Too Perfect Marriage – Part 1

club

“We’re doing great, really great… I just needed to listen better… No, a kiss goodnight and in the morning… not a chance, my parent’s divorce ruined me… she’s their mother, man!… Sounds good, you too.” Calvin ended the phone call and put out his cigarette. He hung his head, then smiled and opened the sliding door. He returned to the bedroom.

“Oh my god,” said Bridget. She scrunched her nose and sniffed. “You smell like cigarettes.”

“You quit, not me.”

“Smells repulsive.” Bridget finished shimmying into her red party dress. “How do I look, baby?”

Calvin plopped down at the foot of the bed, hands in his pockets. “Great.”

Bridgette slipped her thumbs under her spaghetti straps and flipped her top down. She wiggled at the hips, so the two hills filling her push-up bra jiggled around.

“This better, baby?” she said with a laugh.

Calvin smiled. “Didn’t think you were dressing up for me.”

“You’re my husband!”

“…why don’t I come along, for a change?”

Bridgette scoffed. “We’ve been over this. You don’t do good at social events.” She tugged her red dress back up over her breasts, then smiled and pecked Calvin on the cheek. “You’re the one I come home to. You’re my protector and guardian… but sometimes I need you to protect and guard the kids.”

Her phone beeped. She peeked in her purse, then scurried with it out to the hallway bathroom.

“I was thinking maybe I could join you this time,” said Calvin.

“Why? It’s just me and people from the dealership.”

“But it’s a club, right?”

“You won’t let me dance now? God, give me a break-”

“Never said that, babe. But you’re going dancing, so I’m sure bringing a spouse is fine.” Calvin sighed, then dragged himself out to the hallway. He leaned against the wall with his arms crossed. “You said you wanted to spend more time together, right?”

“At the dinner table! The dinner table, baby! When I’m here alone, and you’re working, or whatever it is you’re really doing.”

“Ok… well maybe it would be fun, like the old days. It’s good to go out together sometimes… I already hired a babysitter and cleared my plans-”

“Aw, baby,” said Bridgette. She came over to Calvin and planted a wet kiss on his cheek. “You cancelled your date with your guitar, all for me?”

He forced a tight-lipped smile.

“I told Brody I’d be his date tonight,” said Bridgette, before glancing at Calvin through the corner of her eye. She scratched her eyebrow. “If you really want to come, I’ll let him know.”

“I do… You’re important to me.”

“Aw! You’re important to me!” Bridget smiled, then pinched Calvin’s cheek. “Fine… you win.” She grabbed her phone, tapped out a text, then waited for the response with her fingers in her lips.

“Who’s Brody?” said Calvin.

“Huh? Oh, my boss.”

“Ah. Ok.”

“Why?”

“I didn’t know. You don’t say much about work.”

Bridgette’s eyes went wide. “I don’t say much about work?”

“I’m a firefighter… I work with all guys… Three days in a row.”

Her phone beeped. Bridget laughed so hard she snorted, then covered her mouth.

“What?”

She grabbed her purse and left the bathroom shaking her head.

“Babe?”

“You wanted this, not me!” Shouted Bridgette. She opened the front door and left the one-story house.

Calvin remained where he stood. He noticed something in their wedding portrait he’d never noticed before – Lying on the hill in the background was an old couple. Calvin squinted and moved for a closer look to be sure – the woman, easily seventy five, had her hand in her husbands pants! The husband, who might as well have had ‘grandfather’ written in wrinkles on his forehead, was smoking something that was far too fat and green to be a cigarette.

“You dirty dog…” said Calvin.

The front door swung open, and Bridget stuck her head back inside. “Well? Aren’t you coming?”

“Yeah, sorry,” said Calvin. He met her on the driveway then followed her out to the curb. Calvin plucked out another cigarette and lit it.

“Let me,” said Bridget, summoning the pack with her fingers.

He lowered an eyebrow, then handed her the lighter.

“The cigarette,” said Bridget.

“I thought you quit?”

“I did,” she said, then nabbed one out from his pack. She sucked half the life out with one puff. “We’re in for a show tonight, babe.”

“Oh… why?”

“Brody’s bringing his wife,” she said, exhaling a stream of white smoke.

“Oh,” Calvin said.

Bridgette pet down his hair. “She’s a bitch, honey. Imagine Cruella de Vill’s vagina. Everyone at work hates her. If Brody wasn’t such a sweetheart, he’d have divorced her already.”

Calvin lowered her wrist away from his hair. “Maybe he feels marriage is his best option… No matter what.”

Bridgette cracked up laughing and soon was in tears. “Yeah, right. Brody? Honey, he’s got more options than he can count! His wife’s a leech… married him for his money. Plus she’s dumb as a rock. Words won’t do justice, you just have to see for yourself. I kind of feel bad for him. Even her. She’s what’s known as ‘Fugly’.”

Calvin nodded. He lit another cigarette, but Bridgette plucked it from his lips. She smoked it, tossed it on the ground and stomped it out with her heel.

“No more smoking. We’re in this together.”

Calvin twisted his lips, then rocked back and forth as he waited with his hands in his pockets. Bridget texted.

A long black limo pulled up and parked by the curb. The driver walked around the vehicle and opened the door for them.

…To be continued.

  • Thomas M. Watt

CLICK HERE FOR PART 2!

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Sunshine Blogger Award

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That’s right ladies and gentlemen, I have been nominated for not one, but TWO sunshine blogger awards. Many thanks to both lovely ladies, Jennifer Calvert and Karina Pinella. I have received a grand total of sixteen questions to answer. Due to my smart-ass nature, I’ve elected to answer them in a press conference format, along with two of my other personalities. Make sure to read through to the bottom, because I’ve nominated 5 others for the award along with my own list of questions. Without further ado, I bring you the joint press conference.

  • * *

Three candidates take the stage simultaneously. Standing at the podium on the right is Thomas M. Watt, who takes a sip from his bottled water then adjusts his microphone. The middle podium belongs to McWatty9, whose devilish smile and fiery eyes are enough to prompt any parents to put their children to bed early. Hunching over the third podium and breathing with his mouth open is Henry Huerto, and it appears he forgot to brush some potato chip remnants off his t-shirt.

“Any a you idiots got a question?” says McWatty9.

Most journalists lower their hands and take up their pens. A woman in a purple blouse speaks up.

“Who are your favorite published authors?” she asks.

“Great question,” says Thomas. “I’ve always enjoyed anything written by John Steinbeck, but some of his work stirs me emotionally, particularly East of Eden. I tend to shy away from anything that hits too close to home, so I’ve never been able to finish that book. Right now I’m really into Vince Gilligan-”

“Lady asked about published authors dipshit, not television writers,” says McWatty9.

Thomas nods. “Yes, I’m aware. Thing is, his shows include so many awesome plot twists and feature strong, dynamic characters. I really enjoyed The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larsson, so I guess I should include him, too.”

Man with a hawaiian button-down shoots up from his seat. “What did you want to grow up to accomplish in your life?”  Other journalist raise their eyebrows at him. He gradually sits back down.

“A lot,” says Henry Huerto. “But you know, I didn’t do any of it. I guess I’m just a loser…”

You could hear crickets. Every person in the room avoids eye contact with Henry.

“Right, uhh, what are your favorite Movies?” says a journalist.

“The one I made with your mom,” says McWatty9. “And it’s about how we made you-”

“I’ll answer that,” says Thomas, racing to grab his mic.

“‘Cause I boned her,” says McWatty9.

“Favorite movies,” says Thomas. “I’d have to say the Matrix tops my list. The moment when Neo stands up after being shot dead inspires me every time. I watched Silence of the Lambs recently, that was an incredible body of work. Also enjoyed se7en, especially the ending – it’s funny how much of an impact the ending of a film has on your overall impression of the movie.”

“If you got to choose your last meal in life, what would it be?” asks a reporter.

“Hot cheetos and a gatorade,” says Henry.

“You a teenage girl?” says McWatty9.

“No… that just sounds good right now.”

“Ya know where the Brooklyn bridge’s at?”

“Yea,” says Henry.

“Good. Go there and Jump off it.”

“Next question,” says Thomas.

An eight year old girl wearing a backpack stands up. “What is your favorite… temperature?”

McWatty9 jumps to respond: “Eighteen hundred degrees.”

Room falls silent.

“Why?” asks Thomas.

“Because that’s the temperature I’m gonna have Henry cremated at.”

“Introvert or Extrovert?” asks a journalist.

Thomas answers. “Introvert, for sure. I like people, but I feel the majority of social gatherings are pointless and irrelevant. People respond to you better when you’re successful anyway, so I’d rather pour my time into whatever skill I’m currently trying to develop. Currently that’s writing… besides, no matter what group of people I spend time with, they inevitably begin bashing some other person who doesn’t conform to their group. I genuinely hate that, and the more I open my mouth I discover I’m a disagreeable person. My mind is always working toward fixing some kind of problem. Interactive, or extroverted people put a lot of time and effort into their relationships. I put mine into stories.”

Media members nod.

“What are your favorite past times?” asks a young women with a low-cut top.

“You,” says McWatty9.

Thomas clears his throat. “If I’m going to be honest, I have to say I don’t care much for any hobbies or endeavors that don’t bring me closer to my long-term goals. I have an obsessive, addictive personality, and don’t live anything close to a balanced life… So I have to say none.”

“What about yourself would you change, if you could?”

Henry grabs his mic. “Self doubt, paranoia, overthinking. Emotions get the better of me. I hate myself.”

An unsettling silence comes over the crowd.

“Brooklyn bridge,” says McWatty9, through a cough.

“What scares you the most?”

Thomas answers. “I hate spiders.”

“Bet ya like turtles,” says McWatty9.

Another journalists stands. “Why do you blog?”

“I like to see the responses I get to my stories. It’s a free way to get feedback, and an easy way to tell whether I’m putting out quality work. For a long time, people only seemed to enjoy the poems I would post. My short stories have only recently began to entertain my followers, and I’m really thrilled about that… for a long time, I couldn’t pay people to read my work.”

Guy with a rasta cap shouts: “Who is your favorite musician?”

Thomas says, “Currently I alternate between Eminem and Coldplay. Chris Martin is a genius, but I have mad respect for Eminem, especially because I relate to his struggle to make something of himself. He faced a lot of adversity and didn’t have much support. I should add that Ocean by John Butler Trio is the most beautiful song in the world.”

“How do you feel about awards?” says a teenager with zits.

“Same as I feel ’bout you,” says McWatty9.

“What is your favorite dessert?” says a big guy with a mustache.

“Um, I kind of like good and plenty,” says Henry. “I don’t know, those sound good right now… Does anybody have some I could share?”

Crickets.

“What makes your world rock?” says the young woman with the low-cut top. She bites the end of her pen.

“Dreams of the future,” says Thomas. “That always beats my current reality.”

“Waddup,” says the guy with the rasta cap. “Favorite music?”

Thomas grins and answers: “Similar to my taste for cinema and novels. When something is well written, it speaks to you. I don’t limit myself to any one genre, I’m more a fan of the individual artist.”

“How important is it to you to be a famous writer?” blurts out a father.

“I’m happy just to write,” says Thomas, before scratching the back of his head, then biting his lips. “Actually, it’s everything to me. That’s what I want to do with my life.”

The moderator walks out onto the stage, and claps his hands. “Ok folks, thank you all for joining us. That’ll be the end of the questions, so… get the hell out!”

  • * *

Now for my 5 nominees, and my ten questions. If you are nominated, you have to answer these… your wordpress contract obligates you under penalty of prison time, in case you never read the small print when you signed up. My nominees are:

  1. Storytime with John – Kid’s a natural. He’s up there with A Opinionated Man (see below).
  2. Ben Myatt – Writes bad ass characters, though his latest post has me concerned.
  3. Kevin Cooper – Ally of indie authors everywhere, great person and writer of the Miedo series.
  4. A Opinionated Man – King of internet blogs, far too big to bother with this.
  5. Ray M. Meadows – Fantastic writer and confrontational twitter-er

And the questions I have for you:

  1. If you could instantly learn any one skill set (i.e. fly a plane, fix an engine, surf), what would it be?
  2. It’s a beautiful, bright sunny day. What are your plans?
  3. Neighbor’s dog defecates right outside your front door. How do you respond?
  4. You just won the lottery. What’s the first thing you do?
  5. What do you think of these questions so far?
  6. I disagree. State something that most people consider completely normal that always feels bizarre to you.
  7. Zombie apocalypse – Which personality are you in your group of survivors?
  8. Do you regret accepting this award?
  9. Why do you blog?
  10. Any current projects you’re working on you’d care to share?

Thank you again to Jennifer and Karina for the nominations, and congratulations to those whom I nominated! I’ll be back blogging a new short story soon.

  • Thomas M. Watt

Sunset – Part 5 – FINALE!

sunset 5

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

John flipped his hand out from his pocket, then unfolded a giant map of the world. “I’ve entered the coordinates. I know where our treasure is.”

“Great work bro,” said D’angelo.

John smirked, then took a step back. “You… believe me?”

“You the treasure hunter, right?”

“Wow, that’s great, really happy to hear it. Wow, I just, didn’t think you’d believe me.”

“Say where.”

“Nevada, actually. Nowhere near Las Vegas, I don’t think, unless it’s under it, but that’s only possible if roulette is rigged at the Luxemburg.”

“Go.”

“Excuse me?”

“Go bro, get your treasure,” said D’angelo. He turned his back on John, and walked along the dark street toward McFlannigans.

“What about your share!”

“Keep it,” shouted D’angelo, without bothering to turn around. He had bigger fish to fry – someone was out to kill him. The messages came from an unknown number, and the fact that the predator told him to meet him at McFlannigans was a huge clue – had to be someone he met there.

D’angelo spit in the gutter, then bounced the barrel of his Easton 777 against the flat of his palm. Sunset was his prime suspect – the ominous warning, the quick getaway after taking his phone number, and the threatening pictures she’d posted on her facebook. Still, something didn’t seem right – but the only other person who he’d given his number to was John, and D’angelo was convinced John was too head-balls to be his potential killer.. Unless the lunacy was all an act.

D’angelo reached the door to McFlannigans and checked his phone. The last text told him to meet there in fifteen minutes. That meant he had three left.

D’angelo took a breath and shut his eyes. Shaky hands, thunderous heart beat – moment of truth.

He swung open the door and marched in. Mouth shut, D’angelo checked one side of the bar to the other. The lights were dimmed – closing time. If his killer was here, they could be lurking anywhere.

Place was empty, though darkness filled it.

A creak – far end of the bar counter.

D’angelo sucked in air through his nostrils and inflated his lungs. Sunset was short enough to stay hidden crouching between two bar stools. As he drew closer, the images of her posing with knives flashed through his mind.

Snapping click – same dark spot on the far side of the bar. Identical sound to Sunset’s heel slapping against the floor when she left earlier.

D’angelo stopped. Sweat dripped down his forehead. He fastened his grip around the bat, then slapped and raveled his other hand around the handle.

His teeth stayed closed while his lips peeled away. Fight time.

“Come out!” D’angelo screamed, then took three hard steps forward, arched back for a downward swing at whoever pounced out. He nearly fell forward when he abruptly halted.

“Scared the shit outta me,” he said, then shook his head. He lowered until his bum hovered over his ankles, the studied the poor critter – it was a rat, squirming away from a trap that had just snapped on its neck.

“Wrong move,” said the voice behind him.

D’angelo whirled around.

“Cost him his life.”

D’angelo exhausted a wind of breath, then pressed his hand to his heart. “Whoo-damn bro, don’t sneak up on me like that.”

He stood facing the bartender. “Can’t bring that in here.”

“What?” said D’angelo, before remember the bat he held pointed at him. “Oh, this?”

The bartender snatched it away, then took it to the front door.

“Nah bro, I need-” D’angelo stopped his sentence short when his phone beeped. He slid it out from his pocket – a new text, but this one came from a new unknown number.

Hey, it’s Summer! …So I know I seemed kind of odd when I met you tonight, but I promise (!!!) it wasn’t personal. I’m not really into you either, thought I should mention that : /. I needed to tell you something, but couldn’t do it in person, especially with where we were.

The bartender slammed the door shut and locked it up. D’angelo scoffed, then returned to the text.

The thing is, I’ve been dating Gil for a while, and he really despises you. I mean, I guess you treat him like shit or something? Hollering at him whenever you need a drink? Anyway, I just broke up with him and think it might have sent him over the edge : ( So just stay away from him… he’s kind of a convicted killer… kthanksbye.

D’angelo shook the phone back into his pocket. “Gil?”

The bartender had his back turned, grabbing something from behind the bar counter. “What?”

D’angelo creeped toward the front door.

“Can’t go out that way. Just locked up.”

D’angelo stopped in his tracks. “Where’s my bat?”

Gil the bartender rotated around, double barrel rifle in hand. He cocked and loaded it.  “Seemed to hit it off with Sunset earlier. Fuck her yet?”

“No,” said D’angelo, with his hands up. “Never.”

“Shouldn’t let strangers read your phone number out loud. Could get in the hands of the wrong person.”

D’angelo’s eyes darted everywhere – no way out.

“Why don’t we take a walk… prick.”

“Just wanna go home, bro. Got nothin’ with you.”

“‘Course not. I’m just the lowlife bartender who serves your drinks, right? Nothing but the piece of shit whose girlfriend you’re fucking?”

“Just met her tonight, swear to God.”

“Save it. Let’s go.”

Gil came around then prodded D’angelo forward by poking the gun barrel into his spine. D’angelo walked toward the back door with no weapon, no plan, and no idea how he could survive this.

He opened the door, and the two walked alone into a dark alleyway. Nobody else around, nothing but a dumpster.

“On your knees.”

“Just let me go-”

“On your knees!”

D’angeled shut his eyes, then lowered.

“I never touched your girl-”

“I’m in charge, now! I pick your last words!”

D’angelo shut his mouth. Gil smacked him in the ear.

“Wish you were me,” said Gil.

D’angelo pursed his lips.

“Say it!”

D’angelo spit.

Gil punched the back of his head, and D’angelo spilled forward. Gil grabbed him back up.

“SAY IT!”

A pair of headlights flashed on. D’angelo and Gil turned simultaneously – a purple civic.

“Who the fuck!” said Gil. He stormed toward the vehicle, rifle aimed.

D’angelo spun around – if he ran the opposite direction now he could make a clean getaway.

“Move your ass!” Shouted Gil. He fired a warning shot at the vehicle, taking out the passenger side headlight. The engine revved.

D’angelo noticed a cracked brick lying on the ground. He picked it up.

“I said MOVE!” said Gil. He fired another round, this one at the civic’s grill. The engine revved again.

D’angelo brought his arm back, then flung the brick at Gil’s head. It smacked him in the shoulder blade instead, doing little more than buising him.

“Motherfucker!” said Gil. He faced D’angelo again, loading another round.

Tires spun, and the purple civic floored it straight toward them. Gil grew distracted, caught between firing at the vehicle and shooting D’angelo. D’angelo stormed forward, dove forward and tackled Gil before he could take any shot. The Honda Civic plowed into them before they could hit the ground.

Windshield shattered, fragments spilling everywhere. Gunshot – bullet whizzed by D’angelo’s ear. He struggled with one arm to keep Gil from aiming at his head. Car crashed into the dumpster, and both men rolled off the hood and onto the pavement.

“You’re dead!” yelled Gil.

One of the larger fragments spilled with them. D’angelo clenched it, then sliced Gil’s throat with one swift swing of his arm.

Gil clutched his neck as he gurgled on his own blood and folded backwards, landing with a rock-hard slam to the back of his head.

“You wish you were me now, bitch!” said D’angelo.

Car door opened – the driver was Sunset, John emerged from the passenger side.

“Oh my God, I’m so sorry!” said Sunset. She covered her mouth, then ran over and hugged D’angelo.

“Forget it, ‘preciate the heads up,” he said.

“Glad that’s over with,” said John. “Now we’ve got a twelve hour roadtrip. I hope your bags are packed, or at least you can pack them quick, or maybe just leave without bags altogether.”

D’angelo pulled away from Sunset. “Hold up… whatchu doin’ with him?”

“Who, John?” said Sunset.

“Yeah!”

“I thought he told you.”

“Huh?”

“Knights of Templar… I’m a treasure hunter, too.”

D’angelo raised his eyebrows, then let out a long whistle and nodded.

The End!

  • Thomas M. Watt

Sunset – Part 4

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Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Coming to kill you.

D’angelo read the text, fumbled his phone back into his pocket, then spun around.

The purple civic passed by again, slowing as it drove by his studio apartment.

D’angelo ransacked his place – but he didn’t own a gun, and had no steak knives. He checked his closet.

“Dammit!” he said, tearing down four blue suits from the rack. That’s when it caught his attention – his high school baseball bag. He tugged it out from the closet, then opened the bottom slit. He slid out his Easton 777, an aluminum baseball bat. D’angelo tapped the barrel against the flat the wood panels on his floor, then stepped over to his door.

He grabbed his phone back out, and his thumb shook as he responded.

Come get it.

D’angelo slammed the front door and hopped down the stoop. He waited on the side of the road.  Screeching tires – purple civic had just slammed the brakes and come to a stop in the middle of the road. The driver flickered their lights on and off, taunting him.

D’angelo’s heart raced as he marched toward it. He clenched the bat firm and breathed heavy. The engine turned off, and the lights went out.

“I’ll kill you!” D’angelo yelled. “You hear me?” He swung the bat over shoulder, but the handle slid through his sweaty hand. The bat fell and rang out on the cement. “I’m not afraid of anyone!” He said, picking it back up.

D’angelo wiped the sweat from his brow. “Ain’t afraid a shit,” he muttered to himself.

D’angelo crept onward. Night had turned cool, so much so he could now see his own breath. The purple civic turned back on, and the lights switched to bright, blinding him. D’angelo shielded his eyes, then heard rubber burn. He braced for impact, then kept one eye open when forced himself to look – The wheels took the civic in the opposite direction. It backed off the road, over some grass, then plowed into a tree. The airbag deployed.

“Karma, bitch,” said D’angelo. He broke into a jog – then his phone beeped. New message.

Meet at McFlannigan’s.

D’angelo squinted at the purple civic. An overgrown man moaned and groaned his way out. He wore a brown raincoat and aviator sunglasses. He stumbled over to D’angelo.

Hiding his eyes were dark aviator sunglasses that had been shoddily glued back together.

“John?” said D’angelo.

John halted with a wobble. His phone was in his hand.

“You drunk, bro?”

“No, never, of course not. I do not drink alcoholic beverages. I’m not an alcoholic.”

“I met you at McFlannigans.”

John shook his head, then turned away and slid his phone back into his pocket. “Common misconception. Where we allocate may indicate certain characteristics of our personalities, but it does not dictate our actions.”

Another beep. D’angelo opened the new message.

Be there in 15 or I will kill you in your sleep.

D’angelo shook his head, then spit on the ground. “Hey, I got to go bro. Good luck with this,” he said, then turned and headed off.

“Wait!” said John.

D’angelo stopped. “What?”

“Where are you going, I was wondering?”

“What’s it to you?”

“Is it McFlannigans? Or will you just go to sleep tonight? It’s just a question, actually two, but that’s it.”

D’angelo knocked the end of his bat softly against the pavement, and stared at John with a single eye squint.

“McFlannigans.”

“Great! I’ll go with you.”

“Your cars here, bro.”

John turned, laughed at his car, then swatted at the air with his hand. “I’m quite sure, you know, that even if I leave it here, I will find it here, sitting and waiting for me, later, when I come back for it.”

John jogged over. D’angelo stuck his hand out when he got close.

“You’re stayin’, bro.”

“I know where you live,” said John.

D’angelo pushed his jaw out.

“But only because I watched you run there. I remained where I stood, don’t you remember? I was angry.”

“Whatchu want, bro?”

John stepped forward, and reached into the pocket of his raincoat. “I’m surprised you haven’t figured that out yet. I’ve been… straightforward.”

“You got a deathwish?”

John flipped his eyes down at the bat D’angelo held, then chuckled.

“Never said a joke, bro.”

“The bat. That is the joke,” said John. His hand remained in his pocket, angled straight at D’angelo. “If you knew what I was holding, you would know why I am laughing.”

“Why?”

“It will not help you.”

“I can knock skulls with-”

“Should have brought a shovel. Would have made things easier.”

D’angelo ground his teeth, then lifted the bat over his shoulder.

John flipped his hand out from his pocket, then unfolded a giant map of the world. “I’ve entered the coordinates. I know where our treasure is.”

To be continued…

– Thomas M. Watt

CLICK HERE FOR PART 5!

Master Update – 9/21

runner

I know some of you are looking forward to Sunset Part 4 – Should be writing it tomorrow. Busy molding the ending to Master today, and I’m really thrilled about how it turned out.

Ellie Augsburger tells me her initial concept for the cover should be finished by the end of this week. I’m excited to see it. A cover will also make it much easier to promote.

I did a lot more writing than promoting this weekend. Pushing a book begins while you’re still writing it – The problem I’ve run into is a split personality, the artist and the promoter. The more time I spend on social media connecting with others, the more my mind is occupied with finding more effective ways to draw attention to my story.

Now that the story is (nearly) complete, I’m going to send the full manuscript out to four or five willing beta readers. The good news is that multiple parties have already read the first half, and they are just as enthusiastic about it as I am.

This isn’t the first time I’ve poured my all into a book, but it is the first time I’ve received overwhelmingly positive feedback. I’d like to think that the short stories I blog on here reflect my overall improvements as a writer.

Beyond that, I’m excited to wrap up Sunset this week. I’m happy with the ending I have in mind, I only hope I can find the right words to show it to you.

  • Thomas M. Watt

Sunset – Part 3

sunset 5

If you missed Part 1, click here.

If you missed Part 2, click here.

D’angelo shook his head, took two quick steps, then checked over his shoulder – John hadn’t moved. D’angelo broke into a sprint away.

He charged two blocks, stopped for no one, then rushed up the stoop and into his apartment. D’angelo leaned back against his front door to smack it shut, then sucked in oxygen as fast as possible. Humidity was bad in California – enough to leave him drenched in sweat from the hasty dash.

D’angelo stared at the cheap wood flooring in his studio apartment for a while. He rubbed his bald head, then rocked it back and gazed up at his ceiling fan.

“God-damn!” he said to himself, then laughed.

A casual Tuesday at the bar had turned into a nightmare – first the vixen who’d taken his digits and booked it, then the nutcase who could’ve found patterns in pigeons.

D’angelo strolled over to his home computer. The next five minutes he spent listening to it hum as it booted up. Once he had it up and running, D’angelo went to work – time to find out who this Sunset chick was.

Couldn’t be that hard, a name like that is one in a million – a rare type that no man forgets. D’angelo browsed facebook, instagram, twitter – nothing.

D’angelo scoffed.

“Where you at, girl.”

He tried ‘Sun Set’. Still Nothing.

D’angelo went to the fridge, popped open a Michelob Ultra, then returned to his seat. Rolled up the blinds, raised the window, and kicked his feet up. D’angelo watched the orange sun finish disappearing behind the city skyline. He let out a sigh, drained half his beer with a few gulps, then burped.

“We both know you ain’t in livin’ in no damn cave…”

He shut his eyes and took another sip. He froze in position, shot his eyelids apart, then pounced over to his keyboard.

Sunset Coors Light

He entered the terms into the search engine, then scrolled down like mad to see if he could find anything. The first couple pages were no help, but the third included a link to an article – and a picture of her beside it.

“Damnnn!” said D’angelo.

Sunset was a Coors Light girl – meaning she went to popular sports venues wearing a skimpy two-piece outfit and cheered behind her Coors Light booth. The girl got paid to show up and look good.

The article included a caption with her name at the bottom –

Sunsett Martinez

D’angelo scratched his bald head, wondering if the poor girl had any idea her name was spelled wrong.

He stuck ‘Sunsett’ into his web browser, and an extensive list of profiles lit up his screen. He clicked on her facebook, then bobbed his head back and covered his mouth.

“What the fu…” He muttered.

Tons of half-nude picks – bra and panties, bikinis, and short purple dresses. D’angelo couldn’t look away – but her body had nothing to do with it.

Every shot showed her with a different weapon – steak knife, butcher knife, swiss knife – the girl loved blades.

“I don’t fuck wichu,” D’angelo whispered.

He noticed one of his facebook friends, someone he didn’t know in real life, named Aaron, had posted up and down on her wall. Dude was obsessed – he’d commented and liked every single thing she’d slapped up there. Girl could’ve dressed a corpse like Hitler and he would clicked ‘like’.

D’angelo twisted his lips, then hovered his fingers over the keyboard. He grabbed the mouse instead and clicked on Aaron’s profile.

Pictures of him out drinking with the guys.

“Okay,” said D’angelo. “Okay.”

He fired a direct message off to Aaron.

“You know Sunset?”

Aaron responded before he could blink.

“Yea, of course!”

“She cool?” wrote D’angelo.

“Huh?”

“Don’t know how to say this bro… but is she C-R-A-Z-Y???”

D’angelo tapped his fingers on the desk. He groaned, stood up, grabbed another beer, then sat back down. Aaron still hadn’t responded. D’angelo cracked open his beer and inhaled a fresh sip. Still no response. D’angelo waited. And waited. And waited…

Tired of staring at the screen, he propped his feet up on the windowsill and coddled his beer.  He watched the cars pass by without much interest, until a purple civic caught his attention. Nothing super bizarre – it just kept driving past his apartment one direction, then return going the other direction every ten minutes or so. He told himself it was nothing – John from the loony bin was in his head. Dude claimed cars drove in patterns, after all.

The half-empty Michelob Ultra slipped from D’angelo’s grip and dinged against his wood-paneled floor as he dozed off. He remained out cold, until the repetitive and loud beep from his phone finally woke him up.

D’angelo rubbed his eyes open, gave his cheek a little slap, then made his way over to the fridge. He tugged the door open when his phone beeped again. D’angelo slid it out from his pocket – text from an unknown number. D’angelo opened it.

Coming to kill you.

To be continued…

  • Thomas M. Watt

CLICK HERE FOR PART 4!

Sunset – Part 2

sunset 5

If you missed Part 1, click here.

Bad thoughts,” she said, then whirled around and strutted away.

“That was strange, very strange.”

D’angelo turned around. Guy with a brown raincoat and aviator glasses took the barstool behind him.

“What?” said D’angelo.

“That whole thing, you know, with that girl? Sunset? Didn’t seem normal… not at all. Did it?”

“No,” said D’angelo. Weird was one way to describe that bombshell – Threatening fit better.

“Name’s John,” said the man in aviator glasses.

D’angelo shook his hand.

“She wanted your number, didn’t she? And that was it? Sunset?”

D’angelo pinched the bridge of his nose. “Yo bartender!”

The bartender stopped shaking the drink he’d been mixing.

“‘Nother whiskey ginger,” said D’angelo, tapping the bar counter. “Let’s go.”

“That was all she wanted?” said John.

D’angelo turned to him. “You’re wearin’ sunglasses. In a bar.”

John smirked.

“CIA or something?” said D’angelo.

Now John honed a full-on grin.

“Aight,” said D’angelo. “Whatchu got on that?”

“Suspicious, to say the least, dangerous, to say the most.”

“What kinda danger? You know her?”

John slid D’angelo a napkin and a pen.

“I can help, I think,” said John. “Number.”

D’angelo held a blink.

“Your number, write it down.” said John.

“Bartender!” said D’angelo.

“Hurry, time is running out. You should write it down, I think.”

“Why?”

“I can help, I deal with things… like this. A lot.”

“What things?”

“Odd Patterns. Stuff normal people miss.”

“You’re losin’ me.”

John chuckled. “I’m not surprised, but you are.”

D’angelo shook his head, then wrote down his number on the bar napkin. “Yo bartender!”

The bartender groaned as he brought over the whiskey ginger.

“9-1-8, 2-1-0-9,” said John.

D’angelo took his drink, then swirled it around.

“That’s why she wanted your number.”

D’angelo took a hefty swig, then coughed. “What?”

“The numbers. They mean something. You don’t know?”

“It’s a phone number. You get it at random.”

“You think. But sometimes, quite often, people think wrong. Others don’t.”

“Others? What? What the hell are you talkin’ about?”

John laughed through his nose. “Ordinary people, they never fail to amuse me,” he said, then tapped D’angelo’s digits into his smartphone.

“That makes you… what?”

“Extra-ordinary,” said John, with a sideways smile. He stood up. “Why don’t you come with me, I think you should.”

D’angelo raised his eyebrows, then followed John’s lead. John was much taller and well built, and oddly took long strides with only one leg. The two of them ditched the bar and carried on along the sidewalk outside.

“Everyday, millions of people go about their lives thinking they’re in control, but they’re not. Thinking that there is no big brother, thinking conspiracy theorists are loony, a bit nutty.”

D’angelo stopped. “That you? A Conspiracy theorist?”

John pulled his aviator glasses down to the tip of his nose. “I’m no theorist.”

D’angelo scratched the back of his head and nodded. The two returned to their pace.

“Why would the government, the U.S. government, care about a guy like you, is what you’re probably wondering,” said John.

“All I’m wonderin’ is why I’m still talkin’ to you.”

“The numbers.”

“What of ’em?”

“You want to know what I see, right, that’s what want you to know?”

“Nailed it bro.”

“Ok, alright, I see.”

“I don’t,” said D’angelo.

John laughed hysterically.

“Waddup, bro?”

“You do see. If you didn’t, you would trip, or at least need a cane.”

“Numbers John,” said D’angelo, before snapping. “Out with it.”

“Ok, I’ll tell you, but you’re not going to believe me.”

“I believe that.”

“Those numbers – your numbers, your phone number-”

“God-damn, bro! Spit it out!”

“Okay, I will, just hold on,” said John, before sticking his arm out. “You spot it?”

“What!”

“The cars – did you, do you notice that?”

“You’re on one.”

“A pattern. Green, red, red, blue, black, white.”

“Huh?”

“Watch,” said John, before pointing.

“You’re losin’ me bro.”

“Your phone number. It’s got coordinates.”

“What?”

“Treasure. Verizon didn’t give you that number – U.S. government did. Heard of Fort Knox?”

“You’re high.”

“Most certainly, I am not. Fort Knox doesn’t hold any treasure – it’s a showroom. All of it, an empty museum. Treasure is buried – destination? Unknown.”

Ho-ly fuck.”

“People have been searching for it – people like me. She’s one of them. You can tell by her hair – purple streak? Symbolic.”

“Illuminati?”

“Knights of Templar. You’re the one. You’ve been chosen.”

D’angelo stared at him.

“Don’t worry, I don’t want the treasure. Gold means nothing to me. I’m a hunter, it’s what I do.” John violently grabbed D’angelo by the throat, forced his back against the building beside them, then pressed close with a finger in his face.

“But if you cross me, and I do solemnly swear it, I will kill you. It’s also what I do. I’ve done it before – treasure’s my life. Not keeping it, just finding it, I want to be the one who finds it. You can be the one it belongs to – but I’m going to be the one who finds it. I was born for that, destiny, it’s my gift. I had no ordinary birth-”

“Get off me!” said D’angelo, shoving John away. John fell on the ground, and his aviator glasses spilled off his face onto the sidewalk. Still at a hunch, he rushed to pick them up. D’angelo stomped on them before he could get a hold of them.

“You’re fucking crazy,” said D’angelo. “Stay the fuck away from me.”

John gradually erected straight. He glared back, red-faced and shaking.

D’angelo quit looking him in the eyes. “You’re crazy bro,” he said, then patted him on the shoulder.

John inhaled giant gulps of air, both fists clenched.

D’angelo shook his head, took two quick steps, then checked over his shoulder – John hadn’t moved. D’angelo broke into a sprint away.

To be continued…

  • Thomas M. Watt

CLICK HERE FOR PART 3!