Wrong House! (Rating – High)

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Wrong House!
By Armando Almase
August 13, 2015

It was around seven o’clock in the afternoon, and I was in the kitchen getting some ice-water for Carrie and Brice; the kids were in the Computer Room, watching cartoons. Julie, my wife, was in the basement doing laundry that we’d put off for far to long.

I found myself staring at the dark brown curtains hanging from the dining room windows, which we also used for the kitchen, as I began screwing the lids onto the kid’s cups. Suddenly, somebody began banging on the closed door which led from the dining room to the basement. “It’s not locked, Julie!”, I said. What’s the deal?

After tightening the lid on Brice’s monster cup, I began walking toward the door. The banging continued and the annoying sound grew louder as I approached. As I reached for the doorknob, it happened – a vertical crack began to form in the center of the door’s lower half. Then the door began to split up the middle and a large brown boot appeared through the opening. Massive amounts of adrenaline began pumping through my body and I started shaking.

Then I noticed the door’s handle was locked; Julie must’ve mistakenly locked it behind her out of habit. I stepped back several feet and frantically looked around the room for something sharp. As the banging on the door stopped, I could hear my kids talking from the other end of the house, but then somebody started knocking on the front door.

I turned and observed a person, standing on the other side of the semi-transparent decorative glass, centered in the door. They were knocking on the glass with their left hand, and in their right, I observed a large unidentified object.

I ran down the hallway toward my children, locking the hallway door behind me. When I reached the Computer Room, Carrie and Brice were still sitting on the sofa.

“Kids, get in my room, now! Hide in the closet!” I said sternly.

“Why, dad?” Carrie replied.

“Just do it!”

I followed my kids to the bedroom and grabbed the 9MM semi-automatic pistol from the safe in the nightstand, then positioned myself behind the partial wall near the opening of the closet door. I ordered my kids to remain on the floor, at the far-end of the closet.

I pulled back on the pistol’s slide, just far enough to observe a hollow-point bullet in the chamber. I stood with the gun aimed at the hallway door and waited for one of those assholes to open it.

Then, the bedroom’s phone rang; it wasn’t an incoming call from an outside line, it was the phone’s intercom system. Somebody inside the house was using one of the other cordless phones to call the bedroom.

I turned my head and saw the phone on the nightstand next to me, and pulled it to my ear. “Yeah?”

“Babe, it’s me.”


“Listen, there are at least three people in the house. I’m hiding under a pile of clothes in the laundry room. They haven’t seen me.”


“Are the kids safe?”

“Yeah, I’ve got them with me in the bedroom.”

“We need the police.”

“I’ll call. Stay where you are! Julie? I’m coming for y-!”

The phone line went dead. I’m going to fucking kill these people! “Kids! Stay there! Do not move until I come back!”

I locked the closet door from the inside and closed the door. I removed two fully loaded 9MM magazines from the gun safe and pushed them into the front pocket of my shorts, along with a TAC knife which I shoved in my back pocket.

I walked slowly toward the hallway door and observed the shadows of two feet from the other side. With my gun aimed at the center of the door, I fired two bullets from my pistol as I continued walking. Two holes had formed in the door and the shadows from the feet disappeared.

I unlocked the deadbolt, turned the doorknob, and pulled open the door. Leaning back against the wall, opposite the bathroom, was a stalky, unidentified twenty-something male, holding his chest. His hands were covered in blood which was dripping onto his shoes and an old, rusty sledgehammer laid at his feet. I aimed the gun at his head and squeezed the trigger. His head snapped to the left and his Trucker Hat flew off his head, as his body dropped sideways to the floor.

My kids began screaming from inside the closet. I turned and ran back toward my bedroom, “Are you guys OK?”

“Yeah, daddy! What’s that loud noise?”

“Just stay there and keep the door locked!”

I turned again to face the hallway and noticed the man I had shot in the head, was gone. On the floor was a smeared trail of blood which led across the hallway to the bathroom.

As I began walking back down the hallway, I placed my back against the wall as I approached the bathroom, and began side-stepping, hoping to gain a tactical advantage. Lying face down on the bathroom floor was the young man I had shot. Stepping just inside the doorway, I aimed my pistol at the back of his neck and squeezed the trigger. The force from the bullet created such an enormous hole in his occipital bone that I could clearly see the linoleum floor.

I stepped back into the hallway and continued toward the front, west-end of the house. I reached the intersection between the dining room, front door, and living room. Do I clear the living room first, or the dining room and kitchen? “Fuck it!” I said to myself as I entered the kitchen.

What remained of the dining room-basement door was hanging from the frame’s hinges. Julie better be alright! Suddenly, I heard footsteps approach from behind me. I spun around and an unidentified, middle-aged female was standing ten feet in front of me, and wielding a large hunting knife in her right hand. My 9MM was aimed at her chest and my finger had pressure on the trigger.

“You invaded the wrong house!” I said as I squeezed, firing two bullets into her sternum. The woman staggered backward as blood began to appear through the front of her brown flannel shirt.

Suddenly, I heard slow and heavy footsteps approaching on the stairs from the basement. “Julie!?” I said quietly, as the footsteps continued, and I turned to face the approaching footsteps. Another unidentified male appeared at the doorway, grinning. You’re a big fucker.

I aimed my 9MM at the giant’s chest and squeezed off two rounds, center mass. The large man took one step backward and looked down at the bullet holes in his pine-green sweatshirt. No blood. I fired off two more rounds at his stomach. The man stumbled sideways, falling against the dining room table, and a small pattern of blood began to form near his navel.

“HAHAHAHA!” The giant laughed.

“A FUCKING VEST!?” I yelled, as he looked at me and grinned, and I began walking back into the kitchen.

He pushed himself up off the table, adjusted the unseen body armor underneath his clothes, and began walking toward me again.

“DADDY!?” Carrie screamed. My kids were running down the hallway toward the dining room.

“STAY BACK!” I yelled as the large male lunged toward me, and I observed my two children behind the giant, as I fired two un-aimed bullets at the man as he fell on top of me.

When I opened my eyes, I found myself on the ground and the monster was lying motionless across my stomach. I grabbed the wet, matted mop of hair on top of his head and pushed upward to look at his face; at least one bullet had connected because what remained of his nose, upper jaw, and left eye was inside his skull. The kitchen and dining room were now dark, A bullet must’ve struck the ceiling light.

My vision quickly adjusted as I looked toward the dining room, but my kids were gone. I scanned the floor around me and noticed my pistol laid to my left. After I rolled the three-hundred-pound male off of me and sat up, I used my shirt sleeve to wipe the blood from my face; as I reached for my gun, I heard a voice from the shadows.

“Don’t move, asshole,” A man said from the hallway, “I’ve got your fucking kids!”

“Listen, you fucking coward! If you-.”


I heard footsteps approaching again from the basement but this time they were quiet and careful. My eyes remained on the man’s faint silhouette in the hallway. “Daddy,” Carrie said, “he turned off the lights.” I could also hear my little boy sobbing in the distance.

In my peripheral vision, I saw a figure standing at the top of the basement stairs to my left, and I quickly looked toward the doorway; it was Julie with her finger to her mouth. I fixed my eyes back at the man in the hallway, “What do you want?”

“I want your children.”

“You know that’s not going to happen,” I said as I stood up.

Suddenly, I felt a sharp pain near my liver; I looked down and observed a small, homemade knife sticking out of my shirt. I’m not dying until my kids are safe. I raised my head and stared at the man, holding my children.

“Stay the fuck back! I’m walking out of here with these kids, and you’re not going to stop me!”

I began walking slowly toward the older male, as he backed up into the foyer. When I reached the dining room entrance, I noticed the front door was opened behind him. “You’re so dead!” I said to him.

Clinched tightly in his hands were my kid’s shirt collars, and the whites of his bony knuckles reflected the dim light shining through the front door. Something’s not right. As I looked closer at his hands, I noticed those weren’t his knuckles reflecting the light; he was wearing brass knuckle knives on both hands, and the blades were pressed against my children’s necks.

I looked up and stared into his eyes, “You know… I’m going to fucking kill you,” I said.

“Hmph!” He slightly chuckled with a grin.

I heard Julie crawling on the dining room floor behind me. Keep your eyes on me, you ugly fuck! The room’s too dark for him to see her.

“Let my children go,” I said, as Julie picked-up my gun from the floor in the kitchen. I leaned to my right, bracing myself against the wood molding of the dining room entrance, as the shiv sticking out of my shirt jarred inside me. The pain was increasing and I knew I didn’t have much time. With the right side of my body already out of view from the man, I extended my right hand from my side.

Julie placed the grip of the gun in my hand, but unfortunately, I was left-handed. Please, God! I looked at my children and said, “Close your eyes”.

With a speed and accuracy of which I never before possessed, I fired a single bullet toward the man’s forehead; his head snapped backward, and my children were freed from his grasp.

Carrie quickly grabbed her brother and held him close, as the man fell backward, toward the front door; his neck was lying on the floor plate of the doorway. Julie ran out into the foyer and grabbed our kids, holding them tightly against her chest. My family began crying, as they collapsed to the floor.

I pushed the 9MM into the back-waist of my shorts and walked toward the man who laid on the ground; the bullet grazed the right side of his skull and he was still alive, and the brass knuckle blades were loose in his hands.

I knelt down and straddled the man’s chest, pinning his arms with my knees against the tile floor. I looked into his eyes as I slowly removed the TAC knife from my back pocket, and exposing the five-inch blade from the handle. The man’s expression of uncertainty turned to fear.

I began to hear the faint sound of sirens approaching from up the road, which grew louder by the second. “BABE!” Julie yelled. I placed the tip of my knife at a slight angle against the man’s neck, between his lower jaw and his trachea.

Feeling relaxed and slightly off-balance, I re-positioned myself to allow my one-hundred-ninety-pound body to apply enough force needed to remove the man’s head from his shoulders, with a single motion.

I glanced up to observed the emergency vehicles beginning to enter the steep driveway, then, looking into the man’s eyes, I smiled…

(Disclaimer: This story was based closely on a personal dream. The descriptions of characters and/or their names, if resemble a likeness to any person, living or dead, is purely coincidental. – Armando Almase.)

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Old Man and Little Boat (Rating – Mild)

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Old Man and Little Boat

July 3, 2015

By Armando Almase

       Once upon a time, there was an old man named, Viktor. He lived alone in a small house near the sea. He grew fruits and vegetables in a garden and collected fresh water from a nearby waterfall. Viktor was an avid fisherman and loved the variety of seafood found in the sea.

       Viktor’s best friend was named Little Boat. When Viktor was a young man, he found this little tugboat washed up on the shore. The tiny boat had been badly damaged and abandoned. Viktor felt sorry for this little boat, and couldn’t understand how somebody could’ve abandoned it.

       Piece by piece, Viktor carried the boat back to his home, where he began to rebuild and repair this little tugboat. For many years, Viktor worked day and night, stopping only to eat and sleep. Fortunately, the boat’s engine was in good shape and only needed minor repairs and cleaning.

       The night before Viktor’s thirtieth birthday, he worked extra late, until finally, he finished. Exhausted, Viktor drifted off to sleep. He was so tired that instead of going back to his home, he fell asleep on his boat.

       Early the next morning, as the sun began to rise, Viktor was startled awake by an unusual dream. “Little Boat!” cried Viktor as he awakened. Viktor picked himself up off the floor and sat down in the captain’s chair.

       “Today is my thirtieth birthday, my friend!” said Viktor and he wrapped his arms around the steering wheel. “I’m going to name you, Little Boat.”

       Just then, something amazing happened. The boat began to hum. Startled, Viktor jumped out of his seat. The strange humming sound grew louder and louder until finally, from deep within the boat’s engine, Viktor heard:

       “Huummm-hello!” said Little Boat.

       “H-hello?” replied Viktor.

       Viktor’s jaw dropped and his eyes widened. “How, how are you talking?”

       “I don’t know.”

       Viktor began rubbing his eyes and shook his head. “You can speak!”

       “Yes, I can speak but only to you, my friend.”

       Viktor walked back to the engine compartment. “May I see your engine?”

       “Yes, you may but please be careful.”

       Viktor pulled open the floor panel that covered Little Boat’s engine and began carefully looking inside. Viktor observed the usual parts: the fuel pump, a fresh water pump, salt water pump, and the exhaust manifold.

       Then Viktor noticed something unusual: Near the oil pump, was something he hadn’t noticed before…

       “You have a heart!?” yelled Viktor as he chuckled.

       “Is that surprising?” replied Little Boat.

       “Well, yes!”

       “Why are you surprised, my friend?”

       “I’ve never seen a boat with a heart!”

       “Dear friend, you took great care in repairing me. Your love and compassion brought me to life. I was a stranger to you. You had nothing to gain by helping me, but you did anyway. I will always be your friend,” said Little Boat.

       During the next fifty years, Viktor and Little Boat would travel great distances together and have many wonderful adventures. The two friends were inseparable. Viktor no longer slept in his little house, near the sea. Viktor’s home was now Little Boat.

       The day finally came when Viktor said to Little Boat, “My dear friend, for many years we’ve traveled together, experiencing all that the sea had to offer. I believe it’s time for us to retire. I am old, and we must admit that you’ve seen better days.”

       “Yes, we have traveled the world. I cannot imagine there’s a place we haven’t been,” said Little Boat, “although you’ve taken great care of me over the years, my body is rusting and my engine is old. My heart is weak but remains full of love.”

       For the next ten years, Viktor and Little boat enjoyed the quiet life, retelling their stories to anybody that would listen. Viktor had grown weak and was unable to continue with general repairs and maintenance of Little Boat.

       The night before Viktor’s ninetieth birthday, it was especially windy. Viktor was startled awake by the dream. “Little Boat!” cried Viktor as he awakened.

       “What’s wrong, my friend?” said Little Boat.

       “Oh, na-nothing, I just had-a-a horrible dream.”

       “It’s OK,” replied Little Boat, “I had the same dream.”

       Viktor looked puzzled, “What do you mea-“.

       Just then, Viktor was interrupted by a man yelling in the distance, “Viktor, Viktor!”

       Viktor picked himself up off the floor and leaned over the starboard side of Little Boat. “What is it?” asked Viktor.

       “A family! There’s a family in trouble!”


       The man explained that a man, woman, and their two children are stranded on a island due to a tropical storm which hit their home and destroyed their boat. They have no shelter and no food. The storm has torn everything apart.

       “Viktor, I know this is too much to ask, but they need your help. There’s nobody else who knows these waters like you. The storm has caused tremendous damage and all of the rescue vessels have been lost at sea.”

       “How do we know they’re still alive?” asked Viktor.

       “The captain of a rescue vessel radioed our tower moments before his radio went silent. The captain of the vessel claimed that he observed this family waving and shouting from the shore, but was unable to reach them.”

       “I’m ready!” said Little Boat.

        “I’m sorry,” said Viktor to the man, “but we are old and tired. We no longer possess the strength for adventure.”

        “Please Viktor? You’re their only hope.” replied the man as he turned and walked away.

        Viktor slumped down into his captain’s chair. “Little Boat, I’m sorry but we cannot do this.”

       “Dear friend, when we first met, I was a stranger to you but you showed me love and compassion. You cared for me and brought me to life.”

       Viktor wrapped his brittle hands around Little Boat’s steering wheel. “Yes, you’re right,” replied Viktor as he closed his eyes. “Are you ready for one last adventure?”

       “I am ready, dear friend.”

       With a heavy heart, Viktor untied Little Boat from the dock and the two friends set out to sea, into the darkness. Hundreds of miles and hours from home, Viktor and Little Boat approached the island where the family was seen. “Do you see anyone, Little Boat?” Viktor asked as he shined the spotlight toward the shore.

       “No, I don-wait!” yelled Little Boat, “There, in the east, by the shore!”

       Viktor increased the throttle, and as they got closer to the island, Viktor spotted four people, jumping and waving their arms.

       “Ahoy!” yelled Viktor.

       “Ahoy, there!” yelled the man.

       “Are you the only ones on the island?”

       “We are! It’s a small community and everybody else made it off the island before the storm hit.”

       As the family boarded Little Boat, Viktor asked, “How is it you are the only on the island?”

       “We received little warning of the approaching storm. My children had set off earlier in the day, as they always do, exploring the island. By the time we saw the storm heading our direction, my wife and I couldn’t leave because our children had not returned home.”

       The group made their way back out to sea and headed for home. “We’ll take you back to our island,” Said Viktor.

       “Sir, if it’s all the same to you, my brother and his family live on the island in the north. Will you take us there?” asked the man’s wife.

       Viktor sighed, “That’s one hundred miles in the opposite direction.”

       “We should bring them to their family,” Said Little Boat.

       “Alright,” said Viktor, “we’ll take you to your family.”

       The man’s wife and children wrapped their arms around Viktor, “Oh thank you, sir!” they said.

       Hours later, the group arrived at their destination and the man, his wife, and their children de-boarded Little Boat.

       “Thanks again!” yelled the two children as they stepped onto the shore.

       As Little Boat turned toward home, Viktor waved “goodbye” to the family.

       “Are you glad we helped them?” asked Little Boat.

       “I suppose it was the right thing to do,” replied Viktor.

       As Viktor and Little Boat approached the island where they picked-up the family, the sun began to rise in the east and Little Boat’s engine began to sputter.

       “Little Boat, what’s wrong?” asked Viktor.

       “Dear friend, I… I grow weak”.

       “Come on, Little Boat! We can make it home!”

       Little Boat increased his throttle and his engine began to chug. “Yes, Little Boat, you can do it!”

       Suddenly there was a loud “BANG!”, which came from Little Boat’s engine.

       “Oh no!” cried Viktor.

       Viktor walked to Little Boat’s stern, lifted the floorboard that covered the engine compartment, and smoke began to roll out from inside the engine.

       “I’m sorry, my friend,” said Little Boat.

       “What’s happened?”

       “It’s m-my heart.”

       Viktor leaned down and observed a red liquid dripping out of Little Boat’s heart.

       “How do I fix it?” Viktor asked as tears began to roll down his face.

       “You cannot fix my heart, it’s not made of nuts and bolts and metal. My heart was made from the love and generosity you showed me when we first met.”

       Viktor fell to his knees and began to weep.

       “My dear friend, we knew this journey was to be our last,” said Little Boat.

       Viktor lied down on the floor. “I’m so tired, Little Boat”.

       “I know, my friend.”

       “Today is my birthday, Little Boat.”

       “I know, it’s my birthday too.”

       “What do you mean?”

       “The morning of your thirtieth birthday was the day I was born.” Replied Little Boat.

       “Wha-? Oh no!” cried Viktor.

       “What’s wrong, my friend?”

       “I’ve never celebrated your birthday!” replied Viktor as he tightly closed his eyes, “I’m so sorry!”

       “It’s alright, father.”

       Viktor placed his hand on top of Little Boat’s engine.

       “It’s almost time,” said Little Boat with a weakened voice.

       “We had many wonderful adventures together, my son, I love you,” Viktor said as his eyes closed and his heart stopped.

       “I love you, father,” said Little Boat as the last remaining drops of liquid fell from his heart.

       The sea became silent and still, and the wind stopped.  Moments later, a rumbling sound began to emerge, from deep within the water.  Suddenly, from underneath the boat, the sea raised her mighty arms high into the sky, “My son’s! You’ve given your lives, so that others may live. I’m taking you home,” she said as she wrapped herself around Little Boat and Viktor, pulling them down into her dark embrace.

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The journey continues…

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Revised Book Cover - March 2015

The Road to Burnout, Revised, by Armando Almase

There was no “after work” or “vacation”. We were never truly “off”, or at least that’s how it felt. Our obligation was to “help”.

“The tragedy of 9/11 was still fresh in our minds, and we had an elevated sense of paranoia. It didn’t help that Vegas SWAT responded weekly to calls downtown, and the cops and FD always needed us for something.

Combine all of that with the almost two million people in Clark County that called “911” throughout the year, and you’ve got one hundred thirty-five, full-time EMT’s with a five-year life expectancy.”

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