Show and Tell: Part Four

Show and Tell: Part Four

Dayle ran to the phone in the kitchen. She had to call for help. She needed to get the police here as quickly as possible. Hopefully they would get her and be able to help Maria. If she were still alive.

Oh God, please let Maria be OK, she thought as she reached the phone. Hands trembling uncontrollably she grabbed the phone from its resting place on the wall.

From the living room, she heard the door knob jiggle.

Oh no! She tried to dial.



She jumped at the sound coming from the door. He was trying to get in! She looked at door, relieved for a second to find that there wasn’t a madman standing there, leering at her. The door had held.

It wouldn’t stand up to another blow. She could see the door jamb was cracked, almost all the way through.

She had two choices: finish dialing 911 and hope someone arrived to find her body, or hide. She couldn’t do both. The cord on the phone wasn’t very long.

Dayle dove behind the kitchen island just as….


From her spot behind the counter, she knew the door was open, even before she heard it swing and hit the wall next to it.

He was inside.

Dayle prayed that the telephone handset swaying slowly back and forth at the end of its cord didn’t give away her location.

Sitting on the cold linoleum floor, her back to a cabinet door, and tears of fear pouring down her face, she realized that there was no place she could go.

She held her breath and listened. She could just barely hear the sound of his feet against the carpet.

She closed her eyes as she listened closely, visualizing where he was in the living room.

The carpet scuffing sounds moved toward the hallway, stopping for a second. Then she heard them coming back toward her again.

Her heart was beating so hard, she wondered for a second if he could hear it.

The scuffing moved away again, this time toward the front door.

What was he doing?

The front door opened. Then slammed shut. Then…silence.

Dayle dared not move. She sat there in silence wondering what was going on. There was no way, that man had just come into her home, looked around quickly and left. Especially after having kicked in the door. Something wasn’t right.

She sat there and listened a bit longer, still there was no sound. She listened even harder, and yet, still couldn’t hear the scuffing sound of his feet against the carpet.

She hoped Maria was alright.


She realized, with a start that she had to check on her. She had no idea whether Maria was alive or not. She absolutely had to get up. She’d have to call finish her call to 911, and then go out to the garage and see if her worst fears were true.

She moved to get up. Her legs rebelled. They were frozen. She couldn’t move them. Some part of her told her not to move. But she knew she couldn’t stay there forever. Gradually her mind regained control of her body. She willed her legs move.

Slowly, she moved to stand up, gripping the top of the counter as she pulled herself upward. She’d just take a peak over the counter first to make sure that everything was clear.

It wasn’t.

She found herself looking directly into the barrel of a small revolver. One chamber sat empty, it’s cargo having already been fired into her friend. Beyond it, a man stood, grinning at her, his rotten teeth bared.

“Peekaboo. I see you,” he said in a sing-song voice.

He pulled the trigger.

The bullet entered her brain just after her final thought.



This was fun.

He stood at the kitchen island counter, looking over it at the lifeless body now sitting on the floor. It sat propped against the opposite cabinet. A look of surprise was still frozen on her face. Her eyes were still locked onto his, almost as if she were still pleading for her life.

A grin spread across his face. It didn’t last long.

He heard a noise.

It came from the garage. He knew that sound because he had just heard it a few moments ago.

He turned and moved, gun poised, to what remained of the door to the garage.

Sure enough, the automatic garage door was halfway up. He arrived just in time to see a figure duck under the door and run.



Show and Tell: Part Three

Show and Tell: Part Three

Dayle heard the garage door open and slam shut from inside the house. She was sitting on the couch watching TV and knew what would happen next. As usual, Maria would have an arm full of papers from school, and even though she her keys out, she would struggle with the lock to come into the house. After a minute or so, she’d get frustrated and just knock. Dayle had gotten tired of this particular dance, so she had just started opening the door when Maria came home.

She got up from the couch when she heard the car door shut and moved toward to the door. Just as she reached the door she heard a loud bang. Hurriedly, she swung the door open to investigate.

All she saw was a man, grinning. In his hand, he held a small revolver. A tendril of smoke rose from the muzzle. It was pointed at something on the ground on the other side of the car.

Maria’s car. No Maria.

From where she stood, Dayle couldn’t see Maria. But she knew she was lying on the ground on the other side of her car.

Dayle slammed the door shut, locking it as quickly as she could, and ran.


He reached the door the house. Although he already knew what to expect he attempted to turn the door knob. Sure enough, it was locked.

He grinned to himself as he jiggled the knob, almost playfully.

This was going to be fun.

He took a step back from the door, looking at it, sizing it up. He grinned to himself as he realized that, unlike most garage doors, the hinges were on the interior side. This was going to be easier than he thought. It was just going to be a matter of kicking it in to get inside.


His foot smashed into the door. It didn’t fly open like he had hoped it would, but it did give. Just a little.


He kicked the door again. This time it did give way. It exploded open, swinging violently into the adjoining wall.

Without a word, he stepped inside.



Show and Tell: Part Two

Show and Tell: Part Two

I have to admit that I was shocked at how many of you read the first excerpt and got back to me.

I really wasn’t expecting the outpouring of support. There were quite a few Facebook shares. Even the blog I write for, The Nerd Element, posted it on their page.

My editor, Emily, scolded me for the typos and grammar errors.

Yes, Emily, I know. I know they are there. So I’m going to remind her, and you, that what follows is an unedited first draft. Although, that probably won’t stop her.

Anyway, without further ado, I present to you Part Two of the excerpt from my untitled and shelved novel.


Maria was tired. Dead tired. It was just after 11:00 PM and it had been a long day. The thought of finally getting home and getting to rest was her motivation. Hopefully, her roommate, Dayle was in a good mood.

Pulling into her apartment complex, she pressed the button on her garage door opener, her mind already inside. Almost there.

The garage door slowly began its upward trek to allow her access.

Just a little bit longer and she could collapse on the couch, kick off her shoes, and try to enjoy the last few minutes of the day.

Pulling into the garage, she pressed the button. The door slowly lowered itself shut.

Gathering up her things on the passenger seat, she never saw the dark figure duck under the door and step into the garage.

The garage door closed with a thud.

Finally, having everything gathered neatly into her arms, her keys in her hand, Maria stepped out of the car and stood straight. She didn’t notice that she was no longer alone in the garage. However, it didn’t take her long to realize it.

She whirled as she closed the car door. As she completed her turn, she came face to face with the leering figure that had been standing behind her.

He began to raise his arm.

A flurry of papers dropped to the ground.


Opportunity presented itself.

From the shadows, he had spent the evening watching all the units in an apartment complex and wondering where he wanted to go. One looked promising. A woman had come home earlier in the evening and so far that was all the activity he had seen at the apartment.

She was alone.

He was just waiting for the lights to go out and then he would make his move.

Around 11:00 a Volkswagen Beetle puttered it’s way up the street. He sank further into the shadows, lest he be seen and his plans for the evening be ruined.

But, wait.

The Beetle slowed down as it approached him.

Shit. He’d have to move and find somewhere else to play tonight.

But a smile began to form.

The garage to the unit he had been watching began to move slowly upward. The driver sat in the car and waited for the door to open completely. From where he stood he could see the driver. She looked distracted. She hadn’t seen him.

Maybe tonight would go better than he had planned.

As the car pulled into the garage, he moved from his hiding place.

The garage door began moving downward so he moved quickly to duck underneath it.


As he had ducked down to get inside the garage, his cap fell off, landing outside of the garage. There was no time to grab it, since the door was nearly shut. It was fine. He’d just pick it up on his way out.

But for now, he had more important things to do.

The door closed with a thud.

He stood straight and waited, watching as his future plaything moved around in the car. Whatever she was doing in there, she needed to finish. He didn’t want to wait any longer.

The gun in the small of his back beckoned to him. He heeded its call and slowly reached behind him, feeling the handle settle snugly into his palm, almost as if they were spooning, cuddling.

Finally, she got out of the car, holding a stack of papers. Her back was to him as he stood silently appraising her.

The anticipation was killing him. He just wanted to return the favor.

She closed the door with a flourish, whirling on her foot like a dancer.

They came face to face. He could barely hold back his grin as he watched the terror spread across her face.

The gun rose to greet her, almost on its own, as the belongings she held fell to the ground.

Immediately, she began to plead for her life. “No! Please no! Don’t hurt me!”

He cocked the hammer of the gun.

She screamed.

The gun roared.

At that instant, everything seemed to move in slow motion. He watched as she threw up her hands in a futile attempt to protect herself from the doom hurtling toward her. He saw a small splash of blood as she crumpled to the ground.

For a second he just stood there, smiling, as he took it all in.

Wait, had he just seen a spark? What was that? He started to move toward her body to investigate when he heard the door to the inside of the house slam shut. It was following almost immediately by a click and the sound of footsteps running away on the other side.

He gave his victim one final look. He kicked her for good measure before moving toward the door.


Show and Tell Time

Show and Tell Time

I’ve been having a debate with myself.

More like an argument.

I’ve been going around and around in my head for the past week, trying to decide whether or not to actually share some writing with you.

I know, I know. I said that I would be sharing what I’ve actually written in the near future. But I’ve been wondering if I should share this particular piece with anyone.

Here is why.

When I first started saying I wanted to become a writer, I had an idea for a novel. I worked on it for months. Researching. Outlining. And I actually got pretty far writing it. But I needed to take a break. Why?

Well, I won’t go into specifics, but it’s a story centered around some well-known murders in the early 1980’s. It’s a decidedly dark story. After months of living in this world, I really needed to work on some lighter fare. So I put it on a shelf, with a promise to myself that I would revisit it at a time when I am better at writing, and when I’m ready to delve back into the darkness that surrounded it.

What I need from you, is to remember that I wrote this four years ago, and that is a first draft, which I like to lovingly call a “vomit pass.” This is me just getting words on the screen.

So, if you think it’s horrible trash, remember that I’ve improved since then. If you really like it, just think, I’ve improved since then.

What you’ll get today is the first section of a chapter. And for the next few weeks I will post another section of the chapter with each entry.

I really hope you like it.


Chapter 4

March 17, 1985

Rosemead, CA

It had been almost ninth months since his first time. Nine months of reliving and relishing that one single moment.

He didn’t even know what had happened to push him over the edge. Her window had been an open invitation. Begging him to enter. All he had wanted to do was find something he could sell. Some small trinket, a ring, a necklace. Maybe two. He needed the money. Coke was getting expensive and he wanted more.

But she had nothing. No jewelry. No trinkets. Nothing worth his time.

He had almost left empty-handed. Angry. An apparition exiting as silently as he had entered.

But she had stirred. Caught his attention. In that moment of anger, he had realized he needed an outlet.

She would become his outlet. And, oh, how he had enjoyed it.

Since then, he had gone to ground, being extra careful to stay out of sight. Silently he wallowed in his one memory.

All this time had passed now, and yet, no one had come looking for him. He had watched the news, read through newspapers. There was no description of a suspect. Nothing gave him any indication that he was being sought after.

Gradually, he began to emerge from his solitude, like an alligator pushing his eyes up through the surface of murky waters. Gliding along ever stealthily, he was now looking for more.


The memory of that first time had grown stale in his mind. He needed something new, something fresh. New memories. Better memories.

This time, he knew what he was looking for. There would be no time wasted looking for trinkets. This time, he was prepared.

As he watched from the shadows, beneath the brim of his AC/DC baseball cap, his hand slipped down to adjust the small object that weighed down the back of his pants. A small caliber gun lay nestled in the small of his back. Waiting, just as he was, for its next moment.

This time he was more prepared. There would be no dinky little knife tonight. He knew what he was after. He wasn’t out looking for some trinket to take. Not tonight. He wanted to take something a bit more substantial.

He wanted to take a life.


2016: The Road Ahead

2016: The Road Ahead

People have been asking me where I’ve disappeared to.

I haven’t gone anywhere. I’m still here. Still blogging. Still writing. Still…you get the picture.

The truth is, real life got kind of busy over the past month. Not busy in a “I’m-pulling-out-my-(nonexsistent)-hair” kind of way, but busy enough that finding time to write has been damn near impossible.

With the holidays, have come work deadlines on projects that people want finished before the end of the year. Family have been around a lot more. And school has been iffy with the kids being home more than ever this month.

I decided to take the time off from the blog, and do some soul searching.

Some of you know that I’ve been starting to look into learning martial arts. It’s something I’ve wanted to do since I was a teenager. But I’ve never been able to get around it for various reasons that I won’t get into now. The reason I bring this up is this: The guy that I train with has been hounding me the last couple of months about setting goals.

“If you don’t make a goal for yourself, someone will make it for you.”

“Set a goal so big that you can’t achieve it until you grow into a person who can.”

These are just some of the quotes that have been drilled into my head between jabs and pak saos.

So, I took December and set some goals for myself.

I went old school, grabbed a notebook and a pencil, and made a long list of everything I want to accomplish this year. And I mean everything. I have financial goals, health goals, and of course, writing goals.

I took that list and, one-by-one, made an outline of everything I need to do to accomplish each goal. Needless to say, I have my work cut out for me this year. I have a lot to do, and I only have 361 days left to do it.

I won’t share with you the list of what I want to accomplish, but I will say this: You will see what I’ve been working on soon. Some of it will even be posted here.

Pay close attention.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to jump back into my shame pile.



I just watched Memento for the first time. I’m still sitting here trying to wrap my head around it.

I’m not sure what I was doing in 2000, when Memento was released, but somehow I completely missed its arrival in theaters.

Then, somehow, I kept missing it for 15 years after.

I saw it in my DVD collection, shamefully still wrapped in plastic. I skimmed past it when it showed up on Netflix, adding it to my queue, but never taking the time to press play. Each time I’d see it, I’d think, maybe I should watch it.

Ultimately, it was the announcement last week that there was going to be a remake of the groundbreaking film, and the resounding, expletive laden “NO” coming from the internet that finally forced me sit down and watch it.

Don’t ask me why this is what finally convinced me to watch Memento, because I can’t explain it either.

What I can say is this: from the opening scene, played in reverse, to the final shot of Guy Pierce skidding to a halt in front of the tattoo parlor, I was enthralled.

Who would have thought that a movie like Memento would work? This is a movie where half of the story is moving backwards, while the other half is moving in the right direction, with scenes leapfrogging each other, finally intersecting at the end.

What really has me confused is trying to figure out how Christopher Nolan wrote this. I know it’s based on his brother, Jonathan’s, story called Memento Mori. But did he write out the the entire story in sequence, and then scramble it? Or did he write it out exactly as it played out in the movie?

I can’t imagine the late nights and headaches the script must have caused. I know I could take a lesson from the Nolans.

I really hope this rumored remake is abandoned like so many other stories in Hollywood. Some things are better left alone.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to dive back into my shame pile.

NaNoWriMo: Point of No Return

NaNoWriMo: Point of No Return

This weeks’ update will only be a brief one.


Because right now, it’s 11:42 PM on Sunday, November 15th. We have now hit the halfway point of NaNoWriMo 2015.

It’s all downhill from here, right?

I’ve spent the better part of this past weekend hiding out in my garage pecking away on this keyboard and staring at this monitor. I don’t think I can last much longer.

I’m looking at my list of things I need to get done and wondering what I’ve accomplished this month.

There have been phone calls, emails, and text messages between me and my writing partner. There have been meetings with people who are “in-the-know” with the Hollywood television industry. We are pushing forward on the pilot, and at the same time working on the outline of a story that will hopefully span multiple seasons. When, and if, this show gets picked up, it can’t be a story that runs out of steam after a few episodes, and then spends the rest of its time struggling.

I’m looking at you, 24 Season One.

Seriously, go re-watch it. Episode 12 sees the story being wrapped up neatly, if not a little too prematurely. And then the next 12 episodes are just a mishmash of unexplained amnesia, mountain lions, and Dennis Hopper doing the worst eastern European accent ever caught on film. Rumor has it, the showrunners weren’t confident the show would get renewed beyond it’s original 12 episode order. Because of this, they only mapped out those first episodes. When FOX decided to pick up the full 24 episodes, the writers had to scramble to come up with the rest of the season.

Oops. That is my worst nightmare.

I’ve also dug up my old box of index cards. These cards served as outlines for the stories I lost when my computer crashed. These have all been reentered into their corresponding Scrivener project files, and backed up, for good measure. Now, to just get back to writing out the stories so I can finish them.

So, now there are two weeks left in the month. It’s crunch time.

I have so much more to do.

I need to go to bed before I turn into this…