Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Sleep Study Results


Warning: this journal about my sleep study results will be so boring that you yourself will fall asleep reading it. Hopefully, you’ll be listening to new age music and snuggling with a kitty while you’re sleeping. If you’re snoring loud enough to wake up the whole household, you too will want to undergo a sleep study. Read at your own risk.

Five days after my 31st birthday, I finally had the sleep study that I’ve been meaning to do since forever. I filled out a questionnaire describing my symptoms (snoring, waking up drained, lack of motivation, etc.) and the doctor said they were all consistent with sleep apnea and being a night owl. In order to combat the night owl syndrome, I’ve been waking up earlier in the morning with no excuses. The first week it was 10:30, the next week it was 10:00, the next it was 9:30, and from this point forward, it will be 9:00. It seemed like I was having more energy, but I was still taking naps in the middle of the day that lasted hours.

A few days ago, I took a home sleep test where I wore a heart monitor around my chest, had tubes in my nose, and a patch around my finger. If my bed was capable of spinning, I would be able to empathize with Crazy K from “Tales from the Hood”. All joking aside, the equipment was pretty goddamn uncomfortable to wear to bed and I never got a good night’s sleep. I went to bed at one in the morning and took the gear off at five. Despite only wearing the gear for four hours, the heart monitor was still able to get a definitive result.

Later that morning, I had a weird ass dream where Smokey was kidnapped Final Fight style. There were grizzly bears in my backyard, but I don’t know how they fit into the dream. I got out of bed and scoured the neighborhood for Smokey while trying to blast a confession out of everybody with an energy shotgun. Nobody confessed and I couldn’t find Smokey, so I wrote a heavy metal song about this incident called “Scour”. I couldn’t remember the lyrics when I woke up. Otherwise, I would have written and posted it to my social media accounts. It was a damn good song if I do say so myself.

A few days later, I get a call from the doctor in charge of my sleep study saying he has the results of the home test. Not only do I have a bad case of sleep apnea, but it was worse than he expected. He ordered a CPAP machine for me to use at home for thirty days. I have yet to pick up the machine, but it’ll definitely happen. My mom’s friend from high school Sandy uses one and she sleeps very soundly at night. Hopefully, it’ll give me the same amount of energy.

This past Monday and Tuesday, I spent most of the day helping my family move a bunch of heavy crap out of their storage locker and into our garage. After both sessions of moving, I felt so exhausted that I took a five hour nap. No creative work got done during those days, which I will talk about in further detail in the next few sections of this journal.


Before the contest in which I posted “Zion Heart” ended, I told the WSS that I wanted to take a one-week vacation from the next contest so that I could catch up on my backburner creative projects, which included editing the shit out of Poison Tongue Tales, beta-reading for my Deviant Art bestie Zero Urrea, building a WWE Lego set that I got for my birthday, and catching up on watching the last few episodes of NCIS: Los Angeles. I also planned on catching up with reading the “Final Curtain” stories and voting for my favorite one. But like I said, the last few days have been exhausting for me, more so than usual, so I can’t work under those tired conditions. Hopefully, the next few days will be more productive. It’s probably best that I opted out of this week’s contest since the topic was “Game of Thrones”. I’ve never watched that show or read the book a day in my life, so I would be flying blind the whole time. Plus, there aren’t any story ideas in my archives that could take “Game of Thrones” as wordplay. A game and a throne? That’s two prompts in one. What am I supposed to do with them? Sorry if I sound like a whiny bitch. That wasn’t my intention. I’m just sleepy today from all the heavy lifting and getting up early in the morning.


“We don’t need no education. We don’t need no thought control. No dark sarcasm in the classroom. Teacher, leave them kids alone. Hey! Teacher! Leave them kids alone! All in all, you’re just another brick the wall. All in all, you’re just another brick in the wall.”

-Pink Floyd singing “Another Brick in the Wall, Pt. 2”


It’s funny that I should randomly select those lyrics from my quotes archives, because “Zion Heart” is about Roger Waters and his “controversial” statements about Israel. It also takes place in a high school, so there’s an added bonus. I swear this is just a coincidence. Maybe. It could be. I don’t know. Anyways, we have ears, say cheers!

Friday, June 24, 2016

Zion Heart

“Ladies and gentlemen, our next act for the Central River High year-end talent show is a classic rock acoustic guitar piece. Please put your hands together for Miss Eleanor Paris!”

From behind the curtain, hearing Mr. Jeremy Land’s voice on the microphone accompanied by applauding hands sent chills through Eleanor’s body. She thought back to all of the times older kids shoved her against lockers and called her sexist names. She thought back to all of the teachers who doubted her guitar-playing abilities. And now here they all were to see what she was made of.

The redheaded, beige dress-wearing Eleanor took a deep breath to calm her nerves and treaded through the curtain to take her seat on the stool. She took a moment to survey the crowd before her. Some of the boys were chuckling silently and pointing at her. Some of the girls put on their best bitch faces with their arms folded. Another deep breath later and it was show time.

She rested her acoustic guitar on her lap and adjusted the microphone to her height before she started strumming away. She was gentle with every chord, almost putting her worst critics in a siren’s trance. And when she sang her lines, she had a voice of pure angelic gold.

The child lay in the starlit night. Safe in the glow of his Donald Duck light. How strange to choose to end a life. How strange to choose to kill a child. Hoover, Blaupunkt, Nissan Jeep, Nike, Addidas, Lacoste and cheaper brands. Cadillac, Amtrak, gasoline, diesel. Our standard of living, could this be a reason…that we would choose to kill the child? That we would choose to kill the child?”

Those dark and heartbreaking lyrics put thoughtful frowns on the faces of her audience. No more were they giggling and pointing. Eleanor had these dopey teenagers at full attention. She strummed her chords with even more passion than before only to find her microphone silenced as she sang the second verse. She patted the microphone head a few times and then pounded it with her fist to try to get it working again. The once doubtful students were now in shock.

“I assure you, Miss Paris, that there is absolutely nothing wrong with your microphone.” There was nothing wrong with Principal Gary Weinberg’s microphone either as he sat in the back of the auditorium with a disgusted look on his pudgy face.

“However!” he said with a booming voice in his Jewish accent. “There is something wrong with that song you’re singing! For all of our younger students who didn’t live with this kind of music, that song was written by former Pink Floyd bassist Roger Waters! His recent comments in the news about the Jewish people reek of racism and hatred! This school prides itself on its anti-discrimination policies! Because you, Miss Paris, have played a song by a raging bigot with the intent to incite trouble, you by proxy are in violation of those rules! Get off the stage! As a matter of fact, get out of my school!”

The student audience went silent as Eleanor ducked her head in shame and shed silent tears. She didn’t want to appear weak in front of the same people who put her down so many times. She wanted to get up from her stool and hide in a corner somewhere, but her legs were shaking with anxiety.

The dark haired, purple dress shirt and jeans-wearing Mr. Land approached the stage and gave Eleanor a gentle hug to try and comfort her. All it did was make the tears pour like a flooding rainstorm. “It’s okay, Eleanor. It’s okay. I’m here for you.”

Mr. Land pounded the microphone until it started working again. With a stern look on his face and his finger pointed at Principal Weinberg, he ripped into him with, “As a history and political science teacher, I thought I should correct you on something. If you actually paid attention to Roger Waters’ comments, he was attacking the Israeli government for their treatment of the Palestinians. It had nothing to do with Jewish people in general and certainly had nothing to do with little old you, Principal Weinberg! And quite frankly, I agree with what Roger Waters has said!”

Principal Weinberg laughed in jest and said, “Oh, this is rich. You’re actually debating me on this. You think you know more about my culture than I do.” Gary’s face turned serious when he said, “The fact that you’re even arguing this with me is hysterical. Actually, there’s nothing funny about it. It’s disgusting. It’s disgraceful. It’s unbecoming of someone like you, Mr. Land, who’s supposed to have an intricate knowledge about worldwide cultures!”

Eleanor held her hand up like she would if she wanted to be called on in class. She weakly said, “Um, excuse me, Mr. Weinberg, but this isn’t about…”

“Shut up, Miss Paris!” yelled the Jewish Principal as he stood up and pointed a commanding finger at her. “I’ve said pretty much everything I wanted to say to you! Now take your guitar and play that vile racist crap somewhere else!”

“Don’t you talk to her like that!” shouted Jeremy. “You never talk to your students that way! And by the way, if you’ve actually paid attention to anything Roger Waters has done over the course of his life, you’d know that you’re reminding everyone of how depressing your school system has become! Do you know why he says, ‘We don’t need no education?’ It’s because people like you make school a dangerous place to go! These students depend on you for guidance and wisdom! They don’t want to be talked down to by a power hungry, bottom feeding snake in the grass!”

That last line got a round of applause by the student audience while Gary Weinberg smiled sarcastically and shook his head. “You guys like that?” The audience cheered louder. “You want him to keep going?” They cheered even louder. “Well, he’s not going to do that! You’re fired, Jeremy!” The audience went silent and formed frowns on their faces. “As the Principal of this school, it’s my job to keep order around here! Are you surprised by the fact that I fired an insubordinate employee? You kids are lucky that the worst that happens to you is detention! In the real world, if you don’t conform to the rules, you sleep on the corner! Get out of here, Jeremy! Out right now!”

Mr. Land, seething with hot rage, threw down his microphone and broke it in two before marching his way down the aisle and through the exit. Before making his departure, he said, “You can take the microphone replacement out of my severance package!” He slammed the door with a thunderous thud.

Eleanor Paris remained sitting on the stage with tears in her eyes, snot in her nose, and a contorted frown on her face. She knew she was next on Weinberg’s shit list, but didn’t have the strength in her convulsing legs to get up and go. The Principal encouraged her with, “Well, what are you waiting for, Miss Paris? Get going! The final curtain has dropped on this talent show! Move it!”

She stood up and staggered off the stage, tripping many times in her high-heeled shoes. There were times when she just crawled across the floor with the helpless audience watching in pity. This demeaning scenario put her mind back to those dark places. This crippling anxiety was what she felt whenever another student physically or verbally assaulted her. It was what she felt when she doubted her own guitar playing abilities. It was amazing she could hold onto her guitar at all with her shaky fear as she took the walk of shame.

Eleanor Paris was ready to give up the fight against a corrupt system and walk out of the door with tears dominating her beautiful visage. She held onto the door handle for support and took one last sorrowful look at Principal Gary Weinberg’s jowl-covered face. This man had just fired his best teacher, expelled his best student, and silenced an entire crowd of students before turning them into conformist, putty-faced zombies. Come to think of it, what did she have left to lose? Who the hell did this guy think he was? What the fuck was she going to do about it?

She turned to face her tormentor with a different reason for trembling. It wasn’t anxiety; it was anger. Pure, white hot, volcanic anger for the authoritative bullshit that served as Roger Waters’ creative fuel. Eleanor steadied her lips and asked, “What was that thing you said about kids only getting detention for punishment? Well, seeing as how detention and expulsion are really just vacations in disguise and summertime is already here…”

An evil, quivering, rage-induced grin spread across Eleanor Paris’ face as she raised her guitar in the air and smashed it over Gary Weinberg’s head, knocking him to the ground and giving him a reason to abuse a bottle of Advil the next morning. The students and teachers alike gasped in shock while Eleanor shrugged her shoulders and said, “Do we really need an education from a guy who just lost fifty IQ points?” The student audience burst into raucous cheers while the teachers were frozen with fear. 

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Remember Every Scar


I was listening to the rock music station on my TV and they played a song called “Remember Every Scar” by Escape the Fate. The lyrics basically said that every horrible thing you’ve been through will make you a stronger person in the end. We hear this sentiment all the time: “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” Does it? Do people really learn to move on from their traumas or do their demons haunt them forever and either turn them into nasty people or make them consider suicide? Does this mean that in order to get stronger you have to already be strong? Does this mean you can’t learn to rebuild over time because you already have to have those skills?

Personally, I don’t believe it’s a matter of innate strength. It’s more of a matter of feeling overwhelmed and having no solutions. In order to gain that inner strength, there has to be some kind of solution to the emotional demons available. Maybe a person to reach out to? Maybe a quick call to 9-1-1? Maybe what it really takes is a well-placed scream to the sky above. Screaming is good, especially if you’re going to see a heavy metal concert. When people consider suicide as an exit from their problems, it’s not because they’re “weak” or “selfish”. It’s because they genuinely believe there are no solutions to their distress. I threatened suicide twice in my lifetime, once in 2000 when I had PTSD and once in 2003 when I had schizophrenia. My mental illnesses were interfering with my ability to function and I unfairly labeled myself as being stupid because of these distractions.

But does reaching out and finding peace really make a person stronger afterwards? Not always. Remember the serial killer Henry Lee Lucas? His prostitute mother beat the hell out of him and humiliated him when he was a kid. He could have gotten mental health counseling, but instead he grew up to have one of the highest body counts of any serial killer. Would he have turned out that way if he grew up in a loving family? Maybe, maybe not. This is a nature vs. nurture debate waiting to happen.

Then there are people who don’t harm others, but harm themselves instead. They chug alcohol by the bottle and take a large dosage of pills while doing it. They shoot heroin into their arms. They get involved with shady people and allow them into their lives. Coming back from something as intense as this requires rehabilitation, but with our current drug laws, they’ll instead get jail time, which could include mandatory minimum sentences. The solutions are getting less and less available for these poor people and a lot more wounds are about to be opened in addition to coping with the past.

If someone in your life is trapped in a whirlpool of negativity, the best thing you can do for that person is never give up on them. Maybe the correct song isn’t “Remember Every Scar” by Escape the Fate. Maybe it’s “Never Have to Say Goodbye” by Papa Roach. Jacoby Shaddix used drugs and alcohol to escape from his demons, but he eventually found his permanent solution in the form of a best friend who never gave up on him. When the best friend died, Jacoby wrote that song about him. He’ll never have to say goodbye, because the lessons he learned from this best friend were enough of an inspiration for him to get his ducks in a row and continue being a badass rocker.

The phrase “Never give up” sounds cheesy to someone who’s going through a lot of turmoil, but that’s only because he doesn’t hear it enough from people who actually believe in that mantra. The more you believe in never giving up, the more convincing it will sound to someone else when you pour your heart out to them. It’s not just a catchy slogan on John Cena’s T-shirt; it’s something to remember when you feel you’re too close to the edge. There is always a solution to your worries. It’s not always readily available, but if you look for it, you’ll find it. If you’re a friend of mine and you need help, know that I’ll never give up on you. Do you have a dream? I’ll see you through it. We can do this together. We always do. We’ve got ears, say cheers!


This week’s theme is “The Final Curtain”, so I decided that I wanted to enter a story about a school talent show. Holy shit, I write a lot of short stories about school! This one is called “Zion Heart” and it goes like this:


Eleanor Paris, Student Guitarist
Jeremy Land, History Teacher
Gary Weinberg, Jewish Principal

PROMPT CONFORMITY: Eleanor’s “offensive” performance could lead to the final curtain of the talent show.

SYNOPSIS: A year-end talent show is taking place at Central River High School and the final act of the day is Eleanor playing “To Kill the Child” by Roger Waters on her acoustic guitar. Halfway through the song, her microphone is cut off by Principal Weinberg, who sees Roger Waters as anti-Semitic since the former Pink Floyd bassist supports Palestine instead of Israel. Just when Eleanor is about to leave the stage in tears, Mr. Land stands up for her while demonizing Weinberg. Jeremy goes on to say that rock and roll is about artistic freedom and by censoring Eleanor, the Principal is proving Roger Waters right.


My next drawing will be of a character from last week’s short story “Vampire Empire”. It will be of Michael Finn, the vampire warrior who stumbled upon a satanic church for shelter from the sun. For a reference picture, I was thinking something along the lines of Marilyn Manson. Speaking of which…


“If you want to find out who your real friends are, sink the ship. The first ones to jump aren’t your friends.”

-Marilyn Manson-

Friday, June 17, 2016

Vampire Empire

Michael Finn could feel his flesh getting hotter with every passing second. All he wanted was some goddamn shelter from the sunlight. He dashed through the forest at a frenetic pace, jumping over logs and slashing thick foliage out of his way with his razor-sharp claws. A small cave, a hollow log, some dense trees, any one of those things would have been nice to hide out in until daylight passed. His mind raced as fast as his powerful legs, so much so that he almost passed by his one shot at shelter.

He couldn’t see it well in the dim light, but it was a stone building with large double doors and stained glass windows. Without thinking clearly, Michael burst through the double doors with his shoulder and shut them behind him. In the darkness of the church, he was safe. He knelt down and breathed huge sighs of relief while allowing the sweat on his skin to dry up. He stripped off his black leather jacket and laid back first against the cold stones floor. It felt so good against his pale skin. Even his sweaty hair felt like heaven against the cool stones.

Several flames burst to life and startled Michael enough to leap to his feet in a single bound. Those flames were merely there to light the torches mounted on the side walls. Not only did those torches reveal the wooden pews on either side, but also the devilish and demonic artwork in the stained glass windows. There were ogres chewing off the heads of goats, devils sodomizing angels with their tridents, and hooded snakes devouring the insides of diseased rats, to name a few.

“Where the hell am I?” asked Michael as he looked around with a mixture of confusion and fear.

“That depends on what you’re looking for, my friend,” said a shadowy figure at the podium. He slowly ventured into the light and revealed himself to be a horseshoe-pattern and pony-tail haired priest in black and red robes. He sported a creepy grin and kept his fingers together in a triangle shape. “Welcome to the Church of Satan. My name is Reverend Paul Singer. Technically, the sermon doesn’t start for another hour, but you’re welcome to stay here nonetheless.”

“Um…thanks?” said Michael while shrugging his shoulders.

Paul’s smile widened enough to show his demented dental work as she slowly made his way toward Michael and placed a hand on the young man’s shoulder. “Those are some lovely fangs, my friend,” the devil worshiper said. “I’d kill for a set of those. You must be a creature of the night. Your kind is always welcome in my house of worship.”

“Uh, listen, I’ve got to get going now…”

“Nonsense! Stay with me for a few hours! We can talk all about the dark magic that surrounds us all. We can talk about your new role in the Church of Satan. Vampires are especially important to our cause,” said Paul. He wrapped his arm around Michael’s shoulder and led the shaking nerve-wreck to the darker end of the church.

The vampire reluctantly sat down at the front-most pew and gazed around at the artwork in the stained glass windows one last time. “Lovely place you’ve got here, Reverend,” he said both sarcastically and fearfully.

“Thank you for the kind words. This church has been in my family for many generations. I’m surprised it’s holding up as well as it is,” said Paul. He sat down next to Michael with a bottle of red wine in his hands. The demonic priest wrapped his arm around the vampire once more and took a gigantic swig from the bottle. “Mmmm, that’s good shit!”

Reverend Singer looked almost lovingly into Michael Finn’s eyes, making the vampire quiver even harder. Paul said, “It’s no accident that you’ve decided to use my humble church as a place to stay away from the sunlight. Satan brought you into my arms, so I’m going to make sure you’re safe today. But there’s only one thing I ask of you.” Paul leaned closer to Michael and Michael leaned backwards. “Make me into one of your own. I wish to be a creature of the night as well. With that kind of power, I can have total influence over the world. Satan’s way is the only way. What better way to prove my prophecy than with a good set of vampire fangs?”

Michael could feel that evil grin on Paul’s face and it was ripping at his soul like a pack of hellhounds on a wounded angel. The vampire brushed his arms off and jumped away from him. “Listen, man,” he said. “Aside from the fact that you’re creeping me the fuck out right now, I really can’t help you become a vampire. There’s nothing glorious about being one of us. Hiding from sunlight, constantly killing people for fresh blood, staying young while all of your friends get old and die? You’re not going to have influence over your congregation. You’re going to be lonely, just like me. Is that what you really want?”

Paul sighed, stood up, and said, “I suppose not. Maybe there’s something about my teachings that I overlooked. Maybe that’s the answer I needed to hear the most. I was so greedy for power that I…” The Reverend kissed Michael on the mouth and spit a poisonous tablet down his throat in the process.

Aside from reaching the height of his fear, Michael clutched his throat and coughed incessantly. Paul pulled out a hammer and silver stake from his robes and nailed both of the vampire’s hands to the wooden pew. Blood flowed from his hands like a raging river. The combination of coughing and screaming brought up red bile from Michael’s throat as he was now spitting chunks on the floor. Once he was done gurgling his life juices, he breathed in a raspy tone and looked down on the stone floor, purposefully avoiding eye contact with his creepy captor.

Paul grabbed Michael by the hair and lifted his head up while glaring at him with the most sinister, angry smile. With gritted teeth, he said, “Now you listen, you little shit! I offered you a place to stay out of the sunlight, so you’re going to give me payment whether you want to or not! What shall I do to you next, little boy?! Shall I sacrifice you?! Shall I throw you out into the sunlight?! Or maybe…”

Paul retried a ball gag from his robes and shoved it in Michael’s mouth. The vampire let out a muffled cry as the priest tightly strapped the sex toy around his head. Michael’s weakness from the poison and bloody pain from his nailed hands left him in a doubled over position over the pew. The sinister minister’s smile was even wider and creepier than before with his jaw fully clamped.

Still with gritted teeth, he said, “You’re going to give me your vampire powers whether you want to or not!” Paul reached around for Michael’s belt and unloosened it so that he could pull his pants down and expose his posterior. Paul then clutched at his own robe and ripped it in half to reveal a hairy, muscled body underneath only covered by leopard print underwear. “I’m going to enjoy every minute of your sweet little ass!”

With that much fear built up in his system, Michael’s short burst of adrenaline overrode the poison in his blood as he yanked on his hands to try and free them. The instant Paul put his hands on the vampire’s butt, Mr. Finn threw a back kick and nailed the priest in his testicles. Paul let out a screech of pain and doubled over before plopping to the stone ground below.

Michael used his remaining adrenaline to tug at his hands once again. The more he struggled, the more he bled. He even fought back the urge to vomit with the orange ball in his mouth. He couldn’t keep it down any longer. With one powerful rip, he pulled his hands free from the silver stake and chewed through the ball with his powerful fangs. It was at that moment that the poisonous vomit flowed from his mouth and the excessive blood drooled from his broken hands.

Michael Finn exhaustedly dropped to the floor, the coldness felt good on his sweaty, bloody skin. This place would have made an excellent hotel if it didn’t have a creep running it.

Speak of the devil, pun definitely intended, Paul grabbed the limp vampire by the hair and pulled him up once again. There was no smile this time, only an angry burst of threatening words. “I am sick and fucking tired of your rebellious shit! I should sodomize you on the altar right now! I should crucify you out on the front lawn for all of my worshipers to see! I should set you on fire with these torches! I should…”

Michael used his last burst of energy to bite into Paul’s wrist and drink his blood like a keg of beer. He paid no mind to the Reverend’s agonizing wails. Instead the vampire drank like a desert traveler dying of thirst. The cool coppery blood felt good on his aching throat. His stomach was soothed from the excessive vomiting. His hands began to heal until their wounds were closed over. The orgasmic dinner was over quicker than it started, so both Michael and Paul plopped on the cold stone floor unconscious.

After feeling refreshed from this thirty minute power nap, Paul began to open his bloodshot eyes. His pain was soothed. His wrist wound had healed over. He even pressed his thumb against his teeth to see if he had vampire fangs. They were so sharp that they drew a tiny drop of blood from his thumb.

Paul was laughing like a lunatic as he slowly rose to his feet. He held his hands out Jesus-style and spun around in happiness. He dropped to his knees, still laughing, still wide-eyed, and still grinning like a monster. “It finally happened! Satan will be so proud of me when he sees my new powers! I shall live forever in your grace, fiery one!”

“You want fire? You got it!” said a familiar voice. The shadowy figure opened the front door and stood behind it to protect himself from the glaring sunlight. Paul yelled, “No!” in classic cinematic fashion as the sunlight set him ablaze and reduced his body to a crispy black corpse. He was screaming, shaking, and spinning around during his execution. He wanted to join Satan in hell and now he had his wish.

The door was slammed shut and the church was dark once again. The instigator, Michael Finn, stood over the burned carcass and said, “I told you being a vampire sucked. Church has been cancelled, you sick prick!”

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

"A Lion's Tale" by Chris Jericho

BOOK TITLE: A Lion’s Tale: Around the World in Spandex
AUTHOR: Chris Jericho (with Peter Thomas Fornatale)
YEAR: 2007
GENRE: Nonfiction
SUBGENRE: Pro-Wrestling Memoir

From humble beginnings in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada to landing his dream job in the WWE, Chris Jericho details the many hardships and hilarious moments he went through on his quest to be a well-known professional wrestler. As a child, he would watch Hulk Hogan, The British Bulldogs, and the Hart Family on TV and in the arenas dominating their competition and putting on a show. This prompted Jericho to want to train at the infamous Hart Dungeon, where students were pushed to their breaking point with painful submission holds and wrestling tactics. Jericho would continue to gain experience around the world in places like Mexico, Japan, Germany, and eventually in the good old US of A. It was only a matter of time until the Titan Tron counted down the seconds before Y2J’s official entrance into the WWE. A legend was born that night.

If you’ve ever wanted to know what the wrestling business was like behind the curtain, Chris Jericho was more than happy to tell you in his memoir. Every aspiring wrestler had to have an extreme amount of physical and mental toughness in order to take as many athletic risks as they do. Jericho didn’t even have a breaking point when it came to the abuse he took. Knowing how to wrestle was only the first half. The second half of what the industry entails is having the business sense and creativity to negotiate yourself into winning predicaments and having a good gimmick to go with them. Chris Jericho comes off as an encyclopedia of this kind of knowledge, which is one of the reasons he’s a respected legend in the industry today.

Of course, the other thing that made this book memorable was his quick-paced, humorous writing style. He can get away with using pop culture references and one-liner jokes, because neither of those two things bogs down the storytelling. Even the laziest reader could get through all five-hundred plus pages of this book and feel like a champion afterwards. Chris Jericho knows what the people want and it’s a chuckle-worthy and delightfully-honest memoir. An example of his sense of humor comes when he gets in a brawl with a former convict and says, “I’m going to throw hands with you Winnipeg style!” What the hell does that even mean? Yes, the ex-convict was laughing too. If the reader was to flip to a random page in the book, he would find a lighthearted line somewhere in there, even during some of the dour moments of the book. Never a dull moment!

The only gripe I have about this book is so minor that it doesn’t take away from the four stars I plan on giving it. I would have liked to see him go into a little more detail about some of his wrestling matches. I’m sure a few descriptions of the choreography and storytelling wouldn’t have slowed the pace down at all. When I read Ronda Rousey’s memoir earlier this year, she went into full detail about how she beat the crap out of her opponents on the judo mats and in the MMA cage. While Chris Jericho could easily be just as descriptive, it’s not the biggest flaw this book has. In fact, any reader will enjoy it no matter what walk of life he comes from.

Do you like stories about overcoming adversity, toughing it out, and making dreams come true in the end? Look no further than “A Lion’s Tale” by Chris Jericho. It’s fast, intelligent, and hilarious throughout the whole thing. The sorrowful moments are few and far between, but they’re still important to this man’s story and the writing about them was executed perfectly. There are a few people who would be uncomfortable with Chris Jericho constantly praising Chris Benoit (a wrestler who murdered his wife and son before committing suicide in 2007). However, as the author’s not clearly states, this book was published before Chris Benoit’s double murder-suicide, so Jericho had no way of knowing what the hell was going to happen. If you’re really bothered that much Benoit’s presence in the book, toughen up like Chris Jericho has throughout his career. This is an awesome book and you shouldn’t expect anything less from the former six-time WWE Champion and nine-time Intercontinental Champion.

Evil Men

She doesn’t owe you her body or mind
A definitive no is all that you’ll find
But you transform from man into monster
Your next move is an act of dishonor
You take everything she has in one night
Her virginity, her soul, and her inner light
It’s time to make an example out of you
Your punishment for rape will reign true

Evil men walk this scorched earth
Evil men give demons their birth
Evil men get away with everything
Evil men manipulate the evidence

A slap on the wrist, a suspended sentence
Your victim is dishonorably mentioned
You used every excuse for wicked abuse
The raging public now has a broken fuse
Alcohol, clothing, flirtatious behavior
You act like you’re some sexual savior
You are a threat to women and children
If you don’t traumatize them, you kill them

Evil men don’t take responsibility
Evil men claim so-called divinity
Evil men walk away with smiles
Evil men cover up their guile

The gravy train has made its last stop
Take your luggage and get the fuck off
You’re a dead man in the very worst sense
Your assassin doesn’t work for dollars and cents

You’ve effectively placed a bounty on your head
For all of the violence and the shit you’ve said
Revenge is the greatest thing since sliced bread
Bang, bang, motherfucker! Your ass is dead!

Evil men will get what they deserve
Evil men won’t be able to swerve
Evil men get locked in a cell
Evil men spend their lives in hell
So this is how the story will end
You have no allies, family, or friends
Take your medicine like a man

Your evil ass is forever damned

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Quicksand Dance Floor

When you stand next to her, you start to shiver
You feel the coldness of a raging white river
You feel the illness of a rollercoaster rider
You feel the depression, you’re sick and tired
Shrug it off; it’s just a first world problem
You and the world have nothing in common
Put it in perspective, because it works every time
Ignore the heartache and the tears in your eyes

This is your life for the next thirty years
This is your sadness for the next hundred tears
Welcome to the quicksand dance floor, my friend
You lost your soul to a coming of age trend

You missed your chance to be a bona fide stud
Now everyone is laughing at you like Elmer Fudd
Dante could never survive this brutal comedy
You could never survive this mental sodomy
You kick yourself repeatedly for never being brave
To your own disaster, you are the humble slave
Don’t worry, you wouldn’t want her anyways
She’ll scream in your ear every night and every day

This is your life until you’re old and cold
You always did as your detractors told
Welcome to the quicksand dance floor, old man
The corner is there, do something with your hands

It’s too late to take her hand
It’s too late to join her band
It’s too late to rise from the sand
Your magnum opus was critically panned

Turn back the clock to the very last hour
Before you kicked the bouquet and became sour
A simple question for the lovely lady
Yes or no? You could settle for maybe

This is your life with your newfound wife
You’re wearing a suit, she’s wearing white
Turn your back to the quicksand dance floor

Run wild and free while asking for more

Current Events


You would think that with all of the political poetry and short stories I post that I would be more active when it comes to talking about current events. Truth is I don’t like talking about current events at all. I might make a few posts on my friends and family’s Face Book memes, but that’s about it. It’s not because I don’t care about tragedies. It’s because if I do talk about them, I’m going to sound like a ticking time bomb instead of a reasonable human being. A lot of these news stories make me angry, but not nearly as angry as the disgusting reactions to them on the internet and in the media.

I don’t intentionally engage people on the internet about recent stories because I’d rather people learn to get along than argue furiously with each other. Whenever there’s a story about gun violence in America, we don’t all come together and be the good neighbors we should be. Instead, we get all fired up about the second amendment, free states, and all this other ridiculous nonsense that has nothing to do with love or understanding each other. After I posted a story called “Putting the Ass in Assault Rifle” online, you should all know by now how I feel about gun control, but that’s not the point of this journal.

For just one moment, can we all come together and be friends and neighbors to each other instead of pushing and shoving to be the loudest person in the group? Is it too much to ask to give each other hugs and hair fuzzles, maybe even a few kisses? Am I really demanding a lot out of you when I ask that you pet your kitties and belly rub your puppies? Positivity isn’t just a new age buzz word; it’s a way of life for those who refuse to become bitter at the world over news stories.

Being positive doesn’t mean we should feel happy for doing nothing. Being positive means we have the power to change the world for the better. You don’t have to be Superman or Batman in order to change things. Hell, you don’t even have to be a character from Mr. Robot. Even the smallest gestures can have the biggest impact. You could donate money to the victims’ families, whether it’s ten dollars or five hundred. You could post heartfelt and honest songs on your Face Book page. You could give a hug to someone who has been deeply affected by the tragedy. No one person can do everything, but everybody can do something. If everybody does something positive on a regular basis, that’s a lot of good deeds that the world will remember for almost eternity.

We’ve got ears, say cheers! I say that all the time whenever I write a journal entry. I stole it from a Disney-themed kids show called Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. Such simple words are one of my small contributions to a happier world. It’s microscopic at best, but as long as one person gets the message, it’ll spread to everyone eventually, maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but it’ll happen one of these days.


This past Saturday, I was expected to see Slipknot and Marilyn Manson in concert at the White River Amphitheater in Auburn, WA. Unfortunately, the concert date was moved to August 11th because the lead singer for Slipknot, Corey Taylor, had to have emergency spinal surgery. Keeping with the theme of positivity, instead of complaining about a postponed concert, I’m going to wish Corey Taylor a speedy recovery. I’m not sure if he’ll want hair fuzzles, though. Hehe!


For this week’s contest, the admins decided to use one of my prompt suggestions, which I’m thankful for. The theme is “Stained Glass” and my story is called “Vampire Empire”. It goes like this:


Michael Finn, Vampire Warrior
Paul Singer, Devil Worshiper

PROMPT CONFORMITY: The satanic church has stained glass windows.

SYNOPSIS: Michael needs a place to stay during the day so that he doesn’t burn up. Paul offers him sanctuary in his satanic church, but on one condition. Reverend Singer wants Michael to turn him into a vampire so that he can have the powers necessary to take over the world and spread satanic culture wherever he goes. Michael tries to explain to Paul that being a vampire isn’t as glorious or powerful as it seems. The reverend gets offended to where he threatens to kick his guest out of the church.


Up next is the eponymous King Blizzard, who will look a lot like Sabertooth from the X-Men series because I used an action figure of him to represent that character when I played with my childhood friend Lance. Over the decades, Blizzard went from being an indestructible giant to a guy who sat on a pile of furniture and punctured his intestines. Ouch!


Q: What do you call a fuzzy doll modeled after Daniel Bryan?
A: B-Plush Player.

Friday, June 10, 2016

The Cryomancer

Olivia Snow could feel the frozen energy surging through her body. A cool breeze blew past her and little snowflakes were descending upon her. To this elf wizard dressed in black ninja gear, this form of magic was known as cryomancy. She had spent tireless years perfecting this beautiful, yet deadly art. With the eight-foot tall fat-ass obnoxious ogre standing in front of her with a bloody smile on his face, Olivia knew she had to be ready to use it at a moment’s notice.

The ogre swung its mighty club down upon Olivia, but the elf cartwheeled out of the way and allowed the heavy weapon to create a spider web crack in the stone ground. The ogre continued to swing with wild rage and unquenchable bloodlust, smashing down trees all in the name of trying to hit this swift ice maiden. She flipped and flopped away from every powerful strike.

When it was her turn to strike, she extended her fingertips and blasted the gigantic weapon with an icy mist. The weapon went from being a gigantic popsicle to diamond dust as it shattered after the ogre dropped it. The monstrous warrior flexed his muscles and roared to the sky in his loudest voice.

Olivia shook her head no at the raving beast and blasted him with a gigantic glacial spike, piercing him through his black heart. Even then the ogre was able to rip out the spike and scream in fury some more. Even though he was bleeding profusely from his chest, he yelled out, “Is that the best you’ve got, woman?! You’re a dead bitch!”

The ogre stampeded his way toward the now vulnerable cryomancer, creating impressions and craters in the ground with every thunderous step. Olivia flipped backwards onto a treetop and rained down smaller glacial spikes upon her opponent. This time he bled even more profusely and his tough guy mentality couldn’t save him from becoming a limp and lifeless corpse on the ground. Once the ogre hit the floor and his blood splattered everywhere, his body crumbled into snowflakes and the wind blew him away.

Olivia Snow sat down on the tree branch and breathed a heavy sigh of relief. She was so exhausted that she could have fallen asleep in that tree. And then the familiar pounding footsteps rang out across the forest and the elf wizard opened her dreary eyes to see at least five more of these hideous ogres lusting for her death. “You’ve got to be shitting me,” she said to herself. She even stood up on the tree branch and yelled to the sky, “Julian, what the hell is wrong with you! Give me a goddamn break!”

In a small apartment in Hollywood, California, Julian Kane took a break from writing his epic screenplay at the computer and asked, “Did that bitch really just talk to me?” He tried to shake off the tiredness in his eyes and even slapped his own face for good measure. The harder the screenwriter tried to wake up, the more he slacked backwards and snored.

After letting out a ferocious yawn, the scraggly haired and pajama-dressed Julian dragged himself out of his seat and headed toward the kitchen to make a pot of coffee. He looked blurrily at the clock on the stove and said, “No fucking way” when he realized he had been writing and editing that script from the early morning to the dark of night.

He would have gladly gone to bed if it wasn’t for the fact that this movie script was due tomorrow morning at the director’s office. Instead he made his pot of coffee like he set out to do. When he poured it in a cup and tried to drink it however, it was colder than a pint of Ben & Jerry’s. It even triggered sensitivities in his teeth. “Goddamn, man, I need to get to bed,” Julian said to himself. He absentmindedly threw the cold coffee into the sink and shattered his mug.

Mr. Kane got to his bedroom doorway and sobbed to himself when he realized he couldn’t go to bed until his movie script was finished. What broke him out of his sobbing spell was looking out the window and seeing a snowstorm outside. That’s right: a snowstorm in Hollywood, California in June. “What the fuck is going on here?” he said.

Julian trudged back to his computer to put the finishing touches on his masterpiece. He heard a familiar feminine voice ask him, “Do you really think pitting that many ogres against me will make me the strong feminine hero everybody wants to see? There’s a difference between paying your dues and being screwed over. Nobody will want to watch this movie.”

“Jesus, lady, what the fuck do you know about screenwriting? It’s an art form. Besides, if you beat all those ogres, I’m sure…” Julian’s dialogue was cut off by him chattering his teeth. “Goddamn, it’s cold in here.”

“Yes, Julian, I agree. I am after all a cryomancer. That is what your movie will eventually be called, right? How do you think it’s going to do at the box office if I somehow get a fluke victory in an fight a clearly can’t win? All the ice magic in the world isn’t going to save me from getting stepped on or pounded into the ground. Then again, what kind of a hero would I be if I could just the entire world’s population into ice cream sandwiches?”

Julian formed a confused look on his face and asked, “Wait a minute, why am I talking to my own character? You’re not even real. Besides, you don’t get to question me and my decision making. You’re a character. You do what you’re told and that’s it!”

One of the windows in his apartment shattered and snow began covering his carpeted floor. Julian Kane looked on with saucer-like eyes and a trembling jaw. “No! This isn’t real! There’s no such thing as cryomancy! It’s all bullshit! You hear that, Olivia? You’re no different from Pinocchio or the Three Little Pigs! You’re a cartoon and nothing more!”

His front door was the next thing to burst open and the snowstorm followed, turning the entire apartment into a winter wonderland. Standing in the doorway with glowing blue eyes, black ninja garb, and blue energy forming at her fingertips was none other than Olivia Snow. She pointed at the convulsing Julian and said, “You’re no screenwriter and you will not be the author to my pain!”

From her fingertips, she shot a tightly-packed snowball and pinged Julian in his stomach, causing him to double over and clutch his wound. Another snowball flew his direction and hit him in the shoulder. Another came and hit him in the leg. The final blow was smack dab in the middle of his forehead, which caused him to flip around and land flat on his back. His breathing was shallow and his vision was fading.

Olivia knelt down beside his victim and whispered in his ear, “You’re the hero of my screenplay now. If you can get through this, you can get through anything. So what are you going to do about all of this? Are you going to pay your dues or are you going to break like a little bitch?” The elf bit down hard on Julian’s earlobe and drew blood.

That was the sharp pain that awakened the screenwriter from his dream while hunched over his keyboard. Julian’s neck and back were sore from the awkward sleeping position and his eyes were blurry as he tried to read his computer screen. “Screw the director. I’m going to bed. This is bullshit.”

Julian stood up and fished around in his pajama pocket for his smart phone. As soon as his eyes adjusted, he speed dialed the number for his director. He wasn’t picking up, so the screenwriter left a zombie-like message. “Hey. It’s Julian Kane. Listen, I’m not going to be able to get you the script for The Cryomancer tomorrow. I’ve been exhausted lately trying to figure out my own plot holes and shit. Well, that and doing all of these media tours you keep booking me for. I’m going to bed for the evening. You’ll get your movie script in a couple of days, maybe even a week. If you don’t like the timetable, then quit exhausting the shit out of me. Bye!”

Mr. Kane tossed his smart phone on the couch and did his zombie walk back to his bedroom. He didn’t bother brushing his teeth or taking his medication. He just plopped on the bed and covered himself up.

He felt an icy hand on his shoulder and a gentle whisper in his ear from a familiar feminine voice. “You made the right decision, honey.”

“You’re damn right I did. Wait a minute, what?” said Julian as he flipped over to see who was in his bed. It was nobody. His mind was playing tricks on him again even when he agreed to go to sleep. He tiredly laughed it off and covered up his head. He snored and drooled like a tranquilized animal, though he kept wondering why his ear was scarring over and why there was blood on his pillow.

The snow continued to fall over the magical city of Hollywood. Magic? What kind of magic? It wouldn’t happen to be cryomancy, would it?

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Dark Fantasy Gimmicks in Wrestling


There actually used to be a time in the history of professional wrestling where everybody took it seriously and didn’t question its fictitious nature. When Hulk Hogan body slammed Andre the Giant, it was a proud American moment. When the N.W.O. took over WCW, it felt like being a part of the battlefield. Suspending disbelief was as easy with professional wrestling as it was with movies and television shows. And then the internet boomed with popularity and everyone was finding out wrestling’s dirty little secrets. Chris Jericho says in his first memoir “A Lion’s Tale” that being a wrestling fan in the 1980’s is different from being one in the 2000’s.

Before the internet became as popular as it is now, were dark fantasy gimmicks to blame for the inability to suspend disbelief? Many wrestling insiders thought so. In 1992, a voodoo priest named Papa Shango used to cast spells on his opponents and make them shake and vomit into unconsciousness. Instead of being feared by adults, he was given the following awards from the Wrestling Observer Newsletter that year: Worst Gimmick, Most Embarrassing Wrestler, and Worst Feud of the Year (vs. The Ultimate Warrior).

Then again, the WON is the same publication that gave The Undertaker the Best Gimmick award from the years 1990 to 1994 for being an undead wrestler. We all know zombies don’t exist in the real world (unless they’re extremely tired or high on drugs), but how was The Undertaker more believable and likeable than Papa Shango? This is a guy who made lightning crash all around him, who put his opponents in body bags and caskets, and teleported to the ring at will when the lights went out.

What’s my opinion of occult gimmicks in wrestling? You should all know by now just from reading my stories that I love the dark fantasy genre and therefore have no problem with seeing those kinds of characters in wrestling. Yes, wrestling is supposed to be believable, but that doesn’t mean it always is. If it works in movies like Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and the upcoming Warcraft, why can’t it work in WWE? Kayfabe died a long time ago when Scott Hall, Kevin Nash, Triple H, and Shawn Michaels hugged each other in Madison Square Garden back in the 1990’s.

You’re probably going to think I’m crazy for saying this, but I actually enjoyed the Stardust gimmick. He came to the ring with silver paint on his face, a black jumpsuit, and a red cape with spikes for shoulder pads. That’s some serious dark fantasy shit right there! Yet in 2015, the readership of the WON voted Stardust as having the Worst Gimmick of that year. Cody Rhodes got so upset with portraying Stardust that he recently asked for his release from WWE and was granted it along side his wife Eden Stiles. Poor Cody. Poor, poor Cody.

And then you have some more dark fantasy creative fuel with The Wyatt Family, a backwoods cult consisting of 300 lb. giants with scraggly beards and dingy clothes. I guess The Wyatt Family was a little more realistic than other dark fantasy gimmicks, because cults do exist in this world. Maybe that’s why The Wyatt Family won Best Gimmick in 2013. But then why would Bray Wyatt, the leader of the group, get nominated for a Worst Gimmick award in 2014? Wasn’t he doing the same things he was doing a year earlier?

I don’t see why wrestling fans get their knickers in a twist over dark fantasy gimmicks in the WWE or any other organization. It didn’t bother them when they were playing Diablo II on their computers. It didn’t bother them when they were gathering around the table playing D&D and eating Doritos. It won’t bother anybody who eventually goes to see the new Warcraft movie, which I’m dying to see. So why should it be bothersome in WWE? We know it’s fiction, so why not go the full nine?

Combining dark fantasy elements with professional wrestling is basically what I’ve done when I wrote and published “Occupy Wrestling”. Mitch McLeod, a professional wrestler with the body of Mike Haggar and the hair of Goku, kicks the asses of and gets his ass kicked by skeletons, ogres, orcs, demons, devils, and even a group of hooded mask-wearers called The Snakes of Jehovah. I actually had a beta reader named Layla who told me that combining urban fantasy with pro-wrestling was a bad idea. I had two chick lit-reading women give my book a two-star rating. Thank god I have people like Marie Krepps (Babe-a-Licious Mondo), Edward Davies (The Delightful Brit), and Andy Peloquin (The Kick-Ass Canadian) who believe in me and my ideas.

In fact, now that I’m almost finished editing the shit out of Occupy Wrestling with Marie, she’s given me some valuable advice that I’ll definitely take to heart. Once it’s been republished, I should market it to people who are both wrestling and fantasy fans, who will most likely be males ages 20-29. I may have to search far and wide for these people, but they’re worth finding, because they’ll love what I’ve got. Thank you for everything you’ve done for me, Marie. It’s a debt I can never repay in my lifetime.

So what about it, Dave Meltzer (the Editor at Large for the Wrestling Observer Newsletter)? What awards will you give Mitch McLeod? Wrestler of the year? Feud of the year (vs. Keegan Day)? Dare I say, Most Overrated or Worst Gimmick? I sincerely hope the newest version of Occupy Wrestling makes it in the mailboxes of some of these wrestling insiders. They may be harder to get a hold of than the 20 to 29-year-old males, but it would satisfy my curiosity at least. It would be worth it to hear Jim Cornette scream in his Kentucky drawl. Hehe! We’ve got ears, say cheers!


The new contest is already here and I’m damn well ready for it. Speaking of dark fantasy, I have yet another short story ready with the suffix “mancer” in the title. The theme this week is “Dark Truth” and my story will be called “The Cryomancer” (a wizard who controls ice). It goes like this:


Julian Kane, Human Screenwriter
Olivia Snow, Elf Cryomancer

PROMPT CONFORMITY: After being exhausted by his relentless work schedule, Julian’s fried brain doesn’t now what the dark truth is anymore.

SYNOPSIS: Julian’s latest movie script features Olivia as a fictional character as she does battle with an army of orcs. In the middle of writing, Olivia starts talking to Julian as if she was a real person. The exhausted screenwriter figures that it’s just his mind playing tricks on him, but when it starts hailing outside and his apartment becomes unexplainably cold, he begins to think that maybe Olivia’s requests for a lighter battle schedule seem reasonable.


Continuing with the theme of dark fantasy, my next drawing will be of someone who in no way can cast a decent spell. His weapon of choice is a modified blunderbuss and his diet of choice is meat from the carcasses of the game animals he kills. He is a chubby motherfucker named Joseph Stone and he comes straight from the short story “Unleash the Animal”. Stinger Crushwar may have been the most obnoxious character in that story, but never forget who the real villain is. That’s right, Joseph, I’m looking at you, fat boy!


“All my life they let me know how far I would not go. But inside the beast still grows, waiting, chewing through the ropes. Who are you to change this world? Silly boy! No one needs to hear your words. Let it go. Carnivore! Carnivore! Won’t you come digest me? Take away everything I am. Bring it to an end. Carnivore! Carnivore! Won’t you come and change me? Take away everything I am. Everything I am.”

-Starset singing “Carnivore”-


It’s just a coincidence that the next Dark Fantasy Warrior is a guy who eats too much meat and the lyrics of the day come from a song called “Carnivore”. Then again, I just ate a whole Meat Lover’s Pizza from Pizza Hut earlier today, so maybe it’s not much of a coincidence anymore.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Subway Smackdown

The damage to Venice Reyes’ car was sickening: side view mirrors shattered into pebbles, the windshield reduced to snowflakes, the metal twisted and bent, the tires punctured, and the top of the car caved in completely. What other method of transportation was there to get her to her next modeling gig? As she thought of the ultimate answer, her stomach burned with anxiety and her skin welled up with goose bumps. She had to take the subway train. She threw up in her mouth a little bit at the thought of it.

Venice boarded the train wearing a red cocktail dress and black heels, obviously dressing for the job she had. She wasn’t onboard for a few seconds when the stench finally assaulted her nostrils: monstrous body odor, stale food, vomit, urine, and shit. The sexy model contributed to this mess when she doubled over and threw up bile on the already disgusting floor.

The monsters, orcs, ogres, and goblins riding the train with her laughed like hyenas with sore throats. Venice gave them all a frightened smile as she grabbed onto one of the overhead hand railings, struggling to keep herself standing straight. The subway train lurched forward and the model fell right on her ass into the puddle she puked up. The slimy skinned and diaper odor monsters laughed yet again at her plight, this time causing her to shed a few silent tears.

Venice once again grabbed hold of the railing and managed to stay up this time. Her dress was a disaster. How was she supposed to do a convincing photo shoot with her clothes in such horrible condition? She needed the money, smashed car aside. If only she could have caught the bastard who did that to her vehicle. Venice was a lover, not a fighter, but even she would have been capable of reducing a punk ass vandal to blood chunks if given the opportunity. Damn that vandal and damn this subway!

After a few minutes of being lost in her own thoughts, she was accosted by a throaty laugh behind her. She begged whatever god was up there that the monster wasn’t interested in her. She slowly turned around with tears in her eyes and snot in her nose to see a seven foot tall piece of bloody meat named Khan Shou, a famous boxer she had seen on television a few times when there was nothing else on.

Television didn’t do Khan justice. Venice looked like a small child standing next to him. His shark-toothed grin sent chills up her spine. His swollen red body was dripping with green slime. Venice secretly begged for this subway ride to be over, but it was just beginning.

“You must be Venice Reyes. Yeah, you’re definitely her! I’m a big fan of your work!” said Khan as he held out a magazine with her on the cover. The publication was covered in red and green goops as well as goop from a more intimate place. “Will you give me an autograph? I’ll pay you whatever you want: fifty credits, a hundred credits, two-hundred credits, hell, I’ll give you my life savings if you’re willing to do a little more for me!” Khan licked his lipless mouth with a combination of hunger and lust.

The model stared at her monstrous assailant with wide eyes, a quivering body, and a terrified smile as she held up her hands defensively and slowly backed away, obviously giving a no answer. As she backpedaled, she tripped over a homeless orc’s legs, prompting the passengers to laugh at her some more and prompting the orc to yell, “Watch it, bitch!”

Venice gently and apologetically giggled at the orc before standing up and stumbling toward the women’s bathroom, slamming the door and locking it tightly. Compared to the outside of the bathroom, this tiny stall smelled like a botanical garden. Venice used this opportunity to take deep breaths in and out and enjoy the beautiful air. She sat down on the toilet shaking and clutching her knees to her chest, still feeling the trauma of riding this subway.

Khan ripped the door off the bathroom and tossed it aside like it was a piece of paper, not caring who he hit with it. Venice screamed in horror as the seven foot creature said to her, “It’s not exactly the mile-high club. More like the six-feet under club. Either way, I’m a happy guy. Come on, pretty girl, what do you say? Are you ready for some goddamn fun?!”

“Hey, shit head!” yelled the homeless orc from before, who was now sporting a giant lump on his forehead. “Watch where you’re throwing that fucking door! You almost gave me a concussion, asshole!”

“Who are you calling an asshole, you queer?!” yelled Khan as he and the orc were pushing and shoving each other with the subway passengers cheering them on like animals.

Venice had spent most of the time covering her face in fear until she saw an opportunity. While Khan was distracted, the model got on her knees and crawled beneath the monster’s oversized legs. She then stood back up and ran towards the back exit of the subway. As Khan yelled for her to get back to where he was, Venice didn’t care if the subway was still in transit. Her modeling gig was over the minute she boarded this god-awful train.

She continued to run until she jumped through the back window and landed on the train tracks. The subway train left her behind while she was lying on the tracks covered in glass and blood. Venice was slipping in and out of consciousness while crying softly to herself. She may have gotten to safety, but that didn’t mean her troubles were over. She needed money in the most desperate way. She needed to buy a new car, get a new apartment, and get food in her stomach. She was sure to be late to her modeling gig, not that she was in any condition to be there anyways.

After what seemed like centuries of lying on the train tracks, Venice Reyes slowly picked herself off the ground, pieces of subway glass getting imbedded into her once lovely hands and knees. When she stood, she was on wobbly legs. When she walked, she struggled to stay upright.

“You look like you just had the world’s greatest orgy!” said a familiar throaty voice behind her. Venice silently said, “Oh no!” to herself over and over again as she turned around and saw Khan Shou smiling at her from a short distance. The hideous circus freak thudded and thumped on the train tracks as he stalked his sexual prey, licking his lips like he was about to eat a slab of prime rib.

Venice started running down the tunnel despite wearing heels and despite being in bloody pain. In her mind, she was running faster than a cheetah bolting through the African plains. She looked like a bolt of lightning flashing through the sky. She was a blur to the naked eye. She could see the boarding platform and it looked like the gates of heaven with the light shining down upon it. With one mighty leap, she grabbed hold of the edge and attempted to pull herself to safety.

And then she felt the chokingly tight grip of Khan Shou’s monstrous paws clutching her ankle. Venice screamed at her highest pitch, but nobody was around to hear her, not even the transit cops. She pulled her leg as hard as she could, but her diminutive strength was no match for the vice-like grip of the hellacious ring warrior, who whispered at her sexually and clicked his tongue.

So this was what the life of a famous sex icon was like in a dystopian world. Even in a normal world, Venice would have been treated like a sex slave to the public. Was putting her body out there really worth all of this unwanted attention? Of course not, which was why she took off the high heeled shoe on her good leg and jammed the stiletto in Khan’s left eye.

For a guy who was a brutal ring warrior, Khan showed a childlike lack of toughness when he danced around clutching his smashed eyeball. He screamed and bled all over the train tracks before finally removing the hell with brute force and staring a hole through Venice, who was crab-walking her way toward the platform exit.

Khan Shou growled like a grizzly bear when he said, “I’m going to snap off your arms and legs like the Barbie doll you are! I’m going to chew your brains like a giant wad of fucking bubblegum! I’m going to drink your blood like a bottle of Coors Light! I’m going to…” His lovely oratory was interrupted by a speeding subway train that splattered him all over the platform like a rotten tomato. He smelled just as bad as one too.

Venice laid backwards and breathed deep sighs of relief. The subway ride was over, Khan Shou was a dead man, and Venice Reyes was safe from male perversion. The only question now was, what would she do for money now that her modeling gig was a bust? She didn’t dwell on that too much. She instead closed her eyes and drifted off into a haunted sleep. There were other modeling gigs for someone as beautiful as her. Just a few more photo shoots and she could afford to move onto something else. Maybe she could also afford a therapist.