Posts Tagged ‘Ronald Keene’

Midnight Snack (Short Story Excerpt)

January 16, 2017

author-3

1.

February 4th, 2017.

Stark City, Oregon.

6:59 p.m.

Gabriel Lester craved blood. Lots of it. Fresh and hot; straight from the jugular of his prey. He hadn’t tasted the rich, red delicacy in what felt like forever, and being a creature of the night, he needed it.

Like humans need air.

So, stomach churning, Gabe looked up at his two unsuspecting victims, and grinned—baring his long, white fangs.

Now, they’ll know true fear!

For a moment, no one moved. The man and woman across the table looked at Gabe with what seemed like fear welling up in their eyes. Fear of what he intended to do. Still smiling, Gabe curled his hands in imitation of Count Orlok in Nosferatu, then the man let out a disgusted groan.

A groan which jolted the eleven-year-old boy back to reality.

Instead of a dark, dreary castle in the Romanian wilderness, Gabe sat in a bright, cheery dining room. His family lived in a small, two-bedroom house in the Dibert District. He liked it there, but his stepfather, Ronald Keene, didn’t.

Ronnie didn’t like much of anything.

“Take those out, Gabe! Don’t bring that crap to the dinner table!”

Gabe’s grin faded.

Aw, man…

“Where did you get those, Angel?” Gabe’s mother, Marcy, asked, glancing at Ronnie.

“From Dad.” Gabe took the plastic vampire teeth from his mouth and stuffed them in his pocket. “He got them out of a gumball machine, said they were magic. Pretty cool, huh?”

Ronnie, a big man with a fat belly, meaty arms, and a flat-top hairdo, chortled and reached for his beer. His third can of the night, and nowhere near his last.

“Well, Ronnie’s right. You shouldn’t wear those at the table.”

Gabe nodded. “Sorry, Mom.”

Ronnie belched—“Bruuup!”—and shook his head. “Marcy, why do you keep calling him ‘Angel?’ He’s almost a teenager…”

Marcy turned to Gabe with a maternal pout. “Because he’s my little angel.”

“Great.” Ronnie sighed, took another drink.

Ugh! I miss Dad already.

Deflated, Gabe stared at his plate. Steak; so well done it looked like burnt leather. Mashed potatoes; good, but tainted with garlic. And his least favorite vegetable of all: Brussels sprouts; chewy and bitter. A worse dinner he couldn’t imagine; all of it dictated by his stepfather’s brutish tastes.

Poor Gabe. The combined aromas alone killed his appetite, but he had no choice. He had to eat it.

Every last bite.

“Hey!” Ron barked. “Don’t let your meat loaf!”

Gabe looked up, resentful of Ronnie’s tone. He didn’t find the joke funny, but knew what it meant. “Yes, Ronnie,” he droned, picking up his fork and knife.

“How were the three days with your father?” Marcy asked. She looked haggard, wore a nervous smile. Eyes flitting from Gabe to Ronnie, Ronnie to Gabe.

“Uh, we just hung out. Talked a lot. Watched movies.”

“Oh, God. Your father and all those old monster films.”

“Yeah…”

Setting his beer down, Ronnie let out another hearty “Bruuup!

“When does he leave again?”

Gabe sawed into his steak. “This weekend.”

Ronnie laughed. “Lenny’s going on the road with his fruity little theater group again, huh?”

“Now, Ron—” Marcy began.

“What’s the name of the show this time? The Amazing Life of Professor Crabapple?”

“The Life and Times of Professor Appleton,” Marcy corrected.

“Whatever.” Ronnie shook his head. “Prancing around a stage ain’t no example for a boy. I can’t believe you married that pansy.”

Clutching his utensils, Gabe’s eyes narrowed.

“Now, Ron—”

“Well, at least you two have a real man to take care of you now.” Smirking, Ronnie cut himself a hunk of dry steak and stuffed it into his mouth. “A guy like Lenny just doesn’t understand what’s important in life…like having a family.”

You asshole.

Trembling with the urge to jam his fork into Ronnie’s eye, Gabe turned to his mother. Marcy shrugged, gave him her usual apologetic look:

Don’t take it personally, Angel.

But of course, he did.


If you enjoyed this excerpt, please subscribe, like, and share.

Show support on Patreon @ https://www.patreon.com/jesselynnrucilez

Thank you for reading!

JLR


%d bloggers like this: