The Caged Type

A home for Craig Thomas Boyle's writing and life.

Category: Writing (page 2 of 3)

Fiction in all forms. Read The Hitman and the Rose chapter by chapter, or browse other short stories. Pursuing the dream of writing for a living.

Short story: Future past? My entry to Reddit’s upvoted contest

He came back to town in an old, beat-up bus. The cold outside seeped through the thin windows and chilled him to the bone. He watched the familiar scenery roll by with a feeling of utter dislocation, as if what he was seeing was something long dead.

“Hello George, been awhile.” Said a guy at the bus station. Jerry? The passenger on the bus hopped off and shrugged.

“Yeah, Jerry. It has.”

“You staying long?”

“I doubt it.” George said. He shrugged sadly at the man, who looked at him with a sombre understanding and then waved at him as he crossed the street with his bags.

George looked around at the snowy town. It had always seemed cold. Long ago, however, he remembered the warmth here.

“George!?” A girl’s voice cut through his brooding walk through the town. He looked up to see Annabelle smiling awkwardly at him.

“Oh.” He said. “Hey.”

Snow fell gently in the street, meeting tarmac to become slush churned by the infrequent trucks that drove through the town. In the dull light of winter daytime, Annabelle’s face looked just as lovely as ever.

“How is he?” She asked. He remembered the touch of her. The smell of her.

“I don’t know. I just got back.” He replied. She sighed then, a sad noise that reminded him of the sadness between them. It became a gulf that he couldn’t avoid. He felt like he could say nothing.

Mercifully, she broke the silence. “Tell him I said hello. I saw him down the store a week back and told him you’d be coming…but.” He could see the tears beginning to well up in her eyes.

“It’s okay Anna. Thanks.”

He turned and left the woman he’d loved. Still loved. He felt her eyes following him as he walked the same path he’d walked many times before.

“Merry Christmas, George.” he heard her say.

The house looked the same as ever, minus a few repairs he noted he’d have to perform this season. It was as if the crumbling architecture was imitating the life within.

He took out his key and headed inside. Recollection flooded him as the warmth from the central heating hit. He noticed that all the lights were turned on – despite it still being daytime. He walked past old coats and clothing hung up on rails – pieces from his late teens that hadn’t been touched in a decade.

George found the man from the past in the living room, staring out of the window at the cold. He sat in an armchair that looked as foul as the clothing on the old man’s thin frame. A pair of rimmed spectacles looked up at him – through him.

“Hello dad.” George said. He felt tears choking him up.

“Who are you?” His father asked. He looked afraid.

George had learned long ago that he was fighting a losing battle. He’d given up trying to remind his father that he was his son. He’d given up on staying in the town. He’d even given up on Annabelle. But he wasn’t cruel enough to stay away.

He sat down next to his father, the man who had raised him in what had once seemed to George a beautiful, small town. The old man smiled at him, as if remembering.

“Oh, Thomas! How are you? It’s been awhile!” Said his father. George sighed ever so slightly, steeling himself to perform the act he managed every Christmas. Pretending he was an old friend of his father’s, vaguely remembered despite the grip of Dementia. He put on the role of Thomas, a friend his dad had known in his teens. A man remembered better than his own son.

“Hello Michael.” George said, “I’ve come with a vision of the future.”

“The future?” His father asked.

“Your future. I’m going to tell you about the wife you’ll have. The son you’ll have…”

“A son?” His father laughed. The old lines on his face receded. “I’m not going to have a son!”

George could hardly talk as the weight of sadness crushed his chest. He reached out and took his father’s hand. Together they looked out into the cold.

“You will.” He said.

The Yearbook Prophecies – Short Story

When I first pulled it out of the box in my attic, I had to do a double take. I hadn’t seen it in years, but it seemed so familiar. It was an object of such fondness to me that even though I’d just found it again, I felt I’d had it by my side all of these years.

But I hadn’t. Not really. It’d been up here, in the box of memories like the rest of my aging junk. Nestled there, amongst the skateboard and roller blades, between the paintings I’d done when I was 15. The pages still felt crisp, despite all the times I’d read the book through the years when I’d missed those formative years.

Here it was, my school yearbook. Chock full to the brim with pictures of people I’d called friends. Some who I’d called my enemies, too. A tome that I’d taken with me to college and even now remained. Even with me moving to a new house with my second wife, it was still stored in the attic instead of discarded in the trash like most people’s memories.

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Buy the Hitman and the Rose for $2.99

I’d like to thank each and every one of you who has read the series. I’ll always keep it here for free, but I know how annoying/inconvenient reading chapters from a blog can be. Many of you have suggested I turned this into a book, many of you have asked if I have a ‘donation’ link. In the end, I decided I don’t have enough time to dedicate a full book to the Hitman. I can, however, compile the story into a handy kindle format so you can carry it on your way. (I will add smashwords and B&N in time.)

You can click this link to head over to the book’s amazon page and buy it there

Even if you don’t buy the book please do me a favour and leave a review. I want to thank you all for the encouragement and kind words. I hope you’ve enjoyed the series and that you continue to check back here for future writing. I’m sure we will see Daniel and Melissa again in the near future. For those who think I’m selling out, I’d like to repeat: the series you can buy remains free on my blog, always. Buying the book is just a way to help me out a little bit, which people have inboxed me asking to do.

Thanks again,

Craig

 

The Edge.

The man had always been afraid. For as long as he could remember he’d been scared of the dark. Scared of loud noises. Scared of other people. Scared of himself. Now he stood in the darkness and let it hold him in its cold embrace. He let the wind whip up under his jacket and bite through to the bone. His jaw clenched against the urge to shiver but he held it in. He wondered if in another life he’d have been less of wimp. He looked down over the street below. It ran in zig-zags like a children’s toy, with the tiny glow of car headlamps and street lights casting thin spheres of light through the night. Another gust of wind blew and he pulled back from the edge of the building. He felt himself shiver. This time he couldn’t suppress it.

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[Halloween Short Story] They live amongst us.

 

I’ve never been a big believer in fairy tales. I’ve never enjoyed flights of fancy. I’m not a fan of horror films, ghost stories or urban legends. Hell, I don’t even like the wizard of Oz. I’ve always thought of myself as a pretty grounded guy. It’s why I decided to take Biology at university. Science is the study of reason, so believe me when I tell you that what is happening…defies reason.

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NASA has lost contact with the Curiosity rover. The last image received is that of tire tracks in the Martian sand spelling out a single word.

“Leave.”

The word that changed everything. Written in red dust on the surface of Mars by the Curiosity Rover before it blinked out of existence. Scientists were dumb-founded at first, unable to understand their robotic probe’s actions.

Some argued the tracks were left by coincidence, that the robot had malfunctioned and that the word was just an accidental jumble of tracks left by movement.

But there it was, written on the surface in tracks consistent with Curiosity’s own tyres, in an image that had obviously been taken by the bot after it had scrawled the word. It had wanted them to see it.

‘Leave.’

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Check out the new cover for the Hitman and the Rose

Hitmannewcovhq

 

Check out this awesome new cover designed by a friend of mine. Thanks for the support Andrew Walker, this look great!

 

Buy the Novella here for $0.99 – You’re all so fantastic. Thank you!

The Warehouse (Part 8) – Short Fiction

Part Seven HERE (This is the final chapter of this story. I began it in earnest after a writingprompts thread blew up and people asked me too. I’ve enjoyed the series and I’m grateful for the feedback you guys have given me. I hope you enjoyed the ride. If you’ve enjoyed this series please subscribe. This story is available in a handy ebook format HERE at $0.99. Buying a copy would be a nice gesture, but the story will always be available for free here.)

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The Mansion (Part 7) Short Fiction

Read Part Six HERE

They had her.

For all the crimes the Hitman had committed in his lifetime, he had never felt punishment like knowing these sick fucks had Melissa. Knowing he had failed to protect her.

Not just failed – helped. They couldn’t touch Melissa while the Teacher was alive. They wanted to but Melissa’s mother had put up too much resistance. And the Teacher had wanted Melissa to stay his ‘special girl’. Now, the Teacher was a corpse and Melissa was in their hands.

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Circumstances change – Part Six

Part Five HERE

The rifle was awkward to carry, even loaded like it was in the gym bag. The Hitman lugged it over his shoulder, almost limping on one side from the weight. Not as heavy as the barbells he lifted in his routine, but sluggish and unwieldy like full bags of groceries. He remembered the assault rifle he’d carried in the army, and how light they’d felt compared to this.

No matter, he thought, a heavy burden requires an equally heavy cure.

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