Miranda Kate’s Mid-Week Challenge : 2017/09/17

See. They close the pier every day, at frickin’ 0100 hours. And then they open it again at 0400 hours. And I do my job, and clean up after the dirtiest, filthiest animals on the planet in that three short hours.

Oh, sure. Everybody knows there’s fishing line and hooks under the pier. That’s what the damn thing’s there for. Fishing. And they still make people so stupid they drop the line straight down from the pier, and watch it get washed into the pilings, where they’ll never get it back again.

Every three months I sell the lead weights from the fishing lines to a local shop. And that shop sells them right back to the idiots that lost them in the first place. Hell, I put an X on one of them. I’ve sold it back to the shop three times now.

They got signs right on the pier. “No littering!” And they got big ass trash cans right next to the signs. And every damn day I pull paper cups, empty soda bottles, burger wrappers, paper bags, and those damn little ketchup packets, out of the water and sand. Every day. Why? ‘Cause people are fucking stupid, that’s why. And they’re fucking lazy. Can’t bother to walk six damn feet to put the wrapper in the trash, so just hang it over the rail of the pier, and quietly let go.

I mean, who cares? Right? Who cares?

And every now and then, I have to do something with a dead seagull that choked on that shit, or a turtle that got tangled in it and drowned.

And I have to ask. I have to. What idiot parent takes their baby fishing on a god damned pier? Seriously. It’s not like the baby’s going to catch anything. Poor kids. Sitting there all day, frying in the damn sun. Daddy or mommy periodically adding another layer of that sunscreen shit to them, to keep them safe from the sun. Poor kids probably thinking, “Can we get the fuck out of here, and go somewhere with an air-conditioner, and shade?”

Everybody knows what babies do, right? Shit. In their diapers. And I pull fucking pampers full of shit out of the fucking ocean every fucking day. Throw one of them bitches in the ocean, and then wonder why you can’t catch any fish. Idiots. Fish see that sucker, and they know, “Shit! It’s Shit! I’m outta here!” And they all leave.

Jesus, humans are stupid.

Beer cans. My god, the beer cans. And the plastic six pack rings. It’s like people think they’re having fun, drinking beers while tossing a hook and bit of lead tied to a long nylon line into the ocean all day. “Man. This is the life.” Chug. Belch. “Caught anything Bob?” And throw the empty can off the pier.

So that I have to fish your fucking beer cans out of the sand and water, so the same guy can do the same thing tomorrow. “Caught anything, Bob?” Belch. Throw another can into the ocean.

I tell you what. I think Mr. Beer Can thrower, and Mr. You Shit In Your Pamper, should do my job for a month. They’d fucking grow up.

537 Words

Miranda Kate‘s weekly short fiction challenge is in it’s 21st week. You can read about the challenge here. This week, I tried something different again Hope it’s worth the effort. Please, go read Miranda’s short tale this week, and any others that show up. They are always little works of art, crafted with words, meant to be shared, and enjoyed.


#ThursThreads Week 282 : We’ll Have To See About That

What Pastor Greg couldn’t explain to his congregation turned up on social media Monday morning, after the church was torched. It was great fun to watch him react to the spread of his browsing history, in particular, his visits to the dark web. He started receiving phone calls at dawn, with his most stalwart supporter, Mrs. Simmons, asking if it was true that he regularly watched child pornography.

From there, the phone calls began to happen ever couple of minutes, until Pastor Greg gave up, and turned off his phone, and then logged out of his email accounts.

Around ten that morning, he did what I’d hoped for. He made a visit to a chat room on the dark web, where he started a conversation with a certain person named Harry. Of course, Harry told him not to worry, it would all be taken care of.

I found it interesting how he visited the same Harry visited by Tiffany. I thoroughly enjoyed Harry’s last words to Pastor Greg, “Go visit the page. You know where. It will help you relax.” The page was a live feed of grown men sexually assaulting young girls.

“We’ll have to see about that, Harry,” I made certain to echo Pastor Greg’s video selection to every social media network. It made quite a splash.

219 Words

I finally got around to writing part 14 of the Armor 17 story I started way back in Week 239 of #ThursThreads. I really should write more. It’s Week 282 of #ThursThreads, hosted by Siobhan Muir. Please go read all the entries in this week’s #ThursThreads. They are always fun to read.

Miranda Kate’s Mid-Week Challenge : 2017/09/10

They came through the walls, one black, one white, like good and evil, or perhaps darkness and light. There was no sound, no thundering of hooves, no cries of horses, not even the sound of them breathing. All I hear was silence, and perhaps my own heart beating.

I watched them race across the room, and vanish into the wall on the far side. As if they’d never been there, never existed. But I knew I’d seen them. As I sat there, staring at a the darkness of the night, wondering if I’d sleep any, or if sleep was a gift I would be denied that night, they’d come through one wall, and left through another.

I know they were real. I felt the air move as the raced through. Felt the floor shake and shudder from the pounding of their hooves. Saw the prints they left in the carpet, temporary and soon to fade away, so I would be the only one who saw them. As if a dream came to life. A race perhaps, of darkness and light.

What did it mean? What could it have been? Why had I seen them? Would my imagination create something like that? So real? The only thing missing being sound?

I spent hours that night, staring at the walls of my room, unable to sleep, unable to shake the feeling that my world would change on the day to come, leaving me forever changed.

There had been similar nights, with similar apparitions. The night so long ago, when I was still young, and saw Jupiter shining in the night, from the window of my room. The next day, my then girl friend told me we were through. My world had changed, and I was never the same.

Another night, when I stayed awake, and spoke with the cat, who patiently let me say anything I wished, so long as I scratched her ears, and tummy, and hugged her now and then. She’d fallen asleep on my lap, and I had refused to move until she woke. The lightning and thunder of a storm had awakened me several hours later, to find the cat had left my lap, and wandered to the dining room. I found her body there. My world had changed again, as I’d lost someone I’d truly loved.

My mother stood beside my at my computer one night, I couldn’t tell you the time, other than it was an absurd hour, on a night I was disturbed, and spent all night staring at meaningless words on a computer screen as I tried to find a way to sleep. I’d known I’d fail. And my mother silently walked up, and stood beside me, and held my hand. I never heard a sound, but I knew what she’d said. “Sleep my son. You’ll need your rest. It will all be OK. You’ll see.”

Dad called the next morning, while I slept on the floor next to my computer desk. I answered my cell phone. “Son. It’s me. Dad. You need to come home now. It’s Mom…”

And my life had changed again.

So I wondered, as I sat there, staring at the walls, and the darkness in the night. Would my world change the next day? Would anything ever be the same? What was it the horses had tried to say to me?

I knew, the only answer was to wait. To see what happened.

When tomorrow came.

577 Words

Miranda Kate‘s weekly short fiction challenge is in it’s 20th week. You can read about the challenge here. This week, I tried something different again Hope it’s worth the effort. Please, go read Miranda’s short tale this week, and any others that show up. They are always little works of art, crafted with words, meant to be shared, and enjoyed.

Dear Andrew…

Dear Andrew,

Wherever you may be, in whatever part of existence, whatever dimensions we find ourselves when we’ve passed beyond the veil of this life. I wish to speak with your soul for a moment, if I may. Because, there are things I would say. Words I have never spoken. About this world I remain within. This world you could no longer live within.

I know the darkness, you know. The agony. The torture. Where you pray, “God, please. Shoot me. Put me in a car wreck. Break my bones. Crush these hands. Anything. Anything, please. I don’t care what it is, so long as you take the reason my soul aches this way from me.” Where all you want, all you dream of, is for your heart to no longer bleed, and your soul to no longer cry.

In know the darkness, and I always have, where no one understands, and no one sees. Because they are too wrapped up inside the world they elect to live within. With their looks into the mirror each morning, and the same words Bob Fosse said before every scene in “All That Jazz”. You know those words too, I know that. “It’s show time!” As he took his pills, washed them down with alcohol, and dulled his heartache with tobacco.

It’s so horrible, isn’t it. To know how many wake each day, and rather than think, rather than feel, rather than look at the flowers blooming in their gardens outside, or the clouds in the pale blue sky, they look in the mirror, and they say unspoken words. I know you heard those words too. The same words I hear every day. “Don’t think. Don’t feel. Just do it. Just do the job.”

For some of us, well. We can’t live that way. You know. We just can’t. We try, God how we try. And we stare at the ceiling every night, after everyone around us has long since gone to sleep, and we wonder how long, how many more days, we can keep doing this. How many more days we can keep living a lie. How many days we can pretend everything is OK. How many days we have to wonder how many people were shot to death. How many people went to bed hungry. How many haven’t eaten in days. How many drowned everything in another six pack of beer. Or ate the entire box of cookies and watched TV until they passed out, so they didn’t have to notice what they felt.

I’m so sorry, Andrew, that I didn’t say these words to you sooner. That I didn’t say to you, “I know the darkness.”

Now? Now you will be a memory to most. Some, those who truly were close to you, will always remember you. Your smile. The time you spent with them. The way you made it all OK, no matter how awful their day had been.

And, you will be myth. A story they tell their children, and their friends. “You musn’t be like him.” They’ll do what people do. They’ll speak of you in whispers. “He shot himself, you know. It’s so sad. We never saw it coming.”

And the darkness will stay right where it is. People will get up each day, to go to work. And just like Bob Fosse in that movie. They’ll take their pills, wash them down with alcohol, and then numb their bodies, and their feelings with tobacco. Or they’ll drink their coffee, and eat too many donuts, and have a toke or two, so they can cope. So they don’t have to feel. So they don’t have to think. So they can look at each other, and nod their heads, and say, “It’s all good.”

They’ll never admit otherwise, you know. They never will. Someone they know starves to death, and they’ll do what they always do. You’ll see it on Facebook, and Twitter. “It’s so sad, what happened.” And then, they’ll get up the next morning, and make like Bob Fosse again.

And slowly kill themselves, one day at a time, until they can’t feel anything at all.

I know the Darkness, Andrew.

And it breaks my heart to know that darkness finally broke your heart, and left it bleeding. That it beat your soul until only tears, and bruises remained.

And it breaks my heart to know.

Nothing will change.

Nothing will change.

Nothing will change.

And I know. That’s why you had to leave. Because, you saw that truth too. You saw.

Nothing will change.

Whatever dimensions you live in now, somewhere beyond the veil of this life. I wish you happiness. And joy. And all the things the darkness in this life takes away. May those who know, who you are now with, take care of you, and help you heal, so you can shine the light you are meant to shine. A light this world only seeks to destroy.

I hope, Andrew, you don’t mind that I speak these words now. I know I should have said them sooner. But, sometimes, my own war with this darkness we live within blinds me to everything but the bleeding of my own heart, and the tears my own soul cries.

Be at peace now, my friend.

And someday. We will meet again.

Your friend,


#ThursThreads Week 277 : Nothing Is What It Says It Is

Having caused sufficient chaos where Michelle once worked, it was time to spread the chaos to the rest of her social world. Starting with the church she’d once been a member of. A church that had disowned her.

Churches always have leaders. These are usually called pastors. This one was no different. The pastor’s name was Greg Bishop. It was most entertaining to listen to his prayers to God for several nights. “Thank you, God, for removing that vile, evil demon from our presence, and protecting the good people of this world.” Of course, the other half of his prayers were just as entertaining, “Please, God. Find the foul, vile spawn of Satan that is blowing up cars, and ruining people’s lives, and bring that demon to your justice.”

Ah. Christians. So predictable. Most of them, anyway.

Of course, Pastor Greg wasn’t happy at all when his prayers started showing up on social media. Word for word, thanking God for murder, and asking God to stop vengeance. Pastor Greg had a bit of explaining to do on that Sunday morning, when people at his church started asking why he thanked God for someone’s murder. Although they did kind of understand, since Michelle had been, obviously, a vile, evil person.

Of course, I’m certain Pastor Greg had much more difficulty explaining why the church burned to the ground that Sunday night. “Nothing is what it says it is, Pastor. Like how you’re not a man of God.”

246 Words

I finally got around to writing part 13 of the Armor 17 story I started in Week 239 of #ThursThreads. I really should write more. It’s Week 277 of #ThursThreads, hosted by Siobhan Muir. Please go read all the entries in this week’s #ThursThreads. They are always fun to read.

On Thursday, 20 July 2017

On Thursday, 20 July 2017, Chester Bennington, lead singer for Linkin Park, hanged himself. And once again, I’ve witnessed, in all forms of life, people speak of how sad it is, and how selfish his actions were, and how people should just get the help they need.

And once again, I’ve watched tears fall from the eyes of my soul. For I know things I wish I did not know. I feel things I wish I did not feel. I see things I wish I did not see.

I have tried, many times, to explain to others, those around me, friends, people who read what I write, family, doctors. I’ve tried to explain to them what is wrong. Why people do this. Why people become enclosed in such darkness, such misery, they have to end their presence in this world.

Sometimes, I wonder if anyone has understood.

I have spoken of boxes, and how people live in them, and can’t see beyond the edges, the walls of the boxes. I’ve written of domes, within domes, inside still more domes. I’ve told stories of perspectives, where I’ve wished I could get others to look at the world they live in differently. Where I’ve tried, and likely been unable, to share what I see when I look at the same world. This world. This place in which we all live.

I’ve spoken of tribes. Of how mankind is tribal, and each of us is expected to belong to a specific tribe. Politics? You must be Republican or Democrat in the US, as nothing else is significant. You must be conservative or liberal, Christian or evil, pro-defense or weak, the list goes on and on.

I’ve tried to say, you’re either in tribes, or you’re the victim of tribes. You either belong to a church, and behave as appropriate for that church body, or you are a victim of that church body. You belong to a political party, and you vote along party lines, or you are a victim of that party.

I’ve also stated those inside a given box, inside a given dome, within a given tribe, are unable to conceive of any concept that does not agree with the rules of that box, dome, or tribe.

In my life, I have been told countless times, “You can’t be that way.”

It’s a lie. You can be that way. You are that way.

I do not belong to a church. Any church. I don’t attend any church. I tried. More than once. It was not that I failed, or that the churches failed. It was because I refused to fit into the box, dome, tribe of a church body, so I left. It was because I refused to conform, and become identical to all the other people there, so I left.

I’ve tried to explain social behavior to others. It’s not that I’ve failed. I’ve found all the words needed to explain social behavior. It’s the boxes, domes, tribes, that get in the way, and limit or prevent such understanding.

Is it socially acceptable for your neighbor to stand in his backyard each night the moon is full and howl? Is it socially acceptable for the 53 year old white guy who lives down the street to have shoulder length hair, and not shave?

Don’t answer yes or no. Don’t answer black and white. Don’t answer a programmed answer. Programmed answers are part of the boxes, domes, and tribes.

When you go to purchase a car from a car dealer, the person you’re buying it from has to be clean cut, coat and tie, nice shoes, shaved. They must look professional, after all, who wants to buy a new car from a dealership where everyone looks like they don’t care about anything.

When you go to Walmart, to purchase a movie to watch on your home entertainment system, you expect to be able to find what you want, in a relatively neat display, arranged alphabetically, and categorically. With the new releases in one place, so they are easy to find.

When you go to a restaurant to eat, you expect the service person to be dressed neatly, or in agreement with the theme of the restaurant. You would not expect the service person to need to comb their hair, or wash it. Nor would you expect them to have holes in the knees of their pants.

By god, we have standards, people!

By god, we must be professional, people!

On Thursday, 20 July 2017, Chester Bennington, lead singer for Linkin Park, hanged himself. And once again, I’ve witnessed, in all forms of life, people speak of how sad it is, and how selfish his actions were, and how people should just get the help they need.

And I wonder, as I do each time such news makes headlines, will anyone in any of the boxes, domes, or tribes, ever figure out what really happened, and how much they contributed to the choice a living, breathing, feeling, emotional soul made to abandon a world which would not let them, and others like them, live in peace. A world where they faced the daily choice of having to conform to the rules of a box, dome, tribe, and become a member of a group, and be like everyone else, or live with the words, “You can’t be that way!” spoken, and unspoken, by everyone around them, echoing in their minds endlessly. A world of black and white, right and wrong, good and evil, just and unjust, in which every color, and every shade, and every blend, has been erased, and does not belong.

A world in which only the boxes, domes, and tribes are left.

On Thursday, 20 July 2017, Chester Bennington, lead singer for Linkin Park, hanged himself.

And my soul shed tears once more.

This world needs too many like him. Even if no one living in its tribes, domes, and boxes, will never admit it.

So I write these words, and I wonder. Which box, which dome, which tribe am I in? How do I escape its confines, and become more human?

And I ask, which tribe, dome, or box are you in, and do you even know that’s where you are?

Rest in the peace you so much deserve, Chester Bennington. May your heart and soul finally find your place in a world that does not punish you for being as you were made. May Robin Williams, and too many others to name, share many stories with you beyond the veil of this deliberately limited life.


Miranda Kate’s Mid-Week Challenge : 2017/07/09

Luciana closed her eyes, as she lay on the walkway. “No one knows why I come here. No one understands.” It stirred her soul to know how alone she was, how misunderstood. “They think I’m nuts, I know.”

As she closed her eyes, the sound of the water pouring into the overflow pipe washed away everything. Drowned out everything. All the noise. The words. The sounds. The tapping of the teacher’s pen on paper during the test, as if impatiently waiting for everyone to fail. The sound of those she knew, at lunch, and their gossip. “Gabriella kissed him yesterday! I saw it!” What did it matter who Gabriella kissed? Or even if she’d slept with him?

The sound of the water overwhelmed it all. Crushed it all into dust, memories, the past. Showed her it wasn’t real. Showed her it was gone.

The noise of the boys on the football field, kicking the ball to each other. How they tried to show off, each in their turn, put on a show, tried to do a trick. Then kicked the ball to the next boy. They knew the girls were watching, from the bleachers. Maria who always sat on the first row, and always stood when Angel kicked the ball. It was no secret, everyone knew, Maria first got naked for Angel. And she got naked for him any time he asked her.

Luciana asked her once, “Why? Why do you do that?”

“I’m going to marry him. He will take care of me. We will have a family. You’ll see.”

“But, don’t you know? Everyone knows. They say he is using you. Getting his jollies.”

“They know nothing. Nothing at all.”

Maria always watched Angel on the field. The other girls always watched Maria. And Luciana? She watched them all, and wondered why they were the way they were. And why they could not see the meaningless way they behaved.

But on the walkway, above the drain, after a hard rain, it all went away. And she could remember. Who she was, what she loved, everything that mattered to here.

At home, it was her family, mother, father, brothers, who never let her find herself. Always demanded something. Always.

“Luciana! There will be time for your homework after you have helped make dinner!” Mother always took her books, handed her an apron, and a bowl of something. “We must do our work, and take care of our men.”

She heard the words of her parents at night, after all were asleep. “That girl will never learn. She will never understand her place in this world.”

And her mother, “It takes time. She knows. She does. But she must first learn what it is a woman does. Who a woman is to be. And when she does, she will take care of her family. And they will take care of her.”

Her brothers, always, her brothers. They came first at everything. First in school. “Your brother has problems with his homework. You must help him.” “Your brother has a report due tomorrow. You must help him.” Always, it was her brothers before her.

But here. Above the drain, after the storms, it all washed away. And Luciana dreamed, once more. Of the stories in her heart. The words in her soul. Of which no one knew. And she wondered if she should ever share them with a world that was so wrong. A world where women stayed at home. And behaved. And took care of their men.

And never dreamed.

She felt the power of the water, and let the sound wash everything away. It would not last, she knew. But for a few moments. A brief time.

She was free.

621 Words

Miranda Kate‘s weekly short fiction challenge is in it’s 18th week. You can read about the challenge here. This week, I tried something different again Hope it’s worth the effort. Please, go read Miranda’s short tale this week, and any others that show up. They are always little works of art, crafted with words, meant to be shared, and enjoyed.