Dead, oh Dark and Miserable

Alistair opened his eyes as a newborn child and had light blind him. In this strange room of illogical and winter, there was a meter between him and a lump in the snow. Brushing off the warm snow a figure in olive green was excavated. The poor pale face and frosted eyebrows struggled to inhale.

“Hey, buddy. What’s your name?” Alistair offered a hand.

But the other fellow did not even muster a word. Hands raised, throat clenched, and the windows to his soul extended to their limit, nothing came out.

Alistair stood up, surrounded by darkness in the room. A door did not exist in this dimension. Windows showed a limbo void.

The man without a name clenched the snow, grabbed more and towered it near him. Alistair placed his knee down in front of the nameless man, eyes locked on the snow he collected.

The nameless man continued his work, collecting, raising towers, solidifying wall and only once raised his eyes. Like a man who has smoked his first cigarette, the nameless man began to punch his chest. His pale face soon reddened and a coughing fit ensued. His right hand elevated, fingers trembling, eyes darting. Alistair jumped back and shouted at his companion.

“What! What is it! Spit it out already goddammit!”

Like an abused child, the nameless man gathered into fetal position, tears streaming from the poor man’s eyes, arm still extended to Alistair.

“Hey, hey, you don’t need to be afraid of me. I’m not going to hurt you. I’m stuck here with you too. Do you remember the last thing you were doing before you were here?”

The nameless man sat up still in fetal position. Placing his pointing finger on his right temple, he cocked it back and moved his head to his left.

“You killed yourself?” Alistair’s avoided his look

“I, Grabbed a razor and slit down my arm. I guess I did that too. I thought I was dreaming.”

The nameless man did not reply, but simply kept pointing and Alistair. At this point, Alistair stood up and moved himself to the other side.

Yet the nameless man was pointing at the window, for there stood a dark plasmid mass with no mouth staring at the two. It tapped on the window and waved at the two men before moving back and disappearing into the darkness.

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The Loss of Innocence

I never wanted to grow up. And when I left my son in the doorsteps of an orphanage, that feeling returned. It is never an easy thing to lie to a child, especially if you will never see them again. The boy thought I was going to buy bread and meat so we could eat for the day, but no one has enough money to buy that anymore. And that was when I left my four-year-old son forever, without a good bye.

Walking back home was one of the longest walks of my life. Longer than when I faced the Huns during the Great War in Belleau. At least when I did that, I knew someone could shoot me and I would face my sins of killing my enemies. Here, in the big city, with nothing anymore not even honor, I could no longer face my sin. Men sat on the curb and counted the hours gone by. Everyone hoped this depression lifted itself of our backs. It burdened everyone. Mothers, sons, fathers and daughters, rich and poor everyone suffered from burden that plagued us.

Those who did see me with my son now look at my lone return. I do not know what they possibly think of me, but every insult that emerges from their head is warranted, I deserve it. Could I be struck by lightning, for then grief would not be the last thing that struck me. My stomach grumbled as I passed the dozen of closed businesses, the men who worked there sat in front of them hoping for them to open up and them to provide income for their families. I see Eric Klein on the bridge.

He and I were old war buddies. He did very well after the war, married a beautiful gal, opened up a successful insurance business, but those were happier times before the crash.

“What are you doing Eric?” I asked.

“Just thinking. Just thinking of how life was a few months ago. Thinking how life was during the war. Even when it was that dark, we still didn’t have to worry about this.” He said.

“Those were better days my friend. We couldn’t have know this was going to happen.”

“I know, but it’s all gone, my wife, my business, my money and my house, all gone. Like a blink of an eye, we lost everything.”

“What happen to your wife?”

“It hit her the most, but she didn’t do anything too stupid, she went with her sister’s in California. Now it’s just me.”

“I’m sorry to hear that.” I put my hand on his shoulder while saying this.

The bridge was deep, and many have jumped off it since the crash, mostly women and bankers. I will not deny that it has not crossed my mind to jump off. Right now, the feeling return to jump.
Eric returned to staring at the water below, and I left him be. I could not stop him from thinking of jumping anymore than I could stop the sun from rising. Before returning on my way to my home, an idea bestowed me. West, my wife and I should go west. There’s always something west that needs picking, mining or building. I heard about people from Oklahoma heading west, now I should join them and find something for myself as well.

The rundown house I owned stood near the edge of town. The neighborhood was leaving, very few people stayed and not even the banks could take back the houses. I had to leave here.

My wife was waiting for me when I opened the door. We did what we had to in this harsh time. Our stomach rumbled as we sat down on the two remaining chairs we had in the bare kitchen. If we could feed on sorrow, we would be fat with our sorrow.

“I had an idea.” I said.

“What is it?” She replied.

“Let’s move west.”

“What?” She was surprised.

“We have no hope here, we should move somewhere we could make ourselves better. Why waste ourselves here? We could do so much more.”

She said nothing and stared at the distance.

“We left our little boy because we couldn’t always eat. Do you really think he could make it with the orphanage?” She asked.

“Yes, I do.”

“Then lets go.”

We stood up and began looking for something to pack our belongings. We didn’t have anything here anymore. But to be honest, I didn’t really want to go anywhere. I didn’t want to make a decision, I don’t know what to do now. I wish I were still a kid. Maybe Eric jumped, maybe he didn’t hurt himself, and maybe my son already entered the orphanage. I had no food in my stomach, but hopefully, as long as he was fine, I would be all right. I would not forgive myself for what I did, what my wife and me have done, but we agreed, we agreed that the life of child is more important than an old soldier and a troubled nurse.

Packing my clothes, rifle and some food, I was ready. My wife was ready. If we could see ourselves now, we could see that we might not have that much hope, but hope is something we need, and therefor follow. Our dreams are broken, our child is gone, and our country is in disarray. We need to move and if we die, then so be it, for it will be the price we paid for letting our child go.

What I Am

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I’m not bloodthirsty. I never really was made for that. Yet you keep me in your pocket or in the sheath. I’ve talked to my cousins in the kitchen and they tell me you use them for meat and food, and yet I’m special in a way that no matter what makes me seem like I am bloodthirsty to the rest of the appliances. I remember the time you brought the family home from their cabin and what you made me do. Do you know what it was like to end their screams? Do you know how it felt feeling their warm skin against my cold metal, their crimson staining my silver color? I feel alone because of that. No one wants to talk to me for what you make me do and no one believes me when I say I do not want to do that. I remember when you snuck into some woman’s home and you made me take her life. I know you couldn’t hear her bed, but I did, and I felt it called me a monster. You cleaned her blood on it and if it could cry, it would have. No more do I wish to feel your maniacal intent. No more do I wish to feel the flesh of others against me. I wish you could throw me into a river, against a tree, or even leave me at one of your victims place and forget about me. Why must you have control of me? I am but a puppet in your schemes and I am the only one that feels the pain. I am the one showered in red. You gave me a life I never chose, I want to leave but the world won’t let me go. You think, do you think, I want to see everything look at me and tell me I’m a monster and a murderer. I want everyone to know I’m not a monster, I’m not even ahead of the curve. I’m just shown in a light built upon an empire of corpses. I could have been what made a soldier a hero, I could have been what saved a family, I could have been what stopped a rape, but in the end, maybe I was made a monster by the monsters. Even leaving me in darkness makes all the horror come back, I wish I could end it, I wish I could have my own happy ending, but the way that’s going to happen only when I’m melted.

What it is and where it stops nobody knows. You just go around and doing what you want and for what? You have nothing and you treat me like nothing. I wish someone could stop you, for if they stop you, they would stop me. Am I selfish to want something for myself? I am not a human and yet all I ask for one thing, for you to end or for something to end me. I just don’t want to go on. Death is absolutely safe, for billions and billions will die and have died, and yet it is selfish for someone to want to die on their own terms. Why stop me? Can I not be one that helps commit suicide? Would you blame me oh monster master? I know society blames those who commit suicide, they’re not the victims, they’re the oppressors, but I want to my own victim and not the oppressor. So all I ask is please, please let me die.

“The Last Night of the World”

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Ray Bradbury’s short story “The Last Night of the World” talks about how everyone in the entire world knows that the world will end that night. The point that may surprise us is the fact that even though everyone knows that the world will end no one is acting abnormally. I feel that because at the time of this writing and the setting being place during the Cold War, that is the correct way people would react because for so long, everyone was desensitize by the constant threat of nuclear war. I believe, that in comparison to the people of the 1950s, people of today would not share the same reaction of apathy if the world were to end.

Today is not the 1950s, today we are not threatened every day, every hour ever minute of our lives with thermonuclear warfare, although there is still a threat of terrorism, but it is not as dangerous as the threat of global destruction. We do not have to hope each day that a bomb would not fall and kill us. It’s a clear distinction that we have lowered our stress levels and have been rehabilitated from our fears of destruction due to a diminished threat of nuclear war. It has been over twenty years since the Berlin Wall and the Soviet Union fell and up until 9/11 we have not felt threatened anymore, especially with controversial programs and agencies such as Homeland Security, the NSA, the FBI and the CIA, who have monitored terrorist overseas and domestically. Yet due to this time and stress, we would never believe now about the end of our times. Why would we? We are the world’s leading superpower; no other country does anything without fear from the US, as prove to us being in the United Nations security council and with the most powerful military to date. And for that reason, imagine if every citizen, every human realized that it would be the last day on Earth. There would be mass panic, there would be mass rioting and looting, in the final hours social order would be destroyed and out the window.

The story begins with a man talking to his wife about his dream of him knowing the end of the world as well as his friend who he works with. It doesn’t really affect them as much as many would believe it would, and that is also interesting to note. Their sheer and grand acceptance of the fact that come morning, they would be dead. They do not riot; they do not break down and cry. They just accept it as if though it were nothing. There is mentioning of bombers, and this is when I realized that it was set in Cold War era America, that would not land for they would take off for the last time. And yet the couple does nothing about it, they don not seem phased, but simply say that they love each other. It seems butchered on how I am reporting it, but it is an immensely great story that I would recommend. At the end of the story it shows how they would say good night to their children and go to bed as if though the fact the world ends changes nothing.

A common term used on returning soldiers of war is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. This psychological disorder, originally called shell shock, not only affects adult men but, women, children and anyone who isn’t a soldier who has faced a great stressing event. As Doctor Ghrohol says “People with PTSD usually have persistent frightening thoughts and memories of their ordeal and feel emotionally numb, especially with people they were once close to.” (Grohol, 2013) It is important to remember that especially this decade, the Soviet Union had caught up to the United States with the development of their nuclear device in 1949 and their technological advance by sending the first unmanned satellite to space, Sputnik I. (Swift, 2009) All this added, one can not forget the ever so infamous anticommunist, Senator Joseph McCarthy. His witch hunts caused much panic during the Second Red Scare that caused thousands to be arrested for accusations to being involved with communism. These would have been great stressors for American Citizens during the time of the publication of “The Last Night of the World”. Now that these events are behind us, those who experience it outnumbered by those who do not know it, I believe that this new generation is not numbed to such fear now.

If the world was to end tonight, people now would no doubly freak out and lose their mind. That was not the case in the story or would it have been if it had taken place in real life at that time People were just to desensitize to annihilation since it was the fear of the time, it was their indoctrination and it was anything but their fear. For these reasons I do believe people of the 1950s had been a product of their time, they would not have been afraid of the end.

A Classic Ray Bradbury Esquire Story. (2012, January 1). Retrieved March 1, 2015, from http://www.esquire.com/entertainment/books/a14340/ray-bradbury-last-night-of-the-world-0251/

Amanda Macias, Jeremy Bender and Skye Gould. (2014, December 10). The 35 Most Powerful Militaries In The World. Retrieved March 2, 2015, from http://www.businessinsider.com/the-worlds-most-powerful-militaries-2014-12

Grohol, J. (2013, November 19). Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. Retrieved March 1, 2015, from http://psychcentral.com/disorders/ptsd/

Swift, J. (2009, March 1). The Soviet-American Arms Race. Retrieved March 1, 2015, from http://www.historytoday.com/john-swift/soviet-american-arms-race

Metric

I want to talk about one of my favorite bands, Metric. Now you may be scratching your head and be wondering, Metric? Who the hell are they? They’re an indie band from Canada, whose members consist of Jimmy Shaw, Joshua Winstead, Joules Scott Key, and the lovely and talented Emily Haines. They have released in total six albums: Grow Up and Blow Away, Fantasies, Synthethica, Live It Out and the soundtrack for the movie, Cosmopolis. You might not have heard of any of their songs, but their work was in Twilight as well as the hugely popular movie based on a comic book, Scott Pilgrim. The song on Scott Pilgrim was Black Sheep, although not sung by frontwoman Emily Haines, it was still really good.

I remember the first time I accidently stumbled upon Metric, it was on a Sony’s Playstation commercial. The song used was Monster Hospital, however it was a remix from a group called MSTRKRKFT. In further inspection, I looked at their other songs. The first full album I bought and listen to was Fantasies. I was hooked after listening to Collect Call. From that day forward, I was a Metric Fan. Collect Call, Dead Disco, Combat Baby, The Void and Poster of a Girl are some of my favorite songs from the wonderful group. A lot of their songs also have dubstep and electro remixes, if you’re into that. I like a few but the original beats the new.

Their music is alive, upbeat and with a great message, especially their Synthetica. If you love Metric as much as I do, and can’t get enough of it, you might actually like Emily Haines solo project Emily Haines and the Soft Skeletons. Although I won’t get much into that on this post, but on another one. I will also talk more about Emily in other post, like her father, the talented writer and poet, Paul Haines. I hope you all have a good day, and be safe.

A Wonderful Life

I love waking up in the mornings, especially when big brother stays home with me. I don’t like seeing him putting on a backpack and taking the big yellow car with the other older kids. I got out of my bed and stretched my arms before rubbing my eyes. I didn’t hear mommy in the kitchen, but she left my door open and thrown Mr. Haines to the floor. I didn’t get why she would do that since she and daddy gave me him last Christmas. They also gave me my Batman onesie that I’m wearing.

Walking to the halls I also realized that daddy wasn’t on his computer or calling someone on his phone. That was funny, daddy and mommy not doing what they always do every morning. I walked to their room and saw that their door was open. Daddy’s desk was  dirty. All his papers were on the floor and his laptop was gone. I bet they were playing hide and seek last night.

“Mommy. Mommy. Mommy. Mommy.” I tried poking her but she didn’t wake up. She had red salvia coming out of her mouth.

“Good morning mommy. You have drool.” I laughed.

“Mommy are you making breakfast?” I poked her again but she didn’t move “Well I’ll make some cereal for me, if thats okay.”

She didn’t answer so that usually means yes. I ran as fast as I can to the other side of the bed and realized that dad had all his stuff on the ground. I saw his work badge there too, the one he uses to get through doors at his work. He took me there once, it was a big building that made planes or something, I got a balloon so I really can’t remember. He’s gonna need to do a big clean up time when he wakes up.
“Daddy, good morning.” He didn’t answer either.

“You have red saliva on your head. You’re gonna need a bath.” I whispered.

Running down the hall, there was mud prints on the floor. Mommy was really gonna get mad when she wakes up. When I got to the kitchen, the back door was open. I went up to it and pushed it closed. I almost stepped on some glass that was on the floor. Mom would be really mad in the morning. I grabbed a chair from the table and began climbing it to get a bowl and some cereal. I put some trix and milk on the bowl before taking it to the living room.

Brother showed me which channel had cartoons. I changed it to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and started eating my cereal. I was halfway through my bowl when big brother stepped out of his room. He always looked funny in the morning with his hair standing up and his eyes red.

“Ed!” I ran to him and hugged his legs as he rubbed his eyes.

“Hey Al, where’s mom?”

“Mommy and daddy are sleeping. I made cereal.”
“Al, you didn’t make cereal, you made a bowl of cereal.”

“My bad” I said with a smile “Can we watch cartoons.”

“Sure, but let me go talk to mom.”

“Okay, but hurry, Leo-angello is going to fight the bad ninja.”

“You mean Leonardo, and yeah I will go there in a sec.”

I heard him walk to mommy and daddy’s room while I laid down on the couch. I heard Ed scream from the room and run to his room. He went out with his phone in his hand and started to call someone.

“Al, look at me. Look at me. Don’t go in mom’s room. Come here and give me a hug.” He was crying, did mommy hit him for waking her up? Mommy doesn’t hit Ed anymore because he is too big and always does his chores.

“Hello 911. You have to come to my house. 1337 Resembool Street. My parents they’ve been murdered. They’re room is trashed. I’m here with my little brother. Please come now.” He was still crying.

I don’t like seeing him cry. I didn’t understand his words. I started crying too because he was crying. We sat on the couch watching cartoons until we heard a siren. By then, I stop crying and was laying down on Ed. I love my big brother. I love my mommy and daddy. We’re always so happy together. But I still don’t know why Ed is still crying. I’ll ask mommy later when she wakes up.

Five Days

Only five days left for my deployment here in Afghanistan. 360 days of hardships, 360 days of not seeing my wife and six year old son. Every day putting on over sixty five pounds of equipment going on patrols out on 110 degrees temperatures. The last five days are the easiest but also the hardest.

“Still writing on that damn journal?” Corporal Levi asked.

“I want my son to read this when he grows up and asks me what I was doing here.”

“Well, you better hurry that up, you got something in the mail. And by something, I mean a movie, hurry up we’re all waiting to watch it.”

My hand punched his arm while I stood up and began to follow him to the rec room. The whole room was lined up with my fellow Marines, waiting for me to sit down to watch the movie I was sent.

“Don’t you know it’s not nice to open other people’s mail?” I didn’t even start  smiling before the insults and papers began to be thrown at me.

“Hey! Shut up, the movie’s starting.”

The movie began normally, the logos, the title, but after that, the static began. You never know how the biggest events always start with the weirdest, yet insignificant events. When the static went away, my wife was on the television.

“Hello Evan. I made you this film to tell you something.” her faint smile only lasted for a few seconds.

The cheers and hoots of my friends and squad members caused an uproar in the whole rec room. However, her next words brought everyone to silence. It also brought a twist to my heart as she said them.

“I’m leaving you. I’m sorry. But while you were gone, I’ve been having an affair. There’s really no easy way in telling you this.”

The sound of soda cans and bottled water fell to the floor. The last two sentences rung in my head for what seemed like an eternity. How could this have happened? I put my hands against my head and lost control of my jaw. The sounds that my mouth usually made were lost in silence. There were boos and there were yells of disappointments around me.

“I’m leaving you and I’m taking our son. I’m getting a lawyer as well. Please don’t expect us to be home, or there to be a home, I’m selling it. I’m sorry, I don’t know what to say. I don’t expect you to understand. But to show you I really am leaving you, the rest of this video I recorded with my new boyfriend havin-” I knew what she was going to say and so did everyone else, that’s why Levi interrupted.

“Shut that damn thing off now! Turn it off! Turn it off now!” his frantic voice was next to me as three pairs of arms lifted me off as the world around me crumpled.

Seven years of marriage finished in five minutes. There might have been a little elf inside of me weighing down my stomach, tearing out the arteries on my heart. Probably another elf sat on my shoulders but kept pushing them down.

From the rec room I heard whoops and shouts from the men still watching the video. Maybe a bullet in my brain will make it all go away. And I only had five days left. Five days seems too long, but eternity of darkness and emptiness beckoned as I grabbed Levi’s pistol and held it against my temple.