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A semi pseudonymous life
A new and different life brought about by almost dropping off the edge . . .

Currently at motel in Colton, CA, for three to four weeks of relearning how to drive a big rig. The training takes place a few miles west in Mira Loma.

Can you believe I've been off the road 19 months?

Frankly, I can and if I could've found something other than going back driving long haul, I would be doing that.

Unfortunately, drivng makes a whole lot more money than any job I saw while trying to get back to work. Trucking companies are starting to hire drivers again now that the economy is supposed to be picking up there's always a company out there who's willing to hire somebody over 60.


Let's hear what you're thinking . . .
Alive.

Still out of work.

Money down to near zero. Do I buy the wife her prescription of insulin or do I pay the water bill?

Had a bout of extreme depression this morning, but much better now.

Busy writing stories to post at GayAuthors.org under nom de plume Carl Holiday.

Happy! Happy! Happy!

Broke! Broke! Broke!

Life the shits and then some damned fool flushes the toilet.
Let's hear what you're thinking . . .
Nothing.

Absolutely, irrevocably nothing.

No light.

Absolute, total darkness.

Yet . . .

Yet, there was thought.

Thought.

Total darkness and thought.

Was he dead?

Was this death?

Was this Hell?

He couldn’t expect to be in the other place; not after what he had done.

All those people put to death (here?) at his own hand. His right hand, as a matter of fact.

No, this was Hell, if there was such a place.

Maybe, that other place was something and this place was nothing.

Was he to spend eternity alone in this blackness, with nothing but his thoughts?

A person could go crazy in such an existence.

Was that what Hell was all about?

“’Allo, well it’s about time you showed up. We was gettin’ worried you was going off into a corner like that Bundy chap. That he was, but here you are. Have a nice trip? Took you long enough.”

Current Mood: content content

Let's hear what you're thinking . . .
Well, at least this thinking gave him something to do, besides listening to all the footsteps.

They were all around him, now, the footsteps, that is. It almost sounded like a crowd of people going this way and that, but never coming to where he sat. Maybe he just couldn’t see them. Maybe they were actually quite close and the bright, whiteness blinded his seeing them.

What are you doing here?

He looked up and saw the large breasted woman with the stick.

I was told to wait.

Who told you that?

The old man.

What old man?

You know, Him, the top guy, the one who runs this madhouse, the guy with the trolls.

Well, no matter, you’re in a restricted area and have to leave or I’ll have to clobber you.

The old man told me to wait, no matter what. So, I guess, I’ll have to accept your clobbering.

The first thwack against his right temple caught him totally unawares. It stunned him so much that he didn’t notice the next that landed diagonally across his face. The pain was excruciating, but there was no numbing effect. He simply lost consciousness.

He awoke to cold, freezing cold, ice chilling, bone aching cold. He started to shiver uncontrollably. Without opening his eyes he knew he was naked, lying under a sheet. There was pain in his arm. He looked down and saw an IV needle stuck where it hurt. There was fluid running into him. It was making him very, very cold. They were killing him; euthanizing him for all those murders. He felt his heart stop. He wanted to make it start up again, but he couldn’t think of anything to make it start up again. He was truly going to die.

This was real. They were killing him and he couldn’t do anything about it. He was going to die!

He was going to die!

Current Mood: content content

Let's hear what you're thinking . . .

How many were there?

You always remember the first and, of course, the last victim. He never told anyone about his first. No one knew. Even though he hadn’t cut the little boy down from the tree, for all he knew no one ever found him. Well, it was in a particularly hidden place in the forest. Deep back in the woods where no one could hear the screams; and, boy, did that little kid scream when the knife started cutting. Yet, once he accepted that there was no escape and that he was probably going to die, the screams turned into a whimper. That’s when he went for the artery. It took him a couple stabs to find it. Why hadn’t he gone for the carotids? Yeah, that’s right, he didn’t exactly know about them. All those arteries came later when he read the anatomy books, when he, finally, knew how to kill someone quickly, after he’d had some fun.

It was all about fun. Wasn’t it?

The look in their eyes when they figured it all out was the kick that brought him back.

He was fifteen when he took his next victim, a girl. She was younger, but not too much. She screamed, too, until that look swept over her face and he could bring out the scalpel. Well, it wasn’t actually a real scalpel, just one of those hobby knives, but it was small enough to make a tiny cut at the right spot. That time he went for the right carotid.

For no particular reason, afterwards, he gutted her, too. It made him puke, but that wasn’t the last time.

Footsteps?

Yeah, coming toward him, again.

It was nice not having to dream about those times especially the last ones. He didn’t like dreaming about what he did to his wife and children. He’d kept them safe over the years and they didn’t deserve what happened to them, but they were his second family, so maybe it was inevitable they’d die, too, much in the same way as the first.

The footsteps were going away, again.

Exactly, how many were there? To tell the truth, he’d never actually counted them.

Current Mood: content content

Let's hear what you're thinking . . .
Interminable.

That was the word for this place. Interminable.

Distances were interminable.

Time was interminable.

But what did it get him?

Nothing.

Not doing anything was the problem.

He didn’t have anything to do.

He didn’t have anywhere to go.

He couldn’t see anything except this bright, whiteness.

Generally, he couldn’t hear anything except footsteps and voices in his head.

Yet, when he spoke to the old man, he was scolded for doing so as if that was against the rules.

And, what about this guide he was supposed to get?

Why hadn’t the old man seen to the guide before sending him through the sieve?

Footsteps?

Sounded like more than one this time. Not a lot, but definitely more than one. Two? No, more than two. Listen to the footfalls. Drum-dadrum-darum-drum. Three?

They were far off, yet. Was someone, or something, coming for him? Was it the old man with his guide?

The sound was getting soft again. They were going away. Where was he that he could hear so many footsteps? Was this another of the old man’s tests?

Current Mood: content content
Current Music: Mama Won't You Boogie With Me, Frank Mills

Let's hear what you're thinking . . .
It seemed as if he’d been sitting for hours when he heard footsteps coming toward him. He turned his head around as if trying to home in on which direction the sound was strongest, but it seemed to be everywhere.

The sound of the footsteps stopped. He expectedly waited, anticipating a confrontation with one of the denizens of this otherworldly place. Was it that large breasted woman with the stick? The two fools with the litter. That lab guy who turned him over to the head man, who turned out to be the old man? Maybe, possibly, it was someone new.

He waited.

Waited.

Waited.

How long had it been; this waiting?

He knew he couldn’t sleep now, not with someone close by who could possibly sweep in on him and pull him from his dreams. He wanted to dream of that first time. That time in the woods near his home with that kid from a couple blocks over. He was only thirteen when he heard that kid scream from the pain of the knife slicing away at parts of his young body. The one thing he remembered most about that time was the shock both of them had when the knife slit an artery causing eight-year-old blood to spew out for what seemed, at the time, like forever, but wasn’t. The little kid died there in the wood tied to the trunk of that tree. He was only thirteen. He knew, then, he was destined to be famous. When he was finally caught and killed—he knew they had to kill him—he would live on in books, movies, true crime television shows, all of that. He would become immortal like Jack the Ripper, the Green River Killer, and all the other serial murderers.

Making certain he wasn’t leaving any evidence of his presence at the crime scene—he’d read the books, watched the movies—he left the little boy and went home to dinner with his family. It was Thursday. They were going to have pork chops, boiled red potatoes, corn, fresh applesauce, and coleslaw.

That was it! And, that became it, for, even before he was finally caught, he became known as the Thursday Afternoon Killer.

Suddenly, he heard the footsteps. They were moving away from him. He was alone, again. Did someone come only to listen to his thoughts?

Current Mood: chipper chipper
Current Music: Symphony No. 1 in C minor, Op 68, Brahms

Let's hear what you're thinking . . .
What are you doing here?

Uh . . . It was the ancient, old man from before. The Devil himself if he believed half what all the others he met said about the old man.

Didn’t I tell you to get a guide? Do I have to do everything for you?

Uh . . .

Come on, let’s get back to the queue and maybe I can find you a guide. No, wait, it might be better for you to wait here, since you can’t see anything except the bright, white light. Right?

“Yes.”

“And, don’t give me any of that oral crap either. You’re in deep shit. You know that?”

“No.”

I figured as much. You’re worthless, you know? Worthless! I don’t know why we even bother with you, but rules are rules and they must be followed. You were never one for following the rules were you?

“No.”

“Don’t speak! I told you that oral shit isn’t going to give you any extra credit around here. Now, sit down right there and don’t go anywhere, no matter who comes along. Just stay right here and I’ll be back with a guide for you.”

Sit!

He sat down. The surface was strangely warm. He thought maybe lying down and sleeping might be okay if the old man didn’t get back very soon. What would they do? Shove him through that sieve again? Try to erase his mind? That wasn’t going to happen. He should tell them that, but would they believe him? No. Maybe there was a tighter, smaller sieve. Besides, he liked his memories from his first murder to the last, the screams of the victims, their pleading, their shock, to their final realization that there was only so much blood to lose.

Current Mood: angry angry
Current Music: Not While I'm Around, Barbra Streisand

Let's hear what you're thinking . . .
Nothing.

No.

Not, again!

Wasn’t I here once before?

Who am I?

What am I?

Cognito ergo sum?

My eyes see.

What?

Two legs holding me up.

Two feet placed on a surface.

Two arms with hands to feel.

A head and neck.

A face with forehead, eyebrows, eyes, nose, ears, cheeks, mouth, chin.

Can I speak?

“Hello, is anyone there, here?”

Yes, I can speak.

Why couldn’t I speak before?

Was there a before?

What is this place?

Current Mood: melancholy melancholy

Let's hear what you're thinking . . .
Mostly Painless

Falling.
Unseeing eyes open, surrounding black infinity.
Falling.
Mind reels, a lifetime of memories.
Memories, sins untold.
Memories , futures unlived.
Memories, family, friends, customers, victims.
Memories.
Falling.
Where does it end?
What happens at the bottom?
Another place?
Another life?
Does torment go on?
Does it end?
Falling.
Is there pain if there is no mind?
What’s that sound?
Thwump?
Thrump?
Thud?
Scrunch?
What’s at the bottom?
Does it hurt?
Hitting the bottom?
When will it end?
The pain, suffering?
What if the fall was not high enough, the terminal surface not hard enough?
Falling.
Falling.
Falling.
Don’t open your eyes.
Don’t watch Earth approaching.
Don’t scare yourself to death in fear of terminal pain.
What was it Jesus said?
Was he telling the truth?
Can he be trusted?
Falling.
Falling.
Falling.

Current Mood: blank blank

Let's hear what you're thinking . . .
Still haven’t a clue, do you?

No. Well, maybe I’m dead and this is, you know, Hell, which would make you, since everyone is in awe of you, the Devil. Then, again, maybe this is just some horrible dream and I’ll wake up.

What was your last conscious thought?

Well, I was, where was I? I can’t exactly remember where I was or what I was thinking. That isn’t right, is it?

It’s been awhile and the shock of departure is, well, quite a shock. One second you’re among the living and then you’re here.

Hell.

No, we’re sort of a way station on the journey to your final destination. Some, well, most go right back and start over. Others pass on through to something appropriate to their expectations. Then, some, like you have to be treated so that we can decide what is to become of you. More than likely you’ll go through the processes and be sent back to give it another try. If we can’t or we decide that you’re incompatible to processing, then I’m afraid it’s the dustbin for you.

You’re not the Devil, then.

Oh, no, definitely not guilty on that count. You could say I’m an administrator, a managing director, this is all my show and when it all comes down to whether it works, or not, it’s my head that’s on the block. So far, I’ve kept myself out of the dustbin.

I don’t exactly remember dying.

Most don’t. It’s a function of the spirit to forget what happened back there, though in your case, we all know all about you. You were one mean S.O.B. as far as I’m concerned. Frankly, you deserved that needle in your arm.

I’ve been having dreams.

Your past lives, which are what we will remove. Don’t worry. It’s mostly painless.

Current Mood: contemplative contemplative

Let's hear what you're thinking . . .
Amid the brightness, they came to a metal stairway leading up into the whiteness. They climbed for what seemed an eternity before coming to a landing.

I wish you could see it out there. All the huge tubes, pipes, conduits, rectilinear channels, wirings beyond imagination, labeling indicating direction of flows, paint indicating contents, it’s color coded according to my own personal scheme, and the noise is nearly unbearable. You can’t hear it, can you?

All I can hear is your voice and a faint hum.

Oh! Good! You’re coming to ground. Finally! We’re beginning to pull you into a proper state of consciousness. It was the IV. It had to be. We’ve only had to use that stuff a couple times before and both of those were failures, unspeakable agony. You don’t want to know. Anyway, come along, you need to meet Him before we can send you on your way. It’s this way, along here.

He followed the lab director along a narrow dark strip in the brightness that had parallel, seemingly unsupported handrails on either side. As before, as it seemed it always was here, wherever he was, they walked for the longest time before coming to an inky black door. Was it the brightness that made the black seem so dark?

Now, when we go in, there will be the trolls. Try not to antagonize them. Whatever you do, don’t look them in the eye, but don’t make a big issue of looking away, they’ll take offense at that, too. Two of them will escort us to His chamber. When we get there, I have to stay outside, but the trolls will escort you inside. When you get to His throne prostrate yourself onto the floor with your head turned to the left and your arms stretched out before you. Can you remember that?

Sure, don’t stare at the trolls, but looking is sort of okay, lie down on the floor, head to left, arms stretched out, seems simple enough.

If you get any of it wrong, you’re liable to have one of the trolls squash your head and eat your brains and it will have all been for naught.

I’ll do my best.

The door opened and the old man came out on to the catwalk.

Oh, Sir, I didn’t expect You.

Of course you didn’t. Hello, young man, how is he treating you?

Okay, I guess.

Current Mood: content content

Let's hear what you're thinking . . .
Don’t worry we seldom have a failure. Though, I do have to admit this process is still rather experimental. There were flaws in the system, but they are so few now, they don’t often crop up. When they do, we shut the whole process down and analyze what went wrong. Then, if necessary, and only if necessary, we generate a copy from the image we have in storage and have a completely new person to send down the line, so to speak. You can only think of it lineally, but it’s you’re actually going in a circle. Have you ever seen a calutron, per chance?

No.

Pity, that. If you had, it would be so much easier to describe since you can’t actually see it because you haven’t gone through the process yet. Anyway, it’s like a calutron; or, how about a particle accelerator. Do you know what they are?

You mean like Fermi Lab outside Chicago?

Exactly, my boy, exactly what I want you to see in your mind. Basically it’s like that, but slightly different, think bigger, not longer, bigger, huge, enormous. All those gargantuan adjectives, only multiplied a thousand-fold. I never imagined that I’d actually be able to build such a thing, but He said it was a good idea and I should pursue it. Well, it is to His advantage, if you know what I mean.

What?

What, what?

Whose advantage?

Him.

Him who?

You don’t know Him?

Look, I don’t even know where I am or why I am here or what’s going on for that matter. All I know is that I’m suppose to have a guide, who’ll, I suppose, answer all my questions and show me what’s what.

Oh, dear. Oh dear, oh dear. This is most unusual, most unusual.

Current Mood: content content
Current Music: Merry Christmas Baby, Elvis Presley

Let's hear what you're thinking . . .
Inside, the booth had a flat wall of some clear substance. He rapped it with his knuckles and received a sharp pain in his fingers as a result. It felt incredibly smooth, almost like liquid water. It definitely didn’t feel like glass or plastic. All he could see through the wall was the ever familiar bright, white light, which was also visible up and down. The rest of the wall surface was the inky black material that had been in his room when they gave him the IV.

Stand on the circular, silver plate, please.

He looked down and saw a silvery, circular area in the whiteness that had the outline of two feet etched on it. As soon as he put both feet as directed, the plate began to turn.

Suddenly, all light was extinguished, but he felt he was still turning. The warmth of a fluid began around his feet. Then, as if he’d jumped off the diving board at a swimming pool, he was enveloped in the warm fluid.

He wanted to breathe, but the fluid still covered his head. He tried to get to the surface, but his feet seemed to be stuck on the bottom. Soon his legs felt encased in a solid substance that prevented all movement.

He needed to breathe! He couldn’t hold out much longer. Now, his torso and armed were encased in the hardness. It was moving up his body, but he needed to breathe.

He couldn’t stop himself. He willed his mouth to stay shut. He forced his lips together, but it was no use. His mouth flew open. His diaphragm pulled down expanding the volume of his chest, pulling the fluid into his lungs. He coughed, trying to expel the fluid. His last conscious thought was that the fluid was hardening inside his mouth and around his head. He died.

Come on, wake up, wake up, we don’t have all day.

His shoulder was being jostled. His cheek was being slapped.

Come on, wake up, we need to move on. The first time is always worst. It’ll get easier next time. We got a very good copy of you should anything go wrong.

Go wrong?

Current Mood: content content

Let's hear what you're thinking . . .
“Dave?” Marc asked as he walked into the cubicle.

“None other, I think,” he answered, looking up from his PC.

“Look, uh, HR has some questions for you. I don’t really know what’s it’s all about, but they seemed rather insistent that you call them. Uh, the sooner the better, I you know what I mean.”

Marc walked away leaving him to think about what he’d say to them. ‘Yes, I didn’t actually graduate from all those schools, in fact, I didn’t attend any of them. David Scott Andrews is completely made up. I’m not who you think I am.’ Maybe, no, there was no question of making that call. He had to leave and start over in some other city, possibly not attempting to lose himself in a large corporation where you just might run into an HR person who would actually check the references.

Ready?

What?

Are you ready to be inducted? Well, no, I suppose you’re not, no one is, but you haven’t been before, so this is all new to you isn’t it?

Uh, no and yes.

Oh, good, you have a sense of humor. That will help, you know.

They walked out into the whiteness. There was nothing to be seen all around him, no lines on the floor, nothing except the bright, white light.

I suppose all of this machinery is quite imposing, right?

What machinery?

Oh, yes, I keep forgetting that the non-inducted can’t see here. That’ll all be different, soon.

They came to a large black kiosk that had a diameter of about six feet. The short man opened a door in the side. Inside, there was nothing except more bright white light.

Step in, please, we need to acquire your mirror image.

Current Mood: content content
Current Music: Santa Bring My Baby Back, Elvis Presley

Let's hear what you're thinking . . .
“John, where the hell have you been?” Bill asked as he walked into his partner’s office. When they first set up their own legal practice Bill was the one who suggested something out of the downtown core. They had a beautiful view of the bay and all the ships that came to their city. At the time he thought that was a good idea since his childhood dream had been to become the captain of a ship like those.

Now, looking at the man who was fucking his wife, he was only sickened by the watery stillness of the fogbound view. As much to lessen the queasiness of what he would do in the next few seconds as to rid himself of the putrefaction of his marriage, he raised the .38 and aimed at his onetime friend’s torso.

Three explosive bursts resounded in his head as he walked over to adulterer. He felt nothing as he bent slightly and put one shot of insurance into the man’s head.

Very good! I haven’t seen that kind of dream in eons. You know, son, you do have a lot to get out of your system.

What are you doing here? Wait you’re the old man who I saw earlier.

Yes, guilty as charged. As you were I think, but no matter, we need to get you to induction and then find you a guide. I should’ve handled this myself, but a man can only do so much and help is so hard to find these days. Come along now, back to your body.

He sat on a white metal-framed bed covered with white sheets only. The walls of the room were so inky black he could not perceive the corners. Above and below was the same now familiar bright whiteness. He was naked. There was an IV inserted in his left hand into which a dark red fluid (blood?) dripped. A short, pudgy man with an acne scarred face suddenly appeared in the room.

Ah, yes, there you are. We’ve been waiting for you.

I was . . .

Yes, yes, doesn’t matter now. Let’s see, ah yes, your IV is doing nicely. We were worried about you at first, but it looks like we’ll be able to induct you in the morning. Now, what would you like for your final meal? We can do anything, absolutely anything.

Final?

Current Mood: content content

Let's hear what you're thinking . . .
Come on, you two, get on out here. Now!

You gotta wake up.

We have to get you out of here.

Why? I have to find someone over there.

Come on, He’s here and we have to get out now.

Who’s here?

Him!

Him who?

Him!

Look I don’t even know who I am. So how do you expect me to know who he is?

Okay you two, out of there right now. Leave the unguided, I’ll tend to him myself.

Well, I guess that’s it then.

Good luck, because you’re goin’ to need it.

Yeah, good luck. You remember how to go back.

Yeah, I think so. Don’t you do it like this?

What were you two doing in that unguided’s dream? He hasn’t been inducted yet.

We were trying to get him out.

He’s been falling asleep and we didn’t know what else to do.

He hasn’t been inducted. Okay, you two go wherever it is you belong. I’ll take care of this one.

Whew! I thought we were in for it. Good thing we don’t have to watch.

Yeah! That one’s gonna get it. Damn, is he gonna get it.

Current Mood: content content

Let's hear what you're thinking . . .
Look at his eyes, he’s doin’ it again.

Set him down. We’ll have to go in and get him.

Do you think we should? I mean, that’s not something in the rule book.

He would want us to take care of this ourselves instead of calling for help. You know how He gets when someone doesn’t take initiative.

Well, okay, but you’ll have to lead me in, I’ve never actually done this.

Shut your eyes and hold my hand. Yeah, now think about apples.

Why apples?

So we’re thinking the same thing, stupid. Geesh, didn’t you read the book. Okay, there you are. Now, just follow as we step into his mind.

Damn! Where the heck are we?

That’s water over there and this is sand we’re standing on. This must be a beach. Maybe we’re on the coast somewhere.

Don’t get me to lying. I’m from Iowa so I don’t know nothin’ about beaches. You think that’s the ocean over there?

Probably, but where is he. Do you see anyone?

Way down that a way. Look you can barely see him. We gotta hurry before he transitions to some other location.

Geesh, look at that city up ahead. We’ll never find him in there. Come on! We have to run for it.

Hey, dude, what the heck do you think you’re doing?

How did you two get in my dream?

What are you two doing in this unguided’s dream and what is he doing asleep?

Oh shit! It’s Him.

Current Mood: content content
Current Music: Rattled, The Travelling Wilburys

Let's hear what you're thinking . . .
“Good morning, Dave, nice to see you at the office so early in the morning,” the woman said as he walked in out of the latest downpour. They’d been getting a lot of them lately. Some people thought it was a result of global warming, others said it was El Niño, while others said this same thing happened back in ’67 but everyone was so interested in the war in Vietnam then they didn’t notice the rain.

“It’s not that late,” he said shaking of his raincoat and dropping his umbrella in the office’s communal bin, a round file, rectangular actually, given a new purpose in life. His feet were wet through his wet shoes and wet socks. When he was younger, didn’t they have something called rubbers to put over your shoes so that they didn’t get soaked in the rain? And, then, rubbers became condoms, or at least to snickering teenagers.

Look at his eyes, he’s doin’ it again!

Wake up!

Doesn’t he realize we’ll get in trouble if he keeps sleeping?

He’s new.

Wake up!

A cow stood in a field of clover chew her cud. She was a Holstein, the white and black splotched kind. Not a Guernsey or a Jersey, neither of which he’d ever seen, except maybe it was his grandparents who had a Jersey cow. It definitely wasn’t a Holstein. He would’ve remembered that.

A firm jostle on his shoulder.

Wake up!

Please wake up, please.

Sleep, I need sleep.

You can’t sleep until you’ve gone through induction.

Please, just a little longer. Try to keep your eyes open just a little longer.

Current Mood: content content
Current Music: Memory, Ferrate & Teicher

Let's hear what you're thinking . . .
Wake up!

Wake up!

A jostle on his shoulder.

We’ll have to transport him.

Opening his eyes, the bright light returned to his reality. The dream. What was the dream about? Was that him? Who was the woman? He was on a litter being carried through the light. Two men, dressed in what seemed to be the required uniform for this place, laid him on a litter and picked it up. The shorter of the two was in front.

Where are you taking me?

You didn’t wake up.

You were in a restricted zone.

No, she said I had to stay on the far side of the red line.

You weren’t and you were asleep.

Sleep is not authorized at this time.

Where are you taking me?

Induction.

Where?

Induction.

Unfortunately, this should’ve occurred at admittance. Now it will be much more difficult, maybe painful, but whatever happens between now and then, you mustn’t go back to sleep. You’re not authorized to sleep until you have been inducted.

I have to sleep.

Not now!

Current Mood: happy happy
Current Music: Univited, Alanis Morissette

Let's hear what you're thinking . . .