#ThursThreads Week 358 : I Think Maybe You’re Right

The trouble with binge watching TV shows, and movies, and being a writer at the same time, is your brain cells going nuts, and inventing oceans of stories. I’d always loved to watch conspiracy theories, and things like Ancient Aliens. And I watched all the big Science Fiction shows too. Until the night I watched another episode of Ancient Aliens, and I heard that guy from Battlestar Galactica: RAZOR, the movie, declare, “This has all happened before. It will all happen again.”

That’s when my brain cells went crazy, and came up with ridiculous idea. One of those ideas, where you wake up the next morning, look in the mirror, shake your head, and tell yourself, “You have lost your mind!” But your brain cells stop you, and instead, you mumble to yourself, “I think maybe you’re right.”

It was that night, over twenty years ago, that changed the direction of my life.

Almost immediately, I started thinking, “Wouldn’t this explain all the things we can’t explain? Like, who built the Great Pyramid, or Göbekli Tepe? The idea that we humans were repeating history, repeating ourselves, took hold of me, and never let go.

It cost me everything. My house, wife, children, job, career. Everything. Would you like to hear the story? What happened, and the truth I learned? Then, let me start with that night.

226 Words
@mysoulstears


It’s Week 358 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 show up weekly.

Miranda Kate’s Mid-Week Challenge : 2019/03/03

It started when I was little. Just a boy, a long way from the grown up I am now. It was a skill, and like any skill, I had to develop it, practice it, use it, to become better at it. It’s not like I planned to be who I was. It’s simply how things were. I was born to do this. I excelled at it. Much like someone excels in art, or writing. The practice merely refines and perfects the skill.

I started with goldfish. I knew, goldfish were cheap, and plentiful, and no one would notice if I practiced with them. The only one who did notice was the pet store owner. “What are you doing with the goldfish? You buy so many of them.”

“I’m using them as feeder fish for my piranha.”

He nodded, and never asked any more questions, although he did help me pick out goldfish that would make the tastiest, and healthiest meals for the piranha I never had.

What was I doing with the goldfish?

Practicing my sills. Learning. Refining.

I have a stack of grade school composition books filled with notes, and diagrams, all collected as I practiced with the goldfish.

That last training session with goldfish started one afternoon in the month of May. I’d completed all my homework, though I detested it, because completing it set me free from my parents, and their house. I was able to get outside, and enjoy myself, so long as I took my phone with me, and was able to answer when called. And so long as I was home by sunset, or within thirty minutes of sunset.

I had a plan, carefully thought out, and worked through. It had taken several days but I’d found a glass jug, not too big, maybe half a gallon of water would fit in it. Clear glass. I wanted clear so I could see everything that was inside the jug. I needed to see everything inside, to record it, and learn about it.

I’d hidden the jug behind the back yard fence, where no one would see it, behind a row of flowers my mother had insisted on planting back there. The next day, I’d carried the jug to the giant mud puddle they’d dug up when they made the houses in the neighborhood. That’s what it was, really. A giant hole they dug in the ground that slowly filled up with rain water. Everyone insisted on calling it a man-made lake. It wasn’t a lake. It was just a mud puddle. I filled the jug with water. I used an old sock as a filter, to block the sand and mud floating in the water, so it didn’t get into the jug. Filling the jug took time. I had to be careful, and sometimes, I had to start over. I had to get the water clear, so I could observe the goldfish better.

I hid the filled jug where I’d hid it when it was empty. And I waited for Saturday, when I had the entire day to play. Play. Ah, if only my parents had known. I never played. Instead, I studied, and practiced, and grew my skill.

That Saturday I’d taken my allowance, and told my parents I was going to buy soda and chocolate bars, like always. Then, I went to the pet shop, and picked out two goldfish. I often worried someone would see me as I took the goldfish to the mud puddle. It wasn’t easy to hide them. I usually carried a shopping bag, like for buying groceries. It fit well with my declaration I was buying soda and chocolate.

I’d picked up the jug along the way. By the edge of the water, I built a little hill, with a shallow slope. One I could slowly add to. First, I placed the goldfish in the jar, and let them become happy, and content, in their new home, with all the new scenery. They always swam around the jug, and explored their surroundings.

After I was content they were happy, I took the jug, and placed it on the slope I’d made, with the top toward the lake, so the water would begin to drain out. It would have been simple to toss the goldfish into the lake, and be done with them. But, it wouldn’t have been as interesting, and I would have learned nothing.

Instead, I gradually drained the water from the jug, and watched the goldfish react as their world became smaller, and smaller. I wondered, frequently, if goldfish felt anything. If they were frightened. Or maybe panicked. As they realized what was happening to them. As they realized they had no control. Perhaps they felt nothing, or even thought nothing. After all. They were only goldfish.

Eventually, the water was drained away. And I watched the fish flap around the empty jug until they became motionless. Then, I always emptied the remains into the puddle. It was murky, and no one would ever find the goldfish.

I did this many times, until one day, I was convinced the goldfish could teach me nothing more. And it was time to find something better to practice my skills with. Perhaps mice, I thought. That did seem like a logical step up from goldfish.

I sometimes wish I could tell you how many irritating little children I’ve practiced my skills with. But I honestly don’t know. If you hadn’t interfered, I would have solved the problem of the irritating little children. I was about to start practicing my skills on those who would be mothers.

Why using the skills I was blessed with in this life is wrong, I will never understand.

954 Words (Certainly more than 750)
@mysoulstears


It’s week 96 of Miranda Kate‘s Mid-Week Challenge. I had to write a second story for the prompt this week. 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.

 

Miranda Kate’s Mid-Week Challenge : 2018/11/21

“I know it doesn’t look like much, but it’s ours.” I pointed at mine. “That one’s mine.” I pointed at Jim’s, “That’s Jim’s.” Our small group started to cheer. “We own these, people! We own them!”

What did we own? A bunch of old metal phone booths and out houses. None of them more than a four foot by four foot floor-space. Hell, we even had to sleep in them sitting up, no room to stretch out. No water. No plumbing. No electricity. Nothing. Just a four by four box, with a door that didn’t lock. And lots of missing parts, like how most were missing windows.

But, damn. We owned them.

It was a baby step. We all knew that. Going from living in the warehouse where we worked, to having our own little town of boxes. We didn’t have to sleep at work anymore. We had real work schedules, finally. With time off, time we could use for whatever we wanted.

“Let’s celebrate, people!”

We all ran to our little boxes, looked them over, top to bottom, checked the doors, checked the floors, and roofs. The phone booths were empty inside. Not even a place to sit. The out houses at least had a place you could sit. Yeah, there was a big hole in it, and it took half the floor, but a little cardboard over the hole, and you had an actual chair.

The inside of mine had a couple of sharp metal edges where the phone had once been. No one had needed to take care of them, they ripped the guts out of them, phones, wires, everything. And the two little windows on the top of one side were gone. Only the holes where they’d been were left. A bit of cardboard and some tape, and I could seal them up.

We had paint. Different colors. Red, blue, black, white, green. Left over containers of paint, from where they didn’t use it all at the warehouse. “You guys can have this.” I could see us with a rainbow colored neighborhood.

We’d made a square of them. Kept the middle of the square empty. That’s where we’d put our garden. Try to grow some tomatoes, corn, and beans. Not much, of course, we were starting up. And we had to learn how to garden. But, it would be our food. We could eat it without having to work four hours for another burger and fries. Oh, we’d still work. We’d have to. We couldn’t feed ourselves. At least not yet. But maybe someday.

I stared up at the sky, and the bright dot of light I knew was the station. They told me it was a giant ring, that spun slowly, so it could feel like it had gravity, and you’d feel like you did on the ground. That’s where all the rich people went. The ones that owned the factories, and warehouses. The ones that owned everything.

They left, when the air started killing people. When the fires burned everything to the ground. When all the animals died. They left. Went up there. They tell me the ground up there is green, with something called grass. And they have a blue sky.

I didn’t really care. That was all dreams. I liked what was real. What I could touch. I liked my tiny four by four box. We were all spending the night in our boxes, for the first time. Our boxes. We owned them.

It was a start. It was a dream come true. Maybe one day we’d be able to stop working at the warehouses. Maybe one day, we’d be able to have families. And children. And lives of our own.

It was certainly worth dreaming about.

625 words
@mysoulstears


Saw the picture for week 81 of Miranda Kate‘s Mid-Week Challenge and my mind went blank for a week. Until last night, when it said, “This!” 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 : 2018/01/07

Willie stood in the rain, and stared at the rose bloom. He wished everyone could see his smile, and could look at the rose, the perfect shade of red, the perfect velvet petals, and the exquisite drops of water that decorated them.

“No one takes the time anymore, do they?” He sadly shook his head, took a deep breath, sighed, and stared at the rose once more. “They never look. Except in perfect weather.”

He remembered the words of so many others. People he’d once respected. People he still perhaps respected. But people who were, he knew, lost. Consumed by things they couldn’t even see.

“Rob told me not to care.” Willie smiled at the flower. He didn’t touch it. That would have disturbed the water patterns on the petals. He wanted it to remain perfect, like it was. “You can’t afford to care, Willie.” Then, he almost laughed, “Can’t afford to care? My God, Rob? Aren’t we still humans? Isn’t caring what we do? Isn’t that how friends feel about each other?”

The rain had soaked through his shirt long ago, leaving it stuck to his body. It held all the water it could, and all the water being added forced water off the ends of the sleeves, and off the bottom, onto his pants. Which were also soaked. When he moved, his shoes and socks squished.

Willie spoke to the perfect rose, “I used to do this, a long time ago. When I was a kid, you know. Walk in the rain. Play in the rain.” He looked around, watched the rain fall from the sky, watched the drops make their individual splashes in the puddles that had formed. Listened to the drops rustle the leaves in the garden. “I used to love standing in the rain, to see how it washed the dust, and dirt, away. And made everything clean again.” He spoke to the rose again, “But, somewhere, somehow, I lost all that.”

It was true, he knew. “It’s this world we’ve made, isn’t it. A world of money, and possessions. Of supply and demand.” He nodded at the rose. “Where what we feel isn’t real anymore. And all that matters is what we do. Who we are. How much we make. Who we know.”

Willie watched the water drip from the rose, he tracked drops as they fell, all the way to the ground. He found it fascinating how the mind worked. How he moved his eyes, to stay focused on the drops, and how the background moved, but the drops didn’t.

“What happened to us?” He asked, though he knew. He knew too well. Success is what happened. Own your own home. Your own car. Your own boat. Televisions, radios, stereos, books, computers, all of it. Own everything you could ever want. That’s what it was all about. That’s what everyone learned. What everyone taught. “My parents taught me. Their parents taught them.”

And there he was. Standing in the rain. In a rose garden. Staring at a perfect red velvet rose, decorated with tiny drops of water. Talking to it, no less. Like he’d done when he was a child, fifty years ago.

“We’ve forgotten how to live, haven’t we?”

Willie heard Rob’s voice, “You can’t afford to care!”

“When did we stop being human, Rob? What happened to us? When did our hearts turn to stone?”

He stood in the rain, and watched the rose until the rain stopped. Because. He knew he’d never get another chance to see that rose bloom, in the rain again. He wanted to remember it forever. To never forget it.

He wanted to remember what it meant to be alive.

614 words
@mysoulstears


Miranda Kate‘s weekly short fiction challenge is in it’s 36th week. I’ve missed a few weeks. November and December was not kind to me. But, I’m recovering now.

You can read about her small fiction challenge here. I sat down to write, not knowing what would happen. I’m glad I gave myself the chance to find some words. 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 : 2017/09/24

I stared at the picture. She floated there, halfway between the ceiling and the floor. Filling the room with water had been difficult. I’d spent weeks sealing the door, and the windows, so the water didn’t leak into the yard, or the hallway. I was quite happy with the result. A ground floor room, filled with water. And the walls didn’t collapse. They held, against all that water. That I’d made them from cinder block, packed with concrete, and steel bars probably didn’t hurt. That took months also. Making them look like normal walls took weeks. Getting the plaster layer right, with the right texture, and color, had taken ages, and I’d had to tear it down, and scrape it all off several times.

The result had been worth it. The image was priceless. Beautiful. Perfect.

As difficult as it had been to get the room straight, the hardest part had been her. I’d needed someone who could hold her breath for half an hour. They don’t make humans that way. But it had to be half an hour. That’s how long it took the water to settle when it was stirred. How long it took every bubble to fade.

So, I’d had to make her.

I’d had to find a way to build a five foot four inch blonde, with blue eyes, and killer legs. A doll. That’s all she was. A doll. Life size. I’d spent a thousand sleepless nights trying to get every detail right. The hair. The lips. The skin. The fingers, and nails. Toes, ankles, wrists, eyes, nose. All of it. Every detail.

I remembered the wigs. I’d torn boxes of them apart to get all the right hairs. And I’d placed each one. Thousands of them. One at a time. I had to get them the right color, the right length. I threw entire bags of wasted hair out in the trash. I’m certain the trash people wondered what I was doing. And I wondered how many women had needed the wigs I’d destroyed.

Her skin was textured plastic. It felt all wrong to touch, but it was perfect to look at. Perfect to see.

The ballet gown was hand made. The sequins each placed perfectly. Each where it had to be. Each part of an intricate puzzle. Only when they were all placed did the gown look perfect. The seams, and the skirt with all it’s separate feathers, and bits of fabric.

She was a work of art. My work of art. I’d learned that when I was making her. As I’d learned I’d never find her in this life.

She’d made the perfect picture. One I’d love forever. My perfect image of a woman. The woman I wanted. The woman I could never have.

And I knew, as I’d known when I was making her, I would never find her. Never know her laugh, her touch, her smile. Never learn to love her. To care for her. She was everything I wanted. Everything I dreamed of. And everything I would never find.

All she would ever be was the woman in the picture. And I would grow old, and die. And live my entire life.

Unloved and alone.

536 Words
@mysoulstears


Miranda Kate‘s weekly short fiction challenge is in it’s 22nd 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.

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
@mysoulstears


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.

Miranda Kate’s Mid-Week Challenge : 2017/06/04

“So, you agreed ta not tell no one what you seen here, right?” Bubba grinned. “‘Cause they gotta shoot ya if ya tell.”

I nodded. “National security thing, right?”

“Yep. Nashnal secritity,” Bubba grinned, and tapped me on the shoulder. I thought my arm was going to fall off. Bubba was no little guy. I knew, looking at him, he could throw me like a basketball, and I’d probably fly through the air like one.

“Well,” he shrugged, “It’s that time.” He pointed to the entrance to the helicopter, where armed soldiers guarded the line, and people getting on had to be blindfolded first. “Time to put our heads in bags.”

It was pitch black in that bag. I couldn’t see a thing. Not even the texture of the fabric. Once my head was covered, I was escorted into the helicopter, and guided to a seat. Bubba wound up next to me. “Yeah. We ain’t allowed to see where we goin’. Safer that way. Less chance of leaks in stuff.”

The flight was over two hours. I have no idea where we went. I only know what was there, when we got of the flight, and they took off our bags. And I had never imagined anything like it.

“Govmint don’t want nobody knowin’ ‘bout dis.” Bubba rambled as we walked. “Specully them Christian types.” He was a talker, Bubba was. “Get ‘em all pissed off an talkin’ ‘bout it all being a guvmint plot.”

We took a long ride on a rail car, like a tourist train at a park. Maybe 45 or 50 minutes, between hills, and buttes, and plateaus. “Where the fuck are we, Bubba?”

“Maybe sumwheres in Wino-ming, er Knee-vahad. I don’t knows.”

The train stopped at a small station, and we all got out. It was one of the biggest archeological digs I’d ever seen. “Damn, there’s an entire city here!”

“Right!” Bubba bounced up and down, “An it’s fastinatin.”

“But, there aren’t supposed to be any cities here.” It was true. There was no record of a city, with monuments, and brick buildings, and who knew what else, ever having been in North America before the Europeans arrived, and started building them. Just Indians, and others. And their huts, and maybe some mud houses and stuff.

“Day say it’s like 40 thousands old,” Bubba whispered. “Fum long afore we existed.”

I received my assignment, where to dig, how to dig, what to be careful of, and how to report anything I found. I was part of a team. Bubba was part of another team. “Aww, little buddy. They put you on the little detail gang. You don’t get to fine da big stuff.”

“Big stuff?”

“You’ll see.”

And see I did. We were guided to where we were to work. Past all kinds of strange artifacts. What looked like paved, cobblestone roadways, separate homes, with garages. There were strange, huge circular items. “Did those hold pipes together?”

Someone answered, “No one knows.”

“What are they made of.”

The someone grinned. “Carbon fiber.”

“What?”

“Carbon fiber.” He waved at them. “Fiber composites. Over 40,000 years old. Maybe over 50,000.”

I had nothing to say.

“It’s ancient Earth history. The first proof anyone ever found. Ours is not the first technologically advanced civilization here.”

I stopped, and stared at the pipe segments. “Carbon fiber?”

Someone in my crew piped up, “Yeah. Seems we used to be an advanced civilization.”

“We?”

“Humans. We played around too much with the environment, though. And it went bad. Triggered all kinds of environmental chaos. Big flood, then big ice age type thing. All but wiped us out. All but wiped out everything.”

A third person spoke, a woman, “It’s why we’re here. The government wants to learn what happened, and see if we are on the same path of destruction. See if we are going to end up the same way.”

That was my first visit to the dig. It was true, I swear. We used to be more advanced, technologically, that we are now. We even learned about settlements on Mars, and the Moon. And, we’d abused the planet.

And Mother Earth killed us all, to survive.

693 Words
@mysoulstears


Miranda Kate‘s weekly short fiction challenge is in it’s 13th week. You can read about the challenge here. I continue to enjoy writing for it every week so far. And every week I wonder where the words came from. This week, I’m guessing I’ve been watching Ancient Aliens from the History Channel too much. Please, go read Miranda’s short tale this week, and any others that show up.