Friday, November 30, 2018

The Time Bender


A 500 word short story by Scott A. Gese

He was the top coder in the country.
Timothy Wilkins was a twenty-eight year old prodigy. Hired by the NSA to develop software for a top secret project. A project that had been in the works for five years. No one had been able to complete the necessary coding needed to finish the project. Top coders had tried and failed.

The “machine” was nothing more than a helmet. A sophisticated version of a virtual reality headset. But this project wasn't a game. It was real. The movie titled “The Matrix” only hinted at what was really possible. Recent advancements in the understanding of quantum physics had made the project more than theoretically possible.

The project Timothy Wilkins was hired to complete was the manifestation of that theory. It was a machine that could actually bend time. It was a time machine.

In the past, the thought was that the body would move through time in some sort of a craft. The new thinking was a radical departure from the past.

The New thought was that physical travel didn't need to happen. The body would stay put. The mind will do the traveling. It goes way beyond Lucid Dreaming or Out of Body travel. Mere child's play compared to the technology being developed by sources much higher than even that of the NSA. The NSA was a front for the real power players.

The problem wasn't that someone couldn't be sent forward. That had been done. The problem was twofold. They couldn't bring them back and they couldn't communicate with them in real time.

A few experiments had been attempted. Someone was sent forward by a week. They would leave a message in a predetermined location acknowledging their arrival. A week later the message showed up. It was a slow system. Currently six people were stuck in time, unable to return. They were virtually alive and living in the future. But their current time bodies were in a secure room, comatose, waiting for the day they could return home.

Wilkins was hired to figure out a real time communication system no matter how far in advance future travelers were sent. Communication was the top priority, not bringing them back.

He worked tirelessly on the project for close to a month. Twice the attempt was made. The secure room body count rose by two.

Unbeknownst to the NSA, Wilkins was working on a side project. How to return from a future time.

Over the next month the body count grew by another two. It looked like the problem wasn't going to be solved any time soon. The bodies disappeared along with the funding. Wilkins was let go, but not before he had downloaded all the information he needed to build a machine that could bend time.

He may not have solved the communication problem, but he did figure out how to return. The world was about to change for the better and Timothy Wilkins was the man who would lead the way.

© Copyright 2018 by Scott A. Gese All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

A Change of Heart


A 500 word short story by Scott A. Gese

The old man sat motionless behind the wheel
Before him was the cliff. All he had to do was step on the gas and it would all be over in a few seconds. He had made it this far, but now, faced with the possibility of impending death, the end of his ninety-plus years on this earth, the end of his life as he knew it, he hesitated and he remembered.

He remembered all the firsts in his life. His first job. The first time he saw a television set. His first car, his first date and his first kiss. Her name was Emma. She had the reddest lips, big brown eyes and auburn hair. The memories were now pouring in. Lost within the dark recesses of his mind for so many years, they now broke loose and came flooding forward like a tsunami wave heading back to shore.

He recalled his wife of seventy years. He still loved her even though she had passed on some ten years ago. Secretly, he had always wanted her to go first. To spare her from the grief he knew would come. To spare her from the loneliness he now felt. He knew her, and thought he could handle it better than her. He didn't realize how hard it would be or that it would last so long. Why was he lingering here? Why hadn't he passed on right after her like so many couples he had known?

He recalled his kids. Two girls and a boy. His son was killed in action. He was given a metal and the flag that draped his sons coffin. It was a worthless consolation for the loss of his only son. His two girls grew up and grew old. One passed last year. He lived with the other. He was a burden to her and he knew it.

He recalled many things as he sat behind that wheel. He looked out over the ocean ahead of him. He couldn't see the secluded beach below. He had left a note behind so his daughter would be able to find him. He knew she would be distraught, but at the same time relieved.

As he sat there in deep thought, a knock on the window brought him back. It was a police officer.

Mr. Sheridon, are you OK?”

How do you know who I am?” The old man asked.

Your license plate. Are you OK? Your daughter's worried about you. She told us where to find you. She thought you may have driven over the cliff.”

No, I think I've changed my mind on that. I think I want to go home.”

That's good Mr. Sheridan. Why don't you let me give you a ride.”

He turned off the ignition and stepped out of the car.

The family on the beach directly below the cliff enjoyed a picnic lunch on a beautiful day. Unaware of what was taking place just above their heads.

© Copyright 2018 by Scott A. Gese All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

The End of Harvey Anderson


A 500 Word Short Story by Scott A. Gese

He had the best of both worlds.
He was rich and he was famous. For twenty years he lived the life of a rock star. Sold out concerts, platinum albums and all the liquor, drugs and women a man could ask for. It seemed as if there would be no end to this life of unprecedented fame and fortune. But of course, everything comes to an end. And so it did for Harvey Anderson and his heavy metal band called Hardrock Quarry.

The band was playing their final encore to a sold out show in the city of Chicago. Harvey was smashing his guitar on the stage floor. He had done this so many times, the audience expected it. What wasn't expected, at least by Harvey, was the shard that flew back and lodged in his throat. As soon as it happened he dropped his guitar raised his hands as if the show was over and exited the stage. He had worked the audience into a frenzy. They never knew.

Backstage there was pandemonium. Harvey was bleeding heavily. The shard had nicked an artery and lodged in his larynx. Fortunately the band traveled with a personal physician, mainly to keep an eye on them as they frequently partied with hard liquor and illegal drugs.

Tonight he earned his money. He kept Harvey alive until an ambulance arrived. Harvey was admitted to the emergency room of the local hospital. The shard had damaged his vocal chords.

As Harvey recovered, it became apparent that his natural voice was now but a shadow of what it used to be. He could no longer strain his vocal chords when he sang. Even talking was difficult at times. His life was saved, but his career was over. Without Harvey, the band fell apart. Its members went their separate ways. Harvey went home to his Malibu house lost and confused.

For several months after word got out, a constant string of well wishers stopped by to console and party with Harvey, but it wasn't the same as when he was on the road. Over time, Harvey felt less like partying. He was changing and as he did, his partying friends dropped off.

He was becoming bored. He needed an outlet. Harvey may not have been able to sing like he used to, but he could still play the guitar. From time to time he would anonymously fill in as a lead guitar player for other heavy metal bands, but his heart was no longer into their wild lifestyle.

His Malibu home held a state of the art recording studio. Harvey used his time doing something he had frequently thought about, but never had the time to pursue. With his raspy voice, an old Lee Oskar harmonica and a secret love for the blues, Harvey Anderson reinvented himself.

Harvey Anderson had died on that fateful night. In his place, a new man was born. His first release was called Outland Blues. It took the world by storm.

© Copyright 2018 by Scott A. Gese All Rights Reserved.


Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Payback


A 500 Word Short Story by Scott A. Gese

They say a picture is worth a thousand words.”
Biggs continued to admire the photo of his German Shepherd. “Sandy would have been twelve today. Just look at that face. I tell you what, that dog could talk without saying a word. Look at those eyes. What an expression...”

Enough!, enough already! I'm so damn tired of hearing about that dog I could puke.” Johnny Martin was Larry Biggs' partner. They'd been patrolling the South district together for the past two months. They worked the night patrol.

The South District at night was a hell hole. Hookers, junkies, dealers and gang bangers all jostling for a piece of concrete turf. It was smack dab in the middle of a mid-August heat wave. Hot and sticky even at one in the morning. The heat brought out the worst in people. Tempers flared. Guns and knives were drawn at the slightest provocation. People died for nothing more than a terse word or a dirty look.

Tonight was no different.

Biggs closed the visor where Sandy's photo hung. “Sorry Johnny, Sandy patrolled with me for close to ten years.”

You never did tell me what happened to her,” quizzed Martin.

Sure you want to hear?”

Ya ya, go ahead. I'll be good.”

Sandy was my patrol partner. Like I said, we were together for close to ten years. She saved my butt and I saved hers as well. We were a damn good team. One night we got a call. A shooting on Flanders Ave., not too far from here. When we arrived there was still trouble lurking. I called for backup. Sandy and I got out to question a couple of hoods still hangin' around. One of them pulled a gun and Sandy went for him. He shot her and took off running. I let him go and took care of Sandy. She died in my arms.”

Wow, sorry to hear that, Biggs. Did you catch the guy?”

Not yet. I know who he is and where he hangs out. We drive through the area every night. He'll show up. When he does, he'll wish he hadn't.”

Several weeks went by. Biggs and Martin were driving through the area where Sandy was shot. Suddenly, Biggs hit the brakes. “Well I'll be damned. There he is. The kid in the red hoodie. The Sandy killer.”

Are you sure about that?”

Damn sure.”

Biggs hit the gas and screeched to a halt right next to him. Both men jumped out and the kid took off. Biggs was hot on his trail. Martin jumped behind the wheel and gave chase. The two ran down an alley and Martin pulled in. It was a dead end. Biggs had the kid trapped. His baton was drawn. Martin jumped out and Biggs ordered him back into the car.

Don't do anything stupid, Biggs.” Martin shouted.

He murdered my partner, paybacks are hell,” replied Biggs. “Don't worry, he'll live.”

© Copyright 2018 by Scott A. Gese All Rights Reserved.


Monday, November 26, 2018

Beating the Odds


A 500 Word Short Story by Scott A. Gese

There was nothing left of the money.
They took it all. Wiped me out and then asked me to leave the table. Not even a “Sorry 'bout your luck” farewell drink. Bastards! Luckily it was only a thousand dollars.

It's not just my luck that's gone sour. For the past couple of months my whole life has hit the skids. The last of my kids moved out of the house. My wife was close behind. Said she had “fulfilled her obligation” and now her life was her own again. She made it quite apparent that I was no longer included.

It looks like I'm a free man now, except for the job I really despise, but need. So maybe I'm not as free as I think. I'm shackled to it for now.

The day the divorce papers were finalized I was feeling low. I stopped and had a couple of drinks after work. I bought a pack of cigarettes and a lottery ticket on the way out. I don't normally play the lottery, but as I said, I was feeling sorry for myself and I needed something to cheer me up. It felt good to fantasize about what I would do if I ended up being the big winner.

When I got home I threw the smokes and the ticket on my dresser and went to bed.

The ticket was promptly forgotten about. A full week went by before I remembered it. I had heard some lucky bastard had won the grand prize. Whoever it was was probably sitting on a beach in Tahiti right now sucking down one of those fruity umbrella drinks. I knew my chances of winning were slim to none and probably closer to the latter. The odds favor the house in a big way. That's why I never play.

It was Monday morning. I shoved the ticket into my pocket and figured I'd check it when I got to the office.

It was around noon when I finally checked the ticket. I pulled up the lottery website. My head bobbed between the screen and the ticket as I checked the numbers. Then I checked them again. Then I checked them for a third time.

Each time I checked I made excuses. My eyesight's bad. I'm not reading these numbers correctly. I must not be doing this right. But every time they came up the same. A perfect match. The prize was twenty million dollars. Things like this don't happen to me. My heart was pounding with excitement. I began to feel queasy.

I wasn't sure what to do next. I had to read the instructions on the back of the ticket before I realized I needed to sign it. I did, then tucked it safely into my wallet.

I regained my composure, walked into my bosses office and gave him my notice, effective immediately. I redeemed the ticket and booked a flight to Tahiti.

I was looking forward to one of those fruity umbrella drinks.

© Copyright 2018 by Scott A. Gese All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

The Final Blow


A 500 word Short Story by  Scott A. Gese 

It was a deep cut across the right brow.
Blood was flowing into Jake's eye blinding his right side, leaving him vulnerable to a left hook. He needed the bell to ring and he needed it fast. He put his opponent into a clench and wiped his eye on whatever was handy. His opponents shoulder was as good as anything. By the time the ref. broke them up he had gained enough vision to protect himself from two hard left hooks. He couldn't keep it up. He needed that bell.

It seemed like forever, but finally, the brutal round came to an end. Jake went to his corner where his trainer worked to stop the bleeding. “You can't lose this fight, Jake,” his trainer cautioned. “Leo bet on you and he plans to win. If you don't deliver we're both dead men. You're fighting for your life, Jake...and mine too. Get out there and act like it.”

He cut me with a head butt,” complained Jake.

I don't give a shit how it happened. His left eye is swelling shut. Take advantage of it. Do what you need to do, just don't blow it. This is the last round and you're behind on points. You need to knock this guy out.”

I'm tellin' you, he's like hittin' a brick wall.”

You gotta' knock it down, Jake. You just gotta.”

The bell rang and both men came out. A few jabs and a minute later nothing much was happening. The taunting and fancy footwork had ended. Both men were tired. Then it happened. A flash of red from the cheap seats caught Jake's eye. It was a woman in a red hat. It took his attention away from the fight for just a split second. It was all the time his opponent needed. A solid right cross took Jake to the mat.

When Jake came too he was in the locker room. His trainer was heading for the door. He stopped for only a second. “When Leo walks in here I'll be gone. You're a loser. Thanks for nothing. I hope you have better luck in the afterlife.” He left out the back door. Jake never laid eyes on the man again.

He stood to shake the cobwebs from his head when Leo and his bodyguard walked in. “Well well well, If it isn't the late Jake...aah, what is it you call yourself. Jake the Snake? Well Mr. Snake, I'm gonna' stomp on your head.”

I got somethin' to say about that,” replied Jake.

Oh? You think so mister bigshot?”

Jake sucker punched Leo with a hard right hook crushing the side of his head. He went down like a dead man. “Sorry Leo. I let my fist do the talking.”

His bodyguard pulled a gun.

Put that away you fool. You're too late, he's already dead.”

They both slipped out the back door.

Jake pulled a disappearing act and was never seen again.

© Copyright 2018 by Scott A. Gese All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Lost and Found


A 500 Word Short Story by Scott A. Gese

The sun sat low across the water.
The warm breeze was comfortable. The salt air, refreshing. The cloud formation was a perfect setup for a magnificent sunset.

She had traveled to the small island of Kauai to get away. To lose herself in the beauty and serenity of this place. To find herself, in the scheme of things that mattered most to her. She needed time to think. Time to unwind. Time to lose track of time itself.

Nothing seemed to matter any longer. Her dreams put on hold for too long. Marriage, career, a family, someone to love. They had quietly passed her by like a lone ship in the night. The twilight of her mundane life was now at hand and she mourned the passing of her youth.

She sat on a rock on a beach on an island and stared out upon the water as the sky before her slowly changed from cool blue to soft pink to vibrant red, and then, faded to black.

~~~

He sat on the patio of his hotel as he watched the sun set. He enjoyed the island and was seriously thinking about making it his permanent home. There was nothing holding him back. He had the funds from a lucrative career to carry him through his retirement years. His wife had passed on and with no family to help him grieve, he was left alone and lonely.

He had enjoyed life in his younger years. He had taken it by the horns and wrestled it into submission. During mid-life he was on top of the world. Handsome, successful, invincible. That was all behind him now. Nothing more than a fading memory and it was fading faster than he had expected. He had lost interest in his hobbies, in his friends, in life itself. He was in the process of slowly dropping out.

On a whim, he decided to take a stroll on the beach. It was warm and a beautiful sunset was beginning to take shape. The salt air cleared his head and helped him think, about times past, times present and where his life might go from here.

He walked along the waters edge as the sun dropped low. The changing colors of the sky was like a metaphor for the twilight of his life. It built to a crescendo of vibrant color and then slowly faded to black.

As he walked along the beach, he passed her as she sat upon a rock watching the sunset. Like him, she was alone. When he returned to the spot, she was gone, but not out of sight. She was ahead of him, but he had a longer stride.

He caught up to her as she turned to head up to the hotel where she was staying. His hotel. She had stopped to put her sandals on. Their eyes met for a moment, then two. He introduced himself. She smiled. They shared a late night drink.... and an early morning sunrise.

© Copyright 2018 by Scott A. Gese All Rights Reserved.

Friday, November 23, 2018

Once an Asshole...


A 500 Word Short Story by Scott A. Gese

He hadn't seen his old man since 1998.

Twenty years ago, without warning, his father handed his mom divorce papers and walked away from his family. Twenty years ago Marcus swore he would never talk to his father again. At the time, Marcus had no clue as to what was going on in his fathers head. He just saw the physical manifestations of those thoughts. And from what he could see, he believed his father was a full blown asshole.

The decision not to talk to the man again may have been irrational. One made by a stubborn and contentious twenty-five year old, but for the next twenty years, he held himself to it.

Age tended to mellow Marcus. It allowed him time to reflect. Realizing his hatred toward his father may have been unfounded, he decided to find him. Marcus needed to know the truth.

His father had tried to bury his whereabouts. He apparently didn't want anyone finding him, but Marcus was adept with a computer and public records being what they are, he managed to come up with some assorted information including an address. It was in a very small mid-western town. He had changed his last name, remarried and had two kids. His wife's name was Beth.

Marcus took a few days off and drove to this small town. He went into the local cafe and took a seat at the counter and ordered something to eat. An older woman waited on him. Business was slow and she was talkative. He was surprised to find out that the waitresses name was Beth. Maybe it was just a coincidence, or maybe providence.

Among other things he gleaned from the conversation was that her husband picked her up each night. Out of habit, he would eat a piece of pie before they left. Turns out his name was Mack...his fathers name.

Marcus decided to linger until Mack showed up to have a piece of pie. Marcus guessed he would order a piece of the cherry pie he had noticed sitting in the cooler.

When Mack walked in the door he took a seat at the counter and ordered the cherry pie.

He smelled of cheap liquor.

Have you been drinking again,” Beth asked. She was visibly upset and didn't care who heard her.

What's it too you anyhow. I got a right.”

You say you're going to quit, but you never do,” she countered.

As Marcus recalled, Mack used to have a short fuse and a temper. He still did.

Mack shot back. “I don't need any more of this grief from you, woman.” He shoved the pie at her and stomped out.

Marcus followed him. “Mack Sheridon?”

Mack turned. “Who the hell are you?”

I'm your son, Marcus. Remember me? I thought we might talk. Thought maybe you'd changed over the years. I guess not. You're still the same asshole I remember.”

Disappointed, Marcus walked off. He never saw the old man again.



© Copyright 2018 by Scott A. Gese All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

The Black Mamba's


A 500 Word Short Story by Scott A. Gese


There was a sudden realization that the cage was empty.
Carl was never really one to panic, but this was serious. If it had been nothing more than a garden variety, non-poisonous snake, he wouldn't have been so upset. This was different. These were Black Mamba's. One of the worlds most deadliest snakes.

Carl's fascination with snakes, especially the deadly ones began several years ago. He had owned a boa. It was fun to carry around. Most people were repulsed by it, especially if he had it around his neck. The shock value alone was worth it.

Three years ago he had gotten his hands on a Diamondback Rattler. He had caught it himself off a friends back patio. They put it in a gunny sack and he took it home. He kept it in an old 100 gallon salt water aquarium he had transformed into a very nice desert environment. The rattler had recently died and Carl knew he needed to find another.

His close circle of friends all had the same love for snakes, Most were happy with the non-lethal types, but there were a couple others who had a fascination for the deadly ones. His buddy Jeff was one of them. Jeff had a friend who knew a man who could get his hands on one of the deadliest snakes in the world, A Black Mamba. Carl knew it was a long shot. The snake was illegal and had to be smuggled into the country. To get his hands on such a snake would be quite the coup. The fact that it was illegal only made it that much more appealing.

Plans to acquire the Mamba were put into play. Jeff made the necessary contacts. Money had to be paid up front. Jeff was also interested in a Mamba so they put up the money for two.

Several weeks went by and the men were beginning to wonder if they had been duped. But then...Jeff got the call. Two snakes would be delivered within the week.

They were stoked. Jeff had his enclosure ready. Carl still needed to make a couple of modifications to keep his pesky cat from trying to get at them. So when the snakes arrived Jeff kept them both for several days.

When Carl finally took his snake home, he was enamored with it. His fascination kicked up a notch when the snake unexpectedly laid a dozen eggs. He couldn't get to the phone fast enough. Jeff was over in a flash claiming ownership to six of them since surely it was his snake that had done the deed. They kept a close eye on the eggs until they hatched.

Several days after they had hatched. Carl went to check on the babies only to find his cat had caved in the top of the tank. It was dead inside the tank and the snakes had somehow used the broken top to escape. Thirteen Black Mamba's were now on the loose...in Carl's house.

© Copyright 2018 by Scott A. Gese All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

The Dream Machine


A 500 Word Short Story by Scott A. Gese

Anslo was about to check his bag when he realized he had accidentally slipped his pocket knife back into his pants pocket. 

He was already running late and there was no time to go about mailing it to himself. He really didn't want to lose it so he took a chance and dropped it into the main compartment of his bag and checked it in. He hoped it would be there when he arrived.

After the flight he picked up his luggage and caught an Uber to the dock where he boarded a cruise ship and found his berth. When he had the chance to check his bag, he breathed a sigh of relief when he found the knife was still there. He set it on the dresser with plans to mail it home.

That evening at dinner, his table was being entertained by a man who called himself The Dreamer. He had a box called the Dream Machine. Each person at the table was to write a word on a card. All the cards would be fed into a slot on the box and a single “Dream Card” would be returned with a fortune written on it using the words it had been fed. The fortune would be for one person at the table, but no one would know for sure who it would be for. They all played along and fed their cards to the box.

The dream card was returned. “Before I read this card I must tell you something,” stated the Dreamer. “I have yet to have one of these dreams fail.”

He looked at the card and gasped “Oh my. Maybe we should try this again.”

Again? No no, read the card,” they all insisted.

OK, I'll read the card, but I hope this dream doesn't come true.” He held the card out and read, “Your fantasy is fraught with danger. Proceed with caution.

They all had a good laugh and thought about what their personal fantasy might be.

After dinner and drinks, Anslo found himself in the company of a beautiful young woman. He ordered two bottles of champagne. They took the bottles and headed back to Anslo's berth where they proceeded to finish them both off.

As the night progressed, Anslo allowed the young woman to bind his wrists with his necktie and then tie him to the bed. It was her fantasy, not his. It was against his better judgment, but he played along.

After the fun was over he asked to be untied. The young woman worked at the knots but the champagne was keeping her from focusing her attention. She couldn't get them undone.

I know what I can do,” she said. She fell off the bed, got up and staggered over to the dresser. “I saw this knife up here when I came in. I'll take it and just slice those knots right off your wrists.”

She opened the knife and staggered back to the bed.

© Copyright 2018 by Scott A. Gese All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Check Mate


A 500 Word Short Story by Scott A. Gese


Everything about her was a lie.
It had to be. It was the only way to be sure she wasn't found out. The assignment was dangerous, but Sarah was absolutely the best person to pull it off. People were counting on her to do what no one had dared to attempt. She was to be embedded deep within the Gardino family crime syndicate.

Sarah was a total fabrication from her birth certificate to her breast implants. Louis Gardino and his closest confidants had been extensively vetted. Nothing was left to chance. Sarah knew their favorite drink, smoke, food, taste in women, aftershave, toothpaste. All things above and below the beltline. The list was extensive and Sarah knew it well enough to play Louis Gardino and the others like a chess tournament grand master.

Her assignment was to gather information on the families illegal drug and gambling activities. An extensive dossier needed to be built before the family could be brought down. The current information wouldn't hold up against the high powered lawyers employed by the organization.

Sarah was ready. The show was about to begin. She was to be “dropped off” at the Excelsior. A posh restaurant on the East side. She entered with a date. They were seated at a table where she faced Louis Gardino. She paid no attention to him, but he noticed her. Her hair, her dress, the way she held her cigarette. It all went as planned. Gardino couldn't help himself. He had to make an introduction. When he did, he smelled her perfume. It was all too easy.

Before the evening was over Louis Gardino left the restaurant with Sarah at his arm. She was his for the night.

For the next two weeks she divided her time between her luxury apartment and his penthouse suite. The first morning she was picked up, two men swept her apartment looking for bugs or anything that might incriminate her. They found nothing. From then on, it was a spot check every few days. Sarah was careful. She had to be. They always found her clean.

Gardino's lawyers did an extensive background check. Other than a well placed speeding ticket tying her to a certain place, at a certain time, on a certain day, there was nothing. The ticket was scrutinized and she was asked about it. She answered their questions to everyone's satisfaction...except for one. Louis Gardino himself. Everything was too perfect, too clean, too...unnatural. “Everyone makes mistakes.” He had said it many times. Sarah squeaked and he didn't like it. He summoned his younger brother, Angelo. “Something's not right with Sarah. I can feel it in my gut. Dig a little deeper into this ticket thing.”

Within a week, Angelo had an answer for Louis. They discussed how to best handle the situation.
Sarah's people were getting nervous. She had been silent for several days. A week later Sarah's body was pulled from the East river.

Her real drivers license was stuffed in her mouth.

© Copyright 2018 by Scott A. Gese All Rights Reserved.

Monday, November 19, 2018

The Room From Hell


A 500 Word Short Story by Scott A. Gese


There was an out of order sign on the elevator door.

Great, just what I need.” Gary was upset to say the least. He walked over to the main desk in a huff.

May I help you,” asked the clerk.

How long is the elevator going to be out of order?” he asked in anger.

Might be out for a couple of days,” replied the clerk.

Gary was now fuming. “Listen buddy, when I booked here I asked for a ground floor room. You told me the only available room was on the sixth floor. Room 666 to be exact. Not my favorite number, but you assured me there was an elevator just down the hall. It was the last room in town and I needed it, so I took a chance...on the floor and the room. How in the hell am I suppose to get to my room?”

The clerk pointed to his right and said, “The stairs are just down the hall, next to the elevator.”

Stairs?” Shouted Gary. “Look at me, I'm overweight and out of shape. I haven't walked a flight of stairs in years.”

Well, maybe the stairs will help,” the clerk calmly stated as he once again pointed in their direction.

Gary was livid as he started down the hall, griping all the way. “I can't believe this. Your boss is going to hear from me. This is an outrage.”

Gary opened the door to the staircase and took a deep breath. How many times am I going to have to do this, he wondered to himself.

He reluctantly started up the first flight. When he reached the second floor, he sat down to catch his breath. He was mad, out of breath and now he was sweating. All the while cursing everything under the sun.

Once he caught his breath he resumed his climb. This flight was a little harder. When he reached the third floor he sat down again. It took him several minutes to catch his breath. More cursing. His blood pressure was up and he knew it. After ten minutes he decided to tackle the next flight.

He was sweating profusely and breathing hard before he made it to the third floor, but he did make it. His anger had now turned to rage. “If I die before I get to my room I'll come back from the depths of hell to haunt this place,” he screamed.

Just then the number three door opened. A mysterious figure in a black hoodie came through and sat down next to Gary. “Yo bro., what's up. Looks like you're having a time of it. How high you goin'?

The sixth floor. Room 666, can you believe it?”

Ohh, I know that room bro. That's my room.” The mysterious black hooded figure suddenly vanished. Gary was extremely confused. What, that's my room, not his.

They found him on the hotel stairs. Death had found him first.

© Copyright 2018 by Scott A. Gese All Rights Reserved.


Sunday, November 18, 2018

The Birthday Surprise


A 500 Word Short Story by Scott A. Gese

As soon as she walked in, she felt the tension.
Then she noticed the man wearing a ski mask and knew why. He pointed a gun in her direction and used it to motion her to the back room where the others were being held. Not on my birthday, she thought as she scanned the scene. One bank teller was busy emptying out the registers. A second gunman was at the safe with another teller. He was filling a sack with bundles of bills. The security guard lay on the floor in a pool of blood. The silent alarm had not been set off. There was a cake.

The gunmen didn't realize the woman who had just walked in was the branch manager, her name was Sasha Lee, They took her cell phone and led her to the back room. As soon as the door was closed she reached into her jacket pocket and pushed the button on her remote unit setting off a silent alarm. It put the local authorities into immediate action.

Once the money was gathered the men shoved the two tellers into the back room with the others.

Only Sasha knew the room was a safe room. and she had the remote that secured the door. She cautiously stepped outside the room and locked it, then quickly slipped behind a counter. The two men had just stepped outside when the first police car pulled up. They high tailed it back into the bank. The cops didn't know the situation so they kept their distance for the time being.

The phone rang. They ignored it at first, but it wouldn't stop. One of the men finally answered it. An officer was on the line. “Looks like we have a situation here son.”

That's right,” replied the gunman. “We got hostages.”

As one gunman talked with the officer, the second one went for the hostages, but the door was locked. They may have had hostages, but they were of little use if they couldn't get to them. While one was on the phone, the other worked on getting the door open. Sasha quickly stepped behind him and with the stealth that revealed her training in Ninjitsu, she took him out. He never knew what hit him. The gunman on the phone had no idea his partner had just been decommission.

Once off the phone he called to him, but there was no answer. He found him unconscious behind the counter.

What the hell is this?” He quickly scanned the room. A voice behind him whispered in his ear, “Are you looking for me?”

The gunman quickly spun around but it was too late. Sasha had him down and out before he had time to react.

Sasha cautiously stepped out the front door. She was met by an officer who happened to know her. “Sasha, when I realized it was your branch I knew there was going to be trouble.”

Trouble?” She replied. “Piece a cake.”

© Copyright 2018 by Scott A. Gese All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Anna's Mom


A 500 Word Short Story by Scott A. Gese

Amongst her mother's possessions, she found the journals.
Anna set them aside as she went through the rest of the box. The contents said a lot about the woman. Estranged and aloof to the world around her.

Anna was an only child. She never knew her father. It was nothing more than a brief encounter after which the two went their separate ways. Her mother never married, lived life on her own terms and died just shy of her 60th birthday. She had no qualms about going. Said she knew what she was getting into and that it was nothing to fear. Most people who heard this figured she was just trying to make it easy on herself.

Anna had packed the box when she was taking care of her mothers belongings. It held the trappings of someone who seemed deeply spiritual. Not religious. She never believe in doctrine. But spiritual as in believing she was born to this earth to have the experience. Once her time here came to an end, she would be going back to where she came. Earth was nothing more than a schoolyard where one learned, practiced and helped others find a more peaceful way to exist.

It was the journals that intrigued Anna the most. They contained her mothers experiences with both lucid dreaming and out of body experiences. Anna didn't realize her mother had been involved in doing such things. She had journaled her experiences for years.

Anna was intrigued. She spend hours reading over the entries. Her mother's OBE's had led her on some fantastic and rather unbelievable journeys. She experienced different dimensions, otherworldly beings and even talked with long gone relatives. They were very well written and quite entertaining.

Her lucid dreams were used to help her become more aware and in touch with herself as well as to help her cope with a rather difficult life.

Anna didn't know what to make of the journal entries. Had her mother gone mad? Was she making it all up? If so, for what reason? The more Anna read, the more she questioned the content of the journals, but with her mother now gone, there would be no answers to her lingering questions.

The journals contents soon overwhelmed Anna. She had to set them aside for a few days as she tried to make sense of it all.

Anna spent a full year reading through all the enteries. Even before she had finished, she began researching more deeply into the topics her mother was so deeply involved in. She discovered there were others out there like her mother. Some of them were even instructed by her. They insisted she was well versed in both OBE's and lucid dreaming.

Anna wanted to know more. She wanted to experience these strange and unbelievable things for herself. Most of all, Anna wished she had been closer to her mother. She wanted to talk with her about these things.

A few years later, Anna got her chance.

© Copyright 2018 by Scott A. Gese All Rights Reserved.

Friday, November 16, 2018

The Red Bench

A 500 Word Short Story by Scott A. Gese

He fed the pigeons daily.
Robert “Bob” Bass had been feeding the birds along Waterfront Park for over ten years. He always came at the same time, 9:45am, and sat on his favorite bench. The red one next to the big maple tree. The birds had come to expect him and he never disappointed them.

A local reporter had heard about Bob and decided to pay him a visit, hoping for a story.

It was a brisk Autumn morning. He arrived at the red bench around 9:30. Bob had yet to arrive. The reporter waited patiently. At precisely 9:45, an older gentleman dressed in a trench coat and bowler hat came walking toward the bench. He had a cane in one gloved hand and a paper sack in the other. He took a seat on the bench as he did each morning. Ignoring the reporter, he removed his gloves and began feeding the birds with seed he carried in the sack.

The reporter introduced himself as Drake. He asked Bob if he would be willing to share his story.

There's no story here, young man,” Bob replied as he continued feeding the birds.

Surely there must be something in your past that would make you want to come down here to this exact bench and feed these pigeons each morning for the past ten years?”

If Bob had a story, he showed little interest in sharing it, but the reporter was persistent. Each morning for a full week he would meet Bob at the red bench. He stayed and made small talk until Bob left.

Finally, Bob relinquished. “Drake, I've given it some thought. I'll tell you what you want to know.”

He took a minute to stare out at the water, then took a deep breath and began.

I'm dying. I have that damn Cancer. I won't be around much longer and I need to get something off my chest.

Ten years ago I was a bad man. A criminal of the worst kind. A real drain on society. I orchestrated some of the most sensational criminal events this city has ever known. Ten years ago I had an epiphany. A sudden flash of insight beyond the realm of my own understanding. Don't ask me to explain. I can't. All I know is that in an instant I was a changed man. I dropped off the radar. Hid myself in plain sight, and for whatever reason, I've felt compelled to sit on this red bench and do nothing more than feed these pigeons. My name's not Bass. Go home, do your homework, Drake. You'll discover the rest of the story and along with it, who I really am.”

Bob Bass stood and walked away, leaving Drake to ponder what he had just been told.
Drake did do his homework and soon discovered the true identity of Robert Bass.

Several days later he returned to the red bench. He waited patiently, but the old man never showed.

© Copyright 2018 by Scott A. Gese All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

The Rabbit Trail

A 500 Word Short Story by Scott A. Gese


It was a rabbit trail and she was on it.
She should have known something was up when she took the message. Intuition was something she prided herself on, but not something to be relied upon 100% of the time. Sometimes it was just plain wrong. This was one of those times. Now here she was, investigating a false lead in an abandoned warehouse.

Her training and years of experience told her to get out and do it now. Her intuition, such as it was, told her not to panic. If it was a trap, she had to keep her wits about her.

Her name was Clarice although she had always gone by Chloe. Investigative reporting was where she cut her teeth, but the lure of the hunt was what led her to the world of private investigation. Tailing the spouse of a jilted lover never really appealed to her sense of adventure. It was the crime scenes and unresolved murders that held her interest.

This latest case was by far her biggest and at times she wondered if she wasn't over her head. It was now obvious she had struck a nerve with someone. They were getting nervous. Maybe even wanted her out of the way.

A clank from someones misstep brought both her mind and senses back into focus. She pulled a 9mm from its holster and stepped behind a large pillar. The open door and high windows let in enough light to see what might be out there. Was it a stray cat or a person? Either way she'd soon find out.

Getting back to the door and out of the building was the goal of the moment, but before she could move she had her answer.

Give it up, Chloe. You're in over your head. You should have given it up while you had the chance. Now it's time to pay the price.”

The male voice was unmistakable. It was Johnathan Brice , one of Gaven Moline's goons. Gaven was the murderer she was after. Brice, she knew from previous conversations with the man could be bribed, but the situation needed to be different. This was not the time or place for such talk.

She kept quiet, not wanting to give away her location. Listening intently and moving slowly, she worked her way along a wall toward the door. A loose panel of metal siding was a godsend. There was enough room for her to silently slip out. Her vehicle was close by. She hopped in and sped away before Brice even knew she was out of the building.

The following day she called Brice. Not wanting to give away what she already knew, arrangements were made to meet in a public place.

What she had in mind would take time, skill and finesse, but Brice was a man and she planned on using that fact to her advantage. If a 9mm was out of the question, a pair of 38dd's would have to do.

© Copyright 2018 by Scott A. Gese All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

U.E. Control


A 500 Word Short Story by Scott A. Gese

The old man was homeless and cold.
The cement he sat on offered no warmth and the thin blanket he was wrapped in wasn't helping.

The U.E. Control officer patrolling the area noticed the old man and walked over. “What's your name?”

The old man looked up. “Are you a cop?

U.E. Control. It's a division of the local authority. Can I see your identification?”

Don't have any.”

The officer pulled a small unit from his utility belt and held it out. Put your thumb on this,” he ordered.

The old man complied. “Three hundred million people in this country and that thing is going to tell you who I am?”

Anyone in the world,” he replied. He turned on the camera and pointed it toward the old man. “Look at this.”

Now what?”

Face recognition and retina scan. It's a double check.” replied the officer. “Douglas M. Biggs. Born on January 5, 1984 in Akron, Ohio. Is that correct?”

If you say so.”

Says you're divorced and have four kids. Tom's your oldest. Has a good paying job. Looks like your other kids aren't doing too bad either. Also says you're enrolled in several social welfare programs and that you receive welfare checks although it Looks like you trade most of them for cigarettes and booze.”

Lots of information in that little box,” scoffed the old man.

It's ALL here. Why aren't your kids supporting you? It's the law you know.”

I'm too proud to ask my kids for a handout.”

Well the U.E. Isn't.. We'll be in touch with your kids. The fine is much higher than any support they would have had to pay.”

The officer turned his attention to the overflowing grocery cart next to the old man. “Is this all yours?”

Yep, It's everything I own.”

The carts not yours. It's illegal to have one of these you know.”

I got no other way to carry my stuff.”

The officer got on his radio. “U.E. Control Officer Dicks here. I need a Fema van at my location.

On the way,” squawked the radio.

It's cold out, you have an illegal cart. And you're homeless. We have a warming facility just outside of town. Your going to be our guest for a few days.”

Not interested,” replied the old man.

You have no choice,” insisted the officer.

The van pulled up and opened the back door. The old man reluctantly got up and climbed in.

My stuff. I have a picture of my kids in there. I want it.”

You'll get your stuff,” replied the officer.

What the hell does U.E. Stand for anyways?” Asked the old man.

Dicks didn't reply.

As the van pulled away Dicks got on the radio. “U.E. Control Officer Dicks here. Need a garbage pick-up at my location.” He grinned as he thought to himself, another Useless Eater off the streets.

© Copyright 2018 by Scott A. Gese All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

The Ten Cent Lover


A 500 Word Short Story by Scott A. Gese

Rebecca Slate, I love you.”

The words rang hollow, like the taste of cheap red wine.

I love you.” He repeated, only this time with a bit more urgency. He kissed her passionately on the lips, then down along the side of her neck.

She knew what he wanted and she allowed herself the pleasure of his passion, but only to a point.
When he nimbly began to unbutton her blouse, she knew it was time to rein him in.

She gently grabbed him by the ears and pulled him back.

Jake, stop! We're not going any further. We've been through this before and nothing has changed.”

Jake took a deep breath and forcefully let it out through his nose. He grabbed her arms and pinned them against the sofa. “If you really cared for me, you wouldn't stop me,” he coldly stated.

With one swift move, Rebecca turned him aside and quickly stood over him. “How dare you try to guilt me like that! Get out of my house. Get out!”

Jake back peddled. “Oh come on, Becky. I didn't mean it like that, honestly. I was only kidding.”

Well I'm not,” she replied. “We're done here. Now get out. If you're lucky I might call you tomorrow.”

Lucky,” he replied sarcastically. “If it's anything like my luck tonight I won't be holding my breath.” Jake snatched up his jacket and stomped out, slamming the door behind him.

Rebecca sat on the edge of the sofa. She picked up an unlit cigarette and rolled it between her fingers. She was trying to quit, but was having a difficult time of it. Jake was a loser and she knew it. She could read him like a ten cent novel. The problem was, she had been enjoying the story and didn't feel quite ready to put it down. She knew what she wanted in a relationship. She wanted romance, all Jake wanted was conquest. He was shallow and manipulative. She had had enough.

She dropped the unlit cigarette back onto the table and went to bed.

The following morning Rebecca woke up late. She had heard the phone ring. Someone had left a message. She cringed when she realized It was Jake. “Probably calling to apologize,” she thought. But the message was far from it.
Hey, Becky, this is Jake, where the hell are you. I thought you were going to call me today. I’m waitiiiinngg.”
Loser,” thought Rebecca as she deleted the message. “I’ll let him wait.”

Later that afternoon she called him back. “Jake, get a life. One that doesn't include me. Find yourself a woman who doesn't mind being used and manipulated. I'm not it.”

What?” Was all Jake could get out before she forcefully hung up the phone. Jake sat down on his couch, shocked. He couldn't believe what had just happened.

Rebecca smiled, lit up a smoke and poured herself a glass of red wine, the good stuff.


© Copyright 2018 by Scott A. Gese All Rights Reserved.