That’s the Plan

I looked down and watched the life slowly drift out of the body.  Rivers of blood ran between fingers that were pressed tightly over my friends’ neck to try and stop the bleeding where I had slit his throat.  His eyes wide with shock as he looked up at me, surprised to see me of all people attached to the murder weapon.  “I know it’s a shock, I’d be surprised to if our roles were reversed.  But it had to be done.”  I looked around the dirty motel room, these rooms you could rent by the hour and the clerks didn’t give a shit who you are.  “Sorry it had to be in a shit hole like this.”  I looked down at him.  “But at least it is not the street corner or some back alley where you’d be left for the rats until some bum found you.”  I cleaned the knife with a white towel from the bathroom, leaving a red Rorschach on it. 

I waited until his last breath was taken before I left, I needed to make sure he was dead.  “Goodbye my friend.”  Sliding the knife back into its sheath I turned and left the motel, only two to go.

I sat at a red light, listening to the song Loser on the local alternative radio station.  My Charger rumbled at the light, a black BMW pulled up beside me, I looked over and saw two trophy wives staring back at me.  They started to laugh and giggle, the one in the driver seat winked at me.  I smirked, wasn’t into the old pussy, was more into the barely legal kind.  The light went green.  Glancing down at my GPS I had two blocks to go to Brazen, a new night club that had opened up and where I would find number two.  Not to be confused with a shit, well maybe a little.

There was a line up at Brazen, I didn’t do lines.  Walking to the left of the line I got to the bouncer.  “Back of the line Mr.”  The bouncer looked down at the guest list he was holding.

“You’ll find my name on the list.”  I said.

“Oh yeah?  Where?”

I pointed at a name with my left hand, while my right swung up from below.  The clipboard slammed into his face giving him a bloody nose and while he was stunned, I pulled the pen from the top clip and jammed it in his right eye.  He’d live, his eye wouldn’t but he had a second chance.  Behind me I heard gasps and screams as people started to scatter.  I walked into the club.

Music was thumping, some EDM song was playing.  That music sounded all the same to me.  This generations music is shit, the 90’s was so much better.  I knew number two well; he’d have some VIP booth and be surrounded by attention whores in sparkly short skirts and fake tits busting out of the tops.  All I had to do was head in the right direction and try to pick out the fake laughter from fake people.

It took seconds to find him.

“Hey didn’t think I’d see you in a place like this.”  Number two said.

I smiled.  “I didn’t think I’d find myself in a place like this either.”

“What are you doing here?”

“Have some left-over business.”  I replied.

“Oh, with who?”

I sat down beside him, moving some of the whores out of my way.  Using the table as cover I screwed the silencer on my pistol and position it out of sight and did my best to aim it at him.  It wouldn’t be clean, but it would do.  “You.”  He gave me a confused look as I pulled the trigger three times.  Explosions of red erupted from his chest, no shots were heard or seen besides the from the women surrounded us.  The screams were drowned out by the music, the gold diggers tripped over each other as they tried to get as far away from the scene as possible.  In the panic I disappeared.

Back on the street I drove North, heading out of the city.  Police cars with flashing lights passed me heading South.  No doubt heading to Brazen.  I wasn’t worried about security camera’s, I would be seen on the entrance and exit ones, but the main room, especially the VIPs wouldn’t have hidden cameras.  It would kill business if they did, no star, wealthy person, or wannabe would want to be caught on camera doing coke off a hooker’s ass.

It was half passed 1am when I got to the cottage.  It was a nice place, the only cottage on the lake.  Maybe number three owned the lake and not just the cottage to get this kind of privacy.  I knocked on the door, a light was still on inside.  I got lucky he was still up, if he wasn’t, I didn’t care, I would have just knocked harder.

The door open.  “You?  What the fuck are you doing here this late?”  Number three thought for a moment.  “Second thought what the fuck are you doing here?”

I shot him in the kneecap, the old man, maybe sixty years old collapsed with a groan.

“What the fuck is wrong with you!”  He held his knee.  “Do you know who I am?”

“Of course, you’re the one that set up the score.  The big boss.” 

“Why are you doing this, you got paid.”

I nodded.  “I did and thank you by the way.”

“What do you want!”  He said between muffled groans.

I looked into the cabin and saw a light turn on from the top of the stairs and a woman’s voice yelled out.  “Everything okay?  Thought I heard something?”

“Got a safe?” I asked

“Fuck you.”

“Does your wife know what you do?”

“Leave her the fuck out of it?”

“You didn’t answer my question.” 

“No, she is innocent.”

“If you want to keep her that way, tell me where the safe is and the combination.  Do I need to tell you want will happen to her if you give me shitty information?”  I hadn’t come here planning to rob the man, no, I just wanted to kill him.  But I was sure he was good for at least half a million hidden somewhere.

“Behind the painting over the fireplace.  Combination 10-65-34, now go.” 

I looked down at the old man, it was clear he was thinking why I was doing this.

“You are killing all loose ends, aren’t you?”

“That’s the plan.”  I shot him in the head. 

Stepping over the body I removed the painting from the wall and sure enough there was a safe there.  The combination even worked; I’d be lying if I wasn’t a bit disappointment that the old man was such a push over.  Opening the safe I saw some stacks of cash, I was right just over half a million, some jewellery, but what surprised me was a folder with bios on myself and the other men.  He was planning to blackmail us or sell us out if he ever got caught. 

Asshole!  I thought to myself.

I left the cottage and behind me I heard the scream as his wife found the body.  Now with all lose ends tied up I could rest.  No worries of one of the three getting caught up in bad action or doing something stupid and then I find myself in the cross hairs of an investigation.  I had more than enough to retire on.  It was time to find a beach and plant my ass on it.

The End.

F.C. Janes

Take it Away

            “If you want my hand in marriage you will have to fight for it.”  Lady Willomena said.  As she looked at the second man that had approached her for her hand in marriage.  Her chin and nose pointed upwards completing the snobby look.

            “Who, who is this other man that has asked for your hand in marriage?  I will kill him on the spot!”  Markus proclaimed. 

            “Rodney, and you will have your chance Markus to show me who is man enough to wed me and provide for my every need.”

            “Willomena!”  Markus said getting down on one knee, her hand in his.  “I swear to you on this day that I shall fight and kill for your affections.  And give you a life like no other man could provide.”

            “Talk is cheap, if you desire to wed me you must kill Rodney.  And I will wed the winner.”

            “Do you know where Rodney is now?”  Markus asked still on his one knee looking up at Willomena holding her hand gently in his.

            “I imagine he is at his father’s shipping company office.”

            Markus stood.  “Ha!  I am off to issue the challenge my love.  Soon we will be together until the end of time.”

            Markus wasted no time in tracking down R & R Shipping, it was the only father son ran shipping company in the village of Valency.  Looking up at the sign Markus, smirked.  “You will not have her.”  Markus was blind with love and pushed the door open, it slammed harder than he expected against the wall, but it had the same effect.  Rodney, and his son Rodney Jr. looked up from writing in their journals.

            “What can I do for you?”  Rodney Sr. said.

            “I am here to challenge your son for the hand of Willomena.”  Markus said proudly.

            Rodney stood up from his chair.  He was a small man, not as well built.  A bit soggy around the mid-section from his desk job.  “So, she had accepted to be wed by another man.  Challenge accepted.”  Rodney Jr. held out his hand.

            “I shake no enemies hand!”  Markus said.  “Meet me at the large oak by the water.  Do you prefer swords or pistol?”

            “Swords.”  Rodney said.

            “Swords it is.  I will have you know I have been trained by the best; my father made sure of it.”

            “Then we shall put your training to the test.”  Rodney said, pulling out his pocket watch.  Lunch would be shortly.  “Say noon today?  Or do you need more time to prepare?”

            “Ha!  I need no time to prepare for this!  Noon today by the old oak.  I suggest you get your papers in order.”  Markus turned and left.

            Rodney Sr. looking up from his papers.  “Do be sure to dispatch him quickly.  We cannot afford to lose any hours due to mischief.”

            “I will father.”

12 Noon

            Rodney was leaning against the old oak tree by the time Markus arrived.  “Excited to meet your death are you?”  Markus said as he pulled his rapier from its sheath and wave it in the air in front of him.  Listening to the woosh sounds it made.  Rodney did not reply.  He looked at Markus playing with his sword like a toy. 

            All his life Rodney had been made fun of, teased for being overweight and a bit slow.  But he was no push over, it made him work harder at everything he did.  Rodney withdrew his rapier and turned to face Markus. 

            “We just need to wait for my love Willomena.”  Markus said.

            Like she had heard her name, she appeared from the pathway.  Immediately she saw them and smiled knowing that one man would be taking her hand in marriage, and she knew it would be Markus.  “Good, I did not miss it.”  She approached the men.  “You may begin.”

            “Prepare to die Rodney.” 

            As the two men faced each other Markus was the first to strike.  He was quick and trying to catch Rodney off guard.  Was it right?  Was it honourable?  It didn’t matter Rodney expected something like this from Markus and was prepared.  Rodney was able to deflect the thrust and quickly moved in with his own attack.  A straight thrust towards Markus chest.  Behind Rodney, Willomena screamed and cheer for Markus.  This seemed to distract Markus as Rodney had believed that his attack was going to the end the fight.  But just as Rodney expected to feel his rapier pierce flesh Markus recovered and was able to deflect the strike away from his torso.  But his distraction did cost him as Rodney’s blade sunk deep in Markus left shoulder.  Markus grunted and a grimace appeared on his face.  Behind Markus, Willomena gasped as she witnessed the much better-looking man get hurt, and the one she wanted.  She had only accepted Rodney’s proposal due to his father’s business.  It made her feel good that two men were fighting over her. 

            Markus took a step back and felt his shoulder, looking down at the blood on his fingers.  “You will pay for that!” 

            Rodney smiled at Markus but said nothing.

            Markus became infuriated as he could not get a single reaction from Rodney.  His jaw clinched and he ran at Rodney waiving his rapier wildly in front of him. 

            There was no skill in Markus’s attack it was wild, fueled by anger and it was his undoing.  Rodney batted the blade away and used Markus’s own momentum against him.  He didn’t have to thrust his blade or do much other than make sure the pointy end was facing Markus and Markus’s body weight and momentum did the rest.

            Willomena let out a scream as she saw Rodney’s blade sink deeply into Markus, so deep that it shot out his back.  A shocked look flashed across Markus’s face as his eyes met Rodney’s.  The two of them stared at each other for what felt like hours but was only seconds.  Markus fell to one knee, then both knees.  Rodney with cruel intentions twisted his rapier before pulling it out of Markus’s chest.  Markus fell to all fours before rolling on to his back.  Behind him Rodney could hear Willomena rushing towards him.  He gave a quick glance over his shoulder to make sure she was not coming to kill him. 

            Willomena had pulled up the front of her dress, not to trip over it as she ran to where Markus lay.  She looked down at the dying body of Markus.  She wept, then with red puffy eyes she looked up to Rodney.

            “It was you I always wanted.”

            Rodney smiled and looked at Willomena.  “Didn’t go how you expected it to?”  Rodney started to walk away.

            “Hey…wait!  What about my ring?”

            “What ring?”

Willomena brought her hands up, covering her mouth as the tears returned.  She collapsed beside the body of Markus.  “What have I done.”  She whispered.

The End.

F.C. Janes

It’s Gigantic

Every seat at the table had an ass planted in it.  Solo knights, duos, and teams of up to four knights had arrived at Bleak Point Castle.  Bleak Point was not a large kingdom, nor was it particularly important in the political arena.  It was a rather bleak place to call home.  But still, no matter the size, its importance, or the lack of natural resources it was part of the larger kingdom that fell under the Udiran Empire.  Being a part of this empire came with some perks, mainly protection and Bleak Point needed protecting dearly.

            A dragon had decided to move into the ruins of an old castle and was terrorizing the workers and destroying the crops.  After months of enduring this, Lord Karts finally sent a plea to the court of the Urdiran Empire, which sent word that they would pay 10,000 gold pieces to anyone who killed the beast, which explained why Lord Karts council room was full.

            “Thank you all for answering the call.”  Lord Karts said.

            “We are answering the call to riches, now can you explain where this dragon is and the quickest way to it?”

            “We are going to kill it first.”  One of the other knights at the table said.

            “We all can’t go running at once , we need a fair solution.”

            “Please…please calm down.  Let me answer the first question.  The old ruins can be found at the end of the Old Castle road to the North.  Stay on that road and it will take you right to it.  The castle is located on a point that sticks out into the ocean.  It is about two days ride from here.  And I do agree an agenda would be needed as I was not expecting so many of you honourable knights to show up.  So how do we do this?”

            “Solo’s first!”  One knight said.

            “We should do it in the order we showed up.”

            “How do we know who showed up first?”  Someone yelled from the back of the room.

            “Easy.”  The king said.  “My secretary here keeps records of all guests to Bleak Point Castle, the first check in was Sir Darrel.”

Two days later…

            “Two days ago Sir Darrel left on his most honourable quest.  He is dead.”  Lord Karts said.  “Second on the list was the duo of Sir Kindre and Sir Galin”

            Two more days later…

            “Well, the dragon did it again, extinguished the bright lights of Sir Kindre and Sir Galin.  Next up we have Sir Talie, and Madam Talie”

            Two more days later…

            “It’s with great sadness that I report the bloodline of the Talie’s has been ended.”  Lord Kart looked down at the list.  “All that is left is the foursome of Sir Rentry, Sir Ballant, Sir Harold, and Bob.”

            Two more days later…

            Sir Rentry stood beside Sir Ballant.  “I think we found it.”

            Sir Ballant nodded his head.  “What gave you that idea?”  Ballant looked to Rentry.  “The mass number of skeletons, the ruined castle, or that sound of a dragon rumbling away inside those ruins?”

            “Shut it.”  Sir Harold said, the most senior knight of the group.  “Be ready, anything could be coming our way.”

            Bob looked at the three of them and waited until they knights took their first steps.  No way in hell he was going to be first.

            The knights formed an arrowhead shape and Bob followed behind them, using them as a human shield.  The sound of the dragon breathing got louder and louder as the team approached what was left of the draw bridge.  There was a loud sniffing noise like hundreds of people sucking back snot at once.  Stone shattered and flew into the air and the dragon exploded from the castle and disappeared into the clouds.

            “That thing is fucking gigantic!”  Bob yelled out.  Watching the shadow of the dragon circle in the sky before it broke the clouds and was swooping down from his right, heading right towards them.

            “Ready on me!”  Sir Harold yelled.  The knights turned to face the dragon.

            Bob didn’t move, he stayed well back from the knights and closed his eyes.  Putting his hands over them.  He felt a great heat caress his skin, which tingled with heat.  Slowly he took his hands from his eyes and opened them to see the charred remains of the three knights.  That were now nothing more than statues of charred bone and melted metal slag. 

            “Oh fuck no!”  Bob said and turned, managing to do this awkward walk run.  He could still hear the dragon behind him but didn’t turn around to find out where it was.  “Nope…nope…not going to happen…nope.” 

            Two more days later…

            Bob, still doing his walk run went up the path, past everyone who stopped to look at him and ignoring those who wanted to speak with him.  All he said to anyone was.  “Nope!”  And walked right up to the council room where he found the king.

            “Bob, is it done?  Where are the rest of your team?”

            “Nope!”  Bob turned and disappeared.

The End.

F.C. Janes

Country Field

            “Home sweet home.”  Mark said as he looked at the farmhouse.  The pandemic had change how people work and Mark was one of those people that found himself with a job where location was not so important.  And so, after much discussion Amy, and their two kids had decided that selling their over inflated city home to make the move to a small country town would not only allow them to buy a larger home, but the cost of living was also considerably less.

            “I can’t believe this is ours.”  Amy said staring at the farmhouse with the wrap around porch with a swing on it.  She looked to the right and saw nothing but forest, she looked to the left saw much of the same.  Not another home anywhere in sight.  “Can you believe this Mark?  No neighbours, no sirens, just birds chirping and clean air.”

            “No, I can’t, it still hasn’t sunk in.  Not to mention no one with Covid up here.”

            Amy nodded.  “Alright kids, there are four bedrooms, master is ours.  Go choose your rooms.”  Both of the kids took off running for their new home.  The screen door of the porch swung open and banged against the wall.

            “Hey, be careful we just bought this home!”  Mark yelled out.

            Amy laughed.  “Guess they are excited to become country folk too!”

            “I think it’s time we broke in this country kitchen!” Mark said.

            “This mean you’re cooking?”  Amy smiled.

            Marked winked.  “And the kids can clean up!”

            Mark woke to the sound of birds chirping and the sun shining in through a small break in the curtains.  He was used to having to pull the curtains tight at night so neighbours would not look in that he had done it out of routine and realized he could have left the curtains open.  He looked over at Amy who was still sleeping and glanced at the clock, 7am.  The kids wouldn’t be up for a while, he thought he’d get up and have a cup of coffee on the porch.

            The smell of coffee wisped through the house and he poured a second cup and left it on the kitchen counter.  Mark guessed that when the smell got upstairs Amy wouldn’t be far from waking up. 

            Outside he sat on the porch and swung back and forth looking out over the fields and forest that was divided in half by the driveway.  His eye caught large animal prints around the car, he got up and walked over to them curious to find out if he could guess which animal these belonged to.  They were large, bigger than his hand, and looked like a large bear or cat print.  He followed them over to the garage, which had a rusting tractor in it and the tracks disappeared into the field of tall grass.

            “What are you doing over there?”  Amy yelled out from the porch.

            “We had a visitor last night, looks like maybe a bear or something.”

            “That’s my kind of neighbour.”  Amy said.

            Mark walked back up and joined her on the porch. “Until it tries to stick it’s paw in the honey jar.”  Mark sat down, wondering if he should take a trip into town and get something to protect them from the bear or whatever animal had paid them a visit.

            Mark had gone into town later that day and asked the local hardware shop if he knew of any bear repellant.  The clerk smiled and chuckled.  “Sir, a bear will go where a bear wants.  Just be aware and teach the kids bear safety.”

            Amy laughed across from him, as Mark told her the story.  “We are so city, and this is so country.”

            Mark shook his head.  “I never felt so stupid…and that sounds like a bad country song.”

            “Don’t feel stupid, we don’t know these things.  The furthest we went into the country was your parent’s cottage and that was only an hour away from our old home in the city.”

            “True.”  He watched the kids clean up from dinner and took a sip of his coffee.  “Shall we retreat to the porch swing?”

            Amy nodded and the both of them walked outside to take part in their nightly routine of after dinner coffee outside on the porch.

            The sun had set, darkness fell over the farm.  Mark was amazed at how dark it was and how bright the stars were.  Amy looked out over the darkness.  Something started to make her feel uncomfortable.  Like she was being watched. They had spent a couple of nights on the porch since moving up here and never had she felt uneasy.  “I think I am going to go in now.”  Amy said.

            Mark looked up to her as she stood.  “Everything okay?”  He asked.

            She looked around the darkness.  “I think so, I just feel…just feeling off tonight.”

            Mark nodded.  “I hope it wasn’t the food.  I’ll be in shortly going to enjoy looking up at the stars a bit longer.”

            “No…dinner was awesome, just a weird feeling.”  Amy went inside, to see what was new on Netflix.

            Mark stared out at the tree line that bordered their property, it was just a bit darker than the field it bordered.  The driveway split the field in half, he imagined that at one time corn or something grew here.  Maybe he’d try to grow something here one day.  Mark had to do a double take as he noticed something glowing at the treeline.  Two yellow eyes burned a hole in the night.  Mark sat up straight in his chair and watched these yellow orbs start to bob and get closer.  But he couldn’t see what they belong to.  Then another set of eyes, and another, and another appeared until eight sets of eyes appeared at various distances but all bobbing, all moving straight for him and his family.

            Slowly Mark got to his feet and watched the animals get closer and closer.  The moon popped out from behind a cloud and the gloom brightened.   He could see a hulking shape behind the yellow eyes.  The animal in front stopped and got to its hind legs, the other animals of its pack stopped behind it.  Mark couldn’t tell how large it was, but he knew it was larger than he was.  Shivers started at his shoulders and neck move down his body like a wave and suddenly he had the fight or flight feeling.  The animal and Mark locked eyes and then the animals started to run.  Covering the space between Mark and the tree line quicker than Mark could have anticipated. 

            They were nearly at the wooden fence that separated field from the driveway just before the house.  Fear flowed through Mark, he turned, dropping his coffee mug that shattered and ran for the door slamming it behind him.  A second later there was a crash and the door shook violently.  Amy looked over from the couch, the kids peaked up from behind their iPad and Nintendo Switch and all looked at Mark.  Who was sweating, pale, and his chest heaving with quick breaths.

            “What was that?  Are you okay?” Amy noticed how shaken up Mark was.

            Mark shook his head, that is when he heard something scratching at the door right behind his head. Mark pictured ribbons of wood peeling away from the door.  Mark was now shaking as adrenaline coursed through him.

            A bang echoed through the house, everyone looked up.  Something was on the second-floor walking around the overhang. The second floor of the house was smaller than the main floor, which left about five feet of roof overhang. 

            “The windows are they closed upstairs!” Mark said quickly.

            Amy instantly got up and started running for the second-floor stairs.  The only window she could recall being opened was the one in their room.  Running as fast as she could she got to the master bedroom and slammed the window shut.  Finished off by locking it and pulling the drapes shut.  Repeating this through the entire second floor to ensure the house was as secure as possible.

            When Amy got back down to the main floor the kids were sobbing, Mark was holding both of them, an arm draped over each of them holding them tightly.  She moved to them and sat down wrapping her arms around them all.

            Outside they could hear the animals walking on the porch, the wooden floorboards creaking.  They could hear the windows shudder, the sound of the claws scratching wood then changing as they hit the window.  But the animals didn’t seem to pay attention to the thin glass or change in material.  Then silence.  Nothing, not a sound came from outside.

            “Is it gone daddy?” 

            Mark looked down at his daughter.  “I don’t know.”  He released his kids and they fell into Amy as he got up.

            “What are you doing Mark?”

            “I have the keys to the SUV in my pocket, get to the SUV, bring it right to the door, and get out of here.  That is what we are doing.”  Mark looked to the door and took a deep breath.  There was a window on either side of the door, slowly he pulled the curtains open and looked out.  There in the field he could see the eyes.  He counted on his fingers, three.  He tried to remember how many animals he had seen, but wasn’t sure if it was three or four?  His mind was foggy with fear.  He had to take the chance.  He looked back at Amy.  “I see them in the field, they have yellow eyes, watch for the eyes and yell if they run for me.  If I can make it to the SUV we can get out of here.  They may not like the bright lights of the SUV.”

            Amy nodded.

            Mark thought maybe they should all make a break for it.  But that would be slow, he needed the SUV ready, doors open, maybe even back up to the door, right up the steps and open the tail gate so everyone else can sneak in.  He put his hands on the door handle and slowly started to twist the dead bolt, it clicked open.  Turning the door handle he inched the door open, his eyes scanning as much as possible.

            The door was now wide enough for him to run for the SUV, out into the darkness he went

            “Stay here.”  Amy said as she got up and walked to the door, her hand on the doorknob, she kept an eye out for the lights to come on, but the SUV remained a dark shadow.  She heard the sound of footsteps on the gravel and from the darkness she saw Mark’s hand appear, blood on this bare arm, his head peaked out of the darkness the rest of him covered in murky black.  Behind him two golden eyes shun in the night.  She looked to Mark’s face, it was full of terror and fear.  His mouth was gaping open.  She heard him yell for her, then he was yanked back into the darkness.  The yell echoed and the world quickly went silent.  Mark was gone.

            Amy slammed the door, flipped the dead bolt, and gather her kids up that were hysterical with fear.   Grabbing both under her arms, not even aware she had lifted them of the ground and was running for the master bedroom.  Slamming the master bedroom door behind her she huddled the kids in the back corner away from the window.  She didn’t have time to think of Mark, her family is what was important now.

            The door downstairs opened and slammed with a power she had never heard before.  Things were being turned over, knocked over as the animals scrambled around.  The dead bolt did nothing to slow them down.  Then her greatest fear came to life as she heard the sounds of footsteps on the stairs, each step the wood creaked under the weight of the creature.  Her children had their eyes closed and buried in her armpits as she stared at the door.

            The door swung open slowly and a murky shadow that filled the entire doorway, standing up on hind legs was in view.  The glowing yellow eyes stared at her.  She screamed.

            Outside the scream echoed through the forest and fields, but then it was replaced with a deathly silence and the horror that had taken place in the farmhouse was swallowed by the darkness.

The End.

Written by F.C. Janes