So work is crazy and I haven’t been writing much. Enjoy a quick story and I will be back next week.
L. E. White
Josh looked to his right and smiled. Sarah looked so beautiful with the wind from the open window teasing her hair as they drove. She glanced over and smiled back.
“I love you.”
“I love you too,” she said before reaching over and taking his hand in hers. They continued down the road that way for a few minutes before she asked, “What are we going to do to kill four hours?”
Josh glanced at her and grinned. Waggling his eyebrows to indicate what he wanted to do but all he got was a shake of her head and a roll of her eyes.
“The bug bombs said we had to stay out for four hours. Where are we going to go?”
“We could go to the movies.”
“For half the time, besides, we’re too broke for that.”
“Wanna go to the mall and walk around?”
Her delicate smile turned into a scowl as Sarah sighed. “Not really.”
“What does that sign say?”
She turned to look at the small sign we were passing and spun around with a smile. “There is a gem and rock show at the fairgrounds.”
The county fairgrounds had been covered in tents with tables full of rocks under them as people tried to sell you crystals and fossils from around the world. There were so many ‘ites’ and ‘ines’ that Josh had no idea what he was looking at. They were pretty rocks, and the crystals looked good, but he didn’t care. The fossils were alright but who in their right mind would have paid a thousand dollars for a bone made of rock?
Sarah was in her element though. She made jewelry and had told him all about the stones on a couple of occasions. She carefully sorted through bowls and bags but hadn’t bought anything.
“You look a little bored their son.”
Josh turned to look at the little old man across the table. He was a classic rock hound; sunburned in a permanent sort of way with skin that looked like old leather. A beat up old hat had wisps of white hair poking out from under it like the straw out of a scarecrow.
“A bit, but don’t tell her.”
The old guy looked at Sarah and smiled. “Yeah, something like that will indeed make a man stand and stare at stones even if he doesn’t want to. She reminds me of my Emily back in the day.”
Josh nodded and prepared to turn away when the old fellow said, “What is her name?”
“That’s a nice name. Would you like to see something that would really wow her?”
Josh looked at him with resigned acceptance and nodded.
The old man reached under a table behind him and drew out a black box. When he opened it Josh saw a large, clear crystal. It looked like glass with tiny flecks of gold in it. “Wow.”
“Yeah, this here is really rare. The Indians in South America call it soul stone.”
“That is really great but I can’t afford it.”
The old fellow smiled, showing a missing tooth. “I wasn’t trying to sell it to you, I just thought you might want to take it and show her.”
Josh smiled and nodded, “Thanks, I bet she will really like it.”
The old man sat the box down and held up a finger. Then he grabbed some pills out of his pocket and swallowed them real quick. “Now, the Indians believe that this rock will move and trap souls. Their shamans used them to capture evil spirits.” He pulled the rock out of the case and held it out to Josh. “Why don’t you take it and let her look at it in the sun.”
Josh smiled and reached out. Then the old fellow put the rock in his hand and grabbed his wrist with the other hand. “Liz Mo Coro Doomea.”
The world seemed to spin. Josh felt like the wind was pushing him around and then a flash of sparkling gold light left him staring at his own face in a mirror.
Then the pain started. A sudden, stabbing pain in his chest and left shoulder that stole his breath away. Josh tried to say something but no sound would pass his lips.
Sarah screamed and was there beside him yelling for someone to call an ambulance. He looked around and saw himself, now standing over the top of where he was lying. His own voice came was saying, “I don’t know what happened, the old guy just popped a bunch of pills into his mouth and then fell down.”
I woke up on Saturday morning to discover that my wife, sneaky little monster that she is, had plans for us. We grabbed the daughter and the boys and headed to the movies for the early morning showing of The Avengers in 3D.
My inner geek just fell in love with her all over again. And for those of you that haven’t seen it, this won’t really have any spoilers.
So, we get there, pay the reduced rate for an early showing and go into an almost empty theater to watch what I think was one of the best Marvel movies ever. Now, I am a pretty big fan of comics and of super-heroes. I used to read the comics and if I could still afford them I would probably have a subscription to something right now. So when I say this is one of the best, it comes from having seen almost all of the Marvel inspired movies that are out there. I am including the first Spider-Man movies. Not the recent set or the re-boot, but the ones from the late 70’s
The Avengers was easily good enough to watch in theaters more than once if you could afford it.
I liked the story line. I felt like the actors were allowed to give a performance and breathe life into the characters. If you want an example of what I am talking about, check out the Jedi that shared an actor with The Avengers. Yeah, you know who I am talking about.
The other things that made me love this were the comedy aspects. There were a lot of little bits of humor in here that made it more enjoyable to watch.
The Hulk punching Thor in the final battle when he didn’t need to was great. My boys laughed loudly enough that we had to quiet them down in the theater. Repeat that after the Hulk and Loki had their run in.
That is always a good sign.
The movie also goes a bit beyond this though. My middle son is now asking about buying comic books so that he can read them. I think this is probably one of the best things I have heard come out of a movie. Watching something that makes a kid want to read.
Oh yeah, and watching my five-year-old run around the house with his fists in the air yelling, “Hulk Smash”, is pretty good too. I need to get that on video.
L. E. White
Joey was sick of this. Sick of hiding all day, sick of starving all of the time, and sick of feeling lost and alone. This wasn’t the way it was supposed to be. Life wasn’t supposed to be like this.
The party a few weeks ago had been great. Booze and Ex were free and the girls had been fine. They might not have all been strippers but that really didn’t matter since most of them were taking their clothes off anyway. He had hooked up with the best looking brunette, hell, the best looking girl, that he had ever been with.
She was topless, trying hard not to fall out of her heels, and grinding on an empty chair in a tiny black skirt when he had seen her. So, summoning up more drunk and stoned confidence than he had ever managed to before, Joey had walked over and sat down in the chair.
She continued to half dance, half hump the chair for a few minutes while he sat there and watched. Then, when she rose off the arm of the chair to turn around he had placed his hands on her hips and guided her into his lap.
She was gone, so wasted that she danced and wiggled for another couple of minutes before she realized that he was there. He knew when she figured out he was there because she had stopped moving. The girl stood up and turned around to look at him. Joey figured that he would get slapped or something but she just stared before stepping forward and sitting down on his lap again. This time she was facing him with her legs straddling the arms of the chair.
She had smiled, grabbed his head and rubbed his face between her boobs before pulling his hair to tilt his face up for a kiss.
He might not have known her name, but he would remember those next few hours as the best in his life. Then, he would remember the last ten minutes as the worst.
They had come in, large and built. The three men were each the size of a bus and looking around with disgust. The one in the middle, who Joey would have guessed to be about seven foot forty locked his eyes on to him and took a couple of long slow steps over to the chair.
“You having fun at my party little man?”
Joey swallowed, figuring that he was with the big guy’s girl and just nodded. They had done everything that she wanted and she had allowed Joey to do whatever he had wanted as well. Tonight was the best night he had ever had and if he died now he thought he would still die happy and fulfilled. The girl was facing away and still riding Joey so it wasn’t like he could deny anything. Fear took his voice, so Joey just nodded. It was all he could do.
“That’s good. That’s the point of a party, am I right?”
Joey nodded again.
The big guy reached down and tapped the girl on the shoulder. It took a minute but then she looked up and blinked, each eye moving at a different speed.
“Time to go baby girl.”
She nodded and wobbled as she stood up and pulled the little skirt back down. She stumbled away, not even bothering to grab her shirt.
“Now, you need to come with us my friend. We need to have a talk.”
Joey had been sure that they were going to kill him. He figured he was about to be beaten to death, but when they lead him into a little room with a bed he started to worry that they liked guys and he would be having a different kind of party.
That was when their fangs came out. Each of these monstrous men opened their mouths to reveal long sharp fangs.
Joey remembered being grabbed and then a lot of pain. After that, he had woken up in the sewer, alone, hungry and lost. He had run then, but that hadn’t worked out so well. It had been three days and he was lost. The whole place stunk and he hadn’t seen another person. Every time he came to a grate or manhole cover he wasn’t able to move it. So he was trapped and starving.
A single footstep echoed behind him. That one sound was both satisfying and scary as hell. Joey would have run, but he was just too tired to keep going. He didn’t have it in him.
The big guy came out of the shadows then and Joey looked up into the eyes of the man who he thought would end his life. He waited, letting his eyes fall to the boots that walked towards him. “Just kill me already. I can’t run anymore.”
“I’m not going to kill you. I created you.” Joey felt himself rise into the air.
“Not everyone can take the stuff that we gave you and still function. It turns regular people into zombies. You though, you were fine. That is how we can tell you will survive the change.”
“Why did you do this to me?”
“Because I want a bigger family.”
“So you aren’t going to kill me?”
“No,” he laughed, “We have been looking for you for days little brother. It’s time to come home.”
So, the wife and I are now done with the most stressful parts of this year. We have finished with our son’s graduation, had the party, cleaned up after it (well, mostly) and went on vacation. We survived and now it is back to life as normal.
Yeah, I am not as impressed with it as I think I should be either. I think that may just be the illusion of vacation fading away. We spend time resetting to normal after leaving the daily routine.
I am just glad I get to take my wife with me. She keeps everything tolerable.
L. E. White
The way is quiet. It is an innocuous hole into the ground that most people overlook. One that starts out as a path burrowed into the soft rock that lies beneath the ground in this part of the world.
Most people walk by it, ignoring the cave. The ones who do see it are special, touched in a dark sort of way from within the dreams that are not remembered on waking. Their minds have been opened to see the entrance and it is their fate to feel the curiosity that will lead them to look into that darkness.
The stone soon changes. Sand stone gives way to limestone that then changes to dark smooth rocks that leave an icky sensation on your skin if you reach out and touch them. The stones are not covered in slime or mold. The cave is dry and if you stand still and listen you do not hear the subtle sounds of small creatures that live in other caves. Despite this lack of life; despite this lack of source, if you touch the stone, you will find yourself compulsively wiping your hands on your pants; trying to remove the residue of the other world that now sticks to your skin.
The first gate you find is solid. It is not made from metal or wood, but from flesh so old that it is mistaken for stone. The first gate was a once living barrier that still pulses with a dark and twisted life of its own despite its transformation.
A column of symbols have been carved into this gate. No silly circle or shape holds them. They stand in a line, for despite all of the beauty in shapes and the geometry that man has created the true path is always based on the alignment of that which isn’t into that which is.
Each symbol sits still and quiet. No waking mind knows these words but those who can walk in dream may speak them. To speak them is to invite hell into your own heaven, an act of insanity that may only be embraced by the brave and foolhardy.
I know of none living today that have witnessed the splendor of the second gate. The dream walkers are coming, but they have not yet been shown the way. I will not tell you of the beauty of the second gate. Words fail in the presence of an aged eye. Crystal is close, but not enough.
I will share this vision. An image dragged from meditation and dream blended within the cauldron of the skull. There is a single word grown into the second door. Nothing could carve it, so it grew there instead. Not by that which would be called natural or un-natural, but by something else.
What has grown there is dark upon the light, yet to look upon it as you walk the ways of night is to be blinded by its brilliance.
This word has not been spoken aloud, but one day it will be. We gnash our teeth and rend the bones of minds in our efforts to see this come.
Even those that fly through dreams have not seen the third barrier. Yet we strive to as if moths drawn to a flame. Though we may burn, the lure is too strong to be ignored. Beyond the third gate is eternity.
It is not made, yet it is there; thoughts between spiral pillars that simply are. A line exists between. A line that allows us to know hear see feel that which is beyond the door.
So walk on past, petty creatures. Ignore the hole in the ground and hurry past as the chill of what you cannot comprehend crawls from the depths to place pin pricks of fear along your spine. Run in fear and cower beneath the sun.
We know it is there. We dare to walk the ways and stand in awe before the gates. We will open them, for we are chosen. You say we are touched, delusional and crazy, but what do you know. Your eyes have not been opened. Your world is nothing but illusion. The only difference is that more of you see your world which means that the majority rules. This means that you will through the weight of numbers decide that we are dangerous to ourselves. You push us aside or bind us to your will.
But not for long. No, not for long.
These small white stones will not crush my mind with their weight, despite what you believe. They will not remove my freedom. Force them down with drowning water or melt them straight into that which would reject them. It does not matter. That which was made by man cannot undo that which was made beyond man.
Tonight, as the night before, I will walk the ways you cannot. I will enter the cave you do not see and I will relish the touch of the stones instead of wiping it off. I will look upon the gates and I will scream at them to open.
I walk a different path, and you, good doctor, cannot stop me.
The wife and I are excited. We will be going camping and for us, this is our vacation. Leaving Wednesday, we will be at Our Haven, a nature sanctuary located near French Lick, Indiana. The festival we are attending is going to be a blast. Drumming, dancing, a giant fire and people that we like to talk to.
After the rush of preparing for my son’s graduation, it will be nice to not need to worry about anyone but Renee for a few days.
So, now is a good time to relax. I will be taking a break for a few days, in a place with no net and no writing.
Then, I will be back and working. Just like always. Take care.
L. E. White
I stood in the back of the shop. A shadow covered me enough to keep most people from noticing me but not enough to make it look like I was hiding. Funny how many people notice when you try to hide compared to when you just pick the right place to be.
The boy was right smack dab in the middle of the room. He had the exact same tools that everyone else in the room had. A potter’s wheel; a bowl of water and a large reddish-brown lump of clay. Most of the room was filled with women of various ages who had decided to take the pottery class. A few teen girls were sneaking covert glances at the boy and then looking at their friends to giggle while trying to hide what they were doing from the mother who had taken the class with them.
By my guess he was about fourteen years old. I wasn’t sure but I assumed the class was his idea since there didn’t seem to be a parent with him. At his age, this might have been a kid who wanted to be a serious artist. I would have believed that he was after one of the girls if he ever looked up at them but he didn’t. He was focused on the clay, shaping it into far more than a lopsided ashtray.
His focus was what had drawn me here. They boy was doing so much more than just making a pot. He probably didn’t realize it, but he was moulding reality a bit as he concentrated on the wet form that currently spun under his fingers.
I waited in silence, watching the flow of magic as he made the dish that he wanted appear beneath his fingers. The class was over when the clay went into the oven and everyone had cleaned their work stations. As they were all wiping and washing I left the room, finding another shadow outside the door to wait in.
“Hello,” I said as he walked out. I had expected him to jump, most people do since they almost never realize that I am there. He didn’t.
“Hello,” he said, turning to face me. He looked me square in the eye and faced me as an adult would. Impressive, when you take into account that I stood over a foot taller than he did.
“You seem to be quite talented. That was a very good bowl.”
“Thanks,” he said. “I was wondering what you were doing in there but since nobody else seemed to mind I didn’t worry about it.”
I smiled. He had seen me despite my not wanting to be seen. He would make an excellent apprentice. “So, have you ever worked in a more open, artistic, format?”
“What do you mean?”
“Have you ever tried sculpting.”
He shook his head.
“I work with a lot of different materials and I need an assistant. Would you be interested in talking with your parents about giving it try?”
The boy frowned and looked down at my shoes. “It’ll be really hard to get time to talk with my parents.”
I smiled again, this time because I knew I had him. “Why don’t we talk to them when they pick you up?”
The boy nodded and then looked at me. “Are you some sort of artist or a teacher or something?”
I nodded at him as I said, “I am an artist of sorts and if you will help me then I will also teach you how to sculpt and mold the world the way that I do.”
He frowned and raised one eyebrow at what I said but he didn’t question me. “My name is Brad.” He extended his hand.
I took it and gave it a firm shake as I said, “My name is Benjamin. Now we should go talk to your parents before they get mad for being kept waiting.”