RELEASE DATE SET DECEMBER 26, 2020 THE ODDITIES ON SATURDAY NIGHT
At long last, I'm pleased to announce the release date for the short story collection from Gabriel Ricard, The Oddities on Saturday Night. This book was a long time in the making. Pandemic put a lot of the world on hold and my small business was no exception. Much of my small business process was put on hold or closely by order of the state - including the lifeblood of small presses: live events.
I've had to re-invent things at Moran Press - including a new focus on hand-sewn chapbooks (more of that later). Words are beginning to come to life again and a new process forming on how to get words into the hands of our readers.
This book is the culmination of a lot of work and determination by the entire team to see this through to the finish line despite the incredible adversity life has thrown at us all in this rollercoaster year of 2020. We are both pleased and relieved to finally see this book in print. The excitement is palpable - in no small part due to the core of the project: the cover art by artist David Graham. The art captures the whimsy, humor, and stark look at modern life present in the fiction. He nailed this cover and I'm so happy to present it to the world.
Thank you to the readers for supporting us all these years and I do hope you love this book as much as I do. It's truly beautiful. I can't wait for you to see it.
Book drops Saturday Night, December 26th. Leading up to that night will be livestreams and other social media appearances by author and published. Be on the lookout for a chance to win a copy of the book FREE courtesy of Moran Press.
The chapbook edition of the book, GOD IS ON YOUR SIDE and other handsewn chaps are available now from Moran Press. Be sure to place book orders today to receive in time for Christmas!
Thank you for supporting small business and reading.
Stephen Moran Owner of Moran Press
THREE HAND SEWN CHAPBOOKS
HAND SEWN SHORT STORY SINGLE CHAPBOOKS
TITLES CURRENTLY SHIPPING
Short Story Selections from SERVER by Stephen Moran
BENNY THE HAUNTED TOYMAKER GROWS UP by Gabriel Ricard
GOD IS ON YOUR SIDE by Gabriel Ricard
DUE TO INTERNATIONAL INVENTORY AND DOMESTIC SHIPPING ISSUES, THESE CHAPBOOKS CAN'T AFFORDABLY BE SHIPPED IN SINGLE CHAPBOOKS.
DEAL IS SIMPLE - ALL THREE CURRENT TITLES BEING SEWN FOR $15 SHIPPED
Today there will be a trial at Holden Farms. If I can manage to pull myself together and summon the energy necessary for the show to happen at all. I’ve been avoiding the library since the beginning of pandemic. Trapped in this small-town hell without hope of escape forced on me by endless stalkers watchers FBI Agents and the help. Instead of my writing routine, I waste energy trying to be alone and have failed completely.
The morning of a trial I make the coffee. There are no servants around. Not a sound in the house besides me clanging around in the kitchen. I place a notebook, a pen, my coffee, and an ashtray on the kitchen table. I will write. I don’t give a damn if I light the words on fire ten minutes after I finish, I will put words to paper no matter what comes today.
Lighting a cigarette, I put my feet up on a chair and stare out the window at the FBI van across the street. There’s no sign of movement. Are they sleeping on the job? How unprofessional. I’ll be sure to mention it at our next meeting. What would Marcus say, he always did his job. I take a deep drag and force my attention back to the notebook.
It all begins in the library. I don’t expect you to understand, just to know. When I finish this story, I’ll add it to my shelf with all the others. Endless dozens of stories from many years. The story begins the routine.
My phone buzzes with a new message, but I ignore it. I won’t look. I do not want to know. Nothing will stop me from finishing this story. I want to be ready for the trial. I’ve been promising you all a trial for weeks and months, but hell if I can summon what it takes to open that library door.
Eureka! Opening the notebook, I write at the top of the page.
MY STALKER’S HOME ADDRESS: A REVENGE TALE
I know what I must do. It’s what I was born to do. Get revenge. One of these days my enemies will be seeing me. If you want justice, you gotta do it yourself. There’s only justice for rich men in America.
Revenge is a dish best served often. I’ll write your name in my little black book and soon you’ll disappear. Nobody will even know you existed. I’ll have you erased after I kill you. You’d be amazed what money can do. With a few phone calls and well-placed bribes, your identity can be wiped from memory. And it’s official, I have another name to add to the list. After months, I have a new story.
I rip the page from the notebook and crush my cigarette in the ashtray. I’m ready.
Before I can change my mind, I approach the door to the basement. My stomach drops as I get close. So much horror down these stairs. Could I tell you even if I had a million years to explain? But there’s not time now. I must do this. Placing my hand on the doorknob, I close my eyes. Conjuring an image of the library in my mind, I turn the knob and open the door. Stepping forward into the darkness, my foot flails in space and I fall. I fall and fall and fall and suddenly, I’m on the floor of the library.
I get to my feet and scan the room. There’s nobody here.
The echo of my voice sounds unfamiliar. It’s been too long. A shiver passes over me and I try to shake the negative thoughts away. Approaching the bookshelf with my stack of stories, I place the notebook page on top of the others.
“There. It is done. You are added to the list. You will stand trial.”
I close my eyes once more. I’m ready. I’ve been lost in the wilderness of pandemic for so many months, but I really think I’m ready.
“Good morning, Ella. So good to see you.”
I spin to face him. “George!!” He hasn’t aged. Pandemic hasn’t harmed a gray hair on his head.
“Shall I pour you coffee?”
“Oh, George. It’s been so long. I’ve forgotten everything it seems.” I take a seat at my writing desk and wait for George to pour coffee. He wheels the cart to a spot next to me and serves coffee.
Next, he clicks on the television. It’s a replay of game six of the 1986 World Series between the Boston Red Sox and the New York Mets. “The market opens in an hour. I do hope you enjoy the baseball game.”
“I always do, George. Please do me a favor and send Saul to me. There’s something I need taken care of immediately.”
“Something or someone?” George asks with a sly grin before leaving the room.
I rip a fresh page from my notebook and write an address in all-caps. Saul enters the room just as I’m folding the piece of paper.
“You look beautiful this morning, Ella.”
“Cut the chit-chat. Go to this address and do what needs be done,” I say, handing him the paper. He stuffs it into a pocket without looking at it. I’m sure he has the address already. “And be back in time for the trial. You know what time.”
“I do.” He bows and leaves. I know I saw him smile.
Opening my phone, I finally check the message. It’s from Ana.
“Well, are you ready? It’s time for a trial.”
I begin my reply but erase the sentence and replace with two words. “I’m ready.”
I hope you enjoyed the story.
Readers are invited to a Trial at Holden Farms. Posting to Moran Press this week.
There’s no light in the sky. A cold steady mist pelts the window, obscuring my view into the garden. I woke early from nightmare, something about father. It took some moments before I realized it was morning, the ash sky of morning blocking the sun. Now I’ve been sitting here on my stool for an hour watching water stream down the windowpanes.
Saul enters with a tray and approaches me cautiously. After these many years, he knows if I’m in a mood…
“How long have you been awake? I would have come in sooner.”
“It’s okay, Saul.”
He nods and takes a seat on an ottoman across from me. “I’m shit at this job. It’s not what I do best. Why don’t you send me to deal with your stalker?”
Closing my eyes, I take several deep breaths to calm my nerves. He won’t upset me this early in the day. “Let it go. I need you here.”
He shrugs and lights a cigarette. “If you want to waste my talents playing butler it’s your business. But send someone else to put a scare into the psycho bothering you online. It will make me feel better.”
Sigh. Men. Why can’t he just do as I tell him?
“I’d like you to see to my breakfast.”
With a tilt of his head, he rises and leaves the room. I wait for him to shut the door before returning my gaze to the garden. The morning sky has darkened, clouds thick with thunder and violence. In the distance, the rapidly approaching storm rumbles and roars its warning song.
A ripping flash ignites the sky with only a brief pause before the cracking thunder shakes the house. My bedroom lights flicker and another bolt of lightning strikes, even closer this time, blinding my sight. I close my eyes, but the white spots remain, swirling around my brain. Images from memory mix with the bright searing spots, the day so long ago I rode horses in the rain with Ray. But that moment explodes into a million shards of light, burning a portrait of father on my mind like some evil shroud of Turin.
No, I won’t let those thoughts plague me today. There’s going to be a trial and I have to pull myself together. What would George think?
Saul wheels the breakfast cart into the room. He put on a black tux with bowtie. The man simply can’t help being a colossal shit.
“What are you doing and how the hell did you fit in George’s tuxedo?”
He bellows with laugher and begins serving breakfast of eggs, bacon, and hash browns. “I did not steal George’s clothes. What kind of monster do you think I am? I paid a tailor and everything like a regular guy with a job does.”
“Don’t get smart with me, you little shit.”
I pick at the bacon while glaring at him. I do not need this today. “Everything better be ready since you appear to have so much free time.”
“Holden Farms is ready for the trial. Why would you ever doubt me when it comes to getting ready to kill folk? That’s what you pay me to do.”
I sip at my coffee and once again stare out the window into the garden. In a few hours I’ll open the gates of Holden Farms. You’re all invited to the trial of a local cop. You don’t want to miss this, I promise.
COMING SOON - THE NEXT INSTALLMENT
PREPARATIONS FOR A TRIAL
Thank you to all that took time to visit. I hope you enjoy the story.
Saul steals glances at me in the mirror as he attempts to fix the bow tie wrapped around his thick neck. His stamps in frustration and I smile. Rising from the desk, I approach the mirror and wait for him to stop. With a grunt, he drops his arms to his side.
“I’m not cut out for this domestic shit. I’m a killer in case you forgot.” “Oh, how can I forget? You never tire of telling me.”
Without waiting for me to ask, Saul gets on his knees so I can fix his bowtie.
“Happy now?” “Men can be such intolerable babies. Do you ever shut up?” He opens his mouth to reply but I put a hand over his lips. “Not today. Just don’t. We have new recruits to interrogate. I need you to look the part.”
His jaw clenches, but he doesn’t respond. I finish with the bowtie and motion for him to rise. He’s a handsome man in a tuxedo, but I won’t tell the little shit, or he’ll put on airs all day.
I exit the bedroom and don’t need to look behind me to know Saul follows. No matter his endless complaining about wearing the tuxedo, examining the new recruits brings Saul as close to what you might call joy as he can experience. I mean, he is a certifiable psychopath so I can’t claim he feels real emotions. I’d be lying.
As we approach a set of double doors, Saul gets in front of me. He swings the doors open with a flourish as my name is announced.
“Miss Ella Thomas, Master of Holden Farms.”
I enter the room, my heels on the hardwood floor the only sound. The recruits are bound to upright gurney like contraptions, duct tape enforcing mandatory silence.
“You may not call me Ella. Ever. If you remember that, you just might live to see lunch.” “I wouldn’t bet on it, tho,” Saul says, putting a cigar into his mouth. He approaches the closest gurney to him and rips the duct tape from the prisoner’s mouth. “Well, what’s it going to be? You were explained how this works by the butler.”
The man glances at Ella, but Saul steps to the side blocking the view.
“I’m not sure I understand the options.”
Saul lights the cigar and grunts with displeasure. “This doesn’t bode well for you, meat. It’s not rocket science. You were convicted by a jury of your peers of violent crimes against multiple women. Somehow you were given parole after only six months of a ten-year sentence. Something about cutbacks due to pandemic. Ella has revoked that parole. You have two choices. Join her or die.”
Saul scans the room. When he’s sure all the men understand, he returns his attention to the first prisoner.
“Yes, the butler explained that. But he didn’t tell us what join her means. Join her for what? What am I agreeing to do?”
“You will hunt down rapists and murderers. Men like you. You will do this to atone for your sins. Or you will die.”
The man clears his throat and takes some time to collect himself. “Let me see if I understand. To atone for my sins against women I’m to become an assassin of men like me and in all other times perform servant duty for the women of Holden Farms?”
Saul smiles and blows smoke into the man’s face.
“This is the way.”
NEW INSTALLMENT COMING SOON A TRIAL AT HOLDEN FARMS
“Open the door. This is Uxbridge Police. We have a warrant.”
Heart pounding in my temples, I roll the window down a few inches. Marcus isn’t moving or giving the smallest indication he’s going to stop this charade.
“What can I do for you officer? It’s quite unusual for you to be here alone. Where’s your backup?”
The patrolman glances about, but nobody pays us the any mind. Scuffling his feet on my driveway, the tall thin patrolman shut off his shoulder radio transmitter and leans towards the car.
“I’m looking for Officer Whitten. He went missing a few months back then quit the force over the phone and hasn’t been heard from since.”
I tilt my head to get a better view of the patrolman. Pale blue eyes, nervous and shifty scanning every which way but me. “Okay?”
“His credit card was used to order an item of E-bay. It was shipped to this address. A Darth Vader collectible.”
This is about that Darth Vader doll?
“Are you serious, officer? You’re here for the doll?”
His gaze finally finds mine, eyes hot with sudden anger. “I’m here for my friend. Is he here?”
I don’t know an Officer Whitten but, I do have the item in question, so I open the door. Slowly. I step from the car and lead the way towards the side entrance. The patrolman follows close behind me and Marcus at a casual distance, a toothpick lodged in the corner of his mouth. Putting my hand on the knob, I glace at the patrolman over my shoulder.
“Are you sure you don’t want to wait for back up?”
He shakes his head in the negative and I push the door open leading into the kitchen. The stench of stale beer, cigarettes, and marijuana force me to put a hand over my nose. There’s a body on the kitchen floor, a young man passed out in a pool of vomit. At the wooden kitchen table, a young woman sits naked on a chair reading a tablet and smoking a cigarette.
“Ella, who the fuck is this?”
“A cop, Ana. Don’t be rude. He came for the Darth Vader doll.”
“The fuck you say?”
“I’m here for my friend, Officer Whitten,” the patrolman cut it.
Sighing, I ask him to produce the warrant. Without a word he hands it to me.
“This warrant is for the doll.”
The young man balls his hands into fists and takes time before responding. “We know Officer Whitten’s credit card has been used several times traced to this address. He must…”
“Ella, give the officer the doll and he can be on his way,” Marcus says from the corner of the room, a cigarette replacing the toothpick in is mouth.
The cop faces Marcus, body tense with his hand resting on his firearm. “This isn’t your business mister, please remain quiet.”
Marcus puts a finger to his lips and slowly shows the officer his FBI credentials. “You’re in over your head. Take the doll. Give it to your boss. Tell him you didn’t find anything else. Do you understand?”
The cop swallows and nods.
“Just give him the doll? Fine. I don’t give a shit.”
I lead the way down a short hallway to the spare bedroom, stepping over beer bottles and cigarette butts to reach the door. Giving it a shove with my shoulder, I step into the room ahead of the patrolmen.
The bedroom is empty save for a lone bookcase against the far wall. A ceiling fan spins at low speed, a thumping sound punctuating each rotation. Tied to one of the fan blades is a rope fashioned like a makeshift noose. A toy plush Darth Vader doll is tied to the rope and swings round in endless circles.
“Take the doll. There’s nothing else for you here.”
The patrolman ignores the doll and approaches the bookshelf. The only object on the shelves is a golden urn. Turning to me, a look of confusion on his face, the cop attempts to speak.
“Is this Officer Whitten?” He manages to ask in a low voice.
What? I burst into laughter. Removing the doll from the noose, I join the patrolman at the bookshelf before the urn.
“Don’t be so dramatic. You think I have an incinerator in the basement?”
Marcus laughs and lights the cigarette.
“The ashes are my father. I’m surprised you didn’t know. It’s in my file.”
The patrolman doesn’t understand and I’m not sure if I’m surprised, he doesn’t know or just so sick of this small-town life that I can’t be surprised anymore by the complete incompetence of the local police.
“My condolences,” the patrolman says.
Marcus lets out a low whistle and appears at my side. “That will be quite enough. The patrolman was just leaving.”
The patrolman takes the doll from me and starts backing up towards the door. Does he think I’m going to kill him?
Suddenly bells began to toll, the sound rattling the house. Gong. The bells sound like some evil twisted church where the organist is on acid and screaming in foreign languages.
The naked woman reading the tablet stands, putting her device on the kitchen counter. Pulling a button-down shirt over her shoulders, she walks to Ella’s side.
“It’s time for the trial. Are you coming?”
The patrolman clutches at the doll, fingers white with exertion. “A trial?”
His voice cracks and his backward progress is stopped by the door.
“The trial of Officer Whitten. You can be in the front row.”
The bells ring and ring and the patrolman lets out a scream as the lights go out.
THE SEARCH FOR DARTH VADER - PART TWO NEXT SUNDAY NIGHT 8PM EST
NEW FICTION SERIAL KILLER FANTASY CAMP FOR WAYWARD BOYS
“If you were held prisoner and couldn’t avoid being killed, which serial killer would you choose to do it? You can pick from any throughout history. Hannibal. Jack the Ripper. Dexter. It’s like fantasy football, but fun.”
I check my reflection in the camera’s mini display screen before continuing.
“It seems you had a reaction to Dexter. Your eyes moved or am I just imagining it. You want a Dexter ending? Like you saw on television? I can make that happen. Just say the words.”
“Allow me to continue. I could disembowel you, Hannibal style and ask at just the right moment, “Bowels in or bowels out like Judas.”
Still and only silence.
“You’re not amused? Not even a little? I’m sorry. I will continue with our tour though madmen over the centuries. Would you prefer a classic? I can wear a Jack the Ripper mask if that will make you feel more comfortable. Does the thought of being killed by a woman ruin the fantasy? I do apologize. I promise to do my best to entertain even with my limitations. You know, being a woman serial killer and all.”
My phone beeps and flashes with incoming messages and email. I press the buttons on the side and hold until the screen powers off.
“I’m sorry about that interruption. How rude. We don’t want that. Where were we – the classics. Yes, I’ll stay with male serial killers. Whenever I mention Aileen Wuornos or other female killers, men lose interest. I can see it in their eyes. No! I don’t want to be killed by no damned woman. Get me a real damn killer like Ted Bundy or Richard Ramirez. Fine. You want the Jeffrey Dahmer ending? Men *always* demand the Dahmer ending. Tedious if you ask me, but this is your fantasy camp after all.”
Standing, I stretch my limbs before reaching a hand beyond the camera. Searching, my hand finds a face and I get a fingernail under the tape covering the mouth. Yanking my arm up, I rip the duct tape from the man’s mouth.
Screams fill the room. This is always my favorite part. The screams.
The screams continue and he bucks against the restraints, but it’s futile. I’ve been wrapping these men tight to the table Dexter style for years. He’s going nowhere, I can assure you.
I push the camera aside so the man can see my face.
“Stop screaming. Stop. You sound hysterical. You need to stop and tell me the ending you want. It’s the rules. You must follow the rules. Why pay all this money to take part in my fantasy camp if you don’t want to play the right way? This isn’t okay. Now, pull yourself together. Stop acting like a sniveling shit and *tell* me what ending you want.”
The man tries to compose himself but continues blubbering. Men always ruin these moments if you let them. I slap his face a few times. Hard.
“Snap the fuck out of it you little bitch.”
To my surprise he stops crying immediately, arms going still at his sides.
“Dexter,” he manages after some time.
I close my eyes and smile. Finally, he chose. After all this time, I can begin.
I walk to my desk to retrieve my phone. Tapping at the screen, I open the music player app and being my playlist.
“There’s this song I like to play to get me in the mood.”
Only Girl in the World by Rihanna blares thru the speakers. I twirl and dance and make my way towards the bed. His eyes follow me, fear forcing tears down the side of his face. I sing to him
“You can come inside (yeah) And when you enter, you ain’t leaving Be my prisoner for the night, ooh.”
I stop by the side of the bed and lean close to his face. Pressing my mouth against his ear so he’ll hear me over the music, I scream, “I’m sorry. But I lied. You’re not getting the Dexter ending. I want to tell you all about my routine. I’m so proud of it. After years and years, it’s almost perfect.”
I tap my phone to change the song. It’s Landslide by Fleetwood Mac.
“I want to talk about the woman you raped and murdered.” There’s a tear in my eye and I wipe at it with my elbow. “She was a mother. An artist. A wife. A piano player. And you took it from her.”
“Oh mirror in the sky, what is love? Can the child within my heart rise above?”
“I’ll never get over it, what he did to me. I could have had any dad in the world but instead I had him. I can think of many troubled broken men that would have been an upgrade. Darth Vader had one good moment of redemption in a life of evil murder, that would have been preferable to my father.” The song ends and the final one begins. Tears stream down my face.
“I remember the day mother died. It began for real immediately after the funeral…”
“Peace through pain is precious ‘Specially when it’s done by you Itching is the pulse inside Creeping up to come alive It’s just doing what It’s gonna do.”
I don’t know how my knife got into my palm, but the entire world erases and I’m alone inside my mind. The song pounds in my brain and the image of my father rises like a zombie in my brain.
“No. It’s not going to happen anymore,” I scream and plunge the blade into his side. Blood spurts from the wound, splashing my hand with sticky hot wetness. Hand covered with blood; I pull my hair from my face so I can make eye contact with him. “I have the best doctor I could hire in the other room ready to keep you alive. You’re going to get the ending you deserve.” Yanking the knife from his body, I wipe it on the sheets.
The screaming begins again, his voice cracking in agony.
I’ll watch this scene on video tonight when I’m alone. Whiskey and weed and this man’s endless screaming.
But there will be no mercy. And he won’t die today or quickly. This has just begun. I turn to him, trying to get his attention through the screams and thrashing. He can’t focus so I simply walk from the room.
The doctor waits on the other side for me. Without a word, I motion for the doctor to tend to the prisoner. The doctor rushes from me, glad to be out of my presence I’m sure. He’s not one of my toys. He’s far too useful for that. And that’s more than I can say for most men.
My phone beeps. It’s Ana.
“Well, is he still alive?”
Instead of answering, I send her the video from my phone.
A few minutes later I receive another text.
“Very good young Padawan. You’ve graduated to the next level. Perhaps you’re ready to confront Darth Vader after all. I’ll see you tonight, my love. Kisses and murder. Always, Ana.”
I close my eyes and smile. “It’s gonna be martinis and madness tonight. I can just feel it. Do join us for dinner, friends. It will be to die for…promise. Sunday night dinner at Holden Farms. 8PM. Arrive hungry and ready to be entertained.”
THE ODDITIES ON SATURDAY NIGHT BY GABRIEL RICARD RE-REVEAL OF THE COVER PAINTING
The next release from Moran Press will be The Oddities on Saturday Night by Gabriel Ricard. This short story collection was put on hold due to the pandemic sweeping the globe. As a new normal for business returns, Moran Press is beginning to set a new release schedule.
That means let's start from the top.
Here's the cover painting for Gabriel's new book that will be made into the cover.
Painting by David Graham
A release date will be selected and shared with readers.
Thank you to all for your support during these extremely difficult times.
To those that can afford to do so, kindly buy books in the Moran Press shop or online at Amazon to help me get a budget to re-launch this business. I'm trying to cobble together enough to promote Gabriel's new book. Thank you to any that purchase. I appreciate you all.
Quarantine, No Chill An Ella Thomas Serial Installment
I fled the kitchen for the quiet confines of my car before the whole sick crew could ruin my solitude. With the seat pushed back as far as the lever will allow, I sit with notebook on my lap waiting for the muse to strike. Nervous energy flows from my fingertips down the pen and onto the page. I swear my readers will be able to feel my irritable anxiety when this story posts to the website.
But where is my muse. I feel abandoned in this hellscape time. Trapped in my car in search of enough peace and quiet to pull anomie from my soul and spray paint the morning sky with scathing words. Oh, but what good would it do. Write for the base reason of nothing better to occupy time and space and the void of quarantine, dodging landmines both real and perceived…
A sharp rapping on the driver’s side window startles me, my flailing arm spilling hot coffee on my feet. I scream in pain and face my untimely visitor.
It’s the FBI.
This morning can get fucked.
The agent raps on the window again with the same urgency despite our eyes being locked. He motions for me to roll down my window.
"Haven’t you heard of social distancing? Are you going to arrest me for not wearing my face mask?”
Marcus sighs and holds up a coffee. “Are you going to unlock the door so I can get in or not?”
I take a deep breath and count. One, two, three…ten. I won’t kill Mr. FBI agent. I won’t kill Mr. FBI agent.
I press the button unlocking the doors and another lowering the window. “Get in before you make a scene. I swear men are fucking toddlers. Even FBI agents.”
Marcus circles to the passenger’s side after passing me a coffee. Unscrewing the cap, I take a sip. It tastes glorious. I must admit. He’s an intolerable shit so much of the time, but the man brings the best coffee. It’s the least he can do after making me spill mine.
“What do you want today, Marcus? You know I’m trying to write. This better be good. Can’t I get just ten fucking minutes alone? Who knew being trapped at home means you won’t get ten seconds to pee without someone wanting some damn fucking thing.”
Marcus removes a pack of cigarettes from a blazer pocket and smacks it against his shoulder several times. Letting out a low whistle, he unwraps the package and tosses the cellophane on the floor. He flicks open a butane lighter and puts a blow torch level of power forth to light the cigarette.
“Man, I love this fucking lighter.” He takes a drag and smiles in satisfaction.
“Jesus Christ men are such toddlers. Shouldn’t you wait to light a celebratory cigarette until after we fuck?”
He coughs on the smoke and hacks for several moments while trying to restrain a fit of laughter.
“You’ll always have that blunt sweet talk to seduce me. Never fails. But I’m afraid not today. That’s why I’m here…”
He’s interrupted by a siren and suddenly the day explodes with lights and horns and the calm voice of the police dispatcher giving orders to the town cop approaching Ella’s car.
“What now, Marcus. Be quick.”
The patrolman, whom I do not know, approaches my drivers’ side window. He calmly knocks three times and waits for me to roll down the window.
“Marcus…” I whisper. “Hurry the fuck up.”
The patrolman knocks again and points at his watch. I must act. Closing my eyes, I try to recapture the story I’d been working on before it flutters into the ethos, but I can’t go back. It’s too late. The patrolman raps on the window again. This time harder.
“This is Uxbridge Police. We have a warrant for an object that was delivered to this address yesterday morning. Please cut the engine and exit with vehicle with your hands in the air.”
Stay tuned for the next episode...coming next Sunday night to Moran Press.
READ THE FIRST INSTALLMENT THE MORNING ROUTINE, PANDEMIC EDITION
NEW FICTION THE MORNING ROUTINE, PANDEMIC EDITION AN ELLA THOMAS SERIAL STORY
THE MORNING ROUTINE
Everything is ready. I prepared it last night before drinking myself into a fitful forced sleep. Notebooks, pens, laptop check. Coffee check.
But it’s not happening. Nothing except for that mass of anxiety built inside my mind and soul from being trapped inside. It’s like being in the mental hospital again. Except I feel better, nothing like I used to feel when I did most of those things.
I want to get out of this house. But they won’t let me. My stay at home order was court ordered long before pandemic. I’m not going anywhere and haven’t for an awfully long time.
For the things they say about me mostly are true. Especially the thing, so I’ll just get to it. My name is Ella Thomas and I’m a serial killer.
Whew. Now we have that out of the way. I don’t want us to get off on the wrong path by lying to you. I’m having difficulty concentrating and the blunt truth requires the least mental energy.
There’s no artful way to inform you I murdered father on my 13th birthday. I can’t tell you more. There’s no time.
Everyone in the house will wake and my hell will begin. Pandemic chokes the life from my soul and all I want is to shop online.
Something has changed in me. I can doubt it no longer. I don’t want to scare you. Truly I don’t. Pandemic has taken desire to kill from my mind for the first time in my life. Kryptonite? I don’t know but for once my rage doesn’t seek a target to eliminate.
And now I must go. Someone stirs. The day begins and I'm expecting deliveries. A very special item will arrive today. I can't wait to share the secret. Darth Vader, Hannibal, and expensive whiskey. That's all I can tell you.
Enjoy your day even if you made other plans.
READ PART TWO THE ELLA SERIAL FICTION QUARANTINE, NO CHILL