Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Flash Piece #3: Remembering Coffee

I remember coffee.

I used to need two cups every morning, just to wake up. Now,I hardly sleep. I’ve got them to keep me awake. Always banging on the walls, on the doors, on the boards nailed over the windows. If the noise doesn’t keep you awake, their smell will. You’d think after awhile you’d get used to it. You don’t. It just gets worse. Stronger. You’ve probably smelled rotten meat before. Just imagine being buried under it 24 hours a day for seven months.

That’s how long we’ve been here.

We used to leave sometimes, to scrounge for food,supplies. But it wasn’t long before there were too many of them shambling around, grabbing at you, biting, moaning. We lost nine people, including Carrie, before we realized it was too dangerous to leave.

God! I would give anything for a cup of that shitty instant coffee she used to make. I thought it tasted like garbage. Now that I’ve eaten actual garbage . . .and rat and. . .well, never mind. Let’s just say I miss my morning coffee. I’d give about anything for one more cup. One sip.

Sounds like Michael and Brad just took Lindsay in the other room. I won’t tell you what goes on in there. After a month or two, boredom gets dangerous and people turn mean. She hasn’t fought back in a long time. Not since Del, Mike B. and Clutch died. And by, “died” I mean, were killed. By the rest of us. Now she only has to deal with two guys taking her in the room, and we have enough spoiling meat to last us a while longer.

Carrie thought this thing would blow over. She was an optimist. She would wake me up and say, “Good morning Sunshine!” even though I was a grump before I’d had my coffee. She held on to her hope till the moment they tore her guts out in the alley behind the grocery store. I tried to go back and help her. Clutch dragged me back to our building. Saved my life. Just writing that sentence makes me want to laugh. Sometimes I get silly in my head when I think about the way things are out there and the way they are in here.Not much difference anymore, really. I guess I’m actually glad that Carrie isn’t here to see this. I miss her though. I wish it would’ve been me. Strangely,  somehow that seems more selfish than it sounds.

Well, if anyone finds this letter, I hope it means that the living survived the living dead. Maybe you’re reading this over a cup of coffee. I doubt it. Carrie was the optimist, not me. I’m going to go downstairs, while the others are busy, and pry the boards and nails away from the door and open it. If somebody’s going to eat me, I think I’d rather it be the monsters outside, instead of the monsters in here with me.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Flash Piece #2: Two Extra Presents

It was Christmas Eve.
Drew worked hard to stay awake. He waited through his parents' wine-fuzzed murmuring. He waited through the somnolent ticking of the kitty-cat clock on the wall. He was sure hours had passed. His eyes were heavy. His blankets were warm and his belly was full of cookies and hot-chocolate. He'd nearly fallen asleep when, finally, he was rewarded for his patience. Downstairs in the dark, he could hear something moving around. This was the big moment, what he'd planned for all year.


He hopped out of bed, grabbing his camera from the nightstand. Down the hall to the staircase, swish-swish, in his footie-pajamas. From below, He could hear footsteps wandering around the living room. It sounded like Santa was trying to be quiet.

He reached the bottom and crept around the corner. A shadowy figure was slurping up the cookies and milk they'd left out. Drew raised his camera and pressed the shutter. There was a flash and the figure spun around.

It was not Santa.

Drew didn't know what it was.

It was tall and scaly, like a lizard, with two long, thin arms that hung from its rounded shoulders. Each hand had three fingers that were tipped with long, curved talons. Its head was the size and shape of a large pumpkin with one moist, glaring eye rolling in a loose socket. In place of a mouth it had a  raw, round hole gaping below its eye, ringed with luminous fronds, like a sea anemone, that twitched and pawed at the air. Hunched over, its hands brushing the ground, it regarded Drew with cold curiosity.

With a strange sense of detachment, Drew realized the basement door was open. No one had really spent much time down there. They'd only lived in the house for a couple of weeks, but his mother had warned his father to keep the door shut because Drew might fall into the old well that was down there. His father kept forgetting, though, and Drew suspected that's where this visitor had come from. A dweller in the rank, lightless depths beneath the house.

The thing made a slobbering sound as it shambled towards him, its arms held out greedily. Drew was too scared to scream as it reached for him. Its mouth-tentacles stretched out and caressed his cheeks. He closed his eyes and waited for the end . . .but it never came.

Suddenly, someone else was with them.

The creature was thrown violently across the room, making a horrible squealing noise. A loud voice cried out, "Ho, ho, ho!" and there was a flash of light that blinded Drew. Upstairs, his mother screamed, "What was that?" Then, everything went quiet. When his eyes cleared, he found himself alone in the room. He stood and looked around, noticing, as only a child could, that there were two extra presents under the tree.

He smiled. "Thanks Santa!" And with a yawn, Drew closed the basement door and went back to bed.

Monday, December 17, 2012

The Next...Big..THING!

So, some of my writer-ly friends are doing a little online blog networking called, "The Next Big Thing" where we answer some questions about what we're working on and then forward you--our readers--to check out each other's blogs and websites, because you might find that you enjoy their writing as well. So, here's mine. I was dragged, kicking and screaming, into this black lagoon by none other than my good friend, author of the "Memorial Trilogy" Robert R. Best, and you can read his Next Big Thing, self-interview HERE. So, without further ado, here is my Next Big Thing.

What is your working title of your book?
“A Sunset Revival” it is a work in progress. I've already designed the cover though (a bit premature? Maybe but look, its cool).

Where did the idea come from for the book?
I wanted to blend two of my favorite things—westerns and H.P.Lovecraft

What genre does your book fall under?
Western/Horror, think Bonanza meets the Cthulhu Mythos

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Colin Farrell (Since James Garner is too old) as my Irish gambler. Kurt Russell as my heroic rancher, Peter Stormare as my villain.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
An old west adventure where a giant, killer grizzly is only the second worst thing to terrorize the citizens of Canyon City.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I’m hoping to snag a publisher but I will self publish if I must.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
I’m still working on it…still at the very beginning in fact but I’ve written three chapters in about three weeks.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Oh Jesus…I know there are other great horror westerns out there but I haven’t read any of them. I guess I’ve taken some of Ralph Compton’s “The Oregon Trail” and blended it with a sort of general Lovecraftiness.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?
The legend of Old Mose. A real grizzly bear that killed men and livestock in Montana(?) in the 1900’s.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
It ties into a larger western horror universe that I’m putting together via other shorts and novellas that have overlapping characters and settings.

Now that that's over, please give some love and attention to the following writers. Friends of mine who are all excellent fellows (and a lady) and damn good writers.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Flash Piece #1: "From Next Door"

           Lynn woke to Pepper’s tongue on her face. The dog needed out. With a groan, she sat up, glancing at the clock on the stand; 2:45 a.m. Beside her, Abbie pretended to sleep, ignoring the situation. The dog never bothered her. It was frustrating.
            “Okay, okay, I’m coming.” Lynn stood and followed Pepper out into the house. She didn’t need any lights, she’d made this trip a thousand times. She opened the back door and watched the dog run out into the moonlight. A breeze blew in and she shivered, willing Pepper to hurry.
            Instead, the dog stood in the middle of the yard, facing the neighbor’s house. She laid her ears back and growled, deep in her throat. Lynn leaned out to see what had her riled up.
            Standing at the fence between their houses was a shadowy figure. A short, female shape in a housecoat that Lynn recognized. It was their neighbor, Mrs. Rafkin. Except it wasn’t. Couldn’t be. Mrs. Rafkin had passed away three weeks earlier. Lynn and Abbie had gone to the service, bringing a small but lovely bouquet for the family.
            Lynn squinted. She rubbed her eyes. The figure remained. She couldn’t see Mrs. Rafkin’s face but her shape was unmistakable. She’d hung laundry on a line out there every day, chatting with the girls as they tinkered in their flower garden or played with Pepper.
            Don’t be stupid. She chided herself. It’s just a weird shadow, or a bush. Except there were no bushes along the fence and nothing she could think of that would cast such an odd shadow. It could only be a person, but obviously not the deceased Mrs. Rafkin. She considered calling out, then thought better of it. She whispered hoarsely out the door.
            “Pepper, come on.” The dog whined and trotted back inside. Lynn lingered a moment longer, straining to see the details of the person’s face. As she watched, the figure raised its hand and waved to her, very slowly. A chill slid down her naked back and her heartbeat quickened. She slammed the door and took a step back. She was breathing heavy. She locked up and hurried back to the bedroom, shutting the door behind her. She climbed into bed and scootched as close to Abbie as she could.
            Abbie raised her head. “You’re freezing.”
            “Did Mrs. Rafkin have a sister? A twin maybe?”
            “What?” Abbie flipped around to face Lynn. “Why?”
            Suddenly, Pepper whined, scratching to be let in. Lynn whimpered. “Can you please let her in?”
            Abbie sighed, throwing the covers aside. “You’re being weird.” She stood, walking around the corner of the bed and then stopped abruptly. “Oh never mind. She’s right. . .” She looked up at the door, where the scratching continued from the other side. “. . . here.” She looked to Lynn. “Why did you ask about Mrs. Rafkin?”
            Then a low, gravelly voice called from outside the door. “Girrrrrrls. . .” The knob turned and the door opened.

I'm gonna flash you!

So, as I stated in my first post, I'm going to be putting little bits of flash fiction on here (later today will be the first one) and I just wanted to throw out some specifics. First, I'm keeping myself to 500 words or less. . .for now, I may extend to 1000 words but, let's see what I can do in this framework. This is just extra practice for me to improve the way I approach scene creation and try and improve my efficiency of language. Sometimes I'm too wordy. So, I hope you get a kick out of these little vignettes. They may or may not be good, but they are free so, ya know. Thanks for reading this blog by the way (if you're reading it, that is). I honestly appreciate anyone who gives me a chance to tell them a story and spends their time with my imagination for a minute. It really means the world to me. *high fives*

Friday, December 14, 2012


Well, here's my blog. It's new. It's exciting. You can't believe how psyched you are to be reading it. If you already know who I am (and really, why else would you be here?) then you can skip the next couple of sentences. If, by chance, you've stumbled onto this or Google has directed you here when you tried searching, "awesome", a quick introduction.

These Lonely Places
My name is R.k.Kombrinck and I'm a horror writer. I've published a few short stories in a few different small press anthologies and I took them, along with a few unpublished pieces, and self published a collection. Its called, "These Lonely Places" and it's available for Kindle here for NOOK here and print here. Also, I've posted the book trailer for it below.That's just in case you'd like to buy a copy and enjoy some great, suburban horror. I'm also a crew member of the popular and timeless horror podcast, Night of the Living Podcast. Check it out if you love the horror genre, vulgarity and laughing.

This blog will be my place to update anyone interested in my writing on what I'm working on, what I'm thinking about, what I love at that moment, what I hate at that moment. . .basically whatever I feel like, but mostly it will be focused on my writing. I may even post samples or bits of flash fiction from time to time. We'll see. So kick back and follow my lead. We're going to some weird places.