Thursday, December 28, 2017

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Happy Boxing Day!

For my British, Canadian, and Australian friends. 
Happy Boxing Day!

Boxing Day is a secular holiday that is traditionally celebrated on 26 December, the day after Christmas Day. 26 December is also St. Stephen's Day, a religious holiday. A 'Christmas Box' in Britain is a name for a Christmas present. Boxing Day was traditionally a day off for servants and the day when they received a 'Christmas Box'. The servants would also go home on Boxing Day to give 'Christmas Boxes' to their families.

A Muppet Family Christmas 1987

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Just some fun links to make all smile. Enjoy the holiday season and for those who like a bit of trivia, there are at least 29 holidays that happen during this time period. So whatever your holiday, whether it is Saint Nicholas Day (Christian), Fiesta of Our Lady of Guadalupe (Mexican), St. Lucia Day (Swedish), Hanukkah (Jewish), Christmas Day (Christian), Three Kings Day/Epiphany (Christian), Boxing Day (Australian, Canadian, English, Irish), Kwanzaa (African American), Omisoka (Japanese), Yule (Pagan), or Saturnalia (Pagan) all enjoy!


Thursday, December 21, 2017

The Garden Path by Simon Duringer - Final Scene

Mrs Smythe sat at the bay window of her living room, looking up at the sky. It had been six months since her husband's murder, and following the verdict against Frederick Paul the press, who had been camped on her doorstep throughout the trial, had now moved on.
On the table in front of her stood a picture, a glass of wine, a small blue bottle and two red roses. The picture, in a fancy frame with a highly polished, wide silver bezel, was of her deceased husband. Next to it was a crystal glass, her best. It had been a wedding gift to the Smythes many years before. Filled with white wine, it sparkled in the rays of light streaming through the large bay windows. The small blue bottle had been in the family for over a generation and contained several pills of mercury bichloride, a substance used to treat sores and ailments prior to the discovery of antibiotics.
As she sat at the highly polished table, her mind wandered back to the fateful day of her husband’s murder…
She recalled that on the day, she had been visited by a young lady, Victoria Plum. A well-groomed lady of just twenty, her face wore the glow that so often goes hand-in-hand with the late stages of pregnancy. Victoria had rung the doorbell and anxiously waited for the door to open. She had waited in the cold all morning to make sure Mr Smythe would be gone, before approaching the house to speak with his wife. Young, naïve and desperate, Victoria saw Mrs Smythe as her last, her only, hope. She was perhaps deluded in thinking that Mrs Smythe would even speak with her, let alone give up her husband, even if the man had fathered Victoria's bastard child! Victoria was both surprised and relieved at how Mrs Smythe had welcomed her and eventually empathised with her situation and condition. Her own family’s response had been to throw her out of the family home, penniless and with nowhere to go.
Mrs Smythe listened intently to the entire tortuous account of Victoria's seduction by Mr Smythe, and how, until her pregnancy, he had treated her so kindly. It was the first time she had told anybody other than family of her affair, and she insisted that she would be no bother to either of the Smythes if they could simply assist until she could get back on her feet. She was desperate, and knew she should not have come but was appealing to Mrs Smythe's maternal instinct. Internally, Mrs Smythe’s blood was boiling at the cheek, the sheer audacity of this intrusion. She pondered and took several minutes to respond. “Do you like flowers?” was her first, rather unorthodox response. Victoria nodded. “Good, let’s go into the garden and get some air. It’s rather stuffy in here, don’t you think?”
It was almost three o’clock on that afternoon when Mrs Smythe finally came in from the garden. The ground had been fairly hard, but she had managed to bed in the Pansies and Viola Sorbet that would provide the garden with colour over the winter months. Looking at her watch, she had just enough time to bathe before her husband returned home from work…
Once bathed, Mrs Smythe pondered over how the relationship with her husband had been a double-decade rollercoaster ride. He had been abusive towards her and she didn’t believe that this was his first affair. Over the years, she had found preparing food to be a great form of stress relief; the more complex the meal, the better the therapeutic capacity. She began preparing a feast for Mr Smythe, and soon the kitchen would be filled with the aroma of minted lamb, his favourite.
When Mr Smythe finally returned from work he removed his jacket and hung it, as he had done every weekday for the previous five years, on the row of hooks he had erected shortly after moving in. For her part of this daily ritual, Mrs Smythe stood in the living room, her hands behind her back, waiting to greet him with a smile. Entering the living room, he approached her for a kiss, and just like any other day, she smiled. However, on this occasion she did not reciprocate, instead keeping her arms behind her back. “What are you hiding back there… Do you have something for me?” he enquired playfully…
She let out a morbid giggle, and nudged him away with her left hand so he couldn’t reach behind her. “As a matter of fact I have something very special for you…” she whispered, and suddenly, with all her strength, thrust with her right hand until the concealed cold steel blade was embedded vertically up under his rib cage. She twisted it once, “This is for Victoria…” and then once more “and this is for her baby! You can go join them, you bastard!” she spat, in a bitter and remorseless tone. As his eyes locked with hers, he saw her unfamiliar icy stare. She withdrew the cold-bladed carving knife, his body slowly buckled and he dropped to the floor. Mrs Smythe dropped the knife, her unfamiliar stare dissipating as quickly as it had arrived. Her composure remained intact and she returned casually to the kitchen where she finished preparing their dinner.
For the next hour she acted as though nothing had happened, stepping casually over the body twice, firstly on her way to the bay window where she sat and ate, occasionally glancing over to the body laying motionless on the living room floor, and again before clearing up. Once she had finished tidying she returned to the living room, took the telephone from a coffee table by the door and placed it close to the body. She knelt down and lifted her husband’s head onto her lap. She pushed down on the wound, encouraging fresh blood to exit the body. Her breathing became fast and shallow. Her pulse started to race. Tears streamed down her face and soon led to a torrent of sobs. By the time she was connected to the ambulance service she was appropriately hysterical, as though the previous hour had not taken place at all. “Please come quickly, he’s killed my husband!” she screamed into the handset.
At the table Mrs Smythe emptied the blue bottle of its contents. She was ready. There would be no note of explanation. She had despised the man next door, she had found him creepy and felt no remorse as to his fate. She began swallowing the pills in small handfuls, washing them down with the wine. She picked up the picture and kissed it gently. Knowing her time was now limited, she took the two roses and walked serenely out to the garden, to the new bed of flowers planted some six months earlier. She found a gap and lay down the roses, whispering, “Forgive me. I’ll see you both soon”.
Returning to the house, she collected the picture frame once more and calmly sat down on the sofa. She held the frame tight to her bosom and closed her eyes.


For interview and/or further information please contact Simon:
Mobile: 07449 810583
Twitter: @SimonDuringer
Facebook: Simon Dusty Duringer

Need a read? visit Simon's Amazon Author Page:

Sunday, December 17, 2017

The Garden Path by Simon Duringer - Scene 7

In the months that followed, the case against Frederick Paul did not run smoothly. The outcome largely hinged on Patricia’s eyewitness account of what she had seen that evening. Her testimony sealed the fate of Frederick Paul, who, despite asserting his innocence throughout, eventually pleaded guilty to manslaughter rather than risk facing the death penalty, and received a 10-year sentence. Although the case was then closed following sentencing, the story did not end there…

Frederick was unable to come to terms with serving time, and was an easy target for inmates; from the outset he endured relentless bullying in prison. Frederick Paul served less than a month inside before prison officers found him hanging in his cell.

For interview and/or further information please contact Simon:
Mobile: 07449 810583
Twitter: @SimonDuringer
Facebook: Simon Dusty Duringer

Need a read? visit Simon's Amazon Author Page:

Friday, December 15, 2017

Werewolf Whisperer - Final Segment

"LAPD!" Gabe shouted as he and Lucy burst from the shadows.
Tuti, tilting a red plastic gas can, hunched over the injured pit bull.
"Down on the ground!" Gabe followed up. Tuti froze.
An incredulous roar rose from the surprised Locos as Lucy rammed her full force
into Tuti, taking him down and knocking the gas can from his hands. She jumped to her feet and buried her boot in Tuti's midsection. He gasped and curled in on himself.
The crowd of Locos reacted with indecent speed, scrambling down the alley, climbing fences, grabbing dogs and cash as they fled.
A few took in the fact that all that was threatening them were two cops alone, and one of them was a woman. Like pack predators they closed in, toothy smiles flashing in the glow of the streetlights.
The back door of the bar flew open. A skinny teenage boy wildly waving a handgun ran toward Gabe in a straight line.
"Manny! No!" A screech Lucy barely recognized as belonging to Xochitl Magaña rang out from inside the hallway.
Gabe clotheslined Manny effortlessly and sent his gun flying through the air. Hitting the ground it went off, prompting other frenzied Los Locos to fire blindly in return. The sound of feet running from both sides of the alley, the whirring sound of helicopter blades overhead, the sudden warning shouts of police and ACTF overlapped with the howling and barking of dogs and hollers from Los Locos escaping over the fence. Bodies in flight and pursuit, knocked over cages, men crashing or being thrown into the chain-link the chaos all around made Lucy feel a weird calm.
She noticed Flaco holding up his phone, filming the entire scene, turning his narco-pop to full blast while tears flowed freely down his scrunched up face.
Near her, Gabe scooped up the injured pit bull and bolted towards the safety of the door propped open by Xochitl Magaña.
"You idiots weren't supposed to grab the dog!" Xochitl sounded furious.
Men came at him from all sides, shouting and flailing. Gabe barreled through them as if they were nothing.
Screeching, Flaco raised his Browning to take aim at Gabe's back. Lucy clocked the boy in the face with her Beretta. He went straight to the ground.
"You fucking weasel!" she spat and bent down to scoop up his gun.
Someone grabbed her from behind, but she twisted out of the way, losing her grip on Flaco's 9mm. There was nowhere to go now but to follow Gabe and the pit bull through the open back entrance to Xochitl's Cantina. Lucy sprinted ahead, tripped over the stoop and gracelessly crashed onto the cantina floor, cutting her hands and bruising her pride.
A shot rang out, and for a moment everything seemed to slow down. Lucy saw Gabe, who'd been in front of her and was already in the room, go to his knees on the blue linoleum. He bent forward unnaturally, releasing the pit bull who scrambled under a wooden table.
Lucy lurched forward on the floor to half push and half drag Gabe out of range of the shots that were continuing through the backdoor. From behind the bar, Lucy heard Xochitl scream, "Stop shooting, you assholes!"
The gunfire stopped.
"Lucy." The deep rumble of Gabe's voice took her complete focus. Something was very wrong. Gabe's face had turned pasty white and glistened with sweat. Lucy locked onto Gabe's eyes normally deep chocolate brown, they now glowed a mesmerizing amber.
Before she could react, five Locos burst into the room, shouting and waving their guns. Gabe sprang up, knocking Lucy on her back, and crashed into the Locos with breathtaking force and speed.
Gabe's already large frame now appeared monstrous, the muscles of his back and arms bulging and pulsing, his bones lengthening and cracking. Clean-shaven a moment ago, his face looked dirty with dark stubble. His hair, always cut high and tight a remnant of his time in the service, now brushed his shoulders and rolled down his back like a messy lion's mane.
Gabe roared like an animal in agony and ripped through one of the men's throats with the startling long, curved claws of his bare hand.
He grabbed a gangbanger with the other hand, dangling the man off the floor and shaking him by the face like a rag doll.
Lucy started to black out as what felt like a massive shockwave rocked through her body. She fought to keep her eyes open. The small coherent part of her brain observed that Gabe's Kevlar vest had a small rip in the back. Even if the vest had stopped a bullet from going through, it couldn't have saved his ribs from being broken. Yet Gabe moved unencumbered, with the power of ten men.
She fixated on the shaggy black layer of fur that covered her partner's head and arms. Just then he turned in profile; large pointed, fur-covered ears swiveled back like those of an aggressive dog. Razor-sharp teeth flashed in a tapered lupine jaw, and he bit down on the last gangbanger.
My partner's a werewolf?
Lucy convulsed as hysteria shot through her like an electric shock.
"SWAT! Drop your weapons! Nobody move!" At that moment, the SWAT team burst through the front door of the cantina.
Gabe spun on the armed men, ready to attack.
"No, Gabe! Stop!" Lucy screamed the command, instinct trumping fear. Gabe hesitated and looked at her with curiosity.
Holy shit! He's listening to me.
"SWAT! Get on the floor!" an officer roared as the team closed in.
"LAPD. Don't shoot," Lucy yelled out and lurched ahead to put her body between Gabe and the SWAT officers. "Don't shoot. Don't shoot. Don't shoot." Lucy's voice gave out. Tears streamed down her face as she tried to squeeze sound from her throat, but her vocal chords wouldn't obey anymore and violent coughs shook her.
She felt Gabe's hot breath on her neck and turned to face him, slowly and deliberately.
"Down, Gabe." She pointed to the floor. "Down."
For a split second, everyone in the room stood still and watched Gabe. The massive man swayed briefly and then dropped to the floor like a puppet that had had its strings cut.
"Officer down. Code 33. Echo Park. North Alvarado and Clinton. Officer down.

Start me additional units and medical. Code 3. Officer shot. Approach from northwest." "On their way."
Lucy heard the shouting but didn't comprehend the words. She crouched down beside her partner, holding him tight as convulsions wracked his body. She saw blood drip to the floor. Gabe had been hit despite the Kevlar.
"Don't die. Don't die. You can't die." Lucy's words ran together in an incessant chant. She was lost in his pain, unable to focus, oblivious to the pandemonium all around her. 

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