Friday, January 30, 2015

The Question

As he slammed the door shut, some remaining snow fell past his driver side window. Reaching for the seat belt, he locked eyes with his wife, whom he knew full well he was falling out of love with. Changes ranging from emotional to physical to mental had transformed the woman he had once adored with ease. The shade of her hair aging to grey was of less concern than her heart darkening to what he could best describe as a piece of coal. Never did he utter those words to her, but he was certain that she picked up on how he really felt based on his demeanor over the last few months. Her facial features seemed to be going the way of her cavernous soul, giving off the impression that her frontal was being chiseled with careful aggression by the harsh artist known as life.

She looked back at him, watching him buckle the safety belt and reach for the car keys that rested in his jacket pocket. He was about to insert the key in the ignition, but she reached for his hand, stopping him before he could do so. Leaving the key in the ignition, he succumbed to her intent, and placed his hand in hers on top of the armrest that lay between them both.

She locked eyes with her husband, whom she knew full well was falling in love with her more and more with each passing day. She knew that he was going through a lot, he was constantly stressed regarding his work, or lack thereof, but he tried. He took the swiftest punch that life had to offer, and came back with his chin up, begging for more. She had admired that about him and always had. He was the glue that held this mess of a life they had together, even if it was the cheap glue you’d find at The Dollar Store. His strength was also his biggest weakness, often causing him to take on too much at one time just to prove that he could. He had gained a considerable amount of weight over the years and dyed his hair black every six months, but it didn’t cause her to love him any less.

As she looked into his hazel eyes and him back at hers, she was reminded that of the reason she remained true to him; his boyish enthusiasm. She hated to see him lose that part of him with all of this ongoing, but believed that he’d get it back some day. He had to, she figured. It was such a huge part of who he was as a person and it couldn’t possibly be gone for good. With as many times as she told him to grow up, she was beginning to wonder if that was exactly what he had done.

They had a long drive ahead of them, but seemed to care less and less about the destination, or even the journey for that matter. They had agreed to give the bathroom a makeover this weekend, which caused her to get custom made floral print wallpaper from a local designer who she had met through Facebook. The design she had chosen heavily featured the rare Jade Vine flower with a backdrop of a rain forest deep in the Philippines.

Tears welled up above the bottom folds of their eyelids, and skipped down their cheeks respectively. The emotional energy bouncing off of the two of them could be construed as sexual tension from somebody on the outside looking in, but they knew exactly what it was. Words unspoken had found another way to escape, filling the air with raw passion.  

He thought about all of the things that he sacrificed to make this faint semblance of a life work. His family and friends kept hidden judgments about the path he had chosen, causing him to feel that negative energy at any and all family functions that he attended. They silently held less than flattering opinions regarding his wasted potential. He was supposed to be somebody better in a world filled to the bleachers with undeserved wealth. The rest of his family could gladly call themselves a success, while he was still struggling to even find himself again.

The process had begun and he was hiding this fact from his wife, making him feel as if he had an eternal hangover. His phone vibrated, and then rang out with a song from Gucci Mane. She chuckled and wiped her tears away at how awkward this moment had become, watching him swipe away the phone call and placing it inside the cup holder in the middle console.

As he turned his head and looked at her with a slight smile on her face, he finally spoke to propose a question.

“Don’t you remember how we used to be?”

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Episode 5

John received the tray back from the head cook, wincing at the slop that was given to him. A thick scoop of rice pudding was the main course, with a side of sliced bread and an orange. Charles opted out of eating and trailed behind John as he sought for a place to sit and eat. They made their way to the back of the cafeteria where an empty table rested against the painted white brick walls. John stared a hole through Charles as he pounded the spork out of the plastic.

“You know I’m gonna need some answers by the time I finish this meal, right?” John used his spork to shovel up a portion of the rice pudding, taking it to his nose first to smell what he’d be tasting.

“That’s the worst thing you can do. Don’t smell it first, just eat it,” Charles advised.

“So you can give me advice but not acknowledge what I just said to you.”

“Well hell, you said nothing at all, son. Eat your meal, you’re gonna need it.”

John dropped his spork on top of the table and leaned forward.

“You, and this Margot lady, and all of this,” he said, gesturing towards the freaks and identical Suzuki’s surrounding them, “I need to know what the fuck is going on!”

“In due time, all will be revealed, John.”

“And that’s another thing! This whole “in due time” bullshit that you guys keep pushing, I’m not buying it! You’re gonna tell me what I need to know, god damnit.”

Charles smirked for a split second, but his mug turned to stone as he looked back at John, directly in the eyes. “Son, you’re way out of line. I said in due time, and that’s what I meant. I don’t have the answers you’re looking for anyways. Eat your food.”

“I’m not a fucking child.”

“Ah yes, but you’re acting like one.”

Just as John was about to peel his orange, the doors directly behind him swung open, and out walked a seven foot, three inch Cyclops in a dark blue jumpsuit, shackled and accompanied by four guards. Charles rose up from his chair and approached the giant, shaking his hand and pointing over to the table where John still sat.

Charles turned around and returned back to the table, chuckling to himself as he sat down across from John.

“Great guy, that one there. He owes me a favor, actually.”

“Yeah? And?” John began peeling away at his orange, the only thing that looked remotely appetizing on the brown lunch tray. Two of the four guards approached the table, telling Charles that the Cyclops could join them for lunch, as long as his security detail was welcome as well. Charles obliged their request and they stepped away to inform their colleagues.

“What is he, your muscle?” You’re not gonna intimidate me, Charles,” John shot back. As he peeled away the last quarter inch peel that remained on the orange, the sound of the Cyclops’ shackles clinging off of the linoleum floor increased.

“That’ll be the best orange you ever tasted, my boy. We grow them right here in the lab,” Charles remarked. The gargantuan one eyed monster approached the table surrounded by guards and pulled a chair out, placing his tray on the table right next to John.

“Seriously?” John gazed up at the beast, shaking his head in disgust.

As he lowered his wide frame down into the chair below him, his lone hazel eye stared John in both of his.

“My friend here says you don’t want to play by the rules,” said the Cyclops. His voice was deep and raspy, and gave off a tone of complete emptiness.

John looked back and snapped back, “I can’t play by the rules of a game I don’t know. I don’t mean any disrespect to you, him or anybody,” glaring at the guards encircling the table. “Is this really because I won’t eat this garbage?”

“Now it is,” said the Cyclops.

Charles sat back in his chair and kicked his feet up on the table, leisurely enjoying this all unfold.

The monster continued, “Look around you. You need to eat what they give you to be a fully functional part of this community. The sooner you accept that, the better.”

“I don’t want to be a part of this community!” John slammed his arms down on the table, causing the guards to step closer to the table, but being waved off by Charles almost immediately.

The Cyclops turned to Charles and tried to negotiate getting his hand shackles removed, which Charles was seriously considering at this point. He called the head guard over to him, and whispered in his ear.

John understood that he didn’t have much of a choice, and picked up the spork and stuck it inside of the rice pudding. Throwing his hands in the air, he conceded.

“Alright, alright, I’ll eat the food.”

John picked up the plastic spork and raised it up from the thick mess on his tray and swung it towards the Cyclops. Charles looked on in horror as John stabbed the Cyclops in the eye, causing him to tip backwards and fall out of his chair. 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Paper Flowers

She stepped through the door and stomped her feet on the rug below her to rustle the snow free of her brown leather boots. The aroma emanating from the crockpot filled the beige furnished room, drawing her ever closer to the ceramic cooker. She had planned this out thoroughly, leaving twenty minutes on the timer, just enough for her to get out of her work clothes and into something more comfortable.

Her color was a soothing shade of pale yellow.

As she walked down the bare hallway, she opened the wooden brown bedroom door, twisting the aged door handle as she pushed it open. The four walled comfort zone was the polar opposite of the corridor that she had just ventured through. Rather than naked walls that craved the slightest memory to grace a frame, this room was populated with moments she would never let go of. Photos of beach vacations and friends from the past and present, along with keepsakes from ordinary nights that she blindly expected more of lined these walls.

The room was a bit of a mess, but she liked it this way. She believed in the organization of disorganization, something that she felt many people just didn’t get. Why spend hours searching something that can be easily found with a quick scan of the room? Her logic and ability to think outside of the box was an attribute that she prided herself on.

She sat down on the bed and reached for the silky red pajamas that she wore the night before, kicking her boots off at the same time. Tossing her black work pants and shirt aside on the floor next to her bed, she slipped the bottoms on, and then the matching top. Falling back on the bed and sprawling her arms out across it, she stared up at the ceiling, trying to break away from everything running through her mind. She let out a sigh that came from the pits of her soul, a sigh that actually felt like it accomplished something. Just as she began to feel herself winding down, the crock pot alerted her to the timer hitting triple zero.

Her color was red.

Walking down the hallway, she again was met by the sweet smell of slow cooked chicken, that was marinating in a mixture of Italian dressing, basil, and a vast assortment of vegetables to give it that extra punch. Her color slid down the deeper part of the scale, and now resembled more of a pastel red than what could previously be described as fire truck red. As she removed the lid from the crock pot and placed it on the island where it rested, she grabbed a spoon from the wooden drawer for a quick taste test. As soon as the broth met her taste buds, she smiled and congratulated herself on the delectable concoction.

Her color was neon pink.

She decided that it would be best to take a shower then eat, instead of eating and then taking a shower. Her work days were long and emotionally strenuous, especially for someone who was discovering just how challenging it was to fix themselves. She had come a long way and acknowledged this fact, but didn’t feel as if she should be proud of it yet. There was still a lot of work to be done, and for the first time in her life, was confident enough to welcome to obstacles ahead of her. Life had chewed her up and spit her out, but she looked her demons in the eye and slayed them as they came. One by one, they had fallen like dominoes. She was a conqueror and a ruthless champion of her flaws, wearing each scar like a badge of honor. Even the ones she felt that she didn’t deserve.

Often times she felt like a forest fire, something that should be admired from a distance. Resisting anyone who got too close for fear of burning them with the slightest touch was quite the burden to carry, but her shoulders were stronger than pillars at a court house. She was in a weird place when it came to how she viewed herself. She knew the person that she wanted to be, the person that she could be, but this anchor of fear weighed her down from chasing what she really wanted out of life.

She knew she was gorgeous, but would never act like she was. She knew that she was the smartest person in the room, wherever she may be, but would never act like she was. All of the pain that she had been through, the loneliness and the crushing pain of sadness, acted like an impenetrable force field built by a mad genius. Her barriers were as tough to break through as a prison wall, but all she yearned for was someone that genuinely wanted to. She wanted somebody who wouldn’t leave, or ever hurt her, and if they did, to not only say that they were sorry, but to show her that they meant it.

Her shoulder length brown hair brought out the most in her matching eyes. She had a beauty mark, in the purest sense of the term, right above her lip on the left side of her face. Having been told so many times just how pretty she was had lost it’s luster, especially when she knew that most of the people saying it were as empty as their words.

Her color was peach.

Stepping back into her room, she walked over a desk that featured various statues and knick knacks. A golden unicorn rested at the edge of the desk, towards the top right corner. As she reached inside a drawer, she pulled out a see through freezer bag full of paper flowers, with colors ranging from orange to red to angelic white. The flowers were obviously done with tremendous care, and were certainly a therapeutic escape from everything that came along with existing.

She gently laid them all on the desk and spread them out on top of a dozen sheets of intact pastel paper. Scooting over a black computer chair, she rolled it over to the desk and sat down. As she pulled herself up the table, she began to fold a dark green piece of pastel paper, molding it into a flower almost as beautiful as herself.

Her color was royal purple.

Monday, January 26, 2015


She woke up from a deep sleep, her eyes peering around familiar surroundings. A tint of sunlight poked through the vibrantly healthy green vegetation dangling from the trees above. Her eyes squinted to adjust to the sunlight, the golden gaze from above reflected off of her pupils, causing her to close for a few seconds before rolling over onto all fours.

She let out a crushing scream as she did so, and rolled onto her back, looking down to see her left leg torn apart by a bear trap. The meat of her leg was hanging from the steel contraption, exposing some bone beneath the teeth of it. As she reached down to attempt to pull the trap off of her, she noticed a two foot branch laying a few grasps in front of her.

She crawled her way towards it, the trap grating against the ground beneath her, at the same time she felt the teeth crunching down further. After a strenuous fight to reach her only hope, she tried to pump the stick through the slight openings that pressed down against her leg, but to no avail. She laid down on her back, smashing the back of her fists against the damp patch of dirt she found herself on.

Once her hissy fit was complete, she again reached for the thick piece of wood, trying to lay it an angle and chop it to break it in two with hopes of one end breaking her free. This proved to be more difficult than she had imagined, as she could barely get it to stand upright.

As she laid back and began to entertain the thought of accepting her fate, that she would in fact, die out here with absolutely no recollection as to why she was even here, she heard a furious hiss from beyond the brush. The intensity of the moment made her feel as If she could feel every slither, every movement, deep in her bones.

The snake rapidly approached, and its sapphire eyes looked back at her, showing a terrifying reflection of herself. This was a version of her that she had never seen; her brunette hair dangling below her brow exemplified a special blend of fear. Her dark blue eyes bounced back at her, looking more pale than ever.

She rolled over, taking the pain without a wince, ready to take on the serpent. She let out a scream deep from the soul, one that sent exotic birds fleeting from their branches and tiny lizards to seek immediate shelter. The snake stared back, showing no fear back to the giant that opposed him.

As the green and black skinned snake lunged at her, she dove out of the way and escaped his deadly bite. The reptile hissed back and sprung toward her again, this time connecting on her shoulder blade. She collapsed down to the dirt and grasped the bite area, desperately trying to cut off any and all circulation that may speed up the deadly process.

Pain overcame her as she rolled around in agony for about twenty-five seconds, and then came to a complete stop. She dug into the back of her khaki’s and brought a sapphire stone to her right eye, staring at it with intensity. The snake slithered away, and she could do nothing but laugh to herself. The luck that she’d endured all of her life wouldn’t change at all, not even on the last day that she took her last breath.

Alas, she refused to leave this world without a smile on her face. Sapphire had always been her curse, born in September, and ceasing at a venom of the same color. Euphoria overcame her, and her body felt as if it was floating above the clouds, looking down on her conscious being. The fleeting feeling continued, until she was virtually on par with the clouds.

She looked up as she ascended, eventually riding on the wing of a private jet to the right of her. As she peered inside, she saw herself, having a toast with a middle aged man wearing a grey three piece suit. As she pressed her face up against the window, the furious wind threatening to toss her aside. He reached into his back pocket and pulled out a sapphire diamond, handing it to her admiring hands. As she smiled back, all three fell unconscious, with the plane breaking apart in mid-air, scattering debris for one hundred and twelve miles to the east of the crash site.

Saturday, January 24, 2015


The shipwrecked remains of the luxury cruise ship floated along the Pacific Ocean. Jamie reached out for a piece of the deck that broke off from the shuffleboard area and pulled himself on top of it. As he peered out to the hell in front of him, he noticed another survivor, a woman, sailed unconsciously towards the front of the dismantled ship.

While he was unsure what they hit, or how he survived, he paddled his way towards the woman with heroic intentions in mind. As the water splashed up and soaked the makeshift raft. The sun beamed down as if it were under a magnifying glass, baking his once soaked face to a flesh like desert. His pores, bogged down like grains of sand, began to turn a light shade of red.

The ship, which departed from Honolulu, spanned twelve-hundred feet and was painted an ironically angelic hue of white. The iron and steel based ship was split 40 feet from the middle, both ends pulling in opposite directions. Approaching the front end, Jamie began to look around for any other potential survivors, but came up empty.

Neither blood curdling screams nor panic stricken women accompanied the desolate destruction in front of him.

Jamie was sleeping off a two night bender when the sound of the ship being torn apart woke him from his slumber. He jumped up, grabbed his flotation device and ran out of his room and to the deck of the ship. Trying to be the hero that he had always so desperately wanted to be, he began instructing various other passengers on how to survive this predicament. Waving them to their rooms to gather materials, the ship broke in two, sending Jamie to the hardwood deck, knocking him out before falling to the ocean beneath them.

Approaching the lifeless woman, Jamie stretched and reached out for her leg and tugged at it, a fruitless attempt to get her attention. As she continued to make her way out to the wavy void, Jamie tossed himself from the raft and grabbed at the woman, eventually ending up with her in his arms. He looked down at her pale white face and knew that he had been too late to save her.

He screamed out, broken in voice and spirit as he let her body sink to the sea floor.

As her body sunk further into the depth, beyond the coral reefs and the sunfish, her raven colored hair began to dance along with it. After what seemed like hours but was actually minutes, her descent was abruptly interrupted as she was whisked away by a five and half foot long creature, complete with a scaly body and an inverted fishtail.

No sunlight dared puncture so low as to experience the depths of not only the ocean, but the evil residing within it. Recruitment was a necessary part of that, even if it meant toying with the fates of others destined for so much more. The raven haired, hazel eyed woman was brought to a circle of women, all with hair as white as cotton and the same inverted fishtails as the creature that escorted her.

A stunning young woman stepped forward from the pack, and approached the corpse bestowed upon her. She wore a crown made of silver coral reef, and a see through dress that was bedazzled with pearls along the edges with jelly fish dangling from the puffed sleeves. She held court with the dead woman, kneeling to her side and whispering in her ear.

An elderly woman in the back of the circle asked what the princess was doing, and gossip relayed back that she was taking in all of her sins.


The princess spoke and the mermaids gathered around her.

“Firstly, thank you to Alex for retrieving this woman. She will be useful.”

Alex bowed her head and flipped her tail with a smile on her face. She brushed her white hair over her face to conceal her blushing.

Jamie sat on the raft and stared out at the stars. After four hours adrift, he became despondent to the situation he found himself currently stuck in. Hope was a dangerous thing to lose, and his had left when the sunlight did.


Jamie whipped his head around and saw a woman, the same one who he held in his arms hours before, hanging on the side of his raft. Her hair was now bleach white, and her voice was vibrantly full of life.

“How are you…? What? You died!”

She dunked her head under the water and faced Jamie face to face, laughing before speaking to him.

“I saw that you tried to save people. We respect that. Come with me.”

Jamie looked her in the eyes, completely transfixed on her and everything that she had to say. The trance only intensified as her dialogue wore on.

“You’re a hero, Jamie. You always have been, we can show that to you. Take my hand. You want to.”

Jamie shook his head slowly, and stuck his hand out for her. She slowly took his hand, gaining his trust inch in inch. Suddenly, she grabbed him by the shoulder and threw him under the raft and down to the ruins of the ocean in seconds.

The mermaid princess swam forward, leaving a trail of bubbles behind her. As Jamie began to suffocate, his eyes bulged open. Struggling to fight back the natural urge to take a breath, he tried to focus on the princess’ crown. It only worked for a few seconds before he had to inhale, and as he did, he took a look around the dark cellar of the sea.

Every remaining passenger that Jamie attempted to save before the ship broke in half circled around him and began enclosing in on him. The circle was broken as he tried to push through, but they forced him back inside. The princess swam over to the commotion and began to float above them by several feet.

“Come forth!”

As soon as the princess completed her sentence, the sea floor began to shake, and mermaids raced their way from every end of the ocean. As they rapidly approached, Jamie attempted to scream, but nothing came out. The princess chuckled as she sprung away to watch her rule from a distance. She swam past the raven haired woman who she had just made into one of her own, and grabbed her by the arm to take her to tag along.

They found a rock to take a seat on, and the princess turned to her to ask a question.

“What’s your name, sweetheart?”


“Terry, it’s so nice to meet you. Do you care to watch why it’s so wonderful to be queen?”

Terry shook her head yes, as they watched the gang of mermaids tear Jamie apart, first mentally and then limb from limb.

Friday, January 23, 2015

The Letter

As Mark pushed open the partition glass doors that lead to his office, he removed his jacket and hung it on the rack to his left. Shuffling to his desk, he was met with a notice on his desk, congratulating him on his third consecutive ‘salesman of the month’ award. As much as he expected the award, he was still proud of the achievement. He placed the sheet back down on the desk, almost exactly where he found it, on top of the massive day calendar that doubled as a mouse pad.

Before turning his computer on, Mark gazed at the reflection staring back at him from the monitor. Brown hair and a clean shave complimented his black suit and navy blue tie, and his jawline was impeccable enough to be chiseled out of stone. He had the look of success, and did not lack the attitude to match. He spun around in his chair to grab the briefcase that he had left behind the night before, and then placed it on his oak wood desk, cracking it open.

Inside held scattered piles of paperwork, documenting cemented deals from weeks prior. He rummaged through the brief case before being startled by a knock at the door. Mark closed the black briefcase and latched it shut, glancing at his boss staring back at him through the glass. Mr. Goldberg let himself in, standing tall, coffee cup in hand, looking down at Mark.

Mr. Goldberg stood a mere 5’6, an imp in comparison to Mark’s 6’3 stature.

“Chambers, meeting at 2:30 in the showroom, it’s mandatory. If you have any obligations, cancel them. New inventory coming in next week, so just be there, yeah?”

Mark shook his head in confirmation, “yes, sir. I have a meeting with a client at noon but I’ll definitely be back by then.”

“Alright then, well you’d better get going. It’s already 11:30. You’ve been in your office staring at that damn briefcase all day.” Mark grabbed his phone from his pocket and checked the time, and realized that his boss wasn’t pulling his leg.

“Are you ok, Chambers?”

“Huh? Oh… yeah. Just a big day is all.”

Goldberg stared back at him while taking a sip from his mug, and then wiping the residue from his salt colored moustache. He asserted his workplace superiority, taking a seat and putting his feet up on the desk.

“So, how are you dealing with your grandfather’s death?”

Mark’s face started to blush, feeling a small ball of anger expanding inside of his chest and into his stomach. Fighting back the urge to accurately address the disrespect displayed by his superior, Mark answered with, “Fine, as best as I can. I think I’m doing well.”

“That’s good, good to hear, son. See you at the meeting.”  Goldberg removed his feet from the desk and left the office as quickly as he’d entered. The scent of his cheap cologne lingered behind, which only made Mark hasten his departure from the dealership. Walking through the showroom, he passed by a forest green colored 2012 Ford Focus before acknowledging Mr. Goldberg on his way out of the door.

As Mark approached his car, he reached inside his pocket to grab his phone, but grabbed nothing but air and the suede that made up his jacket lining. He let out a grumbled, “shit,” and turned around to head back inside to grab his cell phone when he heard a voice from the door.

“Forget something, Chambers?!” Goldberg stepped toward him, holding the phone out in front of his body.

“Thank you, sir.” Mark reached for the device, but Goldberg pulled his arm away and stepped back a few feet.

“Your phone’s been buzzing like a beehive on that desk of yours. You selling a Shelby behind our back or something, kid?”

Mark passively laughed at the suggestion and again reached for his phone.

“No, I’m serious. What the fuck is up with you today? You’ve got to be adjusted to New York winter’s by now, son. I mean hell, you’ve been here four months now.”

Mark was starting to get pissed off, and showed it by snapping back at his boss.

“Yeah, and I’ve topped the sales chart each month, now with all due respect sir, give me my fucking phone.”

Mark lunged forward and grabbed the phone from his employer’s grip and stormed off, slamming the door of his white 2009 Infiniti. After peeling out of the parking lot and reaching a stop light, he unlocked his phone and sent a text message that read, “On my way. Got held up at work.”

As he drove on, he looked at the time shaving away, knowing that his credibility would be lost if he showed up even a minute late. They had decided to meet at the Trenton train station, as his expected guest would be arriving from Philadelphia. Mark normally detested crossing state lines, but the short trip from New York to New Jersey was a small price to pay to give his grandfather an eternal smile.

As pulled up to the train station, parking across the street, his phone buzzed.

“Camouflage jacket, navy blue tee shirt, blue jeans. Honk twice when you see me.” Mark lit a cigarette while he waited.  He was about half way done with it when he saw a man who matched the description given to him walked through the doors and stood outside, waiting for his signal.

Mark honked the horn twice and stuck his hand out the window, waving it back and forth to get his attention. The man in camo jogged towards the car and entered through the passenger side door. The car noticeably sank down once he sat down next to Mark. He had a scruffy red beard and green eyes.

“So is it true what they say about you people? You ain’t got a fuckin’ soul? You could’ve warned me that you were a ginger dude, man.”

The guest shook his head in disgust, “look man, just give me the money so I can get out of here. And yeah, we have souls. Asshole.”

Mark chuckled as he dug into his back pocket for his wallet.

“You take food stamps, right? I’m just messin’ with ya. Where’s the letter though?”

The red headed stranger reached into his jacket and pulled out a 12 inch manila envelope.

“Open it,” Mark demanded.

“Why are you so god damned pushy?”

“Is that really the question you want to ask me right now? Of all things, that’s the thing you just must know? I’m gonna give you a mulligan on this one. Ask me again.”

“Fine, yeah, I had another question I’ve been meaning to ask you anyways,” said the stranger.

Mark turned to him and gestured his hands in a flowing motion, basically telling him to get on with it.

“Why were you willing to pay so much over the asking price? I was selling it for fifteen, you offered thirty grand and wouldn’t hear of a lower price. Why?”

“Because it’s a priceless item, and the fact that you were willing to sell it speaks volumes about your character. There’s a lot of people who aren’t even aware that this exists.” Mark unfolded his wallet and removed a creased check for $30,000.

“What’s your name?”

“Jacob Anderson.”

Mark wrote his name on the check, using the steering wheel as a flat surface.

“30 grand is yours, my man.”

Jacob reached for the handle, but Mark mashed the lock-all button on his panel.

“Wait. I didn’t pay you for the item. I paid you to hear this story. So please, just listen.” Jacob released the grip from the door handle and sat back in the seat. “My grandfather died a couple months back. It fucked me up. On his death bed, he told me of the all of the horrible shit he did in his life. He was a scumbag Nazi sympathizer, but he was still my family, my blood. He was my grandfather, and he had one dying wish. Do you know what it was?”

“To buy that there document?,” Jacob asked with hesitation.

“That’s right. To buy this here document. He told me he wanted it destroyed, but what good would it really do? There’s more out there, isn’t there? You’d know better than I would.”

“Not many, but yeah, there are still some out there.”

“How many?”

“I don’t know man, like twenty or something."

“Well, anyways, to finish my story, my grandfather wanted me to read it and then destroy it. I don’t think I want to do either of them. How about you take this back with you?”

Jacob looked at Mark with a look of confusion.

“Oh no, yeah, you can keep the money. Go ahead. Go before I change my mind. Go.”

Jacob reached for the door handle once more, but this time let go by his own free will.

“So what did you pay me for? To meet with me? Is the check gonna clear?”

“The check will clear. Go.”

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Episode 4

Episode 4
Written by Andy Mascola

“No!” Jennifer cried out weakly.

Mrs. Margot laughed. John looked down at Jennifer in his arms, confused.

“What did I do?” he asked her.

“Our third question,” Jennifer said.

John then realized he’d used their third question when he’d asked Mrs. Margot what she’d done to Jennifer.

“Behold!” Mrs. Margot yelled before taking another drag of her cigarette.

Jennifer writhed on the floor, gritting her teeth and grunting. John tried to cradle her in his arms, but she rolled away from him roughly and curled up into a ball near the wall. John stood and ran over to where she was, but at that moment two lumps rose up on her shoulder blades as if an animal under her flesh were trying to break free. John recoiled in horror. Jennifer screamed in agony as her back gave birth to two feathered and very bloody wings whose tips extended down the length of her back ending at her waist.

“Suzuki,” Mrs. Magot called as she again pressed the green button beneath the table in front of her.

The Asian butler walked silently into the room. If he took any notice of the horror happening at the other end of the table he didn’t show it. He stood next to the old woman, awaiting his next command.

“Take the winged girl into the rehabilitation room. I’ll have Charles bring clothes for the one with the tail.” Mrs. Margot stood. Suzuki instinctively held out his hand as if expecting a tip. Mrs. Margot stubbed her cigarette out in the butler’s palm. The man showed no sign of pain as he closed his fingers around the extinguished Newport. Suzuki’s hand became red. Fire licked between his fingers as he was able to somehow conjure enough heat to incinerate the refuse without any sign of aid other than his own will.

John cowered in fear as he watched. He was cold. His tail had wrapped itself around his leg. He looked back over at Jennifer. She lay silent and still. Her newly birthed wings were retracted and were now lying motionless on her back. Blood was everywhere.

Suzuki crossed the room and picked up Jennifer around her back and under her wings and knees. He lifted her easily and walked her lifeless body out the door. Mrs. Margot followed behind never once looking down at John.

Charles, the old man, walked into the room carrying a black jumpsuit. “This should fit you, son,” Charles said as he held the suit out to John.

John was freezing and frightened. He was in no position to reject any kindness or clothing offered. 

He reached out and took the jumpsuit from Charles and examined it.

“Looks like they made a special modification for your new appendage,” the old man said laughing and pointing at the back of the suit.

John turned the suit around and saw a hole in the ass of the suit where his tail would go. He stood and pulled the suit on over his naked body as quickly as he could. His tail instinctively found the hole and slithered through it. John pushed his arms through the sleeves and zippered up the front.

“How’s it fit?” Charles asked.

“Fine,” John said without making eye contact.

“Follow me.”

John followed Charles out of the room through the exit where the other three had departed. The two men were again in the dark hall from which John originally entered, but this time the old man stopped halfway and pulled down on one of the framed freak photos causing the wall behind it to open into another hall. Charles pushed the wall open and John followed the old man into what appeared to be a hospital-like tiled hall with glass windows looking into rooms on either side. The new hall was much warmer and John could detect a faint antiseptic-like smell.

The first couple of rooms appeared to be empty. In the next room to John’s right he saw three men who looked exactly like Suzuki wearing white jumpsuits and hurriedly attending to Jennifer and her new wings. John stopped and banged on the glass. The men inside either couldn’t hear John banging, or ignored him as they took turns alternately mopping up the excess blood and carefully folding and unfolding Jennifer’s wings.

“Hey!” John yelled.

Charles stopped and turned, sighing. “She’s going to be okay, son,” he said. “Are you hungry?”

John dropped his arms and turned to Charles. He did feel hungry. “Yeah,” he said.

“Come on. I’ll take you to the cafeteria.”

John followed Charles through swinging double doors at the end of the hall into a large cafeteria. 

Inside there were lots of people dressed in the same black jumpsuit as himself. He marveled as a man who looked to be John’s age walked by casually, but on three legs instead of two. John turned quickly to see a bald woman whose skin was entirely transparent, so much so that John could see the blood vessels, jaw and teeth behind her closed mouth and clear lips.

Charles walked up to John and whispered, “I know it’s a lot to take in, kid, but try not to stare.”
John looked down at his bare feet and remembered the clothes he’d come in with and his backpack. 

“My stuff!” John said to Charles.

“You won’t be needing those things anymore, son,” Charles said as he handed John a gray lunch tray and got in line behind a man with long blonde hair and two eight inch horns protruding from his skull.

John looked around the cafeteria. All the workers preparing meals and serving the freaks in black jumpsuits looked exactly like Suzuki, with the same pointed ears. They were all wearing white jumpsuits.

“I sure hope the food’s normal, because nothing else in this place is,” John said out loud as he slid his tray up onto a counter and peered through the glass at the food being prepared by one of the Asian clones.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015


“Let’s do something fun today.”

“Like what, Avaline? We don’t have the most exciting life… or the means to really have one,” Oliver snapped back, lying on his back, legs resting on the black leather sofa that lay in front of him. He tossed a tennis ball up in the air and caught it on the way down, one handed.

“I thought you were dying your hair blonde today.”

Avaline let out a disgruntled sigh, proving that she was growing tired of answering the same question.
“I swear to Christ, you ask me that one more time, Ollie…”

Oliver rolled to his feet, tennis ball still in hand and a smirk painted on his face. “Well, you’ve been talking about it for weeks. What’s the hold up?”

“Why do you care so much, anyways? You act like you’re my boyfriend or something.”

“I wouldn’t go that far. I wouldn’t wish that on anybody.” Avaline sucked her teeth and turned her back on him, heading down the hardwood corridor and into her bedroom. Oliver followed her to the door, and just as he began to speak, was met with a door slamming inches from his face.

While they fought like dogs at times, Oliver knew that his sister depended on him to be himself. Ever since she had gotten out of the psychiatric unit at SUNY Upstate, all responsibility fell on Oliver’s shoulders. He had to be the strong one, and he embraced this new role that he would have to take on following the untimely death of their parents. They had died in a car accident while on the way to pick up Avaline after discovering she had snuck out to attend an underage rave party last winter.

It didn’t take a psychiatrist, or anybody with any kind of certification to draw the conclusion that she blamed herself for the tragedy. Money wasn’t an issue, as their father had left behind a trust fund that could only be opened upon the event of their untimely death, or Avaline’s 22nd birthday, with the former obviously coming first.

As much as he hated to be the one to challenge her crippling depression, he knew that he had to be the brother that she had always known. Her doctor made it clear that her environment needed to be as familiar and comfortable as possible, and he made every attempt to do that.

Oliver bounced the tennis ball off of her bedroom door, over and over again, until the door swung open and his sister was looking him in the eyes.

“You ever think of shaving it all off? Britney pulled it off.”

Avaline showed a forced smile before returning to her twin sized bed, complete with velvet comforter and pillow cases. She picked up her day planner and lime green iPod and leaned back against the pillows. Oliver joined her at the edge of the bed.

“Look, I know today is tough for you. I know every day is. It’ll be ok. Let’s do something to take our mind off of it. I have my shaving kit…”

She succumbed to his persistence and let out a genuine giggle that made him light up inside. Avaline looked over at him, and asked a question that had never crossed her mind up until this point.

“What if we aren’t twins, and were like, switched at birth?”

Despite being opposite genders, there was no denying that they were identical twins. If Oliver grabbed a brown wig and threw it on, and he’d pass for Avaline, and vice versa. Their hair was a perfect match, a dark brown that complimented their eyes.

Bewilderment overcame his face, “huh?”

“Like that movie we watched on Lifetime last week. The babies were switched at birth by accident, and nobody knew for like, twenty years.”

“You know I don’t pay attention to those things right? Whenever you put that crappy channel on, I grab my headphones and tune it out.”

“Who are you trying to impress? You were totally into that movie.”

Oliver began to blush, realizing yet again that he couldn’t get anything by his sister.

“Yeah, whatever, if you say so,” rising up from the bed, he paced around the room, playing catch with the tennis ball. “Let’s go to the zoo.”

“The zoo? What are we, 12?”

“No, I’m serious,” Oliver remarked, “when’s the last time we’ve been to the zoo?”

“…Probably when I was 12,” Avalina responded with deadpan delivery.

“Go get ready, we’re going. It’s free in the winter.”

Oliver hustled out of the room to grab his denim colored winter hat and to spray on his cologne. Avalina grabbed her and Oliver’s jacket, meeting him at the front door before putting on her own violet wool hat.

Oliver had the car keys in hand, but Avalina objected and suggested that they just walk instead. Oliver agreed, seeing that as a rare opportunity to pick his typically reserved sister’s brain as they walked through the wintery surroundings, complete with whistling wing and light snow fall.

“It looks like a snow globe,” said Avalina.

“Yeah, it kinda does it, doesn’t it? Hey so, how are you holding up? With me finishing up school and all, we don’t really get the time to connect anymore.”

They came to a stop at the crosswalk, allowing for all traffic to drive by before crossing the street and entering the gates leading to the zoo.

“Well, I killed mom and dad, so.”

She saw the look of despair overtake her younger brother, and knew that he didn’t read her sarcasm.

“Oh, no, Ollie, it was a joke. It’s a part of healing. I have to find humor in the darkest things. It helps me, it really does,” she told him as she put her arms around the back of his neck, pulling him forward and into her chest for a much needed hug.

“Ollie, I love you. You’re the strongest person I know, and I couldn’t ask for a better brother. You’re the only reason that I’m still around today, and I mean that.” Avalina took her brother by the back of his head, and gently turned his head to hers to be certain that he fully comprehended the praise that she had just lended to him. “Now come on, let’s see some animals.”

As they walked up to the entrance, they encountered a sign on the sprawling green steel gate that read, “SORRY, WE’RE CLOSED!”

“Ollie, did you really not know that it was Sunday?”

He smiled and looked down at the ground, then back up at her.

“I knew it was Sunday, I just really needed to hear that from you.” He pulled the tennis ball out of his pocket, and sat down with his back against the gate.

“Let’s talk.”

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Episode 3

The bald Asian man returned with two chairs, placing them at the table before departing the room.

“Now you may sit,” the elderly women said.

John walked toward the chair that was obviously his, as it had a special resting place for his tail carved out of the back of the chair. The blonde woman followed suit and sat in the chair adjacent to him.

“Jennifer, we were not expecting you, excuse our manners.” The salt white haired woman placed her hand under the table and pressed a green button, which told the Asian butler to answer his Bluetooth earpiece.

“One more chalice mixed the same as the other three.”

The older gentleman who escorted John into the building chuckled and took his fisherman hat off of his head, placing it on the table. He took a quick look at Jennifer, the blonde, before staring John dead in the eyes.

“So, John… do you know why you’re here yet?”

“Am I supposed to?” John retorted.

“Heh, well you did ask about those –“


The elderly woman stood up, kicking the chair behind her.

“Charles,” she said, gesturing to the man who seemed to be her equal in age, “you don’t get to treat guests of our estate in this fashion! Leave me be, just me and them. Take your drink and I will see you in an hour or two. Plug in my electric blanket.”

Charles walked off, goblet in hand; walking through the hand carved mahogany doors. The Asian butler saw him out, shutting the doors behind him.

“Thank you, Suzuki.”

She slightly lowered her head to him, and he did the same back. As she lifted her decorated cup to her lips, she eyed them both, hoping for them to do the same.

“What’s the matter? Is it not good enough for you? I’ll have you know that this is from my personal collection, you see? My great ancestors have been involved in the fine wine industry for generations, and I take this as a blatant display of disrespect. Be careful how you respond.”

John pulled up his chair, still naked, still with his tail hanging out of the back of the chair.

“What is this for? Why am I – why are we here? What do you want with us, Mrs…?”

“Margot,” she said, “Mrs. Margot. Charles is my husband and we’ve been helping people like you realize their true potential for the past two hundred years.”

John was taking a sip of wine as she said this, and almost spit it out when she threw the year figure out there.

“Okay, you people are fucked,” John remarked. Jennifer smiled and laughed under her breath. “No, I’m fucking serious. I’m supposed to believe that you guys have been… I don’t even know… helping… freaks? Fucking stop it.”

Mrs. Margot reached into her housecoat and pulled out a pack of Newport Red 100’s, and a brown lighter. As she lit the cigarette, she began speaking as soon as she let out her first cloud of smoke. Kicking her chair back, she placed her legs on top of the table.

“You have three wishes, think of me as a genie,” she said, “you each get one question each, and one to split. I will give you thirty seconds to decide it is what you want to know.”

John and Jennifer huddled up and began to discuss their options.

“Okay, well I’m definitely asking why I have a fucking tail,” John said.

“Well, I’m definitely asking why the fuck I’m here, ‘cause I’ve never met you in my life, but feel obligated to you.”


“Fuck, what’s the joint question gonna be?”

John looked back at Jennifer and shrugged his shoulders. They stepped back into the room in unison, and faced her as one.

“Why do I have a tail?”

The elderly woman, Mrs. Margot, looked John right in the face.

“Child, you’ve always had a deeper purpose, more meaning to your life than you could have ever dreamed. You are helping us reach that potential and we are forever grateful.”

“And you?”

Jennifer looked at the silver tiled floor, then back up at Mrs. Margot.

“Why am I here, and why do I feel fucking obligated to him?”

“Child, you’ve always had a deeper purpose, more meaning to your life than you could have ever dreamed. You are helping us reach that potential and we are forever grateful.”

Mrs. Margot approached them both with their goblets, and they both took a sip, while smiling at each other.

“So, for your joint question?”

Mere seconds after they downed their drink, Jennifer began convulsing on the floor. John held her in his arms, screaming at Mrs. Margot.

“What the fuck did you do?!”

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Episode 2

Episode 2
Written by Andy Mascola

John cautiously entered the warehouse, never taking his eyes off his host. The man looked to be in his late sixties, maybe even his seventies. He was thin and tall and was most likely considered handsome in his younger days. The old man wore a floppy fishing hat with homemade lures attached to it.

“Who’s we?” John asked.

“Pardon?” said the old timer.

“You said we’ve been waiting for you,” John said.

“Oh,” the old man laughed. “Let me help you with your pack,” the old man reached behind John to take his backpack off his shoulders. John stepped away.

“You’re not helping me with anything until I start to get some answers!” he said angrily.

The old man sighed. “Okay. Follow me.” John followed the old man down the dimly lit hall.

Hanging from the walls of the hall, John saw old, framed black and white photographs of what looked like attractions from circus freak shows. Families with hair covering their entire bodies including the faces of their children, making them all look like werewolves.  One photo showed a man standing on a beach in a bathing suit, his entire flesh covered in scales. Next to it John saw a photo of a beautiful woman in a long white dress, standing in a field, with octopus-like tentacles instead of hands.

“Where did these photos come from?” John asked.

“Huh? Oh, those,” the old timer laughed and kept walking toward a room at the end of the hall.

John followed the man into what looked like a dining room area with a red carpet and walls made of dark wood. The room was lit by metal sconces along the wall, each having a candle. In the middle of the room was a long rectangular dinner table with four chairs. In the middle of the table was a circle of twelve, tall, lit candles on a black metal tray.

At the head of the table furthest from John sat an old woman with long white hair, wearing a black robe with a hood. Sitting next to the old woman was the blonde beauty he had seen outside. She smiled and fluttered her thin fingers, waving at John. The old man with the fishing lure hat took a seat at the table opposite the blonde beauty.

John let his backpack fall from his shoulders, dropped it onto the floor and approached the table. He pulled out the chair nearest him, but before he could sit down the old woman spoke.

“Do not sit!” the old woman screeched in a high-pitched scratchy voice that stopped John where he stood.

A bald Asian man in a black tuxedo with white gloves entered the dining room from a doorway at the opposite end of the room. He carried a tray with three metal goblets that looked like something from the middle ages. As the man put a metal goblet in front of each of the three people at the table John noticed the ears of the man were pointed at the top. Holding the empty drink tray behind his back, the Asian man bowed to the old woman at the head of the table and walked silently out of the room through the same doorway he came.

John ran his hand through his beard and sighed. “Look, I don’t know where I am and I don’t know who you people are and I don’t know what you want with me, but I’m sick of the riddles and I want some goddamn answers and I want them now!”

“Silence!” screeched the old woman. A painful electric current surged through John’s body, dropping him to his knees.

The blonde beauty stood and walked quickly over to him, helping John back to his feet. “Don’t say anything else, John. I can help you get out of here, but you have to do as they say and you have to trust me,” she whispered. The woman stepped back from John.

“Disrobe!” the old woman shouted.

John looked at the blonde. She nodded. “Do as they say,” she whispered.

John tiredly untied his boots and kicked them off. He took off his parka and began to unbutton his shirt. He looked up at the old woman. She was staring at him as she sipped from her metal cup. The old timer sat with his hands on the arms of his chair. He stared at the ceiling and mumbled to himself. John removed his flannel shirt and tossed it on top of his boots and parka. He pulled his white t-shirt over his heavy frame and dropped it on the pile of clothes. He crossed his arms over his chest as if to say I’m done.

“All of it!” the old woman growled.

John looked again at the blonde still standing facing him. Again, she nodded. John unbuckled and unzipped his pants. As he began to slide them off of his hips he felt something unusual on his lower back.

John stopped and reached behind himself. Over his boxer shorts he felt a strange protrusion just above the crack of his ass. A chill ran over John’s body as if his bones had turned to glass. He looked at the blonde with wide, unblinking eyes. Again, she nodded for him to continue.

John put his thumbs into the waistbands of his trousers and boxers. He breathed in and closed his eyes. He pushed his pants and boxers down to his feet. As he did, he felt it spring to life behind him and coil shyly around his right leg. It was a tail.

John reached down and gripped the flesh covered, snake-like growth with his shaking hands. He relaxed and the tail went limp as he stretched it out in front of his body. The self-consciousness he would have normally felt of being completely naked in front of three total strangers was nowhere to be found as he now examined this most unusual part of himself that he’d never seen before.

Made of his own flesh and lightly covered in about as much hair as his arms and legs, John’s tail was roughly three feet long and about as wide around as his big toe. It began at his lower back and ended, much like the end of a sausage, at mid-calf.

John examined his tail. He could feel the warmth of his hands on it. He pulled on it gently and got a sense of the permanent attachment to his lower back. He let it go and found he was able to move it around in front and in back of him as easily as the tongue in his mouth. It was as if it had appeared on his person from nowhere, but functioned to his will as if he’d had it his entire life.

Monday, January 5, 2015


I woke up to the temptress I championed home with me the night before, her hair a flowing mess across the beige cotton comforter. Turning my head to the nightstand to my left, I grabbed my phone to check the time.

7:13 AM.

I’ve always been an early riser. I sat up on the edge of the bed, taking in the sunrise from the adjacent window. The burning red-yellow horizon bounced off of the egg shell white walls, and the painted nature drew me in. It was a chilling winter day that was reminiscent of beautiful spring memories. The sky was a light shade of blue, with the burning star adding a special hint of golden radiance.

I stepped toward the window, forth and forth, until I was close enough to smell the freshly painted window frames. Close enough in fact, to actually see a reflection of myself. My 5 o’clock shadow became a full on beard, my eyes were bloodshot, and to be honest, I looked beaten down by life. I’ve avoided mirrors, and selfies, for the past three weeks, with hopes to live down how I’d actually felt inside, for whatever reason that I felt it.

My color was yellow.

Walking back into the bedroom, flaunting my navy blue boxer briefs to an audience who was still dead to the world, I grabbed a black bath towel that was tossed recklessly on the spacious hardwood floor.  Walking into the bathroom, I could hear the blonde in the next room stirring around the bedroom one door away.

As I turned the knob on the shower to three-quarters hot, I finally took a deep look at myself in the mirror. I examined my face as if I’d be quizzed on it later in the night. My once smooth skin was now cracking, wrinkling, and I wondered if it had anything to do with me losing hope.

My color was red.

I hopped into the shower and tried to take my mind off of things, but with no fruition. As the steaming water hit my bare skin, memories of drunken rage plagued my mind. Closing my eyes did no good; it would only intensify the visions. I did the only thing I could think of to take my mind away from these bad places, and turned the cold water completely off.

As the smoldering flow pelted off and around me, I came to the realization that I felt no pain at all. My skin was reacting, it was as red as a drunkards face at last call, but there was no pain attached. For what it’s worth, this did temporarily kill the memories I had recently suffered through. I passed out in the shower, maybe from shock, or maybe due to my horrible ability to deal with absolutely any and everything.

My color was black.

Some will say that black isn’t a color at all, but whatever it is, black is all I could muster up, as far as memory goes. My hair was still soaking wet, but the shower head was turned off, and the tub I was laid out in was dry. I shook my head and ran my hands over my clean shaven face before attempting to stand on my own two, before my shaky legs brought me back down.

I groaned to myself as I gave it another go, knowing I’d have to use more of my upper body strength to stand. Putting both hands on the edge of the bathtub, I gripped and pulled myself up until I spilled on the floor like a glass of milk. Crawling towards the door, I eventually pulled the door open to see an empty bedroom, with a piece of paper on the bed.

I picked it up, held it a few inches from my face, and read it out loud.

“All you ever wanted was to forget. You’re free now.”

I did not know the significance of this letter, but I knew I felt a bit differently after reading it. I went back into the bathroom, looked in the mirror, and was pleased with what I saw looking back at me. A young, astute, clean shaven man, ready to take the world by the throat and make it kneel at his will.

Something told me to reach into the drawer on the right end of the sink, so I did. Inside were a singular bullet and a 9mm handgun. I stared at it for a minute, wondering if this was the right thing to do. A lot of my life had come down to simply doing the right thing, something I failed at so many times before, but every day was a new opportunity to be a new you.

My color was white. 

Friday, January 2, 2015


The clock read 5:56 AM as she reached for the liter of swill beside her bed, slightly tipping and pouring it into the coffee cup that rested on the upper part of her left leg. Briefly contemplating a mixer, she shook her head negatively and took her medicine like a champ. The burn that accompanied the shot was well worth it.

Reaching for her pack of smokes, she grabbed one, and lit it up before blowing a cloud of smoke that resembled a deep fog from rural Maine. Sometimes, well, more times than not, she’d stare off into the smoke clouds she created with each exhale. Daydreaming, watching the smoke twist and dance with the cool fall breeze. It was a shame that she grew up in the era of pill pushing physicians, making a buck at any chance they could. This, in turn, lead to her walking through life like a zombie version of herself.

She knew that a lot was missing from her life; this was something that she could not deny. She simply had no way to know how to go about it obtaining it. The fake smiles and counterfeit emotions she passed onto the background characters of her life were beginning to take their toll on her. It wasn’t that she didn’t want to be happy, or didn’t want to genuinely care about anyone else, but more so about how she had to fix herself the only way she knew how . . . by shutting out the world.

As she grabbed for a prescription bottle on the nightstand, she pushed down and turned the lid, dropping two Xanax pills in her palm. She cracked them in half to break the time release, a trick that an old friend had taught her. She’d never forgotten this tactic, because she didn’t believe it at first, until it hit her like a twenty foot wave. Chuckling to herself, she grabbed the entire bottle of vodka, and downed the two pills.

Clicking the light switch on was damn near blinding, causing her to squint while on the search for her day planner. She threw the planner on the bed and sprawled out on her stomach to thumb through the planner comfortably. As she reached todays date, October 17th, 2014, her heart sank to her stomach. She couldn’t believe that she had forgotten the significance of this day.

Feelings of regret washed over her, wishing she hadn’t dosed herself so early, especially with the assistance of the eighty-proof booze. She could feel the tears building and refused to let herself appear weak, even if only to herself. She had come a long way, further than she ever dreamed, but still wanted so much more. There was so much she hadn’t learned, hadn’t experienced, and hadn’t questioned.

What is all of this for?

Does he care?

Do I care?

Why are we here?

Is there a God?

Questions overloaded her mind, she could sense a meltdown coming on. He would be here in two hours, and she had no clue what to ask him.

She paced back and forth, forth and back, until she reached for the glass bottle containing her current buzz.  A rage induced grip resulted in her shattering the glass in her hand. Looking down at the floor, then back up at her hand, she gasped at what she had expected to see.

There was no blood.

There were no cuts.

There was no vodka bottle.

There was no bedroom.

Standing still in the darkness, she attempted to scream but to no avail. Rendered useless by temporary paralysis, her eyes were her only friend.

She could hear a sound in the distance.

Pat-pat-pat-pat, pat-pat-pat-pat.

A gang of druids with torches lighting the way accompanied a stage coach. All of the riders stopped at once, as they surrounded her.

She was terrified, and her face was holding no secrets. It appeared as if she had aged years within mere moments, the stress was eating away at her.

“You’ve done very well for us, Lydia. Your dedication, loyalty and allegiance will be rewarded at the utmost level. You know the rules, let your will be known.”

As Lydia attempted to speak, the voice from the stage coach laughed and said, “ah yes, of course, silly me. Unchain her!”

“What rules? Who the fuck are you people?!”

Lydia attempted to approach the stage coach, but was stopped after three steps by two druids, hoods still intact.  After informing her of her wrongdoing and explaining that nobody dare approach their master without being summoned was a sign of great disrespect.

The voice called her forward, and she followed the orders given.

“What is it that you want more than anything on this planet, my dear?”

The question hit her hard. She asked for a moment to think about it, and her request was granted. Her new reality was a dark forest, surrounded by creepy guys in hoods with huge torches, and a mystery voice in a stage coach. She felt like an alternate version of Cinderella, or something.

She stepped forward, head high and ready to deliver her answer with pride.

“Ok, hi, yeah hi,” she said as she waved towards the front of the coach, “so, I’m not really sure what you guys know or don’t know about me, so I’m just gonna tell you. Things suck right now and they didn’t used to. Things used to be wonderful, I had friends, great friends, and a decent family, and a good life… and now it’s just, everything is shit. I just want to feel ok, I want to be free. I want to let go. I want to let go of all of this stuff that I carry around with me everywhere I go. I want to be me again. I want to let go, please. Help me let go all of all of this stuff that I feel every day, and how hard this is to even just navigate through a single day.”

The druids dissipated into clouds of smoke, one by one, until it was just Lydia and the stage coach.

Daydreaming, watching the smoke twist and dance with the cool fall breeze.

“You may go, my child.”

The EKG machine flatlined, and after a fifteen year coma, Lydia had finally succumbed. She died alone, with nothing but a wilted sunflower by her bedside.

Thursday, January 1, 2015


I scurried out of the brush in which I’d spend a fair amount of my humid summer nights under. I wasn’t sure exactly where in the world I was, but I’d like to think that I had explored my share of it. I’ve seen exotic birds and fast squirrels, seasons change from cold to hot, and many neighborhood friends come and go. Some passed on, others just faded away.

As I looked around the parking lot, I noticed more vehicles than usual. It was a very hot day, and with me being as hairy as I am, I desperately needed something to quench my thirst. Running towards a door with a open hanging shade, I stopped at once and stared into their domicile.

A woman stepped to the door, turning the knob and eventually greeting me on the concrete based porch. There were two green folding chairs on the porch that overlooked the parking lot. As she caressed me, I circled around her, rubbing against her to show my appreciation.

I didn’t normally trust people, but there was something special about this person. This person put love into every touch, this person sweet talked me, this person fetched me some much needed water. I wouldn’t dare ask for food, even if I knew how. I’ve never been domesticated. The streets are all I know – it was all I’ve ever known, honestly.

I was ok with it, I accepted it. Not all of us were meant to be loved. I watched acquaintances and friends return back to the place they called home with the people they adored. It wasn’t that I didn’t want that, it’s just that I knew that it wasn’t for me.

A husky man joined her on the porch and kneeled down beside her to join in on the current infatuation of me. If I said I didn’t revel in this particular moment in time, I’d be a bold faced liar. His beard was dark and well groomed, and their hair color matched almost too perfectly. It was obvious that they were meant for each other. I used to look at Jesse that way.

As my past life came to mind, I subconsciously resented  them for taking me back to that place, so I rose to my feet and ran off to see where the rest of the day would take me.

I loved Jesse with all of my heart, and couldn’t help but relive me helplessly watching as he got ran over by a red truck. By the time I reached him, he was already gone. There was no goodbye, there was no closure. There was nothing. Nothing but me, left alone to pick up the pieces, alone.

As much as it hurt me to relive that day, I knew that it was necessary. I had to let go, but never forget.

I decided it was time for me to take a nap. I could sense the impending rain in the air and knew it’d be best if I rested somewhere with a slight overhang. Strolling through back alleys and backyards, I had arrived at a bar that I frequented. The people there seemed to enjoy having me around and I could always count on a free meal.

I arrived at the door and the same wrinkled gentleman cleared the path for me to go inside. I climbed up on a bar stool, and was greeted with a chuckle and a bowl of tuna fish. This man, as nice as he was, didn’t have the same light inside of him that the brunette woman had. It didn’t make me appreciate the meal any less, but I left almost immediately after eating.

As I ran back to the apartment complex to see the brunette lady once more, I realized that she was sitting on the porch, alone and crying. I approached her and hopped in her lap, but she didn’t seem to like me as much. The tears kept falling, a few of them landing on me, and her cries got louder.

Maybe her Jesse got hit by a red truck, too. I sat in silence as she ran her fingers through my fur, purring softly.