Saturday, November 28, 2015

The Good Omen: Chapter 1

John Omen came fully awake.
There it was again...damn cat, knocking things over in the middle of the night. Just one of the many reasons he'd never had one! Besides, he was a dog guy. But when your girlfriend has a week-long conference in Vegas and begs you to watch it for her, you watch the damn cat!  A big, black, long-haired monster of a cat! Larger than most small dogs! He hadn't seen it since she dropped it off. But the food dish emptied and the litter box filled. For the past five nights, it had busied itself clearing shelves, tipping things over and, in general making all manner of disconcerting noises. Every morning he spent putting his living room back together. Ugh, like he needed this...he needed to be in court at 8 am. for God's sake.
 As one of the lead officers of the DPD's drug enforcement task force, he'd been instrumental in bringing down one of Detroit's biggest meth/cocaine rings. That made a lot of people angry. Hell, according to word on the street, there was even a price on his head of 250K. You try to sleep thinking about that, then add the damn cat. He gathered the sheet around himself and rolled over, right into a 20 lb. purring ball of black fur!
 FUR?!? If the cat was on the bed, then...SHIT!
He was off the bed and had his gun out of the bio-safe and into his hand in an instant. He was a bigger guy, but when your ass is on the line, you can move with surprising speed. The door to the bedroom was closed; that gave him a little time. The windows were blacked out, in his line of work you slept when you could, and he needed it dark. Another point in his favor. He had almost made it to the door when the sound of the latch turning diverted him to the hinge side. He'd be behind whoever entered. The door opened quietly, just enough for a body to slip through. The only light on in the whole apartment was the light above the stove. What little light it did cast, threw a giant's shadow briefly across the wall. Before the door closed silently.
It was black again. He heard soft steps glide across the carpet towards the bed. He sidestepped towards the light switch. He had night sights on his house gun, an FN Herstal FNX45 Tactical. The problem was he couldn't see his target. He could see the sight's faint green glow as he raised the pistol towards the figure he heard more than saw by the bed. He cursed himself for not adding a tactical light under the barrel. His hand found the switch for the overhead light as the sights leveled out. He took a breath...and flicked off the safety as he hit the switch.
 The light was blinding as he brought his right hand up to support his left. He tightened the pressure on the trigger as the figure came into focus...
"God Dammit Gina!!! I almost shot you!!!"
Standing before him, completely nude, was Gina McKinnen Attorney at Law, all five foot, two inches of her.
Her tanned and toned body looked amazing, even in the stark light from above. Perky breasts, not overly large. Topped by pinkish brown nipples stiffened by the whirring a/c.
"What the Hell were you thinking?" He asked, lowering the gun.
"I wanted to surprise you," she said, wide-eyed. "I guess I did..."
"Jesus Christ hon, you can't DO that!!!
"But I missed you; I got done early and caught a redeye home. I planned on waking you up with some mind blowing sex. I even got undressed in the other room so I wouldn't wake you!"
She said, slinking her way towards him, hips rolling. She laid a hand on his chest, stroking the hair there.
"My God, your heart is that me?" She asked looking up at him.
"If by 'you,' you mean did you scare the shit out of me? Then yes...that's you!" He grumbled.
She reached her other hand up to the back of his neck to run her fingers through his hair as she pressed against him.
"Don't be mad. I promise, never again" she purred as she pulled him down for a kiss, fingers tightening in his hair.
He lost himself in the kiss as she ground against him, and nothing else seemed to matter. She broke the kiss and stood on tip-toes to reach his ear, taking the lobe between her teeth and tugging. She slid the hand from his chest down inside his boxers and wrapped her hand around him.
"If some part of you," She whispered breathlessly, releasing his ear. "is not inside some part of me in the next two minutes I may just scream!"
He wrapped his arm around her slender waist as her lips found his mouth again and lifted her to him. She wrapped her legs around him as he walked her to the bed. Laying his weapon on the nightstand, he gently lowered her back on the bed.
He bent over her, to kiss her again. As he did so, she pulled her legs up and hooked the big toe of each foot in the waistband of his boxers. She deftly slid them from his hips, pulling them out and over his erection.
"The girl has skills..." He thought.
Then she pulled him into her, and he couldn't think of anything at all.

At 6 am the alarm clock drug him back from the world of dreams. Gina was still asleep, so he padded naked into the bathroom to start his day. First things first he thought, I need a hot shower. He stepped into the steaming streams and caught a faint hint of her perfume, light and seductive, before reaching for the soap. Stepping from the shower, he wrapped the towel around his waist. It barely fit; he'd have to do something about that. A quick shave, and a brush of his teeth before running a comb through his receding hairline. Deodorant and a splash of Tom Ford Oud Wood cologne, a gift from Gina. At almost $100 an ounce, it was too pricey for him on a cop's salary. He did have to admit, it smelled damn good!
 Gina greeted him with a cup of tea and a kiss as he came back into the bedroom.
The guys at the precinct had always given him grief for drinking tea and not coffee.
"Tea is a chick's drink." They'd say
"Nobody has ever mistaken me for a chick." He'd reply.

"So today's the day huh?" she asked as she stretched out on the bed once again.
"Yeah, Cronenburg figures he can wrap my testimony up in a day...maybe two," He answered as he started dressing.

Roger Cronenburg, Assistant District Attorney on the rise! By all accounts, the DA's job would be his for the taking when the current DA retired next year. He'd fought hard to draw the Gallardo case, my case, and to put these guys away.
Don Santo Gallardo, a Mexican national, had ruthlessly pushed out the old school gangs. In a series of shootings, bombings, and, at least, one beheading before enough was enough. He had a stranglehold on the cocaine business. When Meth cut into his bottom line, he cut into that business too. Making his base of operations on Detroit's Southwest side, "MexicanTown" to the locals.
He attended Most Holy Redeemer Catholic Church every Sunday. Sent his kids to Cesar Chavez Academy, and appeared to be a pillar of the community. But Don Santo had an Achilles heel, a fondness for tall, blonde-haired blue-eyed white girls. Something in short supply in Mexicantown!

"You want me to come?" She was laying on her stomach now,
her feet kicking in the air, watching him.
"Don't you have to work?" He asked, adjusting his tie.
"I told you last night; I finished early. Remember? I'm not expected back until Friday...I'm all yours until then."
"To be honest, I don't remember much after turning on the light and finding you naked in my room!"
He replied with a crooked grin.
"Good," She said smugly, "exactly as it should be..."

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The sun sets...

We were once ubiquitous throughout the West, like sagebrush, tumbleweeds, and sunsets.
But, as the sun sets so did our days, technology made an end of us. 
That's why true cowboys are so hard to find.
Oh, but there was a time.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Sign here...

They seek me out, desirous of a boon.
Fame or fortune, great skill or endless love...
That's how these Faustian deals work.
Promises made, one soul forfeit, contracts signed in blood.
Be careful what you wish for, you just may get it.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015


Tires squeal, glass breaks and metal crumples. 
The bike and I are a wreck.
They part me out like an old Dodge.
A kidney to her, corneas to him.
My heart to a nice young man.
May it serve him well.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Left behind

 I am a Widow, weary and lost...
I'm Alisa Lynn Bulford, Ally to my friends.
But he never called me that, always Alisa. The way he said it melted my heart. Every time.  
It was four years ago that I married the love of my life, Jerry. Three days later he shipped out to war.

 I remember the first time I met him. Mom and I had gone to Spicer's for apples and such. We were baking Mom's Blue Ribbon pies for the holidays. And everyone knew Spicer's had the best apples! As they rang up our purchases, he quietly bagged them for us and put them into our cart. He was already in High school, about 4 years ahead of me. Tall and broad-shouldered deep blue eyes and tousled hair the color of corn silk. I caught him looking at me and as our eyes met, he smiled and winked at me. My foolish young heart nearly stopped!

 We started dating when I turned 16, and we'd been together ever since. He was quiet, gentle and strong. The strength of someone that knows themselves, and is comfortable with who they are. After he graduated he started working construction, doing rough carpentry. His parents didn't have the money to send him to college, so he thought he'd work and go part-time. His Grandfather died and left him a piece of land, out east of town down a little one lane dirt road. He told me, "I'm gonna build us a house, right here!" gesturing towards a clearing in the trees. And so he did.

 You know how they say "Beware the wrath of a gentle man"? I think they were talking about my Jerry. Once when we were out at a party, and there was a group of guys home from college. They were drunk and acting up, but Jerry ignored them. Until one grabbed my ass and tried to stick his tongue down my throat. The look that came over his face was like the calm at the center of a hurricane. A temporary respite, before the forces of nature destroy you. He snatched this guy up by the front of his shirt, holding him a foot off the ground. He pulled him close and said one word "Apologize!".
That's when his buddies jumped in. Jerry went through them like a bull in a china shop. No wonder his buddies called him "Bull"! He was always so fiercely protective of me, it made me feel treasured.
I only saw that look one other time. 

The day the twin towers fell.

 A month later he was off to Marine Corps boot camp at Parris Island. After completing "boot" as he called it, he had two weeks leave before deployment. 
We decided we should get married before he left.

 Four years, but it seems like yesterday. We Skyped every chance we could, I even got to know some of the guys in his unit that way. We planned our lives together, from 7,000 miles away. We planned our "Honeymoon" in Hawaii, for when he got home. We talked of kids, and holidays and what he'd do when he got back. I hadn't been slacking either, I'd gotten my Nursing degree. I was an ICU nurse at Clemson Memorial, a couple towns over.

 Then his time was almost done. I spoke with him the morning of his last day of tour and asked him what he missed most. He laughed "You mean besides green grass, trees and the smell of rain?"
"Yeah, besides that..."
He got serious and said "Your smell, like flowers after a calms my soul". He always said quirky, endearing little things like that. It was the last time we'd get to speak before he got home. 
"Be Careful!" I told him.
"You know it. Love you, I'll be home before you know it!" 
Then he gave me that smile, the one that was just for me...and winked. There went my heart again.
It would take almost two weeks he'd said, catching what flights he could.

 The day I found out started so normal. 
Buttered wheat toast with honey and English breakfast tea with a splash of cream. A little treat before showering and getting dressed. It was a fine spring day, sunny and bright. The trees were alive with birdsong as even the birds sang their approval.   So I threw on my favorite sun dress and sandals. I had errands to run. I was throwing him a big "Welcome Home" party and preparations had to be made!

 I was just grabbing my purse when I heard a pounding at the front door. Funny, I hadn't heard a car come up the drive. But when I opened the door, no one was there. A sudden gust of wind blew into the house, I must have left a window open allowing it to blow through. So strong, my eyes watered as it blew my hair off my shoulders and flattened my dress against me. It was weird, as the morning had been so calm. It was a warm wind and as it wrapped around me...for just a moment, I felt safe and loved. Suddenly, I just didn't want to leave anymore. 

 I latched the screen door. It banging in the wind is what I must have mistaken for a visitor. I made another cup of tea and set at the table with my phone. I could make some calls instead of going in person, I had plenty of time. It's hard to explain, but right then I just felt...whole. Happy and content, like fitting the last piece in a complex puzzle. It was not to last.

 The car came up the drive slowly, just after noon. 
A dark car with Government plates. No, I thought no no no no! This isn't happening, he's safe, he's was his last day!!! I watched through the window as two Marines in dress blues got out of the car. My heart sank. Like a zombie, I stumbled to the door and opened it. Wind SCREAMED through the house tearing the latch free and throwing the screen door wide. Gathering dirt, sticks and leaves as it roared towards the officers. Blowing their hats from their close-cropped heads and assaulting them with debris. As if attempting to force them back to their car. Then, as if admitting defeat it just stopped and a sudden calm surrounded us. Even the birds quit singing.

 As the shorter of the two retrieved their hats, the taller one stepped up to the porch.
"Mrs. Bulford? Alisa Bulford?"
"Y-yes" I stammered
"Maam, I'm afraid I have some bad news..."
I don't remember much after that, what matters when your world falls apart? After they left I just fell into bed, clutched his pillow to my breast and sobbed. Like the whole world felt my pain, the wind came up. It howled and roared like a deranged beast circling the house, trying to get in. For three days I didn't leave the house or answer the phone, in fact, I rarely left my bed. 
And for three days the wind raged.

 Finally, I decided to answer the incessant ringing of the phone. Friends and family surrounded me and saved me. God bless Jerry's parents, they took care of all the arrangements...I just couldn't. It wasn't right, it wasn't FAIR!

 It seemed the whole town turned out for Jerry's funeral. In death, he'd become the town's favored son. A hero worth remembering. I kept it together pretty well through most of the ceremony, I think Jerry would have been proud. 

 It was an oppressively hot day and everyone was melting graveside. I jumped at the first volley of the 21-gun salute. Then they played "Taps", as two young Marines folded the flag that draped the coffin. That's when the tears started again.

 As the first tear started down my cheek a gentle breeze caressed my face. Changing it's direction. 
Like someone wiping it away with a thumb, as they cradled my face in their hands. The flag was transferred to the solemn senior officer, amid slow formal salutes and heel taps. As he knelt before me and handed me my husbands flag.
It started to rain...
Jerry would be pleased.

Friday, November 6, 2015

The one that I didn't enter...

Hi Folks!
This week's prompt was "who's that knocking at the door?" So in typical overachiever fashion I cranked out three stories to play with. #1 you can read below, #2 I entered, and #3 I couldn't define the idea in just 42 words so I turned it into an entry in the Fiction/poetry grid of Yeah Write. 
Named "Homecoming". 

After writing this, I really couldn't throw my baby away, so here it is....


1253 West Elm Drive.
How many times have I been here?
Bringing her home, drunk or stoned.
I rap on the door.
Deep inside a dog barks.
But how do you say: "Your daughter's never coming home."?
"Who is it?"
"Officer Burton"

I hope you enjoyed it. I thought I was getting in a darkness rut, so I shelved this one in favor of one a little funnier.
Turns out it may have been a mistake, as there was very little love for our feline warrior Thomas. He came in a rather disappointing 3-way tie for 7th place. The winner (which I predicted) was amazingly well done and got one of my votes. Her blogger name is Cyn K and her story was "Dreams knocked Down", read it here.
Also, my Fiction/Poetry submission didn't make the grid, mainly due to some structural errors which I believe I've fixed. I'll try resubmitting for the weekend "Moonshine" grid. Wish me luck!

Be Well Folks!

Beastly Bear

Wednesday, November 4, 2015


I am a warrior returning home.
Hungry and tired, I bring spoils of war!
I beat at the door, why doesn't she hear?
Footsteps, like distant thunder roll towards the door.
"THERE'S my Tomas kitty...EWWWWW, is that a dead mouse?"

Tuesday, November 3, 2015



 I am a battle-weary soldier, heading home.
Sergeant First Class Jerry Allen Bulford, "Bull" to my friends. Four years in "The Sandbox" is enough for anybody. I saw a lot in my time there and lost some good friends. Like on my last day "in country" before shipping home, I pulled convoy escort duty and we hit an IED. Three guys died, and four of my men were wounded.
 I visited my wounded guys in the infirmary before I left, they were in a lot of pain. So zoned out on morphine I don't even think they knew I was there.
But I knew, that's what matters. I left behind that dry, dusty air. The foreign sights, the sounds and smells. It will be good to be home where things are green again, to smell the rain and her.
 My Alisa, she always smells like flowers after a rain. Sweet, cool and clean. We got married three days before I shipped out. That was the hardest part, leaving her.
 I sail over oceans dark and deep, jealously guarding their secrets. To the south lay the islands of Hawaii. We have a trip planned there when I return. At last, the coast of California comes in sight. Over my own country at last! Got diverted north at Kansas city, the remnants of a hurricane they say. Finally, I hit my little hometown.
 There's Spicer's Grocery where I bagged groceries as a kid. My first job. Old man Spicer's sweeping the sidewalk. Just like he has every morning, for 30 years. The Royal movie theater where I got my first kiss from Alisa. Ryan's Barber Shop where I got my first haircut. I take a spin around the town square, remembering. But I can not linger here...
I head east out of town, to our one lane gravel road. I slow here, savoring the peace after so much war. The green of the grass, the joyous cacophony of birdsong. Then I can wait no longer... I rush up the road to the little white house at the end of the street.

 I beat at the door. The screen door slapping makes a terrible racket. Like a vision, she appears before me, opening the door!

 Rushing in, I bring tears to her eyes. I brush the hair from her shoulders and wrap myself around her, crushing her sundress tight against her. I breathe her in. Sweet, cool and clean. Oh, how I've missed her!
But she can not see me.
For I am the wind.
And she doesn't know that yet...