Family Video

Lesley Cowie

Video rental business serves its “Family” with cheap prices and excellent customer service

by Lesley Cowie

BURLINGTON, N.C. – When it rains, it pours…at least that is how the employees of Family Video feel when the weather is damp. It is on these days that local residents flock to the video rental store in Burlington to find their top choices for entertainment. Even when the weather is hot and sunny, Family Video sees between 1500 and 2000 customers walk through the door each week.

The privately-owned business, located at 1135 N. Main St., houses approximately 12,500 movies and 1,300 video games and consoles available for rent. Most customers leave the store with an average of three videos per visit.

Store manager Kristina McLaughlin said the Burlington store, which has been located in Burlington for five years, is the second oldest Family Video store in North Carolina. It is one of…

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Review: Legenderry Green Hornet #2

Graphic Policy

LegenderryGH02-Cov-A-DavilaOf all of the sub-genres of science fiction, it is likely steampunk that is the most quirky and visually appealing.  With that in mind, as with any overly appealing visual material, creative teams in comics can get away with a bit of leeway before having to produce the same level of quality in a plot as what the visual element provides.  Thus the second issue of Legenderry for both Vampirella and Red Sonja didn’t meet the expectations of the first issue, but the trend is interrupted with the second issue of Green Hornet.  The first issue after all relied the least on the steampunk inspiration, acting as something more akin to a Green Hornet story from the television show.

It should be said though that the first issue was inundated with villains, and that is not aided here with the introduction of about twice as many again.  Despite the abundance…

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Adventures of Little Peter: Vance and the Prized Hog Pt. 3

By Sonny Long

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For Part 2, click here.

Little Peter walked down the street, his head turning cautiously to see if anyone else was approaching. He was wearing a duster, which hid his frail, old body. He felt nervous, a feeling he hadn’t felt in a long time. Jonah was down the road a bit the other way, watching Little Peter’s back for ne’erdowells. They were usually around this part of town- by the 10th Street coffee shops.

 

Suddenly, a group of Ballers came around the corner. Little Peter turned his back to them quickly and began walking the other way. He turned fast enough that they most likely hadn’t seen his face. However, another group came out from the other side. Little Peter reached for his earpiece and spoke into it: “Get me out of here, brother. They’re closing in.” He spoke softly enough that no one approaching would overhear him.

 

“Sorry, brother,” Jonah said regretfully. “The area’s too hot. We can’t afford to send in your ride just yet.”

 

“Dammit, brother!” Little Peter howled back. “Get me out of here!”

 

The Ballers were getting close. They rode their bikes up to Little Peter with intent. One of them sounded the horn from the top of his twelve-speed. These middle schoolers meant business.

 

Little Peter knew there was no escape. He flung his duster open to reveal himself to the Ballers. His muscles bulged from his massive body, his six-pack glistened in the evening sun.

 

“What can I help you with?” Little Peter asked the Ballers as they circled him. There were twelve of them in total. The leader stepped off of his bike and approached Little Peter. The tike wore a blazer complete with ripped jeans.

 

“Mr. Little Peter,” the boy stated in a British accent. “It’s been far too long.”

 

“Reggie? Is that you?” Little Peter asked excitedly.

 

“Talk to me. What’s going on down there?” Jonah asked through Little Peter’s earpiece. Little Peter ignored Jonah and continued conversing with the boy.

 

“It is me,” Reggie said. “It’s been far too long. We should catch up some time. If I don’t have to kill you first, that is.” Reggie began laughing. Little Peter joined in the laughing as well.

 

“Wait, what?”

 

“You stole Mr. Vance’s pig, no? Yes, you did. You have until tomorrow to return the pig to Mr. Vance,” the British boy said.

 

“Good, that’s exactly what we want,” Jonah blurted out enthusiastically.

 

“Not unless I have anything to say about it!” Little Peter said, unveiling a stick of dynamite with a timer on it. It was set to explode in a matter of seconds.

 

“He’s got a bomb!” Reggie exclaimed. He hopped back on his bike and drove away with the other Ballers.

 

Little Peter threw the stick of dynamite and allowed it to explode behind the Ballers, giving them just enough time to escape, but destroying a fire hydrant in the process.

 

“What did you just do?!” Jonah screamed in horror.

 

“I decided we’re keeping that pig.”

Click here for Part 4.

Follow Eddie Jose Morales on twitter for scary short stories. Check out our friends at quarterreads.com and writerspouch.blogspot.com for more stories. Tell them we sent you!

As always, thanks for reading and stick around for more.

Adventures of Little Peter: Vance and the Prized Hog Pt. 2

By Sonny Long

hog1

For Part 1, click here.

 

Little Peter and Jonah brought Extra Large Rhonda back to the Mini Mansion to formulate a plan to get the prized hog back to Vance and get his henchman off of their backs. Extra Large Rhonda was reluctant to go, so she’s tied up for this part of the story. She was still attempting to talk, but to no avail.

 

Little Peter looked to Jonah, a sense of fear and anger boiling together in his eyes. Jonah looked back to Little Peter, passion burning in his. They decided to put their feelings aside for the moment to think rationally on how to deal with the situation.

 

“Brother, there’s only one thing we can do: Call a meeting with Vance and explain that it was just a joke,” Jonah said, hoping Little Peter would agree.

 

Little Peter lunged into action, effectively biting Extra Large Rhonda’s third toe from the right on her left foot off. She was losing blood rapidly. Jonah was terrified, but not surprised.

 

“Peter!” Jonah screamed. “This is no time for tomfoolery!”

 

“Sorry, it was… it was just a good opportunity.” Little Peter began twitching sporadically.

 

“Back to the plan,” Jonah began. “I was thinking that we could set up a trap to capture one of Vance’s henchman and get him to set up a meeting with Vance for us. Sound good?” Jonah looked back over to Little Peter. He had another of Extra Large Rhonda’s toes in his mouth. Jonah shook his finger to show disapproval.

 

Little Peter spat the toe out and sat down with legs crossed to show attentiveness. “I’m ready to do your plan, brother. But first, two more toes?”

 

“No.”

 

“One more toe?”

 

“No.”

 

Little Peter’s entire body fell to the ground and he started shaking uncontrollably, foam coming out of his mouth and falling to the floor. Jonah wasn’t ready to give in, though.

 

“Stop,” Jonah said suddenly. “Get up.” He motioned for Little Peter to stand up.

 

Little Peter got to his feet.

 

Jonah had a determined look in his eyes. “We’re going.”

For Part 3, click here.

For more stories from Sonny, visit here.

Follow Eddie Jose Morales on twitter for scary short stories. Check out our friends at quarterreads.com and writerspouch.blogspot.com for more stories. Tell them we sent you!

As always, thanks for reading and stick around for more.

Adventures of Little Peter: Vance and the Prized Hog Pt. 1

By Sonny Long

hog1

Extra Large Rhonda stood in her kitchen. She was making dinner for herself and for her mother. She took her eyes off of the porridge and gazed outside. The sun was setting and it cast stark shadows against the ground. Extra Large Rhonda smiled. She knew her mother would be home soon and she would have to hurry if she was to be done in time.

 

Suddenly, the front door burst open and a hog ran through the kitchen and out the back door. Following behind was Little Peter and Jonah. They breezed by and pushed Extra Large Rhonda into the refrigerator, knocking her porridge over and spilling it all over the floor. They didn’t even take a moment to look at what they had done. The hog was more important as they continued chasing it out the back door.

 

Once Extra Large Rhonda had taken a moment to compose herself, she screamed out: “Peter!”

 

No response. Little Peter and Jonah were long gone by that point.

 

Extra Large Rhonda grabbed some paper towel and bent over to pick up the spilt porridge. Before she could finish cleaning, the hog came running back through with Little Peter riding on top of it.

 

“Peter! What do you think you’re doing?!” Extra Large Rhonda screamed to Little Peter. “You spilt my porridge!”

 

“We freed Vance’s hog,” Little Peter explained briefly. “Then we caught it. We’re gonna go give it back now.”

 

Jonah ran into the kitchen to join his brother and Extra Large Rhonda. “Hey, you caught the pig!” Jonah’s face lit up upon seeing his little brother riding on top of the pig. “Let’s go give it back to Vance now.”

 

“Vance… as in mob boss Vance?” Extra Large Rhonda asked worriedly. “Why would you do that?! Is that his prized hog?!”

 

Jonah and Little Peter looked to each other with confused expressions and shrugged in unison.

 

Extra Large Rhonda peered out of the window and there was a car pulling up to the curb. A man hung out of the car window and began unloading the magazine of his machine gun into the side of the house.

 

Little Peter sprang into action, jumping over the table and attempting to do a backflip. Jonah caught him in midair and held him tightly to the ground to protect him.

 

Once the hail of gunfire had ended, Little Peter stood up and said: “Yeah, mob boss Vance’s pig.”

 

“The prized one,” Jonah included.

 

Extra Large Rhonda ran outside and peered at the side of the house. The bullets embedded in the house spelt out a warning. They spelt out: “Warning.”

For Part 2, click here.

For more from Sonny, click here.

 

Follow Eddie Jose Morales on twitter for scary short stories. Check out our friends at quarterreads.com and writerspouch.blogspot.com for more stories. Tell them we sent you!

Thanks for reading and stick around for more.

Adventures of Little Peter: Secret of the Basement-Witches

By Sonny Long


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“Peter!” Jonah yelled. “Little Pete!” Jonah had been looking for the hero of this story all morning, but to no avail. He searched high, he searched low. Finally, he decided to go super low: The basement. That’s where Little Peter went when he was super upset about stuff.

 

Jonah walked the length of the stairs to find Little Peter sitting in silence in the basement. The lights were off and there was no noise coming from anywhere except Jonah’s footsteps creaking on the stairs.

 

“Peter? What are you doing? It’s time for dinner.” Jonah lifted Little Peter’s spoon to show him. It was Little Peter’s favorite dish: baby food.

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“Go away,” Little Peter said. “It’s too late for me.”

 

“What are you talking about, baby brother?” Jonah asked. He was growing nervous. Little Peter never refused his evening feedings.

 

“I got bit by a black cat earlier in the day.” Little Peter sounded upset, distraught. He lifted his finger to show Jonah his booboo. “Look!”

 

“Oh, no… “ Jonah knew what he had to do. Jonah went into the other room and unveiled the broadsword of old. “The basement-witches are here, aren’t they?”

 

“I said get out of here!” Little Peter screamed. “It’s too late!”

 

Suddenly, Little Peter began changing. His eyes were turning into an unnatural red color. His body was morphing; it was becoming scaly and dark. He was growing in size at an unprecedented rate. Jonah lifted his sword, saying the chants of the old Norse heroes.

 

Little Peter was still growing, taking off the top of the house with him. He began breathing fire down upon Jonah, but Jonah tucked and rolled to cover.


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“Peter, no!” Jonah squealed. “I’ll save you!” Jonah ran toward the dragon, dodging fire and probably frost. Little Peter was an Elder Dragon, so he could probably do all of that stuff. Jonah lunged, successfully jumping onto the dragon’s back and holding onto a scale, even after the dragon started thrashing about.

 

Little Peter flapped his wings, flying up into the sky. Jonah held on as tightly as he could, fearing he would soon fall off if Little Peter flew up any higher. Jonah was still climbing, slowly making his way to Little Peter’s head. Once to the top of the dragon, Jonah gained his footing and lifted the broadsword with both hands. He hesitated before acting.

 

“I’m sorry, brother,” Jonah said, crying due to his sudden need to murder his brother. “I wish there was another way.”

 

Suddenly, Little Peter began laughing. He turned his head slightly, throwing Jonah off of his head down to his back.

 

“What’s so funny, beast?!” Jonah screamed.

 

“I’m not actually a dragon!” Little Peter was cracking up. “There’s no basement-witches. I made it all up.”

 

Jonah felt pretty stupid for believing all of the nonsense Little Peter tricked him into thinking.

 

“I guess I should have known,” Jonah replied solemnly.

 

“You must feel like an idiot.”

 

“I do.”

For more from Sonny, click here.

Follow Eddie Jose Morales on twitter for scary short stories. Check out our friends at Quarterreads and Writers Pouch for more stories. Tell them we sent you.

 

As always, thanks for reading and stick around for more.

Why I Took My Son to See ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’

By Sonny Long

People have been asking me for a while now why I decided to take my son to see the new movie ‘Fifty Shades of Grey.’ Perhaps what they weren’t considering is that my son is a little shit that needs to see the real world. And that I didn’t know what the movie was about. Mostly that last part, though.

 

When my son, Kevin, got home from school, he found me waiting for him in my car, calling him over. He looked in, waiting for me to say something. Instead I tazed his ass and pulled him in through the window. We enjoyed a nice, quiet, and peaceful ride to the movies; he didn’t say one word. I couldn’t have been more happy to be spending time with my son. Once we got there and he saw how much fun I was, he would tell all of his friends and they would think I was the cool parent. That’s what I was hoping for, at least.

 

Pulling into the parking lot, I made note that it was only five minutes until the movie would start. I smacked Kevin rigorously, thinking it would help him regain consciousness. It didn’t. I tazed him a few more times to no avail. He was still out cold. There was only one thing I could do; I dragged my son out of the car and into the movie theater. I got a few weird glances, but I gave them right back. I tazed a few more punks outside of the theater who tried offering my unconscious son some weeds and cigs.

 

This was my time to shine and I wasn’t ready to give that up. Once Kevin woke up, he would see how awesome I was for going through all of this trouble to get him into the movies. A few of his friends were also in line for the movie. They looked at Kevin with concern. I tazed them.

 

We got through the line and I took my seat in the theater. I began smiling; I had never been so happy in my life. I finally got to spend some quality time with my so- where the hell did he go? I left him by the ticket booth! I retraced my steps and found my unconscious son by the pop stand. He was getting some candy, that little stinker. Nonetheless, I tazed him again and dragged him back to the theater.

 

The movie was about to start! The lights were dimming and I blurted out: “Kevin, aren’t you so excited?”

 

He started to wake up and said hazily: “What? My name’s not Kevin.”

 

I tazed him again.


The movie was enjoyable, even though I had to enjoy it alone.