The Furies – Serial #7

BP 2

He would finally fly today. He had prepared for years, studying the updrafts, the lift they would provide, the turbulence, the drag, the distance that he would soar. He had meticulously planned his route for the last year, though he had wanted to fly for many years before. He had lived with his dream of flying since he could remember. He was thirteen years old the first time the thought came to him. He was up a crab apple tree then. He had climbed that tree nearly every day of his childhood, but now those memories were a distant mirage. Continue reading “The Furies – Serial #7”

The Furies – Serial #6

BP 2

She woke up to whispers. The girls, five-year-old twins. They were little chatter boxes. She could never get them to stop talking. They were all that she could handle, and now with the third on the way, a boy, she didn’t know how she’d manage. She looked at her clock just past 2 a.m. What in the world were the girls doing up? She lifted herself gingerly out of bed. Her protruding belly was a problem. She cursed at how ungainly it was. She’d never gotten used to it. She slowly waddled out of the bedroom, and down the hall. Continue reading “The Furies – Serial #6”

The Furies – Serial #5

BP 2

Fifteen minutes to midnight. Just enough time to celebrate. The prosecutor had drawn his customary bath after yet another successful prosecution. Twelve to be exact; and he’d always been exact. He’d prosecuted countless more, but jury trials for capital crimes were the only ones that counted. A dozen guilty verdicts for Class A felons. He refused to call them defendants. These twelve were heinous criminals who had committed murders, brutal rapes, and other acts too horrific to speak of, and he had put them all away for good, all before the age of 33—just. He would celebrate that tomorrow. Tonight he’d drink his after-supper Opus One; a treat for such occasions.

Five minutes to midnight. Tonight he had uncorked his finest bottle, an Opus that had been crafted by the hands of the master himself, which now bled thickly into his glass. The prosecutor put the heavy-stemmed chalice on the wooden deck planks of his sauna’s claw-footed tub, and stepped in with deliberate care so as not to taint the porcelain. The television pantomimed silently as the prosecutor submerged beneath the bubbled water’s break.

Two minutes to midnight. He’d been waiting for this moment for three years now; ever since the sentencing. It had been his first capital felony trial; the most gruesome. The crime: the murders and rapes of a pastor and his family: a wife, a boy, and a baby girl. They’d been immolated in their parsonage. The criminal: a six-time loser who after seventeen years of sin, had decided to graduate to the big time on the night of his eighteenth birthday. No easier case for a virgin prosecutor to make his bones, though his more reasonable colleagues held to their doubts, as the courthouse corridors to their whispers. They were timid creatures needing iron-clad evidence to secure convictions. He didn’t have that luxury, but he’d found two witnesses: cellmates who testified in detail about the murders, the arson, and yes, the rapes; a fact that would have remained undiscovered but for their testimony.

The criminal had confessed to them there in his cell as he wept upon his knees—they swore. He had no alibi. He had recently been released from a boy’s home. He’d stumbled into the church that night where he slept. He was discovered at first-light prostrated at the altar. He’d helped himself to the Eucharist. Where he’d claimed hunger and thirst, the jury found sacrilege, and so his days were numbered. The criminal offered no words, no remorse, and strangely no appeals. He sought the comfort of swift justice.

One minute. The good people of the county had thanked the prosecutor with their votes. He’d thanked himself with the wine cellar to enjoy his guilty pleasure. The prosecutor opened his eyes to watch the television screen. The image of a man being strapped to a chair was blurred by the water’s refraction. Ten seconds. And then the chattering. It had always been there, resonating through the recesses since the wine cellar’s foundation had been laid. He’d been assured that it was settling; to be ignored. Yet now in the final moments, it grew into crescendo, and erupted from behind the television wall. The prosecutor rose through the water with a jolt. The rats had gotten their man.

© J. Manuel Writes

The Furies – Serial #4

BP 2

He’d been working too much lately. Yeah that was it. That was the reason that he couldn’t sleep anymore. The phones rang all day everyday. He’d become numb to them. That helped. Ten years in the call center did that, but even that last bastion had been relentlessly eroded by the din of the rings. He couldn’t handle them anymore. The phones. He heard them, even now as he lay on his cold mattress. His arms crossed on his chest. His legs stiff, aching from sitting all day. His heart pounded against his sternum at the pace of his racing thoughts. His heavy, burning eyes stared at the ceiling longing for sleep’s cool touch as his eyelids clashed against each other, and recoiled back to their neutral corners.

Over and over, they called, by the thousands. Wanting, needing, yelling, cursing, and threatening. It was his fault! He would get his!

He’d never wanted to pick up, but he had, and he did. He’d promised that he wouldn’t do it anymore, but he always found his way back to his desk, his chair, the phone. Tonight would be different. He peeled one arm from his chest and reached for his alarm clock. The witching hour pulsed back at him incessantly. He’d sleep in again today. No one seemed to care, if they noticed at all.

The ringing was louder now, piercing his eardrums, rattling his hammers, and stirrups. He rose from the unyielding slab that was his mattress, cupping his ears tightly against his head. Four pills hadn’t been enough. He hurried a few steps to his unlit bathroom and threw the switch. His eyes fought the flickering light, while the pain protruded deeper through his ear canal. He killed the lights with a cut of his hand, and waited for the pain to subside.

He looked into the darkened mirror. It returned his empty gaze. The two stared for a few moments until a blue glow emerged from the bedside behind him, and the ringing came with it. He whirled around and ran to his phone. Who the hell would be calling now? He grabbed it angrily and it stopped. He checked the call log, it glowed “Unknown” in the pale light. The phone buzzed suddenly in his hand and gave a solitary ring: a message. Then it came, as if on the cool night’s breeze that slipped through his bedroom window: a reprieve. Silence.

He shed a few tears. “Thank you, thank you,” he repeated as he closed his eyes and brought the phone to his forehead. It glowed at his touch then rang again, but there was no pain. It was a call from “Unknown” again, and he answered ready to yell, to curse, to give it back to someone else for a change, but there was no response. The line was dead, and he couldn’t hear the warning.

It was in the house.

 

© J. Manuel Writes