Walking Cosmos

pexels-petr-ganaj-4079150Walking was the same thing as thinking to me. Just a fundamental aspect of existence. It wasn’t so much the movement specifically, though that certainly helped in feeling a sense of accomplishment. Really, it’s the sense of exertion, moving muscles. I walked not out of enjoyment or to improve my health, but out of pure need. It was mandatory.

When a bird slams into a window and plummets to the ground, what is your reaction? I might laugh, but I always feel bad about doing so afterwards. Birds weren’t created in an urban world, nor did they create the urban world they live in. They were doing what they always did, it was the world that changed.

I wasn’t the kind who had a vendetta against windows, though. Windows had their purpose, and life without windows would be dire, but I guess that’s from a human perspective.

On the sidewalk a fair way ahead of me, there was a dead bird. Now, sure, that bird didn’t die from hitting a window, but there was a large office building nearby, full of windows at that. Anyway, it was a small bird, a pigeon or something like that. Pretty fresh, if that’s a word you want to use to describe a corpse.

A kid was walking towards me, wearing a baseball cap. They stopped next to the bird corpse and bent over to look at it. I was still about ten feet away.

“Kinda gross, yeah?” I said.

“It’s sad. Why did it die?” The kid turned up to look at me. A young boy, no older than ten. I wondered why he was walking by himself.

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Snake Oil and Pit Days: Random Scene #4

architecture-279225_1920Did you know, the ocean’s made of jello and the sky’s a blue whipped cream. And us, we’re just standing on some green mold that grew in-between the two. A sweet sandwich with a sick little center. Such a dessert was often seen at Hobert’s cafe, a truly horrible little place born from urban blight, malaise, and more pedestrian strains of disease. That’s where I was, one simple little Wednesday.

Now, for someone that knew the place was a rat’s ass in the stew away from being condemned once and for all, I could never get myself to stop going there. There’s something a little bit addicting about suffering, I guess it helps your days feel like they have pits and peaks. Real food tastes better after eating sludge, after all. This day, though, was a surefire pit. I had just been told I had about as much chance making in the music industry as the moon eating a bad souffle and killing us all in a food-poisoning induced supernova- and that the person thought that might just be the better option.

While I was sitting on my no-longer-cushioned barstool, just sulking in my own self-pity, I was approached by a real sleazeball.

“Niles, man, what’s got you in such a funk?”

I turned around. Taking a seat right next to me was Hank, a born con man that sold the kind of stuff that made snake oil look good. ‘Course, I didn’t really need to look, I knew it was him when his cologne burned my nose hairs off.

“Hank, what brings you here, besides a full wallet and an empty heart?”

“Talk about a sourpuss. I worked my ass off today, and what did you do, besides sulk around here?”

I shrugged. “Nothing at all, but what’s it to you?” Continue reading “Snake Oil and Pit Days: Random Scene #4”

On Gas Station Convenience Stores

I always had a slight fascination with gas station convenience stores.

People don’t go to gas stations because they really want to. Sure, people aren’t being literally dragged to them, but if your car is running out of gas, you have to go to a gas station. Maybe you have a few to pick from. Maybe you don’t. It doesn’t matter, the end result is you, in a gas station, buying gas.

Nobody’s going to a gas station for sightseeing, either. Sure, if they’re by a tourist trap, tourists will be there, but they didn’t come to see their top of the line Slurpee machine. As far as the whole convenience store bit goes, people don’t go for low prices, great selection, or high-quality product, they go because it’s convenient. Unlike the “super” in supermarket, the name “convenience store” is accurate.

All this serves to make gas stations a sort of magical place. Think about it, if you were going to say, hide an underground bunker, a gas station is the perfect spot. I mean, people want to minimize time spent in a gas station, not maximize it. Nobody’s going to search for the thing. You could hide anything in a gas station, nobody would care.

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On Mountains

Massive, primeval beings that blot out the sun. They lay, uninterested, far above the world I know. Walls envy them, but obstruction is not their purpose. They exist to exist. A spire to unending stubbornness, waiting eons for their eventual erosion. I feel as though I can see their pulse, though they breathe no air. Truly, they frighten me. They enclose me without trying, with jagged rocks to deter escape through them. They are my protectors, the giver of all life. Their rivers feed a thousand like myself. I fear them nonetheless, an animal-like response to things beyond comprehension, their sheer size and weight impossible to truly understand . In their shadow, I am infinitesimally small.

Memoir of a Hitman: Random Scene #3

When you see someone die, they get permanent squatter’s rights in your brain. Look, I’m no hardened killer, death was never my preferred profession. It was never just work for me. It was always personal.

I had shot someone in the shoulder. He had come to my house. Mafia guy. I had debts, he was collecting. Apparently, he had debts, too.

“Finish me off.” He said, gritting his teeth.

He hadn’t suspected to me to use a weapon. Unfortunately for him I was more than a little angry, and he had brought a bat. I knew I had a solid line of legal defense. I had let him in, told him I was going to get the money, and then shot him from a safe distance. Who’d they believe, a mafioso or me?

“Why? I’m sure the authorities have already been called-”

“Do it, or they’ll use my family as leverage. Please.”

“I’m not going down on a murder charge.”

“Fine. Just hand me a knife. You can do that, at least?”

“Are you su-”

“Do it!”

I took a cloth out from on top of the counter and used it to grab a knife from the rack. I handed it to him.

He had been shot in the left shoulder, so he grabbed with his right hand. Then he stabbed it right into his stomach.

And that was it. He was dead. He wasn’t the first person to die in front of me. The cops came and took me away. Soon enough, I was out scot-free. That didn’t solve the whole “no money” problem though, and now I had a butthurt mafia looking for revenge. Continue reading “Memoir of a Hitman: Random Scene #3”

Bus Talker : Random Scene # 2

Foreword: Feel free to skip this part, or read it after. This story is a bit of an odd duck, doesn’t quite feel like a whole story to me. It feels like it needs context. Sure, it’s only one scene, but I’ve got even shorter stories that feel like they’re complete, resolved. Thing is, how do you create context for what is essentially an act of emotional tourism? What would his personal life matter, if this just live entertainment for him? Maybe that guy really had an arc earlier or later in his life, but I struggle to see how this could be a part of it. It isn’t important enough for him.

OK, so I’m sitting by this guy on the bus right? He goes:

“There ain’t nothing in this world more important than yourself.”

This wasn’t the first time somebody sitting by me decided to start up a lecture, with me as the sole audience. I feel like you can’t call yourself a bus rider until you’ve had someone give you an uncalled-for diatribe. Sometimes the “lesson” is so poorly given and ineffectual that it’s fun to listen to, I mean, that’s the sadist in me speaking, but the sadist in me at least knows how to have a good time.

Anyway, like all diatribes, this one was obviously meant more for himself than it was for me. I could be a mannequin, and the guy’d get the same sort of ego-boosting-satisfaction. Or extreme regret, I had no idea, these people would always leave my life within the hour. People with their minds all chewed up with thoughts so powerful that they have to talk to total strangers gives away at least some degree of desperation, so I always listened politely. I’d hope for the same if I was in their mental state.

“Seriously, nothing at all.”

I tilted my head slightly, feigning a look of honest reflection.

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Personal Style of the Author, a Shining Jewel of a Prison

As soon as I figured out what my writing style really was, I was a bit disappointed. Really, the things I wrote before figuring this whole fiction thing out were far more… “stupidly optimistic” about themselves. Like, of course I can write with this strange gimmick, why not? Now, I’d shudder, knowing such things rarely work well, at least for me. Of course, I still experiment, but not in the broad strokes that I used to. When you don’t know any better, you make some very interesting failures.

So, I did it, right? I developed something of a style, a distinct voice of my own. I should’ve been ecstatic, but I wasn’t. I had taken too much (probably undue) pride in my wild experimentation. It hurt my pride to find that I had “settled down”, as it were. What do writers do when they realized they’ve written themselves into a rut without having written all too much at all? I had, and still have, no clue.

Most writers I’ve met are hopelessly self-critical. Or they were in possession of massive egos. I came to the hypothesis that if you wrote very well, you probably were someone worth avoiding in real life. As such, I have no intention of asking them anything. Still, having friends become so familiar with your style to the point that upon their first reading of a story they say “it’s definitely something you wrote” is deeply, unreasonably maddening. It ruined my long-held illusion that I wrote everything under the sun, that each piece was utterly unique from the rest. So, as a writer, I’m guessing I lean on the “massive ego” side of things.

I’d love to make this the start of some motivational piece, but I can’t. I still don’t know much of anything. As for why I’m posting this here, I guess it’s feasible that someone could relate. Doesn’t do me much good sitting on my hard drive. Anyway, I fully plan on at least spacing out these rambles, hopefully with stories in-between.

A Random Scene (#1)

  • Announcement: I got published in 365 Tomorrows, check that out HERE.

A lot of times, I write these random scenes, usually hoping that they’ll grow into a full story. Sometimes they just don’t. Since I have no hope in ever getting those published, I’ll just post them here. This one, like a lot of them, is just a simple conversation between two people. I might come back to the idea at some point, I think there’s some comedic/surreal potential here.

I was waiting in line at a pharmacy.

“So, what are you in for?” The guy behind me asked.

“What, is this a prison or something?”

“Well a prison is a correctional facility, right? People come here for fixin’ too.”

“So a disease is equivalent to, what, a misdemeanor?”

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I don’t think my eyes work right, sometimes. I mean, how else can you explain it? How’d a deer suddenly appear in the middle of the restaurant otherwise? I was minding my own business, scrubbing down the deep fryer, when I hear a table get not-so-graciously toppled. I nearly had a heart attack, I was certain it was a robber.

Now, deer are common in this part of the country, sure. But how’d it even get in? The door’s locked. No windows were broken or anything. I put my washcloth down on the deep fryer and stepped over to the front counter.

“Where you going?”

The voice came from directly behind me. I turned around. I didn’t see anything out of the ordinary.


“Why’d you stop cleaning?”

I looked around once more, still not seeing anything out of the ordinary.

“Uh, a deer’s broken into the store. Who are you, exactly?”

“Oh, I’m Wari.”

“O-ok. But, where are you?”

“Huh? You see some other deep fryer in front of you?”

I looked back at the deer for a second. Was I dreaming? I pinched myself, to no avail.

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