Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Choice

NEWSFLASH - I will be on the July 23 Suspense Radio Show with host John Raab. I am scheduled to follow bestselling author Catherine Coulter. Having confirmed just yesterday, I'm not listed yet. However, here's the link. 


The Choice
by Thomas Scopel

Reaching into my pocket I pull out the last bullet. Looking at its tarnished brass metal shell, I'm glad it doesn't glisten. It slides easily into the revolver’s empty barrel chamber hole and I click the latch closed. I can only hope it doesn’t misfire. If it does, well…I don’t want to think about that…
I look upon my dead friend John, lying silently before me on the moonlit floor. He looks old and decrepit—probably not much different than I look since we are the same age. He was lucky. Old age took him peacefully away.
Hearing the outside rustling as they constantly move about, they will no longer smell him. But I, on the other hand, still give off the living aroma and before long, that first one will get a whiff of me and become frenzied. When that occurs, within a sheer moment the complete horde will certainly take notice. They won’t stop either…not until they reach me anyways. God help me. 
It won’t be long now and I eerily can’t help but recall those old George Romero zombie flicks and my once fondness for them. However, I am no longer an admirer—haven’t been for years—not since this whole nightmare began anyways.
When we were out foraging, John and I would jest about the punch line in one of them—it’s been so long that I can’t recall which—but it made mention that when hell was full the dead will walk the earth. Eventually though, it lost the witticism and I can honestly say that I am no longer an aficionado. In fact, I now view Mr. Romero with a reverence once saved for Nostradamus, for he certainly had this specific foresight correct.
Oh, he had it down to an art that Romero guy and I can tell you that his directorial vision came very close to perfect, except for their swiftness that is. These monstrosities move considerably faster than his lumbering about screen counterpart versions. Yep, he definitely had that aspect wrong.
I watch them peering in through the dusty window glass, their lifeless glazed eyes staring into nothingness. We used to find what little humor we could in that too and would say that when you can see the glaze in their eyes, that’s when to fire. Sort of a take on the minutemen during the Revolutionary War and that quote about not firing until you see the whites of the British’s eyes. In our younger days it used to be fun dodging and picking them off. But as the years passed and we grew older, the excitement and humor settled and we grew to realize the grim gravity of it all.
Out of the corner of my eye I notice faint movement as my dear dead friend begins to rouse. His head rises slowly and awkwardly. His eyes are glazed and I can’t help but to grin. I guess that humor hasn’t completely diminished.
I press the tip of the pistol barrel to my chest. I would consider putting it to my head…but…somehow…oddly enough…I think I’ll enjoy seeing the world through a milky white haze…

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Dark Horse - my tale for FATE Radio

Note: The Daily Death tale will be posted tomorrow (Saturday). I am just running a little late this week. Thanks for understanding.  

Joann Hamann-Buchanan of The Eclectic Artist Cave has a show on FATE Radio. A couple weeks ago she had a call-out for 500 word tales that she could read on the air and the keyword was "The Little Black Box." Fortunately, my piece was selected and read. She said the show was an overwhelming success and has decided to do it again. This time the keyword is Dark Horse and she intends to read the tales on June 22nd. I've once again entered. Will I be selected again? I can't say, but I can say that it is tremendous fun to try and if I am selected, I'll certainly let you know. Regardless, below is my submitted piece.

Update.........I just heard back from her and she is going to use it. Actually she said it "ROCKS."

Dark Horse

By Thomas Scopel

Their keys jingle loudly and the sound echoes off the cold drab walls. I can hear their heels walk in unison as the come to get me. Clack, clack, clack…
This dark horse that lingers over me has been there for so long now that I can’t help but smile when I relish the thought of it finally dissipating. It won’t be long…
My dinner isn’t setting very well. I didn’t think that a wonderful looking, medium rare steak would do that? Who knows? All I know is that it didn’t seem to taste as good as I had remembered. Can’t say that I feel special and I should have just gotten what everybody else did.
There almost here. I can hear their intentionally low voices. Well, more like mumbling. They’re trying to remain quiet, like its one big secret and I suppose they’re simply just trying to be nice. I’ve already mentioned numerous times that it doesn’t matter, but they haven’t listened.
Their shadows hover over me while the key clumsily clanks into the slot and turns. CLICK.
The door creaks open, but they won’t have to come in…I’ll come out. I look upon their faces, solemn and grave, like they’ve just lost a close friend. And, maybe they are…for I’ve been here a while.
George, their leader pats me gently on the back as if to say, good knowing ya pal. I offer him a reassuring grin. He returns it glumly and takes his place at my side, clutching hold of my upper arm.
Jim, the youngest of them all, takes to my other side. He doesn’t share their compassion and I can see the wickedness in his eyes laughing out loud dementedly and macabre.
Reverend William begins to read this, that, and the other thing out loud from his worn, black bible as we progress on our way. I politely ask him to stop reading. He only offers a quick glance and goes right back to reading. He’s told me before that he cares about my soul and I guess that hasn’t changed.
It isn’t a long walk and I can’t help but to notice, at least with all but one of them that it is filled with gloom. I look above me at that invisible hypothetical black cloud and can’t help but feel optimistic.
The room we enter is small, about the size that mine was and they really didn’t have to aid me in taking a seat. They scramble about with precision, wrapping this and buckling that and it oddly feels comforting. I hear a tiny sliding door open and I look toward it.
The older man’s face that peers through is emotionless as he watches and waits and I return his stare. His face disappears for a moment and I hear loud humming begin. The man reappears at the glassless window and I look away.
Standing directly in front of me, I can see the gentleman’s lips move as he asks me something. But, I’m not listening and the sound of his voice evades me. He raises his brow and looks toward the little window before nodding.

I want to thank him…

As a reminder, my ebook Twitch will be out on July 15th from Suspense Publishing. If you already haven't, check out the trailer below.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Exciting news about Twitch....

Hi folks, before we get to that exciting news about my e-novella Twitch, a word from our sponsors…
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 Tightly written, this dark tale offers horror and suspense in a page turning quick read that will leave you aghast, frightened, angry and sad. It is a tale of deserving retribution of those who view and treat the odd and unknown with ridicule and pain. Twitch is an innocent deformed atrocity that has been used, abused and unwanted his whole life. But, he has a secret unknown to his abusers until it is far too late...for people can be so vicious…and so can Twitch.
On July 15, 2011 the world will finally have the opportunity to met Twitch. The novella will be available for download at all the top online outlets, in all formats including ipad and iphone and only 99 cents. So, mark your calendars fans, for on July 15th...Twitch will be here!
Thanks for stopping by fans and be sure to follow Staying Scared for all my latest news. Why? Because horror has a new name…and his name is Thomas Scopel.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Little Black Box

Being a member of the “Masters of Horror” Facebook group, I was exploring it on Thursday. Joann Hamann-Buchanan (The Eclectic Artist Cave - Fate Radio) was requesting 500 or so word flash fiction pieces that included "the little black box" to read live on the air on Wednesday June 8th. This is my tale which she enjoyed and will include.

The Little Black Box
By Thomas Scopel

The argument was over and he stormed out slamming the door behind him. Marie’s tears fell like rain. When the car’s headlights shown in through the picture window as he pulled out of the driveway, she turned away and he drove off into the night.
In the morning she awoke and rolled over. He wasn’t there and a solemn settling sadness came over her and she wept silently.
Over the next few days, between sobbing tears, she constantly tried to contact him. She vowed to plead to no end for him to come back home, promising to never fight again and convey her unconditional love. But, he never answered.
By the end of the week, Marie was a nervous sniveling wreck, cooped up, unable to eat or sleep and for lack of a better word, desperate. Trying hard to pull herself together, she took a long, hot shower and snuggled up lonely on the couch in front of the television
Flashing through the channels, she hit upon channel thirteen, a local one and became intrigued by the somewhat outlandish, brightly clad and frail looking woman staring directly back. “Are you seeking money, health or love? Call Madam Jessinia…I can help.”
Marie didn’t think twice, picked up the receiver and dialed the number. The woman answered and Marie proceeded to explain, in between constant sniffles, that she wanted this man back for good. Madam Jessinia continued listening attentively until she finished.
“I can help you find and keep this man you seek. How far are you from Vine and Oak streets?”
“Just across town,” Marie lit up with hope. “I can be there tomorrow.”
“Well my dear, to be perfectly honest you do seem rather distraught. Why don’t you come tonight?” the woman inquired. “All I need is a photograph and a strand of his hair.”
“I’ll be there in thirty minutes,” Marie replied
“Good…very good, I’ll be waiting.”
Marie dressed quickly, latched hold of the framed photo of her and him she kept on her nightstand and put it in her oversized purse. At the bathroom she opened the mirrored medicine cabinet, took out his hairbrush, tossed it in alongside the photograph and headed out the door.
Before long she was pulling alongside the curb beside an average looking single story white picket fenced house. She went to the door.
Inside the woman offered Marie a seat on a red velvet sofa and asked for the items. Marie handed them to her.
“Now, you just go back home dearie and I’ll take care of everything.”
Somewhat perplexed, Marie didn’t argue and followed the woman’s instruction.
Marie awoke with a startle at the early morning knock, rushed to and flung open the door. The man, oddly dressed similarly like Madam Jessinia asked, “are you Marie?”
Marie nodded and the man handed her a tiny brown paper wrapped package, turned and walked away. With the door still ajar, she tore at it, opening it and not noticing the small folded pink note fluttering to the floor.
Inside was a little black box. She lifted the top off of it. It contained a rather large diamond ring, exquisitely cut, reflecting and glistening in the morning sunshine. Taking it out, she slid it onto her ring finger, felt joy immediately replace her heart’s sadness and saw the pink paper lying beside her foot.

Look closely at it in the light my dear…I told you I could help.
Madam Jessinia

Marie held the ring up into the sunlight and gazed into it. There he was…ever so tiny…peering back…trapped inside like a person with their hands pressed against a window.

Marie smiled and closed the door.