Posted in Anthony's Short Stories

Dead Man Walking

The story opens with a question.

What if I were not here right now?

What if I were to perish within the next couple of moments, minutes, or even hours?

It is strange how time is consistently in the course of our ways of life and present situations, but as all circumstances what if you were in a slumber for more than 6 months?

The thought could change your life forever.

The type of scene is rough on family members, colleagues, and the people attempting to help save your life. It’s a test because they are oblivious of the challenges you are about to experience internally, and religiously. The feeling is an internal feud, and the individual is struggling to get back to their ways of life.

There was formerly a husband who maintained an extremely active lifestyle. He was driving home one night to a family birthday where he was going to meet his family and let them know how much he cherished them, but as he was operating his motor vehicle on a 35 miles an hour road he was rear-ended by a guy not paying attention to the traffic on the roadway. The fellow driving a white old Buick was awfully busy playing with his iPod shuffling through songs and was unaware he was speeding at 65 miles per hour.

The second you look into your rear-view mirror and notice the headlights of an automobile not preparing to stop your mind starts to race, and the impact pushes you into another automobile ahead of you. You have no chance to brace for impact and your body moves rapidly as the jolt caused Brian to strike the drive wheel with his bottom portion of his jaw and sternum. He felt the bones crack as he hit his sternum, and the airbag deployed sending him flying backward into the seat, and as he is forced backward, his insides started to ache, and his face started to sting he knew the airbag did even more damage. The last thing he sees is the dashboard cover flying over his skull into the rear seat and as he witnesses this, he begins to pass out.

Brian was now battling for every breath. His lungs were severely injured, and he was bleeding internally.

Brian’s family was not given any information about his condition when the medical staff on the phone had called. The group was informed to rush to the emergency room. The family received the report Brian was in a terrible accident upon reporting at the emergency room. It led to his wife to fear for the worst, and the family appeared to panic. Several hours passed as the surgeon’s continuously struggled to sustain his life. The surgeons, doctors, and nurses defeated could not save Brian. The medical team tried numerous methods to ensure his survival, but could not get his heart beating after multiple flat lines. His body had suffered an extensive amount of damage.

Brian had literally died on the operating table multiple times, but while he was being operated on. Brian’s spirit was peering down at his own body. He could see and hear everything in the hospital.

Brian years afterward informed the household about the story.

I could recall seeing black hands appearing from the walls. I remained observing as time worked extremely fast.

He recounted being above everybody in the emergency room in immense detail described the physicians and nurses working hard to help him survive. Brian mentioned other individuals around him as he was in the emergency room. There were people passing and coming up to his level, but they would zoom past him. Brian would invariably hesitate and draw in a deep breath as he described black hands coming out of the walls and operating tables, tugging at bad spirited people’s souls. The cries of the individuals being captured by the deathly black grips were strange, but Brian questioningly started to think why he stood to linger above his corpse. Brian walked around peering at his lifeless corpse, but couldn’t do anything to get back into it. He recalled the monitor flatline multiple times, and the defibrillator sending a shock into his body. He viewed his body rise then collapse as it did nothing to aid him. It alarmed him because he could see his family crying in the waiting area as they were presented with the message he did not make it.
Brian sighed with regret and observed as the physicians brought the sheets over his head. He continued watching in confusion as the physicians started to walk with his body down the hallway.

His family devastated.

Brian looked on placing his palm out to his wife as she sank to the floor crying. He walked around his family struggling to comfort them but went nowhere in his attempts. He tried everything to let them know he was with all of them.

Brian sat on an unoccupied hospital bed thinking about his family, but as he did this he could see the black hands reaching from the walls. One of the dark palms struck his back and seized him, and he felt all the remembrances of grief and sorrow throughout the times. When this took place he bolted up because the hands appeared to be trying and drag him toward the wall where a black door appeared to open, and he knew they were seeking to take him. The black hands were then hurting him as they took hold of him and the started trying to drag him into the darkness behind the door. His soul sadly knew where the doorway led into hell.

He asked calmly in his mind is this the end?

He tore away from the hand’s grip and raced down the hallway. He could identify many people fleeing their frames, and they were being dragged into the blackness down below or were whizzing by him toward a higher purpose. Brian at this point wanted to jump back into his body but didn’t know how. His emotions appeared to make him bitter and depressed.

He cried out for help, but no one acknowledged his request.

The deceased were all in a hurry. Brian now desperate fell into a state of depression.

He could see the embalmer cutting off the rest of his clothes and removing his belongings as they prepped him to be embalmed.

He stated many times that time moves really fast when you are dead.

It’s not like on earth.

He sat next to his body shaking his head.

The black hands relentlessly started to pop out of the walls, and they were reaching out trying to grab him.

He watched the embalmer start their process. The embalmers shaved his face and cleaned him up. The staff started the process of putting on a glue to make sure his mouth remained shut. The two staff members in the room cleaned him up and started to sew the mouth shut. The embalmers worked around the work the physicians did to clean the flesh on his chest and body with a disinfectant and germicidal solutions while bending, flexing, and massaging his arms and legs to relieve rigor mortis. Brian shocked started to panic. He jumped up and laid above his body. He envisioned himself going back down into his own body. The embalmer was now starting the process of draining blood. The man knew his job well and started the process. Brian looked deep down into his soul and asked for a second chance at life. The black hands grabbed at Brian and as he felt their grip on him pull down, he could see the charred hands. He could hear deathly screams. He could hear whips and chains in the background while spirits cried in pain.

Brian scared and confused thought of his family and his friends. He wanted to be with them now more than ever.

Come with us they bellowed.

Brian started to feel the cool air hit his body. Breathing from his nose, he opened his eyes and grabbed for the embalmer’s arm. The man nearly died as Brian startled him. The other embalmer laughed and said it was only reflexes, but for some odd reason, the man knew Brian was miraculously alive even though he had checked his vitals and went through the process. Brian tried to speak, but no words escaped his mouth. His lips were sewn shut. Brian yelled and thrashed his arms around. He felt the massive pain coming from his stomach where he suffered great damage to his insides. Brian looked around the room and suddenly passed out from the shock.

Brian awoke to a room full of family and friends. They were all so happy he was alive and doing well.

While in the hospital Brian asked his wife to look at his back because it felt like someone had dug into his skin. The charred marks she saw frightened her. She described four marks going down and three across.

Brian lived to be an old man and always warned the children of the black hands in the walls, but as he got older, he started to see a dark image of a devilish looking creature with red and yellow eyes swirling in opposite directions. The creature haunted Brian‘s dreams. His wife called the local church and had the house blessed, but the occurrences and frequent attacks of the creature made Brian scream out into the night as he said the black hands and the creature were coming for him. His night terrors got worse and Brian’s wife told the local police when he died she saw four slashes and three others appear on his back and they appeared to be burned into his flesh.

He kept repeating.

The red and yellow eyes! The red and yellow eyes!

Written by: Anthony Gurule



Posted in Anthony's Short Stories

The Marionette and the Book of Death

Death is a conception of terror for some, and others welcome it. The complete and permanent cessation of all the vital functions of a living thing is death. We typically ask ourselves what happens after we cross over. The living takes file of everybody who has lived on a document with a certification that signifies birth and another for death. It processes the lives of those who are alive and those dead. What takes place after death? If I were to declare to you I have come upon several descriptions of people taken to a malevolent place with whips and shackles, and diverse techniques of torture would you believe me, or assume I’m crazy?

There was a grim reaper who yearned to exploit victims as the fathers, mothers, and the offspring of the past died they were deposited in a dreary place called hell. When the reaper wanted a human being for itself he would manipulate it, and when the reaper looked into an individual being he showed it hope, but in turn the spirit would be snickered at and humiliated for it was overwhelmed by the torment of the many various stages in the blackness of the fiery abyss. The reaper broke every soul as he contributed to their suffering, and carried many for his enjoyment. His black hand produced the stroke of death, and as he mutilated the spirits and detained them for himself, he was beginning to become maddened by gluttony and the strength it provided the evil monstrosity.

The saying; Watch how you wander in the pathway you’ve taken because one minor mistake will hurt you.

The spirits were now furious at the reaper and were gathering against the reaper deep inside the reapers existence. The reaper was a soulless body utilizing the exuberance from individual souls composing the stroke of death even deadlier as the energy surge enhanced the reapers abilities.

The souls imprisoned by the reaper pushed its limits of custody and torment, and when he sculptured his grip of death onto a guy who practiced voodoo. The reaper found as he struggled to come back to the black pathway that headed into hell. He could not come back to the fiery pit to restore his energy. The evil being filled with anger cursed as he realized the maker had cast him out to expire. Driven by gluttony and the desire for further dominate the reaper looked to a particular system of torment for the spirits in his custody. The countless individuals the reaper took into its custody were overwhelming the reapers abilities. He was expected to capture and surrender the spirits to their merited place but instead was obsessed by seizing and profiting from their spirit’s energy reducing them till their souls died. The reapers power was overwhelming. He fed on barbarous spirits and nourished in their deeds of aftermath. The reaper knew death was imminent and could maneuver the conclusions of people. The man who passed away after the reapers dark grasp on the man’s soul was now stuck on earth attached to the reaper as he walked a lonely path to its doom on earth a hell where the reaper would remain till its power diminished by a thing called time.

The harvester became agitated as he wielded his scythe to cut up a life. The individual is no longer capable of existing once the blade with its ill powers worked its powerful devastation. Their screams amused him and caused the creature to want further death and carnage. The reaper packed with spirits from endless individuals fueled by declining vitality. Hate flared inside the reaper as the human spirits provided the monstrosity human emotions of irritation and as the rage accumulated in the monster. Laden with hatred drifted over to a neighbor hospice and arrived at a bed he tapped the girl with his deathly grip. The heart monitor flat-lined and the medicinal crew charged in to treat the girl but could not resuscitate her. Doctors stunned by the girl’s death as her vitals and charts were within range. Her condition promoted recovery, but the touch of death meant instant death.  The harvester of souls took the spirit opened its mouth and absorbed it. He fed to sustain its want for strength but assuring his continuity.

The reaper began to feel hungrier as time passed.

It was a body sense the reaper had never known before it started taking spirits for itself.

He moved to another hospital bed three rows down, and the hand of death had taken another life.

He looked down at the miserable soul grinned and licked its lips. The soul received numerous impacts with the scythe which was expected to slay the spirit, but the reaper changed the blade to favor the grim reaper to exploit the spirit’s power making it smoother to feed.

The soft smooth structure of the light that had slipped away from the body the spirit was fueling power and continuation. The reaper became stronger as he dined, but with time if he didn’t dine on the souls, he became frailer and frailer.

The hospice personnel was starting to lose it, and with more and more people perishing for no discernible reason, the organization and communities all around the city became fearful of the strange deaths.

The townspeople trying to avoid the hospice because the normal and those in rehabilitation were perishing at a continuous pace, and the rotting souls underneath the reapers cloak were breaking out of the reapers decaying structure.

The faces of the many spirits were causing the reapers body to bleed a black broth and the spirits were emerging out of the reapers skeletal remains as each soul left it started hurting its survival.

The suffering being flown from chamber to chamber looking for an object to carry its evil energy to conserve its presence he realized it would perish but found a seldom kid who sat at the edge of a waiting room table with a marionette in his palms. The curious part was this specific marionette was the phenomenon it paralleled the harvester of souls with a scythe and a text stamped Death. He studied the marionette and recognized the cords were cut off from the top of the doll. Delighted he seized the doll out of his grips. Startled he looked at the marionette move up into the open by itself. Grim pleased stated this will work. The knowledge he took up from the companion who worked in voodoo wasn’t sufficient. Suspenseful observing the minor attempted to say, but extremely terrified could not say the name devil. Climatically the toy drifted to the next room over to a man who was worsening. Grim said ah this could produce my resolve.

The fellow was of native origin and was in his generation a skinwalker. A sinister grin pleased by the information he marked the guy, and as the grims touch of death took hold of the father, he passed instantaneously of a heart attack. The reaper instead of destroying the spirit looked at the puppet and ordered the spirit into the toy. The fellow was an evil man, but a devoted parent and the harvester of souls felt it as he perished. He later connected its evil essence and the scythe to the guy’s spirit and occupied the marionette. The puppet was now floating throughout the hospital. The child sauntered up to the dummy and pointed his finger. The reaper turned to the child and stared at the kid. Boy, you will perish as your parent will quickly grant me the potential to survive for eternity. The child yelled, and two security guards came rushing over to look at what was transpiring. The marionette fell to the floor, and the youngster just kept pointing at the puppet.

One of the men picked up the marionette and spoke. Hey little dude. What’s the issue? The boy shakily said. It will slay you! The child was hysterical, but the guys studied him perplexed. The guy peered at the puppet and expressed. It must be this thing questioningly scrunching his eyebrows simultaneously. The child screamed yes! It was drifting in the corridor! Check your cameras. The men studying at the marionette said. Who created this hideous looking marionette? The boy stared at the floor and stated. My dad. He needed to complete it but did not have the opportunity. The two guys peered at the marionette and said let’s view at the cameras.

The fellows were joking how distasteful the toy looked. The child of native decent became dispirited by their banter and their responses with the marionette and felt the rage boil inside his belly. He could not deal with his emotions as his father was in critical condition before the reapers touch of death. The youth studied them as his face turned red and his eyes wet. The two men were causing the child to become anxious. It’s the stress and anxiety you can’t just put a bandage on to fix it, or slap a pill on it. The guys placed the marionette on the chair and bantered as they commenced operating the computer to view at the cameras. Screeching out loud the men terrorized the hell out of the child as the sequence of wind, thunder, and hail rattled the window in their office. The trees moved rapidly as the air pressed against it rubbing the glass.

Eerily sounding the child had an awful feeling boiling deep in his tummy. He could sense the adrenaline in his gut. He glanced over at the marionette and looked at the blade glimmer as the lightning streaked the sky. The youngster realized his dad made everything with his heart indeed if he was an evil man. He converted his technique and energy into the toys he made, but he made this for his boy. The marionette of the grim reaper was to demonstrate the walker of death and as for the blade on the puppet. It was extraordinarily sharp, but his dad placed a light layer of plastic on it to protect everybody from getting hurt.

The eyes of the toy were now glowing dark blue. It looked as if it were a haze of blue light coming from the eyes of the puppet, and a mysterious crimson and black coming from the body of the marionette. The two men joked around about the puppet laughing at the child’s parent for creating such an ugly doll.

The two guys studying at the computer opened the playback of footage and discovered something they did not predict. The child was stating the facts. The child watched the plastic dripping off the scythe of the marionette. The puppet then appeared to soar in mid-air in front of the youngster.

The child started to point his finger as the doll gradually made his way to the two fellows. The blade caught the man quickly in the back. The blade became more prominent as the point dug into the guy’s back. The reaper pushed the blade hard into the man’s rear and suddenly removed the guy’s backbones slowly out of the skin, but before he completed the guy yelled in excruciating pain as his blood gushed to the floor. His spirit lifted up out of his carcass, and the harvester of souls felt its existence.

The doll transformed into the grim reaper using the skinwalker technique gained from the guy and the grim reaper was able to devour the soul, but he did not stop there. The ray coming from the dark reaper was that of a skinwalker’s glow. The conversion increased the reapers power suppressed the desire to feed on countless souls. The book of death opened up, and in blood the man’s name appeared but the sheet in the book was mortal flesh. The flesh and soul were now trapped forever in the book of death.

The other guy looked in dismay at his mangled friend. The child rushed towards the exit, and the reaper turned to the man next to him and slashed his larynx with the blade. Hearing the man choke on his blood as he chocked to draw his last breath the storm became even more ferocious as thunder started to rattle the walls of the hospice.

The evil creature turned around and said, and as for the boy. The child ran out of the room. The little boy was no longer there as the child disappeared running out into the hospital. Disgusted he turned to the camera and flipped through the different channels trying to find the boy. Ah, you little heathen. There you are!

I will cut your body up and use your soul to do my bidding until your soul expires. The reaper utilizing the puppet opened the door and flew out in the direction the boy was running. The lights flickered on and off, and then total darkness. The emergency lights took a minute to light up. The boy must die!

He moved swiftly into the hospital and as the lightning struck his deathly image was exposed, but the marionette remained hovering. The book of death was now holding the souls of all the names of his victims past and present. The book started to look like an ancient text.

Where is the boy?

As he was searching, he came up to a room of elderly who were in recovery. He floated past the old and one by one they fell victim to his touch of death. The book opened up, and blood written names appeared as each person died.

The scythe of the puppet cut up the souls, and he fed on the souls. He devoured every one of the people’s lives until he came upon a younger man who was at the end of the room. You are not old the reaper said looking at the man. The grip of death went to touch the man at the end of the bed, but the little boy grabbed hold of the marionette and started to run to the end of the hall. The harvester of souls did not have a chance to kill the man.

His essence remained in place as the little boy ran down the hall.

The evil creature was not fatigued at all, but forced its powers back into the doll and reawakened. The boy could see the red and black glow coming from the marionette.

The boy dropped the toy to the floor and took his foot and slammed down hard onto the face of the doll. The eyes were glowing blue, and the power of the skinwalker started to come out full force. The marionettes face was severely damaged, and the bringer of death tried to focus on the boy.

He began to summon its powers from deep inside the doll.

The face started to reconstruct and the toy in a matter of moments was now back to normal.

The toy hovered for a moment, and the essence of the evil creature then opened its eyes. Its mouth was long and oval-shaped as he gazed at the boy. The boy felt the adrenaline boil up into his stomach. He could feel the blood pumping in his veins faster, and faster, and faster as the evil creature before him hovered above him.

Ah. You are scared.

The reaper said.

No! The boy yelling at the beast! I am not afraid of you!

Oh, but you should be!

I have the power to take your life in an instant, and as soon as I touch you with the hand of death your name will be put into my book, or rather your fathers, but before I do. I am going to use my scythe to cut and torture you till you beg for death.

The boy took a step back, and the creature drew out the cutter bringing the blade down to the boy’s face. The edge slowly cut deep into the boy’s skin. The boy frozen in fear watched as the reaper brought the weapon up in shock. The boy’s face was bleeding from the cut, but the boy did not scream out in pain. The boy stood there watching the blade again come down towards his head. The boy ducked when the scythe came down to slice his neck off. The reaper roared in anger as the boy now looked at the reaper. The boy knew to avoid its touch of death and the blade in which was circling to slice him to his death. The boy dodged and glided as he saw the blade and his hand move toward his body. The boy got to the end of the hall and saw the corridor could go in two different directions in the hospital wings. The reaper was showing no signs of exhaustion, and the boy was starting to lose his energy. The boy evaded the deathly blow of the blade once more and began running down the hall at full speed.

The reaper in disgust turned in the direction in which the boy ran and scowled at the distance between him and the boy. The reaper was now angry because he had let the boy slip through deaths grasp. The reaper slowly crept down the hall and could not find the boy. He had turned the corner and must have run down a dead end.

“The end is near.” “You cannot escape!” He yelled. The boy looking to preserve his life said. “How do I beat death, but to live be to be evil in the world?” The boy sat and thought. The reaper is alive and living and is causing evil. He is taking souls for himself and preserving them in his book of death their names written in blood, and the pages resemble the person’s flesh. It was like the reaper was preserving his presence in the world.


The boy questioned again and again in his head. Am I going to die? The reaper needs the souls of the living to take with him. Where sadly they go to their final resting place? “How do I defeat death?” The boy said, “I stay alive long enough to tell the story and find a way to kill the reaper. The boy thought for a moment. I wonder why the reaper needs the doll and the names of the people appearing in the book on the marionette. The pages are made of flesh because the sheets smell like rotting flesh and blood dries fast.

The reaper’s power started to grow his skills exponentially restored. The reaper felt no human characteristics. The souls stored in the book of death on the marionette and the path back into the darkness reopened.  The reaper turned over to the puppet and grinned, but smiled as he took the souls of the men who were of value to the harvester. He made the man who did voodoo, and the man who was a skinwalker uses their abilities to help him regain his strength. The two men’s souls taken into the darkness, but before he started to depart, he marked the marionette with a set of slashes called the mark of the beast.

The evil being looked toward the wall of the hospital and saw a shadow creature with wings, longhorns, and red and yellow swirls for eyes going in opposite directions; You! The reaper bellowed telepathically!

You have evaded me for a long time. The shadow creature ignored the reaper and looked at the boy who was staring at the monster in terror. Shadow crawled down the wall and quietly walked on the floor toward the boy. The reaper grinned as he knew the shadow creature of Devils Lake was pure evil and didn’t care about the reapers quarrel with the boy. Shadow walked up to the boy and roared.

The boy turned around and saw nothing.

Shadow had used the boy’s own shadow to hide his location the reaper started to laugh as the boy turned toward him.

You are surely dead little boy. How about I give you a quick death because if I don’t kill you, he will?

The boy looked at the reaper and frowned as he turned around and found himself staring at an even scarier monster. The creature stood taller than the reaper.

Shadow! The reaper bellowed.

What do you want?

The child tried to scream but couldn’t.

The reaper pulled the scythe out and tried to attack. The entity moved and shifted its body away from the blade.

The reaper groaned in anger as the shadow creature moved with ease as the reapers attacks did nothing. The shadow creature grabbed hold of the scythe and pulled it away from the reaper, but as it did this the blade struck the arm of the harvester. The horned creature moved as fast as the lightning streaked the night sky and the shadows cast in and out of the building as it caught the weapon in mid-air. The beast roared, and the reaper stopped dead in its tracks.

You! The reaper gasped in shock.

You are going to die if you touch the hand of death. I only need one the creature said. What? The beast used the scythe to cut its arm off bent down and attached the reapers arm to its own body. The beast with long horns and wings now had a cloak of darkness, and the hand of death was a decayed bone black as death. The creature picked up his arm and ate it. Those teeth were razor sharp, and there were massive amounts of black ooze dripping from its lips. Flesh started the reaper was now cowering as the shadow creature made its way to the harvester of human souls.

The boy stood in the direction of the grim reaper. He is mine to kill! He yelled! The devilish looking creature smiled and looked down at the boy!

You are puny.

What have you done to the grim reaper? I think you pissed him off, but don’t worry I am going to kill him. A touch of death and a mortal dies, however, he was supposed to die by not being able to go back through the gates of hell. There are many grim reapers in the world, but you’ve got my attention because you managed to stay alive for so long.

The souls you kept are now mine the shadow creature roared, and as for the souls you still have in you. They will expire as your existence will soon enough. The reaper started to laugh as the reaper’s hand grew back. I am not going to terminate you fool. I have no souls. The shadow creature looked stunned as he was searching for the souls the reaper had kept for himself.

The animalistic demon looked at the reaper and smiled as the little boy still stood in front of the two. The reaper glided over the marionette and put the two souls into the book of death as he possessed the doll. The reaper charged its powers with the souls in the book. The reaper jumped out of the toy and began attacking the shadow creature, but the shadow creature was too fast and secure.

The horned beast grabbed the head of the reaper and slammed it hard to the ground. The devilish looking beast had claws for hands and what seemed like four sharp fingers on one side and three sharp fingers on the other. The dark being dug deep into the reapers skull. The indentations started to show as the reaper was powerless to stop the creature of the shadows. Those eyes stayed playing in my head as I watched the battle go on. Shadow was unstoppable and as the reaper started to roar out in pain. The creature continued to pursue the reaper as he was beginning to kill the grim reaper.

The dark entity rose as he delivered blow after mighty blow to the reaper. The boy was in shock. He could not believe his eyes as the demonic looking creature was killing the bringer of death.


The boy screamed. I want to kill the reaper.

Shadow turned to the boy its eyes were auburn red and glowed yellow around the edges. You want to kill the grim reaper, but it comes with a cost you will not like!

What is the price? The boy asked.

It comes with a price your soul will be allowed to live out the rest of your pathetic life, but when you die; your soul will extinguish and become what you will destroy right now. You will be a monster for the rest of eternity taking from others their way of life. Do you still want to kill the grim reaper boy? I will give you the power. Shadow pulled the scythe from the inside of his cloak and handed it to the boy.

It felt intense and evil as the scythe’s size fit the boy’s physical attributes. The cutter felt as if there was a burden to it that he could not explain or even understand. He was now looking at the reaper, and the boy smiled and said now you would die for taking my father away from me! The reaper begged for forgiveness as the boy brought the blade down on the skull of the harvester, and his powers diminished.

The reaper vanished.

Shadow you are next.

The boy said as he took the scythe and tried to attack the demon. Shadow simply disappeared and went into the shadows appearing in the back of the boy. You know you are a strong-willed boy, but you have not killed the grim reaper just yet. He is still alive to do my bidding as I see fit. The boy looked up and noticed the entity was standing next to him touching his shoulder with the skeletal four fingers of the grim reaper. The boy lost all the color in his face and realized he was surely dead. The boy fell to the floor the scythe in hand, and as he fell, he could hear the entity in the background laughing. The boy had made it this far and now was dead to humanity.

Shadow picked up the scythe and put it on his back.

Then looked at the marionette and smiled. You will work for me now my brother. The dummy and the book of death are where you’ll spend eternity, but while you are in there the souls collected will be written in blood, and your powers will soon return, but before I do this I must give the doll something of yours. He pulled off part of the bone and the cloak from his arm and put it on the marionette. The touch of death will soon return to you. Whoever touches the doll will be haunted by the grim reaper for six days. The entity dug the four marks down, and three across deeper into the puppet. He licked his lips and kissed the mark.

The person begins bearing the mark of the beast as they dream the cuts will burden their daily activities. The evil powers of the reaper will roam the home and cause fear, death, and destruction each day getting more severe than the last as you’ll haunt them, their dreams and mark their body with the mark of the beast, and when the sixth day is about to end. The reapers powers will return to normal for a few moments to bring the touch of death. The house, family, and friends told of their dreams and hauntings will become infected and cursed until they cut the mark into their flesh, or die without the mark. The tissue not marked will be put into the book of death, and their souls will forever bear the mark of the beast with their names inked in blood. I will groak you as you feast but will expect to feast on the gathered souls later to enhance my powers as you are now a quockerwodger with no strings attached.







Posted in Short Stories

The Man in the Black Cape and Weirdly Shaped Hat


Dreams are images in our head as we sleep, and nightmares are those weird things that wake us up and frighten us as we sleep. Nightmares are what keep us up at night scared, shaking, and running from our fears and cause trauma. Have you ever fallen asleep and are trying to wake up, but it feels like you are being sucked dry and strangled? Nightmares that follow trauma involve the same scary elements that were in the trauma in our lives. For example, someone who has had the dream of the man in the black cape and weirdly shaped hat may have thoughts about running as fast as they could away from a man who is following them. The person affected may dream about trying to escape from the man in the black cape. A survivor of an animal attack may have nightmares about the assault, or even viewing the animal may startle the person.

I have often had dreams of animals ripping me apart. The sudden rush is like a quick snap back to this reality.

The scariest dream is a nightmare.

The dream so many other people and I have had in the past is the dream of the man in the black cape and weirdly shaped hat. The dream starts out amazing, but as time moves quickly forward, I found the dream to be quite terrifying. I was backpacking in the woods on a cloudy day. The moisture in the air was incredible, and as I walked through the forest as it started to rain. It was coming down soft at first, and as the wind picked up, it hit my face hard. I could feel chills run down my spine as the wind picked up speed again and slammed hard into me. I push onward trying to continue walking in the forest, but for some odd reason, the wind continued to become stronger and stronger. I started to try and walk forward; however, the wind stopped me dead in my tracks. I found myself being pulled up into the sky. I began to scream and yell at the top of my lungs. I could see the black and gray clouds in the sky as I was pulled higher and higher into the heavens. I reached the point where it was total darkness, and it felt as if a tornado was taking me higher and higher. My fear was falling straight down to the floor to a deathly demise, or worse having a heart attack and dying.

I felt for a moment everything stopped. I looked down and realized I was falling at a rapid rate. I could see the clouds as I zoomed by them going down back to the ground. Instinct said I was surely dead. I closed my eyes bracing for impact and awoke inside my bedroom. The bed was as soft as a feather, and I still had my clothes on from backpacking. I sighed in relief. I looked up at the mirror on the wall, and it was distorted bubbling, and as I looked in the mirror, I could see a black image. It had no face. The mirror construed the image so I could not see its face. I looked into the mirror a little longer and noticed fabric on the lining of the mirror. It was black as night. I looked over to the window and see sundown was now eating the brightness of the day. The black image started to come out of the mirror, and when it did, I began to run out of my home. The old house had a few skeletons in the closet, but when I saw the man come out of the mirror, it scared the hell out of me. It reached its hand out of the mirror and blood started to stain the floor. I looked at the creature with a black cape, and I ran out of the house. The creature was running on top of the roof tops of the houses like it was nothing. I felt goosebumps start to creep down my spine as the man in the black cape and weirdly shaped hat began to run down one of the houses. I looked at the man in the black cape stop as he picked up a cat and bit its head off. The creature’s teeth were sharp, and as it turned its head, I could see the blood dripping off its teeth. The creature growled and started to run at me again. I ran as fast as I could, though I put in the effort I fell hard to the floor, but when I braced myself for impact. I landed on top of a building connected to other buildings. The man in the black cape and the weirdly shaped hat was on top of the building with its razor sharp teeth ready to attack. I turned around and started to run. I jumped from one building to the next trying to out run the creature. The monster was chasing me and showed no signs of fatigue as I was starting to get extremely tired. The dark shadow of a creature was now ahead of me on the buildings. I looked over my shoulder and could not see him anymore. I stopped and looked back. I asked where did he go? I turned around as I heard some cats scream out in pain. I saw him jump up and run straight for me blood smeared the road as I looked back. The man in the black cape and the weirdly shaped hat was now running at me full speed. I tried to run quicker and faster but started to lose my energy. I stopped running and gasped for air. Drained of power I was exhausted. The man in the black cape and weirdly shaped hats’ cape now towered over me. I turned around slowly. I could hear the cape ripple in the wind and as I turned around the man in the black cloak grabbed my throat and opened its mouth. Its teeth were yellow and crooked, and I could see fur and bugs moving around as it roared in triumph. I screamed, and at that very moment, I awoke trying to breathe and could not. I grabbed at my throat and gasped for air. I turned over in my bed and could see my wife staring at me with a look of concern. I jumped not realizing she was awake. I rolled out of bed while my wife watched me head to the bathroom. I went to the John and did my business still shaken up by the dream. I got ready for work. I put on my clothes and put my shoes on. When I went to the mirror I pictured the hand coming out of the mirror and blood staining the floor. I put my hand on the mirror and reassured myself it was all a dream.

Posted in Anthony's Short Stories

The Entity of Camp Devils Lake

Buy now online on type in the search bar Anthony Gurule, and click on the link to buy the book, or on

The goal is to make this a number one seller in the United States, and then the World.

Some readers have given their reviews and say The Entity of Camp Devils Lake is a different kind of story. It does push the limits of some of its readers with the entities language towards particular subjects, however, the story does paint a good picture. The entity has managed to spark the interests of its readers. One person said. “The book made me think about what is going on in the world.” Why does it do this for the readers is the question? The Entity of Camp Devils Lake is about a detective named Rodger who is investigating the cause of death for a little boy at the bottom of the mountain heading into Camp Devils Lake. Rodger goes into the camp not knowing what he is going to find, and while he is there he finds the Camp to be eerie and beautiful, but he also finds the Camp to be deathly. While doing his investigation there are casualties along the way. He loses people who are close to him but without giving up too much of the story. The Entity is a dark demonic creature who will stop at nothing to slowly kill Rodger. Rodger stands up to the beast and fights his way through a road of death to solve the case. Twists and turns in this book will keep the reader on the edge of their seats.

Buy now on


Posted in Short Stories

The Clown Haunting

While at the local supermarket Laura saw a coworker.

Hey Mark,

I think you dropped your hat! Laura yelled. Mark with a distinct look turned around as he was startled by Laura. How did you know that was my hat? I saw you wearing it silly. Mark under his breath mumbled. The haunting curse of the clown. What? Laura said. Nothing. Mark grumbled as he started to walk away in a hurry. He yelled. You can keep the hat. Laura gave him an odd look and rolled her eyes. Laura looked at the hat carefully and noticed a tint of red on the base of the cap. She rubbed it with her fingers and found a hidden message. It read. The person who puts this hat on shall pass it along in seven days. If the wearer does not find a host beware the hideous creature, you will become with blood red lips, razor sharp teeth with a white face with black streaks, a red nose, and the uncontrollable thirst for blood. Laura shrugged her shoulders and put the hat in her Michael Kors bag. A cool trick she said.

Laura made her way home from the supermarket and noticed as she got home her Michael Kors bag was full of blood. Upset she dropped her purse and screamed. The hat had fallen out and was now on the floor, but as it did the sliding hat streaked the floor with blood. Laura picked the hat up and walked over to the garbage can. She threw the hat away picked up the garbage can and threw it in the outside dumpster. Laura went into her home and gathered all the groceries and put them away. She felt her heart sink as she remembered the message on the hat. She rushed over to the trash can and found the trash ripped open. The hat was gone, but a trail of blood was left. Laura confused looked down at the asphalt road and notice the trail of blood led to a back alley. She walked over and found a man wearing the hat. He was out cold, but the hat was on his head. Laura kicked the man’s foot lightly but got no response. She reached for the hat, shakily she screamed as a man in the back of her startled her. You know you shouldn’t steal from a homeless man. It’s bad luck. Did you give the man the hat you are about to take? I did not. I threw it away because I was frightened. What do you mean? The man looked at her questioningly? The hat was bleeding in my bag. I dropped the purse and screamed as the hat slid out blood streaked the floor. Oh, it doesn’t seem to be bleeding now lady. You should leave the man be as he found the hat in your trash and is now the new owner of the hat. The man walked away, but Laura looked at the homeless man and kicked his shoe hard. The man jumped and screamed. What the hell! Sir, you took my hat. What hat lady? The one you are wearing. She said. Oh, well I found this hat in a trash can. Laura yelled. I want you to keep the hat, but know there is a curse on the hat. What are you talking about? You must be on drugs little lady because I haven’t seen any evil curse. Laura looking at the man could see the blood dripping off his head onto his shoulders. Laura gagging as she could see maggots falling down the man’s coat? Oh, look here ma’am. The man took the hat off, and Laura could see his brain. Laura began to hack up her lunch.

The man went over and grabbed Laura’s shoulder. What is wrong with you? You can have the hat Laura’s stomach was curling as she looked at the man. He was no longer a man but a hideous looking clown. He had a white face with two black streaks coming down his face where his eyes were, but his eyes were red with yellow pupils looking at her. Laura screamed as the man started to talk. His teeth were razor sharp and had maggots and centipedes coming out of his mouth. Laura again threw up as the bugs in his mouth were being crushed and dripping onto the floor like drool. The man again put his long white hand on her shoulder, and as Laura looked down at his hand, she screamed in terror. His hand was not human, but were long and at the end of his hands were razor sharp nails. The nails were black and had blood dripping from them. The man looking at the woman noticed blood on her shirt as he moves his hand away from her back. The man screamed and started to run down the cold dark alley. I didn’t do anything! He screamed. The man running down the dark alley started to panic as he looked down at his hands. The hat in his hand still. He noticed blood dripping out of it. He looked at the base of the hat and saw the message. The person who puts this hat on shall pass it along in seven days. If the wearer does not find a host beware the hideous creature, you will become with blood red lips, razor sharp teeth, a white face with black streaks, a red nose, and the uncontrollable thirst for blood. Paranoia sunk in and the panic in the man’s heart made him pass out. He fell to the floor with a loud thud. Laura still trying to pull herself together started to walk home. She was sobbing as she made her way to her door. Laura opened the door and went into her home. She noticed on the floor where the hat had slid out of her purse was a message. You gave your hat to another. You are safe! Laura dropped to her knees with tears rolling down her face.


The man in the alley was out cold. His heart condition caused him to pass out from the paranoia, panic, and shock. The man awoke a day later. The man pushed himself up. He felt pain in his right leg. The man remembering what had happened that night started to walk over to Laura’s house, but as he began to walk down the alley, he noticed two police officers asking some of the homeless some questions. The man looked at the hat and put it on his head. He started to walk toward the officers and was surprised to hear they were investigating a large puddle of blood near where he and the woman were last night. He started to walk past the officers but caught the smell of something sweet. He began to walk toward the smell. What is that he asked himself? It smelled sweet. He looked all around and noticed he was drawn to the huge puddle of blood.

The police officers noticed the man had walked over to the puddle. The officers observed the man bending down grabbing at the blood and drinking it. The officers ran over and went to grab the man’s arm when they did he turned around and scared the hell out of the two officers. The man’s face was a hideous monstrosity. His face was white with black streaks falling down his face. The blood from the hat drenched the man’s face. His nose was cut off and was as red as blood. He reached out toward the police officers and as he talked the officers could see blood and maggots falling out of the man’s mouth. Hungry the monstrosity groaned. The officers were scared. The man got up and looked at one of the officers and licked his lips. He walked toward the officer showing his sharp teeth. The officer drew his gun and told the man to stop. The man didn’t though. He walked right up to the officer and used his long deadly hands to rip apart the first officer. He ripped through the flesh trying to get all the blood he could. The second officer pulled his gun out and shot the man several times in the back. The creature turned around and looked at the man as he was eating the officer’s flesh. The officer scared stumbled backward and started to fall as he hit the trash cans. The homeless were in shock and scared. A woman screamed it’s an evil clown. The clown ran towards the woman and growled at her. He grabbed her arm and took a chunk of flesh right out of her. The evil clown threw her to the floor and went towards the officer he ripped apart. The man drank and sucked up all the blood he could. When he was finished his hands and body were back to normal. He was full of blood. The man could hear carnival music playing in his head. He also started to hear the song. All around the town, the evil clown chased the people. The demonic clown stopped for a bloody snack. Plop! Goes the dead people. Eating half a pound of flesh, and drinking half a pound of blood. Mix it up and make it taste nice. Pop, Slurp! Goes the eaten drinkin’ dead people. Blood! The man groaned. I need blood! The man pulled the hat off and rubbed the base of the hat. He reread the message again and noticed he had to give the hat to someone else if he were to survive. He ran over to the lady and said here you can have this hat. I am sorry. I don’t know what is going on. The man when he passed the hat on to the woman saw the image of a clown with black streaks on its face, red eyes with yellow pupils, and razor sharp teeth with blood and bugs falling out of its mouth. The man started to run down the alley away from the lady. The lady upset said I don’t want the hat. She threw it away in one of the trash cans with a fire burning in it. The hat did not burn when it hit the flame it started to make the flames steam and then go out the trash can filled with blood. The homeless lady started to hear the carnival music and as each day went on her thirst for blood continued to grow until the seventh day. She terrorized the supermarket with mass murder. The customers and people walking in said they saw a woman clown with black streaks going down her white face. Her eyes were red with yellow pupils, and her teeth were sharp and disgusting.

To be continued…



Posted in Anthony's Short Stories

The Opportunity of a Life Time

Tired of all those silly infomercials claiming they can make you money.

What if I told you with your own talents and skills you could potentially make money through publishing your own work.

How you’re probably asking?

Silly commercials always giving the person hope and then crushing their dreams as you have to pay for the service.

Here is an interesting way to self-publish and get credit for it, and people all over the world will pay to see your work depending on your ability to advertise and use social media.

You can use the create space ISBN to publish, but this gives them credit to your work . The way I did it was I got a universal ISBN to publish my work through the company. It helps when you want to go with different publishers, but it makes your work your own. This way is a paid service. It will cost about $100.00 to get this service.

In order to publish your own book, you will need to obtain an ISBN, remember to obtain your LCCN. this is where you can obtain. If you do it yourself it is free if you let create space do it. It is $25.00.

In order to do all of this you have to set up an account with CreateSpace. It is set up like an email.

The cool thing about self-publishing is you will get recognition for your work.

Here is the hard part.

Advertising and getting your book out to the public.

How do we do this you ask?

Here is how you will go about it. Be yourself and talk to local stores, and ask how to go about putting the book in their stores. They will give you all the necessary information to get going.


Posted in Anthony's Short Stories

The Entity of Camp Devils Lake Sample


Darkness Awakens

It was 2008, and our school was off by bus to Camp Devils Lake for two weeks. It was going to be great! The high school students would each have their own private quarters, while we, the middle school students, would have to share.

When we got to the camp, it was seven in the evening. After being assigned our bunks, we unpacked and then went down to the cafeteria to meet up with the camp director. “Mr. Satan himself—in the flesh!” he joked with us. We never did find out his real name. “I’ll meet you all down at the lake, where I can introduce myself to you by the campfire,” was all he said.

So we all trekked down to the lake, where a large bonfire was already ablaze. But when the camp director came out that night, all fun and games were over. We knew we were all doomed.

We found him bleeding from the face and screaming horribly—oh, those screams! It sounded as if he was possessed by something dark and evil, and I felt my spine begin to tingle. The man fell twice and got up again, and then he said in a loud, eerie voice, “He comes to feast upon all your souls.” Then he keeled right over, but before he died, his body twisted and jerked as if he was fighting whatever was possessing him. We were terrified; some of the younger kids even wet their pants. The spectacle was hard to watch—and even harder to believe. What had happened to him? Why had his voice changed, sounding as if a dark force had possessed him?

We all gathered around and looked at his limp body, twisted and mangled. There was no movement; he just lay there motionless. It took a lot of force to ravage a body like that, so how had this happened? In shock, we all stared at the corpse. The most frightening thing about it was the face. It had holes and gashes, and his eyes burned a fire-like red. They were wide open and ideally positioned to stare back at everyone. Blood gushed from the holes in his face, forming a pool around the body.

All at once, the whole school started to panic. Now the adults at the camp were aware of what was going on, and they gasped at the sight of the mutilated camp director. One lady said, “He looks horrible!” The adults then cleared the students from the site so that we could no longer see the dead body, taking us all to our quarters for the night. So began the true horror we were about to face at Camp Devils Lake.

Those firelit eyes and that demonic voice stayed in my head, his words repeating over and over until the morning—“He comes to feast upon all your souls.” I got up when the loudspeaker sounded, calling everyone to report to the cafeteria for breakfast. Not surprisingly, we all looked as if we didn’t get an ounce of sleep at all that night. Both staff and students had the appearance of the walking dead. No one in the room dared speak of the previous evening’s event. It was a horrible tragedy, and the adults looked stunned, wondering how the camp director had gotten that way so quickly. They had seen him an hour before his gruesome demise, and he’d been happy and joking around.

We got our food and sat down, but just before we were about to eat, the loudspeaker came on again and broadcast in that same eerie voice, “He comes to feast upon all your souls.” Panic set in again as everyone, adults and students alike, began to run toward the doors and out to the buses, but when we got there, the buses were gone! The teachers, shocked and scared, resolved to go call for help. They went up to the radio house to summon the buses, but to their surprise, the phone was smashed and destroyed. Shaken, one of the teachers cried, “How is that possible? We called the ambulance last night to come and get Mr. Satan. That was just a couple of hours ago! How on earth is all this happening?”

We spent the rest of the day trying to make sure the camp was safe and secure so that another event like the one from the night before would not occur. That was when the loudspeaker came on again. This time, hideous laughter blared out, followed by a dire warning.

“He-he-he-he, ha-ha-ha-ha! I’ll swallow your souls and make you feel as if you’re cold-to-the-bone dead. Then I’ll possess your body and wreak havoc upon all your friends! The fun begins tonight. I will take flight and eat the weakest of you from the inside, making you turn against your friends until you’re all dead.” We looked at each other in astonishment. We were all going to die!

That eerie voice was starting to make the adults angry, and my fellow students were all cowering in fear. I, on the other hand, had a different feeling about this entity. I wanted it to try to come for me. I would be ready and waiting. It was not as if it could take the sun away—or was I speaking too soon? Time always has a way of working against you. We had only three hours until sundown, and I thought of this as the countdown to our doom. But then I got a bright idea. I proposed to a teacher that if we were to wait in the room where the loudspeaker was, we could catch this evil entity. It was sure to use the intercom again soon. The teachers all got together and agreed that this might be the best approach—we could be trapped here for two weeks, and they needed to keep all us kids safe.

Sundown came, and as predicted, the entity came over the PA system again, threatening, “Let the mere mortals’ deaths begin!” We all knew that our two biggest and strongest male teachers were standing ready to knock this guy out, but then the loudspeaker turned off, and we didn’t hear anything. All stayed quiet and calm. It was so eerily quiet and peaceful that my peers and I were mute in anticipation, impatiently waiting.

Then it happened. Both teachers came out, their bodies shaking and pus coming out of their mouths, walking toward the center of both quarters so we could all see them. We all stared, paralyzed with fear. I was so scared that my hands were trembling, and I could feel the warmth of my urine as it trickled down my pant leg. Both men were suffering—you could see the pain in their eyes as their bodies from the waist up began to twist all the way around. The flesh started to tear as they got a quarter of the way around, and then halfway, and finally all the way. We all screamed as blood squirted all over the floor and splashed the windows. Their eyes, that same fiery red as those of the camp director the night before, terrified all of us. Then their bodies fell over dead and limp, their eyes the same as Satan in the flesh. Fear turned our bones cold, and we knew we had come face-to-face with death.

We all screamed, as what happened next was sickening. A flow of red, yellow, and black oozed from their bodies over to bunks of the high school students, targeting the kids there. They were all screaming in fear as they all started to shake, their bodies turning blue and purple as if their bones were as cold as ice! In another moment, pus and blood began to pour out of their mouths, and they all screamed in pain.

At that point, the loudspeaker came on again, and we heard, “You are all weak! The pain each of you feels is the pain caused by your own heart’s wicked deeds. I will eat you from the inside now and cause you horrible pain!”

The faces of the unfortunate kids started to swell up. It was difficult to watch—they were still throwing up blood and pus, but then their eyes exploded, and their shaking bodies fell to the floor in a giant heap. At that moment, everyone in my quarters started to panic.

It was survival of the fittest. I pulled my eyes from the high school kids and looked at the mass chaos happening where I was standing. The adults were trying to get out the door and run away. But to where? I didn’t know, but the door would not budge. We were trapped! Doomed! That thing was coming for us next, and we felt we would have no hope of surviving the rest of the night.

I don’t know how long we were trapped in there, but finally the sun came up, and the chaos stopped. The door opened, and we all ran out, many of us throwing up. I was sick to my stomach. I reeked of urine, and my body was so weak that it felt numb. I thought I was about to fall over dead. We all had raccoon eyes and were deathly pale.

Gathering around in a big circle, we discussed what we were going to do about the high school students and teachers. They were all still alive—how, I didn’t know—but their faces looked mutilated, and where their eyes used to be lurked a tornado-like fire that whirled around and around, as if the entity itself had possessed them all. They all had a pulse, but it was rapid, and it remained that way. Their faces looked horrible, and the blood seeping out of their eyes was being slowly cooked by the fiery red burning. It was nasty.

We decided to pick up the high school students and take them to our quarters, a gruesome, frightening task indeed. When we picked them up, they were either mumbling inanely or screeching out loud in otherworldly voices, but if you listened carefully, you could hear the humans inside screaming in pain. It started out softly, but then the human voices all started screaming in unison—but their mouths were not moving. The sound was coming from their eyes! Those scary-looking eyes were burned all around—the students were not able to close them. This entity was pure evil.

Ms. Honeycutt suggested that we should all try to do an activity to ease our minds of the current situation. She asked for volunteers, and everyone except a few wanted to stay. Ms. Chacon offered to stay and watch the other children. She was never good at watching us, and she always let us do whatever we wanted. I, on the other hand, decided I wanted to explore the campgrounds, and I set out by myself, going throughout the outer portions of the quarters and checking the outside walls and doors. They all seemed dark and gave me an eerie feeling. I next walked to the building that housed the intercom and circled it twice. To my surprise, I found nothing unusual about it. My mind was racing. I had no explanation for how or why these events had occurred—they just had.

I started up the stairs to check inside. I hesitated. My body was weak, trembling, and I could feel the fear rising in my heart as I walked up the stairs and opened the door. Boom, boom, boom! I could hear and feel my heartbeat start to race. The door creaked open with a low moan. I was terrified, ready to faint. After a deep breath, I took one step, then another, and then another.

Then—it happened. The loudspeaker came on, and I was standing not more than four feet from it! My knees became weaker and weaker until they buckled, and I collapsed and fell hard to the floor. Dazed, I heard the entity’s voice say, “I want to eat every one of your souls! I will burn them out of your bodies to make my presence known to all! I am the being that will destroy the human body and destroy you all! I have tricked the devil himself, and I will do what he cannot! I will destroy what was created by dirt and make you feel my wrath!”

With all the energy I had left, I forced my body up and started to run as fast as I could to get out of there. I ran all the way to our quarters, where everyone, having heard the terrifying announcement, was trembling in fear.

That night, we all prepared for the worst. The high school students were still in our quarters. Their eyes burned that same fiery red, and you could see the flames burning around and around. It was sickening, awful. The smell of the burning flesh and blood made all of us gag, and their screams of pain from the fire in their eyes, which was cooking them from the inside out, sent chills through us. One girl kept crying out about how cold she was, but I found this very hard to believe—how could that be? The fire in her eyes was constantly burning, and her flesh and blood were slowly being cooked! Her dripping face was disgusting—it looked as if we were at a barbecue, watching the fat of a burger drip off the grill onto the floor. I then realized why she was cold—she was about to die.

And then it happened again. The loudspeaker came on, and that same eerie voice said, “You all shall see!” The speaker crackled into silence, and we all stayed quiet as we became aware of a spine-tingling presence in the room with us. The air got terribly cold, and the lights started to flicker on and off. Then the lights died completely, and we all screamed. Now the combusting high school students were our only light source. Their eyes burned bright, and as we looked at them, the fire in their eyes shot out and up into the air, forming an enormous ball of fire. It seemed their flesh started to cook faster and faster until their faces were burned to a crisp. It didn’t stop there—their heads exploded, and then their bodies disintegrated, becoming part of the massive ball of fire in the center of the room, which took the form of a perfect sphere. It remained in place, circling. We gasped, hearing the high school students screaming in pain and agony. Our panic peaking once again, we all ran outside and down to the lake, where we had met the first night we arrived. It was dark, and we couldn’t see a thing until the huge ball of fire, having destroyed the building, started to roll down toward the lake. It was coming to get us, and we had no hope of surviving.

In the cold darkness of that night, we were aware of the creatures of the forest lurking all around us. Wolves howled in the distance, and every leaf scraping the ground caused us all to jump. Then, suddenly, all was quiet. The wind stopped, and the night was still. It was time. A dense fog formed all around us, and all we could see were the creatures of the night staring at us, as if passing judgment, their eyes burning with the same red fire we had seen in our fellow students! We cowered in fear as those scary-looking eyes never left us, moving all around without a sound—just the eyes hovered in the distance. Then we heard the animals cry out in pain, and then bursts of fire came from their eyes and shot directly over our heads. The fog cleared, and we knew we were doomed. That huge ball of fire was ten times the size it had been, and we could hear the screams of demons coming from inside it. The screams were deathly, and I could see all my friends and teachers shaking with fear. All of us were staring transfixed at the huge ball of fire.

With a horrendous cracking sound, streams of light started to shoot down into the eyes of the students around me, cooking their bodies from the inside out. Their bodies shook, and pus and blood shot out of their mouths. Then their heads began to explode, and their bodies ignited into flames. As their lifeless bodies continued being cooked from the inside out, they were pulled up into the huge ball of fire and were disintegrated inside!

I started to run as fast as I could toward the road. I didn’t know why, but I had a feeling that if I made it to the road, everything would be fine. I could still feel the presence of evil all around me, but I just kept running as fast and as hard as my legs would let me. I got to where the buses had dropped us off, and I saw a car with its lights on and its motor running at low idle, and to my surprise, no one was in the vehicle.

Figuring this would be my best bet to get out of there, I got inside the car and hid in the backseat. Before long, I heard footsteps in the brush outside, and the owner of the vehicle got into the car and started to drive. As he peeled out and accelerated rapidly, the pebbles from the rocky road bounced off the inner fender well. I began to wonder why it was getting brighter and brighter, and I looked up. There it was—this huge ball of fire chasing us! I couldn’t move. My body was trembling in fear, and I could feel my heart pounding. I tried to scream but couldn’t. I asked, “Why me?” I knew we were doomed.

To my astonishment, the car radio started to change stations all on its own, causing the driver of the vehicle to start to freak out. The same eerie voice came on and said, “I want your soul! You cannot escape me, boy!” Then the old Michael Jackson song “Thriller” started playing at full volume, and the owner of the vehicle turned the radio off. The guy was so scared that he pushed down even harder on the gas pedal. I was still in shock at the sight of the huge ball of fire. We were halfway down the mountain when the ball of fire burst into the form of a huge dog.

The flaming dog was gaining speed, running faster and faster toward the car and catching up with us enough to start hitting the back of the car with its giant nose, trying to flip the car over. It was horrible! The entity was going to kill us and swallow our souls whole. Biting the trunk of the car, the dog tore a big chunk off, but as it did this, it lost its balance and fell hard to the ground. The man in the car continued to drive as fast as he could down the mountain, but the dog on fire got up and started to run after us yet again. He was gaining speed, but we were nearing the bottom of the mountain. The farther away we got, the more it began to shrink, until finally the dog was no more.


But the story doesn’t end there. The driver of the car that night had looked into his mirror, and when he did, the entity had possessed him. The man’s eyes began to glow that fire-like red, and the boy who had thought he was safe died that night. His soul was swallowed whole, and his body was burned to a crisp. When they found him, he was in the backseat of the car, those fire-like eyes burning bright.

Chapter 2
Mysterious Death

It had been six days since we’d found the boy in the car, and the most horrifying thing about his body was the condition of his eyes. When I was first called to the scene, I’d arrived to find it clean—no fingerprints, no gasoline, and no matches to light the boy on fire. I’d walked down to the car and found that the boy inside was dead, his body burned to a crisp, but his eyes were still on fire. When the EMS team took the corpse to the coroner to be examined for cause of death, I got an eerie feeling in my stomach.

Now, six days later, the coroner’s office called me. In a monotone, the male voice on the phone said, “This is Pablo, and I am calling in regard to the little boy that was brought in six days, six hours, and six minutes ago.”

I looked at the clock, and to my surprise it was 6:06 a.m. It was odd that the coroner’s office would call me this early in the morning. I asked whether they’d been able to determine anything about the cause of death, and Pablo replied, “You have got to come down here as soon as possible.”


“Rodger, it’s the boy. He’s…he’s…I can’t explain. Just come down to the coroner’s office, and I will show you.”

I got up and started to head for the shower, but then I decided the case was significant enough to skip my morning ritual. I opened a drawer and pulled clothes out, getting dressed as I made my way toward the garage. The morning air hit my nose as I opened the garage door. Unlocking the car using the button on the remote, I got in and started her up. The engine roared with might as I depressed the gas pedal, looked into the rearview mirror, and backed out of my driveway.

When I reached the coroner’s office, I met Pablo at the front door and immediately noticed that something wasn’t right about his eyes. They burned a fire-like red, and in a horrible voice, he croaked, “He comes to feast upon all your souls.”

Sweat trickled down his face, and the fire glowed in his eyes. I looked at him and asked, “What is wrong with you?” Getting no response, I shook him and asked again. He proceeded to grab his pen, which he lifted up into the air, about to stab himself in the chest, but I reacted in just enough time to stop him. My reaction, though, was not proper—I punched him hard in the face, so hard that I knocked him out.

Picking Pablo up, I laid him on one of the gurneys in the back. I got some water and poured it on his face to wake him, which he did, gasping for air and yelling out. I gave him a few minutes to pull himself together. He wiggled his jaw a bit, making sure I had not broken it.

“All right, lad,” I said. “Why did you call me down here? What is so important that it had to have my immediate attention?”

“Rodger, I am sorry. I called to tell you that the boy’s eyes will not turn off.”

“What are you trying to say?”

“The boy, Rodger! His eyes, those firelit eyes, will not turn off! We’ve tried everything—everything—and they still will not turn off. They light up the room at night. I poured water on them, and they will not stop burning. I just don’t have an explanation as to why the eyes will not turn off.”

Impatiently, I said, “What do you mean?”

“I’ll show you.” He led me to where the boy’s body was and pulled the sheet off the body, but even before he did so, I could see the glow coming from underneath. I gasped at the sight of the crisp body lying there motionless on the table, those eyes still burning bright. Taking matters into my own hands, I went to the sink, filled a cup with water, and poured the water into the boy’s eyes. The water and the fire met, and steam started to rise, but to my surprise, the fire in his eyes kept burning!

I was shocked. How could this be true? What had caused this boy’s death?

“Pablo, has anyone else been in this room?”

“Just my staff,” Pablo replied. “Why?”

My mind started to race as I thought about every aspect and possibility as to the boy’s cause of death. I had just now witnessed the most horrifying thing I had ever seen in my life. Or perhaps I was speaking too soon. The coroner now pulled out another dead body, laying it right next to that of the boy, whose eyes still burned. It became hard for me to look at, and I started to feel sick.

Rather than diminishing, the fire from the boy’s eyes danced ever more intensely for a while longer, and then in a terrifying instant, it crossed over to the other body. What happened next was so terrible, it made me puke. The body was dead, but once the fire reached its eyes, the corpse started to twitch and crumple like foil. Suddenly, embalming fluid began to gush out its mouth, nose, and ears, shooting up toward the ceiling and walls of the room.

I was still in shock, starting to feel chills creep down my back. The bones of the corpse began to break, each of them popping as the body crushed itself into a ball. The only parts sticking out were the head and neck. The head became animated, starting to look in all directions as if searching for someone or something. Reaching me, it stopped, its eyes closed. There I was, in shock, staring at the dead body. I had no explanation as to why this was happening. Then, to my horror, the eyes shot open, and the same fire that had been in the boy’s eyes was pointed directly at me. I was sick, and my heart was pounding. The fire in the dead body’s eyes whirled around and around.

Have you ever heard people say that the dead speak out in pain? Well, I wasn’t a believer until that moment. As the fire in the corpse’s eyes lit the whole body on fire and the flames grew higher and higher, its face started moving from side to side, and a loud, eerie voice screeched at the top of the corpse’s lungs. It was a sight to see. I ran out into the corridor and puked my guts out.

I wanted to get the hell out of there as soon as I could, but as I started for the outer door, Pablo stopped me.

“Are you all right?”

“No,” I stated. “What the hell just happened in there?”

He told me to relax, that this was one of the tests they had done on the boy. I looked at him incredulously and asked, “Relax? Relax? You want me to relax? That was the most horrifying thing I have ever seen, and you expect me to relax?”

He then told me that earlier, in the course of their normal work, they had placed a body right next to the boy’s, and this same thing had happened, just not in the same order. “OK, Rodger, pull yourself together,” I told myself. I waited a minute, put two and two together, and then told Pablo I was going in to see the body again, by myself this time.

I went to where the body was laid out and looked at it very carefully. I walked around it twice, studying it, trying not to look into the eyes. I grew very interested in figuring out who this boy was and how he’d come to be this way. As I walked around the corpse for the last time, I peeked at those horrifying eyes, and for a brief moment, my body felt warm, as if I were being taken in by the fire whirling round and round in his eyes. I quickly made my way out of there.

I decided my next step was to go down to the police impound yard to examine the car. Once I located it among the assorted vehicles, I saw that the trunk had been burned, and it looked as if a chunk of the car had melted off. I thought, “Why does the trunk of the car look like it’s missing a piece?” I walked around the car and found that the driver’s seat showed burn marks similar to the burn marks on the backseat. Odd that the burn marks were larger and that the roof of the car showed smoke damage in these two spots. It became apparent to me that there had been two people in the car, and judging by the size of the burn marks in the front, the driver had been an adult male, probably in his midthirties. The burn marks were pear shaped, and it was evident that he’d clearly been overweight. I took a closer look at the length of the burn marks on the seat and found the burn marks ended high in the seat, so the killer’s height must have been around five feet eleven. The fact that he was overweight and tall and had a broad body structure ideally gave me an idea of what his age could be. I searched inside the car and looked in the many different storage units, such as the center console and glove compartment. I found a picture of a little girl. The date on the back of the picture was recent, and she seemed to be in middle school. What was his motive, and why was he and the boy found at the bottom of the mountain?

Where had these guys been going? How was I supposed to figure out how this boy had died? Had the man in the front seat caused the boy’s death? The burn marks looked as if the guy in the car had reached around behind and killed the boy by smothering him with the fire. If so, what had been his motive? This was all I could think about.

“Think, Rodger,” I mused to myself. “Why did he kill the child, and why is he missing? Where is the other body?”

It then hit me. We had found the body at the bottom of the mountain. The only way in and out of that mountain was that road. I had a hunch that would change my life forever.

I stopped in at my local café on the way back to my office, as I did most afternoons, and noticed a story on the front page of the paper I was about to leaf through about the outcry from multiple families against a school principal. The headline proclaimed, “Field Trip Goes Horribly Wrong.” I sat in my usual booth, drinking a cup of coffee with two sugars and cream while reading the article in more detail. Apparently, the school had gone on a field trip to Camp Devils Lake and never returned. The students and staff had vanished, and the school principal was under investigation. The superintendent of the school had suspended the director of the school, who was put on paid administrative leave while under investigation. Reading on, I wasn’t too surprised to discover that the story was linked to the murder scene I was investigating. The department was under pressure from the media, families, and the mayor. I picked my eyes up off the paper for a moment and looked out the window and noticed the clouds were dark, threateningly purple.

I continued to read the rest of the story. The journalist had found an eyewitness to the scene and therefore had a primary source of information.

“The car at the bottom of the mountain was burning from inside,” claimed the local man. He’d reported the accident as he was driving past the base of the mountain. The reporter emphasized how the local man had shakily stated, “I saw a man wandering through the woods, but his eyes were on fire! When I got to the car, a body was still burning in the backseat, and the driver’s door was wide open.”

To me, the man was obviously delusional. The paper went on to list the names of all the 150 students and 20 staff that were missing. It occurred to me as I saw these names that perhaps the boy had been on this trip. Had he been trying to escape from someone? I decided to drive up to the mountain to look for clues.

I drove slowly, looking at the beautiful yet eerie scenery. The gravel road was rough on the tires and seemed to get narrower the deeper I went into the forest. As I looked carefully on all sides of the road for anything unusual, I soon came upon a large chunk of black metal dangling from the branches of a tree, hanging ten feet from the ground. I pulled over and approached it, finally jumping up and punching it with my fist. It fell off the tree, hitting the ground with a dull thud. It looked like metal melted from the car in the impound station—its large indentations seemed to match. It became apparent that whatever had happened that night, something enormous had been after the boy and the driver. I picked up the piece of metal and placed it carefully in the trunk of my car.

From there, I made my way up to Camp Devils Lake. When I arrived, I got out of my car and walked down to the lake. Everything seemed dark, eerie, and black as death. The seaweed looked dead and rotted, and as the current pushed against it, the bottom of the lake moved, making me feel depressed and putting my heart and mind in a dark place. It was the kind of darkness that swallows the light and makes you feel trapped in nothingness, where the only way out is to light up the darkness.

As I started to walk to the camp, the trees too gave me an eerie feeling that crept slowly down my spine. Looking up at the vast forest, I realized that the trees were all black. The scene continued to make me uneasy, as if this whole forest was dead. I began walking around the camp, looking at all the buildings. Pine needles carpeted the path that led toward the main building. I was hoping to encounter someone whom I could talk to about the camp, ask whether the person knew anything about a boy and a man having been there, but I found no one. The camp was empty and abandoned. Where were the police investigators and the CSI unit?

I walked up to the radio tower and noticed the door was open. Chills crept down my spine as I made my way up the stairs. Reaching the door, I was about to go in when I was startled by the harsh cawing of a crow, making me jump. Giving myself a moment to recover, I ventured inside. The crow outside the window continued to caw, bobbing its head at me as I looked all around the room. I found that both the radio and the tower had been smashed up, destroyed—by what, I couldn’t tell, but the place was a massive mess.

I walked up to the desk, where some forms were scattered—they were for the James K. Polk High School and Junior High School. They listed the dates the schools would be at the camp and who their guide was to be for the trip. I started to think, listening to the cawing crow outside.

What the hell had happened here? The school had come down to the camp on a field trip—and then it hit me. The newspaper from this morning had described exactly what I had just found. I started piecing together all the available evidence in this puzzling case. As I moved toward the door, all of a sudden the loudspeaker came to life. A voice eerily intoned, “He comes to feast upon your soul.” I turned quickly around and noticed that the loudspeaker was right on top of the desk. Feeling a cold draft on my back, I couldn’t believe my eyes as I saw the button pop back up all by itself. The hair on my arms started to rise, and my heart began to pound. Summoning my courage, I hurried outside and headed toward the cawing crow.

A number of cawing crows had gathered, many more than before. I walked out toward the sleeping quarters—it looked as if one of the buildings had been blown up. Not far away, I found the skeletal remains of two bodies, each ripped in half. Crows were all around, and I made the assumption that these damn scavengers had eaten every last scrap of meat from these bones. The skeletons lay there with their mouths wide open. It was a gruesome scene that made my stomach curl.

As I looked at where their eyes had once been, I noticed large rings of black around the sockets. Both bodies had similar directional burns in this area, and it looked as if the bone had melted—there were severe fragmentation and moderate fracturing around the eyes. The heat must have been extreme, because the structural integrity of the bone had been distorted, causing what looked like facial deformation. The probable cause of this was the dehydration of the collagen in the bone, making it evident that heat likely caused the distortion and severe fragmentation.

The bodies looked masculine, and from what I could tell, they had been adults somewhere in their thirties. They must have been staff members of the school. It seemed the men had died quickly and had been slaughtered brutally. Their spines exhibited multiple fractures, which was likely the reason they died—from what I could tell, their spines had been twisted right around.

Inside the sleeping quarters that were still standing, the walls and windows were splattered with blood. I pulled out my camera and started to take pictures of the crime scene, trying as I worked to find a footprint or something—anything—that would help me identify a killer. What had been the motive? What weapon had been used?

Just then, I heard a loud bang from inside the building. I drew my gun and walked cautiously around to the front. Hanging from two chains mounted to the pitched roof at the front was a wooden sign with a name burned into it. I couldn’t tell what the name said, but I was beginning to feel very uneasy about the eeriness of the mountain, and the camp.

Ascending the porch walkway to the door, I turned the knob. No luck. The door was locked. “Damn!” I thought to myself. “Now I have to break down the door.” I pointed my gun at the lock, getting ready to blow it away, but just as I was about to pull the trigger, a crow landed on my gun. Startled, I slapped at the crow with my other hand, and it flew over to the side railing of the porch, where it continued to eye me curiously. “What the hell?” I thought to myself.

I heard the loud bang again coming from inside, so I kicked the door with all my might, and it burst open, hitting the inside wall and then bouncing back a little as a result of the force I’d exerted. As it swung slowly back, it creaked for what seemed like an eternity. Behind me, the crow began to caw loudly. I started to get creeped out—the goose bumps started, and the hair on my arms began to rise once more.

I stepped inside and was greeted by a smell of rotten blood so strong that it stung my nose as I breathed. I walked toward the middle of the large room and found tables, chairs, and other furniture thrown all over the floor. The crime scene started to feel eerie and spooky as I got to the other end of the room, where I encountered a small wolf, which immediately began to growl. My gun was still drawn, so I pointed it at the wolf and waited. Continuing to growl, the wolf arched its shoulders. I didn’t want to shoot the animal, but if it attacked, I would have no choice. I kept my finger on the trigger as I stared into its eyes. After a lengthy stalemate, the wolf eventually backed away, sprinting toward a large hole in the adjoining wall.

I took a deep breath in relief. My nerves were shocked, and I felt I was going to puke. Glancing around, I noticed large pools of blood and what looked like pus all over the floor. I pulled out my camera and started taking more pictures of the gruesome crime scene. The fact that I saw no bodies lying around was a surprise to me. Where were all the bodies? So many questions swirled in my head.

As I turned and looked out the window, I saw that it was close to sundown. “Rodger,” I told myself, “call it a day.” I closed the door as I left the place and headed out toward the main building and the forest beyond. No more than ten feet in front of me, a crow cawed harshly. Looking up at the trees, I saw only darkness, but I heard twigs snapping on the ground—something was coming at me from within the dense brush ahead of me. In a moment, I spotted another wolf, this time a huge one, moseying toward me. The wolf stopped and sat down, put its head down, and then arched its shoulders. Suddenly raising its head, it let loose with a ferocious howl, which startled me. The wolf was about three hundred feet away from me, but it felt as if it were right in front of me. The wolf remained seated, staring at me from a distance. The howl had caused a reaction in the trees, which scared the hell out of me. The trees began to fly up toward the sky. Under my breath, I said, “Those aren’t leaves—they’re crows!”

I started to run toward my car as fast as I could. I was a cop, but not an out-of-shape one. As I ran, I couldn’t resist looking back, and what I saw gave me another shock—all the trees were dead. The crows were flying around me in a frenzy, attacking me and tearing at my skin. These scavengers would devour my body—and my soul. I regretted coming among these creatures.

End of this sample

Look for my periscope podcast on Thursday night. I will be reading from my book to give everyone a sample of the gore and horror included in the book.

If you go to and type in my first and last name the book will pop up.

I recently heard Barnes and Noble have my book in stores.

© 2016 Anthony Robert Lee Junior Gurule
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 0692683178
ISBN 13: 9780692683170
Library of Congress Control Number: 2016911339
Anthony R. Gurule

Posted in Short Stories

Psychological Warfare of any Type of Business

Does it exist?

Business is business no matter where you go in the world, and there will always be problems and confrontation. It is how we choose to deal with psychological warfare of the business.

Everyday life has a way of putting a person in their place. What do I mean? You ask this question as if I know everything. I do not, but I do know when life is like a chess board. The board is unique to how events line up. The board is designed to attack an opponent and pick off the opposing team one by one, but what happens when this is being played by a company such as where you work. It’s happening in many jobs all around the world, but I have found the most interesting field of work is the restaurant industry. While you work for a restaurant company you start to understand the nature of the company, and how working for a corporation or a franchise is no different.

While everyone knows the older generation makes up the majority of the restaurant’s form of income of the business. Yes, there are other restaurants which allow football games and wings for the younger crowd with loud music, and drinks. The Chessboard is played differently in this type of environment but relates all the same to the type of psychological warfare in the business.

Competition is always going to make a person compete to make another person look bad in favor of power. What is power? Why is power effective? The chess board, for instance, has a king. The king in the scenario will be the owner of the company. The queen will be the Vice President, and the other pieces will fall into place according to management, supervisors, and the pawns which are usually the lower level employees. The question should be who runs the asylum? Is it the manager who is in control of his subordinates, or is it the pawns running around the restaurant trying to satisfy the guests’ needs? Who is actually running the asylum?

The king walks through the door, and everyone is supposed to stop and address the king. If the king is not welcomed he will rebel and throw a tantrum, but what happens when the king tells a team member.

“You are not special.”

The type of power in which I am talking about is called conditioning. The condition is. I am in power and you are below me. I can replace you, but when you do this in public where all the customers and employees can hear you this becomes a problem. It has been seen in major corporations such as major store branches who have become a monopoly of power with no limitations of how they treat their employees. The conditioning is you are replaceable, or a dime a dozen.

The employee feels awful because it is embarrassing to them emotionally and psychologically, but it also sets a standard for your customers. Every person who walks into the facility is a customer, including the owner and his staff. The owner at this point has set the tone for his employees who are his internal customers. The tone he has set is simple the cascading effect of power, and the king has either unknowingly or knowingly put up a boundary. He has said at that moment. “I do not care about you or the people.” Implying that all he cares about is the money being sent to his bank account. The customers bring me money not you, but you are wrong sir! The employees are internal customers who supply the demand. The concept if another one of the king’s restaurants opens and takes money from the employees’ lives it takes a part of their livelihood. i.e. the restaurant has a fire, and the employees are affected because they can’t work for an extended period of time. The owner of the company does not give a damn because it all goes into the same pocket. Who’s? His pocket!

The king will make more off of insurance, because of the fact that his investment into his own company will pay him for his loss of product, building structure, and wages.

What happens if an employee was able to have insurance like the owner in case of a fire, or another disaster? The employee would also be protected, and in turn, would also benefit.

The hierarchy of power reflects the mood of the owner onto the upper-level management, and lower level management and the management enforces this mood onto the staff members through retaliation.

It is amazing how many businesses use the schedule as a form of punishment. Employees everywhere if this is happening please call your human resources department! The schedule is a binding legal document the court systems use to ensure the employee is getting the number of hours needed to sustain their household and daily lives and is used for unemployment purposes. If an employee’s schedule is changed the manager must ensure the employee is aware of the change and ask if the employee can work the desired amount of hours. The favorite is the fact when managers put schedules are subject to change. Check your schedules. Is this acceptable? Is it even legal if you are living in an, at will state for employment? It’s illegal and highly unprofessional to use the schedule as a form of punishment, but when the owner has power in their human resources department anyone is a target of retaliation. Whistle blowers tread cautiously in this type of scenario because you are subject to feel the same wrath. The department should be separate from the company and should not be manipulated by source or rather king, queen, bishop, took, castle, in this scenario. Higher ups influence should not be considered if they are contributing to the issue, or are part of the problem. The retaliation point could also be the signing of checks. When the owner signs the checks and takes it to the bank. What are his thoughts and actions, but anyway back to the management discussion, and hierarchy of power?

The manager then turns his attention to the not so special person who is apparently replaceable. It’s a fact of any business who can abuse their power knowing every employee is replaceable. If a vice president the (queen) of the board is pressured by the king. The Queen is bent on pleasing power so in return subjects her power toward the staff and guests making an impact on subordinates and the lower level pawns of the company. Her goal is to set impossible standards and force the (employee) opponent out the door, or in this case taken off the board, but the company feeds the notion of we want long-term employees. Is this at all acceptable? Is it right? Who do you go to when this sort of power crushes your inner character and well-being? The punishment and retaliation of this type of behavior break a person’s moral.

The many problems built into this environment are hard to comprehend. These are just some of the problems associated with the business. A company such as this should focus on the well-being of a person, and not whether or not they can show up to work, but people need to work in order to survive. What about the well-being of the employee? If the employee is ill and needs to stay away from guests and other employees the employee is told to cover their shift. If the shift is not covered they are written up. Three strikes and the employee becomes jobless and the manager is finding a replacement.

What does this mean to the employee?

The queen, rooks, bishops, knights, and pawns are all victims of retaliation and subjected to a hostile work environment. Who wants to work for a king who does not care about his staff and just the money? There is an imbalance in the business, and it is after all just business, but the staff is what makes the king powerful. The staff is the ultimate key to the success of the business, and the power of the king. The chess board is being played by someone else, because though the king is in power. The king has deadlines, licensing, insurance claims, legal issues, and many other issues to handle on a daily basis including loss prevention/food cost. The king has got to look into his heart, and find the reason he started doing the business. Though, yes, we understand it is to make money but is money so important his internal and external customers have to suffer as he crushes his team to make the extra million or two.

Psychological warfare is played by everyone in the Restaurant business even the pawns, but though it is played by everyone in the business it is the source of power which makes the biggest impact on the business and the impression on the person. Telling someone they are not special is not empathetic to the person’s situation. It is cruel! Who would continue to work for someone who gets mad if you are late because every day is different, and every day brings a new challenge? The challenge is to find the one person who stands separate from the rude comments, and the negativity in the palace of sanity or insanity. It overall has affected this person to hear all the rude comments internally, and externally, but when the person starts utilizing the knowledge to set boundaries around their personal perspective, and emotional faults. The person has the ability to become more than just a pawn in the game of psychological warfare. The ability to influence people to help others be successful is influential to this type of environment. Look for the positive in the sharks gliding along on top while you are struggling to swim to the top. Life is a ladder in order to succeed you must keep climbing even after you’ve met the highest level of accomplishment. The issue is we all get comfortable in our positions, but when a person is constantly subject to change and rotation. The growth is exponential internally and externally the customers such as staff and guests know you will take care of their needs, but the acknowledgment and respect from the employees is even greater. The staff learns to appreciate and will go out of their way to help this person.

The kicker. How would you feel having to go to work every day knowing the powerful chess pieces are not able to make a person quit and give up? Ultimately, in order to carry the briefcase, you have to be able to handle every aspect of the chess board and the pieces in which the board allows a move. What happens when you run out of moves? Does the game end, or do you find yourself restarting the game? The guests always come first, but for the king, it is his wishes above the guest. I am served first because I am the owner, and because I am above you the attitude is; I am hungry feed me! Is this right? Is this wrong? Who ultimately fires the employee/customer? I would say the employee/customer fires themselves or just give up, but when the employee/customer gives into this type of treatment. They start to forget the external customer, and don’t care about their lives; they just focus on keeping their jobs to sustain their lives.

The king has won, and the queen has been given the satisfaction of crushing an internal adversary while using his tools such as the manager, bishop, knight, and the rook to affect the pawns in the game, and the effect is the end game. The pawn could be just as powerful as the more powerful pieces in this business all they have to do is think effectively to strategize how to understand the opponent/worker and never let your opponent know what your next move will be until you make it, but while you make the next move make sure the opponent thinks thoroughly about their next move. I would suggest always be three to four steps ahead, and think first before you try and make your next move. In this case the owner and the management. Knowing there dislikes about certain ways of shutting down the restaurant, and adjusting the environment to where the king does not complain to the queen, the bishop, knight, or the rook about who is at fault for things not done. It makes the pawn in the game highly effective in keeping a distance from the powerful opponents, but instead can take action to see, avoid, and stop the stronger opponents’ warpath when the time is right. I would say the two teams are equal but when you clock in the time for moving is essential to being at war with the other team. Every business has what you would call the bottom feeders of the company. The employee who is off the radar, and is doing the minimal amount of work puts more work on other employees. The situation could be approached and redirected without having to crush the internal pieces on the board, but it continues to happen daily as the manipulation and problems are not addressed.

The chess board and psychological warfare in this type of business crushes an intellect and drains the mind of a strong-willed person. The term. “Treats others how you want to be treated” is trumped by others trying to harness and gain power. The game of leaving things which should be put away as soon as an opener opens the door instead throws the previous shift under the bus, and left for road kill. The person who does this stands by and lets the others take the fall when the king complains. Why wasn’t this done? The direct response, for example, is they did not do it yesterday or last night. The initial response the king should say is. “Who opened this morning? Why is this not done?” Instead, the king, lacking the team approach, in turn, is not contributing to the team effort and only thinking of who to blame? Instead, he walks around ranting and raving about what is not done and who is to blame. He should’ve asked the team to get the job done in an effort to alleviate the problem.

Hiring people who say they can do the job, but they really do not have the necessary skills to do the job is another thing. We see this in politics, restaurant businesses, casinos, hotels… Interviewing people who feed you the information you want to hear have the ability to get the job, but when they have the job are unable to perform. All talk and no action. The person is hired to point their fingers and talk crap about others while insuring their faults are not looked at when questioned the person points the finger at the other employees. It drives staff members crazy when this happens and more problems develop. The person fails at ordering, preparation, job knowledge, and constructively critiquing staff because of lack of training. Where is the training, manager? In turn, this person is a fast talker in the circus of employment and does the same thing in the scenario with the king when confronted. The person is special in his own aspect, but is sadly also replaceable, as am I for writing this article? “Not an admission of guilt!”

Longevity or job tenure! What is it and why is it important? In a never-ending changing world, the environment of the restaurant is never the same for too long. Employees who have worked for the company for long periods of time develop methods of manipulation. It doesn’t matter if you are a man or a woman in this scenario because if you have worked for the company for 10 years they have what is called seniority. It means individual employees have an investment where they have invested time and energy to see the company grow and expand as they have grown and expanded their positions, but what happens when the person is a new piece on the chess board and the people who have an investment in the company manipulate the new people? The employees who are new have no idea the environment they are about to embark on. The senior employee who knows their position well has the ability to manipulate others in the work field through scheduling, job duties, and like the king make others feel like they should quit through manipulation causing damage to the person’s perspective, and though the employee feels good about themselves it creates a hostile work environment. Here is an example. In the restaurant business servers who are hogging tables, and not sharing the load with their teammates to ensure everyone has a chance at making money. In order to knock the opponent off of the chess board, the senior employee manipulates the situation while the manager lets this behavior happen without addressing the situation and seating the restaurant accordingly. When this is done effectively the workplace is friendly and engaging, but without balance it is chaos, and thus the question. Who is running the asylum? We all know everyone needs a job and money to sustain a life so the newer employees allow this behavior unknowingly, or if they know the employee will complain to management and lose hope if nothing is done. The newer employee does not know how to respond, or how to handle the situation, and this is how we end up with a self-destructing employee; meaning the employee ends their employment with the company. How would you handle the situation? Who would you turn to if management does nothing, and the senior employee is large and in charge of the aquarium swimming alongside the sharks at the top of the food chain?

In conclusion, a book could be written on the number of issues associated with the restaurant business or any business, but in order to survive the business you must set yourself apart from the chess pieces and the board of checkered boxes, and tell yourself. “It’s just a job in which you are solely making the decision to work in this type of environment.”