Thadd Presley’s Terrible Two: Issue One

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Reader Review: “These action packed flash fiction stories are surprising. They piqued my interest from the start with their onset dialogue and quick moving plots. In short order the writer brings to life the terror of drug lords and back alley thugs, and a military lineup gone horribly wrong. The social media setting in the micro-flash fictions are believably sorrowful. The author employs vivid descriptions and dreadful characters; or those who are experiencing dread in a relatable and engaging way”.

Rubbish Day (part 3)

Thadd Presley

For a while, Jerald allowed them to race with him side by side, speeding at nearly eighty on the newly black-topped road towards Crossville through the community of Deer Lodge. When the Honda’s wheels lost traction, it spun the car into the shoulder where it began to fish tale wildly.

Jerald’s heart leaped into his chest.

Just when it seemed the G-forces were going to take the car over into a roll, a stroke of remarkable luck sat the car down hard on all four wheels. It swerved back into traffic, not far behind Jerald.

That was close enough for Jerold. Too close. All he wanted to do was scare them a little. But it couldn’t take him away from getting to see his daughter. He slowed the Porshe to the posted forty MPH and said her name. How had he allowed these kids to get him so out of control? It nearly ended the very important things he had to do.

This visit to his daughter’s new house in Crossville was already going to be a bad situation. One that would require a good helping of courage and decisive action. It was imperative that he remained calm and clear-headed. Not a word of his introduction could be out of place or his daughter would suspect that something was wrong before he got the chance to fix her situation once and for all.

Once and for all, he thought.

Yes. It would be just that.

 ONCE because it would only take once; and, FOR ALL, because he wasn’t doing it for himself. He was doing it for his daughter, his wife, and everyone who might have to interact with the man. Jerald was doing this FOR the benefit of ALL.

Suddenly his nose began to burn and tears blurred his vision. Just the thought of his daughter being mistreated was more than he wanted to know.Also, the shock of the near accident possibly had something to do with the rush of emotion. He allowed it to wash over him.

It was enough to cement the fact that he couldn’t get sidetracked by distractions. Anything that might cause a show of emotion at his daughter’s house would ruin everything. Hiding the immense and deep anger he had toward his daughter’s boyfriend, would be hard to control on it’s own.

He shook his head, as if scrambling the thoughts that were beginning to stack in his frontal lobe. He saw no need in letting the idea of consequences gather against him. Nor could he allow the idea of his daughter’s freedom psyched him up before he actually had accomplished something.

He knew then that he needed a moment of peace before he went any further. He had to take a breather.

He pulled off the highway onto a familiar dirt road the locals called Rocky Hollow. The road was rough on his Porsche, but he’d been down it many times before and was sure he could get in and out without much trouble.

 Jerald enjoyed swerving around big ricks and through the mud puddles. Above him dark clouds began to blow from over the mountains giving the woods a dark, fairy-tale atmosphere. At the end of this road was a deep rock quarry where he and his friends used to swim as teenagers. But he hadn’t been all the way to the ledge in more than twenty years. He’d smoked his first cigarette on the ledge and drank his first swig of whiskey there.

Jeez, that was over forty years ago.

He knew the area well and was looking forward to seeing the water again.He made so many memories in this one place, it seemed wrong that he never brought his wife her and had a picnic. But then, perhaps that wasn’t wrong. He had the right to keep it a secret if he wanted.Maybe something in him didn’t want to tell her about the quarry.

 It was his secret place. No one from his adult life knew anything about it or the things that happened there.

Just as he got to where the trees opened up enough to see the ledge, he saw that all the water had been drained.



Copyright Thadd Presley — All Rights Reserved

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.


An Arm and a Leg

An Arm and a Leg

by Thadd Presley

The teenager’s scream momentarily filled the bedroom like an expanding marshmallow. Everyone watching felt the electric shock of pain as the bone snapped. Then, with a plop, the finger fell to the hardwood floor.
And just like that, for those who paid to watch a live amputation, the show was over. But, the act was captured on four devices and uploaded for an online audience who would pay to watch it again and again if they so desired.


“How many online now?” Adam asked, holding a fluffy, red-stained towel around his throbbing hand.
“Thirteen thousand watched it live.” Mary chimed. “And it’s going up.”
“Donations? I want to know how much money. I can’t see the screen.”
“O.K. O.K.” She said quietly. “It’s over eighty thousand. Eighty-one, now. No, eighty-two…”
“Yes!” He had done it. Cut his own finger off for money and it was worth it. “That pays off my student loans and mom’s house with some left over.”
“A bunch left over it looks like to me,” Mary commented as she watched the donations cross the hundred thousand mark.


Adam felt a wave of dizziness passed through him as he laid back in the chair. “You think I’ll need to put t in ice for the hospital?”
“Yeah, for sure.”
“O.K. Let’s just go. Maybe they can sew it back on if we get there in time.”



Copyright Thadd Presley — All Rights Reserved

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

Jack’s Apartment (part 2)

The apartment he picked out on the fourth floor had a small table in the main living room, where he sat with his macaroni. On his left was a doorway to the only bedroom, which was really small, and beside that, a door opened onto the bathroom. There was a fourth room, but it was locked and so far had been inaccessible. He had keys to all the rooms on the fourth floor since part of his rent was going to be repair work, but none of the keys opened this door. The lock was older, probably left over from a century before, and because it was his first day in the apartment, he didn’t want to be a pain to the land lady, especially if it meant she would have to drive all the way back into the city and open it herself. She would be back in a few days to inspect the work he’ d be doing and make sure he was as good a carpenter as Adam said. He could wait and ask her about the room then.

For a moment, with food paused in mid flight to his mouth, he thought about when he’d met her. She was younger than he’d imagined when Adam told him about her, and she was beautiful. She asked him questions about his past and where he used to work. She reminded him that the floor had not been used for thirty years, so he would have to wear a mask when he worked.

“Who knows what all is considered toxic these days. The paint is lead based, I know that for sure; the tile has asbestos in it, as does the insulation and ceiling tiles, and probably there would be more than that. Do you understand that you have to wear the mask? It is very important.”

“Yes,” he answered.

“Legally, no one can live on the fourth floor yet, but since Adam has been so good to us in the past, I’ve decided to make an exception. What we need to do is get your room up to code and as close to livable as fast as we can, both for your health and in case of any problems we might have with the inspectors.”

“I understand. I’ll start in the apartment and work my way into other areas.”

Then came the question he knew was loaded. This was where she would decide everything. “So how long do you think it will take to do the entire job. I mean, the floors, the doors, the trim and painting, we have to replace the ceiling and there will be more, lots more, when we get into it deeper?”

She smiled when he said, “four months should get us to a good point. After that we will know exactly where we stand.”

“I’ll know where we stand in one week, Mr. Solsbury. I want to start renting that floor as soon as possible.”

“Yes, ma’am. Four months is just my guess right now.”



Copyright Thadd Presley — All Rights Reserved

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

The Circus Came To Town

When I was a child, I did something terrible by not speaking up when I should have. I saw something so frightening, I was too afraid to report it. I couldn’t even tell my parents about it. It has haunted me throughout my entire life and I have been seeing her face more and more lately.

Now as an adult, I live everyday with my cowardice, knowing that I allowed the unspeakable to continue. I can never take it back, I will never live it down, but I must try to get it out of my head somehow.

 

The Circus Came to Town

by Thadd Presley

Damp, dark,
a clank, a spark
a white light,
so bright
my eyes
shut tight.

It was years before,
when I was only a boy
a circus came to town
with elephants and joy

A tent
so large
all the people in town
could come right in
and look at the clowns.

In my delight, I got lost
For my family I looked
and down a dark hallway,
I saw a little girl was took.

A thick curtain fell down,
and covered the way.
I didn’t see anything
But I heard the man say.

“Come one, come all,
Gather around ya’ll.
See the beautiful Chinese
and the Japanese dolls”

But this girl I then saw
was so skinny, so thin,
with long, blond hair
she was locked up tight
a chain under her chin.

She was scarred and so young.
She spoke up quickly,
she whispered:
“Get out of here! RUN!!!”

Her eyes were so wide,
from the shock of my sight
she shook in her cage,
and her necklace of chains

“RUN!!” She cried,
“they’ll be back again!”
Afraid for my life,
Finally I did.

I stand here now
Before the world
To tell of that place,
those chains,
and that girl.

Old Man’s Last Say

The Old Man’s Last Say

by Thadd Presley

“The worms can have him, for from them he was made,”
the lady remarked as she looked on the grave
and chopped at the dirt with a long handled spade.

She had buried her husband late in the day.
“The sun is too hot, we’ll wait for the shade.
I know he will rot, but he’ll not do it today.”

He was put away quickly, with no friends there to pray,
And when it was over, I remember no-one had stayed.
“Now that he’s gone, I’ll can get married this spring
with all of his money, we can buy the best things.”

But, that wasn’t the end of what that man had to say.
The ground suddenly shook all around the grave.
A great voice rose up and declared from the clay.

“You might have succeeded in ending my days
but you’ll never outlive your hate and disgrace.
I curse you this day ’til the last breath you take
A widow you are and a widow you’ll stay,”

To a cold, whining wind, his voice then gave way
and the widow never married and wasn’t seen since that day.
I come to this hill and stand near their graves.
I remember what mother told me on her final day.

Years later, in tears, she weakly proclaimed:
“I killed your father. It was my greatest mistake.
But love will always conquer a heart filled with hate.”

Easter, Bloody Easter

Easter, Bloody Easter

by Thadd Presley

“That’s exactly what she told me,” Anita said, handing the sheriff her ID. “I just don’t know what else to do. She said she would kill me if I so much as came down here.”

The sheriff held up his hand to get the attention of an officer.

“And we both know she can.” She was scared and it showed.  “You have to help me.”

“So she told you not to come here and you came anyway?” The sheriff was surprised. Anita shook her head and then, realizing that she was saying no, she nodded.

“Yes, I had to. She has my brother in her basement.”

“But, she said she would kill you.”

“Yes, I know. Please help me.”

“OK.” Fear was visible in the sheriff’s eyes. “Just stay right here.” He waved again for an officer. “I have to make a phone call and get this straightened out.” The sheriff rose from the chair and walked towards her from behind his desk. “Just to be sure. You’re mother has your brother locked in the basement and she is going to kill you because you came down here and told the police?”

“God, yes. What is wrong with you?” Anita was starting to get frustrated. She had already spent thirty minutes explaining to the police that her mother had gone crazy and was torturing her brother.

“Nothing is wrong with me, Anita. I have to get the facts straight. Don’t you see that it’s hard for me to believe a story like this. You’re mother is one of our town leaders and my boss’ wife.”

“Yes, call my dad. Please! I know he’s out of town, but he will tell you that she has been acting funny lately.”

“That’s exactly what I’m doing.”

The sheriff was almost out of the door when Anita screamed.

He turned around and saw blood pouring from her eye. “Dear God,” he exclaimed and ran to her. “What did you do?”

Anita couldn’t answer him, although she tried. Her mouth just wouldn’t say the words.

“Sheriff Coffee,” a deputy called, then he saw the blood. “What’s happening to her?”

“God only knows, Stephen. Get in here and hold her still.”

Stephen entered the small office and couldn’t believe what he was seeing. The young girl was sitting in the expensive leather chair with her head lolling from left to right. A thin stream of blood was spurting out from the corner of her eye with every heart beat.
“What is she trying to say,” the sheriff asked. It was obvious to both men that her mouth was moving and words were slowly being formed, but it was in slow motion. Much to slow for them to understand.
“Here.” Stephen pushed a blank piece of paper on the sheriff’s desk.
“Try to write on this, Anita.”

There was no time to think. The sheriff barely had his hand out of the way when Anita used her bloody finger to draw on the paper. She moved her hand back and forth and up and down, lubricated by the blood on her hand.

“What is that?” the Sheriff asked.

“Good Lord. It’s not one of those pentagram things is it?” Stephen looked at the dark red scribble and put his hand on the desk, trying to settled his spinning head. But, it did no good. He was suddenly overwhelmed by dizziness, puke rushed up his throat and sprayed out of his mouth and nose. The sheriff didn’t have time to flinch before the hot, grey, half digested oatmeal landed on his shirt and fell, stinking, on his trousers.

“Damn it, Stephen, pay attention,” he said. But, it was too late. The deputy had passed out and was sliding slowly across the desk, into the floor.
“Anita, please, look at me.” The Sheriff straightened her up as he said it, wanting to get the situation under control. But as Anita continued to draw on the paper with her own blood, the sheriff realized that she had drawn a stick figure. What was she pointing at it, trying to tell him something. He felt as if he was running out of time. “Someone get in here.”

“If you tell anyone, I’ll kill you,” a voice said. He whirled around. 

“Anita?” But he realized it wasn’t her voice. There was no one else in the room with them.

“If you tell, I will kill you.” He knew the sound was in his head. As suddenly as he realized it, a pain shot through his temple down to his right hand. He instinctively knelt down and held his head in his left hand.

“Who’s there?”

“No,” Anita said, forcefully. “He won’t tell.”

“Who’s doing this?” The sheriff demanded.

The voice was louder. “I have you all right here with me.”

The pain in the sheriff’s temple grew and warm liquid flowed onto his lips and down his chin. He reached for his gun and saw that his shirt sleeve was red. He realized it was blood. Before he lost consciousness, he knew what she was trying to draw and he almost had time to laugh.

Why didn’t she listen to her mother? What could he have done to help her? The police are no match for a voodoo doll.