#ThursThreads Week 335 : But They Sure Don’t Seem To Like Me

On Friday morning, Jimmy woke up, and like he always did, checked the news. Unfortunately, he wasn’t very happy with what he saw.

His friends Bobby, Tim, and Eddie, all made the morning news, but not for good reasons.

Bobby was found, naked, face up, in the middle of the road. No one could figure out how the staked that ran through his arms and legs, and held him to the pavement, had been hammered into place. A note was attached to a nail hammered into his head, “One down. Three to go.”

They found Tim at a hotel, in a room, naked, and face up on the bed, tied down, with a rope around his neck that had kept him from breathing. A rather disturbed woman sat in the corner, crying, and screaming, “It was all black. No face. No eyes. Nothing. Just black.” A note on the rope around Tim’s neck said, “Two down. Two left.”

Eddie’s body was at the counter at the entrance to the police station, with a metal pipe that ran through him, and pinned him to that counter. The officer at the counter was in shock, and kept mumbling, “It said this makes three. And Jimmy’s next.”

The note attached to the pipe that killed Eddie read, “Jimmy. I’ve met your friends. But they sure don’t seem to like me.”

Pastor Greg called the Sheriff. They picked up Jimmy, and took him to a safe house, as if that could stop me.

249 Words
@mysoulstears


Getting closer to the end of this Armor 17 story. Only 4 parts left. It’s Week 333 of #ThursThreads, hosted by Siobhan Muir. Please go read all the entries in this week’s #ThursThreads. They are always fun to read. And there are some great writers who turn out weekly.

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What if…

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

I have no idea if what I’m about to write is correct, or incorrect, or partially correct and partially incorrect, or totally fiction. So, you can ignore me if you wish.

During my six years (yes, six years) of therapy, my doctor informed me, more than once, “Mark. You are very intelligent. More than intelligent enough to take a problem apart, and put it back together, to see how it works. You can turn the problem over. Turn it on its ear, look at it sideways, and take it apart in a totally different way, and put it back together. And learn more about it.”

Well. Since the events of November 8th, 2016, in the United States, I’ve been doing that. I’ve been taking apart the problem, and analyzing it, and putting everything back, to see if that’s how it makes sense to me. It’s been a harsh two years. I’ve lost a lot of people I once could speak with. I’ve had many parting of the ways, caused by ideologies that didn’t like each other. But, I kept at it. And I’m still keeping at it. But, now? Now, I have the beginnings of an understanding that’s grown enough I can put some of it into words. This may sound like a lot of what if questions. But, this is not me asking questions.

I don’t want any answers.

This is me, thinking perhaps, things are not what they seem.

What if. What if there are people who believe it’s not the job of government, the United States Federal Government, the State Government, the County or City government, or any other government, to write laws that dictate how people behave.

What if. What if there are people who believe it’s not the job of any government to take care of people. Not the job of the government to feed the hungry, to make certain the sick get the medical care they need, to make certain the population is educated.

What if. What if there are people who believe it is the responsibility of people, human beings, neighbors, and friends, people of the churches, to feed those who are hungry, care for those who are sick, and need medical care, and keep themselves, and each other, educated, and learning, through life.

What if. What if there are people who believe crowd funding is a great thing, because it makes it easier for people to help each other. Because they can send $5 to help someone they don’t know, and will never meet, get the cancer treatment they need to stay alive. Because they can send $1 to help someone who got let go when the company closed, and now can’t pay the electricity bill to keep the heat and the lights on in their house.

What if. What if there are people believe neighbors, and neighborhood churches, should carry bag lunches to people living on the street, using their own money, or money they get from other neighbors, or from church members.

Somehow, I don’t think people who believe such things would view government mandated health care the same way as people who believe the government should guarantee everyone healthcare? Rather, I think they would have a totally different view of health care, one that’s almost incomprehensible, and makes no sense at all, to those who think it’s the government’s place to make sure we all have health care.

What if. What if there are people who believe gender is a private, personal thing, and not something to be shared publicly, or advertised. What if there are people who believe it is natural for some men to love men, and some women to love women, and they don’t have a problem with such love until they are told they have to publicly embrace such love as normal. What if they believe it’s normal for men to marry the men they love, and women to marry the women they love, and that they should follow the same path to marriage everyone else does, and find someone who feels it is OK to perform gay marriages. What if there are people who feel about this the same way they feel about marriages between people with different religions, such as Conservative Christian, and Muslim?

Somehow, I don’t think people who believe such things would view government laws declaring who can marry who, and which clergy is to be required to perform such marriages, the same way as those who believe government legislation is the only means of securing the right of marriage for all people, and not just for standard heterosexual marriages. I think they would have a totally different view of marriage, and again, it may well be incomprehensible to those who think it’s the governments place to guarantee everyone the equal opportunity to get married.

What if. What if there are people who believe sexual harassment isn’t placing your hand on a woman’s shoulder without asking, as you try to help them fix their computer, and are standing behind them, but is, rather, making an effort to observe the screen, and the actions the individual is taking, in order to better identify the problems?

What if. What if there are people who believe men are the victims of millions of years of biological processes, perhaps even evolution, where their biology pushes them to mate with women, and it’s not that they are predators, as portrayed in the press, but rather, they are biological beings, with body chemistries, and survival instincts, that some are better at controlling than others. What if there are people who believe that weaker men, men less likely to be selected by women as mates, are more likely to perform sexual assaults, because of the biological urge to survive, as a species.

Would those people who believe the laws of the government can mandate how people behave view sexual harassment, or even sexual assault, the same way as the people who believe such things as these biological processes?

If you have wondered what I am trying to say, trying to explain, when I tell you there is no right or wrong, no up or down, no left or right, no good or evil, no just or unjust, you should know, this is an example of what I’m trying to say. That I’m trying to ask, “What if?”

What if. What if there are people who believe there should be more churches like the one the entrance to the home development I live in. A church where, every Tuesday, from 1000 hours until 1400 hours, has a food service. They provide food for those who need it, as best they can. And they collect canned goods, and non-perishables from their congregation, and from anyone who wishes to contribute, as they can. And they’ve been doing this for over eight years now.

There are, it’s true, evil people in this world. There are, it’s true, hate filled, prejudiced, supremacists. But, not everyone who sides with the Republican Party, and with Donald Trump, Mitch McConnell, and Ted Cruz is hate filled, prejudiced, or a supremacist.

What they are is different. What they believe is different. How they think, and react, to the same events, is different. They aren’t evil. They’re different. Strikingly different. With a different view of what government is, and how it should work. And what society is, and how it should work.

It may be that there are more hungry people than churches, friends, neighborhoods, and families can feed. It may be that medical treatments, and housing needs may be more than neighbors, and churches, and crowd funding, are able to support. But, does that really mean the government needs to take over? Or perhaps, the government would make a better supplement, when it’s needed, when churches, friends, neighbors, and families, aren’t sufficient.

As I said when I started these words. This is not me asking questions. This is me, finally figuring out how to put some of what I have been learning these past two years into words.

Will my words have any meaning to anyone? I don’t know. But, I do find, at times, to be able to sleep at night, I have to write them down, and put them where they can be found.

Mark.

#MenageMonday 2×03

Considering how I was pounding on the door, and ringing the bell endlessly, and screaming, “Marty! Marty! Marty!” at the top of my lungs, it took a ludicrous amount of time for Marty to actually answer the door.

When he finally did answer, he had his handgun pointed right at me. I threw my hands up, “Don’t shoot me!” as I backed away.

“Tom?” He didn’t look happy. “It’s 3 in the morning, Tom.” He looked rather angry, “Why are you beating my door down at 3, Tom?”

I pointed at the moon. “Look! Look!”.

“I don’t see anything, Tom.” I swore the angry look he gave me could cut glass, “Just the moon”

I was hopping up and down, pointing at the sky, and wishing I could hide in a deep cave full of guns. “It’s right there!”

“What’s right there, Tom?”

“Pegasus!”

He looked at the moon, and then looked around, mostly at the sky. “I don’t see anything, Tom.”

“Oh, crap! He’s seen me!” I tried to push past Marty, in to the house, but he blocked my way, and aimed his gun at me. “Go home, Marty. You’re having a nightmare. There’s nothing to it.” I almost broke my nose on his door as he slammed it shut.

I stood there. Every time I looked up, there was Pegasus, leather wings and all, watching me. I kept hearing Rockwell singing, “I always feel like, somebody’s watching me.”

“Please, Mr. Pegasus, sir. Don’t eat me.”

246 words
@mysoulstears


I wrote this for week 2×03 of Cara Michaels‘s #MenageMonday flash fiction challenge. You can read about #MenageMonday here. Please, go read all the short tales from this week. The tales are always little works of art, crafted with words, meant to be shared, and enjoyed. And many of them are amazing.

Miranda Kate’s Mid-Week Challenge : 2018/10/14

“Gravity. That’s always been a good thing,” I decided, as I floated around my living room. “Military technology. That’s always been a bad thing.” Which seemed to sum it up nicely.

I was in my encounter suit. Like the ones NASA used to use on the old Space Station, way back in the early 2000s. Turned out I was one of the lucky ones, I had a suit. They’d only sold 100,000 or so, trying to recover some of the money NASA lost the Federal Government.

I’d decided to water the plants. The ones on my patio, that I’d been smart enough to catch, and pull inside before they floated off. Something about physics being physics, and gravity no longer working, and things floating off, and becoming detached from the planet.

“Damn ray gun loving, warmongers!” Yeah. That summed it up. It was 2106 when the remains of what had once been the United States went financially insolvent. Which wasn’t a surprise, given it was $378,296,185,243,156.43 in debt when the bankruptcy was declared.

I still blame the Republicans. Spending money hand over fist for military programs, and cutting taxes until no one had to pay any taxes. They made money out of thin air. And it caught up to them. But. that’s another story.

Right then, I had my hands full, trying to put the plants back into their pots, and trying to suck up all the water floating around my Dining Room. Oh, I knew all about physics. I knew how water behaved in zero gravity. Knew it was not a good idea to water the plants. The water would end up everywhere. But. Well. The plants were looking kind of bad. And I knew they needed water. And I couldn’t figure out how to get water to them. So, I’d managed to trap some water from the faucet in a sprinkling can. And the rest was history.

I’m sure any aliens watching us stupid humans were dying of laughter, as I demonstrated how water goes wherever it fucking wants to in zero gravity. And how plants can float out of their pots, dirt and all.

It was frustrating, I’ll admit that.

But it was better than thinking about what was going to happen in the coming days and weeks, as the atmosphere floated off, and left the planet a barren rock, floating through space. “Damn ;ray gun loving, warmongers!” Yeah! I’d tell them!

I’d been climbing the stairs of the building to my apartment when it happened. I pushed down, against a step, like one does. And instead of my foot staying put on the step, and my body raising high enough for me to put the other foot on the next step, my whole body shot up into the air, and my head collided with the bottom of the next flight of stairs. Painfully collided, I might add. “What the fuck just happened?”

Poor Jenny, my neighbor. She’d been in the bathtub. With one of those bath bomb things. Imagine. Gravity stopped, and all that water started floating around the room, and leaving a trail of soapy, glittery shit everywhere.

The news that night was entertaining, to say the least. The Department Of Defense chairman, tied to a big ass podium, standing in front of a bunch of cameras that were floating in all kinds of directions, explaining, “We had an experiment go wrong. It was a local anti-gravity weapon, designed to make enemies have to deal with no gravity in their environment on a battlefield. The test started out well. But something went wrong, and the test equipment ran wild, and, well.” He’d paused at that point, and looked at 43 different cameras, so everyone could see him. “It took out the gravity field planet wide.”

It got more entertaining quickly, like when the Atlantic Ocean decided to swallow a large chunk of Africa, and all of Europe. I heard the defense jockeys in my head every time I thought about it, “Oops. Sorry about that…”

Now, it was our last days, as the atmosphere had started acting like a comet’s tail, and was trailing out millions of miles behind the planet. “Funny how it’s easier to breathe in high spaces than on the ground anymore.”

I stared at the water, and the plants, floating in my Dining Room. “Fuck it. We’ll call it Art Deco, and see what happens next.”

I sighed. At least Jenny was happy. She floated over naked each night for endless sex. She called it one last big bang before the apocalypse. Who was I to argue with her? “If I gotta die, I may as well make the best of what time’s left.”

I don’t think I’d ever heard more appropriate words, or more truthful.

791 words
@mysoulstears


Saw the picture for week 76 of Miranda Kate‘s Mid-Week Challenge, and this little bit of fiction popped into my head. You can read about Miranda’s small fiction challenge here. Please, go read Miranda’s short tale this week, and any others that showed up. The tales are always little works of art, crafted with words, meant to be shared, and enjoyed. And many of them are amazing.

I. Can’t. Make. It. Stop…

It is not my way to share words I have written, other than those that are fiction, created by thoughts, and all kinds of dreams, of worlds, and events that have never happened, and will never be.

But, there are those who wish to understand what drives me. What causes me to behave the way I behave. And it’s shockingly simple to understand. And while many would say it’s simple to fix, and correct, I know it’s not.

What follows is the best description you will ever have of me. The best answer to the question, “Why?”


Something I never told you. And part of what’s causing all this.

Brother David, and Mom, and Dad, screamed at each other. Seriously. They fought. I can remember hiding in my room, back in middle and high schools. And putting my headphones on. And turning the volume up until I couldn’t hear anything but the music. To drown out them fighting again.

And now, I’m dealing with endless screaming on Facebook. And it’s digging up old wounds that I buried a long time ago.

It doesn’t have anything to do with the topics, really. When you get down to the root causes, it has to do with how I deal with conflict.

I don’t deal with conflict.

I will literally walk away, and never come back, to avoid conflict. Because. Screaming. Stop. The. Screaming. Fighting. Stop. The. Fighting. Raw. Ragged. Emotions.

I have to escape. I have no option here. I have to escape.

This is what’s happening with me, right now. Everywhere I look. Every day. At work. At home. On social media. On the radio. At dinner out. At breakfast out. It’s everywhere. I can’t escape. I can’t.

And I’m at a loss for what to do. Because. All I can do is put on my headphones. And turn up the volume. And drown out the world.

So I can’t hear the conflict anymore. So the parts of me that are gone. The parts that are permanently damaged. So I can’t and don’t have to face them.

I keep hearing the fights I heard when I was growing up. Every time these topics show up. And I know I can’t do anything. I can’t leave. I couldn’t leave then. I can’t reason with anyone. I couldn’t then. I can’t fix things. I couldn’t then.

And I’m searching. Seeking. Hunting. Desperately. And more desperately all the time. For a way to make the noise stop. For a way to make the screaming stop.

I. Can’t. Make. It. Stop…

Miranda Kate’s Mid-Week Challenge : 2018/10/03

Julia carefully straightened one last misplaced curl of my wig, “There. That’s better.” She examined me from head to foot, a thorough once over. “I know why you’re doing this, you know. But you could just dress as yourself. No one would really mind.”

I stared into the mirror for a moment. “Mom always said she wanted me to have a proper wedding. One with a bride, and a groom, and a grand wedding dress, in a grand old church.”

“I know.” She adjusted the white fabric flower on my left sleeve again. “There. That’s better.”

“You’re certain you have everything right? Nothing missing?”

She nodded. “You couldn’t look any more like a bride if you were a girl, dude.”

I looked at myself in that mirror again. “You know. I’ve never had on a wig, or makeup before.”

“I know.” Julia grinned.

“I honestly don’t know how you guys deal with all this stuff. Every single day. It would drive me crazy.”

She had a fun laugh, I’d always thought that. Almost a cross between a giggle, and a guffaw. It was what I needed right then, it made me feel better. “See, Bobby? See? That’s the smile you need today. That smile.”

I keep smiling into the mirror. “Bobby, you make a gorgeous looking bride.”

It was my time to laugh, “No. You made me a gorgeous looking bride. On my own, I’d look like some bearded woman in a pile of wrinkled fabric.”

She gave me a hug, like any big sister would. “You ready? It’s almost time.”

I nodded. “Yeah. Let’s do this.”

James was resplendent in his tuxedo, standing at the front of the church, next to the pastor, with Alexander standing next to him. Mary and Danielle stood on the bride’s side of the pastor, and watched as my boss from work, Stephen, escorted me down the aisle.

I was terrified. Walking in those damn high heels, with those straps cutting into my ankles, to keep the shoes from coming off. And my legs felt all wrong, having been shaved, and having none of the hair they’d always had.

But, if I was getting married, I wanted it to be a wedding Mom would approve of. And she’d wanted me to find someone to love. My other half, she called them. And have a big celebration, with a church wedding, and a beautiful, classic brides gown.

I’d always loved my Mom. Always. And I wished, as I walked down the aisle, she could be there, on that front row, next to Julia, and her family, to see the wedding I’d arranged.

It was beautiful. I know Mom would have loved it. And I hoped she would approve of me having found my other half in James. As I walked that aisle that day, it was like I could see her looking down from heaven, watching.

It had been Mom’s wish. And I’d found a way to make it come true.

496 words
@mysoulstears


Saw the picture for week 75 of Miranda Kate‘s Mid-Week Challenge, and this little bit of fiction popped into my head. As a friend said, “Your blog. Post whatever you want.” So, here it is. You can read about Miranda’s small fiction challenge here. Please, go read Miranda’s short tale this week, and any others that showed up. The tales are always little works of art, crafted with words, meant to be shared, and enjoyed. And many of them are amazing.

Miranda Kate’s Mid-Week Challenge : 2018/09/23

I don’t know how much longer I can keep her heart from going cold, how much longer I can keep her from the fate we all share. How long it will be until she turns to stone. Nothing more than a statue of of who she once was.

I hold her every chance I get. And pray the heat of the molten rock inside my shell reaches her, and warms her, so I may have one more day with her. One more day.

The first time I felt her growing cold was the day her father turned to stone. The day the last glimpse of heat left his eyes, and all the flames of life flickered out, and faded from his surface, leaving nothing save the granite he once lived within.

That day was fatal to her. It was the start of her own freeze. The beginning of her surrender to death. To the cold.

It was slow, so slow. I didn’t know what to do. How to you speak of such a thing with the one you love? How do you keep them warm? How do you convince them to keep their fire burning?

When our daughter left home, to find a life of her own, it weakened her further, and the cold grew. I could feel her heat fading daily.

I took time off of work, and took her everywhere she’d ever wished to go. To the top of the mountains. To see the mothers of us all, the volcanoes. Where our people were first born, in fire, and heat, filled with life, and lust to see the world, so many centuries ago. She cried. She walked in their fire, waded in their pools of molten rock, their streams of lava. For a time she was warmer.

But it didn’t last. Once we returned home, to our place here in the caverns, in the dark, the only light being the light of our inner fires, she spoke with me, for the first time.

“I grow cold, my love.” A molten tear flowed from her eye, down her perfect cheek. “I grow cold.”

“I know.” What more had there been to say? “I’ve known for a while now.”

“I will gather what heat I can. So I may stay with you.” Small flames flickered, and raced along her surface. “I would stay with you as long as I can.”

“I would stay with you forever, my love.”

She smiled. I had always loved her smile. She always brought warmth to me. Heat. That raced along every surface of me. Flames that flickered on the surface of the molten rock that were my eyes. “I know.” She placed her hand on my cheek, and I felt a hint of warmth in her fingers I hadn’t felt in ages. “I will last as long as I can.”

In the years since then, she has slowed. Now, most days, she sits. Motionless. And watches the sun, basking in its heat, resting her feet in the lava stream that flows along the edge of our back yard.

Now, most days, I cry, for I know it is only a question of time, now. Many nights I don’t sleep, standing with her by the stream, my arms wrapped around her, as I desperately try to breathe my warmth into her.

But I know the day will come when the last of the fire in her fades. And she follows her father beyond the veil of this life. And all I will have left of her is a cold, stone statue.

596 words
@mysoulstears


This is written for Week 73 of Miranda Kate‘s Mid-Week Challenge. You can read about Miranda’s small fiction challenge here. Please, go read Miranda’s short tale this week, and any others that showed up. The tales are always little works of art, crafted with words, meant to be shared, and enjoyed. And many of them are amazing.