Of Monsters and Men


For the artist,

Writers are dreamers. We have to be, we live in our heads all day long.

Storytelling has always been a way for me to cope. In my own stories, I am judge, jury, and executioner. It is exciting. It is a place I know so well.

When you crack open a book or watch a movie or admire a wonderful painting, you are stepping into another world. This world was most likely hand-crafted by somebody who needed to escape the world they were BORN into.

This may be a depressing thought, but I believe that most artists are unhappy people. I guess the same could be said for most creative types.

I often struggle with my own demons. I have discussed a lot of them with you all on multiple occasions. I just find that I am lucky that the demons have never materialized in the form of a bottle or white powder lines.

But, they have ruined past relationships. I don’t know how to be any more honest than that. They have broken hearts and windows, shattered dreams and ended friendships.

Sometimes you will only find me in my own world. It is my peace. It is a place that I have spent my ten thousand hours putting together.

But I am also not very good at dealing with reality.

If you are an artist, just remember that life is not the movies or a captivating book though. It is reality and it is closing in on you with hands clenched around your throat.

Throughout the years I have learned that you must keep a look out for reality. Reality is sneaky like a monster under your bed with sharp teeth shaped like stalactites.

One of my favorite writers, Stephen King, once said, “It starts with this: put your desk in the corner, and every time you sit down there to write, remind yourself why it isn’t in the middle of the room. Life isn’t a support system for art. It’s the other way around.”

So artists, living in your own world should not be something to be ashamed of. Just remember to book a damned vacation every once in a while.









The Pipe

I suppose the grim reaper comes in the form of a plumber if you think about it. Here to unclog you and all the sick, the elderly, the accidents, the suicides, and all of the professional daredevils from the system. What’s that? You spot a single sliver of grey hair or an irregular heartbeat that ticks in your chest like a time bomb.


You’re getting older, aren’t you? Day by day, bit by bit, until you begin to crumble into the dust. He sees that and it makes him smile.



The Plumber smacks his lips before setting his tool bag down on the ground, and then pulls out a pair of stained leather gloves and a dirty rag from his pocket.


The plumber lowers the rag over your nostrils, your body twitching back and forth. A head beats against the floor, one thump, and two thumps. After the third, a dying body stops its twitching and leg spasms, the head lays still. Blood drips from both ears.

The plumber works quietly, dragging the your body through your home and into the long cast iron tub in your bathroom. He turns on the water.


Warm water hits the side of your head, draining the blood from the hole in your head into a long drain that collects into a froth of brains and pulp and beauty. There is no need for the healthy to exist with the dead.


A world extinguished in one instant and all fear, ambition, and dreams are known to be–

Flushed awayyyyyyyy—down where shit and sin is disposed of and taken to an underbelly of our beautiful world.

. Drip. Drip, he washes you off, cleaning your corpse of all its many years of disgusting sins of human waste, neglect, and lifestyle down the drain. All gone now.

The shit is pushed out the other side where there have been rumors of golden harps or legendary bass players and your grandma is swimming in a cold and dark river although she has no sense of the feeling. It smells rancid as the stew mixes into one collective sickness pissing in from above.


Others whom you have met before and whom you would have introduced yourself to swim with you now all in the same pond of bullshit. A human race collective stew is well prepared; from the good to the bad; religious to atheist; from murderers to the straight edge; from pedophiles to parents.    All collected in the same vat, everyone’s here.

The suicide bomber disguised as the substitute teacher from Sudan with twelve pounds of C4 strapped to the inside of his jacket pisses out in front of your grandma with the school bus full of twelve-year-olds that he hijacked early this morning spewing out close behind; pissing out from the drain.


A middle-aged mother dying of cancer takes her life in Santa Barbara California, slitting her wrists in a bathroom comes out next raining down like a morning shower as the reaper smiles with an umbrella in its right hand, dragging another corpse into the bathtub.

Piss. Drip. Drip. All the same froth, a mixture of bone, innards, and blood.


A twenty-one-year-old woman decides to go skydiving with her boyfriend. Her parachute fails to open somewhere in Wisconsin and her body is not discovered for two days, dragged to the nearby woods by two hungry wolves with yellow eyes.

The neighbor from across a familiar street, the one you’ve known for quite some time, is tragically hit by a Red Chevrolet on his way to work, his body folding backwards like a spring.


There goes a handsome minister from Maine, swallowing a box of pills.

Do you see that? An elderly woman with eight grandchildren surrounds her hospital bed somewhere in Berlin, a family affair. They all pray for her as she shuts those eyes for the last time.

Drip. Drip. Drip.


The pipe pours them & us into the sewer. Down here, we all float together. Let’s float together forever. The river continues to flow collecting higher and higher but there is no roof. Look up as we go around this bend, voices squealing and nails scratching like children at a waterpark.



A boy of thirteen wishes he hadn’t overdosed on LSD and decided to jump off a building. A local newspaper writer recites this young man’s obituary, finishing with, “He is in a better place.” Parents weep, friends curse the heavens if it existed, relatives shed a tear for this young boy.

Drip. Drip.


There is no roof as the river continues to fill before overflowing and spilling out into an ocean of souls. Man, women, woman, man, woman, man, woman ride the wave and collect with all the others until we start to sink together. A river hisses and boils and steams and belches entombing the dead in this murky afterlife.







–A plumber slips his pants up with a thumb and tugs on his low-brim hat before picking up the tool-bag. He shuts your front door with a closed palm. His legs strut across the paved driveway and out into the street where he stops to open the driver’s door of a black van parked beside a telephone pole; slinging the leather gloves across the passenger seat.



He’ll whip the cap off and brush away the warm sweat that runs across his face, turn towards you with a sharp a grin and a heavy growl; “It’s a dirty job, but someone’s got to do it.”

For this is a regular workday for the reaper and a nine-five that never seems to end as the world continues to choke in our growing obesity; pulling us further into the murk.


Dating For The Damned




Most people will admit that meeting someone for the first time is pretty nerve-wracking; especially for the women.Women want the in-between type. They want the man with a well-paying job, good sense of style, movie star grin, and the ability to talk them down from the edge on a rainy afternoon. The perfect man: the funny guy, well-traveled, well-educated, born and raised for one specific purpose in life.For you.

Okay. Now that we have cut through the bullshit with a butter knife let me take the blindfold off your eyelids, sit you in the chair, breathe deep and remember that everything that you’d been taught is a lie. The perfect man that you’d imagined does not live and breathe in this reality. Pure science fiction. How would I know?

The dirty little secret that meeting someone new is much like playing a game of Russian roulette with a loaded pistol pressed against your cheek and my finger is pulling the trigger. Either this is going to go well or not so well.

So, who would go as so far as to invent the character of the perfect guy? Him, Mr. Fiction. The one you’re all looking for, the top of the crop. What would be the motive of the individual responsible for such a heinous crime? Would it be to get the women out into the open and away from her cellular phone? Out and away from her friends and family or anyone who could ever help her. Now you’re starting to think, aren’t you?

If the perfect man does not exist well then what exactly would I have in mind for you with my dirty little trap?

Would the women, much like the mouse that pokes its little head out of the hole to sniff the cheese that sits in the metal spring trap be tempted to meet a complete stranger among many more strangers in exchange for the possibility of a match? Well, I’ll have to tell you that just by definition the act of dating something that has developed into a massive board game for serial killers. Honestly, take a look at the fucking thing. In what other professional venue is it socially acceptable to meet strangers? The very idea of dating brings a shiver to my spine, the kind of shiver you get watching a scary movie with the lights off.

I’m HIM. I’m the guy that you ladies hear about on the television set or in the cheesy romantic comedy. You know the one starring the guy that you wish was your boyfriend. You’ll hunt for me far and wide and do anything to meet me and I know it all too well. I’ll use this to my advantage.

If you ladies were the mouse then I am the hand that sets up the mousetrap outside of your little hole and I am also the pack of wolves that eat strips of meat off the fallen carcasses gnawing and gnashing my teeny tiny razor tipped teeth until there is no more room for seconds. I’ll wear a nice tie, comb my hair and get a socially acceptable job with benefits and assume my new identity.

They’ll tell you to find yourself a nice and intelligent man, a handsome man if you can, someone like me. What better way to do that than to go out on a date with a complete stranger instead of a degenerate because this is what THEY had been taught. Of course; our smear campaign has been working thus far.

For people like me, however; the well-educated, good-looking, socially acceptable bastards who wouldn’t mind seeing what your gale-bladder looks like from the inside-out are never added into the equation.

If you’re such a genetically gifted individual with sharp cheek bone structure, and drive an expensive car with tinted windows would you want to spend your time butchering women? Seriously, weren’t good-looking individuals meant for so much more than to turn into mass murderers? Or is that what we would want you to believe.

If not for my bone structure, whom would we know to put on television or incorporate into mass media? To influence the culture of youth, decide when and what to wear or to run our companies. Who would we pin up on our wall, or declare secular division of worship? Who would you have been taught to trust?

The beautiful women that sit across from me smiles at the waiter after he stops to refill our glasses of water. I flash him the “fuck off” smile and he does just that. You’d lost her for only a minute, I remind myself looking into her eyes. Now it had come time to play the role that I had been born to play. If only I could remember her name; whatever she had told me it was tonight.

We already had quite a night planned. Later we would visit the theater and even later I would ask her to come home with me so I can show her my surgical kit which contains my rusty knife used to chisel through flesh and bone.

Her name is Janelle and unbeknownst to her, she is the first “Janelle” that I had ever been with so I feel like a complete mongrel in slipping up on her name. I’m bored well before our appetizers arrive; twiddling my silver fork on a lone noodle in a bowl of soup imagining it were my rusty knife playing with her spleen.

I’ll tell her I am thinking about us and gently massage her palm from my side, will do the trick. I’m almost too good that I have to smile and she smiles back at me.

I am pretty fucking spectacular by the way; in case you were wondering. You have to have a clear topic, well thought-out ideas and still able to listen to hers when she believes that she had one. But, most importantly what your saying has to grasp her attention. Just like this. Never apologize for babbling and never shrink mid-story and let your experiences diminish as you search for the right words. Chew the fucking scenery up. Extravagant hand gestures and target lock eye to eye contact like you’re a fucking marine sniper posted low in the tall long green grass.

Think of any time you’ve been to a good film. You have to be the main attraction. Discuss your travel and ambition or how you have grown as a person and avoid meaningless conversation such as pop culture references, gossip, or whatever you want to call “watercooler” conversation. Keep the focus on her. If she is interested in where you’re going in your life she’ll most likely follow you home later this evening.

Just like the stranger handing out delicious looking pink candy to a child from inside an automobile. The venue is jammed packed with handsome stranger faces and a loud assortment of stories from frolicking lips. All around me I can count them out; at least half a dozen of us seated around the restaurant tonight and a few recognizable faces that run in the same serial killer circle.

You’ll have to be sure to take her to the best spot in town. You’ll have to spend some of your hard-earned dough, although with the right candle-lit lighting and interesting conversation you’ll have her wanting more than to stuff her face. For our dinner tonight I had begun with the Thai Cucumber Shrimp Appetizer, which composes of sliced cucumbers topped with shrimp and hot chili sauce; easy and fun. Our second course for the evening is the attention grabber.

Lobster tail in a buerre monte slowly poached in warm butter with a plenty of spice for flavor with a side of small new red potatoes drizzled with truffle oil; simple and elegant. Do not forget the Julienne of fresh snow peas and carrots cut into julienne matchsticks with a refreshing lemon vinaigrette sauce.

For dessert order the Flourless Chocolate Sponge Cake served in a martini glass topped with whipped cream, chocolate ganache and toasted nuts. Share the spoon. The women named Janelle excuses herself from the table to use the restroom. I smile, kissing the top of her hand and Janelle or whatever the fuck her name is blushes a drunken raspberry red.

Here’s how it goes. Before a meal, you should order a drink such as a martini or a scotch or bourbon highball. These drinks are cold, light, and get the appetite prepared to receive your meal. Also, provides stellar conversation and game for steering her where you need her to be. Following the meal, you would only want to order a dessert drink, such as brandy, cognac, or some liqueur. These actually shut down the taste buds to aid in digestion, thus making her feel the need to use the restroom and allow me to make my most crucial move of the night.

She’ll excuse herself and hurry off to the ladies room. Her stiletto heels tapping across the floor like little pins and tiny arms flinging from side to side. Women either will love their heels or hate them. But sometimes; in Janelle’s case, they’ll try to alter that to fit a guy’s height.

As soon as she turns her back I reach into my coat pocket for the sleeping pill and pop it into her drink on the table. I can tell that Janelle’s starting to appreciate the Rohypnol I gave her towards the end of our dinner. She’s slurring her words and saying stupid shit so I figure that it’s time to tip the waiter and be on our way.

One can only imagine what’s going through her mind right now, well besides the sedative of course. To be honest I’d admit to not caring. If my plans go well her opinion won’t matter too much come tomorrow morning.

I have to apologize politely to a couple of the tables as we leave the restaurant hand in hand. Take her home as if you’d ordered her for dinner. Get in the cab with her. Be persistent but not intrusive, women like men who will take charge, they like for you to be the man.

She wraps an arm around my neck and kisses me as our yellow automobile takes off down the street, spewing exhaust fumes and a particular horror story to go. Then were home.

I turn the key in the keyhole and we are fumbling with each other’s clothing as if we were undergraduate students after a night on the town. I tilt her head back to nibble on the ear, both of them. She mumbles something as her tongue rolls out of her mouth like the red carpet at a Hollywood premiere and her eyelids roll up into the back of her head. Janelle falls to her knees.

You’d be surprised how difficult it is to lug a one hundred and fifteen-pound human being by each armpit. I push the door open, dragging her body inside and kick the door closed secluding both off us in my house of horror.

I take her to my room.

Janelle is out cold so it’s easier to snap the handcuffs around her wrists to the bedpost on my bed. Her arms are held high above her head as if she were pleading for mercy and her legs hang off the side of the mattress so I have to scoop them back on.

While Janelle is sleeping I get up and go behind the kitchen counter to get the rubber gloves beneath the sink and begin to lay out a clear blue roll of plastic sheet on the tile floor all around the bedroom. She looks so peaceful over there.

I take my shoes off and my belt and then my pants, folding them over the back of the futon and finally my shirt before moving into the bathroom to step into the shower.

The warm water hits my face and then my bare skin, washing away all of my grime and filth down into the circle drain beneath my feet. It feels good to peel this face off like a Halloween mask that I wear and pretend to be to fit into this society as if I were playing dress-up like a child. This is what all of you women want, to be something that you had been told to see. Well, don’t complain if you don’t like what you see underneath.

It might frighten you.

I turn off the hot water and step out of the shower stall and into the hallway, drying myself off with a black towel that hangs on the handrail too the stall. I drop the towel and strut out into the bedroom, newspaper scrunching beneath my bare feet.

Janelle’s somehow up and about, although her eyelids are heavy and fat. She’s pulling on the handcuffs, twisting her body from right till left. There’s drool on her chin like a baby before I wipe the spittle away with my left thumb.

Then I’m beside her. Close. The carving knife I’d taken out from the kitchen is hidden behind my back as if it were a bouquet of flowers for a lover waiting to be presented. A sliver off drool drops down onto her neck followed by the heat of exhaust of my breath. She struggles, half in and out of reality.

I reveal the carving knife as if it were the prestige to my magic act. I can hear her heartbeat through her chest like a ticking bomb about to explode. The carving knife in my left hand shouldn’t be there and I can see her coming to this realization. This does not happen to girls like her, but it did. She’s thinking.

“What did I do, I did everything that I had been told to do.” To- The carving knife cuts deep into the inner thigh, spilling bright blood across the sheets and drips down onto the newspaper. I don’t even hear her screams, nor do I care.

I’m not the same man that she had agreed to go out with tonight. He’s long since dead and she’s about to join him.


Under The Apple Tree




(Under the Apple Tree) By Kyler

I murdered my friend and buried him under the apple tree on top of the hill. I picked a couple of them off of a branch and put them in a bag and brought them home to my family. That night we had apple cobbler for desert. I sleep with a smile on my face and someone else’s wife in my arms.


I took everything from him. You would be surprised what a loving wife and warm home inspires you to achieve. Some days after work, I drive past the apple tree and put on the brake. I will get out of the car and walk up the hill and stand under the tree.

I will place my left ear to the earth and whisper. “If you can you hear me down there, continue to rot.”

One afternoon, I decide to visit my friend again. When I get to the top of the hill, however, there is another person there. Leaning against the tree with an apple in his left hand. My friend takes a bite of the apple and spits out pieces of brown dirt from his lips, like chewing tobacco. His face and clothes are covered in the grimy chocolate brown soot of the earth and his smile is a musty yellow. …..



My heart skips a beat or two. “Hell is hot, but Life can be just as cold,” He says. I stutter, dropping to my knees. “Oh, I was worried! This is a miracle that you are alive!”

My friend places a dirty hand on my shoulder. Shaking his head. “ The most important lesson is forgiveness. Whatever happened between you and I is in the past.”


My world seems to rotate a little bit slower in this moment. “You-are the single greatest man I have ever—met.” I choke, holding him tight. He looks away. “I had to ask you for a favor. But you were work all day, so I didn’t want to bother you.”


I nod my head. “Anything—my friend, I am here now, tell me.” My friend whispers. “ I hoped that you wouldn’t mind, but I stopped by the house today. Just to say…hello.”

I step back, shifting both of my eyes from left to right. “Oh-“ I stutter, biting my lip.

He looks up, grinning slightly. “I didn’t think that you would mind. There’s nothing wrong with another man talking to his wife, ….is there?”


I bite my lip, trotting two more steps back. Fumbling for the keys in my pocket. “Of course-not,” I half laugh.





He licks his lips. “Good….” I begin to back peddle. Already halfway down the hill, running back towards the car.


His voice echoes like a creature in a cave. “Where are you going, my friend.” He laughs, erupting from the pit of his belly.


I turn the keys in the ignition, pulling out onto the road again. “You better hurry.” My dead friend shouts from atop the hill, continuing in his roaring laugh.


By now, my imagination had taken ahold of me. I keep asking myself a simple question. What is a dead man capable of?





Did he touch her with his rotten fingers? Or, did he take her hand and give her a tour of the underworld. None of it matters, like a flower that tries to grow in the snow.


In my heart, I know that there is nothing that I could do. He had her now.


It takes me ten minutes to get home, with my foot pressed on the gas pedal.


“Oh, my darling let me know that you are here.” I scream, going from one room to the other. Flipping over our bed, pushing cabinets onto their side. A man stuck in a delusion he helped create.


In the kitchen there is a trail of dirt. I follow it out into the backyard. In the middle of the backyard is a shovel stuck into the ground and a high mound of soil next to a hand dug crater. A half dug tomb.


My heart sinks to the pit of my stomach. My minds racing back and forth like a madman. All I know to do is to scream. If I could reach into my mouth and pull out my lungs I would in that moment.


I take the shovel and begin to dig. Fast. Scooping up bucket fills of soil and twisted root. Plunging my dagger into the hole. Until my knuckles begin to bleed and my back is slick with sweat.


The slower I dig, the less time she has. “Reach for heaven, my darling. Come back to me.” I grit, burrowing my way deeper into hell.


After a couple of hours, I collapse next to the hole. Breathing hard through my nostrils.




I look up, taking in the fading afternoon sun through a pair of squinting eyeballs. In a little while, the moon will have had taken its place. Plunging me into nightfall. Then, she will be lost.


“You cannot dig a different hole by digging the same one but deeper, my friend.” A familiar voice echoes.


He is standing in the doorway. My friend lifts up his left leg and gives it a shake. Dirt spills out of the side of his pants leg.


I push myself up onto my two feet; wobbling back and forth on my toes. “Where is she, you bastar—d.” I huff. Clutching my chest.


He grins. “You thought that I would bury her underneath the home that I paid for. If only she were that fortunate.”


I lunge, using the remaining strength in my torso to wrap my arms around him. He pushes me off, grabbing the shovel from my hands. He flips it over, thrusting the end with the handle into my stomach.

I let out a large gasp, rocking over onto my left side. Gasping and wheezing.



He kneels over, moving his head down towards my ear. His tongue is cool and sharp.


“ I took her with me. We have a nice little plot together, under the apple tree. You would find her bones buried there, next to mine. If you want my life and home so desperately, you can have it. You can take it to the grave. “ I shake my head back and forth; wiggling on the ground.


He brings the shovel down one more time, connecting with my knee. The rest is a dizzying haze of stars and stripes. When I open both of my eyes again I’m looking up into the night sky.


He is up there and I am down here, in the pit I had dug. Shoveling heaps of dirt onto my shoulders and chest and face.


My dead friend sees me open my eyes. He stops, midway through, tilting the shovel so that the dirt pours across my face.


“If you can hear me down here; continue to rot.”







Nothing Lasts Forever



He pretended too kill people for a living. That was the way he saw it. The finger that pulls the trigger too deliver the bullet, is the murderer. Alistair Noble liked to call it a conditioned reflex. If you paid him enough money, he was not responsible for what happened.

Alistair carried the rifle in a violin case. He carried the violin case everywhere he went. On paper he was an instructor, and taught at an all-boys college. The school tended to change depending on his location.

Alistair was one of the best killers in the world. He knew that he couldn’t prove it, but he and the department both knew it. Technically, Mr. Noble didn’t exist. There were two people who knew who Alistair Noble was. One of them slept in his bed, and the other slept across the hall. In a racecar bed.

Alistair was a loving husband and father. The two of them reminded him that he was human. That he was able to care about something other than the job.

If you get to know a killer, you’ll find out what makes them tick. Underneath the flesh and blood, there is a beating heart.


That all sounds great on paper, doesn’t it.


It was a great lie. It was a life, which many in his profession envied. Of course, Alistair knew the truth that nothing ever lasts forever.




Eventually, you’’ll get caught. The end to the lie, comes in a dollar amount. Alistair knew in his head, it was just about how much they were willing to offer. Anyone would budge.

One morning, Alistair goes downstairs for breakfast. On the kitchen counter, is a duffel bag full of money. Attached to the bag, is a note. “Time to get back to business,” it reads. He didn’t have to think twice on who the targets were. Both were upstairs, sleeping in their rooms.



Instead, he picks up the bag, opens the front door, shakes his head and leaves the bag on the front-step.

The following morning, Alistair comes down for breakfast, again. There are two duffel bags on the counter. He taps his foot nervously, picks up the two bags, opens the front door, closes it, then walks upstairs and makes love to his wife.

On the third morning, there are four duffel bags. Alistair screams, tossing a pot of coffee onto the ground. It shatters, everywhere. He makes two trips, tossing the bags onto the front lawn. He goes back upstairs, pinning his wife on her stomach. Fucking her until she screams. “I love you, I love you” Alistair yells over and over.


That night, he does not sleep well at all. Tossing and turning. His wife sits up, looking him up and down. “Is everything all right, baby” She asks, running a hand across his chest.

“Yes, of course, go back to sleep darling. “ Alistair kisses her forehead. With one hand underneath the pillow, holding a gun with a finger on the trigger. Pointed towards her. He lets go of the gun.

“You know how much I love you, and the life we have together.” Alistair pleads. She kisses him, wrapping her arms around his neck. “Just one more fuck, like the other day” She whispers, grinding her hips into his.

Afterword, he rolls over, exhausted. Forgetting about what he had to do. He was going to sleep great. In the morning, I’ll be able to do it, he says to himself. He knew what his limits were. One last fuck, for one last bag. Just one last bag….


The cold barrel of a gun pressed to your forehead, is something a killer never forgets. Alistair immediately goes for the gun, already knowing it isn’t there. Sunlight floods the room. He had over slept.


Six duffel bags of cash are stacked on the bed. His wife wraps her finger around the trigger. Arms steady and confident. Just like he had taught her. Grinning. “Just one last bullet, huh, sweetheart.” She pulls the trigger.

The Madness



We were on the run. Our entire world is succumbing into madness. There were four of us in the car and one of us was a going to be a murderer. Two of us were here for support. The other was going to be shot in the back of the head. He just didn’t know it yet.

In the glove box, is a small pistol, and in the back of the car were a shovel and some rope. We had promised ourselves that our friend would receive a proper burial.

A girl, a fiery redhead named Candy, sits in the passenger seat next to me, looking down in her lap. Hands clasped together, in prayer. Waiting for our hell to freeze over.

Peter and Jonas sit behind us. Jonas watches our friend Peter, as he succumbs into the madness. Peter sits in his seat, with his face pressed up against the window. His eyes roll into the back of his head. Every so often he will exhale a quiet steam of warm air through his nostrils, like a washroom dryer. Nobody is home.

I bite my lip, keeping both of my sweaty hands steady on the wheel, and my eyes on the road ahead. Trying not to think about Peter, or what he was turning into. Or, what we were going to do with him. Or, what we were running away from.


Behind us, far past the horizon, a gigantic smoke screen continues to build further up, blanketing the sky. Apocalyptic. A plague had descended upon the human race. We do not need to look back to know the worlds cities are burning. People are rioting. Succumbing to the madness.

“Which one of us do you think will go next,” Candy sobs, closing both of her eyes. The car is quiet. Peter begins to moan, dribbling long midnight silver spindles of drool. Like a child.


In a moment of absolute panic, I pull the car over on the road, reaching for the gun. It was stupid to rescue Peter, I tell myself. Looking back at him. There’s nothing we could do at this point. It would be better off for him, and for us. “No, we can’t!” Candy screams, but I push her back. Jonas looks at me and then at the gun, pulling our friend out of the car, while Peter just hangs from his arms, like a ragdoll.

I press the gun to Peter’s temple. My whole arm is shaking. Jonas wrestles Candy to the dirt, kicking and screaming. “Do it for fucks sake, we’ll catch it before long!” He blurts, red in the face. “I’m sorry, Peter.” I grunt. He just looks up at me, smiling, dumbfounded. Peter sits down on the edge of the grass, and lies down on his side, with his head resting on both hands. Closes both of his eyes. Ready for death….


I lower the gun. Just looking at my friend. Caught in the space between time. For a long moment. “What are you doing, shoot him.” Jonas gulps, his chest beating. “Do you remember when you were happy,” I turn around. “What?” Jonas stutters, starting to walk over to me. “When you didn’t have a care in the world. When there was nothing to run from.” I raise the gun up. Jonas stops. “Do not come any closer,” I grit, pointing the pistol at him. Jonas reaches out his hand. “Give me the gun, you sound….” I finish his thought for him. –“Mad, well then I ought to be. I’m tired of running.”


Two things happen next. Jonas goes for my gun. The gun goes off. He falls, collapsing onto the dirt. Gasping for breath, as the bloody hole in his chest vomits all over the ground. Candy shrieks, pivoting on her heel. I fling the gun around, and pull the trigger again. The bullet sends her face forward, into the earth.

Thank god, it is quiet again. The murder weapon is hot, so I drop it and kick it away. I look down. Peter is sound asleep, with a thumb in his mouth. I smile, and lie down next to him.

We lie next to each other for a good minute, until I am able to close my eyes. Rest. Be in peace. I like it here.

(The end)

The Bombs



Jon Forrester never left his room. Which was common for a writer. The only times were for a smoke, or too lie up on the roof and watch the planes fly by.

The planes were headed somewhere important. Off too burn a couple of traitors, no doubt.Anybody with two functioning eyeballs could see the bombs hanging off the belly of the machines. End of the world shit.

Anybody with a brain knew that the taste of sulfur and gas in the air, wasn’t natural. Nor was the way the skyline would light up like an orange balloon, and then change back to blue, as quickly as it had come.

Jon goes back inside too finish the story, after he has finished the cigarette. Another plane flies by, buzzing the tall pine trees. Shaking the house. The metal tin pots and pans that hang on the wall inside the kitchen shake back and forth. Jon sits down at his desk, biting the eraser part of the pencil with his teeth. Time seems to tick by like the gentle touch of a lover, slowly and delicately. On the wall is a calendar, with a date circled. That was when the book was due.

This time, the whole world shakes. Including his chair, the desk, and the floorboards. Bits of sawdust fall onto his shoulders. “Fuck me,” He yells, standing up. Raises a fist in the air.

Across the street, the neighbors dog begins too bark, loud, like a tornado siren. Jumping up and down on its hindquarters. Obviously challenging the incoming fighter jet.

Jon opens the window, and begins too bark, just like the dog. Snarling and shaking his head. The dog turns around, wagging its tail. “You don’t even realize who you’re barking at, you stupid mutt.” Jon yells, ducking his head back inside. He takes a deep breath, blowing hot exhaust out each nostril.

Jon closes both of his eyes. Holding the pencil over the paper. Think dammit. Think. The house rattles, again. On fucking cue, the dog begins too celebrate, even louder. Jon breaks the pencil in half, storming out of the room, and out the front door of the house.


The dog pulls on its leash, which is around a silver pole stuck into the ground. “Fuck you!” Jon leans over, yelling into the dogs face. The dog runs away, towards another part of its yard, continuing its bark.

“It’s gone, you mu–,” Jon looks up, into the sky. His mouth drops. His heart beginning to beat faster and faster. The plane that had just passed by turns around, and starts too fly back this way. Circling in the air. Life moves in slow motion.

Jon backs up, step by step. Waving both of his hands at the dog. “Shut up, shut up!.” He screams. Starting too run backwards. Right as the plane passes overhead, something falls out beneath its steel belly. Dropping fast, towards the earth.

Jon sprints across the street, pumping both of his arms like a windmill. The muscles in his neck straining. His background noise is a mixture of barking, and the wind shooting past his ears. The bomb falls through too the earth, landing right on top off the dog. Driving the mutts carcass ten foot into the dirt. A messy mixture of strewn up bits and fur. Then, the bomb goes off.

Further down the road, Jon is knocked off his feet, skidding alongside the pavement. The blast is deafening, like standing next too the speakers at a rock show, and the air is immediately a microwave. He loses consciousness.

Jon slowly opens both eyes, pushing off a couple of wooden boards and other miscellaneous items off his back. What looked like to be bits of a house. Both of his arms, legs, and face is covered in black soot. A couple of people are on the road, wobbling around, dazed and confused.


Jon dusts himself off, sighing heavily. Not saying a word. The blast had been big enough to leave a wide steaming crater that used to be the neighbor’s home. Sizzling like a well cooked steak. He turns around, walking through the rubble that used too be his home.

He finds his chair, digging through a pile of rubble. Sitting back. The world is at an empty peace. Jon lifts his head, watching a bonfire of smoke regurgitate itself into the stratosphere. Quiet. Finally. A tiny grin begins to forms at the corner of his mouth. Time to look for that damn pencil.