Nightmares are also dreams – part 11 – interlude

“Team A, you are a go. Decoy b is in the net,” squawks the walkie.

The men in the van and other vehicles look like unassuming middle aged nobodies. They blend in to most crowds in the western world like water slipping into a lake. Who notices a few more white guys?

They wear a variety of sweaters and cardigans, khakis and coats. Armed with silenced pistols and stun guns, they get out of their nondescript sedans. So disparate that they are almost identical. Someone watching would describe them moving in sync. Professionals.

By different routes, they filter into the mall. Their quarry will believe that the squad has been neutralized. They still believe that this group is run by a lone group of weirdos. And, to be fair, the breakers are monsters to a man. It’s unfortunate, but a necessary part of the network.

“They are heading to the second level. Eyes up, it looks like they have outrunners.”

The men act as if they are browsing. Asking clerks for sizing options. For color options. Arriving to the designated area before the target.

If their security is pointed outward, it should afford our ambush a few vital seconds of surprise.

The underboss should never have been seen by the girl. But, he was the only available agent in place when it all started going south. This is a fuck up and normally we would have cut him away but This group… This Darkling Spire has raided a couple of our lower lever houses. If we let them, they will burn down all we have built.


“1, 2, 5, 7, 4, 8,….”

“Does anyone have eyes on 3 or 6?”


“I see 3 sitting in the food court…”, the sound of suppressed gunfire cuts the walkie off.

Fuck. “Abort, Abort, abort.”

The sound of the lock on the van breaking spins me around. The splash of peach leaves me speechless as the voice of the target says, “Pel said I was going shopping. He always gets me the nicest things.”

Heart of Stone

In honor of October:

Groggy, a man blinks the sleep from his eyes. His eyelids are heavy, so heavy, like lifting a dumbbell with pinkies. Bright light sears corneas, squinting, he tries to lift his hands to shield his eyes. His arms! They’re tied down. Looking down the length of his body he sees his hand are restrained in padded cuffs. His shirt is cut open, explaining the chill. This circle of bright light hides the the rest of what feels like a large area. A orange ember flares in the darkness beyond the lights circle.

“Who’s there!, ” the man shouts.

A low voice from the shadows rumbles, “Good, I was afraid I’d get the dose wrong.”
A face thrust itself from behind the top of the Man’s skull. It smiles and giggles. It’s the girl from last night!

“Get me out of here, you stupid cunt, ” the man yells.

” Now, now, “the voice from the shadows rumbles, ” we mustn’t be impolite. Not when she brings us such a unique gift.”

A tall person steps from the shadows, takes the last drag on their cigarette, then stubs it out on the left nipple of the man.

Screams echo out, slamming and reverbing from walls designed to dampen sound.

The person waits. Waits for the Screams to degenerate to sobs.

“Now, the young lady tells me very bad things about you. Let me whisper it in your ear. Young ladies shouldn’t need to hear such things. ”

Leaning down, the person whispers, “You raped her. She pleaded, begged you to stop. But you took and took. She tells me, you are a monster.”

Standing, smiling down at the man, the person cheerfully says, “She tells me you have a Heart of Stone. That is very interesting. I happen to need a Heart of Stone, for my work. ”

“Now, young lady, bring me the bolt cutters, then scury off. No need to get blood all over you, it’s so hard to get out of clothing.” Aside, almost to their selves, “But we must wear clothing, civilization demands it.”

The man pleads, “I have money, you can have it, just let me go, please… Please.”

The person waits for the outer door to slam shut.

” All good and proper, now we are alone. What was it you were saying ” the person cocks their head to the side, like they are listening to someone, ” money?”

“Thank you, that is a generous offer ”

Hope rises in the man, thinking, Money, money will get me out. “Get me to a computer and I’ll wire you it all, just let me go…”

“So generous, but this Heart of Stone, that seems more interesting. ”

” Oh, don’t scream. You so generously offered a gift, so I’ll give you one. I’ll keep you awake and we’ll see it together. I promise, you won’t miss a thing.”

The man Screams as the scalpel parts the flesh of his chest, causing the blood bags forcing new blood in to replace the loss, to dance. But the persons hand is steady.

“See, we just pull back the skin and seperate the muscle… I’m so happy your voice gave out. Don’t worry, bones don’t have any nerve endings, I don’t think anyway. A few quick snaps and we’ll see the heart. ”

The sharp crack as the bolt cutters snap through each rib fills the warehouse.

” There now, the reveal, always so exciting. ” The person lifts the rib cage cutting away connective tissue.

” Oh… ” The person frowns, dejected.
Lifting the heart out of the man’s chest, showing it to him as the last light of consciousness fades. ” See, just flesh, Oh well… ” The person tosses the heart over their shoulder where it lands with a soggy plop. “Win some, lose some…”

The body sits in the middle of the warehouse, staring sightless into the harsh light, the strains of singing coming lightly on the air.

Softly singing, “I’ve got a lovely bunch of coconuts, fiddly dee…” fades into the darkness.