lynaly and a bonus chapter from the next book.

  • Dana and Walter’s Adventures aka The Dana and Walter Files: The Untold Stories of New Boston and Middleton

This title is just a placeholder. Ode to Captain Placeholder. Fare thee well.

Anyway, I have a miniseries that will be first written online about the favorable detective duo—Walter and Dana.

Depending on the size, it may just be a novella or novel. It could also just be an anthology. It could be any size I’d want it to be really…but hmm…well you know.

  • The Lodestone Files: The Cat, The Mouse, and The Thing from Another World

I completed this last year… It was available on the site, but I didn’t get a cover done up. Well, that’s gonna change, and it’ll be available for sale, etc., Soon.

  • The Lodestone Files: Books Three and Four

Yep. There are four parts. The last two will be quick follow ups, and the series will be concluded.

As a bonus to the fun that was involved in the process…there will be a short story that I have drafted up from another location that takes place within the Lodestone universe.

Eventually, all four titles will be put in a neat little collection in all formats for you to enjoy. These were designed (unintentionally, but kind of so) to be quick reads. The super group will be pretty sweet (at least I think so—that is, in my opinion).

  • Abnormal Side Effects Redux

This title will get some TLC loving because it needs to. There will be a cover overhaul, a few more stories added.

  • Abnormal Essential Collection

Originally, this was what Abnormal Side Effects was going to be. However, this is going to have EVERYTHING. What do I mean by everything? It’s one of those…greatest hits kind of deals.

It will have The Lodestone FilesLilah’s Guide to HoyleAbnormal Side Effects, more stories, poems, and more extras. It will be a little black book with red font. No. Seriously.

  • MORE COMING!

Trust me. A lot is coming out.

Like what?

Book’s three and four for Lilah, Dana, Walter…everyone.

Bud Berkman’s premier.

Super-ultra-omega 600+ page sci-fi post-apocalyptic epic.

Sinclair Gets His Rolex, which is my superhero title [This is done by the way].

The next chapters of The Mysterious Stranger.

Last but not least…MORE BEAR GOD!

I’ll also be wrapping up some other stories, both long and short. It’s going to be only getting busier with balls going everywhere.

I hope you all enjoy this tidbit of what’s coming up and what’s in store for you.

I wish you all a s’good day/night.

Until next time,

RJM

 

Note: If you or someone you know is interested in being a guest blogger or contributor, please feel free to email me: mrsincados@abnormalpublishing.com with “Guest Blogger” or “Guest Contributor” as the subject.
This was originally published on www.abnormalpublishing.com by Robert J. S. T. McCartney.

Lilah’s Guide to Hoyle—Free This Weekend!

Hey, folks.

Starting today [July 21 — July 24] you can get the urban fantasy novel, Lilah’s Guide to Hoyle for free in the Kindle store.

In the USA? Free. UK? Free! Mexico? Italy? Germany? ALSO FREE. It’s free for all to enjoy (or even hate! …but you can reach that decision on your own).

If you’re a Kindle Unlimited subscriber, then great news, everyone! You can already grab a Kindle copy for free.

Don’t miss out on an enjoyable reading experience with Lilah’s Guide to Hoyle.


“All life is a gamble . . . We go to sleep every night comfortably betting that the next day we’ll wake up.”

Deluxe cover for "Lilah's Guide to Hoyle."

“All life is a gamble… We go to sleep every night comfortably betting that the next day we’ll wake up.”

Demons. Sorcery. Magical playing cards. It’s anything but a fairy tale. Armed with her choice deck, her beloved book, Hoyle’s Guide to Poker and Parlor Tricks, and the skill that led her to throw away her college fund, Lilah gambles with her life—and with the lives of those around her.

Elsewhere, other players have a different idea of the rules of the game. And investigating the bizarre chain of events is Middleton PD’s finest, Detectives Dana Deupree and Walter Conway.

It’s anyone’s game. The cards have been shuffled and the stakes are high. The call has gone around the table. Others may fold, but not Lilah. She plays for keeps.

What will you wager? Will you call? Stand? Or will you fold?


Be sure to get in on the action… for a limited time!

July 21 — July 24, 2017

Until next time,

RJM

Revenge

Nearby, a radio seemed to call out for him. “If you’re listening… You need to dig deep… to rise up.”

War noted the familiarity one the voice that crackled over the airwaves. “Nightwalker…” he grunted.

****

Johnny stood before a video camera. One that broadcasted around the world. To all the eyes that remained behind. They all watched eagerly.

“You are scared, I know. I was too… I used to think I was alone after my best friend died. But then I found out things… horrible things. My friends, there exists an organization named the Agency. Its sole purpose is to take children, animals; lab creations, where people are given powers. Powers over animals, technology, people, and more. They abduct, destroy lives, wreck homes, and sell their creations to the highest bidder. Governments around the world use these “super soldiers” all in the name of profit.

I am one of those super soldiers. My friend was killed and made to look like a suicide. My father was one of the lead researchers… his sins are many… but he made me… to help right the wrong. He paid the ultimate sacrifice to help atone… I plan on making sure he, like so many, didn’t die in vain.

I ask you, all of you. Though you are afraid, I will guide you through the darkness—through this calamity. We will survive… but I need YOU to stand together with me.”

Johnny’s eyes dropped to the bloodied floor where so many people died at the hands of Pestilence. “We can beat them—all of them, together.”

The ground around Johnny shook. More buildings were toppling.

“I won’t go quietly, nor should you.”

****

War had reached to his feet. Slowly. He felt a certain pride within.

“Ah, did you find your balls, War?” Omega taunted.

“Just that I know you’ll be beaten is enough of a victory for me,” War smirked.

Omega laughed hysterically. “By whom? Look around you, fool. You’ve done the legwork and the wet work! That puny boy is of no concern to me.”

War grinned as he took a knee. For then, Death and Famine appeared.

“We are with you, brother,” they both said.

Death illuminated a bloody aura. The ground around him was drained of life, leaving behind only black and gray.

“You’ll pay, Omega,” Death snarled.

Omega folded his arms. “You’ve all been so gracious to come to me. This really is too sweet. I may just give you all a quick death after all.”

War focused on his thoughts and his person of interest.

Nightwalker… I’ve heard your message. I—I wish to help right the wrong I and my brothers have committed.

War looked around for the boy, but only found the hulking Omega.

“Haha… praying to your god, War? I thought you were strong. That you had no weakness.”

War dropped his gaze to the ground. And then…

“No… just buying time,” he grinned.

“I heard your call,” a voice said behind War and his brothers.

Omega grinned wickedly. “Hello… brother.”

****

Johnny stared Omega down. While the Horsemen eyed Johnny. War grabbed them both by the arm. “We were misled and pressed to do wrong. Both from the start and after our awakening. We must right our wrongs. Together, we will be strong enough to defeat him.”

Both of his brothers nodded.

Omega laughed. “This is all so cute. Another family reunion. A partnership. Oh, dear, brother… I have some bad news about your dear old adoptive parents.” He grinned and licked his lips.

Johnny’s heart sank. “What did you do?” his voice low.

Omega cracked his neck. “Honestly, I’m more of a show and tell kind of guy. So…” he pulled out a hologram projector. On it the makeshift screen, it played the last few moments of Johnny’s parents. Though they weren’t his real parents, they had been there for him. Saved him. Guided him. They were beaten senseless. Blood flowed from their grievous wounds.

Omega then motioned in the hologram to a pair of dogs that laid motionless on the ground. “Let’s do a switcheroo! Whaddya say, Johnny? Sound good?”

Then, his parents were implemented into the dogs. Where they screamed one agony. Their human bodies flailed on the ground and then died.

“Hoo hoo! Look at them. LOOK AT THEM, JOHNNY!”

His parents begged to be put out of their misery.

“Well, you know… I’m a fan of euthanasia, so…”

Omega then jumped furiously atop the dogs. Crushing their bodies… their skulls.

“It’s just like playing in the water!” Omega cackled.

Then he did a close up of the dead dogs. “They could have been saved, Johnny. But no, you had to play hardball. Well, I’ma real hitter, babe.”

Then the hologram stopped.

Nobody moved. Omega laughed and shook his head. “That’s probably some of my finest work there.”

JOHNNY “NIGHTWALKER” IS AN ONGOING A.B.NORMAL PUBLISHING EXCLUSIVE STORY BY ROBERT J. S. T. MCCARTNEY. CHECK HERE FOR MORE POSTS.
Previously

Johnny “Nightwalker”

Hey, folks.

Here, we are taking a look back at the series of posts for the story Johnny “Nightwalker  that are laid out in ToC (table of contents) form. What you will find is the current posts leading up to the hiatus that has taken place.

The conclusion of this story will be released via post when they are fit. Edits and revision are not seen as a hurdle, as it is believed (and best practice) to write right away, and then worry about the small parts later.

Now, let’s get down to business, shall we?


Johnny “Nightwalker”

by Robert J. S. T. McCartney

Origins

Awakening [Part One]

Awakening [Part Two]

Truth [Part One]

Truth [Part Two]

Truth [Part Three]

Ringleader [Part One]

Ringleader [Part Two]

Ringleader [Part Three]

Homecoming

Back in Black

Mr. Jones

Observe and Report

Trillion Dollar Baby

Touch of Grey

Les Terrible Pierre

Victim or Hostage?

The Enemy of My Enemy is My Friend

Apocalypse…

The Black Plague’s End

Consequence and Retaliation

Family Reunion

Reunion [Continued]

War


The purpose of this is to serve as a ToC and provide ease of navigation. When the new posts come out, they will be added to this ToC accordingly.

Look for the conclusion of Johnny “Nightwalker” this year. It will then undergo editing, revision, design and then some. It has an ETA release of 2018 (paperback and hardcover) while digital will be released sooner.

More details will follow in time.

Until next time,

RJM

Announcing “Lilah’s Guide to Hoyle” Free July 21 — July 24th

Hey, folks.

Next week [July 21 — July 24] you can get the urban fantasy novel, Lilah’s Guide to Hoyle for free in the Kindle store.

In the USA? Free. UK? Free! Mexico? Italy? Germany? FREE. It’s free for all to enjoy (or even hate! …but you can reach that decision on your own).

If you’re a Kindle Unlimited subscriber, then great news, everyone! You can already grab a Kindle copy for free.

Don’t miss out on an enjoyable reading experience.


“All life is a gamble . . . We go to sleep every night comfortably betting that the next day we’ll wake up.”

Deluxe cover for "Lilah's Guide to Hoyle."

“All life is a gamble… We go to sleep every night comfortably betting that the next day we’ll wake up.”

Demons. Sorcery. Magical playing cards. It’s anything but a fairy tale. Armed with her choice deck, her beloved book, Hoyle’s Guide to Poker and Parlor Tricks, and the skill that led her to throw away her college fund, Lilah gambles with her life—and with the lives of those around her.

Elsewhere, other players have a different idea of the rules of the game. And investigating the bizarre chain of events is Middleton PD’s finest, Detectives Dana Deupree and Walter Conway.

It’s anyone’s game. The cards have been shuffled and the stakes are high. The call has gone around the table. Others may fold, but not Lilah. She plays for keeps.

What will you wager? Will you call? Stand? Or will you fold?


Be sure to get in on the action… for a limited time!

July 21 — July 24, 2017

Until next time,

RJM

The Middleton Files: Spanish Ladies

The Middleton Files: Spanish Ladies

by Robert J. S. T. McCartney

An excerpt
[Formerly a short story]

 

 

 

Beep! Beep! Beep!

Various timers went off, telling the kitchen staff to tend to the assorted foods in the kitchen. The warm smell of sauteed onions, the fresh hint of mustard and the sweet smell of ketchup wafted through the air. The tantalizing scent of newly fried french fries (lightly salted), with the aroma of freshly cooked chicken intermingled with the allure of piping hot cooked hamburgers.

The staff would bark orders to one another, while a manager would supervise and give aid when needed. Sometimes placing items in brown paper bags and handing them off to drive-through customers.

It was a quaint little shack, offering the release of the food blues. Various tables and chairs laid in unison – groups of four chairs per table in rows of two, sometimes three. The place was warm in color; a fleshy tone – nearly resembling the inner portion of a medium cooked steak or burger.

A few more people came in from the cool and sunny summer afternoon. It was lunchtime, which meant rush hour part two.

“Hey! Do you mind already?!” A rather red-faced, tall, pudgy, bald man in professional business attire behind another few people hollered.

There at the front of the line stood one man (for several minutes now). His eyes were scanning over the entire menu, debating with himself just what exactly to order.

“C’mon man, you’re making them all angry,” the young youth in excessive baggy clothing leaned inward towards the contemplative gentlemen; the brim of his hat so cockeyed and flat – the man only disregarded his knowledgeable interjection.

The man was a tall, athletic (although, the only visible remark was his toned arms due to the thin red and black checkered flannel shirt he wore). He wore a black baseball cap, sheltering his shoulder-length long dark ruffled hair. His face was rugged and worn. Both face and arms were slightly reddened, comparable to the more tanned blotches, telling the tail of his extensive time outdoors. The attendant stared patiently into the man’s bright green eyes that wandered about.

Finally, the man’s eyes stopped and fixated upon the menu. He licked his lips and with an invisible tug, his gaze fell to the restaurant attendee.

“I’ll take a…” the man started but was interrupted.

“I’ve had it with you, you, retarded fuck! You’re wasting all our goddamn time! I could have eaten and been on my way back to the goddamn office! You know, some people have to work for a living, instead of being some yuppy who leeches off the fucking government and all of our tax dollars! YOU are the reason why there’s a decline in society nowadays! People. Like. You,” the bald man lashed out.

The man closed his eyes, sighing aloud.

“Oh, I’m sorry! Did I offend you? DID I UPSET YOU?! Good! Now you can see where we all are! You thick-skulled fuck!”

“Sir, I need you to please, calm down or leave,” the attendant calmly replied.

“I am calm! Don’t tell me what the fuck to do!” the bald man snapped back. “I don’t even know why I bother coming here—”

“Look,” the silent giant began, still eying the menu, his voice deep, “All I want to do is just get my food, eat and then be on my way, exactly like you. You though—you are a spiteful person; one who’s always got to be right. Picking on others, being rude and swindling your way on everything. You, sir, are the lowest of the chain. Even maggots work harder than you. You aren’t worthy to be under my boots.”

There soon followed a brief moment of silence, to which the giant placed his order, and the attendant smiled in compliance.

“You son of a bitch,” the bald man roared. “Just you wait when you’re alone somewhere at night. You’ll get what’s coming to you,” the man finally snapped back.

“We all get what we deserve, some just get it sooner than others. You may want to stop wishing…” the lone man replied, others’ eyes looked to one another in awe.

Soon enough, the patient man’s order was ready; placed on a brown plastic tray, atop some decorative sheet of paper advertising a new quad-patty burger. The man frowned, then looked up and at all the other people that waited in line (even the angry little bald man) and at those who were already eating.

Such nonsense… that we ingest.

“What are you staring at?” the cue-ball man inquired.

The man carried his tray with his order: a spicy chicken sandwich, sweet potato fries, and a bottle of water. “Hmm,” the man stared at the beet red, wannabe goat-man, “absolutely nothing.”

He was enraged further beyond reasoning now. The angry man swatted the tray out of the giant’s hands. “How’s that for nothing, you asshole!”

The silent giant stared at the ground in dismay, sighing.

“What’s the matter?! Are you gonna cry about it, you big fucking baby!?” the man raged further into the sizable man’s eyes.

He closed his eyes; whether it was to suppress any emotion or find a way to shrug off the attacks. Something just didn’t feel right at that moment.

Without warning, the giant grabbed the scrawny bald man by the throat and lifted him off the ground. The giant’s eyes were red with an absolute fiery rage. “Little man, you dared wish for death? Allow me to grant you such a wish!”

The cue-ball flailed about and cried for help, all in vain. No one dared to challenge the colossus, except the young youth.

“Hey! Let him go!”

The giant’s wrathful glare fell upon the young man and with his free hand, grabbed him by the skull and tossed him out through the cafe window, only to be run over by a car via the drive-through. His hat crumpled underneath the tires, along with his popped skull; unlaced sneakers underneath the driver’s side of the car. A small grin scrawled across his face. He turned his anger back upon the bald weasel.

People began to flee in terror, but he wouldn’t be having that. No, there will be no survivors today.

“There will be none!” the man bellowed as he began to flail around the scrawny man, swatting people left and right. Smashing them together: men, women, children, young, old; it didn’t matter who—only whoever was in his range of wrath.

“Do you see what you have brought upon everyone, by speaking for everyone?! Everyone shares the same fate!” he screamed as he smashed the man repetitively against the floor, to the wall, and atop the counter-top.

An alarm blurred, moans and screams. Blood sprayed and dripped everywhere; what was once a white and vibrant tile – was soaked with the lives of numerous victims. The giant discarded the now bloodied pulp of a man to the floor. He walked over and picked up his chicken sandwich, a bottle of water and sweet potato fries; slowly walking out the window towards the alleyway that laid behind the fast food diner: whistling and humming to himself, “Farewell and adieu to you, Spanish Ladies…”

*  *  *

Shortly after, the police had arrived at the burger joint. The only survivors were the female attendant who had waited on the man and a majority of the kitchen staff. The man nearly eradicated the entire restaurant. The driver of the car, who ran over the young man, had also come back; save for probably being identified and hunted down by police. He had claimed that was the fastest he’d ever run from anything in his life.

New Boston Police Department scoured the scene, having been short lately due to cutbacks; the police chief requested the aid of some close colleagues down in Middleton. Namely, two detectives whom the chief considered to be the best in all of New England.

“Where the hell are Detectives Dana Deupree and Walter Conway?” the captain inquired over the dispatch radio.

[Title is from the short story when it was originally penned. Release title will differ. Originally published on Abnormalpublishing.com