Sunday 3 August 2014

Sunday Story - Garage Days by Scott Christian Carr

While reading through the entries for the monthly short fiction contest I end up with a short list of contenders. July's short fiction contest proved no different with a substantial number of excellent stories. There can only be three winners, but I still want to showcase some of these stories and you'll soon see why it's so difficult to pick the winners each month!

This first example is a slightly different take on the month's image:

Garage Days by Scott Christian Carr

Sometimes I feel just like a gerbil, running around and around on his wheel. But not today. Today, something is in the air. It’s too quiet. Too still. An eerie calm—a strange sense of foreboding change permeates the neighborhood. Things have been slow, of late. Too slow, and getting slower. Harder and harder to make ends meet. But what’s an Exorcist to do? Take things one day at a time, I suppose. What else can you do?

But it’s not easy. No one ever said it was. Not for a self-made man—an entrepreneur who works out of his home. Or out of his garage, as the case may be. Just seven clients last week (down from my usual 20+, booked solid, by-appointment-only schedule…) and only three this week. And today is already Thursday.

Old Man Bart just left, and he’s one of my regulars. Good for an appointment at least every other week, sometimes three a month. Some folks just can’t keep the demons out. Others just can’t resist that easy old road of excess and temptation. And some just like to play it safe. And who can blame them? Not me—the Lamb of God may be our Savior, but finding Him isn’t so easy or simple as they’d have you think. Certainly not like it was in the Old Days, before the dark, before the fire…

I just sent Old Bart home with a clean conscience, clear mind and reclaimed soul. The whole Ordeal was almost too easy. After only five hours of writhing around on my garage floor, spitting venom and puking bile, Old Scratch had unexpectedly just given up and let Bart go. I hadn’t even had to strap him down this time. I hadn’t needed to singe his forehead with the crucifix or burn him with the holy water. No kosher salt in his eyes. No Eucharist wafers duct-taped into his mouth. No oil swabs or ashes in his ears. Just a few hours of forceful prayer, commanding Satan to relinquish his hold, and the job was done. Yeah, either Old Scratch is getting lazy, or something’s in the air…

I’ve noticed small changes. The blood in the gutters hasn’t been overflowing into the streets. The rift in the sky has been looking less and less like an infected boil and more like a vicious summer storm. Even the maggots, the walking dead and the screaming blood-furies seem to have lost some of their vigor—it’s been hard to sleep, with the nights so unusually quiet.

And the neighbors! Don’t get me started on the neighbors. Just a glance at my nigh-empty appointment book sends shudders of worry up my spine. These are desperate times, and without the income I’d come to depend on, how will I eat? Keep warm? How will I live?

As I write this something is happening in the sky. A break in the volcanic clouds. A rip in the sulfurous canopy... For a moment the world seems to freeze. Then the roiling plumes of smog part and, I shit you not, an actual sunbeam busts its way through. Shining down, all golden and clean. Seeming to touch ground not a mile away—but you know how these things can be further off than they seem. Still, there it is.

Yeah, something’s in the air all right. It almost feels as if the Season might be changing again, for the first time in over a decade. Could be that the Worm has turned…

Whatever it is, I don’t like it. Doesn’t bode well for business. Times are tough enough without having to worry about work. But what’s an Exorcist to do? Take it one day at a time, I suppose…



  1. The Short Fiction Contest rules state a maximum of 500 words, but this entry exceeds that greatly, being 621 words long.

  2. I'm the author, and so thrilled to find this here...!!! Thank you so much for posting this, and thank you for the kinds words - they mean so much :) --Scott