Thursday, January 22, 2015

A little Crime Flash Fiction for you

     I wrote this story a few years ago and had it published in an e-zine that has since gone away. So I will keep it up here. If you enjoyed the story let me know as I am currently working on expanding it.

                                                                  Someone Snitched
                                                                            by H.A.L. Wagner

It did not take long to kill the first three men. With the door kicked in one caught a forty-five to the head. The next thug took a bash across the bridge of his nose and then a hard placed boot heel down on his neck. The third guy wielded a knife that ended shoved up under his sternum. The stomach holds a lot of blood. 

It was the last guy that took longer to die but that was by design.

The stranger took his time with the rising star of the underworld. He would savor every snap and pop of dislocated and broken bones. This last piece of trash, Jarrod Killjoy, would die slow.

The pocket forty-five cracked and caught Jarrod behind the knee blowing it into a crimson mist. Jarrod fell to the ground. He dragged himself towards the door but the stranger stopped him with a vengeful stomp on the blown knee.  

The killer grunted as cartilage and tendons crackled under foot. Jarrod could only gasp short catches of air into lungs that would not fill. Then he whaled in a futile attempt for absolution. The stranger was not granting forgiveness of sins, tonight he was dealing out justice.

“Who are you?” Jarrod demanded to know his executioner, a last request from a sentenced man.

The stranger stepped into the light to show a snarled and seething face. The stranger’s insanity hid his face from Jarrod Killjoy’s recollection. A tightly balled fist hammered across Jarrod’s pale face. The man spit blood and a piece of his cheek to the wood floor.

Jarrod whimpered then forced hard breaths in and out of his lungs to keep from passing out. The stranger enjoyed the man’s willingness to suffer through what was about to come.

“Did the Ramos cartel send you? I haven’t done anything wrong, I swear. This is all some kind of mistake.” Jarrod began to plead. “Who sent you and maybe we can resolve this. I have lots of cash.”

The unidentified man gazed upon his heart’s desire. His eyes grew large with excited ideas. A four inch serrated boot knife gleamed off what little light penetrated into the fourth floor walk up. He crouched holding Jarrod’s left hand tugging on the index finger. The blade sliced into the base of the finger cutting the tendon. Jarrod’s screams only fueled the single-minded torturer urging him to cut more digits on the hand.

 Despite the pain, Jarrod’s need to know who was to kill him took prominence in his frenzied brain. “If you’re working for the Deluca brothers tell them their trucks will be there and loaded with merchandise.”

The Stranger wiped the blade off on Jarrod’s pleated pant leg. He tucked the knife back in the boot.

“Deluca brothers…” Jarrod mumbled under his breath, presuming too much. His left hand was numb except for the pinky that he could feel twitch. The stranger swiveled his head “no”, then stomped on Jarrod’s pinky. When he lifted his boot what was left looked like a string of pink dough. 

Shock set into Jarrod’s body. Shivering he grabbed his left hand at the wrist and cradled it against his chest. With a whimper he said, “I am a very powerful man.”

The strangers grin angered the dying man.

“Listen stranger, I have powerful friends. The mayor and half the city police are on my payroll. You wont get far so go hide back in the hole where you came from you sadistic fuck.” A swift kick in the nuts took the steam out of Jarrod’s building rage.

The stranger thought he might have gone too far too soon, when Jarrod Killjoy slumped over. His pain threshold had exceeded their limits.

Killjoy awoke on the bed. He stared up at a slow turning fan. Lights from the city street flashed below. For less than a second he thought it was a dream until he tried to move. Exposed nerve endings fired pain into his brain brining back the events of the night. The stranger sat in a chair near the door.

“I have money stranger. Lots of it, right here in this apartment. If you just call a doctor I will give you all of it.”

The stranger sat in silence.

“Look there in the top drawer of the dresser. There’s about a grand there and plenty more. What do you say?” Killjoy motioned towards the phone on the dresser.

The stranger rose from the chair and opened the dresser. He took out a stack of wrinkled bills. The screech of a bedside drawer spun the killer on his heels. The mussel flash of a pocket Derringer lit the room and for a frozen second Killjoy had a smile on his face as the stranger dove for the floor.

Jarrod Killjoy began to laugh. He had survived the hands of the torturer and if the stranger was still breathing would inflict some of his own torment. With the hot barrel in his mouth, he grabbed at the sheets with his good hand, dragging him to the edge of the bed. Peering over, Jarrod fanned the barrel searching for a target.

The stranger’s hand shot up clenching Jarrod’s wrist and twisted it back forcing the barrel into the man’s neck. The second shot of the derringer cracked. Flesh and muscle ripped back. Flesh that remained intact singed from the hot powder.

The stranger rose from the floor. His side now brown as blood soaked his shirt.

Jarrod Killjoy leaned back starring up at the slow turning fan, grasping his neck, holding it together in a futile attempt to cling to life.

A raspy gurgle emerged from the dying man, “Who are you stranger?”

The stranger stood over him, looking into wide, ever darkening eyes. He opened his mouth to reveal a mangle piece of meat that was once a tongue.

A half grin wrinkled Jarrod’s face. “It’s you…the snitch.”

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Book trailers from Bald Bros Studio

Hi folks,

    Check out the awesome work from our collaboration with Bald Bros. Studio on creating book trailers for a couple of my titles. It has been so much fun working with them to develop the scripts and story boards to make these videos. Seeing the characters I created come to life or at least two dimensional is truly amazing to me. There are more to come, but enjoy what has been done.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Its 5 AM and I've been up since 4

     Sometimes it is nice to wake up in the middle of the night and see that text message on my phone just waiting for me to respond. "I miss U" she last sent to me, but that was a week ago. Since then the phone has been silent in the middle of the night. The only texts that come through are during regular business hours.
      My project development partner was up til 11 pm with me, going back and forth on our script through Adobe Story. "How about this?" a text would come through and another idea would go into production. It is the stuff I live for and the nights I never want to end.
      Now I sit with ideas in my head and it is after 5 AM. Maybe I'll watch the sun rise or take my dog for a hike. Either way I wont be getting any text messages anytime soon.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Rock Bottom or laying on Clean Slate

   Incase anyone was wondering I have a twitter account @localhero117 Any way the other day I posted a tweet ""When you hit rock bottom the only thing you can start with is clean slate" In the past I found rock bottom to be somewhat liberating. It couldn't get worse and up was the only way to go, that was until it got worse and I kept going down.
   How do I know I have hit bottom? Well I won't fall into the trap of saying it can't get worse nor will I look only up. Right now all I do is pace back and forth looking down at the clean slate beneath my feet. Make no mistake, this slate was not cleaned by me nor am I watching it as some kind of positive reminder. No. I am watching it as I pace to make sure it does not shatter, partly due to the fact slate is usually not found too deep down. You can draw your own conclusion on that statement. The thing that you do find at the bottom are clich├ęs and people with lame advice, all things you do not want to hear. They say these things because they care. However, if you hit bottom as tell me, I will not say "You can only go up" or anything of that nature. More than likely you get a shrug out of me and maybe I will buy you a beer, unless you are an alcoholic and that is why you have hit rock bottom.
   Slate is usually found in river beds. And the only thing I remember from Heraclitus is change is constant or something like that. And you can never step into the same river twice. So there it is, a way to look to the positive and look up. Should you find yourself at rock bottom, laying over clean slate you know it is only for a moment in time as it is a constant changing world.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Getting old is hell. So says my 96 year old grandmother. She is right. You think when you are young and face a problem that it, being life, will get easier as you get older. Those problems you faced in your youth do become easier with the choices being more recognizable. However, the problems you face as an adult past your twenties are just as hard to find solutions to as the seemingly easy ones from your youth.
      This holds true for the two characters, John and Luis Solo, in my book The Collectors. In their youth they skipped out on the town that treated them like shit to pursue a more pure life out there, where ever there was located. Out there turned and smacked them in the face sending them back to East Town to where they started. It was good to be home, for the brothers, as they found work and settled into their always falling short lives. The beach community of East Town, filled with high rise casinos, creates a false sense of fortune being one roll of the dice away. And that with just a little more cash, you too can be a whale in a town full of Sharks.
     Well, you can't, not in this town. This town will chew you up spit you out and piss on your corpse. It's not personal, it's not even business, it just is how things are down in the septic vortex that is East Town Florida.
      Sound familiar? Maybe you have been there, maybe you bought salt taffy on the beach and watched the seagulls eat baby turtles. Or a shark bleed a fish until it was nothing but chum.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Book fair winners and losers

   Bookmark It, in Orlando FL, held a book fair Sunday with forty authors showing off their latest titles. It was a beautiful sunny day with a light breeze and lower than normal temperatures for this time of year, 83 degrees. I was with my co-author Jorge Sastre and we had three books out for sale, one being The Collectors.
   We had done book signings before but this was our first book fair. We would be sitting down with many other authors, all selling our blood, sweat and tears. On display was years of our lives in 189 pages for $10. The personalities there were all different, yet each of us bonded instantly because we all knew what the other had gone through to get there. But in the back of each of our minds, the other author is the competition. So friendly but watchful eyes scanned the table tops, seeking out a similar book and inspecting, with admirable smiles, though in our minds we were looking for flaws or ideas for our own book covers.
   All that sounds cynical but really it was a good time and I made some great new contacts. Hell, I'll even mention a new book I picked up, Doc Voodoo Aces&Eights by Beating Windward Press. I met the author, Dale Lucas when he came over to our table to complement us on the artwork for The Collectors (thanks Tom Wolfe!) Dale is a cool guy and we swapped stories on how we got our art work done. Doc Voodoo looks great!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Movie time...get your popcorn started

    I've been keeping this under wraps of sorts because it is a slow process and I've had the dream burned before. That being said, we actually did some filming on my book, The Collectors, published by Forker Media. I cannot begin to tell you how much fun it is to be on set of a movie, let alone one based on a book you wrote.
    It all started out with my co-author, Jorge Sastre, and I meeting up with Bald Bros. Studio and developing a script. From there we scouted out locations to film and worked with the director to get the right feel of the film. We were fortunate enough to find several people willing to help. (Side note: When you tell people you wrote a book they say "that's great". When you tell them it will be a movie, they ask how they can be a part of it.)
   Filming was a blast and I got to read lines with some of the actors. We haven't finished yet, but everything is a work in progress.