It came upon the midnight clear

Do you miss Christmas? Not enough dead brains and zombies in your life? This piece is inspired by a terrific anthology project run by Lyle Perez

It came upon the midnight clear

“It was not anger, nor surprise, nor disapproval, nor horror,
nor any of the sentiments that she had been prepared for.
He simply stared at her fixedly with that peculiar expression on his face”
"The Gift of the Magy”
O. Henry

There was a series of concurrent knocks on his door that remained unanswered. Eagerness of the visitors met an equally strong contender in Adam's lack of interest to greet whoever ventured into this snowed-in suburban cul de sac on the Christmas night.

Inside, Adam kept monitoring the rows of little red Santas passed out flat in the oven.

He wiped his hands, stained with red food coloring, against his old Grateful Dead t-shirt and scratched his 3 day old shadow of an unkempt beard, ultimately leaving red streaks all over his chin.

Five more minutes and he will be ready to satisfy his craving.  

He took a drag off a hand rolled cigarette; the smell of marijuana suddenly matching strengths with the aroma of freshly baked goods. As he was scanning the kitchen for an oven glove, he heard the thud outside. Perhaps the visitors knocked his door wreath down. The ex-girlfriend’s Christmas present from a year ago; they could even take the damn thing, for all he cared.

As he was taking the cookies out of the oven, he had an idea. In lieu of money, he could offer cookies to the carolers or donation seekers. Perhaps this meager offering should discourage the intruding visitors from hanging out at his porch.

Adam stuffed a piping hot cookie into his mouth and proceeded to the entry hall. He shuffled through piles of packaging boxes; holidays were the only time when he was actually busy with his gag toys online business.
He opened the door with his free hand and immediately dropped the baking tray. A row of dead eyes slowly followed cookies landing at their half rotten feet.

The visitors,  relatively quickly for zombies, proceeded to stomp on the baked goods, moving forward with their arms stretched wide like a drunkard ready for a hug.
Slowed by marijuana,  Adam was leafing through pages of his memory, unable to find some self-preserving strategies. In no time did their teeth begin strangling his neck and pulling away at limps; the sharp claws digging into the flesh of his mouth and tongue.

Strangely enough, the attack brought memories of his teenage years when a stray dog assailed him. Like then, he peed himself and while his urine soaked body was still drowning in the sea of half dead flesh, it appeared to slow down the eagerness of the zombies’ piranhas like mouths.

The hall of his house smelled now like an old hospital: mix of body fluids, blood and ammonia. Perhaps even zombies could not stand the stench. The attack stalling, Adam crawled backwards into his house, attempting to close the door with his legs. 

But more than some toes missing, he was surprised to see his legs so hairy that it looked as he was wearing pants made out of bear hide. His remaining toenails poked out like little daggers. His transformation startled and surprised the intruders; the zombies began moving away like a horror movie played backwards.
Adam turned to face them on all fours; growling and raising the hair on his arched back.

“What was going on? Was it a marijuana…?” He felt like a drunk and fell on his back as if he was one. He curled into a ball and started licking his wounds.

“If it was not a dream, what has been happening?”
All the zombie movies he had watched in his young life seemed now like a PSA or a documentary. There was always some external catalyst for the situation: microbes, cosmic rays, curses. Was it then time of the year; was it something about winter or Christmas? Wouldn't make sense that zombies would raise from dead around Easter?

Adam rubbed his eyes with the claws of his hands, happy to see despite the blood on his face the eyes were relatively intact. As a matter of fact, he felt like his vision actually improved. He surveyed the cul de sac. Some of the zombies lingered by, ready to return to his house at any time had he turned back into a human form. The snowflakes began its parachuting fall, transforming the lingering corpses into hobbling snowmen.
He noticed that one of the zombies was actually carried some human flash (brain?) in a Salvation Army donation bucket. He made an attempt at snickering and was happy to see that unlike some parts of his body, his sense of humor was not missing.

“And if indeed, it was a time of the year, why has it happened before? Once again, how was this Christmas time different?”

He could not possibly figure why it was happening, but he sure hoped he was the cure. Like a child running through a heap of leaves, he energetically darted through the fleeing pack of the undead. He headed  to save the world by transforming humanity into werewolves or whatever it was that he became.He decided to make a first stop at his ex girlfriend. He figured because of the past relationship he owned her to be the first one to be saved. And if she has already been turned into a zombie meal, he could always use the mayhem as an excuse to perhaps snoop around  to see what exactly she's been up to post their break up.

Looking at his house, the boxes and newspapers he used to pack the fake fangs, dog poo or plastic guts he came to a realization that his new state, although allowing him to retain his own - Adam's - consciousness, stripped him of some strictly human skills. For example he was unable to read. Although he knew Caroline's address, for the life of him he could not choose the directions.

He hoped to pick up the scent. He sniffed the half shredded wreath and began to run.

It felt good. He sure put some pounds since he was let go from his last job, but it did not prevent him from covering long distances of streets with an occasional obstacle of a  swirling or speeding car.
At one point he had to jump and hang onto the car’s overhead compartment in order to get further without being a road kill.
He could not be run over now...God knows if by being killed he was to turn into zombie…

His nose was picking up a faint smell that made him kept going until he had to rest, curled down in a ball, weary but on guard.

Suddenly he saw a torpedo of a car driving erratically towards the bushes he was using for a temporary shelter. The vehicle crushed into a nearby tree.
He saw a passenger; a woman slumped on a pillow of an airbag. She looked like Goth Sleeping Beauty, covered in blood, hair burned dashboard fire.  

As the car’s dying sounds were ebbing into the silence of the night, the victim suddenly flinched as if pulled by strings. He blank eyes scanned the area in search of help or …brains?

Adam could see her disorientated face clearly, but once again the new identity prevented him from confirming if it was indeed Caroline. She sure smelled like her, but could he be sure?

On his way here, for one, he saw some beautiful colors in the sky, which might have been fires or just super strong marihuana still lingering in his body.

There was no time to ponder. Adam went for her throat; a kind gesture to end her suffering.

When he sunk his teeth in her neck, the catnip of made him drink and drink  until he could not...

He let go of her throat, allowing her body to fall on the ground. Adam was panting heavily; his tongue dripping blood on the snowy ground, trying to comprehend the sudden and gentle moves of the creature in front of him.

The woman stretched towards the curtain of the night sky, her eyes were beaming faint red light.She smiled at him exposing her fangs.


Sex with the Captain or Babymama

Alcohol and flash fiction DO mix - see this terrific flash fiction challange from Chuck Wendig's Terrible Minds site - one of the Writer's Digest's 101 Best Websites forWriters.

Recipe is simple: pick a drink, mix with a theme, deliver a 500 ounce (ekhm ..words) of excellence.

The captain announced it was now time to turn off the cell phones in preparation for the take off. Davina was ready to comply; she had just finished an explosive conversation with her now ex-boyfriend. Make it expectant father slash ex boyfriend.

As she slit the phone into a pocket of her jacket, her half sister who was accompanying her on the trip returned from the restroom.

They sat in silence, except when Anna stopped the flight attendant to order some complicated drink with an ironic name. The woman complied; they were on a private plane and the staff was used to both Sex with the Captain type of drinks as well as passengers having actual intercourse with one of the pilots.

Anna was handed a glass of lava lamp colored drink garnished with, what both siblings thought, was a knowingly smile. A split image of her father, the famed rock and roll legend Terry Lewis, Anna was more often recognized than not. Even some of her tattoos were strategically placed to resemble his; including a snake that artfully curled up her slender hand.

“No worries, you can enjoy those again in 9 months” Anna snickered as she raised the glass “Here’s to you and the baby”

Sex With the Captain

Build drink in glass over ice. Garnish with a cherry.

Shake ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Strain into glass on the rocks.
Courtesy of

disclaimer: The above flashfiction is actually a first paragraph of my WIP, which I moderated for the sake of the challange.


Where Is the Baby?

my own little Billy
more addictive than episodes of 'Hoarders', the weekly(?) flash fiction challange is here. The prop is babies and the prompt is pulp fiction:

“...Thank you Nancy, for having me on your show. Always been a huge fan. I mean, not of those sad stories, but of you…So anyway, you wanted to know about my sister. See, I am a tough cookie, but Bernadette - it's a different story. She folds under pressure like them cheap patio chairs.

I mean, with her 18 month old baby missing and those media all going crazy, it IS the time to be kinda composed, ya’know? If our parents were alive, they would probably knew better how to calm her [explicit censored] down. Too bad they were murdered by that serial killer.

So you see, this stuff has happened to us before; I mean, her ex boyfriend; ugliest bastard you’ve ever seen; I don’t know how she could fall for him with this eye patch and an ugly scar; he managed to snatch little Billy right out of the delivery room.
The kid was found two days later, when this dummy tried to sell him on Craigslist.
Well then of course, Family Protective Services began looking closer at Billy’s home environment.
In all truth, it would’ve been better if the case worker that they assigned would not be on the hunt for kids to be used for satanistic sacrifices. But no worry, Billy was rescued during a car jack of that wench’s getaway vehicle.

He sure went through a lot. Did I mention that Burger Kind stand up?

I am sure he will show up in no time.”

“Ahg..well..Thank you, Ms. Watson. And now we have breaking news…Billy Watson, a little boy whose disappearance during a camping trip into Colorado woods shook the nation, turned up in a local wild animal sanctuary, healthy and intact.

We are going now to our correspondent in Denver…”

copyright M. Morris 2011 


There Is No 'Om' in 'Hotel'

entry into Terrible Minds' flash fiction challenge 

Running away from the menacing grip of Chicago wind, Annalie Washington was greeted by a warm embrace of the hotel’s lobby. Cautiously, she let the cold hands out of the holey pockets of too small Old Navy jacket and pressed the button marked ‘For the Employees Only.’

She descended into the hotel’s underbelly, keeping eyes down and mumbling hellos and como estas to fellow staffers that were passing by. Her change into her uniform was swift and rivaled Superman’s.

Passing down the floor’s hall, she caught a reflection of herself in the shiny modern hotel walls. ‘I look like a doctor in this garb’ she chuckled to herself; amused at a thought of having something in common with her favorite ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ characters and much less liked sister the pediatrician.

‘Room 362, what seems to be the problem?’ she asked in a mocking tone as she opened the door.

She took in the situation in front of her; the occupant of the suite was clearly an Alpha Dog, marking his territory with wet towels, used sheets and even few condom wrappers. The mini fridge was fully stocked which downgraded the guest a bit; Annalie envisioned a conference attendee who possibly could not expense a jar of peanuts.

The room 363 was almost like an apology for the work she had just done. With a hefty tip on a pillow and nicely straightened covers, the room reeked of a white-collar guilt.

The cleaner she left the rooms, the more confused her mind was becoming. She felt like a pinball, shuffling up and down the hotel.
Every now and then, she would unbend her back and look at the Magnificent Mile outside; its pavement beckoning to her.

As always, it was very clear to her that she had to release this pent-up energy by some means. The penthouse suits were her last stop during this shift.

When she was changing into her own clothes half an hour later, she overheard the other cleaning crew people whispering about the manager’s red alert on one of the rooms. Apparently, the rocker that was renting one went crazy and trashed it.
She buttoned up her jacket, wiped out pearls of sweat from her forehead and dashed outside the hotel. The building’s neon lights cast crimson streaks over her face that was frown with disappointment.

The little knob  from the room she had pillaged was missing from her pocket. She hated when she would lose her little memorabilia.

Luckily, by the time she boarded a bus, her mood elevated. With the evidence gone, she was forgetting all about the incident. Its distant memory was fading, like the downtown in the back of the bus.


great minds think alike and...

come up with the same/similar blog titles.
Check out the The Chrysalis Experiment - "... a commitment on the part of three writers to test writing wisdom by composing a short story every week during 2011 in the hopes of honing their skills." 
Writers are invited to participate. Don't mind if I do. 

Here is my survey which can be used as an introduction to the group - just answer the questions on your blog and send the post's link to the Chrysalis Project honchos:

What are your current writing habits?  Do you have any larger projects in the works?
I am trying to establish a pattern/habit of writing every day. Considering that I focus on medical/science fiction I conduct some form of research daily. I am working on larger pieces that I'd like to (self) publish.

Name three things you love about your own writing and three skills that you would like to work on this year. 
I love the ideas; in area of creating the universe and the concept I am  - to quote Charlie Sheen - 'rock star from Mars'.
I am looking forward to working on the craft and characters, the more mundane part of writing process.

Do you have a list of writing goals for 2011?
Complete my WIP.

What do you find inspiring?
Honestly it can be anything - trash truck outside, an article about genetic therapies, political developments.
The driving force is hidden in a form of the words: 'HOW & WHY?'

What sort of things do you currently do to improve your writing?
thesaurus as a bedtime book; participating in flash fiction challenges (like Chrysalis Project for one)

Are you currently looking for a critique partner or beta readers?  If so, what qualities would you like in a critique partner or beta reader?
Definitely looking for  yes people as my beta readers ;)


Talking in tongues - introduction to my 1st guest post

check out this hard to resist 'two in one' offering: Mariya Koleva's wonderfully prolific blog writing AND my guest post on ghosts, brain strokes, being bilingual..and yes, you do have to read till the end to make sense out of this introduction.