How Fear Can Make Or Break You



There’s a feeling you get when you are home alone in the middle of the night. It stirs you awake and leaves you wondering whether your soul is truly the only one in your bedroom. A dash of panic and you try your best to remind yourself to breathe. You contemplate the idea of asking for help. You wish for a living companion to come and comfort you from the uncertainties the lie waiting in the dark.

I occasionally try to bottle this feeling only to let it run rampant on the page. I recently turned this irrational yet inherent fear into a new short story. I was also given the opportunity to have the suspenseful story published in an anthology that was put together by the small indie publishing house, Z Publishing. Continue reading “How Fear Can Make Or Break You”

A Car Named Susan

Photo by Moyan Brenn via Flickr
Photo by Moyan Brenn via Flickr

The first time I found myself stranded on the side of the road was when Betsy, my first vehicle who happened to be a mini van, had broken down in a very dramatic billowing of smoke. I was on the right side of Interstate 5 going north and all I could see were barren mountains and speeding cars for miles around.

I called my mom, AAA, and then waited inside of the car for help. I slid over to the passenger side and tried to quiet the rising panic in my chest. However, about a minute after I got off the phone with AAA my door quickly opened in a way that made me nearly fall out. Continue reading “A Car Named Susan”

The Greatest Story Never Told

Photo by waterlilysage via Flickr
Photo by waterlilysage via Flickr

An older man with salt and pepper hair, a collared white shirt and blue slacks sat across from me at the metal table that I was siting at. He reached into the pocket on the jacket that was draped over his chair and pulled out a dark handkerchief. He had begun to perspire under the bright light that was hanging above the table inside of the Springfield interrogation room with the two-way mirror, and he used the handkerchief to dab away the beads of sweat that slowly arose from the pours on his forehead.

“I’m not going to ask you again—who else did you share this information with?”

“And I asked to speak with a lawyer.” Continue reading “The Greatest Story Never Told”

Without Warning

Photo by victoria e via Flickr
Photo by victoria e via Flickr

A small duffle bag, filled to the brim, sat with its top left sloppily slumped over on the queen-sized bed. The bag, still in need of a tight squeeze while the interlocking zippers made their way around the polyester fabric, was to be taken with a passport, extra cash, and plane tickets to somewhere far away, but plans were abruptly canceled when its owner was dragged away in a body bag.

A paragraph placed in the obituary section of the newspaper online described Mark as a man who kept to himself and who suffered from a heart attack just before going on vacation. They were all kind words, however, the story they tell isn’t exactly the truth. Continue reading “Without Warning”

To The Grave

Photo by Aaron van Dorn via Flickr
Photo by Aaron van Dorn via Flickr

It took me a few hours to finally make my way off of the 95 and well into DC where my contact lived. I drove through the city and eventually parked next to his building with the hope that he could help me shake the hired guns that were after me from Springfield. I reached back behind my car’s seat and carefully opened the ripped part of the upholstery to grab the file full of secrets given to me by another contact.

I then got out of the car with the folder and I quickly made my way to the nearest payphone. I wish I that had some sort of sanitizer to disinfect the filthy phone, or my actual cellphone, but the sim card was taken out and the phone was smashed hours ago.

I dialed my contact, and after two rings I hung up.

I waited a moment.

The payphone then began to ring, and on the second chime I picked up the phone.

I spoke my lines as I was told, “Hello, Dr. I’m going to need the full package.” Continue reading “To The Grave”

The 95

Photo by Adam via Flickr
Photo by Adam via Flickr

I jogged out of the newsroom with my briefcase at my side and didn’t look back. I was knee deep in the biggest story I have ever been involved in, and I still couldn’t even get the nod of approval from my editor. Money that was stolen and became tied up in the local government’s personal pockets, as well as the Paper’s, proved to be fatal when Mark went missing and one of my other sources was found dead outside the coffee shop where I was waiting for him. Lives were now at stake, and I had the obligation to write the story and try to save whoever was left.

I made it home about twenty minutes after I had left the newsroom. Which was probably the fastest I have ever driven home in my life. However, as I was driving on to my street, I noticed that my front door was open. I managed to flip a quick U and speed off before I believed anyone saw me.  Continue reading “The 95”

Writing Prompt: A Mind of its Own

Photo by: Nevit Dilmen acquired from Wikimedia Commons
Photo by: Nevit Dilmen acquired from Wikimedia Commons

Your computer won’t shut down when you are getting ready to leave work at five. Instead, it is looping a message, and then attempts to tell you something. What is your computer doing? Write this scene. –Writer’s Digest

I stare anxiously at the clock that is located on the wall behind the water cooler. It seems as though time has stopped indefinitely at 4:59 p.m. So I grab my briefcase even tighter to get ready for when time decides to reinstate itself and move its minute hand up to meet the 12.

When the clock eventually strikes 12, I quickly stand up with my briefcase in hand, adjusting my black pencil skirt in the process, and reach for my computer mouse. I move the pointer on the to the startup button and select the option to shut down my computer. However, for some reason, the computer begins to shutdown, flashes some sort of error message, and then goes back to the desktop screen. Continue reading “Writing Prompt: A Mind of its Own”

Red Wine

"Age like a fine wine" by Derek Gavey
“Age like a fine wine” by Derek Gavey via Flickr

A chill runs through the curvature of my spine,
An alarming reminder of the approaching winter.
So here I sit alone sipping my dark red wine,
Letting the drink fall to my center.
Continue reading “Red Wine”

The Deadly Secret

Photo by Mark Crossfield via Flickr
Photo by Mark Crossfield via Flickr

“Act calm as to not alert anyone, but everyone around you is not who they say they are,” I paused to look around the newsroom and see if any coworkers were attempting to see my reaction to this silly joke but all I saw were frantic journalists on talking loudly on telephones while simultaneously typing on their Mac desktop computers. I then continued to read. “You need to quietly get out of there and meet me at the spot where you had your first kiss. You know the place. My name is Mark.” -Everything You Know is a Lie

I had made my way to the back of the movie theater building in town and met up with this “friend of a friend” passing along information in a file. I walked back to my car in the parking lot looking for anyone that could have seen the exchange and locked the car doors as I quickly climbed in. I received a text right afterwards from my editor telling me to come back in to the newsroom. And I had realized in that moment that I couldn’t trust anyone if I took on the story. Someone had already gone missing after looking into the case, and I didn’t want to be next. Continue reading “The Deadly Secret”

The Classroom Call

Photo by Pete Prodoehl via Flickr
Photo by Pete Prodoehl via Flickr

“Alright class, let’s settle down and get started,” the Professor said. “We’ve gotten a little behind last time and so we need to get started right away to finish this chapter by the end of today.”

Groans from various members of the class ensued. It was about four o’clock in the afternoon and several of the college kids were cancelling their plans on leaving early from the lecture. Papers were ruffling around and students were still filing into the class room late and making noise as they unpacked their tablets and computers from their bags.

“Today we are going to be cov—“

A light ringing noise was coming from behind the professor.

“What is that?” Continue reading “The Classroom Call”