Free short story based on the King Arthur Merlin mythology and my new novel: Snack Time at the Seven Eleven. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07JQPBCT7
This is a free short story based on my new novel, Excalibur.
Snacktime At the Seven Eleven
Arthur faced the man with the shotgun aimed in her direction. She held her service revolver aimed at him. “I die; you die.”
He smiled, his eyes devoid of warmth.
“I mean it!”
“So do I!”
“Looks like we’re going to hell together then,” Arthur chuckled, then fired and dropped at the same time and fired again.
His shotgun went off.
A second too late.
Buckshot spattered her backside.
She rolled to the right and back onto her feet.
He stood there, calmly reloading his shotgun. “I guess you’re not a vampire after all,” he said with a grin.
“Are you deaf, copper? A vampire!”
She looked at the bullet hole in his chest and between his eyes. She hadn’t missed. She felt cold shivers run up and down her spine. Where was backup when you needed one?
She’d been stupid to rush into the 7-11 when she saw the man with the gun. Superwoman she wasn’t; she faced something incomprehensible.
“What are you?”
He finished loading and put his shotgun in the crook of his arm.
The store manager was crouched behind the counter, where the gunman could keep an eye on him He glanced at him, motioned with his gun. “Come here, snack!”
The store manager, an Indian by birth from Benares, rose slowly with his hands up. “Please, don’t shoot me. I’ve got a wife and children.”
The gunman grinned. “Hell, no intention of ruining my snack.”
Then so fast that Arthur couldn’t move to stop him, the gunman’s right hand reached out, snatched the store manage by his neck and lifted him into the air.
“Let him down!” Arthur shouted, aiming her weapon again.
The gunman chuckled casually. “Look, why don’t we just call this even at this point. You shot me; I eat him and we’re all good.”
Arthur’s eyes weren’t on the gunman, they were on something else. She flicked her eyes back to the gunman, noting all the hair on his arms that hadn’t been there before they exchanged fire.
“Put him down!”
She edged closer to her objective.
The gunman sighed and shook his head. “We all get hungry sometimes.”
“I wait until I’m home to snack.”
She edged ever closer, her face to him, her back to what she wanted. The medicine section. A special bottle.
“You’re really starting to piss me off; if you hadn’t had garlic with your tacos, you’d be dead now.”
“Still got your shotgun.”
“That I do.”
“Then why not use it?”
The Store Manager’s face was turning blue and his hands went limp to his sides.
“Now!” Arthur screamed.
The gunman tossed the Store Manager to the floor and stomped towards her. “I hate bossy women!”
Arthur clasped the bottle she had seen, smashed it hurriedly and tossed it into the gunman’s face, which was slowly transforming into that of a wolf’s face.
He froze, spitting out the substance that had sprayed all over his face.
Then his furry face exploded into flames.
He dropped his shotgun and gripped his throat, making choking sounds and then collapsed to the floor.
Arthur glanced to his right where the Store Manager was still gasping for air. “You all right, sir?”
The Store Manager nodded.
Arthur stepped next to the gunman, whose whole body was beginning to smoke now.
“Mercy!” The gunman begged.
Arthur held his service revolver up.
Excalibur in its golden glory appeared in his hand.
He crossed his chest in the accepted Christian ritual, and then sliced downwards.
The front door of the store slammed open and Dakota came running inside, her weapon drawn, followed by two other policemen.
They glanced at the head that rolled towards them, still on fire.
Dakota looked up.
Arthur holstered his revolver. “How the hell did that happen, Detective Barnes?”
“I’ll need a report.”
She turned to the Store Manager who rose slowly, eyes on Arthur. “You okay?”
“Thanks to the detective I am.”
Arthur grinned. “Well, that’s mighty kind of you, partner.”
Dakota laughed, and then grimaced. “Stop imitating John Wayne.”
“You know damn well who!”
Arthur blew her a kiss and head out the door.
“You know where to find me.”
“Like hell I do.”
“Then I guess you’ll have to try a little harder, sweet cheeks.”
Dakota screamed angrily. “Will someone kill that man for me?”
Sergeant Blake eyed her sternly. “Why do you keep letting that man get to you?”
She eyed him fiercely. “None of your damned business now let’s clean this place up and skedaddles.”
“Now you’re starting to sound like John Wayne.”
She gave Sergeant Blake a shut up look and he nodded to his men, one who went outside for a body bag and the other to secure yellow tape and call in to Central.
She eyed the burning head. “How can one man have so much hair on their face?”
But she already knew the answer. She just didn’t want to admit. Damn Arthur! Why was he always right in the middle of this Halloween bullshit?”
She took a deep breath, holstered her weapon and gave the Store Manager a hand up. “Emergency should be on its way as I speak.”
“But I’m fine.”
She eyed the tears in his throat.
He felt his neck and then gave her a horrified look.
Outside, Arthur was watching from across Martin Luther Boulevard, his eyes on the Store Manager touching his throat. He sighed. “Guess we’ll be seeing each other again, my friend.”
He turned around, shoved his hands into his pockets and walked away.
He’d know if the Store Manager was going to turn or not in the next full moon.
He hauled out the cell he was beginning to love these days. Thumbed on its recorder. “Note to self, my favorite 7-11, Store Manager. Possible werewolf turn. Check back in thirty days.”
He thumbed it off, and then eyed the skies. Not a cloud in sight.
The night was warm.
But behind him a dead werewolf was warmer still.
You can purchase the novel, Excalibur, now at Amazon for $2.99 by double clicking the following link or the image above:
"Sheridan Holmes, The Curse of the Serpent King," is available at Amazon.
I always wondered if Sherlock ever allowed himself to settle down and be a father, and what kind of father he might turn out to be and in this story, you can discover what I did as his son and the very impish, but bright Emily Watson, the daughter of Doctor John Watson, pair off to team on an investigation that delves into mystical horrors and mythological beasts and gods.
And what would a Baker Street Adventure be without Sherlock and Watson, and a guest duo as well. Whom you'll just have to wait and read about when you read the story.
War of the Worlds, The Invasion continues. A sample of something I write a while back. Fun stuff with an odd bent to it.
In the year of our Lord
Eighteen Hundred and Ninety One
This August Thirty First
The Globe Theater
The Queen's Room
"To be or not to be...that is the question." My lead actor spoke upon our stage. I watched from the second level gallery, making sure his pitch and diction were strong and clear enough. He looked up at me and I gestured for him to continue, but my mind was elsewhere. So much has happened since I last put anything down in my journal.
I'm not sure where to begin.
When last I wrote I mentioned I had sent my favorite pigeon to bring a message to my friends in Paris. I needed to know if they were alright first, and then if there were problems, what I could do to help. I had the ear of our Queen, and was not loath to wax it with soothing words on their behalf if need be. She was a stern queen, but a fair one. She loathed men who were weak and full of folly, but she loved men who were brave and daring, such as Jules and Wells.
Wells had been on her list of men she was considering knighting for his pretigious output of fictional journeys and adventures. She likened him to her other favorite, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, whom I have not yet had the chance to acquaint myself with personally, as we do keep our lives in pretty much different worlds these days. I have passed him in the palace from time to time and we have chatted briefly, but that is not the kind of conversation that leads to a deep friendship, but rather a shallow courteous one.
I tend to the opposite. I like to know those I am around in all the ways possible. I suppose that is because I am a writer, an observer of life and as such my mind demands more details than most who go day to day on their life journeys.
As I was seated observing my actor deliver his soliloqy, Sarah returned. She always knew where I was and I always kept a treat for her. Perhaps that motivated her more than anything else, I can not be sure of what goes on in a pigeon's mind, other than utter kindness.
She landed on the railing beside me and cocked an eye on me, then nodded to her right foot where a note was attached. I gave her a treat, and hurriedly untied the message to read it. I was distressed while doing it, because my actor had just blown the next two lines and said, "whether it is bolder to go outside and face the storm than..." Furious at the disruption of my beautiful poetry, I almost chased Sarah away, but I kept my temper in check for both her and the actor.
He was having a rough time at home as I understood it. Something about a romance with another man that wasn't going well. I felt for him, for relationships were difficult with the opposite sex, let alone the same. It is the nature of relationships that they have difficulties. If you are looking for a peaceful and tranquil ride throughout your life, then do not seek a relationship, as they are not always tranquil or peaceful, they are human. And humans feel and sometimes too deeply. And sometimes too shallowly. The choices we all must live with.
I motioned to the actor to do it again and as he did I swiftly unraveled the note and read it.
"Dear Will, it is with the utmost sense of urgency that I request you speak with the brotherhood. Paris is in distress such as no man could ever have suspected to happen. Our beloved Eiffel Tower is now a broken toy, and much of our fair city has been burned and leveled to the ground. I fear that my dear friend Wells is taking this much harder than I, and I can barely look at myself in our mirror now, knowing we might have unwittingly set off the monstrous destruction we now survey about us."
It was a long note. I looked up and the actor was looking at me, an expression of what next. I glanced at my Stage Manager who stood right stage watching and motioned for him to cue the man. He did so and the actor got back in character again and continued.
I returned to the note, my hands trembling, for I feared the rest of the news that surely must be there.
"A strange device from another world has descended into our fair city and it immediately began destroying anything and anyone in its path. I fear it is but the advance guard for something far worse."
I looked up and muttered to myself. "Worse than destroying Paris?"
I shuddered in horror.
I read on.
"Contact the brotherhood, let them know we have a greater peril now than the war between our nations. That a War of the Worlds has begun.
"I shall endeavor to contact you again in two days if able. For now my friends and I must help as many as possible to survive this catastrophe.
"Your friend, Jules."
I looked up again, tears misting my eyes. It was that bad. The Captain's words rang in my ears again in remembrance and I knew at that moment that the play was not the thing in this case, and that the Great Wheel now turning was being spun by hands not meant to be guided by our Creator, but by something far darker.
Pardon me if I seem somewhat melodramatic, but that is my nature as an actor and writer, but as a human being I can only shudder in horror at the thought, "A War of the Worlds has begun."
And it was at that moment that a great shout arose from outside the theater, as if a great crowd were crying out in horror.
The Arc of Triumph. A Tale of the Cartoon Universe by John Pirillo. When will is challenged, heroes arise.
The Arc of Triumph