Bad Man Comes (Part 3)

Bad Man Comes (Part 1)

Bad Man Comes (Part 2)

The early morning was gray, dreary. Daylight was just beginning to throw shadows over Wooster. The heat and mugginess oozed onto the new day like thick syrup on a stack of pancakes. The motel door stood open. A black sports bag sat unzipped at the foot of the double bed. A black t-shirt and dark navy jeans, folded to perfection, lay on the bedspread next to the bag. Black socks were positioned atop, followed by a pair of brightly striped, boxer briefs.

red victory judge motorcycleA brief case rested open on top of the dresser, showing a laptop, a stack of photos, and a couple of power cords. Tucked in the pocket was an unopened packet of Wrigley’s spearmint gum, two pens, and an inexpensive journal. An iphone rested in darkness along side the case. A worn, brown, leather wallet had been tossed onto one of the pillows. It was stuffed so full that dollar bills had pushed their edges and corners out. On the small table next to the window, a box with two almond granola bars, and two bottles, one orange juice and one water, lay in wait. On the chair was a red helmet to match the red Victory Judge parked outside.

He rode into Wooster one week ago so that he would have a chance to look around, prepare himself for today. This was going to be a special day, one he’s waited years for. The excitement was almost too much, sleep was not an option last night. Turning that thought in his mind, he felt his muscles tense. No matter, it had to be done today.

Grunting, he moved to close the door, as there was no relief from the stagnancy. Taking a deep, cleansing breath, his thoughts turned to Silvia. “Dear, sweet, vile, bitch,” he said. Humming a verse from the song, ‘The Last Carnival’, he turned the shower on cold and began to undress, folding each item before placing it neatly on the counter. A quick intake of air, goose flesh instantly visible; he embraces the cold shower.


Sitting on my bed, unable to sleep, I pick up the envelope from my nightstand. I haven’t opened it yet, but I’m sure I know what’s inside. He’s sent these before, pictures of me at grocery stores, at my job, and once coming out of my house. I wonder why he watches me instead of approaching me. It’s like a game of cat and mouse. As soon as I see the photos, I pack up and leave. He taunts me, allows me to get away, just so he can chase me again. “Sick bastard,” I said, shaking my head and wondering what I ever saw in him in the first place.

I use the very sharp letter opener, that I keep in the nightstand drawer, to slice open the envelope. A picture of me walking to work, and a picture of Bruce and I sitting together at the front desk of the warehouse. I sensed his arrival, my refined intuition has been working overtime. I don’t know why I wait for confirmation. In the beginning, nearly twenty years ago, the moment I had any inkling he was near me, I would take off. Maybe I’ve grown accustomed to his ways. Maybe I’ve become too comfortable, playing his game. I’m not sure how ready I am if he decided to full on attack me. I’m tired, completely worn out from all the running, the looking over my shoulder.

I turn my alarm to off before it has the chance to ring. This is the first time that I haven’t known what to do, or instinctively done it. My brain is foggy, yet I am aware of impending doom. It feels like the end. I head to the bathroom. It looks like the top of my head is sliding off to the right, some kind of monster staring back at me.

Today is my day off. I put on my one and only summer dress, an attempt to feel a little girly and of course to assist in alleviating the heat. My hair is still damp from the shower, and I decide to wear it loose today.

On my way out the front door, the cab pulls up to the sidewalk. Once inside, I direct the driver to take me downtown. Carefree and happy, I’m not, yet the temptation to go to the mall and do some shopping has taken over. This is unlike me, but I go with it anyways. Ten minutes in and the traffic is slowing, finally coming to a halt. I’m grateful for the air conditioned vehicle. We inch forward little by little. There are flashing lights up ahead crossing to the other side of the highway. An ambulance and a couple patrol cars block oncoming traffic. I peer out the window as we gradually come up to the scene.

“Oh my god,” I whispered at the horror of it. A red motorbike and a truck pulling a trailer looked to be the vehicles involved. The paramedics were expanding an occupied stretcher in order to roll it to the ambulance. Like in a lagging video, I craned my neck to glimpse the face of the victim. Breathless moments passed, my mouth drooped, my eyes unblinking. The thunderous sound, I discovered once passed the accident, was the rapid beating of my heart. The back of the cab, once cool and welcoming, was now a barren and icy, cramped space. I was puffing out short little breaths, and I caught the cabby’s eyes in the rear view mirror. “Are you alright, miss?” he asked with a furrowed brow and a gentle tone.

“Yes,” I said. Not willing to spurt out anything incoherent, I kept silent. I let him drive me to the mall, where I unloaded myself, heavy and slow, to the sidewalk. A half turn faced me in the direction from which we came. “It couldn’t be him,” I said, suddenly aware that I needed to sit down. I was so hot, perspiring enough for it to drip from my face. One good reason for keeping kleenex in my purse; without too much thought I dab at my forehead, cheeks, and neck. “Oh god, I need a drink.” Slightly more composed with the passing of a few minutes, I retrieve a water bottle from a vending machine just inside the doors. It’s almost gone with the first guzzle. Returning to the same bench, I sat upright and stiff. Thoughts careening one another in my mind. I couldn’t seem to keep anything straight or think a complete sentence. According to my phone, I’d been sitting there for one and a half hours. Not in the mood for shopping anymore, I called another cab, and went home.

With no television, I use my laptop for updating myself on current events. It was in the local paper later that day, a description of the accident and the one dead victim. They showed his picture, his name below it. Joshua Galli; he had joked about only having two names. Catatonic would be the descriptive word used by doctors, if they were to fetch me in that three hour period. Then the floodgates opened letting loose a storm of tears, drool and snot mixing in rivers down my face, interrupted by gasps and grunts in an attempt to breath. Exhaustion finally overtook me.

Waking with a pounding headache and a bloated face is not my idea of a good time, but this was different, leaving me lighter, loosening the ring that gripped my insides for years. I am free. My family is free. Anyone I had come into contact with was free. In such a weird and wonderful twist of fate, I was free.

The End

Hope you enjoyed this! Comments are always welcomed. Let me know what you think!



Bad Man Comes (Part 2)

Bad Man Comes (Part 1)

The dampness hangs, heavy and listless, in the air. As I move through it, I feel its slickness, gumming my hair and my oversized t-shirt, tickling my flesh. Movement is slow, after a storm. It feels as though I’m trying to breath underwater. The house is old and offers minimal protection from the elements. It lacks double-paned windows, decent weather stripping, and most of all, a dehumidifier. My stress-induced asthma doesn’t help much. I didn’t move here with the intention of fixing up the place. It merely lends itself to being an out of the way, sort of hidden, shelter.

Everything is damp, the windows are covered in condensation, the mould has commenced climbing the sides of the window panes from its usual place at the bottom. I even see it coming through the wall in places. All the linen, comforter, towels, anything that is out, is slightly wettish. The classic mildewy scent fills the air. It’s May, in Northeast, Ohio. There have been a few thunder storms lately, adding greatly, to the mugginess. “You do know how to pick em,” I say out loud to the broken, reflection in the bathroom mirror. “You’ve really outdone yourself this time.”

My funds were running short, a bus ticket and some rent money, was all I had access to on short notice. I lucked out, Wooster had a job opening for a UPS Package Handler, something I’ve done before. A bachelor’s degree in museum studies, was near completion seventeen years ago, when my good intentions strayed. The boyfriend, the charming bad boy, swept me off my feet, at a time when I longed for adventure. However, it was the third bad boy, in the series, that sent me spiralling. That seemed so long ago now. My life, along with anyone I cared about, was turned upside down two years after I broke it off with Joshua. My assumption–psychopath. So I take what I can get now, preferably behind the scenes. I’m still hopeful, that I might one day finish my degree.

blue house wooster ohioThe house I ended up in this time, is old, not much to look at, and located in the sketchier part of the city. This is not unusual. Minus several coats of paint, a newer stove and fridge, and I imagine a few half-assed, patch-up jobs to the outside, was all that this house had seen in lots of years. Rent was cheap, it was furnished, sort of, and I was in need. The first thing I do, is put in a security system. Not just any security system. I consider myself a DIY artist, after years of practice. No one is getting in easily, and not without my knowledge.

A quick shower, a semi-dry towelling off, and I pull my hair back into a ponytail. Dressing in the lovely shade of brown, that is the uniform, I’m off to work. Since I don’t own a vehicle, I’m grateful for the short fifteen minute walk. “Hey Bruce!” I said as I walked through the office door.

“Good morning to you Silvie!” He greets me with a big grin and a wink. “How are you this wet morning?” He is such a nice, happy, man. I do find solace in the people I’ve met over the years. Those people who work behind the scenes, keep life moving forward for everyone else, my temporary families. I flash my best, teethy grin at him, followed by a long, eye-roll. “There is an envelope for you Silvie. Just got through the last bag. It’s over there on the desk,” He points to it without looking up from his task.

“Thanks Bruce.” My heart beats faster, my breath shortens, and I can feel the perspiration sliding over my lip. My back to Bruce, I turn the envelope over and over in my hands.

© Gerri Leathley 2014

Comments are always welcomed. Let me know what you think!

Writing 101


Just Your Average Joe

Walking along the street or sitting in a coffee shop, you would not notice this man. Just your average Joe. Older with gray hair, sometimes a little unkempt, he is of medium/ tall height with a slight hunch of the shoulders. One would conclude that he is physically active, for his weight is appropriate to his height, and his strides are easy. He keeps his head tilted down, just enough to make others assume that he is deep in thought. Whether that is a learned behaviour or just the tilt of his head, or the fact that he is a bit of a hermit, I don’t know. The added facial hair, gray also, gives the impression of intelligence, with a touch of ‘silly professor’.

orange blue jester hatHis dress ranges from; plaid pyjama bottoms with a cotton Tee at home, to jeans with a nice shirt or sweater, when out and about. He has a beefed up scooter, which now, after seeing him decked out in helmet, sunglasses and windbreaker, makes sense. There is definitely a fun-loving side to him that may keep you on your toes. You can see it in his sky blue eyes.

Conversing with this man, you find out that he has the strength of character like that of an angry bull. His voice is quiet, unassuming, with a mild South African accent, even when raised to make a point. Filled with common sense, he is. Down to earth, no flash, sensible shoes. He has money, that becomes clear once you get to know him better. Not because he tells you, but because he has worked hard all his life, and he shows you his vast projects. You know how it is being used.

His compassion runs very deep. Learning from his own past, becoming who he is today, and reaching out to others in order to encourage and teach emotional, intellectual, and physical health as one. His stories are very interesting, his background, his challenges, and how he managed to grow from it all. Frustrated at times with the lack of openness in people, the fear of change, the fear of success really, he strives to reach them. However, in his effort to educate, he is not pushy, allowing his teachings to have their effect, or not.

He has an alter ego, the one who writes the stories, the one wearing the jester’s hat. They work well together, as author and editor, despite his dislike for the writer. The creations are a bit brash, bold, bottom-line, but if you want the truth, if you are open to the truth, you will enjoy it.

Writing 101         As always, your comments are welcomed and encouraged!

Pr. George to Anchorage

dirt road never ending road tripAlaska. Bitterly cold. Never ending snow days. Never ending darkness. Of course, it was nearing summer time when we made the trip, so there was never ending daylight. Three (almost three), straight days of driving, or as the policeman said, “I thought this was a low flying aircraft.” In our favour, we were young, and pretty cute, so my friend got off with only a warning. We were headed to Anchorage, Alaska. Where the ratio of guys to gals was, and is, the highest in the country. This, according to one of Oprah’s guests.

Because you should never trust what you hear on television, it was up to us to make sure the statements were true. A road trip was in order. There was never any other reason for me to go to Alaska, seriously. Not at the age of twenty-four. My friend would suggest otherwise, whenever I made that statement. I thought it was funny, and definitely a unique vacation story.

So, off we went, in her little white car. There were a few, too many, long, dusty, slow moving, monotonous, seemingly never ending, stretches of dirt/ gravel road. We hit these on day two. Oprah never mentioned that! I have my photograph to prove it. Purple cotton capris, red tank top, scraggly hair, pulled up into some kind of half pony-tail. Eyelids straining to stay open. Facial expression is somewhere between, I’m so tired and I just want to go home, and, I can’t wait to see how many guys there are in Anchorage. So, onward we went.

What do I remember most from that trip? Whenever I blew my nose, over a two to three day period, there was dirt. There was dirt in places you would not imagine there to be dirt. My friend’s car was filled with a fine layer of, “Hi! My name is dirt, and I’m going to cover everything you own, even you. I will be relentless in my effort to stick around.”

Despite all of that, we did have some fun, we did meet some guys, we did some sight-seeing, and we got lots of pictures.

Daily Prompt