Saturday, April 19, 2008

Spread The News!

At long last, the Internet phenomena is now available offline in a huge way. Robert McEvily's Six Sentences is finally a book:


Six Sentences, Volume 1 – our exciting collection of original fiction and non-fiction – has finally arrived! The book is currently available at CreateSpace, and will soon be available at THANK YOU to each and every one of our talented writers for making this fabulous collection possible. What can WE say in six sentences? You’ll have to get the book to find out!

Robert McEvily

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Groucho Speaks Again

This is a Groucho quote that all authors hope to avoid-

From the moment I picked your book up until I laid it down, I was convulsed with laughter. Someday I intend reading it.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

"Hot Ice And Cold Blood"

This story was originally published in Powder Burn Flash.

Who was that idiot who said “the meek shall inherit the Earth?” And really, who would want the moldy crumbs that would be left over, after everyone else had taken their fill?

Charlotte took enough crap off her parents to last three lifetimes, and she wasn’t meek. She was the good daughter, the patient daughter, the respectful daughter, and for what? The reading of the will was a slaughter.

Her widowed mother gave the entire estate to Krista, an older cousin she saw only at family reunions. Charlotte was so taken aback that her heart actually stopped for two beats. Her chest felt like a mule kicked it, and adding insult to injury, Charlotte swooned like some third-rate soap opera actress.

As far as Charlotte was concerned, that was it. This was to be the last public display of weakness on her part, because this near-stranger inheriting everything was the last straw. Even before she returned to full consciousness, Charlotte surveyed the room and she figured out half of her plan. As the executor of the will informed her that her mother wanted Charlotte to make her own way in life, Charlotte had her scheme all figured out.

How can you make your way in life when your parents never let you get a job and forced you to take care of them? How could they leave everything to an outsider who had already retired and had a house that’s paid for?

So Charlotte made the electrician that was working on the house believe that she would finally give into his advances, after turning this cretin down for several weeks. Then Charlotte had to look up her abusive ex-boyfriend, Elwood. Because he was the only man she knew who could steal, get a gun, or even kill if he had to.

But it turned out that all of Elwood’s bragging was just that, and Charlotte had seen water pistols that were scarier than the gun he scored. So the electrician altered the wiring like Charlotte asked, and half the house “accidentally” burned down before the firemen could save it.

As anticipated, Krista took the jewelry out of the safe and she was going to take them to the bank for safekeeping. But not as anticipated, the old woman hired two bodyguards.

Fuck it, time to make your own way in life, Charlotte. The old harpy screamed and both bodyguards whirled their heads around to her. Charlotte had a ski mask on and Elwood’s .25 pointed at Krista’s head, using her as a shield. The bodyguards couldn't get a clean shot.

“Put the guns down, or you'll both be unemployed in a split second with a big red blemish on your resumes!”

This part was easy enough, Charlotte found out that these idiots exercised every muscle except the one between their ears. They could’ve taken her, but they let drag her hostage all the way to the gardener’s 4X4 truck. They also pointed the cops in the wrong direction, as Charlotte made Krista detour the truck down a dirt back road.

Charlotte didn’t want to kill Krista, but she didn’t want her tipping the cops off as to which way she was going. Elwood’s gun wouldn’t fire, so Charlotte pushed Krista down a steep knoll.

“Give my regards to Jack and Jill, bitch.”

She got in the truck and finally took the stupid mask off, like no one would’ve guessed it was her. What the hell. She hated that town and there was now no home to go back to, anyway.

Elwood had recommended a fence named Joss in the city. Joss told her that he would give her only $20,000 for $780,000 worth of jewelry. What could she do, go to a pawn shop?

When she put them on the table, Joss didn’t even bother with the loupe that you see in the movies. He looked down and muttered, “you are screwed like an asthmatic with a two-pack-a-day habit.”


“These are fake. They’re completely worthless.”

“But they were appraised a month ago at nearly $800,000.”Joss grabbed a rubber hammer and hit the jewels. They crumbled into powder and he shrugged with a scowl.

Charlotte made it 1,130 miles before she was captured.

A week later, Krista had two visitors at the hospital. The two bodyguards from the robbery were keeping her company. One of the bodyguards seized the visitors before they could give Krista a bouquet of roses and a box of candy.

“That’s okay, Junior, let them by. Elwood? Joss? My hospital bill is coming out of your cut of the insurance money.”

Note: This was originally written for "Flashing In The Gutters" way back in the day, but I could never get it below Tribe's maximum word count.

"If Twelve Were Nine"

This story was originally published on Powder Burn Flash.

When it’s ninety-nine degrees in the shade, this is no time to wear green windbreakers, but they have to keep theirs on. Because this is when things tend to get confusing and confusion is bad in this business, because that’s when people get killed. As sunny and obnoxiously bright as it outside, it’s almost the exact opposite inside the hallways of this apartment building in Phoenix.

Aaron hates the way these jackets rustle and make noise, anybody with decent ears can hear them coming and he silently breaks off from the pack, like the wolf that knows that the rest of the pack are going on a futile hunt. No one notices as they are too pumped up and too distracted by the dimness.

They let loose clipped whispers in frustration-

“What are these, twenty-watt bulbs?”

“The building’s superintendent should be fired, the numbers are all jumbled up and-“

Shhhh! There, two doors down.”

Two go to the left side of the door and two stay on the right. Two more come up with a heavy object and they hit the door-


…twice and they pull clear, as the lock gives way and the door splinters open.

“Maricopa Sheriff’s Department! Get your hands up!”

To the left of the threshold, a pokes through high and another to the right comes juts through low. The apartment is barely brighter than the hallway, though now the green jackets with yellow lettering are visible on the male and female deputies for the city of Phoenix. With their guns out, they make their way across the dimness and search for suspects, yet they’re careful not to get in each other’s crossfire.

They quickly check the rather large living room and its adjacent closets. As they enter the kitchen, they come across a man who seems oblivious to them. He leisurely chews on a bowl of granola and as a gun points at him from across the table, he tilts his head, barely registering it.

“Put the spoon down, slowly. Put your hands up” Delia, the deputy in charge says slowly.

He complies, though he looks both surprised and baffled. Two more deputies have already broken off to search the bathroom and they yell “clear!” as they find it empty. Delia motions the man towards the kitchen floor. Two other deputies handcuff him and search him for weapons.

The man in the kitchen does not seem to match the suspect that they are looking for. He is average in size and the description of the suspect is more like an overweight boxer. The suspect has tattoos from the neck down like an American version of a Yakuza member and what skin this man has exposed from his tank top, suggest he has no ink on him at all. His hair color is different from the suspect’s, as is his face. He has on glasses and the suspect allegedly doesn’t wear any.

One more deputy breaks off to help the first two sweep the bedrooms. “Clear!” comes the first shout after about the first two minutes and the “all clear!” comes after three more minutes.

The prostrate man cranes his neck slowly and groans “did you check the apartment number?” One of the deputies runs to the front of the apartment and sees the number “twelve” on the door.

Embarrassed the second deputy mutters “shit” and uncuffs the prostrate man. The deputies rush out of there, fearing that they’ve already tipped off the real suspect and he might’ve fled.

The man gets up. He rubs his sore wrists, eats another spoonful of granola and gets a small backpack out from a cabinet. He quietly slides open the kitchen window, tosses the backpack out of the window and follows it, some seven feet down.

“Don’t be stupid! Slowly toss the backpack to your right!” Aaron yells at him. He does as he is told and Aaron stops just short, behind him.

“Put your hands on your head and spread your legs.”

Aaron keeps the gun trained on him as pats him down. He tells the other deputies that he has secured the suspect in the alley east of the building via his radio handset.

Aaron says “get down on your knees” and the man complies. “Now lay flat, facedown on the ground.”

Aaron handcuffs him and waits for the others. Delia comes out, followed by the other deputies and they all look as shocked as she is.

“What the hell are you doing? Are you crazy?”

“No, check the picture of the suspect again, this is Barry Rose.”

Delia looks the picture over, then the man lying cuffed on the ground.

“They could be cousins. Where are the tats? The hair color is wrong, the weight is wrong, he’s got on glasses.”

Aaron hands a bandana over to one of the deputies and says “John, wet this up with that garden hose.”

John dampens it, wrings it out a little and hands it back to Aaron. Aaron rubs the wet bandana across the prostrate man’s back and like magic, tattoos appear.

“Movie stars use makeup to cover their ink all the time. Anyone can lose fifty pounds, especially if they get liposuction to go with their plastic surgery and just because it says “Miss Clairol” on the box, doesn’t mean that a man can’t use it. As far as the glasses? Don’t tell me that you can’t tell Clark Kent from Superman.”

John and another deputy take Barry Rose away. Delia whispers “how did you know?”

Aaron whispers back, “I didn’t. I saw that all the apartment numbers on the door were in the wrong order and figured it out from there.”

Delia looks Aaron in the eye and says firmly “just the same, don’t break off like that without telling me. You’re lucky that nothing serious happened. Understood?”

Aaron nods and mumbles “yeah.”

Delia taps Aaron in the jaw with playful right cross and back slaps him.

“Well done.”


This story was originally published on Powder Burn Flash.

As the wind whipped the snow into Jed Thane's face, he pulled his collar up around his neck and pushed the door open to the empty meat processing plant. Nothing kills your soul faster than being the only human being for ten square miles around with nothing but the cow carcasses, blood, flecks of gore, and the stench of the killing floor to keep you company.

Though tonight for Jed, alone is a relative term.

Seriously, I really need to go back to school. Waking up at nine in the evening and driving nine miles through ice and snow, just to clean up a slaughterhouse? Using a water hose that has almost twice the pressure of a fireman's hose, has lost its appeal to my inner-child. People with severe learning disabilities get better jobs than this without even trying.

Well, Terry isn't here, so I guess I'll be working by myself-ooof!

What the hell?!

"How are you doing, Thane?"

It's some madman with a baseball bat. He's angry and Jed wonders if has something to do with the steroids that the guy must obviously be on, because he is yoked. The guy is about three times Jed's size, he has a haircut that probably costs more than Jed makes in a week and a leather jacket on that definitely costs more than he makes in a month.

Oh, Christ...that hurt. Who is this dickhead? Why is he calling me by my last name and what's up with the Louisville-

"No, no. There's no need to get up on my part, just make yourself comfortable right there on the floor. "

Ow, shit! That's okay, I don't need those ribs, I have a bunch more.

"Because that's going to be your new home, Thane. You think that would be able to help yourself to my girlfriend and I wouldn't find out about it?"

Gahhh! I guess I didn't need those teeth either. What the hell "girlfriend" is he going on about? Jesus, is this guy a drunk, or is he a crack head?

Jed mumbles through the blood and pain, "I don't know what you are talking about, man. I haven't been with a woman for months."

"Yeah, that's original. Let's see if this jogs your memory."

Shit! I can't breathe! How do I talk to this guy? He must be high out of his skull? What do I do? Just come up with something!

"See, I knew something was going on, but I didn't know just with whom it was until you went and got stupid, leaving your dry cleaning receipt...right under Joan's side of the bed."

C'mon man, think on your feet...your knees, whatever! Crap, that's it; I'll crawl towards one of the stations.

Jed manages to stop wheezing for a moment and he spits out "look at me. Do I look like I would need to have anything dry cleaned?"

C'mon, Barry Bonds. Just follow me a little further and we'll see how you swing that bat, then.

"Don't try to weasel your way out of this! I got your address off the receipt and I matched it to your trailer! I followed you out of your miserable trailer, all the way to over here!"

Oh, so that's why he's calling me by my last name. It must be my brother that is messing around with his girlfriend.

"Listen, Thane, listen. Can you hear that? The way that song just wafts through here? It's the fat lady and here comes her aria."

Jed crawls a little further. His assailant raises the bat and goes after him...for all of one step. The baseball wielding cuckold slips in blood and falls on his ass. He reaches for the bat, but it is too slippery with all viscera on the floor and it wouldn't make a difference, because it's too late. Jed grabs a boning knife and drives it downward through that two-thousand dollar jacket.

In a sickly combination of sputter and snarl, Jed sneers "I'm tone deaf and besides...I hate opera."

One minute later and the only thing left breathing in the building is Jed, albeit poorly.

He is in a tremendous amount of pain and he is sure that at best, three of his ribs are fractured.

He licks his mouth and his initial count is five teeth that are missing or chipped.

Hell, on top of trying to figure out a way of getting rid of this body and the car that brought it here, Jed still has to have at least half of this place clean before the 3 AM shift comes on, or he's fired.

All I can say is that after all this? My brother better sign his Mustang over to me.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Groucho Speaks

Outside a dog, a book is man's best friend.Inside a dog, it's too dark to read.

Groucho Marx

Quote, courtesy of The Baroness.