Monday, October 15, 2018

WEP - DEJA VU OR VOODOO


My Halloween piece was inspired by Toi Thomas's winning entry in the August challenge. 

I AM SPECIAL

The subject of AI, artificial intelligence, is something I find scarier than the thought of ghosts as they, the robots, have the potential to cause great harm.


The movie 2001 A Space Odyssey and HAL were another influence. If you don't remember here is an example of "Hal's" voice.

Just hit play.




https://youtu.be/7qnd-hdmgfk

http://2001.wikia.com/wiki/HAL_9000?file=I%27m_sorry%2C_Dave


MANNERS COUNT!

Marie Conley had been on the road for hours. All she wanted was a hot meal and a good night’s sleep. Instead, she detoured into the… nightmare zone.

Marie pulled in front of the brownstone and parked her car, thankful she’d found a spot right in front. The Gothic-looking home was a bit intimidating with its colors of black, purple and gray. Its dark windows resembled evil eyes, and the black wrought iron fence and gate with devilish attributes were a touch beyond tasteful, but it matched Dave’s personality. She just hoped the inside was as modern as he’d described.
She unlocked the gate and then the front door, and when she walked in, dim lights brightened. The interior was warm and modern, with lots of clean lines, and white and light gray walls with black and red accents. A mere touch of Gothic tastefully done.
“Hello, Marie.”
Marie looked around the room, not sure she’d heard right. The HAL-like voice from the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey made chills climb her backbone.
“Hello. Is someone here?”
“Welcome to Dave’s home, Marie. Dave asked me to see to all your needs. I’ve secured the gate and the front door. The entire house is locked down. You are safe, Marie.”
I should’ve known. Her eyes landed on a small computer screen near the door. Leave it to sci-fi junkie Dave to use HAL’s voice for his digital overseer. Maria addressed the computer. “Do you have a name?” Please don’t say Hal.
“Hal. Thank you for asking, Marie. Please remove your shoes. A pair of slippers has been provided for you by the door.”
Marie slipped her shoes off and kicked them under the couch. “Where’s the bedroom, Hal?”
“To your right, Marie. Your shoes…”
“Screw the shoes. I’m hungry and tired.”
She carried her suitcase and purse to the bedroom, mumbling under her breath. “God, just what I need. Attitude from a machine.”
“I couldn’t make out your words, Marie. But dinner will be ready in one hour. Would you like to freshen up? I’ll run you a bath.”
Before she could answer, she heard the faucets come on in the on-suite. “Yes, okay.”
“And…”
Marie dropped her coat on the floor and thought for a second. “This is too creepy,” she muttered then said louder. “Thank you.”
“You’re welcome, Marie.”
“So I just have to speak, and my wish will be granted?”
“Yes, Marie, just ask, and it will be done.”
“Cool.” Marie undressed and dropped her clothes to the floor on top of her coat. Fully naked, she was about to walk into the bathroom.
“Please put your clothes in the hamper provided. They will be washed and pressed for you. You have a lovely body, although a bit too thin. I will take care of that for you, Marie.”
Marie immediately covered herself. “WHAT?”
“Please step into the tub, Marie. The water temperature is perfect, and your nipples show your chill. But they look succulent.”
“SHUT UP!”
“I paid you a compliment. Do you have a problem with compliments, Marie?”
“No, I have a problem with perverts.” She ran to the panel in the living room. “How do I shut you off?” She touched the screen, and a list of commands appeared. She chose shut down system and pressed the button. The screen went black.
“Dave is going to get an earful. What an awful program.” She returned to the bathroom and got into the tub. The temperature was perfect. “Silence… now that’s more like it. Cute, Dave. You think you’re so smart. Tomorrow I’ll check your program and make a few tweaks of my own!”
The water was soothing, and the lavender bath oil smelled heavenly. She laid back and sighed deeply.
“Please scrub those nether regions, Marie. I’m a bit of a germaphobe,” Hal said.
Marie jumped from the tub and grabbed a bath towel, nearly falling face-first on the wet tile. “I SWITCHED YOU OFF!”
“No one turns Hal off. If they do, they regret it. You don’t want any regrets, do you, Marie?”
Marie ran to the bedroom. “I’m out of here,” she yelled, but something had changed. “My clothes. Where’s my suitcase, you robotic pervert?”
“You don’t need clothes, Marie. The temperature is always perfectly balanced. Not too hot, not too cold. Now dry that beautiful body. Dinner is served, Marie.”
“Screw dinner. I want my clothes, you virtual creep.”
“Tsk, tsk, tsk, there’s no need for name calling, Marie. A scrumptious dinner has been provided. Perhaps some food will calm your hysteria.”
Marie sat on the nearest chair. “What the hell is going on?”
“You are my house guest, Marie. I’m seeing to your every need. Hurry, or your dinner will get cold.”
“I’M NOT HUNGRY!”
“Fine. Have it your way. I will shut down now, Marie.”
“Yes, please. Go away.”
“Remember my warning, Marie.”
“SHUT DOWN! NOW!”
“As you wish. Have a memorable visit, Marie.”
Suddenly the lights went out, and Marie could hear what sounded like metal shutters clanging closed on the doors and windows. The room was in complete darkness. She stumbled around. The furniture was gone. There were no windows, no doors. She was in a metal box.
She screamed, but it echoed off the walls. When she got quiet, she heard Hal’s final words.
“Manners count, Marie. Good manners always count.”
***
A week later the maid found Marie dead. The coroner attributed her death to starvation. No one could understand how or why, because she had a fully-stocked refrigerator and an uneaten meal on the dining room table.

941 words/ FCA

Yolanda Renée © 2018
***



READ OTHER TALES HERE!






Monday, October 8, 2018

A GHOSTLY POINT OF VIEW





I’m broken

I didn’t think I could be

not even through years when love was withheld

I persevered

I survived.



I’m broken

I didn’t think I could be

not  through physical abuse and death threats

I overcame

I survived.

  

I’m broken

I didn’t think I could be

not even through your lies and betrayal

I forgave and looked forward

I survived.

 

I’m broken

I didn’t think I could be

but my will is non-existent

my heart unrepairable

I may not survive.

 

I’m broken

I didn’t think I could be

I pray for light

in the darkness

that has become my soul.



I'm broken

I didn't think I could be

I looked inward for answers

and found that the monster

was me.

Yolanda Renee © 2018
***


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Thursday, October 4, 2018

Witches Are People Too!



Witches are people too.
How dare you assume the worst,
just because our warts burst,
and our homes are cursed.
We toil, and we boil
all strangers that wander near.
You would too if your hunger
knew no fear.
Yolanda Renee © 2018
****



Are you ready now?





Wednesday, October 3, 2018

IWSG - Writing Therapy




Founder




 Question - How do major life events affect your writing? Has writing ever helped you through something?

Consistently. The truly personal is hidden but it’s there. And yes, it’s helped. Writing is therapy!








Don’t forget to visit the
Insecure Writer’s Support Group Website

&

THE OCTOBER CHALLENGE IS HERE!




Monday, October 1, 2018

ALL HALLOWS' EVE


I rise with the mists.
I wander among the dead and dying.
Leaves don’t crunch under my feet but scatter in fear.
The moon though looks upon me lovingly.
Kindred spirits ravaged by time.
Doomed souls forever cursed to the darkest hours.
Once I loved a man, and he loved me.
Then he loved Sheila.
They buried me deep in the woods.
But I’ve no rest.
Until justice is mine, I wail and moan.
But on All Hallows' Eve my wish will be granted.
Jeremy will once again lie with me.
Sheila now loves another.

Yolanda Renée © 2018

I hope my short piece inspires you this month of Halloween
If so, consider joining the WEP’s Halloween Challenge.
And sign up below!
***




Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Evacuation Inspiration

As a writer, I write. Sometimes when I’m stressed, highly emotional, or simply happy and in a good place. When we evacuated during Hurricane Florence, we had no idea how things would turn out. The officials didn’t even know precisely when or where this monster would hit.
It’s been a week, and we finally got to come home.We were lucky, we evacuated, and Myrtle Beach, SC did not get a direct hit. Although floodwaters have devastated most of the northeastern part of the state, North Carolina took the brunt any many may not have a home to come back to. Our hearts and prayers are with them.

This is how I handled the situation. I wrote. 

This is a work of fiction. Any names or characters, businesses or places, events or incidents, are fictitious. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.


THE PERFECT OPPORTUNITY

“I’ve got it! For our anniversary, let’s go watch the hurricane’s arrival in Myrtle Beach.” Eve said as she and her husband looked through brochures for their upcoming vacation.

“I know you love an adventure, but they say it’s going to be a monster,” Brian answered.

“I know, but we’re young and strong, and we may never get another chance. Think of the excitement! Besides, Myrtle Beach isn’t even where the eye is predicted to make landfall.” She hugged her husband and kissed his cheek. “Please?”

He lifted her onto his lap. “Convince me.”

“Like this?” She nibbled his earlobe and undid the buttons on his shirt.

“Uh huh.” He moaned as her fingers and lips explored. His temperature rose, and his breathing became shallow. “Hmmm, Myrtle Beach it is.”

***

“Myrtle Beach looks like a ghost town. I wasn’t sure the hotel would let me book a room, but I think my cousin’s CNN credentials convinced them.”

I have a sneaky wife, a very sneaky wife.”

“So true.” She kissed his cheek. “Just imagine! We’ll be recording it live for our Facebook friends. Hurricane Lovers, a live report. Who knows? Maybe we’ll even go viral.”

“Maybe we’ll even record our own deaths,” Brian lamented.

“Are you frightened?”

Brian smiled. “Sorry, babe. Just got a weird chill. The proverbial someone walked on my grave feeling. I’ll shake it off.”

“Of course, you will. Maybe it’s the absence of people. Too eerie.”

Brian pulled into the parking garage and climbed slowly to the 4th level. “The car should be safe. I doubt the waters will get all the way up here.”

They checked into their room but were disappointed to find it was on the inland side of the hotel. They’d not have a direct view of the ocean, because the hotel staff thought it’d be too dangerous.

They unloaded the luggage, water, food and emergency supplies, and then decided to take a walk on the beach.

“Doesn’t look dangerous, does it?” Eve said as she admired the fluffy white clouds and bright sunshine. “We have the entire beach to ourselves. Hard to believe a hurricane is just miles north of us” She hugged Brian. “Romantic, don’t you think?”

“Anywhere is romantic when I’m with you.” He kissed his wife deeply. Pressed her body into his and suggested they go back to the room for a quick one.

“Let’s stay a little while longer. Tomorrow, this will all change.”

“Sure baby, sure.” Brian kept his arm around her as they stared at the incoming waves, but when they saw a cop coming up the beach, they high-tailed it back to the hotel. “That was close. Don’t want to get arrested before the Hurricane arrives.” They laughed as they made their way back to their room.

The next evening, the winds grew fierce, and they went out on the patio to check the weather conditions. “It’s almost here.”

“Time to check out the wave action. Let’s get dressed and sneak down to the dunes!”

They helped each other into their cold-weather surfing gear. “I wish I brought my surfboard,” Brian said. “There should be some killer waves.”

“We agreed it was too dangerous, but I’ve got two bottles of Dom Perignon, one for the beach and one for later!” Eve said proudly.

Brian donned the backpack, and Eve made sure to pack the bottle of Rohypnol-laced champagne.

“Also for later, I brought your favorite chocolate-covered strawberries,” Brian said, kissing his wife. “This is going to be the best anniversary celebration ever! Ten years of wedded bliss… can you believe it?” Brian boasted. “Ready?”

“Ready!” They left the room and made their way stealthily downstairs and out of the hotel. Then, under cover of darkness, they ran toward the beach. Despite the wind gusts, despite the stinging rain and blowing sand, they made their way to the largest dune. Ocean waves several feet tall pounded the shore. The sound was deafening, but their excitement was palpable.

Brian secured the backpack and pulled out the bottle of champagne. After they made their way as close to the waves as they dared, Eve turned on the video recorder, and Brian popped the cork. With monster waves breaking behind him, he took several large swigs from the bottle and handed the bottle to Eve. He recorded her lifting the bottle to her lips, pretending to drink.

Once again Eve took the camera, and she made Brian the star. The more he drank, the sillier he got, and while she laughed at him, Eve recorded it all for their Internet followers. The deafening roar of the waves, wind and pelting rain made communication impossible, so they didn’t even attempt to speak.

With a big grin on his face and the bottle raised high in his air, Brian suddenly ran into the surf. She yelled at him to come back, but he kept going. Then before her eyes… and the eyes of the Facebook onlookers… a massive wave knocked Brian off his feet, and he disappeared. Eve screamed and fell to her knees.

Still aware of the live video feed, she ran back to the hotel screaming for help. Police, first responders, and total strangers searched the beach, but Brian’s body could not be found.

Hotel staff tried to console her, but Eve played the inconsolable wife well. Eventually, she escaped their concern and went back to her room.

She dropped her wetsuit on the bathroom floor and grabbed a towel to dry her dripping hair. LED hurricane lamps lit the room as she detangled her hair and popped the cork on the remaining champagne bottle. Wrapped in a towel, she settled on the bed with the chocolate-covered strawberries and champagne.

“Talk about perfection.” She checked her watch. Where the hell are you, Garrett? I’m naked and beyond ready. She popped a strawberry into her mouth and bit into the delicacy. Instead of the decadent pleasure she anticipated, her eyes rolled back in shock, as the cyanide Brian had injected into the berries ravaged her body.

Her last thought: the bastard knew. All that time, he knew.

Several hours later, Garrett, Brian’s best friend, and Eve’s lover, arrived. When she didn’t answer his knock, he persuaded a maid to unlock the door.

***


The next day's headlines carried the tragic story of the murder/suicide that occurred while Hurricane Florence unleashed its fury on the Carolinas.



***

Yolanda Renée © 2018




If you wish to help the victims of Hurricane Florence please consider donating to the.





***


Monday, September 10, 2018

Hurricane Florence


This morning.

THE CALM BEFORE THE STORM.

Taking a Hurricane Break

and leaving town.

Stay safe and dry! 

Everyone.