Knock Knock

****Click here for previous installment of Vivid Black –> Determination

He didn’t just knock. His balled up fist pounded on the door twice.

“Max! Now!”

Turning his back to the door, he raised his head to search for the patience he lost months ago. He had to to exhaust all leads and this one lead him back to Max.


Hands on his belt, he swiveled around, fist curled, and five sharp thumps rattled the door enough to entice the curtains of neighboring units to flutter and divide, eyes and fingertips peeking in between.

He growl louder, with more malice, “Max!”

Sounds of rustling inside the apartment were punctuated by a loud thud and a muffled “Dammit!” while the lock rattled and the knob finally jangled and twisted as Max opened the door.

“Damn Waters. You’re gonna get me evicted.”

“Shut up Max.”

Henry stalked through the door as Max swung it shut behind him. Pivoting around he looked at Max and started talking before he had a chance to continue whining and complaining.

“I need your Gauntlet player lists.”

Raising an open palm to the silent fish mouth attempt to dispute, he continued,

“No no no, don’t try to make some asinine excuse about why you can’t or shouldn’t. I’ve got enough to take to a judge and I’ll have a warrant. Let’s not waste any time. Just go get ’em Max.”

Miserable and morose, he turned toward the kitchen.

“You want a cup of coffee? A beer? Some water?”

Henry’s eyes bugged as he shot an incredulous look of disbelief at Max. His response was laced with frustrated sarcasm.

“No Max. I didn’t come here to have tea and crumpets with you. I just want the damn information. Go get it now.”

The look sneaked over his shoulder as he slowly shuffled away twitched Henry’s detective radar. With scorn in his voice he taunted,

“Don’t even think about runnin’ again Max. There’s a uniform at the back door.”


I meant to link up with Trifecta this week for their word exhaust. Third definition, as usual 33 to 333 words, as usual:
3a : to consider or discuss (a subject) thoroughly or completely
b : to try out the whole number of <exhausted all the possibilities

Had to have a song about knocking and, well, “I Hear You Knocking” by Dave Edmunds is a great song. I confess, I didn’t know who did it but the guitar riffs are a-maze-ing and worthy of inclusion in a piece where knocking plays an important part.

I didn’t get this written in time so I took my time and used the word and word count to continue with some Vivid Black.

To read the entire Vivid Black series so far, Click HERE.

Exposing Fury (Finding Answers)

****Previous installment of Vivid Black – Going Backwards

Finding the coded note, a deviation from the usual text messages Max used to get word out about an upcoming Zombie Gauntlet Challenge, was a gut punch. Henry hoped whatever the latest victim, Thomas Earl Garcia, had clutched in his hand would provide some fresh leads in the case. That damn note and Max being tied into the case again stretched his patience to the breaking point and he lost it.

“Every time I turn around Max frickin’ Linder is there. He’s like like the damn flu. You think you’re done with him, and he comes right back. Never anything good and just annoying bullshit. The bitch is, that piece of paper doesn’t mean shit. Stupid kid was just trying to find the damn challenge.”

Fuming in anger, cursing and raging under his breath, he shoved through the swinging morgue doors so hard they banged the walls on either side. Gesturing with his hands as he marched to the elevator, he poked the up button over and over. A whershh announced the opening doors. Henry stepped in and began to gather himself as he rode to his floor. A thought was itching in the back of his head and he began mindlessly drumming his fingers on his lip again.

Henrys deskWhen the doors opened to the fifth floor he hurried acrossed the hall into Investigations. At his desk he frantically searched for the victim files. In hand he fanned each, as he laid them down in order.

Demarion Jones,
Linzee Reiger
Joshua Henderson
Sarah Jane Jacoby
Thomas Earl Garcia

His heart sprinted in his chest as his mind flew from point to point.

Could it be?

His eyes rolled over each blue file and a grin stretched across his face. He looked up into his partners face. McEwin unsettled by the idiotic look on Henry’s face threw his hands up,


Henry replied,



“A clue! Finally a damn break.”


Crash, a song not released as a single, is on Safetysuit’s album “These Times”. It definitely fits Henry’s situation in this piece. He’s ready to give up but he just needs to take a breath and don’t stop! Hard lesson to learn. Can’t wait to see what Henry figured out. Smile

Linking up with Trifecta for their weekly word prompt challenge. Submissions must be between 33 & 333 words and must use the 3rd definition of the given word. The word this week is:

BITCH (noun)
1: the female of the dog or some other carnivorous mammals
2 a : a lewd or immoral woman
b : a malicious, spiteful, or overbearing woman —sometimes used as a generalized term of abuse
3: something that is extremely difficult, objectionable, or unpleasant

Finding Answers

****Previous installment of Vivid Black Coming Down

The uniform with the bull horn did his best to keep the “zombies” and the rest of the crowd away from the crime scene at Wyoming State University. Several officers and a street crew worked to set up barricades and rolled out tape to keep them back. Henry stood over the body while McEwin crouched down to help the Medical Examiner look for ID on the male victim dressed as a zombie. It was hard to determine which slashes were “zombie” and which were real. The only certainty was what the coagulating, syrupy pool of blood meant.

Finding leads in this case was slow. The killer easily moved among Zombie Gauntlet events filled with fake zombies, victims, and a mock apocalypse completed with people who ran and screamed bloody murder. Over confident, the Zombie Reaper had become sloppy. Adrenalin surged through Henry as he saw the victims hand tightly clenched around something. A bloody knife next to a park bench along the Quad was like a late Christmas gift.

Anxious to get the scene tied up he tried to hurry Medical Examiner Dr. Janice Jones, but she had her own pace and procedures. She chose words and delivered them inca clipped tone as she informed him, “I could hurry or I could do it right. I’ll wait while you decide detective.”

Arms crossed over her 5 foot frame, she glared at him and waited for his response. His attitude was quickly dampened by the petite red head with the firecracker attitude.

“Uh, OK. Well, you do your job. CSU is still working anyway.”

He turned and shuffled away in a hangdog posture and muttered, “I’ll leave you alone. Maybe you’ll work faster that way.”

Walking to the yellow crime scene tape, he paced along the perimeter stealing glances into the crowd looking for expressions and behaviors that might give away someone who knew something. Hanging on the edge of the crowd, was Max, and Sarah Jane’s friend McKinley. Max was teetering back and forth from foot to foot chewing on a nail. McKinley was closed off, arms crossed, ashen with shock and fear.

Henry lifted the tape and walked under, winding his way to the pair.

“Max. You seem a little nervous.”

“Shut up man! You come up to me and ask questions in front of all these people and I’m gonna be the one they blame for all this crap!”

Henry shifted so he was at an angle facing slightly away from McKinley.

“McKinley, does your mom know you’re here?”

He signaled with his head “Why don’t you wander over to my car. The officer standing there will let you in.”

He caught the officers eye, indicated with a glance toward McKinley and slowly nodded. She looked up with vacant eyes and moved toward the car.


“What do you want?”

Henry stepped in front of Max and made sure he had his eyes.“You’re not telling me something.”

Max’s gaze shifted, and he sprinted away.


Gary Go–Open Arms – Official Video

Gary Go is out there quietly putting out some amazing music, lyrically and musically. This song just fit Henry and his situation as he deals with yet another murder from the now named “Zombie Reaper”.


Inspiration came from Write On Edge’s weekly writing prompt Red Writing Hood. They presented an “I Spy” image with 14 items and instructions to “choose one of the 14 items in this “I Spy” game and use it in a fiction or creative non-fiction piece….Word limit is 500.” I chose the police officer with the bullhorn as my inspiration for another installment in my Vivid Black fiction piece. This piece actually precedes the last one when Ray and Henry lock horns. It will be put into the lineup before “Experienced”


Previous installment of Vivid Black – The Trouble in No Answer


The Trouble in No Answers went like this:

Henry Waters paced as he thumped his fist on his forehead. What happened? Everything was jumbled in his head. Sarah Jane wasn’t suppose to be there. Her dad warned his daughter to stay away from the Zombie Gauntlet and she promised. Waters spied Max behind the yellow tape, hands in pockets chewing on his lip, fighting shock.

Through clenched teeth he hissed, “Max, why was Sarah Jane here? Ray was under the impression she would stay away until these murders are resolved.”

Max’s face etched with fear and sadness answered, “Man, you know how that girl is, er, was. Thinks she’s knows, knew, everything she needed to know.”

Henry scrubbed his face trying to find questions to ask to get him out of the trouble he’d found. The Chief was on the way. He knew the trouble Sarah Jane found was now his trouble. His investigation had no leads; just bodies and every fifth Friday another innocent, surrounded in crimson.

A bright winter morning eight months ago, a body was found. Henry took the call with his partner Jerrod McEwin and CSU. Demarion Jones was viciously stabbed to death the night before. Deep bites covered his body. The investigation began and Henry was confident he would hang on to his record as best closer on the squad. Confidence waned into ambiguity as a pattern emerged with the third body. All the murders happened on a fifth Friday during one of those Zombie Challenges.

“Max! Sit on the curb and wait for me. We’ll finish this at the station.” He growled the order and pointed a finger to emphasize his words.

Blue and red wigwagged, capturing eyes while the siren’s shriek pierced hearing. Henry swiveled around as the white Tahoe rocked to a halt and Chief of Detectives, Ray Jacoby bound out of the truck.

He scanned the faces behind the tape, found Waters and stalked through. His happiness eaten away by grief and anger he grabbed Henry and snarled,

“Where’s my daughter!?”

After Henry shook his boss off, Max saw him shocked,  off balance as he searched for focus. Knowing the distractions, he decided to abscond custody, slid slowly into the crowd, and went home.


Trifecta’s  Trifextra Week Thirty-five challenge gave us the challenge to add another 33 words to a previous Trifecta or Trifextra post. I decided to fill in a blank between a posts that didn’t segue well into the next. It was awkward. These thirty-three words after the Trifecta prompted post “The Trouble in No Answers” clears up how Max got home in Revolution.  The large italic text is my extra 33. Here’s the challenge:

This week we’re again asking you to stand on the shoulders of another writer.  But this time that other writer is you.  Take one of your former Trifecta or Trifextra 33 word entries and build upon it with another 33 words.