Fiction that explores the monsters and strangers among us.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Bashed Vampire

  
To start at the beginning of this story, please click here.
 
Episode 4 of Jude Nerdworthy, Monster Fighter in Oh, No! My Girlfriend’s a Vampire.

Becky’s arm flashed in front of my face as Marylou Brombach, my vampire girlfriend, was within an inch of my jugular vein. I didn’t see Becky’s crucifix in the flash, but Marylou felt it as her face smoked and she fell to the floor.

Marylou had about three seconds of stare time with eyes filled with hatred and something that looked like little tiny lightning bolts when she flew around the room like a balloon with the air leaking out of it. She turned into a pile of skin and bone that floated out the window and disappeared into the black mist.

“Let’s get you to a doctor,” Becky poured holy water over my wounds. The one on my lip puffed and smoked. When the air cleared, my lip was healed.

“The ER,” I corrected while twisting my lip to check it.

“In 1958, we rushed to the doctor’s office.”

“Today, it’s the ER. We have doctors who specialize in emergencies.”

“I’m not sure this counts as an emergency, Jude. It’s just a couple of little cuts. Twenty or thirty stitches ought to do.”

If Becky said anything else, I missed it. I remember hitting the floor and my head spinning before everything went black.

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Summer Reading Quote
“She was busy getting murdered.”
Paul R. Lloyd
Steel Pennies

Save the Date: June 4, 2013
Join me on June 4, 2013 from 7:30 am to 9:00 am for Caffeinated Connections Networking at Linked Local Schaumburg. I will introduce my new noir thriller Steel Pennies and talk about how to use writing hooks in business writing. Location is Schaumburg Bank & Trust. Learn more and register by clicking here.
   

Thursday, May 30, 2013

That Ain’t No Bat


To start at the beginning of this story, please click here.

Episode 3 of Jude Nerdworthy, Monster Fighter in Oh, No! My Girlfriend’s a Vampire.

“Look at the giant white bat banging against the kitchen window!” Becky said.

“It has Marylou Brombach written all over it,” I said.

“How can you be so sure with so many vampires in the twenty-first century?”

“She had her arms inked. You can read her name across her bat wings.”

“Well, in my day, the vampires had enough sense to stay in the movies and leave real people alone.”

“Becky, we have to do something. I’m bleeding to death, and Marylou wants to suck my blood. And I think she may be pissed that you and I shared such a wonderful kiss.”

“Let’s be logical, Jude. We have your blood dripping on the kitchen floor and a vampire at the window. And in 1958, we didn’t pee ourselves when we became angry. Why is this generation so infatuated with body activities, anyway? Nevermind, let’s invite Marylou Brombach to clean up the place while I drive you to the doctor.”

“What about your little clones?”

“They can babysit themselves. They’re twelve. Oh wait. I better tell them we’re going out and make sure they’re wearing their crucifixes. And I’ll pour holy water around the steps and window sills upstairs.”

“You have holy water?”

“I am Italian on my mother’s side, and I’m from 1958 so you tell me, new brother dearest.”

I followed Becky to the bottom of the stairs and watched as she ran up to speak to her other selves. I heard a crash in the kitchen and knew that Mom wouldn’t have to mop blood off the floor when she got home.

Before Becky returned, Marylou Bombach sauntered out of the kitchen wiping a bit of red liquid off her lips. She licked her finger. “This is going to be so much fun. First, I’ll kill your cheating body, Jude, and then I’ll kill your incestuous new sister. I not only get to kill her once, but 23 more times. What a night!”

More blood dripped from my arm as Marylou snarled and flew towards my wrist at the speed of a twinkle. 

Click here to continue...

Summer Reading Quote
“That rapidly thumping thing in my chest melted into putty.”
Paul R. Lloyd
Steel Pennies

Save the Date: June 4, 2013
Join me on June 4, 2013 from 7:30 am to 9:00 am for Caffeinated Connections Networking at Linked Local Schaumburg. I will introduce my new noir thriller Steel Pennies and talk about how to use writing hooks in business writing. Location is Schaumburg Bank & Trust. Learn more and register by clicking here.
   

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

How Do You Kiss a 71-Year-Old Teenager?


To start at the beginning of this story, please click here.

Episode 2 of Jude Nerdworthy, Monster Fighter in Oh, No! My Girlfriend’s a Vampire.

Blood and broken glass decorated the Brombach’s front porch as I flew through Marylou Brombach’s living room window. My left arm bled in two places above the wrist. You may be wondering why I didn’t exit in the usual way through the front door, but trust me, when you’re girlfriend grows four-inch fangs, you take the quickest way out.

While I fully expected Marylou’s mom to be angry at me for making a mess, I didn’t bother to slow down as I raced for my dad’s Malibu. While unlocking the door, I glanced back at Marylou’s front porch. Marylou used her new eighteen-inch tongue to tickle a long shard of bloody glass that she slid between her fangs.

When she saw me checking her out, she waved with the fragment still in her hand. “I’ll stop by later, Jude, to help you clean up that cut on your arm.” She licked her four-inch incisors.

The only ones home when I arrived were Becky Stewart and her 23 clones. Becky was a sweet sixteen year old girl who was kidnapped by space aliens in 1958 and returned to earth two weeks later by the ship’s time. Meanwhile here on earth, decades had passed making her a 71-year-old teenager. She arrived with her clones who each appeared to be 12 years old.

Becky said Mom and Dad were out practicing driving their new car, a used full-sized bus.

Becky saw the blood on my arm right away. “Let me kiss you and make it better.”

“It’s a little bloody for kissing,” I replied.

“Not on the cut, silly, on your lips. Oh, your lip is cut, too.” Without waiting for my reply, Becky locked onto my lips.

I said, “Thanks. I didn’t know kissing a girl who is not your current girlfriend could be so nice.”

“Hmm, in 1958 we didn’t kiss with our tongues until after marriage, but it was nice.”

“Oops,” I said as I hid my tongue behind my teeth.

Never look out your kitchen window when making out with your new step sister, especially if your girlfriend is a vampire.

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Summer Reading Quote
“She missed my mouth, hit my cheek, and mushed her lips across my skin.”
Paul R. Lloyd
Steel Pennies

Save the Date: June 4, 2013
Join me on June 4, 2013 from 7:30 am to 9:00 am for Caffeinated Connections Networking at Linked Local Schaumburg. I will introduce my new noir thriller Steel Pennies and talk about how to use writing hooks in business writing. Location is Schaumburg Bank & Trust. Learn more and register by clicking here.
   

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Oh, No! My Girlfriend’s a Vampire


Episode 1 of Jude Nerdworthy, Monster Fighter in Oh, No! My Girlfriend’s a Vampire.

I should have seen it coming. The telltale signs included the fang marks on her very upper thigh just past third base, her new craving for raw meat, and the way she twinkled in the sunshine. But you know how love is. Once you’ve fallen, you miss the obvious. However, I didn’t miss the fangs. Or rather the fangs didn’t miss me.

Saturday night Marylou Brombach and I were on the couch in her living room. Her mom was chaperoning us from under the pickup in the garage at the back of the Brombach yard. The first few kisses were great, but that last one packed a double needle incision in my lower lip that made me pull back, squeal and check my lip for blood.

Marylou Brombach said, “Ooooh, how tasty you are this evening, Jude.”

I replied, “Hey, Marylou, how come you can drop your jaw about six inches more than humans normally do?”

“Didn’t you want a pierced lip? Metal on the lip is sexy, you know. All the kids are pierced these days, or haven’t you noticed.”

“Is that how come you have those four-inch needle-like incisors?”

“If you prefer to not have a piercing, Jude, pour Holy Water on your lip. I got a little carried away. Sorry about that. Oh, what the heck.”

Marylou Brombach, the love of my short, sixteen-year life, lurched for my throat, both fangs twinkling.

Click here to continue...

Summer Reading Quote
“You have to kiss me for the answer."
Paul R. Lloyd
Steel Pennies

Save the Date: June 4, 2013
Join me on June 4, 2013 from 7:30 am to 9:00 am for Caffeinated Connections Networking at Linked Local Schaumburg. I will introduce my new noir thriller Steel Pennies and talk about how to use writing hooks in business writing. Location is Schaumburg Bank & Trust. Learn more and register by clicking here.
   

Friday, May 10, 2013

Why Flying Saucers Visit Earth, Heh, Heh, Heh


To start at the beginning of this story, please click here.

Episode 5 of Jude Nerdworthy, Monster Fighter, in It Came From Far Away

Rew-per had just said Iorg would tell us about our future. He continued, “Guud. I brang back little Becky Stewart. Sorry little late, but she okay. Only two wiiks for her. But half century, maybe mere for you. Too bad dat space travel screws up you time. Oh well, she home now. And bring back Iorg. Iorg happy now. Sell lots insurance. You need insurance. Dat’s why wi come to you. Save you lots money. Such deal. And look… Lots of little insurance sales people, little Iorgs, so now sell lots insurance. We come back next time to collect lots money. Pay claims for dead you. Buy lots insurance so we don’t worry about dead you. Otherwise maybe dead you. Never know.”

Rew-per returned to his ship after his little sales pitch. He flew off leaving his promise of returning ringing in our ears.

Once I lost site of the flying saucer in the sky, I noticed my neighbor Jim scanning his list of missing space alien kidnapped victims. “Here she is,” Jim said. “Becky Stewart kidnapped in nineteen fifty-eight from Provincetown, Massachusetts. Wow, Stewart isn’t an Italian name, but she sure looks a lot like Annette, doesn’t she? She’s probably Sicilian on her mother’s side.”

Iorg’s family was happy he returned. They expressed concern about all the little Iorgs and Beckys. Mrs. Baring said, “You two didn’t do something you weren’t supposed to, did you?”

Iorg laughed at his mom.

Becky Stewart’s jaw dropped. She placed a hand over her mouth. Her face turned crimson. “Mrs. Baring! My mother raised me properly. It’s not my fault the aliens poked, prodded and otherwise invaded my personal private places.” Her eyes lit up and her expression relaxed into a playful, flirtatious look. “Besides, Iorg’s like coolville for a future daddy-o, don’t you think?”

I asked my parents if it was okay to invite everyone in to straighten out what to do about the children and Becky. Iorg was easy. He was to go home with his parents. But Mr. Baring was concerned about the grocery bill for twenty-three additional, unplanned little Iorg’s.

Jim, my ever helpful neighbor, suggested Mr. Baring be happy he didn’t have to worry about diaper bills for twenty three new babies.

Becky Stewart seemed to take the news well that she had landed fifty-five years after her kidnapping. After everyone had left, except her twenty-three little charges, she looked around our kitchen with a puzzled look. “Where’s your phone? I want to call Mother. And don’t worry, I’ll call collect.”

I offered her my cell phone. As she screwed her face into a puzzled condition, I asked, “Do you know the area code for Provincetown?”

Becky took the phone in her hand. She studied it for a few seconds with her face shattering into hundreds of little puzzle pieces. She opened her mouth like she was about to say something, like maybe how her group had 70% fewer cavities with Crest, but nothing came out.

In a classic example of bad timing, Marylou Brombach elected that moment to call me. My phone vibrated in Becky’s palm.

“Area code?” Becky asked before she fainted.

The twenty-three little Beckys giggled.

THE END

Quotable
"That rapidly thumping thing in my chest melted into putty."
Paul R. Lloyd
Steel Pennies
   

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Iorg Returns and Returns and Returns


To start at the beginning of this story, please click here.

Episode 4 of Jude Nerdworthy, Monster Fighter, in It Came From Far Away

The space alien Rew-per kidnapped my friend Iorg Baring. As the local monster fighter here in Warrenville, Illinois, I was nothing less than frustrated. But after a date with Marylou Brombach, I felt much better. And so did Marylou or my name isn’t Jude Nerdworthy, monster fighter.

The other reason for my frustration was the flying saucer. My frustration lessoned when what the FBI labeled “a combination of swamp gas, fossil fuel fumes, fog and group hysteria” returned to the cul-de-sac where I live.

Rew-per’s standard fifties horror flick style saucer descended out of the sky at eight-fifteen. It dropped its four landing gears and planted four tires on the macadam street surface. The squeaky-sneaker, elevator-door-closing, high-pitched sound-person squeal combined noise resounded through the neighborhood as the door opened on the ship and the stairs lowered to the ground.

The flying saucer people had repainted the outside of the ship so that the writing was now in multi-colored English along the lines of a Timothy Botts calligraphy but with a slightly different message. I still didn’t understand most of it. It was either Rew-per’s notes from Economics class or an advertisement for retirement planning services.

Rew-per the alien came down the ladder followed by a young lady in a poodle skirt of the type last worn by Annette Funicello in nineteen fifty-eight. She was an attractive Italian-American teenager dressed for a fifties party.

Behind her came Iorg Baring dressed in a sixties business suit similar to ones the men in black wear, except Iorg’s was dark blue. Iorg carried a brief case. He wore a small felt hat on his head like the kind you would expect Jack Lemmon to wear in the film The Apartment.

Behind Iorg came twenty three little boys and twenty-three little girls. They appeared to be about ten years old, give or take a year or two. The boys looked like tiny Iorg Barings and the girls like mini Annettes. The boys wore suits like Iorg and the girls wore the same poodle skirt type of outfit as the teenage girl.

I kept thinking about the 1960 film Village of the Damned as they paraded by. To take my mind off Midwich, I focused instead on Stephen King’s Children of the Corn as the kids marched off the ship and onto my family’s driveway. This just goes to prove that a guy will do anything to avoid thinking about Regan from the The Exorcist. A girl with her head on backwards is just one of those turn-ons I discussed with Marylou Brombach, but she wasn’t interested in trying it because, as she said, “Isn’t that one of those things we should save for after the wedding?”

Rew-per smiled as the neighborhood gathered around his released captives. “Guud. Now, Iorg telling you about you new future. Heh, heh, heh.”

Click here to continue.

Quotable
"With my ears, I saw you. With my nose, I saw you."
Paul R. Lloyd
Steel Pennies
   

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Investigating Iorg


To start at the beginning of this story, please click here.

Episode 3 of Jude Nerdworthy, Monster Fighter, in It Came From Far Away

Three days later Iorg Baring was still missing.

The police investigated. Chief Martin assured Iorg’s parents that their son would turn up sooner or later. “Boys come home when they’re hungry, Mrs. Baring. It’s the girls we have to worry about.”

My neighbor Jim investigated on the Internet. He made a list of everyone reported kidnapped by aliens but who never returned. There weren’t many names on the list. Apparently, most people kidnapped by aliens return to earth to tell their stories to the National Enquirer and other highly respected civilian alien investigation teams.

The FBI investigated. And I’m certain a few CIA agents joined them because they didn’t act like they were all on the same team. And the men in black showed up with their skinny lapel suits from the sixties.

The FBI announced that after careful analysis of the substance left behind on our cul-de-sac – which none of us ever saw – by the flying saucer, as well as weather conditions, particularly the high humidity pervasive at that time in the Chicago area – which no one remembered – that the flying saucer was actually a combination of swamp gas, fossil fuel fumes, fog and group hysteria.

In a separate announcement, The FBI said they would be investigating teen gang activities in Warrenville since the flying saucer episode was nothing more than a teenager’s prank. The announcement noted that a known teenage terrorist organization would be infiltrated and investigated for their alleged criminal conspiracy and prejudicial actions against undead and non-human persons. Naturally I assumed they meant me since everyone knows I’m a monster fighter, and let’s face it, monsters constitute most of the “undead and non-human persons” living in Warrenville. The rest of us are plain, simple old humans, plus we have some high school teachers.

In a third announcement, the FBI blamed the missing tires on juvenile delinquency and night tremors.

What do you expect from reports prepared by a committee consisting of at least three federal agencies, perhaps four or five agencies? We weren’t sure. For example, who exactly do those black suit guys report to? And why aren’t there any women in black?

The flying saucer returned on the fourth night. 

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Quotable
"You have to kiss me for the answer."
Paul R. Lloyd
Steel Pennies
   

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Rew-per


To start at the beginning of this story, please click here.

Episode 2 of Jude Nerdworthy, Monster Fighter, in It Came From Far Away

The space alien lifted Jim’s pickup and ripped off the tires. He threw them up the steps into his ship. He moved on to the Grimlachers' SUV and yanked their tires off. “Rew-per,” the creature said.

While the creature re-entered its ship, Iorg Baring stopped by my house. He’s in my grade at school. “Hey, what’s going on?” he asked.

“Not much,” Jim said.

“What’s with the saucer? Is Hollywood making a movie in your neighborhood?” Iorg asked.

“It appears to be the real thing,” I said. “An alien invader is scarfing our tires.”

We heard a loud metallic screech as four airplane-style landing gears descended to the ground. The big light under the saucer went out as the ship settled onto four tractor-size big tires. Rew-per descended from the ship. He pointed to the tire closest to my driveway, the shiny new one with no markings on it. “Guud,” he said.

His smile, if that was what it was, went from ear-to-ear, assuming those protrusions were ears. He looked like a mound of warts so it was hard to distinguish his external organs. He wore a grey, metallic suit. He had the same number of appendages as humans including two arms and two legs, if that’s in fact what they were. His head was a huge mountain of warts. A thicker forest of warts described the top of his head in the place that equates to where we keep most of our hair.

Rew-per smiled at each of us until he came to my friend Iorg. Poor Iorg became like one of those Star Trek landing party team members, the ones you never saw before in any episode, the one you know is the guy who is about to die at the hands of the planet’s monster.

“Guud,” Rew-per said. He snagged poor Iorg in his wart-filled paw and dragged him into his flying saucer. The ship made one of those sci-fi movie sounds like when you squeeze an old sneaker to make a boink sound and mix it with the noise of an elevator door closing and add in a high-pitched squeal from the sound-effects person. The landing gears rose back into the belly of the craft as it lifted off the ground. The ship made a high-pitched squeak and vanished into the night sky.

“What about my tires?” Jim asked.

Click here to continue.

Quotable
"Her eyes were large, soft, wet and kind."
Paul R. Lloyd
Steel Pennies
   

Monday, May 6, 2013

Jude Nerdworthy, Monster Fighter, in It Came From Far Away


Episode 1: The Flying Saucer That Invaded Warrenville

We live on the end of a cul-de-sac which explains why the flying saucer chose our street to land on. It descended out of the sky in exactly the way you would expect a movie director to shoot the scene. The ship was a good fifty feet across and filled the circle of blacktop at the end of the street. What do you do when a flying saucer blocks your driveway?

Jim next door joined me in my parent's driveway as the ship hovered about twenty feet off the ground. A soft, glowing light filled the area under the center of the saucer so that it appeared the light held up the weight of the ship.

The ship was a standard US Area 51 Class starship with a large globe-shaped center section with its equator surrounded by a circular wing. This is the same design you see in all those horror flicks from the nineteen fifties.

Unlike the scary film saucers, ours had an off-white color with a significant amount of writing on the outside. The calligraphy was applied using a variety of bright colored pigments, including red, blue, orange, green, purple and yellow. I should say “symbols” because it wasn’t like any writing I had ever seen. Whatever their message, the aliens were making it clear to all who could read it. Obviously it wasn’t intended for us here in Warrenville, Illinois.

The ship landed at nine-thirty on a Tuesday evening in early May. Brilliant stars filled the clear night sky. The moon was a thin sliver off to the east over Chicago. At ten-fifteen, the hatch dropped down. It was the stair-type similar to the one used in Forbidden Planet, not the ramp style used in the original version of The Day the Earth Stood Still.

A large creature, about double the size of Michael Rennie and a whole lot uglier than any monster Anne Francis ever had to face, sauntered down the steps. The creature made a noise, something like a burp, to either clear its throat or to say hello. I wasn’t sure which. The noise was followed by the release of a horrid gaseous odor not unlike the aroma you might experience by standing behind a herd of cows.

“Rew-per,” said the creature.

“Hi, Rew-per,” I replied. “Welcome to earth.” I pointed to my neighbor. “This is Jim, our leader.”

Jim hit me on the arm.

“Rew-per, rew-per,” the creature repeated.

“Ah, same first name and last name,” I said. “I’m Jude Nerdworthy, teenage monster fighter from earth. How can we help you?”

Despite every house on the cul-de-sac having a two-car garage, you’ll find a half-dozen cars parked on the street or in the driveways. Our new friend Rew-per pointed at one of the tires on Jim’s pickup. “Rew-per,” the creature repeated.

“I think he’s trying to tell us something,” Jim said.

“Yes, but what?” I asked.

Click here to continue.

Quotable
"When she opened her mouth, a horrible word sprung out."
Paul R. Lloyd
Steel Pennies