Below is the innermost thoughts and creations of novelist and poet B D BECHTLE. Short stories, philosophy, previews, poems, rants-- you'll find it all here. Use the list of keywords on the sidebar to find what you're looking for. Follow the author here and on Twitter @BBechtlez. Be sure to share anything you like on social media, and don't forget to read the preview for the upcoming thriller THE BARD.
"It's fine to be weird... as long as you harness it in a way normal people can enjoy."
Thursday, May 30, 2013
The Bard: Track 3 (Preview)
Behold, the third chapter in the five part preview for The Bard!
waiting around?” Edison beckoned the mob.
The crowed ignored the
officer’s inquiry, too caught up in their own anxiety to acknowledge his
existence. Chills spread to each
of Ed’s vertebra as his skin paled and became bumpy. Fear frosted the blood in
blonde man’s veins, and his heart clamored wildly in an attempt to defrost the
sanguine stagnation. The darkness emanating from the apartment complex felt so
palpable, Edison could practically see drops of pure evil condensing on the
The cop fired his
handgun up at arctic sky, triggering a chorus of scattered screams. Once the
initial panic dissipated, the crowd was all ears.
“Now that I have
your attention, someone tell me what the HELL is going on,” Ed commanded.
“All the doors are
locked,” wailed a stubby old lady. “My little puppykins Mr. Feffernoose needs
his mumsy-wumsy. I’m sure the poor dear is crying his sweet eyes out right now.”
“We can’t get a hold
of anyone inside,” explained tearful woman with auburn curls. “I’m worried
about my husband. His office called me. This m-morning he… never showed.”
“I’ll bust that door
down, myself,” offered a gangly student. “Somebody steals my laptop and I’m legit
done. I’ve got eighteen hours to finish my research paper and I—”
The policeman heard enough.
He approached the ominous barrier and cocked his gun.
“NYPD, OPEN UP,” Ed
roared as he ferociously knocked on the locked door. Not a single sound could
be heard. Even the crowd didn’t make a noise.
“This is your LAST
warning,” the detective shouted, pointing his gun at the slab of rusty steel
barring him passage. “You have five seconds to open this door or I WILL bust it
The man’s request
remained denied by ghostly silence.
The tenants pulled
back and covered their ears. One shot from Ed’s Double Action SIG Sauer P226 sent
the uppermost hinge flying. After two more shots and a kick from Locard’s boot
the steel door came down. Immediately, the vile fragrance of freshly spilt
blood slithered up Ed’s nostrils, causing him to gag.
“Don’t even THINK
about taking another step,” Captain Takahashi ordered. “We may be dealing with armed
assailants with hostages here. You and I by no means make an ample substitute for
a SWAT team. We are to control the situation outside and secure the perimeter
until back-up arrives. Are we clear?”
Deafened by the
beats of his cardiac turmoil, Ami’s words bounced right off of Locard’s
eardrums. Edison broke the chain of command and proceeded beyond the gates of
hell, tearing Schrödinger’s box wide open. Inside, Ed confirmed the cat’s death.
Gobs of scarlet were smeared horrifically across the pale yellow wall, serving
as a grim treasure map to a butchered corpse.
“What the hell?” Ami
said furiously, standing right outside the doorway. “Are you seriously going to
outright ignore an order from a superior?”
“It’s an order I
cannot follow,” Ed replied in a heavy voice. “This is no hostage situation. I’ve
found a body… my doorman, Ted. The tip I gave him this morning is still hanging
out of his pocket.”
Edison dry heaved,
nauseated by both the brutality of the elderly man’s slaying and the depth of his
“Whoever did this sliced Ted’s larynx to silence him,” Ed described, his
voice shaking with disgust. “The killer made the cut just shallow of a
fatality. The bastard carved out Ted’s eyes as the poor man remained alive and
mute. Savage gashes made all about his
body… Ted bled to death silently, unable to see or scream. How could
someone even do this? No one deserves a death like this.Especially not a gentle soul like Ted.”
Edison clutched his
head, haunted by the mental image of his wife’s beauty being horrifically
mutilated. The thought of Christie suffering the same gruesome fate as the
doorman caused him intense physical pain throughout his entire body.
“Eddie, please, it’s
too dangerous to go alone,” Ami pleaded, terrified by Ed’s description of the
The crowd outside stirred, sensing something had gone dreadfully
“The force we’re
dealing with is inhumanlycruel,”
panted Ed, his face whitened to match the hue of the bleak winter sky. “A
monster that equates the value of human life with that of an insect.”
“All the more reason
to stay,” Ami insisted. “We’re not in some stupid TV cop drama. Barge in alone
and clouded by your emotions, and you WILL die, Locard. Waiting for
reinforcements is imperative.”
“You want me to
stand here and let them die?” Ed yelled. “By the time SWAT arrives there will
be NO ONE left to save.”
Edison’s grim assessment, the crowd’s panic progressed into pandemonium. Ami
could no longer argue with Locard. It was up to her to control the crowd.
“If you insist on
going in regardless of my orders,” said Ami as she pushed a sobbing woman away
from the door. “Just swear to me you’ll come of this out alive. The NYPD can’t
afford to lose a mind like yours. I can’t afford to lose a friend.”
Edison bid his friend distantly, turning back around. “Ican afford to loseChristie
even less. She’s my everything, Ami… my world. Her death is my Armageddon.”
Edison stepped off
the fallen door and into a pool of blood.
A greeting of
silence disturbed the detective far worse than a welcome of gory shrieks. Life
made noise. Death was silent. The
usual creaks made by tenants’ feet pressing upon the flimsy floorboards were absent.
The noisy chorus of washers and dryers, the buzz of faulty lighting and the
loud threats of the landlord collecting rent… all MIA. The building itself had been murdered.
Edison flicked the
lights switch repeatedly in hopes of illuminating the forebodingly dark hallway
lined with doors. His efforts proved fruitless, as it would seem the invaders
had already cut the power. The only thing preventing the complex from
succumbing to complete darkness was the scarlet glow of setting sunlight oozing
out from the cracks between the doors and the floor. The red lighting did
little for Ed’s nerves, bathing the hollow halls in a hellish hue. The cop kicked
one of the cracked doors open and barged in with his gun raised.
“NYPD! HANDS, NOW,”
Ed yelled as he busted in.
The room’s occupant
lacked the ability to comply, having perished in the same grim manner as the
Each room Ed
explored housed identical carnage. A
part of Edison died with each horrific discovery, barely able to stomach seeing
the tormented, eyeless expressions of his extended family. Finding Madelyn Higgs,
Ed’s personal supplier of roses, hurt him most of all. Along with his flowers, the
plucky Presbyterian florist had given Locard indispensable love advice. Beyond
aiding his courtship, Madelyn introduced the grown orphan to the very concept
of love. When Ed let it slip that he’d lived without ever consuming a single home
cooked meal, the woman made it her mission to compensate. Since neither Ed nor
Christie had mothers, Madelyn Higgs planned the Locard’s wedding day free of
Three forlorn roses
laid beside the eyeless corpse of the woman that walked the detective down the
aisle. The tips of each rosa galbinus’ innocent yellow petals were dripping
“This isn’t real,”
Ed panted. “None of this can actually
slammed his fist through the nearest wall, trying to break free of the
nightmare. The impact shattered several
bones in his hand. Agony surged up Ed’s arm and into his parietal lobe, prying
the man out from his denial.
Edison stomped up
the rickety stairwell like greased lightning. He panted atop the steps,
discovering yet another locked door. Using the hand he hadn’t injured, Ed
punched a hole through the decaying wooden door and unlocked it. He popped a
fresh magazine into his gun in preparation, then turned the handle.
fingers clasped the man’s shoulder tightly and pulled him back.
“Hand me the gun,” a
familiar voice calmly ordered.
“Let go of me,” Ed snapped, his tone
acidic from anger.
“You’ll find my
command much hawdah to bweak than Takahashi’s,” the vested police chief warned.
Nearly eclipsed by
the behemoth chief of detectives, Ami glowered at Ed with a mixture of irritation
“You keep me here
and you doom her to die,” Ed protested desperately. “Do want that, Chief? Do
you want her death on your hands?”
“That’s a lie told
by your emotions,” the Chief replied. “You’wah compwised, Locawd. Stopping you
is my puwpose foh being hewah. If I let you go now, you’wah both dead. Stand
down and let the SWAT team do what they awah twained to do.”
“The b-blood hasn’t d-dried,”
Edison stuttered, scarcely able to breathe. “He’s here… She’s here. I need to
Saltwater scalded the
detective’s cheek. Ed collapsed onto his knees and watched helplessly as the
SWAT team marched past him.
“Save hew? Eddy, you saw the cawnage down
below. The chance that she would—”
Captain Ami Takahashi
took off her bulletproof vest and threw it to Detective Locard. She placed her
hand on Delveccio’s shoulder, made eye contact with the Chief and shook her
head. Harold reluctantly released the distraught detective.
Within seconds of
being freed Detective Locard sprung forth, donning the Kevlar jacket during his
mad dash to the door. Ed glimpsed the SWAT team busting into a room in his
peripherals. With his vision blurred by panic, Edison charged into his ajar apartment
door. Hyperventilating, the blonde cop blindly pulled out his gun and prepared
to shoot at any voice that wasn’t his wife’s.
No reply. Zilch. Nothing.
Absolute nothingness. The red rays of the setting sun were the only thing that
entered the quaint suite Ed shared with his wife. Edison detected only one
change to the room since he’d left it in the morning: a note pinned to the refrigerator.
Sorry honey! I’m going to be
home super late tonight. The head writer demanded an emergency script revision,
so now everybody’s gotta familiarize themselves with the “new” material. The
whole thing is totally unnecessary, but that’s what happens when you work with artsy-fartsy
types. Let’s go out for dinner tonight. The baby and I want something fancy and
French. That’s two votes against one so no complaints…
Love you and sorry again!
alright,” Ed sighed with tremendous sense of relief. “Big guy, I owe you a
gazillion. Consider my next paycheck donated to the church.”
safety ensured, Ed’s focus became finding the force behind the unbelievably
brutal mass slaying. The rest of Edison’s extended family did not share his
wife’s fortune; he refused to leave their deaths unavenged. Detective Locard peered
out his window. Not too far down below, an army of policemen fought to control
the unsettled masses left bereft by the atrocity. The crowd of tenants had been
fattened considerably by the addition of curious onlookers and the press. Despite
the chaos, Ed spotted the one pair of eyes he’d always recognize.
tresses flowed like a shimmering spring of Celtic splendor— her glorious twin
beacons of emerald looking even greener juxtaposed against the stale pink winter
eve. Compassionate as always, Christina Locard tossed aside her own trepidations and choose to become a force of comfort for her fellow teary-eyed tenants. A
faint smile made its way to Edison’s face. Fair-skinned and oh so selfless, Ed
likened his wife to a princess of old tending to her subjects— an inner beauty
so noble that it permeated the skin and imbued her body in utter loveliness.
Bedlam broke loose.
The crowd dispersed, trampling off every which way. Edison’s fists hammered
against the window pane. The stampede cleared out, leaving the actress to stand
alone. Edison watched his wife feel a tiny red whole in her chest. Seeing the
blood on her fingers, Christie patted her stomach apologetically. Her strength
abandoned her and she fell back into the slush. The surrounding snow turned red.
The smile that once held so much warmth became a still, frozen frown. That
morning, Detective Locard begged his wife to keep her eyes open when they
kissed goodbye just as he’d done countless times. Ed told his wife he wished she
never had to close them. The detective’s desire came to grim fruition. The
woman’s breathtaking green eyes would never close again…