In the train

Jacob and katie walked back from the hotdog stand near the metro.
‘get some sauerkraut up in this bith homie” Jacob said, as he grabbed a full handful of Katie’s juicy ass.

The hotdog man grunted back

“Aint no sauerkraut up in this here bitch lessin you a hog or a cattle”

Dumbfounded, Jacob’s grip began to loosen upon Katie’s ass. He knew that it was finally time to take action. That he had put up with enough throughout the years, his time working fo, but nonetheless r Seymore, at the glue factory. Seymore. That fucking pig. FUCK SEYMORE!

“Hey bud!”

He blurted

“How bout you suck the fat off a lard’s ass you fucking pig”

The hotdog man lay defenseless. THroughout all of his years, he had never once felt the sting of Jacob’s words. Not only because they resonated with his most adolescent and naive self, when he lived a life previous crossstictching pillows in aunt Lilly’s factory. Where a days worth of work would buy you enough to catch a train home. But also because hotdog man knew they both came from the same place. His mom’s pussy. And at hat moment hotdog man put out his hand to Jacob, and with this gesture he uttered “May you ever last in peace”

The words, had not been well thought out but nonetheless he knew that the impact had been made. There would be sauerkraut on this hotdog, and he knew damn well why. But in opposition to his own programming and semblance to reality, he continued. “Give me five on that bitch and I give you five fifty”…refrain..”and give me nine on that bitch and I’ll give mine thrifty”.
scratch it with your finger nail, . half it again, and then rip it again, and then half it again, and then rip it again, and then half it again, and then rip it again. but you’ll still end up at the same place. sending texts to some ne erdowell from the south side at all hours of the night”

This woman is fucking nuts. There’s no imaginary hairs on your jacket. Stop taking them off.Bobbling bulbs bounce past the window and blow up the periperral vision. Why. Why. Why keep ripping that paper. seriousl. what the fuck are you doing .

Chapter 1. Part 2

Mr Washington was giving a lecture about the asexual reproduction of eukaryotes as the boys wandered back to their desks. Which had been put on opposite sides of the classroom in an attempt to keep them separate and therefore minimize any sort of conspiracies they’d hatch if they sat too close together. Equidistant from all of them at the front of the class sat what they thought must be the new kid. Immediately they could see why they had got their special talk with Mr Bocker. They glanced at one another and exchanged smiles. Mr Washington, a World War II veteran with dark tinted glasses and a blazer which resembled a thrift store couch noticed this and addressed them directly. “So, as I see you boys had a meeting with Mr Bocker, let me introduce the new student we have in our class” The three all were stone faced, all three were trying to act as well behaved children. Mr Washington continued. “Boys, this is Rusty. Say hi Rusty” “Hi” Rusty said as he turned around in his desk to somewhat wave at all three at once. Trying not to look enthused in any way. He had long brown hair past his shoulders, an oversized Metallica shirt which looked as if it had been through the wash a couple hundred times so it had gone pale. Turning a strange hue between dark brown and dark grey. Mr Washington continued “Rusty is from Pittsburgh, and just moved here last week so lets all make him feel welcome here in North Dakota” Jason was wiping his nose as he looked at Rusty “Welcome” he stated, which emitted a series of giggles from all of the students. He wasn’t trying to be a jackass, just was trying to be nice. “Thanks?” Rusty replied. Scrunching up his face a bit in awkwardness. Mr Washington interrupted the exchange “So I’m sure you’ll all have time to get to know each other at recess. Now lets get back to Eukaryotes. Can anyone tell me some of the different structures which we have present within the cell membrane of a Eukaryote?” Jason raised his hand and answered “Lysosomes” as Jeremy began to doodle in the margins of his notebook.
Jeremy’s notebook margins were his favorite thing about school. He always took notes, as fast as possible, and without even thinking about what he was writing down. But his margins became places where giant fat cats with guns would swing on nooses only to find an ugly princess atop a dilapidated castle. His favorite comic to draw was one he had titled “Death Cat” which was simply a single frame (Much like Family Circus) all about a cat which would get into all sorts of trouble in whimsical ways. For instance, Death Cat Robs a Bank would show death cat in a mask carrying out a bunch of money, and the teller would have a banana stuck in her eye in the background. Death Cat was almost too absurd to be funny, that is, unless you were 10 years old. In that case Death Cat had become legendary. Jeremy was currently working on a death cat comic “Death Cat goes to the beach” when his attention was broken by a note plopping onto his desk. He unfolded the note which had been rolled tightly into a triangle and the paper tucked inside itself. “Draw Death Cat Asexually reproduces” the note read in red girly hand writing. Jeremy looked around trying to see who the note was from, but there were no leads. He then deduced that it had to have come from his half of the room since Marc had put it on his desk. And then he got it. Sitting right next to Marc, and looking at him right at that moment, was Jessica. A red pen in her hand, and a smile on her face. Jeremy’s crush ever since she sat in front of him last year. Jeremy smiled and looked back down at his paper. He flattened the note out as best he could, and decided he would attempt to draw Death Cat on the note itself. This way he had more space and could possibly impress Jessica with what he thought were above average drawing skills. He opened his textbook and began researching Asexual reproduction, as it is always a good idea to use source material for any type of illustration work he thought. As he looked over the images he could see that a lot of them were in 3d, which was disconcerting to Jeremy as many of his drawings seemed to stay quite flat, and perspective and 3d was something he was still working on. Nonetheless he carried on and put his pencil to paper and began his first attempt at a 3d rendering of Death Cat. As the minutes passed he had finished the head which had now been cut in half like a grapefruit. Inside of where the brain would be were multiple layers of membranes with small organelles inside performing different tasks. The Mithochondria looked like two giant kidney beans with DNA ladders cascading down from them. Death Cat had been split right down the center and pulled apart, with a stretching effect which had been achieved between the two halves. Much like what taffy looks like when you stretch it out between your fingers. Jeremy even began some new shading which he hadn’t tried before where he believed the shadows would be falling. It was a really good drawing, he thought, almost too good to give back to Jessica. As he finished up the final touches on the intestines which were now meandering all over the page he paused and looked at his drawing as a whole. He thought to himself “any more intestines and that’s going to take away from the dissected cat head. He put his pencil down and began to fold it back into a triangle. Mimicking all of the folds previously made by Jessica. It felt nice to do this, like they were bonded by some sort of paper folding ritual.
Jeremy tapped Marc on the shoulder, as he grasped the tightly folded little triangle which contained his precious Death Cat drawing. Marc put his hand up to his shoulder in a non chalant manner as his fingers searched for the note. Jeremy placed the note into his fingers and Marc grasped it, placing it on the inside of his palm, and then face down on the desk. Mr Washington looked straight at Marc. But Marc held his ground and didn’t flinch, keeping his hand covered on the note. Mr Washington went back to the board and continued the lecture as Marc slowly grasped onto the note once again. This time he was holding it close to his body as his other hand wrote diligently. Looking up at Mr Washington in a most attentive manner he then began to stretch out his arm which contained the note to the end of his desk. Jessica glanced over, keeping an eye on the progress. Jeremy’s eyes were transfixed on her, so much that their unspoken communication at this point had made him feel increasingly anxious about the notes arrival. He began to second guess himself. “Maybe the intestines were stupid” he thought. “Yes, definitely stupid.” He continued on the pathway of self doubt as Marc had now positioned the note between his two fingers and was blocking the view of Mr Washington with Alex who sat in front of him. Jeremy was now so nervous that he had begun to draw in the margins of his Science book. He couldn’t take it any longer. He had to get the note back. He feverishly scribbled on the pages of his textbook now, openly drawing new diagrams underneath photos of cell walls and membranes. “Marc” he whispered. Marc tilted his head back to listen. “Give me the note Marc” Jeremy continued. Marc’s face was confused now. Jessica looked over and scrunched up her eyes and shook her head at Jeremy. “Give me the note Marc” Jeremy reiterated. Jessica was now in on the conversation. She turned slightly in her seat and looked right at Marc. Her hand moved slowly to the side and fingers motioned for the note. Jeremy’s heart was sinking. “Don’t do it, give me the note!” Jeremy stated a bit louder. Jessica then glanced in a disgusted manner at Jeremy and moved her hand back to her desk. Purposely trying to show the both of them that she no longer had any interested in receiving the note. Marc’s hand was now back up by his shoulder and Jeremy could grab the note if he wanted “Give her the note Marc” he stated. Marc was perplexed at this point, but was still entertained by the entire encounter. Anything was better than Eukaryotes. Marc then moved his hand back to the desk with the note. He then placed his pencil on the edge of his desk, on the side nearest Jessica. When Mr Washington turned his back he flicked his pencil off the desk and as he grabbed his pencil with his right hand he acted as if he was supporting himself with his left (which contained the note). In one swift movement it was over. And the note lie on Jessica’s desk, her hand flat on top of it. Jessica looked back at Jeremy, her hand still on top of the note. Grasping it she then put it in her right hand by her side. To her right sat Rusty. As Mr Washington babbled on about single celled organisms he attempted to pull down a screen from above the blackboard. Jessica’s hand outstretched to Rusty. “What! No!” Jeremy thought as dread flooded over him. “What is she doing?”. Rusty looked back at her and lowered his hand as if he knew the drill. Ben had taken notice of the entire affair from across the room and looked over at Jeremy. Ben was smiling, Jeremy was completely bewildered at this point. Jason just continued to take notes and answer questions, completely oblivious to everything going on unspoken behind him. And then it happened. Just as the final handoff was about to be made, Mr Washington noticed. Jessica awkwardly pulled her hand back in an attempt to hide the note. She even coughed and put it up near her mouth. But it was over. They were busted. “Jessica, do you mind sharing with the class what it was that you wanted to share with our new student Rusty?” Jessica was devastated, looked like she may cry at any moment. “Jessica” his voice bellowed as his hand stretched out, palm up. Jessica was holding it gently now, and she slowly raised her arm as she dropped it into Mr Washington’s large and weathered hands. He unfolded it as he stood in almost perfect posture, the type the military teaches you. “Draw Death Cat Asexually Reproducing” Mr Washington stated, a bit of a smile slmost graced his lips as he turned the paper around for the whole class to see. Shrieks of laughter and chaos briefly broke out before Mr Washington squashed everything. “Jeremy, up to the board, write your name and put two checks after it. Jessica, up to the board, 2 checks” That was 30 minutes after school detention for the both of them. At which point Mr Washington crumpled the paper in his hands, and threw it into the trash. As they both were taking their seats the bell rang out. The class all got up in unison and began making a mad dash for the playground. Rusty stayed behind and as Mr Washington was trying to corral a gaggle of students he pulled the drawing out of the garbage and slid it into his pocket.

Chapter 1. Part 1

Mr Bocker looked down upon Jason, Jeremy and Ben in his office. His desk was completely empty and the highly shined acrylic surface reflected the word PRINCIPAL into the dark fake mahogany finish. The three boys, all 10 years old sat in silence. Unsure of what they had done although all their minds were spinning endless possibilities and stories already. Complete with new storylines about how it wasn’t their fault that the window by the Cafeteria was broken, it was just little pebbles they were flicking with their fingernails. Or how they didn’t know that Dan had hit his head when they were playing king of the mountain on the slide. They had certainly done a lot wrong to all be sitting in the Principal’s office. The question was what had they all done together which warranted such a special meeting with all of them together.

Mr Bocker took his glasses off and they clinked onto his desk. He inhaled deeply as he rubbed his eyes. “Shit” Jeremy thought “We’ve really fucked up now” Jason thought “Look at him put on this show” Ben thought. Mr Bocker leaned forward, his hands intertwined, his elbows now on the desk and he began to address his captives. “Guys, I know you’re leaders” he started off, immediately getting everyone’s attention in what they all thought was a nice change of events. He continued “Other students here look up to what you guys do, the games you initiate, what was the name of that game you were all playing last week? Kiss them and Kill them?” Jeremy murmured “Kiss or Kill” unsure if he was allowed to speak. “Ahh, yes, Kiss or Kill, what a lovely game that is isn’t it. You chase girls and then give them the choice of kissing you or getting punched…. Do you realize how hard this sort of shit is to defend to the other parents during Parent Teacher conferences?” The boys were all stunned, completely oblivious to the possibly gender inequality issues which the game entailed, let alone why Mr Bocker would even have to defend what they did. Ben’s face widened a bit, trying to hold back a smile. They were all thinking the same thing in their heads and that was the simple fact that Mr Bocker just said Shit. Mr Bocker continued, realizing that he had just screwed it up by swearing. He tried to regain some of his authority as he continued “But that’s not why we are here today guys. Nope. As I said before the reason why we are here is because you are all leaders. And as leaders you have certain responsibilities. The largest of which is not to exclude other students. Do you know what it is to exclude people?” Jason raised his hand. “Yes, Jason” Mr Bocker responded. “Excluding someone means you don’t let em play with you”. “Ahh yes, very good Jason. You’re right. It means when you don’t let someone play with you.” My Bocker’s hand searched for something in one his drawers. He pulled out a teal colored notebook which had the words “The Club” erased into the cover. Erasing words into notebook covers was common practice and you could see everything from Motley Crue on the metal heads to NKOTB on the girls. Mr Becker pointed to the words as he continued “This Club ends now. Got it guys? It ends NOW” He then symbolically threw the notebook into the trash can. But Mr Bocker wasn’t through with them yet “We’ve got a new student coming in today. He comes from a little bit of a different background than you guys. He hasn’t had it easy. And what I want you to do is simply make him feel welcome. I’m not saying that you have to be his best friend, just keep an eye out for him and try to INCLUDE him in your games. Of course any game besides that Kiss and Kill” “Kiss or Kill” Ben responded with an air of defiance. “Right, of course. Kiss or Kill Ben” Mr Bocker said as he eyed Ben, knowing full well that he was a little brat. “What subject do you have now?” Mr Bocker asked “Life Science” Jeremy replied. “Well, run along then back and disect some frogs or whatever it is you’re doing” Mr Bocker stated. “We’re learning about Amoeba’s right now. Single celled organisms which have been on the earth since the dawn of time. Millions of years ago” Jason said, always taking advantage of any chance to talk about science. Ben and Jeremy both glanced at each other and smiled knowing full well what a dork Jason was. Mr Bocker opened his door and the Secretary, Ms Pollock, from across the room looked up at him as the boys walked out. He gave her a head nod as if he had just taken care of business and she smiled back at him. As Jeremy walked by he smiled and stated “Good Morning Ms Pollock” to which she replied “Good morning Jeremy, you stay out of trouble now” She said with a smile. Jeremy shrugged his shoulders and smiled as he ran up the stairs in a race against his other two comrades. Skipping one step with each leap. “No Running!” Mr Bocker shouted from below, shaking his head.


Who gets to own our memories? Our hopes and dreams? Our thoughts? If you share a memory or a story, does the act of sharing it diminish it in some way? Are memories like sacred magical items, which can only be touched by a few clean hands? Are they to be protected in velvet lined boxes and only opened for a few righteous souls. If someone steals your story, do they also steal a part of you? Do they break into your thoughts and pry your memories out forcefully like a thief popping out a car stereo? What happens if you are the sole person who holds onto a memory or a story, do you have an obligation to share it?

The story which I am about to tell is one that involves the best friends any person could ask for. And it is sadly one that only I can tell. In 6th grade, before puberty totally destroyed our creativity and free spirits, and replaced our ideas of adventure with thoughts of conquest a “club” was formed. The Club (as we called it) was formally banned by the school we attended after ‘the incident” (as the school liked to call it). All of our notebooks which were covered in Club propaganda were repossessed and disposed of. We were told to stop writing the secret symbols of the club on our arms with bic pens. They even told the gym teacher to make sure to split us up when we played dodgeball. It was as if we were all on probation and any contact with other miscreants (mainly our best friends) was strictly forbidden. But of course that didn’t stop us. How could it? We were 11 years old. You can’t tell an 11 year to do anything. As it should be.

The name for the The Club was taken from two sources, one of which is glaringly obvious, we were a small group of friends, therefore a Club, and the second was the name of the porno mag we stole from my friends dad. Which was also called Club. The Club consisted of four members, bound by blood and mutual experience.

Ben was the muscle, he came from money and lived in a big house on the outside of town. He was good at every sport he ever played and was unusually large for his age. Hitting a growth spurt early had made him one of the best basketball and football players his age in 6th grade in Bismarck, North Dakota. Ben was a natural adrenaline junkie who never turned down a challenge. Which made for some interesting circumstances considering that I would generally be the one who lead everyone else to trouble, but when the time came, I’d second guess myself and reluctantly continue.

Jason was my best friend since I can remember. Growing up just down the hill from me. My first memories of Jason are when we were in his mothers minivan and he had an asthma attack. Playing suddenly turned into panic as his mother veered the car to the side of the road. Throwing the entire contents of the glove compartment onto the floor in search of his inhaler. I just sat there completely quiet, looking him in the eyes as he struggled to breathe. Only to be relieved by his mother grabbing him by the back of the head and wedging the inhaler into his mouth. And then, a minute later he would be all smiles again. As if nothing ever happened. And I’d convince myself that nothing ever happened as well. My best friend was still here with me, everything was ok.

And then there was me. Jeremy Olsen. I was essentially the ringleader, as I see it. Whenever there was trouble I was sure to be around. However, I never got caught. Which made both the teachers as well as the other parents to see me as a good influence on their kids. “You see how Jeremy always says please, Jason? That’s how nice boys talk to their mommies” . Old people were such suckers.

Rusty was the latecomer to the Club, and you’ll get to know him a bit more in a moment. However, none of what I’m about to tell you could’ve happened without him.

The Club operated from October of 1988 to September of 1989. Forged in Roosevelt Elementary School in Bismarck, North Dakota. A small town of 50,000 smack dab in the center of a huge sea of corn and wheat stretched on endlessly in all directions. The nearest city is Minneapolis, which is an 8 hour drive. So needless to say that back in 1988 most of our only connection with city life would be on television or spray painted on the sides of the train which plowed straight through the city. The Graffiti was a brief glance into urban life, and something which was completely removed from all of us. A place which was so different that it was frightening. None of us had any desire to move or complained about having “nothing to do” as we all would in our teens. We had a river. And what else does a city really need?

The Source


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Alfred Appledorn sat in his studio in a average home in Bismarck North Dakota. Surrounded by pyramids of books which looked as if they would collapse onto him at any moment. Years of smoke damage tainted the drywall near the window where he often smoked. His looks fit his occupation perfectly. And it is hard to tell whether this was intentional or merely the way that nature just makes people. Long white locks of his beard were stained with tobacco smoke, and his eyebrows were in desperate need of a trimming. He was a mix of Santa Klaus, A homeless guy, and a college professor. Alfred was a professional conspiracy theorist. Writing books about Alien abductions and reinterpretations of ancient writings found on the walls of various ancient indigenous cultures. Amongst the books surrounding him were old high school text books about Physics to the History of the Mayan People. In the corner was an especially dusty pile of his “contemporaries”. They all sat, perfectly rigid as the day he got them for free at a conference. He couldn’t stand to read anything from any of his peers as they shed light on the fact of just how full of shit he was.

With a final puff on his pipe Alfred removed his glasses and placed them on the small thrift store table beside his chair. His eyes were tired from hours of reading and his old age wasn’t helping with his stamina. He gazed to the far corner where his entire series of books could be seen in a nice bookshelf that his daughter had purchased him for Christmas almost a decade ago.
“What a nice girl I ended up getting” Alfred thought to himself. “Even though she is one of the only people who knows that I really don’t believe half of the shit I write, she still loves me. Why is that? How can someone love somebody who is obviously in the game of deceit unconditionally?”.

Alfred’s revery was broken by the sound of a text message vibrating his mobile phone which lie next to a book about “Art and Physics”. As he opened the message he noticed the number was unknown. It simply read.
“I’m out. Come to Kum and Go by the Federal Building in 30 minutes. Do not write me back. The serpent is returning soon. More info later. <3 Quetz" Alfred's eyes scrunched together as he reread the message a dozen times. He thought someone must be playing a joke on him, or more likely, one of his insane followers was having delusions of grandeur and in some sort of a manic freak out. Quetz was the name he had given his "source "almost 30 years ago while writing his first book "The Return Of The Aztec Serpent". It was short for the Aztec god Quetzalcoatl who was a feathered serpent and had been worshipped as far back as 900 BC. But the problem was. He had made Quetz up, he wasn't real in any way. Just a figment of his imagination that came to him while he was on a week long drug binge in the forests of Chile. There, he had talked to various "medicine men" who were more than likely more interested in his money rather than trying to impart any knowledge on a 25 year old American hippy in search of New Age religion. Quetz was the name he had given to the alien he claimed to have met while camping in the jungle and ingesting DMT non stop. Quetz didn't look like an alien in any way as he had the power to shape shift, and generally he took his position in various governmental roles. Trying to actually do good for the planet, and further mankind. Quetz belonged to a group of aliens which had integrated into modern life. They were our judges, our lawyers, our school teachers, and our congressmen. Quetz was of the M-83 tribe which were extremely peaceful and interested in passing knowledge throughout the entire universe. But, the main thing that we shouldn't forget, was that Quetz was a fake. For years Alfred had made a small fortune (most of which he never used on anything besides books and booze) writing books about his communications with this Alien who was revealing governmental secrets, plans for weather controlling stations, and how there was currently a war going on between the M-83 tribe and the Lasticons who were more interested in making Earth subservient in order to prepare it for a full Alien invasion. Alfred gazed back down at his phone. Scanning the message another time. The thought of calling the police crossed his mind first, as there were some dangerous and emotionally unstable people who did follow his works, and this could very well be one who was trying to lure him into some sort of a bizarre set up. But at the same time, it could be an interesting distraction to what was otherwise a pretty boring evening, in fact, a pretty boring week, on top of a pretty boring month. Alfred decided he would go and if he felt uncomfortable he would be in a public parking lot. So what could really go wrong? He thought that perhaps he could talk to some nutbar and get some ideas for an upcoming book. Really, at this point, what did he have to lose. Schizophrenics always had great new ideas he had never thought of. Alfred came up from the basement where his man cave resided to see his wife Eva cooking a soup. "Hey sweety, I've got to run to Kum and Go to get some chips. Need anything?" "I'm cooking dinner already, why are you getting chips?" His wife responded "brain food baby, need anything?" Alfred stated as he grabbed his keys and was almost half way out the door. "Get some sour cream!" could be heard as Alfred shut the door. He nodded and gave the thumbs up sign as he walked to his car. An old 1992 Ford Thunderbird. The car was a complete pile of shit, but having a clean car was the last thing on Alfred's mind. He was happy with whatever as long as it got him from point A to point B. As Alfred headed down the beautiful tree lined streets he could feel his dugout (a small wooden box which held marijuana and a small pipe which resembled a cigarette) rubbing up against his leg. "Fuck it, why not" he thought as he turned up the radio which was playing Classic Rock and sparked a few hits. A minivan with a classic soccer mom at the helm pulled up next to him as he was exhaling a giant hit and bobbing his head to some Creedence Clearwater Revival. She glared over at him and Alfred could make out a small child in a car seat in the back through the tinted glass. "Little does she know that I'm on my way to meet my secret Alien source" Alfred thought to himself, smiling, in a marijuana daze. He gave her a friendly North Dakota smile and turned off onto the main road which would take him to Kum and Go. As he approached his destination he found himself getting a bit nervous. After all, he really had no idea whom he was going to meet and perhaps he had acted too impulsively. As he saw the giant red and white sign of the gas station he paused for a moment before turning into the parking lot. A large black Suburban was parked sideways in the handicapped spot. "Fucking assholes" Alfred thought to himself. Seeing that there was no handicapped sticker anywhere on the car. He pulled up and that's when it began to dawn on him. That didn't look like an average Suburban, and his suspicions were confirmed when seconds after he pulled up he saw two men in suits open the doors and walk straight up to his window. "Mr. Appedorn" a young chiseled looking fellow said to him. "Yeah, what's up?" Alfred Replied "Quetz would like to speak to you. Follow us, it isn't safe here for long" "You've got to be kidding me. Let me talk to Quetz" Alfred retorted At this point the back window of the Suburban cracked. Revealing a cold looking face which simply stated "Come on, Alfred. We have some information for you". And with that the window glided back up, the suits walked back and got into the Suburban, and the SUV started up and proceeded out of the parking lot. "Fucking Fuck" Alfred thought to himself. This didn't seem like a prank anymore. He had been expecting the standard schizo low level intelligence agents he had got ideas from in the past. But this, this seemed kind of legit. He started up the Thunderbird, and followed the black Suburban as the sun began to set. After 15 minutes they pulled into a dirt parking lot by the bank of the Missouri river. The two suits he had seen before exited their vehicle, and Alfred did the same. Walking towards them. This time one of the men went to the back door and opened it. Out came Mr. Coldface which he had previously seen only through a crack in the window. Coldface looked straight at Alfred as he approached the vehicle. Alfred looked over at the suit he previously spoken with and asked "You mind telling me what the fuck is going on?". Coldface looked straight back at Alfred and stated. "The serpent is returning" . "Enough with the melodramatic bullshit. Who the fuck are you guys?" Alfred stated, already getting annoyed that they continued to beat around the bush instead of just talking with him straight. "You act as if the face that gave you all the inspiration for your life's work is completely unknown to you? It is I, Quetz." Mr Coldface said in a monotone manner. Alfred looked deeply at the cold bluish face of the man opposite him and couldn't believe what he was seeing. In an instant. Like a glimpse of a channel changing, Alfred saw Mr Coldface's face morph into that of a bird head. The two men surrounding him remained absolutely the same. Their chiseled features and cool attitude completely unfazed. Alfred stepped back, his eyes widening in horror. As he turned around he noticed his car had vanished. Running off of adrenaline and fear he attempted to flee but quickly found himself frozen in mid stride, unable to move. Quetz and the suits walked up to him as he stood as a statue. Quetz's eyes were inches from his face and he could see them switch between a reptile's eyes, and a human's with every blink. Quetz started speaking. "You got some things right throughout all the trite bullshit you've been writing over the years" Alfred wanted to scream, wanted to run, wanted to fight, but he remained frozen, unable to move. Quetz continued "This isn't a warning Alfred, this is a punishment. You see you let out some information we really didn't want public yet. And controlling public opinion is of the utmost importance at this point. You realize that there are real security threats to the country don't you? Alfred?" Alfred was unable to speak but would've loved to spit in his face at this point. Quetz looked at Alfred, smiling. "You do realize there are some very serious security threats to the country don't you? Alfred" He repeated. "And these threats need to stay top secret, because we're at war. You do realize we're at war don't you Alfred. We're in a much larger war than even you ever imagined." Alfred's gaze on Quetz tightened. "And since we are in this war you've just got to keep some information to yourself. I have no idea how much you learned in Chile, but I can tell you, it was probably more than you should've ever been privy to. You know the country's at war don't you Alfred?" Quetz repeated. "The country's at war". Alfred could see that the two men surrounding Quetz were enjoying it at this point. Their cocky football quarterback jawlines and gelled hair disgusted Alfred. "Now you're going to take this gun Alfred, and you're going to put it into your mouth, and you're going to blow your head off" Quetz stated with a malicious flair. The gun was placed into Alfred's hand and he started to feel sensation come back into his extremeties. Almost like his whole body was pins and needles. His hand slowly pointed the gun towards his face, and then he felt his mouth opening, and then. POP! "Fuck, I'm dead" Alfred thought. Then again. pop! Pop! Alfred opened his eyes to see Quetz's head splattered all over the black Suburban. The two suits had sought cover behind the SUV. It was then that Alfred realized he still had the gun in his hand. His first reaction was to run and he made his way to a grove of cottonwoods. Firing back at the Suburban as he ran. Pop Pop! He saw a few amber bursts amongst the trees. As he entered the grove it was completely black. Suddenly he felt an arm on his shoulder. He looked at a man in a black hood and couldn't make out any facial features, but judging from how he grabbed him he wasn't dangerous, but the sniper in the woods who had saved his life. Looking back into the parking lot he could see the two suits trying to pull Quetz's body into the Suburban. He looked down at the hooded man who had set up a tripod for his sniper rifle on an old tree trunk. Crack. Another shot rang out. Exploding another one of the suits head all over the passenger window. The last suit ran to the car but was unsucessful as another bullet from the sniper's rifle stopped him dead in his tracks, slumped onto the hood of the car. The hooded man then folded up the tripod for the rifle and motioned for Alfred to go back to his car which had now miraculously appeared where it had been previously. Within an instant the hooded man had vanished back into the darkness of the cottonwood grove. Alfred stood in the moonlight, looking back at the parking lot and the three bodies covered in blood. He knew now was not the time to reconcile his emotions, now was the time to get the fuck out of there. He ran back to the car and plopped down inside, jammed the keys in the ignition and sped off. As he drove down the river road he tried and somehow make sense of what had just happened. He wondered if he should call the police, or maybe they were the police. He was completely dumbfounded. He felt his mobile phone buzzing inside his pocket. It was another message. Alfred slowed his car as the illuminated screen glowed. The message read "don't worry, that wasn't Quetz. I'm ok". Alfred drove back to town, picked up some sour cream, and headed back home for dinner.



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Brett clenched two wooden poles which supported a large banner. The sound of the subway hummed as he felt the eyes of everyone else on the train. They knew that today there was a large protest scheduled for 911 Truth, and that Brett was one of those “crazy conspiracy theorists.” Making things even more uncomfortable: today was the ten year anniversary of the event and occupying the subway were also people holding candles and photos they were going to place at ground zero. The doors opened and two large black police officers entered the subway. Brett’s hands stiffened around the wooden pole. “Are they looking at me” Brett thought to himself. “yes, yes they are definitely looking at me”. Brett peered up from his seat and met eyes with one of the officers. Sergeant Reynolds, Badge number 3232.

Brett’s hand could make out the outline of the pipe inside his pocket. He had been told previously by event organizers never to bring drugs to a demonstration, and he had been stupid, and done it anyway. The subway slowed, and the doors opened again, this time a squirrelly looking security guard with a German Shepherd came into the car. “For fucks sake” Brett thought. The security guard reeked of cigarettes and plopped his boney ass down on the seat right next to Brett. Almost immediately the dog began growling and barking at Brett. Sergeant Reynolds cocked his head to the side and gave the Security guard a stern gaze. The dog continued to bark and growl which caused Sergeant Reynolds to finally speak up. “Hey buddy, get your dog under control” The Security guard looked up with an embarrassing smile and stated “Oh he’s a good boy, real well trained. Probably just mad cause this boy’s holdin onto them sticks” The Security Guard continued to flap his mouth as he forcefully pushed his dog to the floor, making it yelp. But it shut up. “come to think of it, is that legal? you know. holding big sticks like that in public? I’d figure they’d be used as a weapon”. His gaze turned to Brett. “So where you headed with those sticks then?” Brett didn’t really like cops all that much, but had pretty much universal disdain for all security officers. He believed that cops were like the jocks who wanted to remain cool and powerful, but security guards? Security guards were tthe losers who never had any power in their lives and now were playing out their fantasy of actually having some authority. They devoted their life to protecting the special interests of corporations, which is even worse than cops really, because at least cops help people from time to time. All of this flooded into Brett’s head before he looked up at the Security Guard and replied. “I’m going to a demonstration. This is a banner. You know. Freedom of speech?” Brett felt kind of childish saying the last part as if now he had been completely branded in this guy’s eyes as a gay communist pinko faggot fascist. The Security Guard continued as the doors opened again, the two police officers walked out. “Freedom of speech? You got your ideas I got mine! My ideas are that you shouldn’t protest on a day of remembrance. You know, we should let the people vote on it. Have a preserve our holiday law or something like that. No protests on holidays. That’s what I think.” A few of the other passengers holding candles had begun to notice the exchange between the two.

Brett could feel the adrenaline begin to flow. Not out of any sort of fear. He knew damn well this guy was just a clown in a uniform with delusions of grandeur. But he had to say something back, Brett stated “So you’d take away people’s right to protest on a holiday because it annoys you. But that’s what living in a democracy is all about. We’ve got to put up with other people’s shit”. The Security Guard’s eyes narrowed and the top of his lip turned up a bit. “Hell you don’t know nothin bout Democracy kid. It’s my democratic right to have a peaceful day. Let the people vote. That’s Democracy.” Brett knew he could pummel this guy intellectually into the ground. As a Political Science major he knew he could tell him all about the founding fathers, and how the US was originally created as a Republic, and that people like Thomas Jefferson talked about the tyranny of the majority. But why bother? Brett thought. The Security Guard continued what was becoming increasingly incomprehensible to anyone with even a Middle School education in civics. “You see, everyone’s got something to say. Then you say it. You know this is America and we can say whatever you want. But if what you’re saying is causin other people problems then I say screw it” Brett looked up at the Metro map above the doors and replied “that’s interesting” in a completely uninterested manner. His stop was up next. The babbling continued. “Same thing with all them muslims comin here. They’re coming here because they want to build a monument on the ashes of their conquests. That’s what they do I tell ya. There was even some mosque in Spain and they built it there after they killed all the Spainards. That’s why Spanish people are so dark still you know. Muslims raped their moms couple hundred years ago.” The Security Guard paused for a moment to ponder the weight of what he believed before stating “changed the face of the country. …Thatt it sure did.” Brett nodded slowly, basically giving up on any sort of dialog with the guy. The doors opened and he walked out onto the platform.

Brett felt relieved he had got away from the idiot as he joined the masses who were lining up for the escalator. Once outside he was catapulted into a herd of New Yorkers all hurrying wherever they needed to go. He spotted his friends immediately as they were on the corner giving out free DVDs and pamphlets. His best friend Jeremiah was holding a large sign which had a picture of a pyramid with an eye at the apex, and the eye was bleeding all over. Underneath it, it read “Death To The New World Order!” As Brett walked up he was greeted by all of his buddies in “The Movement”. He walked up to Jeremiah who was obviously very excited about something. Jeremiah started speaking immediately as they shook hands “You hear about Dr Macintosh is Scotland?” Brett shook his head. “Well, he got some of the wreckage from the towers. He processed it in his lab and guess what? Fucking thermite dude.” Brett feigned excitement, he had heard so many different theories and contsant new revelations for so long that he was fairly immune to any new information but he had to reply “wow. that’s fucking nuts” he stated. Jeremiah continued “Yeah, the lid’s about to blow man. There’s no denying it anymore. Once this information goes public there’s gonna be a major shit storm. I’m talking Dick Cheney in handcuffs style!” Brett glanced across the street and noticed a large guy who looked like he should be a cop getting something out of the back of his car. He kept his eyes on him as he responded in a monotone manner “Yeah, fuck the bastards”. Jeremiah noticed Brett’s attention was somewhere else. “Who are you looking at man?” Jeremiah said. “Dude looks shady over there. Look how he’s checking us out.” Jeremiah turned his head and noticed a big white guy with sun glasses in a skin tight white shirt and camo jeans. Jeremiah then smiled “paranoid much Brett?” Brett continued to look straight at the guy before stating “probably an undercover cop. fucking surveillance pigs”. Jeremiah looked back at the guy. He was definitely either preparing or getting something out of the trunk of his car. He put his hand on the top of the trunk and as he slammed it shut “Gun!” Brett yelled. The man was carrying an AR15 and the shots began to ring out immediately. Jeremiah took a round to his left arm splattering Brett’s face with blood as he ducked down behind a car.

The entire block was like an overturned termite mound. The shots kept on firing. Pop Pop Pop Pop. He was firing completely indescriminately. Brett didn’t know whether to run or stay but tried to triangulate his position by the sound of the gun fire. Then ….click. click. Brett knew that sound from when he went to visit his grandfather’s farm in North Dakota to go shooting. The gun had jammed. Peering through the windows of the car he could see the man was now directly on the other side of the car. Looking intently at his rifle and trying to dislodge the bullet. It was then that Brett realized he was still holding the banner with the large wooden poles. Without thinking Brett stood up and he swung with all his might. For a split second the gunman looked right at Brett before getting clobbered smack in the temple. It was enough to stun the gunman. Still dazed the gunman tried to regain his footing and focus. Brett came into the street and swung again. whack! This time hitting him squarely beneath his jaw line on his neck. The gunman was stumbling backwards now and again Brett came at him again. Whack! this time he connected with the back of his head and the gunman went down like a sack of potatoes. Once on the ground Brett continued to go hog wild on the man’s back, trying to do as much damage as he could to his kidneys. “Fuck yeah! Kill that fucker!” a man in a business suit yelled at him. There was a mob growing around Brett now, and the gunman lay disarmed on the street.

On the corner lie a small latina girl with a bullet bullet wound to the chest. Women were screaming hysterically all around her and an overweight latino man in a chefs outfit came bounding out of a Mexican restaurant. “Where’s that motherfucker!” he screamed. At least a dozen other restaurant employees were now outside. Slicked back black hair with white aprons covered in food stains. “That fucker killed my baby!” A young woman yelled, pointing at Brett and the lumpy bloody man in the street. Brett stood above the gunman, stunned, and unable to move as he watched one of the restaurant employees pick up a newspaper box. The man walked over to the body and slammed the box onto the gunman’s head. Crushing it into the pavement. Brett looked away only to see Jeremiah bleeding up against the side of a car. He ran to his side.

“You’re gonna be ok man” Brett said as he applied pressure to the wound on Jeremiah’s arm. The blood seeping in between his fingers. Jeremiah looked up at Brett and stated “These people are all fucking crazy”. To which Brett replied “I know man, bunch of fucking lunatics”

Flash Bulbs


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Jacob exhaled a huge cloud of grey marijuana smoke as the 1986 Chevette barreled down the gravel back roads of rural North Dakota. Eliza squinted her youthful eyes; trying to focus as her hands gripped the wheel. It was well past midnight, and there’s nothing more disorienting then the all encompassing darkness of the plains. The sky was  crystal clear and as the light from the city retreated the milky way could be seen beginning to emerge out of the darkness.  In the back seat lay a plastic kite still in the package. The floor of the old Chevy had accumulated months of convenience store food. Empty bags of chips intermingled with empty soda cans and candy wrappers.  The kite had been purchased only 15 minutes earlier when Jacob had the idea to go to Wal Mart and “get stoned and fly kites”.

Elizas foot slammed down on the breaks as they approached a fork in the road. The Chevette’s tires slid and the car was engulfed in a dirty khaki cloud.
“What the fuck?!” Jacob exclaimed as a grin slowly crept up his face.
The chevette’s engine idled as Eliza began to come to her senses. She then looked over at Jacob with her eyes wide open before she descended into laughter. She wasn’t used to smoking so much weed. As she continued to laugh her eyes began to water and she managed to blurt out.
“I didn’t know which way to…..fucking….go!”
Jacob’s head fell back on the seat as he exhaled, still smiling.
“Let’s just pull over here sweety”

As soon as the engine was turned off the change of atmosphere was instantaneous. Only the sound of crickets and a distant highway interrupted the otherwise dead silence. Jacob stayed inside the car, sparking the lighter above a bowl made from pipe fittings they bought from a local hardware store. Eliza sat on the hood, her eyes on the sky. She leaned back, allowing her back to soak up all the warmth of the engine as she gazed up at the stars. In an instant a flash of light skirted across the black sky. “Shooting star!” Eliza exclaimed. “Better make a wish quick” Jacob replied, his eyes now focused on assembling the kite which lay in his lap.  Eliza closed her eyes as she tried to calm her mind so as to speak directly to the falling star wish gods. Then whispering she said “I wish, I wish that Jacob really loved….no. no. that’s not a good wish. Maybe I’ll fall in love again too. Once I go to college. wait. fuck. I need to wish. shit. Ok. I wish to know if god is..” Jacob interrupted her concentration and as she opened her eyes she saw him, kite in hand, with a stoned grin plastered across his face. “You’re a dick” Eliza blurted out as her face morphed into a way that only a 15 year old girl’s can. Showing pure disdain, naiveté, and fear all at once. “I’m sorry babe” he said, still smiling as he handed her the kite. Just then; another white streak skidded across the atmosphere. It was so bright that Jacob saw it in the reflection of the windshield. Eliza’s anger quickly turned to a youthful sigh as she began to crack a smile. Jacob came closer to her and gave her a little peck and said “Looks like you got another wish”. It was just the reason why she had fallen so hard in love with him. Even though Jacob was a complete fuck up he always had a way of being clever and thoughtful. Eliza looked back up at Jacob “So, you think it’ll fly?” Eliza said. “Yeah, of course it’ll fly. It was assembled by an expert pothead. I know all about the physics of building and shit.” Jacob replied as he slowly walked away, the thimble of string slowly unwinding as he walked further and further into the darkness of the cornfields.

As Eliza began to scan the cornfields surrounding her an eerie feeling began to creep into her. At this point Jacob was at least 50 yards away, Eliza stood alone in front of her Chevette clutching the kite. And then another white streak across the sky. “Jacob!” she yelled. “Another one!”. But she couldn’t see Jacob anywhere. Desperation quickly set in. “Don’t fuck with me!” she yelled into the darkness. Only crickets responded. “Jacob!” she screamed again. At this point another flash of light across the sky. But Eliza noticed that the light didn’t burn out. It sat there hovering near the horizon before darting off in another direction. “Jacob what the fuck! We gotta go!”. She tugged on the string and it went taught. Against every bone in her body she trudged slowly forward, pulling on the string and following it into the black cornfield. The light in the sky continued to do its dance. “Jacob?!”. At this point the corn completely engulfed her, she gave the string another tug and saw a stalk of corn jolt against the black sky. He had tied the string around a corn stalk. Her mind began to race as she quickly turned around, making her retreat back to her car. The razor sharp leaves were cutting her forearms as she bounded out of the field onto the dirt road. “I’ll leave the fucker here!” she thought to herself as she plunged her hand into her pocket in search of her keys. She was running as fast as she could to the car when she saw a  small flash come from within the field behind the car. A small amber flash, it looked like a lighter. Eliza pulled the door open and slammed it behind her and thrust the keys into the ignition. The engine revved and just as she was about to pop the clutch she saw the same light flicker for a second. It was a lighter. It had to be Jacob. Rolling down her window she yelled “Get in the fucking car Jacob. Seriously. I’m leaving”. No response. Only a flicker of light. “Have a fun walk back to town dickweed!”. She popped the clutch and her tires spun on the gravel road.

It only took a few moments to realize she was driving away from the highway entrance. As she slowed she saw the light continue to dart back and forth across the sky. “Fuck Off!” she yelled at it while performing a three point turn in the middle of the road.  With her car now back on track she noticed a light slowly getting brighter and brighter directly in front of her. “Probably just a pissed off farmer coming to see who’s messing around in his field. It’s gonna be ok.” she said to herself. But this was no farmer. The light began to glow amber and blue and became so bright that she had to bring the car to a halt. A warmth began to fill her body as she closed her eyes from the blinding glare. She was at peace and completely relaxed.

Suddenly she felt her body being pulled from the seat and dragged across the road. The bright lights had made her completely night blind. She could see the light in the distance filling up the interior of her chevette. Her shoe came off and her foot scraped against the gravel cutting the bottom of her foot open. “Ahhhhh” her scream was cut short by a hand firmly pressed over her mouth. “Shhhhhhh” she heard. “It’s ok babe”. It was Jacob. His features were still blurry but it was him. She felt the same leaves scraping her skin. She was back in the corn field. As her vision came back she began to make out the image of Jacob with his finger over his mouth. “quiet. they hunt sound” he whispered. His arms held her firmly as she pressed her head into his shoulder. Looking out from the field she could still see her Chevette lit up like a Christmas tree. The light began to slowly dissipate as Eliza watched in awe, occasionally looking up at Jacob for verification as to whether it was ok to speak or not yet.  And then in a flash, the light rocketed straight up into space. Becoming only as big as a distant star. It stayed in place for a moment, and then like that, it was gone.

Jacob broke the silence. “well, you want to smoke a bowl?” he said as if nothing had happened. Eliza should’ve been annoyed but the fact that everything was ok comforted her. “what…the….fuck…was that” Eliza stated with a shocked smile across her face. “Those, those were just drones. Kind of like alien paparazzi” Jacob stated still playing with Eliza’s emotions a bit. Eliza crinkled up her nose and began to smile and then stated “And so, what are you?” . “Me? I’m the person in charge of protecting you, and I’m going to be in a shitload of trouble” Jacob said as he took Elizas hand while walking back to the car. “You’re protecting me from what?” “Well, let’s just say that far far away there are some people who really care a lot about you and they think you are perfect in every way. You give them hope for the future. Our relationship is being viewed far from this planet on something kind of like Tv”. Eliza wasn’t sure whether to be honored or frightened. They got back inside her chevette which was parked sideways in the road. All the wrappers were gone and the car was completely clean. Jacob blurted out laughing “haha, they took all your shit! probably going to end up on alien ebay!”. Eliza was still in a state of shock but it was mixed with a new strange sort of self confidence . She slid the keys back into the ignition and started the car. As they buzzed down the dirt road Jacob looked over at her. “So should I pack another bowl?” Eliza’s glanced at Jacob, the same guy she had fallen in love with months ago. “Yeah sweety, pack another one. Then lets go get some pizza.”