Fact or Fiction

“I know your life is a never ending nightmare full of horror and deceit. I know you are often at odds with yourself and this horrid thing called life. Every morning is filled with contempt as you have this endless debate on whether or not you should kill yourself in your shower or while your K-cup brews or in your car that is neither new nor old but works just fine. These things I know because I’m sitting right next to you. These things I know because I’m looking at the same things you are. These things I know because we share the same eco-friendly renewable water source in the same god damn forsaken city on the banks of some form of water. I know all these things, I think all these things because I too live a life of perfect balanced, zero struggle life know as modern society. Chances are we think the same exact way but out of pure boredom let’s say I don’t. Because we have to be different in this world. We have to be special when it comes to things like this in life. Odds are against us though beyond our thoughts. We went to the same school, learned from the same books, ate the same shitty food, and lived near perfect replicas of the same life. Let me guess you played doctor? Let me guess you owned a copy of GTA 3? Let me guess you couldn’t catch’em all on paper or digitized? Let me guess you thought you were special? Well you’re not, you and I are more alike than you and I might think. We are so close you and I that we could be one in the same. Chances are we are in fact the same robotic, institutionalized, modern guilt individuals walking side by side right now. We could say hello to one another but we won’t. We could relate our dream suicide scenario but we won’t. We could discuss just how much we actually hate each other but we won’t. Because what’s the point? Why tell you everything you already know? Why bother letting you in on our little secrets? We all have secrets, guilty pleasures, they are all the same but we have them. We imagine that they are the little things that make us different. That the tidbits of information we hold dear separate us from fact and fiction. When really there is no such thing. We live a life of fact and fiction. We live a life of knowing we are the same, fact. We live a life thinking in some way we are different, fiction. We live lives that are exactly the same. We fuck women and men who are exactly the same. We blindly follow the dumbest of our kind because we know that they are the same. We read books and stories, watch movies and shows on people or about people who are exactly the same. And like you I will do nothing to change this. Like you I will ride this life into the ground hoping for something better but being served up the exact same. There is no difference between animal and man we were put here to do the exact same, suffer until our last dying breathe.”

“What an interesting report Timothy,” the teacher calls out. “Not quite A material but informative all the same in its own way. Go ahead and take your seat with the rest of the class.” She shuffles some papers, disheveled herself, “Umm if we could have Stephanie, Stephanie Keaton come up next.” Stephanie gets up from her seat and takes her place at the head of the class. “Now Stephanie why don’t you tell us what you did this summer.”

Keeping My Eyes Closed and My Mouth Wide Open

The twisted knife of the world is dug deep within my back. The world isn’t black or white but a giant fucking rainbow of gray. The issues we have to face go deeper than skin color, emotions, or common sense. Most if not all of the world’s problem is our very selves. Who is to blame, what is to blame? What does it matter? They don’t argue with me and? My mind hurts trying to see how any of this even matters.

I don’t understand all this hate coming from all these holier than thou ass hats. Why the fuck do you waste your time going to church every Sunday if you are going to shit on the bible every time you open your mouth? Not only that, but in what contexts does the bible or any book even mention you will get into heaven? I can not fathom for even a second that God is letting anyone into its kingdom. The promise of religion doesn’t even make any sense to me at all. Why the fuck would someone put us on a planet to fend for ourselves with guidelines that we must follow to the letter to just get into a place that they could have put us in, in the first place? Here and now. Your actions define here and now. Not to get preachy, but religion wasn’t made to destroy one another. It was developed to unite each other in a time before laws. In a time before society existed. The farther we get from religious inception the crazier we seem to get.

5,000 or however many years ago people knew and believed that we go into the ground. Today people hope and they pray that their action however intended will get them to the front of the line. Moses, Jesus, Mohamed, Buddha, and all the others weren’t preaching about a world outside of this one. They were all speaking of the world we live in. Follow their paths to make this life better for all. Did they ever say anything about perfect? No they weren’t dumb ignorant assholes looking to destroy the world in hopes that they could have a place at the throne. To them it wasn’t about the after but the now. How could anyone take the story of Jesus turning water into wine not believe he was about having a good time? What the fuck else could you believe from that? That he was worried about anti-oxidant levels of early man.

The lord giveth the lord can take a way. The lord is an asshole that doesn’t exist. Understand that for fucks sake. Sadly even with how I feel I get it why people need religion. People need faith and that’s great. I will never say having faith is a bad thing. I’m happy for them even, but stop fucking killing, torturing, putting down people in the name of who gives a fuck. For the love of God process your sacrifice, your shame, and your hate for yourself. Stop dragging religion through the mud because you need justification. That’s not what it is here for. That is not why it needs to stick around.

Even if you are right, there is a God in the sky that is deciding every single thing on this planet. You have to see that you are wrong in your actions. This age-old question of which religion is right or wrong is getting real fucking old. It is not the God that defines the religion it is the people. We can’t keep using religion as a weapon when we are the problem all along.

A Lie Preview

Classes Start

It’s ten a.m. and I’m nearly a hundred percent certain that I am in the wrong class room, but I have no plans of leaving. The teacher, a young woman who is probably a few years older than me with rather large breasts, passes out the syllabus to the class. A two to three page document detailing everything we are supposed to go over in the course of the semester. Fucking gag me, the syllabus is more or less an excuse to mow down a few more acres of trees in South America. Considering our teachers will flood our emails with the same shit anyway. I’m sitting in the far corner of the room, far away from everyone else. The teacher goes into a speech about showing up late, her breasts bouncing with each word. Is she even wearing a bra? I find myself more entertained with her bust line than trying to figure out where I even am. Her words bleed together and I can’t tell if it is me or her who is not making sense of the words. It takes a moment but I finally look down at the syllabus to figure where I am. The paper says that I am in public speaking and I can start to feel the blood drain from my face. Things only get worse when I start to realize that each student is standing up and telling everyone in the class their name and a little bit about themselves and why they are in college. Most of the students here are going for degrees in criminal justice or something as stupid as that. I can feel my heart rate go up and I begin to wonder if anyone else can hear the pounding of my heart like I can. It sounds like an Edgar Allen Poe story in here. Am I fucking dying or am I losing my mind? I hate speaking in front of a single person and speaking in front of all thirty people in the class is making me feel like I am having a heart attack. I can feel the sweat bead up at the top of my head and drip down my face. I was not prepared for this nor would I ever sign up for this. I calm my shaking hand long enough to grab my backpack and slowly make my way to the exit in a near crawl. How this isn’t any worse than just standing up and saying my name is beyond me. The latest victim stops speaking as the teacher asks me where I am going. I stand up from my crouched position and give her a blank stare before running out of the room. My heart is racing a mile a minute as I wander the halls for what seems like days. Everything feels as though it is in slow motion but I keep trekking on. Wandering the halls isn’t an unusual thing for me. I do it a lot. Despite the fact that I hate this school I just can’t seem to leave. I’m never in class, but I’m never not at the school on school days. As confusing as that sounds I think it is because I feel guilty for not attending classes and it also has to do with the fact that I can’t afford to put more gas in my car. So, I might as well stay here and make the best of it. It doesn’t hurt that my drug dealer takes a lot of classes here as well. He says it helps him expand his mind. “Always got to be smart for the streets man, always.” When really he is just going to the school to expand his business, which has worked out pretty well for him in my opinion. It is here in a class for retards that I first met him. The class in question was a basic English course that all students have to take if they didn’t score a certain amount of points on the assessment test to get into this prestigious college. It can’t be over stated that I never wanted to go here so the idea of even trying wasn’t an option when I took the test. I just breezed through the test selecting any answer without reading the question. I was hoping that maybe they would deny me, but nope they accepted me with cash symbols in their eyes since my whole first term wasn’t worth a single credit. I decided today that I will walk around the campus. No use going through another embarrassing first day. The first day doesn’t count anyway. I stop by the bathroom on the first floor before heading outside in the cold. The ground looks much more interesting when I’m high on drugs. The school uses a special kind of salt that is blue-green in color and it does a really good job of clearing off the sidewalks. In the center of campus there is a pond that has long been frozen over. I walk across the wooden bridge that goes across the narrow part of the pond connecting one side of the campus to the other side. In the summer this is where I like to stand, but in the winter the wind comes across the pond and hits me like a cold hard slap to the face. I’m starting to really feel the trip as I walk past the library and head for the main building. I’m making my way to the cafeteria to purchase the overly priced food I really can’t afford and steal one of the overly priced energy drinks. I usually don’t steal things, but I’m not paying three fucking dollars for something I could get for a lot less someplace else. Plus, what’s the worst they could do to me? Kick me out of school? I walk into the cafeteria from the side door of the building. This door is on the opposite side of the student union, a place I try to avoid at all costs. I can’t stand this school and I can’t stand the students that go here even more. Most of them are so pretentious it makes me sick. Half the time I get trapped in some stupid conversation with one of them, and all I want to do is scream, “Look the fuck around.” They all like to live in some fantasy world that they are learning or attending some place that is giving them a higher education and we are not. I get nauseous thinking of the conversations I could get trapped into, but it is probably only the food.  The cafeteria is nearly empty, there must still be classes going on. I walk up to the cooler and pretend to get a drink, but really I just slip one of the energy drinks on the lower shelf into my jacket pocket. No idea what I grabbed but it is that simple, and free and simple is the name of the game. Today’s menu is beef stroganoff prepared by the master chefs the school hires. The smell from the food is close to that of a bowel movement. I never get the prepared meal so I decided on a cheeseburger that I am pretty sure is made of ten percent rubber. This is more of an impulse buy than a decision after the glorified lunch lady asks me if I was going to get anything or just sit there staring at the food. Don’t get me wrong I like being high but it has its negative effects too, such as time and how much of it is not perceived by my mind. After dropping three dollars and fifty cents on a cheese burger even the shittiest fast food place wouldn’t sell, I head back outside and walk to the Art and Science building to eat. Once inside I pound the energy drink down as fast as I can, hoping that the shit tasting cocktail and the drugs will keep me awake long enough to get through the next class. If I decide to even go to that one. My eyes feel like anvils as I eat the only food I will probably have today. A nasty side effect of the drugs is that I don’t eat and in the last couple of months I have lost over twenty pounds. I have always been a little bit heavy set so losing twenty or more pounds really isn’t as drastic as it sounds. Since I can’t afford new clothes no one has really noticed either way, but for once in my life I’m starting to think that I look better than ever. Maybe I will get my own commercial on TV from all the weight I’m losing like that fat fuck did from that restaurant chain or those fat bitches from the eighties. Then again I will probably die and everyone will forget about me. Good lunch, now I’m all set for more drugs. It is best to not have a full stomach or an empty one, this rule stands more tested before bed as the odds of dying in your sleep on your own vomit increase with such activity. I randomly use nearly every bathroom on campus on any given day, I even use the women’s room in the main building once because the men’s was to full. I use the bathroom on the second floor before checking to see what my next class is. Despite my best efforts I am ten minutes late for class, but it is the first day so no one notices. I take my usual place in the back of the room. The teacher, this time a man, passes out the same piece of paper I’m pretty sure I already have detailing what we will be doing in class this semester. It takes me a minute to actually realize that I have in fact seen this paper because I have already taken this class. Maybe it will be easier the second time around, who gives a fuck. I’m starting to feel even more tired now that I know it doesn’t matter.

My drug abuse doesn’t allow me to sleep as often as I would like. My depression and my drugs have very different ideas on the topic, but when I do sleep I dream of many things. I dream that I am a woman in a minivan and I’m emptying a shopping bag onto the passenger seat so I can place it over the head of one of the crying children behind me. I scream things as I hold it there. The words don’t make sense but given the context what would it really matter any way. I dream that I am chasing a school bus in a place that I once lived. The sky is blood red and all I can hear, all I can see is the children laughing before vomiting gallons of blood out the window of the moving bus. The blood washes over me as I run with everything I have. I never reach the bus and it never stops. Wave after wave till finally I give up. I dream of her, touching her, feeling her, fucking her. I roll over after coming and fall off the bed into nothing. I can’t move as I fall and I try to reach for the bed that has long since disappeared in to the darkness. I just keep falling and falling with no end. Farther and farther, and I never stop falling, never stop feeling confused until I wake up. I dream in blood and I dream in liquids. I dream so many things that sometimes it is hard to figure out what has been a dream and what has been reality. I often wake up confused to where I am or if I am even alive anymore. I imagine myself standing in the middle of Times Square with a gun to my head screaming, begging for someone to help, but no one stops to help me. I imagine that I pull the trigger and I can feel the bullet digging into my skull in slow motion so, I can feel every bit of pain as it rips through my head and exits the other side. I snap out of my state and realize that I am now sitting in an empty class room. I wonder if I am awake or am I still dreaming. There is a note that sits in front of me. It is from my teacher, “Maybe next time you can try to make it more than ten minutes before falling asleep.”

I stop by the bathroom one more time before going outside to smoke. I decide to blow the rest of the day off and return to my tomb. I get into my car and I sit there. I can still feel the bullet hole in my head. It is twenty degrees outside, but I don’t turn on the car. I don’t do anything. I just sit there. I sit in my car until I can no longer feel my toes from the cold. I sit there and I feel nothing. I sit here and think of nothing. I take another hit and begin my trip back home.

Hope you enjoyed a view more pages of A Lie. Now available on Kindle. Don’t have a Kindle? That’s okay. You can enjoy thousands of books right from your smart phone, desktop, or tablet with the Kindle app. Best of all it is free.

A Little Too Real

Do you ever feeling like there is no place for you in the world or that you think you know your place, but maybe that really isn’t your place? My cousin recently graduated from the Marines. Horrible pick for employment given the current leader. The point is though that for as long as I can remember anything about him he wanted to be a solider.

From a young age, the last time I happen to even see him, he knew his place in the world. Good or bad choice aside he wanted that and he got it. I don’t have any feelings for him. No sense of lost memories. We could pass each other on the street tomorrow and I’d keep walking, but I feel so happy for him right now. I am happy he has found a place and a place he wants to be. I’m about to turn thirty and I have no place. So sense of purpose in this world. I want to be writer, but I have my doubts.

Growing up all I ever wanted to do was do something in music. Having no talent, no friends to piggy back on, and no aptitude to even learn an instrument I dove into the part I was good at. Writing lyrics became writing poems. Writing poems became telling stories. It took a long time, but that is where I am now. Trying to write stories to find my purpose. At this moment in time I have published nothing, sold nothing, and with every passing day doubt myself and any talent I might have. I don’t even know another writer. Part of the reason I wanted to be a writer is that I could do it on my own. Which is becoming less and less true as time goes on. It takes a village or so I hear, but what does it take if you don’t have one? What am I fighting for if there is no hope of winning?

I have everything I want, well need, I want a lot of shit I don’t need, but writing didn’t get me the things that I wanted. The people around me did. My mom, my wife, my daughter, and the guy who hired me at my current job provided me the opportunities to be where I am today. Lost, but still here. I hope writing pans out. I hope it is my place in this world. Not really sure I have enough time to find another and start working towards that from the ground up. Maybe I am thinking about it too much? My cousin was only a kid when he said he wanted to be a solider and technically he is three months in to his place in life. Five years from now he might not even want to be a solider. I’m fifteen years into mine and all I want to be is a writer. Well a good father, a good husband, and a good son. Sometimes it may feel like we have no place in the world, but all that means is that we aren’t done fighting yet.

Drinking Bleach Preview

Drinking Bleach is my first collection of short stories from my earlier days. It is a mixed genre book filled with short stories, poems, micro stories, and more. From the early days of Chewing On Glass to the first story I ever wrote. This book covers a lot of ground. As always available on Kindle. Don’t have a Kindle? That’s okay. Enjoy thousands of books right from your desktop, smart phone, or tablet with the Kindle app.

Adult language and ideas through out.

Purgatory Part 2

“You know who I want to hear from?” After a very long awkward pause the voice continues, “I would like to hear from Franklin. Would you like to share today Franklin.” “It’s Frank dipshit,” the man riddled with bullet holes stands up. “You don’t have to stand up Franklin,” Sylvia says before laughing. Frank slams his body back into the seat, “Do I have a choice?” “Of course you have a choice. Being here isn’t punishment. Being here is to help you.” Frank shifts in his seat, “Yeah okay cause it sure as hell feels like punishment. We either talk or we have to go sit out there with the rest of the freaks waiting to come back in here. Not a whole lot of options for us here. Despite her smart ass comments I’m with Sylvia on this place. This is all bullshit, but I want out of here so what do you want to hear?” “Why do you think that you are here?” the figure asks him like he just volunteered to die or that in some way this was all optional. Thanks for taking twenty plus bullets to the chest and coming here. Would you mind filling out a small survey? Would you recommend this place to a friend? I’m starting to agree with Sylvia more and more myself. “I am here because those pig fuckers shot the shit out of me.” Frank tries to grab his shirt to show the figure his bullet holes, but he can’t and he quickly gives up. “There has to be a reason they shot at you.” “Yeah cause I was trying to get a little cash for my family.” “Oh yeah that’s real rich their Frankie. That totally justifies the reason you tried to rob a bank,” the business man blurts out as he shakes his head in disbelieve. “Fuck you old man. I did what I had to do to get by.” “Well what you did was against the law that’s why they shot your ass.” “Howard please let Frank speak you can have your turn when he is done,” the figure explains. “I was simply commenting on what Frank was saying.” “The freak said shut the fuck up lard ass.” These people are insane and I try to stay calm through all of it. I want to start getting upset too, but I know that it won’t help any of this. Frank starts back up with his story, “Anyways I took a bullet or two and now I’m here paying for my sins or whatever.” “Is that what you truly believe Frank?” The figure asks him. “I said it didn’t I? So yeah that’s what I fucking believe.” Frank looks over at Sylvia, “You think the freak’s got a brain under there? Cause he is pretty stupid.” Sylvia still isn’t talking and pretends that Frank isn’t even talking. “That’s not a very nice thing to say Frank, but are you done?” “Yeah I am.” “Can I say a few things?” “Like I give a shit,” Frank crosses his arms. “You really need to stop holding in all this blame and anger towards others. Realize that you might be the cause of your own misfortunes. No one told you to rob that bank or take those people hostage Frank. You made all those decisions yourself and you need to forgive yourself before it consumes you any farther.” “I didn’t shoot anybody you fucking freak. I didn’t shoot no body and yet here the fuck I am,” Frank screams causing everyone in the room to jump a little bit. As we all watch Frank place his head in his hands I think that this all sounds rather familiar to me somehow. The figure says nothing back to Frank and Frank doesn’t lash out as he walks to the corner of the room. Another somber moment in a place that is nothing but.

Breaking the silence. “I have a question for you. What are you?” I ask the figure. The hooded figure sits motionless and I try to look under the hood. Looking for eyes, a mouth, anything that could confirm what it is. All I find is darkness. Beth places her hand on my knee, “You can’t ask it things about itself.” “Why not?” I question. “It is just the way it is sweetie,” she shrugs at me. “What do you think it is?” I ask the group. “I think it’s a freak,” Frank shouts from the corner of the room. “Yeah we know,” Sylvia shouts back as she rolls her eyes. “We think it is the grim reaper or our idea of a grim reaper,” she says to me. The hooded figure finally speaks, “Howard you had something you wanted to say earlier?” We go on as if no one had said anything at all about the figure. “Ah, yes I did. I wanted to tell the group my story.” “Oh dear God,” Sylvia blurts out before going silent once again. She stares at her gashes. She traces the outline of the cut on her left arm with her finger. “My dear Sylvia, such a pretty name, James has yet to hear my story,” Howard says before turning to face me. He locks eyes with me and I can’t help but to not look right at him for his story. I’m more interested in hearing Frank’s story and trying to figure out why it sounds so familiar to me. Respect for others forces me to put that in the back of my mind as I listen to this old man’s tale.

By the way Howard speaks to me and the rest of the group it is as if he is selling us his story. “I have always been a salesman. From the time I was a small child selling candy on the school yard playground and until the moment I found myself here. I sell that’s what I do. It is in my blood, in my DNA. Hell I even convinced my neighbor to purchases my father’s lawn mower once. Slightly used I told him. My father was so pissed. I had to give my neighbor his ten dollars back. That was a lot of money back then, but with everything there is always something to be learned. I learned right then and there that with a strong enough pitch, a kind smile, and a great deal you can sell anything. I also learned to not sell my father’s things as well,” Howard chuckles. “Howard how did you die again?” Sylvia asks and he ignores. “If this story doesn’t end with you choking on a dick. I know I’m going to be disappointed by this story.” I try to not laugh or move my face in any way. “Always be selling became my motto by the time I was out of high school. I was such a good sales man I didn’t even have to go to college. I had, had a job since I was old enough to acquire one, and with my great talent and passion I was able to move up to head of the sales team in no time. I remember the days of the sale, out there on the open road selling my amazing products from customer to customer, city to city. These were the days before personal computers, the days were a phone call was only used to catch up when a letter would not suffice. Not like today where you kids have your gadgets glued to your hands. You kids today could learn a thing or two from talking face to face the way God intended for us to talk to one another. No these were the good old days, the all or nothing days, the days when making a living meant working your ass to the bone and asking for more.” “We fucking get it old man, Jesus.” “How are you Frank? You could learn thing or two as well from my story.” “Yeah like what? Cause I’m already dead dumb ass.” “You could afford to learn a little thing called respect and about working hard. Not just sitting on your ass and taking what’s not yours.” “It wasn’t like that,” Frank walks back over to the group. “You tried to rob a bank to get money that wasn’t yours that’s how it was Frank,” Howard says to the group looking for reassurance. “Wait a second, that was you,” I say. “That was me what?” “That was you who tried to rob some bank in Atlanta?” “Yeah so what?” Frank asks. “It was all over the national news. That happened months ago or at least I think it was months ago. No one else saw the story?” they all stare at me as though I am crazy. “I meant before you all died?” “Well it was against the law that’s why it was all over the news and that’s why they shot you so many times. How many times do I have to say that before you understand?” “Shut up Howard I’m talking to the new guy. What do you mean it was all over the national news?” Frank asks me. “It was ever where or so I thought. I’m trying to remember what all happened. It happened months ago, but I remember hearing about how three or four cops were suspended and then fired for using excessive force because you didn’t even rob the bank with a real gun or something. Plus there was something about the fact that the dead hostage wasn’t your fault either.” “Who killed him then?” Howard asks. “Apparently one of the officers thought they had a shot or was trying to be a hero. Well the gun fire scared the old man and he fainted on to the floor.” “I told him to stay down, but he wouldn’t listen so I started shouting and then the noise went off.” “Right well I guess in the confusion the cops thought you shot him so they all started firing on you. Turns out the man would have been fine, but they shot him and injured three others firing on you.” Frank stands there stunned and silent. He looks as though some revelation has come over him. “Is that all that happened?” Sylvia asks me. “Was I on the news too?” “I don’t remember,” I tell her. “After that band killed themselves and everything that followed the news stopped reporting on suicides. They even stopped reporting on suicide bombers in the Middle East. Anything to try and stop people from killing themselves.” “That fucking band. That band fucking sucked anyways,” Sylvia crosses her arms and leans back into her chair. “What about my family?” Frank asks me. “What happened to my family?” “The last I heard they were suing the city along with the other families, but beyond that I can’t remember anything,” I tell him. “Frank how does that news make you feel?” The figure asks. “I feel. I feel better. For the first time since I have died. I finally feel better about everything. It might have been worth it. I knew what I did was wrong but I didn’t even have a weapon. I took a toy gun that I painted black. I figured worst case I’d get some jail time. I never thought that I would die. It was a mistake. It was all a mistake.” Frank turn to me, “Thank you James. Thank you so very much.” “You’re welcome Frank. I mean I didn’t do anything,” I say shyly. All I did was repeat the news on TV. Frank begins to weep and cover his tearless face with his hands. “Frank,” the figure says in a light voice unlike its self. Frank looks up from his hands and his face is covered with small streams of tears. “You may leave now Frank. Exit the room and continue down the hall. At the end of the hall there is one last door. It will look like a wall with a handle. Once you touch the handle you will know what to do.” Frank wipes the tears from his face as we all sit and stare. Everyone is very confused as to what is happening. Frank turns to me once again, “Thank you James.” The bullet holes, the blood, the wounds disappear as Frank stands up and walks to the door. The room is silent as he exits, but the second he is gone the whole room erupts with noise. All the noise is a collection of different questions with all the same intentions. What else do you know? Everyone is out of their chairs and standing in front of me demanding answers. “I don’t know, I don’t know,” is all I repeat. “Enough questions everyone,” the figure says in its usual tone. “James is not the reason behind Frank’s ascension to the next level. James doesn’t hold the secret clues or answers to why you have died or are still here. Each and every one of you hold those keys. That is enough for today. Next time we will start with Howard again,” the figure gestures to the open door. “What? Why? Let’s just power through this. I mean we made real progress today.” “Can’t we stay for a little bit longer?” “Yeah we want to stay.” “I’m sorry but we are done for today.” “This is bullshit.” “Give it a rest will you Sylvia,” Beth says as she stands up. No one waits for the figure to get to the door this time. Again I am the last to leave the room. “I’m sorry if I offended you earlier by ask you what you are,” I tell the figure. “It is alright James. You have questions that want answers. Demand them even, but maybe it is you who need to wonder what you are?” Confused I exit the room. The door slamming behind me.

Sylvia is waiting for me in the hallway. “That was some trippy shit wasn’t it?” She asks me. “Yeah I guess. This whole place is trippy if you ask me. How long have you been here?” “No idea, it’s hard to tell time in a place with no windows or concept of it. When did that band die?” “Sometime last year,” I say to her. “So I have been here almost a year.” “And this is the first time you’ve seen some one pass over?” I ask. “Yeah, it was. But I mean I’ve heard of other people passing over or going away from other groups. So personally this was my first. I guess this place isn’t a bunch of bull shit after all.” “What do you think happens after we pass over?” “Fuck if I know. I didn’t even think that this was going to happen.” “Yeah me either,” I say staring at the floor. “Cheer up will you. You are about to be pretty fucking popular here after what just happened. Word gets around,” she smiles at me. “How? No one even talks around here.” “Are you kidding me? Some people don’t ever shut the fuck up.” “Yeah okay,” I huff as we make it back to the waiting area. “Where do you normally sit?” Sylvia asks me. I point to the far right corner. “Yeah we all got to start somewhere. That’s the newbies corner so course they are going to not talk. Those people are scared. Not far from that we have Freaksville. That’s where the messed up one go after they have been here awhile. If you aren’t messed up than you don’t belong there so don’t bother going. Then you have general pockets of people that haven’t been here that long. See over here and over there,” she points. “Why are you telling me all of this?” I ask. “Why the hell not? Lastly that side of the room is mostly filled with the people that have been here the longest. They are not the nicest of people. Real assholes if you ask me,” she walks me over to where she usually sits. “If this is Purgatory than where are the children?” I ask. “No idea. Take a seat.” I take a seat next to her as I look around the room. Already there are a lot of eyes looking in our directions. Sylvia gives off a little laugh and a fake smile, “See just like I told you.” “You weren’t kidding.” “Nope, you are going to be very popular. Too bad you don’t have anything to show for it. Might here some good stories though.” “Who’s that guy sitting over there with all the tattoos?” I ask her. “The one who’s staring you down like you’re a piece of meat at an all you can eat dinner?” “Umm, yeah that guy.” “That’s Layne Ambrose. Stay away from him if you can. That man’s got some real serious issues. He’s already been kicked out of several groups. I heard he even tried to bite someone in the one of the groups.” “We can do that?” “Bite some one? No we can’t do that James were not vampires. Though that would make this strangely worth it all. The most we can do is touch, but it’s pointless because we can’t feel it. We can’t do much of anything in this hell hole.” “Tell me about it. What about those two girls over there?” I ask. “What about them?” “What’s their story?” “How am I supposed to know?” She punches me in the arm, “You got a crush?” My arm stings a little, “No.” “You didn’t have a lot of friends when you were alive did you?” “No, not really,” I say awkwardly. “Yeah, that’s because you ask too many damn questions.”

 

Something Different

Slowly

Carrying the weight of our souls
Backpacking through living hell
I wish for more
But all I get is the same
Cavernous, carnivores
We eat our young
Shit out the old
A machine made of razor blade teeth
The cycle won’t end
For fear that all will be lost
For fear of death
For fear of something different
We think that we know everything
We know nothing beyond despise
The fact we can breathe
Is a miracle in isn’t self
Embrace this, embrace it all
See where it takes us after all
Slowly declining such a sad existence
Slowly
Slowly

Nine Dollars a Day

Against all odds
Raised up against the bets
Pulled it off
But lost it all
If you think you know
You learn to find
You know nothing at all
The importance of thought
A grain of sand
In a giant tidal wave of shit
You drown in it
You struggle threw it
But in the end
You only learn to live with it

A Place Called Home

Slowly killing myself
Slowly killing you
I take you down with me
To a deep dark hole
I’ve come to call my soul
After everything we’ve done
After everything I’ve said
There’s not much left to love
A fear I have come to commend
Slowly killing myself
Slowly killing you
I take you within me
To have and to hold
Forever of old
To a place called home

Drinking Bleach Preview

Drinking Bleach is my first collection of short stories from my earlier days. It is a mixed genre book filled with short stories, poems, micro stories, and more. From the early days of Chewing On Glass to the first story I ever wrote. This book covers a lot of ground. As always available on Kindle. Don’t have a Kindle? That’s okay. Enjoy thousands of books right from your desktop, smart phone, or tablet with the Kindle app.

Adult language and ideas through out.

Purgatory Part 1

“The blood leaks from the holes in my chest. My white shirt fills with red, a stain I will never forget, as the bloody shirt clings to my chest. I can remember trying to raise my head up. I can remember trying to understand what is happening to me, but it is as though my body can’t function. Trapped, I feel trapped, and I feel cold. I feel so many things at once. Yet all I can do is watch as even more blood comes from my chest. Then everything goes blank. The thinking stops. The trying stops. Everything stops and the next thing I know I’m sitting in a room full of strangers to be what I guess is sorted. I’m confused and now I am here where ever here is, is where I am. I don’t understand why I am here. Why am I here?”

“Let me just start by saying that was some really good sharing James, and to answer your question. We are all here to work out our issues so we can pass to the other side.” The hooded figure continue to tell me something about this place and why I am here, but it is all too much. This is all too confusing to process in one go. Am I alive or am I dead? Is there anything such as death if I am here? I interrupt the figure, “Pass on where? Where am I passing onto? So I am dead?” The voice continues to talk from under the hood never showing its face or any emotion, “Yes James you are dead. We all are in this room and I can understand that, that may be hard for you to take in all at once, but I encourage you to ask any questions you might have. As far as passing on I really have no defiant answer to that question. I don’t have a say on whether you go to heaven or hell. I am only here to help you move on to either one.” The woman to my left who is probably more in line with being a girl interrupts the figure, “There’s no such thing as passing on to either one. We already died. This is all there is left. You just make us come here to this room and talk out our feelings so we can’t revolt and take over or some shit.” She gets absurdly angry and throws the chair she was sitting on at the wall behind her. “This is all just bull shit. Either that or you suck at your job. Which one is it?” She continues to rave at the figure without a face. The hooded figure never shows any sign of emotion as he talks to her, “Sylvia please calm down, you of all people should know that this is not helping you to pass on.” “Pass on? How the fuck long have I been here? Years, months, forever and I have never seen anyone pass on once. We just keep coming here and coming here.” “Sylvia there is no such thing as time. We have been over this before. It takes as long as it will take,” the figure says calmly. “Because there is no passing on you faceless fucking asshole. This is hell. This is fucking purgatory,” she screams at the figure. “That’s right,” a man sitting to the left on the figure says. “You are right this is purgatory, but this is not hell,” he nods his head in a matter of fact kind of way. “This is purgatory? I’m in purgatory. What the hell is going on? I’m supposed to be in class tomorrow. At least I think I am,” I interject. “Oh my god, yes you dumb ass. I already hate the new guy. What have you been here for like ten minutes and you haven’t realized you’re dead? You have three holes in your chest Brian. What did you pull the trunk and nothing happened?” Sylvia screams at me. “That is enough Sylvia. James has recently died and this is all new to him. In fact this is enough for now. Let’s all go to the waiting room and meet back here later,” the hooded figure doesn’t wait for a response as he opens the door. “Fine with me,” Sylvia is the first one to storm out of the room. She doesn’t look like she could be more than nineteen or could have been nineteen seems to be more appropriate. The next one to leave the room is a slightly overweight man dressed in a business suit. He tries to shake the hand of the hooded figure, but he politely declines. The man smiles none the less and wish the figure a good day as he exits the room. I still haven’t left my seat as the rest of them shuffle out of the room without a fuss. I can’t stop staring at my chest. My blood is still there on my shirt a stain that seems like it will never come off. “James you have to leave now. I know that this must be hard to take in, but it will get better the more you come here.” I stare at the hooded figure for a few seconds before nodding my head. I still have one more question as I walk out of the room. “How will I know to come back?” “I will page you,” the hooded figure closes the door without another word.

What is time when you are dead? There is no sense of it in this place. There is only waiting and it feels like forever. There’s no place to go, nothing to see, nothing at all. All there is, is a waiting room filled with chairs not the kind of chairs that are soft, warm, and inviting. More like those hard plastic my ass is going to hurt for days on end kind of chairs. The ones with the four bolts on the back and four bolts on the seat that are always dark blue. Even though I don’t feel pain I feel as if I do. Besides these shitty chairs there are the other people. No one is really talking to one another though. The ones that are talking seem less scared than the rest of us. We were all either taught that this place is for sinners or that to end up here was a bad thing. Some of us might not even have a clue as to what this place is. But here we all are good or bad we are all trapped in the middle, waiting. Every minute? Every now and then I guess there always seems to be someone new in the room. The room, Christ this room is larger than any waiting area I have ever been. It could hardly be called a room more like a lobby. Though there has to be more than one of these down here? Because there is no way that this is all the dead people. The size and scope of this place only adds to the crazy fact that it is nearly silent. I start tapping my foot which only seems to upset those around me. Scanning the room once again for anyone I might recognize I spot Sylvia. She sits on the opposite side of the room from me all alone. She is rubbing her wrist staring at the gashes. Her writs are stained with blood and each gash looks fresh. I didn’t notice them before probably because the cuts and the blood stains almost look like makeup more than flesh wounds. This all becomes more and more real. This isn’t a dream and not a nightmare this is my life now. The figure said it wasn’t permanent, but it feels more and more so the longer I stare at her. How long has she been here? How long will I have to be here? Even from this distance I can see the insides of her arms as she displays them out in front of her. She looks up and we lock eyes. Only for a second too scared she will go off again I stare at the floor. BY the time that I look up again she has moved out of my view. I search the room for her from my seat. I guess we all are having a hard time with this. I know I am having a hard time with all of this. It is like being in the most boring place in the world or being drunk with nothing to do. My mind tries to process new things or new thoughts but it can’t because I can’t stop thinking about my death. If I don’t try really hard to focus or think about something else my mind automatically goes back to thinking about the holes in my chest. I don’t want to think about that anymore. I want to understand where I am. All of this is very frustrating and makes being here even more horrible than it already is. I don’t see her so I stop looking.

Every now and then someone new comes in and it makes me feel that much more alone. Sometimes the new people are really messed up. Earlier a guy came in with a piece of glass stuck through his skull. His face was covered in blood. He looked like he could have been the singer for a death metal band or the winner for best costume at a Halloween party. Another guy was dressed in a uniform and I couldn’t tell which one because of all the burn damage to his body. If I could cry I would have for cried for him. His body looked like it had been hit by an explosive at close range. Part of his face was completely ripped back away from his skull. A flap of skin bouncing as he walked, as he turned his head, as he moved. His left arm was completely gone. Nothing left but a bloody stump made up of bone and burnt flesh. Most of his uniform was charred black like most of the still attached skin. We are all dead but most of us don’t look like a walking corpse. I felt bad for him. Even more so as I watched him try to cry but we can’t. We don’t cry and we don’t bleed. He didn’t deserve whatever it is that happened to him no matter what side of the fight he was on. No one deserves to die that way. No one should have to sit here with the rest of us looking like that, feeling like that. The more grotesque your death means no one wants to sit next to you in this room. Somethings never change even in death. The solider sits alone in the far corner of the room. There are a lot of empty chairs for the size of the room. Reserved for in case of a catastrophe maybe. Despite all the horror that covers most of us the room is extremely clean like in a hospital. This room is empty besides us and the chairs there is nothing in this room. No windows, no one to ask how much longer, no one to ask if we can leave, no doors to leave from, and nothing on the walls. I mean how many great artist have died since the dawn of time? They couldn’t get one to draw something on the walls? The room is next to silent unless a voice calls out names and what room to report to. The voice sounds very much if not exactly like the hooded figures voice, very calm and airy. I don’t believe it is the same hooded figure as the one I have met because there is more than one room being called out, but after what I have seen in my time of waiting anything is possible. I hear my name in the familiar voice and it tells me to report to room forty-six. I don’t get up right away, but when I hear Sylvia’s name get called I stand up and search for her. Turns out she had been sitting a few rows back behind me. I quickly shuffle off to meet her at the hallway entrance. I follow right behind her down the long and only hall way here. The hall way seems like it goes on forever. It is nothing more than a long tunnel with rooms on either side. Despite the fact the hall way is very well lit I can’t see the end. The end is filled with darkness and as we keep moving down the hall the darkness stays the same. It doesn’t take long until we arrive to our assigned room. The door is already open when we get there. The hooded figure is waiting by the door identical to how it was when we left. Its voice is the same as it welcomes us back as we enter the room and take our seats.

I pay more attention to the room this time around, but it is just as blank and bare as the waiting room. There are no windows in here as well only more of those damn chairs. There are only ten chairs in this room but I heard six names called along with mine. I am in the same seat that I was in last time I came here and so has Sylvia. The business man has taken a seat two chairs to my right and a thin woman who looks like she was in her forties takes the seat next to me. The thin lady is wearing a flower house dress with a massive blood stain in the back. It looks as though a knife was dug into her back. It is hard to make out all the cuts because of how much the dress sticks to her back from the blood. She sees me staring at her wounds and sits so her back is completely against the seat of the chair. Embarrassed I look away. A man in his twenty’s occupies a seat across from me closer to Sylvia. He looks to have died in a similar fashion as me. The front of his body is littered with bullet holes only unlike me he was wearing black on the day that he died. Had I known maybe I would have too. But what would I really wear on the day that I knew I was going to die? What would I have even done? Clothing is so strange here it is almost like it is part of us. We can’t take it them off or clean them or even move them. Though I did see someone who was wearing a jacket and they were able to take their arms out of the sleeves, but that was about it. Otherwise we have to sit in what we wore on the day we died and it makes me wonder if the bullets are still in me? Did someone take them out? Then I remember the man with the piece of glass stuck in his head. I looked to my chest and get lost once again in the reality of it all. “We are waiting for one more,” the voice informs us from the door. Out of the darkness of the hall a young woman walks into the room. The door like a granite slab slams closed behind her. At first she doesn’t know where to sit, but she take a seat next to me on my right. Despite the large gashes on her throat she is very beautiful and looks as though she could have been an actress or a model, and maybe she was. I never paid that much attention to things like that. Never really paid attention to anyone really. “Hello everyone, how are we feeling?” The figure asks us as it takes a seat at the head of the circle. Everyone lets out a strange noise in replace of a greeting before the figure starts to talk again, “As always I would like to start the meeting off with any questions any of you might have?” “Yeah when the fuck am I getting out of this shit hole?” Sylvia asks. “Language Sylvia, I see you are going to start up early with questions you already know the answers to, and you know when you are ready you can pass over.” “How will we know when we are ready?” I ask. “That’s difficult to say James. The goal here is to answer any questions, concerns, or conflicts you still have inside of you. In order to pass over any of those issues need to be resolved, so that you can enter with a clean conscious.” “How are we supposed to do that? I don’t get it,” I tell the figure. “I’m glad you asked. You and everyone here can achieve this goal by sharing with us your thoughts and feelings.” “That simple?” I ask. “That simple,” the figure answers back. “Okay, why am I here? That’s the only question I have.” “No it’s not James and you know that even if you don’t think you do. The idea is to look deep inside yourself. The process is never easy and it can take many visits,” the figure explains. “So you mean I could be here forever in a sense?” I ask scared and even more confused. “This is all bullshit that is all you need to know,” Sylvia blurt out. “Sylvia please some of us are actually trying to move on here,” the older woman in the flowery dress finally speaks up. “Very positive,” the figure reassures her. “Oh my god, Elizabeth you need to shut up. You don’t even think you are dead for fucks sake.” “That’s because I’m not dear and how many more times do I have to tell you to call me Beth?” “I don’t know maybe a couple more times Elizabeth.” “You know what you are young lady?” Elizabeth raises her voice in anger. “You are a snot nose little brat. That is what you are.” “Ladies please this is not helping,” the figure attempts to interject. “Well you’re a bitch Elizabeth and that’s probably why your husband stabbed you as many times as he did,” Sylvia fires right back. “Yeah well at least I didn’t have to kill myself to get some attention. How does it make you feel knowing it was all for nothing?” The beautiful girl begins to weep without tears. “That’s not why I killed myself you old whore. I killed myself because I was done with life and I was ready to move on.” “Oh whatever, you are such a little drama queen Sylvia. I am truly amazed that you were starved for attention.” “Ladies please stop this now, you are upsetting Karen.” “Karen is always upset,” they say in unison. Holy shit welcome to meeting number two it is no wonder that it takes so long to pass over. After that final outburst both Sylvia and Elizabeth refrain from saying or even looking at one another. The figure however continued, “Are you okay Karen?” “I’m fine,” is all she is able to whimper out after a moment of silence. Her voice is amazingly soft and quiet and I wonder if this is from her death or if that is her natural voice. “Do you feel like sharing today?” She shakes her head no and the voice moves on. The hooded figure never pushes any of us into talking. It simply asks a question and we have to decide how or if we answer. Sometimes the figure feels almost human with its soft calming voice. I wonder if it once was or is something else entirely.

Thank you for reading. Full story available now.

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