Enjoy these FREE Mini Short Stories (Less than 5,000 words)
Mini Short #4
It’s Christmas Eve, a time of joy and innocence. But something dark is lurking outside your window…and it isn’t Jack Frost.
A VAMPIRE’S CHRISTMAS
A Vampire’s Christmas
A Mini Short Story
Copyright © 2012 by Christopher Lee Cousino
Copyright © 2012 by BSIC Publishing Company
He could hear her blood pumping from a mile away. Could hear all their blood pumping. Every house, every street, every neighborhood. And they would all be tasty. But he could only have one at a time. He was a vampire, not a magician. Chuckling at the thought of a magician vampire, the monster of the night moved swiftly through the shadows, drawing closer to his target.
His feet glided over the white snow covering the ground. Hovering just over the ground, he didn’t need to worry about the crunch of footsteps in snow being heard. Not that it would matter. He was an all powerful supernatural being. No mere mortal could do him any harm. He could kill them like the ants they were and barely break a sweat. But he didn’t want any delays. Not now. Not tonight.
It was Christmas Eve, his favorite night of the year. But not because of presents, or Santa Clause. He chuckled again at the thought of the jolly old fake. Funny how parents force lies and made up creatures down their children’s throats, but they choose to hide the existence of monsters like himself who could and most likely will rip those same throats open. Santa Clause, how pathetic. Stupid cattle. With a whip of his cloak, the vampire flew into the air and landed on the branch of a tree next to a house. Looking through a window, he admired what he saw. The real reason he loved Christmas Eve night.
A small child, a little girl, was sleeping peacefully in her nice, warm bed. No doubt dreaming of her imaginary Santa and all the toys he would bring her. Breathing in deeply through his nostrils, the vampire sighed and licked his lips. Delicious. The blood of a child was a delicacy to vampires. The innocence in it was intoxicating. It had the vampire salivating at the fangs. The younger the child, the tastier. And this one looked to be no older than three. Clenching his fists, the vampire forced himself to calm down, ignoring the hunger that was screaming inside of him, begging him to soar throw the window and feed ferociously. But he had to be quiet, slow…smart.
Vampires had only one rule. To stay hidden. Why, he didn’t know. Vampires could rule the world by morning if they banded together, but none of them ever did. Instead they held onto old ways of thinking. Who cared if humans outnumbered them? Insects outnumber humans, but yet humans still rule over bugs. And that was all humans were to vampires, bugs. Yummy, fulfilling bugs. But bugs none the less. Maybe he would start to look into building an army of vampires. Ones that were fed up with hiding in the shadows. But tonight, he was going to treat himself.
The innocence of a child was amazing at any time of year, definitely better than the soiled and tainted blood of an adult. Not that the vampire hadn’t drank his fair share of both. Adult human blood was nothing to discard. It was still good. But the blood of a child, filled with sweet innocence and hope was pure bliss. It was like a drug. And there was no night where the innocence was as sweet as Christmas Eve.
Every year, the vampire had his full of children’s blood on the night before Christmas. After a night of feeding, he would arrive home with a full belly and go to sleep full of wonderful thoughts and visions of his victims’ parents rushing into their child’s room to excitedly wake them for Christmas morning, only to find a dead kid drained of all blood instead. Glorious. The vampire smiled. It was time. With a quiet leap, he landed on the side of the house.
Crawling down to the window, he tested it first to see if it would open. He never failed to be amazed at how many windows were unlocked. Guess the parents didn’t think they had to worry about someone coming in a window this high up. Not this time. The window wouldn’t budge.
Looking down at his index finger, the vampire focused. His smile grew wider as he watched his finger nail grow longer and sharper. Sliding it under the bottom of the window, he slipped it between the window and the frame. As the nail continued to grow, he focused more intently and the nail curved up and then back towards the lock. Wasn’t long before the window was unlocked, opened, and the monster was in the girl’s room.
Standing in the shadows of the corner, the vampire watched his soon to be meal. A small smile tugged at the corner of her tiny lips. Chubby cheeks blushed red. Listening to her peaceful, slow breathing, the vampire took another whiff of her blood. He barely managed to hold in a shudder of excitement. His fangs began to grow longer, criss-crossing and protruding from his mouth as they always did at feeding time. The room grew a shade darker as he felt his eyes go completely coal-black. He was hungry…he was ready.
Dropping to the ground, he quickly and silently made his way to the girl’s bedside with his fingernails dancing across the floor, guiding him. Once there, he rose. Hunching over the girl, he was close enough to smell the strawberry shampoo she’d recently used in her hair. He could barely fight the urge to tear her open and begin guzzling down her blood. But he had to be controlled, had to make it look like a mystery illness of some kind had claimed her life. It couldn’t look like an attack. All part of the old school way of thinking. Calming himself, the vampire opened his mouth and slowly moved in for the kill. A noise startled him.
Whipping his head around, he surveyed the room. Nothing. No one else was here. He was alone. Strange, he swore he’d heard a noise. A creeking on the wooden floorboards, like someone was sneaking up on him. No matter. If it was her parents or another child, they would make a tasty dessert. Shaking off the noise, the vampire looked back to the girl. This time he stopped when he noticed what she was clutching to her chest. A small stuffed toy. Santa Clause.
Good grief, the vampire thought as he shook his head. These humans and their obsession with this fat, old fairy tale. Maybe he would write a message on the wall with the girl’s blood. Yeah, he liked that idea. Something like, Merry Christmas from Santa Clause. That would cause quite a stir. Screw what the other vampires thought, he didn’t care. He was going to have some Christmas fun. First things first, though. He needed to eat. Opening his mouth wider and letting out a hiss of anticipation, he went for the sleeping child’s neck.
Just as a fang touched the girl’s skin, and just as he was close enough to smell the overpowering scent of lavender body soap she’d bathed in, he smelled something else. It was strong. He couldn’t quite put his finger on it, but it smelled familiar. Then it came to him. Cookies and milk. It smelled like cookies and milk.
Immediately after placing the smell, he felt a sharp poke in his back followed by an explosion of excruciating pain in his chest. His whole body was on fire and he arched his back, his head and neck snapping up and away from his untouched victim. As he prepared to scream in agony, a black leather glove covered his mouth. Something tickled his ear and when he looked that way, his eyes widened in shock. Santa Clause?
White beard, glasses, fat and rosy cheeks, and all topped off by a red and white santa hat. The son of a bitch really existed. The jolly old elf was real. But the look on his face was not jolly.
“Not this time, you undead bastard. I’ve been looking for you for a long time. You will never hurt one of my sweet children again. Never. Rot in hell.” Then, before the vampire could put up any kind of a fight, Santa Clause forced the wooden stake through the monster’s cold heart and out the front of its chest.
Instantly, the creature of the night disintegrated into a pile of dust. Santa tried to grab the stake as it too fell, but he wasn’t quick enough and it clattered to the ground. The little girl in bed shot straight up with a whimper. Scanning for what made the noise, her fear dissipated when she saw Santa Clause.
“Santa!” The legendary old man smiled and crouched down by the girl’s bed. Picking up the stake, he placed it in his pocket out of view of the child before responding.
“Yes, Sally, it’s me. You have been a good girl this year, and I think you will be very happy with your gifts I left for you. But it’s late, and you need to get some sleep. So hush now, my child. Hush now and sleep.” Beaming from ear to ear, the toddler laid her head down on her pillow. Suddenly, her smile turned to a frown as she squinted.
“Santa, are you crying? Why are you sad?” The jolly old elf wiped tears from his eyes and fought the urge to break down and sob.
“Yes, Sally. I am crying. But don’t worry, dear. I am crying because I am so happy to see you safe and happy. Now, go to sleep.” He reached out and touched her nose, and she fell instantly to sleep.
Pulling her blanket back up, he looked at her for a few more seconds before locking up her window and exiting her room. Then he made his way back up the chimney and onto the roof. Petting each of his reindeer on his way to his sleigh, Santa climbed up into the driver’s seat. Looking back in the direction of Sally’s room, he smiled.
“Merry Christmas, Sally.” Then he took hold of the reins and shot off into the night sky.
Mini Short #3
Buckle up and enjoy my own version of the beginning of the term “wisdom teeth” in my newest mini short story.
A Mini Short Story
Copyright © 2012 by Christopher Lee Cousino
Copyright © 2012 by BSIC Publishing Company
“Rawhide, pick four and yank them out! Come on, we don’t have much time!”
I could feel the sweat that had been beading on my forehead begin to trickle down into my eyes. It stung. The sweat could be from my nerves, which were shot. Or, it could just be from the fact that we were inside a damn burning shack with flames all around us. Rawhide, my large companion looked back and forth between me and the witch lying on the bed, pliers in hand.
“Which ones, George?” The witch growled. She wasn’t very happy.
“You idiots! You stupid, insignificant piss ants! You so much as touch my teeth and I’ll turn you both into the slimy toads you really are! Don’t you dare!” She fought against the ropes that secured her to the bed. Although she was strong, the crazy old broad wasn’t getting free. Dumb as he is, if there is one thing Rawhide is good at it’s tying ropes. Holding up a wooden stick covered with carvings, I chuckled.
“Oh, Tabitha, you witchy little witch. You aren’t going to do anything to us…not without this.” Her eyes got as big as saucers as she blew a gasket at the sight of the stick.
“My wand! You stinking pile of cow dung! Don’t you dare do anything to that! Put it down, now!” She had a right to be pissed, a witch’s wand was the source of all their power. All her “magic”. Tough break, Tabby. Holding it up for her to get a good look, I then broke the wand in half and tossed it aside into the flames. Tabitha screamed bloody murder. I looked at Rawhide.
“Do it, man, just do it already!” He nodded quickly back to me.
“Right George, right.” Grabbing Tabitha’s head with one of his giant hands, he held her still and stuck the pliers into her mouth.
She jerked and fought, but Rawhide held her at bay as he yanked a tooth out. Her screams increased, turning to gurgles as the blood spurting from her gums filled her throat. Ignoring them, Rawhide yanked out a second tooth. Then two more. I strode across the flame-filled room and snatched the four teeth out of my friend’s hand. Feeling the smooth little teeth in my hands, I smiled. I’d done it. Time to go.
“Come on, Rawhide my boy. Let’s go.” The big man began to untie the witch. I grabbed his shoulder. When he looked at me questioningly, I shook my head.
“Leave her, she can’t be trusted. She will come after us, my friend. Or she’ll take her anger out on others. It will only be a matter of time before she’s back at her old tricks. We came here for two reasons, friend. The teeth were our own reason, but the town needed us to come for another. Remember? No one will miss her. She’s caused enough killing, seems fair to let the shoe be on the other foot.” I could tell Rawhide didn’t want to, but he always did as he was told. He was a good soldier.
Reluctantly, he tightened the rope he’d loosened and walked away from the bed. As I followed, I heard Tabitha yell my name. Looking back, I narrowed my eyes at her. Spitting out blood as black as the night, the evil witch began to cackle.
“You’ll both be sorry. I may not be able to do much magic without my wand, George. But I don’t need it to put a curse on you and your friend there.” Oh boy, is she telling the truth? No use waiting around to figure out the answer.
“Rot in hell, Tabitha.” Then I pushed Rawhide forward and we both ran for our lives as the ceiling began to cave in under the stress of the flames. All the while Tabitha screamed her curse at us. I tried not to listen, but her voice rose above the flames.
“From this day forth you and everyone you love and will ever love, everyone you’ve ever met and will ever meet, anyone who ever speaks your name or reads it in a book will forever be cursed with the same curse as you. Just as it’s said AN EYE FOR AN EYE, you’re curse shall be a tooth for a tooth…or more!!!” As she broke into hysterical laughter, the shack completely imploded, the sounds of roaring flames and wood splintering and cracking finally drowned out her putrid voice. The damn witch was dead. The town was safe, and I had my treasure.
Opening my hand, I stared at the four discolored molars in my palm. If what the old prophecies said were true, then I had just secured my future. I looked over at Rawhide and smiled, slapping him on the back.
“We did it, Rawhide. We did it.” My friend just stared sadly at the burning shack. He always had been a big softy. Time for reasoning.
“Listen, friend. Tabitha was a murderer. She was kidnapping children from town and eating them. We saw proof. She had captured and tortured men and women for years. Who knows how many people she killed. It had to be done. Now she can never hurt anyone again. We are heroes, Rawhide. Heroes.” He continued staring sadly, not looking at me as he spoke.
“Awful way to go, George. I just feel bad for leaving her tied up and all. She didn’t have a chance.” There was no getting through to the poor fellow. Sighing, I just watched the flames along with him, thinking back to how we got here.
One Week Earlier
“Papers here, come and get ‘em! Another child goes missing, talk around town is witch!”
On my way to The Golden Rose for breakfast, I took a detour and paid the young man selling papers for my very own copy of today’s Stafford News. A little morning reading wouldn’t hurt. Reading as I walked, I wasn’t looking where I was going and ran smack dab into a brick wall.
Giant hands caught me by my arms before I could fall backwards onto my bum. Looking up, I smirked at my friend John. I was no slouch at six foot, but good ol’ Johnny B. sure made me look small. Pretty much everybody called him John. But I called him Rawhide, I don’t know why. Always had, figured I always would. I suppose it was just because he’d always been so tough, tough as rawhide. Allowing him to pull me back to my feet, I bent and picked up my paper.
“Thanks Rawhide, appreciate the save.”
“It’s okay, George. What you reading?” I held up the paper so he could see it himself.
“Another kid, friend. Breaks my heart. We gotta do something about this.” Rawhide nodded.
“Yes. But what?” I folded up the paper and tucked it under my arm. Then I put my other around my friend and began walking.
“Well, good sir, I’m glad you asked. Let’s discuss it over breakfast at The Golden Rose, shall we?”
“So, you see, it’s quite simple.” Finished with my breakfast, and finished with detailing my plan to Rawhide, I leaned back and put my hands behind my head. Rawhide chewed a large hunk of steak thoughtfully. Then he gulped and nodded.
“Seems like a good plan. You really think we can pull it off?” I put up my right hand, nodding.
“Yes, sir. And you know me, Rawhide. I can’t tell a lie.” At that, Rawhide and I both burst out laughing. I had to admit I’d done my fair share of lying, but always for the greater good of course. Once we’d both stopped giggling like school girls, Rawhide had another question.
“What about your mom and brother? They won’t approve. And aren’t you busy with all the military stuff?” Yes, that was true. Mom and Lawrence wouldn’t like me running around chasing witches.
Mom just wouldn’t want me put in harm’s way, while Lawrence would be pissed if I ditched my farm duties. Dad had been gone for years, and Lawrence was trying to stand in. He was a good man, my big brother, but he wasn’t my father. And yes, I was busy with my military studies and training. I had big plans. Which brought me to the other part of my plan. Leaning forward, I pulled a crinkled stack of folded-up papers from my coat. Looking around to make sure we weren’t being watched, I kept my voice low.
“Don’t worry about any of that, Rawhide. I will take care of my mom and brother, they won’t know a thing. And if we pull this off we will be heroes to the town, and the reward money for helping solve the child disappearances won’t hurt to have either. But there is another reason. Listen, do you remember when I told you I found those crazy old prophecies in that book at the library?” Rawhide nodded.
“Yeah, sure, that old folklore book you told me about. The one you found when you were supposed to be there studying. What about it?” I patted the papers on the table.
“These are a couple pages I stole from the book.” Rawhide’s face went white.
“You stole from the library! You could get in big trouble for that, George!” Looking around, I motioned for my friend to calm down.
“Quiet Rawhide, you want me to get lynched right here?” Rawhide shook his head no. I continued. “So, anyways there was an old prophecy in there that could set us up for life. It says that if someone can steal four teeth from the back of an evil witch’s mouth, then from then on, as long as they possess the teeth, they will have great power, wealth, and fortune. Think about it, big guy. We can kill two birds with one stone.”
“We off the witch and steal four of her teeth. Town is happy, no more kids go missing, and we live like kings. It’s a win-win. Or I guess in this instance, a win-win-win. Although, the town’s happiness and no more kids missing go hand in hand, in which case it would still be a win-win. Regardless, it’s good. What do you think?” Rawhide crossed his arms, then rubbed his big chin.
“How do we know the witch is evil?” I rolled my eyes, spreading my arms open.
“Are you serious, Rawhide? She is stealing children, it doesn’t get much more evil than that.” He kept rubbing his chin.
“But we don’t know for sure if she is the one stealing children. Or if there even is a witch out there.” I held up a finger.
“Well, we’ll never know if we don’t look. How about this, we will only take her teeth and off the witch if we find proof she is stealing kids. Deal?” I stuck my hand out. Rawhide thought some more, then clasped my hand with his. Squeezing a bit too tightly when he shook my hand, I grimaced and yanked my hand free. Shaking feeling back into it, I scolded Rawhide.
“For the love of the king, man, careful with those big paws of yours.” Rawhide smiled sheepishly.
It had been a week since that morning, and we were getting frustrated. We’d been out searching at all hours of day and night, anytime we could sneak away unnoticed. Day after day we’d searched. To this point, however, we’d found nothing. I was beginning to give up hope of finding the witch, or that witches even existed for that matter. That was until we found a clue.
It was late at night, and dark as dark could be. We had candles, but they weren’t going to last much longer. I led the way as Rawhide followed. Suddenly I saw something white a few yards away. Rushing over to it, I realized it was a small hair bow. Small enough for a child to wear. Pulling the folded up newspaper from a week earlier from my pocket, I looked at the picture of the most recent missing child. A girl, Esmerelda, and she had a bow in her hair just like this one.
“Hey Rawhide, check it out. Could be our girl. What do you think?” Rawhide studied both with this candle, squinting his eyes.
“Could be, George. This is about the only spot we haven’t checked yet.” I stood up, stuffing the paper and the bow into my coat. Looking into the distance, I tapped Rawhide on the chest.
“That’s right. As they say, Rawhide, save the best for last. Let’s go.” And we were off to fulfill our destiny.
After trudging a couple miles, we found what we’d been looking for. Off in the distance, I could make out a small shack of some sort. There was candle light coming from within, and smoke was pouring from the chimney. The smell in the air was…disturbing. Feeling uneasy, I looked back to make sure my companion was still by my side. He was.
“I have a feeling that’s the place, Rawhide. Let’s go. But slowly and quietly. If this is the witch, we don’t want her to know we’re coming.” I made the universal shush sign then we began to creep our way towards the shack.
We soon were right on top of the place, and peeking out from behind a tree, I knew we’d found the place. Looking into the windows, I could see cages hanging from the ceiling. They were all empty, unfortunately. Hope that didn’t mean anything bad, like we were too late. Either way, they looked to be the size for which a child would be kept.
A black clad figure strode back and forth through the shack, their back to us. Grabbing seasonings and chopping up vegetables they would toss them into a bubbling cauldron. The figure looked to be a woman. Could this be our witch? I motioned for Rawhide to follow. We’d have to sneak around back to keep the element of surprise and to get a better look.
As we made our way to the back of the shack, we came across a most heinous site. There was a line of string strewn from one post to another. In most yards, the string would have trousers and blouses hanging from it. A way to dry wet laundry. Here, however, that was not the case.
Hanging from this line were human parts. Limbs, flanks of skin and flesh, scalps…and even a few heads. They all looked to be from adults. Looked like our witch wasn’t picky. I heard Rawhide stifle a gasp behind me. Yeah, brother, I know. Ignoring the smell of death, we continued on.
Rounding the house, we made our way from object to object, using them for cover until we had our backs against the wood of the shack. I motioned for Rawhide to be quiet again and stuck my head out just far enough to sneak a peek into the window. The witch was huddled over the cauldron, the shadows hiding her face. Suddenly she grabbed a ladle and dipped it into the bubbling mess. Grabbing a bowl with the other hand, she began to ladle her concoction into her dish. Squinting, I leaned in closer to see what it was.
I barely stifled a scream when I saw a small hand in the ladle. A child’s hand. Esmerelda’s, most likely. Damn it, we were too late. I was unable to stifle my gasp when the figure raised up out of the shadows and I saw her face.
“Tabitha?” I quickly covered my mouth after gasping out her name. But it was too late. Her eyes flew to the window and I ducked back behind it. Oh, cow dung. I put the fact that I knew our witch into the back of my mind. The fact that an angry witch knew we’d just interrupted her supper was the biggest issue at the moment. Rawhide looked at me questionally.
“She saw me. She was making children soup, man. I saw a little hand in her soup.” Rawhide gasped, shaking his head. I continued. “That’s not all, Rawhide. We know her.” As confusion spread over Rawhide’s face, a voice startled me.
“Hello boys.” Standing across from us was the witch. Tabitha. She didn’t look happy. Speaking of looking, she didn’t look so good either.
Her hair was shock white and her face was wrinkly and covered with warts. She was in my class in school as a young boy…we were around the same age. But now she looked to be twice as old as me, at least. But I still recognized her. Offering a wave, I smiled nervously.
“Hey Tabitha, how you doing? We heard you lived out this way. Thought we’d drop in and say hi. You remember John, right?” Rawhide waved just as nervously. Tabitha kept her hands on her hips.
“Hogwash, George. You’re here looking for the missing kids. Trying to collect on that reward if I know you. Well, congrats, you found the right place. But it’s too late, for the girl…” She pulled a carved, wooden stick out from her robe as she continued. “and for you!” Then she chanted something under her breath and pointed the stick at us.
Suddenly, sparks and static exploded from the end of the stick and flame flew towards us. Rawhide dove one way and I dove the other. Looking at one another from the where we’d landed on the ground, we both nodded and then got up and dove through a window into the shack before she could try to fry us again. We only had a few seconds before she would be inside. Ineeded a plan, and quickly. Scanning the room, my eyes came across something that made me smile. Perfect. I quickly whispered my plan to Rawhide, and grabbing what I needed, we set up our trap.
The door flung open and in strode Tabitha the witch, evil magic wand at her side. She stopped and looked around skeptically, then began walking forward. From my hiding place, I tugged on my end of the extra string I’d found and Rawhide yanked on the other from his, forming a tripwire. Tabitha fell for it hook, line, and sinker. Pun intended. Tripping over the taut string, she fell forward into her bubbling cauldron.
Her wand flew from her hand and rattled across the floor as the cauldron tipped over, spilling steaming hot children soup all over the place. The hot mess sizzled into the wood floor, cracking and popping. Suddenly a small flame lept to life, then another, and then another. Oh boy. My concern over the beginning fire was pushed aside when I saw Tabitha reaching for her wand. I rushed over and stepped on her hand just as she touched the wand with her fingers. She grunted and gave me a look of death. As she tried to get to her feet, big Rawhide stepped on her back with his huge boot, pinning her to the ground. I shook my head.
“Tsk, tsk, tsk. What happened to you Tabitha?” She sneered.
“What happened to me? You want to know what happened to me!? People like you, George. That’s what happened to me. So I liked to mess around with a little black magic, and I found interest in worshiping my dark lord…so what, I wasn’t hurting anyone. But then one day some old cow found me carving a pentagram into a tree and she goes telling everyone I’m a witch. They exiled me. I was only 14. Don’t you remember…oh no, that’s right. You were away at your fancy military school.” That was true.
I’d wandered what happened to Tabitha when I got back, but never really asked. She wasn’t a friend, and I found her odd, so it wasn’t a priority. I just figured her and her parents had moved away. That reminded me.
“What about your parents? Didn’t they go with you.” Tabitha got a sad look in her eyes.
“No. They shunned me, dishowned me. Said they didn’t want to go through the embarrassment I put them through ever again.” Hmm, I didn’t remember seeing them either when I got back. Tabitha could tell what I was thinking. She chuckled.
“Wondering why they weren’t there either, George. Well, that’s because they were taken care of. Alone in the forest, I had all sorts of time to work on my magic. To communicate with my dark lord. And oh, communicate I did. I became an all powerful witch, empowered to do his bidding. But I did my own first. I came during the night and stole my parents from their bed. Then I brought them here…and killed them slowly. They were my first, and there have been many more. Many more.” I shook my head in disgust.
“You’re sick. They showed you pity by not killing you. You could have started over somewhere else, made something of yourself. Sure, they were idiots and overreacted…but so did you. And what about all the children? Why kill them?” She chuckled again.
“It’s the only way to stay young…to stay alive. You see, my deal with the devil…all the witches make the same deal. We give him our soul, our lives, and in turn we get the power. Not having a soul ages you quickly. Consuming the flesh of a child gives me five years. I just got five years younger tonight with the tasty little Esmerelda, George. She tasted like chicken.” As she began to cackle, I grabbed a heavy frying pan and smacked her in the head, knocking her unconscious. Rawhide looked at me with surprise.
“Sorry friend, but I couldn’t take any more.” I looked past him at the growing fire before continuing. “Tie her up, Rawhide. We don’t have much time and she won’t be out long.” So he did. Then she woke up, and you know the rest.
I watched the fire for a bit longer by my friend’s side. Then I squeezed his shoulder.
“Let’s go.” Rawhide nodded slowly. As I turned to go, I felt a sharp pain in my jaw. My gums were on fire. My hands flew to my face, but the pain just got worse. It became excruciating as I fell to the ground, screaming in torturous agony. I heard Rawhide grunting, and looked at him to see he too was holding his face. I could feel my teeth, all of them, tearing free from my mouth.
One by one, they twisted, ripped, and tore from my gums. Spitting out tooth after tooth, and drooling blood, I looked through watery eyes at Rawhide. He was breathing heavily, but seemed to be through the worst. After finally spitting out my last tooth, I grabbed my water canteen and took a swig. Then I sloshed the cold water around in my mouth and spit out all the blood and gum bits inside. The bitch had been telling the truth. I offered the canteen to Rawhide.
“Damn, that was horrible. You okay?” He sloshed and spit, then nodded. I had to know something. “How many teeth did you lose, Rawhide?” He held open his hand.
Four discolored teeth, all molars. Guess I got the worst of it. I nodded at him, then we both got to our feet and started our way home.
We would collect the reward, then I would have a good dentist friend of mine fashion me some dentures. I’d make them out of a few of my teeth I was able to scoop up and save and whatever else my friend could use. But I’d make sure four of those denture teeth were the four teeth clasped tightly in my fist. The witch’s teeth. I smiled a toothless grin to myself. Well done Tabby, but I don’t need any of my teeth to be rich and famous. I just need four of yours. Rawhide’s voice tore me from my thoughts as we walked.
“Hey, George, what did you say the prophecy called those witch’s teeth again? I mean, didn’t it give them a name?” My toothless grin got bigger.
“Sure, Rawhide. They’re called wisdom teeth.”
From the secret journals of George Washington
First President of the United States of America
So there you have it friends. Good ol’ George Washington himself, a witch hunter. They say we get our wisdom teeth after the age of 18, at which age young people grow wiser, or when they begin to seek wisdom for the future. But maybe we get them after 18 because by that age, EVERYONE has heard of George Washington. Like Tabitha said, anyone who ever speaks his name or reads it in a book will fall under her curse. Another thing to think about is this. There is a myth that his dentures were made out of wood, that he had wooden teeth. But that wasn’t true. They were made from some of his own teeth, ivory from elephant tusks, and some other material. Maybe, just maybe that other material wasn’t from something else…but someone.
Mini Short #2
JUST PISS ALREADY
Just Piss Already
A Mini Short Story
Copyright © 2012 by Christopher Lee Cousino
Copyright © 2012 by BSIC Publishing Company
“Just piss already, Cupcake!” Vernon threw his head back and let out a loud groan as his tiny white toy chihuahua just stared up at him. Going on 10 at night, it was dark, drizzling, and cold as fudge outside. Vernon’s wife Veronica had sent him out with their dog for a walk around the block to get Cupcake to go potty. She didn’t want the dog to go in the house and long walks seemed to be the best way to ensure success. Why Vernon had to be the one to always walk the darn dog was beyond him. He hadn’t even wanted it in the first place! Taking a deep breath, the reluctant dog owner and his tiny pup continued on their walk dejectedly.
Coming to a stop sign, Vernon weighed his options. Turn right and go around the block, or go straight up the street towards the middle school and public library. Looking back and forth, he finally decided on straight ahead. It was pretty dark out, and staying on the main strip would ensure consistent lighting. Vernon knew if he got back into the neighborhoods this late at night it would be very dark and eerily quiet. It was bad enough with street lamps and sporadic traffic. Putting up his hood to fight off the soft drizzle of cold rain, the pair soldiered on.
Cupcake sniffed blade of grass after blade of grass. Telephone pole after telephone pole. Bush after bush…but nothing. Not once did the little dog show even an ounce of interest in squatting. Vernon was growing more and more frustrated. Coming upon the library, he decided to turn into the parking lot and walk through the brightly lit area. There was some nice landscaping. Maybe Cupcake would find a flower she wanted to pee on. Yanking softly on the tiny pup’s collar with the leash, Vernon entered the parking lot.
As his dog sniffed the flowers as he’d hoped, but continued to resist the urge to pee as he had hoped against, Vernon rolled his eyes.
“Oh for the love of St. Petersburg, you stupid little dog. I swear to you if you don’t piss already I am going to cover you in icing and eat you like a real cupcake, Cupcake.” Shaking his head, Vernon looked off in the distance. A scuffling sound caught his attention and as his heart leapt, he whipped his head towards the source of the noise. His stomach knotted up at what he saw.
A figure was shambling around a good twenty feet away. Their back was turned to Vernon, but he still felt uneasy at the sight of them. Their clothes looked worn and ratty, and their hair even from a distance looked stringy and like it was plastered to their head. It looked to be a man, but Vernon wasn’t one hundred percent sure. What he was sure about was that the person was drunk. The way they stumbled and shuffled around with sagging shoulders was a dead giveaway. Vernon did not want to be anywhere near the freak when they finally noticed him and his dog. Time to go while their back was still turned.
Softly tugging on Cupcake’s collar with the leash, Vernon whispered.
“Come on Cupcake, lets go girl.” Suddenly the mystery person spun around awkwardly, almost falling over and reached out towards Vernon and Cupcake before beginning a labored shuffle in their direction. How the hell had they heard him whisper? And had they hissed at him? Crap, they needed to go. Now. Backing up slowly, Vernon kept his eyes trained on the shambler.
As the stranger drew closer, Vernon could now tell it was a man. But he could also tell something else. The guy only had half a face. Literally. It looked like the other half had been chewed off. Reaching and swiping at Vernon as the injured man continued to stumble forward, it was clear now that he was indeed hissing and growling. Vernon went pale and began to panic. Thoughts of horror movie monsters filled his head. Particularly zombie movies. He was so scared and focused on the freak closing in on him that he didn’t notice the slight incline of the sidewalk behind him until he tripped over it. Vernon let out a terrified squeal as he tumbled backwards to the ground.
The leash separated from his hand as he bounced off the sidewalk. Vernon’s attacker hissed with delight and stumbled forward at a faster pace. Cupcake backed away slowly, growling at the stranger. Vernon barely had time to moan before the half-faced man was on top of him.
Up close now, Vernon had no doubt he was being attacked by a zombie. The thing’s skin was a sickly pale green, and its teeth were stained red and covered in gore. Apparently Vernon wasn’t its first attack of the night. Its eyes were yellow and bloodshot and it smelled like a rotting corpse. Which is exactly what it was, Vernon thought.
Vernon held the monster by the forearms, pushing up with all his strength and just barely keeping its snapping jaw away. The thing was strong, and so rabidly focused on eating him that Vernon didn’t know how much longer he could hold out. As the zombie gained more and more ground, Vernon began to scream for help. Tears filled his eyes as he began to feel the heat from the zombie’s breath on his face. This can’t be happening, Vernon thought as he began to sob. He was seconds away from becoming a late night snack for a real life freaking zombie. As saliva dripped onto his face from the open and eager mouth of his soon to be murderer, Vernon shut his eyes tight and waited for a painful end.
Suddenly, Vernon heard what sounded like the water hose hitting his car when he washed it and the zombie growled, relaxing its downward push and retreating away from Vernon’s face. Opening his eyes, Vernon gawked at what he saw. Cupcake was finally peeing. With her leg raised like a boy dog, the little chihuahua was pissing right in the zombie’s face, predominately its eyes. As the zombie raked at its eyes and hissed angrily, Vernon didn’t waste time taking advantage of his opening.
Simultaneously shoving the zombie away and rolling to his feet in the opposite direction, Vernon scurried to the nearest section of landscaping. Grabbing a large landscaping rock, he hurried back over to the recovering zombie and lifted the rock high over his head.
“Suck it, you dead son of a bitch!” Then he drove the heavy rock down into the zombie’s skull, hearing a satisfying crunch. As the monster fell to its side onto the ground, Vernon continued his attack. Dropping to his knees, he smashed the rock into the zombie’s skull over and over and over again until it was flattened into an oozing pile of mush. Standing up and laughing gleefully, Vernon gave the dead zombie a kick to the ribs for good measure. Then he turned towards Cupcake and opened his arms.
“Come here girl!” The little dog ran and leapt into Vernon’s arms. Kissing and snuggling her close to him, he sang her praises.
“Good girl, Cupcake! Good girl! Daddy loves you, yes he does!” After a few more seconds of loving on his rescuer, Vernon put Cupcake down and started quickly back towards his house.
Mind racing, he tried to make sense of what had just happened. He couldn’t, but that didn’t matter. All that mattered was he was alive, he’d survived. Now he had to get home to his wife and make sure she was safe. If Vernon had learned anything from all the zombie movies, it was that there was never just one zombie. Right on que, he heard shuffling and groaning as he came to the corner of the next block.
Passing the last house on his left, he glanced down the sidewalk and grimaced at the sight of a horde of zombies. As they noticed him and started shambling his way, Vernon hurried across the street, hoping to distance himself enough from the chasing monsters to get home safely. As soon as he stepped foot on the other side of the street, more groans and scuffling filled the air.
Zombies began to pour out from behind houses, stumbling from every direction. Vernon spun around and around, looking for an escape route as the undead closed in. There were none, he was surrounded. Hoping for a miracle, he remembered his earlier run in with the half-faced zombie. Searching frantically, he saw a landscaping rock. Picking it up, Vernon looked down at Cupcake and yelled at her over the hisses and growls surrounding them.
“Come on Cupcake, just piss already!”
Mini Short #1
A Mini Short Story
Copyright © 2012 by Christopher Lee Cousino
Copyright © 2012 by BSIC Publishing Company
I was in a hurry, which wasn’t unusual. Seemed that was the norm lately. Between work, school, and Lacey, I didn’t seem to have time to do anything but hurry. What was unusual about the start to my day, however, was what I stepped in.
Texting my sweet and beautiful girlfriend Lacey on my phone, I wasn’t watching where I was walking as I made my way to my 1995 Chevy Cavilier. That’s when it happened. If the sudden sensation of warm goo up to my shin wasn’t bad enough, looking down and realizing it was a giant, steaming pile of dung was. What the heck?
I wasn’t sure what to think. I mean, here I was with my foot stuck in an abnormally large pile of crap. Sure, I’ve stepped in my fair share of shite. Dog poop many a time. Cat crap, smell is terrible. Even a few cow patties for good measure. But this…this was different. Not only the size, which was ridiculously large, but the smell. It stunk worse than anything I’d ever smelled. Honestly, it smelled like death. Maybe that had something to do with what was in the poop.
Squinting to be sure, I made out what looked to be the remains of several small animals. A couple squirrels, a few cats, a couple dogs…and wait, was that a deer head? And I was pretty sure my foot was on top of some kind of furry little extremity. What in the name of all that is decent could drop a deuce filled with all this? Didn’t take long for me to get my answer.
Pulling my foot free of the nasty mess with a sickening, squishy pop, I shook my foot, sprinkling liquid dots of feces all over the driveway. Shaking my head as I looked back one last time at the extra large load from hell, I resumed my texting. Now, you may think I dismissed the pile of shitocki far too easily, and you may be right. But like I said, my life is busy, and I’m a simple guy. Plus I was getting ready to have breakfast with the love of my life, and when she was on my mind, not much else was. Before I could send the lovely Lacey another text, the sound of metal grinding and squeaking caught my attention. It was coming from the direction I was heading. The direction of my beloved Cavie. Looking up, I dropped my own deuce.
Sitting on top of my little yellow Cavilier was a monster from fairy tales. My car was struggling to hold the thing’s weight. In fact, I was amazed the tires hadn’t blown yet. Gawking at the creature resting comfortably on my automobile, I took in its features.
The beast was huge, definitely bigger than the little car it was sitting on. It was covered in scales from head to toe. Speaking of toes, its were complete with giant, razor sharp claws. Its body was massive. Muscles upon muscles flexing and moving beneath its scaly hide. Two trunk like legs, went with two trunk like arms. The head looked like that of a giant lizard, like a Kamodo dragon…except try ten sizes larger. Horns jutted out of its skull. If I had any doubts what the monster was, the giant wings flowing from its back put them to rest. There was a freaking dragon on my car.
Unsure what to do, I just stared. It just stared back. We stayed that way for a bit, until my phone beeped due to an incoming text from Lacey. As the beep echoed through the air of the quiet morning, the dragon huffed and leaned forward slightly, the Cavie squealing in pain. I swear I saw smoke puff out of the dragon’s nostrils when it huffed at me. Quickly silencing my phone, I slid it slowly into my pocket and weighed my options.
Obviously, getting in my car and driving away was out of the question. So, that left me with two choices. Go back inside my house, or make a run for it. Not really wanting to test my speed against that of an ancient creature of lore, I decided to try and go back inside my house. Maybe I could call 911…or was I technically supposed to call animal control? Didn’t matter. I could figure it out once I was safe and sound inside my homestead. Slowly raising my hands into the universal sign for “Chill the F out”, I began backtracking.
I only took one step when the dragon let out a shriek and stood up. Instinct took over when I saw flames began to leap from its face, at which time I dove to my left, just barely avoiding a ball of fire. It instead slammed into my deck, demolishing it in a shower of splinters and charred wood. As smoke and flames danced around me, I barely was able to focus my attention in time to roll out of the way of a second ball of fire. Frustrated and terrified, I yelled out at my attacker.
“Screw off you stupid motherfu-” Before I could finish my insult, the bastard flung another molten sphere of burning death at my face. Falling flat, I felt heat sear the back of my head and all the way down my backside. Reaching a hand behind me, I felt skin where hair should be. The son of a bitch just scalped me. Or at least he half scalped me. Either way, the dragon crossed the line. I couldn’t keep this up, no way. Besides, I’d had enough. Time to fight back.
Glancing across to the left of the dragon, I saw the side door to the garage. The garage that was full of yard tools. Maybe there was something in there I could use. For once I was glad I left the side door open. I had a chance. Looking back at the dragon, I made a break for the doorway. Not taking my eyes off my destination, I heard fire exploding into the ground behind me over and over as I literally ran for my life. Diving into the open doorway, I skidded to a stop on the pavement. I’d made it, I was still alive. My celebration was short lived however as the huge overhead door in the front of the garage buckled from a fireball. It wasn’t going to hold up long. I needed to hurry. Getting quickly to my feet, I took in my arsenal.
It was pretty puny. A shovel, a rake, a push broom, and a bucket full of small gardening tools. That’s what I get for still living with Mom. If I was at Dad’s, I’m sure I’d be able to pick from all sorts of power tools. But that’s the glory of divorce. At least neither one of them was here. Mom had left for work hours ago. Guess the dragon wasn’t taking a dump at 3am when she left. The sudden realization that I might not see my parents again hit my like a brick. Even more, with a few seconds of time to think without constantly dodging death, the realization that I was most likely going to die hit me even harder.
I didn’t want to die, I was too young. I had so much to do, so much ahead of me. Lacey, oh my sweet baby. No. I was not going to die. It wasn’t over til it was over. And I wasn’t going down without a fight. Time to kill me a dragon. Grabbing the shovel, I gripped the handle tightly and took a deep breath as another fireball slammed into the garage door. Making my way to the side door, I stopped when I saw something out of the corner of my eye. A smile tugged at the corner of my lips. Gotcha sucker.
Rushing over to the corner of the garage, I dropped to my knees and reached behind the lawn mower. Pulling out what I wanted, I looked for the second ingredient that was key to my plan. Finding it, I stood quickly. Holding a gas can with a papertowel sticking out of the nozzle and serving as a makeshift cap, I held up a lighter in the other hand. Here goes nothing. Before I could take a step towards the side door, the overhead door exploded inward, finally giving in to the constant onslaught of fireballs. I hit the deck just in time to avoid the giant metal door that flew overhead. Before the smoke and debris obstructing the dragon’s view could clear, I got to work.
Rising up into a crouch, I lit the paper towel and slid the gas can towards the Cavilier before the dragon could get a beat on me. Squinting through the smoke, I nodded when I saw the gas can slide neatly underneath my beloved car. Goodbye Cavie, and thanks for the good times. I quickly made my way out view to the side of the recently made opening. Counting to three, I waited for the explosion. So long you dragon bitch. Nothing happened.
What the hell!? That gas can was just plastic, it is flammable. It should have started on fire and exploded with all that gasoline in it. Which should have in turn exploded my Cavilier and the damn dragon sitting on top of it that was trying to kill me. Why didn’t it work? Peeking out of my hiding spot, I was greeted by the explosion I had been waiting for.
Blinding light and heat forced me to shut my eyes, and the deafening sound of the boom made me want to cover my ears. I wasn’t able to, however, as the force of the explosion threw me backwards deeper into the garage. I smacked into the back wall hard, narrowly missing the yard tools I’d perused earlier. Shaking out the cobwebs, I gingerly pulled myself to my feet and hobbled my way back through the garage to take in my handy work.
Smoke, flames, and debris were scattered all over. Somehow none of it had started the house on fire which was good. The best part of it all however was the scattered remains of the dragon. Guts, limbs, and wing bits were all over the driveway and yard. I’d done it, I’d won! I heard a beep come from my pocket and remembered my phone. Lacey!
I’d had a few missed texts, she was worried. I hadn’t been responding and she was worried I’d gotten into an accident of some kind. Looking around at what was left of my car, I chuckled. In a way, guess I had. I told her I was alright and that I had a crazy story to tell her over breakfast. I asked her if she could pick me up. She asked when. Looking down at my charred and gut-stained clothes, I figured I should clean up first. I told her half an hour. Then I strode triumphantly towards the house. I’m sure the fire department and police would show up soon, but I could handle them. I’d just killed a freaking dragon for pete’s sake. There was nothing out there worse than that.
I stopped in my tracks when it suddenly got very dark outside. Looking up in the sky, I realized it hadn’t gotten dark, the sun was just being blocked. By another dragon. An even bigger dragon. A much, much bigger dragon. An angry shriek echoed through the air, the ear piercing shrillness of it shattering windows all around me. Oh no, I hope the dragon I killed wasn’t this one’s baby or something. Crud. The titanic beast circled in the air then began a long descent towards me. I better tell Lacey to come just a bit later.