Saturday, January 28, 2012

Spam Email Message

I am Fred Noonan and I’m in need for your aid.

If you are student for the Histories, you will be aware that Amelia Earhart disappeared over the Atlantic Ocean over many ages ago. Her body was never discovered. I accompanied her on her flight and we two were, in truth, abducted by aliens. We were brought upon Class 5 alien Star Cruiser and were brought to planet in Andromeda galaxy. We were enslaved and experimented on. Amelia’s screams shall haunt my nightmares for ages. Amelia was transfigured into dog style monster with immense fanged mandibles and I can not ever die. My blood, green like lobster and my brain run on battery. It been long time, I never sleep. I, Amelia and other men made into creature slay all aliens in great conflict. Blood floods the streets like overflowing rivers and the alien councils surrendered to our might, but we are not merciful.
I come to you for opportunities for lifetime. Though we walk on four legged and others breaths on metal lungs, we do love and passion for Mother Earth Home and wish to return on her. Your American Government wishes no aliens to be earthbound. They refuse us access, believing us not fellow natives and we need emissary for aid. We wish this for you. The roll for you will be as financier for now, purchasing many expensive official petitions and documents to the American government. We have been away from lives for so many ages and we desire home, please be aiding us by replying soon. We grow impatient in our bubbling lust to our American home. We are great, merciless warrior, stained with much blood.

Thank you for bottom my cold, mechanical heart,
Fred Noonan, Loyal American.

I See You In the ICU

I see you there in the I. C. U. You were all bloodied and broken, crumpled up like a used up napkin. I had seen you before you were like this and your bones jutting out from under your skin definitely isn’t an improvement. The sounds you’re making are unfortunate and the doctor’s can’t give you anything for it. You’re bleeding too much. Before this, you had impeccable, long black hair and tanned skin the color of a ripe peach. I would have liked to know how your skin felt, but I never approached and soon, I may never feel it while it’s warm.

There’s this fellow sobbing at your side. His lips are moving, though I can’t hear what he’s saying. He’s a handsome sort of fellow and I want to believe he’s only crying over a mortally injured sister, but he has blonde hair, Germanic in some way. I want to believe that you wouldn’t go for such pretty dandies like him, but beauty comes to beauty I suppose. Even though he might have had you while you were beautiful, he wouldn’t have you now. Your skull’s smashed in and all you do is cry. At some point, some man in a white coat is going to come by with some papers that amount to nothing less than killing you. They don’t actually pull any plugs. Did you know that? They’ll decide that you can’t be saved and they’ll put you in a chemically induced coma and then they’ll switch off a few switches on your respirator. You’ll suffocate to death. Sorry.

After they pull the blanket over your head, you’ll be mean. Never again will you be beautiful, but I’ve never been nice looking and it really is overrated. Such things that had happened to you wouldn’t happen to an ugly person. No one admires an ugly person. No one would ever go to the lengths I went though to have you for an ugly person. You had felt a chill in your car, didn’t you? That was me. I whispered in your eyes and told you to drive on into oncoming traffic. A little girl is dying down the hall from you and her mother is waiting for her on the other side. A sweet girl like you might feel bad about that. Please don’t. You really had no control over the situation. Please don’t be sore at me for it either. I couldn’t help myself. It is so cold and lonesome on this side and it’s worse when you’re alone. You’ll never have to learn that because I’ll be here with you. I see you there, in the ICU and I see you truly. I see you broken and bleeding, but I would remember you as you were, beautiful. No one else could see you as I do. I see you there in the ICU.

400 Words Parable

“The washer’s up on the roof and we can’t get it down until we get the television out of the house.” Daisy said on the front lawn. Her hair was frayed and fluttering about her head like flies fluttering around a pig’s ass. She had her hands tucked underneath her armpits, sweat rolling down her temples. She looked like she was on the verge of crying.
“How’d the washer get up there?” Timothy asked. His cigarette hung, completely forgotten, in his mouth. Up on the rooftop, the Maytag washing machine spewed a continuous stream of sudsy water down the side of the house, washing away the rosebushes and the freshly mown lawn before that. The peach colored paint from that side of the house was being washed away as well, mixing with the swirling mud below. All the windows had been broken out of their frames and had been overgrown creeping ivy and jungle vines. There were bullet holes and scorch marks on the walls that hadn’t been soaked by the washer or painted a sickly shade of green.
“She got up there on her own.” Daisy said, throwing up her arms in frustration. “We got to get the damn television out of the damn house.”
“The washer’s a She?” Timothy asked, the cigarette drooping lower and lower in the corner of his mouth. Soon it’d feel from his mouth and into the gathering water. A single tear spilled down her cheek and Timothy walked forward, taking her in his arms.
“Why do we need to get the television out of the house?” Timothy asked, moving his thumb along the sweat-slicked flesh at the back of her neck.
“Because she won’t forgive him…”
“The television’s a him?” Timothy asked, interrupting her.
“Yes. He’s a he and we need to get him out of the house. She won’t come down with him in the house.”
“Forgive him for what?” Timothy asked.
“He was running around with the mice in the walls. He was whispering sweet-nothings in the blender’s ear. He went out dancing with the toaster, the refrigerator and vacuum cleaner. All behind her back and when she found out, she felt like such a fool.”
“None of that makes sense.” Timothy said with a nervous smile.
“You’re still on making sense? Oh, Timothy.” She clasped him about the face and then placed a single kiss on his mouth.

The End

Friday, January 20, 2012

First Five: To Live And Die In Lowell

Chapter One: Alan Miller, The man who died twice

He was looking at me like I had tricked him, somehow. This little man standing before me was looking at me like I had made him call me. It became part of the job, but I never got used to it. It was always an itch at the back of skull. I knew what he was thinking, that I was a freak. I was a weirdo. That I was a fraud trying to steal his money. I charge so much because I don’t like my time wasted. Exhaust every other option and then pay through the nose for me.

This little man had my check crinkled up in his hands, but I didn’t care. The bank would still accept it. He had me come in because his walls were bleeding. His wife and kids had moved out of the house, but this little man was dead-set on keeping the house. Real Estate Agents are supposed to disclose any illicit activities that occurred on the property before purchase, such as murders, rapes, etc and the agent had done her due. This idiot had brought the house anyway.

“Holden. You can do it?” This little man asked through clenched teeth. He looked mad, but that could have been that I was smoking in his house. What was he going to do? Made me leave his bloody, haunted house? I really didn’t care. I had enough money that I didn’t need to bother trying anymore.

“Yeah. I can do it.”
“Because you’re not getting paid until…”
“Alan Miller.”
“My name’s Paul.” Of course his name was Paul. I never liked or could truest a man named Paul. I never liked a P name for a man, but Paul was the worst of them.
“That’s the name of the man who died here. Alan Miller. Violent deaths are the worst. When you die fighting, you think your still fighting.
“You’re wrong. I had the blood tested. It’s menstrual blood. Like from a woman.” Little man Paul said.
“Easy question: Do walls bleed?”
“Well, no. They shouldn’t.”
“So, we’ve established that weird shit is happening. Alan Miller died over a woman. He’s fixated on that woman. Annie Watts, Miller’s girlfriend, was cheating on him with Nathan Miller, Alan Miller’s father. How much does that suck? Nathan Miller is currently serving fifteen years for the accidental murder of his son. I do research. Do you?” I hadn’t actually done any research. Alan was telling me all of it. He wouldn’t shut up about his father and about Annie.

I had made up a rating system for ghost. The longer a ghost was left to stew on any particular thing, the more that ghost began to degrade. A level one ghost appears human, because their fixation hasn’t dug in deep yet. A level two ghost tends to look like a gray mist. The ghost begins to fall apart like a decaying corpse would. A level three ghost begins to pull himself together and he doesn’t look anything like a human anymore. For some reason, they like to reconstitute themselves with horns and fangs and in the case of one remarkably disgusting womanizer, several penises. Alan was a level three. Level fours existed, but I didn’t mess with them. Picture horns all of a hulking frame. Out of his ears and eyes and out of his nostrils. Beneath the horns, there were snakes and maggots slithering and writhing. No flesh was apparent.
“Paul. Can I have a minute alone?”
“Excuse me?”
“Alone. Me. Leave. You. That’s the gist of what I’m asking.”
“This is my house…”
“And it’s a nice one…you, know… except for the blood. That’s why I’m here. Remember? Mind if I get to work?” Paul looked like he wanted to say something, but he left with his arms crossed over his chest.

The door slammed and I pulled some sage from my black overcoat and lit it with my lighter. I swayed the smoking sage back and forth, spreading the smoke around.
“Al? Al?” Alan wasn’t paying much attention. He was preoccupied with screaming for his father to come out.
Dad! Dad! Come out here! Where are you! When he screamed the windows rattled in their panes and began to frost.
“Alan Miller! Shut up!” Alan was finally looking at me. I couldn’t be sure, but I tried to be safe. Sometimes level three ghosts attacked people, thinking that they were objects of the ghost’s fixation. The sage was good for calming them down and helping them think about what was going on.
“Dad?” Alan asked.
“No. I ain’t your daddy.”
“Where’s my dad?”
“Daddy’s in prison. Going to be for a while.”
“What’s that smell?”
“That’s just sage. Don’t worry about the sage. I got bad news for you, kid.”
“It reeks like farts.”
“No, it doesn’t.”
“No, it does.” Alan started coughing and gagging, which ghost shouldn’t be able to do. To cough, you need an obstructed airway. Ghosts have neither an airway nor anything to obstruct it. I had assumed it was psychosomatic. That he had a negative association with the smell of sage. Then, he started to smoke and then he burst into flames. Alan was screaming and flailing about and I was figuring that he just really hated sage.

I was wrong, however. There was a second ghost, one that I wasn’t messing with. A level four ghost was pure hostility and normally roved about where ever they felt like going. They burnt themselves out of existence, but they also managed to warp reality around before that could happen. I wasn’t sure why the hell a level four ghost was showing up, I wasn’t going to find out. The smoke wafting through the air turned into snakes, fucking rattlesnakes and I don’t even know how to deal with that. They were lunging through the air at me, creating distance between me and Alan, who was shrinking. His horns were retracting and snaky, maggoty skin was turning into human flesh. What the hell was happening. Alan turning back into a level one and I had never seen that. Alan had apparently died, bare foot in a pair of acid-washed jeans. I didn’t much of a view of it before he exploded and exploded as if he was made of real flesh. Blood and brain matter splattered over my clothes and there was a streaming, red skeleton laying in the middle of the floor. Paul came barreling in and then froze in his steps.
“What the hell did you do?”
“You can see that?” I asked, pointing to the skeleton.
“There’s a dead body on the floor.”
“Yeah. Weird. Got rid of your ghost for you. My payment?” The check was still in his hands, but I slid it out easily. I slipped out the front door and got the hell of out there.

Chapter Two: At Mother’s House

They don’t make water hot enough. I was working my fingers through my hair, picking out little bits and pieces of Alan Miller’s skull and hearing them clink against the porcelain floor. My mother’s bathroom wasn’t very clean and I didn’t feel too bad about making a little bloody. My old ma had gone on in years and I probably should have put her up in a nursing home.

The floor beneath my feet was a swirling pink and above that there was a faded ring around the tub. The shower was suited for an old lady. A seat, a hand grip and little pink daisies scattered across the floor. It was awkward to move in the small space, but for the time being, my ma’s place was the only place I had. My ma’s place was quiet like other places weren’t. A lot of the time, the dead don’t know they’re dead. They just know they’re being ignored. That they’re cut off. They figure out that I’ll look at them, hear them and they start bothering me.

I had thrown my clothes in the garbage. I wasn’t going to put them in the wash and ruin the washer. I had brought that machine in with my father when my father was still around. I turned off the water and watched the pink slither down the drain and all of a sudden, I felt guilty and decided to scrub down the tub. Maybe I’d do that later.

“Ma.” I called down the stair. My mother spent all her time in the basement, by the old washer, watching the tiny black and white. The washer knocked against the stone wall down there and I called for her again, a little bit louder.
“Ma. You kept my old coats? I had to throw mine away.” The washer was the only thing that answered me. I went down the stairs and they creaked beneath my feet. I had cut my leg up on those stair and actually put my foot through a step to do it. I never trusted them and now everything was so damn cold down here. I stopped at the landing and between me and her was a swirling bath of shadows.

The basement was shaped like a long rectangle and she was sitting at the end of it by the boiler, puffing on a cigarette and looking at the tiny black and white television. Overhead, there was a flickering, yellow bulb that cast sour light onto the floor. She wasn’t looking at me.
“Ma. You warm enough down here?” I knew I wasn’t. I was tucking my hands underneath my armpits, trying to keep warm.
“I’m fine.” Ma said. She had her sweater tucked up around her ears and her free hand concealed in her pocket.
“Why don’t you come up stair?”
“I’m happy down here.”
“I mucked up the tub a little bit. Sorry.”
“I don’t care.”
“Ma. I had a weird case, earlier. I saw a dead guy die again. He blew apart and sprayed blood everywhere. There’s a thing. I call them Level fours. It did that. I don’t know how or why, even… but it did that. I want to figure out why. I think I ought to find him.”
“Mmm.” Ma said. She sounded so tired and distant. She wouldn’t look at me and I wouldn’t get close to her.
“So, ah… I had to throw away my jacket. Did you keep my old coats?”
“You can check up stair in the hall closet. I don’t know.” She blew out a lung full of smoke and then tapped the cigarette into an old Dunkin Doughnuts cup. Every time I saw her, I thought I should do more for her, but I always walked away.

My mother had died. She had fallen down the stair, doing a load of laundry. She had died from dehydration. She had broken her leg and spent a day and a half at the bottom of the stairs calling for someone to help. Something about this place and the fact that she died here kept other ghosts away.
“Thank you, Ma.”

Chapter Three: Sex With Ghosts

I moved through red, metal bookshelves filled with dust coated books. Some of the library staff joke about there being ghosts in the Mezzanine. The idea is most predicated on the fact that the lights go out from time to time. The lights were set up to motion detectors and isn’t sensitive enough to sense someone reading. While entranced in a particularly good book, a reader might find themselves bathed in darkness. This all isn’t to say there isn’t a ghost in the Mezzanine, she just doesn’t turn out the lights.

Her name was Grace and she’s been impossibly lonely for fifty years. She committed suicide in the early sixties after being left at the altar. She had read nearly all the books in the library while alive and knew everything about anything in death. If anyone knew where I should start with my spontaneous reincarnation Level four ghost, it would be her. Dealing with Grace was tricky, however. Like all ghosts, Grace had a constant fixation and predictably, it was her would be husband. As she didn’t know where he was and probably couldn’t recognize him even if he were to show up in front of her, she tended to go after any man.

I spotted Grace on her knees, scanning a small green book that frayed at the edges. Her long auburn hair draped down over her shoulders and drew shadows over her golden horn-rimmed glasses and her long, gaunt face beneath that. She wore a flowing green dress that filtered off into stake blue of the carpet.
“Hey, Grace.”
“Dennis?” She asked, not looking up to me. She flicked her finger across the yellowing page of the small green book.
“No. It’s Holden. I got to talk to you, Grace.” She flicked her eyes up to me and they were wide and watery, icy blue rimmed with eerie gold. The book fell through her fingers and thumped against the carpet. She moved across the floor, her dress fluttering behind her like cloth through water. She brought her hands to my face and they flew like rain droplet rolling down my face.
“Denis, please.” She said. She sounded breathless which suited her, considering she through herself in the Merrimack.
“Grace. It’s Holden. Listen to me.” She leaned in and pressed her lips against mine. I pulled from the kiss. Her lips were chapped and she tasted salty.
“Denis. Please. Stay with me.” Her fingers rolled down my chest and I stepped away, knowing where they’d end up.
“Grace! Listen to me, goddamn it!” She drew in a shocked breath of air and drew a few steps away from me.
“No. Holden.”
“Oh. I see.” She began to flutter back toward her discarded book.
“Grace. I need to talk to you.” She picked her book back up knelt on the floor. “ Grace. What do you know about resurrections?”
“A lot.” She said, peering down at her book.
“I saw a ghost get turned into flesh and then explode. Skeleton, meat and brain matter in all.”
“Do you know what that is?”
“Yes and you do as well, I suspect.”
“ It’s not like anything I’ve ever seen. The closest thing to it, is that guy that was tearing lizards up at the Franklin zoo and smashing up cars in the parking lot.”
“You ran from that, didn’t you?”
“Yes. I’m never paid enough when glass and snake skulls starts flying around.”
“What does it matter?”
“Because I want to know. Can you help me?”
“Or possibly, you’re interested in dead person being brought back to life. Possibly without the explosion at the end.”
“Who do you have squirreled away. You seem old enough to married. Possibly with a child. A wife? A son? A daughter? You spend all your time with the dead. There must be a good reason for that.”
“What do you know?”
“You’ve given us these crude categories: Level one, Level two, Level three and Level four. Well, a level four, as you call it, doesn’t get that way without external help. Do you believe in magic, Mr. Errand?”
“Does it matter if I do?”
“I suppose not. Magic, of any sort, is cancerous to whatever passes for a spirit in all of us. Heavy magic practitioners, of an evil or benign sort, will produce twisted and mostly dangerous essences. What you would want to be looking for is, a heavy magical practitioner. Whoever that might be?”
“What about the level fours? Is there a way to track them? To find them? They can go anywhere.”
“In that, you are wrong. It’s true that they do not behave like other souls, but they still remain ghosts. There’s a cause for everything they do. Ghosts are people, just like you. You have a location and something to look for while you are there.”
“Can you give me anymore help than that?”
“That depends. Would you let me pretend for a while? You don’t know how stinging it is to be ignored by everyone. To be ignored by a man has turned away from you an infinite number of times.”
“I’m not Denis.”
“Denis is an old man by now. Probably has a family. A wife. Children. Everything I never had. Let me pretend.”
“What would you tell me?”
“A name. Nothing completely assured, but there is a man who wrote a book and that book is here in the library. I’ll give you the name. I’ll give you the book. You’ll need a library card, of course.”
“Of course.” She skulked toward me and rose her finger up to my face. They were just as cold as ever. Her kisses were just as bitter. She whispered ‘Judas Mason’ in my ear as she unbuckled my belt. Sexual contact with a ghost is never fun.

Chapter Four: The Family Mason

It was my second shower of the day and it still wasn’t hot enough. Grace had given me Mason’s book with peppering my bare shoulders with icy kisses. It was heavy, black leather bond thing that had been water strained and reeked of mildew. I sat on the edge of my mother’s tub with this book on my lap. The Mystic’s Digest had been etched out across the front cover in white lettering. It mostly looked like hokum to me. All it needed was a pentagram or moon symbols scattered about the front flap. Inside, it seemed just as ridiculous. Potion, spells and pagan holidays. I didn’t see anything using eye of newt, but there a couple things using eye of cat. None of it was useful as far as I could find. None of it told me about how Alan Miller could spray his brain-pan over my clothes and Paul’s walls.

Something I did find was an author’s biography. It didn’t give me an address, but it did give me another name. Judas Mason had a daughter, one who would still be alive. Apparently, him and his wife, Mercedes, were practicing mystics and ‘life patients’ and had conceived a child named Marigold. May the devil give pity to a girl named Marigold. None of it seemed like worth-while leads, but Marigold and a book of hokum was the best I had. Grace had got one thing right, she got most things right actually, but she was more right about me never being around people. I’m not going with them and they’re not good with me. I had to take Marigold like a bitter pill. I got dress. I had to hit the web.

My job and a private detective’s job aren’t all that different and we end up using the same tools. The one thing I couldn’t possibly do my job without is my shadow-creeper program. I had it made by a conspiracy minded hacker friend of mine. Friend is a strong word, but person-who-promised-not-to-liquidate-al-my-accounts-and-make-me-a-ditigal-non-person would be too wordy. His name was Angel. Think of a pasty face Puerto Rican in a Slayer T-shirt. In my younger years, I experimented with the Ghost Hunter scene. Said scene was plagued with types like Angel, except without the abilities Angel possessed. Some many of them stumbling over one another when they hear an old house settle or a branch scratch at a window. It’s a big joke to them, but they tend to piss of ghost when they actually stumble upon them. Think of having a conversation with someone who can’t heard you, but pretends that they can.
Give us a sign if you can hear us. Tell us if want something. We’re here for you. Ghosts take that seriously and when they completely ignore them, the ghosts, normally level ones, get pissed off.

Well, Angel made me this shadow-creeper program which essentially finds people for me by sending tendrils out into the Internet looking for digital footprints. It made me nervous that a little guy like Angel had the ability to make something like that, but he uses his power for good and stealing porn.

I sat before my laptop in my mother’s kitchen. The refrigerator rattled and hummed and wriggled in my ear. Dishes piled in the sink and water stains haloed out across corner top. The floor had been made uneven from a burst pipe five year back and the kitchen had been stabilized with a pile of old romance novels.

On my computer screen, the shadow-creeper program appeared as a black box with white text scrawling in a furious blur, faster than I could possibly read. It was reaching across the entire world-wide web searching for Marigold Mason, Mercedes Mason and Judas Mason. I made a bet with myself that Marigold would be the easiest to find. Marigold Mason was a flighty little star-child name and I had to think that she would be in some co-op off in the Arizona Desert. I was figuring that I might get lucky and get an email. What I ended up getting for Marigold was an address in Lowell and a name change. At age eighteen, she changed her name to Meredith and then at age twenty-four, she married one Howard Taylor who later died of congestive heart failure a year later in 2004. Two years after that, she, all of a sudden, went into law enforcement and made Sargent last year. She kept his last name and kept the residence of her deceased husband.

For Judas Mason, I got a date of death and allegations of murder. I had to bet that Judas was my Level Four. Apparently, Judas had a knack for luring college aged girls up to his house after the bars let out and having those girl disappear forever. He’d been linked to seven missing girls, although the Lowell police couldn’t prove that he had anything to do with any of their disappearances. He ended up dying in 1997 from prostate cancer and a lack of medical attention for said condition.

His wife, Mercedes, ended up going to jail for criminal neglect and then later, dying in 2001. Apparently, she had Judas held up in the house, performing their spells on him, having him drink mercury to induce ‘visions.’ She did blood-lettings and mixed his urine into his meals and a whole host of other weird shit. I would have put her in an insane asylum, but the dice had been rolled. Poor Meredith-Marigold. Her parents were a pair of loons and it seemed like all she wanted was to be normal. I didn’t have a great history with law enforcement and I didn’t think that Meredith would be too happy to talk about her crazy parents. I might even get shot over it. This was feeling more and more like a bad idea.

Chapter Five: The Mason House

I wasn’t eager to visit a cop and digging up a possibly raw nerve… Mixed metaphor… so I decided I’d visit the Mason house and see which spectators turned up. I figured there was a chance I’d get lucky and I’d find Mason there and I’d not need to bother with Sgt. Meredith Taylor and her raw nerves. The Mason house had its own annoyances, however. The legend of Judas Mason and the weird rituals he suffered had gotten out and ghost hunters had pounced on the scene. It had seen some success in the early 2000’s, but the ghost hunters decided that the house was a bit of a rip-off. Not enough creaks and groans to scare the jumpy thrill-seekers.

The Mason house had been purchased by a pair of lesbian witches who offered half-hearted tours of a house reeking of weed and beer if the Mason House reviews online were to be believed. Approaching the Mason house, I wasn’t impressed. It’d been done up for Halloween with spider webs and cardboard gravestones reading famous people’s names. They had no need to decorate at all. If they left the house as it was previous, I would have been preparing myself for a stabbing. As it was now, I was preparing myself for a handful of crappy candy and then a stabbing. All overgrown trees limbs and bushes, skeletal with bare, pale brown branches. The girls had made no attempt to rake up the drive and it probably was better that business was so terrible. If more people came, somebody would be bound to slip on a stray branch and shifting leaf. In a country so lawsuit happy as this one, this place would be a dream. I was momentarily tempted and I’m not even that kind of man. I’d been in worst places when hanging around ghost hunters and once was literally threatened with a knife. A crazy, old man with no teeth and a soiled pair of underwear. I had thought he was a ghost, but the others had seen him as well. After that day, I kept a gun on my ankle, register and everything. I didn’t keep it loaded. I’d be screwed if anyone called his buff.

The front door had one of those cheap plastic door decorations with spiders and black cats all over it. Above that was a wooden sign reading “The Mason House: Tours are $10.00. Ring the buzzer.”

The buzzer was rusted to hell on the side of the door and I thought it might have been broken, but a call from an upstairs window told me I was wrong.
“That you Jeffery? You ain’t getting shit unless you got my fucking money!” I stepped from the porch and around a corner to see who calling. It was a saggy sort of skinny brunette hanging out the top floor window. Though it was cold, she was wearing a tank-top and no bra. She had a thin sheen of moisture spreading over her bare arms and face.
“I’m here for the tour.”
“Fuck.” She said, spilling back into the house. I turned away and back onto the porch. It sounded as though the girl fell down the flight of stair, but she opened the door fine and then flipped her hair from her face. Her tight blue jeans weren’t buttoned, only partially zipped. As far as I could tell, she wasn’t wearing anything under those jeans, just her pink flesh and tiny wisps of hair hinting at her pubic mound. She zipped and buttoned herself while stepping out onto the porch and then pulled the tank-top over her jeans. She was out of breath and wide-eyed and I was glad for the moment of silence while she composed herself.
“Did you need a moment?” I asked, once I filed the fleeting sight of her mound into my ‘thoughts for later’ mental folder. I flicked my eyes down to her bare feet on the cement floor.
“Nah. I’m good. Come on in.” She said, moving aside and holding the door open for me. Such trouble for ten dollars, though I suspected that the girls were in a different kind of business nowadays. I stepped in and she closed the door behind me. Inside, there were three other girls sitting in a living room packed with blue-gray smoke. The room had a fecal stink of marijuana. None of girls had joints in their hands, though they all looked a little stoned. The three of them glowered at me through heavily ringed eyes. They hadn’t been sleeping to well it looked.
“This is where it happened.” The brunette started, wrapping her thin arms around her waist. The cold had perked her nipples up, though she didn’t seem to notice. “I’m Erica, by the way.”
“Holden.” I said.
“Like Catcher and the Rye, right?”
“In the Rye. Yeah. Judas died upstairs?”
“Yeah. But him and his wife did a whole bunch of weird shit in the basement, too.”
“Like what?”
“That’s why you’re here. We got the death room upstairs, then the library, and then the basement and then we got a gift shop set up. The stairs are over here.” She motioned up a flight of stairs. I started up them and she followed.
“You know anything about the mythos?”
“Not much.”
“Well, Judas and his wife, Mercedes, were these two hippie-dippy types doing messed spells in this house for years and years. Toward the end of Judas’s life, he and his wife started getting into the really crazy shit.” We hit the top of the stairs and turned a corner.
“ Judas was snatching up girls like skittles, but he couldn’t catch a case. Some say because he had help from dark spirits.” She stopped me in front of a door painted black and decorated with stars and moons from some glow in the dark set.
“He was feeding them the girls and they made it so he never had to worry about the law.” She opened the door and let it smack against the wall. Inside was a four-poster king-sized bed. Along the walls were clouded glass jars with big cork stoppers and there were antique medical equipment. There were slightly rusted handsaws and big glass syringes with big brass finger wells. The bed was set off to the far end of the room in front of a big window showing swaying trees and a cool, gray sky.
“He, all of a sudden, stopped taking girls and angered the spirits. The doctors thought he had Prostate cancer, but it was really just the manifestation of the spirit’s wrath. Demons and devils won’t flay you like they do in the movies, but that don’t make them any less dangerous.”
“Are you afraid of those spirits, living here and all?”
“It was a concern. Still is, from time to time, but we cleanse the place all the time. Me and my girlfriend are always burning sage and thyme and whispering blessing throughout the house.”
“So he died in here?”
“Yeah. We decorated it with cool shit. It was kind of bored before. Full of old people shit. The daughter who stole it to us didn’t want any of it. My girlfriend, Tiffany, went down to New York and found a fucking Civil War era hacksaw. I used it in a bondage fetish video and broke it, though.”
“How about the bed?”
“No. I don’t make videos in here. It’s too creepy.”
“No. Was this Judas’s bed?”
“Everything expect the mattress. When he died, he voided his bowels all over it. The two of them slept right there. She had him drink his own urine and eat his own shit. Something about not letting his life force escape. Some of the jars were broken and the ones filled with his blood were taken away, but she filled jars just like that with his blood and used it to ask forgiveness from the dark spirits that tortured her husband.”
“How long did she do all this?”
“Six months.”
“What are these?” I asked, noticing symbols carved into the wood of the four-poster bed.
“The eye of you! Most people don’t notice those. Or just don’t ask. Those were part of a binding spell. I can’t say what Mercedes was trying to bind, though. It should have been a pretty powerful one.”
“Why do you say that?”
“Me and Tiffany study their spell books. The rituals attached to those symbols are pretty heavy shit.”
“The library next?”
“Yeah. Spell books abound. Pretty cool shit.”

Inside the library, there was a copy of Mystic’s Digest and fake copies of the Necronomicon. There were books on Alchemy, biology and reflexology. Books of all sorts, but none of any use.
“They got a lot of good shit here.” Erica said, while playing with belly-button. I wasn’t playing much attention to any of it until she got to Judas’s obsession with resurrection spells. The library was wall to wall hokum, but when Erica pulled a pale brown, leather bound book from a shelf, my eyebrow lifted. It might have had some promise, though Erica was hesitant to let me handle it. It had a pungent smell to it like something organic. Something like grave soil. The pages were stiff and yellowed and the spine cracked audibly.
“Human skin.” Erica said, sliding the book back on the shelf.
“Real human skin. I didn’t have it tested or anything, but it’s not like any leather I’ve ever seen.” It wasn’t like any I’d seen, either.
“What do you think he was doing with it?” I asked, eyeing the brown tome. It was stitched together with fine needle work.
“Trying to cheat death, the best I can guess.” Down the stairs, screams rang out and there were crashes. Something was going on down stairs and Erica wasn’t reacting to it. Something I could only hear meant it was something other-worldly.
“Let’s see the basement.” There was a loud crash and a wet slap. I led the way down the streets, trying my best not to spill my way to the first floor. Even with me trying to hold myself back, I hit the front door and turned the corner. The girls were being torn apart and I realized that they were the Judas’s girls, the ones he abducted.

The thing tearing the girls up like confetti streamers had mouths all over. Three mouths on the front of its face, two on either side of its head. Mouths. Mouths. Mouths chewing bloody, screaming flesh. Viscera dangling from the bloodstained, needle sharp teeth. All of them, looking at me with their dulled, shady eyes. Erica walked right past me and through the carnage without ever knowing it. The thing glowered at me, knowing I could see it and I wondered for the first time, what do ghosts see when they see me?
“Place like this, got to be spook to live in?” I asked, hugging the wall, giving the mouthy monster its space to tear apart the girls. There was nothing I could do for them and I had a suspicion that it would be over with soon enough.
“Yeah. Sometimes. I hate being alone here like this.” Erica said, opening a thin, wooden door garnished with a sign reading, “The Spell Room”.
“Have any ghost stories?” I knew she did. I could see them, dying their invisible deaths and being feasted upon. That sort of thing didn’t go completely unnoticed. All the girls’ eyes were still locked on me and I knew it was because they knew I could see them. They might have something to say. No, they definitely would. Tell my mother this. Say my body is there. Requests that would only call negative attention to me. But still, they might have information with having.
“Yeah. You can help screams in the night. Somewhere in the trees. Tiffany says ‘its probably animals,’ but its year round. What animals are out year round and cry like women?” Coyotes, possibly. Their yowls sound like women screaming, although they aren’t year round. It might be worthy investigating and less intrusive than making up a reason to be in their living room alone.
“You don’t see.”
“Yeah. A lot of girls went missing. I’m betting that one of them is trying to contact the world of the living.” She spilled down into the basement and I followed into the shadows. The slaughter had ended and the girls were left scattered across the floor. The thing with the mouth sulked away and through the wall. Even there, while I descended, the girls began to reassemble. It happened again and again, slaughtered forever. Forever in bloody terror.

First Scenes: UWC: My Workplace Sitcom

Untitled Workplace Comedy
By Matthew H. Jones

Act 1: Scene 1:

SETTING: Narrowed office space with desks and filing cabinets crammed inside. The desks are crooked and have papers scattered across their tops. Similar to the Offices in the Movie, “BRAZIL”, high ceilings and gray walls. Beneath the worker’s feet is a crimson red carpet. Workers clatter at their aging keyboards and riffling through folders and files.

The scene begins overhead, surveying all the workers, then the camera swings down, going down the long, narrow aisle, picking up speed as it passes each person. The camera stops abruptly and then turns on a young man in his mid-twenties (JOHNATHAN). He wears a clumsily tied, black tie and a wrinkled, white shirt. He looks up to a camera which is looking down at him. He moves his rolling chair to the left and the camera flows. He moves to the right and the camera flows.

A woman wearing a sky blue blouse and holding a manila envelop (MONICA) steps before the camera.

MONICA: What are you doing?

JOHNATHAN: I can’t be sure, but I think somebody has a crush on me.

MONICA: Person on the other side of the camera?

JOHNATHAN: (Rolling his chair back to the left) Otherwise, she would have reported me.

MONICA: For what?

JOHNATHAN: I haven’t been working all this month.

MONICA: (Annoyance slightly peppering her voice) That means you don’t have the numbers on the Anderson Account.

JOHNATHAN: (Rolling his chair to the right.)Those words are meaningless to me.

MONICA: How do you even know it’s a she?

JOHNATHAN: (Turning his head to MONICA. The camera swivels up and adjusts to bring MONICA into focus. ) There’s no real way of knowing. My only resort is to fantasize.

(MONICA makes a disgusted scoff.)

JOHNATHAN: I’m thinking 6’1. Long blonde hair. Legs for miles. A nice ass and a nicer pair up top.

MONICA: Do you have the Anderson Account? I’ll just get Andy to run the numbers.

JOHNATHAN: She’d probably be in trouble, herself. Over looking my bad behavior. Using the cameras to satisfy her womanly needs. I see her in a darkened room, only the hum of the monitors for company, sliding her finger along her…

(MONICA walks away in disgust.)


Setting: Small break room under a flickering bulb. A small circular table sits in the center and is flanked by dingy walls and a rattling, sputtering refrigerator.

A skinny, young man(KEITH) sits at the circular table eating a cheese sandwich, perking at it nervously. Monica walks into the break room.

MONICA: Hey, Tim. Eating lunch?

KEITH: (Under his breath) It’s Keith. (Out loud) Yes, Ma’am.

MONICA: You don’t have to call me, ‘Ma’am.’
KEITH: (Under his breath¬ ) You told me, too. (Out loud) Yes, Ma’am.
MONICA: Hey, Tim. Have you seen Andy?
KEITH: (Under his breath) His name’s Paul. (Out loud) He went down to Maintenance to get them to change bulb in here.
MONICA: (Sounding shocked) He went down to Maintenance?
KEITH: Yeah…Yes. He… Is that okay?
MONICA: (Moving toward the door and sounding upset.) No, Tim, It’s not. They’re going to kill him. Probably shove a plunger up his ass, big end first. But kill him, definitely. They don’t take kindly to interns, down there.

(MONICA exits)

KEITH: (Under his breath) Thanks for the visual. Goes great with my meal.


Setting: Narrowed Office space.
MONICA: Come on, people! We’ve got a rescue mission. Dumb ass intern went down to Maintenance.

BOB: They’re going to shove a plunger up his ass.

MONICA: If we’re lucky. I need four!

DAVID: (Pulling a broadsword inscribed with elfish writing out from under his desk.) You have my sword.

DEBORAH: (Taking a crossbow from the side of her desk.) And my bow.

BOB: (Standing on his desk, holding a Viking Pole Ax in both his hands.) AND MY AX!

MONICA: (Unsheathing a sword that glowed blue.) Then we are off!
JOHNATHAN: (Rolling to his chair to the left and then to the right. The camera continues to follow him.) Cool! Have fun.
An older man (PHIL) enters in from behind a door marked “FLOOR MANAGER”
PHIL: What’s going on out here?
JOHNATHAN: They’re going to save Andy from being raped and murdered by Maintenance.
PHIL: (His hands on his hips.)If he’s down in Maintenance, he’s already being raped. Bob, get off the god damn desk.
(BOB climbs down from the desk, almost falling in the process.)
PHIL: You can go down and get him, but no swords. No Crossbows. No Axes, Bob.
(PHIL exits back into his office.)
DAVID: (Disappointed and throwing his sword down to the ground.) Motherfucker.
MONICA turns a fire extinguisher off the wall.
DAVID: ( Picking up an electric pencil sharpener) Well, I guess you have my electric pencil sharpener.
DEBORAH: (Picking up a red stapler off her desk.) And my Stapler.
BOB: (Snatching a paper-weight up off his desk and then climbing back up onto his desk, raising the paper-weight over his head.) AND MY COMAMERATIVE PEANUTS-GANG PAPER-WEIGHT!
MONICA: (Charging down the aisle.) To Maintenance!
Setting: A bland, colorless hallway. Cameras swivel and glare over head. Fifties era lounge music plays over head.
MONICA leads the way down the hall, followed by DAVID, BOB, and DEBORAH. The four stop before a door marked MAINTENANCE.
MONICA: Bob, kick in the door.
Bob slams his foot into the door and bursts inward. MONICA blasts the room with the fire extinguisher as roars and howls erupt. DAVID and BOB rush into the cloud of swirling carbon dioxide.
BOB: (Roaring at the top of his lungs.) Come on, Motherfuckers!
MONICA and DEBORAH charge in. The extinguisher smoke billows out from the opened door as screams and scuffling bleed out. BOB is the first to exit, dragging a skinny, young man with his pants around his ankles (PAUL). Tears and blood roll down his faces and he howls as he clutches for his pants.
DAVID exits next, holding his stomach, blood pouring from his stomach.
DAVID: ( Collapsing to the floor.) Motherfucker cut me.
BOB lets go of PAUL and hurries over to DAVID, applying pressure to DAVID’s wound.
DAVID: I’m going to die! Motherfucker killed me.
BOB: (Screaming) You’re not going to die!
DAVID: It hurts. I think I’m pissing myself. Oh, god!
MONICA exits, blasting the fire extinguisher and then smashing someone in the head with the base of the extinguisher. MONICA charges over to PAUL, whose crying in the fetal position.
DAVID: I’m going to die!
BOB: You’re not going to die! Say it! Say you’re not going to die!
DAVID: I’m going to die!
MONICA grips PAUL by his shirt and shakes him.
MONICA: You did this! You did this, you bastard!
DAVID: I’m going to die!
BOB: You’re not going to die! Say the fucking words!
MONICA: (Pulling PAUL to his feet) Get up! Get up now, motherfucker.
BOB: Monica! Monica help me! We need to get him out of here!
MONICA hurries to BOB and DAVID and they aid him down the hall.
MONICA: (To PAUL) Come on, motherfucker! Move! Move!
The smoke dies down as the four exit. DEBORAH exits the Maintenance room, wrestling with a man in a pair of dirty, blue coveralls. DEBORAH wraps her arm around the man’s neck and then snaps it.
DEBORAH: They fucking left without me.
SETTING: Hospital room. Sunlight filtering in from an open window. The walls are powder blue and a heart monitor chirps steadily.
MONICA and BOB stand on either side of DAVID’s hospital bed.
DAVID: Bob, I have to hand it to you. You were right. I wasn’t going to die.
BOB: I was really sure you were, to be honest. You’re a little bit of a pussy.
DAVID: Kind of harsh.
BOB: Still true.
MONICA: Bob, stop it.
BOB: Come on. He didn’t even kill the man that gutted him. What the fuck?
DEBORAH walks into the hospital room.
DEBORAH: What the fuck, indeed. Where were you guys?
MONICA, BOB, and DAVID: Hey, Deb.
DEBORAH: I was right behind you, Monica and all of a sudden you were gone. Did you guys forget about me?
BOB: I did.
DAVID: I got stabbed.
MONICA: I thought you were still behind me.
DEBORAH: Did you really?
MONICA: No. I wasn’t even thinking about you.
DEBORAH: What the fuck. I thought we were friends.
MONICA: Shit got heavy. David got stabbed… I’m sorry, Deb.
DEBORAH: I had to kill a guy to get out of there.
BOB: Good girl. (To DAVID) David, you could learn something from her. She has a pussy and you’re a bigger pussy than her.
SETTING: Inside the Office space. At JOHNATHAN’s desk.
JOHNATHAN sits in his office chair, shifting from the left to the right and KEITH leans against an adjacent desk.
JOHNATHAN: I’d like to think she has blonde hair.
KEITH: Can she have red hair?
JOHNATHAN: You’re missing the point. It doesn’t matter what color her hair is. We don’t even know if she has hair… You’re fucking it up for me. You know what. Yes, she has to have blonde hair. Find your own camera girl.
KEITH: (Under his breath) She probably has a dick.
JOHNATHAN: I imagine her as a naughty girl, wearing a tight-tight nurse’s outfit with her knockers spilling off the top.
KEITH: She’s wearing a nurse’s outfit. She works in the security bay.
JOHNATHAN: Being out of uniform is part of the reason why she’s naughty.
KEITH: But why a nurse’s outfit.
JOHNATHAN: why not?
KEITH: Can she be wearing a sexy policewoman’s outfit? That would make more sense.
JOHNATHAN: Dude. You’re doing it again. She’s in a nurse’s outfit. You know what, do the fucking numbers for the Anderson Account. Shoo. Fly the fuck away. (KEITH walks away) Red headed policewoman. What the fuck is wrong with you?

In Willow's Lab

In Willow’s Lab
By Letsbie Badguyz

“But why?” Buffy asked, adopting a childish whine. Willow’s laboratory was actually the middle of Buffy’s living room. There were circuit boards and loose wires scattered about her dark brown, Italian leather couch and on top of the oversized Teak coffee table was the recovered Buffy-bot. Her mechanical legs and arms spilled off the sides of the table and her chest had been left open, revealing thousands of wires and clockwork cogs mired with scraps of trash.
“She was useful the last time you were dead. Kept the Hell-mouth from getting too bad.” Willow said, putting down her soldering gun and pushing her safety glasses up into her long, red hair.
“You’re expecting me to die again?” Buffy said. She crossed her arms over her chest and gave a frown.
“No. Not actually, but she’d make a good decoy. You’ve become well-known since the Sunnydale Hell-mouth shut down. Not just in America. Slayers all over, but plenty of demons would love to see you dead. Buffy-bot might take some of that heat off of you.” Willow gave the Buffy-bot a loving pat on the shoulder and something inside her machinery began to spin. The Buffy-bot’s eyes brightened and then a smile grew across her face.
“Willow’s a lesbian. We’re friends.” Buffy-bot announced in a cheery voice. Willow pulled a circuit board free from her chest and the robot fell back asleep.
“Will, it’s a glorified sex toy and a creepy one at that.” Buffy said, looking down at the Buffy-bot. She’d been deactivated with a toothy smile frozen on her face. Willow picked up the soldering gun and began to bond a wire to a circuit with small sparks skittering onto the Teak and down onto the polished Oak floor.
“Dawn’s my sister. She’s also a shiny ball of light.” The Buffy-bot announced. “And Willow’s a lesbian.”
“How did anyone ever think that was me?” Buffy peered out the bay window. Yellowed sunlight and blue shadows spilled onto her face.
“True, she doesn’t have your charm or ability to swim without shorting.” Willow said, her hand probing deep into the Buffy-bot’s chest cavity like she might be looking to tear her friend’s heart out. She pulled a chicken bone free and tossed it on the Oak floor.
“Yuck.” She said, wiping her hand on her thin, tanned sweater’s sleeve.
“Last I heard of this thing, it had been ripped in half by motorcycles. How’d it turn back up?” Buffy said, turning back to face Willow.
“A couple of vampires actually set up a website called, ‘we-slayed-the-slayer-dot-com. They had a bunch of pictures of themselves posing with the Buffy-bot. Talk about creepy. Giles sent someone out to stake them and get this poor thing.” She tightened a screw in the depths of the android’s body, causing a cooling fan to begin to whir.
“And you just had to fix it.”
“Not quite fixed yet and I don’t know if I can. Robotics is more of a hobby.” Willow said, reinserting a pair of circuit boards and fastening them with her screwdriver.
“Spike, you’re so evil and sexy.”
“Now that’s gross.” Buffy said, dropping into an overstuffed leather armchair across from the Teak coffee table turned workbench. Willow turned the screwdriver again and the Buffy-bot uttered a long string of French.
“Isn’t that nifty? The Buffy-bot knows French.” Willow said, looking over to Buffy and chancing a smile. When the smile wasn’t returned, she turned the screwdriver and the Buffy-bot ceased her French monologue. Now her eyes were blinking rapidly. Willow inserted another circuit board.
“404-error: Not found.” She announced.
“That’s not good.” Willow said. Sparks popped up out from the robot’s chest and Willow jumped back in surprise.
“Beyond repair?” Buffy said, sounding hopeful. She leaned forward as smoke wafted up out from the Buffy-bot’s chest.
“No. I just shorted a circuit. I can patch it easy.”
“No fair.”
“Buffy. Think of it like this. She’ll get her face smashed in over and over again so you don’t have to. That’s a good thing, right?” Buffy stuck her tongue out at Willow while Willow unfastened a circuit board and pulled it free.
“Willow’s a lesbian.” The Buffy-bot announced while giving the ceiling a thumbs up.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Write something Now: Improvised Fiction

"Everyone's dead." Tomas said. His eyes were red and puffy and his jaw hung slack like he had aged a hundred years in the past three hours.
"Not everyone." Kimberly said. She didn't look any better with soot marring her cheeks, intermingling with her tears.
"What do we do know?" Tomas asked. He wanted to collapse to his knees, but he was afraid that if he did, he would never stand again. The grief of it all was like a thousand pound yolk on his shoulders. Kimberly intertwined her fingers into his. She pressed her side against him and breathed in the dusty, chard smell.
"We take this shit to pound-town." She said and then she totally got naked and it was sweet.
Tomas forgot about the destruction of the human race and totally did that shit. Fist bump!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Happy 2012!


We're in 2012 and probably are all going to die! Yay! Oh,... you don't want to die?

Well, I guess I can give you a few tips for survuving the apocalypse.

1. Kill your Soul:

When the Mayan Death Bird comes spreading liquid death from above, it will be the strong and merciless that will survive. To work on this, kill someone and feel no remorse.

2. Hoard Everything

Fuck you, "Hoarders: Buried Alive". In the burning hellscape that will be the future, it will be the person with stuff that will proveil. Hoard everything and start stealing shit.

3. Guns, Guns, Guns

Shooting people in the face will be a way of life. Get a gun. You can't do that without a gun.

4. P-90X

People in the future are normally pretty hot. You should be hot if you want to be in the future.

These 4 steps should keep you alive when everyone else is dead. Yay!