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A Halloween Short

Voices From the Fire

By Wally Runnels




It had been a good burning.

The flames had climbed to the sky in writhing tongues of light. The wooden effigy of Loup Garoux was as tall as a castle tower. It came to life and writhed in the burning inferno. Its torso wobbled in a two-legged dance. The wooden shoulders that supported a wolf’s face and jaws twisted and the head-like structure rose as if it howled. Flames poured outward and flared from the body like a cloak on a windy day.
It had been a year since Chaud Houd, a local baron who lived on a hill surrounded by walls, had killed the creature. The fire was a celebration of the creature’s death. Burning him in effigy was a way to warn his spirit and hopefully keep others away.
Chaud Houd’s son Rouffe had danced around the burning creature with his friends. They reveled in the joy of a good harvest and hoped the valley would have a plentiful year to come. Everyone had clapped and yelled curses at the burning macabre figure. It had been a whole year without the monster killing anyone.
The air was cold crisp and gray smoke filled the air with a sappy pungent odor.
Rouffe danced with merry kicks and laughed with joy. All reveled in thought of the All Hallows celebration that was to come. Flashes and beams of light from the burning effigy fell over Rouffe and his friends.
A man in chain mail who wore a sword stood respectively in front of Rouffe. He jerked upright at the solemn countenance of the man.
“Young master, your father wishes to see you.”
Rouffe knew him as one of the men at arms his father maintained. “I have a horse for you.”
Rouffe nodded and adjusted his cap and followed his father’s man. He nodded to his friends. His friends took on a quiet demeanor. “Oh Rouffe, what have you done now?” He could only shrug and shake his head.
Rouffe and his escort rode back to his father’s walls. They were granite and marred by previous assaults. Smaller stones set within the larger boulders were patches from hurled missiles from catapults. They looked like scabs. Rouffe had been a baby when the last war occurred. They crossed a bridge and entered the gate flanked by two rearing dragons.
Rouffe worried about what his father wanted. He was fourteen and the age when he might be required to make a formidable adventure. One of which many young men had not survived.

They’re out there. Just don’t be surprised when you see one.

The native Indians in Southern California warned the newly arriving Spaniards of a hairy devil they called Takwis. They had battled with these creatures and eventually ran them into the mountains and the desert.

So now we have the Sasquatch in the mountains and then the Sand Man and the Yucca Man in the desert. Recently there have been sightings in the desert along with run-ins in the mountains.

Edwards Air Force Base in Lancaster, California, has many encounters on the grounds and under the ground in their secret storage chambers. According to a 2009 report a creature with bright blue eyes has been at night on important landing sites. Videos have been made, but are classified and are not approved for public viewing.

The Mexican/American border cuts through vast desert regions. And this is where things start to get strange. This area is hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It’s sandy and in general isolated and home to many strange creatures.

So you’re a Mexican Coyote leading ten to fifteen people to sneak across the border into the United States. It’s night the moon is weak, and there is a slight chill in the air. Out of the black you hear heavy breaths and growling grunts and can faintly see a great hairy creature. You flash your light and you see a massive figure with glowing eyes that are looking at you. 

What do you do? 

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The In-Ko-Pah Spirit
A Rocky Series Novella
by Wally Runnels
Genre: Pulp Fiction

This robust novella, another in Wally Runnels’ ongoing Rocky series, brings us to the eerie In-Ko-Pah Mountains, an isolated region on the Mexican/American Border where mysterious forces confound even the best laid plans of the Mexicali drug cartel. Rocky, a paid mercenary and expert hitman must confront his darkest memories and desires if he is to survive the supernatural challenges that arise as he hunts down his latest target, a hunter much like himself.

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CHAPTER 2 SHORT

CHAPTER TWO
Rouffe and his escort rode back to his father’s walls. They were granite and marred by previous assaults. Smaller stones set within the larger boulders were patches from hurled missiles from catapults. They looked like scabs. Rouffe had been a baby when the last war occurred. They crossed a bridge and entered the gate flanked by two rearing dragons.
Rouffe worried about what his father wanted. He was fourteen and the age when he might be required to make a formidable adventure. One of which many young men had not survived.
They passed under a round vaulted portal. Torches blazed on the walls. Rouffe always felt humbled by this place. This would become his if he lived long enough.
They approached two men who sat on the ground with swords across their knees. “Ha, you got the boy, good work.”
Rouffe and his escort stopped at a wooden door held together by iron bands. Gouges pitted the door. It was more evidence of an assault by an invading force. The door opened with a groan. Armed guards nodded as they entered.
The great hall was lit at the far end by a huge fireplace. Along the walls leading to the flames were captured battle banners, swords of their vanquished enemies and battered pieces of armor.
Roffe saw his father sitting on one side of the burning fire pit. He sat slumped over as if mourning a loss. The baron was not a tall man but he was thick and muscular. His beard was gray was gray and matched his hair in color. His leather shirt was worn and patched. It reminded Rouffe of the man who wore it.
Without looking up he raised his arm. “Sit next to me, we must talk.”
Rouffe bowed slightly and sat. “How are you father?”
“I am well.” He nodded, sighed and grabbed his elbow as if feeling some invisible pain. “This has been a wonderful. No wars and now we have had a wonderful harvest.”
“I watched the fire,” Rouffe said. He rocked his shoulders and smiled at his father. “Everyone was dancing and laughing. They were happy.”
“No more Loup Garoux. But still people are cautious.”
“I have heard he had a son.”
“That is possible.” Choud nodded. “If there is a son he will be hell bent on vengeance.”
“He would be after us.” Rouffe shook his head.
“That’s why I hesitate to ask this.” Choud bowed his head and looked away from Rouffe. “I want you to go to the Outer Mountains and find a All Hallows log.” Choud looked into Rouffe’s eyes and frowned. “People are afraid to go to that haunted area.”
Rouffe nodded, “I will go.”
“It will be good for the people to see and hear the voices when it burns.”
“The voices of the dead.”
“Yes those warriors who were killed around the tree.”
“When it burns the voices will come out?”
“Yes.” Choud gave a slight shudder. “I have heard the voice of your grandfather coming from an All Hallows log.”
“It must have a strong spirit in it.”
“Yes voices of ther dead killed in combat.”
“It sounds scary.”
“Yes and there are still All Hallows logs out there.” Choud leaned back and sighed. “I would like to hear the voices again.”
“This is a task for a true warrior.”
“Yes it is Rouffe, and this is something you must do for me.”

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

According to national statistics, 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men have been victims of severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime. If you need help call 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE)

Voices From the Fire.

 

CHAPTER TWO

 

Rouffe followed his friend’s look and turned to look over his shoulder.

 

A solemn man in chain mail who wore a sword stood and studied the young crowd.

Rouffe jerked upright at the solemn countenance of the man.

“Gladsdon, what brings you here?”

“Young master, your father wishes to see you.”

Rouffe knew him as one of the men at arms his father maintained. “I have a horse for you.”

Rouffe nodded and adjusted his cap and followed his father’s man. He nodded to his friends who took on a quiet demeanor.

 

“Oh Rouffe, what have you done now?” One grinned. He could only shrug and shake his head.

 

Bone People

Watch out! They’re coming soon!

What are you going to do?

Open up the anthology called, The Forsaken. That’s where you’ll find, Mother’s Nature. It’s a shocking tale of discovery and horror.

Hope you get a good nights sleep.

So you want to be a drug smuggler?

So you wonder how drugs are being run across the border into the U.S.? There’s a lot of ways it can happen. Some are delivered by eighteen-wheelers, which open up like a puzzle. Hidden chambers hide various forms of packaging.  Drugs can by carried by people. These carriers are called mules. Drugs are tapped to their body or hidden in private areas of their body.

     Some drugs are hidden in cars that are driven to the port of entry (POE)at the border.

The places of entry can vary. Attempts can be made at a desolate place or a busy port of entry. Some smugglers walk, some drive, some fly over and land on the American side at private airports and try not to be caught. Rarely does anyone drive a radical machine loaded with goods, making noise and dust. The Border Patrol would love to see something like that out of Mad Max.

Most illegal entries are attempted at the port of entry in cars. This is the most common smuggling technique. Their vehicle pulls up to the entry and they are scanned by the guards and sniffed out by drug smelling dogs.

Border Agents are allowed to search without a warrant of probable cause. The attitudes of the vehicle occupants are observed. Are they nervous, offensive, give strange answers or maybe no answers? The border guards have about forty five seconds to determine whether or not the passengers should be detained. If drugs are found then the passengers of the vehicle are detained and the car is taken to an area where it can be thoroughly searched. Sometimes it can be dismantled in a deep search when hidden compartments carrying illegal materials are located.

There’s got to be an easier way to make a living.

My name’s Wally Runnels and I write Border Pulp.