The Possession of Camille Parker

She awoke this morning and looked into the mirror to see heavy eyeshadow fading into many shades of flat blues, caked and smeared as if she had been wearing it for days & reapplying it without cleaning it off first… she does not wear make up.

Her morning tastes like sewer water though she made it the same way she does every morning. Why?

“Something inside of me,” she thinks, “is tweaking with my brain”  why why why

In rapid succession, her thoughts are racing, a never ending left turn.

“Something is the matter…” She thinks, still drinking her sewage coffee for the caffeine. “I don’t know but I…..I think I’m posessed.”

As soon as she said the words aloud, she knew they were true.
but why? and by whom?

This may warrant taking off a sick day from work but it’s a little hard to explain, no?

“A seemingly demonic force has taken up shop in my head space and I’m questioning not only my existence, but existence overall. Can I come in tomorrow?”

Can’t imagine that’d work out very well. She picks up the coffee pot to pour it out in the sink but instead of flowing out straight down, it pours upwards, leaving a leaking stain on the ceiling.

She blinks and does nothing for a moment. “Okay. Something is either completely fucked with my head or I’m possessed. Either way, I don’t know what I’m going to do.”

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Grunt Work

This is what it’s like in the specter factory

It’s been said that our consciousness and knack for development is what sets modern humanity from the rest of our savage earthling brethren. While apes and quadrupeds scratch their asses and laze about all day, we gather our tools and craft masterpieces.
Nice thought in theory, but by that logic any unemployed, disabled, and lazy bastard could be grouped with the savage beasts.
Where does that leave me?

I guess I’m just a sucker in the specter factory

So crisp, so vivid does everything appear, I could reach out and grab a treasure. Yet my fingers slip through any object I desire. My presence does not occupy much mass. I Fear I may need an upgrade as soon as possible but I have no physical port to jack in and my trust in The Machine has waned dramatically over time.
If I were to ignore these facts, this is the best day of my life.

I guess I’m just a sucker in the specter factor

None of us care about longterm satisfaction as long as there are immediate gratification options. A brief surge of adrenaline, getting you higher and higher… then Boom. It’s gone. The way up The Ladder is paved with crackpot scheiße and requires a certain level of patience. It’s possible. But instead we use our tools for different matters. A voice subtly commands us each day: Grab your screwdriver, lackey! There are bolts to be screwed.
Inaudible but it’s there, every day.

I guess we’re all just suckers in the specter factor
Oh? Oh.

2016: A Space Oddity [part 2]

Whizzing sounds of distant traffic, electrical currents guided through mechanical parts well oiled with crimson,
words from The Void screaming throughout; from buoyant lead, iron fists, and crinkled greenery. Blocking paths long since forgotten and ushering forth towards roads with predictable outcomes.

Nah.
Say “No Thank You”
Breathe in.
Allow the unknown to fill every orifice of your lungs.
Closed eyes see no darkness.

There is a wormhole filled with every color on the known spectrum and fifty-thousand shades that the oxford dictionary has no definition of and human eyes have trouble accepting.
Nebulae and planetary bodies with orbiting suspensions of ice racing by in a blur.
Heat waves of passing stars tickle the bloodstream and flutter through veins turning the crimson into water and then into wine.
Punch-drunk fairies dizzily prancing through cerebral ruins, upchucking on the dulled grey matter,
pompous verbal units as stark and stale as century old fossilized excrement; land solid and explode in cataclysmic screams of primal rage seconds after impact.

All feelings of anguish and pain gone away.

In this Form, at this given moment, time increases increments that should be subject to extreme scrutiny for in this moment,
no seconds pass and no clocks tick and no feet march en tandem with the beat of any kind of drum sheathed with any kind of skin.

The maximum of charge allowed in in these parts as the number does not increase as the wormhole continues
though it is uncertain if it is suspended in a time lapse, or if that is indeed what is happening at all.
Any increasing number would be the only proof that time is continuing to move along as the astral stuff is, zooming by in the peripheral,
but the astral stuff moves, the percentage does not.
The speed of travel begins to slow and every cell in my body freezes like the milliseconds before a suspension-drop roller coaster’s declension
and I feel the same weightlessness as everything stops on a dime.

“The Hooch” -An Exercpt

“I need a drink”, he thought as he backed out of his driveway.

Tired of facing the harsh realities of what is stitching his life together, Sebastian often found himself turning to the healing powers of The Hooch to soothe, a manifested bridge over the troubled waters that surrounded him.

The Hooch has never lied nor expected anything from him. The Hooch has never taken anything from him. The Hooch just is what it is.

His love for The Hooch started as a simple puppy love. A warm bubble bath that caressed his sore muscles back to a manageable state of indifference. It was a kiss on the forehead after a bedtime story from the parental figure he had always imagined. The honeymoon phase of a burgeoning relationship.

Sebastian had never had a relationship go steady for more than a few months at a time. Once the sugar started to spoil and maggots formed, he’d always thrown it out, expecting to be able to find a replacement sweetener with ease.

But sugar is hard to find these days and aspartame doesn’t do the trick. There’s an aftertaste that follows the sweetness that he never cared for.

The Hooch is always there.

After time, he started finding larvae within The Hooch but couldn’t bring himself to throw it out. The Hooch has seen the best and worst of him and has never turned its back. Still, he found it difficult to ignore the bugs that were beginning to sprout.

The bubble baths became pools of blood. The kisses on the forehead felt like they came from Vito Genovese instead of a loving parent. The familiar love morphed into an authority figure from a super power he no longer recognized.

But The Hooch had never lied to him before and Sebastian had no real reason to believe it would start now.

The Hooch just is what it is.

“Fuck it,” Sebastian thought as he drove down the usual stretch of road to a destination he’d gone to many a time before.

Let The Hooch be the lighter fluid to ignite all the bridges left in ruin from years of neglect. Let The Hooch lift him upwards towards a new plain of transcendence that he never thought imaginable in his default state. Let The Hooch warm the cold parts in his body and reinvigorate the parts of him he had long forgotten existed.

The Hooch just is what it is.

He approached the cash register and realized he was 75 cents short.

So he bought a bottle of soda instead.

Operation Tricky Dicky, Part V

Today. August 8th. I clocked out at 12:59pm and ran like the wind to my car, going 80mph on the highway. I couldn’t get to the mayor’s headquarters fast enough.

I got off at the West Broad St exit and made my way down Marconi Blvd, slowing down a bit as I got closer to the office building, looking up at streetlights & traffic corners but saw no cameras. I parked in a spot on the opposite side of the street in front of the building and fed quarters into the meter.

He was on the short walkway on top of the first flight of stairs leading up to the front doors, sitting in a tattered lawn chair with the State of Ohio flag covering the back, the 2pointed ends flapping in the summer breeze. He had several signs in his hands:

1984 : 2014

BIG BROTHER IS HERE

QUIS CUSTODIET IPSOS CUSTODES?

THE PEOPLE DESERVE THE TRUTH

that were written in a heavy black permanent markered script on cardboard slabs attached to thin tree branches. Underneath the chair was an unidentifiable auburn canister and the black suitcase.

His face lit up when he saw me walking up the stairs. “Aww shit, I didn’t think you would actually show! Good to see ya.”

I didn’t say anything at first. I’m not exactly sure what I expected to see once I got there but there he was, looking like every stereotypical crazy bum you’ve ever seen depicted in the media. “How, uhh… how long have you been out here?” I asked hesitantly.

“About an hour or so. Haven’t been met with much resistance, or any for that matter. People have been walking by, going about their day to day. A few folks stopped to take my picture on their phones but that’s about it. But now that you’re here…” He gently set the signs down on the ground and grabbed the suitcase. “We can get this party started.”

He laid the case on its side and kneeled down in front of it and started to open the latches. I immediately started to sweat. I barely slept a wink the night before, hypothesizing what was inside. Maybe it’s a incriminating papertrail thought buried by the administration and police force? Maybe it’s photos and videos he saved that would flip the city upside down? A bomb was still a likely possibility.

He opened the case and I halfexpected a luminous golden light to shine out. He reached inside and pulled out a megaphone.

A fucking megaphone.

“Of all the things in the world…. Why in the fresh hell did you decided bury THAT?” I asked.

“I knew THEY would try to take everything from me. But I refused to be silenced…” He held the megaphone in his arms as it were a newborn baby. “And people tend to listen to you when you have one of these. Without it, all rebels would just look like raving lunatics.”

“So what now?” I asked.

“Now? The Dawn begins.”

He hopped to his feet and turned to face the street. Cars were driving by. People were walking along, even walking in and out of the office. We were practically invisible. I watched his face as he surveyed our surroundings with the intensity of a redtailed hawk hunting live prey. The point is to thoroughly terrify these bastards… It’s necessary that they learn to fear every sunrise until the next August 8th…” he muttered under his breath, more to himself than anything else.

He then turned away and picked up the signs, leaned 1 against the chair, and walked the other 3 back to where I was standing at the foot of the steps. “Pick 2”, he instructed. I picked The Truth & Latin Phrase signs and held them in each hand. He held the Big Brother Sign high above his head and clicked on the megaphone.

“CITIZENS OF COLUMBUS,” his gruff voice boomed across the street. “OUR CITY IS GOVERNED UNDER A STRONG ARM OF DECEPTION, FALSE TRUTHS AND FABRICATION! OUR COUNTRY IS NO DIFFERENT! EVERY POLITICAL AND PSEUDOPOWER STRUCTURE YOU HOLD DEAR IS BRINGING YOU CLOSER TO YOUR OWN DEATH!”

Well. He certainly is direct, I remember thinking at the time.

“DO NOT BE LED INTO TEMPTATION BY FALSE PROPHETS WITH VAGUE PROMISES OF PROSPERITY THEY HAVE HAVE NO INTENTIONS OF FULFILLING. REJECT THE MUSHY BABYFOOD OF BULLSHIT SPOON FED TO YOU SINCE BIRTH. REBUKE THE NOTION THAT YOU HAVE NO POWER. WE GREATLY OUTNUMBER THEM.”

People were beginning to take notice. A few passerbys stopped along the sidewalk to watch the spectacle that was beginning to unfold. I glanced back at the office building and saw curtains pulled back and faces peering out windows.

“DO NOT ALLOW THEM TO DRAMATIZE AND PROFIT OFF OF OUR STRUGGLES ANY LONGER. STOP RUNNING INTO WALLS AS YOU BLINDLY RACE THROUGH THE TANGLED LABYRINTH IN SEARCH OF CHEESE THAT ISN’T THERE. STOP BLEACHING THEIR BROWNSTAINED TOILET BOWLS WHILE THEY TIP YOU WITH POCKET CHANGE. WHY WAIT FOR THE NEXT GENERATION TO CHANGE WHAT WE CAN CHANGE RIGHT NOW?”

Cars were slowing down on the street. The crowd was starting to grow larger and chiming in with shouts of encouragement. It was hard to tell whether they actually agreed or were just egging him on. Either way, he clearly had struck a nerve.

“BE THE RENEGADE MODEL FOR OUR INCREASINGLY DISENFRANCHISED CULTURE. BECOME A BEACON OF HOPE FOR THE APATHETIC. BE THE BRIDGE BETWEEN PROTEST AND ACTIVE RESISTANCE. YOUR PATH TO REVOLUTIONARY SELF TRANSFORMATION CAN BEGIN TODAY. ACTION IS MOVEMENT! MOVEMENT IS PROGRESS! ACCELERATE THE PROGRESS! ACT NOW!”

At this point, the crowd had grown from a few bystanders to a fullblown legion. The sidewalk was swarmed with bodies, all clapping & cheering along with each declaration. My eyes were brimmed with tears. A man after my own heart & ideology, he was killing me softly with speech. My uncertainty melted away. I was holding the flimsy signs up like the torches of the Statue of Liberty, pumping them in the air and engaging with the crowd.

He put the megaphone down and beamed out at the crowd he had drawn in. He set the megaphone down on the ground and called me over. “Keep the energy going. It’s only a matter of time before they call the pigs in to crash this party. Time for the grand finale.”

He walked back over to the chair. I raised the signs higher in the air and bellowed out a primal war cry, which the crowd copied, their voices uniting together in a resonating roar. I was living. The revolution I had been wanting to start for so long but had been too afraid to start had arrived and here I was, in the center of the belly of the beast. The roar started to grow even louder and I heard one person, a teenage girl in a Hot Topic Jack Skellington hoodie, in the crowd yell out “Holy Shit!” and point past me.

I turned around and saw a flash of orange. The Ohio flag was on the ground in a blaze of unglory, the familiar red, white & blue starting to char in a bellow of smoke. He poured a little more (of what I presume is gasoline) from the auburn canister onto the flame, making it burst out even more. And then stood up and started to pour it on himself.

I dropped my hands, still holding the signs, and felt them dangle by my sides. The atmosphere sharply shifted from “Fuck Yeah!” to “What The Fuck”. The front doors to the office building burst open and a whole throng of blackoutfitted security guards emerged from the inside. He emptied the rest of the canister over his body and threw himself onto the flame. A mini fireball erupted, blasting a heatwave out across the street.

The crowd dispersed in a clattered confusion of screams of terror. A security guard pushed me down the stairs and told me to “get the hell out of here.” Sirens blared in the distance.

Throughout the ages, antiestablishment protestors and nonconformists have risen in the hopes to introduce a little anarchy & upset the foundation. But things have still remained relatively unchanged. Most acts of liberation are little more than a selfimposed servitude, today being no different. My homeless messiah turned out to be little more than an unbalanced lunatic looking to go out in a literal blaze of glory.

Am I really that easily swayed & naive that I’m willing to listen to anyone? Was I just a chess piece in his twisted game? Did he accomplish what he had set out to do? Even if what all he told me was true, was anything changed? Did he even have a plan at all?

I didn’t have time to think about it. The scene was getting more hectic by the minute and I needed to get out of there.

Besides, the time was about to run out on the parking meter.

Operation Tricky Dicky, Part IV

It was getting late. The sun had set in the west, the sky was getting darker by the minute, and raindrops started to gradually fall on the windshield. I had another long shift ahead of me the next day that I wasn’t going to blow off, like I did today to break several minor laws with a stranger. Can’t say this is exactly I had envisioned spending my sick day but it was infinitely more interesting than if I had continued about my minimum-wage duties. But enough was enough for one day and I needed time to clean my car before the passenger seat was permanently stained.

As if he read my mind he said, “Alright, cool. You can take me back home now. I got everything I need right here.” He patted the suitcase delicately.

This guy has told me a lot about himself and he felt like an old confidante, so it took me a minute to realize why what he said was so odd.

“Umm… where exactly do you call ‘home’?” I asked consciously.

He chuckled softly. “There are few places around that I’ve settled in. Ain’t much but I call them home anyway. Head back up to High Street. It’s not too far from where we first met.”

I merged on to I-70 West to expedite the trip a little more. Along the way I stole glances at him and the enigmatic suitcase, that he was still stroking in a way that reminded me of Dr. Evil and Mr. Bigglesworth. He certainly talked a lot but nearly every dialogue exchange was initiated by me and it became increasingly obvious that he wasn’t going to tell me what was inside unless I asked. “Are you going to tell me what’s in that thing?”

He looked over at me but didn’t answer right away. “Let’s just say it’s a very valuable weapon I saved from the old days.” That wasn’t good enough for me.

“That’s it? All the stuff I’ve done for you today and that’s ALL you’re going to tell me? You wouldn’t have been able to get this if it weren’t for me! And JESUS CHRIST! A weapon?! What is it, a gun? A bomb? Oh my fucking god, it’s a bomb, isn’t it? ISN’T IT? Who are you working for? Are you terrorist? What act of terror did I just aid?!” I was screaming at the top of my lungs. Manic like a freak in the midst of a whacked out LSD binge.

He remained silent for a few more moments and then burst out in laughter, like he was watching an episode of Seinfeld. “You need to take several chill pills, man. Trust me, a terrorist would have far more resources than me and wouldn’t need to rely on a teenager in a beat up car to get the supplies-[“I’m not a teenager….” I grumbled]-for the job. And don’t be silly it’s not a bomb.”

“So, what is it?”

“Take a left at this light, then a right 3 streets down.”

In my flight of mania I went into a kind of autopilot, not realizing that I had driven as far as I had. We were back on High Street. I followed his instructions and it led us to a back alley, where I’m sure a drug deal or act of violence was taking place in the shadows just a few feet away, where the streetlights didn’t reach.

“It looks worse than it actually is. I’ve squatted in far worse streets in this city.” There were a few awkward moments when we were just staring at one another, each expecting the other to say something. “Well… see ya around.”

“Will I ever see you again?” I asked as he opened the door. He was the first person I’ve hung out with in quite some time and it seemed odd for him to just walk out of my life.

“What are you doing on the 8th?” he asked.

I pulled out my phone and looked at the calender. It was the upcoming Friday. “I work a short shift but I’ll be off around 1pm.”

“Come see me outside of the Mayor’s Office when you get off. I’ll be hard to miss.”

I reached in my backseat. “Here, take this umbrella. It’s starting to rain a little harder now.”

He flashed me a grateful smile, grabbed the suitcase with one hand and the umbrella with the other, closed the door, and walked into the alley. I watched until his outline disappeared into the darkness.

Operation Tricky Dicky, Part III

The car returned to a constrained quiet that only tales of administrative abuses of power can bring forth. I was simultaneously intrigued & terrified of the man sitting in my passenger seat. He looked and sounded like a half-mad cross between a hyena and a hermit, a thing best left alone as long as possible to do whatever the hell it wants.

Yet I felt for him. Here’s someone who was bent over and fucked sideways by the powers that be, lost everything and everyone that was important to him, and just seemed happy someone else was listening-I’m probably the first person that’s noticed him and didn’t recoil in disgust in ages.

We drove and drove, with him pointing out the directions and chain smoking my cigarettes and wordlessly gazing out the window. “Man, it’s been a long time since I’ve been out this way,” he said suddenly as we passed a mall. “What the fuck is a Forever 21 and why would anyone want to stay that age?” I could only laugh.

Finally we arrived in a rather upscale neighborhood. Houses bigger than every residence I had ever lived in combined, animated green manicured lawns decorated with miniature marble statues, and brand new sports cars ostentatiously displayed in every driveway. I felt very selfconcious with my beatup old Ford Taurus with several easily noticeable dents on the doors and bumper and a Geico caveman for a passenger. We could not have looked anymore out of place.

“STOP THE CAR!”

I stomped on the brakes and he jumped out and raced up a driveway and into an open garage. He rummaged around for a few seconds and ran back into the car holding a shovel, which he tossed into the backseat. “Ok now, drive up a few more houses and park by the curb.” I did.

“I’ll just be a few minutes.” He grabbed the shovel and got out of the car again. I couldn’t help but notice his body left a sooty outline on the cloth seat. He walked up to another house, through the neatly trimmed lawn, with the shovel flung over his shoulder.

I watched as he walked from window to window peering inside with a hand above his brow. I thought about driving away. I kept having horrible visions of him breaking inside and committing unspeakable acts with that shovel. Or a police car driving up to this hard to explain situation, called by a concerned octogenarian neighbor witnessing this from their window- or whomever he stole the shovel from.

He worked his way behind the house and out of my view. The outcome was uncertain and my vibes were beginning to shift unfavorably. This man didn’t seem the violent type, per se. Just someone fed up with nothing left to lose, but that in itself can be a pretty hairy way of thinking. A person like that can be a ticking bomb just waiting to go off at any moment, consequences be damned. It really just depends on what they devote their time & energy to.

10 minutes had gone by. I lit the last cigarette in my pack when he appeared again at the corner of the house. I could barely make him out past the oak tree and chokeberry bushes in the lawn but he seemed to be brushing himself off and peering into another window.

Come on man. I pleaded under my breath, silently willing him to get his ass back over here. I looked around quickly and didn’t see anyone else on the street but I saw a curtain move in the upper level of the neighboring house he just did godknowswhat to. Someone saw us and was getting suspicious and it would only be a matter of time before the police would be here. Or it was an air conditioning vent blowing upwards on the curtain. Either way, it was time to go.

I revved my engine a few times. He must have gotten the hint and hastily walked back to the car. A fresh layer of brown dirt was caked on his shoes and up his pants leg. The shovel was gone, replaced with a dusty black suitcase.

“What was that about? You didn’t just murder someone and bury them in the backyard, did you?” I asked as he climbed back in his seat.

“No way, hombre”, He laughed my question off as he put his seat belt on and rested the briefcase between his legs. “That’s my old place… Whoever owns that place now has terrible taste.”