Manuscripts Burn


"Manuscripts don't burn"
- Mikhail Bulgakov

Hi, I'm horror and science fiction author Steve Kozeniewski (pronounced: "causin' ooze key.") Welcome to my blog! You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Amazon. You can e-mail me here, join my mailing list here, or request an e-autograph here. Free on this site you can listen to me recite one of my own short works, "The Thing Under the Bed."

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Last War: Chapter 5, Part 1

Jeb grumbled lazily in his chair. Why'd he have to have watch now? Why couldn't Will or Zeke take it now?

"It ain't no use growlin' like a dog, Will took last watch and you oughta know Zeke's been a-shot," yelled Ma out the window.

"I weren't growlin', Ma!" he yelled testily, then, under his breath, "Dumb ol' woman."

"I heared you say that! I heared it! Don' you call me dumb!"

"I ain't! I ain't called you dumb!"

Jeb shut up then. He checked his Pop's shotgun to see if it was loaded and cleaned properly. It wasn't, of course, but Jeb wasn't very sly around guns.

"It's clean as a whistle!" he declared, and shot at nothing in particular.

"What was that?" yelled Ma, "Did someone come?"

"No, Ma! Stop 'nnoyyin' me, now, I got's work ta do."

Jeb went to sleep for a little while, then woke up with a start. Some guy was on his lawn. Jeb jumped to his feet and pointed the gun.

"Who's 'at!"

"I's me, Jeb, you neighbor, Mr. Parker!"

"You don' look nothin' like Parkah!"

"I's me, Jeb, I swear i's me!"

"You a liar!"

"Look Jeb," yelled Parker, "I know things are a bit tense now, we're all feelin' it, but there ain't no call to go pointin' guns at you neighbor."


Jeb squeezed the trigger. Parker fell dead on the ground with a large hole in his chest. Jeb sat back down and reloaded his gun.

"What was that? Was 'at somepin?"

"No, Ma, it weren't nothin'. Just killed some trespassah claimin' ta be Parkah."

"Parker? Well, 'at's low down, pretendin' ta be someun."

"Yeah, ah'll say."

Will came out of the house at that moment.

"Hey-a, Will."

"Hey, Jeb. I heard you two sayin' somepin 'bout Parker?"

"Nah. Some feller said 'e was Mistah Parkah, but he weren't. Look-a over there."

Jeb pointed to the place where he had felled the imitation Mr. Parker. Will stepped over the bodies in the yard and came upon the freshest one, the false Parker.

"'At is Parker, Jeb, you jackass!"

"Ah, well, he weren't up to no good, anyway."

"Yeah, can't trust nobody nowadays."

"Where you goin, Will?"

"Goin' ta town ta get a DVD playah and maybe some food."

"A DVD?"

"Yeah. All kinds a people takin' DVDs and TVs and computers and such. Showed it on TV."

"Well, ain't no cops around no more. Ain't you heard about the Rape of Washington?"

"Rape," Jeb laughed, "That's what I oughta do, go out and rape me a girl."

"On'y way you'd ever hit the sack with a girl, anyhow. Nah, not that kinda rape though. Killin' and stuff. Govament's down an' out. An' with the govament out, whole country's gone haywire."

"Yeah, things ain't been the same lately. How come people're stealin' DVDs an' such?"

“Mob mentality.”


“I’s called ‘mob mentality’. Ever’un’s doin’ it, so ever’un else is doin’ it.”

“Ever’un in America is stealin’ VCRs an’ such?”

“Yup. An’ I don’ wanna miss out.”

“Awright. See ya fer supper.”

“See ya.”

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