Monday, June 1, 2009

Great Expectations

Morning light greeted Gordon's brow with a start, the brit still ill-adjusted to the temperament the U.S. offered, especially in a locale such as Texas. He saluted the horizon, staring off into the empty plain and after a more peculiar dream, Gordon's first conscious thoughts followed;

"I wonder what Reverend Haberdasher is doing."

Here I go, and there I come and here I go and there I come. Always comin and a-goin, that's the life the good lords gave me. This here Earth is full a filth and I even though he didn't give me a mop, he did give me a mirror, an that's good nough'. Lord o Lordy Lord Lord why'd you give an old peddler like me such a hardy hard hard mission? You knew it din't you? You knewd I didn't like them queers, with all their fornicatin and womanly actin selves? You knewd I traveled in less than right proper circles and among them were those dreaded ass goblins, that made me wretch every time I'd touch em for a ten spot. But not no more lord, and you knewd that too. I'da touch every last one o' them for you and here I sit in the bright early morn, here in the great state a Texas. I figured, ass goblins were kinda like regular goblins and they liked to hide in the shadows, under bridges, places hot and dreary, so what better place than Texas right?

The old makeshift reverend had found little luck in spreading his message. Part of the issue may have rested in attempting to discuss matters of a homosexual nature in what many consider the most homophobic state in the union, but that didn't phase him. Another issue could be that his "bible" he waved around was a copy filth ridden copy of studs n' suds, a piece of academia that is far from enlightening. He had to rethink his gospel.

"Come sees the truth of the gays and the things they do! Find out what Jesus and all the angels have to say! Learn the truth of what God wants, the true message and what our roles are in this blessed life a Christ!"

Haberdasher smiled his biggest, toothiest smile as the gentlemen, cowboys and every sort of fellow wandered into his dimly lit corner lot. They gathered to hear the message they had been waiting for, the kind of fiery sermon that would drive the very gay serpents from their metaphorical Ireland. They wanted reassurance that their homophobia, their disgust was justified by a higher power. they should have known better.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Bedtime Story (Demon Fire)

Mali was stirring the embers. "One more before bed," she replied after Casey and Joe had once again joined the circle of travelers.

"Bed? I believe we're sleeping in cheap sleeping bags in cheap tents bought at a Wal-Mart," Parker corrected.

"Whatever. One more story."

Joe spoke up. "Well, I have a scary story for you to dwell on as your mind grows dark...."

Matthew had been warned about the house. It looked ominous enough at the top of the hill, with a twisty drive leading to it's front gate. Not even Stephen King could have described the sheer terror that gathered in your gut as you stared into the windows and it's soul stared back at you, stark and merciless. The warning was given by a local hag, long considered a witch by the young children of the small neighborhood. She simply stated that the house was evil.

"I doubt that there is anything evil in that house," Matthew assured the crazy woman.

"I didn't say that there was something evil in the house. I said the house was evil."

As Matthew brushed the comment aside and continue to claim that nothing was wrong with the house, the lady muttered "Demon fire. It burns flesh, blood, and bone...and nothing else," and went on her way. Matthew made a note to avoid further contact.

Matthew had a young wife, Stephanie, and he lived and died for her approval. In the first year of their fledgling marriage, she had asked for a big house, old and with character. Something she could decorate and show off. He had found the house for a surprising affordable price. The interior left something to be desired, but he was confident in his choice, and so was his wallet.

Stephanie loved it.

The first week in the house was typical. A lot of moving and rearranging, some new dry wall and painting, and finally, the purchasing of expensive furniture and decorative items to set the right tone. Matthew had no trouble sleeping that first week.

It was a Sunday night, and they had gone to bed early. Stephanie slept soundly. Matthew slept next to her, restless. He awoke with a start at exactly 3 a.m. Something was amiss. The house groaned and creaked with a sudden weight. The air felt colder. He felt as though....the house had woken.

The feeling had left by the morning sunrise. They went about their Monday routine of work, then dinner, then TV, then bed. "I'm feeling a little frisky tonight, Matthew," Stephanie told him, climbing out of bed and making her way toward the master bedroom's small bathroom. She sashayed her little tush in her slinky nightdress as she entered, causing Matthew's undivided attention. "Is that so, dear?" he said, unable to hid the excitement from his voice. "I think it's time to christen the house," she teased, and shut the bathroom door. Matthew anxiously adjusted in his bed, preparing his body. When Stephanie screamed, he sat up with a start.

The bathroom door flung open, and Stephanie was on fire. She continued to scream and flail as she clambered toward the bed. Matthew began to shout in anguish, struggling to untangle himself from under the neatly tucked-in sheets. That's when he noticed something briefly in the chaos.

Her slinky nightdress was not burning. Just her body, her hair, even her eyes seemed to be aflame. But it got worse every second. When he finally managed to release himself from the bed's grasp, it was too late. Her skin had been burned to a burnt black, her hair gone, and the muscles slowly dripping off her bones. "STEPHANIE!" he screamed. She had fallen completely to the floor. In his panic he ripped the thickest blanket off the bed and threw it over her. The blanket did not burn, but the soft glow of the flames still flickered underneath. When he had ripped the blanket off of her, all that was left was ash and a slinky nightdress. The floor wasn't even singed. "Dear God," he whispered to himself.

He thought of calling the police only momentarily. He would sound insane, and he would be suspected as the cause of her death. He felt the evil encircle him, enticing him. He felt challenged. He had no time to mourn his lost wife, only avenge her. But how?

He grabbed a bucket underneath the kitchen sink and began to fill it with water from the kitchen faucet.

He and Stephanie had met the priest at the local Catholic church the day before. He remembered that he lived in the house closest to the giant Gothic cathedral, and he prayed that he would hear his loud, impatient knocks at 1 in the morning.

The priest found it odd that he had to bless a bucket full of tap water, but Matthew didn't explain, just pressed that it was urgent as he shook with adrenaline and fear.

Back at the house, he stared down the hallways, seeing shadows play with eyes, mocking him. "Where are you, you son of a bitch?!" he shouted into the rooms and corridors. He had no idea what he was summoning, but he had to find it. It killed his wife. Then he remembered...the bathroom.

Shutting the door behind him, he stared into the mirror. He felt his body get increasingly warm. "WHERE ARE YOU?" he screamed.

The fire erupted from the mirror above the sink, completely encasing him.

Almost involuntarily, he thrust the Holy bucket above his head and the water splashed down on him.

It had no effect.

"DID YOU THINK YOU COULD USE MY OWN BLOOD AGAINST ME?" boomed a voice that can only be described as unearthly. "I AM THIS LAND. I AM THIS WATER. I AM THIS FIRE."

The fire seared through his veins, spilling from his mouth and nose and eyes. His skin flaked and floated away as ash, his bones and teeth even melted. Nothing was left but black and gray ash and un-burned clothes and the echoes of terror-filled screams of agony.

And the house was satisfied. But it still waits...

"Goodnight," Joe replied, as the last glowing ember fizzled to same black as the night that surrounded them.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Judicial Review

As Joe and Casey wandered away from camp, Parker decided to invest himself in the conversation at hand.

"I wanna tell a scary story."

Gordon chided: "Is Jesus the main character?"

"No," Parker said earnestly.

"Is it another story about you fucking?"

Mali's candor caught both Parker and Gordon off guard, but relief settled with a minxy smirk from a very coy Thai girl.

"No, it's nothing to do with God, it's about what scares me, out here, in the real world."

"Alright then Parker the Zealot, take the proverbial speaking ball and go."

You know what I fear? I'm afraid of the legal system. There are killers, born an bred walking the streets. Let out of jail for heinous crimes that are beyond anything incidental, that surpass morality. Ever heard of Karla Homolka? She let her husband rape others, going as far as to help with the process and capped it off with giving him her sister as a wedding gift. Her sister died and she was arrested, but she only served 12 years and is currently out in the real world. There are a pair of school shooters in our lifetime that are free and walking around. These two kids shot five people including eleven and twelve year olds and there is a possibility we can run into them. The only thing quelling my fear is that I know there judgment will find them eventually, even if it falls to God to make the claim. There's a guy who ate a woman in Japan who now gives speeches and gets paid to talk about eating her. What kind of filth ridden society are we? He has even expressed a desire to do it again. This is why i have faith in God, because man will continually let you down. Man will make mistakes, will embrace what are very obviously horrifying, sinful acts that will bring nothing but more pain. these people continually repeat these offenses, killing and murdering and raping and we let them roam with quiet resignation. at least I know there will be repercussions when they finally do die.

"I'd agree mate, you are right to a degree, but nothing is ever as simple as your bloody deity lays it out."

In Europe a few years ago, there was a man named Armin Meiwes who placed an ad looking for a volunteer. The ad was new in the regard that there wasn't to be an exchange of goods necessarily, Armin was looking for someone to offer themselves physically. Armin wasn't looking for something of a sexual nature either, he wanted the body permanently. He wanted to bloody eat them. The crazy part, someone actually answered the ad. He wined and dined the fine gentleman, then proceeded to feast on him, even going as far as to try to feed him his own cooked genitals. Unfortunately the poor gent couldn't partake since the blood loss relieved him of his life. Armin carved the gent right up, eating him for a good while. Poor Armin dug his own grave by filming the ordeal and attempted to place another ad. The second ad was met with sirens and bobbies right up his arse. Quite the predicament, is it not, I mean how much can we really govern ourselves. Are we allowed to let someone kill us, how far does voluntarism reach?

"Well Gordon, I'd say the man had the devil in him, but I'm sure you're expecting that."

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

What's On Your Mind

With the evening's festivities now simmering with the fading embers of the bonfire, Joe deftly stole Casey's arm and led her away from the campsite and back toward the road. In the shadow of the van, silhouetted in moonlight, they shared a cigarette and debated the oddness of finding themselves in Texas.

"I don't think we should stay long," Casey relented.

"I agree with you. This place already reminds of me of Utah."

"Did you know less than five years ago, it was still legal to arrest homosexuals here?"

"Don't worry," Joe said shaking his head. "We're bound to find a blue state sooner or later -- the black man did win the presidency, didn't he?"

Casey shrugged. "Well, for better or worse, here we are."

"Story time?" Joe offered with a grin, holding up a die between his forefinger and thumb.

"I'm tired, Joe--"

"Just a rant, then."

Casey sighed and relented, her exhaustion evident in her big brown eyes. She leaned against the van, inhaled the last drag from the smoke, then cast it to the dirt.

"I read an article the other day. For the however-many-eth year in a row, public speaking has been rated the number one phobia among Americans between the ages of consent and Social Security. Death - that is, of course, permanent termination of all biological functions - still rates second. The whole thing baffles me, really. And it's because I don't understand how someone could be afraid to stand up and speak in front of others - or that I don't get why people are afraid to die - but these are not the scariest things I can think of, not by a long shot.

Have you ever been sitting in your car? Sure you have. Of course you have. You're sitting there -- you could be stuck in traffic and waiting for the light to change, or you're sitting next to the big speakerbox at the drive-thru, or you're just... driving -- and you can hear and and see and maybe in the summer when it's nice and your windows are down you can smell... all of these things going on around you, outside of your car and outside of you.

It's panic-inducing, don't you think? Like you're struck with this sensation that you have somewhere to be, or that you're just not supposed to be there, at least. It happens to me a lot when I'm sitting in my car.

Not always, though. Sometimes I get like that when I'm trying to fall asleep, or when I'm standing in the shower just spacing out to the drone of water against linoleum, or whatever, really. Sometimes I just feel that... pull, that tug, that's telling me... you know...

Get the fuck out. Run. Go.

Don't look at me like that.

Casey paused to give Joe a level-eyed stare. He shifted his weight between his feet and waited for her to continue.

It's not like I feel that way all the time or anything.

Another awkward pause, replete with a score by the local fauna.

Forget it, Joe. Just pretend I never said anything.