Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Chapter Two: The Assassin

"When my mind broke it was a party in his honor.
The King was dead.
And I vowed no man would suppress me again.
FOR LONG LIVE THE QUEEN!”
~ Master Assassin Allison "Allie" Baya

One of my favorite regulars started coming after I got my liquor license and started serving as a full bar as well. Her name? Allison ‘Allie’ Baya. She was a known assassin that loved my place. She was an amazing woman; one would never guess she was a highly trained assassin. She was tall, with blood red and pink spiked short hair, her eyes were so dark of brown they looked black, her signature clothing was black leather pants, leather knee high boots with a six inch stiletto heel, blood red leather corset style top, and a black leather jacket. We talked about a lot of nothing, missions we both had been on, the government that denies the jobs we have done, the lovers in our past, the fact the Unions Baseball team are creations of Lucifer (he states that was all his dear ole Daddy), and how the Green Sox (the team Lucifer states was his creation) were preforming that year. One night, late at night, we were the only ones in the place and she finally told me her past.
            Allie smiled. “Well, I guess you could say I woke up from an abusive relationship…”
            Allie did what she was supposed to do, go to school, get married, but the man was abusive at best, and would kill her one day at worst. He was cheating on her. But she had been raised to be this man’s wife. She took it until the straw that broke the camel’s back came falling down.
            Her father had basically sold her to her husband. Any rebellion as a child had been met with pain. To avoid death she became what she was raised to be, a silent possession of a man.
            With each beating it broke her mind more and more. Each rape destroyed her mind bit by bit. The pain cracked her soul. But as her mind broke the need to get away grew.
            Especially when she discovered she was pregnant.
            So she started to plan. She had to be careful and plot her rebellion.
            Then one night it came to head. She didn’t want to fight. She let him say and do what he wanted, but he took offence she was no longer fighting and he started to beat her. And as she tried to protect her unborn child she knew it would end in her greatest failure. That night her mind finally fully broke along with her body.
            The man who called himself her husband had made his last mistake. As she laid in the hospital she vowed she would make sure he paid for his capital crime. She had said her last ‘I’m Sorry’ while crawling on the floor in fear and her blood.
            Allie looked at the man who had left her black and blue, who had killed her unborn child, she picked up the axe; she lifted it above his form, before she lost the courage to change her life, using the weight of the axe and all her power she brought it down on his neck. She took a picture and sent it to her father who forced her to marry the man. “The King Is Dead! Long Live The Queen!” She captioned it, showing her hold his head up and a manic smile on her face.
She was found dancing with his head in his blood by the police an hour later. “It’s a party in his honor!” She yelled at them. And it was a party in honor of the son she lost.
The man who took her son’s life, the man almost broke her soul taking her son, was now dead, and paid for his crime.
But she vowed that no man would ever get the best of this Queen again!
            Allie stood in court and smiled at the female judge. “Your honor, I choose you to hear my trail. I want to make a statement.” She took a deep breath. “I was forced into the marriage by my father. He was abusive and was going to kill me. So I married his friend. But the friend was worse. I was raped on a nightly basis. He cheated on me. He beat me to an inch of my life. I had to fight for every breath I have taken in this world. They underestimated me. He beat me to an inch of my life and killed my unborn child, your honor.” Allie could see the tears start in the woman’s eyes. “So, I staged my revolution. I evolved past the meek door mat. My revolution left me bruised, broken, bloody, dying. So, I took the axe in a moment of desperation. I preformed my final act of defiance. My mind broke. I killed him. And then danced in his blood as he spilt mine and my child’s, upon the floor of my prison. Your honor, this was an act of a woman with nothing left to lose. Of a woman with a broken body and mind, but not heart or soul, a woman who needed to win her revolution or lose what little she had left of her soul. Please, forgive me your honor.”
            Less than an hour, actually it was forty-seven minutes, was all it took for the judge to deliberate and come to her verdict. Allie came out with a not guilty by reason of temporary insanity. She was free to go. She stood on the steps of the court house. The Kings that ruled her life were either now arrested in jail, or dead. And that left her, the Queen, very much alive. She smirked at the statue of justice. “No lies were told, no secrets left unturned, there are punishments that fit the crime, but I committed no crime. Look at me in all my glory, Justice, nobody will ever get this Queen.”
            Allie walked off that steps of that court house and found a league of assassins who taught her, who took her in, who built her back up. Who truly made her ‘The Queen.’
            “So that is my story.” Allie finished as she finished her Black and Tan. “I was done, and needed a clean slate. The King is Dead, but The Queen is Very Much Alive!” She cheered.
            I topped off her drink, and I raised mine to her. “GOD BLESS THE QUEEN!” I yelled as I toasted to her. Perhaps, one day, I could tell her my story.


Thursday, March 26, 2020

Chapter One: The First Villain

"One event was all it took to break the hero in me. 
What started as vengeance got me labeled the villain. 
But all it took was one event."


Daniel.

Well, that is his real name.

When he first came in to my café I admit even I was attracted to him. He was just my type. The opposite of what people expected from me. He was smart. Sweet. Polite. A Gentleman. Should have known he was gay.

What I would find out later was that he was a villain.

But honestly, what is a villain? Nobody is born a villain. They are made that way.

Sometimes, it is just the choices they make that seem for the greater good that turn around and bite them in the ass.

One event.

That is all it takes. One event.

Rather the event takes seconds, days, weeks, months, or years. It just takes one event to change the hero into the villain.

But sometimes.

Just sometimes, it can take one person to save the villain and redeem them; then again…

Sometimes the villain doesn’t need to be saved…

Daniel was one of those villains that didn’t need to be saved. Yes, he was ‘evil’ but what was evil? I mean was anybody pure evil? He wasn’t. After all, I happen to know he has a soft spot for kids.

But when I first met Daniel he was just a typical customer who came in and got a cup of Earl Grey tea and sat down with his notebook and ignored the world around him.

One day as I walked over to refill his cup he asked me a question.

“What are your thoughts on humanity?” He asked as he shipped his tea.

“As a whole we are pretty fucked up. The general population is blind to the majority of what is going on in the world. It takes something major for them to wake up. Example that fucking man in his underwear flying around dropping things through roofs just so he can catch a ‘bad guy.’” Yes, I made the air quotation marks. “We are always in a hurry. Why? We all live. We all die. Good. Bad. All subjective.” I picked up a few scattered newspapers and magazines. “What are your thoughts?”

“Humans are needy creatures who need constant praise and validation that they are doing right. It makes them the perfect species to dominate allowing my world domination plans to come to fruition.”

“World domination?”

“Well, yes in general. I will be ruler.”

“How about free will? Freedoms. The ability to make our own choices? I would never be subjected to a totalitarian rule.”

“I mean.... you are right people have to make their own choices and have free will...” He shrugged. “But the majority all want someone to make the choices. To give them the illusion of free will. To give them the illusion of a choice but no actual choice. And of course, you would be exempt from my total rule. You are neutral territory. And you don’t treat me differently. You are different.”

I snorted. “Okay, Daniel. Cause any damage to my shop and you pay for it.”

Daniel smiled. “Of course, dear Switzerland.”

“I do have a name you know?” I laughed.

“Well, yes. But I like your code name better.”

“My code name, given by you and not the one I had for the government, is a name of a country.”

He shrugged. “What was your code name?”

I smirked. “Pray one day you don’t find out Daniel.” I walked back to my counter and back into my kitchen.

We had conversations like this for a while. He would try to get details from me. And I would get details from him.

“You are a genius! Why never go to college?” He asked one day when we were discussing some math for some weapon he was creating.

I just raised an eyebrow. “And how do you know if I have or not?” I asked as I turned and served a guest their coffee and doughnut.

Daniel sighed. “I hacked your file. Found you graduated from high school right before you were fifteen.”

“So?”

“I even was sixteen when I graduated and I am a certified genius with an eidetic memory!”

“So?”

“You must have a similar mind as mine!”

“Or I am a very good forger.” I stated as I turned to go into the kitchen for a moment.

“That may be but this was when you were a child! You had no reason to forge a picture of you in the paper getting your diploma!” He yelled back at me.

I came back out with a try of cookies and put them into the display case. “I will make you a deal Danny Boy. Tell me why you choose this path,” I waved my hand towards his ‘evil’ plans. “And I will tell you why I didn’t go to college.”

Daniel looked at her and tilted his head. “I will get one question a day and you will answer me truthfully.”

I nodded. After all I had a silver tongue and could bend the truth, it was an easy concession.

Daniel sighed. “It wasn’t anything big in terms of world destroying, besides my world. Really. But it was enough for me…” He shrugged. “It was fifteen years ago…”

Daniel was happy. He was thirteen and he finally had heard the words that his father was proud of him. Why? He had fought back and broke that face of the older boy who was bullying him. His father was a blue collared worker and had been an abusive drunk towards his mother and him. It was why Daniel escaped into his studies. It was why in three years he would be out of high school and able to escape for college. He was fascinated with technology and engineering and already had a few patents on a few different types of pieces of technology. One day he would own his own company. He swore it to himself.

But there was something about that pride. It gave him a rush. He wondered what it would be like to stand up to all those hurt him. Or dare hurt his baby sister. She was only five and such a smart cute child. Soon he found himself taking martial arts classes as well, and he got himself a bit of rep of taking on the bullies. He was a ‘hero’ in his neighborhood. He used his brains and brawns. It wasn’t long before he had an outfit that would move with him but protect him from knives that the thugs carried. He was close to making it bullet proof even! He could grow up to be a hero!

He was sixteen when it all went up in flames. He had tussled with the wrong ‘bully’. That would end up being the catalyst to his change.

He had to leave for an award event and would be gone but a day. He was so excited. It was a scholarship to CTU! Charles Technology University was the best in the country for engineering! He would be able to make so many connections that his dream of having the leading company in the world for technology advancement was slowly moving forward! He had packed and kissed his sister goodbye, made sure there was food in the fridge, and made sure that bastard he had as an old man had enough beer to pass out to leave his mom and sister alone. Though the man had yet to lay a hand on his baby sister. He left for the event; today would be the start of getting his mother and his sister away from the man that hurt them. He swore it. He promised it. And he wanted to be a man of his word. The superhero of all stories.

Daniel was on top of the world. He had gained the scholarship. He was talking to all those he needed to know in the industry. He was coming into his own. He was so happy. So, so happy. Then his world shattered. His teacher who had given his name for the award came up to him.

“Danny, we have to talk. Come on.” Mr. Hendry took him into an office. “Danny, I am so sorry, but your sister, she was attacked and killed.” He told him.

Daniel froze. He started thinking a million miles a minute. He would make sure nobody hurt anybody like his sister. “Who? And how?” He asked when he spoke. It was a deep whisper, dark and full of pain and death.

Daniel shook his head, “what followed was horrible. He told me only what the cops told him. But I hacked the files. I saw what that monster did to her. I swore nobody would be killed the way she was again. At first it started as vengeance.” He stated as he sipped his tea looking at me. “Of that I will not lie. After awhile they labeled me the villain. I killed. I didn’t care. After all, my sister couldn’t live why should others. Then that self-righteous prick started trying to tell me I was the villain, and I thought how one event broke the hero in me. I am just human after all. And though my attentions can be good, I will be cast as the villain. I started out a childhood hero, and then my moral compass was broken in the name of trying to make the world safer so nobody else’s world would be shattered like mine was that fateful day. I just kept making hard and harder choices, more questionable choices for the greater good; and in the end I realized I was the villain. I want to dominate to prevent the pain I felt, that I feel. After all, grief doesn’t end. It becomes easier to deal with daily. The wound of that pain never leaves you; it just becomes less of an open wound and more of a scar. So that is my story.”

I looked at him. “College wasn’t my place. I was nothing but a street rat, I could fight, crack shot, I may have a mind similar to yours, but it was broken a long time before I left for the military that faithful day so many years ago. Maybe, maybe, one day you will learn my story.” I filled his cup and walked back to the counter, leaving him his thoughts.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Prologue

Insomnia Café: Prologue
All Rights Reserved



When I was fifteen I lied about my age and joined the military. Two and half years made no difference. I had my high school diploma. But college? Not my scene. I after all was a street rat.
When I was twenty seven a bullet ended my military career. I literally was going to make it my life choice, but I am not one for a desk job. So the bullet that took out three pounds of my thigh? Yeah, sent me back into civilian life after twelve years. I walked into the Marines with nothing to my name. I walked out with a cane with a skull head and ruby eyes, with a healthy sized savings account. After all, how was I going to spend my paycheck when I was doing missions that weren’t even fully put on the books?

After a year of physical therapy I choose to take my life savings and open up an all-night café. Why a café? Because it allowed my insomnia an outlet and it allowed me to use those skills my father taught me before he was died when I was eight, he had been a baker. So a few self-taught lessons to catch up on baked goods, I settled down in the big city and opened up my café.

I named it Insomnia Café.

What I didn’t expect was that it would become the Switzerland in a sea of crazy.

From the very first ‘villain’ and the very first ‘hero’ to walk into my doors I declared neutral and stayed out of it. There was no way I was going to be drawn into any type of drama. I did the hero thing. I wanted nothing to do with it. I did the villain thing. I wanted nothing to do with it. I was now neutral.

The city is full of characters, and most of them are my regulars. From Superheroes to Super Villains to Everyday Heroes to the standard criminals to the regular Joe off the street; they are all my customers.

My café has become a central hub that is neutral and a safe place for all. Where all is safe, where all laws seem to become non-existent, where nobody breaks my rules, after all for being a normal human, I can cause fear in the worst of super villains and heroes alike.

These are my stories of my regulars at Insomnia Café.


Monday, February 24, 2020

Copyright

Copyright 2018 Katherine Rochholz

Waterloo, IA

Publisher's Note

All rights reserved as permitted under the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976. No portion of this book may be reproduced by any means, mechanical, electronic, or otherwise, without first obtaining the permission of the copyright holder.

This is a work of fiction. Any similarity to persons living or dead (unless explicitly noted) is merely coincidental

Insomnia Café

This is dedicated to those who had that one event that defined them, rather or not they became the hero or the villain  of their story.

Insomnia Café

Insomnia Café
All Rights Reserved

This blog will solely for the online novel Insomnia Café. Chapters posted a minimum of monthly, goal is bi-weekly.




I never saw my life ending up like this. Actually, I never thought I would be alive, let alone owning a café in a major city.

When I was fifteen I lied about my age and joined the military. When I was twenty seven a bullet ended my military career. After a year of physical therapy I choose to take my life savings and open up an all-night café. What I didn’t expect was that it would become the Switzerland in a sea of crazy.

From the very first ‘villain’ and the very first ‘hero’ to walk into my doors I declared neutral and stayed out of it.

The city is full of characters, and a few of them are my regulars. From heroes to criminals to the regular Joe off the street. And my café has become a central hub that is neutral and a safe place for all.

These are the stories of the regulars at Insomnia Café.