Tuesday, October 31, 2017

The Morning Rough - Double Rough

"Candle Lit Dreams"

One day, I just walked out a door and just never stopped going. It’d be a gross understatement to call this a compelling urger, maybe even a blatant misconception. There wasn’t anything particular I left behind, and there wasn’t anywhere I particularly wanted to go. Nowhere I went held my interest for very long, as I was more concerned and annoyed with the fact that I had this urge to go from town to city to town, with no end destination in sight. Whether I was walking long distances or hitching rides, I was always aggravated with the an unfortunate feeling. No part of me was looking forward to seeing any place I’d end up at.
Weirdly enough, the only things I ever really looked forward to because they were the only things that brought any sense of accomplishment were the odd jobs I’d do for cash. Each job was a means to keep me going, both in traveling and living. There were times I would want to keep working at a certain job, but the urge to travel to another place was too strong.
Sooner than later, though, things come together in unexpected ways. Just as a flower bud is a green, usual thing before it suddenly blooms forth to worship the sun and the spring. No matter how often it happens, the transition into spring colors is a slow yet unexpected instance.
For me, the instance happened on a quiet winter morning, as I sat on a park bench and ate a sandwich, minding my own business. I had already done two jobs around this town, and I had already forgotten the name of the town. But, that was more a professional hazard from traveling so much. Unlike other towns and cities, this one was captivating me, each time I took a bite out of my sandwich.
Then a lady sat next to me, instantly putting a large purse on her lap and opening it. Expressively, she rummaged through her purse as her face was riddled with distress, discomfort, and an uncanny sense of urgency. Before long, I had caught myself looking, but for the life of me, I couldn’t stop. She just kept rummaging, pulling out a paper or an envelope and scanning it every now and then before going back to the hunt, as I ate my sandwich like a dumb fool.
At no point did she look my way, nor did she seem to mind my presence. Eventually, though, she tossed the purse to her side and started crying in her hands. Something about that made me nearly jump out of my skin, causing me to look around for any strangers nearby. Not sure I was worried about judgmental eyes seeing her like this…
She continued to cry in her hands well past five minutes, which had ignited a realization in me. Quickly, I opened my backpack and searched for the item that had popped into my head.
When I found it, I looked back her, finding no sign of her stopping the well of sadness she was drenching on her fingers and palms. Nervousness had shocked throughout my body before I swallowed a frog in my throat and finally spoke audible words: “E-Excuse me, miss.”
“Leave me alone,” her muffled voice sobbed, from her hands.
“I will,” I assured, “but I-… it’s just that I think this will help you more than it will help me.”
“Hard to describe… it’s something better left seen, I guess…” I scratched my head as I study the item I had grabbed from my backpack. “Probably… not too hard to describe, but I think it’s better to see it… Looks rather nice, but I’m not sure why I procured it in my travels…”
Her sobs stopped, though she continued to sniffle as she rose her pink, teary face out of her palms. Turning her head, she saw the snow globe in my hands: a little girl was kneeling in the center of a cross that was printed on the floor of the globe, praying with clasped hands and a low head, as she was surrounded by burning red candles, red gerbera daisies blooming in between each candle. After giving her a moment to look at it, I turned the key underneath then shook it: a soft, serene, twinkling song played as translucent, sparkly flakes fluttered all around the girl.
I blinked, and the lady was looking into my eyes.
My eyes were caught in hers.
Before I knew it, my life seemed to have bloomed like the flowers of spring. Of course, it wasn’t spring. It was winter, but each night bloomed under the candle lit dreams that, I imagine, weren’t unlike the candle lit prayer of that little girl.


"Don't Get Me Right"

What a night…
One moment, I was entering a bar and thinking I was going to mind my own business, as per usual. The next moment, a couple of wise guys were holding my arms, a big buffoon of a man rammed his fists into my gut and face. Maybe the pummeling was screwing with my memory, I couldn’t think of a damn good reason why they wanted to beat me to a bloody pulp.
Frankly, though, I was more surprised I heard the buffoon say something, after giving me a good kick into a wall. This is how I heard his spitting jargon: “If ya know what’s bes’ for ya, ya’d stay away from Scarlet.”
After that, they left me to the alley and my thoughts. More than thirty minutes passed, at least it felt like thirty minutes, before I realized I wasn’t spewing anything out of my noggin. Seconds passed until I finally remembered that I didn’t get a single drop of beer.
Then three minutes passed…
I got up and was relieved to find a cigar that was still intact. Walking out of the alley, I had it burning between my lips as a loud ticking sound plagued my mind. Suddenly, I found myself glad that I had started the cigar: I was a long walk away from any bar.
Didn’t think I’d know where I was after that beating… Guess I didn’t know a Scarlet, guess those blowhards confused me for someone else. Honest mistake, but the more I smoked, the more I walked, and the more I felt the blood in my mouth… the more I wanted them to learn from their mistakes.
Had no reason to rush, though: I needed to heal.
I needed a drink.
My cigar was done by the time I was close to the bar I was nabbed from, so I tossed it in the gutter before I walked in for the second time around. To say I didn’t give a damn about the stares would be an understatement and a half.
Only had one thing to care about for the rest of this night, but I had a priority to take care of before I handled that undertaking. As they say, first things first…
I ordered a pint of beer.
Wasn’t too much of a hassle to find the information I was after. By midnight, I had the names of the two bozos and that buffoon, and after that, it didn’t take too long to figure out whom Scarlet was, especially to that buffoon.
It was almost hard to believe I was being lead to a university, looking to teach something to the quarterback and his lackeys. Guess a few people would be astonished about the fact that many university professors were running a lucrative human trafficking “business.” 
Nothing about this surprised me, though…
Scarlet was one of the popularly-liked girls, picked for this business through blackmail and extortion like all the rest. The beating I got told me she had a bit of a rebellious streak, too.
Before long, I managed to find her, and she was definitely a looker, which made things all the sadder. Certainly, it didn’t sit well with my gut when I paid her to put together an orgy, tomorrow night, for the three thugs and a few professors. I made sure to stress that this was supposed to be a secret surprise for the buffoon. My heart sunk a few pegs when she took the large wad of cash with no hesitation.
The next night arrived…
My wounds were all patched up, and I was waiting for the party to begin. Just as suspected, they all came with their pants jumping and their guards down. It’s amazing how little powerful people think about protecting themselves from their enemies.
Each set of eyes went wide with shock when I entered and put a bullet in each knee that was attached to all responsible parties. The victims of this “business,” of course, were spared and allowed to leave.
Before long, each person learned something, especially that buffoon. Death was going to be too good for every single one of them, so I made sure to tend to the bullet holes before I strung their naked asses to the trees of the on the university lawn. I made them watch one of the university buildings burn to the ground.
After that, the police arrived.
The next day, not a word was mentioned about me in the many news outlets. What was more, the whole trafficking “business” was being torn down inch by inch. I actually found that the buffoon was interviewed: they asked him who had inflicted this act of vigilante justice upon him.
He just kept repeating one sentence.
“I picked the wrong guy.”
Seemed like a good occasion to drink, after that…

Sunday, October 29, 2017

The Morning Rough - "Sparkle And Flicker"


Good morning, dear reader, and welcome to The Morning Rough.
Today, I am at an odd state of mind, and that odd state of mind was fit to produce a kind of story, entitled “Sparkle And Flicker”, that was, perhaps, more tell than show. No use in giving you the grimy details of my odd mind at the moment, but it may be useful to know that this story may be an interesting, if not rather too abrupt, take on world building. Fantasy, at times, seems ripe for snippets of world building material that might not be unlike this piece. But, that’ll remain to be seen if I re-look this at a later time, or if some one actually sees this.
As always, dear reader, thank you for your time and patience and I do hope you will comment and share this story after reading it. Other than that, I hope your day is as well as can be expected. Thank you for reading.


"Sparkle And Flicker"

His name was Castor Wilhelm.
Everyone knew him as the stranger who - many claim - came out of the Unspoken Zone, borne out of a burst of fire and smoke. Those who lived to see him knew he had eyes of black basalt - somehow keeping a red hot, volcanic fire at bay - and a sword that seemed comprised of active brimstone. His touch, as well, seemed to turn some into ash, others into fiery beings, or it would put a person on their knees as steam covered their bodies.
Reports of his name came within hours after his arrival. A day later, propaganda of his ruthlessness had been posted to every Communal in the Spoken Zone. Many believed, thanks to the propaganda, that he had slaughtered the entirety of the Feather Communal, the closest village to the Unspoken Zone. Before a whole week ended, it had become clear - to the Invisible Authority - that Castor was being grossly underestimated, as the reports came in on the falling of two more villages.
Then within a month, after several more villages were reported as fallen, the blind people of the Spoken Zone saw the towers emerge from the once fallen villages. At first, the Invisible Authority tried to control the knowledge of the towers, vainly attempting to convince every person that the towers were not really there. However, it soon became clear to them that Castor was not merely a ruthless stranger, but a conqueror who amassed an army of fiery soldiers.
In the eyes of Castor, though, he was neither conqueror nor savior. His memories of the Unspoken Zone were sparse, near nonexistent, but there he had found himself, of that he was certain. But, we he entered the Spoken Zone, he saw a world that had lost all its honor. Yet, there was a faint echo, a yearning for honor that tried to cry out from the very earth itself.
Without hesitation, he went in search of men. He had not used his sword against another in his entire search, for the men had no fight in them to resist his hands. Many had turned to ash, and each flake of those ashen piles had revealed the life of lost honor. Few were engulfed in flame, their souls ignited and hungry to learn what he knew of this elusive value that beat inside his heart. Those who were protected by steam were uncertain souls, their potential preserved until his search was either a success or a failure.
Nothing escaped the fire of his eyes.
Castor, indeed, saw that the Spoken Zone had not known war in centuries. However, this was no land of peace: it was a land subjugation, each village called a Communal to service an Invisible Community, which had controlled them through the Invisible Authority, and this, in turn, allowed an Invisible City to thrive.
So, Castor amassed his army of fire, building tower after tower as symbol of ascension. Before long, nearly half of the villages had been conquered, his sword still unused, and the Invisible was surrounded, made very visible. The other villages didn’t need to be conquered, as the people finally heard the yearning in their souls. Despite the Invisible Authority’s efforts, many villages became towns. Many men, as well, took up arms along side the fiery soldiers.
Cornered, the final day of war at hand, the Invisible City did something no one, borne of the Spoken Zone, knew to be possible. First, it made the land shake, it’s earthquake as unnatural as it was an expression of rage. Then the city seemed to implode before becoming amorphous. Castor knew the Invisible City was really a dormant, Invisible Dragon.
However, this dragon could not hide behind the transparency of its scales, could not full his eyes nor the eyes everyone whom it had subjugated. It was as scared as it was ruthless, snarling and flying and eating what it could.
It was at this moment that Castor flung his sword, fire erupting out of his eyes as hot air surrounded him. Many stood in awe as charged, fully intent on slaying the beast and its maniacal enslavement of the Spoken Zone.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

The Morning Rough - "Petty Fingers"


Good morning and welcome to The Morning Rough.
Today, dear reader, I give you a story, entitled “Petty Fingers”, that is a strange attempt at the science fiction sub-genre known as cyberpunk. I may’ve tried my hand at this sub-genre once or twice, and I have not read it very often to my knowledge, so I am not very schooled in it. What I do know about it is from movies and video games, and though I do enjoy it to a degree, I wanted to write something that was a tad uncommon, perhaps.
In any sense, dear reader, I hope it is a well-enough read. Please feel free to, if you can, leave a comment and share on this or any other post. Other than that, I do hope your day gives you a spec of something that will benefit your life. Thank you for reading.


"Petty Fingers"

“The world is in the dark,” she said to the Pastor Irvine Beckett as he entered the alter area of his church. He wore a black suit, matching hat, and a red tie, all of which made him look more like a gumshoe - save for his round spectacles - than a pastor. When he looked up from The Bible he was reading, wasn’t the least taken aback by seeing a woman in a short black skirt, revealing leather top, green hair that was done to cover half of one of her flame riddled eyes, and even though she had tattoos in various seen places - perhaps more in unseen ones - there was nothing shocking to him to see skin to literally sparkle. Seeing his disposition, the woman continued, “I’ve heard whispers about this place, about a church that shouldn’t exist on the Net, and about a pastor who knows about a man who’s has found light in this chaos.”
Closing his book, the sound echoing throughout this plain - save for the crimson carpet - looking church, Irvine adjusted his glasses with one finger then walked to his podium. Once there, he placed the book on it as he stood beside it. As he lazily looked at his jacket and tie, brushing off unseen dust, Irvine asked, “Why do you say that? Why shouldn’t a church, like this one, exist on the Net? Isn’t it supposed to be designed to allow for anything to be built, any life to be lived?”
Shaking her head, the woman explained, “Every other so-called ‘place of worship’ is riddled with invisible propaganda, and everyone knows they’re a transition for the users that are classified as superstitious. No Patch would tolerate a place like this, free of the noise and filters. All others are riddled with Nazi bots, disenfranchised within seconds, and before anyone knows it, they are mysteriously sent away to a re-education program.”
Nodding his head, Irvine asked, “Who are you?”
Her mouth opened, but no words came out. Closing her mouth, her eyes shifted down, her expression submerging into a deep thought. Finally looking back up to meet his eyes, she answered, “That is one of the things I hope to find out.”
Irvine nodded his head.
“Before I take you to this man, whom you seek,” he said as he took off his hat, “ou will have to agree to leave your avatar, which requires a very uncomfortable sleep. However, when you wake up, you will not wake as an avatar but as a body, and that body will be the personification of who you are, but it will still not provide that answer. Knowing all of this, do you still want to meet him?”
She nodded and said yes, without any hesitation.
“Excuse me, Miss,” echoed a voice, as she was submerged in the darkness of an unconscious state. “Miss!”
A warm, rough hand grabbed her shoulder, causing her eyes to slowly slit open. Everything was blurry at first, and her head had a weight to it that she wasn’t used to, but eventually, her sight cleared. In front of her, as she was leaning against a wall, was the pastor from earlier, but his face was littered with hair stubble, and a cigar hung out of the right corner of his mouth as it burned. Gone was the gentleness she had seen back at the church, and in it’s place was a hardened, tired soul.
“There you are,” Irvine said with a feigned smirk. “What brings you here at the doorstep of my office?”
Shaking the heaviness out of her head, she said, “Not sure, at the moment.” Then she noticed her body: taller, a bit curvier, and all the tattoos and sparkles had vanished from her skin. However, she was wearing a red dress that seemed to glittered in a way, it seemed, that she had never seen, and in a way, it was far more glamorous than the sparkles.
“Well, lets start with a name,” he said, putting out his hand. “My name is infamously referred as Irvine Beckett.”
It was the strangest thing looking at his hand, hanging there and waiting to be shaken by hers. There was just something about it that ascended something within her, making her shake his hand and say something she did not expect.
“The name’s Winona Violet.”
Nodding his head, Irvine said, “Well, Miss Violet, you’re welcome into my office, if you’re in need of a private investigator, though to need one in the Net may not be an easy affair… I do have coffee, though. That usually jogs my memory, if you’re looking to remember something.”
For whatever reason, Winona agreed then followed him into his office. As she walked, a great sense of warmth cast upon her. There were certainly simulated temperatures on the net, but there was something about this warmth that was different.
Certainly, it was the strangest thing…

Friday, October 27, 2017

The Morning Rough - "Warm Shadows"


Good morning and welcome The Morning Rough.
To be honest, I wasn’t sure if I could back in the swing of things after hitting a kind of a rut, so I decided to write a story, entitled “Warm Shadows”, that pulls from one of the few universes that play out inside my head. I’ll won’t go into too much details of this universe, though I wish I could dispel all the details that are left out of this particular story.
Perhaps, the only thing I could say about the universe of this story is that it is my take on utopian, distopian, and post-apocalyptic fictional universes. Each one of those categories, popularly speaking, seem to not be enough in some regards. Though, I neither have the time nor patience to describe what is not enough, at the moment. So, dear reader, you’ll just have to deal with this rough short story.
As always, I hope you will comment and share this or other posts one of these days. But overall, I hope your day goes about as well as you can manage it. Thank you for your time and patience.


"Warm Shadows"

Sunlight began to bleed into the wild landscape of mountains and trees, as the morning dew had thinned. Paul and Lola were still sleeping in the old truck, naked and cuddled together under a thick blanket, on a roadside hill that overlooked that range of green giants. When the sun reached the windshield, Paul eventually received a glint of sunshine in his face. He opened his eyes ever so slightly and tried his best to turn away as his body jerked and stretched.
Lola responded by tightening her arms, wrapped around his abdomen, as she tried to dig her face in his chest. Neither wanted to accept the fact that the day was upon them, but eventually, they had fully awoken and bore a tense silence toward the realities they’d eventually have to face.
“Did we glimpse paradise?” Lola asked, with a sigh.
Paul kissed her head then patted her shoulder.
“Come on,” he said, reluctantly. “I doubt we escaped them just yet.”
She looked up at him with a wanting stare.
Of course, he stared back at her.
How could he resist those sparkling irises? Why would he abstain from kissing those lips that had been kept away from him for far too long? Those lips gave him the warmth of life.
They had to get up, however, to put on their clothes and gear. It was likely that this highly wooded area would make things more difficult for their relentless pursuers. There was no use relying on the environment to completely impede that relentlessness.
After double checking their blades, their guns, and their ammunition, they got back into the truck and drove back on the road. Neither of them wanted to think about encountering the need to go off road just yet.
Before long, they were driving through a stretch of road that was surrounded by the woods and the hills they grew out of. Hours passed as they drove, the environment looking so unchanging yet full of distinctions here and there. The silence of the day made both of them suspicious of their surroundings, but the growl of the truck’s engine seemed keep their paranoia at bay.
Suddenly, a person came into view a few yards ahead of the road: it was what seemed like a tall man wearing a suit that comprised of various shades of pink, but he also wore a peculiar helmet that covered his face; the face of that helmet seemed to made of pure white marble, sculpted to look like a lifeless, indifferent, androgynous face. Paul slammed on the breaks the moment he saw the pink of the man’s cloth.
“Drone!” Lola exclaimed, grabbing a shotgun. 
“Three more behind us,” Paul said, grabbing a pistol, “another couple yards.”
“I don’t see any more. Guessing they’re the search party.”
After a moment, the drone in front of them finally grabbed a peculiar-looking rifle from his back and began walking toward them. Behind the truck, the three drones merely grabbed their rifles as well.
Paul and Lola waited for the right moment to attack, as it they would have a better chance fighting them at close range. Each drone was bread to be agile and extremely ruthless, and while they possessed considerable strength, they lacked certain improvising skills that were required in a fight.
When the drone was less than a yard away, Paul and Lola holding off attack for just a bit longer, something unexpected happened: Someone had leapt out of the forest, swinging of some kind of line, and landed on the drone. Both Paula and Lola cocked their heads as they saw that the person was smaller than the drone, wearing a kind of gas-mask helmet, but a large hat was on that helmet as well, as he disarmed the drone then stabbed a machete-like blade into its neck.
Then a roaring engine echoed behind them.
Looking behind them, Paul and Lola saw that the drones had been distracted by noise as well. A motorbike soon came into view, and it looked like it had once been a steed that had been captured from the pits of hell itself. The rider looked like a conquerer of death - from the looks of his deformed-skull helmet - and there was a hat on him that wasn’t too dissimilar from the hat the other stranger wore.
His presence seemed to make the drones shake in fear, especially when he produced a relic thought long gone. When the New Rulers sought to crumble the Old World under its heels, they made it a point to dispose of every revolver. For whatever reason, the rulers despised it both as a weapon and symbol
Paul, like Lola, had merely escaped the world that the New Rulers had bread them into, so neither of them knew what a revolver was a symbol of to them. He couldn’t speak for Lola, but the moment he saw the weapon gleaming silver and killing the drones in a matter of seconds, one word somehow entered his head.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

The Morning Rough - Triple Rough!


Good morning and welcome to The Morning Rough.
It has certainly been a couple days since a new story was released, and I can do nothing more than to give you, dear reader, other than a heart-felt apology for my human fallibility and the hard work of catching up.
The today’s post for The Morning Rough is sub-texted as Triple Rough!. I wanted this to be a Double Rough, but the day had gotten ahead of me. So, I decided to give you three stories in one post: “Falling Into The Moon”, “Blood Metal”, and “Hit Me In The Teeth”. Nothing would please me more than to give you a inquisitive introduction for each of these stories, but they’re as rough as rough can be. Sometimes a story isn’t as conceptual as one would try to make it as, but who knows, maybe there are a ton of concepts to sink one’s teeth into. But, regardless, the stories are more important than these damn Introductions anyway.
So, dear reader, I hope this post more than makes up for the lost days. As always, it would be very much appreciated if you left a comment or shared it and other posts to your hearts continent. In addition, I hope your day goes as well as you can manage it.


"Falling Into The Moon"

She came in steaming like a locomotive.
Tears were flowing down her rosy cheeks, hands clasped in shaking fist as she barreled through the crowed of men, through the fog that fumed from glass pipes, and into the living room of chuckles, loud music, and a big screen that kept a football game imprisoned. Everyone went quiet as a guy stood up to see her raging toward him.
He was a big guy, obviously the head honcho. Nothing about any of these guys seemed to scream model citizen; not completely, anyway. Despite her frantic demeanor, he held a grin on his face that was filled with a misplaced sense of power.
When she was inches away from him.
He looked down at her as if he was a tower.
She looked up at him in defiance.
Then rose her hand and began to strike his face.
But, a hand caught her wrist while another gripped her shoulder to stop her jerking body. After a good moment of being an angry lioness caught in a net, she yelled, “Let me go, Clyde!”
“He ain’t worth it, Liz!” said the man in the gray suit, who was holding her back from attacking the grinning bastard.
Liz finally calmed down, but she was still shooting fire from her eyes as she spat, “You better not lay a finger on her, Randy!”
“She’s my daughter, too, bitch,” said Randy, putting a glass pipe to his lips. After letting smoke slither out of his mouth, he added, “I don’t care what the law says. You should know that better than anyone.”
“That’s rich coming from the bastard with politicians in his fucking pocket!” Liz screeched, going for another go in attacking him, but Clyde kept her in 
Clyde put his arms around Liz as she whimpered in anger. “We can’t do anything, here, baby. Let’s leave these assholes.”
“Surprised you hooked up with a square like him, Liz,” Randy called as they left. “You were always a hoe, but I never took you for a gold digger.”
“Hush, darling,” Clyde whispered into her ear as they walked, keeping her from jerking away from his arms. “No words mean a thing coming from his mouth.”
Eventually, they were out of the building. Liz was a sad mess getting into the taxi car, but she got in all the same. As he strapped on her seat belt, Liz put a hand on his shoulders and said, “Clyde… I’m sorry…”
“You don’t need to apologize for a thing, sweetheart,” he said as she held her chin, making her look up at him. To him, she was beautiful, tears and all. “Hey. Just say the word and they’re all dead… You’ll get your daughter back in the morning.”
After coughing a few whimpers, Liz whispered, “Kiss me, Clyde.”
He did.
Their lips were locked for a good minute before they parted. As Liz stared deep flames into his eyes, she said, “Make sure you come back alive, and make sure he fucking suffers.”
Clyde told the driver to make sure she gets home safe and paid him. Then he stepped back as rolled down the window. Expression full of pain and determination, Liz said, “I mean it, Clyde. Don’t you dare get yourself fucking killed.”
The taxi drove off with her repeating, “I mean it, Clyde.” He just stood there for a good moment before taking out a cigar and began lighting it. As he did this, a couple of thugs had stepped out of the building behind him. Cocking their heads, they asked if he was “the square,” and they wondered why he was still here.
“Still got some business,” Clyde said, plainly.
Then he held the cigar up a bit to study the burnt tip.
“Well,” began one of the thugs, “you better get out of here if you know what’s best for you, square.”
“Yeah,” said his friend, “a square like you can’t be too careful in a neighborhood like this. Might get yourself hurt, looking the way you do.”
Deciding to torch the tip a bit more, Clyde said, “You fellas keep calling me a square, but I don’t think you’d know a square from a pile of bricks.”
Then everything became white noise when Clyde stopped lighting the cigar. After putting the cigar between his lips, puffing a thick cloud, he pulled a gun out of his jacket and shot the two men in the head.
It was going to be a long night.


"Blood Metal"

Every inch of the media lit up like a Christmas tree on a hot Independence Day. It was like the news outlets had been dead until this case arrived, and within an hour of their grubby fingers touching it, the case became known far and wide as “The Gray Dahlia Case.” A churned stomach told me it didn’t take them long to come up with achingly “original” name.
However, I ended up being the last to know, despite it all. There isn’t many good things that come with my excessive drinking habit, but I’d say this was one of those rare occasions that it did me a solid. But, I suppose I should fill in the gaps.
My name is Washington Reese, a Private Investigator that is infamously known for finding robots and androids that disappear. The moniker of “Corporate Shill” gets thrown at me harder than shamus or “Rent-a-cop,” as I get paid by top brand tech companies or the companies that bought from them. Basically, I’m the guy they call when corporate espionage turns out to not be the initial culprit behind a “mechanical life-form,” as some of these companies call them.
So, you’d imagine my surprise when I woke up to a call from the Police Department. It was an automated secretary that called, who just told me to come down to the police station for a consulting job offer. Whoever made that message clearly wanted to keep a lot of things hush-hush, perhaps out of a broken pride.
For whatever reason, I was feeling generous, so I took a shower and put on a decent suit before making my way to the Department. There, I was put into an interrogation room as a Senior Detective tossed a file my way. She didn’t say much: “Take a look.  If job suits you, its yours.”
Her face was smacked full of boredom.
My curiosity about the file was stronger than my impulsive need to ask questions. Besides, there are only two reasons why a detective would even dream about questioning another detective, and one of them is only necessary to get on some nerves.
The file was just filled with pictures.
Each one contained all possible angles of the scene, along with all the pieces of evidence: A robot had been stuck to a wall, via a spear through its mouth, as it wore a pink tutu; tied to the robots spread-out thighs was a female android, wearing a gray suit, that was made into a PEZ Dispenser, thanks to a particularly creative incision; and then there was the streaks of blood, one on each side, made by someones hand.
Looking up from the photos, I said, “So, do you guys not think this is worth department resources?”
With a sharp glare, the detective said, “Do you want the job or not?”
My attention went back to the photos as I asked the last question: “How much are you guys paying?”
“Solve the case in a timely manner might convince them to pay top dollar,” the detective answered, tapping the table. “However, I highly doubt a shamus, like yourself could solve this waste-of-time in a day.”
After a minute, mostly just to annoy her and whoever was looking at us through the mirror, I closed the file and held my hands together. Then: “My price is at least a thousand bucks, if I solve this case in less than a day.”
I was out of the department in less than three hours, relishing the fresh air outside the building. Didn’t take me long to start a cigar and puff a few clouds of smoke as I stood on the sidewalk just outside. There was a good amount of commotion going in the building, which I had kind of started about an hour ago.
Nothing was too hard to figure out about the case: It definitely was a lot of work to put those two mechanical life-forms out of commission, and not even the most eccentric serial killers would go to all that trouble without wanting to make some kind of statement. By the time I figured out everything I could have found out about the robot and android, which required a couple of phone calls the companies I’ve worked for, I knew precisely who the culprit was and why they had done it.
Surprise, surprise: the bored detective, in the interrogation room, was one of the masterminds behind this little PR disaster. Like I said, though, I was the last to know about this case being the talk of the town for the media.
Apparently, cracking the case of “The Gray Dahlia” made it a whole lot harder to close it, but department politics weren’t my job. I just wanted my pay check and to get the hell out of there.
Before I decided to walk further away, I puffed a sizable cloud of smoke and thought about how I’d use my five thousand bucks. Didn’t think they’d be that generous after what I exposed.
Then again… I was pretty sweet to the secretary.


"Hit Me In The Teeth"

Our lips meet as it all burned down.
You let out a sigh of hot smoke then kindle me in your warm arms. The sky is red from our passion, no other explanation could be good enough to me. Everything is chaos around me, and you command it all with those hot eyes, two hot flames that demand order from the turmoil. We then hold hands on the dock and walk away from the fiery cruise. Each of us is soaked from the swim, but our hearts know of nothing but firestorm in our hearts.
“Dwayne!” came an angry, familiar voice.
I look over my shoulder as you nestle that sweet head into my chest. My hand strokes your silky hair as I look over my shoulder and glare at the tattered, wet man at the end of the dock. Seems like he had went through hell. Fitting for a bastard that came out of hell, at least in my opinion.
“You’ll never get away with this!” he shouts. “I’ll stop at nothing to bring you down, you hear that? There won’t be anywhere to hide when I put all my power over fucking head like dark cloud!”
“Go home and get some sleep,” I say, as we start to walk again.
“Better prepare that whore, too,” he adds, stopping us dead in our tracks. “I’ll personally see to it that she suffers through life after I put your damn corpse in the ground.”
Turning my head once more, scowling this time, I press you closer into me. For some reason, the flames on that boat seem to glow with a demonic crimson. He held a maniacal grin as he let out a crazed fit of chuckles.
Suddenly, you yank yourself away from me. My revolver glimmers bright in your hand as your thumb pulls back the hammer. It only took you a second to aim and pull the trigger, giving him another hole to drool out of, but the drool was blood, and the hole was in his forehead.
For a long moment, I just stand there.
I am captivated by the way you stand there, breathing heavily with anger as you continue to aim that peashooter. Venus is a vein bitch in comparison to you. The very radiance you possess melts all of Olympus.
My hand grabs you from behind.
Every part of you shivers and relaxes as you melt into me. You drop the gun and hold my cheek as the rain starts pouring down just for us. Something makes you whimper as you ask, “Is it all over, Dwayne?”
“No, Amy,” I say, looking deep into your eyes. “It’s all beginning right here, right now. The rest of our lives. Just you and me.”
“Make love to me.”
“Right here.”
“No better time.”
Our lips meet once more, our passion so hot that the water starts steaming off of us, rain unable to cool off our hot love. Nothing could ever stop us, not a cruise full of thugs, not a raging fire, and certainly not a crazed lunatic.
I wanted you and only you.
You devoured me in your flames of order.
Everything about you makes me invincible because your love smacked me in the teeth. Any other pain was measly scratch. No other pain could feel just as sweet…

Monday, October 23, 2017

The Morning Rough - "Death Of The Party"


Good morning, and welcome to The Morning Rough. Today’s story, “Death Of The Party”, was one I didn’t expect to turn out to be a kind of murder mystery. Originally, I had thought it would be the more of a philosophical exercise of sorts, or maybe, it would turn out to be a slice-of-life tidbit. There is, indeed, something curious about it because, for the life of me, I can’t quite visualize the main character enough to know all his/her details. Maybe I was just being indecisive. Either way, here it is.
As before, I apologize that this was incomplete yesterday, and that it took forever for me to finish it and give you a different Introduction. No excuses other than poor excuses, I suppose. But I will do my best to make up for lost work. However, I don’t think I’ll have a new post ready for today. So, apologies, again.
Hope yesterday faired well, dear reader, and I hope today will be better suited to tackle any hardship that may come your way. Thank you for your time, and I do hope you will comment and share on any of these posts, one day.
Best wishes.


"Death Of The Party"

It’s not that I hate parties.
There’s just something about the way people act around one another, getting soaked into the “spontaneity” of it all, that annoys me.  Of course, it’d be one thing if spontaneity was the only factor, and you can see it in there eyes that it is not. Whenever a wave of ecstasy arrives, whenever “something special” occurs, each one of them is just as superstitious as a hag throwing salt over her shoulders. They believe it’s grander, however, as if the stars aligned just for them.
When it all comes crashing down, they always wonder what had happened. Sure, alcohol or substance abuse can help in matters, but it only heightens the symptoms. No one ever seems to notice that when people come together, a good many toxic things can happen. That’s not to say some good things can happen… but that’s neither here nor there.
Anyway, I knew something bad was going to happen when I was dragged to this party. “Chance to network,” and “You need to get out more,” were all thrown into my face before I finally conceded.
Seconds after walking into the fog of crowded bodies, an invisible box closed in all around me. The smell of sweat was more pungent than the smells of alcohol and weed and food. I could smell tobacco, but that mostly wafted in from outside, which seemed like the better option to me.
Being a detail oriented mind didn’t help me out much, either. The toxicity of this place was heightening my senses to a degree that I wasn’t used to, as if my eyes suddenly became that of a bird-of-prey. Probably could’ve seen the dust mites in the carpet, if hair follicles, pores, droplets of sweat, the mist of breaths, and other key factors weren’t invading my brain.
Eventually, all of that stuff began to collide, putting me in a kind of dizzy state, though I probably just looked like a stiff, awkward individual in the middle of a moshpit. Despite this, however, I wasn’t feeling nauseous… in point in fact, I was at full attention because a particular odor had entered my nostrils.
The smell was faint, but it was pungent.
Weirdly enough, I’ve never been one to get sickened over bad smells, so I found myself searching for its source. No one paid me any mind, as I did this, especially the friends who had dragged me here.
 I wasn’t sure what I’d find, but I was being lead upstairs.
Arriving there, the odor became increasingly pungent, despite there being more people here, weirdly enough. Some were bouncing on beds, others were having group make-out session (they didn’t look as sexy as they thought they looked, though).
Before long, I was in the bathroom.
It seemed very clean, despite how much it had been in use. The bath tub was covered by a shower curtain bearing very cute, pink unicorns. Despite the other odors in here, the smell that had lead me here was the most abundant.
Walking closer to the curtain, I mound my hand shaking. Perplexed, I wonder if I had developed a fear of what I would find behind that curtain. Or, perhaps more worrisome, I feared that I would find nothing behind it at all.
However, there was no stopping me.
Upon grabbing the curtain, I heard my friends voice saying, “What you up to, there?” After that, I had pulled the curtain without the slightest hesitation. Revealing two corpses, a girl on top of a boy. His heart had been pierced, and a knife was in hers. A tragic scene if ever I saw one, though many were screaming as if it was a horror scene.
Perhaps… this couple was taking Shakespeare a little too far. 

Sunday, October 22, 2017

The Morning Rough - "Breath So Raspy"


Good morning (albeit belated, once more) and welcome to The Morning Rough.
Not much to say for this story, entitled “Breath So Raspy”, other than it’s mostly a scene I’ve had in my head for a long time. Thought I’d try it out for a very short piece, and I’m sure it could use some work to be a tad more hilarious. But, it is what it is.
Again, I hope you enjoyed the read, and it would be very much appreciated if you commented and shared this post. Other than, as always, I hope your day goes well, dear reader.


"Breath So Raspy"

My story is a simple one.
It kind of gives me a headache, thinking about how simple it all was, in hindsight at least. By the time it all wrapped up, I had to hobble my ass over to a bar then drink the bad taste out of my mouth.
However, I may be getting ahead of myself.
The day began like any other and it turned out to be the standard for my miserable, lonely life until lunch time reared its ugly head. Of course, I had no idea how ugly it would be. Doubt anyone will see the curveballs of divine intervention, not before they smack you in the head.
For this particular instance, it wasn’t a curveball.
I had just purchased my sandwich and wasn’t going to trust the traffic as far as I could throw it, so I decided to park my car close enough to work, which was at the end of a steep hill. The sandwich, as I so naively thought, was going to be the highlight of my standard day.
Until out of the corner of my eye, I see a kid on a red bike, seconds before he slammed right into the side door of my car. His head, much to my surprise, managed to crash right through the door’s window.
Yeah, I was startled.
Took me a moment to snap myself out of my initial shock, the beeping sound of my car alarm didn’t help in that regard.  However, a wave of relief came over me when the kid moved, which meant he was still alive, or had a chance at living.
“Don’t move, kid,” I said, as I put my sandwich down and fished my cell phone out of my pocket. “Calling an ambulance right now.”
Getting out of the car, I walked around to where the kid was, phone to my ear. As the second ring occurred, my periphery caught a glint of metal. When I turned my head, I saw a gang-banger, pointing a gun at my face. He was breathing heavily as sweat drenched his entire face.
“Put the phone down, cracker,” he said, painfully.
I wasn’t about to argue with him, so I put the phone down, before I put my hands in the air. He thanked me for my cooperation as a car pulled out behind me. Suddenly, a couple of other gang-bangers began carrying the kid and his bike to their car.
“You’re rather calm,” said the gangster with a gun.
“Just hungry,” I admitted.
Nodding, he said he got it.
Then he followed his buddies into the car and drove off. After a couple of minutes, I grabbed the phone and began walking to the driver side. Inside, I called the police as I revisited my sandwich.
Unfortunately, the day would drag out longer than I wanted to go after that, and I would learn things about the kids and the gang-bangers that were no interest of me. Then I had to wrestle with my insurance and get my car repaired. What made it all suck more was the fact that I wasn’t going to finish the work day.
I hate not getting paid for a whole lot of nothing.
But, I guess that’s the way life goes.
Still don’t like having my time wasted…
At least the sandwich was good.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

The Morning Rough - "No One Remembered"


Good morning and welcome to another post for The Morning Rough.
Today’s story is an example of mystery, but not necessarily the genre of mystery. What I mean is that I will, at certain points in the projects I commit to writing, not always know what kind of story I am trying to tell. For “No One Remembered”, I’m not exactly sure what I was going for in any sense or reason. Perhaps, if I were take a shot at the dark, so to speak, I’d say that this an attempt at contrast. But maybe, it is just my failed attempt at clarity and beauty. In any sense, here it is.
As before, please enjoy reading the story, and it would be very much appreciated if you left a comment and shared this to anyone who would love to read something short, albeit roughly made. Thank you for your time, and as always, have a wonderful day.


"No One Remembered"

Anthony Chamberlain smoked his cigar as the sun set upon the Pacific, as his boat made a valiant effort not to rock and sway too much from the ocean’s unpredictable wave patterns. He was miles away from land, though still fairly close to it. The urge to smoke, to take in the sea breeze, and to admire the sun setting… In summation, it was an urge to stop that had overtaken him, despite everything that was behind him.
When the sun was finally touching the wet horizon, Anthony’s cell phone began to play “Unforgettable”, sung by Fran Sinatra. Releasing a cloud of smoke from his mouth, he grabbed his phone and peered at the screen. The name “Carla” was displayed on the screen as Sinatra’s voice reverberated from the phone’s speakers.
Closing his eyes, Anthony answered the call and placed the phone to his ears. It took everything in his power to not crush either phone in his right grip or the cigar in his left grip. In addition, his face displayed an expression of immense pain.
“Uh-huh,” he uttered.
Behind the boat, San Francisco began to shimmer as twilight slowly cast over it. Several lights began to light up and twinkle, imitating the stars in the heavens, which could not be viewed from the depths of that city. The ocean’s silence was a raging peace, but the city gave it a visual chaos of noises.
“I know,” Anthony spoke. He stood up and took a small drag from his cigar, blowing out a thin stream of smoke as he walked toward the front edge of his boat. “No, I don’t plan to… Perhaps, but for now, it’ll be best for all of us if I steer clear until the dust settles.”
The sun was merely peaking over the horizon now, and as darkness began to bleed into the city’s landscape, patches of fire and smoke began to arise. It looked like hell had finally managed to escape out of thin, weak layers that had kept it at bay. Whatever sounds were sounding off, they could not be heard from this distance.
“Yeah…” regretted Anthony, his focus settled at the translucence of the water. “I will… Make sure you’re safe, too… Love you, too, sweetheart…. Goodbye.”
He hung up then tossed the phone onto the chair.
For a good minute, Anthony paced back and forth as he smoked his cigar. At no point in time did he peer toward the city. It was as if he was avoiding it, or as if it had long been forgotten to him, at least from the moment he had left its shores. To him, there was good reason to forget San Francisco…
Good reason… to keep his head down as he made his way back to the helm. Then Anthony turned the motor on as the city was engulfed in flames. No forethought entered his head as drove the boat further way, into a newborn night.
Above, the stars twinkled their vengeance.
The moon glowed its relief.
Calm had overcome Anthony as he kept the cigar between his teeth, puffing like a chimney on a quiet Christmas day. His eyes were wet with tears, wet with the only amount of sympathy he would extend to what lied behind him.
Only a memory of ash, now.
Perhaps, the city would remember it.
“Doubt it,” Anthony said to himself.
Even though his eyes glistened tears for the city, now darkened with smoke as it disappeared into the horizon behind him, they held a a particular illumination behind the glow of each green iris.
Indeed, there was something wonderful about that endless, dangerous sea ahead of him. At the very least, it was something to finally cherish.

Friday, October 20, 2017

The Morning Rough - "Super Mario's Knightly Panic"


Good morning (even if it isn’t), and welcome to another story for The Morning Rough. Today, this will be a rather short Introduction because this is a rather simple story, written specifically for Fan Fiction Friday! I thought it would be rather fun, for this Friday, to write a story involving one of my favorite video game characters, and since Mario Odyssey is releasing at the end of this month, I figured it was ripe time to write a short story involving my favorite Italian plumber. However, this story, “Super Mario’s Knightly Panic”, I use a good deal of creative privilege in trying to formulate this story. If a Mario story is ripe for anything, it is humor, and it seemed like no better opportunity than to have him meet the stereotype of his trope? In any case, I hope the story is a fun read.
As always, I hope your day is well, and I certainly hope it’s better than mine. Please feel free to read, share, and comment!


Super Mario and its respective characters are Copyrighted by Nintendo and are not owned by me. This story is Fan Fiction, a story that is created from my own imagination, but it uses characters that aren't the product of my own imagination. Please support the official releases of this respective franchise.

"Super Mario's Knightly Panic"

On one odd day, in the Mushroom Kingdom, Mario woke up to a strange knock on his door. Since it was so early in the morning, he got up and answered it without forethought. When he opened the door, he certainly did not expect to find a knight, all glad in shiny armor.
“Ah, finally!” exclaimed the knight. “I thought I’d never see another human being! All the other residents seem a bit off with their mushroom hats.”
Mario blinked rapidly.
Brow furrowed, the knight said, “Though, you’re rather small for a human being… and I’ve never quite seen a peasant dressed so vibrantly before.”
“Excuse me?” Mario asked, before shaking the tiredness out of his face. He looked back into his house. Seconds later, he remembered that his brother, Luigi, was out of the kingdom for a day. Looking back at the knight, Mario asked, “Did you just call me a peasant?”
“Hmm?” Something had distracted the knight. When he turned to Mario, he said, “I don’t have time for pleasantries, peasant. Could you direct me to the nearest castle.”
Giving the night an annoyed look, Mario said, “You seem like you’re not from around here… sir.”
Suddenly, one of the Toads came running and screaming, “Mario! Mario!” Unable to get out of his state of annoyance, Mario regarded the Toad with the same expression he was giving to the knight.
“What are you?” the knight asked, perplexed by the mushroom hat wearing, small humanoid known as a Toad.
Ignoring the knight, the Toad explained, “Mario! The-.”
“Princess has been kidnapped by Bowser.”
After a few blinks, surprised Mario interrupted him in such a way, the Toad suddenly expressed a look of epiphany. “Oh yea… That keeps happening, doesn’t it?”
“Excuse me… you,” the knight said to the Toad. “Why are you asking this peasant for help? And who is this Bowser that supposedly keeps kidnapping a princess?”
“You don’t know the famous Mario?” the Toad asked. “Also, why are you calling him a peasant?”
Mario rubbed his eyes with his fingers as the knight looked him over for a moment then went back to the Toad. “I’m not too familiar with the dress, but it looks suitable for manual labor, which is a common thing for peasants from my land.”
“Well… Mario does more than just build things around the Mushroom Kingdom. Around here, he’s the hero!”
“Thank you, Toad,” Mario groaned into his palm.
“You’re welcome, Mario.”
“How can he be a hero if he doesn’t wear proper armor?”
Suddenly, an idea popped into Mario’s head.
“Don’t see how any-.”
“Actually, Toad!” Mario interrupted. “He’s right. Perhaps I’ve been going about this hero business all wrong. So, for today, why don’t you give him-.”
“You can call me Sir Harold.”
“Why don’t you give Sir Harold, here, the job of saving Peach for today. If something goes wrong, just let me know.”
“I don’t know…” Toad said.
“Nothing would please me more than to give my life to rescue a maiden in peril!” declared Harold.
“Mario…” Toad said. “Are you-.”
“Knock yourself out!” Mario interrupted, going back into his house, shutting the door. He then went straight to bed to catch up on his sleep.
After a few hours, Mario received a knock on his door. When he opened it, his jaw nearly hit the ground: it was Bowser, holding Harold by one ankle, as stars circled his head.
Releasing Harold’s ankle, Bowser asked, “What’s the meaning of this?”
Looking at the knight then at Bowser, Mario said, “He’s a knight, calls himself Sir Harold, I think.”
“I know who and what he is!” Bowser exclaimed. “My minions told me nearly everything about him after they beat him up! Why was he coming after me?”
“Figured I’d share the heroism?”
Bowser furrowed his brow.
Then: “I’ll get Kamek to send him back to his world, but I better see you or your brother to come save Peach come tomorrow!”
“Deal!” Mario said, with a grin.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

The Morning Rough - "The Pastor's Paradox"


Good morning, dear reader. Welcome to another post for this infamous blog segment, The Morning Rough. Before I begin talking about this story, “The Pastor’s Paradox”, I must say that I’m not too sure I can call this story. In some sense, it could be called a parable, but even then, I am uncertain because I have ended it rather abruptly, mostly due to time constraints, so I may write another story to continue it, out of pure necessity. As it stands today, though, it may serve its purpose.
Most of the concepts of this story are laid to bare within the story itself, but it may be necessary to contextually elaborate it’s core concept. See, for both last night and this slow-moving morning, I had dived into the concepts that C.S. Lewis had written and spoken about. One of the joyful things about listening to Lewis’ ideas is that it helps me think about what Christianity, as a philosophy, means to me. Unfortunately, as much as I could talk about Lewis, one could argue that this is about as far as his influence may reach.
In regards to my context of Christianity, perhaps more so laid bare in this story, I must explain certain things about the way I think. See, my method Christianity stems from a Protestant methodology to faith. If, for whatever reason, this unsettles you - especially if you were convinced that Protestantism had been done away with, or that Protestantism is kin to Puritanism - then you are quite welcome to stop reading right now and make sure to ask your priest for some extra holy water.
All religious jokes aside, I have to assure you that the original conception, at least as far as I have understood it as, of Protestantism is to come at faith with both head and heart. Certainly, I am willing to accept “mysticism” to a degree, but I cannot abide by the authority of a man to tell me that my soul is saved. Of course, to base faith purely on the Holy Bible may be run into several traps, often literally enacting certain things that should not be enacted, or by feeling certain things toward others that should not be felt. This comes with the idea that you must follow everything within the Bible, else you run the risk of contradiction.
Because of this, as a Christian, I cannot be confined in the box of Catholicism (despite agreeing and respecting more than a handful of Catholics), just as I cannot be strung along with Puritan sentiments that can plague any Protestant or Catholic (despite understanding that this sentiment isn’t as stereotypical as certain mediums might sway people into believing). There is certainly something to be said about the benefits of a congregation, but if everything goes as far as that congregation is concerned, rather than tailoring individuals’ relationship to the Holy Trinity (in so far as those concepts are stretched), and no further then that congregation has softened the soul, in my opinion, rather than strengthened it.
I could be wrong, of course. There is a possibility that my ideas are as crazed as a conspiracy theorist shutting himself in his closet, frantically gluing his tinfoil hat on his head. Some things, I think, need an air of mystery. Wish I could elaborate more, but I think I should not let the story do the telling.
As always, please feel free to read and comment. My hope, too, is that your day make you stronger with each strange and perilous hurtle.


"The Pastor's Paradox"

William Thomas was a man of shame.
But, then again, we are all people of shame. For William, however, it had often plagued his mind that being a man of shame was unacceptable because he was supposed to be a man of God, as well. This means he was a pastor, a man who preached the Word of God to his small church… a man who was supposed to lead his community down the righteous path. It seemed to him, as it likely seems to many who have looked upon religion with disdain, that he was caught in a contradictory life. Certainly, there was a word for it: hypocrisy.
There is a problem, though, when assessing this judgment to William. It can certainly be correct if he had shunned away any notion of his sins, if they were pointed out, which they never were in a public sense.  Privately, the pastor was quite open to those who were in need of his guidance in a confidential setting. Oddly enough, since he had spoken to every member of his small congregation in this confidential setting, every member knew of his contradictory life, but there was not one breath of gossip spread amongst the usual matriarchs of the congregation, nor were rumors crafted to do away with him in the most dramatic of circumstances. Why would a group of people readily condone William’s willingness live this contradiction?
Also, it should be noted that Pastor William was often praying about this contradiction. “Please,” he’d plea, “please, Lord! Do away with this shame I keep inflicting upon my soul!”
So, to say he was a hypocritical Christian may be to speak in pure ignorance. Inwardly, of course, he may certainly be hypocritical, as one could argue that he may speak of wanting to do away with his shame, but since he keeps enacting his shame, often being shameless in the action at the pure heat of the moment (as the proverbial “they” would say), it is clear that his heart yearns for sin. But, there is a problem with supposing this: Pastor William’s shame over his hypocrisy was greater than his shame for the contradiction of his life. In point of fact, his shame was so great that, when he prayed about it, he’d punch, scratch, and kick at the wood of his desk. How that desk endured such abuse is, perhaps, a testament to the love and care of its crafter.
Now, as with anything, we must suppose that something about William’s problem has to be confronted somehow. It certainly cannot be confronted by a mob who’re in great upheaval about his moral compass that they’d do anything to bend him toward their purisms. This story is certainly not just about how the contradiction of this pastor’s life is, in a very real sense, actually a paradox. But, perhaps I’m destroying the illusion of the story?
Well, perhaps it should be in our interest to go into the real meat of this story, which happens to also be proverbial “they” might say. If a story is to have “meat,” we should suppose that there are more characters at play than William, his congregation, and his poor, battered desk.
But, I digress…

It didn’t often happen, but William knew it was going to happen. The day was never certain, but the hour was always around ten o’clock in the night. For whatever reason, when the witching hour came on this night - of all nights! - something felt off and different. As he put on his gray suit, his red tie, and fitted on his gray hat, the feeling had latched onto William, and when he was putting on his shoes, the feeling seemed to be kin to cold shiver that never ceased to crawl up his spine.
Regardless, he was out the door.
First stop was always the bar, and in the blink of an eye, William would find himself in one bed after another, be they man or woman. His fleshly desire burned in a carnal heat so great that each lover would always compliment him on his performance, and they’d often beg him to continue to spend the night with them, but at the same time, they would never go too far with their begging.
Of course, though this seemed like a usual night where William’s sins had taken hold of him, that feeling from earlier had persisted. It grew more and more, often growing faster at those moments where sweat and pleasure had reached their epicenters for each encounter.
Then the feeling stopped.
Gone in the middle of stroll to a brothel, but this had immediately paralyzed him and gripped him with shaking fear. William eventually found himself looking around, this way and that, like a small lizard jerking his head in search for its insectile prey, as if he were looking for that feeling that had plagued him earlier.
Suddenly, he ran into a priest.
Apologizing, William went back to his search, but after a few paces, he stopped dead in his tracks. The small hairs, on the back of his neck, had risen. A small drop of sweat rolled down his brow and past his cheek.
When he turned around, something had compelled William to stare at the priest, who was strolling quite casually. Then William began to follow him at a far distance, head desperate to understand why he was so fixated on this priest.
Eventually, after a while, William began to notice a peculiar detail: the priest was following someone. Certainly, the pastor was surprised to find the woman, whom the priest was following.
She seemed beautiful.
But, also, everything about her, from the way she dressed to the way she held herself, seemed to suggest a great deal of tragedy. Not just any kind of tragedy, though. Hers was a life of shame, and it certainly made a tear spill out of William’s eye, knowing he could relate to both the life and the desperation to pull away with something that seemed impossible to let go…
Then she turned the corner, into an alleyway, and the priest soon followed. It was clear as daylight, to William, that something horrible would happen in that alley.
Now, there is an unfortunate reality, when it comes to being confronted by certain horrible epiphanies or revelations, and it is something that may happen to us in one sense or another.
William was no different.
Upon realizing the priest was meaning to do harm to the lady, the pastor had found himself frozen and filled with fear. It was not the kind of fear you might think, though: he wasn’t fearing his life; nor was he fearing the priest, who could’ve harmed William’s reputation with his status, despite the two of them being of different denominations; and William did not hold a fear of confronting the priest.
No one wants to witness a horrible act…
He had to, though, and William would, just as he would save her life…