Sunday, December 30, 2012

Church Candles

The sky overhead is slate gray. It's been that way for three weeks. The weatherman swears it's going to snow soon, but the clouds right now are just offering a vague threat. I stand outside on my balcony in the morning gloom watching bustling little people drive and walk to work. They move quickly and with intent. A briefcase or portfolio in one hand and a cigarette or coffee in the other.

Gotta get that fix in before work. I know the feeling. I grind out the stub of my cig and let the wind carry it down to the street. Sticking my hand into my pocket I find and pull out the nearly empty pack. One left. I pluck it out and put it in my lips.

If I need another I'd have to go inside and that would probably wake Jessica and she'd want to talk about last night and I...don't want to do that right now.

I hold the lighter up and try to spark it, but end up knocking the cig out of my mouth instead. I watch in abject horror as it tumbles to the sidewalk below. It rolls but then stops against a trash can. I look back at the apartment. Maybe I can dash downstairs and grab it. I wouldn't have to go into our room and risk waking Jessica. I decide it's a good idea.

The busy little bees give me strange looks as I come and poke around the trash with my sleeping clothes on.  Finally I find the cigarette and tug it out from under the can, but it catches and tears. Carcinogenic guts spill out and tumble across the sidewalk.

I'm about to swear and curse in anger when something about the torn cig catches my eye. On the inside tube, where the tobacco would be, is writing. I gently pull the rest of the now empty paper open and hold it close to read:

Kaslo Renila Zs'ta

Long live your glory and your word

Let this prayer reach you

Let its sound awaken you

Bring your fury and fire

Cleanse the world

We offer this vessel to you

It's a prayer. Like a church candle. Burnt in hopes that God...or something else hears it. I look around and see the workers buzz to and fro. Cigarettes hanging from their lips and their hands. All of them secretly praying to something in hopes that it will awaken.

How many packs is that? How often? My hands start to shake and the torn little thing flies away on the wind. What is the vessel? The cigarette? Or me?

Above me something in the sky swirls.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Next To The Bed

bought a chest for my new apartment at a secondhand store. Got a great deal for it. I was going to keep DVDs and games in it. Trick it out a little by adding a few shelves that unfolded when you opened it displaying my little digital library.

While working on it I noticed something strange. The bottom was thicker than it should have been. It was also a different kind of wood than the rest of the chest. I started pushing at the edges of it and it popped up revealing a little compartment in a false bottom. Inside was another box. Polished and lacquered wood that almost glowed from reflected light. Next to it was a little black notebook. Picking it up, I flipped to the first page.

The eyes are the window to the soul. Rita possess the most beautiful soul  I've ever seen. Her eyes cast the world in a way that I wish I could understand. There is more beauty there, more passion in those twin reflections than exists here. I love her.

I flip through the pages. Little circles are drawn within circles. There is a haiku or eight describing the way light refracts into her eyes, painting a picture of an impossibly wonderful place.

We stand on the pier, her and I. I mention that the lights bouncing off the dark water looks like someone has tossed treasure into the ocean and it sunk to the bottom. She laughs and looks down. Her hand slips into mine. I look over and see those lights in her face, her eyes, and I'm in heaven.

I flip to the end, which is not quite the end of the notebook.

She is in the shower now, and will be out in a few moments. Oh, Rita, I am so sorry, but those eyes are just so beautiful. I cannot stand to be away from them. I cannot bear the thought of something happening to you and having them taken away from me.

That is why I'm going to take them out tonight and place them in a box next to my bed.

My stomach drops. I look down at the box. It sits innocently in the chest, the false bottom propped up next to it. No way there are eyes in there, right? I mean they'd be rotting, or stinking. Unless the box was sealed tight.

Gingerly I set the notebook down and pick up the box. This is a joke. People do this all the time; secretly alter a piece of furniture and then re-sell it. Troll internet forums wait for a 'spooky story' about it to show up.

Firm in my resolve I open the box and scream as it clatters to the ground, open. A small note falls out next to the withered human heart.

He had already given me his heart. I just found a box to put it in.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Hands and Nails

I'm down to one hand now. Well, that isn't right. I mean to say that I have at least one hand’s worth of nails left, if I combine right and left. Five. Index and ring on left. Thumb, middle and pinky on the right.

I'm bandaging the left thumb now and Christ it, ha, it really stings. Christ. That makes sense. I mean he was a carpenter. He probably always hit his hands with hammers. Bet he never had anything like this. Well I mean with his finger tips. Hands are another story.

The thumb nail is sitting bloody on the table. Just a pinch of root on the end I pulled out. Really had to tug. I'm sure the neighbors heard me howling. Hope they don't call the cops. Again.

I pick the little thing up gently. Really can't lose it. I'm so close now. Five more after this guy! Just five! Sitting down next to the vent I cross my legs and wait. It takes a while sometimes. I don't mind. Would you? I mean, maybe. You might mind.

While I wait I take the nail and delicately run it over my left arm, dragging it lightly across the top of the skin. Soon enough my arm prickles in gooseflesh and I coo. I can almost smell perfume. I work the torn nail up my shoulder and almost forget the throbbing in my thumb as I shiver. The feeling of ecstasy is only brief. These aren't her nails. Not yet.

Finally I can hear the clinking and clanking in the vent. I grip the nail in my palm and let it dig into my hand. The thumps get louder. It sounds like, how did dad always put it, 'An old house settling', but I was always more clever than him. I knew what those sounds were.

Finally the sounds stop. A small gray mottled hand unfolds from one of the vent's slits. Its four little fingers unfurl. With blessed reverence I place the nail into the hand. There is something like a giggle and it closes on the nail and pulls it back.

"She'll dream of you again tonight. That is a promise." Says a voice like skipping stones over brackish and vile water. I can hear it tear the nail inside the vent. I'm sure it is eating it. I clear my throat.

"Oh. Oh yes. I almost forgot." No it didn't. It always says that it does, but it doesn't. This is just part of our transaction. "Here. Here."

The hand comes back out of the vent and opens revealing a large, delicately painted thumbnail. I carefully reach down and take it. I almost thank it, but that is a no-no. Mustn't thank things like this.

"She'll dream of you again tonight, boy. She'll dream and cry as I pluck another nail from her hand." The clanking starts again as it leaves.

I move back to my workstation and unwrap my thumb. It's still bloody and raw, but of course it is. As I look at it I admire the left's middle and pinky finger. The mate's to my new thumbnail. One is midnight blue painted and the other is the same soft pink as the new nail. Both are a little green around the skin and cuticle where I've attached them and they throb occasionally but if I apply light pressure a little pus comes out and they feel better soon after.

I begin attaching my new thumbnail. Soon I'll run her nails down my skin again and it'll be like having her back!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Ash Addicts 1

This is something I've been working on for a while and really enjoy writing. This is definitely a work in progress and is being expanded and reworked everyday. I'm excited that it's longer then most of the stuff I put out and what I throw down here is only a section of it. I might put a new section up every other week if I can actually keep on top of myself.

We've seen how good I am with that.

  My father is holding my hand tight. My sister can’t quite contain her excitement. She babbles, but it just sounds like a high pitched lullaby. She is in the middle of exclaiming when a mechanical squeal drowns her out completely. A huge shadow falls over us as the rollercoaster rumbles by overhead. I can just barely make out her own yip of excitement and I feel the need to contribute my own.
Now I’m standing at a podium. Capped and gowned blobs stare up at me. I’ve been speaking words of wisdom. They begin to clap and stand and hoot. I’m flushed with gratification. 
I’m in the hospital. He is holding my hand, telling me it’s going to be ok. I can barely hear him. The pain is so intense. Its over. He is holding her and handing her to me. I smile at the baby. Clearly I can hear myself say “Roslin”. He smiles.
More images like these pound away behind my eyelids. Sweet moments and awful ones. I’m in the hospital again, Roslin was in a crash, we wait to hear if she is ok. Jump ahead, he’s died, I held him as his last breath left and said I love you. Finally I’m laying in bed, looking up.
This is my least favorite part. I can hear Roslin in the next room. She’s crying. I try to say her name, but my lips are too dry. What comes out sounds like a paper bag being crushed. Black.

“Christ, Trey, are you about out of it yet?” Jack’s voice burbles at first, but becomes more clear. The “it” rings especially clear, like a bell, and my eyes open lazily. The room swims into focus. Jack is spooning a bowl of cereal into his mouth and staring at me. His hair, usually spiked as high as it can go, was drooping, making him look like a tired punk wannabe.

“How long was I out?” I begin to orient myself on the leather couch and fix the world. Everything at the edges of my vision blurs like bad video. When I’m upright I fumble out a cigarette, it finds my lips, and I light it.

“Five hours. Who was it?” His voice is becoming more clear. I can feel reality reasserting itself like a child throwing a tantrum. I grab around the cushions of the couch and pull out a small ziplock bag with a name written across it in sharpie.

“Cindy Travis. Huh. Two first names.” I ball the bag up and throw it towards the trash. I miss.
“Cindy? I fucking love Cindy, man. When what's her name...” He snaps his fingers. His mouth is full of half crunched sugar shapes. “Roslin? Yeah Roslin. When she gets married. Man, I always lose my fucking shit. I think. I know Cindy does. Man. Cindy.”
“Well I hope you enjoyed her while she lasted. We’re all out.” I motion my cigarette to the slowly unwrapping ball by the trash can.
“Aw fuck man. I loved her.” Jack picked the bowl up and sucked down the colored milk at the bottom. I scrunch my face as I watch his adam’s apple bob. His skin hung a little loose there. Just a tad, nothing too visible.
Anyone looking at Jack could tell that he was using something. He had those kinds of movements, those little tics, of someone who's been away from the bottle too long. His eyes were always rimmed with circles. When we’d head out he put a little makeup on and make it all look part of his act, his persona.  Alcohol wasn’t his poison. Well at least not right now.
I shook my head. Shit. I hope I don’t look like him.
“Do we have any of Fred left?” I suck off a lung of nicotine.
“Frederick  Goldschmidt? Naw, I finished him off last night. Real strange one.” He dropped the bowl and the crash bounces around between my ears.
“Doctors always are.” I slowly stand. I’m not usually this fucked up after a snuff, what’s wrong with me? Getting old.
“You want some cereal? I already claimed the prize.” Jack shakes the box at me.
“Naw man, I’m good. I’ll grab something on the way.” With great effort I tug my shirt up and swap it out with something less covered in sweat. I mange to zip up my hoodie without pinching my fingers.
“Zeke?” Jack grabs at his sneakers and tugs them on.
“Well we’re out of everybody aren’t we?” I grab my hoodie and zip it up.
“I’m excited.” He stands and tosses the bowl into the sink. An atomic bomb dropped.
“Shit man, you stop throwing things? Fuck.” I grind out my cig on the table.

(Read more after the jump)

Tuesday, December 4, 2012


Sorry for the break. According to my own logic I'd have a mouth full of infected ideas... maybe I'm mixing metaphors.

Here is a Malady!


“Sharp blade. Cuts smoother,” it places its hand on her shoulder, but this movement of comfort is lost on it. It is, rather, a touch of confirmation, letting the weeping girl know that the action she was about to take was the correct one. The thing did not understand comfort like we did. Comfort, to it, was not a warm bed or a hot shower, rather the cool embrace of oblivion. The ultimate sleep.

The girl began to raise the razor to her arm and where she traced it bright rivers flowed. It cocked its head, standing behind her watching her move, admiring the trails the blood it left and the shapes the splatter made as it hit the wooden floor.

Such intricate lines forming.

It took a while. Longer than it had assumed, which is strange, because this was its true passion. This willful robbery of ones own life. It shuddered with ecstasy, or whatever it had that was comparable, as the girl’s final breath was exhaled. It began to push itself down, down into that empty vessel lying before it. Embracing her, folding up and into her, giving her the love she felt she never had.

For a moment, all was still. Then the girl opened her eyes again.
Stronger, emboldened by the power it was just given, the thing moved from the bedroom and out into the world.


I plan on writing a few more of these. They are meant to be simple and short, bigger Splinters. This one is particularly dark, but what better way to return then with something grim?