Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Iron Thorns

Iron Thorns (Written in 2001)
by, Melissa R. Mendelson

We live in a world that makes Hell look like a playground.  Violence and Racism breed within the ignorant and grow through the injustice that we digest in the news.  We blame everyone else for our problems while the real cause is within the mirror.  We capture scapegoats and butcher them for our young while our young grow more primal.  We attack people and their views when sometimes the Truth needs to be heard.  We have fallen down the ladder and no longer can claim our humanity because our humanity has been shredded by our selfish needs and desires. We are nothing but animals looking to destroy each other if not use one another to be the king of the jungle.  So, come with me into Dante's Inferno, where we will sit on the fiery swings and watch our world grow more dark while Pandora throws Hope back into the box and locks it tight.  Let's slide down the slide into Mother Nature's dead earth because we will live to see the day that she comes after us in all her fury.  Let's hang upside - down on the molten monkey bars to let our minds slip further into emptiness.  Let's play until we die, so we may escape this prison.  If we would just realize that all people are created equal and bring back Justice not chained or blind and stop blaming the bullshit that goes on in our lives on others, we would no longer have to play here.  In the meantime, Welcome to Hell.   

Along The Rails

Along The Rails
Melissa R. Mendelson

The train was late again.  Commuters muttered with disgust, and time flashed across small, thin screens.  An announcement overhead informed those freezing in the winter cold air that the train would be arriving at the station ten minutes later than expected, and the waiting room downstairs was well-heated for those suffering from deep freeze.  But by the time the passengers make their way down the escalators to that room, the train would have come and gone, and the next one would not be until another hour or so.

Shoving his hands into his pockets, William stomped his feet against the concrete platform.  His toes tingled from the cold, and his hands were becoming numb.  White clouds of air escaped his lips, and his ears waited anxiously to hear the train.  And tears stung his eyes from the bitter wind, and again he stomped his feet.

The approach of the train silenced the chill racing through him.  As the doors swung open, warm air struck him in the face, and winter was quickly left outside.  A seat was taken beside the window, and the train lurched forward.  And commuters around him moaned at being late to work, but not him.  He had only one place in mind today, and he wondered if that man would be there again.

The ride to his destination would take almost an hour, and the train would make several stops before he arrived.  So, the only thing to do in the meantime was to lean back in his seat and relax, but sleep would not find him here.  Nobody talked about the tension that rode beside them, but there was no trust left to allow your eyes to close.  Instead, people occupied themselves with reading or listening to music, but not him.  His attention fell on the flat television screen in the corner of the car that he rode in.

"Today at the eleventh hour of this morning, a memorial service will be held on the outskirts of Long Island to remember that day forever marked in history, where so many lives were lost and our world changed," a reporter stated.  "There were no warnings given as the Tsunami slammed into Long Island, breaking it apart, and there was no time to react as it fell into the Long Island Sound.  And only this small piece of land near Great Neck remains, and here you can see all these people behind me already placing lit candles on wreaths into the water to remember those loved and lost."

The train came to a halt, and commuters flowed in and out of the doors.  Feet stomped the cold and snow away from where they stood, and bodies quickly filled empty seats.  Attention turned to hand-held gadgets, and the train lurched forward.  And the ride continued.

His destination was approaching.  He didn’t want to be late.  Sometimes, that man stayed there all day, but other times, he was gone in a blink of an eye.  And William wasn’t sure why this man captured his attention, but there was something in his eyes when he watched the world go by.  And William wanted to know what that was.

"Final Stop.  Great Neck."

The announcement came a minute before the train reached its destination.  Only a few passengers were left.  It was another day taken off from work, but lately, William wondered what the point of his job was.  What was there to his life, and why did he do nothing but work every day of it?  He felt like he was disappearing.

A memorial park had been created in Great Neck near the waterfront.  There were swings, slides and monkey bars, and there were also hand-painted, golden benches.  And William would take a stroll through here on his days off.  Last week, he found him sitting on one of those benches, crying, and when he took a seat beside him, the man was gone.  But he returned the very next day.

The man wore a long, brown trench coat with white sneakers, and a baseball cap covered his bald head.  He never seemed cold or warm, and he never spoke.  He just watched people walk by like he was not even there, and he listened to their conversations.  And he would begin to cry.

Today, he was there.  He sat in the same position with his arms slightly crossed and his legs tucked under the bench.  His eyes watched people walk by, holding wreaths and candles in their hands, and he gave them a nod.  They didn’t seem to notice, and his eyes fell onto the waterfront.  And a dozen lit candles attached to wreaths held his attention, and a tear slid down his cheek.

"Morning."  William took a seat beside him.  "It’s cold today."  The man did not respond.  "Clear skies, though.  It’s perfect for the memorial service.  Are you here for the service?"  The man looked away.  "Can’t believe it’s been three years."  A tear slid down the man’s cheek.  "All those people…"  The man gave him a nod, which was a first.  "Did you lose someone here?  Someone close?"

"I lost everyone."  That was the first that William ever heard him spoke.  "I could not save them."

"Nobody could."

Silence fell around them.  It seemed like a lot of people took today off, and small crowds continued to walk by, oblivious to the two watching them.  And maybe his supervisor would understand why he did not come in today.  He was from Long Island, but then he moved to Queens to cut down the commute to work.  But that was not why he came.

"I can’t tell you what you seek."  The man glanced at him.  "You left before it was too late."

"Before what was too late?"

"The Tsunami."

Maybe it was guilt that brought him here originally.  He lived on Long Island all his life, and he knew many that died.  He had decided to move on the spur of the moment, thinking it was the right choice, and then Long Island was destroyed.  And he was cut off from a world that he knew and loved.

The man beside him continued to cry, and William noticed something odd about his tears.  They were almost like little crystals, and as they fell, they disappeared.  There was no trace of water or tearstains on the man’s pants or the ground.  It was like he was never crying, and no sobs escaped the one sitting beside him.  But the tears were real.

"Why are you crying?"  He asked that question only once or twice before, and the man never answered him.  "Is it because of what happened?"  Now, the man stared right at him, almost intently.  "Is it for them?"

"For them and for you."  The man brushed some tears off his cheek.  "I wish I could talk to them."

"Talk to who?"

"The dead."  William was about to say something, but the man cut him off.  "I would tell them that I was sorry."  He glanced at William.  "I am sorry, and that is why I cry."

"I don’t understand."

"I don’t expect you to, William."

"How…  How do you know my name?"

"I know everything."  The man looked at his feet.  "I know that after a great tragedy, life goes on."  His eyes returned to William.  "And life will always go on."

"Do you know what I see?"  The man looked at him, questioningly.  "I see us living but not living."

"This is not the life you wanted."


"But you’re alive."

"I know, and I shouldn’t complain.  I wasn’t there when it happened."  William stared out at the waterfront.  "Maybe, I should have been."

"There’s a reason why you weren’t."  The man turned away.  "It’s good to have hope."

"What if I lost it?"

"I doubt that."  The man smiled.  "You were always a believer."  His smile faded.  "I can’t save everyone, William."  He rose from the bench.  "But maybe I can save you."

"You never told me how you knew my name."  William tossed a pebble toward the waterfront.  "How do you know me?"

The man was gone.  William’s eyes raced along the park, but there was no sign of him.  The swings gently rocked back and forth with invisible riders, and the wind slipped across the slide.  And people continued to move on by without a second glance at him, and he sat alone, looking for the one that vanished.

Then, something out of the corner of his eye caught his attention.  It was a small, white feather drifting nearby.  It was soft against his skin, and it felt warm.  Where did this come from?

The memorial service had begun.  Dozens of people clustered together as a priest read the prayers.  A train flew through the station, and the next one would not arrive for another hour or so.  And William followed a small crowd of people that passed by.  He would pay his respects to those he loved and lost and to those, who never had a chance.  As a dozen lit candles attached to wreaths floated across the waterfront, he started to cry, and as he did, someone touched his shoulder.  But when he turned around, nobody was there, and he felt guilty for hating his life.  He was still here, and he was still alive.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

A Letter to the CW

May 23, 2006

Dear Dawn Ostroff:

Suspense tingles along the spine as goose bumps rise on my skin.  My gaze settles on those that will determine the next course of action, and a voice cries out from within to warn them of danger.  Poised on the edge of my seat, I can only watch and wait to see what happens next.  But the suspense will linger through this season and the next, but that is why I love TV shows such as the Supernatural.

Many TV stations especially the Warner Brothers (WB) channel has a long history of running TV shows such as X-Files, Buffy: The Vampire Slayer, Angel, Charmed, Smallville, and maybe even the Supernatural.  These shows provide many with the escape that they need from their lives and the world around them.  These shows fill us with fear and hope, and some of us even connect to the characters that we watch every time it is on or replayed.  For an hour, we live in their world, and a thirst for more continues to haunt us, never to be quenched.  

Reality TV Shows can only do so much, but they will never satisfy that need in us, that need to fear or feel strength.  These shows can never provide the escape that so many seek for as the title dictates, it is after all reality TV.  If more TV shows such as the Supernatural are extinguished before their prime, many will turn away from television altogether in disgust and in search of other means of escaping the confines of their lives and their world.

Some TV stations know this such as FOX.  This TV station provides viewers with hit shows such as 24, Prison Break, and House.  Many are drawn to it for the intricacies in the plot, the conflicted characters, the twists and turns that keep us spinning until the end, and nurturing that thirst for more and more.  FOX truly defines the escape that we so need to close that door on the real world, but the WB is one step behind them in providing the same thing.

I urge you to consider renewing the Supernatural for, at least, one more season.  Keep a close eye on the ratings.  Please do not turn a deaf ear on the fans that yearn to see the show and its characters return to the network one more time.  Give it a chance.  You might be surprised at how much potential has been dormant in that show until now, and it might just become another long-running TV show such as the ones before it.


Melissa R. Mendelson


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Forever Soldiers

Forever Soldiers
by, Melissa R. Mendelson

Faces of them
are held before me.
Faces of those
that brought the world here.

And I see
them march forward,
ready to continue
to change the world
for the better,
for all of us.

Walls of eternity
carry their name.
The flags are raised high
in their honor.
Names forever
echo in history,
and here we see
the forever soldiers.
Here we see
the forever soldiers.

Children today
run and play
in a world
changed by war,
but if they did not fight,
would we have
what we have today?

And the tears still fall
down on those graves
that we sadly still have
in these days of war.
And the tears still fall
down our faces
as our sons and daughters
go off to change the world,
to save the world.


I'm not one for war.
My heart is peace.
My dreams live hope.
I'm not one to fight,
but sometimes we have no choice
in a chaos world,
and if we don't fight,
our freedom will die.
What will be left with
but the unknown darkness
and a void that I cannot dare
live in.
So fight we must.
Fight we must.
Our freedom needs us.
We need to be the forever soldiers.

Chorus: (twice)

Monday, October 20, 2014

Porcelain - Chapter One

by, Melissa R. Mendelson

Chapter One:

Red paint peeled back and then rolled away.  A cool breeze stirred and drifted across a calm lake.  No clouds in the sky, but the wind still danced.  And the sun still shined.  Bare feet lifted upward, pulling another wooden splinter out, and then eyes cast out over the back porch and toward the water.  And fingers then continued to bite down into the red table nearby, peeling back red paint and rolling it away.

The screen door slammed closed.  Aunt August was a tall blonde, who was now really showing signs of gray.  Her nails were always done, and she hated to dress down.  But today, she was dressed in jeans and a stylish t-shirt.  Her flip flops smacked against the wooden, red boards, and her body collapsed into a plastic lawn chair.  She was tired, but more than that, she was annoyed.  She didn’t need any more stress, but she was called here.  And the discussion ensued inside.

“You really need to buy a pair of flip flops.”  The young girl beside her didn’t answer.  “No more Horror movies.  He’s tired of being woken up every night with screaming and carrying on.  It’s not right.  You should be asleep at eleven not staying up at all hours of the night.”

“I’m sorry.”

“I know, Paige, but he doesn’t need this.  Neither do I.  This is not why I asked you to come here for the summer.”

“I know.”

“Do you?  If I didn’t have to work this summer, you would probably go home.”  Her aunt sighed loudly and was quiet for a moment.  “I explained to my father, your grandfather that you need to be here.  He can’t be left alone.”  Paige just nodded in agreement.  “It’s only the end of June, Paige.  You just got here, and I need you to be here until, at least early August.  Okay?”


“So, please, don’t aggravate your grandfather.  Last summer was very hard on him with your grandmother passing, and it’s a year later.  Okay?”

“Okay.”  Paige continued to pick at the table near her legs.  “I won’t trouble him.”

“Good, and stop picking.”  Her aunt rose up from her seat and walked toward the screen door.  “I’m making lunch now, so you want to come inside?”

“Yes.”  Paige slowly rose up from her wooden chair and took a step forward.  “Ow.”  She got another splinter,

“Get some flip flops, Paige.  There’s a dollar bus that will pick you up and take you into town.”  Her aunt walked into the house.

“Freaking splinters,” Paige muttered under her breath as she limped into the house.

Paige’s grandfather sat at a small, round table.  He glanced up at her and then looked away.  His white hair was combed back, and his blue eyes were red, tired from trouble sleeping.  Part of that was Paige’s fault.  She loved to have the television set on loud, and this was a small, one-level house.  His room was right near the den, and he was a very light sleeper.  Paige knew better, but she forgot.  At least, that’s what she told herself.

After removing the most recent splinter, Paige washed her hands in the bathroom and then returned to the kitchen.  She chose the chair furthest away from her grandfather.  He was still angry at her, and her aunt was still annoyed.  Maybe, coming here was a mistake, but Paige didn’t want to be home.  She just wanted to be left alone, and coming here would kind of give her that.

“Tomorrow’s Monday.”  Her aunt placed a sandwich in front of her grandfather and then another one in front of Paige.  “I won’t be back till seven.  I’ll bring something in.”  Her grandfather’s eyes lit up.  “No fast food.”  Her grandfather grew disappointed.  “You have to watch your sodium, but I can get some low sodium deli or something.”  Her grandfather snarled at that, and Paige started to giggle.  “Maybe, tuna fish.”

“I hate tuna.”

“I know, Paige,” and she realized that response was because she giggled.  “I’ll bring something in.  Paige, do the dishes afterward.  I have to go.”

“You’re leaving?”

“Yeah.  I was supposed to meet a friend, but you know.”

Paige knew very well.  After waking her grandfather up in the middle of the night because Freddy Krueger was hacking up his latest victim, her grandfather didn’t even wait to call his daughter.  She didn’t get that much sleep because of Paige.  Another reason she was tired, and Paige felt guilty.  No more Horror movies, but that would be the worst of it.  Paige had other things in mind that could occupy her, and it wouldn’t disturb her aunt or grandfather.  “I know,” Paige responded.

“Good.”  Her aunt kissed her father on top of his head, giving his shoulder a light squeeze, and then she waved briefly at Paige.  “I will be back in a couple of hours.  You two behave,” and her grandfather grunted at that.

The heavy, black front door moaned loudly as it opened.  Then, it quickly slammed shut.  Her grandfather could fix the door, but with Paige here, he would know when she was coming or going.  She could always slip out the back, but that was a pain in the ass.  The backyard used to have such a beautiful garden, but after her grandmother died, the weeds took over.  She would have to hack her way through them and make her way to the gate and then struggle with the locked gate door.  It always jammed, even when she was a kid, but eventually, the door would swing open.

“I’m going to watch some tv.”  Her grandfather rose from the table, wiped his mouth with his napkin, and then placed it on top of his plate.  “What are you going to do?”

“I don’t know.”

“Well, I’ll be in the den,” and with that said, he left the room.

Paige finished the rest of her lunch.  Then, she did the dishes.  Her aunt did mention the dollar bus that would pick her up and take her into town.  She could do that, but she wasn’t supposed to leave her grandfather alone.  So, she wouldn’t.  Instead, she put the dishes away and walked into the guest room.

Like with the kitchen, the guest room was black and white.  Her grandmother, may she rest in peace, loved black and white.  Even the covers and sheets were black and white, and the bed creaked under Paige’s weight.  She really didn’t weigh a lot, but the bed creaked nonetheless.  And she lied there for a good while, thinking about nothing.

Paige’s eyes slowly roamed around the room.  Two beds.  One large closet.  One large, wooden dresser with a mirror attached.  A desk and chair, and a bookcase.  When Paige first got here, she lined up all her favorite books from Stephen King and Anne Rice on those shelves, but she didn’t feel like reading now.  On the third shelf was her Horror movies.  Maybe, if she went into town, she would sell them.  She could use the money, and she wasn’t allowed now to watch them here.  Or she could wait until she went home and take them back with her, but she didn’t want to go home so soon.  She wanted time alone, and now, she was alone.  So as the wind drifted through the open window, Paige slowly dozed off into a gentle sleep.

Porcelain is a completed 21,982 word Mystery/Suspense/Horror novel haunting the footsteps of stories told through the likes of Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and Anne Rice.

It is currently looking for a home.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

2007 - Present

Semi-Finalist and Finalist, Gotham Screen's Screenplay Competition

Second Prize Winner, WRHammons Fiction Contest

Publication: Names in a Jar: A Collection of Poetry by 100 Contemporary American Poets

Appearance: Homework (ABC News Program):  http://abcnews.go.com/Video/playerIndex?id=3600484

Appearance: Cinematherapy

Quarter-Finalist, 15th Annual Writer’s Network Screenplay and Fiction Competition

Doll House (Short Story), Bartleby Snopes Literary Magazine

Appearance: The Writing Show

Session I and II (Short Stories), Glass Cases

Trials of Youth (Short Story), Memoirs of Meanness

Essence (Short Story), Bartleby Snopes Literary Magazine

Second Chance (Short Story), Glass Cases

Lizardian, Top 5 Screenplays/NYC Midnight

Time's Karma (Short Story), Hampton Literary Journal

Summer Over The Death of My Youth (Short Story), Glass Cases

Dark Blue Heroes of Honor (Poem), Poets for Living Waters

Finalist of NewsPortalSite’s Writing Contest, Haunted By Regret (Short Story)

Discussion (Short Story), Fiction 365

Waiting (Short Story), Mouse Tales Press

Winter Green (Poem), By The Millpond Newsletter

When The Dust Settles (Short Story), Bartleby Snopes Literary Magazine

Gadfly OnlinePassenger; No Leaders Among Men

Quarter-Finalist, Waken Dream, NEXTV's Writing Pitch Competition

Our Lives, Our City, Our Dreams (Article) Yahoo! News

Storm Coming (Short Story), Glass Cases

Clay Pigeon (Short Story), Mouse Tales Press

Publication: Whispers in the Night, Espresso Fiction: A Collection of Flash Fiction for the Average Joe

One Mile Left to Go (Short Story), Jolt Literary Journal

Gadfly OnlineWe Are The Villains Of This Story; Letters Cast Away; Leaving Nowhere Behind; After Dark: My Favorite TV Shows; My First Taste of Road Rage; Bleeding Through Reality (Let The Fiction In); Rampage; Going Haywire

Deep Dreams of the Beating Heart (Poem), India's The Eternity Magazine

Poem: Dreams Under Silver (Saving the Monroe Movie Theatre), The Photo News

Bittersweet Farewells (Short Story), Mouse Tales Press

Appearance: Haywire Series Episodes 17 and 18

Gadfly Online: Living According to Tolstoy, Welcome Back to Tango of the Road Rage Drivers, When I Tried To Become A 9-1-1 Operator, Alarm Set, King of the Lonely Hill, Never in Stone, Saving Gifted Men and a Touch of Paranormal, (Alien) Baby Got Back, Glass Eyes, One Way Ticket, Friendship Rises Over The Dead Zone, Hail to the Three Kings, Baby, The Death of the State Employee, Heroes in Dark, Beyond The Spielberg Dream (My Love of Science-Fiction), A Brief Glimpse Over The Edge, Ghost in the Sands of White (For Walter White), Bye, Bye Mr. Burn Notice Spy, Simple Thoughts, Feeling Yourself Explode (My Take on Being Mad as Hell), Never Meant to Love

Waiting For The Fall (Short Story), Fiction 365

Gadfly Online: Burning Down The Doll House, Over The Porch, Concrete Dreams, Front Page, Cruising Along Fate's Darkness, Where I Hit Record, The Trouble with Past Lives, NeedlePoint, Rhythm of Life, Checkmate, The NY State of Mind Does Not Brake For Enlightenment, You Killed Me Before, Guns Talk (A Parody of 'Little Talks' by Of Monsters and Men, Bleu Room with a Red Vase: Catching A Star At Jones Beach, Dialing The 4400 (A Parody of Adele's song, Set Fire To The Rain), 'Slip and Fall': A Review of Nick Santora's 2007 Thriller, Movies That Speak Volumes, Faded Shades of Rainbow, Remembering The Final Cut: Dedicated to Robin Williams, Don't Forget To Tip Your Cows, Lies (Parody of Sia's song, Chandelier), I Am A Clone, Here We Go Again (Another Tango Driver), Gold Beyond Blue, If Sam Axe Died, Unions

Poem: Behind The Door, Soul Fountain Vol. #47

Poetry: Discovered and Dreams Always (For Paul Walker), Soul Fountain Vol. #48 Final Print Edition