Sunday, December 14, 2014

The Unknown Rider - Last Chapter

Last Chapter:

The bed was soft, warm.  The covers nestled against skin.  Sunlight streamed in, begging to wash the past events away.  Silence eased screaming pain, near death, and the blood still fresh upon one’s hands.  A heart raced, fear and hope intertwined, and the bedroom door slowly opened.

“Oh, honey.  Aren’t you a bit too old to sleep in the nude?”  Her mother stood in the doorway with a plastic laundry basket tucked under one arm.  “It’s a good thing that I am your mother.”  She entered the room, shaking her head.

“What?  How did I get here?”  She looked around her old bedroom.  She noticed her mother putting her clothes away.  “Why are you still doing my laundry?”

“You called last night, remember?  You said that you would be coming here.  I asked for you to wake me, but I guess you were tired.  And I knew you would be coming home, so I did your laundry.  Good thing that you left some clothes here before you ran.”

“Left, mom.  I left.”

“Sure, you did.”  She laid out a pair of undergarments, jeans, and a red and black top.  “Get dressed, honey.  I’ll make us some breakfast.”  She moved back toward the bedroom door.  “I told you that you leaving with him was a bad idea.  I guess it took you a year to realize that.”

“What?”  She froze in mid-dressing herself.  “Mom?”

“Yes, Jean?”

“What year is it?”

“What kind of question is that?”

“Humor me.  What year is it?”

“October 22, 2013.  What’s wrong?”  She didn’t answer her.  “Jean, what?  What is it?”

“Nothing, mom.”  She forced a smile.  “I’m happy I’m home.”

“Me too.”  She stared at her for a long moment.  “You okay?”

“I’m fine, mom.”

“You seem different.  I’ll make us that breakfast.”  She left the room.

“A year,” she whispered to herself.  “Where was I for a year?”

She wished that she had more time with her future self.  She was still trying to digest the fact that her future self came from another timeline.  Her future self was tortured and transformed into what she was.  Her future self fought in battles and almost lost her arm.  Was that the future that still waited for her, or did her future self save her from that nightmare?

“I’m home,” she said to the empty room.  “I’m safe.  Safe from Stanton Parish,” and his name now gave her quite a chill.  “Please, God.  Don’t let him ever escape his prison.”

The smell of eggs floated into the room.  Her stomach growled in response.  She quickly jumped into her old, white sneakers.  She hurried downstairs, actually looking forward to having breakfast with her mother.  She had just hopped off the last step when a knock fell across the front door.

“Mom, you expecting anyone?”

“No, honey,” her mother yelled back.

“Then, who’s knocking on the door?”  She hesitated as the knocking continued.  “It’s okay, Jean.  You’re safe,” and she opened the door.  “Cameron?  What are you doing here?”

“I’m here for you.”

“No.  No!”

“Can I come in?”

“No.  You can’t be here.”  She stepped outside, closing the door behind her.  “You can’t be here.”

“You have to come back with me, Jean.”

She flinched at her name.  He knew who she was because of everything that had happened.  She also remembered what her future self told her.  “One day, you can’t exist, but you will.”

“I’m sorry.  We need you.”

“Who needs me?”

“Us.  The Alphas.”

“Why?”  He stepped closer.  “Why do you need me?”

“Because of your last message.”

“I never gave you a last message.”

“You didn’t.  The other you did.”

“What was the message?”

“War’s inevitable, and it is.”

“I don’t understand, Cameron.  What are you trying to tell me?”

“I’m telling you, Jean.”  He placed a gentle hand on her shoulder.  “The Alphas War has begun.  You’re not safe here.  He escaped.  You need to come with me.”

“Stanton Parish?”  She swallowed hard as Cameron nodded in response.  “He’s free?”

“We tried to stop it.  We couldn’t.  You’re not safe.”

“My mother.”  She glanced back at the house.  “Damn it,” she cried, and Cameron hugged her.  “Okay.”  She stepped back.  “Just let me say good-bye, please?”

“Okay.  I’ll wait here.”  He watched her move back into the house.

“Who was at the front door, Jean?”  Her mother had already placed two plates full of eggs on the kitchen table.  “Jean?  What’s wrong?”  She hurried over to her.  “What’s going on?”

“I have to leave.”

“What?  You just got here?  You can’t leave.”

“I’m sorry, mom.”  She surprised her with a hug, holding her tight as if she would never see her again.  “I have to go.”  She kissed her on the cheek.

“Jean, you’re scaring me.  Who’s at the front door?”

“It’s okay, mom.  You’re safe here.”  She hurried away from her.

“Jean?  Jean?  Jean!”

She stepped outside.  Dark storm clouds gathered overhead.  A wicked wind blew.  Cameron took her by the hand and led her to the waiting car.  She turned around to see her mother standing by the front door, but she didn’t stop her.  She just watched her leave, and maybe, that was for the best.  Maybe, her mother would be safe here, but she wouldn’t be.  She would never be safe as long as Stanton Parish was free, and the Alphas needed her.  War had just begun.

The Unknown Rider - Chapter 7

Chapter Seven:

“Please, stand back from the closing doors.”

The soft hum fluttered against metal.  Lights flickered.  The cradle rocked as if in motion to a rock and roll song.  Debris, dirt, and newspaper kissed the floor.  Flesh melted into railing as bodies fought not to lurch forward or snap backward.  Eyes flashed open and then shut, consumed with the wandering mind.  Only one stood nervous by the door, constantly glancing over his shoulder.

She clung to the metal bar, trying not to move in motion with the cradle that gently rocked back and forth.  She looked up at the man standing nearby, balancing himself perfectly against the motion.  He gave her a shy smile, and she returned it.  Then, she followed his gaze to the young man by the door.  It was odd that he was wearing black, leather gloves, but maybe, he was just cold.  She knew better now.  Lights flashed against windows.  “Good.  One more stop to go, and then this can be all over,” she muttered to herself.  She followed his gaze back over to that young man.  “He’s like me, isn’t he?”

“Yes.”  Cameron nodded.  “Hospital.  Then, gone.”  He glanced over at the blind woman.  “The gloves?”

“For protection, I guess.”

The subway train came to a screeching halt.  Travelers shifted in and out of the car.  The young man stepped back, allowing people to pass him.  A woman with a baby nearly bumped into him and then slipped into a plastic blue seat nearby.  Nina bumped into him, whispering into his ear, and the young man suddenly relaxed.  She then moved over to the blind woman, tripping over her thin white cane and almost falling into her lap.  She mouthed something to her, and the blind woman slumped forward.

“I am so sorry,” Nina said, placing the cane gently back into the blind woman’s hands.  “I am so clumsy.”  She grabbed the metal bar overhead and stood nearby, ignoring the sharp gaze from Paul Bunyan.

Among the few businessmen clutching their brief cases was Bill.  He watched a  man in a gray hoodie and torn jeans move toward a businessman, but Bill bumped into him, nearly sending that man stumbling back.  They looked at each other for a beat, and then the man in the hoodie opened the back door and entered the next car.

“Can you do what you say that you can do,” Cameron asked as he leaned closer to her.  “Can you?”

“Yes,” she whispered.

“How?”

“I don’t know.  I guess I just have to focus on the moment that I want to go back to.  Why?”

“No reason.  It’s just…”  He noticed Paul Bunyan had begun to tap his foot.  The metal in his boots clinked loudly against the floor.  “Is he supposed to do that?”

She followed his gaze.  “No.”  Fear trickled down her spine.  “He knows something is wrong.”

“Free Stanton Parish,” Paul Bunyan roared.  “Free Stanton Parish!”

Before Bill and Nina could make a move toward him, he jumped to his feet, taking a deep breath in.  His face grew red, but he didn’t stop.  He just inhaled, and people started to drop.

“Cameron, do something!”  She tried to breathe, so did Cameron.  “Do something,” but she was already dizzy.  People were on the floor.  Cameron, Nina, Bill and even that guy with the gloves were on the floor.  “I don’t want to reset,” she cried.  “I don’t want to go back,” she roared.

Suddenly, she could breathe.  The dizziness passed.  She stumbled to her feet and stared at Cameron.  He didn’t move.  None of them moved.  Was her future self doing this?  She spun around the car, making herself dizzy again, but there was no sign of her other self.  She was doing this, and then she noticed that they all started to move but in very slow motion.

Moving fast, she grabbed the gun out of Cameron’s holster.  She remembered that he had shot her with this gun.  It was loaded with tranqs.  That gave her the confidence that she needed, and she approached Paul Bunyan.  She could almost see the air, the oxygen being pulled inside him.  Well, he wouldn’t kill her this time.  Instead, she unloaded the gun into him.

Reality snapped into motion.  Bullets exploded into Paul Bunyan’s chest.  He slumped back, releasing the air, and people started to choke, to breathe.  She remained standing before him, staring at the gun in her hands.  “No,” she cried.  “No!  These are supposed to be tranqs.  They’re supposed to be tranqs!”  She glared at Cameron now.  “What did you do?  What did you do?”

Bill took the gun from her.  He glanced at Cameron, who slowly moved to his feet.  He placed an arm around her as she cried.  “It’s okay,” he said to her.  “It’s okay, everyone.  We’re D.C.I.S.”

“That wasn’t supposed to happen,” she cried.

“I know.”  He held her tighter now.  “I know.”  He stared at Cameron, who looked away.

The train came to a screeching halt.  The SWAT team was there, ready to take over.  They led the passengers off the cars.  They carried the blind woman away.  They started to handcuff the man with the gloves, but then Cameron stepped in, saying something to them.  The man with the gloves was released, and instead of looking at any of them, he looked at her.  He knew that she had saved him.

“Cameron.”  Bill handed him his gun.  “We’re going to talk about this.”

“There’s nothing to talk about, Bill.”

“Yes, there is.”  He glanced over at her.  “Now’s not the time.”  He walked away.

“You okay,” Nina asked her.

“I killed someone.”

“You saved us.”

“But I killed him.  I’ve never killed anyone before.”

“I’m sorry.”  Cameron approached them.  “I switched guns.”  Nina glanced at him.  “Just in case.”

“Just in case of what,” Nina asked him.

“Just in case.”  He withdrew his gun.  “She could do what she said she could, and she can.”  He aimed his gun at her.  “Think about Grand Central.  One month ago.  The attack.  Go back a day before.  Stop that event from happening.”

“Cameron, what are you doing?”  Nina stepped in-between them.  “Don’t do this,” she said in that voice.

“You can’t push me, Nina.  I’m wearing those special contacts, and I will shoot you because none of this has to happen.  We can save him.  We can save Rosen.”

“By shooting her?”

“She can reset.  Can’t you?”  His hand was steady.  He aimed for her head.  “Think about one month ago at Grand Central.  Stop the attack from happening.”

“Okay.  I can try, but I can’t make any promises.”

“Promise me that you will.”  She stepped in front of Nina.  “Save Dr. Rosen.  We need him.”

“Okay.”  Tears slipped down her face.  “Do it.”

“No,” Nina screamed.

The bullet exploded from Cameron’s gun.  It flew past Nina’s head.  It traveled right toward her.  She could feel it already biting into her skin.  Someone grabbed her from behind, knocking her down to the ground, and the bullet exploded into concrete.

“What the hell?”  Cameron now stared at two of her.  “Where did you come from?”

“Lee said that you would try that, Cameron.”  She was older, tougher, and her eyes blazed as she glared at him.  “He said that you would try anything to save him.”  She helped her younger self to her feet.  “I guess he was right.”

“You’re from the future?”

“I am, Nina, but not your future.  In my future, Lee lived.”  A sad look crossed over her face.  “None of you did.  Grand Central had to happen.”

“Bullshit,” Cameron said.

“I wish it was.”

“If Grand Central didn’t happen, then how are you…  You,” he demanded.  “She was created by that event.”

“You’ve ever been tortured?”  They fell silent.  “No.  I guess not.  Stanton Parish made me who I am today.”

“Parish,” her younger self asked.

“We have a long, complicated history with that man, but Lee saved me.”  She started to pull down the zipper on her body suit.

“What are you doing,” Nina asked.

“Don’t.  I don’t need anyone to see me naked.”

“Get used to it,” her older self responded.  She opened the body suit further, revealing ugly scars across her chest.  Her shoulder was the worst.  Dead skin covered half of it.  “During one of our battles, I almost lost my arm.  Lee saved it as best as he could, but he figured out something.”

“What?”  Cameron looked around, making sure that everyone was still preoccupied  “What did he figure out?”

“I can’t take anything with me when I jump.  You discovered that,” she said to her younger self.  “However, if it’s inside me, I can.”  She pulled the dead skin apart on her shoulder.

“I’m going to be sick,” her younger self said.

“Too bad.”  Her older self produced a small, silver capsule.  She handed it to Cameron.

“I’m not touching that,” he responded.

“Baby.”  She snapped the capsule open, revealing a piece of brown paper.  “It’s clean.  Trust me,” and she handed that paper to him.  Once he took it, she hurled the capsule onto the train tracks.

“Wait.  Why did you do that?”

“Because that metal has not been created yet,” she told her younger self.  “There are things that I must change, and there are things that I can’t.”

“What does it say,” Nina asked Cameron as he stared at the note.

“Don’t save me.  It’s his handwriting.”

“Cameron, look at the picture on the bottom.”

“That can’t be possible.  He looks the same.  How did he not age?”

“Stanton Parish.  After saving me, they went at it, and Lee took his blood.”

Cameron stared at the man beside Rosen.  “That’s my son,” he whispered.  “He’s so grown up.”

“He was a good soldier.”  Tears touched her eyes.

“Was?  What do you mean by was?”

“I’m sorry, Cameron.  He died saving me.”  Cameron crumpled the note in his hand.  “He was a lot like you.  Lee told me that.”

“But that doesn’t happen now?  Right?”  Nina looked from the older self to Cameron.  “You changed that?”

“I hope.  I don’t know.  I’m not done yet.”

Her younger self started to glow white.  “What’s happening to me?”

“You’re starting to jump.”

“No.  I want to go home.  I just want to go home,” her younger self cried.  “I don’t want this, us.  I don’t.  I want my life back.”

“One day, you can’t exist, but you will.”

Before her younger self could ask what that meant, she vanished into a brilliant white light.  Her older self seemed sad to see her go.  She knew something, but she would not share it.  It was not time.  “I have to go too.  I’ve stayed too long.”  She stared at Nina and Cameron for a long moment.  “Before I go, you need to know something.  You need to know how to find me.”  She pulled another capsule from her shoulder.

“Doesn’t that hurt,” Nina asked.

“You get used to it,” and she dropped the capsule into Nina’s hand.

Nina and Cameron looked at it for a moment.  When they looked up, the future one was gone.  They were almost alone, standing on the platform.  Nobody seemed to notice the strange interaction that had just taken place.  Maybe, it was better that way.

“Open it,” Cameron said.

“So disgusting,” but Nina opened it.  “Oh my God.”  She read the short note.  “Cameron.”

“I know.”  He stared at the note.  “I know.”

Sunday, December 07, 2014

The Unknown Rider - Chapter 6

Chapter Six:

The door exploded.  Little shards of wood erupted throughout the air.  Dark boots stomped hard on the floor.  Guns were at the ready.  Voices fired, snapping commands.  Eyes blazed.  Target was found.

“On the floor now!  On the floor!”

No response.  The individual remained seated at the table.  She almost looked amused like she was remembering a scene from tv, but this was no television program.  She didn’t even wince at the guns aimed at her head.  She remained still with her hands folded in her lap.

“Do not move!  I repeat.  Do not move!”

The 9-1-1 call was simple.  D.C.I.S.  Terrorist Attack.  Tomorrow.  Grand Central.  Alphas.  Stanton Parish.  It took less than ten minutes, but she knew they would come.  And here they were.

“Do not move.”

“It’s about time, Cameron.”  He looked surprised that she knew him.  “I’m Jean, and we have a lot to talk about.”

“Stand up slowly,” he responded.

“No.  I’ve been through this dance enough especially with you.”

“Lady, I don’t know you from a hole in the wall.”

“Yes, you do, and you’ll ask Nina to push me.  But she can’t.  Rachel will discover my brain waves.  Alpha brain waves.”

“Cam, what is she talking about?  How does she know us?”

“Because I’m stuck on repeat.  Groundhog Day.”

“Bullshit,” Cameron responded.

“Bull true.  We met on the subway originally.  I tried to warn you, and you handcuffed me to the metal pole twice.  The second time, you even tasered me.  What is wrong with you?”  He finally lowered his gun.  “I tried to trust you.  Why can’t you trust me?”

“Stand down,” Bill ordered the task force.  “Everyone, stand down.  Clear the room,” and the men in dark uniforms slowly backed away.  “Okay.  You want us to trust you?”  He holstered his gun.  “Start talking.  Tell us about the attack tomorrow.”  Instead, she watched Cameron holster his gun.  “He’s cool.  We’re all cool.”  Bill slowly sat down near her.  “Your name’s Jean?”  She nodded.  “Okay, Jean.  Talk to me.  Talk to us.”

“On one condition.”

“I knew it,” Cameron mumbled.

“What,” Bill asked.  “What do you want?  Immunity?”

“No.  I want to go home.  That’s all I ever wanted.  Instead, apparently I was a comatose patient until two days ago.”  Bill and Cameron exchanged glances.  “After tomorrow, I go home.”

“Okay.  Okay.  You go home.”

“In the meantime.”  Now, Cameron took a seat behind her.  “We put you somewhere until tomorrow’s attack is avoided.”

“No.”

“No,” Bill asked.

“No, I need to be there.  I was there the last two times.  I need to be there, but it needs to happen this time differently.  And she’s not here to warn them.”

“Who,” Bill asked.

“The blind lady.”

“Why don’t you start from the beginning,” Bill said.

“Then, let’s start,” she replied.

The Unknown Rider - Chapter 5

Chapter Five:

“Cameron.”  He looked at her in surprise.  Then, he looked down at the notebook paper that she pressed into his hand.  “Read it.  Please.  Don’t ask.  Don’t say anything.”  He followed her gaze over to the blind woman sitting nearby.  “Read it.”

He slowly unfolded the piece of paper in his hand.  His confused gaze changed into surprise, suspicion.  He opened his mouth to say something, but she shook her head in response.  He finished reading the note and then placed it into his pocket.  He touched his ear for a moment.  Then, he inched closer to her.  “Who are you?”

“It doesn’t matter.  I just want to go home.”  He looked surprised at that.  “But I can’t.  Not yet.  Do you believe me?”  He nodded.  “Finally.  After the last time…”  He handcuffed her to the metal pole.  Again.  “You did that the last time.”  He looked at her in confusion.  “I thought you believed me.”

“I don’t know who or what you are, but you’re not going anywhere.  I want answers.”  The train came to a screeching halt.  He stepped closer, concealing her handcuffs.  He waited until the train started to move again.  “You know too much.”

“I wish I didn’t.”  He looked away.  “Just let me go.  I don’t want any part of this…  War,” she whispered, and the blind woman glanced her way.  “Cameron.  Cameron?  Oh, you’re ignoring me now?  I was right before, wasn’t I?  You’re an idiot.  You hear me?  You’re an idiot.  Answer me.  Don’t you hear me?”

“No.  He doesn’t.”  Someone stood behind her now.  “None of them can hear you, so scream all you want.”  Her back stiffened as breath kissed her ear.  “They can’t know about…”  Now, they stepped in front of her.  “Me.”

An older version of herself stood in front of her.  Her hair was long, darker.  She wore a tight, black bodysuit.  Her eyes were tired.  She was angry, glaring at her younger self.  She slipped into Cameron’s pocket, pulling out the keys to the handcuffs.  She unlocked herself from the metal bar and dropped the handcuffs onto the floor.  “Hello,” she said.

“You’re me?”

“Duh.”

“What the hell is going on?”

“No time to explain.  Just remember this.  The next time you reset, you won’t like it, but you have to do it.  Otherwise, you won’t like the future that is waiting for you, and when you reset, think back to the night before.  You need to wake up the night before.”  She stepped away from her.

“Wait!  That’s it?  That’s all that you’re going to say to me?”

“Alpha brainwaves.”

“What?”  She watched her future self inch another step away.  “You have to give me something better than that.”  A smile twitched on her face.  “What?  What aren’t you saying?  I know there’s something, so what?  What is it?”

“Save the Alphas.  Save the World,” and her future self vanished into a brilliant white light.

“This isn’t television.”  Just as those words spilled out, the train snapped back to reality.  Cameron was staring at her and then down at those handcuffs that were on her wrists.  “Cameron, I can explain,” but before she could, he had something in his hands.  It looked like a gun, and then her body tingled and went numb.  “It was me,” she gasped, falling forward into darkness.

It was dark, late.  They were sitting outside, looking destroyed.  Cameron had his head in his hands.  Motion from the room nearby made them turn that way, realizing that their prisoner was finally awake.  Good.  It was time for answers, and Cameron stormed into the room first.

She had awoken on a hard cot.  Her wrists were once again handcuffed together.  She stared at the only door leading in and out of the room.  It reminded her of a Law and Order interrogation room except for the cot.  Then, she noticed the windows nearby.  She lifted up a shade and glanced up at the sky.  It was night.  She couldn’t remember the last night that she saw, and she opened the window, enjoying the breeze resting on her skin.

“Good.”  Cameron stormed into the room, followed by Nina.  “You’re awake.  Have a seat.”  He threw a large manila folder on the table.  “Now.”

“I’m enjoying the breeze, “ she responded.  “I haven’t seen the night sky in so very long.”

“I don’t care,” Cameron snapped.  “People are dead, no thanks to you.  Nina, push her, please.”

“Sit down.”  Her voice was odd, but she remained standing by the window.  “Sit down,” Nina replied.

“I’ll stand, thank you.”

“Rachel’s right about her brain waves,” Nina said to Cameron.  “I can’t push her.”

“Alpha brainwaves.”

“That’s right.”  Nina stared at her.  “How do you know that?”

“It was part of the message.”  She finally sat down in the chair that waited for her.  “She was right about that, I guess.”

“She?”  Nina sat opposite her as Cameron flipped opened the folder.  “Who’s she?”

“Don’t ask.”

“We’re asking,” Cameron said.  “You said that was part of the message.  What was the other part?”  Now, she made that same expression that her future self had made.  “This isn’t a game.  What was it!”  She winced at his tone.  “What?”

“Save the Alphas.  Save the World.”

“Are you kidding me,” Nina responded.

“I wish I was.  What am I doing here?”

“You’re being charged as part of the terrorist attack today at Grand Central,” Cameron responded.

“Hey!  I tried to warn you about that, and you handcuffed me to the metal pole.  Again.”

“I don’t know what you are talking about.”

“Then, let me explain it to both of you.  I’m stuck repeating the same damn day.  This has happened twice already, and I warned you the second time.  And you handcuffed me to the metal pole.”

“This isn’t Groundhog Day,” Cameron said.

“To me, it is,” she responded.

“Do you know where you were a month ago,” Nina asked, watching her shake her head.  “You were in the hospital.  You were one of the comatose patients there.  You disappeared from the hospital two days ago.  Where did you go?”

“All I know is that I woke up in the hotel room.  I always wake up in the hotel room.”  She stared down at a picture of herself in a hospital bed.  “Does my mom know?”

“You used a fake name,” Cameron said.  “Jean Grey.”

“Would it help you, if my real name was Jean?”

“No.  It wouldn’t.”  He sat back in his seat, staring hard at her.  “Before we transfer you to the new compound, I want to know every detail about today’s event.  Who contacted you?  How did you know which subway to board?  How did you know about me?”

“Cameron.”  He glanced over at Nina.  “A word outside, please?”

“What’s the compound?”  She didn’t like the expressions on their faces.  “What is it?”

“A prison,” Nina said as she led Cameron out of the room.  “We’ll be right back,” and the door closed behind them.

“The next time you reset, you won’t like it, but you have to do it.  Otherwise, you won’t like the future that is waiting for you,” her future self’s words thundered in her ears.

“The compound.”  She glanced at the door.  “I can’t go there.  I have to go back.”

She quickly placed the back of the chair underneath the doorknob.  Then, she ran to the window and kicked the screen outward.  She took a deep breath and then crawled outside onto the ledge.  She heard the door being kicked in and someone screaming, “No,” but it was too late.  She jumped, and as she fell down toward the pavement, she thought of the night before.

“Please, God,” she thought as the pavement below grew closer.  “Let me wake up.  Let me wake up the night before,” and she could have almost sworn that white light was now surrounding her.  But she also felt her body hit the ground, and she sat upright in the darkness.

It took a moment for her eyes to adjust to the darkness.  She was back in the hotel room.  She was naked again.  It didn’t matter.  She turned toward that clock on the dresser, and it read, 8:00 p.m.

The Unknown Rider - Chapter 4

Chapter Four:

“Please, stand back from the closing doors.”

The soft hum fluttered against metal.  Lights flickered.  The cradle rocked as if in motion to a rock and roll song.  Debris, dirt, and newspaper kissed the floor.  Flesh melted into railing as bodies fought not to lurch forward or snap backward.  Eyes flashed open and then shut, consumed with the wandering mind.  Only one stood nervous by the door, constantly glancing over his shoulder.

“Should I find a police officer,” she wondered to herself.  “Should I find his body?  What if the mob is still there and they see me?”  She clung to the metal bar, trying not to move in motion with the cradle that gently rocked back and forth.  “Maybe, I should just go home.”  She looked up at the man standing nearby, balancing himself perfectly against the motion.  He gave her a shy smile, and she returned it.  “Why couldn’t I find a nice guy like you,” and then she followed his gaze to the young man by the door.  It was odd that he was wearing black, leather gloves, but maybe winter was coming early.  Or maybe, he was just cold.  “Focus,” she scolded herself.  “I need to focus.  Find Mitch.  Find his body.  Tell the police something, something easy, and then go home.  I want to go home.”  Lights flashed against windows.  “Good.  One more stop to Grand Central, and then this can be all over.”  The man before her touched his ear as if listening to something, someone, and then he returned his gaze to that young man.  “I wonder why he is staring at him, but it doesn’t matter.  None of my business,” and the subway train came to a screeching halt.

Travelers shifted in and out of the carriage.  The young man stepped back, allowing people to pass him.  A woman with a baby nearly bumped into him and then slipped into a plastic blue seat nearby.  There was a blind woman with a thin white cane and dark glasses mouthing something.  It was like she was saying something, but something more to herself.  A group of kids rolled on, eager for Grand Central, and talked about shopping and eating.  There were a few businessmen clutching brief cases.  One man in a gray hoodie and torn jeans bumped into a businessman, who waited a beat and then checked his wallet, making sure it was still in place.  The man with the shy smile remained, so did the young man, who gripped the overhead metal bar nervously.  One more stop to go.

She wanted to ask the man with the smile what his interest was in that guy nearby, but again, it was none of her business.  Instead, she stood nearby, trying not to fall forward or back.  She glanced over at this large man, who could have been a boxer or construction worker.  He wore tan, steel toe boots and a dark red flannel shirt.  She wondered where Babe The Blue Ox was and smiled at her Paul Bunyan joke.  That guy smiled at her, now focused on her, and that made her nervous.  Next time, she would just keep her thoughts to herself, and then the subway train came to another screeching halt.

The young man had pulled off his gloves.  He gingerly pocketed them.  He let go of the overhead metal railing as the train slowed down.  He glanced over at that man with a shy smile, and then he looked at her for a moment, wondering something.  He touched the door, and she could have almost sworn that steam slipped through his fingers.

“He’s on the move,” the man with the shy smile said to himself.  “Be ready.”

“Why is he talking to himself,” she thought.  “Just my luck.  He’s crazy.”

The doors opened.  The young man took off.  The man with the shy smile bolted after him, touching the door.  He yelled as if he burnt himself, but he continued to run.  It was strange, but again, none of her business.  As she exited the train, she too touched the door and felt that it was hot, which was odd.  Normally, those doors were cold.

She made her way to the center of Grand Central.  A chill raced down her spine.  The ticking followed.  It was the same ticking as before.  It was not of time but of death, and she realized that she had not heard the ticking until now.  Something had set it off, but what?  What could possibly have set it off?

“Free Stanton Parish,” someone roared.  “Free Stanton Parish!”

She knew that name.  It was familiar.  How did she know that name?  That guy, the strange guy from the poker games.  That’s how she knew the name, which made her stop walking, but who was screaming that?  It was Paul Bunyan.

He planted his feet against the white tiled floor.  He took a deep breath in.  His face grew red, but he didn’t stop.  He just inhaled, and she started to get dizzy.  What was he doing, and why was she now sweating?

People dropped to the floor.  She dropped too.  A roaring filled her ears.  She gasped.  They gasped, reminding her of that gold fish that fell out of the fish bowl.  It gasped for air like she was now gasping, and then she realized that this man somehow was suffocating her, suffocating them.  He was killing them, but for what?  Why?  Was it just to free that man, that strange man?  Who the hell was Stanton Parish, and that thought haunted her all the way down into a deep darkness.

The brown, scratchy covers fell away.  White sheets were pressed and stained.  An impression kissed the pale pillow.  A body rose, confused as sleep wrapped its arms around it, begging for one last dream, but there was no dream here.  A nightmare was waiting from the corners of darkness, itching to stir, and it would stir.

“What the hell?”  She realized that she was naked.  “What?  What is this?  I’m back at the hotel room?  How did I get here?”  She slowly rose from the bed.  “That wasn’t a dream.  That was not a dream.”  She gathered her clothing from a nearby drawer, taking one long look around the hotel room.  “I guess…  I guess I should shower?“  She glanced at the clock on the dresser nearby.  She had already awoken at this hour before.  “What the hell is going on?”

Moments later, she exited the bathroom in a long, white robe.  Something slid under the door to the hotel room.  It was the newspaper.  This time, she opened the door, wanting to know who had sent her this newspaper.  Nobody was there.  She looked out into the hallway, but still, nobody.  But somebody knew she was there, and somebody wanted her to have this.  Why?  What did they know that she didn’t?

  “The train,” she exclaimed.  “Oh, shit.”  She looked at the clock on the dresser.  “I can warn them, someone.”  She thought of the man, who had smiled at her.  There was something about him.  Her gut told her that.  She would warn him.  She didn’t know why, but she would warn him.

A little while later, she stood beside him once more, holding onto that long, metal bar.  She smiled at him, and he smiled at her.  His attention returned to the young man, who still wore those gloves.  She stepped into his line of sight, forcing him to look at her once more.

“What’s your name?’

“Why do you ask,” he replied.

“Please.”

“Cameron.  You?”

“Listen to me, Cameron.”  She inched closer.  “You don’t want him.”  Now, she had his attention.  “You want him.”  She pointed at Paul Bunyan.  “He’s the one that you want.”

“What do you know about it?”

“He’s going to hurt people,” she whispered.  “A lot of people.”  The blind woman tapped her cane against the floor hard.  “You have to stop him.  He wants Stanton Parish free.”  She didn’t even get a chance to blink when he handcuffed her to the metal pole.  “Hey!”  People looked at them.  “I’m trying to help you here.”  The train came to a screeching halt.  One stop before Grand Central, and Paul Bunyan started to exit the train.  He glanced at her first.  “That’s not supposed to happen.  He’s not supposed to get off here.”

“How would you know that?”  He tapped his ear.  “Bill, you still in the next car?  Good because we got another one here.”

“Another one?  Another what?”

“Alpha,” he whispered.

“I don’t know what that is.”

He stared at her, hard.  He then looked over at the nervous guy, who was really nervous now at watching Cameron handcuff her to the pole.  “Why didn’t he get off?”

“Because that’s not his job.”

“So, you do know something?”  His face was inches away from hers.  “What?  What is happening today?  Why one month after the event?”

“What event?”

“Grand Central.  One month ago.”  He dropped his voice to a whisper.  “What is happening today?”

“You’re an idiot.  You know that?”  The train came to a screeching halt.  “You let your Alpha run away.  It’s going to happen because you’re an idiot.”

“We’ll see.”  He tapped his ear again.  “Nina, I got one prisoner.  I’m after the other.  Please, pick her up.”  The doors started to open.

“Don’t touch the doors,” she yelled after him.

As Cameron raced after the other guy, he touched the doors.  He winced, rubbing his hand.  He looked back at her.  His mouth hung open for a second, but then he disappeared outside.  And he had taken the keys with him for the handcuffs that still held her to the metal pole.

She realized that the car that she rode in was nearly empty.  The only one left with her was that blind woman.  As the train revved up again, the blind woman stumbled to her feet.  Her cane banged against the floor until she was now standing beside her.  Her eyes pierced into her back.

“Can I help you?”  She glared into those dark glasses, and in response, the blind woman removed them, revealing white orbs, which sent another chill down her spine.  “What?”

“You’re like us,” she replied.  “Question is.  What side are you on?”

“Lady, I have no idea what the hell is going on.  I just wanted to find a body.”

“A body?”

“My boyfriend.”

“Well, my friend.  You stumbled into something far bigger than a dead boyfriend.”  She reached into her pocketbook.  “Sacrifices have to be made.”

“Tell me something.”  The blind woman paused.  “What were you mouthing to yourself before?”

“That war is inevitable,” and the small silver handgun went off.

The brown, scratchy covers fell away.  White sheets were pressed and stained.  An impression kissed the pale pillow.  A body rose, confused as sleep wrapped its arms around it, begging for one last dream, but there was no dream here.  This was a nightmare.

“Oh, you’ve got to be kidding me,” she screamed into the air.

The Unknown Rider: Chapter 3

Chapter Three:

The city pulsed with life.  In such an alien kingdom, birds still found solace.  Conversations emanated along hollow walls.  The wind whispered through a half open window.  Time stirred, impatient, but sleep refused to surrender.  Only a flickering remained, a flickering of a brilliant white light.

The brown, scratchy covers fell away.  White sheets were pressed and stained.  An impression kissed the pale pillow.  A body rose, confused as sleep wrapped its arms around it, begging for one last dream, but there was no dream here.  A nightmare was waiting from the corners of darkness, itching to stir, and it would stir.

“Mitch?  Mitch?”  She slowly rose from the bed.  “It was a dream.  Thank God!  It was a dream.”  She gathered her clothing from a nearby drawer, taking one long look around the hotel room.  “He’s getting breakfast.  That’s what he’s doing.  Getting breakfast, and I need to shower.  I need to wash that dream away, that man…  That bullet.”

The warm water on her skin was a blessing.  She pulled and curled her long, brown hair.  Of course, shampoo got into her big, brown eyes, but she washed that away as well.  Her pale skin shimmered with water droplets as she sadly turned the water off, but she had wasted enough time.  Time?  Maybe, whatever this ability was, it was time to put it away.

As she exited the bathroom in a long, white robe, something slid under the door to the hotel room.  She looked down at it for a long, quizzical moment.  That couldn’t be right.  It couldn’t be.  How was it a month later?  This couldn’t be real, but the folded newspaper in her hands screamed that it was.  This was real, and time?  Time was a cruel bitch, or did it just save her life?

Mitch had paid for this room for three months in advance with the money they had won.  It was in a perfect location.  Nobody bothered them.  Nobody questioned them.  They came and went as they pleased, and if they never returned, nobody would care.  The abandoned room would then become someone else’s problem, but that didn’t explain the missing chunk of time.

The front page screamed of some kind of tragedy.  It was that night, that night when she was at Grand Central.  There were so many dead, so many left in comas.  There were stories about people with abilities, abilities like hers, so she wasn’t the only one?  Another page had a picture of all the dead, and one man stuck out from the rest.  It was the one bent on killing her.  “Good,” she muttered.  “I’m glad you’re dead,” and she continued to flip through the newspaper, almost as if it would tell her how she got here.

Toward the back was an obituary on a guy named Dr. Lee Rosen.  It was an entire page.  It spoke of how he was the first one to announce the Alpha Outbreak as they were calling it.  Most people wrote it off as a joke, but since that night, amazing things had happened.   Terrible things had happened.  Now, people were scared, and they needed this guy more than ever.  But he did not survive.  There was mention of an organization, DCIS, but it was brief.  Would this group, his group still exist, or did his death destroy them?

It didn’t matter.  All that mattered was that Mitch was dead.  His body was left somewhere near that poker game.  Maybe, the cops had already found him.  She promised herself that she would tell the police what had happened, but that guy was dead too.  And this was the mob that she was talking about.  No matter how much it broke her heart, maybe she should leave this alone.  Maybe, but she couldn’t.  At least, if she found his body still lying there nearby, she could lead the police to him and make sure that his mother got a chance to say goodbye.

She wanted to call her mother.  Her mother always looked down at her in disappointment.  Her brothers went on to college, graduated, and got married.  What about her?  College dropout, hooking up with this guy, Mitch, and racing to New York City like she would be king or queen of the world.  She just wanted to have a little fun.  She never had any fun.  Her mother didn’t let her.  Instead, she did all the chores in the house like a good Cinderella.

The only thing that she knew about her father was that he was obsessed with watches.  For awhile there, they were a happy family, but then the ticking started.  He had to work day and night on any kind of watch to silence it.  He needed to silence time like he was afraid of it, like it was going to do something to him, something like this.  Maybe, he knew.  Instead, he was locked away shortly after she was born, and a year later, he died of a massive stroke as if his head exploded.  Was it the ticking?  She hoped not, remembering that night at Grand Central.

Nobody in her family talked about him except for the good times.  Her brothers refused to think that something was amiss.  She believed that lie too, but the pressure of graduating high school, going to community college, and figuring out what to do with her life jumpstarted that ticking.  At first, she thought that she would go crazy like her father.  She was afraid to tell her mother or her brothers, but then that night after graduation happened.

That stupid boy pretended to like her.  He took her to the all-night graduation party, but they never made it.  He was already drunk, and they were fighting.  They were fighting because he wanted to make out, and she didn’t.  And he was angry that she wouldn’t put out, swerving madly about the road, and then she screamed.  A car was coming straight toward them, and then it was like time had stopped.  But it slowed down long enough for her to jump out of the car.

Nobody understood it.  Nobody understood how she got out.  The boy lived, but he was crippled.  Some even blamed her, and that small town got even smaller.  Then, she met Mitch, and he was the one to coax her into her ability.  And she never suspected that it was to make him rich, and now he was dead.  And she was here one month later, but why?  Why was she here now?

“Doesn’t matter.”  She finally put the newspaper down.  Her fingers were stained black.  “Doesn’t matter.  His body has to be found,” and with that said, she started to get dressed.  “What do I tell the police,” she asked the empty room.  “What should I tell them?  I don’t want another bullet with my name on it.”

A few moments later, she was ready.  She wore light blue jeans, a red shirt, and had on black sneakers.  She lifted up the mattress and grabbed a few more hundred dollar bills, just in case.  She shoved the bills into her pants pocket and surveyed the room one more time.  She could hear it, that damn ticking, and there were no clocks or watches in this room.  Something was wrong.  Something was very wrong, but she would be damned, if she ended up like her father.  And with that thought in mind, she left the room.

The Unknown Rider - Chapter 2

Chapter Two:

The room was crowded.  Too crowded.  Muscle stood at the ready, poised for anything.  The bosses perched at the table, eager for their cards.  The onlookers were slick and sleazy.  The man at the door was on edge, and if you knew the right word, you were allowed in.  If you didn’t, it would be a different story for you.

I was in the bathroom.  I washed cold water over my face.  I couldn’t stop shaking.  This was a mistake, a real bad mistake, and I wanted to run.  I wanted to bolt, but he wanted to stay.  He wanted me close, but how could I get close with all those people in that room?  It would take time, more time than I was used to, maneuvering around them, and spying on the players.  It would wipe me out, and what if I made a mistake?  What if I got caught?  I used to watch mob movies when I was younger.  I loved them, and now, I was in one.  These people?  Forget about it.  They wouldn’t blink to making you disappear.

I reached into my pocket, pulling out a train ticket.  I begged him to forget about this night, this game.  I promised to do more with him, if he just did not come here.  He ignored me.  He wanted the money.  He needed it.  He thought he was getting it, and I was his ticket in.  But, no, Mitch, because of how wrong this relationship has gone, my ticket is going home tonight after this nightmare is over, but right now, I was trapped.  There was nothing left to do but walk outside.

The game started.  He was eager, too eager.  He should have been nervous, scared.  He was so stupid, so was I.  His eyes kept darting at me, nodding as little as he could.  When the game revs up, it would be my turn, but I couldn’t even breathe.  I couldn’t move, and then when I just worked up the nerve, something hard, cold pressed into my back.  And I watched the color finally fade from Mitch’s face.  He knew exactly who was behind me.

“You guys just don’t quit,” a harsh voice bit into my ear.

It was the “winner” from the other night.  Surprisingly, he wasn’t at that table.  Maybe, he was in the beginning, but he had a good line of sight toward the door.  Then, Mitch and I walked in, and he knew with us that the gig was up.  So, this was him taking action, taking revenge.

“Get him to leave the table,” he whispered into my ear.

“Then, what,” I whispered back.

“Then, we go outside,” and that made me shake even more.  “Steady.”  He placed a hand on my shoulder.  “I just want him,” and Mitch must have known because now he was walking away from the table.

We exited a moment later.  It was cold outside, but not too cold.  I was shaking badly, and Mitch?  You would think that he was a knight in shining armor, standing before me to protect me from harm.  Instead, he stood to the side, staring at this man and me, and hoping that he would be the one to walk away.  Some boyfriend he was.

“We don’t have the money,” Mitch said.

“I don’t care about that money.  I care about the money tonight, which is why you two are here, but did you get a good look of the players in there?”  I nodded.  Mitch didn’t.  “Then, you know who we are.”

“We’re leaving,” I said.  “We’re leaving the city tonight.”

“No, we aren’t,” Mitch said.

“I am.  I bought a ticket.”  I pulled it from my pocket.  “A train ticket at Grand Central.  I’m going home, Mitch.  I warned you about this, and you didn’t listen to me.  It’s over.  It’s over, Mitch.”

“You got that right,” and he shot Mitch.

I should have screamed.  I should have begged, cried, something.  Instead, I shoved the ticket into my pocket and backed away.  The gun was now pointing at me, and his finger was already on the trigger.  I flinched, and the bullet froze before my face.  I quickly stepped aside, and the bullet struck the wall behind me.

“How…  How did you do that?”

The door behind us snapped open.  Someone was thrown outside.  I didn’t care.  It distracted him, and I ran.  I ran as if my life depended on it, and it did.  I ran hard until I was crying for air, and then I saw the cab.  I ducked inside fast like a heartbeat, and the cab took off, leaving him, leaving that nightmare, leaving Mitch behind.

“Grand Central!”  I did not mean to scream, but I did.  I would go home.  I would get home safe, and then I would call the police.  It did break my heart leaving Mitch like that, but I warned him.  “I warned you,” I cried.  “Damn it.  I warned you.”

I was grateful for the hundred dollars that Mitch had given me.  I pressed it into the cab driver’s hand, telling him to keep the change, but forget about me.  I then hurried inside, and my train would be rolling in soon.  I didn’t notice people hurrying around me.  I just stared at the clock, itching to push time, but I couldn’t.  That bullet…  That bullet was meant for me, and I stopped it without even thinking about it.  How did I do that in such a split second?

I tried to calm down.  That man would not follow me, but what if he did?  It was too crowded.  There was some kind of commotion going on, but I didn’t care.  I just stared at the damn clock before me, and a ticking filled my ears.  It was not a ticking of time.  It was something else, something colder.  It was a ticking of death.

He had just walked inside.  I happened to glance over my shoulder, and our eyes met.  He had one thing on his mind, unfinished business, and it didn’t matter what was going at Grand Central.  It didn’t matter that the place was crowded.  All that mattered was him and me, and the gun still in his hands.

I ran again.  I ran toward the tracks, where my train waited.  Something was going on outside.  A group of people were having some kind of stand off.  Really?  Now?  He was gaining speed, coming close, and his eyes darkened.  And that damn ticking thundered in my head.  I thought I was going to explode.  I covered my ears, trying to press out that sound, and he was saying something.  It was like he wasn’t sure, if he should shoot me.  He saw something, something I did, and he wanted to understand.  And I couldn’t hear one damn word out of his mouth.

He gave up.  He aimed his gun at my head.  He looked around for a moment, and then his finger returned to the trigger.  He didn’t want to do it.  He wanted to use me like Mitch used me, but I was suffering.  My head was pulsing.  If I was like this, then  I was useless to him, and he was better off tying up loose ends.  But just as that bullet fired and begged to hit home, I slid away into a blinding white light.

Alphas Fan Fiction - The Unknown Rider: Chapter 1

Chapter One:

I used to love the smell of cigarettes.  I was never a smoker.  My friends were.  They would light up, and I would enjoy that aroma, never thinking of second hand smoke.  Now, it was too much, too much smoke, and there were no windows to escape to.  And among the stench of cigarettes and cigars was the bitterness of liquor.  I thought I would be sick, and then the door opened.  He stood there in the doorway, staring at me.

“Hey!”  I blinked, trying to wipe the smoke out of my eyes.  “I’m losing.”  He wavered before me.  “We can’t afford to lose.”

“Can’t we just go?”  He knelt down before me.  “Why do we have to do this?”

“You want to eat?”  My stomach growled in response.  “Look, do it.  One time.  One win, and we go.”

“You said that last week.”

The men at the poker table glared at us.  We normally moved around, never playing the same crowd, but he made a lot of money off them last week.  He wanted to come back.  I knew it was a bad idea especially because I saw that man here before, and he stared right at me.  Luckily, he disappeared, but if we didn’t go soon, we might disappear too.

“Come on.”  He now took my hand.  “Please.  We need this.”

“If you didn’t blow that money away, we wouldn’t need this.”  I flinched as he touched my cheek.  “Okay, Mitch, but I’m only doing this once.  Once!”

“Thank you,” and he eagerly returned to the poker table.

I could hear the ticking of time.  I hated that sound.  I despised it.  The men were all wearing watches, and some were expensive.  It was deafening.  I preferred not wearing a watch, but instead of thinking about that, I focused on the ticking.  I focused on time, and as I focused, a cool breeze rested against my skin.  It was now time.

I rose from the torn couch.  It smelled of beer and cigarettes.  The nicer seats were in the other room, but he insisted on me being here.  My feet stepped gingerly on the green rug.  A small, red stain gave me pause.  Blood, but I didn’t want to think about that.  These were dangerous men, and we used to play smaller, safer crowds.  Mitch got greedy, and now if we didn’t leave soon, we would never leave.  And I was wasting time.

I circled the poker table twice.  Most of the men drank their liquor or puffed on cigarettes or cigars.  Their eyes rested on Mitch, wondering what tricks this young man had up his sleeve.  They never suspected me.  They knew that I did not want to be there, and I did not.  I looked at their hands, the cards waiting for action, and finally I rested beside Mitch.  The trick was not to slide the winning cards into his hand.  We had to be careful especially with these kind of men.  Instead, seeing how there were six players, I turned five of Mitch’s cards either upside down or sideways.  Sideways meant non-threats.  Upside down meant winners.  If I turned the first card upside down, then that meant the guy before Mitch had a winning hand.  Mitch would take it from there, using his wit to outsmart these players.  Time’s up.

I was back on the couch.  The sideways players threw their cards in, disgusted at being outsmarted once again by Mitch.  That only left Mitch and the man before him.  Now, the real game was at hand, and I leaned in, curious to see how Mitch would outsmart him.  I flinched at the drink pressed into my hand.

“That’s quite a neat trick.  I thought I saw you pull something off last time.”  It was the strange man again.  “I’m Stanton Parish.”  I slowly accepted the drink and sipped it.  It was water.  I thought it was vodka.  “Chronokinesis.”

“What?”

“It’s a rare, rare ability, and you’re wasting it.”  He knelt down before me.  “I could use someone with your ability.”  A commotion broke out behind him.  “You might have to run first.”  He pressed a card into my other hand.  “When you’re done with him, give me a call.  Don’t let him pull you down even further.”  He stepped away.

“I did not cheat,” Mitch roared.

“Take your money, and get out while you still can,” the winner snapped back.  Well, if he had won, but Mitch did cheat.  “Get out!”  The other men were already reaching under their coats for something, something not good.

“Mitch!”  I was now by the door, wondering where that strange man had gone.  “Let’s go.  Now,” I begged.

“Listen to her,” one man said.

“And don’t come back,” another snapped.

Mitch threw his cards on the table.  He grabbed up the small stack of cash before him.  He glared at me like this was my fault, and then he hurried away, grabbing me bitterly by the arm.  As the cold air snapped its greeting at us, he snapped at me.  “What is wrong with you tonight?”

“Mitch, those were dangerous men, men that you do not screw with.”

“Why?  You want to screw them?”

“You know what I mean.  Look, when I talked you into leaving your mother’s house and coming to New York with me, this was not what I had in mind.  You are putting us in danger.”

“Who was that guy that you were talking to?  Who was he?”  I tried to put the card in my pocket, but he grabbed it from my hand.  “Red Flag?  What the hell is that?  A reject artist?”

“Mitch…”

“No.  I don’t want to hear it.”  He ripped up the card.  “Let’s get some food, go to the hotel, and forget about this.”  I finally relaxed.  Maybe, he realized how dangerous this was getting.  “We have to be ready for Friday’s game.  There’s a lot of money at stake, and you need your rest.”

“Mitch, we can’t come back here.  They’ll kill us.”

“We’re not coming back here.  I heard them talking.  The next game is near Grand Central, and if they happen to be there, then we’ll get the money and run.  You just might have to use  that trick of yours more.”

“I told you.  I might be able to speed up time or slow it down, but it’s not easy.  It takes a lot out of me.”

“Well, we have three days, so let’s go.  Come on,” and he dragged me away into the growing darkness.

Stanton Parish stepped out of the shadows.  A sad look stretched across his face.  He shook his head and watched the two disappear from sight.  Then, he glanced down at the ripped up card.  “I found you once,” he said to himself.  “I’ll find you again.”

Monday, December 01, 2014

Now Available on Amazon and Amazon Kindle - Waken Dream and Glass Skies Over Home

What if we didn't exist? We close our eyes one night, only to awake to a life ripped away, leaving us wandering as a ghost begging for answers that no one will have. What do we then become, and if we stumble across shattered pasts, do we then condemn ourselves to another's fate? What if there is no going back but living this Waken Dream?

http://www.amazon.com/Waken-Dream-Ms-Melissa-Mendelson/dp/1505229375/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1417473431&sr=1-1&keywords=waken+dream

Glass Skies Over Home is a journey across three novellas, plunging deep into the human heart and penetrating the darkness that holds us to mystery. Three lives spin far from the ordinary life, thrusting them into extraordinary circumstances, and there’s no turning back. Challenges that lie before them will raise the stakes high, insurmountable odds, breaking them beyond limitation, and pushing them to the brink of death, but for them to surrender is for them to deny destiny. They ‘re chosen, and fate is waiting.

http://www.amazon.com/Glass-Skies-Over-Melissa-Mendelson/dp/150336660X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1416876512&sr=1-1&keywords=glass+skies+over+home&pebp=141688732546

http://www.amazon.com/Glass-Skies-Over-Melissa-Mendelson-ebook/dp/B00Q3K6WDK/ref=sr_1_1_twi_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1416955661&sr=1-1&keywords=glass+skies+over+home

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

About Me

2007:
Semi-Finalist and Finalist, Gotham Screen's Screenplay Competition

Second Prize Winner, WRHammons Fiction Contest

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

Appearance: Homework (ABC News Program):  http://abcnews.go.com/Video/playerIndex?id=3600484

2008:
Appearance: Cinematherapy

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

Doll House (Short Story), Bartleby Snopes Literary Magazine

2009:
Appearance: The Writing Show

Session I and II (Short Stories), Glass Cases

Trials of Youth (Short Story), Memoirs of Meanness

2010:
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)

2011:
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 OnlinePassenger; 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

2012:
Clay Pigeon (Short Story), Mouse Tales Press

Publication: Whispers in the Night, 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

2013:
Poem: Dreams Under Silver (Saving the Monroe Movie Theatre), The Photo News

Bittersweet Farewells (Short Story), Mouse Tales Press

Appearance: Haywire Series Episodes 17 and 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

2014:
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, If Sam Axe Died, Unions

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

Poetry: Discovered and Dreams Always (For Paul Walker), Soul Fountain Vol. #48 Final Print Edition