Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Note

Roger woke up that morning to find a note on the kitchen table directly across from his

small sleeping quarters. He wiped his eyes and yawned, reaching for the note. Roger did a double

take upon reading it, skimming it over once more. The note was from his mother and said rather

bluntly that he would have to find a way to come up with the money to replace his suede shoes that

he had ruined the day before while playing with his friends during a rain storm. The school year was

right around the corner and these were the only pair that he had owned.

The note also let him know that she would not be home until 7 AM the next morning, working a

double shift at the local hospital. He knew that ever since his father passed that they were having it a

dozen times more rough than when he was around. He scampered over to the corner to take a look at

his shoes and see if they were at all salvageable. They remained drenched, and it appeared that as

always, his mother was correct. He attempted to ask around the neighborhood in an attempt to locate

an unwanted pair of shoes that someone may have had laying around. He was unsuccessful.

After a quick breakfast he ran the options through his mind. The only two he could come up

with were to attend school barefoot or illegally obtain the money. Roger wasn’t a bad kid, he’d never

seen trouble in his life. It seemed like a fair risk to take. He walked outside and examined the

neighborhood briefly. He didn’t see anyone in sight.

He made his way to the corner and came across a large woman with a large purse that had

everything in it but a hammer and nails.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

One Time Too Many

Apolgies for the formatting, it was written in MS Word and I simply do not have the time to edit it to fit properly on the blog.. regardless, I hope you enjoy it.


In the winter of 2004, he was forbidden from attending his original high school for skipping class

on numerous occasions, as well as being involved with the crowd that regularly participated in selling

and using recreational drugs. He didn’t complete a full school year before they eventually caught on

to his ways and stepped in to put a stop to it. He attempted to rationalize his actions with the excuse

that it was a hard habit to break, seeing as when he first entered the school their attendance system

was faulty and would count you as present for the day as long as you went to home room. This went on

until November when they finally got their systems back up to par. While they had told him straight out

that if this persisted, not only would he placed on probation by recommendation of the school, but

removed from it completely.

                As you may have already guessed, their warnings went by the wayside and he continued on

in his stubborn ways. By this time, when they did make their threats come to fruition, it was early

December. The principal had given him one last chance, telling him that if he was caught skipping one

more time, you could consider it a done deal. His advice went in one ear and out the other immediately

following their meeting, and proceeded to skip all lunch periods with his gang of misfits to again

partake in illegal activities.

                Upon showing up for class the next day, the principal was waiting for his arrival and promptly

told him he was done for. He picked up the phone on his desk, which looked to have been older than the

man himself, and called his mother to break the news to her. They had recommended placing him in

alternative education, and his mother agreed and followed through with it. They also had recommended

probation, which was also carried out. At the age of sixteen, things were not looking so good for him.

                He was rattled at the prospect of attending a school that held pride in the fact that they were

gang members, degenerates and the whole idea of starting over again in a new place. It was nothing like

he imagined, the school was great. It was located at a building that used to be church, and there weren’t

many renovations made. Nuns still had special chambers just for them to meet and you’d see them

walking around the halls some days.

                Outside of that, he knew plenty of people currently at the school. It was quite a shock,

as he had often wondered where these old acquaintances had ended up. He now had his answer.

Privileges were earned here, you had to be on the honor roll every week to go outside for lunch or

a cigarette, whichever you chose. After being there for a while and getting his grades up, he slightly

started to fall back into his old ways and began cutting school at lunch and not returning.

                One day, he and two of his friends decided to pull this once more and came up with the idea

of hanging out at an old friend who had dropped out of school completely’s home. This would prove to

be a life altering decision. They walked and enjoyed the spring day in the 3rd week of March and had

reached their destination with ease. He knocked at the door while he two companions waited alongside

him. Their call was answered and the door swung open, inviting them in. They stayed for about a half an

hour before a car horn was heard outside.

                The owner of the apartment, and the one we came to see, Mike, opened the door to see who it

was.  He returned and it said it was a neighbor’s mother wondering if her daughter was cutting class
there. Conversation continued and it was eventually revealed that the woman’s name was Christine. He

looked on with a pale look on his face and uttered the words, “Christine who? Perez?” Mike shook

his head yes, and began playing his Xbox. Just then, a knock was heard, and she let it be known that it

was in fact Christine again and that she wanted to search the apartment to see if her daughter was

there.  Mike went to open the door while he ran into his bedroom and hid on his bed, piling as many

clothes and blankets as he could on top of himself in fear of being discovered.

                He couldn’t hear the conversation between Mike and Christine, but it was obvious to him

that he had let her into his home.  The bedroom door swung  open and she ripped through the pile of

clothes like a category 3 hurricane. She reached the bottom to reveal none other than her juvenile


CONNECTIONS: The whole story is factual, except she never entered the house. I was a nervous wreck

when I made the connection that the woman was indeed my probation officer. I really did hide on his

 bed buried in clothes.

Friday, September 2, 2011

First Five Chapters "A World Like This"


 A World Like This

                             Josh Neary

            THEY always told me to be a leader instead of a follower. I said, “you first.” My

name is James Altiwood, and I am a fairly successful writer. Well, I used to be, that is. My

life has fallen to shambles in the past two years of my life, which in turn has created the

monster that I am today. Actually, that’s a bit harsh. To others I may be just that. . . but from

my point of view, I am doing what is necessary to right the wrongs I have made in my life.

I have killed many times in my life, and probably will again. Very soon. If I follow my

current pattern, my next victim will be a middle aged white male. He’d be a widower with

two kids. You’d be surprised how many of these men exist, especially in my area.

The greater Metropolitan area. I never really seen what was so “great” about it.

Over populated, dense area. No room for any privacy of your own. I guess that’s why I’ve

been what some would call a “shut-in” for the most of my days. There’s just too much for me

to keep up with out there. Nonstop traffic, kids everywhere. . Now don’t get me wrong, I

don’t mind the kids so much. They remind me of the few good memories I still have left. It’s

the parent’s that really hurt a nerve within me. Their over-protective, snobby self’s. 

Coddling them, hiding them from the evils of the world, how it truly is. My goal in all

of this is not to damage a child’s psyche or anything of the sort. I actually believe that I do

them more good than harm in the long run. Yes, what I do is devastating at first, I would

never ever argue that point, assuming I’d have someone to argue it with, which has yet to

happen but I’m hopeful. Another point I’d like to drive home is that I don’t do this simply

because of the way some parent’s tuck their children away from the harsh realities of life, it’s

also the way that they force a life upon them. Pushing their son to sports, their daughters to

dancing, among other things. Don’t even get me started on the pageant shows that have been

all the rage for the past decade or two, feeding the masses something that can be classified no

less than soft-core material for perverts and child molesters around the globe. Has it ever

crossed your mind that some of these “judges”, and I use this term loosely, are simply up to

no good? I’m rambling now. I got up from the La-Z-Boy recliner I was sitting in and clicked

off the TV. My thoughts often drift to a point where I lose track. I can’t forget the task at

hand. I won’t. Not this time. Things can’t go like they did with Mrs. Schafer. What a trophy

she’d have been. If it wasn’t for her fucking dog that bitch was mine. Usually I scout my prey

for days, but this one was a pleasure kill. I got the urge as I passed her in the super market,

she had trouble carrying the watermelons into her cart. I happily obliged. She never noticed

me follow her home. No idea I was in her living room crouched behind the sofa, waiting for

my cue to end her pathetic existence. The dog must have been outside while she was out,

Mookie I think his name was. Before I knew it, the mangy bastard sniffed me out. Luckily I

got out of the front door before the police arrived. It’s worrisome how they may know my

features now. At least not my face, I’m not that stupid. Although sometimes I question

if it’s worth going out in eighty degree weather with a mask on my face. The last incident

confirmed that it was. And so another opportunity awaits. Another chance to right a wrong.

I grabbed my keys and opened the door to leave my apartment. At my feet lays the paper.

I kick it aside and unlock my car doors with my remote. Off I go. Can’t fuck this one up.

AS Don Conklin peered out his dining room window, he marveled at the beauty of the day

itself. A crisp fall day in Maine, birds going south for the upcoming winter season, a slight

breeze gently knocking the slender arms of the trees he had planted himself so long ago. Jim

had always been something of an environmentalist. Not an extremist, to be clear. Never

before had he protested the demolition of a forest but he enjoyed the simplistic complexity

that was nature. As he marveled at the beauty in the leaves as they changed from their

standard color of green to a stimulating shade of orange, he felt a tap on the shoulder.

            “Here’s your tea, hon.” she said as she placed the tray she carried it with on the oak

wood end table.

“Oh, thanks darlin’.” he remarked as he gave her a peck on the cheek. He continued, “If I

ever wondered why I took you as my wife, you’ve laid any doubts to rest in these last couple

of years, Sara. You’ve taken care of me better than the hospital staff themselves, believe it or
not. . . and I just want you to know that it’s very much appreciated.”

            Sara was about to speak but she was cut off by Don. The expression on her tired face

was one of patience. It was just something she developed over the years, something she had

to adopt if she were to be Donald’s wife. She was three years older than Don, but yet was still

in relatively fair health. Better than her husband’s by leaps and bounds anyways. Don had

three open heart surgeries in the past ten years. Many nights Sara thought she would lose her

beloved husband of thirty-two years, but he was a fighter. She admired his physical strength

much in the same way that he treasured her emotional courage. It was a peculiar situation,

whereas the man with the health issues seemed more healthy than his companion who was

given a clean bill of health.

            “Now I know what you’re gonna say, Sara. You’re gonna go on and tell me that it’s no

big deal, and that you’re obligated as my wife. .  . but the fact of the matter is, no you’re not
obligated to this. I know plenty of women that would have up and left in this very same

situation, so spare me the bullshit.” exhausting his point even further. Don proceeded to tell

her that he loved her and they reminisced about the 70’s, what they considered to be the

peak of their marriage. It wasn’t that the last twenty or so years had been bad, but everything

was still fresh then, and they were young.

            They met in middle school, but were the furthest thing from high school sweethearts.

Their love blossomed in 1964 when Don took in a friend of a friend after a devastating house

fire. Sara’s first impression of Don was that he was nothing more than a flirt, a typical guy for

the times. The first day that they met was at UCLA in 1964. Don had seen Sara on the first

day of his third semester; her first. He had quite the reputation about him, one that spread

like wildfire to her ears. Rumors were spilled night and day once Don made it known he was

in fact interested in her. Both of their inner circles alike were against the idea of their

potential partnership. Sara’s best friend, Annie did not really get along with Don, but found

a way to co-exist for Sara. If she were around today, she’d surely tell you how little she

actually cared for him and although she’d never admit it, she grew quite fond of him. Much

of the disdain she held against him stemmed from a couple of immature pranks over the

years that eventually built up to more than just a sense of dislike. Even through all of that,

Annie and everyone else knew with absolute certainty that Sara was in good care with him.

No one would ever argue that he wasn’t a good man, and that he did not have her best
interest at heart.

         Their wedding day was one to behold.  While it wasn’t as spectacular as some, it was

perfect for what their love had meant. Never was it about the money, despite living

comfortably, even in old age. Never was it about one more than the other, but rather what

was best for the greater good of them both. One thing that they’ve always stressed was that

while nobody else ever believed in what they had would last, they always had. They’d

always believed that their love would stand the test of time. Little did they know, time was

ticking away.


       THE sounds of the enormous aircraft’s engines could be heard from within the

airport at a peculiar level. To say the airport was dead would be an understatement. It was

5:18 in the morning, and a young man sat alone in a chair that was less than comforting. The

look on his young face proved that he’d been here awhile, he had the looks of a Hollywood

star but came off as lonely to most people he encountered. His face looked as if it was

chiseled, much like an ancient statue that still stands in Rome today. His figure left a little to

be desired, and while he felt somewhat confident in himself, it was hard for him to adapt

to certain social situations.

            Calling him awkward would be a fair representation, although he had somewhat

of an approachable way about him. People felt drawn to him, yet he didn’t know how to

keep them. Growing up without a steady father figure undoubtedly contributed to this

particular short coming. His mother cared for herself more than him, which in turn lead to

an unstable living environment. A new guy every other week it seemed, sometimes every

week. The day she passed away was the happiest of his days as of yet, knowing he was

through with both the mental and physical abuse she forced him to endure at such a young

age. She would sometimes blame him for his father’s death, telling him that he was

the reason the accident happened.

            According to his mother, his father, Dean, was on his way to grab medication

for the boy and ended up in a vicious car crash that claimed his life, and the other

driver’s. She told him that it was due to his ability to attract diseases with ease that his

father now lay in a grave. Something that he still faced to this day; a very weak immune

system. When he was seven the family doctor diagnosed him with immune deficiency

disease. This came as no surprise to him and his mother alike, who often looked down on

him for this. While it was fairly obvious it was not his fault, she never displayed remorse

towards her son to her dying day when she told him the truth of his father’s demise.

            The lung cancer winning the battle, she gasped at every word but eventually

made it known that Dean had taken his own life by way of pills and alcohol. When he asked

why, she merely smiled before her dying breath. The scene haunted him to this very day, as

a 22 year old author. His first novel was critically acclaimed, hailed by many as a literary

achievement not seen in years, let alone decades. His second novel fell short, causing many

to write him off completely. He was in the process of penning his third, awaiting an agent to

meet him at the airport for a meeting over breakfast once he had arrived. Perhaps he had

arrived too early, but this was  a chance he couldn’t afford to take.

            At that moment he placed his head in his palms and began to sulk in himself, the

only one that has ever been there. He raised his head, wiping the tears away from his cheek

and looked around the virtually empty airport. He spoke the words, “fuck this”, stood up,

and walked toward the exit, leaving his belongings behind. He ascended into the abyss of the

night, en route to an uncertain fate.

       THE drive down the freeway and through suburbia was a good one. I had nothing

to complain about, traffic cooperated with me for a change and I was early to my destination.

It just felt like a special day. The clock read 6:28 AM as I sipped my coffee I had gotten from

the fine young man that waited on me at the Dunkin Donuts drive thru earlier that morning.

It was still warm despite the 40 minute drive to his home. I was parked outside, across the

street from victim number seven. I often wondered if other people with the same profession

as I kept track or numbered their finished works. My mind traveled back to the mishap with

Mrs. Schafer, and it did the job in the sense that it not only motivated me, but angered me. I

actually think calling what I’m feeling as anger wouldn’t be a fair or accurate description to

be honest. Maybe something more like rage. Where I was parked, I had the perfect angle to

see his front door, and everyone who came and left from it. My victims become part of my

daily routine once I’ve chosen them. And no mistake about it, chosen they were.
            The clock hit 6:35, and as he had every morning, he stepped outside to get the paper

only to quickly shut the door, paper in hand. Marc didn’t seem to be a morning person. I

certainly hope he enjoys this one, fore it will be his last. For some reason I felt. . . invigorated

by this day, the prospect of this kill made my heart race. I hadn’t had this feeling since my

inaugural sacrifice.

            It was basically on the job training. Equipped with knowledge from Dexter Morgan

and Patrick Bateman alike, coupled with some simple Google searches from a public

computer, I felt I could handle it. . . and handle it I did. Exceptionally well if I may so

myself. The reason it was my most satisfying to date was because it was a grudge kill. I knew

that I could only take out one person that could be connected to me, so I chose carefully.

Being the 34 year old male that I am, I had a vast assortment of options. The list of people

who have wronged would extend around the White House fivefold. Well, maybe that is a

bit of an exaggeration, but the fact remains. I wish it hadn’t came down to me having to end

a colleagues days, but it had to be done.

            When I was 19 I submitted my first story to a local paper and received good reviews

across the board for the most part. I was getting my name out there, and that’s what I viewed

as priority number one. One guy though, Adam Rupert, really struck me the wrong way. Not

only did he discredit my work, but threw a copy of my story into the trash right in front of

me. I’m not sure exactly how he was expecting me to react, but I took it in stride. Shaking

my head and walking away was my way of standing up for myself back then. Them days are

long gone. Adam may have been the first to pay the price, but his company has grown since.

His death was easily my most violent to date, all I had was a hammer and a screw driver in

my car, and I used them accordingly.  The screams empowered me, seemed to make me feel

as if I was super-human, if only for an hour or two. The high I get from my work is like

nothing I’ve ever experienced. Enough about the past. This is now. Needless to say, I’m

far more ready for this assignment than I was for that one. The door swung open. His routine

changed. I didn’t panic, I was electrified. He tossed me a curveball, but how would I


            Out stepped Marc and his two daughters. I chuckled at the fact that I never cared

enough to learn their names. He told them to get into the car, book bags in hand. They did as

their father told them to. I assumed he was dropping them off at school.

This was perfect.