Friday, September 27, 2013

For the lost one...

I have never claimed to be a poet, but I thought I would share this short subject with you.

For the lost one…

Your steady eyes peel away my hard veneer

Leaving me raw and breathless

Your determined voice fills my lungs

Giving my empty body sensation

Your awaited touch burns like fuel

Covering me in your liquid skin


John L. Harmon

September 26, 2013

 P.S.  "Darkening Sturgeons" will continue...

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Darkening Sturgeons: Chapter Fourteen

My blog fiction continues...


Chapter Fourteen

by John L. Harmon


    “Do you have something you would like to share with the class, Clyde?” Sheriff Benjamin Straker inquires, not taking his sight off the dark-haired, spectacled man in front of him.

    “She was my sizzlin’ Saturday night date,” Chief Deputy Clyde Woodhouse explains, not taking his sight off the yellow-blond woman in front of him.

    Ben briefly closes his eyes and inhales deeply.  “Perhaps we should all go inside and sort this out a-sap.”

    Sam’s crisp blue eyes take in the smudged, bloodied countenance of the beige-hatted Sheriff and he realizes that both sides may require assistance.  “Yes, we should.  Christine?”

    “Fine,” she acquiesces in a contradictive tone to her word.

    The scientific duo fall back and separate to either side of the doorway, allowing the law enforcement duo to enter.  Soon Ben and Clyde are near the bar counter, whispering severely to one another.

    “You realized on the way to Stickler Woods that your date may be involved in these disappearances?  Why didn’t you tell me last night?”

    “I don’t know.  I wasn’t completely sure.”

    Sam and Christine stand near the door, giving them an occasional glance.  They also engage in whispering, albeit, in a far more discreet fashion.

    “Guess we feel the same about a man in uniform.”

    “It wasn’t the uniform.  He was short, stocky, and willing.   The internet expedited the rest.”

    After a time, severe and discreet whispering dissipates, leaving curious and suspicious glances.  Finally the scientific duo move together as one toward the bar.  The law enforcement duo perk up, preparing for whatever comes next.

    “Who are you and what the hell is going on?”  Benjamin demands, tired of not knowing what is happening in Sturgeons.

    Christine and Sam give each other a glance before she answers half of the question.  “My name is Dr. Christine Abernathy, and I am head professor of the science department at the State University.  This is my colleague, Dr. Samuel Dwyer.”

    Sam takes over the answer without missing a beat.  “We have theories concerning the recent phenomenon, but nothing concrete.  All we know is that whatever is taking place appears to be natural in origin.”

    “That’s all you know?” Ben asks, somewhat deflated.

    Christine chimes in, “All of our test results are either inconclusive or point to something natural.  Anything else is simply guess-work.”

    Suddenly the bar falls into silence, as if the oxygen has just been sucked out of the room.  This is not what Ben had imagined.  There is no exchange of vital information.  No leads.  No answers.  Just four people in a bar as clueless as the next.

    He turns and leans against the bar counter, trying not to sigh in utter disappointment and defeat.  Near the edge is Gordon’s croquet mallet.  Ignoring his police training, Ben touches it and ponders the fate of the bartender of many years.

    “What happened to lead you here?” he asks, still focused on the mallet.

    “We have a device which allows us to trace the phenomenon while it is occurring,” Samuel answers quietly, empathetic to the emotional tone of the Sheriff.

    Benjamin Straker, pulling a Clyde by fiddling with the croquet mallet, muses over how such a seemingly unthreatening instrument can strike fear in the hearts of an angry mob.  Within this musing he recalls a potentially vital piece of information.

    “Gordon had security cameras installed last year.”
Click CHAPTER FIFTEEN to continue.

Until next time, Readers, be well and Freak Out...


Monday, September 16, 2013

Darkening Sturgeons: Chapter Thirteen

My hotbed mess of blog fiction continues...

Chapter Thirteen

by John L. Harmon


    Chief Deputy Clyde Woodhouse sits in a generic grey car, with POLICE painted on its sides.  His hazel eyes are alert and focused on the white van and the entrance to Gordon’s bar.  This particular street is empty, but a more-than-dull roar can be heard in the distance.  The sound of vehicles and people…the vibration of fleeing humanity.

    He shudders, thinking about everything as he fiddles with the turning signal switch.  It would be easy to join the mob and get the hell out of Sturgeons, but there are too many questions that need answering.  One of which he may have a personal stake in.  This is something he should discuss with Ben, but hasn’t figured out how to broach the subject.

    As the Sheriff enters the Chief Deputy’s thoughts, he emerges from a nearby alleyway.  Walking slowly, but steadily, Ben’s physical appearance is initially lost on Clyde.  He is simply blinded by relief that his superior made it through the hotbed mess of Sturgeons apparently unscathed.


    Exiting the generic gray car, Clyde Woodhouse is, for the first time, stunned motionless.  No fiddling or fidgeting occurs as he sees that the Sheriff is far from unscathed.

    His slacks are dirty and ragged, while his shirt is untucked and ripped on one side.  Dirt is smeared on his grim face, giving texture to the blood from a gash near his left eye.  Benjamin Straker has seen better days.

    Upon leaving Headquarters and realizing the SUV was blocked in, Ben was confronted with the scared and ill-tempered citizens of Sturgeons.  They hollered at him.  They cursed him.  They illogically blamed him for Bob Kinney, Tommy Schroder, Bertha Waterbottom, and a few other disappearances, including Gordon, that had not been officially reported.

    Even after cutting through the initial street madness, Ben had to dive out of the way of several missile-like motorcycles.  Then as an act of final indignity, for all involved, Tommy’s father and a group of men followed him from the vehicular bedlam, itching for old-fashioned justice.  Ben was forced to knock out two of them and restrain Mr. Schroder with wrist straps before Mrs. Schroder showed up, stopping the bare-knuckled fight before it escalated beyond control…beyond fists.

    Yet, despite his ransacked appearance, the beige hat of Lawrence sits proudly upon his head.  This one seemingly small detail lets Chief Deputy Clyde Woodhouse know that Sheriff Benjamin Straker is not down for the count and there is no need to press for details.

    The two men exchange silent nods as Ben comes to a stop beside the hood of generic gray.  He gives a glance to the large white van in front of Gordon’s bar.

    “Inconspicuous is not their strong suit.”

    “No, it sure isn’t,” Clyde agrees with a breathless chuckle.

    Ben reaches a raw-knuckled hand up to adjust the beige.  “Are you ready to find out who they are and what they know?”

    “Ready as ever.”

    The law enforcement duo maneuver across the street and down half a block.  Ben gives Clyde a firm look as they reach the bar entrance.  Before either can react, the door suddenly swings open and they come face to face with the scientific duo.

    “We’ve been expecting you…” Christine, the yellow-blond woman, begins and then looks down upon the shorter man, “…Clyde.”
Click CHAPTER FOURTEEN to continue.

Until next time, Readers, be well and Freak Out,



Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Darkening Sturgeons: Chapter Twelve

The continuing fictional story of a town in crisis...

Chapter Twelve

by John L. Harmon


    Sheriff Benjamin Straker stands, yearbook in hand, in shock and awe at the chaos spread out before him.  It is something akin to a science fiction film, and Joe, the dispatcher, is correct…it is a madhouse. 

    Cars, trucks, and vehicles of every shape and size line both sides of the street in front of Sturgeons Police Headquarters.  All creeping along, moving in the same direction, as motorcycles zip in between and around with flagrant ease.  Honking, revving of engines and profanity-laced shouting add an urgent and terrifying ambiance to the unbelievable sight.

    He quickly assesses that he will need protection amidst the crowds.  Shutting the solid door and walking determinedly to his office, Ben gives Joe a, “What the hell is going on out there?”

    Joe follows, answering the best he can with what information he has gathered from emergency calls and overheard conversations.  “The disappearances are getting to people, so they are fleeing Sturgeons.”

    “Fleeing Sturgeons,” Ben mutters in contemplation as he sets the yearbook on the desk and unlocks the cabinet in a corner of the Sheriff’s Office.  His thoughts turn to Miranda, Ned, and Sheriff Lester Lawrence.  They all fled Sturgeons, leaving him to pick up the pieces.  Now, more than ever, he understands what his mother must have felt when his father abandoned them…overwhelmed, helpless and alone.

    Just like his mother, Ben is neither helpless nor alone.  Shutting and locking the cabinet, he turns to Joe with an order.  “I’m needed out there, Joe.  Stay at your post and try to soothe the fears of anyone who may call.”

    “Will do, Sheriff.”

    “You’re a good man, Joe.”

    Sheriff and Dispatcher leave the office and part ways at the enormous front counter.  Before Ben ventures away from the safety of indoors, he whips out his cell and calls Chief Deputy Woodhouse.

    “What is your location, Clyde?”

    “I was just getting ready to report in,” Clyde mentions for no particular reason.  “I tracked the white van to Gordon’s.  A man and a woman just entered the bar in that odd way Ms. Minch described.”

    Ben pauses for a beat, deciding the best course of action.  “Stay put, Clyde.  Don’t engage.  I’ll be there a-sap.”

    “Careful, Ben.  Sturgeons is a hotbed mess right now.”

    “I know.”

    Sheriff Benjamin Straker shoves the cell in his pocket and grabs the handle of the gun of Lawrence holstered at his side.  He doesn’t want to use it, but he finds comfort in the fact he can if the need should arise.  Mentally prepared as possible in such a confusing situation, he opens the solid door and steps out into vehicular bedlam.

Click CHAPTER THIRTEEN to continue.

Until next time, Readers, be well and Freak Out,

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Darkening Sturgeons: Chapter Eleven

Yet another entry in my piece of blog fiction...

Chapter Eleven

by John L. Harmon


    Joe Grossman, the tall lanky dispatcher with a shock of blond/nearly white hair, bursts into the employee lounge, waking Sheriff Benjamin Straker from a particularly intriguing dream.  The two men stare awkwardly at each other for a moment, adjusting their bearings.

    “Well, Joe?” Ben inquires, quickly sitting up and buttoning his shirt.

    “Leslie, uh, I mean Officer Johns reported in.  She spotted the white van at the Teeter-Totter and—”

    “The Teeter-Totter?”

    Out of all the places in all of Sturgeons, the Teeter-Totter Motel was the last place he would’ve looked for the blond woman and Samuel Dwyer.  It is a seedy little joint on the outskirts of town and was once, according to legend, a house of ill-repute.

    “And there’s more,” Joe adds.

    Having put on his boots, Ben grabs the beige hat and picks up the yearbook.  “Let’s talk as we walk, Joe.”

    “Chief Deputy Woodhouse reported for duty—”

    “What time is it?” Ben interrupts, checking his watch as they make their way through the Sturgeons Police Headquarters.  “It’s nine o’clock, Joe!  Why was I allowed to sleep so long?”

    “Everything happened in just the last ten minutes.”

    Ben stops at the enormous front counter and stares at the empty chair.  He briefly wonders if he is simply feeling confused after being startled from a hard sleep.  “It’s nine in the morning and Miss Whiffle is not at her post?  She is the most punctual person I know, aside from Officer Johns.”

    Joe points to a colorful item on the counter, “She dropped it off for you.”

    “Another day, another envelope,” Ben whispers to himself as he places the yearbook down and picks up the pink rectangle.  Tearing it open, he slides out a folded pink note.  A dumbfounded silence fills the room as he is confronted with a second letter of resignation.  It seems that Miss Whiffle has run off with ‘Ol Ned to elope, forever leaving Sturgeons.

    The Sheriff recalls the comforting nature Miss Miranda Whiffle displayed towards the emotionally distraught Ned Dobson.  Perhaps they always had feelings for one another and it took the mysterious disappearance of Bob Kinney to bring everything to the surface.  The only thing Ben knows for certain is how disturbed he feels about this new/old couple leaving Sturgeons, but there are far more vital issues to deal with.  He stuffs the envelope and note into the yearbook.

    “I’m sorry for interrupting you, Joe.  You were saying something about Clyde.”

    “Yes.  Officer Woodhouse reported for duty and is now trailing the white van.”

    “I thought you said Officer Johns located it at the Teeter-Totter.”

    “Leslie did,” Joe explains calmly, despite feeling irritated at his superior, “but she lost track of the van when it left the motel.  Chief Deputy Woodhouse quickly picked up its trail.”

    Ben gives the tall lanky dispatcher a seriously quizzical look.  “How could Leslie possibly lose track of that van in Sturgeons?”

    Joe Grossman points a long finger from the end of one of his long arms towards the main door of the Sturgeons Police Headquarters.  “It’s a madhouse out there, Sheriff,” he opinionates, his voice slightly quivering.

    Sheriff Benjamin Straker curiously and cautiously walks to the solid door and reaches for the handle.  He glances back at Joe as if to make sure this is real and he is not still sleeping on the old beat-up brown couch.  Certain of reality, as much as he can be, Ben yanks open the door, encountering sights and sounds he has only experienced at the cinema.
Click CHAPTER TWELVE to continue.

Until next time, Readers, be well and Freak Out,