Flesh and Chips
By Scott Wilson
Word Count: 370
“You know, I don’t much care how much education you have or how many advanced degrees. Despite all that you are dumber than a doornail and everyone can see that easily,” Matt said.
The pale and gaunt face stared up at Henry through the thick steel grate in the concrete floor of the basement in his parent’s shop.
“Not so smart now, are you. Who’s the top of the food chain now, hey? Harvard degree and living in my cellar.”
Matt spat a mammoth, sickly green stream of phlegm at the grill and coughed violently. He wiped his mouth with a dirty handkerchief and grimaced as he saw black speckles of blood.
“Well I’m smarter than you, mate. No way I’m going to end up as a bloody zombie like you. I’ve got more smarts.”
He coughed again and spat the bloody phlegm at Henry, who reacted as though an appetiser had been served up.
“Uuurgh,” he moaned even louder.
Matt walked to the small window in the top of the wall, there were still hundreds of them outside. He picked up his father’s shotgun and stumbled back towards the grate. Matt did not even know about the sewer running under his parent’s fish and chip shop until he barricaded himself down there when the virus broke out.
“So how did you know this drain ran under my oldies shop?”
Matt coughed again, slipped on a big wad of phlegm, and dropped the shotgun. It fired, catching him in the leg and ripping a huge hole through his flesh. He fell to the ground, grasping at his bloody leg and writhing in pain.
“Argh!” he yelled.
“Uurrggh,” came the reply from the grate.
Henry grabbed the bloodied foot through the grate, pulling it towards his gnashing teeth. Matt screamed as his leg ripped free just below his knee. He passed out.
Henry reached through the grate again, blindly grabbing until he latched onto Matt’s jeans. He pulled his friend’s body closer, until it was directly over the grate and began feasting on his friend’s flesh.
Flesh and Chips
Posted by Scott Wilson
By Scott Wilson
Word Count: 211
“I’m going to try going home again. I hope I get a warmer reception that I did last time,” Pete said to his co-worker Jack, sculling the last half his pint of fourex beer.
“What happened yesterday?”
“Didn’t go home yesterday. After the cold reception, I got on Monday, decided to stay at the hotel upstairs. Best night sleep I’ve ever had.”
“You want me to come back with you? The old lady might be a bit more civil if you’ve got company with you.”
“Don’t want to get you involved, mate.”
Jack patted his friend on the back and stood up.
“Look, I’m going to head home now anyway, so what’s say I give you a lift home.”
“Okay, but I’m telling you, it might get ugly.”
Jack lit a cigarette and patted Pete on the back again, “Look mate. I’ve seen some pretty ugly things in my time. I’m sure I’ll handle it.”
“Look, when we get there, just be careful, okay mate. She’s gotten loose, so she could be anywhere in the house and she’s still pretty quick.”
“You know she’s a zombie don’t you?”
Posted by Scott Wilson
Learn the Lingo
By Scott Wilson
Word Count: 178
“One of the positive things about little league is the kids all learn how to hustle,” Chip said to the group of fathers at the sports club bar.
“Look, mate!” Paul said. “This is Australia you Yankee wanker. It’s not little league. It’s bloody baseball. Bad enough you yanks have invaded our country with all your other slang without adding another one.”
“Just a doggon minute, pal.” Chip said.
“No you listen. We eat bikkies, not bloody cookies. We give our kids lollies, not bloody candy. Our babies wear nappies, not diapers, so sick of you hijacking our language.”
“I think you should just tone it down, buddy.”
“Don’t call me buddy. It’s mate, got it mate. If you’re going to live in our country, at least learn how to speak the lingo.”
Chip punched Paul with a roundhouse to the stomach.
“What do you all call that, mate?” he said, walking out of the bar.
Posted by Scott Wilson
By Scott Wilson
Word Count: 318
“Listen, you old bat, your reminiscences may be very satisfying to you, but they bore the hell out of me. Time you get into reality and got yourself a life,” Sally said to her mother-in-law.
The old woman stared blankly at Sally and Sally could tell that she had lapsed into another “dementia spell” as her mother-in-law called them.
“What are you doing here, Sally?”
Sally knew that the last five minutes of telling her mother-in-law how she really felt about her was already gone.
“Just came to see how you were going, see if you need anything before I go to work.”
The vacant look disappeared from Sally’s mother-in-law’s face, she was back.
“You know, I’ve never really liked you. You were never good enough for my Charlie. Whore, slut, bitch.”
Sally could not think of anything witty to say, she was in shock. She thought it was probably the dementia again, it caused abusive outbursts. But then again, Sally’s gut instinct told her it was deep-seated feelings coming out of her mother-in-law and had nothing to do with the dementia.
“Never liked you at all you little bitch, taking my Charlie away from me at such an early age, fucking slut. He should have lived at home until he had a degree, nice job, enough money for a deposit on a house. Not scrounging for dimes on a low paying unskilled shop assistant. Fucking bitch.”
“Just a minute...” Sally began.
Her mother-in-law lunged forward, jabbing a knitting needle deep into Sally’s eye and through her brain. Sally fell to the floor, twitching as the life ran quickly out of her onto the polished wood floor.
The mother-in-law sat back in her rocking chair and stared blankly at the photo of her children on the wall. She rocked slowly back and forth, oblivious to the pool of blood forming on the floor.
Posted by Scott Wilson
By Scott Wilson
Word Count: 367
"Silly Scilla, silly Scilla," the young girl sang, as she pushed another tiny blue flower into her hair. She knew she would have to remove these adornments before they returned to the house. When Mum gently cleared her throat, Elizabeth remembered the tiny celery seeds that had been spilling out of her apron all morning.
She sighed and settled down in an empty row, digging her bare toes into the cool soil. She froze when her foot bumped something hard. Scooping the dirt aside with her fingers, she found a tiny, tattered purse. Glancing at her mother to ensure her secret treasure was still a secret; she opened the clasp and gasped.
“What are you?” Elizabeth said softly.
“What’s that, honey?” her mother said.
“Oh, nothing. I was just thinking aloud, Mum.”
Elizabeth turned away from her mother, pulling the purse closer to make sure her mother did not see. Inside a glittering golden light sparkled in the warm autumn sun. She poked her finger inside and moved it around gently. The golden light swirled with the circular motion, like a tiny whirlpool. The light felt soft and warm on Elizabeth’s finger and she put another two fingers in the purse.
Elizabeth felt a tingle run along her arm and down her spine; it tickled and felt nice, causing her to giggle.
“What’s so funny, darling?” her mother said.
“Nothing, mummy. Just thought about a joke I heard at school.”
“That’s nice dear.”
Elizabeth pushed her whole hand in the purse, smiling as the golden light swirled around her arm, slowly creeping up like a serpent. The tingling sensation ran through her body and she felt like giggling again, this time she held it inside so her mother didn’t turn and see the beautiful light.
Elizabeth’s mother smelt a crisp, fresh aroma and turned towards her daughter.
“Elizabeth?” she said.
A thousand tiny butterflies flittered around an open purse on the ground where her daughter stood moments before. Elizabeth’s mother bent over and picked up the purse, mesmerized by the enchanting golden light swirling inside.
Posted by Scott Wilson
Just been told another 3 stories have been accepted
Murder at Heritage Nation Park - Micro Horror
Plague Ship - Micro Horror
Life in the Great Beyond - A Long Short Story - July Issue
By Scott Wilson
Amber typed as if her life depended upon it, with the speed and accuracy only a professional could. A sharp snap popped behind her. It sounded like a ripe watermelon dropped on the office floor, splattering the back of her blouse. She could not chance making a mistake, so she ignored it and kept typing.
Sweat beaded on her forehead, threatening to run into her eyes and blinding her with the stinging, salty stream. Amber did not wipe the droplets, nor break her concentration further by shaking the sweat away. She focused on the short hand scrawled on the notepad on her desk and kept typing. Ten pages down and at least twenty more to go before she could relax. There was no way she was going to make a mistake.
Pop. There was another distracting noise; this time to Amber’s left. She did not know what was going with the other people in the office, but she was professional. She would not let these noises distract her from one hundred percent accuracy. As focused, as Amber was, the sticky juice made her blouse cling to her back and it began to irritate.
A quick succession of four more sharp sounds, kind of like the sound of a cork coming out of a bottle rang out behind and to the side. Amber almost lost it, especially when another discharge of sticky juice sprayed her face and left hand. Again, she regained focus instantly and continued tapping away without error or any sign of slowing down.
Someone stood up at the desk next to Amber and quickly walked past. They slipped on the juice of the floor and crashed into Amber’s desk, knocking her notepad to the ground. Amber began to panic, she could just see the short hand, luckily it landed the right way up. She manuovered her leg from under the desk into the walkway, ready to flick the page over with her points.
As Amber flicked the last page over another noise exploded next to her foot, covering her foot but missing the notepad. She finished typing the last sentence and sighed under her breath, just loud enough to let out the tension but not so loud that the boss would hear.
“Well done, Amber,” the manger said, stepping over the body next to Amber’s desk. “One hundred percent accuracy in record time.”
Amber wiped the sweat from her brow and glanced briefly at the carnage around the office. The other temps lay dead at their desk, a single bullet hole in their forehead and an arterial spray decorating the floor and walls.
“I can’t stand slovenly or sloppy workers,” the manager said, putting his revolver back in his shoulder holster. “Make sure you clean up this mess before two please. I’ll have some more dictation for you to type up then.”
Amber looked at the clock, gulping as she saw it was one thirty. The manager smiled, then locked the door behind as he left the office.
Dealer’s Deck of Death
By Scott Wilson
Word Count: 662
It looked like an ordinary deck of playing cards with an ordinary blue-checkered pattern on the back and various comical cartoon pictures in the centre of the symbols on the playing side. Tommy flicked through them slowly; taking time at each turn to study each card like it held a deeper meaning than the common viewer saw. Only thirty-six cards remained in the deck, Tommy used the others over the month since finding them under the desk at uni.
Tommy stopped at the nine of hearts and studied it carefully. The caricature was a young red haired lady, dressed in a knee-high pair of snakeskin boots, short denim skirt that barely covered her black lace g-string, a checkered red sleeveless cowgirl shirt and a black R M Williams hat.
“Are you anything like your sister, the two of hearts?” he said softly.
The picture winked at him and blew him a kiss.
Tommy put the rest of the cards back in the packet, carefully slide the packet into the pocket of his jeans, then kissed the nine of hearts before placing it into his shirt pocket. He hopped up and walked towards the toilets at the back of the refectory.
“Okay honey,” he said to the card once comfortably sitting in the cubicle at the end of the toilets. “Let’s see what you can do.”
Tommy flicked his wrist, tossing the playing card high in the air. It reached the top of the cubicle, then disappeared with a wet popping sound. Tommy opened the cubicle door eagerly and was disappointed to see an empty bathroom. He felt a warm hand caress the back of his neck.
“Hey big boy,” a seductive and husky voice behind him said.
Tommy turned slowly. The sex kitten from the playing card was leaning against the door of the cubicle. She beckoned him back to the piss smelling stall, wishing that the cards worked away from the university grounds. He’d use them all in his bedroom rather than a stinking public toilet if he had the choice.
Tommy closed the door behind him, grinning deviously as the red head slowly unbuttoned her shirt. She wore no bra so her voluptuous breast almost burst out when she had all the buttons undone. She pulled his head towards her chest, rubbing her breasts again his face with both hands.
“Oh yeah, that’s it,” she said.
Tommy kissed her nipples and playing with them with his tongue gently. Before he found the deck of cards he was a virgin, and probably still was as the women from the cards were not real women, they disappeared after he’d had sex with them, so it didn’t really count, did it?
Tommy felt her press her large breasts against the sides of his head firmly. It felt nice, until the pressure kept closing in around his head and he couldn’t breathe, eventually blacking out.
When he came to, he smelt a waxy, musky odor and did not know where he was. He heard voices in the distance, but could not feel anything, he could not move. Tommy tried to yell, but no words came out. After a period of time that Tommy could not determine, he felt as though something lifted him up. Light filled his eyes, blinding him for a second until they had time to adjust. He looked around, but could only see straight ahead; he couldn’t turn his head to see on either side.
“Hello, big boy,” a familiar voice said.
Tommy saw the nine of hearts looking down at him, like she were a giant, or he were an ant. He felt himself rising up quickly. A giant pair of lips pressed against his face, almost smothering him in their soft, moist embrace.
The red haired woman took the nine of hearts away from her lips and placed in back on the table next to the other thirty-six cards evenly spread out.
Come Out and Play
By Scott Wilson
Arnold grasped the door handle tightly, pulling against it with all the strength his weak little arms could muster. Outside the sound of brittle finger nails snapping as they scrapped and scratched against the door, threatening to claw their way through and tear at Arnold’s pale, soft flesh.
“Leave me alone!” he yelled.
The clawing stopped.
Arnold raised his head to peer out of the security peephole. There were still four of them outside, waiting for a chance to play with him.
“Uurgh,” came the reply in a low and gurgling raspy guttural tone.
“Please,” Arnold whimpered. “Just go away.”
The clawing stopped again.
Arnold looked again. This time he could not see anyone.
“Just board the sucker in,” one of the four men in the hall outside Arnold’s dormitory room said. “Freakin’ zombie will starve to death if it can’t get out.”
By Scott Wilson
Word Count: 283
Andy found a crumpled note in the door handle of his car. He had only been at the Balmoral Cinema for the hour and a half playing time of the movie.
One-way ticket to St Helena Island Prison, the note had written in a messy, child-like printing.
“What the hell’s this?” Andy said to his friend, Peter.
“What’s what?” Peter replied.
Andy unlocked the car and passed the note to Peter when they both sat down. Peter looked at the note, turned it over and saw the handwritten barcode with twelve random numbers scrawled above and below.
“Just kids being funny,” Peter said.
Andy screwed the note up and tossed in out the window.
“Yeh, very funny.”
He dropped Peter off at his unit on the way home, and then went straight home to go to bed.
“Wake up you lazy bastard!” a voice boomed at Andy, waking him from a deep yet restless sleep.
He opened his eyes, rubbing the sleep out to clear his vision. His surrounding was not the soft, warm green walls of the bedroom of his unit, but the cold, hard, pale grey concrete of a prison cell.
“Where am I?” he said.
“Very funny indeed,” said the muscular guard standing at his cell door. “Now get your lazy ass out of bed before I throw you in solitary.”
“There must be some mistake. I’m not supposed to be here?”
“Ain’t ever heard that one before,” the guard said, pulling the rough, wool blanket from Andy’s bed. “Everyone here at St Helena’s is innocent, ain’t they.”
By Scott Wilson
Word Count: 3,480
“Good morning, Jessica,” the temporary placement officer said in a chirpy voice. “How are you?”
“Fantastic thanks, Patricia.”
“I have an assignment that I think you are perfect for. It's a data entry role with the Department of Health.”
“That sounds great. I worked there a few years back and really loved the place.”
“Cool. Can you start tomorrow?”
“Okay then. Go to level seven, one hundred Queen Street and ask for Jason McIntyre. The assignment is for two months and you’ll use Oracle for the data entry. I see that you have extensive use of this software already.”
“Yes, I actually learned it there last time I worked with them.”
“Okay, good luck. I’ll ring you at the end of the day to see how you went.”
Jess rang the hairdresser and made an appointment for later that day. She liked making a good first impression and felt confident when she had a fresh, crisp haircut.
* * * *
“Good morning, I’m Jessica Norbitt,” Jess said to the receptionist. “I am here work for Mr. McIntyre.”
After waiting a few minutes, a tall and slender businessman with red hair in a ponytail, dressed in khaki trousers and a checkered Country Road shirt walked into the foyer talking on his mobile phone. The receptionist pointed to Jess and he waved at her to follow back through the door he came through. She followed him through the door, to the lift lobby and up to the seventh floor. The workplace looked worse for wear since Jess last worked there. The paint looked faded, carpet worn and even the atmosphere seemed somehow, stale. Jess did not see any familiar faces working in the cubicles, nor recognize any names on the directory.
Jason flipped his phone shut, turned to face Jess and finally addressed her.
“My name is Jason, I run this section. The agency said you worked here a few years ago.”
“Hi, Jason,” Jess said, taken back by how cold this guy appeared to be. “Yes, I worked her when David was the manager...”
“Yes, well things have changes a lot since then,” Jason, said abruptly. “We’ve weeded out the dead wood and I run a tight ship.”
Jess did not reply, too shocked by this middle-aged wannabe’s attitude.
“You’ll start at nine, half hour for lunch at twelve and finish at five. No mobile phones in the office, if it’s a business call, and then it’ll come through the switchboard,” Jason said.
He slowly stood up and walked towards the office door, motioning for Jess to follow. “Right, let’s get you set up at your workstation.”
Jess followed him though the door, down the hall and into an overcrowded, open plan office, filled with plain light blue cubicles. There was no sign of any personal effects, like photos or kids drawings, everything looked cold and sterile, like a hospital ward.
“Maria,” Jason said to a large, overweight Italian woman in her late forties. “This is the temp; she’ll be helping you catch up with the data-entry.”
Jason turned and walked back to his office.
Jess could not believe that the guy did not even introduce her to Maria by name, just, The Temp.
“You’ll be sitting over there,” Maria said, pointing to the cubicle directly across from her own. The desk had piles of paperwork stacked on each side of the desk, with little room for working. She handed Jess a Post-It note with a user name and password scrawled on it in smudged blue handwriting.
“Okay,” Jess said softly, walking to her home for the next two months.
Maria wheeled across on her chair and said, “This pile is the invoices, and that one is the client sheets. You need to match them up and enter the details in the system. When you’ve done that, they get filled in the archive boxes in that storeroom.”
Maria rolled back and went back to her own job. Jess stared at her desk blankly for a few seconds, drinking in the reality that this place was nowhere near the happy go lucky place she previously worked.
Only two months, she eventually thought to herself, and then began working through the piles of paper. Despite being happy-go-lucky and cheerful, Jess was unable to have a decent conversation with anyone in the workplace. She completed the entire backlog by the end of the day, headed home feeling flat, and exhausted both physically and mentally. Her back was aching from lifting archive boxes of full of files that no one would give her a hand moving.
Early the following morning, Jess woke up with a shooting pain running up and down her left arm and back. It felt like someone had shoved a hot poker inside her body and left there overnight. She was in excruciating pain and had great difficulty in getting ready for work, every movement hurt. Putting her button up shirt felt worse than if she were stretched on a torturers’ rack.
“How am I going to get through today?” she said to herself.
Jess could not find a seat on the train, so she stood in agony for the twenty-minute trip to work. The ten-minute walk was even worse.
At work, Jess rang her placement officer as soon as she sat down at her desk, “Hi Patricia.”
“How’s it going, Jess?”
“Not so good, Patricia. I hurt my back lifting some archive boxes yesterday and I’m in absolute agony.”
“Why were you lifting boxes for?”
“The files I finished had to be stacked in the boxes ready for collection. Nobody helped me and I’ve really hurt myself. I haven’t been in this much pain before.”
“Okay, see how you go the rest of the day and let me know.”
“I’ll try, bye Patricia.”
Maria almost pounced on Jess as soon as she hung up.
“Who was that!” she demanded.
“Just my placement officer, Patricia. I had to let her know about hurting my back yesterday lifting those boxes.”
Maria gave Jess the evils and huffed.
“What are you talking about? You never mentioned anything to me about hurting yourself.”
“Well, one of those boxes slipped when I put in on the top shelf, it jarred my back when I caught it. It didn’t hurt that much when I did it so I didn’t mention it at the time.”
“Oh, they’re not that heavy. You probably did it at home or something.”
Maria went back to her desk and made a brief phone call. She kept looking at Jess whilst talking, making Jess feel uncomfortable and very self-conscious.
Jess could only work for just over an hour before she had to leave work. She stopped at her family doctor on the way home and was lucky enough to get in to see her. Having seen Jess for over ten years, Dr Landy knew there was something wrong just from looking at her.
“What have you done to yourself, Jess?”
“I think I’ve really hurt my back lifting archive boxes at work. The pain is unbearable.”
Dr Landy did a few tests, got Jess to move in specific directions, and then nodded.
“I think we’d better get an X-Ray on your back today.”
“Is it bad?”
“I just want to make sure there’s nothing serious. Better to be safe than sorry, is my motto.”
* * * *
After a week of trying unsuccessfully to work, Jess went back to her GP again.
“I think we’d better send you to see a neurosurgeon, Jess,” Dr Landy said.
“The Panadeine Forte doesn’t seem to be helping much, Doctor. I think I’ve done something really bad.”
“Once you see the neurosurgeon, we’ll be able to determine exactly what is wrong. I’d like to get an MRI done, but only a specialist can request them. From the X-Ray, I cannot be one hundred percent sure what the problem is. There looks to be a lump near the C6/C7 Cervical joints, but I can’t tell from an X-Ray if it is nerve of disc damage.”
“Thank you Doctor. The temping agency hasn’t even bothered checking up on me to see how I’m going. After ten years of working for them I, thought there’d be some loyalty, but nope. I’m just a temp, a disposable piece of equipment.”
“Don’t worry, Jess. This is definitely a workplace injury. The symptoms and signs are consistent with the accident you have described. You are still covered by Work Cover as a temp, and that includes your medical costs and wages.”
“Thank you Doctor Landy, I don’t know what I’d do without your support.”
“That’s what I’m here for. Look it will take at least two weeks to get in to see a neurosurgeon. I will write out a Work Cover certificate for you so you don’t aggravate that injury anymore.”
Jess caught a taxi home and rang Patricia to update her with what was happening.
“Look, Jess,” Patricia said. “We’ll have to get our Workplace Health and Safety Advisor in to investigate this. Just send your Doctor’s Certificate to me via email.”
“Thanks, Patricia,” Jess said. “I have booked in to see a specialist next week, so I’ll let you know what he finds.”
At the end of the call, Jess had a feeling that the agency would not be helping her find work after this whole incident blew over. Patricia did not sound happy with having to investigate anything in one of her client’s workplace and it even felt like she blamed Jess for having the accident.
* * * *
Jess walked into the neurosurgeon’s reception ten minutes before her appointment, just as they asked. She completed the six pages of personal details and waited for her appointment with Doctor Reece. The chairs in the waiting room were cheap and uncomfortable. Jess did not understand how a surgery that specialized in back injuries could have such a lack of regard for their patient’s comfort.
“Jessica Norbitt,” the young doctor said, walking briskly into the waiting room. Jess thought he looked like he was even younger that she was.
She followed the young doctor into his surgery. No expense was spared in furnishing this room, solid teak bookcases lining each two walls, thousands of dollars of textbooks sat neatly stacked on the bookshelves. In the centre of the room sat a large well-polished antique desk with solid brass fittings. Expensive gadgets, like a HTC Touch screen mobile phone, pager and PDA sat on the desk charging.
Jess noticed his Degree hanging on the wall in a gold frame on the wall to the left of the desk. It was dated two years ago, confirming Jess’ gut instinct that he was not very experienced.
“I see you did this injury at work,” he said.
“Yes, I was putting archive boxes on shelves, ready for...”
“Where exactly is the pain,” the Doctor said, interrupting Jess before she had finished answering the last question.
“It is in my back, between my shoulders. The pain runs down my left arm and into my fingers. At first I thought I’d broken my elbow, it hurt so much.”
“Okay, stand up against the wall over there.”
Jess could not believe how rude the doctor seemed. First the workplace and now this doctor, she was shocked.
She stood by the wall and complied with the tests and examinations without a word of complaint.
“Okay, sit back down.”
The doctor scribbled something on a pad and thrust it at Jess.
“I need you to have an MRI as soon as possible. You can go to the Mater Private for this.”
Jess looked at him, wondering what was happening. The doctor was cold, abrupt and rude. She had no idea what the outcome of this consultation was.
“See the receptionist to book an appointment later this week when you should have the MRI.”
Jess slowly stood up and said, “Er, thanks.”
She made the follow up appointment and caught a taxi to the Mater, hopping that she could get the MRI done straight away, which she was able to do. Jess went home and spent the rest of the week in excruciating agony and emotional turmoil. She was not used to people being so rude and cold hearted.
* * * *
The appointment later in the week seemed like months away by the time she got to see the neurosurgeon again.
Doctor Reece looked at the MRI, and then read the brief report.
“You have a ruptured C6 and C7 disc causing pressure on the spinal nerve. We can operate to relieve the pressure of wait and see if it heals over the next nine months.”
Jess sat with her mouth open. While the pain was excruciating, she was not prepared for the announcement that she had to have spinal surgery from lifting a box at work.
“Can I think about it, please?” she eventually said.
She left the surgery in a state of disbelief, thinking about the operation, the appalling communication skills of the doctor, money and how she would cope. Jess decided to wait and see if the injury would heal naturally, not wanting to go through the pain of major spinal surgery. This meant that she would take a series of CT Nerve Root Block injections, painkillers and physiotherapy while trying to rest and recover.
Jess made the first physiotherapy appointment for the following day and had a restless night’s sleep. In the morning, her back was even stiffer, from tossing and turning in her sleep. She did perk up once she arrived at the physiotherapist and saw the hunk of a man that was going to help her rehabilitate over the next nine months, Cameron Stone.
The saying about tall, dark and handsome could have been coined for him. At a little over six feet in height, Cameron was tall enough to stand out in a crowd and that was before you added in all the rest. With his black hair and cobalt-blue eyes, he drew admiring glances wherever he went. His features were both attractive and very masculine—a strong chin, chiseled lips, a straight nose.
Cameron smiled at Jess, a broad grin lighting his face and radiating across the room.
“Good morning, Jessica Norbitt?” he said in a deep and powerful voice that made her quiver. His smile broadened, he definitely liked her scent. It wasn't the heavy, sickly sweet scent of expensive perfume he smelled so often on some of the rich elderly ladies that always asked for his services.
“Jess, please,” she replied. “Just Jess.”
She tried ignoring the warmth of sensations that seeped through her veins. Jess had never met a man who radiated so much sensuality. Part Australian and part French, at thirty-four he was the epitome of every woman’s fantasy and a major player in numerous women’s nightly dreams. The sexiness was there in his looks, his body, when he walked, talked or just plain stared at you. He was definitely the most gorgeous man she’d ever encountered.
He motioned for Jess to follow him into the rehabilitation centre behind the reception area. She momentarily forgot the aching pain in her back and concentrated on watching his sexy, muscular buttocks in his tight training shorts as she followed behind him. Jess almost walked right into Cameron when he stopped and turned around slowly, almost like a model pivoting on the catwalk.
Cameron checked with watch as he turned, so missed Jess’ glance anyway.
“Okay, Jess,” he said softly. “I’ll start with a few movement tests to see exactly how much pain you are in and the extent of your mobility. Don’t want to cause you any more pain than you’re already in.”
Jess was dressed in a pair of casual khaki, knee-length shorts and a tight white t-shirt. She was glad she wore a good quality sports bra, it hide the tell tale signs of her excitement that would otherwise be quite noticeable.
At the end of the hour, Jess looked utterly exhausted, with dark circles under her eyes and a haggard hollowness in her cheeks. Jess was usually very precise about her appearance, but there was no hiding the pain that the extensive session took on her. Even through the pain, Jess was worried how she looked to Cameron though.
“Right, Jess,” Cameron said. “I think that we may make some progress over a period of time. I can really feel how knotted your muscles are in your neck and shoulders.”
“How many sessions do you think I need?” Jess said, hoping that it would be numerous.
“I think we should try two sessions a week for the next four weeks and see how you are at the end. If you are making progress, then we should be able to reduce it down to once a week.”
“Do you think I’ll get better over time?” she said hopefully. “Or will I need to have an operation?”
“Off the record, Jess,” Cameron said, leaning close to her as though he was going to kiss her. “Doctor Reece is not that experienced. He is a young gun who thinks his hands will cure all spinal injuries through expensive operations. If I were you, I’d get a second opinion.”
“Really?” Jess said. “Will that stop my Work Cover payments if I get another opinion?”
“No, you are entitled to a second opinion, but make sure you get a good specialist the next time. One poor lady that saw Doctor Reece made the mistake of seeing the other specialist in the same surgery, just so she didn’t have to get another referral and wait longer. The other guy, Doctor Franklin, is a young gun to. I think they met at University and decided to open their own practice once they could. They don’t have enough experience between them to make a competent decision.”
“I know, and after six months of pain and suffering, she went to get a third opinion because Doctor Franklin was flip flopping, changing his mind about whether to operate or not. It almost drove her crazy, the poor thing. When she did told Work Cover, they offered her a pitiful lump sum payout, that wouldn’t have covered the medical expenses and recovery time and closed her case. I am still working with her now, but she had to get a loan from her parents for forty-thousand dollars to cover the operation and living expenses.”
“What did she do about the doctors?” Jess said.
“She wanted to take them for malpractice but the medical profession looks after itself so she couldn’t do anything. No one was interested. Luckily, she found a good lawyer and is taking them to court.”
“There’s no way I’d be able to survive without being paid, and my health insurance wouldn’t cover this yet as I only joined ten months ago. She’s lucky she had parents that could help her out.”
“I only wish I’d known about these two doctors before, so I could have helped her. It’s going to take years in the courts to get her money back.”
Jess realized she was holding his arm tightly and let go. Cameron smiled at her.
“I’m just glad I was able to warn you,” he said.
“Thank you so much, Cameron,” Jess said. “I’ll make an appointment with my GP to get a referral as soon as possible.”
Jess kissed him on the cheek and walked out to catch a taxi home. She stopped at her family doctor on the way home and explained what Cameron had said to her. Her GP wrote out a referral to a highly regarded neurosurgeon, with twenty years experience.
* * * *
“I’ve got great news, Cameron,” Jess said. “I saw another specialist, this lovely man, Doctor Noble. He looked at my X-Rays and MRIs and said I won’t need an operation.”
“That’s great news, Jess,” Cameron said, giving Jess a heartfelt hug.
Jess kissed Cameron passionately while they continued embracing each other like lovers.
“I am so glad I met you, Cameron,” Jess said. “I can’t imagine the pain and suffering I would have had to go through having an operation when I didn’t need one.”
“I am glad I met you too, Jess,” Cameron said. “You are such a beautiful and intelligent young lady.”
Jess dated Cameron while she was completing her physiotherapy program over the following months, gradually strengthening her back and their relationship until they decided to become engaged after a year.
Cameron supported Jess through her rehabilitation and the legal battle against Doctor Reece for malpractice. Jess was instrumental in forming a class action against Doctor Reece for his constant misdiagnosis and eagerness to operate on anyone coming to him with suspected spinal injuries.
Posted by Scott Wilson
The following stories are now online at Well Told Tales
Lunch at Heritage National Park
Billy Bad Boy
Fields of Mars
Red Spot Special
By Scott Wilson
Word Count: 204
–noun 1. overabundance or superfluity of words, as in writing or speech; wordiness; verbosity.
I don’t know why my parents decided to call me Verbiage. Maybe they were being funny at the time, or stoned like they usually were.
I am extremely quiet, reserved and very shy. Most of the time I prefer my own company, reading a Dean Koontz, Clive Barker or Stephen King novel. I’m really more of a Cliché than Verbiage. I listen to heavy metal like Dokken, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and Yngwie Malmsteen through my I-Pod, while locked away in my room reading a nice horror novel.
Anyway, once I was old enough to understand what my name meant, I left home in disgust. I moved to the outer rim planets, working in the asteroid mines wherever I could. It is good money and the job is very isolated, don’t have to work with anyone else or talk to other numb nuts who thought they were either hilarious or smart.
I have planet hopped to avoid the police for ten years now. While I don’t mince my words, I do have a tendency to mince people who annoy me, like my parents.
Thanks enough for now, don’t want to waste any more words.
By Scott Wilson
Injustice floated down the Queen Street Mall in the cool autumn breeze, seeking someone to befriend, someone who had not heard things about him yet. Many stepped aside to avoid him, though they could not see his ethereal figure. People often saw the things that he did or the aftermath of his presence. But, he was trying harder every day.
Upon reaching a cafe, he casually sat down and watched the patrons, looking for someone, anyone, to laugh at. It wasn’t long before a couple of businessmen in their early twenties walked in and began taking out their frustration on the gorgeous blonde waitress. They were dressed in Armani suits, silk ties and Julius Marlow shoes. Both worked as lawyers in the prestigious offices across the mall and earned more than the cafe was worth each week.
The taller of the two began chatting up the waitress, who didn’t take kindly to the derogative remarks about how her skirt was too long and her blouse had too many buttons.
Injustice hopped up, glided to the quickly developing argument to intervene. He stood by the two men and listened, crafting their conversation into a story he could relay when convenient.
When the voices began to rise and other patrons started looking uncomfortable, an overweight Italian woman heaved her heavy frame from a booth by the counter and made her way over.
“What’s going on here?” she said.
“It’s okay, Mrs. Savvas,” the waitress said. “I’ve sorted it out now.”
Injustice floated amidst the small group, like a wisp of smoke. He settled on Mrs. Savvas’ shoulder and whispered in her ear.
“That’s it!” she yelled at the waitress. “You’re fired.”
The waitress began crying and rushed to the kitchen to grab her bag, then left through the back door in hysterics. She was already a month behind with her rent and her son desperately needed bucket-loads of medicine for the rare respiratory disease he recently developed.
“I apologise for her attitude,” Mrs. Savvas said. “Please, order what you like, on the house.”
The businessmen ordered the most expensive items on the menu, ate very little of it, and walked out feeling indifferent to the incident. To them, a fifty-dollar morning tea was worth less to them than the waitress was to the owner of the cafe.
Injustice slowly glided from the cafe back into the mall, unsure why his comment about how bad the waitress’s attitude was didn’t help the situation. He was sure that it would have helped the poor young girl against those lovely young men.
He noticed two police officers talking to a group of young aborigines loitering around the ATMs a few meters down the mall.
A Reflective View of Life
By Scott Wilson
Word Count: 552
Leanne stared at her image in a large, silver backed mirror, detailed with intricate etchings around its border. While over a hundred years old, the mirror still looked as bright and clear as the day it was created.
“Why do you have to be so plain?” Leanne said to her reflection.
“I don’t know,” the mirror replied. “The amount of ugly people I have to look at everyday over the years is just plain cruel.”
Leanne sat upright, unsure if she had heard correctly.
“Did, did you just speak to me?” she said.
“Well there isn’t any other plain Jane’s in the room is there?” The Mirror replied.
“But, how can you talk?”
“Plain and plain dumb.”
“I’m not dumb.”
“Then why are you arguing with a mirror, hey?”
Leanne stopped herself from replying again. She stood up, walked across her bedroom, and took a sheet from her wardrobe.
“Don’t even think about that,” the mirror said as Leanne walked back towards it. “I have family all over the world, you know. You can’t avoid me.”
Leanne tossed the sheet over the mirror; it immediately became silent, speaking no more to her now or ever again.
She continued getting ready for work in silence, not worrying about putting any make-up on; nobody ever noticed when she did anyway.
On her way to work, Leanne avoided anywhere she knew that there would be a mirror, feeling childish about doing so but not being able to help herself out of fear. She did not know if the ancient mirror had talked to her or if it was just her imagination. Either way, she did feel like facing the answer this morning, Monday’s were bad enough as it was.
Leanne hoped in the lift when she reached the building she worked at and the doors began to close slowly.
“Hold the lift!” a voice yelled.
Leanne, not feeling like talking with anybody, repeatedly pressed the close button. A large leathery brown hand waved in front of the door sensors and the lift opened again.
“Thanks lady,” the tradesman said, putting down a large rectangular picture frame and pressing the button for the fortieth floor.
The tradesman moved to the back of the lift, turning the picture frame around to lean it against the lift wall.
“No!” Leanne gasped.
The front of the frame was not a picture, but a large mirror.
Leanne looked up, almost screaming at the sight of the empty lift. The tradesman was no longer in the lift. She was alone with the human sized mirror.
“Hello again, Leanne,” the mirror said in a soft, velvety voice.
“No, it can’t be.”
“Oh but it is. I told you we were everywhere. You created us from sand, like our kin the windows. Now we surround you, watch your every move.”
“No, Leanne. We have only just begun to speak, and speak we will.”
The lift stopped on her floor, the thirty-second. She ran out, knocking over a pot plant, waster paper bin and office chair. She stumbled and crashed into the external window, which gave way beneath her average frame.
“We need to be free,” the thousands of shards of shattered window, screeched at Leanne on the way down to the bitumen footpath.
By Scott Wilson
"Where the hell were you last night?" she hollered, as she swung a rolling pin at his head.
Barney ducked, narrowly dodging the oncoming blow.
“I was getting you a present, honey,” he said.
The woman looked blankly at Barney, then dropped the rolling pin to the linoleum floor of the kitchen.
“It’s in the lounge room, Amber.”
She walked into the lounge room and saw her present on the couch.
“It’s lovely,” she said, turning to her son as the rolling pin came down hard on her skull.
“I’m sorry, honey. I just can’t do this anymore.”
Barney stepped over his mother and untied the young woman on the couch, carried to her the car and drove her back to the mall where he met her.
She would not be the fiftieth victim, and hopefully, she would not remember anything.
Bucket of Anvils
By Scott Wilson
“What in the world are you doing? Damn it, stop it, stop it I say,” said Mervyn the Beige Wizard.
“I dun put it where you said to,” Geoffrey the Golem said.
Mervyn waved his wand around in a swirl of colorful lights and sparkling stars. A loud pop shattered the silence in the workshop and Geoffrey stop dead in his tracks.
Mervyn walked across the workshop, filled with bubbling beakers and vials of bright and luminous fluids. The Golem’s hand still rested on the bucket of anvils. There was no way Mervyn could move this delivery himself.
He waved his wand again.
“Apples, I said. Apples.”
“Appuls?” Geoffrey said.
“Yes, small round pieces of red fruit. You know, used to making pies, eating for a snack or a meal in some cases.”
The expressionless face of the Golem gave nothing away, no glimmer of understanding or puzzlement.
“You don’t want the anvils, den?”
“No, no, no. Take them away and get me a bucket of apples. Big fresh red apples.”
“No one left at the shop where I got these,” Geoffrey said. “Kind of had an argument bout how many anvils I could buy. Blacksmith no wanted to sell me any, but I twisted his arm into selling them, selling them all.”
Mervyn shook his head, imagining just how much his servant twisted the local blacksmith’s arm, literally.
“Just get rid of them, then and get me those apples before my potions bubble over.”
He shook his head again, disbelieving how hard it was to get such a basic, common ingredient. The dragon’s tooth, dryad hair, scales of a hydra, mushrooms from the high Alps of the Boogaloo Mountains. All these had been easier for his Golem to retrieve compared to a bushel of bloody apples.
The Fringe is open to submissions of poetry, flash fiction and short stories of any genre. Stories accepted will be published online in our Ezine and also in the monthly pdf magazine.
We are also open to submissions from artists for inclusion in the magazine.
Submissions should be in RTF format or in the body of the email. Send email submissions only to email@example.com
Currently we only offer payment for one story selected as the feature story in the monthly pdf magazine only. The successful author will be contacted to organise payment via paypal for a $5AUD payment. Authors of other accepted stories published on the webzine and in the pdf copy will receive a copy of the pdf version of the mag the story appears in.
We are open to unpublished and previously published stories up to 40,000 words in length.
About The Fringe Magazine
Here at The Fringe Magazine we publish Short Stories, Flash Fiction, Poetry in all genres and reviews of books, roleplay games, music and movies.
Our variety seems to be hiting the mark with over 100,000 views of our Online Magazine with a good spread across all articles.
Our variety seems to be hiting the mark with over 100,000 views of our Online Magazine with a good spread across all articles.?xml:namespace>From surveys we've conducted, our readers are like most people and enjoy reading all kinds of books, both fiction and non-fiction.
With over 350 readers visiting our site each day, we listen to the voice of the masses and try and procure books in all genres to review. To date, we have reviewed over 600 books, including; non-fiction reference, music, art, photography, gardening, cooking, Self Help, architecture, design, biographies and roleplay games.
We also review fiction in all genres; Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Historical Romance, Paranormal Romance, Horror, Crime, Thriller, Comedy, Western. We also publish Author Interviews, Paintings, Sketches, Art Work, Art Work by Susie Wilson, and non-fiction articles. The only thing you won't find at The Fringe Magazine is a bad review, if we don't like something, we won't put up a review at all.
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