The Murder of Big Mouth Billy Strokes

The metal bar made a loud thump as Michael swung and struck Billy Stokes in the side of the head.  A crunch followed as the metal bar crushed the thin skull within the forty-year old’s gruff face and head.  Michael followed the momentum of the metal bar to the right as it struck and fell.

“Big Mouth Billy Strokes”, as he was often called fell to the ground.  He did not hold his head or speak a word.  He lay motionless upon the darkening front yard of Michael’s home.  Michael dropped the pipe and stared at the unconscious man.  His anger stewed as he watched Billy.  After several long moments Michael spoke.

“There!” he shouted.  “What do you think of that!”

“You won’t have anything to say for a while now.  I’m not even going to try to wake you up.”  Michael then turned and left.  He opened the screen door of his small single-story home.  A car passed quickly by the front yard.  Michael turned quickly.  “God damn drivers speeding past my damn house.  I swear they don’t see a damn thing.”  He entered the house and slammed the door.

Michael lived alone in this house.  Anyone with any sense stayed away, at least that’s what Michael thought.  Dinner was a simply a refrigerated bag of McDonald’s Big Macs.  Michael bought two every Wednesday and saved them for dinner.  Michael warmed the sandwiches in the microwave and sat down to eat them.  He caught sight of Billy’s car through the corner of his eye.

Billy was a local drunk that would stumble into Michael’s home from time to time.  Most days, Michael didn’t mind but tonight Billy was belligerent and upset over the death of his mother.  “Of course, the first thing he did was visit me,” Michael thought then cursed.

After dinner Michael washed up a couple dishes and stared out into the front yard.  He noticed that Billy had moved from lying on his back to sitting with his ass in the air and his hand forward.  “What a weird position?”  Michael thought as he washed the bowls without looking away from the man in the yard.  The sun had fallen over the horizon and night was approaching fast.  Another car approached.  The light of it’s headlights illuminated the front yard.  Peaking through the worn out, old, white fence.  Billy struggled to move sliding up and out like a human inch-worm.  The car approached.  Billy placed his hands upon the ground and pushed.  The light from the headlights pushed through the posts and crept across the small pond that sat within the front yard.  Billy fell to the side and rolled partially into the pond.  His head disappeared within the water.  The car sped past and disappeared.

Still angry Michael stood quietly waiting for Billy to move.  He would likely drown but it wouldn’t be for a minute or so more.  Billy didn’t move and lay, head back, within the pool of water.  “Ok, fine,” Michael said as he rushed out the front door.  Another car approached and Michael froze.  He didn’t want to attract any attention to himself.  The people in this little town are up to their noses in neighborly crap, he thought.  The car passed without incident and Michael stepped forward quickly.  He lifted Billy from the pond and noticed his eyes had become bleached and his skin was pale.  The man was dead.

Michael sat upon the yard.  The darkness fell over him and day had turned to night.  His mind slowly churned over the consequences of his actions.  Excuses quickly filled the void as he tried to explain what happened.  He settled on self-defense.  “The man had attacked him”, he thought.  “Why wouldn’t anyone believe him.  “Billy was obnoxious and always drunk.”

“Fine,” he concluded and stood up.  Another car passed the house and fear shot through every muscle.  “What if someone see’s the body?  They will call the police before I have a chance to explain.  I will not have a chance.”  Michael decides to push Billy into the pond.  He reasoned that Billy just rolled into the water after Michael hit him.  The water would hide the body till Michael could call the police.

Michael pushed the body forward but it was only half-buried it.  A car approached.  The driver would likely see Michael in the front yard, in the dark.  Michael leapt for a group of bushes and waited for the car to pass.  He then grabbed Billy by the feet and dragged him clockwise till his feet mostly disappeared in the water.  He looked up and noticed Billy’s back and head now reappeared out of the water.  “Son of a Bitch.”

Michael walked to Billy’s chest and shoved it.  The body rolled and most of chest and head disappeared.  “Damn it,” Billy shouted as he fell partially into the water.  Another car approached then slowed.  The right blinker began to flash.  “No, not now,” Michael thought.  “Damn.”

Michael ran across the front yard seconds ahead of the cone of light from the approaching car.  Old age pawed at his knees and attempted to make him fall but he made it to the corner of the house.  The car pulled into the driveway and illuminated the front of the house.  The pond was several yards away and the light was far from it.   Michael enter the back of the house and circled around to the front to find the car had left.  “What the hell!”  He shouted.  “What the god damn hell!”

Often the drivers would use his driveway as a turn around and head the other direction.  Michael cursed for several minutes then sat down upon the small kitchen table.  He pulled a bottle of whiskey from the center of the table and poured a glass.  “The first swallow was always the hardest,” he thought as the liquid burned through his throat.  “The second, not so much.”  Michael nursed the drink and thought about the scenarios.  “The cops, the family the neighbors.  Everyone would want to know what happen.  Everyone would want to get to know him.”  This infuriated Michael because he spend his entire life avoiding any connections.  Any trouble at all.  He hated people and despised any sort of attention.

The phone vibrated in Michael’s jeans and he slid it from the pocket.  It was a birthday update for Billy Stokes.  “Really?”  Michael thought then moments later began to call the police.  His body shook violently as he explained to the operator that he had avoided a punch and struck Billy with an iron pipe.  Billy then fell into the pond and drowned.  “Alright Michael, officers will be at your home shortly to collect your statement.  Please stay on the line with me.”  Michael obeyed but stood from the table.  He walked to the front window of the house and looked out into the yard.  The yard was dark and he could not see the pond within the yard.  He wondered if the body was Ok.  “Could Billy still be alive,” he thought.  It was then that someone stumbled into his home through the front door.  Michael turned to see Billy hunched over and holding the corner of the kitchen wall.  “What the hell,” Michael shouted.  “Are you Ok, Michael?”  Said the operator.  “I’m fine.”

Michael watched as Billy stood slowly.  He used the wall to stand straight.  Then turned at once.  His head chest and legs all turned at the same time.  Reflecting off the ceiling lights Michael noticed Billy’s eyes were still bleached.  Billy’s clothing was wet and his skin was still pale.  Within moments Billy was upon Michael and death followed.  Billy easily twisted Michael’s neck and severed the brain from the spine.  Billy then fell forward and expired.

“Michael?  Michael, are you there?  Mr. Redding?  Michael Redding?”  Said the phone operator as it sat next to both bodies.

Authors Anxiety but the Preacher’s brew

I’m in a bit of an anxious mess here lately.  I’ve realized that I delay a lot of stuff.  Why?

I don’t know maybe it’s an unconscious why of failing at stuff.  Anyways, as much as I want to belly ache about stuff on my blog I really want to avoid it.  It should be something fun to read.

I’m working on a second piece to the Zeus’ preacher.  I really had nothing else planned for it but it’s a really cool idea, my opinion of course.

—–

John Paul sat within the small room that served as his office and rested his face upon his hands.  Sandy, his 16 year old daughter walked past the door and stopped.

“Dad, what’s going on?  Your acting like a odd-ball.”

John Paul laughed silently and raised his head.  “You, so young and innocent of the world.  How can you possible understand the weight of something you haven’t dealt with.”

Sandy’s face fell slightly, “how can you be so arrogant to believe I have no weight upon my young shoulders.”

John Paul froze.  He had not expected an intelligent response but he virtually slapped himself because he should of.  Sandy had always been sharp and intuitive which was possibly why their relationship was tense at times.  John Paul struggled to understand the politics between young and old.  He had fallen into a familiar pattern.

“Anyways,” said Sandy with a smile.  “The firemen left.  The fire burned barely an acre of the corn.  “That’s good… I guess,” John Paul said swallowing some guilt.  “I will have to apologize to Mr. Erickson when he returns from his mother’s house.

Sandy stood silent.  John Paul look away thinking then realizing she was waiting asks.  “Did you want to ask my something?”

Sandy hemmed for several seconds, “Umm… why does no one know about your brother?”

John Paul stood, “I lost my brother years ago.  I thought he had passed in a fire.”

Sandy studied her father, “Why are you lying?”  John Paul tried not to react.  The question caught him off guard.  “My brother had passed in a fire when we were boys.  I don’t care to recall the details.”  Sandy squawked and turned abruptly.  “A-hole.”

“What!”  John Paul replied and began to follow her but stopped.  He was a bit abrupt, he thought but she did not need to resort to name calling.  “His brother,” he thought, “had started something that was long brewing.”

Zeus’ Preacher

I thought I’d start something new.  It’s simply just a way for me to post more.  300 word minimum journal-like posts.

“Kaboom!”  Lightening cracked loudly as thunder boomed within the small Western Baptist church.  John Paul stood upon the stage with his hands outstretched.  The lightening stuck his left hand and the electricity shocked the young preacher hair.  “Yes, my well intention-ed parishioners,” he began as the lightening disappeared and the thunder boomed throughout the room.  “There will be a reckoning and it will be soon…” Another bolt of lightening struck both hands.  “All of you sinners stand up… I said stand up!”  Shouted the preacher and thunder crashed over him.  Outside of the pulpit a small congregation quickly stood.  Every one of the thirteen members of the church stood.  “Yes!”  John Paul shouted.  “Yes!”

The congregation repeated praise but it was a timid praise.  This new preacher was terrifying.  It was never the fire and brimstone sermons like it was from the church down the road.  Western Baptist had a mad preacher… at least that’s what John Paul like to call himself.  “Mad as hell,” he would say.  “Mad as hell that he couldn’t save everyone in the world.”  Outside of church John Paul was a kind man about 32 years old.  He was timid and barely spoke a word.  When he did it was always kind and gentle.  When he stepped upon the pulpit this timid man became a force to be reckoned with.  The problem was his congregation was terrified of him.  The lightening and the thunder followed him everywhere.  He tried for years to talk gently but the energy would build within him and soon he was be shooting light and making noise throughout the church.  It wasn’t just the church that heard it either.  Others outside the church heard it too.  The thunderous praise of Zeus’ preacher.  Granted Zeus was a pagan god but the fact that John Paul captured the lightening made losing the moniker very difficult.  He once fought to force people to stop calling him Zeus’ preacher due to the contradiction but he became angry and the storm quickly followed.  It would be something he had to live with.

Sunday afternoon John Paul stood outside Western Baptist church saying goodbye to his remaining parishioners when a man approached it.  “How are you doing, brother?”  John Paul quickly added with a smile.  “I’m doing just fine, preacher.”  The man paused.  His eyes did not shift from his gaze and he met John Paul’s gaze.  “I’ve been waiting a long time to meet you, John Paul.  I am your brother Martin.”

John Paul stopped.  The world disappeared for several moments as he took in this news.  Once he swallowed the news he spoke.  “I’m sorry… Martin…” He stammered.  “My brother died with I was 10 years old.  Taken by fire near our home several hours from here.  He is now with the Lord.”

The man, Martin, stared into John Paul’s eyes and didn’t flinch.  “You are wrong brother.  I was not taken by fire.  I was reborn of that fire.  I was then taken but now I have returned.”  “That’s impossible.”  John Paul argued.  Your body was buri…”  John Paul then realized that the funeral was a strange moment in his life.  Outside of the detached feelings John Paul had always felt he realized that no one had ever approached the casket.  John Paul had never seen Martin’s body.  It was possible that this was… “It’s not possible,” John Paul said suddenly.  “Did you ever wonder why tragedy always followed the family brother?”  Martin said as his gaze slowly broke and followed a young couple as they climbed slowly down the steps to the street below the church.  The couple seemed startled by the gaze and jerked away.  “It’s funny,” Martin began.  “Your a preacher and I am well… I am me.”

“People are frightened of you?”  John Paul replied as he watch the couple disappear into a small car.  “People are frightened of both of us.”

“No brother,” John Paul replied confidently.  “I do the Lord’s work.”

“Yes you do brother but we both know we can do better then that.”  Martin then turned and left.  John Paul watched as he disappeared into a field of tall grass.  The tall reeds of grass falling in sequence as Martin stepped upon them.  Then suddenly a small circular area of the grass burst into flames sending people scurrying to call the fire department.  John Paul stood watching.  The world he knew burst from under him.

Damn dollar

My daughter and I thought of this earlier today.  Hope you like it.

The gold-lined doors of the First National Bank burst open.  A tall man almost ran through the doors.  His face was covered with a knit mask.  He wore a thick black coat and a pair of black leather pants.  He commanded his new audience and directed them toward the ground and out of his way.  There were only five customers and three tellers.  No guard but every teller had access to an alarm.

“Everybody down!”  He shouted.  His voice echoed loudly throughout the lobby.  He stepped confidently forward and he pushed a couple to the ground.  The bank robber held a small silver handgun pointed downward.  He stepped forward to the long wooden counter and set the gun down gently.  Someone moved and the tall man jumped.  His large right hand brushed the handgun across the counter and it fell.  It crashed upon the laminate floor with a loud crash.  The bank robber swore, held his head and rushed to recover the weapon.  He grabbed it and growled.  “Don’t you move a muscle.”

Suddenly, from the front door, a young man walked in.  He saw the bank robber, and screamed.  The bank robber shook with fright.  The handgun shook within his grip.  “Stop… stop!”  He said as he pointed the handgun upward and fired.  The explosion echoed, caused everyone within the room to gasp.  The women became to sob. “Sit down,” said the bank robber as he held the handgun with his second hand.  The new customer sat quickly.  The bank robber turned and noticed that all the tellers had disappeared.  “Hey!  Hey!” he shouted.  Slowly, a peaked young blonde women reappeared.  The loose bangs of her pretty hair barely hung above the counter.

“Up… up…,” the bank robber insisted with his handgun.  He then walked up to her and moved close to her face.  He whispered, “I need a dollar.”

The young teller stood silent.  “Give me a dollar,” the robber insisted.  She stared at the man studying his blue, marble-like eyes.  They moved little.  She watched his anticipation, waiting for him to correct himself, but he slammed his hand on the counter.  “Give me my damn dollar”.  The teller jumped and opened the drawer.  She slowly pulled the dollar from the drawer and placed it on the counter.

The bank robber smiled and thanked the teller.  He pocketed the dollar and turned.  He ran to the front door and disappeared.

200 year old man

Imagine the idea that a man can live to 200 years.  Timothy Brooks always imagined this unlikely event and the day when it happened shook him to his knees.  Tucked inside the paper he found a small article about Bernie Morano.  Reported to be 200 years old in March.  Timothy stood staring at his worn face in the mirror.  He picked at the grays in his small beard and the hair that peeked from his ears and wondered about the aging process.  How is it possible to live so long when others die?  Is it luck?  He thought then disappeared from the restroom.  John F. Kennedy airport was busy.  Different ages walked, ran or limped.  Some were obviously old and others were obviously young but others dealt with age very well.  “What was the make up of this man?”  He thought as walked past.

Bernie Morano was born in Conyers, GA and the article hinted at an address.  Timothy had booked a flight South.  He handed the teller his ticket and disappeared into the tunnel.

Conyers is twenty-four miles East of Atlanta.  The city was first settled in 1816 by John Holcomb.  Bernie Morano stood to be an original settler within, what was first called, Rockdale.  The thought of interviewing a city settler was exciting.  Timothy had interviewed many celebrities.  He was a popular newscaster within New York city.  It was a tough job.

The Atlanta airport buzzed with activity.  Timothy walked quickly through the exit and caught the first cab he could get too.  It would take about thirty to forty minutes to reach Mr. Morano’s home.  The ride was quiet.  The cab driver drove silently through the populous city of Atlanta.  He left the city and began west on I-20 toward Conyers.  After nearly ten minutes Timothy could not take the silence any more.

“Have you heard of Bernie Morano?”  He nearly shouted.  The driver jumped in his seat.  The small man looked back with a sore face and Timothy grimaced.  The driver looked ahead then spoke.  “Mr. Morano is a local celebrity but if your looking for an immortal you will be so disappointed.”  The cabby chuckled.  “I’ve never seen a man who aged so badly.”  Timothy leaned forward, “Interesting, why do you think that is?”

“I don’t know.  I’m just a cabby,” the man shot back.  He then returned to silence. After the trip Timothy paid the man and checked into his hotel.  He stayed the night with the hope of meeting Bernie Morano in the morning.

———————— Part 2 ————————————-

“Top of the morning, to you.”

Timothy woke up abruptly.  He expected to see a short Irish man but above him was a very tall thin brunette-haired man with a humongous smile.  “Hi, my name is Aaron.  How is your morning?”  Aaron screamed happiness and morning sunshine.  Timothy was not so happy.  “I was sleeping.  How did you get in my room?”

“Bernie, sent me.”

Timothy pushed his legs from the bed.  He sat up as Aaron stepped back.  “Bernie Morano sent you.  I thought I was meeting him?”

“Bernie’s schedule changed and he will now meet you in Johnson Park, Field One.  I will be your driver.”

Timothy looked at the room door and saw that it was closed and the door was locked.  He sighed and added.  “Let me get dressed.  I will meet you in the lobby in 20 min.”

“Sure,” Aaron said, turned and headed to the room door.  He unlocked the door and left.

———————— Part 3 ————————————-

Timothy dressed and stepped from the room.  He walked down the hall slowly.  He told Bernie he was coming down from New York City but he didn’t tell anyone where he was staying.  Conyers was not large.  Last time he looked it was a little over 15,000 people.  “Maybe that was why?”  He thought and disappeared into the hotel elevator.

Aaron stood in the hotel lobby.  His demeanor continued to be overly happy.  He greeted Timothy and both men disappeared out the door.  The Georgia air was warm.  The summer air wrapped around him.  He followed Aaron who walked toward a small yellow cab.  “A cab?”  Timothy asks and Aaron just smiled.  “That’s why you near where I was.”

Short, Red-Headed, Wild-Haired Monster

Imagine driving down a long highway, mid morning.  In front of you are several cars driving forward.  The the left is a station-wagon.  Two people sit within the front seat and a single, small figure sits in the back seat.  Behind that back seat is a large empty space under an extended section.  A large dirty window allows a vague view of what’s going on within the station-wagon.  Not strange and nothing abnormal.

It holds your attention for a short time but your exit is coming up within a mile.  There is a second car a head of you.  It is a red four-door with a small window.  There are several people inside.  The exit appears but something catches you eye within the left car.  Someone red-headed, wild haired and short, climbs over the backseat of the station-wagon.  The child in the backseat disappears quickly.  The station-wagon swerves dangerously.  The driver looks back several times.  The passenger quietly screams as he watches the monster.  The red-headed, short creature then attacks the passenger and this attempt forces the driver into the grass and across to the other side of the highway.  Your call wiggles due to your reaction to the sight.  The car crashes into several others.  Your exit is nearly a mile behind.  You realize it but then hear a noise behind you.  You look and the car pulls to the right.  Behind you in the small back seat stands a short, red-head, wild haired monster.

The Mine – Chapter 1 – (Archive story)

Place: Small mining town North of Cheyenne, 1990

Two miners talk about home as they exit a large tunnel.
“You going to see Mary, Paul?”
“Yea, she’s hav’n problems with the baby,” Paul is a pot-bellied, middle-aged man.
The other man, Joe kicks the dirt then says, “I’m sorry wish I could help.”
“Appreciate it.”
Paul and Joe disappear under a steel and rock.  Several tracks sit upon the ground.  The carts left an hour ago.  Paul and Joe are running late.  Five steps later a small rumble gurgled up from within the mine.  This gurgle continued to mumble as it also grew louder.  Seconds later, an explosion erupts from the mine and the entryway begins to shake.  Paul and Joe turn and run but become overwhelmed within the dust and rocks.

Place: Seattle, Washington

Daniel Saxc walks out of the bathroon and into the bedroom of his hotel room.  Pulling the covers off his bed, he slides into bad.  “Finally,” he says.  “These long nightes are killing me.”

As he closes his eyes and begins to sleep, the phone rigns.  It rings twice then he awakes withi a start.  “Damn.  What is it.”

He answers irritated.  “Mr Daniel Sax, a Dr. John Mason is on the phone for you.  Said it’s really important.

“Yea, whatever,” Daniel says rudely.  “I’ll be right there.”

“Alright, sir,” said the voice.

“Damn it,”  Daniel places the phone upon the receiver and rubs his face.  “I’ll be lucky if this is a prank call.”

Ten minutes later, Danial walks down a set of stairs to the lobby.  He gets to the bottom of the stairs and ai small man brushes by him.. “Excuse me.”

“Sorry,” Daniel replies and the man disappears down the hallway.  At the front desk a tall, acne-faced kid stands talking to several people at once.

“Shawn!”  Daniel shouts due to the increase in volume as more people enter the front door.

“Where’s the phone?”  Shawn, the clerk points to the right and Daniel finds the phone.

“Hello, Mr. Sax?”

“What is going on Dr. Mason?”

“I am a geologist studying abandoned mines in Wyoming.”

“I know of you Dr. Mason.”

“Well, I got a phone call a couple of hours ago.  Just after I returned from my office…”  Daniel’s attention diverts to the man he ran into earlier.  He bolts from the hotel.  The lobby is busier then it normally is this late at night.  It’s odd.

“… the was a mine explosion near a small city in Cheyenne.  Several of their men are trapped in the mine.  Five already confirmed dead and many more missing.”

Place: Dallas, Texas – Several days later

Behind an office door a small middle-aged man sits uncomfortably within his office chair.  He balances a phone within his left shoulder and ear and is searching with his right hand for a file on his mess of a desk.

“I have it right here,” he confirms as the file appears under a pile of candy wrappers.

“Daniel Sax, born July 4th, 1970 in Columbus, Ohio.  His father left the family when he was 10 and they seemed to of moved to Seattle.  He studied Geology at Pennsylvania University but quit after 3 years.”

“That’s fine,” said the voice on the phone.  “He states he found what in Cheyenne?”

“Sir,  he says he found dinosaur bones and other monsters within a mine.”

“Did you say monsters? ”

“Yes, sir.”

“Seriously?”

Opposite Day

Opposite Day

Bobby walked slowly down the faded boardwalk. The long boards of the wooden walk way jutted up in random places making it a small challenge not to trip. The shops within the boardwalk were long ago boarded up. The tourist attraction quickly lost its luster after three successive hurricane’s. The neon signs that lit up the popular businesses were now broken. The darkness of this place helped to keep people away instead of bring them to the shops. After the last hurricane the city abandoned any development assistance and the businesses slowly shut down. Eventually, the power to the entire boardwalk was turned off when it was decided that no one cared much for boardwalk anymore.

Bobby stepped over some debris and rounded a corner near the end of the boardwalk. His curiosity satisfied Bobby was about to head home when an abandoned toy store caught his attention. It stood sad and depressed on the corner of the boardwalk. Plywood had fallen slightly from the large, broken, picture windows in front of the store. Bobby noticed a red glow from something inside. Bobby pulled on the plywood. It gave easily and he walked into the building. The small red glow appeared as a circle on the ceiling near the back of the store. Bobby could not yet tell what was making it. The shelves of the small toy store sat empty and most had fallen face first onto the dusty ground. A few toys sat upon the floor. A thick layer of dirt covered the floor and the toys that survived the waved of looters over the years. Bobby climbed over a couple shelves. He followed the red circle above him till he stood next to a tarp. The tarp partially covered a large box-like machine. Bobby covered his mouth and pulled the tarp.

Under the cover was a coin-operated magician. A partial man, hat, head and shoulders, stood staring away from Bobby. Inside his small square prison he looked like he just came off the manufacturer’s floor. His hat was black, felt and stove piped tall. His face was painted ceramic. Details within the ceramic made the impression that this toy was to be wise and old. The magician wore a tie and suit. The tie stopped short of a small ledge and the suit was quickly sown together. The red light shone brightly from the top of the square glass case.

“Alfonso, the Great,” shouted the letters along the top of the machine. Underneath the glass box was a steel slot and beside that a tin sign, bent slightly at the corner, that said 25 cents.

Bobby shook his pockets and found a quarter. He pushed the quarter into the slot and the magician came alive. First thing it did was straighten its gaze. It looked forward into Bobby’s chest for a moment then upward. It’s painted on eyes seemed to become real as it soon caught Bobby’s gaze. “Young man, how are you?” Said the magician his halved body moving back and forth as he continued to stare right at Bobby.

“I’m so sorry staring is rude,” he said as he adjusted his gaze to something less creepy. “You don’t understand it’s been years since I’ve seen a young boy your age.” The magician laughed. It’s voice was metallic, his accent slightly British. “I am Alfonso, the Great. Magician extraordinaire. I am here for your pleasure. “Would you like me to perform a trick for you?”

Bobby shifted uncomfortably. Fear doubled up in his legs and gut. “I think I’m just going to go,” he said but his legs would not move.

“Don’t be frightened, young man,” said the magician. “What am I going to do, I’m in a glass box for Christ’s sake and I have no legs.”

Bobby attempted a smile which peaked slightly at the edges.

“Let me get my small arms working so I can take off this old hat.” Two small wooden arms moved slowly, stuttering at first, then eventually pushing upward to remove the magician’s black hat. For a few seconds the magician’s gaze disappeared behind his hat. Bobby breathed in deeply till his gaze returned.

“Alright,” said the magician, “let me reach into my hat and pull out a trick.”

Bobby watched as the magician’s hands moved mechanically into the hat and pulled out a small card. The magician then turned, while still watching, and dropped the card into a large black pit area. The card dropped and the magician asked Bobby to remove the card. Bobby pushed himself forward. He reached carefully. Pushing the tin cover in. The card sat face down at the bottom of the pit. Bobby picked up the card. He watched the magician carefully for any sudden moves. The magician looked forward. The paint in its eyes chipped slightly. It’s two arms sat at the base of the glass case. Bobby stood. The light above the magician flickered then went out. The magician suddenly disappeared into the darkness of the abandoned toy store.

Bobby shook off the nerves and turned back toward the only light he could find. He stumbled over the fallen shelves and toys until he reached the front of the store. He stepped out into the salted air and onto the uneven boardwalk. He placed the card into his pocket and walked away.

Reaching home, just after midnight Bobby pulled the card from his pocket and sat on the bed. He stared at the neatly typed letters on a business card shaped magic trick. The only words displayed showed ‘Opposite Day’. Bobby huffed. Upset at the commotion this little incident caused him. The fear and the weird gaze only to get a card that says Opposite Day. He placed the card on his bedroom dresser and slipped into bed.

“Bobby, time to wake up”, shouted his father as the sun peeked through his dark curtains. His father was likely busy down stairs so that would allow his to steal a few extra minutes of sleep.

“Bobby… let’s go buddy,” his father shouted as he stood above his bed. “Today is a special day. Everyone is getting up early.”

Bobby grunted and covered his head with a pillow.

“Come on, boy,” pleaded his father. “You have to see what’s going on outside. It’s crazy.”

Bobby whined and slowly tossed both legs over the bed. He walked slowly over to the bedroom window.

Bobby stood at the bedroom window and watched as different characters paraded across the concrete. Human-sized fairies with sewn on cloth wings, Monsters with mutated paper-Mache faces that looked they were drawn on by children.
“This is such a stupid holiday,” Bobby said as he closed the shade and turned away. His father stood in the doorway. A large paper-Mache ball upon his head. Within the center of the ball was a drawn out iris and along the outside several red lines that were supposed to be veins.
“What is that supposed to be,” Bobby spat angrily.
“An eyeball of course,” his father said. The words muffled behind the thin paper mask.
“Dude, I’m not wearing that.”
“Aw, come on, Bobby. Don’t be a sour puss.” His father pulled the paper-Mache from his head and smiled. “It’s Opposite Day. The best time of the year. What an opportunity to do something different for a day.”

“It’s an opportunity to look like an idiot for a day.”

His father laughed. “That’s true but it’s all for fun. Head downstairs when you’re ready. “

Bobby waited till his father left the room then grumbled and shut his bedroom door.

Thoughts of the boardwalk and the magician filled his head. “What did he do? What is going on? What am I going to do?

“It’s really an opportunity to do anything you want to do,” someone spoke from behind him.

Bobby jumped, turned and noticed the magician standing within 2 feet of him. He was taller than Bobby by several inches. He had a full tie and real arms.

“What are you doing, here?” Bobby asked.

“Well, it’s your holiday so I couldn’t leave you in the dark about it.”

“Ya, that’s nice.”

“Imagine the world on a platter, Bobby. Anything you imagine. It is opposite day.”

“What are you saying?” Bobby asked suspiciously.

The magician just smiled and leaned upon the window sill of his room.

“Anything?” Bobby paused, thinking. “What if I want a million dollars?”

The magician’s smile broadened and his lips parted showing perfect teeth.

“You can’t have it… You can have nothing… it is opposite day.”

Bobby’s father opened the door very quickly tripping off the corner of his computer desk. He fell, head first, into Bobby’s small bed moving it. Bobby realized that the magician had disappeared.

Bobby’s father held his head. He stood slowly. “Bobby.. Bobby…,” he began. Your mother just won the lottery. This is the most exciting day of our lives.”

“Seriously?”

“Pack it up, boy we are going on a field trip to the lottery office.”

His father bounced around the room then left. Bobby stood quietly staring into the empty hallway.

“Congratulations, on getting nothing,” said the magician from a large mirror within his closet. He winked then disappeared.

Dread drained the excitement from Bobby as he joined his father in the car. It was the too-good-to-be-true factor that ate at him but also the sense of evil that he was beginning to feel when the magician visited him. There was something going on that he was yet to figure out.

“Oh, great! …Of course.” shouted his father because the car didn’t start. Bobby thought for a moment then suggested turning the key to the left. After a short argument it worked. “Next up Drive would be Reverse and Stop would be Go”, he offered.

“Very strange,” stated his father as they drove slowly forward with the car set in Reverse. “Someone must think this is a joke.”

Bobby looked ahead and followed the magician, standing on the sidewalk, as they passed.

The dread buried deep within his gut.

Bobby sat in the backseat of the family’s small four-seater car. “What if I want a dog?” He asked quietly. A large black cat appeared on the seat beside him.

“A beautiful woman?” An old, ugly women appeared to his left. The cat walked slowly toward the middle of the car and stepped into the front passenger seat.

“Wha..”

“What is this? Where did it come from? Bobby?”

His father looked back and saw the old woman. He attempted to stop the car, which failed.

Bobby’s fathers car hit a tall telephone pole. The pole bent forward as the front end of the car swallowed the pole. Everyone within the car fell forward. The cat slid forward. The old woman disappeared under knots of long hair as she tried to stop herself. Bobby fell forward, surprised by the sudden stop and slipped through over the center console. The driver’s airbag inflated. Bobby kicked his father in the back of the head. The passenger airbag went off with a bag and stopped Bobby from passing through the window.

Both air bags deflated leaving his father bent over the steering wheel nursing a broken nose. Bobby sat. His arms bruised. He sat with his back and shoulders on the passenger side door. He looked up at the rear-view mirror and noticed the Magician standing within a foot of the car smiling. This infuriated Bobby. The Magician moved forward toward the car. He walked slowly toward Bobby’s father while staring intently at Bobby. “Why is he watching me? He thought. The Magician opened the back door of the small 4-door car. The cat appeared from under the passenger air bad and leapt outside. The Magician bent over, his long fingers held the felt hat on his head. He examined the old woman and then closed the back door. He walked slowly over to the driver’s window and spoke to Bobby’s father.
“Hello, sir. Do you need my help with anything? A cold compress, a hot bath?”

Bobby moved his feet. He kicked his father again but was attempting to fold his legs under him. Pain in his arms and back forced him to sit still. “My father doesn’t need anything from you.” he shouted. “Stay away from my father! Psycho, bastard.”

His father stared at him. The blood from his broken nose traced the veins in his large hands. “I could use…” he began but Bobby interrupted him. “My father needs your help but I need it less.”

The Magician laughed, “that is a terrible idea, my boy.” The magician then disappeared. “What was that all about?” His father asked. His voice choked with blood. “There is a magician outside your window. The man is insane. I ran into him yesterday. He gave me a card and now the day is all messed up.”

His father noticed the man within the window had disappeared. He searched but failed to find the tall man. “I don’t where he went but I don’t care if he’s Harry Houdini. He’s offered to help us get out of the car.”
“Dad, you don’t understand. He is like a genie.”
“Son, that’s just too much. Let’s get out of this car. Hey, where’s the old lady?” Bobby looked back and noticed the old woman was gone. “Likely, an illusion.”
“Likely.” Within Bobby’s father’s face he could read the doubt and the lack of credibility this Magician had implanted within his father. His father attempted to open the driver’s door but it was jammed. Outside the car the chaos continued with no one even acknowledging a car crash in the center of town. They continued to attempt to walk like dogs and dress the complete opposite.

“Can I help you, boy,” The Magician offered a gloved hand through the broken passenger window. Bobby jumped back, surprised. “I don’t want your help.”
“That’s so nice of you to say. This is a fun game to play isn’t it?”
“My God, would you… not have a conversation with that brunette woman over there.” Bobby thought quickly. He decided to play the game. “Ah,” said the Magician, “I am a little shy. After all several decades in a glass box will do that.” The Magician stepped away but Bobby grabbed the door handle and pushed the door open. The door caught the Magician by surprise and he fell forward. He stumbled over the sidewalk curb but Bobby noticed that the magician went out of his way to keep his hat on his head. Amazingly, the Magician seemed to catch himself and then walked slowly over to a blond woman. He looked back once, fear on the magician’s face. The confident smirk was gone for a split second then it was back. The Magician pointed his finger at Bobby and smiled.

Bobby opened the door the rest of the way. He looked over to his father before he left the car but noticed he had passed out on the steering wheel. Bobby quickly found an old t-shirt in the back seat. He unbuckled his father’s seat belt and laid him on his side. He pushed the t-shirt to his nose to help stop the bleeding. He had to stop the Magician before his father got worse. Bobby stood slowly, his legs resisting. The Magician spoke to the blond woman, who looked distraught. The Magician laughed as though he told a joke. An EMT approached Bobby. He was short and round with a starched blue and white uniform. “Plainville EMT” stitched upon the white pocket. The EMT carried a red bag and dropped it at Bobby’s feet.

“Ok, ok… your ok,” stuttered the man. He was struggling with something. As if he was being forced to maneuver like a puppet. Bobby looked at the Magician but he was still laughing with blond woman but Bobby noticed the Magician would sneak a peek in his direction.
The EMT sudden swiped at Bobby with a thin, silver scalpel. Bobby avoided the blow but pushed himself into the car door. The door caught him and pushed him forward. Bobby pushed the EMT. The EMT fell backward dropping the scalpel. He then stood, turned and ran. The Magician ended his conversation with the blond woman. The woman looked at the Magician then began forward toward the street. A cab drove slowly past the woman but stopped when the woman leapt in front of it. The cab then promptly moved forward, over the woman and disappeared down the street. The Magician walked slowly back to Bobby.

“Isn’t opposite day a blast.” Bobby stepped toward the Magician and tried to punch him but it failed miserably. “Whoa, now… you must really like me,” the Magician said amused. “You’ve tried to hurt me twice. I think you really enjoy this game.”
“Yeah, I’m having a blast,” Bobby said as he looked down at his father.

“Are you saying you like my father and I because you hurt us!”

“I have so much hatred for you.” The Magician said as his dull red eyes lit up with rage, “but its opposite day so I must be friendly.” The Magician then smiled. His eyes dimmed and he looked content to be friendly.

“Oh, my God. Can you just leave me and my family alone.”

“Alone,” the Magician asked. “But I am your guide. I will help you through the day.”

“Just removed the curse.”

“Curse, I am offended. This is a gift. Your objections to my gift hurt me and I struggle to ‘not like you’.” The magician winked. Making sure Bobby understood the opposite of ‘not like you’.

“Why are you doing this?”
“Simple reasons, really. Boredom mostly.”
“Why did you pick me?”
“Boy, you are such a simpleton. You picked me.”
Bobby grumbled.
The Magician threw his arm over Bobby and pushed him forward.
“Look at this beautiful day. The sun raging in its place above the earth.” The sun quickly disappeared behind a cluster of dark, black clouds.
“The river flowing along its banks like they were penciled in.”
The water within the Black river began to rise. It quickly surpassed the thin banks and began to flood a small park.

Bobby stood quiet. Thinking. He suddenly noticed the EMT approaching quickly. Within his small hand was the scalpel. The magician watched, from beside Bobby as the EMT attempted to stab him again. “Really!” Bobby shouted as he avoided another thrust. Bobby fought off the EMT easily. Fear was evident within the EMT’s pale blue eyes. He had no control over his limbs. Bobby shoved the EMT backward, over the curb. He fell with a loud thud. His head hit the concrete and knocked him out.

Bobby turned toward the Magician, who smiled. His black hat sat tipped to one side. The Magician could see something within Bobby that was missing from before. The game had finally become too much for the young man. The timid-laced fear was gone. Replaced by immense anger. The Magician straightened his hat and stepped backward as Bobby stepped closer. The men and women within the city crowded the sidewalk. The Magician’s small psychological victims surrounded him but Bobby kept coming. The Magician stepped backward and was about to smile when a large man jumped upon him from the ground. The Magician fell downward. His large felt hat tumbled and cart-wheeled several feet away. He sat frozen while the large man began to lick him like a dog. Bobby jumped forward. The Magician struggled to scoot over to his hat but the large man stood over him. He prevented the Magician from moving easily as the man tried to lick his face. The Magician pushed forward with his hands but the man’s weight gave him an advantage. Bobby approached the hat. The Magician watched and warned Bobby to stay away from the hat. Bobby smiled.
“Did you say pick up my hat?”
The Magician grumbled as the large man pushed his hands away and licked the Magician’s face with his tongue.
“Stupid human!” The Magician then pushed the large man to the side and turned over on his belly. He set his feet under him and began to stand. Bobby stood over the hat. The Magician began forward and began to shout but as soon as Bobby grabbed the hat the Magician disappeared.
The world around Bobby stopped suddenly. Men dressed as woman stared in amazement as they realized what they wore. Several of the men and women, that crawled along the floor, wept due to embarrassment. Their companions, the real dogs milled around unaware of any issue at all. The man that had been licking the Magician lay on the concrete sidewalk staring upward. He looked upward at Bobby but Bobby walked past him toward his father. Bobby held the Magician’s hat as he walked toward the car.
His father stared at Bobby as he held an old oil rag to his nose.
“You alright,” he said. His voice muffled by the cloth.
“I’m fine, pop.”
“What’s going on?” Said his father.
“I couldn’t explain it to you if I tried,” Bobby said as he swung the black felt hat back and forth in his hand.
The EMT approached Bobby quickly. Bobby jumped back and positioned himself for a fight. The EMT looked at him curiously and ran around to the driver’s side door. He spoke to Bobby’s father as an ambulance approached from behind him.
Suddenly, the noises of the confusion of the day began to filter into Bobby’s young ears. The horror of finding the blond woman lying broken on the street held most people’s attention but Bobby smiled. He felt accomplished that he alone saved the world from the evil that was the Magician. He was a hero that deserved some recognition but the story was too unbelievable.
“No one will ever believe me,” Bobby thought as he placed the Magician’s hat on his head and suddenly disappeared.

The darkness overwhelmed him as he stared forward. A dull red light displayed above him. The light allowed a quick view of the plate of glass in front of him. Outside the glass he could make out shadows of large shelves and dark items on the floor. He looked downward. Found a black tie laced below his neck and a badly sewn black coat upon his shoulders. He tried to move his face, arms and legs but they didn’t respond. He looked upward and found the Magician’s hat sitting comfortably on his head.

Cloud 9

I want to get small and transparent.
Ok, now I want to walk across the wing of this airplane but the wind makes it difficult to walk. It goes over the wing and tries to take out my feet. I’ve made it to the edge of the wing. I am about to dive into the clouds. I want to have substance but only enough to allow me to climb on top of the clouds. I’m ready to jump. No! stop!
Timing is everything. I almost jumped into a cloudless hole. I must time my jump and landing around only landing safely. I’ll go and jump into that cloud depression ahead of me. It looks like a round lake of air. Alright, I’m jumping. I want to be heavier till I reach the cloud so I’ll land precisely. I’m falling straight down and in the center of the cloud lake. I want to be light again like before.
A poof of cloud and I land dead center.
The momentum of the plane’s speed has me rolling. The edge of the could lake has stopped me. Wow! that was amazing
I’m now standing on the cloud, inside the lake. I can see the cloud mountains and plains. First, though I must figure out how to climb out of the cloud lake. Will the sides be too soft for me to climb? No, they should not be because I am walking and jumping up and down now. It seems to be solid. I am going to try it. I approach the cloud wall it is as tall as my chest. I reach out to the top it and grab hold. It is solid, but very moist. If the cloud is moist my clothing must be also. My t-shirt and pants were wet like I had just been rained on.
Ha, ha, I hit the rain before it hit me. Anyways, I pulled myself over the cloud wall. I wiggled on my chest till my feet were over. Wow! this is just amazing. It’s kind of cool up here.
I’m walking across these clouds like I would the ground. Except the ground has less to trip on. Little could, spikes up, and it has tripped me a couple times. A 747 was passing the last time I tripped. I bet they got a good laugh, after their amazement, or course. When I trip it doesn’t hurt. It only gets me wet again.
In front of me is the hills and add mountains of cloud 9. I obviously got that from the old cliche, “Walking on Cloud 9” but don’t it fit the adventure. My target is a could mountain shaped like a round ball. It isn’t smooth, nor totally round. Just roundish, I guess. But first I must climb these hills in front first. The first hill is easy to climb. I just walked up it. Scanning the next one, it is shaped like a long ridge, or easier described as a wave. A cloud wave. I’ll be the first to surf this wave. I trotted quickly down the easy hill and to the bottom of the could wave. This is a cloud wave, with even a wave tube. How do I surf this wave, because the cloud wave doesn’t move like a water wave would? This took several minutes till I came up with an idea. I’d have to motorize my board… with … air. Yes, I want a surfboard that propels itself with air.
The Creator is very good at delivering exactly what I want. He created a light blue board, looks like the sky, and on the back is a vent for propelling the air. I imagine when I get on it… it will start… and it did.
It began slow so I could develop my balance and steering. I then steered it toward the could wave. I was now surfing and cloud 9 and it was thrilling. I surfed up and down the wave tube. A few times I even rode on top of the wave. As I approached the tube my surfboard began to shake.
I came to the edge of the tube and my board flipped over. I fell off the wave. I wanted to know why and my answer dropped quickly. I watched my board go into the tube. Everything seemed fine till the board dropped and disappeared.
I was… I don’t know… astounded and had to know what happened. So I got to my feet and climbed into the cloud tube. Nothing seems to be add, till I saw it. It was a hole, a hole in the cloud tube. I looked down and saw my board. Falling toward earth. The board… No… the Creator saved me. He was the one who knocked my off. I guess I owe him another three months of service. I then abolished my surfboard and climbed out of the tube. This has been a fun adventure, but, I’m glad I didn’t go into that tube. That would not of been worth fifteen years of service to the Creator.
Actually, it may have been longer since he has saved me many other times.
I dry myself, because I fell from the surfboard and begin to climb the cloud wave. It’s not extremely difficult but it is a little slippery. I walk diagonally up the wave carefully placing one foot in front of the other side of the wave and see a cloud chasm about 300 meters wide and almost the length of the cloud long.
“What now?” I ask myself. this is the toughest hurdle I’ve encountered yet.
I sat on the could wave for, what seemed like, forever. Trying to find the best direction to go. I could trek around the chasm and hope I don’t fall off the small walking space on this wave. Or, I could jump into the chasm and climb up the other side. The thought of flying over the chasm interests me for a second, but, where’s the adventure in that?
I don’t know…
All three options fade in and out. One, two or three… Well… definitely, not three and I threw that out. What about one?
Well… walking across this wave seems challenging, but what if I fall into the chasm? I may break my ankle or leg because I wasn’t ready. I decided to jump into the chasm and climb up the other side. If I jump now I can control my speed and direction eliminating the risk of injury.
— this story isn’t perfect but I found it in a journal of mine and wanted a record of it. I hope to change it and correct it someday but at least now I can have a digital record. 🙂

Opposite Day_new Part 2

Bobby’s fathers car hit a tall telephone pole.  The pole bent forward as the front end of the car swallowed the pole.  Everyone within the car fell forward.  The cat slid forward and grabbed the back of the driver’s seat with her claws.  The old woman disappeared under knots of long hair as she tried to stop herself from replacing her teeth with the leather passenger seat.  Bobby fell forward, surprised by the sudden stop and slipped through over the center console.  The driver’s airbag inflated and pushed him to the right and into the second airbag.  Both stopped him from passing through the windshield.

His father sat quietly nursing a broken nose.  Bobby sat, with his shoulders on the passenger side door.  He looked up at the rear-view mirror and noticed the magician stood within a foot of the car smiling.  This infuriated Bobby but he was unable to move too quickly.  Suddenly, the magician moved forward toward the car.  He walked slowly toward Bobby’s father while staring intently at Bobby.  “Why is he watching me?  Other then to be a psycho.”  He thought as he began to measure up his injuries.  The magician opened the back door of the small 4-door and let the cat out.  He bent over, his long fingers holding the felt hat on his hat, and examined the old woman.

“She’s dead,” he said with glee and stood up.  He then walked over to Bobby’s father and looked within the broken window.  “Stay away from my father!  Psycho, bastard.”

His father stared at him through the blood leaking from his hands.  “What are you talking about?”

“There is a magician outside your window.”

Bobby said  in one breath.  “The man is insane.  I ran into him yesterday.  He gave me a card and now the day is all messed up.”

His father looked and nodded at the magician.  “I don’t care if he’s Harry Houdini.  He’s offered to help us get out of the car.”

Bobby looked back at the magician but found he had been replaced by shorter man with a dress shirt and blue tie.  Both men stared at Bobby.  Reading their faces Bobby dropped his objections.  He wrestled with his legs and feet and finally managed to slide them under the deflated passenger airbag.  He looked back to find the old lady gone and someone approached the passenger window.

“Can I help you, son,”  The individual offered but Bobby advised he was fine but that was until he saw the hat as the man bent down.  Bobby immediately pushed the door open.  The magician fell backward.  Shock plastered all over his face.  Bobby noticed that the magician went out of his way to keep his hat on his head.  Bobby began to step out but his legs were sore.  The magician scooted backward.  It wasn’t fear on the magician’s face but concern.  There was a partial smile then confirmed to Bobby that he was insane.

Bobby stood slowly, his legs resisting and the Magician disappeared.  Replacing the Magician was an EMT with a starched blue and white uniform.  A red bag sat beside Bobby’s feet.

“Ok, ok… your ok,” stated the man.  He was struggling to back away.

“Bobby, calm down,” his father spoke through the broken pieces of his nose.

The EMT put his hands up signifying no intent to harm.  Bobby held onto the door, his knees throbbing.  “I’m sorry.  I thought you were someone else.”

The EMT stood and cautiously approached Bobby and grabbed the red bag.  He turned and left.

Bobby found the Magician laughing with a beautiful blond woman.  He pretended to be in a conversation but would occasionally look in his direction.

Bobby watched as the conversation ended and the woman turned and left.  She walked to the edge of the sidewalk, lifted her left hand and then stepped in front of a cab.  The cab unfortunately did not see her and pushed her forward then under the car.  Bobby turned away.

“Isn’t opposite day a blast,” the Magician said as he appeared beside Bobby.  Bobby immediately swiped at him but the Magician avoided it.  “Whoa, now… you must really like me.  You’ve tried to hurt me twice.”

“Are you saying you like my father and I because you hurt us!”

“I have so much hatred for you.”  The Magician said as his dull red eyes lite up with rage, “but its opposite day so I must be friendly.”  The Magician then smiled.  His eyes dimmed and he looked content to be friendly.

“Oh, my God.  Can you just leave me and my family alone.”

“Alone,”  the Magician asked.  “But I am your guide.  I will help you through the day.”

“Just removed the curse.”

“Curse, I am offended.  This is a gift.  Your objections to my gift hurt me and I struggle to ‘not like you’.”  The magician winked.  Making sure Bobby understood the opposite of ‘not like you’.

Bobby stood quiet.  Thinking.  He suddenly noticed the EMT approaching quickly.  Within his small hand was a scalpel.  The magician watched, from beside Bobby as the EMT attempted to stab him.  “Really!”  Bobby shouted as he avoided another thrust.  His father shouted from within the car.  The driver’s door was jammed.