REJECTION

Dodd stopped at the curb beneath a hulk of a tenement building. The alley was a chasm of dark, the streetlights casting a halo only a few feet into the space between the two buildings. An iron staircase rose from the alley floor to an iron mesh landing at a metal door with a mailbox wired to the railing. A zigzag of fire escape ran the height of the six story brick tenement. Rain dripped off the corrugated aluminum overhang and chugged from a gutter pipe beneath the metal stairs.

“Looks like Freddy Kruger lives here,” Drake said.

“Well, let’s check it out,” Dodd took off his seat belt.

“You go,” Drake said and shifted his bulk.

Dodd stopped and gave him a disbelieving look. “We both have to go.”

“Hey, you know so much about everything, you should be able to handle a bullshit call like this.”


SAMPLES
ANCIENT ANGER

Together they inched down the rock walled hall, their bare feet cold on the sandy ground. The house disappeared entirely as they entered in a sandstone chamber. At an altar was the old man from the dream, holding a stone knife above his head with both hands. On the stone was a small boy, limp and dazed. Surrounding the chamber were robed people of all races and ages. They chanted and watched as the old priest plunged the knife into the chest of the child.

     “God, no!” Albert screamed and the scene vanished. Confused and shocked Richard and Albert stood trembling in the living room. Not a stone or grain of sand remained from the vision. Dawn threw soft light through the windows.

     “What the hell just happened?” Richard blurted.

     “I don't have any Goddamn idea,” Albert said slowly. “That seemed so real.”

  

THE WILDS

"I lost my wife and child in a car accident." The pilot said sympathetically, "Five years ago. You probably don't want to hear this right now, but, it does get better. The pain fades and the memories stay with you."

Charles looked at the man and could not respond. What pain? Charles felt empty, as if the explosion in the elevator was all he had. With that spent, his one true emotion purged, he was a hallow shell.

"Sorry," The man said and returned to flying the copter, believing Charles blank stare to be that of overwhelming grief.

"Thank you." Charles said with a small voice.

The pilot did not know he was sitting next to a corpse, a dead husk of a man.