Sunday, April 4, 2010

The Apple (whole)

"This is the best apple I've ever had". He plunged his incisors into a thin red waxy skin, piercing it with a crisp popping sound and letting a stream of sweet juice run down his chin and drip onto his shirt. She looked up and smiled, revealing a perfect row of even ivory teeth. This sent shivers down his spine, and he felt hairs stand on the back of his neck. There was something about that smile that made him uneasy. With semi squinting icy gray eyes unchanged by the smile and transfixed on him in a way a predator might eye its prey, it was primal and cold, almost animalistic.

All of a sudden, there was nothing. With a vertigo-like sensation of a failing vestibular system, a blanket of darkness fell over his eyes, immersing him into a complete and perfect nothingness, his brain buzzing with electrical connections going haywire. Unable to be supported by weakened joints, his limp body slowly folded onto the ground.


When John woke up, he was laying in his bed on top of the covers, with his pants and shirt still on. Wow, what a strange dream this was- so realistic and bizarre. Stretching achingly, he ran his tongue along his dry lips and noticed something strange: his lips were sticky and sweet. Tracing the trail of stickiness with his tongue, John felt a trickle of dried substance running down from his mouth all the way to the chin. Apple juice! He realized in complete bewilderment. Trying to collect his thoughts, he could not figure out whether or not that event has actually happened, or if he was plunged into some alternate ethereal world in which the fantasy and reality has blended into one, creating immense confusion in his brain.


He tried to replay in his mind the meeting with this strange woman, to pull up from his memory bank the way she looked at him when he took a bite of that apple: her animalistic cold eyes and a wicked carnivorous smile that lifted the corners of her mouth in such a mysterious yet conspiratory way. He clearly remembered every second of that occurrence, her every gesture and sound, but any memory previous to that moment was completely erased from his brain, and no matter how hard he tried, he just could not recall where and under which circumstances he could have met her. John could not tell whether this was a dream or reality, and having only the mild physical evidence of this event taking place to confirm the latter, this amnesia was not surprising whatsoever. Whether or not it happened, he knew he wanted to see her again, to smell that exotic aroma of sandalwood and vanilla mixed in with some unknown to him spices, to have those wild eyes glare at him again, revealing the fire glowing deep inside. The thoughts of ways of putting that fire out made him even more anxious, and he realized that he had a raging morning wood. As he started taking care of this problem, he envisioned all the things he would do to her, what her skin might feel like under his fingers and lips, and what her voice would sound like as their bodies would blend together. Closing his eyes, he filled in all the missing parts of the meeting.

In a shower, J realized how much his mind was preoccupied with this nocturnal event after forgetting to wash shampoo out of his hair and letting water pound on his skin while standing immersed in a hypnotizing daze. When he came to senses, he quickly got out and started wiping his body with a towel, trying to clear his mind of these obsessive, nagging thoughts. Being on and off in this feeling of slow motion, he got to work late, just as he was afraid. Trying to pass the inquisitive looks of co-workers and feeling the mental burn of this walk of shame down the row of cubicles, he rushed to his desk, shuffling papers and frantically coughing to create some sort of a busy atmosphere to distract the vultures. Surely this will give them some food for thought during the lunch break; maybe some behind the curtains talk about his supposed ongoing drinking, drug, or gambling problem, or perhaps problems with a female of any sort. Getting frustrated at a mere thought of someone laundering his life like a bad mid-day TV soap and getting their jollies on at his expense, he proceeded to his daily routine.

All of a sudden, with a corner of his eye, he caught a figure standing in the entrance of the cubicle. Turning his head, he dreadfully recognized Laura, a major office gossiper that sensed people's troublesome minds and demons like a shark senses a drop of blood in the middle of an ocean, feeding off the feedback she could get from others from exposing these demons. Seeing her stand there with her arms folded on her chest and her legs crossed while leaning sideways on a wall was a clear indicator that something set off her radar. John despised this woman with all his heart, and today for some reason he felt the rage coming up like warm bile up his throat, clouding his mind and making his eyes narrow in a defensive mode. "Yes?", he asked in an irritated tone. "You know, J, this is the third time you are late, is everything OK? I don't mean to sound intrusive, but if you want to share...". Yeah, right. He would be more willing to dive into a pool filled with hungry piranhas than giving her a chance to bloviate over even minute issues he might have had, especially his night time rendezvous. "No, I'm fine", he said, cutting her off and momentarily enjoying a look of sudden disappointment on her face. Touche, he thought.


She gave him one more condescending look, which he accepted with great pleasure and even a hint of a smile, since it meant that her feeding pattern was disrupted by his refusal to cave in and give her material to gloat about for the rest of the day. After a brief moment of shock and disappointment, she straightened out and walked out of his cubicle, finally giving him personal space to go back to his daily routine and occupy his mind with yet another thought of what happened that night. He started guessing who the strange woman was again, jumping from one idea to another: a ghost perhaps? Or maybe he was drugged and somehow she took advantage of him by altering his mind and making him see all those things? That did not make any sense since he knew that he did not go anywhere , and clearly remembered going to bed for good. He rubbed his face with palms of his hands in an attempt to clear his mind and body of unwanted thoughts and skin cells, and decided to wait and see how things would play out the oncoming night. This decision did not go as planned, and even after taking a refreshing walk in a corporate park around the lake during the lunch hour and several trips to the bathroom to douse his face with cold water to take things off his mind, he found himself moping around restlessly, waiting for the day to come to an end so he could go home. He knew exactly what he would be waiting for with anticipation. He really wanted this woman to appear again, but this time he was to be fully prepared for the encounter. So many questions were to be asked, and he was already planning them out in his mind.

Who was she? How did she get there? He wanted to see her again, and the intense aroma that lingered after she left still haunted his mind. Being completely unproductive, he sat in a stupor for about twenty minutes in front of a monitor, until finally snapping out of it as if someone switched his mind back on.

Finally, as the clock got close close to 5 pm, he became even more restless and antsy, putting away unfinished paperwork and twisting in his swivel chair. He heard the movement and shuffling outside of his cubicle, and interpreted it as a sign that he can finally get out of there as fast as possible. Picking up his belongings, he swiftly got up and darted out, trying to beat the oncoming traffic of equally restless coworkers escaping their beehive cells. On a way out, he passed The Bitch. She was standing by her cubicle and chatting with another office harpy, most likely about the rudeness he unleashed upon her and possible causes of said mental state he was in.

As he walked by, they both gave him a glare, and he knew that indeed he was probably the topic of their heated discussion. But right now, he didn't care. Getting into his car, he remembered again the reason for his rushing, but realized that most likely the woman wouldn't visit him until night time, if she ever would. In order to make time go by a little faster, he decided to occupy himself until that moment came and stopped at a grocery store to get some snacks to accompany the movie he was going to watch. Moving from one isle to another and staring at colorful labels and images, he felt his stomach grumble as a reminder that he needed something to fill it up with besides a stale honey bun from a vending machine he has eaten for lunch at work. He was not an impulsive shopper, and always knew exactly what he was going to get- partially in order to avoid extra time spent among rushing housewives on cell phones and noisy kids throwing tantrums, and partially because he was not a big eater in general. But today he felt somehow different, and he could not resist grabbing everything that his heart called for at the moment. Regretting not taking a shopping cart at the entrance, he loaded his hands with several bags of potato chips, a frozen pepperoni pizza, a jar of peanut butter and jelly, and a box of glazed doughnuts. Almost dropping some items, he dragged himself to the checkout and unloaded them onto a moving conveyor belt. Leaving the store, he felt a relief and anticipation of the feast he was going to have, almost taking his mind off the original thought that was preoccupying his mind.


When he finally got home, J threw off his shoes and plopped on a worn out leather couch in front of a huge TV. It was his trusty companion on any given day, but tonight he was hoping to have someone who is more than just a flat image on the screen. He put the pizza in the oven, opened a bag of potato chips, and put in a movie that he rented a night before. He was not a food connoisseur, and potato chips were one of his weaknesses, but right now they tasted exceptionally wonderful. Like a hungry lion in a savanna after catching a prey, he was stuffing one chip after another in his mouth, barely chewing them all up, and almost choking on smaller pieces. He was amazed at the extreme sense of satisfaction he was getting from these salty crunchy discs, and after wiping greasy hands on his work shirt, he continued to shove them into his mouth until there was almost nothing left. After shaking out the crumbs from the bag into his mouth, he crumpled it up and threw it in the trash. Finally, the timer on the oven set off, indicating that the second part of his feast was about to begin. Smelling the pizza, he got a sense of confusion-his stomach felt quite full from a jumbo bag of potato chips, yet his mind still craved more and more food to be consumed. Taking the oven mitt off the hook, he slowly opened the oven door, carefully removed the pizza, and set in on a table top. Impatiently, he cut it into slices and took the biggest one, as if anyone would possibly compete with him for this privilege later on. Not even waiting for it to cool, he took a large bite of pizza, burning his palate in process.


He swore and spit the pizza out in the trash. Learning from a previous mistake, he now placed it to cool off on a plate, and started chugging from a 2 Liter bottle of Pepsi. Finally, making sure he gave it enough time, he picked up the pizza and took another bite. And another, and another. Sloppily chewing greasy melted cheese and letting the oil run down his chin, he looked at the box. There were 5 more slices left, and although he genuinely enjoyed it at the moment, there was no way that he could have finished all this food. After inhaling the slice, he reached for another one. This time he did not feel extreme anticipation before eating; on a contrary, he was quite full and could barely take another bite. Glancing at an almost full pizza box, John let out a sigh, still holding a limp slice of pizza dripping oil onto the floor and, finally making a decision, flung the leftover slice into the garbage. After cleaning himself off, John finally got back to the movie that was aimlessly running in the background this whole time. The dinner plunged John into a food coma, and before he knew it, he was slumped over on a couch, with a movie still playing.


The morning sunlight broke into the room and cast its yellow beams across the walls. In process, it slid across John's face, waking him up in a state of disarray and slight bewilderment. It took him several moments to open his eyes completely and realize that he was spread out on a couch in his grease stained work clothes, with an empty bag of potato chips next to him, and with a disgusting stale taste in his mouth. He rubbed his eyes vigorously, and slowly got up. Stretching, he made his way to the bathroom and looked in the mirror. Looking back at him, he saw a disaster of a man-dirty roughed up hair, stained shirt, 10 o'clock shadow on his face, and oil covered mouth and chin. "Wow, I really look like shit", he thought with disgust. Moment later, he remembered that he was expecting someone to visit him, and that he clearly could recall that the visit never happened. For a second he was relieved, since he would've hated for her to find him in this sad, disgusting state. But that didn't last long, and he felt apathy and depression setting in. Looking at the clock, John saw that he was already terribly late for work, and realized that first of all, it would take him forever to bring himself back to a human guise decent enough not to scare the any people around him, and second, that frankly he didn't give a damn about going in to work today in general. "Not like they are gonna miss me much there, or even notice the absence"- a thought crossed his mind. He rinsed his face with warm water, changed into sweatpants and a tshirt, and plopped back on the couch. He was restless, yet didn't really know why.

"What a waste", he thought. He could've been outside walking in the park and enjoying the beautiful weather, or perhaps fishing for bass at a local pond, which was one of his favorite pastimes. Or maybe even visiting some new interesting place he has never been to. Instead, he was wasting his unintentionally unoccupied day on sitting aimlessly on a couch and staring at the blank wall. Being pretty active on a regular basis, he wondered why this was happening to him. There was not a drop of motivation, nor energy, nor any other productive positive trait left in his body, and he wondered if this was somehow related to meeting that woman. All those unanswered questions plagued his mind like a disease that he couldn't get rid of. He knew one thing for sure- she somehow got a control of his mind, and somehow was most likely aware of this manipulation. At any rate, the day was completely wasted.

Now feeling a little guilty, John wondered if they even noticed his absence at work. Ofcourse they did, and most likely it was heavily discussed in the lunch room or next to the water cooler by Laura and her cronies. He felt anxious that he couldn't chime in and disprove any of her ideas, being stuck at home. Also, he knew that it was the time of the year when they usually gave raises to certain people in the department, and this missing day could easily taint his impeccable attendance record and brilliant work ethic. John felt that he could definitely use that raise. He had a nice apartment, in a good neighborhood, with all the amenities required for a comfortable and stress free living. Yet somehow he felt constricted within its walls, and was thinking of moving on to bigger and better pastures. Recently he watched a TV show about consumerism and its dangers, which featured obese business entrepreneurs and their botoxed, siliconed trophy wives, who wound up millions of dollars in debt because of excessive spending, and had to chuckle at the idiots that thought that up. "If I wanted to live in a cave, I would", he said to a friend that he watched it with. "Thats what credit cards are for, if you know how to use them properly and don't just buy into their tricks". In reality, John's credit record was far from perfect, especially for a single man that lived in an apartment,and he could've definitely used an advice that was offered on the show. But, alas, common sense wasn't on a list of his most utilized attributes.
He thought of a last year's Christmas party at one of his coworker's. "For crying out loud, the guy had his own tennis court", John whined semi audibly to himself. He also noted a huge TV the size of a small country in a man's living room, and a two car garage occupied by a brand new BMW and a 4 wheeler. This was a personal insult, since according to him, the guy was a "tool", and "had no life, so what use does he have for a 4 wheeler anyways?" John hated parties, but the man sent an invite with a promise of free booze and a buffet dining, and who could possibly say no to that? Plus, he was sure at least one of his higher ups would be there, and he could definitely use some elbow rubbing with those people, maybe using sweet talk to get their liquored up minds to seal the deal on his raise. Thinking of all the things he will be able to afford after he will get his coveted pay increase, John smiled and closed his eyes, with feet propped up on the cluttered table. He woke up a couple of hours later and realized that he was hungry. After searching for food in the fridge and the cupboard, to his dismay the only thing he could find was some stale cereal. Getting irritated, John put on his boots and a coat, and went to the closest grocery store to get some food. However, when he got close to his car, he saw that two of his tires were deliberately slashed. "Motherfuckers!", he shouted out loud. Looking at the deflated tires, he kicked the car with his foot, and slapped the windshield. Who the hell would do such thing? It was a closed garage, so it had to have been someone from the inside the building. Well, good luck finding out then. His brilliant disposition and manners have left him with a number of enemies, from people whose animals he has kicked in the park, to a lady whom he yelled at for parking too close to his car, to teenagers that played their music way too loud. There were too many potential perpetrators and the security cameras conveniently were nowhere to be found, so it was a lost cause. In a much more sour mood than he previously was, John decided to deal with this issue over a weekend that was coming up, and went back to the apartment. Fortunately, the train station was than a mile away, so he could make it to work fairly hassle free. With those thoughts, he went back inside and had stale cereal with milk for dinner. He woke up early in the morning, took a shower, and walked to the train station. He hasn't been on a train in a very long time, and it made him very anxious to see that many people around him, since he wasn't accustomed to seeing more people than the amount that worked with him. There were people everywhere, hurrying towards him, pushing, shouting. John felt claustrophobic and uneasy, and finally when the train came, he shoved through the crowd and plopped into a vacant seat.


He caught himself staring with curiosity at round almond shaped eyes, wide bridgeless nose, and a perpetually grinning mouth of a teenager with down syndrome sitting across from him. Captured in a moment of terminal complacency, his face bore an expression of childlike naivete and virginal purity. How lucky one must be to live in a state of eternal bliss, unaware of any external factors that bring about stress and dissatisfaction, and oblivious to any woes and calamities that life dishes out on a daily basis. He also thought of what it would be like to have an existence filled with expectations based solely on mental capability, or incapability in this case; to have every step validated by a second party that is in charge of your well being. Mixed feelings overwhelmed him; should it be pity or envy? Envy of not feeling your sick soul mope around inside a fragile bony shell, awaiting for demons to be released; of not getting tortured by moral implications of any ill fated actions; not having to make decisions based on already corrupted and weak moral judgment.

Snapping out of it, he realized that he felt no pity nor envy, but rather satisfaction of being an able man without any notable ailments. He'd rather live his life being responsible for his own actions, good or bad. John was almost proud to be normal, he always felt that he had a normal sense of self worth and ego, unlike so many people out there that were hooked on various medications to boost their failing self esteems and cure their mood swings. John often thought of his coworkers as inferiors that weren't working half as hard as he was. At this moment, he thought of the people that worked with him. Stevens-a short guy with a terrible fashion sense and a permanent dried drool in the corners of his mouth-who clearly was there because he had connections with someone, since there was no way he could even finish a high school aptitude test, let alone get a position he had. Then there was Jackson-a tall nerd with no life and yellow teeth-who could barely spell his own name, let alone work for a multimillion dollar company. And, ofcourse, there was Laura the Bitch, who most likely got her position by sleeping with some unfortunate fella with poor taste, and sustained her career by stepping over lower ants and giving blow jobs to higher ones. There were more, but these were the first ones that came to John's mind, and he felt like he was the only one truly worthy of his position and paycheck. He went to a good school, never brown nosed, never used his good looks to get anything. He thought he was definitely the most qualified and it was a matter of time until someone acknowledged his greatness. Those thoughts swayed him to a thought of a raise he was expecting, and now he just needed to come up with some phony excuse to smooth over yesterday's absence. Some unprecedented event that he had no control over, like sudden death in the family, or maybe a short but severe bout of food poisoning.

After getting off the train and walking for about two miles, John finally reached his workplace. As he entered the building and reached his floor, he started thinking of the lines he would feed to his boss in order to get what he wants. "I am golden", he thought, but a subconscious smirk quickly left his face as he saw Laura stepping out of the boss's office with a big smile on her face. She gave him a smug look, not even acknowledging him first, or doing the usual pestering, and in an instant he knew what happened. He knew the bitch got his raise by probably sucking off the boss. She walked to her cubicle, and he heard several of her harpy associates flock around, congratulating her. He thought it was tacky and unprofessional to announce publicly about getting a pay increase, and it was not shocking that she bragged about it to others being a person she was. Suddenly, he heard her talk. "Guess whom I seen today. I guess someone was celebrating this day even before I did, hahaha. Something tells me he'll be drinking again, but for a different reason". This made John's blood boil and he felt rage raise up in his throat like a lead ball. Completely losing control over himself, he quickly rose from his chair and swiftly started walking to her cubicle, fists clenched until the nail dug into his palms, teeth grinding together. He was mad, and there was nothing that could've stopped him. She was sitting right there, and as people stared with their eyes and mouths wide open, his fist met her face at a 100 mph, sending her back in her chair straight into the desk. The blood splattered all over the place, and people started screaming and clearing the place in a herd. Two large security guys flew up to John, and in a second he was restrained and awaiting for cops to get there. He was glaring at the people around him in blind rage, kicking and screaming, while being led away.
A police officer cuffed him and, rudely grabbing his head and bending his neck, shoved John inside a squad car. He saw everyone from the floor pour out from the building, swarming around the parking lot. He saw the sirens of the ambulance rushing to take Laura to the hospital to fix her smashed face.

John looked away, and all of a sudden saw something by his feet. He thought he saw two glowing dots in the darkness under the seat, but couldn't make out what exactly that was. In a second, in a state of a complete shock, he saw a green shiny head appear out of nowhere and crawl across his feet, following a thick scaly body. As a giant snake slithered past John and started wrapping itself around his neck, his piercing screams cut through the air like a knife. He screamed for help, kicking the seat with his feet as his airways were getting constricted tighter and tighter.

"Ok, this is fuckin ridiculous, I'm not gonna listen to this shit the whole way back", the cop behind the wheel said to his partner. He stopped the car, and all of a sudden John got really quiet. As both of them looked back, they saw his limp body lay sprawled out across the back seat. His face was bright red with purple circles around his eyes, and there were dark red hand prints around his neck. The prints were his own.

Monday, March 29, 2010

The Highway

All of a sudden, in a gleam of headlights, he saw a figure standing on a side of the road, and judging by a size, it was a female. Screeching, the truck came to a full stop, and he saw in his side view mirror an attractive young girl coming up to the door. Something inside of him dropped. He couldn't believe what a lucky day this was for him: she was young, beautiful, and radiated innocence. She couldn't have been older than 19, and with his trained, experienced eye he could still see a fresh baby face even when it was covered by makeup.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Highway

The highway was singing him its song, lulling him to sleep with its hum, and making his eyelids lead-heavy. It was getting increasingly hard to withstand the Sandman's hand, but he had to be realistic about it, since with years of experience he knew what can happen if you close your eyes just for one moment. That moment usually grew into two moments, and before you know it, you were passed out behind the wheel, heading straight into the mouth of madness. Plus, he had his treasure in a trunk of his truck, something that couldn't wait. And that fueled his desire to get to the destination as soon as possible, even if it meant fighting Sandman face to face. He also knew that he had to be as careful as possible, as not to get pulled over by the patrol, since he doubted that they would understand the beauty of what was in his truck. But, the time was running out, and he couldn't let his trophies spoil in the trunk.

He kept himself awake by thinking of what he was going to do with all that goodness that he has acquired with such skill and physical labor and that was now awaiting a magic touch of his skilled hand. It was a big catch, much larger than all others, and it was definitely worth the risks and time involved. It was a hard task to do, and required lots of patience and manual labor, since the bodies were quite hefty, but he was a master at what he did, so it was all a matter of time. A matter of time before he could lay his large hands on the trophies he had so diligently stashed away.

Thoughts of putting his hands on that young, unspoiled flesh made them tremble with anticipation, and he could only dream of all the things he was about to do in a short time. The soft virginal skin, tender meat, sweet tasting much thought innocence that he could clearly taste in his mouth. The veil of sleep was slowly being removed from his face at those stimulating thoughts. He knew he couldn't get caught.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

The Snow (whole)

The snow kept falling and falling. Large, shapeless snowflakes were slowly and steadily making their way to the ground, creating a see-through curtain and covering everything with a sheet of virginal white monochrome. The cold winter sky was blending in at the horizon with a sea of whiteness while looming over the land in a solid layer of metallic gray, completely void of impurities and discolorations, and preventing any futile attempts of sunlight to get through. The trees, which just a day ago were desperately extending their bare skeletal limbs to the sky in a silent plea for vital sunlight, were now comfortably hidden beneath soft, bulky snowcoats, standing in orderly rows along the sides of a snow covered alley. In a complete silence, with which this bustling city was very unfamiliar, the time seemed to have stopped in its tracks, eternally capturing the world in a moment of frozen wonderland. All imperfections-chunky dull gray pavement, bits of colorful litter strewn here and there, graffiti on the fence, movie posters-were now completely covered and smoothed over, creating an illusion of an innocent and pure environment almost completely untouched by human hands. In tabula rasa the world was reborn.

The bus slowly pulled up to a bus stop after plowing its way through the freshly accumulated piles of snow and leaving deep tire grooves behind. The doors slowly opened, and a man carefully stepped off the rubberized steps onto the snow covered ground, making sure not to get snow inside his boots and cringing as cold winter air stung and pinched his face. He was in his late 40's, wearing a long dark gray wool coat that has seen its better days and a crumpled up black fedora that he pulled down almost to his nose. In his hand he had a black tattered leather briefcase with a large brass combination lock on the front. His attire, combined with a raised collar and a tucked in head, could have made him resemble a character out of 40's film noir, perhaps a spy or a secret agent, except for his miserable demeanor and less than glamorous walk. As the bus closed its doors and moved on like a steel dinosaur, huffing, puffing and plowing through more snow, the man looked around, as if adjusting to his new condition of being completely alone in this winter vastness, and started walking. He was stooping, cringing, and dragging his feet through the resisting snow in what seemed to be enormous amount of effort. He continued on his way down a what used to be an alley and now was only recognizable by the trees orderly arranged on each side, until he finally reached a gray concrete apartment building. It was industrial and depressive looking, with faded graffiti on a peeling wall and dark stains from fire still shading several top windows, making them look like ominous gaping mouths, especially on the background of this whiteness. He hesitated for a moment, and then turned a knob on a rusty greenish metal door with chipped paint all over it, entering the bowels of this architectural monstrosity. The door started to slowly close, screeching like an old hag in process, and then all of a sudden slammed shut.

The staircase reeked of mold, stale cigarette smoke and ammonia, combined with some other less recognizable smell, which he couldn't quite put his finger on. Moldy off white stained walls, dark brown floor tiles speckled with white paint and matters of various origins, and a dim light, emanating from a single lamp bulb which was originally a part of a wall sconce with a glass shield now missing, were all creating an atmosphere of unwelcomeness and discomfort. A draft created by a large crack in a windowpane in a space between a flight of stairs added to this general feeling. He slowly reached his floor, trying to avoid touching a filthy metal banister or the walls, and walked up to a door that said "506, Randolph" on it. He tapped his feet to shake off the snow off his boots, briskly ran his hands over the coat, took off his hat, tapping it on a knee, and walked into the apartment. As he turned on the light, a stream of warm air engulfed his senses; he was happy to be home. The room had a surprizingly cozy for a bachelor's abode feel about it It was reminiscent of Victorian times, with faded yellowish brocade wallpaper, a yellow light coming from a tall floral floor lamp standing by the window, a large brown leather armchair in one corner, and a wooden desk with a green library lamp on it in another. Along the wall, in between an armchair and a desk, stood a large bookcase filled with worn tomes of encyclopedias and classics. On the walls were framed pictures of various classic writers, historical landmarks, and quotes by ancient philosophers. By the looks of it this was definitely a home of a somewhat scholarly and educated person, and that's exactly who Daniel Randolph was.

After getting his Masters Degree in Classical Studies and Literature, he was promised a much lucrative and thought after career of an editor/writer for a big New England journal just to blow it off, complaining that "no matter how tainted my soul is, I am not about to sell it to those illiterate bastards." And on his way he went, keeping his soul but saying goodbye to a large paycheck, making living off writing random articles and reviews to magazines which were willing to buy them. He felt he was too complex and sophisticated for the main crowd and insisted on being much better off knowing that his talent would be appreciated by only the select few. Despite numerous claims of permanent insanity by his acquaintances and neighbors, who were wary of the fact that he was almost always confined to his desk and had a bizarre habit of talking to himself in a very audible manner, Randolph insisted on being in a superb mental state. That could not have been said of his physical state, which was of a man who suffered from migraines, colitis, two herniated discs, and a plethora of other undiagnosed conditions. He was a 48 year old man in a 84 year old man's body, and he refused to do a single thing about it, insisting that a soul without a suffering cannot live on and still continue to be creative, even if that suffering consisted of a mere toothache. He was a bachelor for almost twenty years, completely satisfied and content with this status and unwilling to change it any time soon, even if there was a woman somewhere out there which would have been willing to put up with his brimming ego and constant mood swings brought on by his ailments.

Aeons ago he was married to a young woman named Sally, which he met in college, but they both came to a conclusion that there was only room for one person in his heart, and that person wasn't her. He was forever married to his work, and that was the only thing he found solace in, much to the chagrin of people around him.
As he sat into his armchair with that tattered briefcase in his hands, he was suddenly overwhelmed by a feeling of extreme drowsiness and sleepiness, which was onset either by the warmth of the room or by something else. As he tried to fight off the sandman, his eyelids became lead heavy, eventually closing and submitting him into a state of deep slumber. His hands released the handle of a briefcase, and it fell on the floor by his feet with a dull thud, spilling the contents all over the rug.

When he opened his eyes, Randolph, still slouching in his leather chair, could not understand what exactly happened to him and how he managed to fall prey to this deep slumber. Often, while writing his articles or reading literature, the drowsiness would slowly creep in, chipping away at his alertness and attention, but it happened gradually, and he was always able to fight it off before finally going to bed after realizing that his productivity levels and comprehension were null. This time, however, it was different. He did not even get a chance to try and fight off this sleepiness since it came on so very strong and sudden; he did not know what to make of it. After a minute of disorientation and slight disturbance, he realized that there was a very strong chill in the room, almost as strong as the one in a staircase, making his skin cover with goosebumps. Randolph instantly glanced at the window and saw that it was slightly ajar, enough to bring in a winter night air. He could also see that there were sheets of paper strewn all over the windowsill, and some were already getting carried away into the night.

At a sight of fruits of his labor and imagination carelessly flying outside, Randolph immediately jumped up, swearing, and rushed to the open window, out of which the papers kept getting carried away into pitch black nothingness, picked up by the wind one by one like large wandering birds lost at sea. Panicking and desperately grabbing at loose pages that haven't made it outside yet, he was now struggling with the wind which seemed to now gain a demonic power once it met its opponent face to face. It was howling and smashing the papers against a windowpane, preventing him from getting a hold of them. Finally, when it appeared that most of the pages were picked up, he forcibly shut the window closed against the forceful tugs of the wind that was smacking him in the face and pulling the window away from him. Breathing heavily, he lowered himself back into the chair.

Blankly looking at the heap in his hand, he put it on a table and shuffled through the cold, damp pages. His many pages were forever taken from him by that gust. Not all was lost, however. The first, the most important page, was still there. The title was glaring at him off the page: The Snow, by John Randolph, December, 1952. "The snow kept falling and falling. Large, shapeless snowflakes were slowly and steadily making their way to the ground, creating a see-through curtain..."

Sally Randolph stood by a small gravestone, with her arms folded on her chest, looking down at the etched writing. It has been 15 years since John took his life by jumping under the bus, running into a busy street to be plowed head on by a moving steel dinosaur. One of the numerous witnesses said that he took a massive blow, and it looked like a bird hitting a windshield. His hat flew in one direction, while his briefcase flew wide open in the other, spilling out papers all over the road. Fifteen long years, since 1952, but it felt just like yesterday. She still remembered the rush of mixed feelings overwhelming her that day. Mostly they were feelings of surprise, shock, disbelief. But there was another one...a feeling of relief. She knew that his troubled mind just could not have sustained him any longer. His writing had taken over his life, and she dared not to get involved in this issue, which only she considered an issue in a first place. The signs were there: obsessiveness, depression, compulsive behaviors, but there was nothing she could have done. He was stubborn, and even if he needed help, it most certainly wouldn't have come from the outside world. But the help wouldn't come. He waited and waited, but the enemy, which was a writer's block combined with a mental disease, was much too strong.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Apple (downs)

He was staring with curiousity at round almond shaped eyes, wide bridgeless nose, and a perpetually grinning mouth of a teenager with Down Syndrome sitting across from him. Captured in a moment of terminal complacency, his face bore an expression of childlike naivete and virginal purity. How lucky one must be to live in a state of eternal bliss, unaware of any external factors that bring about stress and dissatisfaction, and oblivious to any woes and calamities that life dishes out on a daily basis. He also thought of what it would be like to have an existance filled with expectations based solely on mental capability, or incapability in this case; to have every step validated by a second party that is in charge of your well being. Mixed feelings overwhelmed him; should it be pity or envy? Envy of not feeling your sick soul mope around inside a fragile bony shell, awaiting for demons to be released; of not getting tortured by moral implications of any ill fated actions; not having to make decisions based on already corrupted and weak moral judgement.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

LUNAR (Whole)

She watched as transparent whirls of smoke slowly danced in a crisp winter air upwards towards the sky, changing shapes and patterns like ghostly apparitions, until finally disappearing into eternal nothingness.

She took a drag from a cigarette, and heard a light crackle as the amber tip lit up and let the smoke fill her lungs. She exhaled, letting out a new batch of smoke. The moon emanated its cold mysterious glow, making the snow covered field drown in an ocean of pure white.

She stood there, spellbound by this creature that was looking back at her, and her only, with its featureless round face, so many light years and miles away, so distant and yet so close, keeping her company at this lonesome hour.

She could sense it sending its lunar incantations into the air, pulsating with waves and invoking the spirits of the forest that stood like an inpenetrable fortress along the shadowed edges of the field.

From the safety of the lit up entrance of the hotel, she wondered what creatures might be lurking in those woods, creeping up to the light in feeble attempts to cross over, and disappearing back into the safety of the darkness once touched by the moonlight.

She stuck the cigarette butt into a snow pile sitting on top of a large flower pot decorated with dead tree branches and more cigarette remains, and went back inside to claim her seat at the front desk.

The echo of high heels on a tile floor disturbed the ambiance of a dead silence, and she almost felt like an intruder in this silent kingdom. Dim lobby lights and long, endless zigzagging hallways extending in both directions gave her chills, and she tried to fill her mind with happiness inducing thoughts.

Learning from a previous mistake, she made sure to close the door as quietly as possible, as to not annoy any presence that could be in there with a loud noise. Finally she was in the safety of a high wood and granite desk, barricaded from whatever could be out there by the phones, boxes, computers, and stuff that cluttered the space. Landing in a leather swivel chair, she looked to her left and saw a monitor of a surveillance camera.

The uncomfortable feeling came back. The screens were changing, going from one camera shot to another. Staircase 1, staircase 2, electrical room, back rooms. She was captivated by the surreal lifelessness of each room, nervously anticipating for something to bring it to life, to show up unexpectedly on a bleak staticky monitor, crawl out from under the stairs, or maybe slowly creep out from around the dumpster. Nothing, just the rotating scenarios of the same several rooms, repeating over and over.

She almost felt a slight disappointment at the fact that there was nothing worth telling people about, proudly bragging to friends, and proving someone wrong. As she went back to checking reports, something caught a corner of her eye, and made her head jerk in the direction of the movement.

And again, nothing out of the ordinary. "The column", she thought. "It could be hiding behind the column, for all I know." These thoughts made her extend her neck and peak out from the desk, beyond the comfort zone of, and get a broader view of the main column that was supporting the ceiling.
Finally convinced that her overly vivid imagination finally took a hold on her, she became irate with herself for letting it tamper with her sanity and overall well being. As she sat back into the chair and picked up the papers, she was suddenly overwhelmed by a feeling of extreme drowsiness and sleepiness, which was onset either by the warmth of the heater next to her, or by something else.

As she tried to fight off the sandman, her eyelids became lead heavy, eventually closing and submitting her into a state of deep slumber.

It wasn't until early morning that the housekeeper, accompanied with a blood curdling scream, found a body- completely devoid of any signs of life and visibly disfigured- in the farthest emergency exit staircase of the hotel.

The body was that of a young woman- a pretty blonde in her early twenties, well groomed and once elegantly dressed, with delicate features and a porcelain skin that most likely came with a high price tag.

In a striking contrast to her immaculate features, her face bore a grimace of uncontrollable horror, her mouth still frozen in a latent scream, and something unknown but positively terrifying forever imprinted in her sky blue corneas. With a face frozen in a death mask but still intact, the same could not be said about the rest of her body.

Her torso was covered with deep wounds which, upon a closer examination, appeared to be lacerations from a sharp, knife like object. However, a theory that an attacker had used a knife was disspelled by a bizarre nature of these wounds. The skin appeared to be torn and mangled around the edges, with chunks of flesh protruding to the surface, as if something had ripped into it with an incredible force.

While extremely gruesome in its nature, the most disturbing sight was the woman's neck. A large gaping wound revealed a shattered trachea, a part of which was sticking out like a shard of broken porcelain, wedged into a mass of dried up brownish burgundy blood.

One could only wonder whether this was done in order to prevent any audible signs of struggle, leaving the victim voiceless for the amount of time that she was still alive and undergoing vicious torment to the rest of her body, or if this savage mutilation was done after the life has already escaped her.

In any event, whatever she experienced and saw was most likely beyond our comprehension and imagination.

After the police was called and the crime scene was cordoned off, the hotel was evacuated and the police started questioning guests standing outside if they have seen or heard anything, but all to no avail. Everybody was shook up and freightened, and it became obvious that no of them were involved.

The majority of the people opted to check out and look for rooms elsewhere. Every nook and cranny of the hotel was inspected, but no signs of breaking and entering were discovered, nor were there any bloody footprints or any other evidence that the attacker ever left this locaton without a trace. Reviewing of the security cameras did not end in success either, since the grizzly murder took place outside of the view of the lens.

When finally the police got a hold of Her, she was visibly shaken up. The whole idea of being alone at night while this scenario was being played out made her sick to her stomach, and she wondered if that could've been her in a place of that young woman, be the latter in a different place at a different time.

She was terrified and puzzled at the same at the thought of a nature of the killer, at his ability to appear and vanish without a trace, and his brutal ways. After all, while they searched the whole place and have found no signs of the beast being there, they also did not find any signs of it leave the premises, and she thought of a possibililty of it being a master of disguise, doing what is has been doing best to avoid being captured.

It has been almost a month since the crime took place, and the hotel went more or less back to its normal routine, with extra security cameras installed in those blind spots where they weren't before. The employees have calmed down and there was almost no more talk about it, especially since a notion of an unsolved murder could have done some damage to the hotel's reputation. The matter was swiped under the carpet, which no longer had the blood stains on it after being carefully cleaned by an unsuspecting housekeeper, which was hired after the one that discovered the body had quit the same day.

However, the lack of satisfaction from the fact that the creature was somewhere out there on the loose and even possibly watching her every move was gnawing at her soul, making her grow progressively uneasy and fearful.

A thought of leaving has crossed her mind, but she needed this job, and knew that succumbing to fears and paranoia would be an irresponsible and childish move on her part. So she stayed, and she waited.

The darkness behind glass doors was now even darker, every movement from shadows falling from trees and bushes made her heart skip a beat as she felt that a grotesque creature might be ready to leap at her with full force. Every growl of an ice machine generator in the hallway, or the on and off humming of the heater in the back room made her jump. Every corner and turn now harbored something dark and ominous, watching her with its invisible eye and ready to assault when she was the most vulnerable, at the times when she was not paying attention. No matter how much she tried to convince herself that it was just her mind playing tricks on her,triggered by an already overactive imagination, the ever-seeing stalking eye was occupying her brain like cancer. She could not prevent herself from following the patterns of survival in this place. There was no way she could go to the back past the darkened office with menacing half opened blinds to get printing paper, or far down the dimly lit hallway to the main bathroom. She just knew that something might be waiting for her at any of those places, wanting to take advantage of her loneliness, and causing the same trauma it has caused to the previous victim. She had to be prepared to avoid it getting her.

Almost crouching at the front desk, she was scanning the surroundings around her, letting not even a minute detail escape her peripheral vision. Enveloped in waves of terrifying uneasiness, day after day she was being submerged into an ocean of deep and deafening silence.

Every night she was patiently waiting for the dawn, when the sun would break the spell of darkness with its rays, spilling its light into every crevice, exposing every nook and cranny that seemed so ominous and haunting before.

This time was no different, and she was sitting behind her granite fortress when suddenly a strange sensation came over her entire body, making every hair stand on end. She felt as if an electrical current went through her every limb, engulfing her in a sense of numbness and euphoria and eliminating any sense of discomfort and fear she once had. She felt the warmth run through her veins, from the top of her head to the tips of her toes, and felt her entire body relax for the first time. As she rose from her seat, she started walking slowly, as if in a trance, towards the front door, which swung open, exposing her to the dark and cold space of a clear winter night. The amplified sensation, which came somewhere from above, made her lift up her head and look up.

There it was, looking at her straight in the eye with its pale, round, emotionless face, and emanating its glowing loneliness. Hanging like a solitaire, all alone in an endless cosmos, it has found its soulmate yet again. As the lunar halo spread its lucent glow across sky, it was sending her its pulsating waves, trying to reach her core to reconnect and become one. They were looking at each other once again, two complete strangers, so far and yet so close, so silent but so understanding.

Suddenly she felt an extreme sense of hunger, and as she clenched her fists, she felt her nails dig deep into the flesh. The pain made her cringe and she bit her lower lip with her canine. As a thin trickle of blood ran down her chin, she licked it off with her tongue and smiled. Slowly turning around, her gaze fell on the lit up comfort of the lobby. Walking back inside, she felt the lunar glare with the back of her head, guiding her...

Saturday, February 23, 2008


Time. I have always considered it something completely beyond human comprehension and even remote understanding. With a false sense of awareness we look at our clocks every day, assigning varius tasks for a certan period in our day that we associate with time. The fact is, we never do anything at the "same time", since it is impossible to repeat even a single second of it. If we pick a moment, every next moment will take us further and further away from the original one, and we will forever move away from it. Every single moment is like one of the atoms that our lives are made of. They are combined as close together as possble, and even though there are some spaces in between them, the continuum doesn't let us fill in those spaces.