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A Bedtime Prayer

Oh Mother-Father, in the dark of nights,
Release me from my hlucs and frights;

Retain Beloveds in your safekeeping,
And save me from heartbreak and weeping;

Protect us all from all that crawls,
From treason, accidents, pitfalls;

For all my work, inspire good decisions,
And help me realize my visions;

And lastly, don’t let my butt
Sag, grow soft, or go flat.

A short story written as an exercise (the starting sentence was given):

“Heads, we get married; tails, we break up.”
“Don’t fuck with me, Kozinsky,” the tender bride said, “or I’ll break your scrawny neck.”
“But you admitted you don’t love me!” Kozinsky protested.
“Who would?! Have you looked in a mirror lately?”
“I don’t know… It seemed a nice idea at first, I mean, the presents, and the honeymoon suite pictures… But…”
“I’m going to win that bet, Kozinsky, even if I need to kill you, skin you, stuff your corpse with straw, and turn you into a remote-controlled dummy,” said Bridezilla the Hunn, leaning over her matrimonial prey. “I’ll get married before I turn forty and win the damn bet. It’s one hundred thousand we are talking about. I’ll rub those snooty bitches’ noses in it, and shit on their heads, and take their money, and have myself a major makeover, and then some. And you’ll take your twenty percent like a good boy and pay off your gambling debt- before Mac and his boys lose their patience, and skin you themselves.”
Kozinsky shivered. The couple before them stepped in front of the Justice of Peace wearing Elvis’ tasseled monkey suit. The forty three year old crusty bachelor Kozinsky and the big-boned, surly woman he met on a cruise two months ago and mated with in a half-conscious, drunken frenzy, took the couple’s place and waited for their turn.
“I’m doing you a huge favor, Kozinsky,” his intended continued. “In a few years, ’been married’ will look good on your resume. Some stupid cow might even mistake you for marriage material. Don’t worry, you’ll not grow horns. I think men are icky.”
“Do you like women?” Kozinsky perked up. I can work with that, he thought.
His future half grunted.
“Or animals?” I can work with that too.
The freshly shackled in front of them exchanged a mandatory kiss, were pronounced man and wife, and left.
Kozinsky’s knees buckled. His bride caught him in mid-fall, narrowed her heavy-lidded eyes and hissed, “Act perky, or I’ll kill you, schnauzer!”
“Will you…” the Justice of Peace consulted his list, “Zelda Schmulevich, take this man to be your wedded husband?”
“I do,” Zelda spit through her teeth.
In the uneven, tricky light, her ferocious, bulldog face appeared to Kozinsky the face of a warrior princess- terrible and great, and… in a what-the-heck way, beautiful in her fury. He remembered their cruise date, being thrown around, mauled, and thrashed, and inexplicably, but typically (the narrow-minded would call this a Stockholm syndrome), felt a seed of love sprouting its hooky root in his narrow chest.
The Justice of Peace turned to him. “Leon Kozinsky, will you take this woman to be your wedded wife?”
“I do!” The ‘schnauzer’ said. “Oh yes, I do.”

‘We’re God’, a short-short story

“We’re bad for each other.” Lila’s beautiful blue eyes were wide and pleading. “’A Fatal Outcome’ is not something to look forward to in a relationship.”
“It’s just a stupid prediction! Do you know how often this machine lies?”
“It doesn’t. People misinterpret things.”
“The company said so themselves, many times: The forecasts are for entertainment only.”
“It’s a disclaimer to avoid lawsuits. Their super-computer has access to an immense amount of data and runs a multi-input model. Remember the guy who jumped out of the window? He was warned not to stay in that hotel.”
“You shouldn’t believe everything on TV.”
“That one came true.” Lila started to cry. “What if something happens to you? I love you so much!”
She pressed her face to Heath chest, and he held her tight.
“I don’t want to lose you,” he said, his voice breaking. “If you believe the machine, give me a chance too- at least, fifty-fifty. Who knows what ‘A Fatal Outcome’ means! We all die one day. Is dying apart at some later date really better?”
They peered at each other. The noise of the world outside the Prediction Booth died and the translucent walls dissolved into nothingness. Her tears dried and her eyes shone with their residue.
“We should have never come here,” she said. “Let’s get married! Just as we planned.” She looked at the clock on the monitor. “Our appointment is in twenty minutes.”
“We better hurry then,” he made himself smile at her.
They kissed.
**
The procedure at the Civil Records Office took ten minutes, complete with the solemn music by Bach, a jovial hologram of a motherly lady officiator, and an almost painless insertion of 2 marriage chips. One minute later, the elevator delivered them to the bottom floor of the Magistrate Building, and in three more, dizzy with happiness, they stood at the crossing leading to a hover-bus stop.
When the ‘Go’ signal flashed, they started walking, hand in hand.
The motorcycle appeared from nowhere. Roaring, its sleek black shape bore at them at top speed. Heath screamed, “Watch out!”, Lila’s hand was ripped out of his, a massive impact threw his body into the air, and as he landed on his back, his skull connected with a loud crack. He didn’t sense pain and was alive for awhile, watching, out of the corner of his eye, the life seeping from his bride’s face a few feet away from him, her broken body at an odd angle to her head.
**
“Your timing synchronization was impeccable, Frankie.”
“I was lucky. The crazy racer could change his mind and not take up the challenge. Or not be high enough.”
“Unlikely. A good call on your part to choose that junkie.”
“You were brilliant yourself- picking up those two on such a short notice. Too bad the old asshole, your first pick, was too cowardly to go for his walk.”
“If you were eighty years old, ‘The Biggest Change in Your Life’ forecast would keep you home too. We were lucky the young fools came in. It was like taking candy from a baby.”
“You mean, a life.” Frankie’s eyes clouded a bit.
He and Todd Hamilton, the CEO of the Prediction Booth Corporation, occupied the super-agronomic chairs in front of the multi-angled ionic monitors streaming images and data.
“Cheer up,” Todd said. “We’re performing an important service. Randomness is depressing. People need hope; freedom from the complete responsibility. Since religion’s not fashionable, we’re filling the vacuum. Without belief in destiny, civilization will descend into revolt and suicides. In comparison, a little collateral damage is a small sacrifice.”
“You talk so well. I like how you always explain things and make me feel better about our mission.”
“You’ll feel even better when the profits hike up for the next few months.”
“I only wish they wouldn’t drop every time…”
“Damn human nature. Can’t do anything about it. We’ll lay low, and then fudge the data in another town- and people will run to the booths again.”
“I need to tweak ‘the fortunes library.’ Some terms are not vague enough…”
“Take a break today, we deserve it.” Todd leaned back in his chair and stretched with pleasure. “A good day’s work,” he said.
“We’re god,” Frankie agreed.

The intro chapter from my next book…

I’m working now on the second draft of my new novel, a literary horror ‘He, Of the House.’ Take a look:

Chapter 1

‘He’

Jill the possum needed to feed. The six little naked Joes in her pouch, their mouths fused permanently with her tits, were hungry, and her milk was running thin.

She stuck out of the grass, pointed her narrow snout toward the gabled, weathered building, and sniffed at the faint, teasing odor coming from the right side of the monstrosity.

Beef and vegetables… Not too fresh but still edible.

Her small, tenacious brain brought forth a hazy memory: She and her brother had sneaked in once, as yearlings, with disastrous result. Ever since, Jill never dared to approach even as far as the boundary of old, gnarly apple trees. Neither she ever crossed the grassy swath separating the property from the forest, but on some listless nights when she remembered and missed her sibling, hate and fear would bring her out and she’d watch the place from the bushes.

The house had been alive then. Now it lay quiet, dark, and unguarded. It was dying, and so did the formerly thriving garden. And most importantly, Jill hadn’t seen the old lady outside for weeks. Still, that awful memory…

The possum faltered in indecision. She was hungry and her babies grew weak. She had to risk it… But she’d make sure first…

The marsupial dashed to the shingled wall and to the left. Once on the opposite side from the kitchen, she pricked her ears: in the quiet of the night, snatches of a conversation drifted from above, spoken in a strange tongue. There were two voices: one low and rumbling that made the fur on her spine bristle, and another- weak, old, and female. It consoled, saying in Ukrainian, the language Jill was not familiar with: “You don’t need to die with me… No, no, listen!.. I took care… A long time ago… She was just a girl, remember? We share blood – more than blood… She must be the one… She can save you… “

Jill’s whiskers trembled at a different odor coming from the second floor window – a sickly sweet stench of death, of a still living body rotted by a disease. The possum herself was near two years old, weakened by parasites, her pouch weighted down by what could be her last litter, and so her resolve grew: The old woman and her evil companion were indisposed and distracted – a perfect time to make her move.

She streaked past the locked back door and around the corner, climbed like a monkey the splinting and cracked cedar shingles to the double-hung kitchen window, and squeezed in through a few inches wide opening at the bottom formed by a raised sash.

The good smell was strong inside. She ran along the messy tiled counters and to the stove—

Where she found nothing but a drying puddle of the spilled soup.

Her stomach grumbling, and the little Joes pulling hungrily on her empty mammaries, Jill slipped to the floor.

She was halfway to the sink and the smelly garbage can underneath it when a gust of cold air whooshed into the kitchen. She hissed in terror as the shadowy, foggy mass swirled from the door, condensed into a swarm, and hurtled toward her.

The possum flew up the counter and slid out, dislodging the pane with the jerk of her arched back. It dropped, rattling the multipane sash above and nearly cutting her tail off, but there was a furious cawing behind her and a loud smack as whatever pursued Jill smashed into the glass. The end of her tail tingling, the unlucky thief scurried through the garden.

She almost reached the apple trees, famished and weakened but sure of her escape, when a sound of breaking window came from behind, and a moment later, a sharp shard pierced her neck like a well-aimed javelin. The possum whimpered, staggered ahead and fell into a soft heap. Writhing on her back, Jill saw the black mass puff into the open from the attic.

Jill’s wide, quickly turning milky eyes stared as something swooped at her and hovered above, soaking the steam rising from the growing pool of her blood that was, in turn,  soaked by the dirt. The little Joes stirred in Jill’s pouch and the cloud pounced lower until their puny life force was extinguished as well.

After a while, there was a satiated sigh. The cloud grew a shade denser and seemed to gain in substance. Out of it, a few black feathers fell to the ground like ashes, and melted.

But then a pitiful groan of pain came from the second floor window, and the grass and leaves rustled, ruffled by the faithful caretaker on His way back.

Up to the second floor… In through the open window of the old woman’s bedroom… A second or two, and the moans subsided as the pain causing them was palliated.

A breeze carried out a tired, sleepy whisper: “Go, fly, taste her, try her…”

The black cloud lingered in the opening, as if hesitating, thinking. Then a shadowy tentacle stretched and dispersed into nothingness, spreading further and further through the night, away from the house- and not long after, hundreds miles away, a young woman broke into a cold sweat in her sleep.

On the edge of the untended garden, Jill’s flesh sunk speedily into her bones and disintegrated into a carrion.

Snow White’s Revenge (a drabble- 100 words short story)

“Delicious!” Under the witch’s tense watch, Snow White sunk her teeth into the apple.  “Here. Have some cold wilder-beast milk.” And, as her visitor drank, added, “Your favorite, my Queen.”

“Wait! How did you…” The witch collapsed, paralyzed, to the earthen floor.

“I’ve spent months building tolerance to your favorite poison, you stupid cow.” Snow White took hold of the witch’s shoulders and hauled her to the hearth. “A crystal coffin? No such luck for you.”

She stuffed the body in, and when the flames blossomed behind the wrought iron lacework, sang, “The Queen is dead. Long live the Queen!”

Testimonials

WE Love it . Still reading but worth it. Tough book to share. Hurry up …. i know there has to be a sequel.

This is a great book by a new author, you won’t be disappointed. I highly recommend this book and look forward to future writings from M.V. Ghiorghi.

I met this author through a short film she wrote and directed, and I’m a big fan of her writing style. Check it out!

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