Halfbake: A Christmas Odyssey, Part One

A note from the author

~ I am taking Halfbake: A Christmas Odyssey down for the time being as I finish writing it, and in preparation for talks with publishers.~

             If you have any questions, I would be happy to answer them. Simply leave them in the comments.



Ordinary People– Chapter Two

Bit of a warning with this one, the material, as the title dutifully implies, rather explicit. No complaints please, you’ve been freely warned.

Chapter Two
Unrequited Sex

The way is prepared, I topple every hindrance. A lion roars in Zion! The gate will open; even now I forge the key.
My imperfect children, long has the waiting night held me, vast was the darkness of its womb, but soon am I borne, the seed is well grown, the pasture prepared.

Yet… are you ready? Have you heard? Will you hide when the trumpet sounds? Will you die beneath the weight of it, or swim like the naiad, a part of and beneath its amorous waters? Will you take root and flourish like the petals of Eden, the alien plumes of worlds apart, or fall upon the hard earth and be choked by the venom of your own hearts?
Oh, my sweet, inconstant stars, shine brightly now! Be strong, and give me your strength!

I pray for you on this day. I pray that your bellies shall be unto a well whose walls are guard of a bottomless depth, only satisfied by unrighteous blood, and that your mind is pure unto the steadfastness of your heart.

Sharpen your teeth like cut diamond. Bare claws, don armor, gird yourself with wisdom, and shy from the reticent bosom of the common humanity that defeats you.

Call out to me and I shall hear, come to me and I shall make you whole!

A day comes to crown all days, and God shall rise as well as Gods shall, then will we cut into this world like a dagger, and open its arterial firmament as libation for our cause. The day is coming! So soon, the day is-

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

“COMING!” the entire class began to “Ooo…” as Garren awoke from sleep at his back-of-the-class desk.
“Who’s cumming?” someone shouted to the delight of the rest of the room. Garren smiled stupidly.
“Your mother, Flynn!” Garren retorted.
“Now quiet down!” Mrs. Draken, the advanced English teacher, had had enough. She had taught kindergarten up until last year and decided to fill the much needed AE class for the pay up-grade.
“How would you feel if I fell asleep while you were reading, Mr. Acsel?”
“He can’t read!” Flynn sat back in his chair in petty satisfaction.
“That is quite enough rudeness for one period.” Mrs. Draken’s eye brows almost rose into her hair line.
“Now Garren, since you fell asleep during Persy’s turn, you will be finishing out the chapter. Try falling asleep then.” Her mouth formed a well controlled smile as she passed back to her all too cutely ornamented desk.
Harker felt empathetically embarrassed for Garren, but dared not look back. It was Garren’s fault, the situation he was in; the crisis, his ego whiplash, the psychological vertigo that you feel when self perception is skewed by self doubt.

It was less than a month ago. Harker was throwing another party at his house. His parents were god knows where again, so he took the opportunity to invite a couple dozen acquaintances over to help the liquor industry out by emptying said cabinet. His parents always refilled it without a word, which made Harker blindly angry for reasons he no longer really understood. So the parties got bigger, and his glass more frequently emptied.

Harker had made an exquisitely difficult drinking game, as it was his hobby to do, with some artfully created cards that demanded for the party goers to perform repetitious nonsense and physical stupidity that grew in difficulty the longer you lasted, and even more so because the drunker you were.

They played it in his bachelor pad of a room, a room that actually did once belong to his father before he was “joined” to his wife in the ‘60s, complete with a permanently affixed, circular bed that is rumored once to have been able to turn 360 degrees, and a ceiling mirror right above it, for those times when you just need to look up from the hooker your banging and flash that thousand watt smile or pick parsley form your teeth.

Harker had never lost a game, and Garren had never lost anything, so both were blitheringly determined to win, i.e. be the last to pass out or vomit on the shag carpeting.

Over the years the deck of cards had grown to a little over a hundred, but was at the moment looking quite sparse. They both stood resolutely on one leg in their boxers as Garren slurred the words to Ave Maria while doing his best Jimmy Durante, when the last person left the room. It sounded like a small skirmish had broken out in the backyard and as far as high school goes, a good fight is almost as good as a NASCAR crash to feast your eyes on.

Garren had finished his song with a hardy “Ha cha cha cha cha!”
“I am impressed, sir. Sadly you are still going to lose this one, buddy. You are staring at the reigning champ.” Harker beamed as he looked over at the jock-built boy standing in front of him, and perhaps looked a bit too long under the influence.

“Admiring my handy work, I see.” The boy said swaying on his leg smirking arrogantly. “Don’t be afraid to be impressed, Nancy boy.” He flexed his biceps. “These guns don’t come cheap, bro.”
“Did you just call me, Nancy boy? What- uh- bad eighties movie did you watch before you came over here, Animal House?” Harker said as if these words were profoundly clever.
“Fucking Sixteen Candles, so draw a fucking card, dude.” He also thought this was some how quite funny.
Harker furrowed his brows as if accepting this battle of wits. “Okay then, Mr. Gun Show, lets see what you got.” He drew up the card with what he thought was a flourish, held for suspense a bit too long, wobbled, then looked over it.
He immediately deflated. “And now I shall draw the next card and then we will see what you got, Mr. Gun-“
“Ha, what do you mean ha?”
“I win, motherfucker!”
“No you fucking don’t!”
“Your rules, if you can’t do what the car says then you’re out. That’s how everyone else got out, ‘cause they were pussies, ‘cept for Flynn, I think he’s passed out on your toilet still, which is awesome. So you gonna be a pussy too, Nancy?”
“Alright then, duuuude, you tell me who the pussy is.” He handed Garren the card which depicted a big exaggerated pair of puckered lips and a guy making out with a cat for some reason.
Garren contemplated it, then threw the card on the floor. It floated innocently to the shag, the cartoony words “Make Out…” were all that could be read in the shadows.
He looked up at Harker and tilted his head for a moment as if to appraise his price. He hopped over to the door, closed, and locked it, then hopped back over to Harker who was faking his snarkiest smile as his heart began to beat faster with each of Garren’s one footed bounds.
Was it fear? Yes, yet some how it also felt dangerously like excitement, curiosity, and he was struggling with how to accept this. In the end he settled on the fact that he simply would not lose to this douche jock, and stood his ground.
Garren looked at him with grave sincerity, his frosty blue eyes piercing through Harker’s resolve like a wet t-shirt.
Harker starred right back, trying his hand at a look of grave sincerity, which probably came over as more of a look of a drunken eye exam, as his eyes wondered unintentionally.
Garren’s skin was tanned and looked soft to the touch, but his muscles rippled, hard, and perhaps a little exaggerated in the dim lamp light. His hair fell in gently wavy pieces, and a few strands now fell over one of his eyes. Harker remained a carved statue, perfectly still, full of exaggerated resolve, and motionless for the fear that he might start shaking.
They had been standing there for an eternity, another game. Who would crack, who would run away, lose, a game of what the kids at school playfully called “Gay Chicken”. Harker moved not an inch. Garren smiled that tight arrogant grin.
“Welp, Nancy, looks like you’ve got tickets to the gun show.” He grabbed Harker with both hands on either side of his head and crumbled him down slowly to his warm, moist lips, which parted, waiting, with the seeming illusion of eagerness.
Harker held fast against the electric feelings inside of him, buzzing under and over his skin. He unintentionally moved his hand up Garren’s side and touch his arm. He felt shocked at how solid they felt, and grasped it as Garren invaded his mouth with a tactful movement of his tongue. Garren liked being good at this, and Harker could tell.
Garren kept one hand on Harker’s defined jaw, placed the other behind his head to eliminate all distance possible between them, and garnered all control. He bit Harker’s bottom lip and tugged it just a bit, then let it go, Harker gasped as quietly as he could, which made Garren even more ravenous. He lowered the hand on Harker’s cheek to the small of his back and pulled his body to him.
Harker felt the sensation of skin touching skin. He felt the detail of each balled abdominal muscle against his own trim frame, and he felt the cushion of Garren’s broad pectorals pressing, then giving into softness as the muscles flexed and relaxed, and all this prevaded with embracing warmth.
Oh dear god! Harker thought and forced himself to pull away. He stood stiffly and turned around; embarrassed, unbelieving that he had actually gotten an erection from this silly game. F-my-life! Dear god, why do  I have to be in my boxers right now!?
“Its okay”, Garren said, “I could give an arm chair an erection.” He laughed. Harker did not see the humor.
“What? Did I just turn you gay, Nancy?” Garren laughed again.
Harker’s sexuality had never been questioned before, not by anyone, and certainly not by himself. He had sex with girls, he liked doing it, but there was something different about this, he knew it, and he was sick with it.
The kiss had meant something and he only knew because it made all the kisses before it pale, die, and vanish. He couldn’t believe what he was thinking. He didn’t know what he was going to do, he just stood there as still as before and twice as terrified, he began to quiver ever so slightly, the quivering for fear of want.
Then warmth wrapped around his naked waist. He snapped back to reality, or was it reality? Because what was happening around him now made even less sense than what was happening in his terror stricken mind; the structures of his persona bore stress cracks that he had never known were there, or didn’t  know needed repair, and now never could be. Harker knew, in one of those clear and fleeting moment of truth, as strong arms wrapped around him, and the warmth of a man’s body set slowly against his back, that this would ruin him, irreparable.
“It’s okay to like it.” Garren said with a voice that didn’t sound like the Garren Harker once knew. Harker so wanted to turn, but was still too confused to move, frozen, breaking.
Garren turned him on his heel, and stared into Harker’s deep green eyes.
“You’re beautiful,” said moving the straight black hair out of Harker’s face, “kiss me.” He seemed to be talking to Harker, but something seemed removed, he spoke in a dream, or in the past.
“Uh, thank you.” Harker said, which was the only thing that seemed to come to his mind.
Garren smiled slyly and put a hand once again behind Harker’s head and pulled him into his full pink lips.
Harker only resisted as much as his muscles naturally did when not acting on their own, he thought that this was a good enough fight for his pride, at least for the moment.
In the rapture of the perfect kisses Harker finally found himself again. He raised back from Garren and found this moment, he resolved to see objectively this beautiful person in front of him, damasked in slinking shadows and orange light, this person who thought he was beautiful too and he did the most dangerous thing of all… gave in completely.
He grabbed Garren and pulled him over, kissing him with fire on his lips. He caressed his fine muscles, and ran his fingers up his smooth back, and Garren followed suit, discovering Harker’s long gracful body.
Harker began to kiss Garren’s neck and Garren moaned quietly. Knowing he found a point of interest, he bit down and, as he hoped, Garren moaned louder. He kissed Garren’s chest, reaching down, fingers caressing, and found the elastic strap of Garren’s boxers.
After a moments hesitation his hand descended further, slowly, pressing gently but persistently down through the curling brown sugary hair he found what he tentativly saught. He held it in his hand, gripping it for a moment, feeling its weight and texture while Garren nibbled his ear. Harker raised his left eye brow, as he often did whenever confused or surprised… he was both at the moment.
He gripped it a tad harder, enjoying the smoothness of its texture, and the very presence of it. He began moving his hand up and then slowly back down, much as he had done to his self before. Garren locked lips with him again, as he began to do the same.
Garren moved a hand over to Harker’s nipple and began to give a subtle pinching. Green eyes went wide as sensation he never thought might be pleasurable ignited nerves all over the body and pleasure is what it was.
Garren pulled away. “Looks like I’m teaching you a few new things.” He laughed a bit, then pulled down his boxers.
“Lesson number two,” Harker stood a bit vexed, dealing with new levels of awkward acceptance, and the fact that Garren Acsel would be teaching him anything in this lifetime also caused him to marvel.
“Oh don’t worry, I just want you to initial it. Then maybe I could get your John Hancock too. ” He thought he was so funny. “Well, your mouth is open, that’s a start.”
Hark closed his mouth, not realizing that it had indeed been open in some kind of astonished wonder/anger/confusion/arousal feeling.
Harker coughed awkwardly. “You don’t have to clear your throat or anything, that’s what this is for.”
Harker got down on his knees, morbidly curious about imminent things, like taste, breathing, and the how of it all. He had girlfriends before, he was sure he could hum a few bars, as it were.
“It won’t bite.” Garren assured, as he winked down at him.
Harker opened his mouth and wrapped his lips around it. Fit well enough not to be too awkward. He started to make the motions, as if his hand was his mouth. Then he had a thought, and at intervals began to apply suction. Garren was greatly pleased, he closed his eyes and leaned his head back, savoring the feeling through the deprivation of sight, and reveling in triumph.
Harker discovered that he had room to move his tongue, and did so, now adding to the speed of it.
An elongated “Wooooow” crept out of Garren’s mouth. “You… are… a fucking wonder!”
Harker felt a strange pride creeping over him and he went about perfecting the art of this clumsy process. Harker was a man of precision, after all. The knack was pretty easy. Garren was gasping every now and then as Harker tried new things that seemed like they might naturally go along with the other multi tasks currently under going, and began varying them for the effect of surprising the sensation.
“Oh my god, you’re a natural. Oh my god-“
This last exclamation came at a different tone, as the creak of a door was heard.
There was Flynn, a slender noodle of a boy with his short, cropped, red hair, wiping his mouth as he stopped dead in the door way.
Garren pulled out of Harker’s mouth and walked over to Flynn. Harker had just enough time to turn around and see Garren sock Flynn square between the eyes. Flynn fell like a chopped tree to the linoleum floor.
“Holy shit!” Harker said, in concern for the human carrot sprawled out on the bathroom floor, and then “Holy shit!” for altogether other reasons.
“It’s okay.” Garren said for the second time, this time it was a bit less effective. “I’ll talk to him tomorrow, trust me, he won’t say a word.”
“You punched Thin Flynn Nickels into a coma!”
“Which is good. Dude, he was so drunk he probably won’t even remember.” He approached Harker again and put his hands around his waist. “Now then, where were we?”
“At the part where you punched that poor kid in the face.”
“Come on Harker.” He was kissing Harker’s neck up to his ears, rubbing his back. Harker got chills.
“No, Garren, this is- oh. “ Garren nibbled.
Harker pulled away resolutely and walked straight for the bathroom, stopping abruptly at the door… and slamming it closed. He approached Garren again, making an expression as if to say, “I still don’t know what to do.”
Garren bit his tongue and smiled again. “You’re so fucking cute.”
He grabbed Harker by the shoulders and threw him on the bed, then leapt on top of him. He grabbed Harker’s hand s and pulled them above his head, pinning him to the spot. Garren began dry humping up against him, which felt good and strange in all sorts of ways. Then, releasing his hands again, he began stroking Harker as he moved his other hand suspiciously down in between Harker’s legs, at which point Harker became a little unsure about this whole thing all together.
“Uh…” was all he could say, then he said something like “Unnnnguh” as Garren made oceanic motions with his finger while still stroking.
Hark opened his mouth to gasp but Garren had already put his tongue in it and the gasp was quickly converted into a fierce kiss. Then Garren stopped stroking, put his hand to his lips and licked it coyly. He gave himself a few strokes.
In between gasping and kissing Harker could finally say “Uh, wait a second-“and so learned that Garren is not much of a waiter.
“Holy Jesus!” Harker sputtered as Garren entered without knocking and began making succinct motions with his hips.
“Garren… Garren… GARREN!” Hark finally found Garren’s attention.
“What’s up?” he said without stopping or opening his eyes.
“Stop.” Harker said then gasped.
“No, its okay, it only hurts for a sec.”
“No, I figured that it- it might hurt, but…” he lost words and gasped again.
Garren began to thrust faster, sensing Harker’s growing apprehension but still wanting to finish. Harker pushed at his chest.
“No, Garren… No… GARREN, CONDOM!” Garren stopped.
“Oh, but I don’t have any.” Harker shoved him off and out of him, but he was still sitting on his knees, between Harker’s legs.
“Aw shit, fine whatever. I’m almost done anyway.” He stroked over Harker’s stomach; Hark gawked in baffled amazement at this man’s gall. Garren began to gasp, then he moaned and stroked faster.
Fast as a whip, he grabbed Harker behind the head and pulled his face up just as warm droplets came slinking down, then more and more, and finally the small amount that leaked onto Hark’s stomach.
Garren released him. Harker no longer gawked, having had just enough time to close his mouth, but stared up, lips pursed, unsure if he was more angry or simply more confused. Nope, he was angry.
Harker’s anger was always silent and poignant, it emanated from him in radioactive waves. Garren must have been made of lead, or perhaps he was just that thick, he seemed not to notice the quiet fury. Garren rolled over and laid down, he clasped his hands behind his head, satisfied as pig at a pie eating contest.
Harker rose slowly and walked toward the bathroom. He opened the door, grabbed Flynn by the ankles, and pulled him unsanctimoniously out over the carpet. Harker went for the facewash and decidedly avoided his reflection as he washed Garren off his face.
“Damn boy, you’re better than my girlfriend,” Garren said from the bed, “feel free to suck my cock anytime, free of charge.”
Harker’s heart had turned from fire, to ashes, to ice, in no time flat. He lifted his head, starred at his clear face, now blemishless, as if nothing had happened, if only it were true. He looked hard into his eyes and told the core of his being a command that must be followed and would not drown. This is NOT what we want. This is ugly and disgusting, that man in there is just a man, men are dogs, and you will not play the bitch for ANYONE.
“Damn, dude, this party got quiet quick. Everyone musta passed out. You know what that means?”
Harker slowly walked back in to the room.
“We can be as loud as we want, Harky-poo.” Harker almost leapt out of his skin and tore Garren’s smug face off, but knowing that Garren could swat him away like a mustache crumb, he thought better of it, as he always did, he was cool, cold as ice, and unfeeling.
Harker gathered his clothes and slowly put them on.
“Where you goin’?”
He didn’t say a word.
“Hey… HEY!”
Harker left the door wide open when he went out. He walked awkwardly over to Gretja’s house, and opened her window, always unlocked. He woke her, and hugged her hard.
It would be hours before he had strength for a retelling of what happened, and the sad confession that even now he had strange feelings for the pitiless man child who was probably sleeping away in his bed, thinking of his girlfriend’s tits.
“I’m that virgin.” He said, collapsing onto her shoulder, knowing he could share anything with her, and too lost to his own grief to see the pain in her eyes.

Ordinary People– Chapter One

Ordinary People

Chapter One
October’s Hero

Oh, how the mighty have fallen. How shall the children learn, how survive, when their forbearers children have become? So then the cycle of ignorance has swallowed us all, and must now be repented with strife.

We are weak now, and low, yet lower still must we descend, to the basest of being, and as the children we have become, fight like the children we must save, an Arean sacrifice make, and in this, pray to save ourselves.    

Forgive me, my babes, my beautiful, dirty, scatterlings, pulling at the brocade tresses of my gown, needing, hungry, so long have I let you squander in the murk of this muddled world, now only to have woken and found you screaming unto the pain of death, murdering and starving for the fight. Mother is here now, and such a fight she has to give!

There is a mighty cry in the heavens! Let the blood rain like tears to flood from an angry sky.

My vicious groundlings, let your selfish hearts be unified to this, and come as I call. Listen to the whispered beckoning as it grows, and soon, unto the mad screechings of the owl!

 The waiting is soon ended, my ravenous orphans, when I shall fill your bellies with the unrighteous flesh of mine enemies, when  hungry hands shall sate their meaning to drink crimson from the chalice of a well used blade, and I shall weep on high the boiling tears of vengeance to cauterize the wounds of the braking.

This heresy must end, these polyandrous meanderings. Soon we will unite, and united we shall feast upon the entrails of our common foes and their blasphemies. Soon our hungry anger shall feed!

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

He watched her shoveling varied meats into her wired mouth in disgust. Saw as the pink, anamorphous chunks were tossed and mealed down into gooified paste, straining in and out of gray metal wires like beef through a grinder, then pushing back with the suckling sounds of the goulash draining down into her gulping gullet.

“You are disgusting.” He said with a playful sneer. She looked up with those huge, brown eyes, her brows raised inquisitively, completely unawares of how violently she tore at the tiny pink cut chunks on her plate.

“Huh?” she intoned like a wide mouthed bass, as small bits lacing in and out of her braces fell from her mouth and back onto her plate.

“You eat like a pig.” He said, feigning deep concern. She laughed and wiped her face with her sleeve.

“Then I guess you really are what you eat!” At which point she saw fit to begin making pig like sounds and nuzzling uncomfortably close.

“Aaaaah!” he half screamed as they continued their playful act at the lunch table. “What? Afraid of the wild carnivore, are we? I am afraid it’s no use, Harker. You seem to be quite surrounded. You know…” She reared up like an attacking bear. “…we carnies will eat just about anything, much like your garden variety alligator.”

“So I hear.”

“In fact, you’d probably be long gone by now, if you weren’t already mostly vegetable, as it stands.”

“Which is why I am a vegetarian, to fortify my blood with veggies; it’s purely a self defense mechanism.” He scratched at his cheek with one elegant finger.

Gretja suddenly picked up one of her half eaten wieners and brandished it as a sword.

“En gaurde, you green fiend!” He again screamed, almost falling from his bench, and grabbed his fork as he did so.

“Into the fray, you meat monster! You must realize I shall never surrender.” He parried with his plastic fork, knocking against her hot dog with a wiggling thump.

“Lucky for me, your rabbit food has made you quite weak.” She feinted and spun around, smacking him in the face with the moist meat bi-product.

“It burns! It burns us!!” he went down to his knees dramatically.

“Huh, and here I thought you’d be able to handle a little meat to the face now.”

He blushed and came to his feet, wiping at the wet spot on his cheek.

“Gret!” He shouted, somehow reaching several intervals of pitch, then clearing his throat as if the falsetto need be dislodged.

“It was just a joke.” She said, rolling her eyes.

Harker grabbed her arm and pulled her away from the open cafeteria into a small enclave with a door labeled “Maintenance”.

“Ouch! Harker, you’re hurting me!” He gave her a look that could silence a preschool field trip and began to speak in angry stunted whispers.

“Gretja, you promised. You said I could trust you, and you promised. We have known each other for how long now? Ever?”

“Ever and a half.” She corrected with the meekness of a punished child.

“I want to trust you with this. Let me. What we say in secret, you can’t even reference, no jokes… nothing. Okay? It could mean… I don’t know… everything. If my friends hear even a word-“

“That’ll never happen, they’d never talk to me.”

Over the years Gretja had learned well how to hold onto tears. She saw herself as defeated, sensitive. She was too big for her gentle personality, and too afraid to grow. So she hid in cuteness, and in frilly sentiments, burying her potential under the weight of immaturity, underdevelopment. She neglected herself, her sex, and her body to remain in the comfortable day dream of a child.

Her lower lip trembled, she bit it fiercely, punishing herself for wanting to cry and run.

“I’m sorry.” She stared at the floor.

“Oh god, listen, Gret, I didn’t mean it. I- I’m such a douche bag. It’s just- It’s like I know where I’m going, I have a set plan, always have, but this- I don’t know this. I don’t know myself and I- if I don’t know even that much, then all the rest is probably just bullshit too, you know?”

“I get it, Hark, I do, but if you never talk about it, if you can’t even laugh a little… then you’re just alone with it, even if you do share it with me… you’re just always alone.” She looked at him, her gaze passing easily through him, through the wall, into nameless shadows.

“Gret? Are you okay?”

Reality crept behind her and screamed, she jumped.

“What? Sorry, I’m fine.” She laughed uneasily then smacked him in the face with her hotdog again.

Harker shook his head. “You’re a nutter, Gret.”

He began to walk away, then suddenly jumped back with spastic abandon, skewering her weapon with his fork.

“Seems like my ‘rabbit food’, as you so crudely put it, has made me lean and agile as a bird!” he gloated in heroic speech.

“More like a fruit bat!” She whispered quickly, then ran back to their table.

“I… am going… to kill you!” he ran quickly after her. People in the cafeteria were looking over at them as per usual.

Harker was goofy and out spoken, an artist, and a vegetarian (only for the fact that the habit of abstaining from meat is a lineage that his body couldn’t deny if he wanted to), and son to a legacy of hippie do-gooders, animal rights activists, and a general peace core of pot heads that would have Augusten Burroughs writing feverishly.

All this mixed with his humor, organization, prowess in sports, and guileful honesty made for just the right mixture and mystery to cement his position as the off kilter heart throb at Helena Memorial High School, stealing the hearts of just about every girl and teacher in the facility.

The fact that his parents, Able and May, loved to instill there special brand of wisdom to Harker’s school pals en masse, might have you wondering why that would garner half the total cool points he’s currently allotted. How his friends always told them they really enjoyed being “enlightened” on the state of the world was a misnomer, since they really only came for the enlightened joint that always seemed to find its way from Able’s pocket to the lectured masses when a good rant took him; a ritual that Harker swore all to absolute secrecy for, and why would anybody ever want to renege on free “wisdom”?

Harker didn’t care that they came more for the pot than not. The fact is, for all the nonchalance he adapted, their adoration of him meant a great deal, and a great deal more than their actual friendship, which wasn’t “actual” in the first place. That he seemed strange and alluring, he knew, how to formulate his sentences with just enough pretense to allure, and just the right expression to beguile he knew also. He was the mysterious foreigner in a bland commercialistic population. The petty politics of the prison society that school can be was obvious to him, and he was adroit in rising above them, in becoming an ideal, and burying away the characteristics that might sully his poster perfect image.

He wanted to be as far a distance from his parent’s personas as possible, still feeling those too common pangs of neglect from a lonely childhood, where moms and dads were Disney ideas, and his, never present. He was forever misplaced, left alone to develop his personality into whatever it would be.

It was a long cloudy day some time ago when Gretja finally shined through the cloudy dark of his life. He was eight and a half, small for his age, bright eyed, and with a leggy cowlick festooned aback his head that would bounce and crawl when he went bounding down the halls. Little Spider, his parents called him, lovingly, as it were, never grasping the irony in his terror against spiders.

The parentals often went traveling to protest with their group, TA3, “To Arms Against Arms”, it was their baby, they raised it to the faction it had become, from infant idea to adolescent action, and it needed constant nurturing care. It was at the height of its fruition that along came a spider to entangle them in other obligations.

Persephone Punica Harker, a beautiful baby of spring, and a name to sour out of the mouths of even the most altruistic middle school teachers, so, Persy it was until junior high when Persy found Harker and stretched blithely into the newness of his teen age.

It was one of these sore and lonely times, when Harker was left lonely to fend for his own while grown ups were out tending their growing obsessions for peace, that life would round a corner for a tiny spider beneath a dining table.

He was hiding with his worn blue blanky as the preliminary lightning began to flash and flurry. He took up the greatest courage he could muster and scurried out to quickly lock all the doors and windows against the angry storm that would arrive at any moment.

He had only just returned to his mahogany Bastille and was gathering up his flashlight and blue cotton armor when he heard it, a soft, quiet whimper.

He held his breath and listened for the sound again, a squeaky whisper out near the front door. His eyes widened and he tried to pretend that he didn’t hear. The cry came again; he nuzzled deeper into his blankety retreat and began to hum Stairway To Heaven, the only song that he could grasp from recent memory. The cries seemed to grow, and his heart seemed to stop, and with imagined resolution he lowered his hands solemnly from his ears, and knew what he had to do. Be a hero.

He said a prayer to Buddha and shouted out “Aaaamen!” like a battle cry as he ran out to the front door and opened it.

The day was dark, the air was charged and wet as the little boy searched frantically around, moving his eyes from side to side, not wanting to leave the fragile safety of the porch.

Lightening flashed and the tiny hairs bristled on his arms and up the back of his neck as he fought tooth and nail with himself against the urge to run and hide back under the safe wooden table, where no storm, or fire, or nuclear holocaust could ever hurt him.

His breath was short as he stepped from the wooden slats onto the grass. He quickly examined the bushes, and peeped under the out stretched wood work of the porch where he knew giant spiders were waiting for a fight if he ended up having to travel into the dark under underbelly of the porch top.

Then, his saving grace, a still, small squeal crossed the air not far behind him, out toward the black top pavement, and he knew from where it emanated.

From one horror to the next, he turned slowly and faced the flowery painted mail box by the driveway to the right of the front yard, and swallowed dryly as he approached the adjacent pit to which he now must quickly descend, save, and high tail it back inside before the deluge.

He passed the small garden box of assorted herbs that surrounded the brightly painted mailbox, a mocking edifice to the mouth of horror that he now must approach. He went the long way around the box to face his foe at a distance. The great spreading jaw of the street lay before him, a wide, grey opening where side walk met street, plummeting into grey dark, and the high pitched cry that spoke from it was an ironic terror in its own right.

Images of a malicious monster with yellowed, mangling teeth in crisscross shards, stretched pervertedly into the guise of a circus clown, came echoing through movie memories to speak in a tiny squeaking voice from his scared imagination of the delights that lie in the wonderland under the asphalt, where little girls and boys may play forever and dine on sweet treats at cotton candy tables until they are fat and too sick to escape the reality of their true fate in his maw.

Harker shook his head and shuddered. Why’d he ever watch that movie? He then knelt and reached below the street, feeling blindly for the source of the call.

The clouds grew darker and crowded together above his head. Lightening danced more frequently in between great nimbus bodies like malicious thoughts and thundering laughter. It was coming soon, the wind began to fiercely blow, he hadn’t time to feel in the dark anymore. He stopped his mind from thinking and began to act without forethought in order to still himself against his agonizing fear and assuming imagination.

He lowered his head into the cement opening and peered as hard as he could in the dark, no jagged smiles met him, no enticing treats to lure him like an angler fish deeper into its jaws. He saw it, a flash of yellow eyes, peering for a moment upwards and catching the leaving light. Without a thought he grabbed for the eyes and found his hands embroiled in a short, claw filled fight. After a moment it was over and he arose a champion over his fears, and in his hands a small, black wonder, a living trophy for his triumph, a half starved black, adolescent kitten with terrified, orange-ish tented eyes, scared and still fighting him in ignorant fear.

He bundled the kitten under his shirt and began his sprint back to the house, thanking every god he could remember, then halted in terror.

The wind, the evil breath of the looming darkness had swept the previously locked door closed. He tried impotently at the knob, already aware of the doomed effort. The storm had won. It would have him. An evil whirlwind would devour him in sacrifice to Anemoi, kitten and all, victory nullified, and fear once again reining him away from hope.

The porch on which he stood made little comfort for him. His father had built it sans roof, knowing that his wife, May, enjoyed a good sun bath.

Harker began to tear up, the kitten all but silent now, perhaps allowing him the quiet of his final moments. Down came the inevitable, the rain, skipping excitedly the whole sprinkling process and falling like a freight train of water and wind, to wash the spider out.

The kitten was greatly displeased, and began to fight fiercely for freedom from the wetness, and growing breathlessness of the wet cloth that began to droop in around it. It scratched with its forelegs, but even worse, with its hind, where the long, graceful musculature for jumping and sprinting had adeptly grown to exert the greatest force and deepest wounds.

Harker cried out, but refused to release the squirming bundle, still resolute that he should save it from starvation and give it a loving home… but even more so he longed for a companion on those long, lonely days when his only friends and parents were off saving the world from itself.

He looked frantically from side to side, and then ran as quick as he could toward the house across the way. A teal, wood paneled thing with a small flower garden and permanently opened, white, wooden shutters on each of the two facing windows. A shelter if ever there was one.

He banged on the door, nervous, in pain, bleeding, but even more terrified that lightening could at any moment strike down on him, melting his tiny shoes to the sidewalk and burning him to static and ash. There was no reply, what if no one was home? What if they couldn’t hear his rappings over the tumultuous storm? He looked left and right, then saw the white gate leading to the back and went running again. He flashed to the back door and tried the knocking. Nothing.

But there was light. He caught glimpse of it ion the corner of his eye, he saw salvation; the window of a purple painted room. He ran over and knocked ferociously at the glass. He could now see blood leaking through his black and white striped shirt.

He looked up and saw an awe struck face, with pigtails and what his parents called “coke bottle” glasses. She was missing one of her front teeth and looking eager to unlock the window, which she tried, and could not. She gestured frantically for him to wait and ran off down the hall. A few moments later she and a squatish woman, with shoulder length, thick, redish hair, and a sweater depicting a cat playing with a ball of thread, showed up. With a quick flick she unlocked and opened the window.

The moment he was in the safety of the brightly decorated room, he unleashed his reluctant kitten in distress, and fell back, cold, to sit and shiver on the bed.

“October!” the first word said by his savior, “You found my kitty!” the little girl exclaimed with glee.

“Oh my god.” The squatish woman said, cupping a hand over her mouth and seeing the bloody scratches on his hands and diluted red splotches coming through his shirt. She began to lead him into the kitchen where she slowly, gently pulled of his T-shirt. Once again she gasped, then she smiled as to cover her worry, and set him up on the island countertop.

She told him to lie down and brought a cushion from the living room. He winced as he let himself back on the cold table.

“Gretja, go get a towel, I’m going to grab the antiseptic and some bandages.” She said with all the precision of a soap opera nurse, then shuffled off to a metal cabinet with a red plus sign on it by the kitchen wall phone. She came back with some paper towels and began to blot at the bloody scratches before the blood could drip on her clean counter.

“Don’t you worry. Gretja and I are gonna fix you right up.” She said as she dabbed some alcohol on to a tuft of white cotton. He looked on in silent apprehension, trying not to move against the now throbbing pain.

“Now this is going to sting a bit, okay?”

“She means a lot,” came a little voice just below the counter’s edge.

“Thanks Gretja, your bedside manner is impeccable.”

“What’s a bedside manner?” she asked.

“Never mind, so…” she began, looking sweetly down at Harker. “What is your name, young man?” she started to administer the liquid gently and Harker winced under the pain, sucking in breath through his clenching teeth.

“Persy Harker” he choked out.

“Persy? What kind of name is Persy?” Came the little girl’s voice from below.

“Be nice, Grejta. Some people might think that you have a pretty strange name too, but then they wouldn’t know its beauty unless they asked, would they?

It means pearl; it’s an old family name that comes from my mother’s mother, Margarthe. My name is Magali, which also means pearl, but you can call me Maggie, okay?” She said, sponging more blood, and bandaging with small square gauze as she went.

“What does your name mean, Persy?” she asked to drive her point home.

“Its short for Persephone, ma’am.”

“Really?” she said furrowing her brow as if to disapprove the parental choice. “Well, isn’t that…interesting, Gretja?” she glanced down at her daughter.

“I think it’s pretty. What’s Persephone?” she inched closer and grasped the counter’s edge, trying to pull herself up enough to see what was happening.

“It’s the goddess of spring time.” He said matter-of-factly.

“That’s a girl name!” Gretja squealed.

“Gretja!” her mother barked disapprovingly.

My parents said that names aren’t boys or girls, just people are, and that I was a pretty spring baby, and that I was -uh- like a light that even the devil could see from hell!” He stuck his tongue out even though Gretja couldn’t see.

“I see. Your parents told you those things?” Maggie asked, trying poorly to cover her slight disturbance.

“Yup, ma’am.”

“And where are your parents?” She finished the bandaging and helped him sit up.

“Saving the world, I think in Washington. Guns come form the president and they want him to take them back, and plant trees for the raining forest, ‘cause they killed it.”

Maggie began to dry his hair with the towel and helped him remove his T-shirt.

“So, your parents left you all alone?”

“My memaw was supposed to come, but sometime she doesn’t, and sometimes my parents need to leave before she gets here, and she forgets to come, I guess, but I have lots of food and stuff, and records.” He smiled at that last bit and bit his bottom lip.

“What are records?” Groaned Gretja, pining for attention.

“Quiet.”  Her mother squinted down off the side of the island. Well, that’s interesting.” she said, trying to get back to the previous point.

“Gretja, go get one of your father’s big shirts, so we can wash and dry these clothes before Persy catches cold.” Gretja went off on another mission for the strange boy from the window.

“You don’t have any friends you can stay with, Persy?”

“No, ma’am.”

“Do you go to school?”

“Yes, ma’am, my mom teaches me at home.”

Gretja arrived with a huge white shirt with an armadillo in sunglasses on it. He put it on and gave Maggie his wet Underoos.

“Thank you, Gretja.” She dressed and helped Harker off of the table. She set him down, he was only a few inches taller than the little girl, and, they soon learned, only half a year apart.

“How interesting. Well, you know what, Persy? You just made two new friends.”

“Three!” chimed Gretja, “October-“she stopped flat, “Oh no, I gotta find him, he’s probably so scared, and he doesn’t even have his favorite ribbon!” She ran speeding down the hall.

“So, why were you out in the rain, honey?”

“I had to save-uh-October, he had fallen in a hole and was crying and I couldn’t just leave him there. Then the door closed and it was locked” He said, looking vulnerable and small.

“Our hero!” Maggie exclaimed. Harker looked up, eyes glowing and cracked a small grin.

“Persy, what do you think about staying with us until your parents get back and we can have a nice talk with them?” Maggie smiled extra big.

Gretja came back with a miserable looking cat dangling from her crossed arms like a prisoner with a huge pink bow around its neck, hair mussed from being vigorously dried.

“That sounds… like it would be nice.” He said suddenly painfully shy again, and reexamining the floor.

“What do you think, Gretja?”

The little girl jumped for joy, causing the cat to flail about in her vice like grip.

“Slumber party!” she exclaimed. Harker looked up again.

“I never been to a slumber party before”, a look of apprehension and inquisitiveness invading his careful optimism.

“A slumber party it is then, and an ice cream Sunday for our hero and his new friends!” Maggie threw her arms up with triumph.

“Whacha think, Harker?” Gretja smiled unevenly.

“Yeah!” he exclaimed throwing his arms up and following suit with Maggie as she sang Hail to the Conquering Hero to the wrong tune and lead them, following the leader style to the fridge.

Genesis Chapter 2


Chapter 2

“Well John, I gotta tell yu, this book, The Call, It changed my life, and I am a hard nut to crack, believe it or not.”
“Well you are nut, that’s for sure, heh, heh.”
“Oh don’t you get me started! This guy!”
— Laughter –

“No, he is a capital guy, though, and a great host, isn’t he, people?”
— Applause –

“And don’t forget to mention my winning smile, John!”
“Of course not, Craig, but now, I heard you were in a pretty sorry state not six months ago.  Am I mistaken?”
“No, John, you are not. I was living on the streets doing all sorts sorry things, you see, I had lost my divinity, I’d lost myself; gosh, darn it, has it only been six months now?”
“Yessiree. Now that is just a miracle, wouldn’t you say guys?”

“Oh come on now, Craig, no applause needed, and no it was not a miracle, ‘cause you  yu know what, John?”
“What’s that?”
“Miracles just plum don’t exist.”
“Just what kinda wool are you trying to pull over here, Craig?”
“I’m not pulling wool over anyone’s eyes, John. Just presenting some simple, simple truth.
Now, truth can sure look pretty ugly though, can’t it? Until you know it for yourself. That’s self worth, John, and once upon on a time, my daddy, Craig Townsend Senor, told me, he said “Son, you can’t buy self worth at the five and dime” and if I turned to him today and said, “Well sir, you are sure as heck wrong about that”, not only would I have told the truth, that to him might be pretty ugly, but I’d have a red bottom too, that’s for sure.”

“Well, that ugly truth that daddy didn’t know, is still true. I got this book at my local book store for just fifteen, ninety-nine and, I’m tellin’ you guys, right here and now, self worth is what it’s made of!”
“Well tell us a little about this miracle book, won’t you?”
“Gladly, John, this book here, in less than three-hundred pages has brought me from selling crack to selling hope, and business, let me assure you, is good, and it’s all thanks to no one but myself, my hard work, and this thousand-watt smile on the back cover here, look at that, John.”
“The indomitable Mr. Chris Fidem, award winning author, motivational speaker, philanthropist, and just an all around nice guy, I hear.”
“That’s for sure John!”
“Well you’d know. Personal friends with the guy, right here.”
“He has brought me out of some dark places, John. His books, “Redundant Religion”, “The I In Me”, and “I, Lucifer, I, God,” have been multimillion dollar winners, every single one of ‘em. That’s because Chris isn’t here to sell you anything, he simply wants to show you what you already have.”
“I’ve read them all, Craig, and now we are providing, at Chris’ personal request,–”
“And out of his own pocket, I’ll add.”
“–Yes, indeed– you the chance to receive a copy of his new book, fresh off the desk of the genius.”
“That’s right, before it even hits stores, the secret of intoning the great self…“
“The power of the you in universe…”
“The soon to be number one bestseller…”
“The Call by Chris Fidem!! First one hundred callers receives the book totally free of charge. Just pay shipping and handling.”
“People, a million dollars can’t be wrong, hahaha!”
“John, you know just as well as I do that sometimes self worth is hiding right under your nose.”
“Wait, Craig, don’t you mean… your seat?”
“You know I do. Come on people reach under there and show the folks at home what you found!”
“Now, if the audience would please calmly be seated–“

–              –              –                –               –             –

What has 2AM come to? I’ve been sitting here since eleven and am actually looking forward to Sex Toy Talk at Three O’clock after that. No luck… its on every goddamn station.

What is your average teenage American to do with the hours of boredom that insomnia forces upon him in these modern times? I’m almost feeling dismal enough to watch reruns of the Leave to It Beaver Show or whatever, that white washed American dream show that Gran likes to watch mindlessly at the home.

I try it, and my already burning eyes begin to roll back slowly into my head. If they think that’s gonna cure her dementia, they probably have another thing coming. I bet Charles Manson jacks off to this shit in his prison cell.

Exhaustion always brings funny thoughts into my mind, mom doesn’t think they’re funny. Morbid, everything’s morbid to her. If it doesn’t have talking inanimate objects or singing animals, its morbid. Then again she hasn’t had time to watch TV since Reagan was in office. Actually she probably would have watched him, wasn’t he in the Mickey Mouse Club or something?

On that note…**click**…goodbye mindless, brain melting television, hello swirling, flickery, darkness of living room ceiling. You know you’ve been watching infomercials too long when you can still see Craig and John’s pearly veneers flickering on the ceiling. If they are burned into my retinas, I swear to gods, skreek, skreek, SKREWDRIVER! Maybe a melon baller.

Exhaustion makes me weird.

The darkness is still swirly but the flickery is gone and, thank gods, so are the veneers. The darkness makes me tense, always has. Almost always, ever since I was like eight.

Now don’t get all “Sixth Sense” on me, I’m not some tragic, sheltered, child who can “see dead people” or anything… but I do see something, and before you start spraying psychobabble out of your, oh so learned ass, you should know that my brain has been poked more times than a Louisiana floozy. I’m just as sane as any other teenager… insert sly smile here.

My mother, the exonerated Dr. Lillian Fawst, is a head shrinker extraordinaire, and though she would not touch my virgin brain with her dexterous probing, did put me through a hellish amount of brain boot camp at the hands of her esteemed colleagues.

Probably shouldn’t have told her about, what I then termed, the “demon head” which I had seen in a black back window of a certain wintergreen minivan. I came screaming into the passenger seat crying and probably tearfully babbling about something that she immediately labeled the result of developmental problems in the mask of too many “dreary” and “stark” television programs, hence the Disney injections.

She liked that their films are positive, tempered with the balance of darkness which is overcome by a reigning since of logical morality which should temper my troubled mind into a bright and bubbly coma until I’m old enough to get a job and a single bedroom apartment for my problems and I.

I never spoke to her about them again. Like talking to animals isn’t something a complete schizo does.

So, mommy doesn’t understand, how about daddy? Here’s me running into his bedroom one night, crying my wittle heart out about the silhouette of a man in a wide brimmed hat that I awoke to find standing over me, ominously staring down to my bed, rocking slowly back and forth. Did I mention ominously? Well, ominously.
“Can I sleep with you and mom?”
“Just go back to bed and pray, son. There is no fear in the perfect love of God.”

Great, so now I have to go back to where a possible stalker (maybe farmer?) is still standing at my bedside, powered by the prayers to a God who doesn’t love me anymore because I am afraid of said stalker(farmer). Real reassured there dad, thanks a ton, it’s been a slice, I’ll just go get chopped into tiny bits now and fed to the pigs. Of course, stalker(farmer) wasn’t there when I got back and turned on the little-boy-saving-night-light. I did discover something peculiar, however, beside my bed, where he was once standing, rocking slowly back and forth (ominously), was my little, wooden, rocking chair. Proof of an afore unknown physicality to my nightly phantasms, these ain’t your grandma’s night terrors. Yep, slept like a brick that night.

My places to turn have quite clearly run out. I did try to tell some friends when I was little, hey, at least I scared them enough to stay up with me when I was too scared to sleep. When I approached junior high I could clearly see that well of support drying up too.

So now, when the house is quiet and darkness’ obsidian mirror settles over me, I see the oil of black shifting and turning like polluted water all around me, and in the shifting there are faces, some seem to be human, others certainly are not. Sometimes they notice me, sometimes they do not. When time comes that they have the notion to really show themselves to me, for whatever reason, I am still terrified, and alone, with no one ever to turn to; boo-hoo, poor me.

I have chosen infomercials as a “healthy” alternative. Who knows, maybe I really will go blind, watching the TV in the dark for hours, like mom says, and have no need to fear anymore.

At the same time there is a part inside of me that lives for that unique, thrilling, moment of recognition. When I hear someone walk into my room, and they don’t answer when I call “Who’s there?” or “Mom, is that you?”, and that strange part inside me, that really already recognized the unearthly presence as not human, ignites and my heart flutters, and my palms sweat, my mind races, and I ignore the urge to run; when I stand before it in awe and terrified wonder. When I tremble as I approach, and think of what the consequences will be if I can touch this quiet stranger, and if they are more or less mortifying than the implications of the opposite scenario. When a new and terrible shock warms over me as my hand inevitably passes through the shadowy figure that is clearly standing eye to eye in front of me, but the light always comes on, and whatever it was has gone.

I asked my father once, being that I was young and naïvely under the presumption that he was the picture of wisdom, “Why do I see these things?”. His answer was a question.
“What did you do? You must ask God to search your heart so that you can be forgiven. You see, the closer we get to Him, son, the more responsibility we have to be pure, and the closer we come to the darkness that is hiding inside of even the tiniest little crevices of our heart, a darkness that must be purged if we are to see His face.”

My father was a “born again”. He got “saved” in the eighties at a little group church in the garage of some old, famous, Christian minister. Baptized in the Holy Spirit and everything, he must have gotten the package deal. He made some Christian friends and they all started a merry little flock of their own; I was once one of his most devoted little lambs.

The thing about sheep is they are meant to be herded, not heard. I had things to say. I had questions to ask, and feelings that I couldn’t confide. My father never understood that when I asked him a question I wanted his answer, not His answer. Of course God, having the only answers applicable, had the only answers given, and I was regurgitated His words for most of my life, never knowing about those other things I needed to know, that David, Moses, Elijah and John The Baptist had no idea about in my little life, thousands of years after theirs had ended.

Mom always thought religion had its place, as everything does in the human mind, but clearly defined differences began to cut a groove between them. After Dad began to have these “revelations” about things, she began to be cautious.

Suddenly things ran much deeper than religion. He started to confuse me. Saying things like “God is so vast that he doesn’t exist outside of our ever expanding inner selves, that our inner selves are just an expression of His outer creations, housing so much more the information that the physical universe could ever hold.” I only later would understand a kind of truth in these words.

My parents began to argue.

One should never marry outside one’s species, an atheist and a religious nut ball, for instance, apples and oranges; if an apple married an orange, what would you get? Well I guess that’s me, I’m an aporanglepp, the most awkward fruit— ever.

One day, my dad was going off on some tangent on a realization he had about “the abomination that a man should lie with a man as with a woman” and I, looking on, dryly as I would while he ranted at me with that zealous glow in his eyes, stopped him midsentence and said three things.

“One, I don’t believe in the Bible, I can’t find sense in how it was written by the creatures that even “He” admitted were imperfect, foulable, and full of nasty, nasty sin.
Two, I don’t believe gender should be a deciding factor on who you’re allowed to love, I know good, perfectly non-evil people who love each other the same if not more than you and mom, gentles aside.
And three, you are freaking me the fuck out, I’m beginning to be too scared to ask you to grab me a glass of Koolaid, for obvious reasons, and if all those things mean that I am no longer welcomed by Jehovah’s son into, whatever, the pearly gates, then I am not a Christian, and I do not need you shouting at me right now.
I am sixteen years old and a sophomore in high school. Do you remember what that was like!? I have too much stress just getting up in the morning and going to that hell hole to worry about yours.
I love you, but that’s… just how I feel. ”

That building geyser of adolescent angst had clearly been simmering for a long time. He made a face like he had just bit into the bitter aporanglepp fruit and told me he would pray for me; that was that. The only reason I had any semblance of spiritual belief after that day was because of the actual spiritual experiences that I was continuing to have in spite of any religious ties.

Dad continued to get stranger. He no longer read his Bible, although, he had it mostly memorized, it was left outside of his study on the floor. He broke off connections with his church friends and began (what my mother called) a social withdraw. Without need for a Bible he, I can only assume, was strictly having direct revelation from “the God that was within without” now. He began to write. He barely ate. My mother of course wanted him to seek psychological help; he said something like he was beyond worldly help.

I woke up one appropriately stormy night to hear him calling out “I am that I am” over and over and over from his study. My mother came slowly into the room, laden with the sad expression of things that were too much for my young mind to understand and too deep for her to put into words, and sat by my side with her arm around me, more to comfort her than myself, I think. She was tired, tired of pretending that he was still the man she married.

We left the next day. I awoke and she had already packed my bags. He didn’t even leave his room when we lugged the meager belongs we’d take out the door, I even made some extra noise, but mom kept shushing.

We lived with Gran for a few weeks, back when she still had all her cup cakes frosted, then we were in a pent house apartment, which I hated, and now a cozy little home, only mildly haunted. I am almost able to put the nightmare of high school behind my back. I have been exploring my own religious queries and I might be Buddhists. I wonder if I’ll have to be the really tall solemn one, or the jolly, fat, Santa of the orient. I’ve only actually finished the intro on the book I got from the library, but I’ve got high hopes for the little fat guy.

The black hole that has opened over the recliner I’ve been sitting in for the past four hours is shifting and yawning as I focus on keeping my eyes relaxed and unfocused. The diaphanous air is filled with mangled visages flitting in and out of view, some so corporeal it makes me jump, but I am determined to focus on this growing, swirling, blackness that seems to reach down like a cyclone just above my nose and rise back, a worm hole turning inside out, then outside in.

I begin to feel that electric fear in the dusty instincts of the human brain, that are the same that warn a cat or a cow of a coming storm. I am shuddering to keep so unattached from my body that I may ignore my natural impulses. My arms are limp, my muscles relaxed, my eyes at half mast, on the brink of sleep, a light trance going deeper.

As I struggle to hold all these subtle machinations in balance, something begins to form. I can’t believe it, after months of trying to control this state, I am finally getting the knack, and just as I had thought, something truly was coming of this chaotic darkness, it could be harnessed to do something, it had a purpose.

Shapes, crossed, shifted, blurred, changed so fast that the human eye couldn’t find distinction, so I quickened my mind by slowing my body, and so too did the patterns begin to slow, and deep in the center of this giant shifting abyss a colorless shape began to form in the intersections of the shifting amorphousness.

It was… a face, then a raven, a book, an “R”, and the pattern repeated, swishing together. Was I really seeing this? Had I fallen asleep after all? The pattern, what did it mean. As soon as I thought this, as if in reaction, the pattern shifted back into blackness, but the blackness was still and silent now. Then a focusing of invisible matter, a tensing of the air, something was different; the dim face of before slowly returned from whatever pocket of the black cosmos it had gone. The details became more grounded.

I lulled deeper into trance. It was coming, it was coming, a grimace, an elderly woman, eyes pure milk white; now I started to get a little scared. She looked at me, she—she knew I was there, she saw, she was real. I had called this, was this a symbol only, or was this–. The blurry figure, now a full body, stepped out of the vortex parallel above, as if the air between the floor and ceiling had invisible paths to walk upon.

This wasn’t right. I had to do something I—was completely immobile, too deep in trance. I could see her walking toward me, very slow. My muscles were twitching and vibrating in a worthless effort to function as she slowly approached. She became so clear. Her face was not grimaced in fear, but anger, she pointed a crooked, accusing, finger at me, her sagging breasts and soft wrinkled belly, her hair, was dangling toward me in sweat rung mattes, her eyes had the permanent purple swelling of aged stress and hardship, there were strings of drool from top to bottom jaw, bowing downward.

She was so close, the vortex seemed to threaten, a suckling ingress upon the spiritual air, I was crawling out of my skin, my heart was racing. Would she touch me? Would the drool be cool on my face? Would the weight of warm, sagging breasts rest on my stomach as she spat the words she so anxiously wished to scream?

I was hyper ventilating. She was at my feet. I could see the lashes of her eyes. She began to crawl over the fold out ottoman with changing gravity and the effort of her age, she grabbed my collar with dull claws and pulled me to her elder drool encrusted lips.

Would I smell her breath? I did not want to. My back lifted slightly off the cushioning. Is she going to kiss me? Eat my soul? She began to inhale laboriously here, her long, crooked nose brushed mine, her overlaying teeth visible.

“A’bandraoi basaich!!! ” she rasped like words from a strangled throat, scratching into my ears like a gorse stem.

I was going to vomit, she pulled me closer into those milky eyes, I felt her cold flesh, I screamed without making a sound and–


I leapt as if from death’s grasp out of the recliner and onto the floor, landing awkwardly on the remote control.

The room looked like a living room. No trace of naked old ladies or vortexes of doom.

“Are you okay? You were making some pretty strange sounds in your sleep.” My mom was standing in the hallway by the TV, John and Craig were at it again. I thought I was going to burst into tears.

“You really shouldn’t watch TV this late at night, you’ll go blind.” She came and took the remote from me as I sat in shambles on the ground.

“I can’t believe they are still running this crap. Haven’t they gotten their first one hundred callers yet?” She turned off the set, it crackled with static for a few seconds.

“Those books are just egomaniacal porn for week minded weirdoes who probably need real help. Go to sleep, Gal. ” She turned off the living room light, the hall light, and then her own light, after she shut her door, leaving me in stunned, flickery, darkness with smiling veneers that seemed to mock.

Craig and John smiling, in negaverse, holding my father’s latest book.

–                     –                    –                –              –

A Genesis of Heroes

This is something I have been planning to do for quite some time. I am beginning now to write a series, my very own “super hero” story.

This of course is through my own dreamings, the land scape of Night, if you will, and the characters here echo pasts of my pasts, beings of my beings. If you look carefully you may find the secrets of a man broken into word and placed in careful disarray.

I look forward to seeing how these children will save us all some day. Or will they trip like so many of the greats, upon their own humanity?

Anyhow, here are their humble beginnings. I give you the first recruit in a sequence of back stories.
I give you:


Chapter One:

“I met a man at death’s door. The door just happened to be yours.”

Dull humming reminder on my cheek. My straight red hair swept out on the linoleum like autumn leaves on the kitchen floor. Dull to the feeling, I learned how to swallow, to steal the satisfaction from him. Which of course sometimes meant blood.

His anger, looking up at where his once well groomed hair had laid perfectly in its meticulously combed ridge, now a tangled pile, his pressed white shirt, besmirched by unsightly, nebulous, sweat stains, gathered, veining down his soft, formless chest, his gut.

I made him look repugnant, when I took in the pain, ignored the the spinning room. I would lay there in shambles, wanting to vomit and scream and cry, betrayed, as I used to.  Instead I breathed it in and produced a perfect, bored, unconvinced smile.

He drew his lips back until his jaw line was skeletal. As he made me wretched so I made him, his weakness like strength turned against him.

I can’t move for the moment, but I know my blood stains his spotless floor and I constrict, clenching out like oil paint, and smear cadmium red curses no bleach on earth could dissolve.

What weapons have we who lie on floors like broken coal in the grid iron trap, never to be collected in the east?

When he was done expressing himself on my ribcage, he would walk in to the bathroom and wet his face. When he came up from the sink his expression sometimes made me laugh out loud. He made this guttural sound, I can’t even describe, like something was caught in his throat. The door would slam, the bath water ran, and he would hum that song. The same song he hummed when he organized his post marked bills, or the items in the fridge by date and letter.

He was once a mild man. Order was his law. It was the walls that kept him safe from all those things he feared. You see, my father, he didn’t know how to exist, not really. That was the biggest laugh of all.  How controlled he was, how he could master anything with a formula. Life, sadly for him, does not have one of these.

He spent his time building models and putting ships in bottles, weighing numbers, organizing, creating his own equations to solve and dissolve, anything to stop him from thinking about it, life, until, of course… he met her.

She, a fiery red haired, anarchist who spit in the eye of The Man, a painter, a poet, and, according to herself, a revolutionary. After displaying a detailed painting of Nixon with Monroe’s nude body on a live television auction some problems began.

Now she needed a number crunching mad man to split mathematical atoms for her. She suddenly came down with a bad case of tax fraud, unless she could find someone who could gather up enough sense from her “books”, which could only have existed due to the chaos theory, to present in court. This would have been a systematic impossibility for anyone but my father. In the end he cleared things up for her and everyone was ordered to let bygones be bygones.

I think it must have been their differences that pulled them so close together. In some papers I found she had said ‘We were so many worlds apart that we were from the same planet’ or something like that.

She, and I guess it only could have been her, somehow brought him out into the light, without even trying. She had him seeing colors he never knew existed. He was walking outside, perhaps for the first time.

She loved for them to take pictures, her life was so fast she could barely catch it in a camera flash, she wanted to hold on just as badly as she needed to let go. There were little wallet sized portraits of her on his back, the strips from those corny booths they perpetually have in your local malls, dated Polaroids.

She thought he was hopelessly cute, a dork by every way of the word. Don’t get me wrong, they didn’t understand each other in anyway, but she was one to just go with a good thing until it stopped, and for the first time in his life, so was he.

Father had never really talked about her, and I was afraid to ask, or say anything really. Most of what I knew I had gleaned from bitter fragments my dad would let loose on accident, occasionally, or crying, shut away in his room. I cherished that fragmented image of her. This matron saint I had supposed left because of the man turned monster in the wedding chamber. She became an angel in my mind that I could call out to in times of need. I could conjure her up in my mind in an instant.I had always made plans that one day I would leave this hell behind, I’d find her and we’d travel the world. Perhaps it was because of the height that I had put her on that I fell so very far.

Once, when I was hiding under my dad’s bed, I found the shoe box full of those pictures, and the paper scraps that may have been the remnants of an attempted journal. I remember thinking “who are these people?” I was shocked after I realized this elegant looking, pale, poet type was my father, then, piecing together the woman out of scraps of paper offal, my mother, my saint in the red on white dress.

I laid there in the dim light with sagging felt lining itching the back of my neck, thinking about this woman in concept, the whole situation, the strangers in that box, wondering what happened to them. They were so happy in there; their little cardboard coffin.  What was it like, the happiness she brought to this home, to my father, when he once smiled and went to theme parks? I wouldn’t really know since I killed her when I was born.

The last page I read was the ending, dated the day before my birthday, the date my mother died. Only then did that severing connection incise my little mind. I stayed, uninterrupted, under that bed for almost three days, crying until I heard footsteps, and sleeping in an unending cycle of web like dreams, clutching her picture, anointing her final scriptures with tears.

I saw her face, I saw myself with the shechita blade, the long, rusted, tool that I used to take her apart, piece by piece, blood soaked dress, white feathers falling, all in the name of me. Or I saw her in the scene of that photo in front of the rollercoaster rails, sitting at a bench, father had some hot pink cotton candy and mom had a giant corn dog. They were laughing, I could hear them from inside of her belly, but I couldn’t breathe, I had to get out, I had to scratch my way out or I would die. In the end I would be standing in the gaping mess I carved out of her body and she would still be screaming while my dad tried to strangle me; a pact was made.

I should not have read that diary, not then. It revealed something I had wondered my whole life; what had I done wrong? What had I done to deserve this? I was content in thinking that my father was a monster and trying my hardest to hate him, but, when I found out what I had done… I became the monster. I was the reason. It was punishment for murdering the only thing that had ever made him happy, that made him human, and I deserved it.

I began to take my punishment then, with very little resistance, and then none at all. Whenever he felt the need, when life became too apparent and he had no one to turn to for his confusion, his disordered grief. I let him turn to me. The pain was my apology, and I screamed.

Years went by, this is simply how it was, and I became more and more a dead thing. At school there was nothing they could do to me, or say that hadn’t already been done, said, or that I said to myself. They were meaningless, everything seemed meaningless then.

I was a pain in the earth and I had only the strength for him to break me, I could only hold on enough for that. No time or interest in anything else.

The sympathy from classmates, the curiosity of teachers, they all fell through me; the hole with the converse shoes. I did what a functional human should do, I sustained my life, but I was not human any longer. I don’t think I ever can be.

Then something began to change.

I was used to my flavor of accustomed torment, I suppose, but the beatings gradually became soured. No longer a penance, it seemed, to a ruined man, a martyred mother, but a pettiness.  He was far too used to his whipping boy, unattached. He began to abuse the abuse, as it were, he dropped a plate, was stuck in traffic, his boss yelled at him, he cut himself, there were a thousand reasons now to be torn and he wrote them across my flesh.

Slowly, creativity began to work in his mind, he started to scare me, and fear can have a strange effect upon a dead man.

I was awakened from a grey dream and, when I opened my necracious eyes, it seemed the pain of ten years echoed to me in the wakening, defibrillating me back from the shade of limbo. In full color came the nightmare that had been decaying the house I lived in.

Father had let things go. He was losing control, grip. His meticulous calculations, his compulsions, they had become reflex now, useless, like drawing meaning from breathing.  In the crucible of the incomprehensibility that is life, and without his tower of idiosyncrasy to hide in, he went unchecked, he began to unravel like a spool on a stair case, gaining momentum with each step. I had been too withdrawn to see, too lost to call him back or to want to.

I could not recognize this place. Barely a light was shining in its electric vice, dust lay strewn upon dust, there was a rancor in the air. I heard the drone from the television in the other room, and saw the flicker of cacophonous static streaming through the dust mangled light of a cracked door.

This room was completely on its side. There was one flickering florescent tube streaming over from the wall that looked like a ceiling across from me. The ceiling over head had a book case that stood inexplicably above me in great disarray, the wood was marked and pocked. There were smudging marks on the walls around. Books lay torn and strewn upon the wall on which I was leaning.

I began to feel a deep pain in my head and abdomen, as well as many sundry frequencies of smaller burnings and piercing coldnesses scattered on my arms and back. My stomach felt cavernous.

How long had I been here in this topsy-turvy room at the dim end of a nightmare?  I could not seem to recall. The dim pressure points I felt bruising on my back were old, I had been here for some time and I now recognized the sensation as the pain of too long sitting in a wooden chair, the shaped wood slanting bars and bulbous carvings trying with gravity’s strength and time’s persistence to penetrate the back of my ribs and spine. There was also a great pressure on my hands and a painfully pulled muscle that was twisting slowly from my shoulder’s odd angle; both shoulders were burning dully.

I tried to move my head which slammed instantly, with a force I’m sure was disproportionate to reality, back on to the wood of the chair.

My arms were crossed awkwardly behind the chair back, I could move my fingers but my arms and legs were completely restricted. Between my sinewy digits I felt the syrupy residue of nearly dried blood on the wall.

The wallowing sponge in my head was shifting and growing with a degrading expansion, like a reverse expanding of melting of ice.

I stilled myself a moment, I breathed, I drew in the pain until it was immaterial. The wall became a ceiling and the ceiling a wall. My teetering head sloshed over and surveyed my father’s now recognizable study, though I could not conceive the material of which its reality was made quite yet and the air was still a murky pond of confusion.

I breathed laboriously, wheezing slightly at the obstruction in my wind pipe. I coughed and wobbled and jerked like an inarticulate sack of tenderized meat, trying to reconstitute its former process of movement. I jerked my useless arms from behind the toppled chair. The fingers tingled and lay limply as I examined them to make sure they were what I thought they were.

This was my father’s study, I was on the floor, and the red streaking scrawling on my arm was from a needle whose contents were slowly diluting in my blood stream, the depths were fading. I was laying in filth on a toppled wooden chair, I pulled a small amount of a cottony material in a string that made me cough as its length was drawn from my mouth; the remnants of a gag. I rubbed my bruising throat. This was beyond mere retribution.

I began to rise in a clumsy clamoring over the coagulated pallet of my blood. He had drugged me multiple times, and gagged me. He had tried to kill me. The fog had lifted, I could see clearly, I was shuttering with alertness, and an eye watched me from the doorway. A moment later it was gone, and I heard a familiar voice humming a song with a strange dissonance fading down the creaking hall. How did it come to this?

I didn’t know what to do. My perspective had been so warped so long that I was struggling to grasp the situation clearly. Do I call someone? Do I let him kill me, a life for a life, finally? The terror was alive again, and I was small as that beaten child in memory.

I found myself hiding at first, a hellish hide and seek we’d play, where he would call for me in rage, enticed, prowling like a nightmare creature, the succor of flesh polluting him. The blood on his lips was mine, he was starved for it. The fear of the unknown, of pain, I learned these lessons anew, and knew that I had to find a way to overcome them. I could not be his wound any longer. This was wrong. Where the callus had once been, began to grow a steel resolution. The sacrifice arose from the altar and cried in defiled defiance, “no more” was the cry, “no more!”

When he came for me, I struggled for the first time in years. He did not look surprised but merely adjusted to my resistance.  He stood down last time, but was it an isolated incidence? I could not see how it could be. My eyes were open now; it would never be like it was again. He was gone, I lost, and my purpose was lost, but until my path was clear, I had to fight. I had to find a way. I found the specificity of his hunger and resolved to starve him of it.

It was in the pain, his new found masochism bared its teeth. There was an equation to torture, a new endeavor for his calculations.  He no longer left the house. He no longer had need to. He housed himself in the living room, where the front entrance was clearly in view. He was guarding the exit, little did he know the frivolity in that. I had nowhere to go, no reason to at that. All I knew were these walls, the only pleasure I had was the resolve in the penance that was now gone.

When I robbed him of his last pleasure, my pain, the change in him became tangible, as apparent as fangs. The back door no longer would open. It wasn’t said, but it was clearly declared that I was not to leave. Even his thinking that I would do such a thing scared me.

He was closing in from all sides. The punishment was no longer allotted to only the physical; It was the inner turmoil he sought for as well. In this kind of pain was a new pleasure and I could find no resolve.

When the electricity went, another corner had clearly been turned. He no longer held interest in television, bills did not concern him any longer, I’m sure the water wasn’t far from shutting off. It seemed his life became a trifled thought and his mind, obsessed with the meticulous, was now meticulously obsessed with me alone. The distraction from the life he did not understand was no longer the distraction from, but was the whole, me.

I had, by now, long mastered the taking and harboring of the electricity that is pain. It became like a new organ, nurtured deep within. For so long pain was all I knew, it was air. Now it was the lung that breathes, the self sustained heart pumping the life’s blood to the body that had newly discovered need.

Energy can neither be created, nor destroyed, and as for the energy within me, the result of years of rage, mine was now bottled lightening, collared flame.

I no longer slept. I sat awake in my darkened room, waiting for the door to open, wanting it to. I sensed it that night, that it all now was coming to culmination. Something was building in the air and it smelled of a charge, of blood and static. I realized, after two nights of wakeful paranoia, that this too was a part of the equation. The anticipation, the cool fear, it was all of his design. He had no plans of coming up to my room. I was caught on his computating web. I was left to the offensive for the first time.

I had for a long time now abandoned wearing clothes that exposed my scribbled flesh, the cursive scars, too many tedious questions, redundant concern, but this night I would wear only a robe, a satin bath robe that had gone neglected in a stored box marked “C”.

I lit incense in my bathroom. I baptized myself like a virgin before ritual, in the dark. As I emerged from the ivory oval of water, I noticed something peculiar… myself. A cold, white, street lamp was pouring over me from a frosted glass window, and the glowing skin caught my eye. I gazed for the first time in memory at what I was.

There had been no care taken of my body, no manicure. I was thin of self neglect. My hair was long and straight, down to my chest. I did not know how long it had been since it was cut.  My face was long, my cheekbones high, eyes, evergreen with a diluting gold and smallish, my lips were full, and pink, there was a scar that divided the right side of my mouth, a flying pan came into memory, my skin was milk white where it was not black or greenish with bruising, and even whiter were the scars that I could not find a surface without. There were freckles across my nose and cheeks that betrayed a childishness, and I now realized that I was rather tall. I had always felt so insubstantial, yet there I was.

It took me a moment to notice the tear. It had passed my cheek and was itching down my neck. I saw there in the darkness of my bathroom, I now realized, a familiar face in the shadows. “Mother”, I whispered the word as a prayer to the spirit that was my reflection. I did not even know her name, my first victim.

“This is who I am”, I thought, as I gazed in resolution, not this face that some would call beautiful, that belonged to her, but these letters we wrote together upon it, the scars of forgiveness and guilt that I sent to heaven for the lives I had taken, my fathers and hers.

For a moment, as I read the brail of my flesh with my hands, I allowed myself the humanity of a single hope, the hope that somehow she knew, and somehow she forgave.

I left her there in that mirror, she did not need to see what was to come. I poured the silken, white, robe over my undernourished frame and left that oracular place with a new resolve. Purpose had found me there, the purpose to an end.

I opened my door, I felt as though I might still be glowing there in that doorway, blessed by the mother goddess. I descended the stairs with the vigilance and repose of a priestess as I entered the living room.

Let the ritual begin.

I passed the shady couch and tables in the living room. Nothing… stillness and silence only. I walked the hall, reflecting light off my skin onto the dark wood paneled walls leading to it’s room. The cave was empty.

“Shall this be a hunt then, father? Artemis and the beast?” Nothing answered me, not so much as a car passing by, not a breeze.

Was he hiding? I looked in his closet, then in the hall closet. I pushed aside the haunting coats, in darkness hanging like deflated bodies on wire. Boxes.

I glided into the kitchen adjacent to the den, drawers were open, everything was in disarray, but so was the whole house by this time, his cavern of oddly organized clutter.

I saw a hem of fabric move out of sight on the other side of the island counter, I moved toward it. He was ducking behind the island, waiting to pounce. I was going to better him. I walked slowly, stepping on the bits of bare floor around the arrayed trash and mess, then I lunged around the corner toward him like a cat upon his prey. I raised back as fast as lightening. There was a knife in my back.

I reeled around and saw the thing as I struggled with this new kind of pain. The cloth had been a mere diversion. The hair on its head was greasy, in strands like piled spider legs, it’s glasses smudged, it was squat and wore a thin tank top, its flesh was swollen and pasty, the breath I could smell was that of festering gum infection, teeth, blunt and yellow, nose thin and crooked. The expression upon its face was unearthly, the eyes were listless behind the spectacles, dead, but the rest was hungry for mutilation, eager. The contrast was up heaving to the senses. I stumbled back.

It took only a moment for my well trained constitution to react and absorb the sharp pain in my lower back. I removed the knife, a small one, it pattered to the floor as he launched at me. I side stepped, anticipating his move and pushed my hand behind his head, borrowing his inertia, and slamming his face into the wall. I heard the crack of his glasses. As he turned to face me, grinning, one of the lenses fell to the floor. He began to hum again for a moment.

He leapt forward again, hand raised in a fist. I moved to position myself around the island and my head met the sharp corner of it suddenly, I had slipped on some matter sliming the floor.

Blood leaked down my face as I tried to stand, but met a foot in my chest instead which threw me back down. He was wearing his best dress shoes which continued to pummel my chest and stomach with their narrow heads. I could not stop him. Each kick nudged my body a little further back until I was up against the other wall. He was mumbling something about a mistake, about happiness, about the things I already knew; they couldn’t hurt me.

I rolled forward quickly as he prepared another kick and knocked his only standing leg, he toppled to the ground. I stood up as he recovered, dazed, I was more emaciated then I had thought. I wheezed and coughed out some blood from something he hemorrhaged either from the blade or the kicking, I didn’t know.  I leaned against the island; I saw my blood on the other wall, on the counter, pooled a little on the floor.

The room was trailing as I looked over and met a flying punch to the face; I hit the wall behind me and fell to the counter to my right, breathing deeply. Pain in my head. I had to get it together. I closed my eyes for a moment and drew in the pain with a breath.

Something inside of me broke. A thresh hold had been reached, and pulsating hot pushed out from my core, a white burning cold. My body tingled as my brain correlated each scar on my body. A thousand instances of destruction poured over my eyes. A fist, a pan, a stick, the small table, a thousand pummeling noises, screams of rage, and then a silence so deep it quieted the past and a future spread its wings and sang.

The creature that was my father was standing right where he had been. Even he sensed something give in the atmosphere. I stood up straight in the calm of the moment, my robe fell away like water, and I stepped one foot forward into the light and smiled, at peace. He screeched and fell back onto the pillar that stands between the living room and kitchen.

“Oh god… my angel” he croaked out, “forgive me, forgive me.”

I raised my hands to my side. “Years of forgiveness I have for you. Let it fill you.”

The first scar he ever gave me, on my forehead, opened across with the sound of something swift through air. In unison his forehead opened. The second, on the right side of my ribs, opened for him, the bone cracked. He bent over in pain.

“What are you doing to me!?” he screamed, two scratch marks ripped across his cheek, his head went to the side with the force of them.

“Sharing your love, father.”  As I said this he lost breath as his lips split wide open on the right side.

As I spoke I tasted it. “You loved her so much. Each new wound was an expression of that devotion. I want to give that to you.”
Like the tearing of fabric, eight new lashes arrayed on his back, stomach and arms; blood trailed down in stripes, wide to thin.
“I remember” I said, reminiscing, “this one, it’s special.” I traced the scar as it opened from my right shoulder down to my lower left ribcage, he grimaced in pain. “That’s when I learned of her birthday.”

“And this one… an anniversary present.” Crimson flowers bloomed in rows as he cried and sobbed.

He looked over the room in desperation like a rat in a filling pool. He finally settled on the front door, so close, and ran.

He passed the table next to the couch. He reached the coffee table, mid-room, and fell screaming to the ground. I limped over to him. My once broken ankle had cracked once again. He was crying and hissing on the floor.

“I pity you.” I said “Look what you’ve become. Once a proud man, a grieving genius, reduced to a simple creature, a glutton, wallowing in his own filth and shame.”

He screamed at varying decibels, a few more small condolences I gifted him.

“Those were accidents… pointless, frivolous, accidents. You changed, you stole my meaning away.” I leaned down over him, blood dripping from my wounds into his. He spat and winced as he backed away and sat up next to the door that he no longer had any hope of leaving from.

“I’ll do anything. Please.” He was dribbling, he clearly did not understand. “You’re my son, Ner-“ he wretched as a seam opened, crossing over other wounds on his right side.

“No, creature. You will not put my name in your vile mouth. That is mine. The pain, the pain we can share.” I stood up, and raised my hands, blood, dripping like ruby beads from my arms, trailed down like bejeweled wings of crimson rain.

The tearing and rending continued, I gave him penance, I could not hear his crying any more, though surely he was.

The familiar warmth of pain ran all over and around me. I was pain. I smiled down on him, now a mass of red ribbons. I stepped into the light, toward him and his eyes widened, dazed, as light refracted off of red on white, glistening like nothing of heaven or earth.

“My angel, you came back… you came back…”

“Yes, your angel is here. Let her lead you to peace.” I took the butcher knife I had brought from the kitchen and wrote my first words upon myself, my very own, across my neck. He didn’t move or wince as I sat down beside him, a synchronized slaughter.

“My angel”, he whispered low, “My Carolyn…”

I smiled as I collapsed in his arms, drifting to slumber with my mother’s name, and all my dreams of heaven were Carolyn.

–         –        –         –          –

I awoke this morning from a beautiful dream, quite surprised to have done so. I was in a sterile room, with plastic curtains. Everything was white but the man leaning in the corner, he was black, an ink stain on the tender, white room.

My movement was constricted, I looked at my hands and arms. My entire body, in fact, was wrapped in soft gauze, I was bandaged and stitched, and doped, I’m sure.

“I am Pain.” I said in half delirium. He nodded slowly, as if he already knew.

He said one thing then, and hearing his voice, I knew I had heard it before… in my dreams, or perhaps in the dreams I will have.

“Knock, and the door shall be opened to you.”

Vengeful Things

This is a new piece I am working on. I came up with the concept driving home today. When I got here my pen went flying and I wrote a chapter and a half of what will now be The Vengeful Things.

Vengeful Things

By. Will Night

Chapter 1
The Widows Teeth

There was a woman in our village, I remember her so well, the cracked lips, the yellow hair, eyes of hollow spruce. They said she was crazy, but I know she was punished by what was her master. Yes, she was the keeper of dark secrets, she was no longer protected then from the venom of the unloosed words; her soul decayed, her mind frayed like a hanging rope cut from the corpse. She was mostly empty, I was one of few who could see it, and I was sorry for her. She was always looking off from her unkempt yard, she stood at the edge, meshed with the wooden fence, staring into the place she saw, speaking without words. I didn’t understand how no one could see that she was asking for something. Perhaps I was special, perhaps I was being called, perhaps no one simply took time enough to see her, rather liking to think she wasn’t there, wasn’t one of us. Thinking back, I would not be surprised in fact that she really wasn’t. She spoke to me twice, only. Once when I went to bring her a flower that she could not hold, and once to give her my hand that she could.
It was winter, in its early time, like a child it ran through our gardens, and pinched our cheeks red, it kicked up our skirts, and brought the taste of mischief to the young, or the worry of fear to the dour. I was told of how dire this Autumnal limbo time is, the smell of disaster, yet the wind seemed to laugh in my ear. I was finished with chores and the Winter Young was ready for fun as the time for night colored high jinks filled the grey sky. My dress, though already brown, was smudged with mud from the animal housings, and my braided hair came out like the wild branches of bare winter trees. Then I saw the symbol.
I was wiping my hands on my soiled apron, climbing a mud bedraggled hill to stretch and look out over our little hamlet from a god’s sight. As I approached the precipice I saw a flower, it was red, even its center, red, and in an instant I knew. This is what she has been asking for, this; as if it was plain as day, as if she had come and knocked at my door for a cup of sugar; this flower. “Should I pick it?” Something asked; my mind, something else? Things began to be incongruous, shifting, incomprehensible, I seemed to be at the bottom of an ocean filled with fog and broken time. It was in my hands now, the decision was made, or made for me, I couldn’t tell. I was observing slowly, the petals, the stem, the smell of what now I know to be pomegranate. When I looked up from the alien plant in a daze of strangeness, I was at her door and it was opening. Had I knocked? I had never seen her inside her house, nor enter or exit it, only ever at the edge of her wild, now I realized, flourishing jungle of a yard.
The door opened into blackness, slowly, from the depths of it, she floated forward as if ascending from somewhere where blackness was liquid. She seemed to glow against the stark blackness like nothing spectral or angelic, but alien and threatening, her hair was thickly wavy and back in a failing bun, the left out pieces floating all about her like waving grey flames of smoke. If I could have shaken I would have, but my thoughts were too clouded to understand why my body might want to do that.
I was submerged, the waving flower jungle of an aquatic forest now, standing before someone that was not the widow of my town send, but the being that came in to fill her eyes, and breathe the questions that are breath and not words. Her eyes were a light with a darkness that radiated from her sockets and bounced off the door posts of the watery shack and shined cold upon my face.
“You only have heard my call, as you have called me, and here I fall.” Words that came leaking from the mouth that laid flatly ajar, words that spoke not to me, but to the one within who called out.
“Yes, I alone.” Words that were not mine. It seemed I was to be a witness only to the madness of what was this place and moment.
“Have you brought what’s mine and all?” the genderless voice of nothing I can compare to sound spoke into the fabric of, and from, everything that was that place.
“I have.”
“Then hear, I shall not stall..

I come to you to beckon heed
that I’ll fulfill your any greed,
if you should sign the hidden deed
with ink that you shall freely bleed
to contract you for others need,
any that a man shall plead.
Answer me what I’ve decreed.
Join with us or leave with speed.
For once the seeds I spoke have bud
In this or that, there will be blood.”

I was clouded, my mind did not belong in that quagmired realm, but whatever within me that had made this call, heard quite clearly around the confusion, the liquid air, and in the rhyming, it had made its choice.
“Yes.” It said with a hunger, and a hungry smile wrinkled across and answered her.
“Give me, my sire, what I require, and I, in turn will sate your desire.”
With no mechanic of my own inspiration, the hand that was someone else’s rose with the red flower in clutched. The palm opened and instead of falling to the ground like any sane flower, it began to do the opposite and floated just above the opened palm, spinning in circles like a lure on a string in front of ravenous eyes.
I regained enough lucidity to look semi-frankly from the windows of my captured mind, I saw no flower but an outstretched arm, hand facing up, inviting what ever was to come.
Suddenly the elder face floating in gauzian air, became something else. The face was a wrinkled fabric and pushed into it from the bone came a perverse, over sized, beastly, grimacing creature, pressing into the shape of the widow from inside, like a jackal’s paw pressing into a child’s glove, the eye sockets out stretched the space they were allotted, eyes falling out like a doll’s, huge bulbous grey spheres pressed out from the stretching skin, and a line of thin razor shards lined the mouth like ivory daggers, and with a screech that was all of a horse screaming, and a man dying, and a rage flooding from within the gaping maw, the beast came down upon my arm.
Everything that could be me in that body screamed and struggled, and I, imprisoned in my own shell, could not move the things that were supposed to be me. I had no control, but all the feeling was still mine to feel. The thing sucked with a mouth that encompassed and pressed around my entire forearm and its strange, large lips pressed in as it sucked blood from my gashing arm, teeth sinking, and mouth smiling, eyes opaque, but brow folded in happy wrinkles. Metallic feelings running into my brain, I felt as if my pain was bleeding, my nerves pulsing with every electric impulse they could communicate; the horrible sucking pain, and I could move not one muscle to struggle, to cry out; helpless.
Then it let loose its jaws leaving my mangled arm to fall limply by my side. The terrifying joke that was a woman’s face stood smiling, blood seeping from the mammoth mouth, and swallowing gulps jovially. Sheathes fell over the eyes, from either side. The visage of the thing became of concentration.
I could hear something that wasn’t a sound, perhaps you might call is a deep resonation. I could feel great and powerful things moving in a distant place that was all places. Monoliths and Goliath formations of the matter, that creates inertia in its ignition of existence, fell into new formation over me and of me; my life was changing, being changed, I was being changed, my future, every fiber of this existing that is me in every universe would now, and is, was, be what I became.
“It is done, little one…” It’s eyes now open, although there opacity made there presents in it’s head seem mostly redundant, its jaws moving with the motion of speech, although the words came from no where. “…look.” it said.
In certain angles of what may be called light, I saw written on the air symbols that I suppose, to it, meant something, and there at the bottom of what I now know as “The Deed” was a symbol of me in my simplest form, my name.
“It is written. Blood was spent. The deed is done.” her voice said; my voice.
“Now my reward, your part of what is ensigned here.”
“I shall, I envow, allow now your what and how.”
“I shall have wealth for my family, health for my little sister, and fame for my poverty.” The voice, powerful and precise boomed from me.
“Ah yes, the lame, the fame, the saved from shame; that old game.” It spoke with a sly, knowing wisp of words and perhaps a chortle of noise that was laughter.
“You will grant me what you have promised.” This was a threat, clear and unafraid from her. I was terrified.
“I am adept at the promise kept, I accept.”
She seemed to approve of this answer; I was lost, swimming and utterly lost in the fog and the lingering pain. I thought perhaps great and powerful things would move in the aether as they did before, or a great clamoring and shaking followed by an iridescent burst of glittering somethings would occur. I was outraged, how dare she make a bargain with some infernal damnation with my body, quite out of the blue, and then accept the goods on it’s very nod and word! I wanted my blood back! This was bullshit! I banged on what I thought I could, and tried to do things to rattle something that was maybe noticeable, and then resigned to pout in some corner of space that had no corners or space to pout in, and, at last, simply existed in a very confused state of annoyance and failed at trying to cry without a face to cry from.
“It is done.” She said and my name glittered red on the air. The creature smiled as it wafted back into darkness, with the stretched visage and body of the widow dissipating with it in the liquid dark. All I could think as I floated in confusion was what ever happened to that pretty flower? The door to the shack slammed and I awoke in my bed, clutching a strangled daisy.
“Oh there it is, huh.” I said stupidly before drifting in to a blessed understandable unconsciousness.