There were ten items on Stash McGee’s to-do list on June, 17, but jumping off a cliff was NOT one of them!
But let me go back to the beginning of Stash’s reckless venture into the drug world which was first on his list. Stash had never done anything right so this would not be the first time! He had boarded a cruise ship in Miami and jumped off the lower deck near Anguilla, in the Caribbean. Unfortunately, he had misjudged the distance and struggled to reach the island floundering through white capped seas. It was harder than he thought because he had a heavy money belt around his waist and was still wearing his shoes! He lay prostrate on the beach for several hours until one of the native islanders found him and dragged him back to his small colorful cottage.
“Hey, what’s up, mon?” asked Banjo, the islander.
“I need to find a place to buy cocaine. Where can I get it?” Stash asked which was probably the dumbest thing he had every uttered.
“Oh, mon, I can help you. I have a friend who can get you coke on St. Martins which is really close and I can take you there in my rowboat for $500.”
Both Stash and Banjo piled into the rickety rowboat and headed in the general direction of St. Martins through the rough seas. Soon the patch on the bottom of the rowboat came loose and the boat began to sink. Stash abandoned ship, deciding to swim to St. Martins which was in view. What Banjo hadn’t told him was that the water was so shallow, he could wade in. Banjo sloshed through the water with him and introduced him to his friend, Stubbs, and then left him to go back home.
“Twenty thousand dollars,” said Stubbs. “Meet me in four hours at the other side of the island by the cliffs and I’ll have the coke for you in a suitcase.”
Stash spent the time while he was waiting drinking island rum. Realizing he was too drunk to walk across the island, he paid someone to take him there and drop him off. But no one was there waiting so he removed the money from his money belt and tucked it into his pants so no one could rob him. He was watching a school of sharks from the top of a cliff when Stubbs came up behind him and put a gun in his back. Rather than give up the money, Stash took a flying leap off the cliff, landing right in the midst of the sharks.
Well, Stash never did finish the nine other things on his bucket list!
There is a town on the edge of nowhere the locals call Freedom, though you will not find its name on any map. There are small homes that line the streets, each one just like the others. The residents don't get many visitors, but those who do come are quick to remark upon how "quaint" the town is, like something out of a fairytale. Children play in perfectly manicured lawns, quietly gathering the wildflowers that grow on the outskirts of town. Mothers hang the laundry and fathers tend the grill, each person with a subtle smile across their face. Perfect. Serene. The children do not cry or shout. There are no arguments in this town, only murmured pleasantries. The visitors, as enamored as they may be by the towns character never seem to stay long. If you ask they will tell you they left early because urgent matters presented themselves at home, but such excuses are rarely true. In reality as they spent more time in this town certain aspects begin to seem... odd. Each family has two children. Each house has three tulips in its flower bed, never more and certainly never less. The children leave their homes at the exact same time each day and enter a quaint schoolroom in unison. Everything is calculated. Precise. Perfect... and deeply disturbing.
In the neighboring city rumors began to circulate, and visitors to the odd town dwindle. As is policy, the city police department sends an agent to the town to disprove the foolish fantasies that have captured the minds of so many of their citizens.
The agent doesn't mind the assignment, it's rather like a vacation. There is nothing wrong with this little piece of paradise. He makes his rounds of the town, stopping when he notices a young girl kneeling by the road.
"Darling, are you alright?" He kneels beside her, resting a gentle hand on her back. She can't be more than six, but when she turns her teary eyes to him there is more pain behind them than he had ever seen. He murmurs soothing things in the girls ear, slipping his cell phone out of a back pocket to call the town's child services office. Before he can dial she slaps the phone out of his hand fiercely.
"No. You can't. They'll find me," she whispers, trembling in his arms.
"Who are you talking about?" For the first time since entering this town a tendril of fear tightens around the agents spine.
"Oh. Too late," the child whispers, turning to the street behind them. Twenty doors open in unison, and mothers with flowery dresses step onto the street, whispering something under their breaths.
Everything goes dark.
Later, the agent will wake, and fear will no longer course through his veins. He will live in one of the identical pastel houses, a perfect copy of everyone else. He will no longer be flawed, but rather at peace, another prisoner of a town called Freedom.
A Friend For Dinner Part 2
For Those New To This Story Arc, Please Read Part 1 Before Reading This:
“And then,” Dominic concluded his tale. “My dad said yes.”
“Your old man actually said that?” Pynkie said as he slipped from his pop.
“But yer pa’s the one that banned sleepovers at yer place, ain’t he?” B.J. added before stuffing his mouth full of fried roaches.
“Blame my older siblings for that one,” Dominic retorted.
He remembered that day. Some of his sisters held a massive slumber party while their parents were out. That was when their party caused a blackout that reached halfway across Dis. His parents were non too pleased about the power bill that followed.
But this wasn’t a sleepover. Only a dinner date with a friend. A human friend for the matter.
“Hey, how come you ever invite us to go to the human world?” Kyler was the next to ask.
Dominic’s dark eyes leered. One of the carved minitures—a demon guardian with a hefty battleaxe—from their game levitated off his makeshift table, hurtling into the other demon. The miniture’s guided path led into Kyler’s forehead. The young pureblood yelped in pain and rubbed on the red spot left by the miniture.
No one inside the treehouse needed to question how the miniture flew at their friend. Dominic was the only group member gifted with magic, including powerful telekinetic abilities.
“Can we please focus on the bigger issue? Rosemary, the devil’s stepdaughter, my friend, is coming to my house to eat dinner with my family.
“So what’s the problem?” the silver-haired incubus then asked.
“My siblings don’t know that I’ve been going to the human world. That’s the problem.”
“Well then it’s simple,” Kyler said. “You just gotta make sure nothing about the human world is brought up.”
“Yeah right. All my siblings are going to be asking her questions about the human world.”
“Not if there were ways to prevent that.” Kyler made a nasty smirk. Dominic recognized what that crooked expression meant, as did everyone else. They all knew him as the schemer of their little group. Too bad most of his schemes had a low success rate.
“It’s simple. We just stake out at your house, when the devil’s stepdaughter is over, and if your siblings try to ask her anything remotely related to the human world, we’ll create some distractions. You can use your magic. We’ll move some stuff around. It’ll work.
“And you’ll have more time to spend with your date.” That last sentence came off more as mockery. Something that Dominic quickly picked up on. His eyes leered once more and the same miniture smacked against the back of Kyler’s head. Kyler yelped and cursed again, now rubbing the area the miniture hit.
Dominic sighed and shook his head. “That is the dumbest idea you’ve ever come up with. But I really have anything else. Okay, let’s do it.”
#sinsofthefather #fiction #fantasy #comedy #horror
Little Rose ran towards the house as fast as her six-year old legs would carry her. She kept tripping on rocks and tree roots that seemed to come out of nowhere. Her knees were bloodied as were the palms of her hands. Even so, her tears were of terror, not pain.
As the door of the house grew closer, Little Rose reached out her hand. She could almost touch the knob. She glanced back. Her eyes opened wide, the fear tangible. She screamed, but it came out a strangled, animal-like sound as the six-foot insect behind her stuck her in the leg and with a slurp, she was drained of her blood.
“That's quite enough, Grant Oliver Davis,” said Teacher sternly. “You must take your imaginings, more seriously. The power you wield is not a toy. This is not a game.”
“But, Teacher, it’s all in my imagination. What difference does it make? It isn’t real.”
“For those who live in your dreams, everything you imagine will be as real as I am to you.”
“In other words, someone could be dreaming us, too?”
Teacher smiled. “Does it matter?”
Grant thought about it. “I really don’t think so. If I feel I am in control and making things happen, I guess it doesn’t matter if I am actually a figment of someone else’s imagination.” He was quiet for a moment. “But, I would never want to find out. I prefer my existence as it is: Grant the Great, the omnipotent, Ruler of all…that he dreams.” He laughed.
Teacher smiled again and said, “Just throw in a little compassion and consideration with your omnipotence, Grant. Just because you can have happen whatever you wish, doesn’t mean you should. With great power comes great responsibility. Remember that.”
“I really don’t see that it matters if it’s all in my mind…”
“Let us return to the question are you a product of someone’s imagination. Do you feel real, alive?”
“And if I tell you that you are but my creation, doing as I will you to do, does that make you feel less real, less in control?”
“No, just annoyed.”
Teacher laughed. “Well, so it will be with your dreamed creations. They will not know they are mere whispers in the wind; shadows of your mind. They won’t know why they are, they will just be…until you cease to dream them. Perhaps, they will seek to know, but the knowledge will be forever beyond their grasp.” Teacher was silent for a moment. "And the knowledge must remain a mystery, Grant Oliver Davis. Just as you would not wish to know, they must not know. You, as Creator, must never forget who you are and what you are doing. Nothing you dream has the power to understand existence as you do. It would be dangerous albeit easy to forget. Be sure you don’t.”
“Yes, Teacher,” Grant replied as he leaned back and closed his eyes to dream some more.
A Gathering of Ghosts
A storm brews on the horizon, as clouds race each other towards infinity. One drop...two drops...a sudden downpour traps the car in it's grip, smashing against the windshields. Lightning, blinding, strikes in the distance, an angry jagged line tearing the fabric of the sky.
"The world is angry now." I say aloud.
The thunder accompanies the lightning, answering loudy as if to prove itself angry.
The highway road forks, and I swirve to the right, climbing up the exit ramp slippery with water. Forests flank both sides as I drive down the country road, age-old pavement uneven with cracks.
The towers of an ancient church building come into view, preaching to the violent sky. Built with earthy stone, the church stands tall and mighty. A crucifix, sitting at the top of the roof, greets my visit. I look away, clutching my shirt where my heart aches underneath.
I pull into the parking lot behind the church, where a small graveyard is hidden behind the church's divine face. Square gravestones planted deep into the ground mark the plot of land, a gathering of my ghosts.
I sit in the car, listening to the confessions of the world. The sky cries with guilt, the earth shaking underneath. The sins of reality speak to me, grotesque murderous deeds brought into the light of my car. Tears slowly burn down my cheek.
The storm doesn't die down, but nonetheless, I open the car door and step outside. Immediately, the tears of the world drench me to the bone, and I can't help but shiver in its frozen embrace. Furious wind pulls at my hair and clothes. Somehow, I find my way to the trunk and open it slowly. Rain rushes to darken the fuzzy lining, sliding off the garbage bag resting inside.
The garbage bag. A heavy weight fills my heart, a cross too heavy to bare. A storm, brewing for so long, ravages the inside of my soul. I can't help but double over the side of the car and puke loudly onto the concrete.
"We'd best go." I mumble, embracing the garbage bag in both hands. Its contents are stiff and cold. Its contents are...
The sparkling stain glass windows decorating the church smile at me, shining in rainbows though the world is downcast in darkness. The windows, somehow, keep glowing. The picture depected by the window is of Jesus' ressurection, and angels surround him in rays of light. His glass eyes invite me, his arms wide to hold me.
I don't deserve those arms, being a monster laden with sins myself.
"Forgive me, my Lord and Saviour, for I have sinned." I whisper, frowning as I turn away from my only saving grace.
I adjust my grip on the garbage bag. Carefully, I lay it down in the mud of the miniature cemetary. There's a shed by the back door, and I have the key.
I retrieve a rusty shovel, and set myself to digging as my past ghosts stare silently.
Harper passed Mrs Jenkins house one day when she thought to herself "Mrs Jenkins has a dog. How cute." Harper was trying to come to a conclusion of that thought. She thought for days, and then weeks, and then one full month. She thought about why that dog was cute. She finally figured it out. Its eyes. Those beutiful hazel eyes on Charley. Harper rushed to her mother.
"Mom!! I need a dog!" she yelled.
"OH! I'm not so sure about that miss. Your aunt is allergic to dogs. She might.." Harper interupted her mother.
"But those eyes. Those beutiful eyes. We should get one with blue eyes, yes!!!"
"What did you say about those eyes sweet?" Harper's mother was confused.
"The dog's eyes. They are what make a dog cute in my opinion. That is why I think we should get a dog!"
"Oh fine! Maybe a teacup dog. I agree with you about the eyes so that's fine." Harper's mother said. Harper and her mother got ready to go to the pet store. Harper's mother grabbed her purse and walked out the door. Harper was already out there eating a choclate bar. The two got in the car and drove to the pet store.
When they finally got there Harper ran to the door. She opened it and walked inside with joy. Her mother caught up to her and walked right up to the front desk where Harper was waiting.
"Hi. We would like a small dog please. Specifically with blue eyes, thank you." Harper's mother said.
"Follow me miss." The clerk says. Harper ran along the store clerk as the clerk opened the door for the dog kennel. She ran in and saw a beutiful dog with blue eyes.
"I want this one!! Let's name it Blue!"
A stark silence engulfed the dimly lit theatre. Nothing moved, and yet, the feeling of anticipation lay thick in the air. Rows and rows of empty seats, all lined in soft, red velvet, stood waiting for the doors to open and the crowd to enter. It was almost time.
In the past, thousands of individuals had traversed this very room. If one were to look closely, they would witness fleeting images of a number of characters spanning centuries coming alive in this space. People from all places, beliefs, and customs were all gathered together for an experience they would never forget.
Tonight, however, was infinitely more significant than any other. It would be the night where boundaries would break, minds would warp, and challenges would be met.
The audience of that dark afternoon did not expect to witness the ingenious tragedy of this new masquerade as they filed into their seats. In hindsight, it is unclear to say if they were amazed or frightened. Maybe it was a little of both.
Regardless of their views, the show had no intention to cease its twisted mission. It had subjects to entrance and was not going to wait for permission.
This act, though new, was meticulously orchestrated so that there were no faults. The curtains would rise, and, though they wouldn’t know it at first, each person in those velvet lined seats would not be allowed escape.
Fire, acrobats, and all sorts of wonderous spectacles entranced the unassuming spectators. They assumed that this was the theatre’s true mission, to mystify and delight, but it was not. The miraculous goings-on onstage were simply distractions from the performers’ real aim.
These performers were sights to behold indeed. Dressed in outlandish costumes of bright and contrasting colors, their makeup matching their garb, they would eventually make their way off of the stage into the audience.
At first, the innocents would feel amazed at this interactive twist. Then, the screams would begin.
The first would echo through the closed off space, and the others would follow soon after, creating an unpracticed symphony of pure terror. A place which once felt full of possibility would transform into a dark coffin, constricting and suffocating each victim’s hopeful air.
The performers had to feed, and, urged on by the maddening energy of the theatre itself, their appetites were satisfied quite well indeed.
Sitting in the sun
Waiting for him to look across the lawn and notice you
Alas, your life is not that of a rom-com
The only kisses you get come from your dog
Eyelids closed, I drank in his beautiful features. Dark hair contrasted his red lips, and pale skin. Perfect nose. Snuggling closer I breathed him in. Closing my eyes, I remembered our night together. Laughter. Games.
Opening my eyes a bashful giggle escaped my lips. He had been perfect. I kissed his cold lips before getting up, smiled and streched. Death made them all even more beautiful. A standstill of perfection. This one would be great for my collection.
Opening the door to my study, they all greeted me, quietly, their glass eyes staring adoringly at me.
"Hello boys! I brought you a new friend to meet." A half crazed sigh building in anticipation of the preparations ahead.
"Let's get to work!" I said, as I sharpened the knife. He was the most beautiful of all. After all, men did want to be admired...
We were going to dig up dinosaurs.
We were going to hammer away rock and sediment, sand and grime to unearth something more calcified from millennia of stone. We were going to heave the lump of rock and bone, store it away for safekeeping until the tiny pieces of history could be chiseled away and lifted from captivity. We were going to hunch over miniscule vertebrae, to brush away eons of sedimentary cover up. We were going to crave this labor of love, anticipating the ache of work-worn muscles and sunburned skin sprouting freckles overnight.
But we were wrecked.
Ten years ago, a large black SUV backed into our mother’s van while she was driving on a residential road in the town where our family went to church. The SUV T-boned our side of the car, and as we were launched in the opposite direction our seat belt tightened. Our right collar bone snapped.
Eight years ago, we were getting off the bus outside of the library where we worked, hauling our backpack along with us. One particularly large chemistry textbook residing in the pit of our bag weighed just a little too much. That time, we heard our right clavicle crack.
Five years ago, we began working at a local restaurant. Twelve hour shifts of hauling towering stacks of plates, massive pans of Midwestern comfort food, and enormous boxes of frozen goods drained us of our strength. We were heavily strained, and were prescribed a sling and three months of physical therapy. We disregarded the sling.
Three years ago we began to study film. We were made to lift eighty pound light kits and balance fifty pound cameras on top of ourselves, exerting us to the point of tearing. This time, we didn’t bother going to the doctor. It seemed pointless to us.
A decade, multiple breaks, muscle tears and other injuries later and we are almost out of commission. We’ll never huddle over the exposed fossil of an extinct creature, protecting it from the wind-tossed sand. We’ll never help others heave enormous femurs of out the sediment, straining against the weight of a bone that supported a ten-ton reptile. Were we to do that, we would be done for.