Thursday, January 26, 2023

At first I am nothing. A shred of a shred Not alive… not even dead


At first I am nothing. A shred of a shred

Not alive… not even dead

An inanimate object lying limp in your hands

Dreaming of oceans, of faraway lands. 

When you cut me I won’t cry

You flesh me through pain. I won’t utter a sigh

You give me breath, you make me blink

But I cringe when you paint me pink

You give me eyesight, you give me smell

You control every move. So I must rebel

I’ll rise to a limp and in search of glory

I’ll take my own steps, write my own story  

My existence is flimsy, I am destined to fold

But until that time, let me out of your hold

Let me go, let me go… Loosen your grip

Until that moment that ends with a rip.

A paper experiment in my studio

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

The only answer I get is another chilly gust, shrieking at me.

 “Have a cigarette?” asks Marcia, licking her mouth greedily. 

“Sorry,” I say. “I don’t.”

“Too bad,” she says. Her eyes are framed unevenly by a dark eyeliner, and her lipstick is smudged. Under it, you can spot her bluish lips. “My son told me not to ask people for cigarettes, or anything else for that matter, but at his age, well, what does he know? Why not give people a chance to show some generosity, especially when it helps me and at the same time, makes them feel important?” 

“Yes. Why not?”

“He’s angry with me. I thought he was in a bad mood, but it’s been a few years, so I guess that’s who he is.”

By all indications, her rebellious son must be one and the same as my stalker. His name must be Gore, too.

I can find nothing to say to her, so I turn instead to my landlady. “Mrs. Gore, may I ask you something?”

She glares at me. “If it’s about your apartment, I told you to take care of it yourself. Remember, you’re paying next to nothing because I don’t need the headache of fixing stuff.”

“I am taking care of it, Mrs. Gore! No problem at all about that—”

“What, then?”

“I wondered about something else.”

“Such as what?”

“The room upstairs.”

“What room?” she asks, her face reddening.

Strangely, a sudden glint appears in Marcia’s eyes, which tells me she must know something about it. At a stare from Mrs. Gore, she lowers her painted lids.

So, I press on. “I spotted a small window directly above my bedroom. It’s visible only from the backyard, see?” I point a finger at it. “I wonder, is there a way to get up there?”

“No,” says the landlady, a bit too bluntly. “There isn’t. This window, well, I suppose it’s just an architectural decoration for the house. Nothing more.”

I try again. “You sure?”

“As sure as can be!” she insists. “As far as I know, there isn’t any such room, let alone a way to get to it.”

“I could make use of the extra space—”

“Listen,” she tells me, her voice thickening. “If you’re unhappy with the place, perhaps it’s time for you to start looking for a different one.”

With that, she turns sharply on her heels and stomps away from me, with Marcia trudging meekly behind. They rush off before I can bring myself to ask the more important question, the one that has been on my mind for the last few days. 

Stepping out of the back gate, “Mrs. Gore,” I cry, but by now she’s out of earshot, perhaps because the wind has kicked up, blotting my words. “Mrs. Gore! Who lived in the apartment before I took over?”

The only answer I get is another chilly gust, shrieking at me.


(Volume II of Ash Suspense Thrillers with a Dash of Romance)

Paperback Hardcover


The last thing Ash expects when she lands in Clearwater, Florida is to be stalked by a troubled teenager. If that's not bad enough, she is caught in a shooting spree next to the nearby elementary school. The cops think it’s an attempt at mass killing, but Ash wonders if the only victim was specifically targeted by the killer. Will she manage to identify him and have him arrested before he comes after her?

"Suspenseful as well as downright scary and will draw the readers into a web of mystery. The author's descriptive passages throughout continue to trap and at the same time, shed a sufficient amount of doubt into our minds. Who is this shooter and what is his connection to the main story?" 
~Serenity, Hall of Fame, Top 10 Reviewer

Monday, January 23, 2023

Up to this moment I’ve been aiming high, shooting for what you might call an out-of-reach target: regaining my strength so I can—somehow, someday—walk out of here.

Up to this moment I’ve been aiming high, shooting for what you might call an out-of-reach target: regaining my strength so I can—somehow, someday—walk out of here. Now, by force of circumstance, my goal has been lowered: just make it through the night. 

Perched on the wheelchair, I have dear Betty to thank for the slumping of my body, the waning of my hope. 

She tilts me into reckless speeding. We’re out of the empty dining hall, racing down the corridor, where she slows things down to a screech of the wheels for just a second, when all of a sudden, her cellphone rings. 

The sounds of hospital staff, running back and forth carrying equipment, mix in with the cries of patients, calling out for attention, for help. The din is deafening, so there’s no need for Betty to lower her voice—but she does. 

“Vlad, darling,” she says, under her breath, “I’ll be out in the parking lot soon. It’s hard to find my way here in the dark, but I’ll make it, so don’t you worry.”

I don’t know about him being anxious—but in my case, fretting is all I do. It’s my activity of choice right now, if only because of this bumpy ride. In the lobby, beams of flashlights streak across the walls. The footrests of my wheelchair bang against this piece of furniture and that, which makes me try to shrink back into the seat and tighten every muscle in my ankles, in a feeble effort to protect myself.

Along the way, Betty keeps chatting with him. “Have some patience, will you? Just wait for me outside.”

Despite her chewing gum, or maybe because of it, she sounds like a woman late for a date, what with all those terms of endearment, like that Darling stuff. Ha ha, if I didn’t know any better, I would wonder why on earth she would want me to stick around for a lovers’ rendezvous.

“Yes, the girl is right here, with me,” she hisses, between one chewing chomp and another. “It’s a freaking mess in here, everyone is running in all directions like crazy. I thought I would die laughing, Vlad, when they left her in my hands.”

Cold sweat starts forming on my skin as her fingers drift, ever so lightly, over my bare neck. I have to remind myself that she must hand me over to him, not kill me outright.

As if she’s the one being tickled, Betty giggles. “I’m telling you, Vlad: no one will know, at least for a while, that she’s gone missing. What a stroke of luck for us, right?”

In response to something he says, she gurgles a nervous laugh. “It’s totally dark in here, Vlad, so it’s hard to figure things out for sure, but I think no one’s watching, no one’s following me.”

Too bad. I try to stomp on the footrest so as to spark off some noise, some clangor out of it, but to no avail. The sound is barely audible. It’s lost in the hubbub. 

“Yes, thank you for the timely reminder,” she tells him, this time sarcastically. “I know that the power outage will soon be over. I’m not an idiot, you know? Don’t tell me I must hurry!”

Walking and chewing gum seems to be too much for her. Betty spits it out, perhaps because it has lost its sweetness, or else because of having to focus on the task at hand. Having reached the entrance doors, she struggles to push them open using her big butt, while at the same time maneuvering me about with one hand and—just as crucial—holding the cellphone with the other. 

“Oh, stop it!” she cries. “Don’t you put too much pressure on me, darling—or I’ll snap!”

Just for the exercise, I push the door open with my foot. I know, I know, I shouldn’t have done that, but it works, anyway. Which is a delightful thing for me, and a scary one too, because who knows what’s waiting for us on the other side.

There’s a whoosh as the doors come to a close behind us.

I can’t help but wonder, why do they even bother to play this game with my life? What do they need a broken doll like me for? Of what value am I to them, or to anyone else, really?

“I’ll bring her to you in just a moment. Once you have the girl, her boyfriend will be in your hands, which is totally sweet, right? He’ll do just about anything you ask of him,” she says, pushing me out into the night air. 

Out here, in the parking lot, it’s quiet, other than an occasional siren of an ambulance or the gusts of wind. 

It puts goosebumps on my skin, and her words—a chill in my heart.

Coma Confidential

Paperback Hardcover


Ash finds herself in the ER diagnosed with coma. She has no memory of what has happened to her, but what she can do--despite what everyone around her might think--is listen to the conversations of her visitors. Will she survive the power outage in the hospital and then, being kidnapped out of it?