A new book by Brian K. Vagnini...coming soon...
Excerpt from "Now Hiring : DEATH"
Death broke out a very tiny smile, saying “Just watch and learn. Not all things are as they appear to be.”
“Seriously!?” Gus exclaimed raising his voice a little too much. The biker glanced in their direction, then turned his anger back towards what appeared to be his financial planner.
The biker pulled out a knife, taking a step and the next moments were a blur. The bar keep later said that the little guy redirected the biker into the bar, then snapped his neck.
Then, as calm as could be, he sat down and took a sip of his beer. “CIA, six years in the field. Can I borrow your phone?”
The spirit appeared while the paramedics were loading his body into the bag. They had struggled with his three hundred and fifty pound frame.
“Aren’t we gonna go and…”
“Nope. He recognized me. He’s coming over here.”
“Hello. I ...think….I think that you can help me. Am I dead?”
Gus interjected, “Oh, yeah.. Small fry over there kicked your…”.
“GUS!” Death spoke sharply, and Gus clammed up. “Yes. Yes, you are deceased.”
“Yes. And as my not so eloquent assistant there said, your intended victim of violence dispersed with you post haste.”
“The guy you were going to knife over a financial matter stopped you and killed you.”
The spirit hovered there for a moment, quietly. Then he spoke again.
Now what, indeed! Stay tuned for announcements about the release of "Now Hiring : Death".
A short story by Brian K. Vagnini
Part of "Mostly Dead: A Short Story Collection"....coming soon.
Roger felt the sandy soil in his hands. He reflected on a time several years ago. He was working in the garden. His wife, Martha, wanted him to plant the tomatoes and peppers this weekend, or else they would have to wait two more weeks. They were going to be traveling for family purposes on both weekends, and wouldn't have the time. While Roger was opening seed packets, his son came up. He was trying to sneak up on him, emulating his heroes on the anime shows that he watched. Fortunately, Timmy, Roger's son, had NOT had the training his heroes had, so Roger heard him coming. He waited until a moment before Timmy would try to surprise him, then turned around suddenly, arms outstretched, caked with sweat and dirt, grabbing him. Timmy squealed in surprise, then laughed. Roger released his hug on his son. His T-shirt had handprints on the sides. Roger frowned. Martha would be upset He brushed off his son's shirt, then smiled.
"Good as new." He said. His son looked puzzled, then beamed at him.
"Can I help, Daddy?"
"Of course you can, Timmy. Just put one seed in each hole that I dig."
Father and son went down the line, Roger, digging the hole out with the garden trowel, and Timmy putting the seed in. It took twice as long as it would have taken Roger to do it by himself, but he didn't mind. His son was being very meticulus in placing the seed in the ground, then even more careful in covering it up with the small mound of dirt that Roger left beside each hole.
Timmy let out a small gasp. There was a worm in one of the piles. Timmy stared at the worm, poking its head through the dark rich soil, little flakes of leaves and other unknown things, in the palm of his hand.
He asked a million and six questions.
Where did the worm come from? Was a little boy worm, or a little girl worm? How can you tell? Where was its mommy at? What did the worm eat? Did the worm go to school?
And on and on. Some answers Roger knew, some he faked, and some he admitted that he didn't know. He explained to Timmy that worms were an important part of the Earth's lifecycle, that things like trees died and that after a while they started to decompose and as that happened, you would find worms in the soil that the tree was turned back into. He showed his son the compost pile over in the corner of the yard, which consisted chiefly of the leaves raked up from the previous fall. Roger took a shovel and lifted up the bottom-most layer.
"You see how it's leaves on the top, but it looks more like dirt on the bottom, Son? That's because the leaves are decomposing...they're changing into something else. Turning back into dirt. That attracts the worms, who are looking for food. See, there's a couple of worms now."
Timmy looked on with great curiousity. He reached out his small hand, trying to grasp the worm. It wriggled through his fingers and fell back into the leaf pile, disappearing quickly. Timmy darted his hand into the leaf pile, looking for it, but came up empty handed.
"Daddy...I wanted to touch the worm...."
"It's ok son, let it be."
After a moment or two, Timmy asked. "Does that just happen to trees? The dec....the deco....the thing?"
"No son. That happens to every living thing. Eveything comes from the soil, like the seeds that we planted, which will turn into plants that make vegetables, that we will eat. Everything returns to the soil, like in the fall, when I till this portion of yard back up, ready for the winter vegetables. Those plants that fed us during the summer will decompose, turning back into earth and there will be more worms then, and it makes the soil richer, which helps the next plants be stronger and better. It's a big circle of life."
Timmy pondered this for a moment, then timidly asked, "Does this happen to us, too, Daddy?"
Roger felt Martha's hand on his arm, bringing him back to reality. He stared at the handful of dirt in his hand, then dropped it in the hole.
"He was only 7 years old." He said, turning slowly away from the grave, heading back to his car.
Want to read more stories like this? Stay tuned for announcements about the release of "Mostly Dead: A Short Story Collection".
A new book by Brian K. Vagnini...coming soon...
Excerpt from "The Lens".
He bolted for his horse, ten yards away tied to another young tree. He reached the saddle in time, but failed to climb up on the horse. As his vision came back in focus, he noticed that he was, once again, just a ten year old little boy. The horse glanced over at him, amused. He spun around, looking for the bandits. There was no one else in sight. He was relieved at first, then came to his senses, as he realized that he was not a character in his favorite western, and that his mother was gone.
He ran over the hill to where the car was. There was no car. She was gone. The car was gone. The edge of the town was gone. In the distance, he could see something that looked like a building. He sat down and cried. Ten minutes later, he stopped crying, as he realized that there was no one to cry to. He needed to be the big man of the house like his Daddy had told him, before he shipped off to France. He got up, took off his tie, stuffing it into his shirt pocket, then made his way towards town.
Emily walked back to where the camera bag was, grinning at her son's antics. She focused on him, saying "Now remember to smile, my little sheriff." His mind was back in his western radio programs. It made him happy. He smiled a big smile and she snapped the shutter. As she looked up from the twin lens reflex camera, she froze. He was gone.
One second, he was there, the next...gone. He was fast on his feet, but not nearly fast enough to completely disappear like that. She spun around, expecting, no...hoping, that he was right behind her, ready to shout "BOO!". There was no one there. She dashed over to the car, then back to where he was standing, then to a tree nearly. It was a huge oak, that some said had been there for at least fifty years or more. She looked up into the limbs, all the while screaming his name. There was no answer.
She stumbled back over to the camera bag. Her thoughts went through her head at about a thousand miles an hour. Jack was gone, God only knows where; her husband was off in France, on the front lines, probably already dead. Her mother had passed away just last month. She was all alone. She took a tentative step towards where he had been standing, then fainted, overcome with anxiety.
Where did young Jack go? Stay tuned for announcements about the release of "The Lens".