23 Precisely

Some of you wonder where I get my ideas when I write. The short answer is a very strange mind.

Today I was inspired by another fellow with an equally strange mind. I hope you enjoy this flash fiction. It might be longer than most flash, or shorter, but it was certainly written on the spur of the moment at the local Caribou Coffee.

Please follow me on Twitter, and “Like” the Facebook author page. Don’t forget to subscribe (the box is on the right side of the page) to be eligible for free e-books and other benefits! Oh yeah – grab a copy of Assault on Saint Agnes if you’re of a mind.

Mark Alveson glanced to his left and cast a dirty look at the bowling ball sitting on his coworker’s desk. Grimy. But Eric had objected when he’d polished it three years ago on the day they moved into this office space. Personal boundaries indeed.

Mark stretched and pushed his chair back from the desk. Time to do it. He stood up, checked the alignment of his keyboard, and flexed both hands 11 times rapidly.Taking two steps to the left, he pushed his chair into the desk hole, aligned to the right of the hole, wheels precisely aligned with the line of the edge of the desk on the left and the right.

Seven steps to the right, 31 steps to the right again and the first one was directly in front of him. All was in order. Mostly. Third one from the left top was slightly higher than it should be. A quick adjustment. Four steps back to verify. Adequate.

Seventeen steps to the right, turn to the right and 11 steps before turning left into the lunchroom, immediate left, immediate left. 22. A quick recount. 22.

Mark could feel his sweat glands flooding his pressed khaki shirt and dark jeans. A salty dribble rolled down his nose and plopped on the floor before he was able to open the small container he kept on his belt and gather a single one of the silver variety – for the missing one was silver. All the others were there, albiet terribly askew. He spent the next 2 minutes and eight seconds aligning all of them to the proper standard.

With a flourish he removed a green (Tuesday) kerchief from his left rear pocket and snapped it open. With a puff of anxious breath he added a scintilla of moisture to the fabric, shined the newest member of the unit, and then swiped his forehead, neck, and hands.

He deposited the now soiled cloth in the third bin from the door as he forced himself to take route “L” back to his cube. He kept a list of the routes he took on his desktop, and could now check this one off. Like all the others it was 29 paces from his desk. A smile crossed his lips like an angry and furtive cat. Perfection in all things.

Before resuming his seat, he pulled a new, green kerchief from the pile in his file cabinet’s bottom drawer. Removing it from the plastic bag, he placed it in his left rear pocket, forced the air from the bag, folded it and closed the seal. It was then placed in the fourth pocket of his lunch bag, next to the lemonade packets, and the lunchbag was pushed to align with his nameplate, where it should be at this time of day. He gently sat down on the chair once it was 18 inches from the desk and at a 45 degree angle precisely. Mark spent the next 12 minutes and five seconds of his break with his eyes closed, head tilted back, doing isometric exercises to strengthen his core.

Two rows away, his coworker Janice smiled and went back to work after a quick glance at her main drawer. Tomorrow, if not the next day, three or four of those little beauties would be randomly placed on one of the boards. All had a small smudge of caramel on them. A waste, no doubt, but fun to watch as he polished.

The same thought, but with the number 7 attached, passed through Jorge’s mind as he furtively put the lid back on his special cookie tin. He smiled as well, careful not to let anyone see. Pushing his chair back, and leaving it in the middle of the aisle, he left the room. A quick stop at the vending machine in the elevator lobby and he’d hit the bulletin board before heading back to his chair.

+++++++++ ++++++++++ +++++++++++ ++++++++++++ ++++++++++

Come back Thursday for the next installment of 23 tacks.

********* ********** *********** ***********

 

Assault on Saint Agnes is now available. Just click this link to find all the options! (I recommend the autographed copy. It’s cheaper than from the big stores, I scribble in it, and you get it mailed within 5 days. We all win.

When you finish reading any book (especially mine) please review it at www.amazon.com, www.barnesandnoble.com, and www.goodreads.com. Your review increases the chances of someone looking for a new book greatly. Authors appreciate your review, even if it is just “I thought this was a good read and will give it to my dog to chew. I especially liked the ending, because it made me feel better when he killed all of the main characters. (no spoilers, please)” Those few words (more than 20, fewer than 1,000 is ideal), and a 1-5 rating, make or break how the search engines find us. Thanks in advance.

Posted in flash fiction, short story, Uncategorized, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Where Are The Dogs?

Since I’ve been goofing off lately (on my sequel writing duties) I thought I’d give you all a taste of Kurtz to get you through the week. Yes, it’s original flash fiction time here at the blog. As always, I hope this scares the snot out of you all. That’s the point: Assault on Saint Agnes is based on reality, it’s just a matter of time. So’s the scenario for today’s fiction.

That having been said, thanks for dropping by. I hope you’re safe. Part of being safe is carrying concealed everywhere you go, whenever you can. Do it legally, but do it. 100% of terrorist deaths are caused by death. Don’t you want to help them out in pursuing martyrdom? Pull the plug today on a terrorist and I’ll send you my thanks.

Please follow me on Twitter, and “Like” the Facebook author page. Don’t forget to subscribe (the box is on the right side of the page) to be eligible for free e-books and other benefits! Oh yeah – grab a copy of Assault on Saint Agnes if you’re of a mind.

********** ************ **************** *********** ************** ****************

Kurtz stood on the sidewalk outside the Hotel Saint Paul, surveying the park across the street. Jammed. Hundreds of hipsters, teens and tweeners staring at their phones, waiting for some Pokémon to appear. The dogs should have been here ten minutes ago, but the traffic was brutal tonight with the Wild Game just getting out, and Saint Paul P.D. was stretched thin.

Kurtz shifted to look around the food truck that had just parked across the street. These kids were packed in like sardines, and probably figured him for just another homeless guy waiting for a handout. His wardrobe, the subject of regular commentary from his wife in years gone by, was one notch below what the residents of the Gospel Mission received when they’d lost everything.

Until the sniffer dogs arrived, he was trying to profile the crowd to find the trigger man. All the intel whiz-kids had given him when they sent him the secure text was two words: bomb and Pokémon. He was at Mickey’s Diner when he got the message, and covered the two blocks at a run. He was playing the odds that this was the place. Suicide bomber? I.E.D. in one of the dozens of cars in the area? Or a device in a trash can? For all he knew, it was up in a tree, placed there days before and waiting for a command detonator.

Just as he came to the edge of the food truck and regained his view, the first device went off. It obliterated the TACOTRAILER and everyone within ten feet. The burning wreck landed on its side just four feet from where he had been standing a moment before. The next blast roiled up thirty feet to the left and Kurtz felt shrapnel sing past his head, lethal hornets seeking victims. Hitting the deck, he covered a small woman and her child with his own body just as the third and fourth blasts rolled down the street, perpendicular to the first two blasts. The bomber was herding the crowd toward the Landmark Center with the roiling flames and lung-shattering explosions. Trash cans. They had to be in the trash cans.

Kurtz struggled to his feet and hopped up on the retaining wall behind him to get a better look at the park. Dozens were down, most dead or working in that direction. He was looking for someone on the periphery who was filming the events and not moving to escape with the crowd.

There, on the steps of the public library. Two men, one with a cellphone and the other with a Gopro: the trigger and the cameraman. Kurtz was already on his Bluetooth, dialing a special tactical net number that brought him up live on the Police frequency, giving a description and requesting help. They weren’t done yet, and most likely were trying to bait the first responders in to the trap before detonating the last device.

Pushing against the crowd, Kurtz kept one eye on the two terrorists, and looked for the final device: it had to be big to make this all work. He found it without too much trouble: a semitrailer turned in from Fifth street and parked on the street near the Ordway. That shouldn’t be here on a Friday night, it was way after dock hours at the Xcel Energy Center. That, and the driver was running at full speed toward the two with the camera and the trigger.

Kurtz passed the information on and braced himself against the stop sign at the intersection. The laser dot from his Kimber squared up on the triggerman’s forehead. All it would take is a gentle squeeze, and his finger was already in motion.

**************** ***************** ******************* ******************* ****************

Well, if you liked that, go check out Assault on Saint Agnes. Thanks for dropping by.

********* ********** *********** ***********

 

Assault on Saint Agnes is now available. Just click this link to find all the options! (I recommend the autographed copy. It’s cheaper than from the big stores, I scribble in it, and you get it mailed within 5 days. We all win.

When you finish reading any book (especially mine) please review it at www.amazon.com, www.barnesandnoble.com, and www.goodreads.com. Your review increases the chances of someone looking for a new book greatly. Authors appreciate your review, even if it is just “I thought this was a good read and will give it to my dog to chew. I especially liked the ending, because it made me feel better when he killed all of the main characters. (no spoilers, please)” Those few words (more than 20, fewer than 1,000 is ideal), and a 1-5 rating, make or break how the search engines find us. Thanks in advance.

Posted in Assault on Saint Agnes, dogs, evil, flash fiction, Jihad, short story, terrorism, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

It’s Not Walking Pneumonia If They’re Dragging You.

Since I know most of you read this while you should be working, make sure your corporate LAN is up to the task, read the blog, and then get to work!

A gentle reminder first: if you’ve read Assault on Saint Agnes but not yet reviewed it on Amazon, please do so right this second. Your reviews are critical to my sales, and I appreciate your taking five minutes to do a review right now. Nothing special needed, but your honest input is highly valued.

A brilliant woman I know pointed out that Hillary wasn’t suffering from walking pneumonia. I quote, “She might have had pneumonia, but she sure wasn’t walking.” I wonder if there’s such a thing as “being dragged by the Secret Service pneumonia?” I checked www.webmd.com but they don’t list it.

Please follow me on Twitter, and “Like” the Facebook author page. Don’t forget to subscribe (the box is on the right side of the page) to be eligible for free e-books and other benefits! Oh yeah – grab a copy of Assault on Saint Agnes if you’re of a mind.

Thursday there was a kerfuffle when one of Trump’s kids said that “They’ve let [Hillary Clinton] slide on every indiscrepancy, on every lie, on every D.N.C. game trying to get Bernie Sanders out of this thing,” Trump Jr. said. “If Republicans were doing that, they’d be warming up the gas chamber right now.”

Now, being a student of American history, and smarter than Wonkette, I immediately flashed to the scene in My Favorite Brunette when Bob Hope is being marched to the death chamber and he remarks on how cheap the state is, as they’re still executing prisoners with gas and haven’t upgraded to the electric chair yet.

Yup. Sometimes a quote just gets misconstrued by the press – on purpose. I hate everything, and everyone, that trivializes the Holocaust. If you’ve been reading this blog for any time, you’d know that all in spades. I suspect that if young Mr. Trump had said “The lynch mob would be after him.” nobody would flash to Hang ‘Em High, but instead say that Donald Trump advocates lynching black men while giggling over the act. If he’d mentioned… well, no matter what he said, the rabid morons of the press would be on this like a rash.

The F.B.I. is at a new low in public respect. Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. must be spinning in his grave after a career boosting the agency has been undone with one political lackey (the current director) covering up for the democrat candidate – Monica’s ex-boyfriend’s wife. Standards of justice should be just that: standard. If I’d done it, you’d never have heard of me. I’d still be in jail. She’s getting away with it because…?

Eh. That’s it for the moment. It’s Friday and you’re all filling out your time sheets and getting ready for barbecue. Get going. And, have a great weekend.

********* ********** *********** ***********

 

Assault on Saint Agnes is now available. Just click this link to find all the options! (I recommend the autographed copy. It’s cheaper than from the big stores, I scribble in it, and you get it mailed within 5 days. We all win.

When you finish reading any book (especially mine) please review it at www.amazon.com, www.barnesandnoble.com, and www.goodreads.com. Your review increases the chances of someone looking for a new book greatly. Authors appreciate your review, even if it is just “I thought this was a good read and will give it to my dog to chew. I especially liked the ending, because it made me feel better when he killed all of the main characters. (no spoilers, please)” Those few words (more than 20, fewer than 1,000 is ideal), and a 1-5 rating, make or break how the search engines find us. Thanks in advance.

Posted in Assault on Saint Agnes, government, political, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Book Review: Beyond The Steel Wall: A Tale Of Discovery – By Robert Cely

Today I review a book. Have I mentioned that my book Assault on Saint Agnes is on sale for $.99?

Today I review a book. This time I stick to the topic: Robert Cely’s work Beyond the Steel Wall: A Tale of Discovery.

As is usually the case, I have cut and pasted the Amazon review into the blog and called it a day’s work. Eh. It’s been busy. But I also just finished the book today and have that going for me.

beyondthesteelwall

Please follow me on Twitter, and “Like” the Facebook author page. Don’t forget to subscribe (the box is on the right side of the page) to be eligible for free e-books and other benefits! Oh yeah – grab a copy of Assault on Saint Agnes if you’re of a mind.

********* ********** *********** ***********

Love that beard...

Love that beard…


I hate reviewing books like this. I have to make sure I have the definition of metaphor, allegory, and all that stuff right. Then I blow it in the review. Never fails.

Mr. Cely manages to pull you out of the world you live in and thrust you into the one he’s created rather seamlessly. If you’re like a lot of readers, you toss down a book if you find a typo or two. Don’t do that with this one. Yes, there are more typos and glitches in the first 30 pages than all the rest of the book combined. I don’t know if that’s just the press run I got, or if all of them suffer that flaw. But if you don’t twitch, and instead enjoy the story, you’re in for a great ride.

Like journey tales? Like characters on a quest? Like trying to figure out the allusions? (See what I did there?) Beyond the Steel Wall has all of that stuff, as well as engaging characters. Moreover, it is evidently the first in a possible series.

Now, that can be good or bad. Depends on how you like the first book. I liked this enough to buy the next one as well. Good storytelling, nice approach to the subject matter, and no “Jesus Hammer” anywhere in sight. An exception in the genre as it stands today.

A great read if you’re in the mood for a quick, thinking man’s work. Or woman’s. But I’m not a woman so I can only speculate.

Go grab a copy.
 

Assault on Saint Agnes is now available. Just click this link to find all the options! (I recommend the autographed copy. It’s cheaper than from the big stores, I scribble in it, and you get it mailed within 5 days. We all win.

When you finish reading any book (especially mine) please review it at www.amazon.com, www.barnesandnoble.com, and www.goodreads.com. Your review increases the chances of someone looking for a new book greatly. Authors appreciate your review, even if it is just “I thought this was a good read and will give it to my dog to chew. I especially liked the ending, because it made me feel better when he killed all of the main characters. (no spoilers, please)” Those few words (more than 20, fewer than 1,000 is ideal), and a 1-5 rating, make or break how the search engines find us. Thanks in advance.

Posted in book review, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Book Review: Beyond The Steel Wall: A Tale Of Discovery – By Robert Cely

Six Hour Commercial Review: Harley And The Davidsons. I Loved It.

I’m a motorcycle guy. Nope, don’t own one right now. Haven’t in decades. Minnesota drivers scare the snot out of me. With the advent of cell phones and texting, I’m even less likely to buy a bike.

But once upon a time, I didn’t even own a car. Nothing but a bike for five years. Yes, it was a “rice-burner” – a Yamaha 850 Venture. But it was a rocket with huge capacity for miles and cargo. Rode that thing all over the United States and Spain. Sadly it did not come back with me for a variety of reasons. One of which was the local criminals trying to steal it while I was out at sea. The poor thing got pretty beat up and trashed from the constant negative attention.

Please follow me on Twitter, and “Like” the Facebook author page. Don’t forget to subscribe (the box is on the right side of the page) to be eligible for free e-books and other benefits! Oh yeah – grab a copy of Assault on Saint Agnes if you’re of a mind. It’s on sale at the moment – hey, it’s a great deal at under a buck.

During that era, Harley-Davidson products didn’t have the greatest reputation. I won’t bore you with my personal prejudices from that era, nor will I recount my reasons for buying a Japanese bike. But I still loved to ride, and have ridden the odd Harley-Davidson in a television commercial. Nice bike to say the least.

The Discovery Channel just finished airing Harley and the Davidsons on Wednesday.

Wow. If you like bikes, or even remotely wonder about bike culture, go watch this thing as they air it on line or repeat it on cable. Absolutely fantastic six hour commercial for all that is motorcycling. I mean that in a positive sense: I want a new bike now. (Don’t worry, Ma: your boy is sticking with four wheels. Until spring anyway…)

Covering the company’s history from inception to the late 1930’s, it is a glorious window into the soul of a company. I can’t honestly say what part is mythology and what part is history, but it doesn’t matter: the show is great. Vintage motorcycles abound. Great acting and makeup. Pretty girls. Beer. Racing. Name it and it’s probably in the show.

I especially liked the fact that they just tapped on the cultural foundations of modern motorcycling without beating the drum and flashing lights. If you know anything about riding, and what Harley-Davidson is famous for (culture, taking care of it’s customers, being a big club) you will delight in the way they go about exposing the origins.

There is some violence, some drinking, some – well, don’t watch it if you’re a nervous Nancy. But not many Nervous Nancy types have ever roared down the freeway at over 100 mph on a motorcycle while wearing a leather jacket, smoking a cigarette, and grinning like an idiot. I have. (Kids, don’t attempt that stunt at home. Or, ever. It was dumb and I’m glad I didn’t wreck.) It (the show) made me long for that part of my youth.

Now, as if coronary disease wasn’t enough incentive (no, I don’t have it), I’ve got a reason to lose some weight: fit back into that amazing jacket I wore for years. It’s free of road rash, so I suspect it’ll do just fine if I can get the zipper closed again.

And, if I can get the jacket to fit, maybe just rent a Harley-Davidson for a trip to Green Bay…

********* ********** *********** ***********

 

Assault on Saint Agnes is now available. Just click this link to find all the options! (I recommend the autographed copy. It’s cheaper than from the big stores, I scribble in it, and you get it mailed within 5 days. We all win.

When you finish reading any book (especially mine) please review it at www.amazon.com, www.barnesandnoble.com, and www.goodreads.com. Your review increases the chances of someone looking for a new book greatly. Authors appreciate your review, even if it is just “I thought this was a good read and will give it to my dog to chew. I especially liked the ending, because it made me feel better when he killed all of the main characters. (no spoilers, please)” Those few words (more than 20, fewer than 1,000 is ideal), and a 1-5 rating, make or break how the search engines find us. Thanks in advance.

Posted in Lazy author with nothing to blog about, popular culture, reviews, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment