Monday, October 20, 2014

Porcelain - Chapter One

by, Melissa R. Mendelson

Chapter One:

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

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

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

“I’m sorry.”

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

“I know.”

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“I hate tuna.”

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

“You’re leaving?”

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

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

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

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

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

“I don’t know.”

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

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

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

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

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

It is currently looking for a home.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Project Echo (Fan Fiction based off the tv show, Under The Dome)

Chapter One

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

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

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

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

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

“Are you done?”

“Not even close.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Where are we going?”

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

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

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

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

“You ever hear of Project Echo?”

“Heather,” a military man warned her.

“That’s an urban myth.”

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

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

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

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

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

“You can’t control that thing.”

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

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

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

“Relax, Don Barbara.”

“It’s Don.”

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

“Who are you?”

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

The series continues here:

Monday, October 06, 2014


by, Melissa R. Mendelson

I could hear their breathing drifting through the air.  The air conditioner rattled the window.  The bathroom light dimmed the darkness.  The floor broke my back as shadows slipped and fell under the hotel door.  Still, they dreamed, softly, without care, but I could not.

The world was not the same outside.  Nature took care of that.  Majestic trees fell, crushing hope, crushing pavement.  Wires snapped and sizzled.  The lights went out.  They were still out, and with them went the water and heat.  We could no longer call the world outside home or trust its calm.  This storm left us shipwrecked, and we were sinking fast.

My stomach growled.  I hoped they would be offering breakfast soon.  All our meals now consisted of fast food, diners and restaurants.  We were spending more than what we had, but we had to survive.  There was no end in sight, but there must be.  There must be an end to this nightmare.  Otherwise, I don’t know what would happen to us.

My father snored.  He used to snore louder.  I used to laugh when I heard him snore.  Now, I just felt worse.  He was taking the brunt of this, trying to keep his family above water, looking for a way out of this darkness.  If I could help him, I would.  I’m trying, but I’m slipping.  If I slip under, then so would he.

My cell phone chirped.  Five a.m.  Time to get up for work.  I didn’t want to move.  Granted, sleeping on the floor was not fun, and my body was sore.  But all those people got the power back.  They got their heat, water, and light.  They were done with this nightmare.  We were not, and I didn’t want to hear that they felt bad for me.  They didn’t.  They were grateful that they were not me, and they didn’t offer help.  They offered empty words and sad faces.  That does not help me, but I can’t call out because my father is counting on me.

The darkness is closing in, despite the sun trying to wash it away.  The world is lying again.  Its calm was cold, cruel, and the storm might be over.  But not its aftermath.  We were still shipwrecked, and still they dreamed, softly, and without care.  But I could not.

Saturday, October 04, 2014

Waging War

Waging War
by, Melissa R. Mendelson

I knew this guy once.  He told really bad jokes.  I was driving him to work one day, and all the way there was non-stop talk and bad jokes.  One joke was, “What’s the difference between a car and a coffin?”  The punch line?  “The passenger is still living.”

The road before me was now clear.  I enjoyed it that way.  There was no one tailgating me, flashing their brights, or exercising their horn.  I could relax, lean back and listen to the radio.  That was how I liked it, and even the main roads were quiet.  Maybe, today, I would not be waging war.

The route to my job was clear.  I passed this purple car half off the side road, itching to cut me off, but I had the right of way.  And I continued on up to the traffic light, and he peeled out, burned rubber just to slide up my ass.  The light flashed green, and I already knew that this guy behind me was bad news.  And his car started to swerve to the right and then to the left.  “Let’s do the Time Warp again” echoed through my mind as I locked him into my sights, refusing to budge.

A moment later, he peeled out again.  This time, he cruised the opposite lane, and we became parallel to each other.  We occupied the same space.  Neither fell back or moved forward.  Nobody was in front of me, but coming down the opposite lane in front of him was a large school bus.  And I’m betting that there were children on board.

He refused to move back behind me.  I continued my speed.  I was not speeding, and neither was he.  He refused to relinquish the small space between us.  He wanted to occupy my space, hoping that I would vanish in a puff of smoke, but there was no magic act here.  There was just reality, and the harsh reality was that he was about to make the six o’clock news.  And god forbid, turn our cars into coffins.

Reality must have set in.  He hit the gas.  He didn’t swerve to cut me off.  He flew right up to that school bus, right up front to it.  He stared the bus driver in the eye.  Then, he took his time, maneuvering back into his lane, peeling rubber once more, and disappearing down the road.

The school bus passed me.  The driver looked out his window at me.  I met his gaze.  He was unnerved, angry, and afraid.  That could have been a nasty, god forbid, tragic accident.  All because some maniac had the need for speed.  All because some maniac had to own the road.  He didn’t care for my life.  He didn’t care for the bus driver’s life or the children on board.  Maybe, he wanted to die, but if he did, he would have hit the bus.  Instead, he was alive and well, looking to conquer someone else’s personal space.  He was alive and well to wage war again.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

2007 - Present


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

Second Prize Winner, WRHammons Fiction Contest

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

Appearance on Homework, an ABC News Program:


Appearance on Cinematherapy

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

Doll House (Short Story), Bartleby Snopes Literary Magazine


Appearance on The Writing Show

Session I and II (Short Stories), Glass Cases

Trials of Youth (Short Story), Memoirs of Meanness


Essence (Short Story), Bartleby Snopes Literary Magazine

Second Chance (Short Story), Glass Cases

Lizardian, Top 5 Screenplays/NYC Midnight

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

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

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

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


Discussion (Short Story), Fiction 365

Waiting (Short Story), Mouse Tales Press

Winter Green (Poem), By The Millpond Newsletter

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

Gadfly Online: Passenger and No Leaders Among Men

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

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

Storm Coming (Short Story), Glass Cases


Clay Pigeon (Short Story), Mouse Tales Press

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

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

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

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


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

Bittersweet Farewells (Short Story), Mouse Tales Press

Appearance on Haywire Series, Episode 17 and Episode 18

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

Waiting For The Fall (Short Story), Fiction 365


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

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