Here’s a macabre piece of flash fiction for the Sweet And Scary Blog Hop:





Martha looked out the door peephole at the young man knocking on her door, glad that he wasn’t a trick or treater. He was spending his time looking at the carved pumpkin bringing in the holiday, and she thought she heard an outright chuckle at the “Trumpkin” she’d carved on a whim.

About time he got here, she thought. She smoothed down her apron and opened the door.

“Mrs. Wingate?” the young man asked. “I’m Trevor Horsach, the agency sent me to start your basement cleanup.”

She cocked her head, wearing a small smile.

“Yes, I’ve been waiting for you.” She held the door open a little wider and gestured for him to come in. “I’ll take you down there so you can get the lay of the land and I can show you just what I need done.” As they walked toward the basement steps, she noticed that he raised his head, sniffing the air.

“Someone’s having a barbecue.” She smiled.

“I’m firing up my smoker, it’s vented to the outside, but that’s one of the things I want you to look at,” she told him. “I want to make sure it’s safe, and when everything’s done, I’d like to invite you to an All Soul’s Day dinner.”

He grinned. “I could eat.” Then the light went out in his eyes.

“I—I have to tell you something first though, ma’am,” he muttered. “I have a severe peanut allergy, so I need to be really careful.” He patted his jacket pocket. “Epi-Pen.”

She let out a short tut of sympathy. “Your momma must have had a time cooking for you, Trevor.”

“Well, I was an orphan and I grew up in a group home, so they knew how to handle things like that.”

She smiled.

“Well, you’ll get fed safely tomorrow, I promise.” She led the way as they carefully traveled the stairs down to the basement, taking him over to where the crusted blackened smoker was working its magic, an enclosed pane of glass indeed venting the pipe to the outside.

“Here it is, and if you’d just check to make sure that everything’s okay, and just pick up a few things around here, I’ll go make some lemonade.” He nodded as she made her way back upstairs, then inspected the smoker pipe and the seal in the window glass.

“Sure enough, safe as aces.” He dusted his hands off, then walked around the floor space, stopping at a small table.

“Huh—wonder why she’d need knitting needles down here.” Shrugging his shoulders, he gathered the few pieces of junk he could see and put them under the stairs, scratching his head as he heard her coming down the stairs. He grabbed the tray from her.

“Now you let me help, Mrs. Wingate,” he muttered, turning to put the tray down.

“There isn’t much to get rid of that I can see,” he said. “I put it all under the stairs, and I checked out your vent. It’s fine.”

She handed him his glass of lemonade, taking one herself.

“Drink up, then, young man, and I’ll pay you so you can get on your way. Thanks for all your help.” She watched him take a sip of his lemonade, then—

—watched him as his eyes got wide, struggling for breath. She grabbed the glass out of his hand.

“Are you all right? What’s the matter?”

He grabbed at his throat. ”Pen—–aghhhh,” he garbled, slapping at his pockets.

“Your pen? Let me get it for you.” She reached into his pocket, then tossed it on the table behind her.

He sank to his knees, and as he lost consciousness he thought he heard her say “I guess I didn’t need my needles after all; a nice swipe of peanut oil on your glass did the trick. Thanks, sonny.”


Martha beamed at all the guests in her house enjoying their food.

“How do you like the pulled pork, Fred?” she asked. “I used peanut oil this year.”  Her next door neighbor grunted, his mouth full of sandwich as he wiped his mouth on one of the plentiful paper napkins.

“Man, this has to be your best yet, Ma’am,” he told her, and the rest of the guests nodded in agreement. “It’s been too long since you cooked for us.”

She went back into her kitchen and came out bearing another full tray.

“Smoked ribs, anyone? The meat just falls off the bone.”


The End




Carl’s confession

This snippet from Talk Of The Town shows Carl ready to reveal some of his feelings for Craig after a confrontation with Mike–

Carl reached out and put his hand on the back of Craig’s neck, pulling his face to his chest.  He felt  wrenching sobs entering him as he gently rested his chin on the top of his head,  closing his eyes.  If he would have gone into the kitchen and stopped Mike right there, like he was sorely tempted to have done, he wouldn’t have been able to control his demon. He would have ripped Mike apart on the spot.  Any possibility of anything with Craig would have been gone, he could not have taken the chance on Craig seeing that.  He refused to take him if he was not willing.

But at this moment?  If Mike had been standing before him, Carl would have gladly bled him dry.


Carl and Mike

For this week, I’m posting a snippet from Carl’s run in with Mike–but is it his last? We shall see–

He reached over and stuck his long forefinger in the knot on Mike’s tie, bringing him even closer.  “If you say one word to anyone about this, or if you attempt to contact him again, I will find you–and the results will not be pleasant.  For you, anyway.”  Carl smiled wider, his nostrils flaring.

“I smell your fear, Mike. How appetizing.”  He pulled his finger away, making Mike stagger.

“Now get out.”

Come read more Rainbow Snippets–something for every taste–even Carl’s 🙂

Crafting a vampire

My character snippet this week is from my WIP Crimson Christmas. This is Ciaran, Arthur’s future partner for the Victorian Village walkabout. Arthur may be wondering if he’s undead, but luckily we don’t have to–

Here I am again, propping up a brick wall leading into a fairly clean alleyway off the main drag. There’s Christmas in the air, and I’m checking out the street decorations as I’m dangling a lit cigarette between my fingers. I really don’t smoke, but it makes good window dressing. Ah, this boyo knows how good looking he is, with my black Irish curly hair and pouty red lips—all the gents love me for certain. Had to change out of my work clothes so it’s not too incongruous, and I really don’t want to get them dirty or soiled. That would suck. I snicker at myself. That’s just what I’m about to do, after all.

My musings are interrupted by the short buzzing of my phone nestled in my jeans pocket. It’s playing more Vampire Weekend now, and I laugh at myself again as I answer.

“Ciaran here.”

“I have a partner for you, for tomorrow night.”

“And good evening to ya too, Martha; tell me a little.” I hear her sharp intake of breath; I thought she had quit being nervous of me.

Read some interesting snippets here–something for everyone 🙂
https://www.facebook.com/groups/SnippetSunday/Crimson christmas


This snippet is from Las Vegas Circle, in which Thomas has had quite enough of a racist sheriff…

“I don’t drink firewater, sheriff,” he said quietly. “Not like your ancestors, who couldn’t keep their hands off it if they tried. My ancestors were here a thousand years before yours even staggered off the boat, so I’d thank you to keep your bigoted opinions to yourself.” Thomas could feel his eyes changing, almost glowing, his fangs threatening to lengthen past the confines of his upper lip. He drew them back with a conscious effort. No need to reveal his vampire trump card yet, there’d be time soon enough.

Come read more Rainbow Snippets here–spmething for every taste.

Meeting Phitz

This is a snippet from Family Matters–readers of Talk Of The Town will know who Phitz is–he’s meeting Gil, his birth dad, and he has a moment of self-realization–


Phitz made his way past scarred wooden tables with the ghosts of overlapping rings from coffee mugs and cups. No saucers in a place like this; too artsy fartsy. Ashtrays overflowing with yellow-tipped butts dotted each one, and Phitz snorted a little to himself, thinking that the poor overworked woman behind the counter just gave up after a while and said “fuck it” whenever she looked at them. He caught a glimpse of himself in the hazy mirror behind the bar and turned away. He didn’t like looking at himself in the mirror; a geeky slender guy reaching toward thirty, with soft brown eyes and carroty red hair spiked with too much gel, and a pale, clean shaven face full of angles. An ex-girlfriend had once told him that he reminded her of a priest, and at that thought, he looked down at his t-shirt, still tie-dyed with yesterday’s lunch and half hidden under the camo jacket with “Fitzhugh” stitched on the patch above the pocket. No Roman collar here, sorry.


Craig and Mike

My snippet this week is from Talk Of The Town, describing just a little of the hell that Craig goes through with his “partner” Mike–



     Christ, he must have had a lot in that carryon bag.   Thank God Mike hadn’t punched him in the face again, because he wouldn’t have had the slightest idea how to explain it at work this time.  At least the makeup girl had hidden that one nicely, but his tetherball excuse wouldn’t have worked twice.  Usually, a few ice compresses got rid of the swelling.  And the questioning looks.

He put his palm on the flat of his stomach, rubbing it gently to soothe the sudden cramping.

Come check out more Rainbow Snippets–something for every taste 🙂