Tuesday, October 21, 2014

An Army of Crows

An Army of Crows
by, Melissa R. Mendelson

They watched from the rafters, looking down at their prey. Little, black eyes shimmered with anticipation. Wings nestled in restlessness. Claws etched into wood, and heads turned below to await the action ready to unfold. Soon, they would all be dead.

I wondered why they were watching us with such intent. I wondered why they had us surrounded from above. What were they waiting for? Why were they even here? Why not be outside and fly free, or did we cause them to be here? They said that if you see one crow, death was not too far behind. What do they say about an army of crows?

The cot was hard underneath my back. Coughing and crying mixed in the air. The floor was cold, hard like my bed. There was nowhere else to go. We were forced here, and large crates decorated the empty space of this warehouse. They said that inside were food and water and clothing. Something told me to doubt that, and then there were the crows. They came with the shipment, and now they nestled above in the rafters, waiting. They were just sitting there, watching, and waiting. There was no haven here. There was just a million black eyes dripping with darkness.

I tried to get some sleep. Tomorrow would be another long day. Maybe, if I was lucky, I would see the sun one last time. I could remember what the air really tasted like. I’ve been here too long, and I don’t remember how or why I came here. But something told me that I might never leave, and just as sleep began to grip me, the crates slowly opened. What came out of them was unexpected, and fear slipped an icy knot around my heart.

Balloons. They were once a childhood fantasy. An array of colors would seize the sky as they were set free. There was no childhood now, and there was no sky. Still, they filled up the rafters, and we looked up in wonder, remembering a lost youth. And then the crows took flight.

People started to drop to the ground. They writhed for a moment and then seized. Their eyes were large with fear, slipping into the black like a crow’s eye. The balloons continued to pop overhead by their feet, and then something gentle fell upon my skin. My fate was theirs.

As I laid on the ground, twisting to unbearable pain, all I could see were the crows overhead. Their eyes dripped with death. Their wings flapped as if doing a large applause. Their beaks shined and grinned. The war was won, and we were lost. Now, the crows could survive. Our corpses would keep them well fed until they could return to the outside, but maybe, just maybe they were wrong about that. Maybe, the poison would remain in our system, and as they eat our flesh, their fate would be sealed like ours. And that made me smile as I slipped into the black.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Porcelain - Chapter One

by, Melissa R. Mendelson

Chapter One:

Red paint peeled back and then rolled away.  A cool breeze stirred and drifted across a calm lake.  No clouds in the sky, but the wind still danced.  And the sun still shined.  Bare feet lifted upward, pulling another wooden splinter out, and then eyes cast out over the back porch and toward the water.  And fingers then continued to bite down into the red table nearby, peeling back red paint and rolling it away.

The screen door slammed closed.  Aunt August was a tall blonde, who was now really showing signs of gray.  Her nails were always done, and she hated to dress down.  But today, she was dressed in jeans and a stylish t-shirt.  Her flip flops smacked against the wooden, red boards, and her body collapsed into a plastic lawn chair.  She was tired, but more than that, she was annoyed.  She didn’t need any more stress, but she was called here.  And the discussion ensued inside.

“You really need to buy a pair of flip flops.”  The young girl beside her didn’t answer.  “No more Horror movies.  He’s tired of being woken up every night with screaming and carrying on.  It’s not right.  You should be asleep at eleven not staying up at all hours of the night.”

“I’m sorry.”

“I know, Paige, but he doesn’t need this.  Neither do I.  This is not why I asked you to come here for the summer.”

“I know.”

“Do you?  If I didn’t have to work this summer, you would probably go home.”  Her aunt sighed loudly and was quiet for a moment.  “I explained to my father, your grandfather that you need to be here.  He can’t be left alone.”  Paige just nodded in agreement.  “It’s only the end of June, Paige.  You just got here, and I need you to be here until, at least early August.  Okay?”


“So, please, don’t aggravate your grandfather.  Last summer was very hard on him with your grandmother passing, and it’s a year later.  Okay?”

“Okay.”  Paige continued to pick at the table near her legs.  “I won’t trouble him.”

“Good, and stop picking.”  Her aunt rose up from her seat and walked toward the screen door.  “I’m making lunch now, so you want to come inside?”

“Yes.”  Paige slowly rose up from her wooden chair and took a step forward.  “Ow.”  She got another splinter,

“Get some flip flops, Paige.  There’s a dollar bus that will pick you up and take you into town.”  Her aunt walked into the house.

“Freaking splinters,” Paige muttered under her breath as she limped into the house.

Paige’s grandfather sat at a small, round table.  He glanced up at her and then looked away.  His white hair was combed back, and his blue eyes were red, tired from trouble sleeping.  Part of that was Paige’s fault.  She loved to have the television set on loud, and this was a small, one-level house.  His room was right near the den, and he was a very light sleeper.  Paige knew better, but she forgot.  At least, that’s what she told herself.

After removing the most recent splinter, Paige washed her hands in the bathroom and then returned to the kitchen.  She chose the chair furthest away from her grandfather.  He was still angry at her, and her aunt was still annoyed.  Maybe, coming here was a mistake, but Paige didn’t want to be home.  She just wanted to be left alone, and coming here would kind of give her that.

“Tomorrow’s Monday.”  Her aunt placed a sandwich in front of her grandfather and then another one in front of Paige.  “I won’t be back till seven.  I’ll bring something in.”  Her grandfather’s eyes lit up.  “No fast food.”  Her grandfather grew disappointed.  “You have to watch your sodium, but I can get some low sodium deli or something.”  Her grandfather snarled at that, and Paige started to giggle.  “Maybe, tuna fish.”

“I hate tuna.”

“I know, Paige,” and she realized that response was because she giggled.  “I’ll bring something in.  Paige, do the dishes afterward.  I have to go.”

“You’re leaving?”

“Yeah.  I was supposed to meet a friend, but you know.”

Paige knew very well.  After waking her grandfather up in the middle of the night because Freddy Krueger was hacking up his latest victim, her grandfather didn’t even wait to call his daughter.  She didn’t get that much sleep because of Paige.  Another reason she was tired, and Paige felt guilty.  No more Horror movies, but that would be the worst of it.  Paige had other things in mind that could occupy her, and it wouldn’t disturb her aunt or grandfather.  “I know,” Paige responded.

“Good.”  Her aunt kissed her father on top of his head, giving his shoulder a light squeeze, and then she waved briefly at Paige.  “I will be back in a couple of hours.  You two behave,” and her grandfather grunted at that.

The heavy, black front door moaned loudly as it opened.  Then, it quickly slammed shut.  Her grandfather could fix the door, but with Paige here, he would know when she was coming or going.  She could always slip out the back, but that was a pain in the ass.  The backyard used to have such a beautiful garden, but after her grandmother died, the weeds took over.  She would have to hack her way through them and make her way to the gate and then struggle with the locked gate door.  It always jammed, even when she was a kid, but eventually, the door would swing open.

“I’m going to watch some tv.”  Her grandfather rose from the table, wiped his mouth with his napkin, and then placed it on top of his plate.  “What are you going to do?”

“I don’t know.”

“Well, I’ll be in the den,” and with that said, he left the room.

Paige finished the rest of her lunch.  Then, she did the dishes.  Her aunt did mention the dollar bus that would pick her up and take her into town.  She could do that, but she wasn’t supposed to leave her grandfather alone.  So, she wouldn’t.  Instead, she put the dishes away and walked into the guest room.

Like with the kitchen, the guest room was black and white.  Her grandmother, may she rest in peace, loved black and white.  Even the covers and sheets were black and white, and the bed creaked under Paige’s weight.  She really didn’t weigh a lot, but the bed creaked nonetheless.  And she lied there for a good while, thinking about nothing.

Paige’s eyes slowly roamed around the room.  Two beds.  One large closet.  One large, wooden dresser with a mirror attached.  A desk and chair, and a bookcase.  When Paige first got here, she lined up all her favorite books from Stephen King and Anne Rice on those shelves, but she didn’t feel like reading now.  On the third shelf was her Horror movies.  Maybe, if she went into town, she would sell them.  She could use the money, and she wasn’t allowed now to watch them here.  Or she could wait until she went home and take them back with her, but she didn’t want to go home so soon.  She wanted time alone, and now, she was alone.  So as the wind drifted through the open window, Paige slowly dozed off into a gentle sleep.

Porcelain is a completed 21,982 word Mystery/Suspense/Horror novel haunting the footsteps of stories told through the likes of Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and Anne Rice.

It is currently looking for a home.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Project Echo ('Under The Dome' Fan Fiction)

Chapter One

“You can’t do this.  You report to me.  This is wrong, and you know it!  This is wrong, and you report to me!”

“As I said before, sir, I no longer report to you.”

“This is wrong!  My son and daughter are going to die!”

“Your daughter is already dead!  Your son?  He’s probably dead by now too.”

Don Barbara lunged at the black military officer before him.  His chains loosened for a second before snapping him back into his seat.  He slammed into the metal wall behind him, hitting his head.  Motion sickness crept over him, but he shook it away.  He would not appear or even be unnerved in front of the man sitting opposite him.

“Are you done?”

“Not even close.”

“Sorry, sir, but it’s over.  You should have listened to me, but you didn’t.  You listened to your son, and that’s why you’re now our prisoner.  And I like you, sir, but if given the order, I will put you down.  Do you understand me?  I will put you down.”

BAM.  The van snapped into a swerve.  Windows shattered.  Metal screamed and twisted.  A second later, tires burned rubber and lifted upward.  SMASH.  The van spun around and around, slowly crawling to a stop with its tires now up in the air.

A moment later, the back doors flew open.  Military figures appeared and snapped up the black box that had rolled across the floor during the crash.  A pistol suppressor flashed in the air.  The black military officer’s chest exploded with a single round.  He was dead, and the gun was now aimed at Don Barbara.

“No!”  It was a woman’s voice.  “He touched the egg.  He comes with us.  Take him.”

Confusion clouded Don’s mind as he was dragged out of the van.  He was hurt, dizzy, but nothing felt broken.  He tasted blood.  His lip was bleeding.  His vision struggled to clear, and when it finally did, he was being pushed into a military helicopter.  “Did you crash into the van with a helicopter?”

“Her idea,” the pilot snarled as the other two military officers squeezed in.  “You’re lucky that we can still fly,” and with that said, the helicopter left the ground.

“Where are we going?”

The woman had a tight, black ponytail.  Her clothes were all black.  Her lips and skin were pale.  Her hands were hidden in black gloves.  She even wore black sunglasses.  “The dome, Mr. Barbara.  We are going to the dome.”

“You can’t.  They’ll shoot us down.  You know that, right?  We will be shot down before we can even get there.”

“We have orders from the president, Mr. Barbara.  We’ll get there.  I assure you.  We will.”

“How is that possible?  Who are you people?”

“You ever hear of Project Echo?”

“Heather,” a military man warned her.

“That’s an urban myth.”

“Welcome to the real world.  Now, shut up,” and with that said, she sat back in her seat.  Don Barbara might not be able to see her eyes, but he could feel them burning right through him.  “You’ll see your son again.”

It was hard to gauge how much time exactly disappeared.  Ground forces were still seen stretched out along the perimeter to the dome.  Alarms were raised as they flew overhead.  No fire.  Maybe, Don Barbara wondered, they did receive presidential orders to approach the dome, but he doubted it.  He had to cash in every coin, every debt just to get to his son, so how did this woman, whoever she might be, get to ride a helicopter right up to the dome?  And how was Project Echo real?

“We’re here.”  The pilot aimed for a landing a short distance away from the dome.  He hoped they would be quick.  He didn’t need to be anywhere closer to this thing than he wanted to be.  “Everyone, out.”

Don Barbara watched the helicopter take off and fly away.  He lifted his hand up over his eyes, shielding his sight from the sun.  A wind drifted around him, and he was cold.  He was rattled, but his injuries from the crash seemed to be fading.  But whatever happened next, he was still their prisoner.

“The egg,” she commanded, and the black box was placed in her hands.

“You can’t control that thing.”

“Yes, I can, Mr. Barbara.”  She removed her black gloves, revealing pale skin underneath.  She opened the box slowly.  She lifted the egg upward, and it started to hum.  She cast the box aside and held the egg up against the dome.  It shifted colors, black, purple, and then blue, and a hole appeared in the dome.  “Go!”

The two military men seized Don Barbara and hurried inside.  The woman followed, still cradling the egg.  The hole closed shut behind them.  They were now inside, trapped like those originally living or visiting here.

“Are you insane!  It’s going to crush us!”

“Relax, Don Barbara.”

“It’s Don.”

“Don, the dome is our friend again.”  She looked down at the egg in her hands.  “You’re home,” she whispered to the egg.

“Who are you?”

“I’m…”  She glanced at the two military men beside him.  “I’m Heather.”

The entire series can be found here: https://www.fanfiction.net/s/10750550/1/Project-Echo

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

2007 - Present


Semi-Finalist and Finalist, Gotham Screen's Screenplay Competition

Second Prize Winner, WRHammons Fiction Contest

Publication in Names in a Jar: A Collection of Poetry by 100 Contemporary American Poets

Appearance on Homework, an ABC News Program:  http://abcnews.go.com/Video/playerIndex?id=3600484


Appearance on Cinematherapy

Quarter-Finalist, 15th Annual Writer’s Network Screenplay and Fiction Competition

Doll House (Short Story), Bartleby Snopes Literary Magazine


Appearance on The Writing Show

Session I and II (Short Stories), Glass Cases

Trials of Youth (Short Story), Memoirs of Meanness


Essence (Short Story), Bartleby Snopes Literary Magazine

Second Chance (Short Story), Glass Cases

Lizardian, Top 5 Screenplays/NYC Midnight

Time's Karma (Short Story), Hampton Literary Journal

Summer Over The Death of My Youth (Short Story), Glass Cases

Dark Blue Heroes of Honor (Poem), Poets for Living Waters

Finalist of NewsPortalSite’s Writing Contest, Haunted By Regret (Short Story)


Discussion (Short Story), Fiction 365

Waiting (Short Story), Mouse Tales Press

Winter Green (Poem), By The Millpond Newsletter

When The Dust Settles (Short Story), Bartleby Snopes Literary Magazine

Gadfly Online: Passenger and No Leaders Among Men

Quarter-Finalist, Waken Dream, NEXTV's Writing Pitch Competition

Our Lives, Our City, Our Dreams (Article) Yahoo! News

Storm Coming (Short Story), Glass Cases


Clay Pigeon (Short Story), Mouse Tales Press

Whispers in the Night (Flash Fiction), Espresso Fiction: A Collection of Flash Fiction for the Average Joe

One Mile Left to Go (Short Story), Jolt Literary Journal

Gadfly OnlineWe Are The Villains Of This Story; Letters Cast Away; Leaving Nowhere Behind; After Dark: My Favorite TV Shows; My First Taste of Road Rage; Bleeding Through Reality (Let The Fiction In); Rampage; Going Haywire

Deep Dreams of the Beating Heart (Poem), India's The Eternity Magazine


Poem: Dreams Under Silver (Saving the Monroe Movie Theatre), The Photo News

Bittersweet Farewells (Short Story), Mouse Tales Press

Appearance on Haywire Series, Episode 17 and Episode 18

Gadfly Online: Living According to Tolstoy, Welcome Back to Tango of the Road Rage Drivers, When I Tried To Become A 9-1-1 Operator, Alarm Set, King of the Lonely Hill, Never in Stone, Saving Gifted Men and a Touch of Paranormal, (Alien) Baby Got Back, Glass Eyes, One Way Ticket, Friendship Rises Over The Dead Zone, Hail to the Three Kings, Baby, The Death of the State Employee, Heroes in Dark, Beyond The Spielberg Dream (My Love of Science-Fiction), A Brief Glimpse Over The Edge, Ghost in the Sands of White (For Walter White), Bye, Bye Mr. Burn Notice Spy, Simple Thoughts, Feeling Yourself Explode (My Take on Being Mad as Hell), Never Meant to Love

Waiting For The Fall (Short Story), Fiction 365


Gadfly Online: Burning Down The Doll House, Over The Porch, Concrete Dreams, Front Page, Cruising Along Fate's Darkness, Where I Hit Record, The Trouble with Past Lives, NeedlePoint, Rhythm of Life, Checkmate, The NY State of Mind Does Not Brake For Enlightenment, You Killed Me Before, Guns Talk (A Parody of 'Little Talks' by Of Monsters and Men, Bleu Room with a Red Vase: Catching A Star At Jones Beach, Dialing The 4400 (A Parody of Adele's song, Set Fire To The Rain), 'Slip and Fall': A Review of Nick Santora's 2007 Thriller, Movies That Speak Volumes, Faded Shades of Rainbow, Remembering The Final Cut: Dedicated to Robin Williams, Don't Forget To Tip Your Cows, Lies (Parody of Sia's song, Chandelier), I Am A Clone, Here We Go Again (Another Tango Driver), Gold Beyond Blue

Poem: Behind The Door, Soul Fountain Vol. #47 Spring 2014