Friday, November 26, 2021

Devil's Moon - Writers 750 Contest Entries

I have rekindled my love of writing thanks to the Writers 750 contest.  Each month has a theme and key elements which must be included in the story, and, most difficult for me, especially, is the 1,500 word limit. I had fun idea for October's entry, however, it was impossible to tell the whole story within the word limitation, so I asked permission to write the story in two parts. 

    Devil's Moon is a story about the supernatural and two opposing factions.  Part one, subtitled The Pack, tells the story of a young lycanthrope coming of age, as it were.  Part two, The Hunters, tells the tale of the human family tasked with eradicating the Pack.  

Together the stories tell a strange tale of redemption.

I hope you enjoy Devil's Moon:

 Devil's Moon Pt 1

The Pack

     Benny sauntered up to a group of Freshmen and threw down his challenge.  “Hey losers, I bet none of you can beat me in a softest punch contest.”  Benny, a Junior, was known for being a trickster and a bit of a bully around campus, but the newest group of  Freshmen had not been around long enough to know of Benny’s antics.  Sean, the smallest of the group, asked, “What is that?”  Benny said, with a leer, “We see who can throw the softest punch, shoot, I’ll even let you go first.”  Sean, looking excited to connect with an upperclassman in his new school said, “Sure, why not?” as he walked up to Benny, who probably outweighed him by at least a hundred pounds. With the gentlest of jabs, Sean’s fist barely made contact with Benny’s arm.  Benny reared back and punched Sean in his arm with everything he had. Sean landed on his side about a foot and a half away, clutching his arm and using all of his will power to not start crying.  Benny laughed, “Congratulations kid, you won!” and headed off to his next class.

Sean’s humiliation was almost Benny’s undoing. By lunch time, word of Benny’s little gag had gotten to the Dean of boys, Jack Carlton, who was waiting for Benny outside the school cafeteria.  Mr. Carlton placed a hand on Benny’s shoulder and with a painfully firm grip directed him to the administration offices.  Benny did not scare easily, but at the moment a sheen of sweat appeared over his brow. “What’s the problem Mr. Carlton?” Benny asked, attempting to sound innocent of any possible wrongdoing.  The fact of the matter was this little visit may have been prompted by any one of a half dozen pranks and misdemeanors Benny had orchestrated, or at least participated in, the past several days. Mr. Carlton remained silent until he escorted Benny into his office, where two police officers stood waiting.  “Have a seat Benny”, Mr. Carlton said as he walked behind his desk and took a seat. 

     “I understand you assaulted a student this morning.”  Benny’s mouth dropped open as he attempted to wrap his mind around the accusation.  “No sir, I never assaulted anybody, there must be some misunderstanding!”  Benny knew there were plenty of things he deserved to answer for, but being accused of assault took him completely by surprise.  Mr. Carlton leaned forward and looked Benny in the eye, “Well, Benny, there was a hallway full of witnesses, who will happily testify in court, that they saw you punch Sean Prescott so hard you almost broke his arm.”  “I was just fooling around with the kid, I swear, I don’t even know him!” Benny protested.  At that, one of the police officers stepped forward and told Benny, “Stand up, turn around and place your hands behind your back.”  Benny complied and felt the cold steel on his wrists as the police officer handcuffed him.

    Now sobbing, Benny asked Mr. Carlton if he could call his mom. “We’ll get to that, Benny, I want to explain something to you first.” Mr. Carlton stepped to the front of his desk, crossed his arms and asked Benny, “How old are you?”  “I’m seventeen, sir”, he mumbled.  “When do you turn eighteen, son?”  Not for another eight months, Sir.”  Mr. Carlton looked hard at Benny and asked him, “You like how those handcuffs feel?”  “No sir, I don’t like it one bit.”  “Good, you got eight months to get yourself together and figure out what you want life to look like for you.  Once you turn eighteen, if you so much as lay a finger on another kid in this school, I will have you arrested and believe me, I don’t care how tough you think you are, an eighteen year old kid in jail will not fare very well, you understand me?”  Benny could only nod his head as snot and tears covered his face.

    Mr. Carlton nodded his head to the officer who cuffed Benny and the policeman removed the cuffs. The two officers nodded to the Dean as they took their leave.  Benny’s mom, Wanda, who had been in another room listening, entered the office, staring daggers at her wayward son. Dean Carlton stood up and walked next to Wanda.  “You will be suspended for one week and you will be expected to keep up with all your school assignments during that time.  I will be keeping my eye on you Benny.  We can be the best of friends or bitter enemies, that is completely up to you.”    

    “Go wait in the car Benny,” Wanda directed as she turned to face Mr. Carlton.  Carlton rubbed his face displaying his weariness, “Of all the kids in this school he could have picked on he had to go after a Prescott.”  Wanda’s eyes grew large, “When did a Prescott start coming to this school?” “He’s a first year freshman, just got here at the beginning of the year. I guess I should have warned the Pack.”  “Ya think?” Wanda spat out.  “It’s because of a Prescott I have been raising that kid by myself for the last ten years, so, how good did he give it to him, anyway?”  “Well, he gave him a pretty good shot, actually, kid’s stronger than he realizes.  It’s odd he is such a late bloomer.”  Wanda looked toward the window, “Oh I don’t think it will be too long now, he’s been growling in his sleep, so I’d say he’s probably only a moon cycle or two away.” 

    “I hope you understand why I took such drastic measures with Benny, we have to maintain the truce and I wanted to make sure the Prescotts understood this was an unfortunate coincidence.  I have no doubt we could eliminate the Prescotts once and for all, but it would surely expose us and we’d be hunted to the ends of the earth. The truce is the only thing that keeps us alive”  Wanda sighed, “I understand Jack, I just wish that superstition didn’t keep us in the shadows.”  “Well,”’ Carton said as he walked Wanda to the door, “it looks like the Prescotts are keeping up their end of the truce because I don't think that kid has any idea about any of this, and hopefully he never will.”  

Two weeks later, on the afternoon before the night of the full moon, Benny heard the sound of a bell, faintly ringing from the direction of the mountains outside town. Inexplicably, the sound called to him, drawing him like a siren song.  Benny stepped outside and began walking toward the sound of the bell, slowly at first but soon, he was running.  A car pulled alongside him as he ran. “Hey Benny, where are you off to in such a hurry?”  It was the cop who had handcuffed him in Dean Carlton’s office, but he was not in uniform.  “Uh, I’m not really sure, uh, I guess I am just out for a run.”  Benny was confused and couldn’t explain to himself what was happening, never mind trying to explain it to a cop.  

“You hearing the bell Benny?” the off duty policeman asked. “Um, yeah, do you hear it too?” the boy responded.  “Yep, every month, since I was about your age, come on, get in, I’ll drive you up there, your mom will be up there too.” Bewildered, Benny got in and within fifteen minutes the car pulled into a clearing at the end of a steep mountain road and drove through an open gate.

Wanda’s face lit up with delight as she saw her son get out of the car.  She ran to him and threw her arms around him sobbing with joy, “Welcome to the Pack son! I thought this day would never come!”  Bewildered, Benny just stood there hugging his mom wondering what in the world was going on.  Mr. Carlton walked over and put his arm around Benny, “Since your dad isn’t here to share this special moment, I would be honored if you ran with me tonight, Benny.”  “Sure, I guess, Mr. Carlton, but I really have no idea what’s going on.”  Mr. Carlton and Wanda both looked up at the rising moon as the final wisps of daylight faded, fur sprouting from their faces, “You will soon,” they both said simultaneously.

Devil's Moon Pt 2 

The Hunters

Dale Prescott sat in his living room watching the full moon rise. The monthly guilt reached out to him with icy fingers, as he held  his Bible, praying for peace and for deliverance of those whom he knew were cavorting with evil, this night.  Every month, for the past ten years, Dale battled his conscience.  No one outside his family knew the dark secrets he carried and most in the family did not understand the weight he shouldered as chief of The Hunters.  He gained a new identity in his faith, but not everyone shared his faith nor did they agree with calling off The Hunt. The Hunt, just as deadly to the hunters as the hunted, after centuries of war failed to tip the balance one way or another.  Dale believed there had to be a better way to eradicate the evil his family battled for generations.  

The verse the senior Prescott  meditated on most came back to him: For we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.  For generations the Prescott family hunted an abominable perversion of nature, a pervasive and dangerous evil. The Prescott family, alone, knew lycanthropes were real and, for reasons lost to history, were tasked with their eradication. Ten years earlier Dale was installed as clan chief after the passing of his father.  To prove his worthiness, he had to make a kill, which in modern times, was far more difficult than it had been for his medieval relatives.

Hunting the Pack was more dangerous than any other prey in the world.  Members of the Pack presented only one night per month, possessing supernatural abilities to ward off attack.  Making a successful kill was equal parts luck and skill.  Sometimes decades would pass before a successful kill and each kill usually incurred retaliation to the hunters. Violence always begets violence.  Dale, in his first month as chief,  made the kill, cementing his place at the head of the table.  Wayne Morris was his victim.  Wayne left behind a wife and a seven year old son named Benny.  After the kill, Dale watched as the abomination transformed back into human form, a man like him, a man with a family and a life.  Furthermore, the Pack had not hunted human flesh for over two hundred years, so there really was no justification for killing them.  

After the kill, Dale decided to numb his conflicted conscience by visiting the local liquor store.  On the way, he passed a brightly lit church from which he could faintly hear lively music.  Seeing the giant cross atop the church steeple was more than Dale’s soul could bear, he pulled into the parking lot, sat in his car and cried.  After he cried himself dry, he noticed the music had stopped and felt compelled to enter the church.  Taking a seat in the back, Dale heard a message of God’s love for sinners, even a murderer like himself. More importantly, he heard a message of redemption through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. Dale’s life was never the same.  
    Realizing the Hunt was futile and ineffective, after much prayer, Dale was able to convince the Hunters to call a truce.  For the first time in human memory, a Prescott revealed himself to the Pack and both sides realized mutually assured destruction was a pretty good enticement for peace.  The truce held firm for ten years, until two weeks earlier when Wayne Morris’ kid almost broke Dale’s nephew’s arm at school.  A parlay between Dale and the high school Dean of Boys smoothed over any potential problems but he knew something had to change, so tonight, while the Pack ran, Dale prayed more earnestly than ever.

    The following  weekend, Dale had dinner at his brother’s house and over dessert, asked his nephew Sean how school was going.  “It's Ok, I guess, the biggest trick is staying away from the bullies.  Some of the bigger kids like to pick on the new freshmen.”  Since becoming a follower of Christ, Dale had a knack for naturally turning any conversation into an opportunity to share spiritual truth, and was able to impart some Biblical wisdom to his nephew. Intrigued, Sean asked questions allowing Dale to share the Gospel clearly and concisely.  By the end of the night, Sean prayed with his uncle, placing his faith in Jesus Christ.  Sean didn’t feel anything physically take place, but mentally and spiritually he felt as if a tremendous weight lifted from his soul.  

    Monday morning, at school, Sean saw Benny Morris, the older boy who had nearly broken his arm a few weeks earlier.  Sean made a point to avoid Benny and his buddies but today, Sean felt an urge to, not only talk to Benny, but to try to smooth things over. “Hey Benny,” Sean said, tentatively.  “Huh? Oh hey kid, listen, I’m sorry for, ah, you know, well, I was just messing around, I didn’t mean to really hurt you.”  Sean stuck out his hand and Benny shook it, and for the first time ever a Lycanthrope and a Prescott took steps over the threshold of friendship.  

    Days earlier, Benny experienced his first transformation and was feeling excited, scared and a bit isolated from his friends.  Changing into a ravenous beast and running with the Pack had been the most exhilarating experience of Benny’s life, but it also meant a life of secrets and isolation.  Being seventeen was tough enough, realizing he was truly different from most people added a whole other layer of uncertainty. Sean’s unexpected overture of friendship could not have come at a better time.

    The Dean, a leader within the Pack, kept a close eye on the friendship forming between Sean and Benny, wondering if it was a good or bad thing.  He wanted to believe it was a good thing, but, gnawing at the fringes of his consciousness was an inexplicable alarm.  The Dean  decided to monitor the situation, ready to take action if necessary.

    Both Benny and Sean experienced life altering events in the last week, however, Benny was unable to share his experience. Sean, on the other hand, was very excited to share his newfound faith and began asking Benny what he thought about God.  It seemed Sean had the same natural ability to share his faith as his uncle, just not the knowledge his uncle possessed after a decade of study.  Benny was aware, now more than ever, of his misdeeds,  and the idea of being right with God appealed to him like never before. As the conversation progressed, Benny had many questions, unfortunately, Sean had few answers. Finally, Sean suggested they visit his uncle Dale, a man who had answers. 

        Dale Prescott could not have been more surprised when he opened his door to Sean and Benny.  Dale was always cognizant of the fact he was responsible for the death of Benny’s father and now the child he had left fatherless stood on his doorstep.  Swallowing his fear and confusion, Dale asked, “what can I do for you fellas?”  Sean excitedly stepped in past his uncle and explained how he and Benny had been discussing Jesus but he had run out of answers so they were there to fill in the gaps. 

     Dale began to lay out the basics of the Gospel message, as Benny listened intently.  Dale noticed the air in his home had become almost electric, much like when a  thunderstorm was about to strike.  A chill filled the air and the odor of rotting garbage wafted across the room.  Dale, the only one who seemed to notice, realized something spiritual was happening, something malevolent was stirring.

    Finally, Dale asked Benny if he was ready to pray and ask for forgiveness, accepting Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior.  Benny seemed eager, even as the room began to smell acrid.  Benny prayed out loud while his body went rigid and shook.  As he continued to pray, a low moan began to emanate, from behind his own voice.  The moan grew louder, growing to a horrific shriek as Benny’s body convulsed violently and then, a sudden release, as an ancient evil entity was expelled from his body.  The windows in the living room shattered, the air returned to normal and the odors of burnt and rotting garbage dissipated.  

    Dale now knew what his family had been fighting for centuries. As all three sat in shock, staring at the shattered windows, Dale realized the war was back on.  This would not be war against flesh and blood but war fought on a spiritual level.  As Benny and Sean attempted to process what they had just experienced, Dale accepted his mission and was grateful for the two young men sitting in his living room, knowing they would be his first recruits in a battle for trapped souls.

 To learn more about Writers 750 you can check it out here:

The writing contest is open to everyone and happens every month. Also, if you are interested in becoming a better writer, I encourage you to check your my friend H.M. Shuldt's book.

Whatever you do, do it unto the Lord!

Now, go live as Christ... and give the devil hell!

Wednesday, August 4, 2021


     I have been having a blast writing for the Writers 750 contests! If you love writing, be sure to read all the way to the end for information on entering yourself! Hope you enjoy my award winning story:

 Fondest Wish                   


  Jim, carrying Linda on his shoulders,  walked under the brightly lit archway as happy childhood memories flooded his heart, the smell of fried food, the screams of thrill riders and thundering rock music blaring from high mounted speakers.  The Carnival, a timeless place of wonder and excitement, a place to  leave the real world behind, if even for only a few hours.  Jim’s heart swelled, as his giddy little girl giggled with anticipation, pointing at the illuminated chaos.  “Daddy, I want cotton candy, please!” 

Jim made a beeline to the truck emblazoned with happy cartoon children, purchased a large plume of sugary joy on a stick and handed it up to his very excited daughter. “What do you want to do first, princess?” Jim asked. Linda’s eyes widened as she saw a pretty teenage girl walking alongside her jock boyfriend, carrying a giant stuffed bear. “I want you to win me a giant stuffed bear, daddy!”

Jim took a deep breath and said, “Ok honey, one giant stuffed bear, coming up!”  He was pretty sure all these games were rigged, but, he reassured himself thinking, if Jock Boy could win one....    His anxiety rose, however, as he saw the various games of skill, each costing a minimum of two dollars per play.  He found himself longing for the days when all you had to do was lay your quarter down on a number and take a chance on a spin of the wheel.

Forty dollars and an hour of frustration later, Jim realized he was not good at popping balloons with darts, throwing rings over bottle necks, or knocking down milk cans with a softball. Shamefully, he attempted to bribe his daughter away from the obviously fixed games with a ride on the Carousel.  Linda, normally  a happy compliant child, caught Jim off guard when she,  in a very uncharacteristic manner, stomped her little foot, placed her tiny hands on her hips and defiantly stated, “I want a bear, you promised!”  “Sorry sweetie, Daddy’s just not lucky tonight.”

“C’mon, Pops, you don’t want to let down the little lady, do ya?” the sly carnival worker  said with a smile, winking at Linda.  “Tell ya what I’m gonna do buddy, take a free shot on the house, if ya win, ya get the bear.”  “Thanks,” Jim said as he reached into the bucket of balls, “I really appreciate this.”  “Think nothing of it,”  the attendant smiled, as he leaned over and touched the tip of  Linda’s nose with his finger, “I hate to see such a sweet young lady go home empty handed.”  

Jim pitched as if it was the bottom of the ninth in game seven of the World Series with two outs, two strikes and bases loaded.  Unfortunately, Jim was not going to lead his team to victory this night, he watched as five milk cans fell and the sixth one tottered only to remain upright.  Linda’s anticipation quickly turned to disappointment as the man in the booth raised his hands and shrugged his shoulders.

  “Almost Pops, ya almost nailed it.”  “Come on honey,” Jim said, reaching for his daughter’s hand, but Linda refused to budge. The man in the booth leaned in towards Jim and, in a quiet voice, said, “I don’t do this for everyone, but I got a good feeling about you two, tell ya what, there’s a game booth reserved for VIPs and everyone wins, if you’re interested, go back around the Monster Fun House and head down the passageway, there’s a tent set up, go inside and ask for Lu,  tell him Johnny Legion sent ya, he’ll take good care of ya both.”

Jim and Linda headed behind the Monster Funhouse, as Legion instructed, and found a poorly lit passageway, one most would not have noticed.  Just as Legion promised, at the end of the  path stood a tent.  Jim hesitated, but Linda grabbed his hand and began pulling him toward the flaps, “C’mon daddy!”  Jim took a deep breath, ignored the ominous feel of the place  and allowed his little daughter to lead him inside.  

All trepidation fled as they entered the brightly lit interior and were met by a jovial man in top hat and tails, “Welcome my friends! How can I help you?”  “Uh, Johnny Legion sent us, he said this was a VIP game.. I was trying to win my little girl a bear.”  Jim felt a little foolish until  he heard Linda’s sharp intake of breath as she pointed to the giant plush bear hanging next to a numbered wheel.  “Look Daddy, it’s perfect!” Jim had to admit, it was probably the most amazing stuffed bear he had ever seen. The fact the bear was the only prize in the tent did not register in his mind.

“Ah, yes! Please, please come on in!” Addressing Linda, Lu said, “I see you have your eye on Reginald, my finest bear!” “Uh huh,” Linda replied as she nodded. “Is this what you want more than anything else in the world?” Lu asked her. “Yessss,” she almost whispered, entranced by the prospect of walking out of the tent with such an amazing prize.  “Well,”  said Lu, smiling broadly, “I just happen to be in the business of granting your fondest wish!”  Lu gestured to the counter as he stepped inside the booth, “All you need to do, Dad, is lay a quarter down on one of the numbers and see if you can match the wheel.”  Jim immediately pulled a quarter from his pocket and laid it on number seven.  Lu spun the wheel with a flourish as little Linda held her breath.  As the wheel came to a stop, the indicator landed dead center on number seven.  Linda squealed with delight while Jim gratefully thanked Lu. As Linda stood hugging the bear, which was almost as big as her, Lu winked at Jim and said, “It’s that easy, my friend! Now, son of Adam, what is your fondest wish, hmmm?  Don’t be shy, everyone wants something.” Lu’s conspiratorial smile was hard to resist.

“Well,” Jim reluctantly replied, “the thing I wish for most in the world is to have Cali back, my wife, Linda’s mom.  She passed away last year.”  Lu, rubbed his chin as he contemplated Jim’s request.  “Actually, I’m not in the raising the dead business,” he muttered, as he averted his eyes upward, “That’s someone else’s department.  But, if I understand you correctly, you really wish little Linda here could have a normal life with a mommy and daddy to love her, right?”  Jim looked down, “yeah, I do, he mumbled.”  Excellent request my friend!  Do you happen to have another quarter?”

Jim reached into his pocket and pulled out another quarter, without too much thought, he placed it down on number twelve, the day of the month in May he married his beloved wife.  As Jim placed the quarter down, he did not notice the tiny pin sticking up on the counter until it  jabbed his finger.  As a drop of Jim’s blood landed  onto number twelve, next to the quarter, Lu said, “Nevermind that, son of Adam, it will only increase your luck!” 

“Ready?” Lu asked as he reached out to spin the wheel. Jim merely nodded.  Lu gave the wheel a good spin and just as before, the wheel stopped dead center on the number Jim had chosen.  Lu clapped his hands, “Look at that! Another winner!”  Suddenly, Jim clutched his chest and fell to the ground dead.  Linda, mesmerized by her new bear, did not even notice.  Within seconds, a timid couple entered from the rear of the tent, clutching each other’s arms, each with a tiny pin prick on their fingers.  Lu gestured magnanimously towards the little girl and told them, with the tenderness of a loving father, “And here, children of Adam, here is your fondest wish, a daughter to call your own”

As the man and woman joyfully, if not a tad bit guiltily, directed Linda from the tent, anxious to get on with the business of being a family, they passed two non descript men, dragging Johnny Legion between them, into the tent. “We swear, Lu, we didn’t tell them anything!” Legion whined, as the two men stood before Lu.  The man on the left said, “Lu, huh? Cute, but this game's over Baalzebub, the boss wants to see you.”  A fly landed on Johnny Legion’s head as he asked, “what about us?” The second man said, “Oh, I’m sure there might be some pigs around here somewhere.”  “Oh, no! Not that again,” said Legion, “we’ll just leave” 

Suddenly, the two men, Lu and the tent swirled up into the sky in a pillar of fire, disappearing from sight.  Where a brightly lit tent once stood were only one dead body and a very bewildered carnival worker named Johnny  who seemed to have lost track of the last few months of his life.

To learn more about Writers 750 you can check it out here:

The writing contest is open to everyone and happens every month. Also, if you are interested in becoming a better writer, I encourage you to check your my friend H.M. Shuldt's book.

Whatever you do, do it unto the Lord!

Now, go live as Christ... and give the devil hell!

Saturday, July 3, 2021


 Well it took me three times at the plate, but I finally got a hit!  Hope you enjoy my award winning story Running From Veronica.  



“Well, It’s Hurricane season again, and this time, I am not going to watch my life blow away!” Arthur was busy packing up what little he had left and what little he managed to replace from his loss the previous year. He was happy he had beaten the calendar and was getting away before the first hurricane of the season formed. Templeton, his Pit-Shepherd mix, looked up at him curiously as he spoke. Templeton had a very expressive face and a knack for appearing as if he understood everything Arthur said. Arthur only wished Templeton could speak back.

It was almost a full year ago when Hurricane Veronica blasted through. Arthur knew it would be a life changing storm as soon as he heard the name on the news. Veronica had been the name of his ex-wife who, six years earlier, had inexplicably, burned all his clothes, packed up her stuff and left without so much as a note of goodbye. A month after Veronica left, divorce papers arrived in the mail with a return envelope and a note requesting his signature. When Arthur sealed the envelope, he sealed a chapter of his life and never heard from Veronica again.

Well, he never heard from that Veronica again, the next Veronica to enter his life had been equally devastating. When Hurricane Veronica (the storm, not his ex) approached his small island home, Arthur knew it would be bad, like you know a root canal is going to be bad. Only imagine five root canals and no pain medicine before or after. He prepared the best he could, the best anyone could, having never experienced a Category Five hurricane, but, he soon realized his preparations were far less than adequate!

Arthur’s first clue he was ill prepared was when the dead limbs from the tree in his front yard broke free and slammed against his house, one coming right through his window. He managed to drag the mattress from his bed over to the window and prop it up with a table.

Templeton whined and watched from the corner so Arthur moved him to the bedroom closet for safekeeping. No sooner than hearing the click of the closet door, Arthur heard a great crash in his kitchen. Running in to investigate, he discovered a bathtub, who knows from where, had crashed through the back door into his kitchen, smashing into and destroying his refrigerator. His mind spinning as chaotically as the storm outside, Arthur randomly considered finding the owner of the bathtub and working out an arrangement, the stranger could use his bathtub and he could store things in the tub owner’s refrigerator.

His thoughts were interrupted when he heard the great crunching sound of wood being torn loose from his living room. Arthur ran through the kitchen doorway in time to watch as a large section of the roof over his living room was wrenched off and disappeared into the angry black clouds devilishly churning in the sky above his now compromised home. Wind and rain poured into his living room creating what looked like a mini vortex. The little tornado swirled around his living room and Arthur watched helplessly as his compact disc collection was sucked up and spun around the room. Over five hundred CDs swirled like dervishes breaking and being broken as they clacked and smacked against furniture and glass. As the CDs wreaked havoc and destruction, wind howled through the broken kitchen door, causing the kitchen cabinets to open and close slamming out of sync with one another creating a terrible cacophony to join the horrific roaring wind and sound of breaking plastic and glass in the living room.

Feeling as if he were in some crazed funhouse designed by maniacs and paralyzed by fear, Arthur crouched low in the doorway between the kitchen and the living room holding his ears thinking his life was about to end when he heard a great whoosh and watched his entire CD collection shoot up through his roof as the indoor tornado retracted back into the sky. Rain continued to pour in through his broken roof, but at least the wind began to subside and the maddening racket in the kitchen stopped as well.

Torrential rain continued to pour through the hole in his roof and Arthur realized his house was becoming flooded, very quickly. His red velvet couch, lifted by the flood water, floated across the room and slammed into the front door, splintering the door from its hinges. The flood water inside the house coursed through the broken doorway joining the floodwaters outside sweeping the couch out the door, down the driveway and into the street which flowed like a small river. The last Arthur ever saw his couch was when it floated to the end of the street and around the bend.

Then, just as if someone had thrown a switch, the wind and rain stopped, the sky was clear and the sun shined down into the demolished living room like a spotlight. Amid all the destruction and chaos, a very curious thing happened. Arthur watched, bewildered, as a single compact disc jewel case fell through the hole where his roof used to be and clattered to the wet floor. Retrieving the CD, he saw it was Crystavox, an 80’s hair metal band who only released two albums. Over five hundred CDs flew up into the sky and only one came back down. Arthur was happy to get it back.

Feeling shell shocked, Arthur walked, almost zombie-like, to his bedroom to check on Templeton. Opening the closet door, Arthur discovered his best friend had passed the time chewing up every pair of shoes he owned. Only two shoes remained uneaten, unfortunately the shoes were not a matched pair. The only consolation was one uneaten shoe was a left shoe and the other a right. Arthur was a pitiful sight when he arrived at the emergency shelter, disheveled, soaked and wearing one brown loafer and one white tennis shoe.

Now, about a year later, after having battled with the insurance company, overseeing repairs and putting the house on the market, Arthur and Templeton were packing up the last of his modest possessions ready to close on the sale of the house. The furniture and larger items had been boxed up and shipped to the mainland and Arthur stuffed the last of his clothes and personal items into a shoulder duffel, the last item to go in, the Crystavox CD.

Arthur made his way to the charter plane, looking forward to a new chapter of life when he heard his name. “Arthur, how are you?” He turned and saw Pastor Mike from the shelter he stayed at the previous year while his house affairs were sorted out. “Pastor Mike, how are you? Long time no see”, Arthur exclaimed as he reached out to shake the minister’s hand. Pastor Mike had been a source of great comfort and wisdom during the dark days after Veronica (the hurricane, not his ex). “Looks like we will be sharing the flight,” Pastor Mike said happily. Mike looked down at Arthur’s shoes and remarked, “nice to see you have matching shoes on today, I trust everything has worked out for you then?” Arthur recounted his plans for the future to which Pastor Mike said, “You know, Arthur, there will always be Veronica’s in your life, whether they be horrible ex-wives, devastating hurricanes or any variety of calamity that befalls us. The main thing is knowing you are not facing the Veronicas of life alone.” Arthur remembered how much he had enjoyed late night conversations with Pastor Mike at the shelter and actually looked forward to the two hour plane ride and the opportunity to share in the man’s wisdom at least one more time.

Pastor Mike said a little silent prayer asking for just the right words to share with Arthur, knowing this would probably be his last opportunity to share the Gospel with him. The men climbed the airstair together, with Templeton leading the way, catching up on the last eight months or so when they reached the top of the steps and both men stopped suddenly. Much to the bewilderment of the pilot standing just inside the plane greeting her few passengers, both men burst out laughing as they noticed the name tag on the pretty pilot’s uniform - it read “Veronica”.

To learn more about Writers 750 you can check it out here:

The writing contest is open to everyone and happens every month. Also, if you are interested in becoming a better writer, I encourage you to check your my friend H.M. Shuldt's book.

Whatever you do, do it unto the Lord!

Now, go live as Christ... and give the devil hell!

Tuesday, June 8, 2021



    Sons of Thunder is an exciting collaboration from guitar wunderkinds, Kevin Musicman and Pastor Wildman. A passion for classic metal, rivaled only by a passion for serving God according to their calling, Musicman and Wildman have captured the essence of 1980s metal.

    SOT's first release is Simple Man. An ambitious original composition reflecting the taste and style of two seasoned musicians who play for the love of the craft. Simple Man is a preview of great things to come

    From the opening guitar licks, the listener knows they are in for something special from accomplished axe-masters. If you are looking for the blues infused, guitar driven music style of yesteryear, you will not want to miss out on Sons of Thunder!

    In addition to great musical composition, lyrically, Simple Man will inspire and encourage believers, in any phase of their spiritual walk, to live a life committed to God and serving others. 

    Powerful, meaningful and fun, Simple Man captures the sound of classic metal while inspiring the listener to strive ahead, spiritually speaking. 

    Sons of Thunder will be a force to be reckoned with, look forward to an EP release sometime in the summer of 2021!

                                    Be sure to play it loud!

Now, go live as Christ... and give the devil hell!

Wednesday, June 2, 2021


 Once again, I had the opportunity to participate in the writing contest for Writers 750.  No, I did not win, but, it was fun!  Below is the story I submitted - Blood on the Water.  


“Dude, the mosquitoes are brutal tonight”, Chaz complained, for about the hundredth time in the past hour.  “Yeah, you're in the swamp, man, and you asked to come out here so just deal.”  Chaz and Andy sat in a jon boat in the Florida Everglades doing some night fishing and drinking more than a few beers.  Andy spent most of his spare time in the everglades fishing and generally hiding from the mess of a life he created for himself.  Chaz couldn’t even remember why he wanted to go fishing.  “At least the beers are cold,” he thought as he swatted yet another annoying mosquito buzzing around his ears.

Up until now, the conversation had been light and inconsequential, just two lifelong friends who hadn’t had much time to hang out together catching up with one another. Andy cast out, lit up a cigar and with a serious look in his eye turned to Chaz and said, “Hey man, you know, Lenny’s back in town.” Chaz, mid sip, spit beer all over Andy’s tackle box. “Nice,” Andy said with a smirk and an eye roll.  Chaz, wiped his mouth and with wide eyes replied. “Do you think he’s still holding a grudge?”  “I don’t know, bro, but if I were you, I’d be watching over my shoulder.”  Andy punctuated his last statement with a large plume of smoke from his cigar.  

A loud splash to the right of the boat caught the two men’s attention and they turned in time to see a twelve foot alligator glide by in search of a late night snack.  “You know dude, we shoulda fed that guy to a gator that night, it would have saved everybody a whole lotta hassle,” Andy reflected.  “Yeah,” Chaz agreed as he chugged his beer with one hand and reached for another with the other, suddenly having an overwhelming desire to go from pleasantly buzzed to solidly drunk.  

Twenty-three years and a handful of months earlier, Chaz, Andy, Lenny and Lenny’s soon to be ex-best girl Marina were hanging out at a party in Everglades Holiday Park, blowing off steam, drinking and getting high after senior year finals. Imbued with liquid courage, Chaz called over to Marina, “Hey baby, when you get tired of babysitting Lenny, I know a real man who will love you like you deserve.” What neither Chaz nor Lenny knew was Marina had been getting tired of Lenny and Chaz’s offer was exactly what she had been waiting for. Just high enough to cast caution to the wind, Marina sauntered over to Chaz, positioned herself so she could stare Lenny in the eye and planted a wet kiss on Chaz’s mouth.  Many of the party goers erupted into cat calls, adding to Lenny’s humiliation.  

In a blind rage, Lenny hopped in the pick up truck his parents bought him for his eighteenth birthday, only two months earlier, and sped out of the park onto U S 27.  Through angry tears and, drunk well beyond the legal limit, Lenny never even noticed the minivan traveling in the opposite direction as he crossed the center white line. Convicted on three counts of vehicular manslaughter, Lenny was sentenced to three consecutive ten year stints in the state pen. Now, a little over twenty-three years later, due to time off for good behavior, Lenny was out on parole.   

Lenny’s first few years in prison were exactly what one would expect for a scared, scrawny, eighteen year old, a living hell.  Tall, but thin, Lenny hit the weights and before too long filled in his six foot two frame with impressive bulk. Lenny transformed from bullied to respected when he brutally beat one of his worst tormentors. Gone was the shoulder length blond hair, replaced with a shaved head accentuated with tattoos readily identified as the homemade jailhouse variety. No one who knew Lenny from high school would have recognized him now.   Fueled by hate, he became one of the most feared residents of his cell block. For the next eight years, Lenny enjoyed the fear he instilled in others and enjoyed the pain he inflicted on those he perceived as disrespectful.  

One fateful, rainy, Saturday afternoon, unable to lift in the Yard, Lenny wandered past the lunch room where some fellow inmates had gathered to listen to Chaplain Jack.  Chaplain Jack had once been an inmate in this very prison, but after turning his life around through the power of faith in Jesus Christ, he dedicated his life to serving the Lord.  Chaplain Jack looked like he still belonged on the inside, and caught Lenny off guard when he waved over to him and said, “Hi, I’m Chaplain Jack, come on in friend, and have a seat.”  Lenny skeptically went in but decided to listen to what the man of God had to say. 

Weekly, Chaplain Jack came and ministered and Lenny found himself, on more Saturdays than not, sitting in the lunchroom listening, and  eventually, not just listening, but asking questions and interacting.  Within a few months, Lenny prayed with the chaplain to receive Christ and entered into a discipleship program.  Lenny soon became a model prisoner and began ministering to other inmates.

The day Lenny was released he reached out to some contacts given him by Chaplain Jack and soon found himself in a welcoming community of believers who loved him for who he was and helped him get re-acclimated to society.  Encouraged to make peace with his past, Lenny decided to reach out to the one person he would have happily killed with his bare hands twenty-three years ago, Chaz Lewis.

The day Lenny contacted Chaz, Chaz contacted Andy and together they hatched a plan similar to what they had discussed on fishing night. “I’m not really sure if this is cool, man” Chaz told Andy as they discussed killing Lenny and dumping him in the swamp for gator food.  “Course it’s cool, bro, the dude wiped out a whole family and now he’s coming for you.”  “Yeah, I guess it’s either me or him, then, right?”  “Exactly!” Andy said with a wink.

Chaz and Andy found out where Lenny lived and staked out his apartment.  When Lenny returned home from a church meeting, Andy was waiting for him with an aluminum baseball bat.  After knocking Lenny out, the two smaller men wrestled his unconscious body into the bed of Andy’s pick up truck and headed out to a secluded boat ramp on U S 27. What neither man noticed was the surveillance camera attached to the apartment building, placed there due to the high crime rate in the immediate area.

The men, with great effort, transported Lenny from the pick up truck to the fishing boat and headed out to back channels where they would not be disturbed. Neither man was expecting Lenny to wake up so soon.  Only halfway to the pre planned killing spot, Lenny woke up and lunged for Andy.  Before Chaz could grab the nine millimeter handgun from the tackle box, Andy was being lifted from the boat seat by his throat.  Eyes wide with terror, Andy gurgled, “shoot him man!”  Chaz aimed and fired, but at such close range, he managed to kill two men with one bullet.  Terrified, Chaz did the only thing he could think of, he dumped both bodies overboard and hoped the alligators would do the rest.  Not knowing what else to do, Chaz drove back to Andy’s place, where he had left his car earlier in the evening.  Chaz didn’t think anyone could connect him to the night’s events and decided to leave Andy’s boat and trailer in his driveway and head home and try to forget about what happened.  

Meanwhile, the night manager at Lenny’s apartment building, having watched the attack take place on his CCTV, notified the police.  Able to identify Andy by the license plate on his boat trailer, the police sent a car to stake out Andy’s house.  Chaz never even noticed the police car parked at the end of the street as he pulled into Andy’s driveway.  Before he could get into his own car and speed home, the police were on him.  

Three years later, Chaz Lewis was walking past the prison cafeteria when  he noticed a small crowd gathering. Standing in the front of the room was a rough looking guy in civilian clothes who looked like he was no stranger to a prison jumpsuit. The man waved over to Chaz,  “Hi, I’m Chaplain Jack, come on in friend and have a seat.” 

To learn more about Writers 750 you can check it out here:

The writing contest is open to everyone and happens every month. Also, if you are interested in becoming a better writer, I encourage you to check your my friend H.M. Shuldt's book.

Whatever you do, do it unto the Lord!

Now, go live as Christ... and give the devil hell!

Monday, May 10, 2021


      What would you do for $4.00 per day?  How much effort would you put forth for $4.00 per day?  Imagine seeing this want ad: BACK BREAKING WORK - $4.00 PER DAY - UNLESS IT RAINS, HURRY, POSITIONS WON'T LAST!!

    As ridiculous as such an idea may seem to anyone living in an industrialized nation, if you happen to be a Christian minority in a primarily Muslim country, $4.00 per day could very well be your reality.  Many Christian families, in the nation of Pakistan, have been relegated to virtual slavery in brick factories scattered throughout the nation for a mere pittance of $4.00 per day.  If it happens to rain on any given  day and bricks cannot be made, no money is made either.  

    Before you say, "well the overall cost of living there is so much less," consider the Big Mac Index (yeah that's a real thing).  The Big Mac Index is an economic tool designed to gauge purchasing power of a nation's currency.  In Pakistan, the Big Mac is currently $3.58, about $1.46 less than an American Big Mac. So, imagine if your daily income was enough to buy a Big Mac and you could still manage to squirrel away $.42.  

    "Yeah, but a Big Mac is not really a necessity," you may say. Ok, no one really needs a Big Mac, I'll concede this point. How about a pair of shoes?  Shoes are not really a luxury item, shoes are pretty much a necessity.  A decent pair of shoes costs about $26.00. So the average brick factory worker can skip food for a week and afford a nifty pair of shoes.  

    Pakistan is only one of many nations where Christians are marginalized, persecuted and/or repressed.  The very least we should be doing, the bare minimum, is praying for our brothers and sisters around the world.  Not everyone is called to international ministry. There are plenty of ministry opportunities right in our own neighborhoods. Everyone is not called to everything, but.. everyone is called to something. 

    I have, inadvertently,  become an erstwhile WhatsApp missionary to Pakistan, and I really cannot explain how or why except it's a God thing. What started out as friendly conversations and occasional video chats over Twitter and WhatsApp has blossomed into a weekly class and sporadic preaching opportunities in various cities.  Through the wonder of technology, I, a guy who does not even possess a passport, get to interact with believers on the other side of the world.

    The last thing I want to do is fall into the trap of thinking everyone should be doing whatever I happen to be doing at the moment.  The Body of Christ is vast and diverse with each member equipped for a myriad of different acts of service.  In fact, no one should ever feel inferior to anyone else, as long as you are serving according to your calling. 

    However, if you are currently not serving, if you have been seeking God on what your calling may be, won't you consider international ministry.  Again, through the wonder of technology, you do not even have to leave home!  If you are frustrated in your walk and spiritual growth, ask God to help you think outside the box. You may be amazed where the Spirit leads you!

    A year ago, for me, Pakistan was just another country on a map. A country to which I gave little thought and the little thought I gave was not often good, given our current war on terror and the Pakistani government's role.  Now, I love my friends in Christ, whom I have had the joy of meeting and interacting daily.  I do not speak Urdu, the official language of Pakistan, and the attempts on my part to learn some words have not been very successful, even though I have a very patient teacher. 

      God has amazing plans for you, if you are willing to submit to His will. As my friend Jason said recently in one of his daily devotional videos - "God did all the heavy lifting," (If your not subscribed to his videos, you are missing out!)

    Jason works out of town and still finds time to record a quick devotional video every day.  How, because he is following God's calling, which means he is enjoying God's empowerment to do his calling.  The Lord's work is not work if you are doing the work you are called to.  

    As I said, not everything is for everybody but everybody is called to something!  What is God laying on your heart today?  Is it time to get out of your comfort zone? Nothing grows in the comfort zone!

    Whatever you are called to, please say a prayer for my friends in Pakistan, especially our brothers and sisters laboring in over one hundred degree heat for $4.00 per day!  

Now, go live as Christ... and give the devil hell!

Friday, May 7, 2021


    Last month, I had the opportunity to participate in a writing contest for Writers 750.  No, I did not win, but, it was fun!  Below is the story I submitted - Gypsy Road To Redemption.  

Gypsy Road to Redemption

     Antoine lay in bed, listening to the drone of his alarm.  Mondays were the hardest days to get out of bed for Antoine Levy, but this Monday, in particular, was more difficult than usual.  A late Sunday afternoon message from someone he believed buried deep in the past ensured this Monday would be filled with more dread than any other Monday.

      In stark contrast, merely two days earlier, Antoine awoke with excited expectation. The little ring box sitting on his dresser that fateful Saturday morning promised to change everything. On Saturday night, he proposed  to Sheila, the love of his life. And, as fate would have it, Antoine was not the only one waiting to spring a surprise.  Sheila also carried exciting news, only Sheila’s surprise was not in a small box in her pocket, Sheila’s surprise grew in her womb.

The message which sent Antoine’s happy life into a tailspin came the previous day, around 4:30 PM.  An email from a relative he had not heard from, nor even thought about, for his entire adult life shook him to his foundation: “Now that you are about to be married and have an heir, it is time you learned the truth about what happened to your parents and time for you to do what they could not, it is imperative you do not fail as they did. Meet me tomorrow at the bus station at 10:00 AM.  Come alone and do not be late. Uncle Val.”  

Uncle Val was actually Valentino Khmeleva.  Antoine had cloudy memories of Uncle Val showing up at various family functions prior to his parent’s death.  Uncle Val carried an ominous air about him and when he showed up for a family gathering, the older men would solemnly disappear into a back room with him for an hour or so.  What was discussed was never disclosed. Antoine remembered something which, at the time, held no significance, but now nearly choked him with foreboding.  The week before 8 year old Antoine’s parents died, under mysterious circumstances, Roman Levy, Antoine’s father, was for the first time, summoned to the meeting of Uncle Val and the family elders.  Young orphaned Antoine was shipped off from his home in New York to Aunt Lyla in New Jersey and had no further contact with any of the family he had known his first 8 years, including mysterious Uncle Val.

Antoine arrived at the Greyhound station five minutes before Uncle Val’s Bus, not really knowing how to respond to a man of whom he had very little recollection. He deduced, if his father’s family had a patriarch, it was Uncle Val. An inexplicable darkness gripped Antoine’s spirit, along with anticipation of secrets revealed, as the unmistakable sound and smell of diesel filled his senses.

Uncle Val was the thirteenth passenger to exit the bus.  Valentino Khmeleva was a man of not quite average height, yet, he cut a formidable image of dignified grace usually reserved for those reared among royalty, dressed in a black suit, complete with a black overcoat draped over his shoulders like a cape, accented by a blood red tie and pocket square.  Though Khmeleva was undoubtedly well into his seventies, his jet black hair, salt and pepper beard and regal bearing gave him the appearance of a much younger man.  The only accoutrement  hinting to his advanced age was a black, highly polished cane with silver wolf head handle, although, upon further inspection, the walking stick seemed more accessory than necessity.  

Somehow, Uncle Val knew exactly whom he had come to see as he walked directly to Antoine without a shred of hesitation.  In a heavy Romanian accent, Khmeleva dispelled any notion this was a warm family reunion,  “Come, quickly, we have much to discuss and you have much to do.”  Antoine, flabbergasted  by his Uncle’s direct approach, blurted out the one question, the only question which mattered, “What’s this all about?”  “Not here” came the terse reply, “you have a car, I presume? Let us go to a place we cannot be disturbed nor overheard.” 

The drive home was much more like a family reunion than the initial meeting as Uncle Val asked what Antoine remembered from his childhood prior to going to live with his mother’s sister, Lyla.  Antoine did remember the family gatherings being festive and he confessed to having a vague memory of the near stranger seated next to him.  During the drive, Uncle Val, jovially, recounted his memories of young Antoine and his parents, although there seemed to be an underlying bitterness when Valentino spoke of the late Mrs. Levy.

Antoine lay in bed pondering the life altering meeting with Uncle Val, a meeting which ended abruptly when a black limousine pulled in front of the house and whisked his uncle away to parts unknown. His uncle’s last words, as he strolled out the door were, “Do not fail as your father failed, I do not have another 20 years left to recruit your son, yes, my boy, you will have a son, I have seen it.”  Antoine Levy discovered his father’s true name was also Khmeleva, but was legally changed to Levy at the behest of Lillian, his mother.  Lillian did not want her husband and son involved in the vile business of the Khmeleva family, even if they were descended from an ancient royal bloodline.  

Antoine’s mission was to claim his rightful place as heir to the throne of a mysterious and ancient order ofGypsies in Romania. Roman Levy, Antoine’s father was recruited for this very task and failed because Lillian Levy insisted on traveling to Romania and provided enough of a distraction to prove fatal to both.  Antoine could not even begin to wrap his mind around the things Uncle Val revealed, it was madness.  His was to travel to the land of his ancestors, challenge the “usurper” as Uncle Val called him, and, if necessary, kill him.  The fact the Usurper was responsible for his parents’ deaths was quite an enticement.

Because Antoine had always been open and honest with Sheila, the next day, he shared everything with her.  As insane as the tale Antoine weaved sounded, Sheila knew this was just the opportunity she had been praying for.  While Antoine was busy learning about his past, Sheila had been busy dealing with hers and made a life changing decision. 

Sheila, days earlier, not really knowing what to do with the life growing inside her, found herself in a crisis pregnancy center, looking for options. This particular pregnancy center was run by folks from a local church and after a couple of hours of counseling and prayer, Sheila was not only committed to keeping the baby but made a commitment to give her life to Jesus Christ. 

After sharing her exciting news with Antoine, Sheila saw the turmoil in her fiance’s eyes. She shared everything the counselor had spoken to her, and, as a result, Antoine was more conflicted than ever.  On one hand, the things Sheila shared sparked a longing in his heart he had never experienced and on the other hand he was seriously considering the mission of vengeance and murder for which Uncle Val had recruited him.  

That night, Antoine’s dreams were fraught with images of death and life.  In his dream, his Uncle Val flew in like a giant bat, enticing him to give in to his anger and bitterness to claim what was rightfully his; while Sheila appeared as an angel calling him to a warm and glowing light promising forgiveness and freedom from the need for vengeance.  He did not realize this was more than a mere decision, this was a spiritual battle for his very soul. 

What Lillian Levy knew and Sheila suspected was Uncle Val was a master of dark arts and Antoine's birthright was to rule over a coven of witches.  Sheila prayed all night as evil fought for the heart of the man she loved. Antoine awoke in a cold sweat, crying out to a God he barely believed in, asking for a sign. Dimly at first, a light entered  his window and grew in intensity, lighting up the cherished photograph of his parents on the wall across from his bed. In the photo, his mother’s visage shone much like Sheila had in his dream. With an inexplicable urgency, Antoine jumped out of bed and for the first time in his life, knelt down and prayed.  As he prayed for forgiveness and committed himself to Jesus, he felt all the heaviness and darkness Uncle Val cast over his soul evaporate.  

A few hundred miles away, Valentino Khmeleva gripped at his evil shriveled heart as the dark spirit which sustained his life fled like a rat leaving a sinking ship. Khmeleva was no longer of any use to his dark master and was tossed aside like a bag of dung. His last thoughts were a powerless curse directed toward his still praying nephew.

If you are interested in learning more about Writers 750

you can check it out

The writing contest is open to everyone and happens every month. Also, if you are interested in becoming a better writer, I encourage you to check your my friend H.M. Shuldt's book.

Whatever you do, do it unto the Lord!

Now, go live as Christ... and give the devil hell!