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Category: Creative Work

The Party at the End of the Street

If you were to look up the words “Party” and “Celebration” you’d find something that describes what we expected to find. It was Parade Season in New York, so we’d expected it to be Parade Season pretty much everyplace where humans were.

We were like that. Ignorant.

So, we were wandering around; shore leave on a colony so far out on the edge that they had given up on standard English centuries ago and spoke like old videos from the 20th. Good news, the 1990s Media had just reached them via Radio waves Arriving AFTER the colonists. Bad News, everyone thought being disaffected and rude was “in”

This was the blessing of Faster than Light Travel, we raced ahead of our own culture reaching out into space. So a Culture would meet humans who had spent 100s of years in space then they’d bump into the Radio waves of Human Culture as i passed through space. After a few bad meets, an enterprising scientist developed the “Leading Wave” project that sent FTL ships ahead of the “Human History Wave” to establish “good faith” for Humanity before the wave reached intelligent people out in the void.

The upshot of all this is humps like me find ourselves crewing massive diplomatic ships going in one direction from Earth OUT.

And we needed a Party.

So we stayed here on “Planet MTV” as they wanted to be called. They had been blessed with a loop of 90s American Culture and decided it was the nadir of humanity and just went with it. Imagine a 90s than ever ended like an old Star Trek where they are stuck in World War 2 forever. That kind of thing, but with beanies and weed. They could throw a party though, there was this never-ending 2 part “Woodstock” festival going on here in the “Burbs” district. Basically one part is a riot and one is like full of Non-Aggro Mud People.

The Party that never ended on the planet that never left the 90s. It was like living on old times for our crew, from before their grandmas were born! They threw a good party for us working stiffs on shore leave. In less than 4 days we’d be back on the ship , getting our genetics in line to make us “neutral” before we head out again, diplomats who clean toilets on a space ship, racing our own history into the Universe.

Party on Wayne.

In a hot summer

Chet had spent the last 14 years moving one step at a time along a trail of self-destruction that has stretched out ahead of him as a teenager as a “whole lifetime” and now was looking like something that folks in high society will call ‘youthful indiscretion’.

Chet had been killing for Uncle Sam since before there were secret agencies to give you medals for it. He had been working for The Secret Service unofficially just so they’d have a budget to shuttle him around the world to take care of people they thought they couldn’t buy or bully.

Chet found himself in his 30s, back home again. In the deep dark of time between duties. He had nothing, was nothing, he hardly existed as an actual person anymore. Chet always seemed to be somewhere else. He had personalities and voices and accents for every place America Had an Enemy, He forgot what his home town even looked like; never mind how they’d sound.

Chet stared at the main drag of the huge college town he had been born into. He couldn’t picture anything about this place. He felt the breeze die, and the heat pricked him all over. Pins of sweat appeared as soon as the breeze gave up the ghost and the Sun seemed to just focus on Chet’s lost self. Like the baleful eye of a God or at least Judgement.

Chet ducked into the Drug Store and was pleased to find it cooler and darker.

“Hey! Chester!” the man behind the counter looked to be about Chet’s age. A burly man, not the type you’d find behind the counter in a Drug Store.

Chet met the man from behind the counter as he stretched out his hand, Chet assumed a friendly personality, “Good to See You! It’s been forever is this your place?”

“Sure Is! My Dad left it to me when he moved out to Nevada!” Chet scanned around, looking for a family name, catching Scanetts. He spun through names in his head and came up with some unsavory people, and Nevada clicked it all into place. Chet knew right away why he was in his home town.

“Izzy?” Chet ventured.

“YOU REMEMBER!” Isreal Scanetts (Scanetti) was in fact running a local money laundering scheme via his father’s Drug Store. Which did a decent business; but it’s books showed a bit more profit than was sensible for a town this small. Izzy was watching shop for his Father’s Mobbed up connections in Nevada.

Chet was here to close up shop. It was going to be a long hot Summer.

While Twitter Burns

While Twitter Burns I use my Phone, I sit here in the light alone, all day all night I post and like, occasionally I pause to wipe, I never need to leave my seat, 44 Billion and I am Complete!

Good ‘n Disturbing

After those geese flew North and I said “Bye” I watched two eagles meet, one flew North and West, the Other East and North and when they met they turned to circle each other: a bald eagle and their mate, two eagles turned around an axis only they could track and the two spun south-west and away over the houses and gone.

My Demons are well dressed

Ever since I was a very young boy, I’ve been haunted by material success.

My personal demons clutched at me from the corners of my room, in the ceiling. They tore me from my bed scrabbling for the blankets. Yanked from bed and sleep and tossed bodily into the night sky, spinning into forever before I had even seen a picture of the moon.

Or, I thought. It’s possible I had seen a space program that night and my brain made a nightmare where I was tossed into space by the shadow men that whispered from the dark corners of my ceiling.

Years later, I’d find myself in the street outside of my house, somehow curtained with velvet scarlet curtains that stretched impossibly into the night sky above. The street lights lit the curtains, these long wide, but not “curtain” wide strips of soft, red cloth, attached at intervals to the ground forming boundaries that were not walls showing sky and neighborhood around.

There was a pounding from the earth. A slamming sound, from a glowing rectangle in the dirt on the ground.

I looked into it, deep down there was a man tied to a stone table, another man swung a hammer at the writhing man and where the hammer hit, a geyser of gore would erupt like a volcano of the flesh.

The man with the hammer turned and pointed at me, a grin that said “You’ll be here soon!”

Or maybe I saw a Poster for Ozzy Osborne and made a whole scenario up in my head for a nightmare. The guys who tell me stuff in my dreams, they think that’s how it is. I still get uncomfortable when I think about it, I avoided looking at that poster for a decade.

Then one of the guys started showing up in places. He’d be this smiling, silent, mad-eyed Polish Airman. He’d show up every-time I was left alone outside of the house. He wasn’t a threat or something, he just would sorta appear, hang out like “don’t you forget, we’re always here” and then take off.

Or I dunno, I imagined this very detailed idea of a ghost that’s doing some kind of Spiritual Racket on a guy. Who knows.

The Patient Gentleman, he says that it’s never gonna stop being like this until I can pay them off for all they do for me.

Higher Res Version of the Header.

Summer Nights that never Ended

People attend a party in a back yard, string lights above the party and a firepit burns at the right hand side

There were nights in the Summers of my Youth that never came to an end.

They twirl endlessly in my mind, never quite reaching sunup and always just on the cusp of being long passed and forgotten.

They come and go, visitors from a past that is ever more distant, friends and faces that don’t exist or have long passed and forgotten.

We gamboled and gossiped, the night drew in close and intimate. The Stars and night a light blanket of warm nights and camaraderie that would end up passed and forgotten.

The Summer Nights, that never ended.

Watching over the sleeping

The night watch at any old Graveyard is going to be a hairy affair. You’re at the Number 1 spot where “something” is going to happen if the veil gets thin at night. You can walk the whole ‘yard in full Daylight and not see the Sun, so Night Watch? It’s the pits.

Every night you walk the lines, the same lines 1,000 Night Watch have walked before, you check every single line, you step in the footsteps of legends, literally. NEVER walk it backwards, never counter-clockwise. You don’t want to unlock that lock! Graves that have given up a sleeper are marked in lit green, it’s never going to stop glowing as long as you and I are still around.

So the Night Watch? They keep the sleepers safe from the world and the world safe from the sleepers. If they wake up, the Night Watch tries to talk them back to bed. They have rites that they repeat all night long, quiet, like a lullaby for the Ancient Dead. “Go to Sleep, Elder God…” you know, but more Glutteral noises and whoops, like a whale makes.

I hear the Watch in the Desert has it easier, because they only really need to watch when it Rains or Floods, So the rest of the time their Watch have regular lives and they do ritual cleansing to “go in” and “get out” it must sound like Luxury to our Watch here, who are not lifers, but they do months long rotations. When they get off, they spend a week or two getting out of the habit of singing to themselves and a bit more in some salt rooms being blessed and cleaned by guys in robes who’ve been doing it so long.

So yeah, Night Watch. It has to be done, it’s the way we keep the bad old days from coming back.

After they closed the Parks

With no place to go and no one to care for them, the became a real problem when they got smart as hell REALLY fast. They took over in a big way, their massive flying death-beasts were one thing, but it was the humanoid ones that really took the world by storm. They had gone through our technological infancy at light-speed, something about Reptilian reproduction with long life spans…. their brains were different, more focused.

The Dinos took earth, the sites of the fights are still there, burning and enclosed, they use them as entertainment, theme parks really.

Walks of Shame

The place looked ever worse in the daytime, I had no idea where I was or how I got there or even what time it was.

My phone was GONE.

My Wallet was GONE.

I had my shoes on my feet, some cash in my socks and that was it.

I woke up in a bed, dressed and dry. I had no idea where I was, so I walked out of there and into some kind of slum. Everyone kind of looks the same, it was Morning, and the whole street is full of people doing the same as me. They are looking around, trying to figure out where they are and what happened.

Overhead, the sky is brown, and awful. Like the worse smog day ever. It’s HOT, too, humid. Everywhere is messed up, I’m noticing that I ache, so much. Around me I can hear people calling out for people, names and languages, nothing catches my ear.

I follow the smell of a diner cooking breakfast and coffee, and find it’s a stall at the end of a long line of flops. The guy behind the counter smiles at me with these metal teeth and he offers me this ATM skimmer and as I grab it my thumb hits the square and the words, paid pop up.

I don’t think anything about it, I take my coffee and a bagel (?) and step out again, looking both directions I realize that this isn’t a road, it’s more like a long alley. No cars.

Where the hell am I?

A few of the people wandering around like me have friends now, pairing up or are their buddies from last night catching up? There’s a couple people fighting now.

A woman stopped me and asked about Jeannie, I said that I didn’t know where she was and could she point me back to Home.

The Woman just sort of nodded and said she would, and she led me back to the place I had come out of. I told her that this wasn’t home.

Jeannie walked in the door I had just come in and put down a bag of something.

“Oh No! He’s missed a dose!”

She looked older, way older. Like … hold on.

She held out a pill to me and a glass of water and I took the pill and sat in a ratty chair.

It had been 20 years since the war was over and we lost.

I had been exposed to a neurotoxin something exotic, it robbed me of every memory between being infected and now. I remembered it all, crashing into it. This was home now, we were in a concentration camp of sorts.

They kept us with our families, and watched us from up on high, kept fed and secured, and lost.

As night fell and the patrols became more obvious, Jeannie sat and told me all of this, as my head re-sorted itself around the new normal. A World under the fist of an army no one could see anymore, kept like pets in massive slums, not even able to have kids anymore. The last kids were born 20 years ago.

In their Propaganda, they claim they are cleaning up the planet, and they will fix the damage their viruses and gene warfare did to humanity, but the more science-inclined among us noted that the insects and animals were unaffected by the alien warfare. This was a planned and targeted attack on humanity. And every few days, I forget.

Every few days I wake up, it never happened an I walk from a mystery bed into a hot and bright morning with other strangers who probably fought right next to me against a common enemy we should have seen coming.

Now there’s a daily walk of shame for all of humanity to remember.