Category Archives: Haunted Light

Ambient Endless

What am I anymore? Some days I feel like a rock, other days I feel like a cloud full of rain. At times the heartbeat hurts, and I just want to go to space and be all alone. Then the clock chimes a certain time like a line in the sand, and all I want is to be turned up against her. I think she’s missing because I can’t find her anymore. I thought maybe I left her in the closet with the light turned on and a plate of food, but when I went to look, the light was off, and she wasn’t there. The plate was empty, though.

Maybe she took off to Florida like she always talked about. She wanted to live in Orlando so she could be near the dwarves. I never understood why I was never good enough for her. I suppose in the end it really doesn’t matter that much. She took off without me. Everyone takes off without me.

Somehow, I ended up on a jet plane headed west and I was wandering around the airport in Las Vegas. I had one suitcase. I got a cab and had the driver take me to The Cosmopolitan. I wanted to be up in the cosmos, the 37th floor, so I could soar to the stars and dive down into an infinity pool to find infinity.

The Goldilocks were all dressed in red and champagne and everyone was so good at making noise. Las Vegas is such a noisy place and that’s why they build the hotels so tall so the people who are afraid of the noise can find some solace up in the clouds, the flip threat atmosphere climb is always a good one.

I wandered around in Caesar’s Palace, but I never met the emperor. I bought beer after beer from a vending machine doctor. Mimes in white with pointy hats and red mouths smiled so strangely whenever I came near. I was surprised there were so many kids running around. I thought this was a playground for adults. Matters of life just don’t matter anymore.

I was lying in bed and looking out the big window at the sparkly darkness when someone came pounding on the door. My heart went psycho in my chest, and I had to clutch my own breast to make it settle. I put on one of the big white fluffy bathrobes they give you and went to the door. I noticed all the hair had fallen out of my legs, and now it was falling out of my chest and my arms, too. No one was there. It was all in my crazy head again.

I’m always falling in one way or another and I just don’t understand. I can’t keep up the pace that life demands of us. I just want to sit down for five fucking minutes. But the machine doesn’t let me. The machine always runs—29 hours a day, 13 days a week, 904 weeks a year. Time is all nonsense now, like purple wine in a gravity-free cathedral. Jesus and his sex dolls are just spinning aimlessly. Space is space and space is seemingly infinite but where exactly is this infinite space? Maybe it’s all in my head.

I stepped out onto the veranda and watched the city glow and explode and ignite and withdraw and scream and cry and finally never say goodbye. I saw a helicopter float atop the dome-like glow of the city. I watched it land on top of a building. It was a high square building with a gigantic H on it. H for hospital. H for hang in there. H for hallelujah. H for help.

I walked into the gilded sterile box and climbed aboard an elevator for the ninth floor. It released me onto a shimmering corridor with countless doors. I walked along and looked in the rooms there. I saw sad people, I saw lonely people, I saw people visiting with loved ones and they were only now just loved ones because death was near. I found a room that was empty, and I climbed up into the bed. I played with the controls. I switched on the TV. I waited for a visitor, but no one ever came. Before I fell asleep, I thought about what might happen to me the next day. It’s all I had because everything else was void and gone. I finally closed my eyes and went to space. There I found her on one of Saturn’s 145 moons. She was beautiful, beyond beyond.


The Crowns of Pluto (4.)

Crowns of Pluto.

The great garden hummed from the heart of the machines that gave it life. It was the crowning achievement of our outpost Station Kronos Kuiper, three varied places of warmth and green and the colors of all the gardens back on Earth combined — the Crowns of Pluto.

It was a very large place of glass and domes and shining gray walls slick with beads of circulated water in which the vines swam upward upon. A pathway of turquoise and gold brick wound up and down and all around and you could follow it deep into the garden or stay close to a place to heal one’s space soul. The bridges were bowed and held one above the various small streams of perfect blue because of the enzymes — unsoiled ocean water blue.

The trees were immense and varied, the works of genius minds and artists, somehow altered by chemical gravity to bloom quickly like a porcelain doll with animal organs. They had thick trunks and veins that pumped the energy and gave us breath. Artificial birds hop from limb to limb, mechanical insects buzz, computerized children play in the open spaces of yellow green and where the tumbling towers jut up toward outer space on wings of imagination. Their candied eyes rotate with innocent hope.

And now it is all mine to enjoy, to wallow in, to escape to. The man-made nature speaks to me as it bubbles in liquid light of blue and mellow orange sun. I can look up to the thick, protective glass domes and see night and all its stars at the same time I can walk beneath the chemical rainbows and hydroponic sun beams.

I wonder at times if it is the garden of good and evil versus the heartless psychology of man as I sit on a bench alone and look out at it all, breathe it in. They scented the air with lilac and linen and ocean water and man’s own pollution, too. Pollution on Pluto cannot breathe.

The Paper People hang like bats up high. I can sense one eye opening at first in wonder of what my visit today or any other day means. Then like dominoes falling upon each other, all their other eyes open and their judgement cascades like an Earthly waterfall.

“How did you get in here!?” I yelled up to the colony. “The doors are not meant for you. Only me.”

There was a shrill, haunting call like nothing I have ever heard. It was that of a pained, frightened beast searching for mercy at the same time it was pouncing to kill. It was nothing like the usual song they sang. Then the young woman from the Italian villa was sitting right beside me. She had her head turned and was looking straight into my eyes with those emerald pupils, but they did not move, they did not exhibit life or heart, only disappointment in the tragedy I had bequeathed her.

It was a jolt to my system, and I leapt up off the bench. Her empty eyes followed me. I wanted to run, but like in a dream I couldn’t, my feet were locked in place. But where was I to run? The complex, the station itself where I now existed in this outer world place, it was large, winding, a mystical mystery created by many before me. Perhaps I was ill prepared to live here after all.

But here I was alone, so I thought. The reproduction did not work. We don’t know why. They never figured it out, but some blamed the atmosphere or lack of it, even though we had created our own. Some blamed the biology of our physical systems and the transformation that occurred. I never fully understood it. Physical love existed, not for me, but for others, but the seeds of a new life never took hold as they should have. The ones once with me never figured it out. I think it was something that they never thought would happen. We were unprepared for our own extinction. But is that any different from how we lived on any world or place and time? I don’t know.

But life has come here after all. Life in the forms of phantoms and ghosts or perhaps just the material products of my own mind, my own dreams and imagination. Like I have said before, maybe I am going mad and none of this is real. Maybe I am still asleep and travelling. Maybe I have yet to wake up.

But there the girl from the Italian villa of my memories was, seemingly in soul and flesh, breathing but blind, her arms outstretched and reaching for me. Did she want to embrace and soothe my guilt, or was she ready to strangle me?

I was finally able to pull my feet from the muck of a dream and I got away from her. I ran through the gardens, the leafy heartbeats all around me, the fake blue sky and its phosphorous clouds of virgin cream mixed up in it like beautiful batter. I made my way for the large arched opening in the far high wall. I looked up at the slithering vines of botanical life, thin columns of Jack’s beanstalks on their way to the heavens and a golden goose and a wicked giant.

I went through the archway and into the artificial city. Cinderella City they called it. A representation of one at least. It was built for psychological purposes. Each sector was assigned a color and everything in it fell under that color — blue, red, gold, green. The space offered us a piece of home, sanity, clarity, hope to tether ourselves to in case the fear got to be too much. And now the fear in me was too much. I could feel my nerves trembling beneath my skin. I looked back through to the other side of the archway. There was this Wizard of Oz glow about it. It was beautiful but empty. Neither the girl nor the Paper People had followed. I suppose they didn’t need to. All they had to do was wait for me, for I would always be here in one form or another.

Author’s note: This is the fourth piece of this play-around project. Visit to read the previous chapters. I hope to craft more of this story over time as an experiment in writing some science fiction, or something like that. Thanks for reading and supporting independent content creators who just want to do what they love to do.

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The Chronicles of Anton Chico (American Soil)

Anton Chico in swirl of dark hallway.
Photo by Aidan Roof on

The Other Side of the Door

By mid-afternoon, the sun was flaring its nostrils and spitting fire and when I walked out of the rough cantina in Juarez, I had to shade my eyes because the light stung them like a burning wasp.

I stumbled into the tide of people and turned this way and that in a state of confusion trying to determine which way it was to the border. I saw the policeman, walking slowly against the flow of people, and I saw his eyes fix on me and Anton Chico panicked for a second, moved to the edge of the flustered queue and stood against the hot stucco of a building until the officer passed.

I knew it was time to get out of the country; the paranoia was creeping in again and I felt an attack coming on. I swiftly moved back into the flow of people and headed straight for the crossover. When I reached it, I deposited a quarter and pushed my way through the turnstile and sighed with relief when I saw the buildings of El Paso, cloaked in heavy and hot smog, just beyond the crest of the bridge.

I walked fast. The sweat was pouring out of me like someone had gently squeezed a sponge. I smelled like the remnants of a wild fiesta. That familiar ache in my head and the churning in my belly began to rise and I was dying for a drink of water. Agua.

I stopped outside the checkpoint building, where the Mexicans show their green cards, and smoked a cigarette watching the herd of people moving along like desperate and bewildered cattle. I crushed the smoke on the ground and joined them. I had no green card but showed the officer my American driver’s license.

“American citizen?” he asked with a stern look.


He moved me through, and on the other side of the doorway was America.

Swallowed by the Night

No soul to touch, no voice to caress, no hand to crush to dust. The little car hummed along the highway at dusk headed toward home. El Paso faded like a dream behind me. I was feeling a bit sad having to leave that place. As big and dirty and electrified as it was, I began to miss it; or in all actuality, miss the being away from the doldrums, getting more doldrum by the day, and the ache in my belly began to roar again as I thought about having to return to my shaved-face reality; my 4 p.m. check-in and well-behaved, well-dressed mannerisms.

It was all soaking fake and dull and leaving me shaking with a shame about my own false reality and pious lies and imperfections seething through the cracks in my well-oiled skin as I desperately tried so hard not to break down and scream and rant and rave and cry up a mad tempest all down my sweaty, shaking face as I smiled, feigned smiling, for the camera, the camera called the eyes and lies of every beating heart human that surrounded my very bland every day activities.

The blood in my veins boiled, the acid in my stomach fizzed, the marrow in my bones bubbled, the curvatures across my brain pulsed, rhythmic creation in an underskirt, my diary of madness scratched on the inside of my eyes in a calligrapher’s black ink.

It was dark as death as I pulled into my space at the complex and killed the engine. The moon was full and beaming down through the tall treetops like something out of a famous love story. I opened the car door and reluctantly trudged my pack with me up the short steps to the door. I fumbled with my key in the lock and pushed the door in. Black silence came over me. My fingers fumbled for the light switch and when thus the place became illuminated it was no brighter than when it was completely dark.

The place smelled as if it had been vacant for months; stale, dry rot, cumbersome, old, gray, nicotine smeared and cold. I set my things down and went to my favorite living room window, the tall and narrow one, pulled aside the curtains and opened it. The vacant lot outside was just as I had left it. A car rumbled down the road. I looked at the scattered remains of porch lights at this late hour. A dog barked. A bug of some sort slammed himself against the screen and then fluttered off dismayed. I sighed and went into the bathroom to shower.

The blaring sun woke me up. The curtains were thin and an ungodly melon color – bed sheets really – and I threw the blanket off me because I was already beginning to sweat. So some words about that unholy oppressive heat I had come to so despise during my desert life:

The heat was like an arrow of fire, like a spike dipped in burning coals thrust through the flesh at high speed, like hell, like an oven, like crisp and dead leaves beneath a Boy Scout’s microscope… The relentless ball of fire hung in the sky like the devil’s eye, unleashing its burn down upon the land, the desolate harrowing land of death and solidness, of pain and captivity, a burrowing fever that boiled the brain and cooked the buildings and the asphalt, a harrowing, searing blaze boiling all in its path, an unending glare, the fireball coated white hot and spitting its hot lust down upon the earth in every spot I stood; there was no relief, no shelter from the sun that never hid its face from view, always there, always hanging there like a hot jewel ripe to burn the skin right off your bones.

It made the town more depressing than it already was; at least the rain would of washed some of the sin away, but no, not here in this place, no rain, just wind and dust and hot, everything dry as dead bone, every drop of moisture sucked from the living; the river ran so slow and shallow and brown, the sun sipping every morsel of wet from the land’s soul and the skins of humans dry and cracking, wiped over with lotions and moisturizers every morning and then one would step outside and simply burn, burn, burn… The beads of sweat came forth suddenly and poured down one’s face; a sick, laborious heat that pushed the boundaries of human endurance far over the edge, where one would kill for a place in front of a breeze, one would kill for an ice cube or a fan or an Alaskan vacation.

I and others like me would sleep draped in our own sweat because even once the sun did fall for the night the temperature would remain high; the heat, absorbed by the buildings and the streets and the earth, would be belched back out to recycle its pain throughout the darkness, a warm velvet glove cupped over the city swatting away any attempt of coolness trying to come down and breathe upon us all; the heat, there was just no escape – the swamp coolers hummed and rumbled but not a dent would they manage to carve into the grip of suffocation.

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The Chronicles of Anton Chico (Love and Loss)

Anton Chico. Juarez.

The Battles

All the battles of Anton Chico’s life have brought me to this place – alone. For the battles break you at times. There. Over those hills I look out at the far gone on the horizon, now bathing in the holy amber light of another fading day.

So many miles between myself and life. Anton Chico looks out over the edge of the balcony at the long way down. So far to fall. But look how far I have fallen already. The hum of the city winding down mixes with the din of my own loneliness as I watch a happy family trot along the sidewalk gazing at the sun and moon both etching out their individual spaces along the horizon.

Together, husband and wife and little kids too, all on their way to get gunned down in Juarez because they are the entitled Americans who know no better and think Mexico is just another shopping mall, another place to push a shopping cart, another place to bitch at inept clerks who don’t cater to their every spoiled whim.

Get gunned down you fools. Have your white American blood all over the filthy streets of Juarez in your endless endeavor for more stuff. Get gunned down as you piss and whine because no one speaks English, and the Burger King hamburgers don’t taste the same across the border. Shooosh the little begging boy away. Cringe at the sight of him why don’t you, at the site of his dirty face and dirty hair and big, wet weepy eyes and turn in disgust as the filthy rags he calls clothes make your eyes sting just from the smell of them. Get gunned down. It’s all for you but there’s no one there to save you now.

Anton Chico, me, that is I, turned off the television set and headed down to the car to round up some magic at a local magic shop. The car had cooled down considerably and when I got in it reeked of bar life. I headed for the main drag that runs up and down by UTEP (University of Texas El Paso). The street was surprisingly hilly and lined with appealing architecture unfamiliar to me. Mexican-American brick and stucco facades, adobe churches, wire and mesh fencing, stone yards, cacti, stunted little palm trees and yuccas.

This part of the town had a sad tone to it, it breathed poverty and desperation, yet it had a furious taste of survival to it – cultures clashed, the old and the new, the white and the brown, the intelligent and the inaudible. As I moved farther from the areas closer to downtown and nearer to suburbia, the familiar sickness of strip malls and neon rose and that is where I found the spirit shop, pulled into the parking lot and sat there for a while smoking a cigarette in the last rays of day.

When I went inside the Asian clerk behind the counter greeted me and watched me as I headed straight for the beer coolers at the back of the store. I looked up and down at all the varieties he had stocked there. I wanted something good, not the American piss swill I usually bought because it was cheap, I wanted something with some heart to it, something with some kick, something that would really slur my speech when I began talking to the television set back at the hotel… Something that might give me the crazed sense of false courage to throw myself off that balcony and crash face-first into someone’s nice, clean windshield. I wanted something that might kill me.

I left my cell phone on just in case someone called. Was something starting up? Not really. It was there, but not. There was a party and I was invited but of course I didn’t go because I was here, there, in El Paso getting lit on magic firewater and tossing burning cigarettes over the edge of the balcony. It was dark. The lights in the room were dimly lit and I began to tilt. It was sad there, yet jubilant.

No one in the entire world knew where I was and for insanity purposes, I truly believed that no one cared. I was Anton Chico the unloved, the ungraceful, the unbeauty of all males in the Southwest. But someone was hurt that I did not come to the party. I don’t know why. Said she was hoping I would, but most likely in the throes of the festivities I rarely came to anyone’s mind.

I went out on the balcony for some air. It tasted brown and smelled dirty, but I felt free as I cracked open that new bottle and added to my demon inebriation.

Once sufficiently aired out I commenced the ritualistic clicking of the remote control. There was nothing worth watching. There is never anything worth watching but I left it on just so I could hear some voices other than the ones in my own head. I was watching something about crocodiles and a man who drove around in a little boat at night with a flashlight and then he dove into the water and grabbed onto one of those crocodiles and wrestled with it. He had an Australian accent. Them fucking crazy Aussies. Anton Chico thinks there great, just great.

Another bite of magic please and I suddenly felt very, very lonely. No one had called. No love letters slipped in under the door. No angels from heaven dangling outside my doorstep. Nothing. Solid me. Lonely me. Empty me pouring out the emptiness into a world of emptiness and I wondered if everyone else was as bored stiff as I was.

How could they be? I hear them laughing, I see them smiling, I see them hanging all over each other doing great things and going great places and there was me, Anton Chico, lit up and down on the seventh floor of some dirty old downtown El Paso motel boo-hooing about another and another and another crushing loss while the entire freaking world is out there partying their asses off.


The TV is off. Muffled voices on the other side of the walls. The clinking of glasses. Laughing. The sound of faint music, a tap of a piano key, a lover’s whorish growl, a train whistle, my own rapid heartbeat banging to get out of my chest. A freight train leaving town, its call and grind a heartless calliope.

Check out the previous posts in the Anton Chico series: Low and High and The Monarch of Devils.

Refrigerated Dreams (Act 7)

Veronica’s first instinct was to run downstairs and tell her brute of a father that there was a strange boy outside her window. But when she stopped and then realized the strange boy was Adam Longo, she went to the window and stared out at him through the relative safety of the glass. He looked cold, hungry, and like he was hurting somehow. She unlocked the window and forced it up. A cool wind rolled in and touched her face. “What are you doing here?” she asked him.

He looked at her for a spare moment, turned his head toward the dips and rolls of the town, some dark, some lit up, and then back to her. He admired her face. She had a girl face, a caring face, but he was worried that would change. “I didn’t know where else to go,” he said in a soft almost strangled voice.

Veronica gave him a serious look, and then her eyes went beyond him and into the pinkish-green and gray darkness. “You’re not going to hurt me, are you?” she wanted to know.

His eyes widened and he shook his head. “No. I would never… Not you.”

“It’s cold outside. You should come in.”

“I’m okay.”

“Are you just going to stay outside my window all night? That would be weird.”

Adam Longo was hurt by the remark. He was sick of people calling him weird. “Maybe I should just go.” He started to turn away from her.

“No,” she quickly said. “Just come inside before someone sees you or hears you and calls the coppers.”

She stepped back. “Come on,” she motioned. “I’m not going to bite you,” and she thought about what she had just said. “No one’s going to hurt you, but you must be quiet… But then again, you’re always quiet.”

“Why is that always a thing with people,” Adam said as he now stood before her in her room that smelled like a mall clothing store and perfume. He was barely an inch taller than her. He brushed the dark hair away from his eyes and blinked.

“What do you mean?” the girl asked.

“Why do people always have to point out when someone is a quiet person. No one ever says, you’re so loud. Why is it such a negative thing? Maybe I like to be quiet. Maybe I’m just thinking about things. Maybe I like to be alone with my thoughts.”

Veronica Genesis was somewhat stunned, and she almost laughed. “I don’t think I have ever heard you say so many words at one time.”

“See. Why is that so horrible?”

“I didn’t say it was horrible… It’s just uncharacteristic for you, that’s all I meant.” She plopped down on the edge of her flowery bed.

He looked at her and realized he may have said too much. But he had never said too much before. Ever. Not in his entire 13, nearly 14, years of life. It was an awkward situation for him. Maybe all that extra talking, and to a girl, nonetheless, had something to do with the new way he was. He was confused and disoriented. He sat down on the bed beside her. Their knees touched. He would have never allowed that before… Before what?

She wanted to bring the obvious up, but she wasn’t sure how. After a short struggle with her own thoughts, Veronica just let the words spill from her mouth. “I saw what you did to Andy… Why did you do that?”

He didn’t look at her when he answered. “I thought he was going to hurt you,” he said. “I wanted to protect you.”

“Why? You barely know who I am? You’ve never really talked to me unless you had to. And then you go kill a kid because of me?”

“I didn’t mean to. Something inside me just got away… Like a runaway truck on the downside of a mountain pass.” He turned to look at her, his expression loaded with fear and worry. “Are you going to tell anyone? Have you already?”

She shook her head. “No. Not about that. But I did tell Rudy that you were alive. I thought it was only fair since he was the one who had the bright idea of locking you in that refrigerator.”

Adam Longo released a sigh. “I hate that kid… And I hate that you’re going with him.”

“I’m not anymore.”

He turned to look at her. His otherworldly eyes bounced across her face. His hollow heart jumped. “You’re not?”

“No. How could I after what he did to you. It’s awful… Why did they close you in that horrible old refrigerator?”

He looked down at his dirty shoes. “Because I’m the new kid, I guess. Not that that’s any reason to try and kill someone. I don’t get it. I never did anything to Rudy or his stupid friends. And now my life has totally changed.”

She reached over and took hold of his hand and he felt like chilled electricity. “You’re cold,” she said sympathetically.

And then there came a light knocking on the door and her father’s sharp voice penetrated through it. “Veronica? Are you still up? Come on, it’s getting late. Lights out.”

She looked up at the ceiling in frustration. “Yes, dad!” She got up off the bed and touched the light switch by the door. The room was dark except a greenish-blue glow from her laptop screen and the damp pink shimmer of night coming in through the window, the glossy moon chipping in with a glow of its own. She peered at him through the low-level light. “I’m going to crawl into bed now. You can get in the bed too if you want to warm up, but you have to stay over on your side. Okay?”

He looked at her without answering. He didn’t move when she pulled back the mass of blankets and crawled down in under them. She propped herself up on an elbow and stared back at him. “Well?”

“Well, what?” Adam muttered.

“Are you afraid of girls? Are you afraid of me?”

“No. I’m not afraid of girls. I’m not afraid of anything anymore.”

“You probably want to kiss me.”

He sloppily protested. “No, I don’t.”

She suddenly changed the subject. “Are you afraid of going back home?” Veronica wanted to know.

He hesitated. “No. They don’t care about me.”

“They won’t be wondering what the hell happened to you?”

“Are you kidding? My mom takes off for days at a time and no one knows where she goes or who’s she with. Not even my dad knows, or cares, because he’s too busy messing around, too. I don’t know why they ever even got together.” His frustration forcefully bloomed, and it scared her. “I don’t know why they even bothered keeping me… I wish we never moved to this stupid town.” He stood up, turned around and looked down at her in the bed and even though it was mostly dark, he could clearly see her. His breathing picked up pace and his nerves ignited deep within him, set to blast off with little to no control. That was something new for him, too.

Veronica’s heart thumped a little faster and she was suddenly fearful of him. “What are you going to do?”

He put his arms out in front of himself, closed his eyes, and he was suddenly thrust backward, like a bird of prey in reverse flight, and his body was silently sucked out her bedroom window. Veronica jumped out from under the covers and ran to the sill and peered out. He had settled on a thick branch in an old tree in the yard. He was perched directly across from her, several feet away, and he looked into the girl with a ghostly glow in his pupils as she looked out at him in shock and wonder.

“Go to sleep,” he whispered across the wind. “I’ll watch over you.”


You can read the previous part of this story HERE.

Call of the Balls

photo of a group of friends lying on a pool table
Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko on

I enjoy the smell of blue Play-Doh
it reminds me of childhood wounds
so give me a piano bar
and let me sigh eternally
amongst the dark, doldrums beat
where man is nothing but an enclave,
a water dish for God’s mighty piss
it’s time machine day
watch all the lovers fall forward
into another happy moment
of ashes on carrots
and whimpering in designer hallways
tape these bleeders closed
I’m leaking to much embryonic fluid
I will never forgive the doctors
for letting me live
they should have stabbed me
when they had the chance
rhythm isn’t all that
and why is my cigarette all wet
she must have sucked on it too long
like a crimson call of the balls
a jungle gym for her hands and mouth
and what is it all about
when the pressure rises
and the beat rises
and the teeth chatter
and the hands shake
and all you want to do is
pound! pound! pound!
every senseless array of light
pound it into the ground
and play blind man on the street corner
with a couple of dimes
and a couple of cobs of corn
to boil in a pot of your own soul

Forget history
forget the curds and whey
forget the memories of your lullabies
let me rephrase that —
there is never any hope in love
when you’re banging the drums on Skyline Drive
shooting asphalt high in her eyes
it’s a rhythm that means nothing
except to her unfaithful hips
her hungry lips
the javelin rodent prays to Mary
the metal plate in his skull
sends messages to his doldrums
let me feel your hair,
come sit on my lap
come swallow shotgun shells at sunset
and watch cowgirls on Texas junk

Do the mice really care
how intricate the tapestries in Babylon are?
Does anyone care
that Teddy bears aren’t real?
What is the basis of all our motives
what grips the brass ring in your belly?
The tug of a lover
the tug of a memory
the tug of a prophecy
dialing up in your brain
making you spit down the drain
where is my lumber?
where is my sword?
step aside whilst I stricken you with damage
who will care for the bloody mouth
who will stare at the red wine running south
who will submit to my need
and not be forsaken because of it???

Refrigerated Dreams (Act 4)

The boy from the refrigerator was perched upon a steel beam like a vulture high above them in the old shoe factory. His slick black hair was more slick than usual. The dead eyes of alien blue that punctuated his pale face swirled like a spiral arm galaxy as he looked down at them. He cocked his head in an odd manner as he listened to them talk beneath him. Adam Longo recognized the boy as one of them that was there when they locked him in the old refrigerator that day. He was one of them that held him roughly by the arms as they led him down into the pit of the dump. The girl was someone he recognized from that school he knew as his living hell. She was the one he stared at when she wasn’t looking. She was the one he thought about at the closing of the day when he would lie atop his bed in his quiet room at home. She was his only good memory.

Then Adam Longo recalled how the other one, the red-haired one, their leader, had laughed without remorse, how he had gotten right in his face and said something like, “Are your balls all shriveled up… Is that why you don’t ever talk?” His breath was overpowering. Rudy was his name. He hated Rudy. And now here was one of his rooks and that girl thinking they were all alone in this immense place lost in time. He thought about leaping out into the air and floating down and he would come upon them in a fury of revenge. He could do that now. Something drastically changed after he went into that refrigerator unwillingly. Sheer human cruelty had given him a power he never expected.

Veronica took a step back from him. “You were part of that?” she wanted to know.

Andy paused for a moment. “I was against it.”

“But you still allowed it to happen.”

Andy looked up and sighed with frustration.

“What!?” the girl snapped. “You’re angry because I’m upset you let a boy get locked in a refrigerator? He could have died.”

Andy bent down and picked up a metal rod and tossed it into the void. It tumbled and clanked loudly. “Why are you getting bent out of shape? Let’s just get high.”

“I think I want to go home,” Veronica said.

Andy’s demeanor suddenly changed, and he grabbed her by the shoulders. “What’s your problem?”

“Let go of me!”

He pushed her away and turned. “Fine. Do what you want,” he said, and he started to walk away.

She called after him. “Where are you going?”

“Just go home,” he called back, and then, like the sudden snap of a bone, something fell from above and was on top of him. It attacked him with the ferocity and conviction of an angel bred by animals, and the boy struggled and shrieked as he was mercilessly beaten and clawed.

In the epilogue of the boy’s torn moans, a panting Adam Longo turned to look at her through the dim light. He was mystically aglow, and his gaze froze her in place, and like in a dream she struggled to run but her legs refused to receive and follow the command. Veronica had no control over her own self now and could only watch in wonder as the figure stood. He was just a boy, but nothing like a real boy. He looked down at Andy twitching on the dirt-strewn floor of the factory. Then he looked up, toward the place from where he came, and he suddenly ascended in a completely inhuman way.

Her legs became free from their dream burden and Veronica ran toward the lighted frame of the doorway they had entered. She burst into the outside world and leapt down the iron stairway, past the loading bays and toward the hole in the chain-link fence. She scrambled through, a piece of metal bit into the top of her shoulder and she winced as she dove into the sea of weeds and tall grasses on the other side. She went for her bike, lifted it up and got on. She pedaled toward town with an urgency and fear she never knew she could possess.

Once she was long gone, her scent and heartbeat now carried away to the place where the terrible people were, Adam Longo curled into himself for comfort and warmth as he perched on the wide beam. He watched the day turn to night through the broken factory windows. Living had been lonely enough he thought as his eyes set on the few stars he could see, but now, now this, whatever it was, whatever he now had become. It was lonelier than death itself — lonelier than the dirt piled upon the lost ones.


Read the previous part of this story HERE.