Saturday, January 29, 2011

Aldebaran over the Amazon (a short story)

Aldebaran over the Amazon
((In the deep Amazon Jungles of Peru, 2000 AD) (Partly based on actual events))

It was just after dinner, late dinner and they were sitting at one of the lodge’s tables, talking, fiddling on a guitar that was kept in one of the corners of the recreational room and lounge, for those who wished to play, drinking as if everything was, and had been hunky-dory all day. An orange giant star was overhead—Aldebaran, it was twilight, and it was as if the star had waited for evening to come. The moon looked drowsy, but enchanting, shadows crossed the moon as if they were eagles; in the Amazon, it seems twilight hesitates, the sunset waits reluctantly, silently, and tonight, this very night was no different in that respect.

“Will you have a soda, beer or bottled water?” the kitchen boy asked.
“I’ll have a beer,” Christopher Wright told the mess boy.
“I’ll have a beer also,” Wright’s wife Delilah told him.
“Nothing else to do at nights around here but talk, look at the stars, listen to the sounds, drink,” Wright agreed.
“Go ahead; get one for all of us, including you,” Wright commented.
The kitchen boy, who was called Juan, grabbed four beers out of the small bar refrigerator.
“How much is it?” Wright asked Avelino, his guide.
“One dollar is plenty, “he remarked, “You get the beer free, that’s for a tip.”

Christopher Wright had been carried into the lodge area just an hour earlier by Avelino, and the mess boy, and his wife stuck to his side like white on rice, they had brought him straight to his room—he was hyperventilating, completely exhausted, and it would have appeared to an onlooker as if he was passing down some great corridors in his mind to some strange doom, he was trying to get his senses back—he didn’t look as if he was completely there.
He sat up on his bed, his wife had pulled back the mosquito net, and she thanked Avelino, she was happy with Avelino, her eyes appeared to have seen monoliths, when she looked at him, he who had stood like a monument and shot the puma dead with one shot, no armor, no council, just a lonely Titan. She then turned silent about the whole matter, she left for a moment to wash her face, the breeze from the Amazon River made her feel more comfortable.
“The puma almost got you,” Avelion said to Christopher Wright, “and he is a damn big one too!”
Mrs. Wright had come back, looked at Avileno, she was a cute and petite and smart woman, attractive, an accountant that had worked for the National Telephone Company of Peru, in Lima, she had a high position. She had been married to Christopher Wright for less than one year now (1999-2000).
“He is a big puma, isn’t he?” Wright said. His wife looking at him, then looked at both Avileno and Juan, as if they were responsible for her husband’s near death experience, although she knew different.
At first, Avelino, the Peruvian guide and hunter she had never truly trusted him, until now. He was too careless, to assured of himself, had told her: “I know this part of the jungle like the palms of my hands.” And he did.
He was a strange looking native, who spoke English as well as he did Spanish, and some other native tongues. He was of average height for his people. Short dark hair, clean shaven, a dark bronze face with a set of extremely dark pitted eyes; perhaps in his middle thirties, and seldom, if ever did he smile. The closest thing was a grin, or half-smile. Avelino, also was very fit, and very good at what he did, and had somewhat showed off today; he could be smug, and he liked being the hero.
He grinned at her now, and she pulled away from his side view of her. His big hands were clean but his fingernails were dirty, as was his slacks, and boots, he hadn’t had time to change, only wash his sweat-less face, and hands. She was some five years his senior and her husband, twelve years older than she.
For Christopher Wright’s age, he was well built, strong looking, medium bone structure, a Doctorate in Education, a licensed psychologist. A man who had been in a war, survived two heart attacks, one stroke, and now had a neurological disease. Hence, his wife watched him as nurse at a General Hospital would watch a patient in intensive care.

“Here’s to the puma,” he said, sitting with the beer Juan brought him in his hands.
“Yes,” said Delilah, “I can’t thank you enough for what you did, you saved my husband.” It was not what Christopher wanted to hear. And then they all hit each others glasses, in a toasting manner.
“Let’s not talk about the puma,” said Avelino, noticing Christopher was a little ill at ease about it all, perhaps resentful, “Let’s just drink and be merry tonight.” He grinned, trying to make it a half smile at Delilah, and she smiled back at him.
“It’s been an odd day,” said Christopher “hadn’t we out to go get some pictures of the puma?” (Although now it was 9:00 p.m.)
“Could do that,” responded Avileno.
“You know deer, you’re very tired, and you should get some sleep, you could get a spasm in your spine, because of the lack of it, and the stress.”
“Drink up,” said Avelino.
“I can’t finish my beer and my husband doesn’t drink much anymore, his heart you know.”
“Your face is really red,” Avelino told Christopher.
“Yes,” Delilah said, “he gets that way.”
“Perhaps too much sun,” said Christopher, adding, “I say, I’m not in for any beauty contest, so who cares anyhow!” and he finished his beer, “Get me another one Juan,” he ordered.
“Let’s call it a night,” said Delilah.
“I just started,” said Christopher, feeling a little upset, perhaps because Avileno had to come to his rescue, and ended up looking like the hero, to his wife.
“Trekking in the jungle tomorrow is going to be very difficult for you if you don’t get your sleep,” Delilah exclaimed.
“That’s so silly,” said her husband.
“Either way for me is fine.” Avileno commented, somewhat indifferent to the whole scene, actually he didn’t want to play marriage counselor.
Delilah gazed at all three faces, she was holding in her tears, had been, still was, they wanted to come out in a flood. Avileno sensed this, turned his head, it was all too much for him to see a woman cry. And Christopher just shook his head, hoping she’d not cry. Then he’d have to comfort her, or Avileno might. But she didn’t actually cry, she just sniffled and her body shook here and there, as if she had just come out of a snow storm. It was all that stress and strain, and tension pinned up wanting to escape.

So they all sat there in the recreational room under candlelight, the generators were turned off, shut down, at 10:30 p.m., and they all turned silent, listened to the sounds of the jungle, which is never quiet, even the darkness seems to stretch itself out, and seemingly in the process yawn. And the orange bright star was over the lodge—as they avoided one another’s eyes, as the boy went outside to light the gas lamps that lead to several cabins, along the wooden walkway. Somehow Aldebaran gave harmony to the night.

“Don’t feel embarrassed,” said Avileno, “just walking through the jungle for hours on end, is taking a beating; today was no different than all those other days.” Then he hesitated, furthermore saying: “Good Lord, had you not taken off by yourself, and spotted that puma, it would not have chased after you, you had stepped into its territory, startled it somewhat I believe, and he found himself like you did, in an awkward situation.”
“Yes,” said Delilah, smiling, “we all took a beating today, in the heat and jungle leafage slapping you here and there, and down the tributaries, and then…then that wild cat chasing Christopher!” still not making any eye contact.
“I’m awfully sorry, I made you have to kill the puma,” said Christopher. (It seemed to have bothered Avelino, and this was his way of getting it out, and not losing his gracious tip, he was expecting.)
“Well—let’s leave it at that. I mean, you don’t need to talk about it with anyone around here. The authorities don’t like such going on.”
Christopher felt like a coward, running back through the jungle for help, hollowing for help, when he spotted the puma, and in the process of taking a picture, trying to get close to it, arousing him to the point he startled him, perhaps made him chase him, unwillingly—in essence, it all might have been avoided. Now Avelino was looking the hero and he was jealous. Felt stupid.
“You can talk about it when you get back home, show them a picture or two, you can stand by the puma tomorrow and take that picture before we bury it; make up all the tales you want, but not around the lodge or in Iquitos please—even if I sound out of place to ask you, nonetheless, the natives would frown on the lodge, ask too many questions.”

And that was that, he would continue to be his guide throughout the rest of the week, on a very formal and controlled bases—and there was only a day and a half left anyhow; he’d not allow him to wander off like he had done before. And he did get that very generous tip, he had expected.

No: 718 (1-28-2011)

Night Train to San Francisco (Part one, two, and three; revised, 1-2011)

Night Train to San Francisco

Part One

The Train

When I went to San Francisco, I put my leather-bound suitcase under the backseat of where I sat on the train, and looked out the side window. I couldn’t afford a berth; it was three times the amount of the economy coach ticket. And back in 1968, when I was but twenty-years old, it didn’t make a difference: I kicked my shoes off, and as night come quickly, I couldn’t see much anyway. I tossed my black suede jacket over my lap, took a newspaper I found laying on the open seat next to me, turned on the overhead light and read the headlines, and scanned the front page.
“Turn off the light,” said the porter, “Everyone’s trying to get some sleep.”
“No,” I said, “I don’t want to. I’m not sleepy, Mister.”
“Well, I guess so,” he said, adding “we’ll be stopping in a few hours if you want to get off the train and stretch your feet for ten-minutes…go ahead” then he looked down at my feet, “you should put your shoes back on,” he grumbled.
“No,” I said, “I’ll not put them out in the aisle, if that’s what you’re worried about.” He simply turned his head and walked away.
I got up and went to the washroom, washed my hands and face. I wasn’t tired; I walked about the train some, bored,—although it dimly lit in all the compartments. (It was my second train ride I had ever taken; I had taken one back from Seattle to St. Paul, Minnesota a year earlier where I had visited for a short while)— A few of the windows were left slightly open and the night summer’s air came in cool. The moon was like a big white button in the sky. There were lights in the distance that blurred as the iron horse raced by. We crossed into Chicago now, but soon were outside of it. I looked out the window to see the Windy City but all I could see were railroad yards and freight cars lined up to kingdomcome. Then suddenly we stopped—a dead stop, the porter came by again, “If you need cigarettes or anything, there’s a stand outside on the platform, be quick about it,” he said and I jumped up, crawled out from behind the two seats and onto the aisle, and then onto the landing place of the train station.
“Where are we?” I asked the owner of a stand, that was selling newspapers, magazines, cigarettes and warm quart beer, on the pier.
“Outside of Chicago, why?” he said and asked.
“No reason, give me a quart of beer.” I said.
“Will Hamm’s do?” he questioned.
“Yaw, how much?”
“$1.25 plus tax,” he quoted.
I paid the fellow, then the train started to move, and I found myself running to just make the train, jumping onto its metal step with one hand on the beer and the other on the railing. And there I stood in-between the two cars, and drank the quart of beer down whole within a matter of minutes. Found a trash can, throw the empty bottle in it and went back to my original seat. An old lady was sitting in the seat next to mine, and I moved on over and around her, to the window side and fell to sleep. When I woke up the train had stopped again, we were someplace high up, it was cold and when I moved my jacket, the old lady pulled her arm back, as if it was searching for something, where it didn’t belong. I gave her a nasty look, one that perhaps said, it wasn’t safe for her anymore here, and when I’d come back she’d be gone.
“We’re going through cold country,” said the porter. We were in the mountains now, the Rockies I do believe. I put on my jacket, my shoes and reached under my seat to check if my suitcase was still there, it was, and it was, thus, I moved out to find another quart of beer, rushing from one vender to another, then finding a little store on the pier, that was connected to the inside station and halfway out onto the platform. And I could feel the cool air in my lungs, “I’d like a pack of those Luck Strike’s,” I said, walking into the store casual, knowing I was only twenty, still not old enough to drink, or buy alcohol, but I usually didn’t have a problem with that. Hence, I walked inside the small store to the counter, two Negros were sitting about on wooden stools, their shoeshine box in front of them “Youall wants a shoeshine boy?” asked the Negro with the black teeth, and open mouth—as if he was talking and yawning at the same time.
“No, just those smokes and a quart of beer,” I rambled.
The storekeeper was asleep behind the counter in the corner, his head against a cushioned pillow.
“Hay, Ollie, wake on up, youall git a customer here,” said the middle-aged Negro with the black teeth. When he smiled he opened up his mouth wider showing off his damaged gums, and spit into a spittoon next to him, wet and slimy tobacco that he was chewing, his eyes were as red as Marilyn Monroe’s lips; his head was the shape of a football, towards the backend, he was wearing a brown fitted knitted cap, and his ears looked to be the cauliflower type, as if he was at one time a boxer, perhaps forty-five, the other fellow was sleeping on his forearms and knees, back bent.
I went back to my seat on the train and she was gone altogether with her things, and so I drank the six-pack of beer without a fret. And I fell to sleep sometime between the forth and fifth beer, because when I woke up, there were two half cans of beer on the floor and one full one. I found my way back to the washroom carefully, as not to wake up the few folks still sleeping. The bathroom now smelled vulgar, pee and vomit were all over the seats, and no toilet paper.
Thereafter, I could smell the breakfast seep out of the kitchen and down through the cars, all the way down from the dinning car, three cars up. I looked out the window at the flat countryside. It was forty-shades of green, and lots and lots of telephone poles, and fine looking horses grazing, small hills way in the background, patches of forest here and three. Seeing all this appeared as if I had never left Minnesota, but there wasn’t one cornfield, not one, but it was nice looking country anyhow.

No: 640 (6-23-2010)

Part Two

Night Train to San Francisco
Lady Ogre

L.C. E. Adams, had seen no one since he had gotten off and back onto the train, outside of Chicago, drank his beer and then fallen to sleep, and smelling now the breakfast seeping from the kitchen to his car, although riding along the tracks through the open countryside, he could feel the heat wave coming on, the sun was hitting the metal on the train baking it, seemingly that took his appetite away. Now the train went on through another town, surprised to find it didn’t stop, and then it rode alongside a river, leaving the town, the sun still baking the side of the train. The countryside was all lush and over-green, with tints of yellow, dotted here and there.
Adams didn’t notice Francisca, the old woman, the ogre, as his subconscious named her, he women he had seen previously who had sat by him, who had intentions of robbing him, she had been sleeping in the back car, she had come up to his, she was with some wino, stubble of beard and red-nosed, bloodshot eyes, and a pint of whisky in his picket stuck out. No one challenged him, he went and he came as if he was a maniac, and perhaps he was, and perchance she was, like to like, likened to, two peas in a pod.
“Who is he,” said the old timer, to Francisca. She was pointing him out, although they could only see the back of his head.
“How do you know him?” Old Sammy Joyce continued in curiosity.
She took hold of his hand, and put it on her thigh, “He tried to touch this!”
“He will not ever try again,” old Sammy said, trying to impress her.
“Give me your knife,” said Francisca, “I’m going to kill him.”
“Let’s dont be fools,” Sammy said cheerfully. As if it was a joke.
“Give me the knife.”
“It’s big but hasn’t any sharpness to it.”
“You know I didn’t think you were drunk until now, I guess I’m sobering up.”
“I’m not completely drunk.”
“I can’t tell, until you start talking,” said Sammy, and took out his whiskey, and they both took a big gulp out of it.
“I can’t do it,” Francisca admitted. “You do it for me, and it will make me very happy and he has money to buy more whisky, and I’m frightfully thirsty.”
“You don’t need it,” said Sammy.
“You’re much braver in such things than I am,” she said.
“No,” said Sammy. “Never have been, I just like the night trains, and I wanted to go to sleep in a seat for once, instead of riding the rods, if you know what I mean, and I only met you last night.”
“Let’s not talk about how we met,” Francisca said. “It’s a subject I know also, and we can travel together if you’d like, and you can do what you want with me.”
“We might as well stay here a while longer, and think about it,” Sammy said. He liked the idea of having company, and they took another gulp from the whisky bottle.
“I suppose there is no hurry, San Francisco won’t move.”
“How do you feel, really feel about that boy?” said, Sammy.
“I’m not okay with it, I’m perfectly angry at him for the way he was to me.”
Well, there they sat, thinking, and then Sammy implied, “He’s not simply going to just lie down and let me kill him.”
Adams lay on the seat, he was disappointed he felt a bit ill in his stomach, so obvious to the two watching him, and the heat of the morning was intensifying.
“Don’t try to get near him when he’s looking in the window, he’ll break your nose,” said Francisca, “We’ve only got an hour or so to do it.”
“Don’t you think someone will see us?”
“Walk in front of him, he’s never saw you, I’ll see if anyone is coming from behind you, you’ll see everything in front of you, I’ll gesture at you if someone is coming, and cut his bloody balls off him for me!”
“That’s right, that’s what I’ll do,” said Sammy, “and grab his money, and we can run to another car, and they’ll think he’s still sleeping, and I’ll throw the knife out the bathroom window, and no one will be the wiser.”
Now looking at his watch walking down the isle in front of Adams, with the humming tone of the train, Sammy fell on top of the boy, as if he tripped, as if he was drunk, and he was drunk, and cave-in, and the steel of the knife was cool, burned through his flesh, he pushed it up, and back and pushed it down.

No: 720 (1-29-2011)

“Next Stop, San Francisco!”
(Part Three)

Horace mumbled, “Every man for himself,” his friend sitting on his left side, of him, remarked, “He looks without help,” the third man, the one on the right side of Horace, called Santiago, comments, as if he is quoting, but doesn’t know whom he is quoting, but acts like he does: “Every man has to eat, it’s the law of the land, survival of the fittest, you know what I mean, only the strong survive—something like that.”
Horace now says, “What can one man do against three, we got the advantage,” looking across the isle at Sammy. He and Francisca had just got through counting the money he took off of the lad in the car ahead of them, and moved back to where they were seated before. For the most part, Sammy is Francisca’s hero now. He had killed a man for her, and for $125.00 dollars; I suppose you could say he is involved with mankind more than Francisca—in a manner of speaking: his since of duty remains—or loyalty, although half cocked eyed drunk. The conductor has informed the travelers, the passengers on the train that the train will be stopping in five minutes he has said this several times,
“Next stop, San Francisca!...”
The three men can see the station from the window, and are getting ready to disembark. Horace realizing that there is little time left—that injustice is in the eye of the beholder, as is beauty, and God’s Ten-Commandments, and right and wrong. He sees no hope beyond the moment, and he now sees victory on his side and at hand, but he is surprised when Sammy gets up and approaches them, gives all three men $25.00-dollars, says “Have a good meal on me!” and sits back down.
This seems to satisfy two of the three men, but not Horace. Thus, Sammy is feeling he has perhaps escaped the angry solitude in their minds. He is looking down the isle, waiting for Francisca, she’s still in the bathroom primping, or smoking pot, or both. He still has a little left in his whiskey bottle, so she can’t be drinking.
As the three men get up to go, Horace stays behind. It serves for some kind of finality on his mind—should he leave with his friends, and if he does will he be sorry for not taking advantage of this moment, will it haunt him the rest of his days—so he has convinced himself, he must grab opportunity, when it knocks at his door, and to him, it is knocking loud and clear, and the brakes of the train are starting to screech loudly, he needs no more convincing, and this is the magical moment he must do whatever it takes to get that other one-hundred dollars from this stranger.
“What did you say?” asked Sammy, Horace was leaning over the seat, telling him something; no: asking, demanding something from him.
“I said, give me your money, or else!”
“Or else what?” said Sammy.
“Hold out and you’ll be sorry,” said Horace.

The train had stopped now, and everyone had disembarked, the conductor paced the isles, found the man called Sammy, lying flat on his face in his seat, the woman who had been with him was nowhere to be found; it looked as if he had been reaching for something, and in the process when the train stopped, he jerked forward somehow, and broke his neck in the process: that’s how it was viewed anyways, in lack of any other information. There was no one around to identify him, nor did he have any identification on him, or for that matter, there was no one to tell a different story; but the railroad nonetheless, gave him a first class funeral, even though there was some suspicion to the whole matter.

No: 722 (1-31-2011)

Death & Departure (a poem-song in English and Japanese)

Death & Departure
(A Poem and a Song)

The Poem and song, “Death & Departure was written in 1996, and recorded by Chapel Recording Studios, in MA, as a poetic song, written by the author, and then translated into Japanese. It has since its inception, been circulating quite handsomely around the globe, and is usually played by a piano and guitar. This is the first time displayed on the internet for the public at large…for those wishing to review the music you may find it on his website, other than that, it is a poem (music and composition by the author):

Look softly back at me my friend

Mitegoran watashino Vshirokara tomodachi Ga Yasashikv Miteirv

When death disturbs your eyes

Shi Wa Anatano Meo fuan Ni Saserv

I died with love and majesty

Watash Wa Ai To Tomoni Lgen O Motivte Shinda

I never thought to cry

Watashi Wa Keshiite Nakanai

Many times I’ve looked at death surrounded by life and storms

Nan do Mo jinsei Wa Arashi Ya Shi Ni Kakomarete Irv No O

Awaken from my sleep

Watashi Wa Satottuta

I’ve bet that

Watashi Wa Miidashita

Death was not much more.

Shi Wa Takvsan Wa Nai

God calls us home to whom He please

Kami Wa Watashitachi o IE Ni Yonde Yorokobaseta
He is no respecter of man

Darenimo Byo Doo Ni Otozvreru

Death has its price

Shi NiWa Kachi GA Arv

And its rewards, the chase for god

Soshite sorewa kamini Mukuilu kotode hovbi ga ataerare rv

I’ve won

Watashiwa kakutoku shita watasguwa kachitottuta

This is departure I cry dear friend, wife dear lover children and kin…

Snin yuu Tsuma koibito kodomo soshite shinzoku GA
Tabitatsu toki Watashi Wa Naita

The Heart aches (farewell) the pain is gone

Fukai kanashimi wakare. Itomago:

Speak kindly please. I’ve loved you all.

Fucai Kanashi Mi itamiwa ittute Shi Mattuta Anata no subeteo
I shite ita to yasashiku hanashite ne

Thursday, January 27, 2011

A Case of Doubt (a story out of Minnesota)

A Case of Doubt
(The Fall of 1967, a story out of Minnesota)

Chapter One
The Apartment

It is one of those odd or peculiar moments in life, views you have, like a dream (later on turning into a heavy weight), a half-sleep where everything is distorted, so, once you get focused, you must try to keep focused. The evening was bleak; the cold sky looked very high. It was late fall (the end of November I believe). As I tell this story, it seems even at this early point it seems to be collapsing in on me, no, threatening to collapse, as it unfolds around me. Thus I should try to write this out in one quick afternoon, and rewrite it in the evening, before it does; it took place forty-four years ago, 1967, and I remember it as if it was yesterday.
I stepped outside of Sharon’s apartment (she lived in the housing projects with her two sons; I was dating her: actually we were kind of living together, me with her, more so than she with me, meaning it was her apartment). As I said, I stepped outside to talk to Sid Moeller, my bosom buddy. I felt cold, all the icy slush lying about. The cold soaked into my bones, and then into my marrow. As a few cars come into the parking lot area, their tires spattered the muck all about. I looked at Sid, saw that he was serious, and had a stern face on him. I leaned my shoulder against a pole by the sidewalk.
“Hell of a night,” I said, it was 9:00 p.m. Sharon had stepped close by the door, it was ajar, she was trying hard to listen to our conversation. Of course she already knew what Sid wanted.
Finally Sid was forced to say what was on his mind. In the distance I heard the slush of other cars, a police or ambulance siren. The projects were a beehive for hooligans—I might have been considered one of them myself back then.
I stood shaking, said, “Well what’s on your mind, its cold out here.” It appeared he didn’t know how to put it, perhaps because Sharon was watching, and she had expressed she hoped I wasn’t going anyplace this evening. The street was dark and noisy. Sid usually didn’t have trouble talking me into whatever he wanted to do, whatever was on his mind. He’d even drive up to Washington High School, my last year of school, and just before I’d open the door to go inside for classes, he’d show up, honk his horn, show me a six-pack of beer and say, “Come on Chick, I got some more hidden in the trunk,” and there’ I’d be, sitting in his front seat. I missed sixty-four days of school my senior year, and still graduated.
Anyhow, here we were—but a few feet apart, a man was stumbling trying to get his key into the key hole of his apartment, a few doors down, if indeed it was his apartment. A taxi had stopped at another apartment, and blew his horn; they never got out of their automobiles, in fear of some catastrophe.

“Forget it, buddy,” he commented, and walked over to the curb as if to appease Sharon, knowing she was listening, moving closer nearby his car, leaving me standing where I was, knowing I’d join him in a jiffy. In the distance I could hear her two boys fighting, she left the doorway to go investigate.
A wave of near pleading filled Sid’s face. I simply waited for him to say what he needed to say; the cold still sucking from somewhere in my face, sucking it in. A soft cold rain—a drizzle started up. I stood there shivering cold, Sid had had a few drinks before he came over, and had a few more with me, but I hadn’t yet started my night’s serious drinking, nor had he, it was Friday evening, in St. Paul, Minnesota, I had turned twenty-years old, a month prior, and Sid, would be twenty-one in six months. I started pacing the sidewalk some, “I was hoping you’d come to Hudson, Wisconsin, with me tonight!” he said in a pleasant and hopeful voice.
I stumbled about, nearly fell, my shoes and socks got soaked with muck. I concentrated on Sid’s offer, I really wanted to go, he even said he’d borrow me money if I needed some, “I better stay here, Sharon’s been moody lately, awful moody, I’m going to move out soon, I don’t like the demands, but I better stay tonight, plus it’s getting late too late to take a long drive to Hudson, drink and then drive all the way back, just stay here with us and get drunk.” I hesitated a moment, then added “That’s it, that’s about it, just drive slow if you got to go. It’s a long drive you know.”
My knees were getting cold standing there, and my feet with the slush and muck in them were freezing up.
“I’ll be fine, one of the other guys are driving.” He said.
“The other guys,” I said, “I thought you were going alone?” My voice got gruffly and no encouraging, then I started to feel the ice rain on my head, forehead, and back. My cheeks getting numb, the drizzle continued.
“Where’d you find these guys?” I asked. “Who’s car you using?”
“It’s all right,” Sid said.
To Sid: “You mean you’re gong to let someone else drive, you’re going against your own principles, you’ve told me a hundred times, you never let anyone drive, and you drive only your own car.” (Wherever he had gotten that principle, he stuck to it like glue, and I was shocked to see he was modifying it.) I had peered straight into his face when I said that, “You got to be kidding!” For some reason I felt odd saying that, but I had to say it I felt, and now I felt even more uncomfortable about going, before I was hesitant, even felt a little guilty say no to Sid. Sid was a good driver.
He nodded a ‘Yes’ to me.
“You ought to just let them guys go themselves, and stay here!”

Sharon was talking to her two kids now, she looked anxious, wanting to get back to the doorway, to insure I’d not take off. I don’t think Sid had expected this, but he wasn’t surprised after he had told me about the two guys—guys he barely knew, and I didn’t know at all, and me turning him down cold turkey now, now that he had mentioned everything there was to mention. For the most part, I never felt comfortable drinking with strangers I didn’t know, they often got drunk and wanted to fight, and I wanted to drink.
“Are you sure you want to go, you always insist you got to drive.”
“We’ve designated someone not to drink too much.” He said.
“You know how that works, it doesn’t work. Once you start drinking, the non-drinker wants to drink and then you’re too far away to say anything, and it isn’t your car, and you aint going to walk back, you’re putting yourself in their hands.”
“Okay,” he said, “I’m all right.”
“You seem all right,” I remarked, “but you will all be goofy drunk coming back, and Highway 94 is not all that lit up.”

I was starting to freeze standing in this one spot, thinking thoughts, perhaps what he was thinking, staying in a warm house, drinking, getting drunk, but he told those fellows he’d go, and he felt he had to go. It’s funny, when you let someone take control of your life, that is exactly what they do but it is not for your betterment, it is in ever case I’ve yet to see, under the heading of self-interest.
“No, I told them I’d go; I’d feel funny at the last minute telling them different.”
“Well, where are they?”
“They’re waiting for me at a bar!”
We both glanced at one another, oddly, as if he had just discovered we were disconnected.

“No,” I reconfirmed, but I waned to keep him company. He looked confused, and I suppose so did I to him.
I had left and he had left, and I went into the kitchen to join Sharon, and she took a cold beer out of the refrigerator for me, it tasted marvelous.
“Better go easy on that, Chick,” she said, we only have a six-pack left.
“Six,” said, “isn’t bad if you don’t drink any.” I had three already, she had one and Sid had two. She liked her beer almost as much as I did. I was upset with myself for not going along with Sid, blaming it on Sharon who had insisted I stay home for once, even to the point of threatening to kick me out if I went. “If you go,” she said, “don’t come back.”
In the back of my head I had plans anyhow to go on to San Francisco.

Chapter Two
The News Report

“Wake up,” said Sharon; it was on the 7:00 a.m., news. “Wake up, Sid is on the news!” She shouted from the stairway by the living room, up the stairs came the reverberation of her voice. She said it a number of times.
My head and stomach was the worse, a hangover, it ached as if I had drunk too much, or too little, woken up too early too quick. I rolled onto my side. After awhile, I yelled down, “You said, Sid? What about him?”
“He’s on the news, come and see!”
“What happened?”
“Come on down and see for yourself.”
“Tell me?”
“He had an accident.” Then there was a long hesitation, and I knew I’d have to get up and go down stairs, to find out what all the commotion was about. And so I rolled out of bed. Then I heard her say something like “You were lucky.”
“Yeah,” I said, not knowing why I said want I said, not knowing what was going on.
By the time I had gotten down to the living room the news was still on, wrapping up, the commentator was going over the local news once more, I felt like a dead fish, hammered on, but getting better, still feeling a little sleepy, nauseated is perhaps better.
“Come over here,” said Sharon, “listen it’ll be on next, I saw it three times already.”
I just sat there and watched, she couldn’t or wouldn’t tell me for some reason what exactly was going on, and then she said, “You see!” It was a car wreck. I didn’t say a word, I didn’t recognize the car, and it wasn’t Sid’s.
“Wait a minute,” Sharon told me, he’ll say more about it in a moment.” It was as if she needed my confirmation, to asses if what had happened really happened.
I sat up, my stomach was sore.
“I’m afraid you’re going to get really upset,” she inferred.
“Wait and see.”
Then the News Commentator came on, and said, “Three boys coming back from Hudson, Wisconsin, on Highway 94, smashed into a guard railing, smashed right thought it, breaking out their front window, and having it come out through the back window, they must have been going ninety-miles an hour, all tested for having high alcohol content in their blood. All were killed instantly. Sid Moeller, twenty-years old and…”
There was a long pause, my mouth went dry, I almost lost my breath, and I had to gulp for air.
“Do you want me to go get some beer?” asked Sharon calmly.
“No, I should call Paula, see if she knows,” it was his wife, they were separated, and she was filing for a divorce.
“Okay,” she said, “but don’t leave please.”
I did leave, I frowned and moved out of the place, and moved over on the Westside of town, where the Mexicans lived, found a basement apartment, and stayed there until summer, and went to San Francisco. I had felt terrible for those months after Sid’s death; I was silent for a long while.
I was never invited to his funeral by his parents, matter of fact, I heard, overheard, one of them saying, “Why was it him, and not…” and they skipped over the name and finished the sentence by saying, “The good die young…” In both cases, the implication of me was there, but I guess I don’t blame them, I was a wild one, but then so was Sid, they just couldn’t believe he was as wild as me. (Now they all are dead but me, so I can write this.)

No: 716 1-25-2011

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Clotted by a Python (Revised and reedited/1-2011)

Clotted by a Python

(Intro:) His body was swollen, lumped, inflamed looking, bruised, and his last feelings were that he was deserted, clotted by a python, and this was going to be how he died—his epitaph, what people would read in the Sunday morning’s newspaper, the following day.

"The young man was only twenty-three years old, discovered at the Como Park Zoo (in the summer of 1957), he had let an eleven-foot python out of its glass and steel bar cage, in the little stone zoo building, built sometime in the 1930s. He was an intern from Chicago, living in St. Paul, Minnesota, a Biologist. He worked the night shift, cleaned the cages, fed the animals, and insured all went well. There was a security guard also who walked the park grounds, in particular, over in the Midway area where they had all the rides for the kids. It was now 2:00 a.m. All was quiet.
"The Intern, took the eleven-foot python from its habitat, and carried him out into the zoo atrium area, where in the morning visitors would come through to see the twelve cages, that held lions, and tigers, and large snakes, and monkeys, and two wolves.
"He, the Intern, was playing with the snake, put him around his shoulder, held him by the back of the head, but came the moment the python got irritated, had rolled upward a tinge, from his shoulders to his neck, no longer playing. The Intern, drew in his breath, tried to, it was difficult, as the viper had already crept downward towards his left wrist, and sunk its teeth into it, holding onto his wrist with a solid grip, as the snakes lower body had previously risen from underneath his light coat, it had already circled upward and doubled around his neck, forming a lump, a knot or loop of sorts, he tried to draw in his breath again, and found out it was next to gone, and he went to shout for help, but the security guard was circling the midway area, not the zoo part (the building that held some of the animals), and all one could hear was a whimpering sound, by the intern—by far, no way loud enough for the guard to hear.
"The powerful arms and shoulders, of the young intern couldn't pull or force the snake to break its hold, its tightening grip. He heard the whistle of the Security Guard, which indicated all was well in the in the surrounding area, and the intern knew he was close by; so close, yet it might just had been a thousand-miles away: he was for the most part, helpless as a child, with urgent eyes moving, looking for an escape route, help, a way out of this merciless grip the python had on him; he now was entering a world of the deaf and dumb, as his silent whimpering, his petition faded.
"The snake, now head to head—twisted, stared at his victim, it had risen slowly to eye level, as if it understood it was going to take the intern's life, and wanted, perhaps wanted revenge for keeping him locked up in a cage made out of stone and iron, a jail not for doing wrong but for being a python. He was no worse than a bird in a cage, and if God wanted birds to be in cages, he’d not have given them wings, perhaps the viper had a similar gripe; perchance, it looked at man as man looks at Satan.
"Now it was rapid whimpering, then the intern fell purposely, to the floor, there the scuffle continued, to no avail.

"In the morning, the janitor found the snake outside of the building, the intern on the floor, inside—but it wasn’t until late afternoon the police came, and the pathologist, and it was hot outside and it was even hotter inside the building than outside, there was no air-conditioning. His overalls half torn off—and nobody wanted to move the body until the doctor Okayed it and the police took their pictures; all in all, it looked as if the snake and intern had a great battle.

“He no longer looks like a human being," said the Police Lieutenant, to the Pathologist, the pathologist was examining the body, did not answer the Police Lieutenant, gave him no response he was doing a quick examination now, and would do a more lengthily one at the hospital (part of the job of a pathologist is to describe what he sees as quickly and precisely as possible, so whomever reads his report, will hopefully see in his mind faithfully what the pathologist saw, and it is no secret, doctors are apprehensive of police, in that they can distort things, and the blame placed on them. On the other hand he didn’t care to explain everything to the Lieutenant, because doctors often use abbreviations, which saves time, perhaps a secret and tightly packed language, to the police, and the death was obvious, the culprit was the viper, there would be no arguments to that).

‘He looked so bruised,” thought the Lieutenant, “black-and-blue, battered, and torn apart; Goya could not have painted a better picture of a dead man—who had but a few hours ago, fought for his life.’
Yes indeed, he had completely changed in appearance, white to yellowish-green, and black. He was turning into coal-tar, especially where his bones had been broken and skin torn open—his body was ballooning out, in places. The heat of the building had brought flies to gather around him. One wonders what preserving wishes went through his mind, in the end, when his soul was about to leave his body, his shell, then somehow jump off of the earth, no longer breathe in its air. No longer part of the old image he once was, his brain turning into the sensation of iron, then the flows and dribbles of thoughts vanish, getting ready for sterility—actually death. Maggots soon to be working their way out of his mouth, from the flies…

Outside the building, and around the corner was a stand-up, self-service type vendor, a man selling hotdogs and hamburgers, you had to put the trimmings on yourself: the cutup and mustard, and onions, and relish, and so forth. The owner was giggling with some woman, as she ate a hotdog. A few soldiers on leave walked by, on their way to the park beyond or perhaps to see the bears, or camels, which were down a ways yet, they were slapping each other in the arms. He gulped the hotdog down, and a short cup of coffee, and just kept walking about, as if to get rid of the view he had just seen, perhaps to stop his reaction, the one he was an actor to, the one he held in, as the pathologist did his job.

Written 8-26-2008 “Clotted by a Python” /Reedited, and revised and renamed 1-2011)
Based on an actual event (location and dates changed)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Somebody Should Have Died (a short story)

Somebody Should have Died

(1975, 545th Ordnance Company, Nuclear Site, West Germany)

The structure was built to withstand a nuclear blast. Around the site were high trees, sidewalks that lead to bunkers that had half dozen nuclear bombs in them (see interlude for details). The trees and foliage were high enough that only a small plane a hundred feet or so, over the site could see it, and it was forbidden by the German Government to allow any flights over the site. The young sergeant of twenty-seven, well built, auburn hair, with bluish-green eyes, had just taken over another sergeant’s shift; he was on what was called ENREST (Nuclear Surety, watchdogs). Each sergeant at the site, who had a Top Secret clearance, was put on the ENREST roster, as was every officer with a Top Secret Clearance, it was a twenty-four hour duty, once a month, and neither that sergeant or officer was to leave the bunker area. At night the doors were locked and bolted, front doors, one to the bunker, the other to the ENREST room within the bunker, where the orders came in.
As Sergeant Chick Evens listened he could hear the night winds over the bunker. At the same time he could hear a five-ton truck bringing in a new shift of Military Police, who guarded the site, twenty-four-seven. He licked his lips, to moisten them, it was a very hot night, he took off his shirt, only his undershirt on, the fat captain, lay snoring on his iron cot on one side of the room, as he sat on his iron cot, on the other side of the room. The room was twelve feet by twelve feet. The young captain was named Horace Worme. The sergeant had seen his file, and his college transcripts, since he was the NCO, in charge of the Nuclear Surety Program Investigations, and often wondered how a captain could become a captain, with 90% of his semester grades “D”. I mean he had more “D” grades than anything he had ever known, not one A, or B, a few C’s. He had gone to college himself and had a Bachelors Degree, and had gotten one D, and that that was fault-finding.
Evens watched the fat Captain, there was no one else to watch, heavily breathing, sweating, and the wind just kept swirling over the structure, as his perspiration soaked into the mattress. Then he got up and paced the floor, he never liked ENREST. He had told the Captain one of them had to stay up, watch the phones, the incoming data, read the printouts incase there was an alert. It was a two man control process, but only one need be up at a time during the night hours, but he also knew this captain never liked pulling duty, he left the sergeants stay up all night while he slept it away, but Evens said no to this crap, he was going to do his duty, just like him.
He tried to wake the captain up at 2:00 a.m., for him to take over the night shift, his time was up, but the captain wouldn’t wake up. Matter of fact, the Captain said, “Leave me alone, that’s an order sergeant!” And so the Sergeant laid face down on the cot, his chin on the pillow, his arms, stretched out.
“It’s foolish,” he said out loud hoping the Captain would hear “you can’t expect me to take your shift also, and read the data correctly,” messages came in from what was considered The European Central Command all the time. And it had to be translated, it was in code, and one man had to break open a white seal, after reading the message, and doing the decoding, the other man checked it out, and they would follow procedure. If it was a red seal, then it was for an alert, high priority, and then it would go to a second seal if necessary. A white seal was less complicated. But often a white seal lead to a red seal, and that meant war; and the Cold War of course was with the Russians. Their premise was, if it went to the red seal, the nuclear stomachs (nuclear cylinders)—so I called them—of the bombs needed to be sunk underground.

(Interlude: It is hard to express the makeup of a nuclear bomb and its destructive capacity in a simple paragraph, and I have seen the insides of them, but let me express it in the most fundamental, if not, oversimplified manner: there are two parts to the nuclear bomb I am talking about, some have three parts, the secondary part of the nuclear bomb—about a half dozen of them were stored at the site, this is the part I saw, of a cylinder type design. Those bombs were 9 to 50-megatons-plus, some were Titan II (ICBM), the Titan fleet was retired in 1988; the fireball of one of those Titan missiles, were three-miles in diameter, its destructive forces would most likely destroy all structures in a ten-mile range, or three-hundred square miles. One kiloton is equal to 1000-tons of TNT, kilotons are measured in thousands of tons; Hiroshima witnessed a 15-kiloton bomb; called ‘Little Boy,’ and Nagasaki witnessed a 20-kiloton nuclear bomb called ‘Fat boy’—thereabouts; whereas, megatons are measured by millions of tons of TNT. The secondary part of the bomb is the bottom part; the primary is at the top. I need not say more for this story.)

When the young sergeant woke, it was still dark outside; he heard an incoming message on the machine, printing out for him to read and decode. He stood up, walked over to the desk where the machine was spitting out paper, and a message was being printed out, coming, he went to wake the Captain up, told him, “You got to decode the message, along with me. Or at least read it after I decode it.”
“No, you decode it”, he said, “I’m tired.”
He started to decode the message, and fell back to sleep, without reading it clearly. As was the Captain’s job; one looking over the shoulder of the other.

It was now 6:15 a.m., and the phone rang. The sergeant passed it over the Horace, saying “The Major, wants to talk to you for some reason.”
He stood to the side of the phone, half in a daze, the phone heavy in his right hand, “Yes sir,” said the Captain, “what is it?”
Captain Worme, drew back like a double bolt of lightening, grabbed the decoded message, “Didn’t you decode this last night,” he yelled, to the sergeant.
“Of course I did,” said the Sergeant, the decoded part is right where the message you just picked up was.
“Hello,” said the Captain, to the Major, “The Sergeant said he did decode the message.”
“Well didn’t you read it?” yelled the Major so loud, the Sergeant could hear him.
“Yaaay! No, I guess I didn’t, why?” said the Captain.
“Because,” said the Major, “we are the only nuclear site; no, matter of fact, we are the only site in all of Europe not on alert, and the Colonel wants to know why our gates are wide open, as if it is a normal day. I want to see you in an hour and read that damn coded message and get back with me in five minutes.”
“So sergeant,” Captain Worme said to Evens, and started to read the decoded message, “it looks like you decoded it properly, why didn’t you wake me up and call an alert?”
“I did wake you up, and you gave me an order to leave you alone, after I told you, you needed to review the decoded message, as it is supposed to be, and you were insistent, and I was tired, and fell to sleep.”
“It was stupid not to act upon the message!”
“Ayee! Be careful captain. I did my duty, and you didn’t pull any duty at all, that can be called duty.”

After the Captain had come out of the Major’s office, he stopped Sergeant Evens, “So what’s going on?” asked the sergeant.
“I’m sorry to inform you, I think they will be some charges against you perhaps a court-martial; too many things to cover up.” Now the sergeant knew how he got past those “D’s” of his in college, he was a conniver.
“Well,” said the sergeant, “if I go down, so do you! Evidently they don’t know my part of the story; I’ll have to make a report sooner or later and inform them. Did they know it was you who gave me a Direct Order, to leave you sleep?” (And the sergeant knew, a Direct Order, from a commissioned officer, must not be in conflict with established law, and it was.)
“I’m not sure,” he said.
“What is there to be sure of, you told them or you didn’t, and I guess you didn’t.”
“I better go back there, and settle this before it goes out of control.” It was funny thought the Sergeant, he didn’t blink an eye, and he must have been testing the water to see if he’d take the blame.
“It’s very good, if you do, I’ll just stand here awhile.”

When the Captain had come back, all was settled.
“We are all soldiers,” said the Captain, “the thing to do is just forget today ever happened, and don’t say a word to anyone about this sergeant, okay? If you let this leak out, we’re all dead. We were with an attack, alert, the Red Brigade, some anti German group has tried to storm one of our nuclear sites, and an alert was called because of that, and we screwed up. Had they come here to our site, God only knows what would have happened. The gates were wide open, and they could have taken hostages.”
“Yes,” said the Sergeant (looking over at the gates now closed and secure), standing to his right side. “I never heard of it.”
“Heard of what?” said the Captain. Again the sergeant thought of all those ‘D’s’ the captain had gotten.
“No one will ever hear of it, that’s what!” Said the Sergeant, then he thought: ‘…someone might have died because of our neglect—’ and he just wanted to get away from there.

Note: The 545th Ordnance Company was activated in 1942. In 1950, it was activated in Japan, and in 1959 it was active in West Germany, by Muenster-Dieburg; inactivated in June, 1992; area given back to Germany, in 1994. No: 715 1-24-2011)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

"Yaaay!" (1957, a short story out of Minnesota)

(1957, Downtown, St. Paul, Minnesota)

On the middle of the street next to the park that summer, Mike Rosette and I had our first and only fight. Downtown, near the State Capital Building was just a handful of aging dwellings, one long gray painted building that looked more like a woodpile (where Mike lived), and a park across the street like a trench scraped to the bone, just packed earth (further down, was the Mississippi River, and the levees); St. Paul, back then was a dull, conservative city, possessing little to nothing, not even loud noises. To Mike and me, it was alive though, if only because of the fact that the city was our stomping grounds, we rode our bikes throughout the city like the Lone Ranger and Tonto. And the old empty houses that were ready to be torn down, was our battleground. We ran through them, as if we were wild Indians. We both went to the same school, St. Louis, down on Cedar and Tenth Street. About four blocks away from where Mike and Colleen Macaulay lived, the best looking girl in class, I was infatuated with her—and so were half the other boys in class.
It was starting out to be a very hot and dry summer, since there had not been rain in three weeks. We were all nearby the park, and Colleen showed up, three teenagers stood across the street. Then suddenly Mike and I noticed the three boys were watching us, and Colleen, who had an armful of groceries. They were laughing not loud but laughing about something Mike said about Colleen, that she thought she was high and mighty because the teacher in our classroom favored her over everybody else, and I shouldn’t bother with her—she didn’t hear that but the three boys did.
“What was that he said about your girlfriend?” One of the big boys asked. Then his friend said to me, “Come on over here, kid!” and I moved over three feet or so—they had moved from across the street to the middle of the street now—there was something curious in his voice also—insistent and he whispers in my ear, “You should fight him, stand up for your girl.” (Although she wasn’t my girl, she wasn’t anybody’s girl.)
I didn’t have time to wonder or speculate, because suddenly Mike stooped before me, I could have moved but I didn’t, “They just want you to beat me up; they want to see a fight, that’s all, put on a show for them.”
“There’s your girlfriend, don’t be a coward, a chicken…!” said one of the three boys.
Colleen was puzzled on what was going on, she hadn’t heard what Mike had said, but had just stopped to say hello. Now Mike was looking at me with that expression on his face, that said, “Don’t get pulled into this.”
I was eleven years old then; I didn’t know triumph; I didn’t really even know I was going to fight over a girl. Then without warning, I hit Mike, and pushed him to the ground, and was about to slaughter him with my fists and the guys were coming on faster, saying: “Hit him, get him, punch him,” and all sorts of things…
“Chick!” Mike said. Colleen had put her groceries down, and she was walking slowly towards me, “This is what they want you to do, it’s just a game for them.”
“He doesn’t matter,” one of the voices said, “Hit him a good one!”
There I was crouched over him, my hands in a fist form, a fierce sun overhead, and Colleen, just staring at me and Mike, and I looked up at the three boys—then there was a moments hesitation, it was as if I had gained my senses back, grabbed Mike by the arm, and helped him up. The boys said a few words, then they were gone, as if the show was over, why stick around. Mike and I watched them go. I was happy it didn’t ruin our friendship, and Colleen asked, “Was this about me?”
“Nothing,” I said, “it was over nothing,” but she of course knew different. I brushed Mike off, as Colleen just looked at me, as if I was her hero. I figured she didn’t know anything about it—I mean, didn’t know the complete truth, and so why not leave it that way.
Then I said, as the Lone Ranger might have said, “Yaaay!” and Mike and I ran to our bikes, jumped on them as if they were horses, and headed on down to the Mississippi Cliffs, to kick some bums in the feet, to wake them up in the caves and have them chase us. It was a wild summer.

No: 712 (1-23-2011)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Our Great President Obama

Our Great President Obama
(The One we admire and Follow)

If I was God, and I am not, I would have or be saying to my angelic force: “Look down on earth, and you can see why America is crumbling, actually you can see it at a clap of it eye, that’s all it will take, just look at Washington D.C., look at Obama!”
And what would I see if I was one of those angelic beings?

I’d not have to go back too far; let’s just go back a few years. How about Obama, our American President, elected by the media, and the emotional extravagance they created worldwide, not one day of military service, yet is ahead of the most powerful Armies the world has ever known (and I doubt he could tell the front from the back of an M16) never tested under fire, still putting us Americans in a permanent war costing 700-billion dollars for defense a year, while we have 16% unemployed in America (counting the ones no longer going back to collect unemployment: he doesn’t count them when he counts, and the 250,000 laid off this past few months), 90,000 people living under bridges and so forth in LA alone, and people not able to pay their rent—while giving billions of dollars of unpaid loans as a free gift to Go Pass Go ((banks and industry, etc)(we all thought we had a redeemer when he came on the scene, and Europe thought he was their Santa Claus)), without repayment; and we are giving 20-billion dollars to the United Nations and billions to Europe to keep their military forces up under the heading of NATO, and 20-billion dollars in addition to countries providing hideaways for terrorists like Egypt and Pakistan, and Yemen and even the PLO (to include Hamas: 250 million most recently), and we can’t pay the Chinese Toy Bill, we owe them pert near 1-trillion dollars, and now the economy is the worse we’ve seen since the depression. Yet I hear voices out there saying: give him a chance. He’s had two years plus. When I work for a company, I’ve got to prove myself in six week sometimes, and if they are generous, I’m given three months, never two-plus years, with a track records like his, I’d have been out the door long ago, walking those streets. And here is a guy who gets the Nobel Peace Prize, for continuing the same wars Bush started, and shifting troops from one country to another and saying: see, I’ve taken them out of Iraq, yet leaving 50,000 strong there. The others are simply next door. Now the dollar is 25% lower throughout the world today, than it was ten-years ago, and ten percent of that, belongs to Obama.
On the other hand, he’s given a PH.D., at a Christian College, for supporting abortions and Gay Rights, now he wants to make the Military Officially Gay. Next will be joining the World Court, and having our soldiers condemned to death by them, and handing our military forces over to the United Nations to do as they please. And he protects the Koran, while ordering the Military to burn the Bible in the Middle East, so we don’t upset the natives there.
The nuclear capability of Iran and its potential future usage is more a threat today than two years ago—if I was Israel, I’d not count on America to disable that nuclear button, it is bigger than ever, than it was when he took office. The Korean peninsula is less safe today than it was when he took office: as we can see, he did nothing when the North Koreans killed at will, those on a South Korean Island, and sunk a South Korean War ship—normal an act of war, whose side are we on? That should be a clear message for Japan, Twain, and South Korea, I’d get rid of America as a friend, quick, because if there is a showdown with China or Russia over it, and Obama is President, they are doomed—they ought to start their own nuclear capabilities before it is too late. He is in my eyes the worse president in my lifetime, and that is 63-years.
Sad but true this is a president that does not care about public consensus, and has passed an illegal bill, providing medical assistance to every person in America, not that it is good or bad, it was not done right, and will only cause more trouble in the courts in the very near future, perhaps taken away from those who might have found insurance elsewhere. In addition, here is a president that has not only been rude to South America, but to the Pope in Rome, you need only examine the video tapes. And let’s add Cuba to the list, he told the world he’d open the gates, he has simply done nothing on the issue, and like the Spanish vote, which he got for his acting performance, and the Christian vote, in his pretense in being a Christian, those are two he’ll never see again. He’ll have to rely on the Gay vote, or the Muslim vote, they got them down solid. Oh, how about the New York City dilemma, here is a president that gave his stamp of approval to build on sacred ground, while telling another Christian American he had no rights to burn the Koran. And sent the FBI to enforce it; say what you will, but he is taking slowly our liberties away. When that was taking place, the Mexicans were stomping on the American flag in Arizona, and he said not one word.
I can’t figure it out, is everybody out there blind?

Change in the River (a short story out of German story, 1975)

((1975, Munster by Dieburg, Military Nuclear Site) (more truth than Fiction))

He could not weigh up the fragile conformation of what just took place, in what he considered this ambiguous part of the world. An object which seemed to appear and then vanish with a thump, and of so small a consequence, he looked with, and for but a moment, upon the state of affairs and the affliction he had just caused to another human being. He took off so fast he didn’t allow his partner an instant of despair, disregarding all the laws of man. Perhaps there could have been relief at hand; but, he was not disappointed; and now with a dry temperament to wonder and contemplate soon at the bar; and so, let us see as a result, what stimulation we may well draw from the dead and the kindness from our own species, I doubt this coldness even holds true among animals. An interesting aspect in human nature, an observation I had acquired that evening, it has entertained me for years, no more doubts as to if whether our species succumb to the manner of those long lost ancestors Carl Sagan has so well defined, befitting to be called the Neanderthals. Had this been a war, this might have looked less incongruous to me, even pushed into the quarry for safe keeping, but it wasn’t.
I was the most unaccustomed to having heard, then overheard, and then having to befriend, and live among the presence of such a disturbing person—even after being myself in a war. I remember the evening quite well, and to my understanding, they had never went back to detect the wrong they had done, to check the reality: one was detached, the other carried by his friend’s weight, went along with his program, the length of it all. Of course by doing what he did or they did, they robed the mind of the disaster of a horror, perhaps much greater.
I do know for a fact, the driver, wouldn’t have been surprised by the amount of paper work he would have caused about the dead. Making his ultimate plan in a matter of one quick moment, buried the dead before he even saw what he completely looked like. He consequently lay there on the street face down, his bones smashed out of his body—all that paperwork, he saved himself from doing— indicative of an accountant, trying to cut corners.

“Okay,” said the Sergeant First Class, “What about it?”
“Ummm!” said the Staff Sergeant, “It was bad.”
“You mean the accident, or the guy I run over?”
“It was bad,” said the Staff Sergeant. “That’s all that I mean.”
“Okay,” said the SFC. “Deal with it anyway you like, he stepped out in front of me, I never saw him. I wish to God I hadn’t’ but I did.”
“You mean you wish you had seen him. You and I have been drinking all day and night,” said the SSG.
It was early evening, and there was no one in the Enlisted Men’s Night Club on base at the 545th Ordnance Company, in West Germany, Munster by Dieburg. No one but I. I was a Corporal back in 1975, and the bartender was a Buck Sergeant, and two black men were playing pool, two privates I believe. It was midsummer and it was hot, and the two Sergeants, one ahead of the Military Police Detachment, SFC Blackwell, and the other SSG CTH, ahead of the Nuclear Surety Program, had been drinking, and were pretty soused, sitting on those two stools, they looked out of place. The waitress wore a thin see-through blouse, and a short skirt, her skin was soft and pure white to her bones, her hair, blonde, was cut as a sparrow, and as she put her slender hand through her golden hair to move it away from her forehead, she avoided listening to the conversation of the two sergeants, that they were having. Both had looked at her a little strangely.
“You killed him,” said CTH.
“Please don’t get into it,” said Blackwell, he had very large hands, and he looked at them. They were black and near shaking.
“Someone got your license plate number, I swear to God they did,” said SSG CTH.
“It won’t make a difference; I’ll deny it, nothing I can do about it now!”
“We should not have gotten into the car in the first place; we’re too tired and drunk.”
“Can I get you another drink,” the girl asked. “What are you drinking?”
“I told you,” said Blackwell to CTH, “No one will know, I mean really, just be quiet about it.”
“I’m not sure,” he said. Now the girl had come back with two beers from behind the bar, looked at both of the sergeants, gave them the beers, the bartender had taken a break, and put out her hands to collect the money.
“Poor old German,” said Blackwell. He looked again at his hands, they were slightly shaking.
“No, thanks,” said the SFC to the girl, “You keep the change.”
“I suppose it doesn’t do much good to say you’re sorry?” said CTH.
“No, it don’t” said Blackwell, and then took a gulp from the bottle of dark German beer. “Nor does it do any good to tell the police!” he added.
“I’d rather not hear that,” said the bartender, he had come back from his break, and didn’t want to be involved with a future investigation, and walked to the other side of the bar where the two black male soldiers were playing pool.
“I like you a lot,” said Blackwell, “so don’t say a word to the police, I’m sorry, if you don’t understand, I do, that’s trouble for you also.”
“Why do you say that?”
“Sure,” he said, looking at CTH. “All day and all night we drank together. Especially when I hit the old German; don’t you think you have to worry about that?”
“I’m sorry,” CTH said.
“Don’t say that, it sounds like you’re going to say something you’ll regret—you know that; don’t you trust me?”
“It was a man that died there in the middle of the street!”
“That’s funny,” he commented, “Really funny, of course I know that.”
“I’m sorry,” said CTH.
“That’s all I hear from you: I’m sorry, I’m so sorry, but we need to understand each other, there’s no use in being sorry, we did what we did.”
“No,” he said, “I think you did what you did, I wasn’t driving.”
Then they were quiet for a long while, saying nothing at all, and then the girl asked if they wanted another beer, the barman would not come over to serve them.
“Let’s not talk about it anymore,” said Blackwell.
“Don’t you believe we are friends?” asked SSG CTH.
“We’ll see—you’ll have to prove it.”
“You never were like this before; we were like two peas in a pod. You’re not very polite tonight.”
“You’re a fine Sergeant, but I’m not going to jail for you.”
“You may have to of course, but if you say nothing.”
“Maybe,” said CTH, “if I have to, then I’ll have to.”
“You’re an amusing girl,” said Blackwell as the waitress approached to ask if he wanted another drink, “and so is the barkeep.” He was annoyed he didn’t serve him personally.
“You’re not, Sergeant Blackwell.” She said seriously, she had known him from previous nights at the club, and he drank himself blind.
“You have to, I suppose.” He said to the girl looking at the bartender talking to one of the pool players.
“Yes,” she remarked. “Too bad I have to, but you know it.”
“I hope if you overheard things, we’re just kidding, it shouldn’t make any difference to you though.”
“I thought you said to be quiet about this,” CTH said. “That’s not very quiet.”
“Just improvising,” he said.
“You’re looking great,” said CTH to the girl.
“And so are you, Staff Sergeant,” she said with a smile. Then the bartender yelled, “Come over here and give them a drink on the house.” Perhaps trying to make up for his boorish behavior and pretending to be indifferent, but he’d not serve them personally.
“Yes, sir,” said the girl. “Be back in a minute.”
The two sergeants, turned their stools about, and leaned on the bar some, each lit up a Luck Strike cigarette, then looked back behind them, and over towards the café area, the barkeeper was handing the waitress two beers.
“We’ll be better off if you don’t try to explain to her, what she shouldn’t do, or know, it sounds like we’re guilty of something,” said the staff sergeant.
“I guess I thought it necessary to tell her, just incase.”
“In case she’s pressured by the police?”
“That’s what they call it! You know how they can get.”
“Yaw, I suppose we both do.”
“Okay,” he mumbled, “Okay.”
“I’m going to go get some air, I’ll be back,” said CTH.
“I doubt it, you won’t be coming back.”
“I said I would, I’ll be back.”
“If you say so, but I doubt it, I don’t think so.”
“Okay, you’ll see.”
“Yes, we’ll both see.”
“I said I’ll be back, I got to finish the beer.”
“Go on then, what are you standing around here for!”
“Actually, you’re getting rude.” CTH said, but his voice was pleasant.
“Well, are you going or not?” said Blackwell, while looking at the girl who was talking to the guys at the pool table. She had pretty blue eyes, and hard looking breasts, perhaps eighteen or nineteen. Her cheeks were rosy, a long thin neck.
“Actually, I doubt you care one way or the other if I go,” CTH said, “you’re too busy to care.”
“Yes, yes, we’ll talk when you get back,” said Blackwell a little more settled with everything, and a little drunker.
She looked across the bar at SFC Blackwell, kind of quickly, and then rushed the two beers over to him.
“You want to go out with me tonight,” he asked her gravely.
“No,” she said seriously. Her voice hadn’t changed one iota.
“Well,” he said, “I tried.”
She handed him his beer and put the other on the bar quickly, she didn’t look at him, but she knew he watched her as she turned around to go back to where the bartender was. CTH had walked out through the door. He picked up the other beer, both beers in his hands now, and left the bar to look for CTH.
“Yes, sir?” said the girl to the bartender.
“Trouble,” said the bartender to the girl, “he can be a very cold man, Blackwell.” He looked at the door, I suppose hoping they’d not come back, and they didn’t. She looked out the window and saw that they were both walking down the side street towards the barracks.
“You’re right,” she said, “he is very cold, I don’t feel comfortable around him.” The young girl then looked in the bar mirror, primping herself.
“You do look lovely,” said the black bartender, who also had big hands. “You must have a beautiful mother.”

The Staff Sergeant, He never did tell the police that they had been drinking that night when questioned, although he admitted they drove down that way. And the barman said he never over heard anything. And the German waitress’s face was too innocent to question; even though someone had given their license plate number to the local police as being a suspect in the hit-and-run. And the Corporal—that’s me, Corporal Evens, I wasn’t around to be asked, and neither was Blackwell.

I had left the 545, in the summer of 1977, gotten out of the Army in 1980; I was a Staff Sergeant then. CTH, whom I got to know quite well, became a Sergeant First Class just before I left—like Blackwell (and to my understanding, Blackwell never made any rank beyond what he had, and was lucky to keep that), and then CTH, had gotten reassigned, and gone to Freiberg, and in the spring of 1983, was hit by a civilian vehicle while he was off-duty walking across a street, and was killed. That’s all that was ever said about it.

No: 710 (1-21-2011)
(Originally named: The River Change) Dedicated to: CTH

A Grain of Salt (short end, chapter story)

Part Fifteen

A Grain of Salt
(Finality of the Saga “The Vanquished Plantations))

Chapter One
The Hypnotist

Hypnosis is not the best way to have a person refresh his or her memory, I’ve seen it done, and although it works, the psychologist, or the Psychiatrist (in essence the Hypnotist), is left with sorting out what elicited the client’s mind—le me explain in more detain: mixed inside this pot of crickets, the patient’s mind that is, is a the patients imagination, his fantasy, so when the truth comes out, it’s a tinge unreliable, if not blank, of the ugly wrong, or memory you are seeking him or her to unveil, among all this are of course true reflections, or recollections—but is there a therapist able to distinguish the truth from fantasy? Put a different way, some writers of novels—from page one to the end page—write fantasy, who comes to mind is H.P. Lovecraft: on the other hand, Hemingway took his experiences and used his imagination as a tool to enrich them novels of his. And Faulkner rest his southern soul, to a high likelihood, abducted stories form those he overheard, old lost tales, letters found, gossip here and there, all memories that carried some weight to them, some morsel of truth, and of course pre-screened to fit into his novels, with accounts of his and his family’s background, in crevices and corners with dark shadows. Perhaps the most obvious and truest to his writings of actual events, cloaked by different names, was F. Scott Fitzgerald, his stories of the Jazz Age, which he pinned. But under hypnosis we are highly suggestible people, swimming though layers of thoughts to get to the surface—some dream material.

Contact with the Divine

Cambodia and Vietnam, in 2010, was not that same old plague-infested times of the 1970s. When Ming was accidentally killed, in Zuxin’s apartment by accident in Phnom Penh, well not quite by accident, perhaps by mistaken identity, because the assassin or the killer had went there to kill Zuxin, so, Ming being at the wrong place at the wrong time you might say, took Zuxin’s place, nonetheless, the times never did change for Si, at least not in curing her need for some kind of revenge—a still haunting disease in her mind, needed a formula, a fix, settlement, even though she did kill her husband after finding out all his folly, but she was raped by the will of Zuxin, those she hired to rape her—to her was no different than the person she hired to kill Zuxin. That group rape had never healed properly. Call it mere female foolishness or frivolity, or demonic hallucinations, or perhaps old age dementia, but whatever you call it, it was blocked out inside her head.

Chapter Two
Ipso Facto

When she was brought to court for hiring the killer, whom was apprehended for the slaying of Ming, evidence was needed. Namely a confession would do, the slayer confronted was said to have said, “It was Si, who hired me, and she should be in jail too.”
So Si, who went under hypnosis, willingly—for she had no recollection of hiring the killer, had no foreknowledge of such an act, hence, that evidence could not be provided in the courtroom, and the courts were convinced the assassin lied.
“In most of the cases such as there is of these,” said Si’s lawyer, “which are almost exclusively males, an ex lover, or friend of the accused, drags the other person in out of payback for being caught. We are simply getting a testimony of a delirious fifty-year old jealous man, who wishes to do his ex lover wrong. He is ipso Facto ((an unreliable witness)(or, by the fact itself; it is done by the cover of something else)).

Chapter Three
Update (2011)
Finality of the Saga

Zuxin’s husband had died a decade before, and now justice was done for Ming, and whatever motive Si had will have to be dealt with elsewhere, if you know what I mean. And whatever motive Si had, or invented and mentally accepted, was not hard to find for a demented and troubled mind—graveyards are full of such people, who but God and the Devil can change to souls of men, God does it willingly, the Devil of course pulls and pushes, always feeling he is the rightful owner.
Morgan Carter, never sought revenge, he was too old for that, or too wise. He moved on, ignoring the encouragement offered by others to do so—perhaps a little dreamy and confused in his old age—now in his mid-70s. And he now lived some place in Minnesota, or is it Peru? I confess, I can’t put my finger on which one, perhaps both…

(No: 708) 1-20-2011

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Old Lion (A Chapter Story)

The Old Lion
((End Chapter Story to “The Vanquished Plantations) (2002))

Ly, now is a very old lady, 102-years old, she survived through the war years, as she had told her friends, now and again: “Wars are won in the will, and lost that way also, you find the root and strike the will.” She has an old stiff upper lip, from hating that nephew of hers, the one that died back some thirty years now, Danh, she even out lived him, she says “Some battles are won by just out waiting the other person, not outwitting him, they can see that coming.” She knows she wasn’t named Ly for nothing (in Vietnamese, it means Lion). But back to Danh, he was her antagonist, if ever she had one. She called him “The Bad Seed”or“The Rotten Apple…there’s one in every bunch…!” among other names. She doesn’t miss him, but she does An, his brother, the one he killed, like Cain and Able.
After the boys were dropped off—back in ’79, and left for her to raise Danh had went crazy, he had become big on drugs, took them even in public. A lot of people in the neighborhood had been cheated out of something by him, a lot of nasty stories. She had told her neighbors if not a hundred times, “I really loved him at first, and then liked him as long as I could.” And she meant what she said.
But here she sits, in that same old kitchen, it is 2002 now, at the same old table, the very one she had thirty-years ago, no—forty years ago or so, she bought it ten-years before those two girls, Zuxin and Ming, tricked her into taking the boys, oh, she doesn’t blame them, they didn’t have any of their blood in them, anyhow. But there she sits, with a beer—twisting the glass in a circle with her hands, wondering I suppose however she made it thru those trying days with Danh. One thing for sure, she’s no longer hesitate to get up and see who’s coming through the front door, and running out the back if its is Danh—he’s long dead. She’s no longer smoking cigarette after cigarette either, wondering when he might come back.
She’s fiddling with her hands now, thinking: he was like a wolf. Like the plague, she had asked him to leave once, but he never did. But the think she hated the most, even more than his punishing her, and robbing her, was killing those nasty rats: let me explain this, the way she told her neighbors:

“He’d take rats—yes rats, where he got them I’ll never know, perhaps down along the river bank—he’d take a half dozen of rats, or one or two, as many as he could carry in a sack, and carry them into the house, over to the sink, a heavy butcher’s block was always there, by the edge of the sink, he’d put the rat one at a time, onto the block and put wax paper into the sink, then he’d pick up the meat cleaver, the heaviest one I had—a kind of stubby thing, but it had a thick and solid wooden handle—it cut right trough bone and meant like butter, or hide—clean through. Anyhow, he’d play with the rat some, grab him by the tail, the rat would try to pull away, spreading all four on the block, then with the cleaver over its head, he’d bring it down hard, then all I’d hear is a loud whack--as the cleaver hit the block. He’d then hold the headless rat by its feet, over the sink, still wriggling for a moment, and he’d watch the blood drain out of its body. He’d do this to each and every rat, one to six, whatever number he had.”

No: 707 (1-19-2011)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Smart Scientiss (Calling Woof...!)

The Smart Scientists
(Calling Woof…!)

“Ninety percent of the world for ten-thousand years has been off their rocker,” says the smart scientist. “There really, truly, isn’t any God!” We’ve been fooled, they say. Somewhere along life’s long line, we’ve been hooked like a fish, brought to believe this fairytale story; perhaps someone, somewhere, had a delusion—I don't know, the Neanderthal maybe, and everybody fell for it, you know, kind of fell into that black hole, the scientist created out of nothing or perhaps out of gravity—not figuring out how gravity works yet, or how it was created, but gravity nonetheless: everyone but them smart guys got sucked in. Well, since there is no God, there mustn’t be any devil either. And since there is no devil, there is no such thing as sin, now we got what is called: right and wrong in question, it now is a personal thing: values are according to those each and every person owns: you know what I mean, what a person values is his value (it is where he puts his heart and soul, his money and efforts, and loyalty, and…you get picture)—right or wrong doesn’t matter (it’s not relevant), it is similar to a feeling—it just is, it is just that, no more. So there shouldn’t be any guilt, in taking from one another his life, limb, or liberty, he has no one to answer to: no God, no Devil, and man, well, they all have their own values—mine is just as good as the next person’s; thus, taking his wife, child or girlfriend, is inconsequential, the stronger person, perhaps the more rights he has—this is his value. Who’s to say—God isn’t around nor the Devil, possibly should we look back for the answer from the scientist? He’s suppose to have all the answers—my guess would be he’d bring up the Golden Rule, but perchance rules are made for those who value them (for example: Russia and China do not value the same rules America does, likewise North Korea does not value the same rules South Korea does). Conceivably what the scientist values, is what we are supposed to value, that is what it comes down to anyhow: that makes him God though, and remember that can’t be, he just got rid of Him. This can get confusing, society acts out of fear, and now you took God and the Devil away, should we fear the scientist, or anarchy. These are the ones we can see, as the scientist would put it. God and the Devil, the invisible ones, might be a better choice now? Perhaps the scientist, better think twice about taking something away, and giving back nothing; you see, when you take something from someone, you got to give him something better, lest you hang yourself. It is sad but true, scientists cannot get along with having a God above them, and yet, much of what they’ve discovered, is based on theory—or, the invisible.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Sergeant Conway (a short story)

Sergeant Conway

(Sergeant Conway, Carter and Ming)

((An Interlude: Buck Sergeant Conway, he was the arch-demon for the Company, at the 611—surely for his platoon—to most everyone at the company he wasn’t worth shit, as a soldier he was mediocre, and in a firefight, or just on routine missions in the bush, he’d always seem to end up getting someone killed or maimed: young soldiers, strong soldiers, Charlie, the enemy had him pigged. And he was mean as hell. He put his own men through all sorts of crap, keeping them miserable from sunup to sundown. He had a lot of good young soldiers working under him, even Langdon Abernathy for awhile—until he was assigned to the ammunition battery, in support, under Staff Sergeant Carter.

He’d, Conway, come on strong with his harsh manner, although none of it would bother SSG Carter, he was one rank his senior. But it all carries over; it made him look tough, not good, but heroic like. He’d actually kick you in the back, in the ass, in the leg if he felt he could find a blind spot, a narrow moment to do it that favored him. SSG Carter never felt comfortable around him, feeling somewhere along the line, he’d step over the line with him, and then what?

Carter had a good reputation, perhaps there was some jealousy in that, between the two who never paid the other any attention for the most part.

Why Ming dated him after hours, pretty much on the sly, no one could figure out, perchance he had a more likable personality than we all thought—but just a prick to most of the soldiers in the Company. Privates and corporals used to say he walked around with a pocket knife in his pocket. Just in case he wanted to stick someone in the ass with it, and watch him jump.

He wasn’t useless, normally in good form, physically and mentally that is. Like all of us, we had our bad days, but he had so many of them we just wondered when he was having a good one, lest he make ours grim, “I suppose he’s no worse than the average asshole,” Sergeant Carter, would say to anyone who asked him—for his view on the matter.

Whatever SGT Conway’s motives were no one knew, but people if not history, and memories as well, judge men by their actions, and it was obvious to all of us, Conway was not in Vietnam for fighting a war for America, believing in what the American politicians said we should all be there for—such as: democracy and freedom, it was a land that still cherished their ancestors’ ways; the darker face of reality lies hidden in the banks and industry of America. I mean this was no ‘Bunker Hill,’ it was Vietnam, ten-thousand miles away from ‘Bunker Hill’ and Conway knew it. The times were filled with a neurosis, cruelty, domination, America was obsessed, a fearful, and suspicious country. And Conway knew this also, fanatics, he called everyone, and laughed at us all. He even said “I know I’m unimportant in the overall picture here,” and would mumble some narcissistic sentence.

There’s an old saying: a paralyzed man will swing a paralyzed arm less than a good Arm: I never saw him swing his arms at all; he was like a wooden soldier. That was Conway.)( On the other hand, SSG Carter was famous at the 611 also, he was one of the few soldiers who became well known fast, like a movie star, and therefore, acquired blind loyalty, fans you might say, and of course, antagonistic critics—especially the blacks who called him the Vietnam Tarzan. Yet he was a commanded presence—stocky and powerful. One either liked him, or loathed him. Except Conway, who paid him no mind? Auburn- flecked hair, sea-deep eyes (bluish-green).

Unconsciously, the thought was there, but it was sleepy-bleary eyed, a pale thought at best, why would Ming, a tall, young lovely Asian girl go out with such a guy—I mean, after the first date, why the second and third and who knows how many thereafter; a soldier who gnashes his teeth more than he brushes them. There was a sleazy side to Conway, a cheap and rickety side to him, almost disoriented, and yet they cohabitated on the sly. This would come out later; it would be food for thought. But while at the 611, it was just curiosity.))

NO: 706/1-17-2011

Friday, January 14, 2011

The Demonic Gray Wolf ((A Chapter Story, "The Vanquished Plantations")(revised))

The Demonic Gray Wolf
Of the Wallace Fields (fall 1967)

Mr. and Mrs. Stanley hired Detective Hans Gunderson, a friend of Douglas Sexton, of Fayetteville, to uncover this mystery death of Cindy Codden, who had slept on their porch and was mulled by a pack of wolves, or so it seemed, perhaps one great wolf could have done her in. Mrs. Stanley, couldn’t figure why the dogs or the horses, or any of the animals didn’t make noise that night when the wolf came and mauled Cindy to death, last summer, to her understanding the wolves had been long gone, so long she couldn’t remember. The gray wolf was known years ago to have lived in the woods nearby, by the railroad tracks, the timber wolves, but this one was possessed, so it would appear, and the coroner, had said it would have been one great wolf, and Hans believed it to be so.

Hans was known in Fayetteville, and the surrounding plantations, as being of German stock, born in Munich, fought in the Korean War, which thereafter was then given American citizenship, and he was a deadly shot with a pistol and rifle, a bold man, a man of grit, who understood the wilds of the country, he himself a roughneck, a tall man—very tall and robust, perhaps six foot nine inches tall, some have said, and broad, and so in haste to find the secrets behind the soul of this killer wolf, man eating would, he camped out in the open fields, and the woods beyond the fields, near the railroad tracks, where old man Henry Pike worked for so many years and died that summer of a heart attack.
It was now November of 1967, fall was cold, and a frost was everywhere. He was given a month to finish the job, and he started on November 15, he was paid $100 per day, and if he brought back the head of the so called gray wolf, the one that had been seen running through the woods, and fields, with the hounds, and other stray dogs, and animals, he’d be given a bonus of $500-dollars—a nice sum for his work in those days.
Hans knew what he was looking for, a gray wolf, perhaps with rabies, or a dead wolf that had rabies, and infected other wolves, a mad wolf in essence, a large wolf, perhaps three to four feet, the largest of them, he saw its footprint, it had six digits, not five, it was all of 180-pounds, with great stamina, for it ran the length of the woods like a bird, many folks had seen one, but no one saw it close up, not even the dead who died by its bone breaking teeth. Such wolves were ancient, their history dated back 300,000-years, with the scent glands on their toes, they could out maneuver its enemy at will, and they were highly adaptable, thrived in unbalanced weather. (The Canis Etruscus, a link to the Canis Ambrusteri which is a link to the ancestor Lupus—saber-tooth species emerged in North America during the Pleistocene Epoch perhaps from Europe; conceivably between 100,000 BC to 8000 BC. They migrated to South America thereafter, and can be found in deserts, on mountains, forests, grasslands. This was the great gray wolf’s ancestors I do believe)
If he was infected with rabies, then perhaps it went mad, and was the cause for its attack, and they were close to the dog family, thus to run with them was not uncommon, it would although transmit its disease to humans, and other livestock, or could, and that was perhaps half of Mrs. Stanley’s reasoning for Hans to capture or kill the beast. On the other hand, maybe she needed him to find the dog pack and see if the wolf was among it, and get rid of the threat of his returning to its criminal scene, and eating her.

He deliberated on many options, and working them out in his head, he then started exploring the woods by the railroad tracks, it was the second week now, drifting rapidly from one section to the next, and back to the Stanley Plantation. He had built a fire, mumbled a prayer, climbed in a circle he made, fires all around him, put his rifle on his lap. The evening came, and it all seemed so unholy—but it came. Then one evening he pulled out his notebook and started writing a diary, with a despairing gesture, turning his eyes everywhichway as the night got darker; he was in a scattered fringe of the woods, in case he needed to run out of it, he wouldn’t get lost. It struck him that it was considerable colder than what he anticipated, and put a blanket around him, the one he was to use as a pillow, if indeed he dare sleep. In the morning he’d resume his journey and task, but it was looking like he was not going to get his $500-dollars—so it appeared.
The brightness of the moon was helpful, and he began to think, write more notes, in addition to this, he noticed, heard a far away rushing sound, it came in intervals, with a mysterious cry, yelping, one that come from none other than a wolf, and so he wrote this down into his notes also. He was somewhat shut in by the hills, more so than the woods, he’d have to run a ways, up a hill, down it, and be out of the woods and beyond the hills he’d end up in open fields of the Stanley plantation again. A mile or so, that is all. He shifted his eyes about, checking out the trees and foliage beyond them—for it was very little for his time of year, winding around them as much as he could; he was in the least dense part of the woods, all seemingly in clumps.
Frost began to fall on him, and the cold shiver in the air penetrated his bones, and it got darker, as shadows of clouds slowly crept across the moon, giving off a misty vagueness of light.
The trees and fires, three around him, kept him company, the crackling of the fires, was his only disturbance in the otherwise silent evening, by and by, the sound of the wolf passed in echo form, passed his ears, as if in blasts, puffs, weird was the sound of the wolf.
“Perhaps I should go find some better shelter,” he wrote in his diary. “The shadows that are crossing the moon look like corpses,” he wrote in his diary, “There’s a sudden stillness now, I seem to be in the middle of a storm at sea, my heart is beating fast, now the moon’s light has broken through the gray clouds, and the fires around me give off a marble like tone, which seeps into the air, perhaps I am noticing too much, and that means I’m falling to sleep, yet I’m sure something is approaching me, I sense it, feel it, almost can taste it.
“I feel a little weird, faint almost, I think the devil is around, evil smells, it soaks the air with the scent of blood,” and then as he looked up he dropped his pen and paper…
(terror unutterable, he beheld the great gray wolf to which the flickering fires clung to like a hellish corona, moving and illuminating mutedly the three-hundred pound abomination of head and forelegs that were—could have only been, a creature from hell. The wolf stood erect, rising to a height as tall as a pony, and it swayed like a great dragon, eyes glowing like lit coals, polished teeth, a radiant flaring tongue, venomous green tongue; and there Hans sat, nigh dead with fear to stand up, reaching for his gun)
this perfect tempest leaped upon him—in this moonless night—the ground shook, it was like a bolt of lightening, a roar of thunder, icy-like fangs over his head, he rolled over to get away from the beast, grabbed a stick of lit wood, almost pitilessly jumped into one of the three fires; he was being dominated, the wolf was all of three-hundred pounds, and four feet, if not more in height, and it had iron cold teeth, he rose as a dead man would, limp as a fish, bitter screaming in pain, the wolf leaped at him, mingling a dreadful sound, a giant-grip he had on Hans, and dragged him around the fires, like a rag doll while he dropped him now and then, and beat on him with its giant paws, knocking the air out of him, there were several wolves in the nearby bushes, looking, vaguely looking, as phantoms might prepare for the dead feast to be. He was soaked from flesh to bone in pain, his body numb, yet in torment, he fought, but the wolf was too powerful, he took a hunk, a pound of flesh out of his leg, as if to say, how delicious—flesh for victory—he wanted the big German to know the truth before he died, and the truth was—who could devour who? (what he didn’t know was: night by night, like a comet burring out all its evil mist into the universe, his blood was on fire for this German hunter, this so called fearsome and mysterious seeker; depredation is all the wolf wanted and got) it was heavy weight, and then his chest, a vast stillness came to the gawking eyes of Hans, he could feel the warm breath of the wolf at his throat now—terror had vanished, he knew the deed was done—he was done to death by the wolf, that was the awful truth of it, Hans was hoping to lose consciousness, and just die, the wolf dropped him then, licked his throat, his eyelashes, this gigantic wolf acted as if he was possessed with a legion of demon, a regiment of hell’s henchman, as if there were voices controlling this beast from beyond the physical world. The wolf then yelped, as loud as a bear, louder than a bear, and then disappeared, vanished, leaving the live corpse amongst the fires, and the other dogs and wolves half hidden in the bushes, drew nearer, and nearer and nearer, slithering foulness reeked in the air… and they drew nearer!...

((Kill of the Great Gray Wolf) (winter of 1967))

(December, 1967) Who could kill such a beast as the huge great gray wolf of Wallace Fields, the same fields that were haunted by the ghosts, the dead who walked aimlessly, until Death won its victory back, and took them from their helm, but someone was left behind, someone with an ugly spirit, that was when the wolves came back, as if the demonic world got vengeance over Death for wiping clean the fields, the plantation fields outside of Fayetteville, North Carolina, it was the Winter of 1967 and it went into the Spring of 1968, the year young Langdon Abernathy would join the Army. But already this Gray Wolf, had acquired a deadly reputation, he had killed Cindy Codden, while on the Stanley Plantation and ran free across the fields of the old Wallace plantation, and into the woods, over the back hills that extended the length of all three plantations, the Abernathy’s, Stanley’s and Wallace’s. It ran none stop, across 1200- acres. Folks said that the wolf, was a giant gray demon, of over three-hundred pounds, four plus feet to an average man’s shoulders; deadly eyes, of yellow rustic marble, he stood still and stared like a machine they said, as it readied to attack its prey, like a soldier, at attention, then battle ready it would attack mercilessly; fangs as thick as a man’s thumb—perhaps thicker and as long as his index finger, and as sharp as razor’s blade, pure evil incarnate. He had killed the German Deceive Hans Gunderson, a well trained hunter, and it had killed—at will, bums and tramps, and railroad trackmen, over the hill, where old man Pike, had his heart attach a while back.
Langdon Abernathy, still in his teens, and ready to go into the Army, taking his training at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, not far from his Plantation, had a dream, he wasn’t sure if it was a gift, or a sentence, a gift to test his courage, or an early on death sentence. But he saw the beast, the huge gray wolf, he saw him in his domicile, it was in the woods, under a great tree, under the tree’s roots, the hole was as big as their stove, in it he slept, around him, human bones and rabbit, squirrel, and every other kind of mammal bone you could think of, or find in the woods; every kind one could find in a living and breathing mammalian forest, everything of that nature was among his collection. He was a loner; no other beast dare keep him company. Langdon saw all this, wrote it in his diary, one he put under his mattress, for future reference (that is why this story can be told).

He sat up, 2:00 a.m., up on his bed, sat looking out his window, waited, an hour passed, he heard a noise that indicated he had company, he prayed, “Oh, Lord give me strength to rid the fields here of this killer beast, this wolf that comes to devour his victims (and he knew he was coming)” Langdon was a person of strong faith, sometimes reckless faith, and I suppose his guardian angel had a enduring journey with him, and he then stopped praying, walked to the window, he heard footsteps, alongside of the house, then on the wooden porch, up its steps, back and forth on its porch, like it was for Cindy Codden, who fell to sleep on the Stanley porch one evening, and got torn to shreds by this lone beast. Now muddy and chilled, it was hungry; it needed flesh, protein, and blood. Langdon asked himself, if he was afraid, and he was, but wasn’t aware of how much he was, something a man never knows until the very moment of action; for he got up, walked silently towards the sounds that reverberated through the wooden frame of the house, to and through its floorboards of the house, the wood, it was all in the wood, that went through the feet, and made him tremble.
An animal knows when you fear him, and the wolf has its scent in it toes, he now could smell the flesh nearing him, he could actually hear Langdon’s heartbeat, and Langdon could hear the beast’s difficulty in breathing, it was hungry, weakened from the cold and hunger, perhaps weakness took possession of him—made him more vulnerable, and perhaps more vicious—and in such situations, over confident. And for Langdon, he would have to grab an opportunity if it showed itself…

(He, Langdon had noticed the beast through the window before he had entered the house, it closed its eyes for a second, as if to refocus, perhaps perplexed in that his prey had turned into a hunter, he knew that now, and perhaps the beast was sincerely happy about this, unspeakably glad I might say, they were thinking equal now: one by necessity and instinct, born with the killer in him, the other by, a notion he was a born to be a soldier, a soldier of war, or at least so his brain told him this, and this was indeed a war, if not a battle in the makings, and one thing Langdon knew, had known, the wolf was born with thirst for blood.)

Langdon picked up a lamp, heavy lamp, dropped it, the animal didn’t move, but he heard noise upstairs (in Langdon’s father’s room), perhaps he was waking up. Consequently, Langdon knew he had to kill the beast quick, or surprise would no longer be on his side, and the beast would fight out of necessity, not out of anger, and angry he was not at the moment, necessity was better, he was hungry needed flesh. Langdon started to think, a huge thought came to mind, “I don’t have a weapon, am I still somewhat in a sleeping mode!”
The father was upstairs, unable to think straight, he put on his slippers automatically to see what that noise was, half in a daze, asleep. His mother, Caroline, has pulled her husband by his pajamas, “Get back in bed,” she says, “Langdon’s taking care of it,” she didn’t identify, couldn’t identify why she said what she said, nor did she know the half of it, had she known, she never would have said what she said, but it perhaps saved a life, for had he gone down those steps, the beast would have charged through that big bay window he was staring through, saw the helpless man, and window or not, he would have charged through wood and glass and over furniture, to get an arm or more, anything moving like a limb to pull and eat.
Langdon drew his arm quickly back, touched the heavy metal standup ashtray feeling its iron heavy glass in the middle of it, with his fingers, nine pounds of iron, with a dragon at the top end of it, extended out like a wolf’s face, long and slender, he put his fingers around it, tightened them, and was ready to do battle with the wolf, but he got surprised, the wolf sensed something, not fear not defeat, but something, perhaps some kind of unsolved danger that makes a man, or beast stop whatever his evil intentions might be, sometimes even God puts a giant in front of you so you do not do, what evil tells you to do, and the beast ran off, off into the woods, across the fields and into the wooded domain he so cherished.
And although conscious effort was made to figure this out, Langdon dumfounded for an explanation, mumbled aloud: ‘I got to be more prepared next time, the creature will return, he has my scent, and knows the hunt better than all of us, and perhaps she saw my face.’

Blood Death of the Wild

It was a week later when Langdon had another dream, he was in the arctic circle deep near Barrow, Alaska, it was a hundred years ago, maybe more, Eskimos were all about, living in the wild and he was with a group of nomads, and they killed wolves, and seals for food, and polar bears, and he got thinking, and thinking, and woke up: ‘blood’ he said, ‘excessive blood’ he mumbled, ‘it is the blood that the wolf craves, like a man craves alcohol, or the fat man food, or the drug addict, dope, or the gambler, the compulsion to chase his loss, and the man-whore, women; therefore, it is the wolf who craves blood. And he remembered his dream, it was a bloody dream.
He looked out his window, there was the lone wolf again, as huge as ever, he looked a the clock, it was 2:15 am., he knew, or was compelled to think so, business with him would not be over until one—he or the wolf were dead. And so he devised his plan:
He went out that morning, 8:00 a.m., and with his 22-caliber rifle, shot him a rabbit, it was a cold, cold day, for North Carolina, it was abnormally cold, it was five above, with two inches of snow. For Langdon, it was near perfect weather for his plan. He went into the kitchen, got out a slim butcher’s knife, cut the rabbit open, drained his blood, put it in the freezer to chill it, poured blood over the blade of the knife, took the handle off, broke that part of the stainless steel knife, and let the blood freeze on the knife, then, in another hour, he dipped the razor sharp blade into blood again, and froze it, it froze in a matter of minutes now, and he dip it again and again, and again, until it looked like a popsicle with a stick in it, but it really was a bloodsickle with a thin knife in its center, and the smell of blood reeked from there to kingdomcome. There were perhaps fifty layers of blood over that knife, and it took all morning to freeze it, into the afternoon, but the blade was hidden well within the bloodsicle.
That night, Langdon hid the bloodsicle out near a tree under an inch of snow by the house. The wolf came that night, Langdon never went to sleep, he waited for the wolf, and he came at 2:10 a.m., but his sense of smell took his mind away from Langdon, and found the bloodsicle, and licking it, he found it so profoundly appealing, that the taste of blood was more powerful than the taste for the game of the hunt; Langdon noticed he enjoyed every second, every lick of the bloodsicle, he couldn’t get enough, and the weather was numbing to his tongue, he couldn’t really feel his tongue after a while, because it was exposed for such a long time in the process of licking.
In consequence, the frozen bloodsicle was slow in melting on his tongue, and then the knife became exposed, but he kept licking, unknowing the sharpness that penetrated his numb tongue, and he started bleeding from his own tongue, and tasting his own warm blood upon the cold blood—all being blended into one, and it all was so enticing the brain did not decipher what was happening, he was getting an endorphin rush, better than morphine; consequently, it cut and cut and cut into his tongue, until blood flowed freely, yet the wolf did not move, thrilled he had found such a magical unending pleasure, natural sense of well being; now the knife was fully exposed, but it was too late, the beast collapsed on top of the knife. And there he would lay for all to see in the morning, and no one lost anymore sleep in the fields of the three plantations, and Langdon, went into the Army, to find his war, and that is another story.