Welcome!

Here I will be discussing the aspects of growing old, living young, and being the person you want to become. Also, as life is to be enjoyed, I will be including some short stories for your entertainment. Entries will be tagged Fiction and Non-Fiction for your convenience. If you only want fiction, click the button below, and the same goes for non-fiction. I hope you will enjoy my writing style and voice. Stay tuned, as I will also announce when I complete my books.

Monday, October 8, 2018

The Beginning of Dreams, The Beginning of Our Story

Dear Everyone,

I have wanted to be an author for over ten years, and finally, I have finished my first book. 

Dreams the Heart Remembers is the story of a young man named Jacob Crawding, who has a gift that enables him to enter other peoples’ dreams. After losing his parents, Jacob moves to Hays, Washington, where he lives with his Uncle Rick. He meets a girl named Emily, but doesn’t understand why she moved to Hays so urgently. They grow closer with time, until Emily is hospitalized. Jacob is challenged by a mysterious girl in his repetitive dream to explore the minds of others, this leads to him getting trapped inside the dream world. Jacob must figure out how to get back to the real world, but first he must find himself. The story is currently retold by Judith Brown PsyD, as I spent months converting this story from first person to third person. She may be cut in the final form of the book.  

I have over a dozen other books that I plan on writing and publishing in my lifetime. Dreams is only the beginning of my journey. I’m looking for someone who wants to invest in me and my dreams. I want to reach out to as many people as I can to get my first book published and introduce all of you to the worlds I have created. If you want to know more message me or comment below.

I’m so appreciative of all the support that I have, and so I have chosen to include the first part of my book. I want to get as many honest opinions as possible. Do you want to keep reading? Would you or someone you know be interested in this book? Are you ready to enter my mind and go on some new adventures with me?

I’m ready for you to join me in this effort. Together we will thrive.

Thank you for your time, and enjoy the beginning of Dreams the Heart Remembers.

Unfortunate Soul
“As the poet has said there is another world, but it isn’t somewhere else, it is right here. This is the place that some call the dream world and others a spiritual limbo is the only place where all alternate realities come together as a singular reality. Where past, present, and future are the same. You aren’t supposed to be here, Jacob. You need to get out. You cannot stay here for much longer.”
-----------------------------
“It came every night, that simple, old dream. Each time I saw it, I couldn’t stop it from happening. It began with a young woman sitting in the living room of my childhood home, all alone. Shortly thereafter, a man would barge in and run into the bedroom down the hall. The woman would get up, walk down the hall, and open the door. He would scream, and BAM he would vanish. It was uncertain to me for the longest time if he would ever return, because after he would disappear, I would wake-up and never see the rest of the story,” the old man began in our first session together. 

Jacob Crawding was born in the small Californian city of Fallen, to very kind and wealthy parents. But, due to events of the past, had been forced to move to the tiny town of Hays, Washington with his Uncle Rick. Although Jacob enjoyed his life in Hays, he has experienced many unbelievable things and seen strange worlds and creatures. Mr. Crawding would seem to most as an ordinary, normal person, but there was one part of him that most people could never understand. A part that most of mankind would love to have, others would fear to receive, and what some people, like myself, spend their whole lives trying to figure out.

My name is Dr. Judith Brown. I met Mr. Crawding many years ago. We became good friends near the end of his physical life. He was a happy man, but his face showed signs of many trials in his life. After a few years, he came to me and said, “Judith, I want to meet with you in a few counselling sessions. I want to tell you my story.” As per his permission, we recorded his life so that I could one day share it with you. I will include a number of transcriptions from Mr. Crawding himself, but will spend the majority of the time writing the story the way it was told to me. Jacob Crawding was a good man, and his story deserves to be heard. 

As a result of his reoccurring dream, his mind obtained a power that enabled him to enter into the minds of living people and even non-human lifeforms. Although he had this ability since his youth, he didn’t fully understand how to use it. As a young man, he hoped for opportunities to learn how to use his gift to the benefit of others. “I am not what you would call a mind reader,” he pointed out, “for I can only enter into people’s minds while they are sleeping. I am physically transferred into the realm of dreams, the alternate realities that surround us in space and time.”

I found it quite hard to believe at first, I mean, in all my years as a psychologist, I had never met someone who had any kind of super-natural ability. However, after much analysis and testing I found that Jacob was being honest; he did in fact become involved in dreams and fantasies. As if by magic, he physically entered people’s minds and was able to hear and see things that walked and moved in the covert minds of those sleeping beings. This book is the product of when Mr. Crawding decided to tell the world about his gift, which wasn’t until the end of his life. Mr. Crawding stated, “Some people are born with gifts, others receive talents over time, but for some reason, I obtained my gift in a dream. It entered into my mind in one, single night with no rules, no limitations, and no explanation for how it should be used.”

He obtained this gift during his childhood, sometime in the third grade. He had a puzzling dream about a young woman and man who disappears. Ever since that first night, he found himself with a great desire to wander into the minds of others. This desire encouraged Jacob to search for the meaning behind the unexplainable dream he had. Never, at the time, could he have guessed what was going to happen to him because of this ability. However, as it turns out, when you live with a special gift, your life just works out differently than most people. Usually, in my sessions, I am the counselor, but in the case of Mr. Crawding, I was taught more than I ever imagined possible about the human subconscious. Below, in Mr. Crawding’s words, is his dream and the beginning of his story. 

“This is what the original dream was like. It was an overcast day, but there was just enough light to break through the windows of the couple’s two-story house. A brunette woman was sitting in the living room restlessly tapping her right foot. I didn’t understand why she was so anxious, so I watched and waited in the back corner of the room by the window. Suddenly, a car roared into the driveway and a man appeared. He ran into the house, escaped to the bedroom down the hall, and slammed the door. If you’ve ever been in a room with a fighting couple, you’ll understand how I was feeling. The woman sat still for a few minutes, her incessant tapping paused. Then she stood up, to walk to the door of the room where the man stowed away. My initial assumption was that he had a bad day at work, but I later learned that there was another issue. She approached the door, quietly turned the handle. The scene faded. Now, I was in the room with the man, as he stared at the door. Even in a dream inside my own head, I didn’t seem to have control over my physical location. He was breathing heavily. The door squeaked, her hand grasping the side of the door as it opened. “Go way! I can’t see you right now!” the man yelled. She entered the room completely, reaching to touch him. In the slightest bit of an instant, the man vanished from the room.”

About once a month since the third grade, Jacob would have this dream, and every time, it would end exactly the same. After the man vanished, Jacob would wake up. It was because of this dream that he received his power, a gift that would contain the ability to change the destinies of time. But Jacob wouldn’t understand this for many years to come. In fact, he barely even understood his gift until his late teenage years. 
Getting to Know Mr. Crawding


“After the traumatic years of my childhood, I graduated from high school and desired to discover the full purpose of my gift. I will admit, had I known what this pursuit was going to entail, I may have avoided it, but I grew more and more curious every year I postponed using my gift. I will admit, I thought I could change the world someday. In my na├»ve eighteen-year-old self, I thought I had this undiscovered superpower that could better mankind. Plus, I believed myself to be a very attractive young man, and mostly all superheroes were attractive.”

Mr. Crawding went off on a tangent, in which he assured that his hair was dark-brown back and always perfectly trimmed. He had pure, deep-sea blue eyes, even when I knew him in his old age. He said his eyes stayed young because they were what granted him his gift. He truly was a dreamer and chose to follow his dreams. Of all his traits, a willingness to think of others before himself was the most admirable to me. 

“My young body could endure most physical activities,” he continued, “I wasn’t too tall, and I was prepared for almost any trial that could come my way. Overtime, I learned that it was not just about physical readiness, but that my heart and mind needed to be prepared emotionally for the challenges I would face following my graduation. I was adored by many in that small town of Hays, and many of them felt that I was a key to success in getting their small town on the map.”

After all those years of having his gift, graduation inspired Jacob to decide to start using his gift to solve mystery of his dream: find out how to help the woman in the dream. Better yet, to help find the man and why he disappeared every time. Not many weeks after graduation, Jacob had that fateful dream again. Except this time, it was different. Well, it began the same, but after the man vanished, Jacob didn’t wake up. This time, he remained asleep for a short period longer and watched as the woman fell to the floor in the same spot the man was. As her eyes filled with tears, she spoke. This was the first time Jacob heard her voice. 

“She had the most sincere and beautiful voice imaginable. It was almost as if she was some kind of angel. Then she said, as if she knew I was in the room with her, ‘Where has he gone? Why have the minds of men kept him trapped from me? You can find him. You must find him. It is your destiny.’”

The First Encounter


Partway through our sessions, Mr. Crawding began to open up more emotionally about his life. He was a man of many secrets, and it took all my skills to encourage him to tell me the full extent of his life. 

“Almost instantly the reoccurring dream presented an issue. My mind was taken back to a time when I was twelve. It was more-or-less a bittersweet day. I had received the opportunity to take the day off from school, which is every kids’ dream, but I had to visit the dentist during the same day. Although the experience was sickening, the day off from school helped me feel a lot better about the rest of the day. As I sat in the waiting room, trying to ignore the high-pitched whistling of drills by staring at the fish tank, I noticed an old man sitting across the room from me. He was obviously there with someone who had already gone inside, because he was in a deep sleep.

“I looked closely at the silent man; his old face, aged with wisdom, appeared content as his thoughts walked through his dream world. The most I knew about my gift, at this time, was that I could enter into people’s minds while they were asleep by staring at their eyelids. In fact, I never perfected this way of entering into peoples’ minds because it always worked. At this time, it was strongly against my nature to enter into a stranger’s private mind. I’d only ever practiced on Uncle Rick when he was sleeping once. What I saw I won’t repeat, but it made me very wary of what could be in other people’s minds. I thought for a few minutes until I started to feel more comfortable with the idea of entering into the old man’s mind. Even if for just a second. I concentrated, stared forcefully at the man’s face, gazed deeply into his eyelids, and entered into his dream world. The dream was a little blurry, as if I wasn’t fully engaged in the dream world. What an odd man, I thought. His dream was rather interesting. I was standing in an endless meadow of flowers with a variety of creatures running and bounding around in it. In the distance was a large willow tree, and beside it the tree was a tall, broad-shouldered silhouette of a man. The shadowed looked familiar, as if I knew the man that stood over there. Then, all of a sudden, I heard, ‘Jacob Crawding?’”

“The dental assistant had called my name to go in and see the doctor, making me lose my focus. I hadn’t fully entered into the man’s mind, and still existed in the physical world. At the time, I didn’t even know that my whole body could get sucked into the dream world. I nodded at the assistant and observed that the old man was still dreaming away. Although I wasn’t able to further explore the man’s dream, what I did see became a faded memory in my mind. I figured that if I could somehow use my gift to find the young woman’s man, then maybe I could further understand my purpose and the purpose of my unique ability.”

Jacob thought about the young woman’s words for a matter of weeks and concluded that he was going to help her. Ever since graduation, life was an open road, and he was ready to take on the world. Since it always appeared to him that the dream was a call to action and a part of his destiny, he felt it was his right to fulfill it. According to the woman, the man was trapped in the “minds of men.” Jacob wasn’t sure what that meant, nor was he sure about the consequences of his decision to follow a dream, but deep down he knew he would soon find out. 

A Mysterious Beeping Sound

I often listen to the radio on the way home from work. I used to listen to the same station over and over, but lately I decided to try something new. Every time I get in the car, I hit the scan button and am taken to a random station. It’s always been fun to hear new types of music and shows once passing through the static. Then, the other day, something came across the radio that I was sure did not exist.

I followed the same procedure as I did every day. The scanner passed through some static stations and ended on a working one. The other day, it landed on 84.7. I waited for the music to start, or a show to begin, but there was nothing. Not a single sound. Just pure silence. I just figured it was an empty channel and reached forward to hit the scan button again, but then there was a sudden beeping. Not a long beep just a quick on and off. Then it beeped again, and again. After the third beep there was a long pause. Intrigued, I continued listening. The beeps returned. Three equally spaced apart, followed by a long pause. I turned up the volume, but it didn’t affect the intensity of the beeping. It wasn’t until I pulled out of the parking lot that the beep got slightly louder.

I had a theory. Maybe this was some sort of S.O.S. or something. The beeps seemed to be in sync with what seemed like a code for “Save our Ship.” To test this theory, I turned around and went back into the parking lot, heading the opposite direction of the beeping sound. The beeping got quieter. Somehow this beeping signal was able to detect my location, and would only get louder as I got closer to the source. I quickly turned around again and started playing a game of warmer or colder. Anytime I made a wrong turn the beeping would get quieter and louder for every correct turn.

After about 20 minutes of finding my way, I came upon a street that traveled west for what looked like forever. I drove west for a few miles, the beeping getting louder and louder as I went. Then suddenly, about six miles in, the beeping started to soften. I had passed the sourced somewhere along the road. I was overwhelmed with curiosity, but my heart started to suggest that I was nervous. Nonetheless, I carried on. I found a spot in the middle of the road where the signal was strongest and turned left into a dirt field.

I started thinking about all of the wonderful things that could be hiding at the end of this invisible rainbow. The sound increased, and I assumed I was super close. The terrain was getting pretty rough for my car to handle, so I got out and walked. With no radio to reference for location, I simply walked straight from the front of my car and hoped that I would be led to the beeping’s source.

I came upon a small hill, and climbed to the top. Then, there on the other side was the unthinkable, the unimaginable, the scariest thing I’ve ever seem in my entire life. A ship. It looked like someone’s yacht and an UFO had a baby. The sides were sleek and silver. The front of this small alien cruise ship was incredibly damaged, like when the Titanic struck an iceberg and sank into the ocean, only this was a space ship and it likely crashed into an asteroid.

Part of me didn’t dare approach. I should call the cops? It’s more than likely that the authorities at AREA 51 were already on their way, so what good would calling the police do? However, my curiosity overtook my fear, and I approached the ship.

“Hello? Anybody here?” I said, rather foolishly.

I didn’t get a response.

I climbed into the sideways ship searching for any signs of life. Then, I found the cockpit. There was someone, or something rather, sitting in the pilot’s chair. I got in closer, carefully checking behind me for any other survivors. The pilot was motionless, and it was hard for me to get a good look at the creature because of the thick suit and large helmet. I carefully pulled off its helmet.

I don’t know what I expected to find. Part of me was hoping to see a green scaly face from a sci-fi movie, or some sort of tentacles, but nope. Instead, underneath that helmet was the most beautiful woman I have ever seen in my entire life! If she was alien, I couldn’t tell and I didn’t care. 

I carefully unbuckled her seat belt and lifted her out of the chair. She was still breathing.

“Miss, can you hear me?”

She moved, and I called again.

“You’ve been in an accident. Can you hear me?”

Her eyes shot open. It was like looking into the chasms of the heavens.

“Where I am?” she said, slightly panicked.

“You’re on Earth,” I said.

“Earth? Are you from here?” she asked.

“Yes I am.”

She tried to sit up, but quickly grabbed her side.

“Take an easy, you’re injured. My car is just on the other side of the hill. I can take you to a hospital.”

“That won’t be necessary. Now, please, you must leave. They’ll be here soon.”

“Who will be here soon?”

“My people,” she said, pulling herself to her feet.

I stood up. At least let, me help you outside. She glared at me.

“I won’t hurt you. I promise.”

She put her arm over my shoulder, sending a melting sensation down my spine that nearly caused me to fall over. I helped her outside, just as a large shadow appeared over our heads. It was a massive ship. Only, I couldn’t see it. It appears that the aliens had some sort of cloaking system on their ship.

“I must go now,” she said.

“Wait, can’t you stay? I really want to know more!”

Just then a bright beam encapsulated the entire area around the spaceship and us. Everything started to float toward the sky, except for me.

“Can I at least know your name?!” I yelled into the heavens.

“Aurelia!” she yelled back.

And then I stood alone, in a field, next to a large hole in the ground. I got back in my car and drove home. However, my life will never be the same. Now, when I get in the car to go home from work, I tune into 84.7 listening into the silence for some sign of life.


Thursday, October 4, 2018

A Pooh Epic

“To think or not to think?!” exclaimed Pooh,

crossing a wooden bridge over a stream.

With nothing in particular to do 

and nothing in particular to think,

Pooh finds his friend, a donkey. Woah is he

depressed. Sitting in his gloomy spot

with nothing but an old-tattered, bent tree.

An orange and black striped creature lurked within

a bush. T’was Eeyore’s hardest part o’day.

Tigger, that mean and always bouncing fiend.

Heroically Pooh leaped to the rescue.

“Get back! You awful forsaken kitten!”

He drew his sword to rip Tigger thread from thread.

“Pooh, it is me, Tigger, your longest friend.”

“Oh bother,” quoth he, “forgot where I was.”

Pooh went back home to think and think some more.

Greater dangers lurked within Hundred Acre Woods,

dark powers, magic, sorcery, beyond!

No imagination left could save Pooh

from the battle destiny had in store.

He needs his friends to aid this noble quest.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

The Haunted Ghost Tours

“Hey! How are you?”

“I’m fine, Joseph. Why are you calling me so late?”

“Well, Jesse, I heard you we’re interested in going on a ghost tour bus, and decided that we would go tonight.”

“Listen. I told you I wasn’t interested in going.”

“What? Come on, it’ll be fun! Our whole group of friends are going.”

Jesse though for a minute. She really didn’t like the idea of feeling forced to do something that she was really skeptical of in the first place.

“Who’s gonna be there?”

“They’re already here! Johnny, Julia, Jessica, Jameson, all the Js.”

How they ever formed a friendship with only J names was always a mystery to Jesse, but she did have a huge crush on Jameson.

“Alright, fine. I’m in. Where are we meeting?”

“Look outside you doof. The bus is here and ready to pick you up!”

Joseph hung up. Jesse looked outside. A black eerie bus was parked in front of her house. All of her friends were laughing and taking selfies in front of the ghost bus logo: “Haunted Ghost Tours” followed by the subtitle: “Do You Believe?”

Jesse didn’t believe in ghosts. In fact, she was sure the whole adventure was just some cheap way for someone else to make money off of gullible teenagers, apparently like all of her friends. She grabbed a jacket and yelled down the hall.

“Mom, I’m going out the with Js we’ll be back later!”

Jesse walked outside, and suddenly began to feel nervous. Like, what if she never saw her mom again? She shook away the thought, because, after all, she didn’t believe in what they were about to do.

“Jesse! So glad you could make it!” Joseph said.

“Thanks for inviting me,” she said rather reluctantly, for she felt like, even if she had said no, they would’ve burst through her bedroom door and kidnapped her on this adventure anyway.

“Wwwelcome aboard fffriends, my name is Igor and I wwwill be your ggguide this eeevening.”

It took every bit of Jesse’s self-control to not bust up laughing. This supposed “Igor” was dressed like he was a host of the Haunted Mansion at Disney. His dark suit, clearly fake stutter, and unnatural shoulder hunch really sold the childishness of the situation for Jesse. The rest of the Js were all frightened. Ooohing and ahhhing in the back seats.

“Our fffirst stop wwwill be Dr. Thimbault’s Smart Haunted Hhhouse, built in 1894 by Dr. Arthur Thimbault but was abandoned by his fffamily during World Wwwar II. After a mysterious murder case, the attraction has been ssshutdown, but some say you can still hear the screams of the dddead coming from the inside,” said Igor.

The bus stopped, allowing the group to get out.

“I hear that the boy who died here was never identified and that was like 6 years ago,” said Julia.

“It’s a shame, this haunted house would’ve been sick! Right Jesse?” asked Jameson.

“Umm, yeah. Right,” said Jesse.

She walked over to the gated driveway and looked at the dilapidating mansion. The yard was overgrown, but there were still remnants of yellow police tape waving in the autumn breeze. Jesse perked her ear toward the house. Although she didn’t believe in “hearing the screams of the d-d-dead,” she did believe in the terrible murder that happened inside the mansion. That was enough to freak her out, and she returned to the spook bus.

In the back of the bus, her friends we’re telling ghost stories that they heard from someone who had heard it from someone. They mentioned possessions, spiritual appearances, and a specific bridge where if you put your car in neutral it wouldn’t roll forward but would actually be pushed backwards.

“Sssuicide Bridge,” Igor interrupted. “The rumors you’ve heard are tttrue. There is a bbbridge that is haunted by many ssspirits. It’s called Suicide Bridge and it’s our nnnext stop.”

Jesse stepped out of the bus and onto the bridge. A sudden chill slipped down her spine, and she started to feel nervous.

“Hey, Igor, how many people have died here?” Jesse asked.

“Mmmore than I can count. They sssay that the spirits linger here to try and stop pppeople from jjjumping off the bridge, but many say ttthat all the spirits dddo is scare people into jjjumping.”

Jesse looked over the edge of the bridge, it was at least a 150-foot drop. She could feel the hairs on her neck begin to stand, as if something was beckoning her down below. Then, she found herself speaking.

“No, I won’t come down there.”

“Who you talking to Jesse?” Joseph asked.

Startled, she turned around. “No one. I mean, nothing.”

The side of the bus mocked her as if to say, “Do you believe now?”

“Guys! Jesse is making a connection with something!” Joseph yelled.

“No, I’m not!” Jesse countered. “Let’s just get back on the bus okay?”

“There’s nothing to be afraid of, Jesse,” said Jameson.

Part of her wished that Jameson’s comment would’ve made her feel better, but it didn’t.

“Well, I’m getting back on the bus. Can we leave now Igor?” Jesse said.

There was a nervous look in Igor’s eyes.

“Yyyes, everyone back on the bbbus.”

“But Igor, we want to see something cool happen!” said Johnny.

Jesse sat down waiting for everyone else to get on. She looked up into the rearview mirror, which reflected Igor’s face. He looked back at her and shrugged. Then, his face went pale. He was looking in front of the bus.

“Everyone back on the bus now!” he yelled, without a stutter.

The group of Js outside groaned.

Jesse stood up from her seat and looked out the window. About fifty feet in front of them stood a man in a dark trench coat, with large metal wired glasses. His fashion was definitely not from this century. A chill returned to Jesse’s spine.

“No seriously guys, come now!” Jesse called.

She was in a panic, something about this figure was unnatural. Then, as if inside of her head, she heard a whisper.

“Why won’t you join us down below?” it said.

The group ran back inside the bus, and Jesse found herself screaming.

“Get out of my head!”

Igor slammed on the gas taking off toward the figure, who now stood in the middle of the road.
“Igor! Watch out there’s someone there!” Jessica said.

Igor didn’t flinch, his eyes were wide and his face was even more pale than before.
“What’s wrong with Jesse?” Jameson asked.

Jesse had stood up. She was walking towards the front doors of the moving bus, the figure was rapidly approaching.

“Brace yourselves!” Igor yelled.

As if all time slowed down, the bus ran into the spectacled man. But the man didn’t move, he passed straight through the bus, grabbing towards the group of Js. Everyone screamed.

They looked behind them so see the man vanish as they left the bridge. Meanwhile, Jesse had collapsed on the floor in the front of the bus.

“Are you okay?” Jameson asked her.

“I think so. I would like to go home now, please,” she said.

“I agree,” said Igor. “It’s probably best that we call it a night.”

They returned to Jesse’s home, and Jameson escorted her to the doorway.

“You were pretty brave tonight.”

“Thanks, Jameson, but I didn’t feel brave.”

“Maybe next time we could hang out, just the two of us?” he asked.

“I’d like that.”

She blushed and quietly walked inside, but Jesse didn’t sleep much that night. Every time she closed her eyes, all she could hear was, “Why didn’t you join us down there?”

Monday, October 1, 2018

The School Haunting

How long have I been out? I mean Mr. Itzel is a boring teacher, along with physics, but how come I didn’t hear the bell ring? Why didn’t anyone wake me up?

I got up out of my desk to find that the room was completely empty. When I looked out the classroom door the school was even more empty. It was night and the school was eerily quiet. I had never been on campus at night before but I’d heard about what happened to kids who snuck in after hours. 

But this was an accident. I didn’t purposely stay into the night. I figured it’d be best if I just left and when home. I mean, it’s not like it’s hard to leave if you’re accidentally at school late at night.

Why haven’t my parents come looking for me?

I was walking down the hall towards the front doors, when all of a sudden a dark figure stood there blocking my way.

“Who’s there?” I said, holding my chest from the shock.

The figure started mumbling to himself but I couldn’t understand what he was saying. Then, he started moving towards me. Slowly, one step after another, he moved. He picked up the pace, and my heart exploded. 

I turned around, hitting my shoulder on a locker that was left open in the hall. Holding the painful spot, I lunged myself into the gymnasium. Scared, hurt, and panicked I looked for another way out of the school. The doors on the other side of the gym would lead to the other side of the school and provide that escape. I ran toward the door, never sure how close the figure was. 

The figure was fast. He appeared in front of every door, right before I got there. I was trapped. 

I backed up slowly into the center of the gym, as the figure approached me. I looked around at the empty benches but nobody was there. I was alone in fighting this colossal beast. Then, I heard a slight chanting sound.

“Joey, Joey” the voice repeated increasing in tempo. 

The figure moved closer, and I prepared to fight until I could fight no more. Then, his mumbling became clearer. The chanting was coming from him. 

“Joey, Joey,” he said.

“What do you want from me?” I cried. 

“Joey. Class is over.”

“Huh?” I said rubbing my eyes.

It was Mr. Itzel. The bell had just rang and my classmates were filing out of the room. I escaped this time, but that is why you don't go into the school after hours. 

Friday, September 28, 2018

The Legend of Atmos: The Somerthian Scouts

“Orpheus J. Barcus was born on the planet Somerth. The Somerthians, as they were called, lived a long life of nearly 800 years and prospered from their many connections around the galaxy. Somerthians were explorers, inventors and investigators, commonly known as scouts. It was a custom on Somerth to enroll your child in scout training when they turned 100 years old. Although young in his training, Orpheus’ interest in space travel and exploration was naturally increasing; many planets were yet to be discovered and each year a class of new recruits would venture into the galaxy to find new worlds and trade partners.”

The first day of class was nearly over and the instructor was sharing a slideshow of the Somerthians’ most treasured discovery. The young scouts stared in awe as images of oceans, trees and animals of every kind flashed before their eyes. Recordings of a world covered with bountiful lands planted a seed of exploration in their hearts.

“Scouts, the objective of your training is not to simply discover new worlds, it is to cure worlds that have been broken and destroyed by its inhabitants. We are Somerthians. We are protectors of the universe,” the instructor said as he continued his lecture.

“Mr. Frost, what world are you showing us?” inquired Orpheus.

“It is a world that was once beautiful,” answered Mr. Frost. “You see, scouts, thousands of years ago many of your ancestors believed that in the universe there was a planet built out of massive landforms with hundreds of types of plants and seeds. At the time, Somerth was short in water, and our comet catcher was not yet invented. Lifetimes passed and no one could find this planet. Then, finally, it was discovered by the great Marlo Herzog. The world was closely watched and its resources were held captive by its inhabitants. Each year we send the top graduating scouts to scan this planet.”

The class silently stared, urging the instructor to continue. The slides changed, displaying a war-torn land, and the tremoring sounds of explosions and destruction filled the room.

“As you may know, we haven’t touched ground on this planet in a few milenia, as it was destroyed by a great war. The planet’s resources were spoiled and its atmosphere ruined.”

“Mr. Frost?” a young scout raised his hand. “Why are you showing us this place?”

“Well,” he peered around another student’s head to read a name tag, “Desnan, is it?” The boy nodded. “It is important that you all understand the first principles of serving the universe.”

As Mr. Frost pushed a button on his remote, the rules appeared on the board and he read each of them.


  1. Never interfere with the natural cycle of a planet’s inhabitants.  
  2. Never be seen unless invited to be seen. Many planets have a good relationship with Somerth but for most it is better that they do not know of our existence. 
  3. Never explore with the intent to invade. Our assignment is to protect and serve, not destroy. 


“As Somerthians we believe in exploring new galactic entities and creating trade with other planets in the universe. You will be tested on these principles. Understood?”

“Yes, Mr. Frost,” the class confirmed.

“Mr. Frost, what is the planet called?” Orpheus anxiously inquired.

“Oh yes, where was I? As you can see by these recent images, we monitor the levels of toxins in the air of this planet each Somerthian year. Since this process began, the world has become healthier and the atmosphere is showing good signs of improvement. Since time passes ten times as quickly there than here, by the end of your lifetime, you may be able to explore this planet yourselves. You’ll want to remember its name, as it is known in the universe, Atmos.”

“I want to be the greatest explorer Somerth has ever seen,” Orpheus whispered to himself.

The bell rang.

“Well scouts, the time has arrived for you to return home. Enjoy the rest of your day and until tomorrow…”

“Protect. Serve. Explore!” the scouts recited.

The scouts rushed out of class to tell their parents of all they learned.

“What do you think about Atmos?” Orpheus asked Desnan, his good friend.

“Sounds like an adventure worth taking to me. What about you?”

“I want to explore everywhere! Maybe one day we could live there!” Orpheus decided.

“That’s quite the dream Orpheus.” Desnan teased.

Orpheus and Desnan, hurried outside of to their bi-gliders. These scooter-like vehicles were invented by Orpheus’ father who was a chief amongst Somerthian scouts. He discovered hovering vehicles as a young explorer and used the technology from them to create single-rider, bi-gliders.

“Hey Orpheus, race you home?” challenged Desnan.

“To the center of Capital?” he invited.

Desnan nodded and zipped out into the street as Orpheus hurried to catch up.

“Cheater,” he mumbled to himself.

Somerth was home to many creatures and its inhabitants were known as Somerthians. They lived a peaceful life and were protected and led by their Prime Leader, whose palace overlooked the land from the center of Capital.

 “So now you have to cheat?” Orpheus yelled as he caught up with Desnan.

“Well, your model is much faster than mine, since your father designs these things! It’s only fair,” Desnan justified.

“Follow me. I’ve got an idea” Orpheus said.

The young boys raced around buildings and parks, and Desnan willingly followed Orpheus’ explorer spirit. They traveled north toward a wild, unnamed providence. This area was home to one of Somerth’s native creatures the Esox. Esox were small, bear-like animals that had large teeth, a round face and built their homes with the tall, wild grass. They reached the top of a large cliff. Orpheus reversed the generators on his bi-glider and got off.

Desnan was catching up at a high-rate of speed.

“Stop Desnan!” Orpheus yelled.

Desnan quickly reversed the generators and came to a halting stop. 

“Whoa. That was close,” Desnan pointed out.

“Were you day dreaming? If you hadn’t looked up when you did, you could have died!”

From their look-out point they could see most of the Capitol. All across the skyline were different prototypes of hovering homes. Orpheus’ dad had recently been assigned by the Prime Leader, Panndu Sendelli, to create homes that float in the sky. For many Somerthians, the idea of leaving the ground was very appealing. The prototypes were successful until the internal charging system began to become less effective. Overtime each of the failing generator models would lower the homes back to the ground.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

D.A.T.A.

Chapter 1 
October 1, 2004: The New Attraction 

A large man in a black and orange striped suit with a skeleton mask materialized in front of the large castle-sized house. “Ladies and Gentlemen, good evening and welcome to the first annual opening of Dr. Thimbault’s Haunted House. As you may or may not know, this house was built in 1894 by Dr. Arthur Thimbault but was abandoned by his family during World War II. For nearly a hundred years, thousands of rumors have been spread concerning the truth behind what happened inside. We have spent months revitalizing this age-old mansion to create the most immersive haunting experience you’ll ever have. Inside you will find monsters, jump-scares, and fears beyond your darkest imagination.”

A slight applause came from the back of the crowd where some eager high school kids were waiting to get inside.

The skeleton man continued, “There are no live actors awaiting you within these ancient walls, for we have designed a state-of-the-art computer system that conjures the scares to your fears using holograms. We’ve built a smart haunted house! Nothing is as it appears. Even I am not really here."

With a sudden flash and jet of smoke the skeleton man vanished into thin air. A silence took over the crowd before it erupted in applause and cheers. It was the eve of October 1, 2004, when Dr. Thimbault’s Haunted House graced Boston Massachusetts with its nightmare inducing scares. Hundreds of people were waiting until six o’clock, the time the house would open itself to the public. In the crowd was a recently married couple, Steven and Ashely Harrold. Ashely’s palms were becoming sticky as she attempted to hide her nerves.

“You doing okay?" Steven said, noticing her nervousness.

“Yeah, I just can’t believe I let you talk me into going with you to this.”

“Don’t worry it’s going to be awesome!” he assured.

“Do you think Timothy is going to be okay at home?”

“Oh come on Ashley, he’s two years old and Bethany is the best fifteen year old babysitter this side of the Mississippi! Besides, we’re only going to be gone for like an hour.”

The crowd had already been shuffling into the massive house, and the Harrolds were almost to the door. Screaming and aching could be heard a few floors up, and even Steven began to feel his nerves twitch. When they reached the door, the house greeted them.

“Welcome to Dr. Thimbault’s Haunted House,” said the house with the eerie voice of the skeleton man. “Beware, beware of what’s inside, my scares will make you run and hide. Running will not get you far, for Dracon, Amethyst, Tuten, and Arthur will wait for you at every turn. Each floor they will watch, waiting to get you at the top. Once complete take the elevator down three floors and return to your homes. Have a good night.”

“I can’t do this,” Ashely insisted.

“Too late now, we have to keep going. We already paid for the tickets,” Steven said, a slight look of amusement in his face. “I can’t wait until the guys at the station hear about this place!”

Just before entering the house, a figure peered out from behind the curtains and gave a howling scream. The crowd jumped. It was a gruesome looking witch, who would be nicknamed Amethyst the Howler. The Harrolds stepped inside, Ashely gripping tightly to her husband’s red polo. The inside of Thimbault’s mansion was breath taking. The large foyer was gently connected to the second floor by two large stairwells, which other couples were climbing, holding onto each other for dear life. A sign in the foyer flickered with each strobe light flash. It read, “Choose a path, left or right, either room will take you to the next floor.”

Remembering that they had seen Amethyst peering out the window of the right side, they decided to go left. As they approached, the door automatically opened, screeching slightly. Steven was still smiling, finding Ashley’s fears more amusing than the possible hauntings within the left room. There was a loud bang and flash of light which caused Ashley to scream and squeeze Steven tighter. The room was filled with old furniture and cobwebs, and the objects appeared to be original.

“Holy Jeeez--” Steven whelped, grabbing his heart, as a mangy mummy appeared in one of the chairs. Tuten, the pharaoh, stood and began to approach them, scarabs climbing in and out of his limbs. Heavily breathing, the Harrolds ran out of the room and slammed the door behind them.

“Okay,” Steven admitted, trying to catch his breath, “They got me on that one.”

They crept through the next door, trying not to get noticed when the skeleton man’s dark voice boomed loudly above them, “Having fun yet?”

Ashely screamed so loud that she felt a slight tickle of pee escape her body. “I think I just peed a little,” she whispered to Steven, who was trying really hard not to laugh.

They finally reached the stairs, as Amethyst flew above them, around the massive foyer. “Only three more to go,” she cackled, referring to the amount of floors left.

“My bladder will never make it through this,” Ashley whispered.

Steven couldn’t hold in his laughter and spit slightly in an attempt to contain himself. On the second floor they were sure they were going to die. Amethyst kept appearing in front of them, zooming through walls, and rising from the floor. Her scream was so piercing that the Harrolds had to plug their ears. They entered into the last room on the second floor. The skeleton man was standing in the corner.

“So you’ve made it passed the second floor. Do you need a change of underwear yet?” Ashley blushed. “I’ve been watching you, and I don’t think you’re scared enough, Steven.” Steven gulped, unsure how the hologram knew his name. “Floor’s three and four will be programmed especially for you. I’ve scanned your mind and discovered exactly what makes you cringed,” the man faded away, his evil laugh echoing down the hall.

Steven became very nervous. The stairwell to the third floor was extra creaky and didn’t provide any sense of comfort for Steven’s impending doom. The third floor was very dark, and Steven already knew he was in trouble. Darkness was one of Steven’s greatest fears. “Can’t see, can you Steven?” groaned a voice in the darkness.

“Go away,” Steven screamed, gripping tighter to Ashley than she had ever gripped him.

The dark figure was tapping on a hard surface. It started to run toward them, dragging its rough nails across the surface, generating an awful screech.

Steven felt like he was about to lose it. He fell to the floor plugging his ears. Ashely began to panic as the creature came into the moonlight. It was Dracon, a six-foot tall vampire. Ashely didn’t know what to do. Dracon’s pale face highlighting the blood dripping from his sharp, pointed teeth appeared in the moonlit room. Ashely grabbed her husband’s shirt and began pulling him out of the room. Dracon zoomed closer then vanished, leaving a trail of purple smoke behind him.

“Run!” Ashely screamed, as her and her now sobbing husband went into the next room. “Are you okay?”

“Am I dead?” Steven wiped the tears from his eyes, gaining control of himself again. “I don’t know what came over me.” Ashely laughed a little, imagining a hug wet spot on the front of Steven’s khaki pants.”

“At least I didn’t pee myself,” he nudged, giving Ashely a smirk of enjoyment.

“Oh, shut it Steven, or I’ll tell the guys at the station that you cried like a girl.”

“Yeah,” he paused, realizing he’d been caught. “Please don’t tell them that. If they found out their best detective was afraid of a little haunted house, I’d never hear the end of it.”

The smart house computer must have registered that it had done a good job in scaring the bejesus out of Steven because the fourth floor wasn’t nearly as terrifying. There was blood and bodies all over the floor and occasionally a zombie chased them down the hall, throwing holographic limbs at them. The character was Arthur, named and designed after the appearance of Dr. Arthur Thimbault. The zombie was gaining on them when they reached the elevator, narrowly escaping his grasp.

The Harrrolds stood hyperventilating as the elevator crawled back to the first floor.

“Congratulations Steven,” The skeleton man began, an evil lure in his voice. “For a second there I didn’t think you’d make it out.”

Steven turned around and jumped, grabbing his heart again. The skeleton man had appeared in the glass mirror of the elevator.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed scaring you both this evening and hope to see you again soon. Next time, I will know exactly how to grab at your heart-strings. I have stored your fears in my hard drive and will patiently be awaiting your return,” he smirked. “Thank you for participating in the D.A.T.A. program. Please drive safely, so that I can haunt you again someday.”

The elevator doors opened and the Harrolds ran as fast as they could to their car. They sat silently the rest of the way home, not sure what they could say to lighten the mood.

“Ashely,” Steven nudged his wife, who had fallen asleep, “We’re home now.”

They relieved the babysitter and checked on Timothy, who was put down to sleep a few minutes before they arrived.

“What a night,” Steven suggested as they got to bed.

“Yeah, I never want to do that again. The whole idea that the computer can remember us and keep a record of our darkest fears is just too creepy for me.”

“Crazy what technology can do nowadays. Why can’t we think of anything like that?”

Ashely didn’t respond, she was already fast asleep. Steven sat up most of the night, slightly terrified and excited about the new attraction.



Chapter 2 
October 31, 2004: The Last Data  

“Hello?” Steven said, picking up his new cordless home phone.

“Harrold? It’s Chief Salenzie. We need you at the office right now.”

“But sir, it’s seven-thirty at night. What’s going on?”

“We’ve got a case that we need you to look at right now.”

“All right, give me fifteen minutes.”

“You’ve got ten.”

Steven hung up the phone and walked up the stairs to let Ashely know. She was in Timothy’s room getting him ready for bed.

“Knock, knock,” Steven said as he walked into the room.

“Oh, look who it is Timmy; it’s Dad!” Little Timothy’s face always lit-up when he saw his dad.

Steven squeezed his little boy’s cheeks and kissed his wife of the forehead. “I’ve been called in to look at a case. Salenzie wants me there now. I’m sorry.”

“It’s okay, I’ll be waiting for you.”

“It might be an all-nighter, so don’t stay up for too long. Love you.”

“Love you too, be safe,” Ashely gave him a longing expression. Steve had only been called in to work a few times this late at night, and it was never for a good reason.

Steven walked quickly down the stairs and outside to his undercover Crown Vic. He pulled the car out of the driveway and zipped down the street. There were ghosts and princesses wandering the streets carrying pillowcases full of candy they had been collecting all night. When Steven finally got to the station, all the lights were on, which for a normal night would have been odd but tonight was Halloween. Calls of kids throwing eggs at houses and other misdemeanors would flood the station tonight.

“Hey, Scott, you get called in too?” Steven joked to the first officer he saw.

“Yeah, it’s Halloween, and you won’t believe what has happened tonight.”

Steven made his way down to Salenzie’s office to hear the news.

“You’re late,” Salenzie began.

“Yeah, it’s late,” Steven pointed out, trying to get a grin out of his boss.

“Detective, we’ve just got word that there has been a killing up at Thimbault’s estate.”

“Thimbault’s estate? But isn’t that…”

“Yes, where the haunted smart house is. I’ve sent some officer’s ahead of you to do some crowd control but I need your detective skills to figure out what’s happened.”

“I’ll go right away, sir.”

“Don’t hit anybody on your way. The last thing I need to get is a phone call proclaiming that one my officers hit a scarecrow-child.”

“I’ll keep my eyes out.”

Even with his sirens on it still took Steven twenty minutes to get to the scene of the crime. There were children screaming and running up and down the streets. He even saw some with baskets of eggs, like it was Easter but he didn’t have time to intercept them. At the scene, the officers had removed most of the crowds. However, the channel 4 news was there now.

“In only the first month of the first year of its operation, Dr. Thimbault’s Haunted House has been faced with a traumatic event. We have received knowledge that a young man has been murdered here tonight,” Steven heard the reporter announcing to the camera.

“Bloody rats,” Steven whispered, having gained a great annoyance to news related folks. He snuck passed the reported unnoticed and made his way to the house.

“Detective Harrold, it’s good to see you,” said Jessica, a young officer.

“Always a pleasure Jessica,” Steven had learned that small, short sentences were best around Jessica. Anything else would give her the wrong idea. “Where’s the body?”

“Upstairs on the third floor.”

Not the third floor, Steven thought. It hadn’t even been a month since he was scared to tears on that very floor.

“Is the attraction shut down?”

“Yes, don’t worry, nothing will be there to scare you now.”

Steven glared at her, wondering if she somehow found out about his little meltdown on the first night. He cleared his throat. “Good to know.”

Steven relived the horrifying rooms of the house on each floor, working his way toward the top. The house actually looked really nice when there weren’t monsters jumping out at you at every corner. When he reached the last room of the second floor he heard, “Welcome back Steven.”

“What!?” he jumped. Shaking, he looked around with his flashlight. “It was nothing Steven,” he told himself, “nothing.”

The third floor was much brighter this time around and he was certain that he hadn’t heard anything now. A few other officers were looking around the house for any signs of a suspect.

“Evening, Steven,” said Officer Jordan.

“Evening, Jordan. Find anything worth mentioning yet?”

“Nope, but you can go look at the body over there.”

She gestured toward the place where the body lay. It was the same place that Steven was tortured by the nail grinding sound Dracon had made. The boy on the floor was gruesomely beat up. Bruises appeared on his arms and face. There was blood all over the floor and the boy’s neck had a large, open wound. There was no major evidence of a weapon. Suddenly, there was a sound movement in the next room. Jordan and Steven jumped, pulling their guns out.

“Let’s go,” Steven whispered.

They hurried into the next room, hoping to find the killer.

“Freeze!” They yelled simultaneously as they banged the door down.

There, on top of the large wardrobe was a great horned owl that looked guiltily toward a lamp it seemed to have knocked over.

“Darn bird,” Officer Jordan proclaimed angrily.

“Detective!!” a voice yelled from the other room.

Steven rushed back to where the body was to see Jessica with a look a sheer shock in her hazel eyes. The body was gone.

“It was there just a second ago, I swear!” she said in a panic. “I’m getting out of this house.”

Steven stared at the puddle of blood, reflecting a look of confusion on his face. What is going on here? He thought.

“Jordan, did we get an ID on that body?”

“No sir, we couldn’t find anything.”

“The boy should’ve had a wrist band with his ticket number on it. Did we get that before the body disappeared?” he demanded hastily.

“I don’t know, I’ll go check with forensics.”

Steven pulled out his Razor cellphone and dialed the Chief.

“Whatcha got for my Harrold?” said the Chief

“Nothing sir. That’s why I’m calling. The body has vanished.”

“What?! How did you lose the body!?”

“Sir, Officer Jessica was in the room when it disappeared. She didn’t see anything and doesn’t know what happened. I’m waiting to hear back from forensics to see if they picked up any ID.”

“Well, keep me posted Harrold. I don’t want the news to find out we lost the body.”

Steven hurried down the stairs to check and see if Jordan had found anything.

“Forensics says that the boy didn’t have a wristband. He must’ve snuck in.” said Jordan.

“Dang it! We really could’ve used that. The Chief will be pissed. Can we access the security tapes yet?”

“There aren’t any tapes,” Jordan said, irritated.

“What do you mean there aren't any tapes?” Harrold asked.

“Well, the security system had been shut down this evening, it’s like the house was malfunctioning.”

“Great. The chief isn’t going to want to hear that either.”

“So what now Detective?”

“We’ll have to put it in our John Doe’s until we gather more information. Until then, this attraction is going to have to be shut down for good.”

The police cars silently left the premises and Dr. Thimbault’s Haunted House came to a close. For the next few years, the truth about what happened that dark Halloween night became urban legend. No one dared go near the old mansion, and the case of the disappearing body was locked away in the unsolved files.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Death-Day


When I was first asked about the day I would die, I thought that the strange man asking me was a straight looney. Well, he was actually, but he was also really inspiring.

He said, “If you could choose the date and time of your death, would you?”

I told him that the thought of knowing when you would die would likely drive you to madness, and that nothing would ever make me decide to do that. He shrugged his shoulder’s and gave me his card.

“Well, if you ever find a time when you are ready to decide, give me a call.”

Flash forward five years, my life is in a rut, and everyone I thought loved me had abandoned me. I didn’t think I could live for much longer in my current state. I started packing up my things and leaving notes around my apartment so that those who were once close to me could find them. While I was organizing some things, I found an old business card I’d tucked away.

Dave Spenellio
D-Day Specialist
1368 S Watchtower DR. Kennysville, KY
(343) 673-3284

I never thought my life would come to the point to where I could have the option to choose between dying and death. Dave knew the difference. I dialed his number, which gratefully still worked.

“Hello, Dave speaking.”

“Dave, you probably don’t remember me, but we met a few years ago and discussed the option of choosing the date and time of your own death. I was wondering if I could maybe set that up with you?”

“Ah, so you’ve decided that it’s time to know when you’re going to die? Perfect. Well, when are you thinking?”

“As soon as possible. When are you available?”

“Well…it’s not about my availability, but our first opening is next Wednesday around noon. Where are you located now?”

“I’m in New York. I could do next Wednesday.”

“Alright. Consider it done. We’ll talk later this week about logistics. But at noon next Wednesday, just take a nice walk through Central Park. We’ll find you,” he said.

I hung up the phone. It was a strange feeling knowing I was going to die. However, it also felt very freeing, knowing that in a week’s time, I’d be free. It was almost enlightening.

A few days passed. Dave and I have been discussing how he’d get paid after all was said and done, and as such I sent him a $1,000 non-refundable “service fee”. I didn’t have much money left and spent the next few days eating instant ramen and string cheese. Before I knew it, Tuesday evening had come and the countdown to D-Day was in full-effect. I was perusing my email one last time, when I got an urgent message in my inbox:

Dear beloved one in the Lord “MrSparkles4980@hotmail.com”

I am contacting you after my fasting and prayer to my good God to give me an honest man or woman that will handle this Assignment. You were revealed to me by God and it is my desire of going into relationship with you. I am Mrs. Anna Babayeve I am a Gold Farmer and diamond dealer. I am a merchant of Russia nationality but presently residing in Australia, I have been diagnosed with Esophageal cancer and only have a day to live. I am currently admitted in a private hospital, and I have some funds I inherited from my late loving husband Mr. John Steel Babayeve, the sum of $10,500,000 US which he deposited in WEZESHA TRUST BANK  EAST KENYA, and I need a very honest and Lord fearing Christian that can use these funds for The Lord’s work and 20% out of the total funds will be for your compensation for doing this work of The Lord. I found your email address from the internet and decide to contact you. Please if you would be able to use these funds for the Lord's work kindly reply me with your bank account and routing number. Thank you and May The Lord bless you.

Your Sister In The Lord,

Anna

I brushed it off as I usually do with scam emails, besides I was in no way a good Christian fellow seeking to do “The Lord’s work”. I mean, I had just paid a man to kill me the following afternoon. I kept scrolling and mindlessly staring at my computer, when an interesting thought crossed my mind. I went back to the email and responded.

Anna,

I will send you my account information, save it be that The Good Lord takes my life tomorrow, I will proceed with the Assignment with the funds you provide.

Your Lost Lordly Brother,

Scott

I chuckled to myself, added my account information, and hit send. Tomorrow was the day I would die, and if someone needed to steal the last $3,252.49 I had, then so be it. I placed all of my family notes around asking them not to mourn the death of me and to move forward with their lives. Then, I quietly retired to my bed and fell soundly asleep.

The next morning, I arrived at Central Park at 11:00 am. It was a truly beautiful day and since it was my last, I appreciated it that much more. You never really truly appreciate the world around you until you’re close to leaving it. I walked around the park, looking for any sign of Dave or his “hitman”, but to no avail. At 11:33, I got a notification on my phone.



A deposit? I opened my Wells Bargo app and nearly dropped my phone. My account now had $10,503,252.49. Anna had made a deposit of 10.5 million dollars into my account with the memo: “May the Lord Be With You.” I was stunned. I was sure I was dreaming. There was no way that this lady was real. I’ve received hundreds of spam emails, asking for the same information, but I wouldn’t have dared sent anyone my bank account information before yesterday.

I sat on a bench and just stared into the sky. I was a multi-millionaire, and now I didn’t know what I was going to do what such a responsibility. Then, my phone vibrated again. It was an unknown number and all it said was, “We’re here.”

I nearly swore my way to France, when I suddenly realized it was 11:50 am and I was scheduled to die in 10 minutes. Not to mention, I was in the middle of Central Park. I texted back, “Take your $1,000, I’m out.”

To which they responded, “Too late, cancellation has to be at the latest 12 hours before D-Day time.”

I had ten minutes to run faster and longer than I ever had in my entire life. I picked what I thought was the shortest way out, pulled up my hoodie, and ran for my life, literally.

I ran until I could taste blood in my mouth and my lungs burned. I didn’t have time to look at how long it had been, how much longer I had. I made it to the edge of Central Park, but didn’t stop. I ran through traffic, down alleyways, and back toward my nicely organized and packed apartment. I passed out once I got inside.

The next thing I remember, is my phone vibrating in my pocket. Dazed and disoriented, I sat up, my vision still returning. I pulled out my phone.

“If you ever change your mind, give us a call. -Dave.”

I blocked his number, laid down on my bed, then called my mom to apologize and tell her I loved her.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

When the Train was Late


The train was supposed to come early, that night in the early winter. It was probably October, I was working a dead-end job selling knick-knacks designed to attracts tourists. I was I college at the time and barely made enough for rent, let alone a car. I closed most nights and would usually just walk the two blocks back to my beat-down apartment. However, it was snowing that night and, according to the ETA flashing on the screen, the train was supposed to come early. The worst part about the first snow-fall of the winter is that you’re never prepared for it. I was wearing a black v-neck sweater, black slacks, and a pair of fine-leather dress shoes, work required it. I stood alone on the platform, ear-buds in, blocking out the cold and the rest of existence. Then, I felt someone standing behind me. I looked over my shoulder to find a beautiful girl standing there wearing a white winter coat, as if she had been hoping that winter would start that day. I removed my ear-buds and did something I’d never done before. I initiated a conversation with a stranger. Well, more specifically with a female who was about my age and a stranger.

“So, are you enjoying this weather?”

What? That’s the best I had? Like a depressed weatherman who hasn’t forecast good weather in over six months, I shuffled slightly away, hoping she didn’t hear me. Then, the unexpected happened. She spoke.

“Yes, actually, I love winter! It’s my favorite time of year and the snow is just the beginning of that.”

I was hoping to initiate a bashing conversation on how much the cold sucked, and how, even though Autumn was just ending, I could wait until Spring. We small chatted for a minute, until the train pulled up.

I pushed the door button and let her get on first, like a gentleman, then carefully took my seat a fair distance away from her. Then, as is tradition when riding the train, I put one ear-bud back in and acted like I’d never spoken to her or any other human in my life. There were only two stops before I’d be getting off, and I really didn’t think much of the situation.
At the first stop, her friend got on and they started chatting about a party that was coming up that weekend. It was a pretty large event, I mean, even I was aware of it. So, I reverted back into the conversation, hoping to find out some more details and maybe even run into her there. Anything was possible for me at that point in time.

Then, the train pulled into my stop. I stood up and made my way to the door.

“So, maybe I’ll see you at the party this weekend?”

Then, I got out and left. She barely had time to nod, let alone speak.

I will never forget the way she looked at me as the doors closed and they pulled away. For once, I was grateful that the train was supposed to come early that night but didn’t.

Monday, September 24, 2018

All was Lost

All was lost.

I was sure of it. I had come to such an emotional low that I wasn’t sure I could continue anymore. I was so incredibly self-centered that I pushed everyone who was closest to me away. I came to the point one could only explain as rock-bottom. My wife and children left me, which I was sure was the right thing for me and for us. Then, something happened. It was like God smacked me in the head with a golden baseball bat.

I was sitting alone in my now empty home. No wife, no kids, just me. For the past few years it’s all I thought I wanted. But now that it’s all happened, I’ve realized that being alone isn’t what I thought it would be. Sure, the first few weeks we’re awesome! I was able to do what I wanted whenever I wanted. No rules. No arguments. No questioning my motives. After the first month though, being alone was just that: lonely. How did it end up this way? I was justified in my emotions. I was sure that I was right in asking for a divorce, asking for a way to break free of the madness she caused me.
Madness. Who’s the crazy one now? Everywhere I look there’s silence, brief echoes of children laughing down the hall, of the life I once had. I miss them. I want them to come back. If only the person I am now could go back six months, two years, and shake myself out of the self-centered mindset I was in. Then, I’d be happy.

“If only you would say I’m right and that my position is valid. Then, I’d be happy.” Impossible expectations and standards on everyone I loved. How could I have been such a fool to let the Devil take over my mind and soul?

Where are my parents, my siblings in all this? Well, in my pride and my self-righteousness, I pushed them away too. Didn’t think it was possible, but it turns out that when you judge and criticized others as much as I did, in the name of love, people start to disassociate with you to protect themselves. I perceived my existence as a way to help other people become better, but in actuality I was crushing their self-worth and demanding they live up to my standard of life.

All was lost.

I came out of the shadows. I apologized to everyone for my misjudgments and perceptions (or lack thereof). Although hard for me to accept, not everyone needs to live their lives the way I think they should. But since I believed that, I tore people down. I was superior in intellect and knowledge, I knew how they should live their lives better than they did. I was so full of pride, that I interpreted it as a form of love. I justified my incredulous opinions on others and as such was left alone.

But now, I’m different. I’m changing my ways. My knowledge isn’t supposed to be used to shove people down as some form of hard love. I’m supposed to lift people up and be a positive influence in there lives. Success isn’t about trying to force others to conform to my way of life, it’s about enabling others to find their own path using the tools I’ve created. I’m not perfect, and I’m okay with that now.

Unfortunately, not everything can go back to the way it was. I burned too many bridges and cut too many people too deep. I wish I would’ve known this sooner. I wish I would’ve listened to those who genuinely cared and tried to warn me. But I believed their opinion irrelevant because they are less intelligent than me, or have fewer degrees of education.

I find that I am like Thanos: Trying to cleanse the universe because I believe it’s the right thing to do, because my intellect deemed me worthy to make those decisions. Now, I have to ask myself every day. Was it worth the price? Was it worth losing everything and any ounce of respect I had left with those who love me?

No. It wasn’t.

And so, I am alone, all is still lost, and I have no one to blame but myself.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Taking the Climber’s Hand

I was part of a mighty mountain, until a climber came and 

knocked me off my pedestal, loosening me. 

At first I was upset, until I saw his face: 

Tears flooded on my broken body and I felt his hand. 



In my falling, I’d caught the man,  

pinning him with my body. 

Hand stuck, he struggled, pulled, screamed, 

Looking for a way out. 



If only I could be a pillow,  

soft, light, and cushioned.  

He could rest his tired head on me, 

and not his dying soul. 



A stabbing in my side woke me 

the next morning. 

The climber made a chisel, denting, scratching 

But my body wouldn’t budge, we were wedged together.  



I felt worse when it rained. 

Pouring, soaking, gasping, 

Drowning, flowing water still 

couldn’t free him from my grasp.  



He struggles, thoughts of death mutter from his lips, 

he finally breaks free.  

He even left a special gift for me: 

His hand.  



Withered and without life, 

Yet still I’ve held onto it tight.  

I may not have been a comfort to his tired head, 

But I held his hand, as he escaped death.