Thursday, April 28, 2011

Transmission Error

Okay...there is no error. I just didn't get around to finishing a post this week (busy, sick, bogged down, etc), but I didn't want to leave you all with nothing. So, here is a bit of the short story I started a couple weeks ago. I hope you like it and come back for the funny stories next week.


Kyle sat up. Grey-green light leaked in from the window, making his heart tighten in his chest. He had seen that color only once, just before the tornado tore through his home, taking everything he had known and tossing it into the sky.

His father had been in the kitchen when the roof blew off, the crumpled body found two days later miles away, dangling from a tree like a forgotten ornament. Kyle’s little sister had been in the nursery. Pieces of the crib are still imbedded in the neighbor’s cinderblock wall, but they never found the baby. Kyle’s mother jumped when the windows shattered, covering Kyle with her body as the walls fell, just enough cushion to keep her son alive, even if she wouldn’t be so lucky.

Kyle breathed in the memory as he pulled the blankets off, dust and rain, as air whipped away from him. Silence as insulation rained softly down like pink snow. Crushing pressure on his chest where his mother covered him. A hot, electrified nail burning its way into his thigh. His mother smiled as she looked down on him. “Hold on.” But, the ambulance didn’t come for hours and Kyle had watched as her eyes changed, not the glaze you see in movies, but an absence of life, a flicker as everything that made her his mother went away.

Kyle shivered in the warm room and rose on shaking legs to pull the blinds. The grey green light seeped in as he twisted the clear plastic rod. He grabbed the string and pulled, swallowing bitter bile as the blinds creaked up and the oppressive light did not change. Kyle glanced at the sky, looking for funnel clouds. What he saw made less sense. That’s when the little boy popped a head out of Kyle’s trunk at the foot of the bed, chocolate skin and eyes the color of almonds.

“Hiya! You should really hide now.” The boy ducked back down and closed the lid.

“What? What are you doing in my trunk?”

The lid cracked. “Your trunk, my trunk, our trunk. Hide.” The lid thudded closed.

Kyle walked over to it and knocked on the beat up leather. “Seriously kid. I’m in no mood for hide and seek. What are you doing hiding in my room? And what is up with the sky?”

The lid didn’t open this time, but the boy’s muffled voice came from inside. “Sky’s always weird when the Eater is near. Time to hide.”

“Eater?” Kyle pulled up on the lid, but the boy was clinging to it from the inside.

“Hide, hide, hide!”

An elderly black woman walked in the door as Kyle tugged on the trunk. She glanced at Kyle before shushing him. “Listen to Timmy. He’s a smart kid. Hide. The Eater is coming.” She opened the closet door and shoved the confused Kyle inside.

“What? Are you both crazy? Let me out!” He pushed on the door.

“Stop that! You’ll call it straight to us. I’ll explain everything after it passes. Now shush up!”

Kyle opened his mouth to complain again, but a wet gurgling whistle echoed down the hall and Kyle forgot what he planned to say. He waited a second and whispered. “What was that?”

The lady hissed. “The Eater. Stay quiet and stay hidden.” She lowered herself to the floor and stuffed her bent body under the bed.

Kyle peeked through the crack between door and frame, waiting for the mysterious Eater to appear. The gurgling whistle came again, louder. Then something moved past the door. The shape of the Eater roughly reminded Kyle of a panther if it weren’t for the extra, slithering limbs that swayed back and forth. The body of the creature was harder to define. There was no fur, no teeth, no eyes, no skin. Black and smooth, like someone tore a hole in the sky. The stars smeared where it bent and stretched the dark vacuum, emptiness that takes form and still resists that form. Kyle leaned forward even as all his muscles fought to keep him hidden, overcome with a sense of falling endlessly into the night. Kyle spiraled down into the darkness, unable to look away, a scream frozen in his throat.

The thing passed, but one waving appendage rested on the door frame for a second, seeming to sniff and taste the air before flowing away down the hall. Shuffling and screams came from another room. The old lady under the bed mouthed a name and closed her eyes. Something large fell over in the next room, Kyle thought it sounded like a dresser. One last shout and then silence.

Kyle’s knees started to shake. This isn’t real. This can’t be real. He leaned against the door frame to keep from falling, his eyes still glued to the crack. His movements made a floor board squeak. The old lady’s eyes shot open and Kyle winced at the scolding look that woman gave him through the closet door. He silently mouthed “Sorry” even though she couldn’t see it.

They waited several minutes in silence, waiting for the creature to return, but nothing happened and the light from the window shifted from green to a very bright and eerie blue. The woman crawled out from under the bed and Kyle let out a breath he had been holding.

The little boy hopped out of the trunk and took the old lady’s hand. He looked up at her and smiled, but his forehead wrinkled with concern. “Jones?”

The old lady nodded. “I’m afraid so.”

The boy patted her hand. “I’m sorry, Grandma Bent. I liked Jones.”

“Me too. Let’s get our friend out of the closet though. We can mourn Jones later.”

Kyle had not left the closet. He was trying to wake himself up. Pinching hadn’t done anything, but it hurt. He slapped himself in his face. When the door opened, he shot back with enough force to send him through the cheap drywall into another room. He should have landed in a room exactly like his own, basic temporary housing. He rolled into something out of a movie, crystal and gold glimmering around him. A seagull called from a large open window and salt air flowed in with it.


Michael Offutt said...

This is amazing Charlie. I love the command you have over voice in your writing. Let's see more of this.

Charlie Pulsipher said...

Thanks Michael. We'll see if I decide to alternate between random story writings and random funny comic writings. You are the only one to comment so maybe not though.

Amanda said...

I need more. I am too involved and will be thinking about this for days now! End my suffering!!! Write more!!!! : )

Sundi and Mike Pace said...

For some reason I kept expecting this to have a funny ending. Definitely kept my interest though, which is hard to do! Good story so far!

Brent Wescott said...

Dreamlike and surreal. I like the contrast of the sad death of the family at the beginning with the goofy kid. A little off-kilter. In the good way.

Amy Jarecki said...

Love it, Charlie ~ Mr. Talented!


Charlie Pulsipher said...

Amanda- Thanks. That is the proper reaction. Maybe I'll post some more as I write you can know what happens.

Sundi- Yeah. Most of my blog stuff is funny. My normal writing is less funny, more drama, seriousness, and crazy descriptions. Glad you liked the sudden shift. :)

Brent- Just like a good write is in every way...

Amy- Thank you for reading. That's what they call me...

Anonymous said...

Who calls you that? Specifically? We're going to need names and addresses, please, to verify your claim.

Charlie Pulsipher said...

Me, my mom, my wife, my brothers and sisters...though some of them do say it with a sarcastic sneer at times...still counts!

mark said...

Mr Talented ..... at being annoying.

Its been a week .... where is the next entry?

Anonymous said...


Charlie Pulsipher said...

@Mark - Maybe you should start your own blog and be funny once a week. Then you will understand how hard it is to be funny every week on time. Slacker.

@Anon - Thanks. I am.

Charlie Pulsipher said...

Oh...and so everyone knows, Mark is my brother. I wouldn't talk to a normal blog heckler like that. :)

mark said...

I am funny are just jelous....and mean

James Duckett said...

That was great. Action through and through.

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