Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Darkening Sturgeons: Chapter Seventeen

Better late than never.  My blog fiction continues..

Chapter Seventeen

by John L. Harmon

    Dr. Christine Abernathy, for the first time in a long time, is uncertain about her emotions.  Her brown eyes had watched Chief Deputy Clyde Woodhouse stand up, ready to assist his superior, his friend.  During their Saturday night date, Clyde came off as intelligent, funny, cocky and sexy as hell, which added up to a sizzlin’ time.  Innate sweetness and loyalty did not emerge from this man that night, but she sees it now and it touches something inside of her.

    And Clyde remains standing, having been beaten to the helpful punch by her colleague.  She can see by the Chief Deputy’s alert stance that he feels it should have been him to make a beeline for the Sheriff.

    “Don’t worry, Clyde.  Your Sheriff is in capable, sympathetic hands.”

    Chief Deputy Clyde Woodhouse isn’t sure if she means that figuratively, literally, or both.  All he knows for certain is that Ben would be there for him, because that is the kind of guy his superior is.  He sits back down on the office chair, feeling somewhat disappointed in himself, and swivels to face Christine.

    “Is this what the two of you do?  Travel around in a big white van, investigating unexplained occurrences, and hooking up with the locals?”

    “Not quite, Clyde,” Christine cannot help but chuckle at the accusation.  “We have equipment at the University that detected some high energy readings in and around Sturgeons.  Sam and I had free time, so we decided to investigate these occurrences.”

    “And investigate the Sturgeons dating scene,” Clyde adds nonchalantly.

    “You know what they say about all work and no play.”

    Clyde swivels away and stares toward the restroom.  He questions if he and Ben are just being toyed with, used.  He questions if his date with Christine meant anything to her or to himself.  He swivels around to face her with another question.

    “What about these readings?”

    Christine shoves her hands deep into her lab-coat pockets, as she often does when addressing a full classroom.  “We originally theorized that the energy was weather related, and it still may be, but we can’t seem to pinpoint an answer.”

    Before Clyde can respond with another question, Sheriff Benjamin Straker and Dr. Samuel Dwyer emerge from the lavatory sanctuary.  On top of the Sheriff’s head remains the beige hat of Lawrence.  This fills the Chief Deputy with a sense that everything is a-o.k.

    Suddenly a loud beeping emits from one of Christine’s pockets.  She pulls out a black gadget, stops the irritating noise, and gives Samuel an eager expression.

    “It’s happening again.”
Click CHAPTER EIGHTEEN to continue.

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


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Darkening Sturgeons: Chapter Sixteen

My blog fiction continues...

Chapter Sixteen

by John L. Harmon

    “You dropped something,” Dr. Samuel Dwyer mentions, purposely not glancing down at the beige near his feet.

    “I didn’t drop it,” Sheriff Benjamin Straker explains, his tone clarifying the situation.

    Sam defiantly picks up the hat and fully enters the bathroom.  Drawing near, he places the beige on the sink counter and ignores it.  “Looks like you’ve had a rough morning, Sheriff.”

    Ben faces the mirror and his disheveled reflection once more.  He is not certain if he didn’t notice or just didn’t care about the gash near his left eye.  Either way, Ben begins washing his hands and arms while giving the lavatory visitor a curious glance.

    “Who are you?”

    Sam momentarily toys with the notion of stating his name.  He decides an obvious joke would be ill-timed considering what they just witnessed.

    “I’m just a regular guy like you, Sheriff.  Just attempting to figure out what exactly is occurring in your town.”

    Ben contemplates his answer as he begins washing the dirt and blood from his face.  He concludes that this man is far from regular.  This, in turn, leads him to another question, after drying off with paper towels.

    “Why do you and Dr. Abernathy work in such a unique way?”

    “What do you mean?”

    Ben ditches the towels and faces the one-half of the scientific duo.  “The way the two of you work in opposite unison, like a mirror.”

    “Oh, that.”  Sam flashes that becoming smile and blushes.  Actually blushes.  “Christine and I devised a method to work efficiently in close quarters and now it has become habit.  Even the students at the University have speculated about it.

    “Clyde and I probably have our own quirks,” Ben nods in understanding, “or we will when this is all over.”

    A moment of silence passes before Sam slips into familiarity.  “We should really bandage that wound.”  He moves closer to the Sheriff, pulling out a small black kit from a lab-coat pocket.

    “That—that’s a good idea,” Ben stammers a little, tensing slightly at the close proximity.  He carefully watches Dr. Samuel Dwyer open the kit and splash a clear liquid on a sanitized cloth.

    “This is going to hurt, Sheriff.”

    For a moment, Ben questions himself.  He is an adult and can take care of himself, been doing it for years.  Then reality hits him.  It really has been a rough morning and this simple act of kindness from a stranger is like a taste of fresh air.

    Sam gently, but firmly, applies the cloth, causing his patient to shut his eyes and ball his fists.  After the initial burning subsides, light chestnut eyes open and hands relax.  The doctor sets the used cloth aside and removes a sealed bandage from the kit.

    “I’m sorry about your friend.  He seemed like a nice man.”

    At these simple words of condolence, Ben begins to see this doctor of science as more.  As a complex person standing in front of him.  “Thanks.  Gordon was a good man.”

    With a sympathetic nod, Sam places the bandage, at a slant, over the gash.  He presses the adhesive down by simultaneously sliding two fingers up Ben’s forehead and two fingers down his temple.  Crisp blue locks with light chestnut and Sam nearly allows his latter digits to move beyond the bandage, to warm, stubbly skin.

    “That will do for now…Benjamin,” Sam states, somewhat reluctantly, as he takes a small step back.

    “Thank you…Samuel,” Ben chokes out, as if finally daring to breathe for the first time since he can remember.

    Dr. Samuel Dwyer, for the first time in a long time uncertain of what to say or do, reaches for the Sheriff’s hat he had placed on the sink counter.  He turns it over a couple of times, trying to prolong this moment.  Finally, he offers the beige to its rightful owner.

    “It’s not over yet, Sheriff.”

    Sheriff Benjamin Straker glances at the hat, and then at his own reflection.  Despite the overwhelming desire to give up, he knows these words to be true.  Once again locking eyes with the man before him, Ben reaches out.
Click CHAPTER SEVENTEEN to continue.

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


Monday, October 7, 2013

Darkening Sturgeons: Chapter Fifteen

My blog fiction is a week late, but hopefully not a dollar short, whatever that means.

Chapter Fifteen

By John L. Harmon

    Chief Deputy Clyde Woodhouse slumps back in an office chair, located in the back of Gordon’s bar.  He then gracefully fills the pervasive silence with an F-bomb in all caps.

    “Indeed,” Dr. Samuel Dwyer concurs, nudging up his thick black-framed glasses.  He stands to the left of the seated Clyde.

    “Single entity or multiple as one?” Dr. Christine Abernathy speculates out loud.  She stands, hands in lab-coat pockets, to the left of Sam.

    Upon the security camera monitor, they have just witnessed the apparent death of Gordon.  The bartender of many years had literally been polishing his croquet mallet this morning when he noticed something off camera.  Gordon sat his mallet down and moved to center frame.

    That is when it happened.  A darkness emerged from the side and grabbed him.  Lifting Gordon off the ground, this darkness enveloped him, externally and internally, until he was no longer visible.  Then nothing.  The darkness dissolved or dissipated into the air, leaving an empty bar.

    Clyde swivels the office chair to his right, “What do you think, Ben?”  He is startled to find his superior absent.  For a split-second, he panics that the unthinkable has happened.

    “I noticed Sheriff Straker head to the restroom,” Christine coolly diffuses a complete Chief Deputy freak-out.

    “This was probably too much for him to see,” Clyde states, standing up.  “He considered Gordon a good friend.”

    Sheriff Benjamin Straker stares blankly in the bathroom mirror at his haggard, dirty, bloodied reflection.  He attempts to recall what he had been doing Saturday morning, before Bob Kinney had disappeared.  Before any of this craziness started.

    He remembers he had bacon and scrambled eggs for breakfast, but no toast.  Then there was a shower and dressing for work, like clockwork.  That was his morning.  Clockwork.  Extraordinarily ordinary, everything in its place.

    What was he thinking about on that ordinary morning, before hell came to Sturgeons?  Other than typical thoughts about what little things needed to be done, he only recalls thinking about Saturday night.  How he was planning to watch a movie at home or finally finish the Dostoyevsky novel that had been holding down his coffee table for months.

    “What is the point of all of this?” Ben asks his reflection.

    Out of thoughts to think, the Sheriff notices that he continues to wear the hat of Lawrence.  He reaches a hand up and, without looking, flings the beige across the room.

    At the same moment, the bathroom door creaks open.  Ben turns to the sound, expecting Clyde, but is somewhat startled to find Dr. Samuel Dwyer standing there.


Click CHAPTER SIXTEEN to continue.

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