The Synthetic Prophecy

The Synthetic Prophecy

by Robert J. S. T. McCartney

 

 

“Many years ago, I was blessed with a vision. Whether it was by an almighty being of the cosmos, my creator or whatever the sort was beyond me. It was a vision I discarded as being nothing more than just a mere dream. I was five or six…so I never took it as being a prophecy…or an event to come to pass. Most science fiction, dystopian, or post-apocalyptic stories have something similar. I chopped it up to being nothing more than an influence by something I had once seen on the television.

Then it came to pass…

One afternoon, I was traveling with my mother. We were running errands; the basic kind, you know. We had ventured to the local grocery store. As we had exited the vehicle and neared entering the establishment, the sirens began to sing…

People shrugged it off as another test of the Emergency Broadcast System. Then, inside the store, all the TV’s, all the monitors, all the cell phones, everything cried and warned with the coming end. An attack was made. The target? Our location along the West Coast. People ran. Panicked. Cried.

I looked up and saw them in the bright azure sky streaking towards us like rebel burning diamonds against the daylight. I felt my stomach sink. My hands had begun to sweat in my mother’s grasp.

A voice chanted, “Initiate Evacuation Protocol: Disembark. Repeat. Disembark.”

One by one, then dozens, thousands, millions…people dropped to the ground. I, myself watched as my body dropped to the ground. I looked over and saw my mother’s body drop limply upon the ground. Everyone flew up into the sky, a blue-white streak against the azure grain. We watched as the missiles struck the ground, the buildings, and reduced everything to a fiery crater. War had come. We were the first to be hit, and we certainly wouldn’t be the last.

We spiraled through the cosmos; flying by stars, buzzing by planets…Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, so far away from the sun, watching the Earth become a mere speck. Until then, we arrived. A new home. A new hope. Here.

We all awoke to our new mechanical bodies, synthesized humans. Robots. The Singularity may have saved us…or rather given us a way to escape death. However, back on Earth, many were trapped. Left to endure the war that took place. It is only a matter of time until it follows us here.”

The now young man appearing synthetic human opened his eyes and stood up before the crowd around him. “Surely, we could try to outrun our demise…or we can embrace a destiny where we fight back, survive. When they come—and they will, we will be waiting. We will return. We will reclaim our home planet. They will call us ‘alien’ but eventually, they will see…” He reached down and took up a foreign weapon. “We are more human than they are. We will save those left behind.”

The Scientist and The End of All Things

The Scientist and The End of All Things

By Robert J. S. T. McCartney

He sat in the chair for a while now. He hadn’t moved much since he was told the news. He didn’t want to believe it. He couldn’t believe it. It wasn’t much of a surprise, so to speak. The nightmares had been increasing lately. The pain of loss was too real, and he didn’t—he couldn’t handle that now.

He was so close. So close to being able to correct the neurological damage that had been done to his daughter years ago, a taxing result from the car crash. The seizures were relentless and had been unforgiving. It wouldn’t matter now, though. Still, all he wanted…was to watch his little girl walk and to hear her tell him she loved him. Now? Now he felt he never would.

“Mr. Colley, I am afraid I need to have you clear the room. We are experiencing an abnormal increase in trauma situations and are in need of grievance rooms. I do apologize for asking,” said the male doctor.

Mr. Colley nodded and sighed heavily, running his fingers through his black hair. He sniffled and wiped his eyes occasionally. It still hurt.

“You’ll want to get her affairs in order. It…it won’t be long now,” the doctor said sympathetically.

The doctor’s words cut him to his very soul, and such, as he walked out into the hallway, he collapsed onto the ice cold tile. Hospital personnel and people rushed around him. He felt alone. So alone in the eye of the hurricane.

“You need to get a grip, John. You need to be strong. Not for you, but for them. So what if they said she’ll die soon. If it were you, what would you do?”

I’d go out swinging. I wouldn’t roll over and go quietly to my grave. 

”Then find your balls, John. Dig deep and find your fucking balls, get up, and get back to the lab. Finish it. Who cares anymore?”

You’re right.

John got up off the floor and with purpose, left the hospital in haste.

John worked tirelessly in his lab. He had phoned his wife, letting her know of his sudden departure from the hospital.

He had a purpose. He needed to be vigilant. He knew no one else would exactly understand. His methods were unorthodox; a controversy in the States. Stem Cells. These, though, were engineered through biological manipulation and engineered with nanomachines to help speed up the brain’s recovery; and accelerate the development of new healthy cells. They repaired damaged tissues, reconstruct damaged nerves. A dream made a reality.

No testing had been done though. At least, not in humans.

John gathered up the syringes and made his way back to the hospital. His daughter would be administered the doses at the safety of the hospital. Just in case. After all, he had signed all the waivers and disclaimers.

“There’s a high probability that this won’t work, John,” warned the woman doctor.

“At least I’m giving her a fighting chance,” snapped John.

The doctor sighed. “Sometimes it’s better just to let go.”

“Not yet. Not until she’s old and had a chance to live.” John replied sternly.

“What about those that die young? What of them?”

John’s eyes were fixated with purpose as he administered the first dosage. “They were not in my hands. I cannot fight for everyone.”

After several weeks, the administering of the treatment was a success. The Occupational and Physical Therapists and her parents watched her walk on her own. Cognitive function dramatically improved. She had become much more independent and self-sufficient. John was beside himself.

The world and the universe, though, saw otherwise. War was on the horizon. Tensions were rising and meeting an unthinkable end was beginning to become more of a reality. No peaceful resolution could be reached. No side could give way to diplomacy. Civil war would begin to break out. A revolution would begin. The people had had enough.

As John watched the news with his family he knew the end would come, sooner or later. That, even in the marvel of science, he had only prolonged time.

Borrowed time…

John worked tirelessly in the nights. He had fancied quantum physics, space and time for a long time. He had an idea. It might prolong the inevitable but at least, at least he could spend whatever time that this device, this idea could grant.

Time stop isolation. At first, he thought just to his home. Then he thought his town. Then he decided the world. If it as all going to go to hell, he’d at least let some of the other families have extra moments.

On the Day of the End, John gathered his wife and children.

“I love you,” he told them all and hugged them tightly.

“I love you, daddy,” his kids told him.

He cried tears of joy. Ever since having heard the words for the first time from his oldest. He never wanted to take them for granted, let alone be her last. She had made so much progress. So much to live for. Now, now it was the end of all things, all things humankind.

The bombs were fired, dropped, set to explode. John pushed the little red button, initiating the time stasis field all over Earth.

The bombs never went off. Time and the Earth stood still.

Eventually, the universe had begun to collapse. A long passage of time went by. The ultimate end came and went in the blink of an eye. A beautiful and merciful death of humankind in the light of a glorious dawn. The contagion, contained and isolated, just like he wanted.

The End

A Novelette: The Crystal Manor’s Secret

The Crystal Manor’s Secret

“Time heals all wounds,” he remembered someone saying. He thought it to be horse shit.

Simon is a 14-year-old dealing with plenty of things: depression, suicide attempts, parental issues, and being the subject of plenty of kids’ jokes at school. His parents take the advice of their son’s psychiatrist and go on a family vacation to the fabled Crystal Bay Estate.

This family trip, however, is anything but helpful. Read on to read the story in its entirety. Continue reading

Excerpt From a WIP [Work in Progress] Piece of Mine.

What follows is a small excerpt from my epic dystopian novel (that is still a WIP). It is a rather large novel, one that will most likely be broken up into parts (while a super mega ultra rare edition will be. . .all parts in one.).

OK, here’s a hint at how massive it is right now. 600+ pages and I have 20 or so pages of outline. It’s in its raw form; unedited, not revised. Just. Raw. *boom*

Anyway, this particular addition is something I came up with the other day and as such, it has found a place within the novel, which serves as a sort of backdrop. A society that is controlled via nanomachines. Where the rich live in biodomes and the poor in slums or radioactive wastelands. Where lies and fear are spread continuously to help control the weak.

It’s up to a group of rebels to take on the organization that overthrew the world’s governments from their original rule and to free the people whose minds have been warped. Can they rebuild society, though? Can they remake the Earth? Or is it all just a fantasy?

It’s Hell on Earth. Here. Now.


Malthus turned his attention back to the computer monitor. His eyes tired from staring at the screen of variables and formulas for so long. Hours upon hours. The calculation was everything—it meant. . .everything.

They have to be exact. Precise.

He felt a vibration in his pocket. Another disturbance. There was no time for more of those.

The computer screen went black. Anger set in. A mighty fist hammered the keyboard.

Malthus sighed heavily. The generator probably finally went.

Then, on the screen there appeared a ghastly man, an old friend and lab partner of his. “Malthus,”

“You—you? It can’t be.”

The man spoke again. This time, his tone more melancholic. “This is a pre-recorded message. I pray when you receive this, you know what to do. Play it. Share it. It is time.”

The man cleared his throat, closed his eyes, and took a deep breath.

“My friends, I have a confession I would like to share with you.”

“You see, I cannot contribute to society anymore; for what it stands for, the people that are placed upon such high pedestals, that will send us to our certain doom. What I can do is call for us to rebel.”

His eyes opened; an inferno raged within them. “Rebel, friends.”

“Let us lead each other into unity and overthrow the corruption that is now. Let us purge this idyllic idiocy that casts its horrible shadow of death and our demise.”

The man’s voice grew louder, almost shouting. “Rise up.”

“Rise up from your decrepit chair of lives lost. Shed the shackles of debt and control. Rip off the blindfold of lies and deceit. Remove the earplugs that kept the truth from ringing in your ears!”

“Be free,” he shouted.

The fire in the man’s spirit raged on, behind his words, and in his voice. “See your brothers and sisters; for we all are of one race. Cast aside the labels: of prejudice, race, religion, sex, and profession. Let the truth ring; let it resound throughout the land! We will not be slaves! We will never be subjective subjects to a corrupt and unruly society and government!”

“We must be fleet-footed, truthful and just. For our enemies are numerous and vast. We must make examples of those responsible.”

His tone changed to a cautionary tale. “Be wary, friends, for there are brothers and sisters who are oppressed and fear for their families and loved ones. We must protect them, our neighbors, the sick, the poor, and our children.”

The man took in another deep breath, while a tear ran down his cheek. “Let our voices carry truth. Let our final cry be heard! Let the world know, we are no longer dumb, deaf or blind to the corruption that plagues us! And we shall strike down those that oppose the will of the People.”

“Enough!” said a stranger in the video recording. “He’s said enough. Now, make an example of what we do. . .to traitors.”

The defiant man breathed heavily. His spirit raged on. “We are the beacons in the dark! We are the Torch Bearers!”

A gunshot resounded and the man still sat up. Focused. Fixated.

The man shouted at the top of his lungs, “WE WILL NOT BE CONTROLLED!”

Gunfire erupted on the scene, and then the man, along with whoever was present were engulfed in flames.

Malthus stared at the screen and stopped the recording. He grinned to himself. “My friend, you did it. You really did it.”


I hope you enjoyed that small piece and that you potentially, look forward to the final product. . .when it gets done. Hoo!

More to come and all that fun stuff. Right now? Dinner! I gotta make this BBQ pulled chicken. 😉

Until next time.

RJM

The Chronicles of Bob: The Chronic Suicidal

A story I wrote on a whim, and on the idea during a dark bout with myself.

This story revolves around death, suicide, and everything in-between.

It’s something I enjoyed writing, honestly, contrary to its dark tone and incessant, senseless killing.

A.B.Normal Publishing and Media Group

Have you had those moments where you are sitting there [or hell, driving. . .] and you’re just thinking, “man, I could totally kill myself right now.” Or maybe [and work with me here] you’re sitting at the dinner table with your family; you know, your spouse, maybe your parents, kids, or siblings, whatever. Then the moment you are served dinner or you break bread you’re just like “fuck it,” slam your palms [or fists, or do a table flip, I don’t fucking know] down and you grab that steak knife and then, SLIT! You know? Slit your own throat? However that stupid saying goes? Yes? No? Wait—wait. . .wrong use. In this case, literal, literally slitting your own damn throat. Right there. At the dinner table. You got blood spraying, gushing out, dripping down your clothes. . .all over the furniture, the walls, the fine china, the mashed potatoes…

View original post 870 more words

Cover image for The Lodestone Files: The Things in the Shadows by Robert J. S. T. McCartney

What Would You Say to…Free?

Cover image for The Lodestone Files: The Things in the Shadows by Robert J. S. T. McCartney

They lurk in the shadows. They could be anyone…or anything.

Hello, everyone.

The ebook version of the novelette The Lodestone Files: The Things in the Shadows has been released for free on Smashwords, iBooks, and Amazon.

You can download it here and choose your format.

Alternatively, you can click “here” for listing formats below.
Click here for .PDF
Click here for .doc
Click here for .txt
Click here for .epub
Click here for .mobi

For iBook users, click here.

For Amazon users, click here.


Description:

Idris Sinclair lives a rather typical life; helping his family run their cherished diner. However, all the normalness he knows in life is about to go straight out the window when he happens to break into an abandoned van in the restaurant’s parking lot. He discovers a small weapon’s stockpile and various files, involving affairs foreign to him.

As night begins to set in, the family is involved in one of our government’s most heinous and dastardly secrets involving entities, not of this world.

It walks among us. It could be anyone—or anything. Suspect everyone you know, or you pass on the street. There is nowhere where you are safe. Run all you want; it will only make you taste more delicious to it.

It’s too late. It already knows where you are.

It’s. Here.


 

I hope you enjoy the story. There will be a continuation of this story. Don’t worry. 😉

Look for Lilah’s Guide to Hoyle coming soon.

RJM

The Final Countdown! Last Excerpt of Lilah’s Guide to Hoyle.

LilahsHoyle3D (1)

I know I haven’t posted a blog post much “here” as I have over on A.B.Normal Publishing. I’ve been busy doing some other short stories, and getting outlines done, while making sure everything is ready for the Kickstarter for Lilah’s Guide to Hoyle.

I wanted to share the final raw excerpt before it goes through ch-ch-changes and gets red inked to death. So, here you go!


Dana flipped through the newspaper, sighing at the uninteresting articles. Another tragedy? The whole goddamn world is a tragedy. Give me something worth reading on this goddamn toilet paper. The rain beat angrily on the car, as rhythmically as a tribal ceremony, with the flashes of lightning here and there, painting the various gray-streaked sky. Dana leaned forward, looking up towards the heavens through the windshield of the car, noting the giant blobs that pooled together and were then swept away clean by the windshield wipers. He sighed again and let himself collapse back into the car seat. He looked over to his left, waiting for Walter to come out from the coffee shop. Goddamn it, Walter! What the hell are you doing, ordering the whole damn store? Dana rubbed his forehead and glanced back up to see Walter scurrying in the rain to the car. Walter opened the driver’s side door and got in, handing a warm paper coffee container to Dana; setting down a white and brown paper bag beside himself, placing his jumbo coffee cup in the cup holder. Walter buckled his seatbelt, giddy as a schoolgirl. Licking his lips, he reached for his ‘goody bag.’ “Don’t eat it all in one sitting now, Walt.” Dana jokingly jabbed Walter.

Walter sighed and slowly drifted his gaze at Dana, annoyed, “Are you seriously going to do that, every damn time I get a few doughnuts? I mean c’mon Dana.”

Dana snickered at Walter, “Easy, Walter, easy.I’m just pulling your leg, Walt. Don’t go having a coronary on me.”

Walter mumbled something incoherently about a ‘third leg’ as he reached into the paper bag, and grabbed a giant frosted raspberry jelly doughnut. He eyed it, having already turned ‘ignore Dana mode’ on, and then took a massive bite from it. “Mmm, this one, mmm, man, it’s so great.” Walter licked his lips, catching bits and pieces of jelly.

Dana shook his head at the sight of his partner’s eating matters. “Walt, use a damn napkin man. God, you are acting like a dog.”

“Yeah, well, at least I’m housebroken,” Walter mumbled, to which Dana grinned.


I hope you all join me in helping raise the necessary funds to get Lilah’s Guide to Hoyle out in your hands, and the hands of folks around the globe.

See you all Tuesday!

RJM

[Free Ebook] The Lodestone Files: The Things in the Shadows

Cover image for The Lodestone Files: The Things in the Shadows by Robert J. S. T. McCartney

They lurk in the shadows. They could be anyone…or anything.

Hello, everyone.

The ebook version of the novelette The Lodestone Files: The Things in the Shadows has been released for free on Smashwords, iBooks, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble.

You can download it here and choose your format.

Alternatively, you can click “here” for listing formats below.
Click here for .PDF
Click here for .doc
Click here for .txt
Click here for .epub
Click here for .mobi

For iBook users, click here.

For Amazon users, click here.

For Barnes and Noble, click here.

I hope you enjoy the story. There will be a continuation of this series.

Look for Lilah’s Guide to Hoyle coming soon.

RJM

 

The New Boston and Middleton, MA. Investigations: Retribution

"Shopping Carts" Photo by Dan4th Nicholas. Dan4th Nicholas has no affiliation with me or A.B.Normal Publishing Media Group, nor do they support my work and/or practices.

Photo by Dan4th Nicholas. Dan4th Nicholas has no affiliation with me or A.B.Normal Publishing Media Group, nor do they support my work and/or practices.

The New Boston and Middleton, MA Investigations: Retribution

[Roland]

By Robert J. S. T. McCartney


His gaze fell upon his reflection in the red pick-up truck’s rearview mirror. Sweat beaded on his dark brow. A pair of bright verdant eyes flickered with each hesitant blink; shifting from the outside world back to the confines of the driver’s seat. Silvered hair with sparse strands of black peppered the man’s scalp. His clean-shaven face was wrinkled with the creases of age and told of a long line of police experience, a veteran—married to no one (not anymore) but to the force, and was seeking justice.

He closed his eyes and prepared himself for what was about to unfold. As he opened them, he saw the last of the few on the list wander into the supermarket.

Well, here we go.

He wagered a glance at the discarded Middleton Police badge: Roland Johnson. The name was hardly visible anymore, scuffed, scratched, battered, and broken. He grunted as he leaned over to open the glove box. and retrieve his Smith & Wesson .44 Magnum revolver* from its resting grounds. He inconspicuously glanced around to make sure no one was watching—save for the possibility of the security cameras, but that didn’t matter. He stepped outside and closed the driver’s door behind him.

There’s no turning back now. You gotta hold it together Roland. It’s just better this way.

He took in a few heavy breaths and adjusted his long sandy brown overcoat. Underneath, his black attire laid hidden (save for his black dress shoes and slacks that peeked out with each step) and the secrets of a plan that no one knew—except for the one piece of paper that was left behind to a friend. He was a good friend and a hell of a good cop.

They’ll never understand, but I sure hope you do, Dana.

His face was beginning to show the strain of his plan. His sweat became tainted with uneasiness. It befouled the once good man and began to soak and elaborate the coaxed mask. He fixed his holster under his coat and continued with his stride of redemption and retribution.

He wrinkled his brow under the bright golden eye that loomed up high above. A swift gust of wind of the summer day cut into him, ruffling the short hair of the man. He couldn’t help but glance up at the sky: pure azure, with not a single cloud in the sky. It was the last bit of bliss he could afford.

Inside, footsteps paraded about—marching to and from the marketplace. Roland’s eyes watched everyone as he made his way in, with his hands deep in his pockets.

“Hello, sir. Good afternoon.” A soft, grandmotherly voice peeped from the short cotton-tipped elderly woman, as she greeted customers that wandered in, and said goodbye as they left. Her gray eyes hinted with a smile, but under the stress of the wrinkles and the knowing of how hard the economy was—he didn’t know if it was true or just another piss poor excuse to make a buck. Either way, he gave a nod to the elder, and flashed a brief smile, while hurrying past. She wasn’t his intention, none of the other people were.

The marketplace had sprawled since the last time he’d seen it. The produce had more than doubled, with rows upon rows of fresh fruits and vegetables that formed makeshift barricades.

Just like cattle. Herding all of us.

The produce adjoined the deli and bakery, while the back end of the bakery met with the meat and frozen foods departments. The place seemed to measure for hundreds of yards. His eyes lazily drifted off towards the general merchandise side of the store. He shook his head to disregard the notion, and to maintain focus on his objective. His eyes continued to scan around, searching for the few that he had told to meet at the designated location. A group of familiar people all shuffled about the produce section. Some were making eye contact with one another, while some were uncertain of the meaning behind this escapade, looking about as to who summoned them all.

There were six in all—save for the unannounced guest of honor. Roland’s eyes recounted each one, his mind pulling the folder for each person.

Charles Deveau, 46, White male, 6′ 4”, 330 lbs. A child predator. Thus far, he has attacked 32 children; both male and female. He has a connection with the police department. I have a hunch on who. The pattern as of late has been irregular. He has been on a four-day hiatus, due to suspicious activity. Detective’s Conway and Deupree have been tracking. It’s too long to wait. He’ll strike again soon. I know it.

Huey Porter, 52, White male, 5′ 9”, 140 lbs. Terminal Lung Cancer. Carries an oxygen tank. He commits small time acts to try and be killed via cop suicide. He has taken out a $500,000 life insurance policy, with the children as beneficiaries. He’s tried everything. I feel for the guy. I’ve been a friend of his for 30 years. This method is the only way I can help.

Terra Lhangley, 36, White female, 5′ 4”, 120 lbs. She is a chronic nymphomaniac; spreading HIV and AIDS to partners, and never tells them. To date, she has infected over 230 individuals and their partners—and the number continues to grow. Most have taken their lives or committed acts of violence, or further, spread the disease.

Michael Stevens, 45, Black male, 6′ 4”, 171 lbs. Michael has an obsession of stealing. He’s stolen almost everything: electronics, cars, etc. He’s also taken the homes of his victims. A class A+ fraudster, he’s gone up—rather down—to stealing the lives of those in his path. He’s claimed 19 lives; rerouting all monetary gain, and removed any and all links to any of the victims.

Benjamin Clarence, 79, White male, 5′ 6”, 156 lbs. a.k.a. “Bennie the Nipple Ripper.” Preys on females that wander alone at night, or in desolate areas. Has a fetish for removing the nipples of his sexually assaulted victims. Sometimes changes from clean removal with a knife or blade to a cheese grater. Has confessed to…taking delight in consuming the leftovers. It could be months for him to go on trial. Ben has posted bail and was garnished a favor from the same connection as Deveau.

Tiffany Kruger, 29, Black female, 5′ 3”, 113 lbs. Murdered her family, and is reaping all the benefits. All plausible evidence she had attempted to destroy. Detectives Conway and Deupree have some remainder of proof. I have what is leftover in my safe. Was placed on bail, and has since been posted. I’m not letting her get away that easy.

Anita Dalton (formerly Timothy Diego), 36, Hispanic female, 5′ 3”, 114 lbs. Transgender; Tim is accused of butchering his family, selling the body parts to black market buyers. With these proceeds, he funded his gender change operation. Also preys on unsuspecting men on dates, prostitution, and has a fetish with removing the penis and testicles. She needs to be stopped—permanently.

He opened his eyes. They were all here. They had all showed up, just as he had planned. He could see them starting to intermingle with one another now. He knew he had to act fast. Now.

I don’t want any of them to escape.

Roland’s right hand slid into his inner coat pocket and removed a dull pewter cigarette case. He pulled out the last cigarette and brought it up to his dry lips. His left hand searched another pocket and found a silvered zippo. He brought it up in a swift, fluid motion, lighting the hairs of the cigarette. He inhaled deep and closed his eyes—savoring the moment. He foretold of how the events were going to unfold. His moment of foresight was interrupted by a supermarket employee.

The deep voice stirred him. “Sir, you can’t smoke in here! Please, extinguish it, or go outside.”

Roland frowned, his eyes still closed.

He sighed. “I am going to say this once—go call the police. Tell them…six people have been murdered here.” Roland slowly opened his eyes and gazed up at the ceiling of the supermarket—observing it’s rather dull almond fixtures, pipes, and lines that sprawled everywhere.

The male employee began to get hysterical. “Wha—what do you mean? Murder? What murder?”

“It’s alright…just stay calm…and go call the police.” Roland’s gaze drifted down, scanning over all the people. “It’s for the greater good.”

The employee mumbled, “The greater good?” as he scurried off in haste, leaving Roland to smirk to himself.

He started to walk towards the group on his list. They all looked at him, locking eyes, one by one. Some eyes were in such a demonic twist, while others dealt in bloodshed, while the last was sad, in pain…pitiful.

“Who the hell are you?” Tiffany remarked the question pressing—drilling for an answer.

Roland smiled, “Just the man who posted your bail.”

“Really now? I don’t suppose you posted mine too?” Anita cocked her hip, her lips cracked to a crooked grin.

“Why, yes. In fact, I posted everyone’s.” Roland began to pace, his hands behind him. “Now, ladies and gentlemen, I’ve gathered you all here for a significant undertaking. You’re all in grave danger, and we need to remedy that situation. So, it’s imperative that we decide…” he stopped with his back to them all, “which one of you will be the first to die.”

All of their looks changed to such mixed annotations: anger, horror, absolute shock, except for Huey.

“Roland, please. . .” Huey whispered among the group.

“Huey, yours shall be merciful. No matter whether you are first, or the last.” Roland assured.

“Roland?! You’re that stalking, no good, piece of shit cop! Ho ho, oh no! No! Nuh uh, there ain’t no fucking way I will not be dying to some has-been, who’s been intent on making MY LIFE a living hell!” Charles rebuked, and started to storm towards Roland.

Roland turned around, and in an amazing display, withdrew his gun of righteousness; his coat unfurled, and twirled, much like the dramatic performance of an old Western shootout.

It was long past that now, Roland had already decided the order. The people around in the market hadn’t even caught on to the public execution in progress. Maybe it was better that they saw what happened to criminals in public.

A thunderous roar rang out within the store, and to that end, Charles laid crumpled and discarded on the glossy almond tile, next to the display of onions. Horror and shock remained on his face. Just like those whom he assaulted. Blood poured from the back of his skull onto the tile. Roland aimed at the next one—Terra. The shots started to become quicker, more precise, and more humane—perhaps too humane. One by one they began to fall: Terra, Tiffany—they even tried to run! He fired upon their malicious heads, sending their evil souls to Hell. Anita jumped over a display of assorted peppers attempting to spare a moment. People rushed for the exit, the march of a thousand terrified souls.

“Hiding won’t save you. Nothing can.” He slowly walked behind the display, crouching. “Give the devil my regards.” Anita’s eyes widened, her instinct forced her erect to try and run. It was too late. Her body dropped and slid across the tile, colliding into the base of a meat display. He turned his arm towards the oncoming shadow. “Eager, aren’t we?” He shot a round through Benjamin’s skull, dropping him.

Michael had tried to run but saw it was inevitable. The mighty hawk’s gaze fell upon him now. He clung to Huey, hiding behind the decrepit old man.

“Y—you wouldn’t shoot your friend would you?!” He cried behind the smiling frail man.

“You’re pathetic…hiding behind a dying man.” Roland slowly approached the remaining two. “My friend…I am sorry it couldn’t have ended another way.”

Huey’s smile grew. “It is better this way. Everything’s in place. I just ask I be the last.”

“You’re fucking crazy man, fucking crazy! You’d kill your own friend?! What the hell is wrong with you?!” Michael shrieked.

Roland nodded, “So be it.” With a quick draw and sheer precision, he fired at Michael’s head. Michael collapsed behind Huey, clinging to his oxygen tank.

Roland approached Huey. “Thank you.” The two shook hands, then hugged. Best of friends until the end.

Huey knelt before Roland, while Roland had closed his eyes. “Goodbye…old friend.”

His finger was hesitant at first. And then a gunshot thundered from within the store, followed by the warm caress of blood that splattered against him. He opened his eyes slowly to see Huey sprawled in a bloody mess with that bright smile still on his face.

Outside, squad cars had surrounded the building. Red, white, and blue patriotically waltzed in the parking lot. The armed men and women of the law all drew their weapons towards the doors. Two familiar men stood out there with distraught looks on their faces. Roland knew them well.

Dana…Walter…

Dana and Walter were veterans like him, while the pair were up and comers in the Homicide division. Dana—thin, with a broad square face, dark hair, and pale blue eyes. While Walter was slightly overweight, with salt and peppered hair, green eyes, and square glasses…he was considered a god amongst foodies.

He smiled to himself, at least he was in good company now. He loaded the last two bullets into the revolver, just as he had planned it. He began his walk of remembrance, glancing down at the bodies of his friend and the evil he had slain. Roland emptied his coat pocket and placed a piece of paper on Terra’s body, “CONTAGIOUS, BIOHAZARD” in large letters.

“Roland Johnson! Come out with your hands up!” An officer he hadn’t known shouted on the P.A.

He grunted as he walked to the doors. He scanned the army through the doors, searching, waiting.

Ah, there he is.

Sargent Ted Matthers, 52, White male, 6′ 0”, 158 lbs. Accomplice to Charles, and Benjamin. Suspected of having helped rid evidence related to said case and several others. I’ve found incriminating evidence that supports this, as well as a recording that places him and Charles at several locations of attacks. Also, deals in sex trafficking. I have a ledger where he sold his daughters, Doreen, and Mona. He’s also responsible for ordering the hit on Tina…Roland sighed. This one needs to be put down.

“Roland! Come out! You are surrounded!”

He disregarded the taunts, waiting to see if Ted made a move. Sure enough, he saw him strap on a bulletproof vest and start making his way towards the door.

The other officers lowered their guns, watching as the lone cop wandered in alone.

Roland stood with his back to Ted. Visualizing him in his mind: what he thought, what he was going to say and do.

“I see you’ve been busy. That’s a shame really. What a waste of a good cop.” Ted mumbled as he scanned the scene. It was a massacre, and he knew he stood no chance.

Still fit for as old as he was: large build. He had given up on his balding—shaving his blond head entirely. Cold blue eyes stared back at him, with a numb expression on his face. The man was an incomprehensible piece of evil. Roland never knew why, nor did he care to know now. All he knew was he was about to put an end to it and get the justice so many had been denied.

“I don’t need your patronization, Ted. You know what this is about.” Roland snapped back.

Ted grinned. “I suppose so. How about this? You give me the ledger, and we’ll work the rest out.”

Roland shook his head. “I know how you operate. It’s not going to end like that.”

Ted cocked his head. “Oh? How is it then?”

“Like this…” Roland drew his gun, turned, and fired.

Ted had already had his gun aimed, and was able to get one shot off. The bullet of righteous fury bored its way into the skull of Sgt. Ted Matthers. While Ted’s shot missed Roland—due to his step-and-turn technique. Ted dropped to the floor, blood splattering against the market’s doors.

The army of royal blue outside raised their arms and began to unleash hell.

“Hold your fire! Hold your goddamn fire, I said!” Detective Dana Deupree yelled.

“For crying out loud! HOLD YOUR GODDAMN FIRE!” Detective Walter Conway bellowed.

It was of no use. Bullets flew and whizzed by Roland.

Horrible aim the lot of them, Roland thought. Like a bunch of Stormtroopers. He smirked to himself.

The glass in the front shattered, while bullets ricocheted off the metal of the ceiling and doors. A few finally found their way into Roland’s legs and torso. He fell to his knees, still holding on to his hammer of righteousness. He peered out into the eyes of Dana, and Walter. Both shook their heads, and flailed their arms, mouthing the word “no.” They attempted to run vainly into the hail of gunfire.

Roland closed his eyes, while the concert of deafening thunder rolled on. Life began to play on his mind’s reel. Everything that was a memory started to replay one final time. He remembered the day’s sun that hung up high and of Huey. All the good times, and all the fun he had working with the only three people he could have regarded as real true friends. Of his lost love and the injustice that had been done to him. Retribution was at its end. His task, his righting the wrongs, even if it was vigilante justice. Where the alleged system of Justice had failed so many.

As the gunfire stopped, Dana and Walter encroached on the threshold of the supermarket. Outside, one last gunshot echoed. Roland slumped over lifelessly to the ground. The too late duo approached their fallen friend, their hands running over their faces, through their hair—shaking their heads in disbelief.

“Goddamn it, Roland!” Dana shouted while Walter sighed aloud.

The blue blob began to descend upon the supermarket, the 20-some guns still aimed at the freshly slain detective, while white uniforms began to intervene and begin their process of elimination.

******

Elsewhere in Middleton, a Postal Service Agent approached Dana’s home, with a manila envelope addressed to him, from Roland, in their hands. The word URGENT in bold was stamped on both the front and back. The postal worker then trotted off the steps after completing their task, oblivious to the day’s transpired events.


Ths was originally published under the A.B.Normal Publishing and Media Group website.
Retribution is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
*In case any are wondering, it is a 6.5″ barrel length S&W .44 Magnum revolver. Yes, he only had eight bullets, and yes, he was that confident. “Either hit your mark or die trying,” was his motto.
A.B.Normal Publishing and Media Group with quill logo

Future Titles and Works

Hello, everyone!

A short while back I stated that you would see fewer posts of short stories posted on a consistent basis…like say how some that have been published days in a row and so on. While I am getting the Kickstarter campaign for Lilah’s Guide to Hoyle finalized (and it’s very near) and getting pre-orders ready as well, I thought I would share what is a taste of things to come.

I have numerous titles upcoming, of course, these all range from short stories, novels, novella, and so on. Some things I will be focusing on are as follows:

  • Publishing and release of a prequel to Lilah’s Guide to Hoyle (more information coming soon).
  • Continuing of The Diary of the Wasteland Bear God (with the possible introduction of artwork) on A.B.Normal Publishing.
  • Continuing of The Chronicles of Bob: The Chronic Suicidal (with the possible introduction of artwork) on A.B.Normal Publishing.
  • The introduction of a new entertainment series on A.B.Normal Publishing.
  • Several short stories that will be stand alone stories. These include my Dana and Walter Files: The Untold Stories of New Boston and Middleton.
  • The introduction of (my so dubbed title placeholder) Sinclair Gets His Rolex. This particular story is my take on a superhero through unorthodox means.

These will be but a few of the many planned items I have. To give you a gist they are:

  • A Chucky Origins tale. Yes, that very exact Chucky.
  • Pandemic Tales, which is a small collection of a few stories.
  • A romantic comedy that pushes the boundaries of the absurd.
  • A nightmare and dream short story collection.
  • A (so far) 600+ page epic post-apocalyptic fantasy science fiction story.
  • Several other post-apocalyptic stories.
  • The next short story “chapter” of The Lodestone Files.
  • The next chapters of The Mysterious Stranger.
  • And more…

So as you can see there is quite the list of things to do, and this isn’t even the tip of the iceberg (it’s OK if you want to scream “This isn’t even my final form!”). While I am hoping for a successful campaign and launch of Lilah’s Guide to Hoyle, I know I am only eager to please everyone and make something out of nothing, where I must remember that I wanted to do this for myself…no one else. While some may think of that as selfish, it is, but that was my initial goal, and I feel I must keep that; setting high goals is good, however, surpassing them and meeting your personal ones first is a lot better…gives you room for failure.

I hope you all enjoyed this “sneak peak,” if you will, of what’s to come and a glimmer of what I have to offer. I wish everyone a well weekend and to stay safe.

RJM