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.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Social Justice Warriors

***SOCIAL JUSTICE WARRIORS***

You’re in no way obligated to get in political discussions with people who don’t want to change. But if you do, a common slur you’ll hear a lot in those discussions is SJW, or Social Justice Warrior. This gets tossed around by people who think their opponents get offended by everything or are too politically correct. If you ever get called a Social Justice Warrior, don’t be offended. Say thank you. You know why? Well, all you have to do is take a look at the last word in that slur: warrior. Sounds badass, doesn’t it? When I think of warriors, I think of big muscle men with battleaxes and spears. Or it could be a fierce and tough-minded woman with a bow and arrow that doubles as a striking blade. Either way, there’s nothing wrong with being called a warrior. Dungeons & Dragons characters hear this all the time and they give their thanks.

And while we’re on the topic of warriors, suppose you’re a D&D player who prefers another character class. Okay, no problem. You can be an SJB (Social Justice Barbarian). Barbarians sure as shit have enough rage to care about their causes. What about SJC’s (Social Justice Clerics). Since clerics have the ability to heal their party members, they could easily be useful for when a protest goes awry. And don’t forget about SJP’s (Social Justice Paladins). If you’re too laidback to be a barbarian but you still want to be a warrior, be a paladin, the bringers of truth and justice. But maybe SJW can mean something else entirely: Social Justice Wizard. Some people would rather use magic than engage in close quarters combat. Maybe the wizard specializes in pyromancy, which is bad news for any Nazi marching with a Tiki torch. Maybe the wizard specializes in cryomancy, which means the only snowflakes you have to worry about are the ones freezing your balls off. So many possibilities!

Okay, so you’ve seen all of those different character classes, but you still want to be a Social Justice Warrior instead of anything else. No problem! You know who else wanted to be a warrior? WWE Hall of Famer The Ultimate Warrior. He wanted to be a warrior so much that Warrior became his legal name. No kidding! And now his wife and children have Warrior as their last name. Call me crazy, but I’d love to see a big muscle-bound wrestler in tassels and face paint called The Ultimate Social Justice Warrior. The only difference is, The USJW can actually wrestle. And his promos make sense. And he’s not a racist. Or a homophobe. Or a guy who’s happy about Bobby Heenan having cancer. Or a…you know what, you probably get the picture by now.

Maybe professional wrestling isn’t your cup of tea, and quite frankly, there are times when I’m watching WWE and I can’t blame you for that. How about some videogames instead? If you want to see some real Social Justice Warriors in action, look no further than Final Fantasy VII, everybody’s favorite in the series and a true classic. The main characters in that game were part of a pro-environmental faction called Avalanche and their goal was to stop the evil mega corporation Shinra from draining the planet of its spiritual energy to make a profit. Yes, you heard me right: Barrett Wallace, Cloud Strife, and Tifa Lockhart were all a bunch of tree-hugging hippies. And they won! Of course, with Barrett’s arm cannon, Cloud’s big ass sword, and Tifa’s martial arts abilities, the writing was on the wall for the Shinra Corporation.

If somebody calls you a Social Justice Warrior in conversation, say thank you and be on your merry way. And while we’re at it, what does that make Keyboard Warriors? I could imagine that it takes a lot of power to smash a keyboard over someone’s head without breaking your damn weapon. You know who would make good Keyboard Warriors? Going back to my wrestling examples, the entire roster of old school ECW. Those guys would hit each other with trash cans, steel chairs, cookie sheets, and cheese graters (holy shit, that was brutal!). If you gave Tommy Dreamer, the Sandman, or Bubba Ray Dudley a computer keyboard, do you think they’re going to smash it across their opponents’ backs? You’re damn right they will! If it’s not nailed down, they’ll use it in a hardcore wrestling match. Hell, they could probably beat people to death with rolled up copy of Hustler, right?

Of course, as tempting as it may seem, beating the shit out of people during political activity is not recommended. I know, I know, you’re going to call me out on this because I have a bunch of violent political songs in my two poetry books Confessions of a Schizophrenic Savage and Necrograph. Those poems are fantasies, but political violence in the real world is much more dangerous. Separating fantasy from reality is what’s going to get you by in this world more than anything. Okay, so you can’t show up to a protest riding a warhorse while carrying a bastard sword. You don’t have to. You can still be a warrior in many other ways. Fighting the good fight doesn’t always mean throwing fists (unless you’re defending yourself in a life or death situation, which is a whole different story entirely).

You can’t ride on a fire-breathing dragon, but you can lift your head as high anyways. You’ve got this. You can win the big one. All you have to do…is BO-LIEVE! Goddamn it, another wrestling reference! Well, I suppose it’s better than doing all of your warrior business on a pay-per-view called Great Balls of Fire. We’ve got ears, say cheers!


***DARK FANTASY WARRIORS***

Going back to the topic of Final Fantasy VII and their environmental stance, I wrote a first draft novel a few years ago called Filter Feeder which is basically the same thing, but with clam fishing and the Materia are magical clam shells. Filter Feeder’s Sheila Victor is a dead ringer for Final Fantasy VII’s Scarlet, so that’s how I’m going to draw her. You know what I’m hoping for? I hope when I eventually go back and have Marie Krepps beta read Filter Feeder, she won’t find too many similarities between the two stories. Maybe some, but not a lot. Well, I can always wish in one hand and shit in the other to see which one fills up first!


***AMERICAN DARKNESS 3***

Remember how I said that real world violence is a bad thing? Well, it doesn’t get any closer to the real world than this next story idea I have for American Darkness 3. It’s called “Belts and Welts” and it goes like this:

CHARACTERS:

1.      Owen Hall, Angry Father
2.      Valerie Hall, Lenient Mother
3.      Leila Hall, Bratty Teenaged Daughter

PROMPT CONFORMITY: To be announced.

SYNOPSIS: In the Hall family, Valerie spoils Leila and gives her everything she wants, including the right to back-sass Owen and completely disregard his authority. Over a lengthy period of time of being disrespected, Owen has his breaking point. During a family dinner, he and Leila get into a heated argument in which the bratty daughter mocks everything her father says. Having finally snapped, Owen does something to Leila that has never happened to her before: he beats her severely with a belt and promises more beatings if the disrespect continues.

OOC: You know what? This might actually be more controversial than Puberty X Piracy.


***TELEVISION QUOTE OF THE DAY***

“Tell me, Brian, how does it feel to be the least cultured guy at a bus station?”


-Stewie Griffin from “Family Guy”-

Brat Man

Brat Man lived in his little superhero costume. Once elementary school was over, the uniform came off and the superhero outfit replaced it. Playing in the streets with his buddies kept him smiling, energetic, and happy in his young days. The more he played, the more he would fantasize about what being a superhero was truly all about. Why just arrest his Penguin and Joker-like friends when he could play in the big leagues? One Saturday night past Brat Man’s bedtime, he tiptoed out of the covers, put on his black leather uniform and mask, and sneaked out of the house through his window.

The night air felt refreshing against Brat Man’s honey brown skin. He took a deep breath, twirled his cape around him, and ventured out into the streets with a high and mighty swagger. So far, everything in the neighborhood was peaceful and quiet. Not one soul walking the streets this late at night. But then Brat Man strutted deeper into the streets and could hear the faint sounds of hip-hop music off in the distance. There was nothing wrong with that particular genre of music, but Brat Man imagined people in the neighborhood were trying to sleep.

The further the little superhero explored the streets, the less it felt like the safety of home. Barbed wire fences surrounded broken down buildings with spray-painted curse words on them. Smashed up cars with no wheels were parked on lawns and sidewalks every which way. Brat Man’s anxious chills multiplied throughout his body when he found a dead cat in the middle of the road. He reached down and petted the poor little thing, whose body had been pancaked by a careless driver. He wiped the blood on his cape and closed the precious baby’s eyes for good. He knew his services were needed now more than ever.

Brat Man snapped out of his animal-loving trance when a pair of combat boots stood in front of him. He slowly panned his head up to see a baldheaded white male with a swastika carved into his forehead and a Resting Bitch Face that could strike fear in the hearts of ferocious jungle beasts. The man wore a leather vest with several racist symbols on it as well as a pair of blue jeans that were several sizes too big. He also had the name “T-Money” tattooed across his neck with the T looking distinctively like another swastika.

The little superhero swallowed a huge gulp of saliva, but put on a brave front as he swirled his cape around him and said, “Give it up, T-Money! Your days of evildoing are over!”

The racist smiled a slimy-toothed smile before grabbing Brat Man by the chest and pulling the shivering young man him face-to-face. “Let me guess: you want to know what that hip-hop bullshit is playing in the background. Me too, buddy. In fact, if you’re such a fucking superhero, why don’t you go out there an see what those niggers are up to. Get them before they get away. Halloween’s over, but they’ll probably give you some candy anyways.” T-Money threw Brat Man to the ground and snickered at him.

The small child wiped the dirt off of his uniform and stood back up with his hands on his hips, defiant until the very end. In a godlike voice, he boomed, “Any last words before I take you to the authorities?”

T-Money shook his head before delivering a thudding knee to Brat Man’s stomach and dropping him to his knees. While the small fry gasped for air and whined in pain, the skinhead pulled Brat Man’s puffy until they were nose-to-nose yet again. “This ain’t no Marvel Comics bullshit, little guy. The hero ain’t going to win in the end. I tried being nice and letting you leave, but I guess your welfare momma spoiled your ass, so I’m probably going to have school you tonight.”

Brat Man threw the world’s weakest punch and only managed to hit something in T-Money’s pocket and bruise his own knuckles. The child cried and shook out his hand. The racist smiled and pulled out the object of Brat Man’s blind attack: a smart phone with a solid steel protection case. “You see this, you little bitch?” he said. “When you actually work for a living instead of lazing around on tax dollars, you can afford shit like this. Look at how strong this thing is!” The last sentence was punctuated by T-Money smashing the steel case against Brat Man’s temple, knocking him down and bringing tears to his eyes.

“Please, Mr. Money,” whined Brat Man. “No more. I just want to go home. I won’t read anymore comic books, I swear!” He held up his hands defensively to show that his begging was sincere.

“Nah, man, you ain’t going home tonight,” said T-Money. “If I let you go home, your welfare momma’s just going to spoil your ass some more. No more free rides, motherfucker. No more nigger money. No more of those geeky ass comic books.” He leaned down and whispered angrily, “Welcome to the real world, buddy. There are no heroes here. Just bad guys. Lots and lots of bad guys. In case there’s any confusion…”

T-Money pulled out a hypodermic needle filled with a mysterious substance and grabbed Brat Man firmly by the wrist, leaving purple marks in his wake. The little guy yelled, “No!” as loud as he could and squirmed around like a cat avoiding a flea bath. This was not the way he imagined his superhero life to be. Superman never had to worry about getting beaten to death by skinheads. Wonder Woman could break any sexist man with her warrior spirit alone. The Flash could run circles around even the biggest and baddest motherfuckers. Brat Man wanted all of that, but instead got a dose of heroin stabbed into his arm like a murderer’s knife.

Once T-Money pressed down on the plunger, Brat Man convulsed violently on the ground and coughed hard enough to bloody his mouth. He gasped for air while clutching the B symbol on his chest. Visions of T-Money blurred around him with a sadistic, devilish grin. The words, “Welcome to the real world” echoed like a schizophrenic demon in Brat Man’s head. The obtrusive sounds of sirens blaring caused Brat Man’s ears to pulsate with agony. The veins in his brains thumped and pumped to where they almost exploded. His vision grew dark and fuzzy until all that remained was cold silence.

In his nightmare, he huddled up for warmth while the bandages around his body did nothing to toast him up. The entire Justice League along with the Legion of Doom gathered in a circle around him, pointed, and laughed like horses at his “stupidity”. Tears flowed from Brat Man’s bloodshot eyes while he mouthed the words, “I’m sorry!” over and over again. No matter how many times he wiped his tears away, they just kept coming back stronger until they were more viscous than pipeline oil. Comic books formed a wall around him, but all he wanted to do was burn them all. With matches in hand, he struck the whole book and set the wall of paper ablaze while screaming, “I hate you! I hate you all!”

“Hey!” shouted a masculine voice, which jolted Brat Man out of his drug-induced nightmare. Except he wasn’t Brat Man anymore, not in those hospital bandages. The fact that he was lying in bed sicker than Superman around kryptonite made him even less of a hero on his mind. More tears were to come.

The trench coat and fedora-wearing detective standing over Brat Man’s bed patted him on the arm and said, “No more tears, young man. If you hadn’t dialed 9-1-1 when you did, we would have never caught that skinhead. We’ve been looking for him forever.”

Brat Man wiped his tears away and stuttered, “But…but…I didn’t call 9-1-1.”

“Maybe not on purpose, but somebody dialed 9-1-1 on T-Money’s phone,” explained the detective. Even in a drug-induced haze, Brat Man vaguely remembered accidentally striking T-Money’s phone. He pocket dialed the cops and they heard the entire conversation that night. Brat Man chalked this up to luck instead of having any real superhero potential.

“Make no mistake about it, young man,” said the detective. “Going out there in that silly superhero outfit at that time of night was dangerous. You may have done the right thing, but there’s always that chance that you could have died out there. Don’t ever do anything like that again.”

“I promise I won’t, sir,” sobbed Brat Man. “I hate being a superhero.”

“Funny you should mention that, sonny,” said the detective while ruffling Brat Man’s puffy locks. He pulled out his badge and showed it to the wide-eyed vigilante. “You see this? This is what a real superhero carries around with him. No kryptonite can ever take away this kind of power. But it takes a lot of work to get one of these. That includes doing well in school and training hard before you graduate. If you ever decide to be a superhero again, consider having this on your new uniform…when you’re old enough, that is.”


The cop left the room and gave Brat Man some privacy. He didn’t that much thinking time in order to know that the Brat Man gimmick was dead in the water. There was no way anybody could be that invincible. But with a police badge waiting for him at graduation, it was a good start. For the first time since being mauled by T-Money, Brat Man, or rather Officer Brat Man, formed a tiny smile on his face. But before he could take on the role of a real hero, he had to detox this poisonous drug out of his system. Beating withdrawal was a tough challenge worthy of a superhero’s might. He could do it. He had to do it!

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Air Pain

Six hours of nonstop ass torture was in store for everyone aboard the airline flight to Paulson City. Knees cracked as passengers stood up to use the bathroom. Spinal bones shifted every which way. Neck and hip pain flared out of control. Getting even a few seconds of sleep in the upright position would have been a bigger miracle than turning water into wine. Yet even in shackles and a scratchy orange jumpsuit, Zack Scott managed to drift away with the snoring power of a small kitten. He even had shaggy hair like a small animal, but was nowhere near as cute and cuddly.

For the first time in ten years, Zack could taste the heavenly flavor of chocolate covered waffles covered in maple syrup and mile high whipped cream. A far cry from the worm-infested “meals” at his old prison, Zack mauled that plate of waffles like a grizzly bear and demanded seconds like a king sitting on his throne. And he got his seconds…and thirds…and fourths…and fifths…and…

“I want some fucking beer!” shouted a grating voice that jolted Zack Scott awake. The sudden transition between divine sleep and cold reality caused him to smack his head against his seat cushion. He’d rub his head in agony, but his wrists were chained to the seat, so all he could do to voice his displeasure was let out a minor groan.

“I’m sorry, Mr. Gilbertson,” said the blond haired flight attendant. “You’ve had enough alcohol for this trip, so I can’t serve you more.”

“This is bullshit!” blared the suit-and-tie wearing drunk. “I paid good money for this flight and I deserve some fucking booze! I had a bad week of doing something called hard work! Now give me that beer before I rip it out of your fucking hands!”

“Hey, retard!” blasted Zack from the back of the airplane. “Shut your pie hole and let the rest of us get some goddamn sleep!”

“It’s a free country!” yelled Gilbertson. “I worked all week so that welfare kings like you could just sit on your fucking couch watching Netflix! All I want is a goddamn beer! Is that too much to ask or do you want any more of my hard-earned paycheck?!”

“Settle down, Mr. Scott,” said Detective Tony Battles, Zack’s trench coat-wearing handler. “Let the Air Marshal take care of this piece of shit. You just concentrate on getting some shut-eye. We’re not going to be in Paulson City for another five hours.”

Even with the drunken idiot and the flight attendant bantering loudly in the background, Zack and Tony still managed to carry on a hushed conversation between the two of them. Zack said, “How do you expect me to get any sleep around here if this horse’s ass just keeps going on like this? The Air Marshal is fucking worthless!”

“Welcome to the world of air travel, buddy,” said Tony as he patted Zack on the shoulder. “I know you’ve been locked up for a good decade or so, but things have changed around here, in case that security checkpoint bullshit wasn’t enough of an indication.”

“Just let me out of these shackles for five minutes,” begged Zack. “Hell, I could probably bring that loser down in less time than that.”

“I know you can, Zack,” said Tony. “Why do you think you’re in shackles to begin with? You beat the shit out of someone because he cut you off in traffic. His face was pretty much nonexistent at that point. You really think I’m going to just let you out of your shackles like that? Don’t be a dumb ass.”

A hard thwack echoed throughout the airplane and everybody’s wide eyes zeroed in on the downed flight attendant holding her bright pink cheek while the man known as Gilbertson cussed her out in a cacophony of slurred vocabulary.

“You stay put, buddy,” said Tony as he patted Zack on the shoulder and left his seat to confront the drunken passenger.

“Like I have a choice, huh?” smart-mouthed Zack, who struggled in his shackles despite the tightness cutting into his limbs. He was too laser-focused on this task to pay any mind to the struggle going on between Detective Battles and the drunken moron. The strikes, gasps, and wrestling in the background was all just noise to Zack Scott.

Somewhere in his soul, he knew he would screw up his plea deal by breaking free from Tony’s grasp. He knew that the only way he could taste those chocolate waffles again (aside from in his dreams) was to be on his best behavior and let the law take over. His starving taste buds didn’t take nearly as much damage as his pulsating eardrums, however. Every growl and slurred word from the drunken passenger caused Zack’s mind to explode with madness. This was worse than being in solitary confinement. It was worse than getting his ass kicked by the CO’s and prisoners. Freedom was so close, yet so far away, dangling over him like a juicy steak in front of a hungry pit bull.

Gilbertson’s rage fueled Zack’s intense struggle to the point where the prisoner accidentally elbowed Tony’s magazine off of his seat and revealed a shackle key underneath. The convict’s eyes grew wide with disbelief. Now his mind really was fucking with him. Was this a loud and obnoxious airplane ride or a stint in the hole? He reached at the key while the shackles cut into his wrists deeply enough to draw blood. The slick fluid gave Zack a few more inches toward the key. And a few more. And a few more. He got it!

Zack wasted little time in unlocking his shackles. With one hand, he eased the key into the lock and twisted hard enough to draw more blood. One more twist and his left arm was free. The rest was just child’s play at this point. He twisted the key so hard in each lock that he was almost in danger of breaking it off. His final restraint was the one binding his right ankle to the seat. He twisted again and this time the key snapped in two.

“Damn it!” Zack shouted. “God fucking damn it!” His thunderous voice had usurped Gilbertson’s and the fearful passengers as being the loudest. The prisoner kicked and stomped within the confines of his singular shackle until it broke off and he was finally free. He wasn’t thinking about delicious breakfast items this time. He had a mindful of insane voices shouting death threats in his ear. His vision was dark red. The blood on his wrist didn’t distract him in the least. His teeth gritted so tightly that he could have chewed through the shackles if he wanted to. This wasn’t a bloodthirsty felon. This was a starved lion with teeth the size of tusks.

Zack jumped out of his seat and shoved various passengers out of the way on his path of destruction towards Gilbertson, who was shoving away flight attendants and passengers himself while laying a thudding beat down on Tony Battles’ face. Tony could just lay there and die for all Zack cared. Then again, so could Gilbertson. The drunkard turned around long enough to see Zack Scott in his prison suit and Charles Manson mug flying through the air with his elbow raised. Once the prisoner landed, he brought the elbow down across Gilbertson’s terrified face, shattering his nose, breaking off a few teeth, and popping one eyeball out of the socket. Blood and bones spilled all over the airplane floor.

The passengers and flight attendants backed away in horror while Zack Scott stood over Gilbertson’s prone body with bloodlust on his face and a hard-on underneath his suit. Tony wiped the blood out of his own eyes and gazed up at his prisoner in horror. The convict smiled upon his handler and shrugged while saying, “I guess that means the end of my plea deal.”

Tony shook his jowls before nipping up to his feet and grabbing Zack by the jumpsuit. The raging force of the detective was enough to pin the still smiling Zack against the bathroom door. “You’re damn right it’s the end of the plea deal, you sick fuck!” Detective Battles shouted. “I’ve got a new deal for you, pal! You’re going to do the hardest fucking time this planet has to offer! It’ll make Guantanamo Bay look like a massage parlor!”

Zack’s arrogant expression refused to change while the passengers and flight attendants watched the scene unfold with pants-wetting horror. Tony leaned in close to the convict’s ears and whispered as smooth and sensually as a rapist cell mate. “Do me a favor, sweetheart. Don’t tell anybody that I left the key there on purpose. Otherwise, the new plea deal will fall through and you really will do hard time.”

Zack whispered right back at Tony, “Don’t worry, honey-bunny. Your secret’s safe with me. Should I lick the back of your ear to make this even more romantic?”


Tony’s eyes shot up while he surveyed the zombie-like expressions of everyone around him. “What are you all looking at?!” he belted. “Get back to your seats! This is personal business!” Get back to their seats they did, including Zack, sans shackles. He overheard the detective getting statements from several people, including the slapped flight attendant (Susan Martin) and the Mr. Happy Hour himself, Andrew Gilbertson. Those two names would appear in the Sunday morning paper. Tony Battles would be a popular name in that article too. What about Zack Scott, though? Could he in all good conscience put himself in a news story and jeopardize his new plea deal? Eh, fame and fortune were overrated. Chocolate-covered waffles, on the other hand, didn’t get enough credit.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Lonesome Town

***LONESOME TOWN***

Trust me, guys, I’d love to be able to stop talking about Western Washington University and how Bellingham is a dead ringer for “Lonesome Town” by Ricky Nelson (a song I first heard on the Pulp Fiction soundtrack). I’ve talked enough about it, so it’s pretty much a dead memory at this point. And then I get an email from WWU’s department of English asking me to take a survey as to how my experience was and how it could have been improved. If these surveys were written on paper, they would probably end up in a big fucking fire pit. But I took the survey anyways and gave them a piece of my mind. I told them about the lack of social programs, the lack of psychological counseling, the bias against introverted students, the shoddy public transportation system, the censorship of R-rated writing assignments, need I go on? No? Okay, I’m actually relieved. I open Face Book one day and I see that many of my classmates had the same vitriol to spew at their former school, so it feels good not to be alone. Perhaps the lyrics to Ricky Nelson’s “Lonesome Town” could sum up my classmates’ feelings as they did for me. Maybe they’ll relate to it in a non-romantic sense and I’d be inclined to agree with them. Want some lyrics? Here they are:


VERSE 1
There's a place where lovers go
To cry their troubles away
And they call it lonesome town
Where the broken hearts stay

VERSE 2
You can buy a dream or two
To last you all through the years
And the only price you pay
Is a heart full of tears

BRIDGE
Going down to lonesome town
Where the broken hearts stay
Going down to lonesome town
To cry my troubles away

VERSE 3
In the town of broken dreams
The streets are paved with regret
Maybe down in lonesome town
I can learn to forget


Got any more surveys for me to take, WWU? You want to ask me again to donate $50 to the English department? Sure, why don’t I give you a blank check while I’m at it. And my social security number. And the pin number and security code on my debit card. Go nuts! I really should stop talking about WWU. It’s ancient history. Eight years counts as ancient history to me. Truth is, I didn’t have any better ideas for a blog topic than those Ricky Nelson lyrics. I was exhausted all day today and got very little done in the way of creativity. Maybe when I snap out of my sleepy haze, I could do one of the following:


***AMERICAN DARKNESS 3***

Two stories down, forty-eight more to go. Clocking in at number forty eight is “Air Pain”. Clever title, huh? It goes like this:

CHARACTERS:

  1. Andrew Gilbertson, Drunken Businessman
  2. Zack Scott, Convicted Felon
  3. Tony Battles, Zack’s Handler
  4. Susan Martin, Flight Attendant

PROMPT CONFORMITY: To be announced.

SYNOPSIS: All four characters are taking a six-hour flight to the Paulson City Airport, which means nobody wants to be screwed with. Midway through the flight, Andrew gets drunk and verbally abuses Susan when she denies him more alcohol. Zack, a shackled criminal with Detective Battles watching him, considers bailing on his handler to confront the obnoxious drunk at the risk of losing his plea deal. The longer this flight goes, the more annoying Andrew becomes and the more Tony considers unlocking Zack’s shackles.


***DARK FANTASY WARRIORS***

Marie Krepps jokes with me all the time about how I mostly have fat male villains in my short stories and novels. This next Dark Fantasy Warrior will keep the jokes rolling. His name is Big Daddy X and he comes from a short story idea called “Sub-Culture Urban Marketing”. Anti-smoking commercial viewers from the early 2000’s will remember that title and what acronym it forms. “I’m sure they meant it in a good way.”


***ALLEY KAT BLUES***

Now that “No Cure for Cancer” by Denis Leary is in my rearview mirror, it’s time for a fictional book. I purchased “Alley Kat Blues” by Karen Kijewski (“key-EFF-ski”) at a book sale in Chehalis, Washington (another place that could be described by Ricky Nelson’s lyrics). It was a low-stress book sale that was void of pushing and shoving due to the wide selection of books and big open space in the Lewis County Mall. I was happy for the low stress. It looks as though I’ll be even happier with reading Mrs. Kijewski’s book. It’s a crime thriller with a fast pace and a dead body or two. I blame Brett Battles for getting me hooked on this genre. Thanks, Brett!


***WRESTLING DIALOGUE OF THE DAY***

FINN BALOR: Good luck tonight, Roman.

ROMAN REIGNS: Good luck to you, man.

FINN BALOR: Luck? I’m Irish. I invented luck.


ROMAN REIGNS: Well, I’m Samoan. Enough said.