Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Code Breaker

“I’m going to say this for the last fucking time, so take your daddy’s dick out of your ears! I didn’t bully anybody backstage and I didn’t take any shortcuts! Everything I have in my career has been earned! There’s no controversy! There’s no early stoppage or misjudged scorecards or any of that bullshit! You all are just a bunch of whiny snowflakes who commit suicide over the stupidest shit! If someone calls you a doo-doo head on Twitter, you slash your wrists! If someone calls you an SJW on Face Book, you tie the noose! If someone you don’t like shows up on your college campus, you destroy everything like a big fucking baby! I didn’t do shit to those refs and judges, so wipe tears out of your mascara!”

Zoey Davis wouldn’t have bought Marcus McKnight’s press conference speech if his tongue was notarized. She watched the whole thing on her tablet with furrowed eyebrows and clamped teeth. She firmly believed that being an MMA heavyweight like Marcus didn’t entitle him to do whatever the fuck he wanted. Zoey remembered her own locker room experiences in high school. The N-word echoed throughout he brain quicker than having her dreadlocks ripped out. The jokes about her having a visible ribcage were usually followed by racist jocks throwing fried chicken and corn biscuits at her. To Zoey, Marcus McKnight looked and acted just like those dip shits in school…and she was going to do something about it.

With her gray hoodie pulled over her head, Zoey watched the mixed-martial arts pay-per-view from the back of the arena, hardly anybody seated around her. Those who took up real estate close to her were too invested in the cage fights to pay attention to her playing with her tablet. Every knockout punch within the eight-sided wire fence earned a boisterous roar of approval from the audience. Every choke, every dislocation, every head kick, every vicious elbow, they were appetizers to a much larger meal in the form of the main event, featuring Marcus McKnight and an opponent whose Polish name was difficult to pronounce, but easy to make fun of for any xenophobe in attendance.

The thumb stick in Zoey’s tablet picked up a signal from Marcus’s cell phone. He had recently logged onto Twitter and Face Book, using the same password for both accounts. Zoey shook her head and smiled, “This is too fucking easy.” She noticed that Marcus didn’t even bother using numbers and punctuation marks in his passwords, just a series of lowercase letters. “Lazy as fuck,” Zoey grinned as she worked her hacking magic on those accounts.

What to post, what to post, what to post. Zoey swiped through a bevy of embarrassing Photoshop pictures that would look hilarious on Marcus’s social media pages. Which one would hurt him the most? A picture of Marcus sucking off a goat? A picture of him getting sodomized in a clown suit by a horse? How about one of him milking a cow with his yellow-toenailed feet? Oh, why not all of them? She fiddled around on her tablet some more and posted all three of these pictures onto Marcus’s Twitter and Face Book pages. She quickly tucked the tablet away in her hoodie pocket and watched the action with a smile.

She was so busy with her hack job that she didn’t even notice that Marcus McKnight was already making his way to the octagon with the Polish opponent inside. Even from so far away, Zoey could easily see why someone like him would be intimidating to a bullying victim. Seven feet tall, barely cracking the maximum weight limit at two hundred sixty-five pounds, more muscle on his sausage fingers than most people had in their entire bodies, and “Welcome to the Jungle” by Guns n’ Roses blasting over the sound system. Zoey crossed her fingers in hopes that he would actually lose his match tonight, but given that the Polish opponent looked like a midget next to him, it was unlikely.

The referee explained to the fighters the rules of the match and already Marcus was in bully mode when he spit a silver glob in his opponent’s mouth. Zoey shivered hard enough to make herself dizzy. If she thought that was sickening, she was in for a real treat when the match started and Marcus threw bloody haymakers at his opponent. With every stone fist that connected, Zoey’s stomach turned as she remembered more bullying from her childhood. She felt her own bones break, her own face get disfigured, her own skin being ripped open like a birthday present of violence. She felt so ill to her stomach that she stuck out her tongue and gasped for air, while everyone around her stood up and cheered at the “delicious” gore.

Zoey secretly wondered if her vigilante hacking would be doing any good to begin with. At the very worst, Marcus could just delete the pictures and change his password to something more secure. She kicked herself for thinking this immature prank was even a good idea. There were evil corporations and governments in the world that needed to be brought down and she chose to use her skills on one backstage bully in a world swarming with them. One guy could get humiliated and there would be more Marcus McKnights waiting in the wings. Tears welled up in her eyes as she tucked her face in her lap.

And then she heard the drunken choir around her chanting, “Goat fucker! Goat fucker! Goat fucker!” Zoey lifted her wet face and saw that people in attendance were looking at their phones and laughing their asses off. It was at that moment she remembered the old adage of whatever was on the internet was there forever. She smiled and wiped away her tears as the chants continued. Hell, she even stood up herself and chanted along with them with her fist pumping in the air.

Marcus’s bruised ego was more obvious than the bruises on his opponent’s hamburger face. He kept yelling, “Shut the fuck up!” to the crowd and missing wildly with his punches. Meanwhile, the Polish fighter, as bloody and swollen as he was, threw some punches of his own and even landed a nice head kick, which staggered Marcus backwards against the cage. Zoey stood on her sneaker-wearing tippy-toes and cheered wildly as Marcus was getting his comeuppance.

The raucous taunting turned to dead silence when Marcus’s answer to his opponent’s offence was a head-splitting elbow to the side of the face. Blood squirted out of the brand new orifice as the fighter flopped to the ground unconscious and the ref waved the match off, awarding the victory to Marcus McKnight.

“No…no…no, this can’t be happening,” Zoey whispered to herself with wide eyes. She pulled her hood back and grabbed her fuzzy hair in disbelief. All that taunting did was anger Marcus to where he nearly killed his opponent. He had never hit an opponent that hard before, not even in victory. “This is all my fault…” the hacktivist whimpered. These were the same words she used in high school whenever she got clocked by smaller bullies, thinking she could easily take them with her six foot stance. Zoey pounded the sides of her head in a feeble attempt to exorcise these traumatic ghosts from her mind.

She felt a meaty hand clamp down on her shoulder along with the word “Ma’am!” shouted in her ear. Zoey slowly turned around and saw a chubby security guard with a bald head and sunglasses standing over her, menacing stare and all. “You’re in a lot of trouble, ma’am. You need to come with me peacefully. And hand over that tablet you got in your hoodie. I ain’t joking around, baby girl!”

Zoey would be damned if she let another traumatic vision flood her mind for the rest of her life. This guy easily had two hundred pounds of meat in his tale of the tape and he could snap her in two just like that. If she handed over the tablet, it would all be over for her. When she realized it was over the day she left high school, she formed a nasty frown on her face, pulled out the tablet, and smashed it against the security guard’s jowly face.

The glass from the tablet shredded a few pounds from the guard’s face, causing him to drip all over the arena steps like a running faucet. Any last shred of evidence that Zoey hacked Marcus McKnight’s accounts was little more than computer dust on the floor, mixing perfectly with human blood. Zoey hopped over the barricade when she saw more security guards chasing after her.

Zoey’s lightning quickness on her feet was an afterthought when security guards seemed to pour in from every exit she had. Turned to the right, a pack of Shrek clones in blue shirts. Turned to the left, a flood of human protoplasm flooding her direction. The drunken lard asses in the crowd didn’t help much either as she tried to squeeze past them. With no other exit aside from the cage itself, Zoey Davis’s adrenaline boost clouded her judgment and caused her to scale the cage quicker than a squirrel up a tree.

Greasy blond haired Marcus raised his arms in the air, stuck his tongue out, and taunted her with “snowflake” insults and middle fingers. Ordinarily, Zoey would freeze up like the very insult she was being berated with. Up close, Marcus had the height of a skyscraper, the strength of a brick wall, and the screaming volume of a marine corps drill instructor all rolled into one. Being next to him would make even the bravest of men wet themselves in a biblical flood.

Not Zoey. Not anymore. She screamed, “Take this, you goat fucker!” before planting both of her rubber soles against Marcus’s crotch, doubling him over  and eventually leaving him beached like a smelly whale corpse. Even with the referee and the security guards grabbing her by the arms and legs, even with no visible exit anywhere in the building, even with decades of prison ahead of her, Zoey felt free at last. The adrenaline boost cleansed her mind of all negative voices and any remaining were drowned out with crowd chants of “Goat fucker! Goat fucker! Goat fucker!”

“Was it worth it, you little shit?” spat one of the beefy security guards. “Was it fucking worth it?”


“Bitch, you’ve got no clue!” said Zoey with a wicked grin on her face. Even while laying on her back and being dragged out across the beer-soaked floor, she stood tall against those who oppressed her and people like her. Could one bold move spark a revolution? Could hacking skills really make that big of a difference? Zoey didn’t know and didn’t give a damn at this point. Prison or not, she was free.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

No More

Your macho bullshit doesn’t work anymore
Check your massive ego at the front door
Before you tell anybody to suck it up
Take your own advice, then shut it up
The twentieth century is gone forever
The day you’ll get it back is fucking never
No more beatings with a leather strap
No more secretaries sitting on your lap
No more black people doing your chores
No more Indians getting killed in wars
No more drill instructors shouting in ears
No more suppressing our flooding tears
You can’t blame it all on a whole generation
Unless you yearn for the days of segregation
Unless you’re living in the Middle Ages
Unless cave paintings are your only pages
Self-esteem is what we need to survive
Happiness is what makes us feel alive
Just because you’re dead on the inside
Doesn’t mean you have to tan our hides
Just because you can’t use a computer
Doesn’t mean you can stop the future
If you’re really that angry and bitter
Maybe I should hire you a babysitter
Maybe that’s why your kind wears diapers
Not because you’ve eaten too much fiber
No more bigotry, no more agony

No more screaming, no more insanity!

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Author Interviews and Guest Blogs

***AUTHOR INTEVIEWS AND GUEST BLOGS***

I’m not going to lie to you guys: I haven’t done enough when it comes to giving back to the writing community. Sure, I always write book reviews for fellow authors and I’ve made a permanent critique buddy out of Marie Krepps, but I haven’t done much beyond that. I suppose this could be remedied by following other authors on Good Reads, Deviant Art, and Blogger, but then I get “overwhelmed” by all of the reading assignments that come with this. And by overwhelmed, I mean that I puss out because I’m feeling mentally exhausted that day. One day of exhaustion turns to another. And another. And another.

That makes my offer to you, my lovely audience, not much of a guarantee for your success. You might get a few hits on your social media pages, but I can’t make any promises that you’ll be the toast of the town. But if you want to take up my offer, I’d be more than happy to help you out. It’s time I stopped chickening out and own up to my responsibilities to the world. My offer is this: if you’d like me to interview you or if you want to write a guest post on my blogs, all you have to do is ask. Each interview will consist of ten questions about your creative life in general, though they won’t be the same for every author. As far as guest posts go, I have to approve the topic beforehand, which of course means no racist, sexist, homophobic, or otherwise bigoted statements.

It’s not the biggest offer in the world, but I’d like to think it’s a start. Sometimes we just need to be shown where the starting mark is. And while I’m making an attempt to lionize the authors in my life, here are some people you should follow on You Tube for writing advice: Jenna Moreci, Ellen Brock, J.P. Beaubien, and Vivien Reis. I like Jenna Moreci because she’s sassy and unafraid when it comes to her swear word-laced rants. Plus, I have a special place in my heart for cyborg queens. Ellen Brock is a professional editor with some intimate knowledge of the publishing business, so when she corrects you, you’d better listen. Vivien Reis is also a limitless supply of wisdom when she gives her advice. Plus, she has puppy-duppies that appear in the background of her videos. Aww! And then we come to Mr. Beaubien, whose You Tube channel is aptly called Terrible Writing Advice. His delivery is satirical and sarcastic, but his message of how important it is to research your topics beforehand is loud and clear.

And of course, where would an author-praising blog post be without talking about the one and only Babe-a-Licious Mondo, Marie Krepps (adult fiction) a.k.a. Ashley Uzzell (children’s fiction). I could butter this woman up all day long like corn on the cob or an English muffin. When she gives you writing advice or when she critiques your work, wake the fuck up. She’s funny, she’s wise, and she’s an all-around sweethearted person with the right amount of sass. Unfortunately, she doesn’t have a Face Book account anymore, because let’s face it, one can only take so much political and bigoted bullshit and Face Book has plenty of that in spades. Not to worry: she still has a Good Reads and Twitter account. She also has a blog and a website, but I forgot the names of those sites (just Google the names Marie Krepps and Ashley Uzzell, you’ll find them in short order). Plus, if you have money that you’d like to donate to a worthy cause, she’s a supporter of Extra Life, a charity that raises money for children’s hospitals by playing videogames for a full twenty-four hours. Even the smallest amount donated to Extra Life will give both you and Marie warm fuzzy feelings on the inside. ^_^

Would you like to be lionized in the same way as Marie and the You Tube authors I’ve mentioned? I’d be happy to do it if you’d just ask. Remember, folks: it’s either an author interview, a guest blog post, or both. Regardless of how many views you get as a result of these promotional tactics, you won’t regret it, that much I promise! We’ve got ears, say cheers!


***AMERICAN DARKNESS 3***

If you follow me on Good Reads, Face Book, or Deviant Art, you would have seen a drawing of a heavily-muscled gentleman doing the splits between two cinder blocks while military pressing a barbell in the air. That gentleman (and I use that word loosely) is Marcus McKnight from my upcoming short story called “Code Breaker”, which goes like this:

CHARACTERS:

  1. Zoey Davis, Hacktivist
  2. Marcus McKnight, Mixed-Martial Artist

PROMPT CONFORMITY: To be announced.

SYNOPSIS: Throughout his fighting career, Marcus has earned a reputation as a backstage bully, often muscling the referees, judges, and officials into giving him a subtle advantage in his fights. Marcus denies these claims and calls his critics “snowflakes” in retaliation. On the night of a championship fight, Zoey, who’s watching from the bleachers, hacks into Marcus’s social media accounts and posts embarrassing pictures of him so that his victims can have a good laugh. Everyone around her is too busy enjoying the fight to pay attention to her hack job. She’s still anxious about being caught and with security beefed up in the arena, she’s right to feel that way.

FUN FACT: This story is partially inspired by John “Bradshaw” Layfield’s bullying scandal in WWE, which I’m certain will earn a Most Disgusting Promotional Tactic award this year from the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Well, either that or Jinder Mahal’s run as WWE Champion. Or the exploitation of Dusty Rhodes’s death. Or the exploitation of Jerry Lawler’s 2012 heart attack. Or…goddamn, that’s a lot of candidates!


***DARK FANTASY WARRIORS***

One thing that’s not in short supply in this series is guys in suits and ties. Peter Stein from my old first draft novel “Filter Feeder” will be the next dude on that long list. The only difference is, he’ll be armed with a pair of magically imbued boxing gloves. If any of you remember that drive-by abortion of a story, Peter used those boxing gloves in combat against angry fisherman Wes Edwards, who was damned near beaten into powder during that closing fight.


***INTERNET DIALOGUE OF THE DAY***

POWER OF THE PENCIL: I want to be an author when I grow up. Am I insane?


NEIL GAIMAN: Yes. Growing up is highly overrated. Just be an author.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

B-Shirt

Malcolm Draper leaned against the boys’ locker room door while fingering the zipper handle on his closed up jacket. He dared not pass through the gates of his own personal hell, but the buzzer was about to ring and being even a second late to class would have resulted in draconian detention, which was weird because the gym teacher never seemed to be around when it truly counted.

The sequence of the past few weeks counted a lot for Malcolm. The fact that his last name Draper could be modified with an I instead of the first R lent itself to some cruel traumatic jokes echoing throughout his brain. He could hear the deep-voiced jocks shouting, “Diaper boy!” and “Dirty diaper!” within his own personal recesses. They even came up with a clever rhyme: “Draper-Raper”.

Immature insults by themselves carried no weight to Malcolm. But in multiple bursts throughout his entire day, even during important moments like exams and quizzes, it was the psychological equivalent of taking a series of sharp jabs from a heavyweight boxer. The mental bruises remained fresh with obnoxious voices. The muscles in Malcolm’s body remained tense at all times. The thought of walking through the door made him slightly nauseous with extra chills running through his back and shoulders.

“Today’s the day,” he whispered to himself. “It’s now or never.” He threw back the door and trudged down the hallway into the locker room. The further he ventured towards his own locker, the louder the laughter became, both on the inside and outside. He could feel his insides being ground up like hamburger. His face burned and prickled with anticipation. He purposefully kept his head down with his jacket hood over his face in hopes Daniel Burn wouldn’t notice him. But as it was…

“Hey, diaper-boy’s here today! What’s the matter, fag-tard? You shit yourself again? Don’t worry, you can wipe your ass on that stupid Sting T-shirt you wore yesterday!” The grating testosterone-pumped voice echoed throughout the locker room and the laughter grew louder to where Malcolm felt claustrophobic even in this big space. He slowly pulled his hood off and poked his head up to see the source of those jokes was indeed the letterman jacket-wearing football stud Daniel Burn congregating with his similarly dressed pals.

“You’re right, Daniel,” said Malcolm, earning the silence he desperately needed (even if it was out of confusion). “I’ll never wear that Sting shirt again.” Daniel and his muscle buddies mockingly sang the lyrics to “Every Breath You Take” and laughed like monkeys. This would have been a perfect time for Malcolm to break down, vomit, and cry. But instead he smiled and said, “My dad’s a T-shirt maker. So I figured I should dress for the job that I want, not the job I have.”

Malcolm Draper reached for his zipper and the rambunctious jocks made unintelligible jokes about him doing a striptease. He slowly pulled it down and opened his jacket to once again earn his silence. This time the jocks, Daniel Burn included, had wide-eyed shock on their faces. Any laughter remaining was limited to a nervous snicker. In case there was more confusion, Malcolm threw off his coat and exposed his custom-made T-shirt to he entire locker room. The top said, “Daniel Is My Bitch” in Floydian letters while beneath the words was a Photoshopped picture of Daniel Burn wearing a ball gag. “I bet that Sting shirt’s looking pretty good right now, isn’t it?” asked Malcolm with a mocking grin.

Daniel’s nearest friend leaned over and quietly said to him, “You’re not going to take that shit, are you?”

“Of course he’s going to take it!” belted Malcolm. “He can spew all these insults about my last name and my clothing, but he’s never thrown a fucking punch in his life! And no, fisting a horse in the asshole doesn’t count as a punch, buddy!”

Daniel’s square jaw went from O-mouthed shock to frowning rage. He brushed his blond crew cut back and threw his own jacket to the ground before slowly approaching Malcolm to the sounds of “ooo’s” and “uh-oh’s” from the rest of the students. The two bitter enemies stood nose to nose with Daniel’s height and weight making Malcolm look like a midget. “I’ve beaten up lots of guys in my life, diaper-kid,” threatened Daniel. “Fags, niggers, Jews, towel-heads…you’re just another dead ass motherfucker on that long list. I’m going to rip your fucking head off, bitch.”

The gigantic jock threw a quick and powerful overhead punch, which Malcolm ducked before burying his shoulder in Daniel’s gut and plowing him against the bathroom stall. The sounds of students chanting “Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight” echoed throughout the locker room while the sworn enemies wrestled on the floor.

“We’ll see who the real bitch is, diaper-dick!” shouted Daniel as he sat on Malcolm’s chest hoping for an advantage. All the jock got was elbow’s to his temples and knees to his spine. Even Daniel’s bulky body couldn’t withstand the small strikes as he rolled off of Malcolm after a few jabs.

Malcolm attempted to get to a vertical base only to be bear hugged by Daniel and wrestled with some more. “Where the hell’s the teacher?!” shouted one of the students to a crowd of uncaring bystanders. Malcolm pushed the question out of his mind and threw backwards elbows at Daniel’s cheekbones.

The hulking football player put an end to this impromptu MMA match when he lifted Malcolm’s carcass in the air and slammed him down with a thunderous thud to the concrete floor. The smaller fighter felt something snap in his leg and screamed louder than a train whistle. He did his damnedest to hold back the tears, but the pain in his torn knee radiated throughout his tortured body, his nervous system burning like a fiery orphanage. The tears dropped whether Malcolm wanted them to or not, but he tried to save face by rolling on his stomach.

By the terrified silence of the other students and the crushing grip on his arm as he was rolled over, Malcolm knew shit had gone down. Through red watery eyes, he gazed up at Daniel Burn’s bruised and bloodied face, the rage of which was more violent than his wounds. Daniel reached down at Malcolm’s shirt collar and ripped the B-shirt in two before holding it in the air like a trophy. “Who’s the bitch now?!” Daniel screamed with nerve-rattling anger. “Who’s the bitch now?! You want to be a tough guy?! You think you can beat the system?! Welcome to high school, diaper-pie! The shit only gets worse from here!”

The rambunctious conversation was interrupted with the sound of someone clearing his throat. Daniel and Malcolm peeked over to see what was up, Daniel’s face a masterpiece of horror and Malcolm’s face a phantasmal smile. Smaller students, geekier students, and even one of the jocks were all wearing B-shirts while the rest of the bullies backed up in amazement. Same slogan, same ball-gagged bitch.

“You see that, Danny boy?” asked Malcolm as pulled himself to his feet with a nearby railing while clutching his aching knee. “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have. These kids are done being your bitches. Now it’s time for you to be theirs.” Malcolm leaned in closer and whispered in Daniel’s ear, “This is what happens when you piss off a lot of people. You poke the bear, the bear eats you alive!” He noticed Daniel clutching his own buzz cut and breathing intensely, to which Malcolm replied, “You can’t possibly beat ALL of them up, can you?”

Daniel’s breathing grew deeper and more dragon-like. “This is bullshit,” he whispered. “I’m nobody’s bitch! I’m the star quarterback! I get all the chicks! You fuckers just sit around and read comic books all day while blowing your dogs!” The B-shirt wearing students slowly approached Daniel like an army of flesh-hungry zombies, to which the bully screamed, “No! This shit isn’t happening!” before bolting out the side door onto the streets.

“You see that, everyone?” said Malcolm with a sly grin and teary eyes. “If you play football twenty-four hours a day, you can run as fast as him!” The sound of a bus’s horn honking followed by a bone-crunching collision and Daniel’s painful cries caused Malcolm to shrug and quip, “Well, not fast enough apparently.”

The hulking gym teacher burst through the locker room door shouting, “What the hell’s going on here?” His authoritative mood was brought back to earth when he saw all of the students wearing B-shirts and Malcolm nursing his hyper-extended knee. “What the fuck?” he whispered to nobody in particular.


“We’re so glad you could finally join us,” said Malcolm. “Actually, you might want to bring a janitor here too. Daniel Burn left his guts all over the road. Oh wait, I forgot: Daniel Burn doesn’t have any guts. And that bone crunching noise wasn’t his spine shattering, because he doesn’t have that either. Seriously, those city bus drivers need to be more careful on the road.”

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Brandi

Adele Faulk stared at the sparkling engagement ring on her finger with a cheerful smile on her already lovely face. The diamond itself radiated beauty like a heavenly star, but it was the man who gave her that ring who was worth showing off the most. She gripped the steering wheel of her parked car and took deep breaths to calm her nerves of excitement. She couldn’t wait to tell her younger brother Dustin the news, but was afraid that she’d come off too strong. “Poor Dustin,” she said to herself in a peaceful whisper.

The chocolate-haired lady in the sparkling silver cocktail dress exited the vehicle and clicked her high heels against Dustin’s sidewalk. His home was a lot smaller than she had remembered. Had he been falling on tough times? Adele’s lipstick-covered mouth formed a frown out of fear that she would be rubbing her success in Dustin’s face. She contemplated getting back in the car and driving home to her fiancé. No! She had to tell him without resorting to the Face Book copout.

Adele knocked on Dustin’s door and he said, “Come in!” Upon treading through the threshold, Adele’s concerned frown morphed into wide-eyed shock when she saw her pot-bellied brother sitting on the couch next to a blond sex puppet in lingerie. “What’s up, big sis?” said Dustin before taking a sip of beer and changing the channel on the TV with his remote.

“Um…” shrugged Adele. “Not a whole lot compared to you. You do know that’s a sex doll, right?”

“Brandi doesn’t like to be called that,” snapped Dustin as he stroked the doll’s hair.

Hands on her hips, Adele smirked, shook her head, and said, “Seriously, Dustin? Her name’s Brandi? You’ve actually given this sex toy a name?” The brother scratched his nuts and burped. “Jesus, Dustin…I, uh…I have no words. Not one fucking word.”

“You don’t have to say anything at all, Adele,” said Dustin right as he kissed “Brandi” on the cheek. “I already know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking I’ve gone off the deep end and I need to be locked up in a fucking rubber room. I get it. Truth be told, I’ve never been happier in my life. Look at her, Adele. She doesn’t judge. She doesn’t care that I gained a little weight. She doesn’t care that my hair’s a little thin. She likes me for who I am and that’s good enough for me.”

“You know what else doesn’t judge you for your looks or your income?” asked Adele. “That floor lamp over there. Maybe you should start a relationship with that and stick it up your ass during those romantic moments.” Dustin protested with several silent shut up’s, but Adele continued her rant with, “Maybe you should start a relationship with the TV and keep it on porn channels all the time. Maybe you should mount your coffee table and fondle its legs. Two legs are sexy enough, but four? Holy shit, buddy!”

Dustin’s murmuring retorts transformed into one monstrous, “Shut up!” that silenced his big sister’s mockery. “Typical big sister bullshit, Adele. You’ve been doing this shit to me ever since we were kids! I never had a date to the prom! I never had a date at all except with my right hand! You’re actually surprised by this shit?! If you’re going to call me a loser, just get it over with already and don’t make me wait!”

“You’re not a loser, Dustin,” said Adele with a soft inflection. “It’s just that…I know you’re upset about what happened to Dana. I wouldn’t be able to live with myself either if my fiancé committed su…I mean…boyfriend…I mean…”

“Fiance, huh?” asked Dustin with a sarcastic grin. He blew out some air and said, “I’ll bet you anything that’s what you came here tell me. Not that you’re checking on your baby brother, but to show off that stupid fucking ring on your finger. Good for you, Adele. I could have just as easily found out on Face Book, but you had to come here and rub it in. Well, I’ll be sure to extend the same courtesy when I eventually put a ring on Brandi’s finger.”

“She’s not a real woman!” shouted Adele. She marched over to her younger brother and ripped the TV remote out of his hand before clicking off the tube. “We need to have a serious conversation about this…thing on the couch! It’s not healthy, Dustin! What if someone else sees you with…Brandi and makes fun of you for it? Maybe you’ll bring her along to one of your office Christmas parties! That’ll be a big hit! Goddamn, I want to rip that doll’s head off right fucking now!”

Dustin shot up from his seat and barked, “Oh yeah? And what’s the alternative to this, huh? What am I supposed to do after I abandon my girlfriend? Go on some loser dating site and have shallow conversations with someone who doesn’t give a shit? Is that what finding love is all about? Hell, you know something about that! Why don’t you tell me what the fucking answer is!”

Tears streamed down Adele’s face and smudged her makeup and mascara. “Goddamn it, Dustin,” she sobbed as she wiped away her sorrowful liquids. “You need real love. You need a real woman. You’re better than this! You’re one of the strongest people I’ve ever known! And now you’re going to give up and parade this doll around as your girlfriend?”

Dustin shook his head and said, “I didn’t have the strength to save Dana and I don’t have the strength for a so-called real woman. If you can’t understand that, Adele, then I think you need to leave. Congratulations on your engagement, sis. I’m sorry I don’t care enough about it.” He plopped down on the couch and spooned with Brandi some more.

Adele’s weary eyes glared into Brandi’s lifeless features. The big sister clenched her fists so tightly that her manicured fingernails left indents in her palm. She even felt a trickle of blood and didn’t give two shits about it. “I hate this thing,” she whispered angrily. “I fucking hate you, Brandi! You’re ruining my brother’s life!” In one swift motion, she ripped the face off the doll while her brother shouted a prolonged, “No!”

Tears continued to melt Adele’s makeup-covered face into a modern art masterpiece when she saw what was underneath the doll. If she thought the doll was lifeless before, her last shreds of doubt were erased upon seeing a degenerated skull with shreds of skin and green gums. “Dustin,” she whimpered. “Why? This isn’t you. This isn’t my baby brother! You’re not a murderer!”

Dustin stood back up and assumed a coldhearted look on his face while staring down at his crouched sister. “You’re right, Adele. I’m not a murderer. You are. First you take Dana away from me and now you take Brandi. Who’s next on your hit list? Hmm? Maybe I’ll go to a strip joint and bring you some more victims, even though not one of those plastic women is good enough for me!”

“You’re crazy!” Adele sobbed. “You’re fucking crazy, Dustin!”

Dustin formed a savage smile, shook his head, and said, “Not nearly as crazy as the woman who ruined blowjob night just so she could show off her fucking engagement ring!” Adele’s tearful statements came out as unintelligible word salad while Dustin kneeled before his sister and said, “Now that I think about it, big sis…blowjob night is just beginning!”

Adele’s breathing grew frantic and heavy as she shouted, “I’m your sister, Dustin! That’s disgusting!”

“You’re the only woman left who’ll ever love me after this,” said Dustin while stroking Adele’s locks. “I’ll be Luke Skywalker…and you can be Princess Leia. Who knows? Maybe you can pawn that engagement ring and buy yourself a nice shiny golden bikini!”

Dustin leaned in slowly to give his sister a kiss only to have her bite his nose and draw blood. His shrilling screams caused Adele to crab walk backwards in fear. For a moment she laid frozen on the ground while her brother used his Nickelback T-shirt to soak up the blood. “You fucking bitch!” he angrily whispered. “I deserve love. I deserve the best! Who do you think you are taking it away from me, you ignorant cow?!”

Adele kicked off her high heels, shot up from the floor, and screamed heavily as she bolted towards the door, Dustin in hot pursuit. In her amazement at Brandi, she forgot to close the door when she entered the house, which meant she was free to swing it open during this chase. Once she dashed outside to the cool night air, Dustin tried to grab her by the dress, but ripped off the backside and exposed her purple panties instead.

“Help! Help!” Adele shouted through her tears. Her breathing hastened and intensified as she sped closer to the driver’s seat of her car. She felt as though she was going to have a heart attack once she opened the door and took a seat. She hit the auto-lock on her doors just in time for Dustin to pound on her windows demanding she open them. Adele fiddled with the key while trying to stick it in the ignition. The more the key scraped against the hole, the louder Dustin’s pounds became.

Adele let out a shriek of horror when Dustin punched out her passenger window and grabbed her shoulder with his bloody arm. The tearful screams and her exploding heart gave her enough of an adrenaline boost to stick the key in the ignition and start the car. Dustin’s grip strengthened upon hearing the engine roar and even more so when Adele slammed her foot on the gas and sped down the street. Her brother flapped and floated in the air while maintaining a bruising grip around Adele’s neck. His fingernails dug into her flesh and all she could do was scream and drive recklessly some more.

The blood in Adele’s neck made Dustin’s grip slippery enough to scrape his nails across her flesh and fly across the street into a telephone pole. The sister’s rapid breathing and crying slowed down little by little when she slammed on the brakes and peered into the rearview mirror to see Dustin clutching his cracked ribs. With his body mangled almost as badly as the corpse on his couch, Dustin was no threat to anybody.

“I’m sorry, Dustin,” Adele whispered while trying to steady her intense breathing. “I’m so sorry I couldn’t save you.” Knowing the threat was diminished, Adele rested her head on the steering wheel and allowed her flooding tears to soak the carpet beneath her. She didn’t even tend to the dripping blood from her neck.


Her eyes dripped at a much more violent rate knowing she lost her brother long before he cracked his ribs against a wooden pole. What would she tell her fiancé? What would she tell mom and dad? Nothing yet, because the word salad poured from her mouth as she tried fruitlessly to calm her nerves. She could spend forever this way if she wanted to. It wasn’t a bad idea at the time.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

The Real World: Anime

***LYRICS OF THE DAY***

“You want to win the war? Know what you’re fighting for!”

-Slipknot singing “Custer”-


***THE REAL WORLD: ANIME***

Remember a few blog entries ago how I asked you, my lovely audience, how you can tell the difference between what’s worth defending and what’s worth surrendering? Well, the same can be said for any kind of dispute whether it’s with yourself or other people. It’s all about risk vs. reward. But in order to achieve this goal, you have to absolutely know what it is you’re fighting for, just like Slipknot says in that song. If it’s a political climate, what are you trying to accomplish: convincing an unwilling debate opponent to see things another way or convincing an entire congress to do the right thing?

When I was a teenager, I took no interest in politics, so I waged my wars over the next best thing: internet disputes. I fought over everything whether it was worth the risk or not. If anything, I was fighting over a bruised ego and I was obsessed with making my offender pay. It’s not like telling someone off over a computer screen is going to change anything, but my teenaged self didn’t have the wisdom to know that. Thus we have one of my most notorious internet disputes, The Real World: Anime.

From 2001 to 2004 and again in 2005, I was a rabidly zealous member of Play By Web, a text-based RPG site where users could set up message boards based on genre or gaming system whether it’s sci-fi, D&D, Vampire: the Masquerade, etc. I have no idea what possessed me to join The Real World: Anime, because I hadn’t seen one episode of The Real World to know what the hell was going on. I guess I joined because I was an anime nut and really into shows like the Gundam series and Cowboy Bebop.

I take the role of Spike Spiegel from Cowboy Bebop and role-played him within the confines of this game. My posts were only a few sentences long and they didn’t quite live up to the Spike Spiegel character, to be honest. Sarah, one of the admins for that group, sent me a private message asking me to play him better, because the co-admin was a lot tougher than her with regard to rules and regulations.

Rational-thinking adult Garrison would have said, “No problem!” and did the right thing. But hormonal teenager Garrison, complete with a hair-trigger temper, fired the first shot in what would be an uphill verbal war between myself and the admins. My opening line? “You’re damn right I’m pissed off!” I can’t remember how the middle of the rant went, but it ended with, “You’re not going to fucking toy with me!”

Can you believe we actually came to a peaceful resolution to that argument? I actually apologized to the admins! But then Under Siege, Pt. 2 came weeks later when the admins banned me from the game for being too out of character with my portrayal of Spike Spiegel. I basically portrayed him as a jumpy weird ass who listened to Al Green rather than a smooth-talker who listened to Yoko Kanno. That was the end of my run, but not the end of the war.

Instead of being nice and taking the high road, I told the tougher of the two admins to go fuck herself after a long rant detailing how her criticisms were lies and her tough love was just an excuse to be nasty. Also, being the brave and steadfast guy I was, I told her I wouldn’t be reading any more posts from the thread I used to rant against her. That was the public forum way of blocking her from posting more messages.

So let’s see what all of this online vitriol actually accomplished. I was still banned from the game, the admins didn’t change their viewpoints, and I still sucked at playing Spike Spiegel from a fan’s perspective. I fought a war based on a bruised ego and it ended badly. Sarah and tough-chick: 1, Garrison: 0. Slipknot’s prophetic lyrics for “Custer” wouldn’t come for another thirteen years, but it’s not like I would have listened anyways except for the heavy beats.

I would go on to pick more online fights in the 2000’s and I would lose every single one of them. No realistic goals, no strategy, all offence, and no defense. Sometimes it’s important to just let things go. That’s what I’m doing now that we’re in the 2010’s and I’m at peace because of it. Imagine that: life becomes less stressful when you don’t argue over stupid shit. If you’re going to argue over something, net neutrality and tax overhaul are good places to start, so as long as your vocabulary isn’t limited to words that have “tard” in them. We’ve got ears, say cheers!


***DARK FANTASY WARRIORS***

Speaking of uncomfortable trips into my past, the next Dark Fantasy Warrior to be drawn is Jacob Kruger from my messiest first draft novel to this day, Filter Feeder. He’s a clam fisherman with his weapon of choice being a big ass metal anchor. How he manages to carry that into battle and use it efficiently is a fucking miracle. I guess his muscles really are that big. Goddamn, I’ve got a lot of muscle-bound guys in my stories!


***AMERICAN DARKNESS 3***

I guess all of those “Write every day!” memes on Face Book are really starting to sink in, because I already have an idea for the next short story: “Brandi”. It goes like this:

CHARACTER:

  1. Dustin Faulk, Lonely Bachelor
  2. Adele Faulk, Dustin’s Sister
  3. Brandi, Sex Doll

PROMPT CONFORMITY: To be announced.

SYNOPSIS: After finishing college and getting engaged, Adele visits her older brother Dustin to share the news with him and catch up on old times. When she shows up at his apartment, he’s sitting on the couch with an inflatable sex doll named Brandi as a surrogate girlfriend. Adele holds off on the engagement announcement and instead tries to convince Dustin to find a real girlfriend since his behavior is “depressing”. Dustin likes Brandi because she isn’t capable of saying no to him. Rejection is a major source of frustration for Dustin when he tries to court “real women”. When he learns of Adele’s engagement and general life success, he becomes even more withdrawn into his single life microcosm.


FUN FACT: The last name Faulk isn’t meant to be a modified version of the F-word. It’s just a coincidence. I swear on my mother’s grave even though she’s still alive. Hehe!

Belts and Welts

Owen Hall’s silent rage steamed hotter than the mashed potatoes and gravy he was eating for supper. Delicious food, though right in front of him, was the last thing on his racing mind. Sitting across from him at the dinner table was his wife Valerie and his daughter Leila. Both ladies smiled arrogantly at Owen while the father’s expression was dripping with ogre-like hatred. “Come on, old man, smile and make people wonder about you!” said Leila with a mockingly saccharine tone. Owen’s mouth curled even further downward as he tried to eat his dinner.

“Did you do your homework tonight?” asked Owen with disturbing calmness.

“I’ll do it after America’s Next Top Model is over,” said Leila. Her phone vibrated in her jeans pocket and she immediately went into text-messaging mode. Her eyes never left the screen even after Owen waved his meaty hand over her face.

“Relax, Owen,” said Valerie with her hand on his shoulder. “She’s a teenager. You know how they are. I’ll bet you anything you were like that at her age.”

Owen cracked his thick neck on both sides and said, “I wouldn’t know anything about that.”

“Of course you don’t, because you’re an old fart,” said Leila while her thumbs continued to dance around her smart phone’s screen. The sharp jab got a small giggle from Valerie.

Owen shook his head and put his fork down to address his daughter. His muscular hands formed a steeple underneath his hairy chin as he said, “You know, Leila. I got a call from the school today. They said you haven’t been keeping up with your homework. In fact, it’s pretty much the same song and dance for the last few weeks. Whenever the school has a problem with you, they always phone me and I get the blame for it.”

“Honey, eat your potatoes and we’ll talk about this some more after dinner,” said Valerie as she patted her manicured hand across her husband’s sausage fingers.

“I don’t want to talk about it later,” said Owen. “I want to talk about it now. If we don’t talk about it now, we’ll never talk about it again. You keep saying we’ll have all of these chances and those chances are always squandered. Put the fucking phone down!” The last sentence directed at Leila had some extra bite to it.

Instead of honoring her father’s wishes, Leila mocked his words with a semi-retarded voice and kept texting. Valerie smiled at Owen and said, “Come on, it’s not like this is the end of the world. She’ll figure it out soon enough.”

“No, she won’t!” snapped Owen as he stood up, garnering Leila’s attention at last. “She’s going to keep fucking up and nothing’s going to get done! What about college?! What about a job?! Does she not care about these things?! Last time I checked, sitting on your lazy ass watching TV isn’t exactly a nine-to-fiver!”

“Dude! Chill!” said Leila. “You don’t have to bite my head off! School’s been really hard lately!”

“School is supposed to be hard, you dumb shit!” barked Owen. “That’s how you grow and develop as a human being! If everything was easy, there’d be no fucking point!”

Valerie shot up from her chair and pointed at her husband while shouting, “Owen, sit down and eat your food! You’re acting like an old bastard!”

Owen took off his glasses and rolled up his flannel shirt sleeves. “No, Valerie, you’re wrong. That’s not what an old bastard acts like. This is.” With no trace of high voltage anger in his voice, Owen took off his leather belt and slowly walked around the table to Leila’s side of the table. Both wife and daughter looked up at him with wide, horrified eyes while Leila kept asking him what he was doing with a stutter.

The towering father grabbed Leila by the hair and slammed her torso against the table, not caring if the violent act got food on her T-shirt. Both ladies screamed like they were trapped in a real-life horror movie while Owen smacked his leather belt across Leila’s ass five times, each strike more sadistic and louder than the last. Both women collapsed to the floor and hugged each other while sobbing and screaming simultaneously. Leila could only bury her face in her mother’s chest while the mother looked up at Owen with puppy-dog eyes, asking, “Why?” over and over again in a whispery voice.

“I’ll tell you why, Valerie,” said Owen with trembling jowls. “I’m tired of being the bad guy at this dinner table. I’m tired of being the principal’s scapegoat when this whole shit storm is clearly my daughter’s fault. I’m tired of being disrespected. I’m tired of being walked on. And to think, this is Leila’s first belt whipping and she got to experience it at age fourteen. Too little too late. She’s grown up to be a bigger super-bitch than her mother.”

Leila pulled her face out of her mother’s hug and tearfully mouthed the words to her dad, “I hate you. I hate you so much.”

Owen slowly crouched down beside his daughter, placed his free hand on her convulsing shoulder, and quietly said, “That’s okay, darling. I hate you too. I hate you so much that I want to get the fuck out of this place as soon as I can. That belt spanking wasn’t out of discipline or even love. It was out of rage. It was out of a whole decade of disrespect and nothing being done about it. I’m done with you, Leila. I’m done with your mother. She better hire a good divorce lawyer, because I’ll be doing the same. Don’t expect a huge custody battle, little girl. Not even that creep Roy Moore will want you after all of this.”

Owen stood back up and his tree trunk knees popped like fireworks. Valerie also stood up, but brought her daughter to her feet with her and continued to hold her in a loving and sorrowful embrace. Valerie sobbed, “You can’t divorce me, Owen. After what you did tonight, I’ll take you for everything you’re worth!”

“Funny you mention that,” said Owen. “Because you probably will make more money off of my child support payments than you will busting your ass at a real job. Same goes for you, Leila. You’re both a bunch of losers. If you’re this disrespectful to me, what makes you think you’re going to be any better to your bosses? Oh, did I say bosses? I meant johns and pimps.”

“How can you say these things to your own family, Dad?” cried Leila. She could wipe her tears and comfort her sore buttocks all she wanted, but the sorrow continued to be painfully obvious.

“Family? What family?” said Owen with shrugged shoulders. “I don’t see a family in front of me. Just because you’ve got my DNA, doesn’t mean you’re anything more to me than a couple of bloodsucking leeches. The ride’s over. I’d tell you both to get your shit together, but you’re not even capable of getting that right, let alone an answer on a fucking math test.” The hulking father turned around and lumbered to his bedroom looking for a suitcase and some clothes.

“I’m sorry, Dad!” pleaded Leila while on her knees. “I’m sorry! I’ll do better in school! I’ll get a good job! Please, don’t leave us!”

“You’re too late for redemption, honey,” said Owen as he nonchalantly packed clothing into his suitcase and rolled it out to the kitchen. “It’s not my job to save you anymore. You can be someone else’s problem now.” He pointed at Valerie and said, “And you! You’ll be hearing from my lawyer first thing in the morning. Enjoy your dinner. I’m going to get a real meal at McDonald’s.” He waved goodbye and proceeded towards the front door with his suitcase in tow.

“Goddamn you, Dad!” shouted Leila as she picked up her dinner plate and threw it across the kitchen at Owen, who ducked down in the nick of time. The plate shattered and the mashed potatoes oozed down the kitchen wall.

But instead of white hot rage, Owen smiled for the first time in forever and said, “Thanks for giving my lawyer more talking points in court. Maybe your mother will start paying ME alimony instead. Bye-bye!” He waved again and stepped outside to the sounds of screaming teenagers and sobbing wives.

The chilly night air felt heavenly on Owen’s skin. The air tasted sweeter than anything on his dinner plate. A singular tear traveled down his husky cheek. He may have weighed well over three hundred pounds, but he felt lighter than a feather. He wasn’t going to just get away from this prison of a home. He was going to fly away like a caged bird.


There was a small moment where he questioned his need for spanking Leila with a belt. But as the screams and screeches from inside grew less tolerable, he shrugged his shoulders and rolled his suitcase out to the family SUV. He figured even sleeping in the back seat would be more comfortable than any fluffy mattress shared with his soon to be ex-wife.