Fiction Friday -- Creepy Guy


Creepy in a Gary Sinise kind of way.


Bam. Bam. Bam.

She screeched at the pounding, her back shuddered at the tremor of the door. Heart racing she called out, "Who’s there?"

"Margaret? It’s me, Henry. Open the door."

She released the lock and pulled the door open with a bang.

"What’s going on? Your neighbor is babbling about strange men and loose women."

Maggie grabbed his arm, dragging him through the doorway. With a glare at Mr. Anderson she slammed the door again. There was a certain pleasure seeing the suspicion on his face in that instant she’d forced Henry through the door.

"I had an intruder, Henry." She moved to the windows and drew the curtains. Doing so, she lit her candle-lamp that sat in the furthest corner. "Please sit down. My kitchen is a mess, and I should report this, but I need to sit for a moment."

"Are you okay? Was anything taken?"

"I don’t know," she answered from the kitchen doorway. The glow from the single bulbed fixture at the center of the room shed just enough light to see there was no way she was getting her cocoa tonight without spending at least an hour cleaning first. Whoever it was had torn the place apart. With a sigh, she turned back. "There’s nothing to offer but some water. I might have some brandy…" She crossed her arms and rubbed the goose bumps away. "Honestly, I’m exhausted."

"Thank God I came by. Should I call the police?" He rose from the chair and turned his hat over in his hands before setting it on the chair. "Let me get you that brandy."

"I know you said we had an early morning tomorrow. I really think I should report this before we head out." Her eyes followed him to the liquor cabinet. "It’s too late now. I’m not going to bother them over this, not when nobody was hurt. It seems so trivial compared to what the police are probably dealing with in other parts of the city."

Henry poured a drink and handed it to her. She sipped, swallowing the fear and the tears. He patted her back and rested his hand on her shoulder.

Her breath stopped when his thumb trailed down and caressed the slope of her arm. She backed away and his hand fell to his side, his face showing no sign of discomfort. She, on the other hand, was beyond uncomfortable. She cleared her throat.

"I could stay on the couch if you’d like. I hate to leave you—"

"No!" Moving to the cabinet—and away from Henry—she placed the glass on top of it. "I mean, no thank you. I feel much better now and really appreciate that you came by when you did, but I think I’ll just lock up and head to bed. It was probably just a down-on-his-luck bum looking for a quick pick." Her laugh was short. "Not that he found anything worth taking here."

"Well, if you’re certain." He reached for his hat, closing the distance between them, and smiled—a sad smile. He lifted his hand as if to touch her face.

She pulled back. "Henry." Rounding the chair and crossing to the door, she opened it for him. "Please, don’t make this harder than it is."

Fiction Friday

Mark is in Switzerland with Flannery. This particular scene I'm inserting into chapter twelve in hopes that when chapter thirteen rears its lovely head, I'll be more prepared. :D So, here you have it. In all its rough draft glory. :) The Last Lie


An Opel, German made truck circa 1930, whined its way down the side of the hill. He had a very bad feeling they were about to be submersed in a day’s worth of back and forth. He measured with his eyes and figured at least three trips. "Let’s start unloading."

"Maybe it’s not our contact."

Mark gave Flannery a look of disbelief. "Who else? There’s no one here. Hasn’t been anyone here in some time, I’d guess."

His friend shrugged and jumped back into the plane to pull the wooden crates from the stacks, neatly lining them at the door. "Come on old man. Get your ass up here."

Mark waved him off and walked toward the terminal. The truck rumbled to a stop feet from the end of the runway where he stood. He choked on the dense smog of exhaust, covering his mouth and nose.

A big man hoisted himself from the driver seat and stepped down. He wore brown overalls and a denim, long-sleeved shirt. His balding head glistened with a sheen of perspiration. Bushy eyebrows hooded large droopy eyes that lit up when he smiled. "Dzien dobry. Hallo!"

Some of the tension he’d been feeling since he’d flown out of Lakenheath dissipated. He grasped the older man’s hand. "Hello, I’m Mark Danbury, RAF."

The man’s accent, European, though Mark couldn’t determine where from, gilded his words. "We wait long time for someone to come."

"We’re a little short on information, but still glad to help in anyway we can." Mark turned and pointed toward the plane whistling through his teeth. "That’s Flannery O’Riley."

Flannery waved from his perch in the cargo bay.

"My name is Emil Tomaszewski. Come, let us help your friend so we can continue or journey." Emil walked with a slight limp, but despite that and the protruding middle, he carried more of his share during the task.

The midmorning sun caused sweat to pour down Mark’s face, but he appreciated the manual labor. It kept his mind from lingering on Maggie, from seeing her board the train with that knowing smile. Remembering the taste of her lips…

"Watch it, Mark." Flannery sidestepped him with a crate full of canned goods.

He broke from the trance he’d been convincing himself the work would distract him from and shook his head.

"So, you think about a girl, eh?" Emil stood at the cargo entrance with his hands upraised for another load. He slipped his fingers into the slots on either side of the crate Mark had shoved over.

"My wife."

"This is good! You have wife."

Mark smiled at the jovial man. After just an hour or so of work and talk, he now knew that Emil had been married twice and had two grown sons. James and Adalbert worked within occupied Poland, during the day as street pavers, but by night as underground network emissaries. His current wife was ten years his junior and had stayed by his side as they crossed through the Czech Republic[check this for timing] and Austria[bavaria?] before reaching Switzerland.

Mark imagined a stern woman, tall and strong…with muscles. He chuckled to himself. European women were not the same soft, loving female variety he was used to. Maggie would never have the strength for what Emil described, some days taking to the roads on foot.
"Eh." Emil nudged him. "She is pretty, no?"

"Yes. She is very pretty." Mark lifted the last box onto the bed of the truck.

"It all fit." Flannery walked up after closing the cargo bay door and removed his cap. He scratched his head. "I’ll be danged."

"No kidding. I was sure we’d be taking at least three trips." Mark lifted his small duffel bag from the ground and slung it over his shoulder.

Emil threw his head back and laughed. "I learn to pack. Very quick and tight." He patted the side of the truck. "Fuel is hard to come by, but we are lucky. So far, the German’s have stayed out of Switzerland. So, men like me—we bring our families into these mountains. And we do what we have to…including bring supplies in from the airport." He struck the air above his head with his finger. "We go! Marta has made a fine meal to share."

Mark’s stomach growled at the mention of food. "Thank you. We could use a meal and a good night sleep."

"How many families did you travel with?" Flannery squeezed in between Emil and Mark on the bench seat. Emil started up the engine before answering the question.

With his side pressed up against the door, Mark hung his elbow out the window. The fresh cool mountain air swirled through the window and into the cab. Mark caught the scent of hard work and sweat mixed with the mountain heather.

"In March five new families come from Germany. All together, there are eleven, three from Poland, three more from France, and one couple from Prague--newlyweds."

Mark’s mind wandered as Emil ran through a list of everyone’s name, what they liked, how long it took them to get to the farm… His head fell back against the seat and he rested his eyes as the truck rumbled through the quiet streets of Langnua before becoming dirt.

Flannery must have understood his fatigue because he kept up the easy banter, relieving Mark of the obligation.

He jerked awake when the truck ground to a halt. A tall house rose out of green rolling hills that were backdropped by the magnificent rise of the Alps. Gray peaks with tops of white, a fortress for this small farming community. Mark yawned away the vestiges of much needed sleep.

picture found at

When you just want to finish

I've hit another spot...and I think what I did before was race to the end. In this spot I have my hero, Mark, flying into Switzerland then coming back out...with a momentous happening. But, still, the scene is more of a flashback while he's flying away from the country. NOT GOOD!

So, here I am, writing another chapter/scene. I want to get more into it, scenery, emotions, people... everything. Shouldn't take too long to get back on track. I'm going to remember this incident next time, though. Racing to the end makes me leave things out. :P Don't want that.

Here's an excerpt of the bit I'm changing.


Flannery rolled over causing the cot to squeal in protest and vomited into the pail. A thud accompanied the resounding splash when he fell back.

Mark opened a vent and looked to heaven. Their quick flight to France had included a side trip to Sweden—which had taken an entire four days—and now, a hop over to Belgium. And wasn’t that fun?

Somewhere along the line, Flannery had picked up a bug. Three days ago, he’d passed out at a farm in a small village in Switzerland. Filled with refugees, Christians and Jews, it sorely needed supplies—food, clothing, and medicines. Hollow faces filled with a spark of hope. They’d kept their faith and Mark had to wonder how, when everything they owned had been ripped from them. Sickness and death marked more than a few of the families. His greatest fear stared him in the face—losing what meant the most to him, Maggie. The stark reality made it difficult to guard his heart.

From across the rocky yard, a girl of surely no more than seven years approached. Her soft, blonde curls reminded him of his youngest sister.

"I speak English." The soft slur of her accent brought a smile to his face.

"I’m glad. I’ll need your help. Would you like to introduce me to your family?"

She nodded her head and, holding his hand, took him to each of the families. He’d swallowed pity and the knot in his throat. Shaking hands and sharing stories, just knowing a name meant being drawn into their circle of brotherly love.

No. Pity wasn’t needed there. The men he’d met had overcome no mere obstacle to protect the people they loved. The very lives of those loved ones had been placed in the hands of God. A faith, unshakable.

His paled in comparison.

Without a word at his departure, Emma had run to him and wrapped her arms around his knees. He patted her head and lifted her to place a kiss at the tip of her nose.

"Thank you, Mr. Danbury." She returned his kiss. "I love you."

Emotions blocked any response he wanted to make, should have made. A tight feeling in his chest reminded him of the day he married Maggie. Until this moment he hadn’t realized the depth of that love.

"I’ll say a prayer for your friend, Mr. Danbury."

Out of necessity, he cleared his throat. "Thank you," he whispered before squatting and returning her to her feet on the dry dirt road. "He’ll appreciate that."

Six hours after they left, the stink of sickness wafted through the cabin, and Mark brought the Belgium airstrip into his sights. Skies were clear and brilliant blue. He’d prayed for clouds. Getting in undetected would be nearly impossible on a day like today.

Fiction Friday

In my attempt to open up my story and make people cry...
Don't be disappointed if you don't cry. This excerpt is Chapter Ten. There is ALOT of story building and character development before this ever happens, which you need in order to expect tears.
I don't usually post such a long bit, but it felt right...
And I'm all about doing what feels right. ;-) JK.
Hope you enjoy it.

Chapter Ten

"Do you get a rush going out like this?"

Mark pulled on his slacks and sat at the edge of the bed. Reaching under the bed for his boots, he turned his head and looked over his shoulder. "Maybe."

Maggie couldn’t take her eyes from him. The hair starting to curl at his nape, his strong back that tapered down to his slim waist. He was all hers. She hoped. Biting her lip she wondered if it was just the war that made him so uncertain. She wasn’t the prettiest girl he’d probably ever met. Knowing him these past months and the short six months before they were married, she hadn’t thought looks were more important to him than, well, her brain.

Still, maybe she was the lucky one.

"Stop looking at me like that." Lifting his foot and pressing it into the boot, he leaned back, grabbed her shirt and pulled her down for a kiss.

She grinned when he cupped her cheek. "I love to fly."

Her smile softened. "I know."
He’d chosen a dangerous career but it was one of the reasons she loved him. His sense of honor and duty, responsibility to the next generation.

With a quick peck, he sat back up and finished lacing his boots.

"When are you leaving?" She startled him out of his thoughts.

"Fourteen hundred hours."

"Will I see you again before then?" She rose from the bed and pulled on her robe.

"I doubt it." He stood the distance of the room from her.

She didn’t move to go to him. She lifted her chin, shoulders back. "I’m not going to cry you know." Her chin trembled.

"I know. You’re strong." He picked up his leather jacket, turned to her with his flashing, charm-filled grin, but a look crossed his face, poignant. She’d never seen it before and tension flared under her breastbone when he crossed the room, took her face in his hands. "I’m so sorry about last night."

She glanced to the shirt in the corner. The one she’d taken from his back smelling of some other woman’s perfume. She’d never doubted his fidelity…

He placed a finger on her chin and pulled her gaze back to him. "Don’t."

She shrugged. She’d never felt any doubt before now. She raised her hands in question and lifted her shoulders. "What do you want from me?"

"I want you safe and waiting when I come back." His hands slid to the back of her neck and squeezed gently. "Please."

"If I’d been waiting last night, you never would have met this other woman."

"There’s nothing to tell, Maggie." His look was fierce as he continued. "One of the barmaids at Frank’s came on a little too strong. I hadn’t eaten in almost 8 hours and after a few beers, I failed to stop her advances."

"You failed…"

"Yes, damn it! I didn’t even see it coming. I didn’t even realize she was a prostitute—"

Maggie squeaked and lifted her hand to cover her mouth. Her jaw was slack. She knew she must look like an idiot but she hadn’t thought it was that bad.

"I didn’t do anything with her." He scowled. "We danced, had a drink. It was horrible."

Pressing her lips together, she hid the smile that threatened. "You danced."

"Yes!" He blushed.

"Had a drink…"

"I didn’t know how bad off I was. I should have eaten something." He was miserable and twisting in his boots.

Maybe she shouldn’t, but she couldn’t help softening to him. It didn’t matter how often he didn’t say it, she would. "I love you."

"I swear it will—" He tilted his head, studied her face. "What did you say?"

He perked up and shifted his gaze an instant before someone pounded on the front door. "I wonder who that is?"

Ignoring his question, she slipped round him and entered the hallway. She wasn’t expecting anyone, but had a few friends left who might visit unannounced.


She turned back to him with a smile.

"Are you really going to answer the door in your robe?"

"Oh." Looking down, she gave a startled laugh. "No. Would you mind getting the door?"

He stopped before passing her in the hallway and ran his finger into the V of her neckline. "Come out when you’re dressed?"

She nodded, her brain a bit muddled from his touch. He strode toward the door. The pounding had picked up in frequency and decibels.

"I’m coming." His muffled voice reached her and forced her into action.

She hurried through the routine, choosing a skirt instead of pants and a blouse instead of one of his t-shirts. They were comfortable but she didn’t know where her schedule would take her today. Better to be prepared. Her two-inch heels sat at the bottom of the armoire. The stockings she wanted were hanging in the bathroom from three days before.

Peeking into the hallway and finding it clear, she ran to the bathroom. She ran water and splashed her face. Mark’s comb sat on the sink and she used it on her hair. After a quick dash of powder, she stopped in the bedroom for her shoes and slowly, gracefully—she hoped—entered the living room. She was only a little out of breath, but still, she smiled at Mark’s commander. "Cameron, how good—"

Mark had turned from the fireplace when she entered. His face was pale, stricken. It was another expression she’d never seen before and she rushed to him. "What is it, Mark?"

When he didn’t respond, she turned to Cameron. "Tell me what happened. Is it Flannery?" God, please not Flannery. "Someone talk to me right this minute!"

Mark looked to Cameron.

"The village in Switzerland where the escaped prisoners and refugees lived. We just heard." With a look of anguish, Cameron turned away from her.

She looked to Mark.

"They’re dead. All of them." Mark’s gaze slowly came back to her.

She stumbled back at his dull, flat stare. "I don’t understand."

A spark flashed in his now gray irises giving her hope. Until he spoke.

"Someone knew about our mission. They came in after we left and dropped a bomb on the entire community of people." He hissed, pain filled and anguished.

She couldn’t blame him but her own heart broke at the news. He would feel responsible. He would take this to heart. The families he’d spoken of—Emma—and the trials they’d already faced, only to be beaten in the end.

Cameron laid a hand on her shoulder.

"How do they know there weren’t any survivors?" She just couldn’t except defeat so quickly. It couldn’t have been that long. She gripped his forearm. "They’re still finding people, right? Isn’t that how it works?"

"You don’t. Know. Anything." Mark bit the words off and turned away from her. She blinked back the hurt, the tears. He didn’t mean it.

"It would be a miracle, Maggie." Cameron glanced over as Mark disappeared into the hallway. "The damage was extensive. Almost complete annhilation."

"He met a little girl there." She wiped at her eyes with the back of her hands.

"He mentioned it to me too. I’m sorry." Cameron ran a hand through his white hair. "He wasn’t happy when he returned. The trip took a lot out of him, I think. Well, I’m sure you know. The incident in Belguim was the last straw for him. He’s ticked. When he wanted to be out fighting with his comrades, we sent him on to escort a state head. He understands politics, but he didn’t like it."

Maggie moved toward the hallway listening intently to the story Cameron wasn’t telling.

"Something happened at the village. When he spoke of the visit—" He’d conveyed such longing. She turned back and saw the pity on his face. "What was it?"

"I don’t know. Sometimes a soldier, a man has a harder time explaining what’s inside of him." Cameron checked his watch. "I’m due at a meeting. I’m sorry I can’t stay. Tell Mark I expect him on base at twelve hundred hours."

"Thank you for coming."

"I wish it could be under different circumstances." Worry creased his brow. "Take care of him, Maggie. I hate to see him so broken over this."

"This is war, isn’t it? That’s what he’s been trying to tell me."

Cameron gave her a small smile before slipping through the door.

She pushed it closed behind him and rested her head on the warmth of the wood. Choking back a sob, she straightened and turned.

He stood across the room, a bag in his hand, his jacket slung over his shoulder. "I’ve got work to do."

"You’re just leaving?" Maggie held her ground between him and the door. He wouldn't...

"Maggie. There’s work to be done—"

"Cameron said noon!" Her outburst surprised him.

His eyes widened but filled with regret and he didn’t waver. "I can’t afford to sit around playing house at a time like this. You think this war is going to be won sitting around here? My job is to fly. I fight the real enemy."

He may as well have slapped her. Her anger burned strong, then. She raised her fist shook it in his face. "You do what you have to do and I’ll do what I have to do, but don’t you ever imply that my work isn’t important. It’s important to me. It’s important to someone…" The temper fizzled. He was hurt and her anger wouldn’t help things right now.

He peered at her through angry eyes. "I led some sicko into that village and onto that farm. All those families are dead because of me."

"You were ordered!" Her voice reached a desperate pitch, but she couldn’t stop it. He blamed himself. It was ridiculous.

"I should have refused. I felt it inside, a bad feeling." He pounded his chest. "But, I did nothing."

"You almost died!"

He grabbed her shoulders, hard. "Maybe I should have died. Better me than Em—" His voice broke off. His eyes glistened. He would finally break.

"Mark." She spoke quietly and he met her eyes.

"I—I can’t. I’m sorry." He left a circle of warmth with his lips on her forehead and walked to the door.

"Don’t leave like this, please." She begged him, but he wouldn’t let her help. Wouldn’t let himself need her, need anyone. "Damn you!"

His shoulders tensed and he stopped in the doorway. "Remember what I said. Stay safe, wife." He did turn back for one last look. Then he was gone.

Her legs gave out beneath her. He’d ripped her heart out.



I didn’t matter. He’d proved one thing.

He didn’t need her.

The End