Friday, February 12, 2016

Fall Out

“Are you there?”

“I’m here.”


“I’m thinking.”

“If you don’t want to, you don’t have to.”

“It’s not that.”

“Then, what is it?”

Sitting back in her seat, Raven Yanders stared at her computer screen.  Her fingers hung suspended over the keyboard.  Her eyes clung to the words, “What is it?”  Cracking her neck, she glanced about her study and smiled at her cat, who was curled up on the floor nearby.  “What is it?”

Her fingers flew over the keyboard before pushing the button, Enter.  They paused as she waited for his response.  Eagerly, her fingers waited to start tapping across the keyboard again.

“You tell me what it is.”

Smiling, Raven knew that she would do it.  She loved to do it.  She just hated breaking away at the end.  “Meet you there.”

Pushing a button on the side of her computer, a hive of wires came out from behind the machine.  They hovered over her for a moment.  Another moment later, the wires struck her body, pinching her skin with tiny needles, and wrapping around her.

Suddenly, Raven found herself in a ballroom.  She wore a white, long dress as well as long, white gloves.  Her glass slippers echoed across the floor as she hurried over to a man dressed in a black suit.

“Why were you stalling?”  Raven smiled despite herself.  “Did I do something wrong the last time?”  Her smile faded.

“No.  It’s…  It’s just that I am getting used to this, Dave.  It’s getting harder and harder to break away from this…  Reality.”  He moved her into his arms.  “I would love to stay here forever and not go back.”

“But we have to go back.  Our bodies would die, if we left them alone for too long.”

“But wouldn’t our minds remain here?”  They looked at each other.  “We wouldn’t really die, would we?”  Concern etched across his face.

“I don’t know.”  He started to dance with her.  “Some say that when you die, you move on to another existence.  Others say that once you die, you disappear, and would the world miss you?  Would they know, if you were ever here?”  Raven followed his lead.

“What world?  Have you looked out your window lately?”

“I try not to.”  Dave rested his chin on Raven’s head.

“We live in isolation.”  Raven pressed against him.  “I haven’t felt a warm body against mine in a long time.”

“But we survived.”  They moved across the ballroom as soft music filled the room.  “We survived.”

“Sometimes, I think we shouldn’t have.”  They paused in their dance.  “All those people…”


“Dave, we have to talk about it.”  He moved away from her.  “We can’t ignore it.  It’s right outside our window.  It’s there!  Whether or not we want to deal with it, it’s there.”  He looked at her.  “Look what we did!”

“We didn’t do this, Raven.”

“Didn’t we?”  She moved toward him.  “I want a life with you, Dave.  Our chance meeting in cyberspace was the only happiness I have known in such a long time, and I can’t even really touch you.”

“But you can.”  He grabbed her up in his arms and held her tight.

“It’s not real.”  Raven burst into tears.  “None of this is real.”  She continued to cry.

“But if not for this creation, the rest of us would have gone insane a long time ago.”  He listened to her cries.  “I love you.”

“I love you too.”  They kissed.  “I wish you were really here and not wherever you really are.”

“Maybe, one day, that will change.”  Raven frowned.  “The world will come back again.”

“Something tells me that it won’t this time.”  She moved away from him.  “I have to go.  I have to feed the cat.”  He looked surprised.  “She survived like I survived.”

“Keep her safe.  They’re nearly extinct.”  He vanished a moment later.

“So are we.”  She vanished from the room.

Watching the wires retreat to the back of the computer, Raven rubbed her skin.  Little, red bumps met her gaze.  A dribble of blood raced down her shoulder and onto her lap.

Sighing, Raven stood up from her chair.  She moved toward the window.  Her hand rested on the torn curtain that blocked her view of the world outside.

“What do you think, Shadow?”  She glanced at her cat.  “Should I look?”  Her cat whimpered in response.  “I need to look.”

Tearing away the curtain, Raven stared outside.  Her eyes filled with tears.  She could make out shapes lying in the snow and shivered at the thought of who they really were.  Her lips quivered as she returned to looking out at the nuclear winter before her.

Fall Out
by, Melissa R. Mendelson

Written September 5, 2007

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

My Imaginary Friend

My Imaginary Friend
by, Melissa R. Mendelson

I was not born into this world like you were.  I can’t see.  I can’t hear.  My days are spent mostly inside a room.  When it’s really hot, I know it’s winter.  When it’s cold, I know it’s summer.  When the breeze drifts through the room, it’s either spring or fall.  To me, they are both the same thing.

My mother’s introduction is the hairbrush running through my hair.  It sends shivers down my body.  When she pulls, even though I don’t think she means to, I know she’s angry or sad.  I reach for her hand, and the air between us feels like a magnet lifting a nail off the floor.  How would I know such things?  I’ve been in this room for a very long time, and I’ve had a lot of toys to play with.

My father’s introduction is both frightening and thrilling.  He would lift me up in the air, toss me as high as he could, and I would stretch my arms out, begging to fly.  He caught me every time, pushing me into his chest, feeling his heart against mine.  He loved me so much.  Maybe, he loved me more than my mother for she rarely hugged me in such a way that when she leaves the room, I always feel cold.  All I want is one more touch, but she’s the one that pulls away.  But I know it’s not my fault, and they’re trying.  They’re both trying, and so am I.

Things changed when they brought the baby home.  I don’t know if it is a boy or girl.  The face feels so small, so wrinkly.  The baby squirmed in my arms, and after a long moment, the baby was taken away.  And an absence stole across my heart, but no, I was wrong.  We were still a family plus one, but my mother’s hairbrush became random.  And my father did not toss me up like a bird as he often used to, and this room…  This room started to feel like a prison.

It was shortly after that when he arrived.  He would take my hands into his and make me clap.  He would make me clap so hard, but it was not meant to hurt me.  It was his introduction, and when my hands began to throb, he would stop.  He would sit beside me.  How would I know this?  I could feel him.

He played with my hair.  Sometimes, he made a braid.  Sometimes, he would make a ponytail.  Other times, he would run his fingers through my hair, reminding me of my mother.  I would be so absorbed with the shivers running through me that I would never see the tickle fest coming, and he would tickle me until I couldn’t breathe.  And then we would both laugh.  I was assuming that I was laughing because my face stretched wide, and the air raced into my mouth.  I could swallow the world down, but then we would grow still.  And when he leaves me, I would feel that absence once more.

Some more time passed.  A breeze entered the room.  Winter was over.  The baby would be older now.  My parents hardly came in here except to feed and change me.  Maybe, once it got warmer, they would take me outside.  I loved feeling the grass against my feet.  I loved touching the flowers, feeling the sun warm my skin, the breeze rustling through my hair.  I wanted to go outside.  I was tired of being in here, of being alone, being trapped in this room.  It was only when he visited me that I felt alive, and here he was again.

Today, he seemed more quiet.  He played with my hair for a bit.  He pulled on my cheek, making me smile.  Then, I felt his hand over mine, and he was pulling me to my feet.  At first, I wasn’t sure of what he wanted, but then I realized that he was leading me out of the room.  And I was afraid.  I refused to go, and then I felt something wet on my cheek.  Did he just kiss me?

My heart soared, and I grabbed his hand in mine.  He led me gently down the stairs.  I recognized the stairs because my parents once helped me up and down the stairs, and before I knew it, we were outside.  The sun greeted me, and I slipped away from him, enjoying the wet grass beneath my skin.  I smiled, and I twirled around and around.  I twirled around and around right into his arms, and I rested my head against his chest.  That’s when I knew, but before I could do anything, my father lifted me up off the ground like he used to.  I thought he was playing, but then I realized.  He was taking me back into the house, back into the room.  Where was my friend?  Where was he?  Was he coming with me, but I couldn’t feel him.  So, I started to cry, and my parents responded by putting me in the bed.

It was some time before he arrived again.  He sat on the bed beside me.  He knew that I knew, but it was our secret.  And I reached for him, and finally, finally I felt him touch my hand.  It’s okay, I wanted to say, but he knew.  He knew.  He was after all my imaginary friend.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Between The Lines

Between The Lines (Old Story)
by, Melissa R. Mendelson

“Morning, John.”

“Is it?  It’s hard to tell when there are no windows in the room and bright lights on the ceiling.”
The man laughed as he took off his brown overcoat and felt hat.  His black suit underneath appeared to be something a lawyer would wear, but this man was no attorney.  His bald head with the exception of brown hair on the sides and in the back gleamed from the ceiling lights as his brown eyes focused on John.  His black loafers scratched the floor as he turned to examine him.

“How are you feeling?”

“That’s redundant, isn’t it?”  The man smiled.  “Your friend enjoys using me as a piƱata.”

“My friend…  Oh, you mean Teddy.  He’s not my friend.”

Moving away from him, John said, “I’m sorry, but you haven’t even told me who the hell you are.  I would also like to know why I am here.”

“You can call me Xander.”  The man stood up from the bed.  “Now, before I answer your questions, you have to answer mine.”

“Fine since I’m obviously at your mercy.”  John picked up a pillow in a white sheet from the bed and placed it behind him.

“What is the last thing you remember?”  Xander crossed his arms in front of his chest.

John looked at Xander and then at the mirror.  He tried to concentrate, to remember.  However, he drew a blank.  Only Valerie’s face stood out in his mind.  “Val.”

“Oh.  She is indeed a beautiful and talented girl but very troubled.”  Xander continued to stand by John’s bed.

“Is she why I am here?”

“In a way, but back to my questions first.  What year is it?”

“What?”  John realized that Xander was serious by the stern expression on his face.  “It’s 2001.  I remember leaving work.  It was deadline day at the newspaper.  I was driving home around three in the morning, and…”

“And…” Xander looked at him.

“Something happened.”  John looked confused.

“Would you believe me if I said that it was September 8, 2002?”  John looked shocked.  “It is.”

“It can’t be…” John looked at Xander.  “What did you do to me!”

Before Xander could react, John lunged at him.  He grabbed him by the shoulders and knocked him down to the floor.  He started to choke him when Teddy ran into the room, putting John in a chokehold.

“Let him go!”  Xander rubbed his throat as he stood up from the floor.

“But, sir…” Teddy saw the stern expression on Xander’s face.  “Yes, sir.”  He dropped John onto the floor, who gasped for air.

Xander watched Teddy leave before he leaned over John.  He touched the scars on John’s temples before looking at the bruises on his arms.  He moved away as John watched him.

“There will be no more injections.  You will get a regular meal.  When you have to go to the bathroom, knock twice on the door, and Teddy will take you.  Do you understand?”  Xander sighed as he saw tears slip down John’s face.  “In the meantime, you should be grateful to me.  I saved your life.”  He grabbed his overcoat and felt hat from the bed.  “But don’t believe me.  Instead, believe the newspaper that you worked for.”  He pulled a copy of the paper out of his overcoat and threw it at John.  “I’ll be in touch.”  He left the room.

Rising from the floor, John unfolded a copy of the Black and White Print.  He read the front page and collapsed onto the bed.  The newspaper fell from his hands as he closed his eyes.  He heard the newspaper kiss the floor as the headline flashed in his mind: Black and White News Reporter Dies In Tragic Accident.

Hours later, John was finishing a hungry man meal when Xander returned.  This time, he had a wooden chair in his hands.  John shook his head and wiped his mouth with a paper napkin.  He finished his can of soda before looking at Xander.  “I have questions for you.”

“I bet you do.”  Xander placed the chair between the bed and dresser.  “So, ask them.”  He sat down on the chair but did not take off his felt hat or overcoat.

Pushing the tray aside, John looked at Xander.  The man seemed warm, friendly, but John got the impression that underneath the man’s facade, he was really cold.  This man was no doubt involved in the government especially with the man outside referring to him as sir.  The first question, however, was to ask how he got here.

“What happened the night of the accident?”  Xander folded his hands in his lap.  “Obviously, I never died like the paper said.”

“No, you didn’t die.”  Xander stared at John.

“So, what happened?”

“Well, as your paper stated, it was a Tuesday night, your usual deadline day, and you were driving home around three o’ clock in the morning.  The roads were wet from the rain earlier that night, and as you made a sharp left turn onto the expressway, you slid across the road.  Just as you recovered, a truck rammed into the back of the car and sent you spinning into another car.”

“Now, you wouldn’t have had anything to do with that accident, would you?”

“Why would you ask such a thing?”

“I don’t know.”  John shrugged.  “Maybe, because I do remember you.  I remember seeing you with Valerie outside the newspaper office, or maybe, because I remember seeing you in the coffee shop the morning of the accident.”  John glared at Xander, who looked at him.

“We had nothing to do with that accident.”


“You were only being watched.”

“Watched?  Why?”  Xander looked toward the mirror against the wall.  “Because of what Valerie found in my journals?”  Xander looked at him.  “That’s it, isn’t it?  That’s what led me here.”  John leaned against the wall.  “She betrayed me.”

“She was doing what she thought was right.  She was trying to help you.”

“Bullshit!”  John shook his head.  “So, how did you find her?  How did you know to find her?”


“Was it by accident that you found her, or were you watching her too?”

“John…  Valerie came to us.”  Xander hesitated as he took off his felt hat.  “I did not tell her to leave you, but Valerie could not handle what she had read in your journals.”

“The bitch was not supposed to read it!”  John sat up in bed.  “She promised not to read it.  She promised!”

“What did you really expect, John?  Did you really think that your secret would remain hidden and the two of you would live happily ever after?  A secret like yours could never stay hidden for too long.”

John ran his fingers through his hair when he touched the scars along his temples.  He traced the lines for a few minutes.  He looked over at Xander and realized that he was tense, maybe waiting to see if he would be attacked again.  Xander’s hand was hidden under his coat and seemed to be resting on something.  “Why do I have these scars?”

“Are you ready to hear the truth?”  He studied John.  “Or should I move my chair further away from you?”

John laughed.  “I promise that I will not attack you.”  He smiled as Xander moved his chair closer to him.  “I just want the facts and only the facts.”

Xander’s face became grave.  He folded his hands in front of him and leaned closer.  He cleared his throat and looked at John.  “You almost died that night.”  He watched John but got no reaction.  “We had a car tailing you, and they witnessed everything.  Reacting quickly, we closed off the area and flew you off to an undisclosed hospital.  We kept you under the name John Doe until we knew what to do about your status.”

“My status?”

“You were in a coma.  You’ve only been out of it since the last two weeks.”  He looked down at his hands.

“Where did I die?”

“What?”  Xander realized what John had asked him.  “Oh.  You supposedly never survived the accident.  You were declared dead at the scene, and your body was brought to the morgue.”

“Wasn’t my body identified?”

“No.  Nobody identified your body.  It was put in the ground the very next day.”

John looked at the floor as he digested all that he was told.  He felt the urge to attack Xander, but he knew that he was hiding something underneath his coat.  Why else was his coat still on, and what was his hand resting on before?  Warm tears ran down his face as he looked at Xander, who only looked sympathetic.  “And the scars?”

Xander hesitated as his eyes shifted toward the mirror on the wall.  “We didn’t know if you were going to wake up, so we had tests run on you.  We wanted to have an idea about your secret, in case you did die.”  Xander leaned back in his chair.  “However, the tests showed nothing.  They only showed a normal, healthy man.”

“So, where do we go from here?”

“That’s being decided.”

“By your superiors?”  Xander looked surprised and then annoyed.  “I guess you take orders too.”

“Yeah, well, I took up enough of your time right now.  I’ll be back later to check in on you.”  Xander rose from the chair, leaving it behind.  “Is there anything that you want?  Anything you want me to bring back for you?”

“A watch.  At least, I’ll know what time and day it is.”  John laughed as Xander did, but he stopped laughing the minute the door closed behind him.  “You son of a bitch,” he muttered to himself.  “Hey!”  He jumped off the bed.  “Hey, I have to use the bathroom.”  He stood in front of the door.  “I have to use the bathroom.”  Then, he remembered and knocked twice on the door.
Teddy opened the door and gestured for John to follow him.  He pushed John forward as he closed the door behind him.  As Teddy trailed behind him, John took in his surroundings.  They were in a long, white hallway.  Bright lights above blinded him, and his bare feet softly echoed on the white, tiled floor.

Pausing outside the bathroom door, a familiar ring caught John’s attention.  He stood still as he tried to recognize it.  He realized that it was an elevator, and if an elevator led to this floor, that meant that there was a staircase and a possible fire escape.

“Move.”  John jumped as he felt a strong hand on his shoulder.  “Let’s go.”  He looked at Teddy.

“I need my privacy.”

“Forget it,” Teddy growled at him.

“Look, it’s embarrassing for you to watch me go.”  Teddy growled.  “Where am I going?  There are no windows or other doors in this bathroom.”  Teddy shook his head.  “I really need my privacy.  Please.”

“You have five minutes, and then I’m coming in there.  I don’t care if you still have to go because I will drag you out of there.  Got it?”  Teddy looked down at John.

“Got it.”  John entered the bathroom.

“And don’t lock the bathroom door.”  Teddy put his hand against the door just as John was closing it.

“Okay.”  John closed the door as Teddy moved his hand away from it.

After closing the door, John scanned the bathroom for anything that he could use to help him escape.   The white bathroom only had a toilet, shower, and a sink with no medicine cabinet above it.  His eyes fell on a plunger left by the toilet, but he could already imagine Teddy splintering it.  He was trapped.

Sitting on the toilet, John put his face into his hands.  He looked up at the bright ceiling and clenched his hands into fists.  His feet snapped at the tile floor below when a sound caught his attention.
Looking down at the floor, John noticed a large, white tile had slid out of place.  Bending down, he scooped it up in his hands.  His eyes ran over the square, and he noticed that the edges were sharp.
“It’s worth a try.”  John folded his hands over the tile.

A few minutes later, Teddy erupted into the bathroom.  He glared at John, who remained on the toilet with his pants around his ankles.  Shaking his head, he noticed that John was holding his stomach.

“What’s wrong,” Teddy asked.

“I don’t know.”  John grimaced as he looked at Teddy.  “It may have been those hungry man dinners, or my body is still recovering from those drugs that you were giving me.”  He grimaced in pain again.  “My stomach really hurts.”  He looked at Teddy.  “I need something.  Do you have anything?”

“No.”  Teddy frowned as he stood over John.  “Let’s go.  I’ll get you something once you’re back in your room.”

“Are you kidding me!”

“Do I look like I am kidding you?”  Teddy knelt down toward John.

John lunged upward.  His fist connected with Teddy’s jaw, and Teddy staggered backward.  He grabbed his pants with one hand as he struck Teddy again with his other hand.  As Teddy fell down to the floor, John dropped the tile next to him.  He flew out of the bathroom and ran around the corner toward where he had heard that familiar sound.  He let out a loud cry when he saw the elevator.
Entering the elevator, John fought back his tears as he hit the button for the lobby.  He fixed his pants as the elevator descended down to his destination.  He was almost there, he thought.  He was almost there.

As the doors opened, an unpleasant sight met his eyes.  He was in a basement.  Grey cinder blocks stood before him, blocking his escape.  He tried to push past them, but the elevator doors closed him back in.

Frantically pushing any button to stop the elevator from moving upward, John realized that there was no escape.  Somebody knew he was in the elevator.  Somebody was waiting for him when it stopped.  What would he do, he thought.

As the elevator doors parted, John lunged out and into the arms of two security guards.  He swung wildly and connected with one guard, who fell to the ground.  He turned to the other one and bit him on the arm.  Then, he ran, but Xander appeared before him.  He froze at the intensity of rage burning in Xander’s eyes, and a moment later, Xander shot him with his gun.

“I’m sorry, John.”  Xander lowered his gun as everything went black.

Staring up at the ceiling, John rubbed his chest.  He slowly sat up in bed as he looked at the puncture wound on his chest.  He realized that a large dart had struck him instead of a bullet.

Rage filled John as a primal scream escaped his lips.  Snapping out of bed, he grabbed the wooden chair that Xander had left in the room.  He smashed it against the mirror, and thousands of shards rained everywhere, revealing a black mirror hidden behind it.  Sensing that Xander was on the other side of that black glass, John smashed the chair again and again against it, but the chair shattered instead.

John backed away.  He stared at the floor, noticing a long shard near his feet.  He picked it up and looked up at the black glass.  He slowly raised it into the air.  Then, he placed it against his neck.

“No, John.”  Xander’s voice echoed from the black glass.   “John, don’t do it.”  John closed his eyes as a spot of blood formed under the shard.  “We are not going to kill you, so please, put the shard down!”

“Fuck you!”  John opened his eyes to glare at the black glass.  “Fuck you.”

Closing his eyes, John took in a deep breath.  The pain in his neck itched and begged to be silenced.  His hand was growing tired as the shard grew heavier.  It was now or never.

The shard splintered into a million pieces as John threw it to the ground.  Tears ran down his face.  Blood stained his neck.  John glared at the black glass in front of him.  “You win, Xander.  You win.”

Shortly afterward, Xander stood before John, who sat on the floor in the corner of the room.  He was not wearing his overcoat or felt hat.  His holster was empty.  He was only holding one of John’s journals.  “I’m sorry, John.”

“For what?”  John looked at the journal that he was holding.

“That this had to happen to you.  You didn’t have a choice, but you couldn’t run from it either.”  John’s eyes remained locked on the now open journal.   “All these people…  They were all asking for your help to save them, but you didn’t.”  Xander looked at him.

“I couldn’t.”  John closed his eyes.  “I was afraid to.”  He looked at Xander.  “So, I guess I am being punished for that.”

“Maybe.”  Xander looked at him.  “Maybe not.”  He knelt down toward John.  “If you agree to work for us, then every time you have a premonition, you can save them.”

“And what do I get out of it?”

“You can have a life again.”  Xander helped John to his feet.  “You have no reason to trust me.”  Xander hesitated.  “I also shot you.”

“Yeah.”  John rubbed his chest.

“But you would be a fool not to take the offer, John.  Work for us.  Have a life again.”

“That’s it?  Is that the best you can offer me?”

“What else can we offer you?”

“My old life, for starters.”  Xander shook his head.  “Oh, that’s right.  You took that away from me.”

“John, somebody such as yourself with a rare ability to…”

“Stop.  Just stop right there.”

“At least, take some time to consider my offer.”

“And what if I just chose to walk out of here without your offer?”

“You know very well that I can’t just let you walk out of here, and you know what the alternative is.”

“So, I have no choice really unless I play prisoner again.”

“We’re beyond that, John.  You’re going to have to make a choice.”

“You could let me go.”

“John, we can’t.”

“I said you could let me go.”  Xander looked at him.  “You know this is wrong.  You know everything that I’ve been put through is wrong.”  Xander looked toward the door.  “I was never the one who had to make a choice.  It was you.”  Xander looked at him.  “My life is in your hands, and you have to decide what to do with it.”

“It won’t be much of a life that you’ll have with always looking over your shoulder.”

“It will still be my life.”

“And John Daniels is dead as far as anyone else knows.”

“I’m not John Daniels.”  Xander looked at him.  “I’m John Doe.”

“They will find you, John.”

“Let them try.”

“And will you continue to run from yourself as well?”  John looked down at the journal in Xander’s hand.  “This is who you are no matter how much you try to deny that.  You can’t escape your destiny.”

“I understand that now.”

Xander smiled and shook his head.  He looked toward the door, knowing that Teddy was still standing guard.  “Teddy!”

Teddy entered the room.  Glaring at John, he turned his attention toward Xander.  He studied the firm expression on his face.  “We’re letting him go, sir?”

“Yes, we are, so stand down.”

“I will, but only out of respect for you, sir.”  Teddy turned to look at John.  “I hope you know the consequences that this great man will face because of this.”

Relieved, John said, “I do, and I’ll always remember this.”  He walked out of the room.

“John?”  John turned to look at Xander.  “Do you want this?”  Xander gestured to the journal that he was still holding.

John stared at the journal for a moment.  “No.”

“John?”  John turned to look at Xander again.  “You forgot this.”  Xander tossed him a silver Rolex, and John caught it.  “Teddy, make sure he gets out of the building safely, and then he is on his own.”

“Yes, sir.”  Teddy followed John out of the room.

A moment later, Xander remained in the room alone, thumbing through the journal.  He sighed and closed the book.  He looked around the room and started to leave.  Then, he paused and looked at the black glass.  He smiled.  “Good luck, John.”  He moved toward the door.  “We’ll be watching you.” 

Saturday, January 02, 2016

When I Listen To Music

When I Listen To Music
by, Melissa R. Mendelson

When I listen to music, I want to disappear.  I want to melt.  I want to feel.  I want to be alive.  As far back as I can remember, I held onto that record player, looking for that song that would awaken my heart.  Over time, I found many songs, many favorites.  Now, it’s become a search for that one song to remind me that I am still here, I’m still alive, and I melt, I fade, and I feel the Lorraine Maher’s Drowning Song.

Music will always have a place in my soul, and not just one genre.  I’ve listened to them all.  The Jazz.  The Blues.  The Orchestra.  The Rockers.  The Hard Core Heavy Metal Bangers.  I love R&B, but most Rap to me is velocious.  I like Eminem, though.  I love his passion, and now I have a new favorite, Tre Houston.  The piano sounds.  A flicker of heartbeat, and his voice erupts, emotion in turmoil thundering and rolling over every word said.  Instead of disappearing into song, I’m still.  I’m here, listening, understanding.  I’m Gone Soon, molding into the Ode to Peace, and then the music ends.  But it lingers.  It stays.  It holds, and I feel all that I cannot feel.  That is music.

And music will always find my heart.  A simple flick of the radio.  A random song like Prayer In C by Robin Schulz, Believe by Mumford & Sons, and Crystals by Of Monsters and Men.  I’m no longer caged in this real life.  I’m no longer empty.  I’m no longer a rat in a rat race, and I hurry home filled with inspiration.  I pop open the laptop, and I start to write.  I start to dream, flowing along the deep sea of poetry by Saint John and The Revelations, and the stories Take Me with No Way Home until the stories are done.  Or they take a rest as another song comes to life on my iTunes Playlist.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Channillo Series: Lizardian/Online Publications

Lizardian is only available on  You have to pay for the subscription.  It's $4.99, but all subscriptions are going to The Leary Firefighters Foundation:

Online Publications:

Bartleby Snopes Literary Magazine:
Doll House (Short Story): 2007
Essence (Short Story): 2010
When The Dust Settles (Short Story): 2011

Gadfly Online:

2011: Passenger; No Leaders Among Men

2012: We 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

2013: 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

2014: 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; Fragments of Broken Youth; Extra, Extra; D.T.A.; Footprints in Sand; Alien Dream; Along The Rails; Cellar Dawn; Seeing Through The Facade; Blonde Android Shutdown

2015: Flirting with Revolution; Wanting to be a Cool Kid; The Silent War We Wage; Taking On The Universe; 24 Won't Come Back No More (Parody); Death Made a Pie; Spirits Among Us; Underground; Book Review: The Branches of Time; Gone Without a Trace; The Parachute Kids; The World is not Black and White; The Quiet Room; War Of My World; Remains of Peace; Carry On Winchester Sons (Parody of Kansas's 'Carry On Wayward Son'; Hanging Out in the Drive Thru (Parody of Train's Drive By Song); Book Review: Fifteen Digits; A Bitter Mockery; Blazing Eagle; Comic Book Heroes Gone Wild (Parody of Skid Row's "Youth Gone Wild"); Broken (Parody of Rihanna's "Diamonds"); The Waiting Room; What If Heaven Were Really Real?; The Tin Man's Heart; Missing Horror Movies of Days Long Ago; Iron Thorns; Gone But Not Forgotten

Mouse Tales Press:
Waiting (Short Story): 2011
Clay Pigeon (Short Story): 2012
Bittersweet Farewells (Short Story): 2013

Fiction 365:
Discussion (Short Story): 2011

Jolt Literary Journal:
One Mile Left to Go (Short Story): 2012

The Useless Degree Magazine:
Touch of Winter (Short Story): 2015

Bewildering Stories:
Summer Over The Death of My Youth (Short Story): 2015
I'm Better Off With a Cat (Flash Fiction): 2016


Poem: A Child's Dream:

Porcelain Log Line:

Glass Skies Over Home Log Line:

The Unknown Rider (Winner of Twitter Short Story Contest):

Waken Dream Log Line:

Lizardian Log Line:

Poem: Fragments:

Bystander Magazine:
Glimpse Over Darkness (Poetry): 2015

Antarctica Journal

Shining Through The Echo (For Robin Williams);  Are We Real;  Behind The Door;  Here;  Stone Slate;  Dream Always;  The Hole Within Us;  In Shadow;  Memorial;  Scarred; The Hole Within Us; In Shadow; Memorial; Today; What Is Family

Farmland;  Kayaker;  Blue Surface;  Silent Post;  Who's Ready For Church;  Fog Rolling In; Manhattan (4 Photographs); Country Fair (4 Photographs); Long Beach, NY (4 Photographs); City Drive (4 Photographs)

Song Lyrics:
Remember;  Shut;  On White Wings I Fly;  Comic Book Heroes Gone Wild; Supernatural Love; I Am A Clone; I'm Not Coming Home For Christmas

Music Review: Spaceship and "Shake Time Loose"
Book Review: Lizardian
TV Review: Just Talking About Science-Fiction