In..Out...In...Out.. Jim needed to concentrate on his breathing, or he would stop. He had never done this before. He'd been on trial. He'd been convicted. He'd been to prison. But all that was someone else s doing, not his. All his life he let the forces around him push him around and take charge. Today was different. Today, Jim was going to take charge. Jim was going to confront the man. The man who lied. The man who took credit for turning Jim in. The man who did the crime Jim was accused of. The man who stole the last twenty-three years of Jim’s life.
Chasing Aliens - Maybe
Anybody who chases weirdoes is a candidate for the loony bin. That’s why I’m keeping my mouth shut. Wouldn’t be good for business if people knew what I know. But, before you whistle for the guys in white coats, let me tell you it started on a quiet afternoon with me cross-examining Marilyn Monroe in Playboy. Elvis was wailing “I Want You, I Need You, I Love You” on my Philco.
Then the door opened and the babe walked in. I hoped she was a client the way I hoped someday I could afford to kill cockroaches with Flit spray instead of a hammer. Right now, I’d need to borrow the hammer.
The couch was leather and comfortable, The smell in the room was a pleasing combination of the couch and some other olfactory essence designed to put a mind at ease allowing the smoothest stream of uninhibited thoughts.
"So, I get to this place where I'm no longer myself, merely a sea of atoms made into the form of me, Just the other day I saw on the news scientists detected the part of the brain which creates the illusion of free will.That really hit me hard"
The one seated across from Fred took a slug from a vitamin laced bottle of overpriced colored water.His professional half-glance at the clock on the wall behind told him this session was drawing to a close.
The semi head tilt into a sideways expression of detached curiousity."Hit you in what way?.."
Nothing’s fun about being a pit fighter. Sure, at first it looks exciting because of the danger, the excitement, the glory of winning, and the money. The money! I own a cobra and a viper and there’s my condo downtown.
Before I started this I had zilch. School wasn’t for me and neither was flipping burgers. I got into martial arts and stuck with it. Still, fighting had risks. Serious injury was one of the major ones.
Like how just now that Tai fighter got his knee shattered when the Shaolin dude kicked his leg inward. There’s also the chance of being arrested. Prison wasn’t my main concern. Death was my bane.
It’s not like I was afraid to die. Just I liked being alive. From the suckle of my first breath every morning, to the joy of slamming my fist into an opponent’s face, and raising my hand in victory - life’s worth living.
Despite checking it only minutes earlier, I looked at the calendar on my laptop again. October 25th, 2014. I sighed. How could I have made such a stupid mistake? I looked down at the watch on my wrist. Black hands hovering over an embedded silver SC showed 4:30. I tried spinning the dial. Nothing. No more turning back now – I went too far. I focused my attention on the sound of my parents’ conversation coming through my bedroom door, waiting for the right moment.
“Bananas, yogurt, oatmeal…”
“Not the instant kind.”
“Bread, turkey, ham…”
Christmas Eve, it’s always Christmas Eve.
Bare winter trees dotted about the town square glow with festive colour while a trail of small lanterns light the way from the square to the old church up on the hill inviting one and all to join the midnight mass later that evening.
A lonely figure, lost and forgotten wanders through the crowd. No one pays him any attention or even notices him. Yet he’d been coming here for years, too many to remember. He’s no longer warmed by the sweet scents of mulled wine and roast chestnuts drifting over the crowd of carol singers. He always stays close to the caroller’s because they remind him of the life he once had and yet could never have again.
Unleashing The Beast
The rain fell softly but persistently in vertical broken lines onto the soaked sidewalk as it had done for the last three days. The volume wasn’t substantial enough to cause flooding or disruption, but was consistent enough to soak you through after ten minutes, and consistent enough to depress the hell out of Billy. As he stood in his kitchen apartment on the third floor he sipped a hot cup of afternoon tea, looking down onto mid rush hour traffic. It was already dark. The sun had failed to break through for even part of the day, and was now gone until the next dawn. Pedestrians hurried past each other, clashing umbrellas in their desire to hurry home after a tedious day at work, unable to avoid all the puddles in front of them, soaking through footwear more suited to the office than a wet autumn evening.
Lighting in the art room was dim. The overpowering smell of oil paints radiated throughout the small room, but it didn’t seem to bother Sebastian.
He spent his time painting the hours away. He stared at the canvas. A small smile slowly shaped on the young man’s face as he scribbled some words on the bottom right of the canvas.
The door flung open. “Sebastian!” a middle-aged man called, “Do you realize what time it is?” he asked, pointing to his watch.
Sebastian looked at his cellphone, which read eleven forty-two at night. “I just wanted to finish the painting for you before tomorrow.”
The Flame of Reason
The Malibu's faded paint job mirrors the sooty interior, but the machine is not the real dirty part. It's the three human beings inside here with me if you can call them that. The speakers blare out some awful hip hop tune about beating women and getting paid. The fumes of their intoxicants they need to ingest for the courage to do this cowardly act are on me now and in me. If it weren't for that dream I wouldn't even be here.
I look up ahead at the rear view mirror. The driver switches his blood-shot eyes between me and the road.
A Good Meal
Emma Warren went to Phil, the Black Water sheriff, for help. "Please help me. Ah'm Emma Warren. Mah husband, Vern, went to find frogs in the swamp yesterday and he didn’t come home. A man named Galt came by and..."
“Was Galt tall with a big chest."
I know the story. Don't you worry. We know exactly where he went. We'll leave right now. Try not to worry, Mrs. Warren."
The sheriff and his deputy, Mike, got their rifles, waders, machetes, and canteens, took Emma home, and then went to their airboat and drove into the swamp.
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