Master – 5.2

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Ch. 2

Ch. 3

Ch. 4

Ch. 5

Something’s wrong. I feel it in my gut. I reach out to my phone to text Loretta, but stop when I notice the motorcycle cop in my driver-side mirror.

“Dammit.”

I’d flip a U-turn right here, but it’s a double yellow. I decide to turn into a neighborhood street on my right and lose the tail. He follows me. Three turns later, he’s still on my ass.

“You win,” I say, then sigh.

I pull over, turn the engine off, and dial my wife. It rings, and rings, and rings.

“C’mon.”

Loretta picks up.

“What’s up, baby?”

“I know how bizarre this sounds, but I want you to take Avery and go to your mother’s house for the day.”

“Are you serious? You’re really starting to scare me baby!”

I pull the phone from my face and think to myself. Then I see the cop again – drive by on the road ahead. He stops the bike, whips out a pair of binoculars, then stares at me.

“What the hell…” I mutter.

“Talk to me, baby! Tell me what’s going on! You’ve been acting really strange lately.”

I return the phone to my ear. “Nothing… Just do it for me, ok?”

“Hold on.”

“What’s up?”

“Someone’s at the door. Is the pipe-guy coming today?”

“Babe, I want you to get out of there!”

A loud BOOM. Phone call ends. I dial again. The phone rings, and rings, and rings. Nobody picks up.

I start the truck, turn around and accelerate. A police siren sounds off behind me; I’m being pulled over.

“Dammit!” I pull the car over, then slam my hands against the steering wheel.

I don’t know what I’m being pulled over for, and have no idea why this cop has it out for me. He takes his time parking his bike, and walks slow as hell over to me. I grab my license and registration, roll my window down, and smack my documents against the outside of my door as he takes his sweet-ass time strolling over to me.

“Write me up, I need to get home.”

I toss the documents at the officer.

Rather than mouth a word of protest, rather than so much as bother with a rebuttal, the officer merely nods, and picks the documents up after he fumbles them. He’s nervous; sweating even. Guy looks like he’s ready to cry.

“You alright?” I ask.

He nods. “Huh? Oh, yeah.”

I’m angry and frustrated – yet I can’t help but worry for this officer. Why is he acting like this? Are criminals more courteous these days?

The cop travels back to his bike like he lost a war.

I scoff, then try Loretta again – no answer. I text her.

U ok?

I wait. Two minutes, but it feels like twenty.

Yes 🙂   

I’m not exactly at ease – Loretta says smiley face text messages are for pedophiles. I call her again – still no answer. Another three calls, then I text her.

“Everything alright??”

I wait another four minutes. No response this time. I squint and check out my rearview mirror. The officer is crying and staring at his gun.

CLICK HERE FOR 5.3!

  • Thomas M. Watt

Master – 5.1

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Click here to start from the beginning!

Ch. 2

Ch. 3

Ch. 4

CHAPTER 5

I turn the key, start the engine, and drive off.

Charlie notices me from the driveway he’s marking up with chalk. His red shirt is halfway up his back and he doesn’t even know it. I give my horn a light honk. He shouts and waves with the chalk he’s holding, then returns to drawing some elephant-dinosaur hybrid. I feel obligated to warn him about how dangerous it is to draw so close to the pavement, but neighbors don’t always appreciate well intended advice – especially when it comes to their kids.

I grab my expos cap from the passenger street and screw it on my head as I exit my neighborhood and start along the main road.

A few repairs to do today, but mostly standard cleaning. Fortunately, most clients won’t be home. I like people; just not the way they look at me when I clean their pools.

I turn on the radio hoping to hear some jams. Instead, I get the stupid AM morning shows that nobody wants to hear. I switch to this popular jackass on FM – he calls himself ‘McWatty9’, and even though I listen to him I swear I can’t stand him. The guy reads the news off like he’s doing standup. Something he says catches my attention. I turn it up.

That’s right, folks the suspect with the penis-hairdo cops hunted like nymphos for has… finally-been-nabbed! Documentation confirms he’s the alleged bomb plotter whose made strange, mange, and deranged purchases up and down the county area. This dickhead won’t stop yammering to authorities either, but he… won’t give us a hint about what he’s done with all his bomb materials! Assuring us he’s not insane, the phallic-tipped bandit claims a man from his DREAMS made him do it!

           

My heart pounds. I pull over to the side of the road, put my truck in park, then turn the volume up.

And that, folks, is your… bum-ba-da- dum! Nutjob of the week!

(sound effect – a parrot chirps, “He’s a nutjob! He’s a nutjob!”)

           

I turn the radio off. Mere coincidence. Has to be. Still, I wish I knew more about the suspect’s story. I wish I knew more about the man in his dreams.

Part of me wants to call Loretta, right now, and tell her to take Avery to her mom’s house. I shake my head instead, then remind myself how ridiculous I’m being – it was a dream. Am I really so paranoid as to think ‘Master’ is real, and has some kind of power over me? I mutter to myself the best piece of advice my father ever gave me.

“Stop being an idiot.”

I get back on the road and head to my first house. It’s a nice place, overlooking the beach. Owner’s a tool, but his pool is beautiful. The water spills over the edge, giving it a ‘waterfall’ effect.

A white van approaches on the other side of the road, traveling the opposite direction as me. Its driver stares at me as our vehicles cross paths – he’s a white male, with serious power alleys. The man in the passenger seat is equally buff and terrifying. A scar runs from his nose to his lip, and he glares at me like a hungry wolf smells blood.

I keep track of the van in my rear view mirror. It disappears from view, driving somewhere in the direction of my neighborhood; in the direction of my family.

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-Thomas M. Watt

The Writers’ Dream

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Back is hurting, ass is sweaty, tired of hunching, always pressing,

Got to get back on my feet got to get those words to seep –

Through my fingers, from my pen, to the desktop, repeat again.

How many drafts does one book take, how much perfection do readers crave?

Doesn’t matter, I don’t care, I know one day it will get there.

Perseverance? That is shit. Try to spend one year like this.

Learn to get up when you’re damper, know each word from front to backwards.

See description and how it lies, find out what meets readers’ eyes.

For it is not the talk of bees, nor the words that make you pleased.

What readers want is not so much, just to read and feel a rush.

To stimulate the modern mind, without much pictures in faster times,

To do the work of talking grand is indeed one dumb-ass of a plan.

They did not come here just to see the mind of yours and learn you’re deep.

They came instead to just relax, to grab a book and eat a snack.

To keep them going for one night, to let them think your book reads right.

Get them thinking it’s a treat, get them wondering why ‘Jack leaps’.

Raise a question, submit the answer, in the middle fill with banter.

Do this once and you’ll achieve, fulfillment of the writers’ dream.

– Thomas M. Watt

The Far Distant Future – Twenty-First Century Observations

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“There once was this box,” began the kindergarten teacher. “It was just an ordinary thing, with flashing lights and the ability to create its own noises and sounds. But this box had other powers, as well. Powers common folk weren’t even aware of. It could make them afraid or angry. Worried and upset. Erotic or useless.”

“What’s erotic mean?” Said little Samantha.

“Oh! I shouldn’t have said that.” The kindergarten teacher giggled, then went on. “But of all the feelings sent out from the box, their were the important few which it did not omit – it never sent out any peace, nor did it help one to grow, nor did it issue the emotion of love.

‘Yet still, despite this box’s lack of offering anything meaningful to humanity, the entire world embraced it. Children grew up getting to know the box better than any of their friends. Opinions issued from the box were deemed more important than the people it was supposed to be serving.

‘Though it became clear that the box was no longer a product for entertainment, but for thoughtless slavery, none seemed to care. In fact, rather than fight the effects of ‘feeling induced addiction’, the entire civilization took to studying it, in order to set up and launch something called ‘marketing campaigns’. Believe it or not, children, the humans themselves were responsible for building their own bug zapper!”

“But why?” Little Timmy asked. “Why did they prefer the box to human interaction?”

The kindergarten teacher laughed. “Because, little Timmy.” She shook her head. “They thought their brothers to be their enemies, and the box to be their friend.”

– Thomas M. Watt

Dylan Can’t Sleep

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Dylan sat down in a chair and stared straight ahead. He took a breath, then released. His hands were on his knees, his tongue was in his mouth, and his eyes were peeled wide open. It was four o’clock in the morning.

He thought of Jess. He thought of her often. He wanted to go over to her house. He wanted to have sex with her. He wanted to have sex with her, tell her he loved her, then disappear for another two weeks. But he did not want to do it.

He took another breath. Four-Oh-Three.

“Shit,” he said.

He was on a high. Not a drug induced high, not an unhealthy high, but a normal, euphoric high. At least for him. He didn’t think others got it. They couldn’t. It couldn’t be normal.

It was the reason he kept so disciplined, the reason he carried few friends, the reason he stayed out of other’s lives as much as possible. He was bipolar.

The moment excitement struck, he became a new man – ready to go out and paint the town red. But when disappointment struck, he was nowhere to be seen – curiously, alone in his room at the very same place. Only, when depression set in, his demeanor was much different. When depression set in, it wasn’t difficult to avoid people. In fact, it was nearly impossible to even say hello.

He wasn’t melodramatic, he wasn’t selfish, he was simply troubled. Troubled not by something which was purely a burden, but by something which was also beautiful. Something which was extreme, be it high, be it low. Something which allowed him to experience sights others only dreamt of seeing, and nightmares others had never even begun to view.

How did he know this? It was simple – a look in the eyes. The desire to judge. No person with his condition dared to intentionally disturb another, for the feelings he felt were simply too catastrophic – be it his ego, or his id.

Dylan looked at the clock. Four-ten.

“Shit,” he said, staring down at himself. He looked to the cabinet. The cabinet contained alcohol. Alcohol would not help. Alcohol was not a good idea. Sex would help. Unfortunately, sex involved another human being. Involving another human being meant bringing another from their peaceful existence into his unsettled reality. He didn’t want to do that. He really didn’t.

Four – thirteen.

“Fuck it,” he said. He picked up the phone, found Jess in his contacts, then hit send.

“Hello?” came the sleepy voice.

“Hey,” he said.

“Dylan?” There was a pause. “What do you want? Do you see what time it is?”

Dylan scratched his head. “Yeah… I was just awake. Wondering what you were up to.”

Jess laughed. “Umm, I was sleeping. What are you doing? Why are you calling me?”

Dylan smeared a hand across his face, then raised his eyebrows, then let out a breath. “Do you mind if I come over?”

She chuckled again. “Is something bothering you? It’s not normal to be calling people at four in the morning, you know.”

“Yeah, yeah. I know.” Dylan stood up, and began pacing around his room. “I just felt like talking to you, is all. I feel like seeing you.”

“Now?! Are you serious?”

“Yeah, why not? Can I come over?”

Jess scoffed. “Fine, I’ll make some coffee. This better be about seeing me and not about anything else.”

Dylan laughed loudly. “C’mon Jess, you serious?”

“Yeah, I am actually.”

He scoffed. “I just want to see you. That alright?”

Jess sighed. “Yeah, might as well. I’m up now, so I’ll get a pot brewing. Come over.”

“Sweet, be over in ten,” he said, excitedly.

“Okay, okay. Just don’t be expecting anything else, okay?”

“Of course,” he said, then hung up the phone.

He walked in circles in his room as he gathered his clothes, with a pip in his step. He reached for the door handle, then, just before he turned it to open, he dropped his head.

“Fuck,” he whispered. He shook his head, then left.

– Thomas M. Watt

Reader’s Block

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Night’s distress quiet unrest confused about what writing’s best,

Days are lonely filled with cleaning polishing up words still not breeding.

Yet to know what it’s about, yet to find a worthy clout,

Lost on much uncertain of how,

Dull on why and what’s gone down.

See no pathway yet to publish, know so little and undiscovered.

Many hope all just the same, many players in this game.

Many roads which have been taken, too many wrong turns makes a statement.

Sick of being so of offensive, but it’s my nature to offend some.

Get it all out on that paper, get those words done or you’re breaking.

Let me see what future holds, paint the pathway bright with gold.

Turning left, turning right, still not seeing much to find.

No connections, no handshakes, no other knowledge past what words make.

Singing little smiling not, trying to get but not much got.

Show me something tell me please, bring me to a fulfilled sleep.

Not one reader, not one review, will someone read my writing too?

Overwhelming much distraught, confused about this reader’s block.

Find me friends who want to read, bring me some with this disease.

Manuscript printed edits made, still my mind is all who raves.

What’s the reason for not quitting, what’s the call for all my bidding.

Message sent, end transmission, just gotta push forth what I’ve written.

– Thomas M. Watt