Sunday, October 04, 2015

New Short Story: Wear A Blue Ribbon

Wear A Blue Ribbon
by, Melissa R. Mendelson

I thought the drivers had gone insane.  I couldn’t even get to the grocery store without someone declaring war on me.  They would flash their brights, slam their hands against the steering wheel, and then peel out from behind me, cutting into the opposite lane and then missing me by barely an inch as they veered back into my lane.  I was wrong because as I pushed my wagon into a checkout lane, I accidentally bumped into the wagon before me, and that was when the lady went ballistic.  And she attacked me.

My arm was still sore.  I rubbed it gingerly as I made my way down to the front door.  Maybe, it was the cops again.  Yes, I was pressing charges against her and the store because nobody had intervened, and I had to fight back to save myself from her.  It was just an accident.  I wasn’t paying attention, but she acted like I had declared war on her.  How small and pathetic must her life be for that insane notion, but no, it wasn’t the cops waiting on the porch.  It was a man resembling that of a sales representative.

“Can I help you?”  I opened the door a crack, peering out at him.  “Sir?”

“I heard what happened to you,” he said.  “Terrible thing.  Really terrible.”

“Can I help you,” I repeated.

“Actually, I can help you,” and he knelt down, popping open his briefcase.  Inside was a bright blue ribbon.  He held it carefully in his hands like it was something precious, something important.  “Please, take this, and hang it on your door tonight at midnight.”

“Excuse me?”

“It’s important,” he said, and his words sent cold vibrations down my spine.  “Will you do it?”

“Can I just hang it up now on my door?”

“No!  No.  Midnight, and if you do this, remember one thing.”

“Here it comes,” I said and then realized that I had spoken out loud.  “What?”

“You owe me a favor.  One favor.”  He continued to hold the ribbon out to me, and something in the back of my mind pushed me to taking it from his hands.  “You’ll thank me.”

“For what,” but he didn’t answer me.  Instead, he closed his briefcase and walked away from my porch and over to the next house.  “What the hell,” and I looked down at the ribbon in my hands.

I almost didn’t do it.  I thought the guy was crazy.  I think a neighbor even called the cops on him, but when they stopped him, they just spoke to him briefly and then drove away.  And he continued along his business like they weren’t even there, and neighbors were outside for awhile afterward, talking among themselves.  I wasn’t exactly popular on the block, so I stayed inside.  But I saw the blue ribbons in their hands, and some were thrown into the trash.  But as I hung mine on the front door, I noticed that quite a few were doing the same.

The next morning was quiet.  I woke up early and walked down to the front door.  The door felt heavy today, and I pulled it open to remove the blue ribbon.  It was silly.  The whole thing was silly, but as the cold air greeted me, I froze at what I saw.  There were bodies in the street.  They were the bodies of the neighbors, who had not hung up their blue ribbons, and my blue ribbon wasn’t even a ribbon anymore but a painted image embedded in the door, which I slammed closed a moment later.

A week went by.  I had thought at first that it was the entire world that had fallen victim to this, but it had not.  I had thought that the cities had fallen victim to this, but they had not.  Only the small towns outside the major cities had fallen victim to this, and nobody had any answers.  Nobody knew what to do except bury the dead, and the dead were quickly buried.  And their homes were left vacant with their cars still parked in the driveway to give some semblance of normality, but there was no more normal now.  Even the roads had fallen quiet, and in the grocery stores, there was more fear there than anything.  It was as if we, I had become the enemy because we had lived, because we listened to some man, who would now come asking for a favor, but what kind of favor would he be asking?  And what happens, if you say, No?

A few more weeks passed.  I was grateful that I worked from home.  I found it harder each day to leave my house.  I was just peering outside when I saw him approach the people that still lived across the street from me.  He knocked on their door, and she answered.  And she broke down into tears a moment later, and he did nothing to console her.  He continued to talk, and she continued to shake her head.  He glanced my way, and my blood ran cold.  I hurried away from the window, hoping that he did not knock on my door next.

I could not sleep that night.  I tossed and turned.  I walked the floors.  That conversation outside was haunting me.  What did he ask of her?  What did he want, and why was she denying his favor?  Finally, it was morning, and I don’t know why but when the sun was up, I hurried outside.  And that was when I saw them, that family lying dead in the street.  My eyes traveled over the husband and wife lying side by side with their two little kids next to them, and then my gaze fell across their front door.  The blue ribbon was gone.

The man came again later that day.  He chose another house nearby.  He spoke to the couple there, and they too cried.  But they didn’t shake their heads.  Instead, they nodded in agreement.  The next morning, they were gone.  Just gone like they were never there.  No bodies were found, and nobody questioned anything.  Nobody wanted to know anything, but this man, if he were even a man was coming back for each and every one of us.

Another week passed.  I felt that knock upon the door before I heard it.  I didn’t want to answer.  I wouldn’t answer.  I forced myself into the kitchen to cook up some eggs, and the knocking finally stopped.  I felt relieved, and breakfast was done.  As I turned toward the table with my food on the plate, I nearly dropped it to the floor for there he was sitting at the table.

“You didn’t answer the door,” he said.

“How…  How did you get in here?”

“Do you really have to ask that?”  He gestured toward the seat opposite him, and I numbly obeyed.  “Aren’t you going to eat?”  I looked at my food and felt like I was going to be sick.  “May I,” and I slowly pushed the plate to him.  “This is good,” and he continued to eat my breakfast.  “So, I am gathering that you know why I am here.”

“And if I say no, I die.”

“Smart girl,” and he finished the food before him.

“What are you?”

“Do you really have to ask,” and I shook my head.  “The favor is simple.  I leave you alone.  You live about five to ten years, and then you come with me.  That’s it.”


“That doesn’t matter.”

“Yes, it does.”

“No.  It doesn’t.  Do you know why all of this has happened?”  I shook my head in response.  “It’s because you were all losing control, and this is balance.  This is order.  Will you accept my favor?”

“What happened to that couple across the street?”

“They’re living the dream.”

“I’m sorry?”

“If you accept my favor, I will bring your dreams alive.  You can be happy for awhile.”

“Up to five to ten years,” and he nodded.  “And if I say no, I’m dead either way,” and he nodded again.  “Then, I have no choice.”

“You always have a choice,” and I thought about that.  And I realized something.

“It’s not me that you have.  It’s this place.”  His eyes darkened.  “I need some time.”

“Don’t play games with me.”

“I’m not, but could you come back tomorrow?”

He stared at me for a long time, and then he finally nodded.  His eyes remained dark, and the color of his skin was pale against the sunlight.  He stood, and as he did, I shuddered.  I blinked, and he was gone.

My brother lived an hour away, and he was not affected by this.  I didn’t have much time.  I packed a small bag and threw it into the car.  I hurried back inside and turned on the stove.  Now, I was glad that I had bought a gas stove instead of electric.  As the gas built up, I left a candle burning upstairs in my room by the window.  Maybe, my neighbors would realize what I was trying to tell them, and I hurried to my car, burning rubber down the street.  And just as my house exploded in the distance, I could see him standing there in the road, watching me drive away.

Thursday, October 01, 2015

It's Only Five Dollars and a Good Charity

Back in July of this year, I decided to do something different, and that was to start writing a weekly series on a new website called  This series is based off an old Horror/Sci-Fi Story of mine called, Lizardian.  This story was first written back in 1996 when I was in high school, which is why the story now surrounds a girl in her senior year of high school.  Like me, she also struggles with the onslaught of bullies, never realizing that something sinister is surfacing in her small, country town.

You do have to pay for the subscription.  It's only five dollars.  Well, it's really $4.99, but all subscriptions are going to a good charity, The Leary Firefighters Foundation:

Chapters 1 thru 10 are now available:

If you like my writing, please subscribe to this series and support The Leary Firefighters Foundation.

Thank you.

-Melissa R. Mendelson

Glass Skies Over Home: Glass Window

by, Melissa R. Mendelson

Ch. 1

“I swore to never return home.  I would never come back here, but here I was driving along these country roads.  Here I was driving through a town that was no longer the same, no longer a slice of heaven, but now a branch of city.  My, how things have changed, but I still never wanted to come back here.”

The ride up along the main road from town to home always averaged around fifteen minutes.  New developments met the wandering eye.  The old river mansion was now left to ruin, and its abandoned waterfall trickled along sorrow.  Speedsters jumped across the double, yellow line, cutting off the one, who was just following the forty mile speed limit.  But they had that New York State of mind, not caring if they caused a head on collision.

“Home.  Home has never changed.  It would always remain that two-story, greenish-gray colonial that my family moved to once upon a time.  The only thing that has changed are the woods alongside the house that have been torn down to make room for more houses, more families, but do they know what they are moving to?  Do they know the horrors that await?”

The key waited under the mat.  Abby slowly knelt down beside the fire engine red front door.  It always clashed with the greenish-grey paint, reminding her of Christmas.  Her parents liked it, but when the new family moves in, she was sure that it would be the first thing to go.  The small, bronze key pressed against her palm.  She slipped it into the doorknob and turned it to the right, hearing a click in response.  And she stepped inside.

“My parents finally returned to Long Island.  It took a long time to convince them to go back.  They never believed me.  Nobody did, and they all thought that I was crazy.  And then, it attacked, and only then did they start to believe me.  And when I told them to leave, they did, but the damage was already done.  It’s time.  It’s time to settle the score once and for all.”

The house was empty.  The furniture was already in Seaford or donated to the Salvation Army.  The floors were dusty, and the rooms were bare.  The walls paled in sunlight.  Lights flickered on.  The house was waiting for its new occupants, and they should be arriving soon.  But not today.
The stairs creaked beneath Abby’s feet.  Her hand slid along the wooden rail.  Her eyes fixed on the door ahead, her bedroom.  This was where it all began.  Ghostly screams bounced off the narrow hallway, penetrating the wooden doors sealing off the other rooms.  Her breath caught in her throat as her feet edged closer to that last step.  She would not falter.  She would not surrender, and she knew that it was there, lying in wait.  She would not keep it waiting another minute longer.

“I’m here, you son of a bitch.”  She threw open her bedroom door and stormed inside.  “Show yourself!”  Nothing, but it was daylight.  It was always stronger at night except for when she tried to kill it, and then it tried to kill her during the day.  “Show yourself!”  The walls were bare, but her childhood existence flickered into view.  “Okay.  Okay.  You called me back?  Well, I’m here.  I’m right here, and I’m not going anywhere.  I’ll wait for you, and then it will be just the two of us.  It’s time, time to end this.  Once and for all.”

Ch. 2

Sunlight flooded through the windows of the small minivan as tires bumped along the road.  The metal carriage rocked back and forth like a cradle, and eyes began to close.  The hum of the radio eased sleep into place, and bright light faded into darkness.  But in darkness, she saw a glimpse of what waited ahead.

Eyes snapped open.  Abby sat up in her seat.  She glanced out the window.  All she saw were trees.  A dirt road stretched out ahead of the car, and a knot turned in her stomach.  Was it too late to turn back?

"We’re here."  Her father pulled into a long driveway.  "Everyone out."

The sunlight continued to shine, but Abby felt no warmth.  Her feet crunched along the gravel driveway, and her eyes scanned the woods nearby.  She felt like she was being watched, and it was waiting.  Her parents and brothers seemed oblivious to the danger around them, and they eagerly moved into their new home.  But not Abby.

Supposedly, they would be the first family to reside here.  The house was believed to have been built over a year ago, and now, it was all theirs.  It was located somewhere in the boondocks, far from where she called home, and there was no going back.  And something told her that this place had history, history that was better off left alone.

"Abby."  She looked toward her mother.  "Come inside, honey.  Don’t you want to see your new room?"

All Abby wanted to do was to get in the car and drive as far away as she could, but she was only nine.  She was at her parents’ mercy, and they looked at their new home in pride.  Didn’t they realize that something was wrong?  Didn’t they sense it?


"Coming, mom."  Abby reluctantly walked up the steps to the porch.  A cool breeze tugged at her long, brown hair.  She stared down at her dirty, white sneakers, begging for it to stop watching her, but she could feel its eyes burning through her back.  It was waiting, but what was it waiting for?  The front door slammed closed behind her.

The house seemed ordinary.  Most of the rooms needed furnishing, but they were very spacious.  The bedrooms upstairs were eager to greet their new occupants, and the old furniture from back home filled up the space nicely.  But no matter how hard she tried to tell herself that it was just a bad feeling, she knew different.  She knew sleep would not find her here tonight.

The day went by too quickly.  Boxes were ripped open and then discarded.  Items were placed in drawers and along the shelf.  Dinner came from a fast food restaurant a few miles away, and the cable was still not hooked up.  So, by the end of the night, there was nothing left to do but to adjourn to the bedroom.

Hesitatingly, Abby closed the bedroom door behind her.  The walls were white, bare, and she occupied herself with hanging up her favorite posters.  But that only took half an hour, and it was now pitch black outside.  There was no shade yet on her window, which greatly disturbed her, but she made sure that the latch was locked in place.  "I should go to sleep."  Her hand rested along the windowsill.  "Sleep would be good."  She gazed through the glass window, and to her relief, nothing looked back.

She cautiously approached the closet door.  Her hand shook as she reached out toward the doorknob.  Cold metal touched her skin, and she nearly withdrew her hand.  But with a deep breath, she swung the door open instead.

An empty space met her gaze.  She could kill more time by opening her suitcase and hanging up her clothes.  She just didn’t like standing there before all that darkness, but it wasn’t like she was going to be pulled inside.  Still, that thought was enough for her to slam the door closed, and she pushed the heavy suitcase up against it.  She would wait for daylight and then put her clothes away.  "Why am I so scared?  It’s not real.  It’s not," but her words gave her no comfort.

Something struck the window.  Abby froze in place.  The latch struggled to turn.  She glanced over her shoulder, but all that lingered on the other side of her window was darkness.  She could feel it.  It was there, taunting her, but what did it want?  Why did it want her?

"Mom?  Dad?"  Abby snuck into her parents’ bedroom.  She could make out their bodies tucked beneath the covers with their heads resting against pillows.  The darkness surrounding them did not welcome her in, but she was too scared to turn back.  She was too scared to be left alone.  "Can I sleep in here tonight?"

"Abby?"  Her mother sat up in the bed.  "You’re a big girl now.  Why don’t you want to sleep in your room?"

"I’m scared."

"Grow up."  Her father shifted his head against the pillow.  "You can’t sleep in our bed anymore.  There’s nothing to be scared of."

"But I’m scared."


"No.  She has to learn."  Her father stared at her.  "I’m sorry, but it’s time to grow up."  He pointed at the door.  "Good-night."

"Good-night."  She left the room.

Her bedroom door stood open, waiting for her return.  She stepped inside and could almost have sworn that the door was pulled shut behind her.  The suitcase remained where it was, up against the closet door, so she wasn’t worried too much about that.  Then, she turned toward the window.  "Where are you?"  No response.  "Leave me alone.  Do you hear me?  Leave me alone!"  She stepped closer to the window, making sure that the latch was locked in place.

The outside world seemed alien.  Darkness clung to a sea of trees that stretched out for miles.  A small light shined from a house that was a few feet away, and a shadow danced across one of its windows.  She missed her old home.  There were no trees, no shadows on Long Island but house after house after house.  Every bone in her body begged her to go back, but her parents made their decision.  And now she would pay for that.

The lamp rested on the carpeted floor beside the bed.  The dresser was still cluttered with her television set and the box beside it.  She would empty her stuffed animals out tomorrow, but should she have them back on the bed?  Like her father said, it was time to grow up, so where would she put them?  Her parents mentioned buying her a desk, so she could have them on there.  Right now, it didn’t matter.  All that mattered was going to sleep and praying that she would wake tomorrow.

Jumping into bed, Abby threw the covers over her.  She peered out from underneath, making sure that she was safe.  A small, shaky hand reached for the lamp, silencing its light.  Her breathing was heavy, and her heart beat against her chest.  She pulled the covers closer, clenching her eyes tight, but sleep refused to come.  And it was closer this time, waiting right outside her bedroom window.

The latch to the window turned.  Cold air entered the room.  Darkness drew closer.  Shadows fell across the bed.  A silent scream rose up into Abby’s throat, but it was too late.  And she fell into the first of many nightmares to come.

Abby awoke in a sweat.  It was still dark outside, and her window was left wide open.  She jumped out of bed and slammed the window closed.  She bolted toward her bedroom door, but it was locked.  She pulled on the door, struggling to open it.  She screamed for help, and finally the door gave way, releasing her into the hallway.  And she ran, stumbling over broken shards of wood.

The hallway was in ruin.  The floor was destroyed as if something had broke through from underneath.  Smears of red painted the walls.  Another silent scream rose up into her throat, and she flew into her parents’ bedroom.  But the bed was empty.  They were gone.

She ran into her brothers’ bedroom.  Their beds were torn apart.  The room was destroyed.  There was no sign of them, but large, red spots decorated the carpeting.  Tears stung her eyes as she knelt down, touching the damp floor, and red teardrops raced down her fingers.  A large, menacing shadow appeared across the ceiling.  Razor sharp claws reached for her, and she screamed.

Abby sat up in bed.  It was morning, daylight.  The window was left wide open, and a cool breeze drifted into the room.  Tears stung her eyes, and her body shook.  The bed was soaked through and through, but it was gone.  But she knew that it would return again tonight.  She had to leave.  They were danger, but how could she tell them?  What if they didn’t believe her?  What if they thought she was acting out?  She was trapped, and it knew that.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Glass Skies Over Home - Distant Skies

Distant Skies
by, Melissa R. Mendelson


"Xavier?  Xavier?  Xavier!"

"What?  What is it?"

"Where were you just now?"

"I was placing a white rose on her grave."

"Mr. Tyler, I want a better answer than that."

"I have no better answer to give you."

"Why don't you make something of your life?"

"Because there’s no point as long as you look down on me!"

"X, aren't you sorry?"

"Why should I be sorry?  I've learned to live with myself."

"I love you, Xavier Tyler."

"Please... Just hold on, Lila."

"Get up, Xavier.  Get up!"

The alarm clock exploded into static.  His body jolted upright.  His shaky hand stumbled through the tissues and water bottles on the nightstand until his fingers found the off switch.  His forehead was tenderly massaged, and his ears opened to the birds outside his window, chirping in delight.  Then he heard that horrible sound, the ticking of the grandfather clock that still stood proud in the hall outside his room, and he felt his time slipping away.  But despite the creaks and groans in his body, Xavier forced himself out from under the comfort of his bed and into another ordinary day.

His gray slippers hardly made a sound on the tile floor of the kitchen as he headed for the cabinet.  He pulled out a little bowl with eight pills in it and an empty glass to fill with water.  As he choked down the pills in one gulp, he spied his cat from the living room window who watched him through narrow eyes.  He returned the dirty look and placed the bowl and glass in the sink, and then he knelt down by the kitchen door to pick up the empty cat bowls.  He headed for the refrigerator to get the milk and remembered he had to do a food shopping.  Maybe his son could...  Xavier closed his eyes and reminded himself of the last encounter with his son.

"Why are you leaving?"

"Because I can't stay here anymore...Not with you."

"You were the one, who put yourself in this mess."

"If you just helped me, things would have been different."

"You don't use people, Carl."

"No?  What am I suppose to do then?  Let them walk all over me?" Carl headed for the door.

"I taught you that as long as you believe in yourself, it doesn't matter what those people think." Xavier followed his son to the door.

"That's bullshit, dad.  That logic can't work in the real world.  You have to use people to get to where you want to go.  I can understand now why grandpa and you had your differences."

"He used people all his life and got nothing in the end."

"At least, he survived.  You can pretend that people don't matter and live your life as you want to, but you will wind up alone." Carl opened the door.

"As long as your mother is alive, I won't be alone." Xavier winced as the door slammed closed.  

Xavier put the milk back in the refrigerator, and then he placed the cat bowls down on the floor as his cat impatiently tapped her tail.  He scratched his cat under the chin and glanced up at the dead flowers on the kitchen windowsill.  He slowly picked them up and opened the cabinet door below the sink.  His hand shook over the garbage, and he returned the flowers back to their windowsill.  He smiled as his cat ate her food and left the kitchen.

Xavier paused outside the kitchen and looked around his apartment.  He felt at home here but also confined because it was so small.  He had a bedroom, kitchen, small hallway, and living room.  After his wife Lila died, he sold his colonial house in Monroe and moved to Bayside, Queens.  Most of his stuff was still in boxes, but he had a few pictures of his wife and son hanging up in the hallway.  His feet padded against cold tile to soft carpet, and his body slumped down into a large couch parked in front of the television set.

"John, I love you.  It was my aunt who tricked you."

Xavier made a sour face as he flipped to the next channel.  He noticed sunlight slipping through the blinds and warming up the room.  He lifted up a white, dusty cover that his wife used to sleep in from the couch and wrapped it around himself.  His finger pushed the channel button again as he lied down.

“Today, President Bush ordered the senate and congress to…”

Xavier glanced over at the coffee table.  There were numerous newspapers and magazines piling up on top of each other.  Empty soda cans and plates decorated any unoccupied space.  He didn’t care about these things.  He only cared about the book that he tried to bury under the mess, but it was there.  It was there waiting to be open, but he had no more strength, no more will to use it.

"Stan Cassona was arrested on multiple murder charges last week and is now pleading insanity.  His lawyer has faith that the judge will be sympathetic to the chemical imbalance he has.  Cassona murdered two of his friends and his wife after he found out his wife had cheated on him.  He is being held at..."

"And I wonder why people can't watch the news." He turned off the television.

Xavier closed his eyes and felt something heavy land on his chest.  He opened one eye to see his cat staring back at him.  His fingers scratched in-between her ears as she purred loudly.  He smiled as he felt the sun shine on him from the window.

"Another day goes by, Silver, and yet it feels like the same day.  I sometimes wonder if this were how I pictured things would be for me.  I feel like so much time has passed, and, with every moment, the past comes back stronger.  It seems... It seems like I get more tired and fall asleep, and the past is waiting to pull me back in.  I... I don't want to remember.  I don't want to remember how everything was back then and with my father, but I can't fight it.  I just remember.  I just remember…”

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Glass Skies Over Home: Ride Home

Ride Home: Chapter 1

By, Melissa R. Mendelson

It was a cold night, one of the coldest so far. Winter was arriving early, and all hopes of no snow and ice into the new year ended. The smell of snow was already in the air, and another storm was brewing. This cold night tonight was merely the calm before the white.

Crissa hurried into the cold embrace of winter. She spun around to check on her associate, who quickly locked the store doors behind her. She shuddered in sync with the other girl as they exchanged looks, and both clutched their hands tight to their chest. The wind blew between them, and slowly they moved into the parking lot toward their cars.

With a quick good-night, Crissa unlocked the driver side door of her car and jumped inside. The key was slipped into the ignition, and the engine roared to life. A few minutes was given to ensure that the battery was still charged because the last thing that she wanted was to get stuck again on the side of the road and wait for a car service to come and rescue her.

A hard tapping against her window broke her out of her daze. She pushed a button on the door before turning, and the glass slowly slid down. Her eyes moved from the lights of the dashboard to a hooded man's face, but before she could react, his bare hands were already wrapped around her throat.

"Let me in." Crissa was frozen in place. "Let me in, or I will kill you." His grip tightened against her skin.

"Okay..." She tried to breathe. "Please... Don't hurt me." Her fingers shakily found another button on the door, and all the locks in her car snapped open.

"Then, do what I say." He moved like lightning into the backseat. "Now, drive." His breath touched her ear, and his gaze met hers in the rearview mirror. "Drive!"

Jumping, Crissa quickly rolled up the window. She put her car into drive and slowly pulled it out of the parking spot. Her frantic gaze raced across the barely lit parking lot, and there was no sign of life in any of the parked cars. There was no sign of the girl that she had left the store with, and she was alone with the man in the backseat of her car.

"Let's go," he hissed, and Crissa obeyed.

"Where are we going?" Crissa's hands shook so badly, but she continued to lead the car onto a side road nearby. "Where do you want to go?"

"Not the highway. Keep to the side road." He sat back against the seat. "I'll tell you when to stop."

"Look, I'll take you anywhere, anywhere you want to go, but please, don't hurt me." Something metal glinted off the rearview mirror. "Please."

"I won't hurt you as long as you do what I say." He gently held a gun in his hands. "Now, drive."

The drive along the side road felt like it would go on for eternity. Not one single car had driven by except for one with its brights turned on, and the car sped by too fast without giving Crissa a chance to signal for help. The tires continued to crunch down on the pavement below, and the roar of the engine was all that was heard inside the car.

"Drive for another mile, and then stop."

"There's nothing here but road." She looked at the man behind her. "There's nothing here." The fear was tight in her throat.

"I know."

A mile or so later, the car slowly pulled to the side of the road. The engine continued to hum, and the soft wave of heat tried to kill the chill rising in the car. The lights on the dashboard were bright, but every now and then, they flickered, a warning. But its warning came too late.

"Give me your wallet."

Crissa stared at the man in the rearview mirror. Her hands left the steering wheel and reached for a pocketbook sitting on the front passenger seat. Her fingers fumbled with its latch until it popped open, and she withdrew her wallet from the darkness inside. She then handed the man the small leather pouch, knowing what was coming next.

"Where's the money?"

"I don't carry cash with me anymore."

"No checks?"

"There's no need for them. Plastic is the money now."

"And how much money do you have on your plastic right now?"

"Twenty dollars."

"Twenty dollars?"

"I don't get paid until Friday, where the money is electronically deposited into my account."

"That's not until the end of the week!" She flinched at his tone. "What else do you have? Jewelry?"

"I don't wear any. I'm not materialistic like some people."

"So, you have nothing?" She didn't like his tone. "You have nothing of value to sell, at least." He was now right behind her. "You might have one thing to give, though."

"You want the car? You can have the car. It runs fine. It's yours."

"I wasn't talking about the car."

"Well, that's all that you will get from me." She turned around to face him. "Nothing else." Her anger killed the fear that had held her captive until now. "Nothing else!"

"Which one of us is holding the gun?"

Crissa did not even register that this man could be armed. His hands were deadly enough. He was strong, but with a gun, he was beyond dangerous. And she was a prisoner in his storm of dark thoughts.

"Take off your seatbelt, and turn off the car."


"Do it!" Crissa obeyed. "Now, lie across the driver seat and onto the passenger seat."

"You've got to be kidding me."

"Listen." He placed a firm hand on her shoulder. "We can do this easy or hard." His lips touched her ear. "I would rather not hurt you."

"Bullshit. You’re talking about rape." Her eyes met his in the rearview mirror. "Don’t do this. You’ll regret it."

"Like I said. Which one of us is holding the gun?"

The pounding of her heart echoed with the click of a gun. Metal touched her right temple. Out of the corner of her eye, a finger curled around the trigger. A bullet with her name on it waited to be fired, and she could almost feel it burn into her skin. But she was not shot. Yet.


Crissa cut the ignition, and the car gave one last shudder before dying. The seatbelt slid over her chest and back into its cradle. Her long hair brushed against the seat as she moved her body onto the passenger seat and lied on her back. Tears stung her eyes, and her hands slid down along her legs.

The man pulled himself over the driver side seat. He slithered on top of her. His breath poured against her skin. His weight almost crushed her, nearly stealing her breath. His fingers pulled at her pants as she tried to lie still beneath him.

"If you’re good, you will live." His words were empty of promise...

Sunday, September 27, 2015

New Song Parody: Supernatural Love

Supernatural Love (Parody of Golden Earring’s “Radar Love”)
by, Melissa R. Mendelson

I’ve been waiting for this night,
My heart’s a pounding real tight
Their voices fill my head
Those boys are ready for the next fight.
It’s their calling, that’s right
To tell all of us that they are here
And now baby, there’s nothing to fear
For the Winchesters and Cas are ready to kick this bitch into gear.

When the Darkness comes crawling
And the monsters come storming
These boys and Cas come on marching,
Saving this world from falling.
They are heroes after all.

We’ve got a thing that’s called Supernatural Love
We’ve got CW to thank and cheer for
Supernatural Love

The television is playing their song.
Come on Dean, show us how you’re really strong.
Sam’s eyes have me hypnotized,
And Cas’s voice makes my heart rise.

Please, don’t leave us.
I hope you haven’t had enough.
You give us hope and comfort,
Keeping our dreams hanging above.
Nothing wrong with dreams after all.

We’ve got a thing that’s called Supernatural Love
We’ve got CW to thank and cheer for
Supernatural Love

No more waiting, they are finally near.
Gotta get ready, gotta fight the darkness here
One more monster, come on, let’s go
Hope Crowley’s still kicking because he was one hell of a foe

And the television is playing their song.
Come on Dean, show us how you’re really strong.
Sam sacrificed all for you
Cas got your back.  Yes, that’s true.

Please, don’t leave us.
I hope you haven’t had enough.
You keep our dreams hanging above.
Nothing wrong with dreams after all.

We’ve got a thing that’s called Supernatural Love
We’ve got you heroes caught in our eyes
We’ve got a thing that’s called Supernatural Love
We’ve got a thing that’s called,
Supernatural Love

Saturday, September 26, 2015

A Snowflake Against The Sun

A Snowflake Against The Sun
by, Melissa R. Mendelson

The woods by my house never bothered me before.  Then, one day, I was sitting in the living room with my mother.  We were just having a conversation.  I turned to look outside the window, and then I saw it.  I saw something, and my blood ran cold.  I turned to my mother and then back toward the woods, but whatever it might have been was now gone.

The development around my house continued.  I lost property in the back, and I had to put up a fence to save what was left.  It didn’t stop my new neighbors from dragging huge lawn chairs right up against my fence.  I wouldn’t have minded, if not for the loud music and screaming children.  And then I worried about the woods to the side of the house and what kind of neighbors would shortly move in afterward.  It was only a few days later that the strange accidents began, and nobody could explain it.  And nobody could develop that patch of woods, which was soon fenced around with yellow, warning tape, but what were they really warning us, me about?

It was getting cold outside.  The summertime was at an end, but at least, it had lasted into October, keeping the cold and winter away.  But the weather was turning fast, and that patch of woods was fading now into fall, losing all of that luscious green.  And I used to love the sight of fall with the orange and red leaves, but now I cringed.  I felt like under all that foliage, something stirred, and whatever stirred did not like the cold at all.  And I was the closest house to that patch of woods, so instead of enjoying the turning fall like I used to, I now remained inside with the windows and door locked.

My friends thought I was crazy.  We used to leave the front door wide open.  They would hang out on the porch and smoke and drink.  I was like a madwoman, ushering them all inside, making them snuff out those cigarettes, but they could keep their drinks.  And I would slam that front door shut.  I would slam it shut so hard that the whole house would vibrate.  After awhile, the parties ended at my house, and I was grateful for that.  But as it grew darker and darker outside my home, I felt that I could no longer venture out or stay out into the long hours of morning.  They thought I was crazy.  Maybe, I was because I never saw it again, but I knew it was there.  And it wasn’t leaving, and it was getting colder outside.  Winter was coming, so where was that thing going?

It was only a few days before Thanksgiving.  The snow had finally touched down.  It had been quiet up to then, and I no longer sensed it.  I thought maybe, just maybe, it had changed its mind and left.  Maybe, it went to seek greener, warmer pastures elsewhere, but then that night came, just brushing against midnight.  And I heard a tapping on the front door.

Why did I have to be alone?  Why couldn’t I have had a man in bed with me?  I would have made him answer the door, but none of my relationships last too long.  Actually, I’ve been alone for over five years now, accepting the fact that dating was not for me.  I valued my independence.  It was great, and I never once thought of being alone or being alone.  But now, I wished that someone was with me, and no one was.  And the tapping continued.

I finally threw on my clothes and grabbed a baseball bat from the closet.  Okay.  Who am I kidding, but I didn’t care.  I could have grabbed a kitchen knife.  That might have been a better weapon, but I wasn’t thinking.  And now I was edging down the steps and toward the front door, and just as I got there, the tapping stopped.  And I let out a breath of relief, opening the door, and almost positive that nothing would be waiting on the other side, and then that blast of cold air knocked me back.

I was so cold.  I almost imagined that my skin was blue, but yet, there was a fire raging now, a fire in the fireplace that I did not start.  I was resting on the floor beside it, but I couldn’t move.  Only tears slipped out of the corners of my eyes, turning into icicles before they touched the floor, and the crackling of the fire sounded more like bones breaking.  But I couldn’t feel anything.  I could just sense it right there, hovering so close, watching my every breath rise and fall, and I wanted to say something.  I didn’t want to cry or scream.  I just wanted to speak, and as I tried to, I felt strange.  I felt wet, and as my eyes shifted around me, I realized that I was beginning to shrink.  No, I was beginning to melt like a soft snowflake against the sun, and now I wanted to cry.  I wanted to scream, but one last breath, a white cloud slipped through my open lips and out into the air, right into that blaze.  That was all that I would remember.

My Promise to Myself

When 2015 began, I made a promise to myself, a promise that this would be my year, and then somewhere down the line, I started to dig into the old writings that I have kept since high school.  This is where I found “Distant Skies” and “Porcelain.”  This is where I found “Lizardian,” and as I dove deeper into the drawer of old writing did I realize the darkness that had consumed me back then.  All I knew then was monsters and the damage left done and a past broken, a past that I no longer run  from, and in my writing, the new and the old, you will find a grain of truth about me but only if you really look for it.  And my fight, my struggle will continue to make something of myself in this year before it meets its end for in 2012, I nearly met my end, and the recovery from then to now has not been easy.  So before this year ends, I hope to fulfill that promise that I’ve made to myself.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Publications 2007 - Present

Bartleby Snopes Literary Magazine:

Doll House (Short Story): 2007

Essence (Short Story): 2010

When The Dust Settles (Short Story): 2011

Gadfly Online:

2011: Passenger; No Leaders Among Men

2012: We 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

2013: 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

2014: 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; If Sam Axe Died; Unions; Fragments of Broken Youth; Extra, Extra; D.T.A.; Footprints in Sand; Alien Dream; Along The Rails; Cellar Dawn; Seeing Through The Facade; Blonde Android Shutdown

2015: Flirting with Revolution; Wanting to be a Cool Kid; The Silent War We Wage; Taking On The Universe; 24 Won't Come Back No More (Parody); Death Made a Pie; Spirits Among Us; Underground; Book Review: The Branches of Time; Gone Without a Trace; The Parachute Kids; The World is not Black and White; The Quiet Room; War Of My World; Remains of Peace; Carry On Winchester Sons (Parody of Kansas's 'Carry On Wayward Son'; Hanging Out in the Drive Thru (Parody of Train's Drive By Song); Book Review: Fifteen Digits; A Bitter Mockery; Blazing Eagle; Comic Book Heroes Gone Wild (Parody of Skid Row's "Youth Gone Wild"); Broken (Parody of Rihanna's "Diamonds"); The Waiting Room; What If Heaven Were Really Real?; The Tin Man's Heart; Missing Horror Movies of Days Long Ago; Iron Thorns; Gone But Not Forgotten

Mouse Tales Press:

Waiting (Short Story): 2011

Clay Pigeon (Short Story): 2012

Bittersweet Farewells (Short Story): 2013

Fiction 365:

Discussion (Short Story): 2011

Jolt Literary Journal:

One Mile Left to Go (Short Story): 2012

The Useless Degree Magazine:

Touch of Winter (Short Story): 2015


Poem: A Child's Dream:

Porcelain Log Line:

Glass Skies Over Home Log Line:

The Unknown Rider (Winner of Twitter Short Story Contest):

Waken Dream Log Line:

Bystander Magazine:

Glimpse Over Darkness (Poetry): 2015

Antarctica Journal:


Shining Through The Echo (For Robin Williams)

Are We Real

Behind The Door


Stone Slate

Dream Always

The Hole Within Us

In Shadow






Blue Surface

Silent Post

Who's Ready For Church

Fog Rolling In

Song Lyrics:



On White Wings I Fly

Comic Book Heroes Gone Wild


Photography: Bath Time - Third Place - Contemporary Art Gallery 2015