Just A Second

The mall was packed wall to wall with people. The Muzak fought against the steady eb and flow of laughter and conversation that arose from the crowds. Simon held onto his mom’s hand tight as they pushed through the tight crowds up and up the escalator to the food court. His eyes wandered all around, from the neon signs to the rustic colorful facades that each of the stores presented. As they approached the food court, his mom stopped suddenly and waved towards someone in surprise. Simon looked, oh great, his mom’s friends. His mom was always running into someone and that delayed what ever they were doing by forever. They approached and the conversations begun. Simon sighed and gave a frown. Then something caught his eye. Between the pizza and sandwich shop was a dark hallway and above it was a neon red apple. He and his mom had been to this food court many times and he had never seen the apple before. Even when entering the food court he didn’t see it the first time he glanced over. His mom was preoccupied and she let go of his hand for a second. His feet moved quickly, as if being guided by some unknown force into the darkness until his hands pressed against something.

It was a door.

The door was much larger than any he had seen before, made out of wood and in the middle of it was a curved glass window that looked like a leaf with no features. He could not see on the other side, but as soon as he stepped through he could see back into the mall. He turned to see the room was long with floor to ceiling windows out looking the mall parking lot and park. It was admonished with brown accents like chocolate and the beams and walls seemed to melt and wrap around to create the rooms structure.Above him was a second level terrace that spanned the length of the room as well. The air was filled with kids laughter and excitement. The floor was a dark chocolate with waves of orange and cream in abstract shapes. Even the lights that hung or sconces that held onto the walls were a strange abstract shape of orange, yellow,brown and a cafe color. While the windows flushed the space with light, it seemed dark, cozy and inviting. In some places the floor sunk into tiny jungle gyms or what seemed to be lab demonstrations. A model rocket ship took off there and over there a helium balloon lifted a small milk carton off the ground. Simon stepped forward and a tall man in a white lab coat took note of him.

“Well well, Simon! I thought you would never join us. Welcome” The man stood tall, thin rectangle glasses sat on a face of sharp but warm features. His hair was a mix of black with white strands that were swept to the side. He knelt in front of Simon to be eye level and stuck out his hand.

Simon recoiled for a moment and gave the man a look “How did you know my name, Mr?”

“Ah, no need for any Mr. Here, call me Newton. Just like Isaac Newton, but clearing not me, just spelled the same. Your name? I am a good guesser of names, i was spot on this time” Newton held fast with his hand out, eyes formed in a smile.

Simon grasped what he could of Newtons hand .It seemed larger and longer than any he had ever seen. “Nice to meet you Newton”

“Welcome indeed, shall I show you around?” Newton returned to his towering stature.

“No, I should really be getting back to my mom, she will wonder where I am, next time” Yeah right Simon thought, this guy was mega stranger danger.

“Why not? You have all the time in the world. Look” Newton extended his arm and pointed through the glass. He could see where he had left his mom’s side. Her and the surrounding people seemed to be frozen in place. Simon approached the door and pressed his face against the glass to lookout the window. Not frozen, but moving incredible slow. So slow that he had to strain his eyes and force himself not the blink just to see the tiny movement.

“How” Simon whispered to himself.

Newton stepped upon next to him and pressed his face against the glass “Well, time can move at different paces depending on the entropy. This place is in extremely low entropy, time moves very slowly. But it is relative to the outside entropy. If - “

Simon stared up at Newton with a side eye.

“Right, one day. Come come, let’s show you around.” Simon followed Newton into the large room. “I want you to know, that no matter what happens to this mall, in the future or past, this place is always present. You can come and go as you please until a certain time, then , well you will be ready and won’t need this place anymore”

“You talk strange and a lot”

“I am a scientist my dear Boy, it is written in the rules, somewhere, regardless, here is the imagination station” Newton moved them to the left and to a large strange looking door made out of Greek columns of colors “once inside, use your imagination to create things and experience things you could never in reality. Test your ideas, build the tallest and most expansive cites, inventions, run them through the physics of science and nature of this world. See what you can come up with.”

They moved past to a Large open book that was fastened into the wall. It was turned to the middle of the pages and a door that was covered in text with a circle window was carved out on the right side. Above it said “Library of Infinity”

“Ah, here, you know how to read?”

Simon rolled his eyes “Of course, I know how to read”

Newton put up his hands “of course of course, this is the library, books, physical books, everywhere, there is an oracle that can find any subject on any matter from the greatest thinking minds, Next” They moved a little more down the wall to a glass door which was framed by two beakers “The chemistry room. Mix and match, play and explore the elements, we have supervision in there to help and teach, so you wont accidentally combust your self” he gave Simon a wink and turned around to the large windows “Over there is a interactive physics exhibit, there well , can’t remember what that was, but you can do what you wish with it. Explore, be curious, have fun and learn. Enjoy Simon, if you need assistance, find a tall person or me” Newton gave Simon a thumbs up and started to walk away before spinning quickly on his heels “Oh and make some friends, science and discovery is always funner with friends”

Simon watched Newton melt away in front of his eyes, like mist he dissipated in thin air. Great, he thought and looked around. In school he was not doing well in the science portion, math made his eyes glaze over and he gravitated towards drawing and writing. He moved towards the physics exhibit. As he stepped down into the sunken platform he noticed that it morphed and transformed in front of him,the book that sat in front of a ball hanging from a string turned into a pictograph of movements and arrows. A note book and pencil sat next to it and under it stamped into bronze it said “Pick me!” Simon pulled the note book off the table, immediately another one popped up in it’s place for the next kid to approach.

He looked towards the metal ball on the string and before his eyes holographic details filled his vision. Each one by it said draw me, which he did. As his pencil started drawing the shapes it asked, the note book became animated, connecting the concepts and showing how things worked, how the metal ball would swing at certain forces, he could draw lines and points that ball could drop from , put obstacles that it could hit to show the force that it had. Gravity, tension and then when it started adding other metal balls, showed him momentum. He smiled as he became curious and, his drawings reacted to his ideas, gave him insight, showed him what could and what couldn’t. He stepped from the exhibit with his note book.It was like he was in a trance, his senses were on fire and he felt as if he unbound energy. He looked around at the other kids, some engrossed in their actives and others running around to other places. He shook himself awake. How long had he been here? A small panic set it. His mom would be furious. Simon clutched his notebook. His curiosity was burning and a desire for exploration was building, but he had to leave. He moved towards the door dodging other kids, as he pressed his hand to the door hand he heard a voice behind him.

“We will see you next time, don’t worry about bringing the note book back, you can always grab another one” Newton smiled down at him

Simon felt a sadness overcome him as he looked back at the area. “What if I can’t get back here? How do I find my way here?”

“You will see the entrance where ever you are, but” Newton glided over to him and pressed a finger to his forehead “This place is always with you,here”

“What if I lose my head?” Simon asked in all seriousness.

Newton chuckled “Let’s hope not, what an odd inquiry, if you lose your head it will be here” and moved his finger down to Simons heart”

“And if I die?”

Newtons eyes brows shot up “Hopefully that isn’t for a long time Simon, but, let’s just say, when you die, you will find out. You will be revealed to a whole new reality. Exciting, really, but don’t rush to it. Life is very much worth living and experiencing. Till next time, Simon”

“Till next time Newton” Simon smiled and pushed through the door.

The mall’s noise filled his ears and he could see his mom standing there talking with her friends. He approached her and she glared down at him and looked around.

“Where were you? I was about to panic, I look away for a second and you’re gone and the next your back” she grabbed his empty hand. Simon looked back to the hallway. It no longer held the neon red apple above it. He clutched the notebook in his hands.

“Sorry, momma” she gave him a stern look, but smiled.

“Come on, let’s get something to eat. What’s that ?” She looked down at the notebook.

Simon smiled “Some homework”

His mom’s face lit up “Really?”

Simon nodded heavily

“Okay, Mr.Graduate, come on”

When I was student of the academic sorts, I never really enjoyed it. Nothing ever clicked for me and I struggled in a lot of subjects. One time I remember we as a class went to a science museum and my mind really lit up. Everything seemed interesting to me, the experiments, the lights and sounds, even the guy that was running the place seemed like he was a master scientist (Newton is based on him. I also asked him how much the whole place costed. As I wanted to build place like that. I was an ambitious kid). We all learn in different ways, explore and grow.

Where do kids disappear for when the second you look away? I would hope it would be something like this. Let their imagination build them up into what they wish, their dreams endless and boundless. Help them with the right tools and methods.

To the future! Cheers ~

Switched Off

“Did you turn off the radio?” Tyler turned to his wife and asked.

Amanda flipped through a magazine “I think I did. Why? What would happen if I forgot to turn the radio off?”

Tyler slid out of bed and moved towards the door. “How long did we have it on today?” he stopped at the door “couldn’t of been more then four hours? Right?”

His wife stared at him thinking

“Right?!” He asked frantically.

“Well we started listening when the dodgers came on, then that odd broadcast about the horse races, that was six hours ago.”

Tyler cursed sharply and swung the door open and cast him self down staircase to the kitchen where the radio was. She could hear him descend the steps and creak in to the kitchen. Then there was silence. The house held no movement in it anymore.

Suddenly the walls shook violently, she could feel the furniture shift at each massive smash of something against the frame.

“Tyler” she yelled out the open door. The slamming continued and then it was silent once again. Amanda got out of bed and moved slowly to the top of the stairs. She called down once again.

“Tyler? What’s going on down there? Are you okay?” Her heart started to pick up speed as the house seemed empty. She could see the kitchen light spilling towards the front door at the bottom of the stairs, but the rest of the house remained dark.

“I’m coming down” her voice shook as she descended the stairs. She gripped the railing with white knuckles and cranked her head around them to see into the kitchen. It seemed fine from her view, but as she approached the door she saw Tyler.

The opposite side of the kitchen where the sink and a window outlooking their yard was covered in bits of blood and bone. Tyler lay on the linoleum floor. His body was twisted in unimaginable pose. Bones protruding from his legs and arms, everything bruised and bludgeoned.

She stared in stunned horror. Her mind taking in the scene and processing if it was a nightmare. A high pitched hiss and crackle came from the radio that sat on the kitchen table. She jerked her attention towards it with a scream.

Fashioned out of old wood and brass the radio sat smiling at her. The two dials, an on and off switch for the left eye and a frequency dial for the right eye. The AM/FM window curved into a smile and old textured clothe covered the speaker grills which formed eye brows that seemed always in a sinister point. The mouth lit up with a fuzzy yellow and the red power indicator light sat right above the mouth. Like a nose. The finder rolled through the different frequencies till it came to a certain station.

In an old time radio voice it spoke “Amanda, welcome down to the kitchen. Hope all is well.”

Amanda turned to run, but something grasped her wrist, her feet squealed against her floor as it pulled her back into the kitchen. She covered her eyes and sobbed. “What is happening?”

The radio flickered “Your husband didn’t tell you the rules, did he?”

Amanda shook her head

“Then, I shall explain them once again! Only once, listen carefully.

  1. The radio can only be on for a maximum four hours at a time.
  2. The radio can only give three days predictions at a time.
  3. The radio only needs one soul per year.
  4. The radio can only be turned on twice a day.

Any breakage of these rule, well you can tell what happens.”

Static returned to the airwaves. Amanda slid across the bloody floor and grabbed the meat hammer from the top drawer. She stepped forward and drove it down at the radio with all her strength. Inches away the hammer felt as it if was stuck in honey.

The voice returned “Also forgot two rules. The radio cannot be harmed and two the radio must be used every twenty four hours. By the newest owner. Congratulations Amanda,you have inherited me from your now deceased husband.”

There was a wave of pressure that hit Amanda and she slipped backwards slamming into the counter top.

“Looking forward to working with you, and please, take good care of me” The radio’s smile seems to grow as it spoke and then the power dial turned switching the yellow tint off and red nose to dark. Leaving Amanda alone.

I had recently built a vintage radio out of legos. Very cool set. It has a Sound Brick inside that you can turn on on and off and ‘browse’ channels on the other dial. Before getting bed, a question was asked, out of the blue “What happens if I don’t turn the radio off?”

I thought for a moment. It would run out of batteries. But what if something else would happen? What if that question held terrible weight to it.

Make sure you turn the radio off before leaving.

She bought him flowers

The sun is shining and the clouds accumulate in the sky forming rolling white ships which cast their shadows over the backyard. My hands rest on a knife which is cutting garlic for the dish I am making.

A Mediterranean pasta with roasted garlic chicken.

I stared out among the manicured yard, bushes cut perfectly and flowers spring from every ounce of space that needed color. Then you come out. Wearing a bright yellow sundress. You bounce happily down the steps into your French patio furniture. To where he sits.

I avert my eyes for a moment. Memories, feelings, emotions, hidden, and smashed to the bottom of my heart come scrapping back. Tugging, pinching, clawing. My gaze swings back. You both look a bit serious. He sips his coffee and you break into a smile and your laughter flows through the air and into my kitchen.

So close.

He pulls you close, kisses you.

Those lips I had felt. Those hands I held. That skin that grazed mine. My eyes close. How did you end up next to me. Tormenting me. Millions of square miles. Millions of houses. You end up in my backyard.

I hear the front door open.

My wife stumbles in all glee and laughs. She glides over to me and hugs me from behind. Back from a business trip.

I can smell him. She has been drenched for to long in his scent to notice. But I do. I always do.

She doesn’t say much, she just runs up stairs to take a shower.

My mind is full of fantasies and events that I play out in a Technicolor dream. Then your laughter comes again and my soul sinks further and further. A pit that seems to only grows. I bring the knife up to look at my reflection. Half of a miserable person gloom back at me. How can I feel? This situation I am once again in.

I love you,

It’s ruining my life.

I grip the knife.

This is based on the song by Taylor Swift ft Post Malone Fortnight

The vibe of the song is fun with that constant 1980’s synth in the background. The Music Video is pretty sweet as well.

Connections and love are hard things. When it doesn’t work out or that one night of passion is over, it is not like you can forget it. The mind might forget or attempted to bludgeon the memory out of it, but the heart will always remember. I think that is what makes so tough. No matter how much you run, the heart will carry the memories and feelings.

I am sure this song has been analyzed to death,but I love the cycle that it presents. The love, the lost, the trying to move on (being unsuccessful) The lingering feelings and the thought of a crime of passion. Pain and suffering, love and lust, ying and yang. As we live the context gives us the highs and lows. One without the other, does not remain.

Hope all those broken hearts and crying souls remedy with time. Here is some tea and biscuits to help mend!

Till next time ~

Pursuer

Their hands grasped and pulled at my clothes. Their arms spindling to catch me at every turn. They formed paths corralling me into some unknown direction for some unknown cause. I punched and kicked. They seemed to take no damage, feel no pain.

They stared.

Young and old. Tall and short. Looked at me with unfeeling eyes. Their bodies blocking me, closing in and their fingers crawling to stop my movements and haul me towards my fate. Hopelessness started to creep up as neither my screams or attacks seemed to deter their drone behavior. My foot slipped as a young man grabbed me and I slammed into a door. Heavy it swung open and and cool winter night air rushed into the building. The boy hung on to my shirt his face unchanging, but he would not budge out the door. Arms and hands slowly started to slither from around him to retrieve me. I pulled at his grasp then grabbed on to his jacket. I pulled as hard as I could to drag him into the snowy night, but he did not budge.

“Not liking the night air, huh?” I spat as my hands slipped from his jacket and I fell back into the snow. The door closed.

The moon hung high in the sky and illuminated a white canvas of hills and snow covered houses. Snow was falling heavily even though clouds did not seem to cover the whole sky. I looked towards the building I had tumbled out of it. It looked like an elementary school. A blocky one story building that sprawled to my left and right. Every thirty feet there were floor to ceiling windows which cast yellow light into the night which held the shadows of the rows of people inside. I heard something moving, clicking in the dampened winter night. I rose to my feet and started to run. What ever it was I didn’t want to find out.

The snow picked up and I moved through suburban Midwest neighborhoods. Most lights were off, but as I rounded a house I saw a couple working in their garage which was open. The old man was sitting on work stool tinkering with something small on his workbench while his wife tended to some plants on the other side of the garage. I approached slowly.

“Good evening” I gave a wave as I entered the light being cast from the garage.

They both took a glance at me and the women moved to the end of the garage concrete.

“I know this must seem very weird, can I use your phone or Internet to see where I might be, I am a bit lost.” My request was jumbled, I was waiting for a rejection when the old lady smiled and waved me over.

“Cold night we got here, come in, you can use my phone.” She pulled out something that looked like a retro bronze blackberry. I moved cautiously towards her and took it in my hands. It was heavy, but it reacted fast to my commands I entered. I pulled up what looked like the maps app and stared down at the location.

I was close to home. How I ended up here,who those people where and what was going on was mystery, but home was west. I gave a smile to the old women and handed back her phone.

“Of course dearly, one movement” she moved into the house and returned with a long black jacket. Usually I would wave off the polite gesture, but it was snowing and I knew that i needed it.

“Thank you” I pulled it on and it fit perfectly.

The night grew colder as the wind and snow picked up. The street lamps now held a halo of snow and power lines slumped under the new found weight. I moved again past dark sleepy houses and into a road that serpentined into the woods. Houses lined the left side and tall pines to my right. I sat to rest for a moment and heard it again. The clinking mechanical sound. I peered out into the snowy haze. Blue lights, barely able to be seen through the snow, crept closer. Each mechanical click, the lights materialized more clearly. I stood up immediately. Fear struck me, what ever it was it followed me all this way. And if it followed, it wanted to take me back. The lights illuminated something in the haze. It looked like a wolf. It stood on four legs, which moved in a clockwork fashion. Two legs clicking forward while the other two clicked back. Everything to its head to its tail moved with precision. The fact that I could hear the movement was even scarier. It was so loud even with the storm and snow creating a chamber of muted silence. I moved away from it, at first in a walk then to a full out spring up the winding road. The lights disappeared and the clicking faded.

I followed the moon towards the only place I knew. I was far. too far away. I entered another neighborhood. This was a higher place where the houses had their spread of the land. Street lights lined each side staggered from each other. I zipped up the coat and moved down the streets. The snow never stopped. The cold seemed to be getting colder.

Then there it came. Piercing the silence veil once again. The clicking returned. I spun towards the entrance of the neighborhood. Blue lights entered where I had just been. Every time i rest it pursued. It needed to no rest. I outpaced it.

I started to run and heard it click in pursuit.

The pace then changed. The clicking got closer together. My body filled with adrenaline and I poured my spirit into my legs.

The clicks sped up. They grew louder.

My heart sank, my energy drained as my spirit cried to a higher power. The helplessness that I had felt in the school building came back in full force. Panic and fear mixed and welled inside.

It was out-pacing me, no matter how fast I ran, how far I went, it would now catch me.

I turned to see the blue lights illuminating my surroundings. My foot caught a stone porch and I fell backwards staring into the blue lights.

The thing looked as if a wolf had been taken in by a mad technologist, stripped of all its organic flesh, bones replaced with pistons, claws and teeth pulled and in there place syringes leaking drugging death. Two eyes black, unfeeling, cold reflected the blue lights that lived insides its rip cage of matte white steel. A wolf reborn as a cybernetic nightmare. I screamed and tried to take a swipe at it, but as soon it came within biting range, the needles sunk into my leg. They penetrated the skin with a sharp pain and then I could feel what ever it salivate inject into my veins. It slipped through my bloodstream and every part of me felt warm and my vision started to swim.

I can’t go back. This nightmare. What is it? What is happening? Don’t take me. My conscious faded.

This came from a dream I had recently. I changed a few things here and there. Dreams can be very jumbled and confusing. The over arching feeling was the helplessness and hopelessness. No matter what I did it seems that I was being out matched, pulled into something that I could no escape. There were times of hope, but then valleys of crushing realizations.

The wolf had a name in my dream (abdos? Albatross? or something like that) I cant remember, but the name was very strange. I awoke when it bit my hand. I changed it into the leg as I feel that made a bit more sense.

Be wary of your dreams. Who knows what they could mean.

Get Well Soon

Feeling detached from reality?
Moods swinging up and down?
Questioning what might be real and what might be imagination?
Does your soul feel pain that you just can’t get rid of?

It might be time to try something different. Normal therapy can only go so far as the mind. Physical exercise can only go so far as the body. And prayer can get to the surface of the soul.

What you need is an appointment at the Animah Institute. We specialize in a special type of transformation that will give lasting, permanent changes to not only your body and mind, but also your soul on an ethereal geometric plane.

A place you wondered, left , ran from.

Never Escape

Using some of our patented techniques we will guide you through your very own world and help you rebuild your self from the ground up.

Completely from the roots to the sky of your neurotic trinity.

When you leave you will feel confident, whole, and complete.

Do not let your body leave your soul

Call to book your appointment today. Remember, you are more than you realize. Let us help you reach your completed state.

I can’t get out. I can’t escape. Where am I?

——–NO CONTENT AVAILABLE——

Flickering Flames

Five of them sat huddled in blankets and tunics in the dark night. The moons rose high into the sky casting their multitude of light through the trees. A fire flared between them, its light whipping the trees and their faces. A man with a large bushy beard flung his hands into the air.

“He moved among the brush, their eyes as wide as cilean bread. “Step by step, he held his breath. As if any sound would alert the beast.”

A little boy and girl clutched their tunics closer to their face. They both held strong, but the tempt to cover their eyes and ears remained close. A women elegantly dressed in silk rested her head on her arms with eyes closed and listened as the story continued. Next to her was a brawny fellow. Dressed in leather and flowy fell fibers he listened with a grin and laughed as the kids shifted nervously and screamed through out the story.

“And just then” The storyteller stopped and looked at each of them “The Shelog burst through the wooden door. Teeth a plenty, snarling and three sets of arms swinging wildly at our hero” The children scream and covered their faces and the man laughed, but ushered them to uncover

“Unshield your selves, listen” he said.

“Our hero unsheathed his magic sword. It glowed with the everlasting blue light of the sea of klay where it came from. He fought the Shelog. One day, two days, three days, they fought for a week straight. The hero did not tire, did not waver. Through slashes and blood spilled they remained steadfast and on the thirteenth day. The Shelog fell to the hero’s blade”

The boy emerged from his blanket and tunic and gave a cheer while striking a heroic pose.
“I knew he would win” he said swinging an imaginary sword.

“Yeah, right, you hid too, I saw you” the girl peaked out from her tunic.

“Settle down” The women opened her eyes “Now you have had your story, time for bed. We have a long journey tomorrow”

They groaned, but obeyed. Each one bundled up once again in their tunics and blankets. They lay resting their heads on a bundle of thickets that they had collected. In no time both children were off to dreamland.

“Thank you Master Ulrich, your stories are always entertaining” the women said laying out her own bed. Her movements were graceful, like she was made out silken water.

Master Ulrich gave a smirk and lit his pipe. “Well, thank you mademe. Just doing my many talents I have been given. It also helps that we have such inspiration with us” he nodded at the man. “One that lives through such” he cleared his throat “events”

The man held a small smile with hazy eyes. His hair was a mix of blond and black that fell to his shoulders. “I am not sure what you are talking about Master Ulrich. Just a simple traveling bodyguard”

The women laid down and her eyes stared at him. “That’s what you say”

“That’s what I am” he gave a quick glance to her and then to Master Ulrich. “What makes you think other wise?”

Master Ulrich blew smoke from his mouth over flames “While it wasn’t thirteen days, it was two. While it wasn’t alone in a cabin in the woods, it was on the coast of Merril. Near the Shelog lair on the northeast coast. The hero was not alone when slaying the beast” He took full inhale of his pipe and let it leak out of his mouth as he talked “And our hero was seriously injured.” Master Ulrichs eyes shifted only slightly, but the man knew he was looking down at his left hand “Thankfully magic was able to restore, but not perfectly”

“Hero of Sildor, Master of Shadow and Murder of the High king of Melroe” The women’s eyes slowly opened “The ender of the world. It looks like I hired an interesting bodyguard”

“What of it?” The man said.

Master Ulrich rustled through his large sack and pulled out an object. He then tossed it across the fire at the man.

“I had to make sure” Master Ulrich stared.

The man reached towards the object and picked it up with shaky hands. It was a hilt of a sword. Ornate in nature holding blue and red gems around the guard. The bottom of the hilt looked like serpent. He clutched it and closed his eyes.

“I thought I would return it to you, even if it is not in one piece. The Shelog did more damage to you then we all thought.”

The fire crackled and the woods filled the silence with it’s concert of nature. The man after a long while opened his eyes and set the hilt to the side.

“That’s all in the past now. The sword is no more, the kingdoms have risen and the monsters have fallen back. There is no need for me. No need for more destruction. No need for more loss.” The man laid back into his makeshift bed “Thank you for returning an old treasure, Master Ulrich, but who you have found is not the man you saw back then.”

A puff of smoke lifted into the air and Master Ulrich tapped out his pipe.

“No man is the same as they were. Only now can it begin” Master Ulrich whispered. He cleaned off his pipe and returned it to his bag then joined everyone else and laid back into his bed. The fire flickered and burned bright, giving warmth and hope for the future.

I have started to re-listen to The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan. The scenes of travel and adventure make me remember my grand dreams of traveling around and seeing th world. While just like the book, adventure is a bit less fantastical then it is in the mind, it is still wonderful to experience. To take in a vast wonderland.

StackedDeck

Tom and James sat across from a man wearing a pair of blue jeans and a white t-shirt. He was young, handsome, with the palest skin one could have. His eyes sparkled in the daytime of a sapphire and he walked with swagger that could be confused with arrogance or complete confidence that the universe was moving around them. The man drummed his hands and they all sat in silence.

A waitress came over and dropped two black coffees, to the man and James, while a cappuccino to Tom. As soon as she left Tom spoke up.

“You said you had something on the case we are working on, a tip? or information? Did you know Tyler?”

The man’s eyebrows rose “Who?”

Tom could see James give him a sidelined look.

“The man who had a murder basement in his house, it’s been all over the news.”

“What, no, second rate killer, guy was absolute amateur from what I heard. No, no, I heard you guys are in to that” the man put his hands up and waved them about while doing spooky sounds “you know”

James wiped his mustache and leaned forward “and what if we are? Are you into the whole” James mimicked shower scene from psycho then sat back and shook his head.

“I am.”

“What?” Tom said.

“Yes, I am a serial killer. One of the best.”

James groaned and pulled out a note pad and produced a pen.
“Alright, name?”

“Mick Gendal”

“How long have you been a serial killer?”

“A long time, James” Mick smirked.

“Tom arrest this guy, open and closed” James flipped his notebook closed took a swig of his coffee.

“First, I could be joking, second, where are the bodies, third, I just arrived this morning, no way for me to do in this Tyler fellow. Look, I called you two specifically because” Mick searched around the ceiling and windows for the words, both Tom and James followed his gaze trying to spot what he was looking for. Mick scowled and tapped rapidly on the table “I need your help”

“Pardon me?” Tom said

James face broke out into a grin “You opened up with that and now you asking for help?”

Tom elbowed James “Help with what?”

Mick regained composure after drumming his fingers together. “While I did not know Tyler, I did know others like him. Much better then Tyler. They have all met an early demise. I believe that all these cases are connected. You two, as clunky as you are, have a reputation of getting results. Even in the worse scenarios. We marvel at your” he searched again “stupidity? Towards the situations you get yourselves into and then, somehow out of them.”

“You damn right.” James wagged a finger at Mick.

“You said ‘we’, who exactly is that? and why would you be following us?” Tom said.

Mick smiled. His eyes gleamed and he leaned back into his chair crossing his legs and roping his left arm around the back.

“Look, no matter what you do in life, business, art, sport, whatever. One needs to stack the deck in in their favor. You need to make sure that when you go into the action, that you have the advantage, you can’t lose. You are the house in your life, and the house always wins. Eighty years, that is how long I have been a serial killer.” Mick held up his right palm. On it was red circle, strange symbols and sigals line the inner rim and in the middle was a repeating circle that spiraled into infinity. “When I hunt, I always win. When I am hunted, I always get away or, you know.”

“So the ‘we’ is some sort of Hogwarts for serial killers? Holy Hell” Tom rubbed his forehead with his index finger and thumb “Couldn’t get any worse”

“of course it could, it could of been Hogwarts for demons or something” James waved the waitress over.

Mick snapped his finger and pointed at James “Yes, that is what I need your help with”

“Hogwarts?”

“No, the demon”

Both James and Tom froze. While they both knew, since that day neither of them had spoken about it. Somehow they tried every other supernatural entity that they could think of to explain away the case of Tyler. None of them sufficed. The void, the black door in their minds banged and clamored on its hinges. The memories buried and contained, but now bursting and clawing back into consciousness.

“What do you know about demons” Tom spoke up.

The waitress was approaching and Mick leapt from his chair and leaned in, his face inches away from theres.

“You two are the only ones that anyone knows of that has come across a demon and lived to tell the tale. You are fucking rock stars. I need your help to survive this thing. I need to have victims, I need to have blood. I can’t do that if this thing is hunting us like it is. The risk is to high. Time is ticking” As the waitress arrived Mick was leaving “I will be in touch” waved them goodbye and left.

James looked up at the waitress “Banana muffin, side of Jam, please. Tom? Nothing, alright, that’s it, also the bill when you have a chance.”

Tom sat resting his head on a clutched fist and stared into his memory. What was left was not much.

“How did we survive it James?”

The waitress returned with the muffin. James spread jam over the top and took a large bite.

“Did we?”

Tom and James our unlikely duo of paranormal investigators are trying to figure out what might be going on when they receive a call asking to meet. They run into Mick Gendal some one who openly admitted to being a serial killer, and not just admitting, but flaunting. That is when the stacked deck line came to me. Mick embodies this statement to his core, yet there is a bigger house in his world that he is against and as he says ‘The house always wins’.

Our demon is still out there, watch out as you roam the streets.

You can read their beginning story here - What’s in her Eyes

Cold Cases

They both sat at a small wooden table staring at some photos scattered across its surface.

“Look, you’re new, we don’t have any new cases that we can give you. These four people, they are lost, still lost. 1975 they all dropped off the face of the earth.”

The man talking was heavier set. Wore a dark navy suit and a hat to match. He didn’t take the hat off indoors. He smoked cigarettes like they were going out of style. Not just a pack, but packs a day. He also drank as if whiskey was going to dry up. His nose filled his face and his eyes, which if you ever saw them, were a smokey gray. He spoke with a voice that reflected his habits. His name was Herbert Sandstone and across from him was the newly hired Tyler Shimin.

Herbert poked a photo of a younger girl with his fat index finger which was being choked by a ring. “This is Cindy Mitchell. She walked to school one day and didn’t walk back. You might say, well easy, kidnapping, but she made it school. Went to class and in between classes, after her best friend accompanied out of school she said she slipped, fell and vanished right in front of her. Like she fell through a hole or something, right through the pavement.”

Tyler looked up at him.

“Not yet. Next, we have Jessy Myers. He was spotted on the highway. In the middle of the lanes, you know like the no mans land. He was just walking in between these. A car ended up stopping to help him. They said” Herbert stopped and wiggled his finger in the air “I quote ‘He tripped and hit the ground, as i approached his body fell, where I don’t know, I could see the movement from his body go somewhere, but it was impossible, he went right though. Right through the damn ground.’ So that’s two that have fallen through solid ground.”

Tyler sat, one arm propped on the table and his chin resting on a clenched fist. His eyes studying the photos.

Herbert moved to the next photo. It was of an old man. His skin was light brown, but his hair was as white as snow. He had a large smile on his face. “Sam Millard. Another M last name eh? Him and some buddies were hanging out at the mall. He was leaning against a wall when they say he slipped right through it. Like a trapped door opened and he fell into it. When they tried to see what happened all they got was a solid wall. Poof. Gone.”

Herbert took a drink of whiskey and cleared his throat.

“This is the job. We encounter crazy stuff all the time. Memory and reality are two different things. Until we have something better for you, this is your first job. I know, I know, not what you thought. And before you ask, this case is on the police cold case list. They have all the information we have. I was the one who investigated it.” Herbert pulled out a large folder from his brief case. “These are all my case notes. Pictures, witness testimonies, everything. They said you were smart. Really smart, tenacious, relentless with finding the truth. You were top of your class, and yet you came here, why?”

Tyler crossd his arms and ground his teeth. “They said you got the most interesting cases. You took cases no one else would take. Things that no other PI would even get near. I - I know there is more out there than the normal cheaters, beaters and scumbags. People get lost, they get taken, misplaced. Most of the time it’s people that are doing that. But -“Tyler stopped and looked into Herberts eyes through the rimmed shadow from his hat “but sometimes, people aren’t the reasons, nothing in our known reality is the reason”

They both sat and looked into each other. A common understanding was being webbed between them. Herbert struck his middle finger on the last photo and slid it directly in front of Tyler. Tyler closed his eyes and frowned then gave Herbert a weary look.

“The last, that we know of.” Herberts voice became a bit clearer. “My brother. Thomas Sandstone. No M in the last name. I was with him November 12th, 1975. We were both drunk. I get drunk, but I don’t forget. Sick stomach was all I used to get. We were stumbling home from the bar one night, celebrating his new job that he had just landed. As we hit the Main Street I hand my arm around his neck and we were singing ‘Summertime Blues’ when I felt him fall. It was like the ground had opened up under him. I strained against his neck and he grabbed on to me. I couldn’t “ Herbert stopped as his voice started to shake. He gulped the last of his whiskey and lit a cigarette. “I tried so hard to keep him, no matter where I pulled him, the earth was void, his body would not catch on anything so I could pull him up. His grip gave way.” Herbert sat motionless. His hand resting on the top of the photo. He was lost in the moment so long ago. Reliving the screams, the confusion and the pit that formed that day.

Tyler tapped the bottom of the photo and nodded “I understand. I’m on it”

“All that get hired go through this case. It is the price of entry here. And “ Herbert smiled and coughed with a laugh “we really don’t have any cases for you to help out with yet.” He gathered all the photos and shuffled into the case file and slid it to Tyler.

“See if you can find anything new. Don’t get to consumed, we will have something for you soon”

Tyler looked at the case file and then pulled a photo from his jacket. He held it up, opened the case file and slapped it on top of the others.

Herbert took off his hat and leaned forward to look “Oh god” he said under his breath.

“My Mother” Tyler said.

He closed the file.

I recently played a game called DREAM LOGIC which is a liminal atmospheric horror game, short, but very good in its execution and sound design. It’s is about a detective that is searching for some missing persons that have all gone missing in different locations. Vanished in thin air. I like the concept of detectives getting into things that they are not prepared for, things that fall outside of normal reality. Sort of like the H.P Lovecraft stories. For this, the character Tyler is a bit more familiar with the unknown, but the rest of the story is up to him to figure out. He has only seen the entrance. Be careful where you step. You never know when reality will bend or break.

Cheers~

Plastic Yarn

It was the grand opening of Metro Cities Central Play Scape. Pioneered as the first ‘town’ sized indoor play scape. Drop your kids off, go shopping for hours and comeback to retrieve them. Your bags would be full, they would be exhausted and ready for a nap. It was the perfect combination. Out side in the ‘courtyard’ an array of booths and tables sat for parents and children to get ready for their time in the mall. There was a food court that was placed just beyond this seating area in the theme of outdoor foodstalls. The whole mall was themed in bubbly late 1990’s retro style. Blue, red, dark purples and neon swirled with lighting bolts around walls and through signs. Blocky text and clipart style images stamped there way on store signs. The entrance to the play scape looked like a mash of different tall buildings, their brick sides filled with large windows that looked out among the courtyard and mall.

“Gosh look at this place, it’s massive” He said taking a bite of a ham sandwich and then a sip of soda.

“Honey, you have been saying that ever since we got here” his wife giggled taking a glance over all the children and their parents sitting at the food court. There was a high level of excitement as parents finished meals and ushered their kids to the play scape. Waving to each other and bidding themselves a temporary release from control.

Isaac followed his wifes gaze to the families then back at her. She was stunning as always. Dressed in form fitting beige dress with a cream colored turtle neck and a darker cream stylish trench coat. Upon her left side of her coat hung a security badge from her work. Her natural face looked as it radiated a perfection that a man could only dream up. Her eyes a soft green, but with razer focus. Her brownish blond hair spilling in light curls down to her mid back and shoulders. He stared mesmerized. Always the thought of “How did a low bit scientist like me end up with a super star like her” Her eyes shifted and met his. Even though they had been married for eight years and had a daughter he still turned red and broke their gaze.

She smiled teasingly and leaned forward. “And what were you looking at mister?”

“Just an exceptional person” he spied some people looking their way and making notes of them.

Ada smiled and the whole room lit up. “Your to much. Why don’t you go get Julia and check out the observatory at the top of the mall. The sight is far out.”

“You want me to go in there?” Isaac pointed towards the bright colored steps that led into the play scape “Isn’t that illegal?”

“No, it’s fine. The inside is heavily surveillanced. Since it is so big, the security measures taken allows for adults to enter and find their children and bring them out. Unless they have a cell phone. There are also those” She pointed toward a row of funny looking pay phones. “If you use the ID that was given before entering, you can call a phone close to your child to tell them to come out.”

“Boy, you guys thought of everything. Why don’t I just use one of those then?”

“Isaac, don’t you think it would be fun to go check out the inside? You are always wanting to relax and experience some, let’s say childish activities. I think it would be funny for Julia to see her dad in such a setting. and” Ada pulled out a badge from her pocket and gave a sheepish grin “I forgot to register Julia when we got here”

Isaac took the badge from his wife and turned it over in his hand. It was digital screen wrapped in thick yellow plastic, as if a crayon had been melted around it. “Seems like an oversight, I guess it was a big day for you” He put the badge in his pocket and returned his gaze towards Ada. Her eyes looked past him at the play scape. Focused with curiosity he had seen before. “Looks like you want to head in there more then me”

“I have had my fill, your turn” she quickly commented and ushered him towards the childish courtyard.

He went to take off his shoes, but Ada stopped him. “You can leave them on, self cleaning, no worries about scuffs and marks”

“Boy, this stuff is pretty amazing, how did yo-“

“We will talk about it later, go go go” Ada playfully pushed him towards one of the large entrances. There were three entrances. Three large tubes jettisoned out form the building. Blue on the left, yellow in the middle and green on the right. Small steps surrounded the entrances and provided a small stoop. Issac stepped up into the yellow tube. He could feel Ada’s arms wrap around his waist, she turned him, gave him a kiss, whispering in his ear “have fun” and then stepped back for him to move into the tunnel. He gave a small smile and wave then descended.

The inside was filled with twists and turns. The yellow tube turned into a tunnel then shot in a multiple different directions. He had experienced play scapes in fast food places when he was a kid. Back when you were that small they always seemed so large, infinite, a whole other world to explore and be in. When you grow up, you see how small it actually is, how simplistic, and hallow. He wrapped a corner and a squad of children scurried past his legs and in the other direction. He wondered how they must feel in this place. He felt small. His adult senses being deceived and distorted by the large and small entrances, winding tubes going in all directions and spars plastic bubble windows. He kept moving, his eyes spying children here and there, but he had yet to see Julia. He stepped through a square door and set of long steps descended.

He ducked down them and he entered large open room.

“This place is massive” he stared wide eyed into a void of tunnels, plastic and odd shapes that moved into the ceiling creating a ball of brightly colored poly yarn. The brick building facade broke some of the visual language and seemed to give everything a balance, holding it up. He didn’t see any children in this large room, but he could hear the laughter and screams all around him.

“Julia” he called into the void. He walked across the opening. It was styled like a small park. Fake trees, with park benches, picnic tables were strewn around a padded side walk that slinked across turf like grass. Street lamps that came out of the ground and swirled before ending in a hanging bulb in the shape of a sun flower gave yellowish hue as if it was night time inside.

“Julia” he called again and he heard someone call back to him “The courtyard, I am in the courtyard.” He heard small feet rummaging against the poly surface. A small girl turned a corner and stopped in an odd shaped doorway. She looked just like her mother. Big green eyes. Blond brownish hair pulled into a pig tails.

“Daddy, what are you doing here” her face lit up in a huge smile as she hopped into the opening and crashed against his waist with a huge hug.

“Mommy forgot to give you this “he pulled out the badge from his pocket. As soon as it came into sight, the screen lit up. A picture of Julia appeared and listed her name, weight, height and both her parents name. Julia padded her oversized hoodie and then peeked inside of it.

“No, mommy gave it to me before I came in. Where did you find it? I thought i had lost it. I was looking for it here and there, I needed to find it or Mommy would be upset at me” she grabbed it out of his hand and attached it to a lanyard that was already around her neck.

A pay phone range near one of the walls. He had noticed that depending where you were the pay phones look different. Inside the play scape they were heavily stylized, while this one looked almost normal, only with a slight cartoony feel to it. He picked it up and held it to his ear.

“I see you found her, what do you think of the place?” Ada’s sweet voice swam into his ears. He peered at his watch. It had stopped.

“This place is wild. I am pretty sure I am lost. How long have I been in here?”

There was a long silence.

“Only around twenty minutes or so. Alright, I trust you can find your way out. I have to meet with the director so I will meet you later at the observatory. Let me speak to Julia” Isaac handed the handset to Julia and took out a small pocket notebook out his coat. He wrote down the time he had on his watch and the last time he had seen before entering.

“Mommy I found my badge! I thought I had lost it, but Daddy found it for me” Julia giggled and twirled back and forth “No. No. I promise. Yup! Love you too, bye bye!”

“Wai-“ Julia hung up the phone. He pulled it from the receiver. Soft mall music played on the other side. “What did mommy have to say?”

Julia put her hand to her lips and made a twisting motion “It’s a secret, she will tell you when she sees you”

“Alright, let’s get out of here. Did you have fun?” Isaac took her hand and they moved towards where he had descended into the fake park. Julia nodded excitedly and recounted all her adventures. She had immediately ran as far as she could into the play scape. There in a section that looked like a medieval castle she met a few other kids who she played with. She said they explored a bunch of different areas of the play scape. A place with clouds, a never ending valley of green pastures, and a scary dark wooden themed area. Isaac grinned down at her vast imagination. These tubes could become anything with just a few dots of a theme here and there. They moved through tubes and tunnels. Up and down stairwells. Around swirled ramps and rows of slides.

Isaac stopped and look in front of him. They were in a large square room. The roof was a thick clear bubble that showed multicolored tubes running through fake clouds. To the front was a mural of the play scape turning into all its fantasy landscape. The right was a row of three slides and to his left was a set of small slides that he could see the bottom a couple of feet down.

He was lost. He had not encountered this room on his way to find Julia. He asked her if she knew which way to go, as a test. She whipped her head back and forth in a no and peered at the large slides and then shot a worried look to her dad. He gave a smile back for reassurance, but he started to doubt his direction. As the stood he also realized that something was missing.

It was dead silent. The symphony of children’s expressions had ceased a while ago. There was no laughter or cries of surprise. No sound of little feet stomping and running across hard polymer plastic. There was nothing, but their own squeaky steps and breath. They decided to head down the small slides. They slid down a couple of feet and entered another room that looked to be endless. Two blue plastic walls extended into shadow.

“Daddy..”

“Let’s try the big slides” Isaac ushered Julia back up the mini slides and to the row of large slides. He turned and looked and into the shadows before he followed her. He couldn’t see it, but he could sense it. Something stared back him from the shadows. He quickly climbed back up the mini slides.

“Alright” he gave Julia a smile and sat down on the edge of the middle slides “Wrap your hands around my neck and legs around my waist. Hold on tight” A pit was forming in his stomach as he recalled the shadows from the other path. What laid at the bottom of this slide? He inched him self forward and slowly crept down the slide using his hands to brace themselves against the plastic. It was working well, then his next hand placement hit plastic that had no friction. He jerked forward and he tried to catch himself on the roof of the slide, but everything felt as if it was covered in oil. They both barreled, spinning around and around the slide. Julia screamed and he grasped onto her arms that wrapped around him. They tumbled and spun until they both came crashing into a padded landing square. Isaac gasped for breath as he crawled off the squishy padding to a more stable surface. He looked up and saw the three large tubes.

The entrance.

“Look” He scooped Julia up into his arms and rested her on his hip. “We made it!”

“We’re the best!” She rose her right hand and he high fived it.

“Yeah, we’re the best” He exited the yellow tube just as he had entered. “we’re” he looked around “the best” he said again with a deflated sigh.

The food court was empty. There was not a single soul. No laughter, no conversations, and no Ada. He moved to the table where he had sat before and set Julia down.

“Where is everyone? Is it nap time?” Julia looked around.

“No, I don’t think so.” They both sat for a moment in silence. The mall music played in a slow reverbed style. It added a sense of endless dread. It was the only sound besides their own. He looked towards the food court.

“Hungry?”

Julia shook her head.

“Really? Not hungry?”

She shrugged with a small smile “Not one bit”

Isaac looked back towards the play scape. He wasn’t hungry either. Not one bit.

I am really into the whole 90’s liminal horror, mallscape stuff. To me malls were this magical place where everyone went and there was alway something going on. They were full of people and stores, themed out for the holidays and special events. But, as we know. Time moves and those malls and areas lose some luster, get a bit abandoned and all of a sudden, lose their soul. I had recently watched Lost Dreams in Neon Springs by Lost in the Hyperverse which made me want to write something in a mall setting that got a bit more surreal. I have also always wanted to do a story with a giant play scape in it. I would always be hanging out in those as a kid and they hold a special place in my mind. For either good or bad. I described how I feel about them in this story pretty well, so I won’t repeat.

The story of Isaac and Julia will be continued in the future. I really want to explore more of the father - daughter dynamic. I feel that in a horror setting you could really make an interesting story out of it that isn’t just pure shock and awe. Something with a more heartfelt side to it. They have many more places to explore and horrors to encounter.

So I bid you farwell till our next story. Stay safe out there and careful what places you wander.

Cheers ~

What is Seen, What is to be

I keep telling them what is going to happen. Each empire I advise. I tell my tricks and trivia. Tell them of the ides of march. I tell them that things are happening all around them. That their empire is going to burn , they will die, but they never listen. So again I sit on a hill out looking the grand city that I arrived in just a month ago. I smiled, talked the talk, then got an audience with the emperor himself.He was old , frail, but sharp. He looked at me, displeased with my presence, and waved me off before hearing a word. As they shuffled me out I called out a name. A warning. A week later I was back in his presence. A man with the name I spoke had tried to kill him. As I foretold. He knew that I told the truth. The future. From then on I advised. Like all before him his main question was what he could do to change the future. This is always the main concern. I tell them, as always, that it is written. You must either choose that path or go among the stars and see what happens. The problem is that sometimes the future always needs to happen. That no matter what path they choose it always ends up where I say. So the armies come from the west. I tell him to fortify. He does. I tell him they are coming from the south now with ships. He says its impossible. They invade. Have I been wrong? So the smoke rises, the screams fill waves of air that travel over these green hills. The sky a pleasant blue with the sun shining. A perfect day to walk away. Another empire calls for me to help them out. I walk east. Let those arms take me in willing.

I arrived in the evening. The streets were golden with the setting sun and merchants were lighting their stall lanterns. I packed my self in a charming inn. Its whole being was made out of dark reflective wood that twisted like it was made out of vines. The balcony on the second floor overlooked the main square so I sat down over looking the new place. I wondered how long it would last. Maybe it was me that caused the downfall of so many. I never really knew. I took a bath and started my show.

“Ladies and gentlemen, let me tell your future. Step up , one hand, and small idea and you can know” I called to the crowd. Anyone around. I made grand gestures with my hands and arms. It needed to be a show, a spectacle. The future was boring, but I didn’t have to be. A couple of people looked towards my way, but one caught my eye. A young lady dressed from head to toe in a emerald green. Even her heels sparked with what looked like jade.

“My my, such a lady looking at me, it must be fate? Let me see what you posses, please” I reached out my hand. She didn’t buy it at first, but as my hand invited, she soon accepted.

“I don’t believe in this sort of thing” She mumbled coming closer to me. She smelled sweet and her eyes glittered a dark blue. Mesmerizing. I pulled her close for drama and closed my eyes feeling out her hand. In reality I didn’t need to do anything special to see a vision. Once I touched a person in any way, a flash would come over me. It showed me them and others that might be involved. I get lucky most of the time and see something related to my main target to get me in. In my head I saw this lady dance and having a grand old time. The gentlemen who clenched her hands as they swung was …me? I opened my eyes to stare at hers.

“Well fancy that. It looks like you and I are destined to be together. Dancing as it may” She quickly pulled her hand away.

“Lecher, is this a way to pick up girls.” She turned to the crowd “This man is a fake, a pick up artist, watch your dresses girls” she turned back to me and scowled before stomping off. Well that hurt my chances, but I knew I would see her again. My visions were never wrong. Yet, they never involved me.

I thought of a man that advised the greats. Told them the harrowing future. Warned them of the perilous times ahead. Even if he was right, they still ignored. What irony.

A seer had warned Julius Caeser of the Ides of March. He knew the future, yet still perished.

Would you believe everything a person foretelling the future says? Even if it seems they are right?