Tag Archives: Netflix

The Morbid Mind Correctional Facility (3)

Photo by Kristal Tereziu on Pexels.com.

Magda Balls looked at her two new guests, her back was up against the stove in the kitchen, a cigarette smoke stream trailing from her shapely hand. Rosalina and the Huffing Man were sitting at the table in her lakeside bungalow eating tomato soup and oyster crackers. The man had an iced tea to drink, the girl a milk.

“Did you know MILK in Dutch and Norwegian is MELK,” Magda said, looking at the girl.

Rosalina crinkled her nose. “Huh?”

“MILK is pronounced MELK in both Dutch and Norwegian… I’m studying new languages.”

The Huffing Man wiped his mouth with a paper napkin and looked at her. “I spent some time in Amsterdam, but I never drank any MELK there.” He just as quickly went back to eating his soup and crackers.

“They have naughty peep shows in Amsterdam,” Rosalina said. “And marijuana is legal. Did you get high and look at boobies?”

“No,” the Huffing Man insisted. “I was there on business… Back when my life wasn’t a shattered mess, or was it?” His thoughts trailed off into the air and he watched them bounce away.

Magda laughed at the girl. “How do you know about all that?”

“I know a lot of things. I read, surf the net, watch movies, things like that. I’m very worldly for 10.2 years old.”

“I can tell,” Magda laughed. “If you two don’t mind, I’m going to hit the shower. Make yourselves at home.”

The Huffing Man looked up at Magda and gave her a shy smile. His face, with its sandpaper sheen, was tired and haggard. “Thank you… For the food and for helping me out.”

Magda smiled back. “You’re welcome.”

Rosalina plopped herself down in a comfy couch in the front room and played with a remote control. The Huffing Man joined her. She looked over at him sadly. “Can I ask you something?”

“I suppose you can.”

“Why do you huff gas?”

He sighed. “Well, it’s a long, sad story I’m afraid. I don’t want to trouble a young girl with such adult things.”

“It’s okay. I can handle it. I’m very mature.”

“Well, let’s just say I have a lot of personal problems.”

“Like what?”

The Huffing Man laughed at her innocent inquisitiveness, then sighed. “I feel incredibly invisible to a lot of people in my life. I suppose I don’t feel very loved.”

Rosalina looked down. “I know what you mean. I don’t feel very loved either. That’s why I ran away from my foster parents.”

“Foster parents?”

“My Pee and Em were killed in a hot air balloon crash in Arizona.”

“Pee and Em?”

“My dad and mum. I got the words from A Clockwork Orange. It’s my favorite movie. It’s part of this weird language they speak that’s sort of like Russian slang mixed with Old English. I bet we can find it on Netflix or HBO if you want to watch it with me.”

“I’ve never heard of it.”

“What! Where have you been, living under a rock?”

“Yes, I suppose I have been.”

It’s a brutal and satirical look at the crisis of crime and subsequent punishment in a withering dystopian society… The story revolves around the strange life of a young hoodlum and his gang of droogs. But it goes far beyond that. It’s a mind fuck, really,” Rosalina said. “A total mind fuck.”

“Oh, really? I’m intrigued.”

Rosalina excitedly sat up on the edge of the couch and scanned through channels until she found the movie. “Here it is!”

The Huffing Man gestured with his head toward the sound of the running shower. “Do you think she’ll be okay with it?”

“I don’t think she’ll care. She’s pretty cool.”

“All right then. Fire it up.”

“Doobie doo,” Rosalina said with a giggle.


“Just watch.”

The chilling close-up image of Alex DeLarge in the Korova Milk Bar suddenly appeared on the screen. The gonging synthesized opening soundtrack filled the room.

There was me, that is Alex, and my three droogs, that is Pete, Georgie and Dim, and we sat in the Korova Milk Bar trying to make up our rassoodocks what to do with the evening. The Korova Milk Bar sold milk-plus, milk plus vellocet, or synthemesc, or drencrom, which is what we were drinking. This would sharpen you up and make you ready for a bit of the old ultra-violence…

Rosalina looked over at the Huffing Man and his eyes were wide with wonder. “Freaky, huh?” she whispered.

“I’d say,” he whispered back.

Magda Balls came into the room with wet hair and fresh summer clothes that clung to her tall, svelte body. “What are you two watching?”

“A Clockwork Orange,” Rosalina told her, and then she pressed pause on the remote. “But we can’t have disturbances. We need to fully concentrate on the film in order to absorb all its subtle nuances.”

Magda laughed. “Okay. I’ll just go out onto the deck and read then. That okay?”

“Sure,” Rosalina said with a shrug. “It’s your house.”

“That it is,” Magda said, and she smacked her lips, grabbed a book off the coffee table and slipped outside.

Rosalina resumed the film and the Huffing Man relaxed into the couch. He watched the movie as its bizarreness unfolded and even though the pictures on the screen were mesmerizing, he couldn’t help that his mind drifted away to his own inner turmoil. He tried to turn his head and look at the girl beside him, but his neck seemed inoperable, he seemed frozen, felt dead almost. He wondered if he had finally done enough damage with all that gas huffing.

The film was long and when it was over, the Huffing Man got up off the couch and stretched. He glanced out through the glass of the veranda door and saw that Magda had migrated to a short dune on the beach. He looked at Rosalina. “I think I’m going to go take a walk… In the other direction.”

“Okay,” she said, as she skimmed through channels in search of something new to watch.

“Would you like to join me? I mean, you can’t just watch the television all day. Maybe we can find something to eat.”

Rosalina pressed the power button on the remote and looked up at him. “You’re right. And I should come with you… To keep you on the straight and narrow. Because, I hope you weren’t planning on running off to huff some gas.”

“No. But it doesn’t feel good not to huff.”

“I’m sure it sucks, but you’ll feel better,” the girl said. “I’ll help you ride the rough waves out.”

“That’s awful kind of you,” he said with a genuine smile. “Shall we?” He reached out to grasp her hand at the door and she took it.


The Morbid Mind Correctional Facility (1)

For The Morbid Mind Correctional Facility.

The Lord of Life sat in a morbid café on a Sunday afternoon unsunny with rain and cold and a gray veil that seemed to cover everything. He was cold and his heart hurt, and his eyes felt like lead as they pointed to the prophetic pink moon that hovered over a landscape of stone and saguaro. He sighed over the carnage playing like a film in the white ball he held in his hand.

Mummy practitioners of velvet voodoo moved through the air like bellows of cauldrons filled to the brim with coffee and lava and all the hopes and dreams of multi-colored birds and souls. The meat meters ticked away, wishes spinning in a velodrome, the whizz of wheels, the pumping of veins encased in skin, the round and round and round of another yellow child at the edge of the city lagoon where the bum prophets read from their Office Depot plastic binder manifestos on all the injustices of the cruel metal world that loves money more than men.

That messy-faced child in the banana gown wanders the world and now sits in the sand on a cold beach beside a cold body of water the size of a sea. The waves churn a lonely beat out there. A repetitive strong lull. The child with the hair the color of the Black Knight exoplanet, the deepest known black in the universe, beset upon her pear warm face, periwinkle eyes behind orange-colored glasses, plastic, venomous, she recalls the ear candle torture at the Victorian red brick home in a place like Boston or New York or Applesauce City in the far northern regions of the upper upperest Michigan.

Someone played the piano in the parlor, soft and melodious notes, while the girl sat on an antique chair with the scent of chaotic history, her head tilted, the gray-haired woman with the scent of a funeral parlor leering above her with the waxy stick of fire. “But it burns, it hurts, it scalds, it gives me nightmares beneath the cloud-raddled moon,” the girl whined.

“Hush now, Rosalina. Hush your overworked puppy mouth and let me proceed with the procedure.” She peered into the girl’s ear canal and grunted. “Ahh, the demons are on the run. I can see them!”

So, under the cover of night and crawling out from the comfort of a warm bed in her attic bedroom and out onto the rooftop where she saw a sea of other rooftops and stars and smoke and gallantly shining lights of gold and green and corpse blue, she ran away to another day… And that is where and when she looked out at that cold body of water the size of a sea.

A woman dressed as a cocktail waitress, a peacock blue fabric that glints in the sun, walks along the same beach slowly, a semi-automatic rifle perched atop her shoulders behind her neck. She is wearing dark sunglasses and a facial smear of makeup. A police uniform type hat rests upon her head, raven-black hair spills out from beneath it and falls down the sides of her face like thin curtains. There is a lost valley in her rosy eyes when she raises the shades. She sees the girl named Rosalina in the banana gown sitting there in the sand staring out at the water. She stops, cocks her head at the wonder of it. “What are you doing here?” she asks in her husky yet feminine voice. “Are you thinking of wandering out and getting carried away to the arms of Neptune?”

The girl named Rosalina rubs at her nose before turning her head and looking up at the woman. She immediately notices the assault rifle. “Are you going to shoot me?” she asks.

The peacock policewoman smiles for a moment. Then she brings the rifle down and into position. She aims it at the girl and peers across the sight. “Is that what you want? For me to shoot you?” Her finger trembles near the trigger.

“Nah,” the girl halfheartedly says. “Shooting kids is so old school. Get it… Shooting kids, school.” She tries to laugh. “It’s just become such an acceptable art form these days. I was hoping you could be more creative.”

The woman lowered the rifle then swung it around to a place across her back. “Okay… I won’t shoot you. But are you lost?”

“Lost? No. I’m not lost. I just don’t want to be found.”

The woman maneuvered her body to be able to sit down in the sand beside her. “Why don’t you want to be found?”

The girl licked her lips before she spoke. “Because they’re so mean to me. They’re trying to burn my brains out.”

“Who on earth would do something like that? Your parents?”

“No. The foster people. I’m with them because my parents have,” and she looked up at the sky. “Gone on to the realm of the other side.”

“I’m sorry to hear that. What happened?”

The girl studied her intently for a moment. “You’re too pretty to be a police person.”

The woman smiled. “I’m not really a police person. I’m a member of the New American Peacock Brigade. We’re anti-government female vigilantes. Do you know what that means?”

“You’re rebellious,” the girl quipped. “You kill based on random conspiracies without any factual basis.”

The woman laughed. “Something like that… What’s your name?”

The girl hesitated for a moment, perhaps still untrusting of the intruder and possible sycophant. “Rosalina. I’m kind of Mexican. What’s your name? Your real name.”

“My name is Magda. Magda Balls.”

The girl laughed. “That’s a very weird name.”

The woman turned to look out at the cold water that is always there, like interstate traffic. “I know… But you haven’t said. How did your parents die?”

The girl looked down between her knees and began to breathe heavily. Then she started to cry and whimpered through the tears, “They were killed in a hot-air balloon accident in Arizona. My pa ended up nearly unrecognizably broken on top of a saguaro cactus. My momma was smashed to pieces on some beautiful red rock. They said the blood blended in just fine.”

“That’s terrible,” Magda said to her.

The girl turned to look up at her and scowled. “Of course, it’s terrible. Dying in a hot-air balloon crash is a very terrible thing.”

“Don’t you have any brothers or sisters?”

“No. I’m a lonely only.” The girl reached into her pocket, retrieved a pack of cigarettes and tapped one out. She stuck it in her mouth, reached into another pocket for her lighter and set flame to the tip. Her lips clamped down on the white stick and she drew in a drag. Exhaled. Coughed.

Magda Balls was slightly shocked. “Do you really think you should be smoking? How old are you?”

“I’m 10.2… And I don’t need a lecture from an anti-everything female vigilante.”

Magda Balls put her hands out in the air in a gesture of backing away. “Okay… Sorry. I suppose it’s none of my business.”

“Right. It’s none of your business.”

“So, are you just going to sit out here forever? Do you have food? Clothes? Anything?”

Rosalina motioned her head toward the Lidsville backpack in the sand. “I’ve got what I need for now. I’ll just steal stuff if I need anything else.”

“And I thought I was rebellious… Or at least you did,” the woman said with some confusion.

“Right. Whatever.” The girl took another drag off her cigarette and exhaled and sighed at the same time before tossing the cancer stick in the sand. The red-hot tip glowed momentarily and then blacked out completely like a vaporized thought. “I guess I should probably move along.” She stood, brushed the sand from the various parts of her, and reached down for her backpack. “It was nice meeting you I suppose. Good luck with your ridiculous reign of terror.”

“Wait,” Magda called out.

The girl stopped and turned. “What is it?”

“My place isn’t too far from here… If you want, well, I have a pretty comfortable couch. You’re welcome to it until you figure things out. I mean, I just hate to leave you to the dangers of the world.”

Rosalina scrunched her face as she thought about it. She looked all around, and the world did seem very big and scary to her. She knew she was tough, but maybe she wasn’t tough enough.

Magda could hear the wheels turning inside the girl’s small head. “I have Netflix and internet and lemonade and nuts and board games and bubble bath and… I suppose I have everything you could need or want.”

“And you’re not going to try to burn demons out of my brain?”

Magda stood. She was tall compared to the girl. She reached out her hand and cupped Rosalina’s chin. “Absolutely not.”


Nitram (A Movie I Watched)

For Nitram movie.

Since my wife has now switched to working overnights at the hospital, I’ve been tasked with finding ways to entertain myself in the evenings without my TV watching partner.

I’ve been loading up my watch lists on Netflix and Hulu, and I’ve experienced some hits, and some misses. But one film I watched a few nights ago was surprisingly impactful, and I would easily say one of the best movies I have seen in a long time, despite its harrowing subject matter.

The film is called Nitram, and is based on the real-life story of Martin Bryant, the convicted mass shooter who orchestrated one of the most horrific massacres in modern Australian history. The incident occurred in 1996 in the tourist town of Port Arthur on the Australian island state of Tasmania. Bryant’s attack left 35 people dead and another 23 injured.

The film focuses on the life of a young man named Nitram (Martin backward), an emotionally troubled young man who lives with his parents. Nitram is unstable and unpredictable. He is prone to frightening outbursts. He is obsessed with setting off fireworks despite being seriously burned by them as a child.

Nitram’s mother is cold and standoffish and resents having her life turned upside down by her son’s mental illness. His father, who dreams of opening a bed and breakfast and having Nitram help him run it, is much more nurturing and compassionate toward his son.

While trying to make money by cutting lawns, Nitram meets a wealthy, eccentric woman who lives alone in a big house with her herd of dogs. While most people in Nitram’s life turn away from him, Helen takes an interest in the young man, and they quickly become friends. They somehow find common ground in their roles as outcasts.

The film delves heavily into Nitram’s emotional breakdown leading up to the shooting. Along this hell bound spiraling journey, he is rebuffed by women and others he wants to befriend. He suffers through major tragedies and loss. Nitram slowly builds a vision for revenge on a world that has done nothing but kick him to the ground. He withdraws, grows angry, and begins stockpiling weapons, often illegally.  

The film is beautifully dark, frightening, and unsettling. The role of Nitram is exquisitely played by American actor Caleb Landry Jones, and his brooding and powerful performance is mesmerizing. Despite Nitram’s horrific actions in the film, Landry can somehow invoke sympathy for his character at the same time he goes down the path toward deplorable violence.  

The film is not bloody or gory and I like the fact that director Justin Kurzel took that approach. Instead, the violence is implied yet very strongly felt. The lead up to the massacre is chilling, but has almost an innocent and childlike air to it, especially the moment right before the shooting begins. It’s heartbreaking and powerful.

I believe the film calls out humanity on the corruption of the human spirit by violence and the need for better mental health care for all. It’s a sad reflection of what happened in 1996 and what is still happening far too much now. I watched the film amid the recent tragic shootings in California. The news is painful and sour and tiring.

And I fear it will never stop because not enough of us care for it to.

Nitram is not a cheery film by any means, but one I am certainly glad I discovered.

The Axiom Caboose

The Axiom Caboose. A green crystal is seen floating in the air.

Content warning: Adult situations

I sat at the control panel in the red room. I was looking over digital charts and trying to plot out the best course for the continuing journey on the love ship. She kept coming onto the bridge to show me something or tell me something or maybe she was just flirting. She was wearing a tight pair of light gray leggings, you know, the kind that cling to everything, and she definitely had everything going on.

I was trying to focus on the ocean of space through the wide viewing window in front of me, but then there she would be, right beside me at the helm, smelling good, and I couldn’t help but to look over at that sweet caboose packed so tightly in those leggings.

She was tapping into her little electric pad and the look on her face was far too serious.

“Why don’t you turn around a bit and let me get a good look at that,” I said to her.

“Captain? Look at what,” and she was turning herself around and around trying to see if there was something stuck to her.

I made a twirling motion with my finger as she slowly rotated. “Wait. Stop. Stay just like that.”

“Is there something wrong, Captain? What is it? Is it a spider?”

“Oh, there’s nothing wrong. In fact, it’s all right.”

“Sir? I don’t understand?”

I reached out my hand and took a good squeeze of one firm cheek. “Mmm, that’s what I’m talking about. Nothing like a nice piece of ass.”

“Captain!” she said with a slight hint of alarm in her voice, her face reddening.

“That’s right. I’m your captain. That means you have to follow orders. Don’t you agree?”

She took a step back. “I’m afraid I don’t understand what you’re getting at, sir.”

“What I’m getting at, lieutenant, is that I want you to wear those leggings all the time. In fact, that’s an order.”

She reddened more and awkwardly tried to change the subject, her voice trembling. “Have you gotten today’s Wordle, sir?”

“Wordle? The only game I want to play is handball against that firm backside of yours. Wordle can wait.”

“Captain… You’re making me very uncomfortable in the workplace.”

Like all good captains, I knew I was perhaps pushing it a bit. It was time to slightly shift gears to soothe her growing anxiety. “How would you like to learn how to fly the ship, lieutenant?” I slyly asked her.

“But I’m a communications officer, not a flight officer. That’s not within the scope of my duties.”

I looked around the bridge. It was very early in the morning and none of the other members of the crew had yet arrived. “It’s fine. Nobody will ever know. And besides, it’s not that hard. Most of the controls are automated.”

She bit at her bottom lip and looked around as she considered my offer. “Okay. I’ll give it a try. I’ve always wondered what it would be like to steer this big thing.”

“I bet you have,” I mumbled.

“What’s that?”

“I said that’s perfect. The only thing is, you’re going to have to sit on my lap,” I told her.

“Your lap, sir?”

“I need to be able to help you with the controls. I need to give you proper instruction.”

She set her electric pad aside and climbed aboard the platform. I had her turn around in front of me, that delicious rump roast staring right at me, and then she slowly worked herself down upon my lap. I immediately felt her heat. I reached around her and held her wrists and moved her hands toward the controls. “Now,” I said. “This one is to slow the ship down… And this one is for thrust,” I breathed into her ear, and I bucked my captain’s log against her.

She immediately jumped up. “Captain! You have no intention on teaching me how to fly the ship, do you!? You just want to be a dirty boy in space. I’m sorry, sir, but order or no order, I will not be taken advantage of like that. I will not jeopardize my career as an officer… And neither should you.”

I looked at her, puzzled over why she was rejecting me. I mean, I’m the captain. She can’t deny me like this. “Let me get this straight, lieutenant. Are you saying you don’t want to work my throttle?”

Sher rolled her ocean blue eyes at me. “Do you really think that’s the way to win the favor of a woman? By acting like a spoiled, full-of-himself fraternity prick who uses naughty talk? I’m here to tell you… It’s not.”

I got up from my seat at the helm and walked toward her. “Now, now lieutenant, speaking to your captain like that could land you in the brig. You wouldn’t want that, would you? You wouldn’t want to spend your remaining days of soaring through the universe like that. You’ll go mad. I guarantee it. Things would be much better for you if you just gave in to my desires, and yours… And besides, deep down inside, I know you really want to get sucked into my tractor beam. I can tell you ache for my burst of plasma. Release yourself to me now, and later, when you are comfortable in your quarters, you will be able to reflect on a far better day than if you continue to turn away from me.”

The director suddenly called out “Cut! … Excellent work. Take a break guys, we’ll pick it up in twenty.”

I smiled and got closer to my co-star. Her name was Jennifer Los Angeles. She was a real fox. “You did great,” I said.

“You really think so?”

“Absolutely. I would never have guessed this is your first science fiction porno.” I rephrased it when I could tell she was a bit dismayed by the terminology. I knew she needed to feel better about it. “Adult film is what I meant. This is real art what we’re doing here. Real artistic cinema. It’s a very unique genre.”

“Right. Just naked,” she purred with a hint of innocent distrust in what I was saying.

I pointed a finger at her and smiled, making a clicking sound with my mouth. “Some of the best things in life are done naked,” I reminded her.

“I suppose you’ll be getting on top of me here pretty soon.”

I chuckled. “That’s what the script says. And I just have to tell you… I’m really looking forward to blasting you with my proton torpedo.” She tried to laugh. “I want to do this scene with you more than any other scene I have ever done in my entire career,” I said with all sincerity.

“Do you mean that?” she asked with wide and naive eyes of bleached lapis lazuli, a hopeful, absorbent look on her face. “Or are you just saying that to make feel better.”

I moved closer to her and played with the blondish platinum locks that fell down upon her shoulders, a light rain of the softest yet broken ringlets. “I mean it. Wholeheartedly. You’re one delicious babe. And you have a great ass. I really love it.”

She smiled sweetly. “Thanks. That’s very nice of you to say.” Jennifer Los Angeles looked around as she struggled to find something else to talk about. “I suppose I better go freshen up before we get back to it.”

“Sure. I’ll see you back on the set.” I started to walk away to get myself a Fresca when something truly genuine and real suddenly hit my brain. I turned and rushed after her. “Hey,” I nervously started off, because this was going to be something real. “Do you want to come to my place tonight. I’m starting this new show on Netflix, and I really want someone to watch it with me. And I hope I’m not being too forward when I say… I want to share the experience with someone special.”

She smiled shyly. “And you consider me someone special?”

“I do. Very much so.”

“What’s the show?”

“It’s called 1899.”

She looked beyond me as the gears inside her mind whirred and whizzed, and then her eyes returned to my face, and she looked at me strangely. “But captain… We’ve already done that.”


The Lobster Guy (Four)

Woman wearing a red blouse holding a cup of red wine. The Lobster Guy.
Photo by ELIZAVETA CHAYKO on Pexels.com

After gathering his meager belongings from his locker at the Neptune Pop-In Shop Food Market for the very last time, Truman went outside and retrieved his childish bicycle from where it was attached to the OUT OF ORDER kiddie horse ride.

He didn’t want to ride it, instead he just pushed it as he walked. He was too dejected to enjoy the lullaby roll. He went along the cliche American main drag that catered to interstate travelers with its overplayed fast-food joints and gross hotels. He crossed over near the lemon-yellow Super 8. He kept walking north, past dirty fields, abandoned retail spaces, broken down houses and discarded furniture on the curb.

Puffed-up traffic headed toward I-80 and out of town was whizzing by on his right and every once in a while, a car packed with bastards would honk at him or throw food or empty beer cans at him as they passed. Truman let it all bounce off, like he always did. He didn’t care. He felt he deserved to be pummeled with the worst that life had to offer. Part of him wanted to step out into traffic so he could be run down, smashed, squashed, pressed into the pavement like repeatedly run over roadkill.

The sun was beginning to fall toward its daily stupor when he finally arrived home. He let his bike tumble to the ground, and he went inside. He closed all the curtains and turned on a few lights. He went into the bathroom and studied the empty tub as he urinated in the toilet with the lobster seat cover. He decided against taking a bath and instead put his lobster pajamas on right over his dirty skin. He went to the kitchen and fetched out an old phonebook from a bookcase he had there. He opened it to the B section and ran his finger down the page until he found her.


His fingers worked the dial of his red plastic table phone shaped like a lobster, the headset being a claw.

It rang.


“Hello, is this Maggie?” Truman shamefully squeaked.

“Yes, who is calling please?”

“It’s me, Truman Humboldt, from the chicken plant.”

“Truman? How did you get my number?”

“It’s in the phonebook.”

“Phonebook? You still use a phonebook?”

“Yeah… You obviously still use an old-time phone because you answered,” Truman snipped.

“Oh. Yeah. I’m not up on modern technology. I like the classic things in life. So much simpler… But why are you calling? What is it can I do for you? Is this some sort of an emergency? Are you having a personal crisis, Truman?”

“Oh, dear Maggie. I had a very horrible and bad day and was wondering if you’d like to come over and talk. I have some feelings I need to disperse.”

“Truman, you know I can’t do that. It’s very unprofessional. Why don’t you stop by my office tomorrow and we can set up an appointment?”

“Are you sure you don’t want to come over? Or maybe I can come to your house if you don’t feel like coming out into the world to befriend someone in need.”

“No, Truman, you can’t be doing this. You can’t be calling me. You can’t come to my house. I could lose my job. You could lose your job. It’s unethical and against the rules of my profession.”

“I don’t really care about losing my job anymore,” Truman said. “I’m on the brink of catastrophe. I just want to see you. You’re so fetching, and I had such a miserable day. I need to be held.”

“I’m sorry Truman. That’s just not possible. I have to go now. Goodbye.”

Maggie Barrymore hung up on him.

“Froot Loops! Froot Loops! Froot Loops!” Truman screamed, and he tore the connective wire from the wall and threw the phone against the kitchen floor with monstrous and barbaric force. It made a hollow dinging clang as it bounced oddly across the linoleum that was patterned with lobsters and ships and cold ocean water and waves.

Truman called in sick to the chicken plant the next morning and then rode his crappy kiddie bike to the local car rental office and rented a car. He threw the bike into the trunk and drove to Clover, the next town over where they had a bicycle shop, and he traded his ride in for something more manly.

He stopped at a bar in Clover and had a few lonely drinks. It was dim and smoky, and the people were mostly quiet and hunched over in despair. No one talked to him. He didn’t care because he was too busy daydreaming about Maggie Barrymore and how she rejected him. His foolish heart hurt. He wanted to win her love. He paid his tab and drove back to Neptune.

It was near 5 in the p.m., and Truman was parked outside the chicken plant main office waiting for Maggie Barrymore to emerge. When she finally did come out, Truman’s heart thumped, and he got all shimmery in his hungry stomach. He watched her closely as she strolled through the parking lot, stepping lightly but with purpose, one arm gently swinging a briefcase at her side. Truman considered her to be a luscious goddess headed to a festival for luscious goddesses. He wanted to be her Zeus and mate with her. He wanted to fertilize her deeply so that she may bring forth to the world a demigod. A demigod with the impenetrable power of a lobster.

Maggie Barrymore got in her car, started it and drove out of the parking lot. Truman began to follow her through town, being careful not to get too close for fear that she may recognize him. She made a right, then a left, and then another right and into the belly of a more upscale neighborhood – as upscale as Neptune, Nebraska could get. She pulled into the driveway of a neatly kept little house. It was humble, but sophisticated. Cookie-cutter for sure, but tasty like Christmas, Truman decided. The garage door opened, and she pulled the car in. The garage door went back down, and she was swallowed up by dark domestication, the kind that often brews salacious thoughts and deeds.

Truman was parked across the street as he stalked her like some creep from a dark documentary on Netflix. He retrieved lobster-shaped binoculars from a lobster-decorated daypack and positioned them against his eyes. He aimed them at her house to see if he could catch a glimpse of her, perhaps undressing, or maybe, hopefully, she just walked around the house nude all the time. Truman grunted with disappointment when no such view came into focus.

He strummed at the steering wheel with his fingertips as he carefully considered his next move. A move that would get him closer to his delicious crush. And then, like a sudden burst of cocaine and wayward dynamite, a fabulous idea struck him, and he quickly drove away and went back home, the sudden glee in his guts flying like war shrapnel.

Once there, Truman began shaving his face as he filled the tub with hot, hot water. Once the grimy and unkempt whiskers were cleared away, he splashed water on his face and then looked at himself in the mirror over the sink. It had been a long, long time since he had seen himself without the scruff. His skin was pale, but smooth like the belly of a slippery seal.

He set a small mirror and a pair of scissors on the edge of the tub and got in. He dipped his entire head in the hot water and then came up for air. He took a comb and ran it through his thin, spaghetti-like blonde hair. He twisted some strands together in his fingers and snipped it with the scissors. He did this again and again and again until his hair was very short. He studied himself in the mirror. “There,” he said with satisfaction. “Now I look like a real man.”

He scrubbed at his body with a new bar of soap. Then he rinsed. Then he let the water start to drain from the tub. It made a gurgling sound like the end of life. Then he rinsed again. He climbed out of the tub and dried off. He spread after shave lotion all over his face, across his arms and chest and over his private parts. He smelled himself and he thought that he smelled very good.

“Now that’s what I call super fresh,” he said, pointing to himself in the mirror and winking like he was Mr. Cool from Albuquerque. Then he brushed his teeth and swirled green mouthwash around in his mouth.

He walked into his bedroom and opened the closet door. He pulled out his one nice pair of pants and his one nice button-down shirt and threw them on the bed. He put on fresh underwear and socks and then the shirt and pants. He worked a crisp belt around his waist. He dug around in his closet for his nicest pair of shoes. He found them, but he had to blow the dust off them.

Once completely dressed, he looked at himself in the mirror again. “Damn, I’m one hot guy,” he said proudly to his stunning reflection. The mirror thought otherwise and whispered back, “No you’re not. You’re hideous. Absolutely atrocious. You make women violently puke.”

Truman ignored the disturbing voice in his head. He grabbed the keys to the rental car and rushed out. He drove to a nearby liquor store to buy a bottle of love wine. Then he was off again, back to the beautiful side of town, his soul adrift in blossoming romance. He was going to surprise Maggie Barrymore with a very special visit.


In case you missed it, you can read the previous part of this story HERE.

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Crock Potting in Serial Killer Forest (The First of Unknown)

I was never really the terrible one. I only wanted to be loved, but that never came. Instead, I only got a death wish. But that was then, and this is now, and now I’m flying a bush plane is Alaska.

I’ve got a little place made of wood and river stones that sits near the water on the other end of town from where I work. The road to it is dirt and gravel, often wet and muddy. I have a wood pile outside to feed into my wood-burning stove. It’s all a bit rustic and rough but I don’t mind. I’m surrounded by trees and tundra and a lake and big, beautiful emptiness that’s lonely yet fulfilling at the same time. I had a wife once, but she was only bitter trouble, and we went our separate ways.

My office is in a little unimpressive building near the shore. The place is called Good to Go Air Transport Company and it’s on a big plot of land with a small rustic airstrip. We can also fit a plane to land on water. That’s the best. Nothing like aiming for that crystal wet plate shimmering below, and then that gentle splash comes and the rolling that isn’t really rolling but instead gliding, like blades on ice. The passengers always sigh with relief when I yell out “Nailed it!”

I bring a hot Thermos of coffee with me every morning because I don’t like the office coffee. Some days there are donuts, some days there are kolaches, some days there are cinnamon rolls, some days there is nothing. That all depends on my boss, Kliff. Yes, Kliff with a K. We think he used to spell it Cliff, with a C. But then rumor has it he was once involved with the Klu Klux Klan, the KKK, and so he liked the letter K and changed the spelling of his name. I guess Kliff got caught up in some really bad stuff and high-tailed it to Alaska a bunch of years ago and started this flying company. I don’t know how much of that KKK stuff is true, but we like to think that way. It’s funny to us. When I say we and us, I’m referring to the people I work with.

There’s an older guy named Guster. He’s a mechanic and smokes like a chimney. He wears brown Carhartt coveralls all the time. He’s got unruly gray hair and a big gray beard, and a big bouncy belly and he looks like a washed-up Santa Claus. Kliff scolds him out loud if he takes more than one donut or one cinnamon roll in the morning. “Save some for the rest of us, fat ass!” he yells out from where he watches us through a big window in his corner office, his sea captain salty eyes burrowing like a cat getting under a spotted blanket. Guster just laughs and yells back, “Let me live my life for once!” Then he mumbles some other things under his breath and goes out to work on the planes in the small hangar we have. He’s not much for people, and I respect that.

There’s a younger guy named John and he’s from Minnesota or maybe North Dakota. He mostly talks about baseball, which is boring to me, but otherwise he’s all right. His emotions are flat, and he’s got a weird sense of humor and I think he’s an only child and was probably dropped on his head. He had me come over to his apartment one night because him and some friends were going to play Scrabble. That was a wild time. I was drinking while we were all playing and then I knocked the vodka bottle over on accident and it spilled on the game board. He didn’t even really get pissed about it, but he probably should have.

There’s also the obligatory office lady named Karol. That’s right, another god damn K name. I don’t know what it is with people and the letter K up here. I guess I shouldn’t talk though because my name is Ceith, that’s right, Keith with a C.

Ceith Cringle. What a dumb world it is sometimes, and so backward, too.

Anyways, you know the Karol type. She’s the momma bird and keeps things humming along because she’s the sharpest one out of all of us. She’s always bringing in casseroles and crock potted stuff for us to eat because she thinks just because we aren’t hooked up with a decent gal we’re going to starve or something. Bless her momma bird ways, but I’m pretty good at taking care of myself. I even know how to operate a crock pot. What a mystery that is. Karol’s husband recently died but she never acts shook up about it because I think he used to slam her around a good bit. She seems happier now. She whistles while she works, like a dwarf in a magical kingdom.

Like I said, most of the time Kliff is in a decent mood and brings in all those goodies which I appreciate because I’m really into sweets. When he isn’t in a good mood, he only brings darkness, and lately things haven’t been very bright. He’s having woman trouble, money trouble, emotional trouble. I’m not sure if he wants to go back to the KKK or what but he’s been real topsy-turvy lately. Those are the times I want to be up in the air, cutting through the blue sheets and the white pillows, and looking down at the blankets of dark green and the golden-gray glass lakes.

Like I mentioned, what we do is fly people all over Alaska. With a lot of places up here, it’s the only way to get in and out. Much of our business comes from hunters, campers, serious hikers, isolation enthusiasts, escapists, cult leaders, rich assholes, shamans, adventurous honeymooners… Serial killers.

The day Jeffrey Dahmer was on board my plane was a weird one for sure. The planes aren’t big and usually only hold a handful of people, if that. Dahmer was by himself, because you know, he was pretty much a loner. He made me uncomfortable because he just kind of sat there behind me and didn’t say much at first. He was wearing a bulky sage-green parka with the hood up over his head. His golden-brown eyes were magnified by his big glasses perched against his unruly face.

“So,” he began, and he had to lean forward and talk loud because of the engine noise. “Have you been watching any of that new mini-series about me?”

“The one on Netflix?”

“Yeah. It’s real popular.”

“I’m about halfway through,” I told him.

“Oh, yeah? What do you think about it so far?”

“To be honest with you… It’s all pretty messed up. Seriously messed up.”

“Hey. What can I say. I’m a messed-up guy… What’s your favorite part so far?”

“Hold on, Jeff. We might want to let the people who are reading this know that we’re going to talk about the show… We don’t want to spoil it for them if they’re really into it.”

“What should I say?”

“Tell them that if they don’t want to know what happens in the show, they should stop reading.”

That’s when Dahmer looked straight into the camera and in his usual dead-pan manner said, “Hey. If you don’t want to know what happens in the new Netflix series about me and my life, stop reading.” He paused. “Is that good enough?”

“I think so.”

“Okay… So, what is your favorite part so far?” Dahmer was again eager to know.

I knew my answer right away. “I like the part where you go off on your grandma when she threw out your mannequin. Damn man. Who the hell yells at their grandmother that way? That was brutal.”

He thought for a moment about what I said. “Oh, yeah. I guess I was pretty rough on her. But I did apologize later. Remember? When we were having our TV dinners on our TV trays in front of the TV while we were watching TV. Don’t forget about that. I always felt bad about the stuff I did, but always after. I never thought about stuff like consequences or other people or whatever before I did all those horrible things. I couldn’t control myself.”

“I had no idea about all the heinous things you did. I always just considered you as that guy from Milwaukee who killed a bunch of people. This show has really enlightened me. Why did you do all those horrible things?”

He got quiet, turned his head, and looked out the small window beside him. “Alaska sure is a beautiful place,” he said. “Maybe all this fresh air and nature would make me a better person. I think I need to be a better person.”

“Are you thinking of moving to Alaska?”

He kind of laughed which was weird because he was such a dark and brooding individual. “No. I’m more of a city boy you could say. And I don’t think they would go for all my gay stuff up here. Some people just can’t handle gay stuff.”

“Right… So, where I’m taking you is really isolated,” I reminded him. “You sure you’re going to be okay for a whole week? Doesn’t look like you brought much gear.”

Dahmer patted the suitcase that sat beside him. He had refused to stow it properly and I didn’t want to argue with him. “Oh, I’ll be just fine. I have plenty to eat… And there’s always wild animals. I have a thing about animals, you know. And there’s a lot of wild animals in Alaska, right?”

“There sure are,” I answered him. “And it gets cold at night. I mean, cold as hell.”

“Body heat.”


Dahmer smiled strangely. “Two entangled human bodies can generate enough heat to keep them alive through a long, cold night.”

“But you’ll be all alone,” I said.

He turned his head to look at the suitcase beside him. “Oh, yeah. I guess I forgot about that… Why don’t you come with?”