Letter 33 Excerpt

Letter 32:  To My Dearest Hope

(PROLOGUE)

 

These days have grown long, and my actions have become tedious. I sit here in this chair, with a pen in hand, in preparation to spread my knowledge on to the next being who is willing to accept a life commitment of pain and suffering. My journal is not a log built to humor the weak hearted. I have experienced things that no human being should ever experience. What my eyes have seen cannot be unseen. What my ears have heard cannot simply be forgotten. What I have personally experienced is life, no, not just an ordinary life. A life filled with mysteries and supernatural happenings, and you are next.

No matter if you are tall and strong, or small and wise, you will never fully be prepared for what is coming or the things that you will encounter. If you are reading this letter then your soul is destined to live as a servant to the right hand of a higher power. The life you lead in no longer your life. This new life exists on the edge of Hell. Your friends are no longer your friends, and your family is now vulnerability. You will find yourself in the midst of puzzles that will seem unsolvable. You will also find yourself taking notice of things that seems humanely impossible. This is because they are all of these things. But, it doesn’t mean that you can’t make a difference. My intent is to help make sense of your new life. So use these readings wisely. Not as a crutch, but as a navigation device through the world in which you have stumbled upon. With that being said if you wish to embrace this new life, then read on. If not, please BEWARE of these future texts, because, if your curiosity drags you on from this point, you will be stuck with your decision.

Before you set out to venture your near future, I must quickly prepare you as best as I can. I will provide you with knowledge that is unknown to the average human being. I will provide you with names and contacts that will be an aid to your journey. I will also provide you with fear, anger, love, and hatred towards people and creatures that you will most likely never get to know. This story is no joke, and it is not entertainment. This story is the truth. What you will soon read will have you questioning life, and may very well drive you insane. But this is a test of your strength and resolve.

This is your final warning. Once you obtain this insight, there will be no turning back. Avoiding your destiny will not save you, but embracing it might.

 

My story begins on Letter 33.

 

CHAPTER 1

 

Here is to those dreadful days of solitude, and paranoia. I was previously lifting my glass filled with iced whiskey, but of course you couldn’t see that. When my life took a turn for the worst, or the better, depending on how you look at it. I found myself trusting no one, and for good reason. Prior to “The Beginning”, my existence felt futile. Then all of a sudden, everything changed. Except, nothing changed. It had always been that way. I just had no idea of what really was. No one did.

Let me paint a picture for you if you don’t mind. There was a day, among many other days, that I presumably lost my mind. Well, that is what my psychiatrist told me, along with my co-workers. But let’s not start there, let’s go back a bit further. Forgive me for my attention to detail.

The door slammed behind the both of us as we fought to get at each other’s zippers. Her hands slowly moved down my chest and towards my crotch as her lips vigorously pushed themselves against mine. She had begun to squeeze with both of her hands, which caused me to slightly twitch due to the unexpected display of affection. I returned the favor with a slow massage to her lower half causing her to lose her grip, which returned all control to me. We pushed ourselves together, all the while our feet moved in unison, directing our bodies past the kitchen, around the bathroom, and into the one bedroom of the apartment. Both of our bodies fell onto the mattress, but the impact wasn’t enough to stop us. My shirt came off of my toned body, and her shirt mimicked a similar action. Underneath her white spaghetti strapped tank top laid a silver cross, attached to a chain, fixed in between her breasts. My eyes gazed at the cross, and then they wandered elsewhere. The rest of our clothes seamlessly left our bodies after which the inside of her provided me with warmth of a freshly dried blanket. My eyes closed, and I buried my face amid her shoulder and neck. Seconds turned into minutes as our bodies’ switched positions, allowing us to maximize the experience. Gravity then pulled down on her, leaving her chest swaying in front of mine as our frames rocked back and forth. The melody that exited her mouth was to me, as water would be to a plant. I needed it. The night went on, and so did our passion. Nothing would stop us, and nothing did.

            “Hey, Lia?” I called out her name in a whisper while my frame situated into the established grooves of my mattress.

“Yes?” She asked, as she took a deep breath in order to renew her oxygen.

She was lying directly next to me with her right hand over her stomach, and her left hand grazing the side of my right leg. Our actions left us exhausted, so we lied there staring towards the ceiling fan as it spun consistently in its’ usual pattern. I propped my body up against my arm as I turned towards her, resting my face in-between the crevice of my palm. Her beauty exceeded my every expectation. Her thin and slightly slanted eyes grabbed my attention every single time I looked in her direction. Her eyes were a dark brown color. The kind of dark brown you would get lost in if you ever saw them. Her long dark hair reminded me of a silky cloth. Each strand of hair had its own personality and its own beauty. The skin that she claimed as her own since birth was light enough that I could see her even in a dark environment permitted that there was even the smallest amount of light. Her sheer beauty alone had me questioning how I could have gotten with someone as flawless as her.

“Remember how we met?” I asked Lia.

“Of course I do. Why, does your nose still hurt?” She asked with a huge smile on her face as she turned towards me.

It had recently turned dark, and the room was coated with a murky shade. The moonlight shone through the transom above our bedroom window, which caused Lia’s face to glow like the body of a firefly. I returned the smile that I had formerly received from her, after which I leaned over and gently planted a small kiss on the tip of her nose. My body soon shifted back to its’ comfortable position, adhered into the foam covered pallet.

“I just think sometimes, you know?” I mentioned amidst the brief silence.

At that moment in time, she remained facing me. I could feel her eyes searing a hole into the side of my face.

“It could have been anyone. Anyone could have walked through that door.” I told her.

“And that anyone was me. It just so happened, that I was that ‘anyone’ that you were looking for.” She replied

I lied there thinking about her previous statement. She was right. The universe had brought us together. Who was I to question that?

“Please don’t use your poetry crap on me.”

“That ‘poetry crap’ helps pay the bills.” She snarled back at me, accompanied with a friendly nudge.

Our eyes faced the ceiling fan once again, as we kept our thoughts to ourselves. Abruptly, my cell phone rang.

“Oh shit.” Those words left my mouth so re-actively.

My body jolted to the sound of a hundred bells, and my arms reached out past my comforter and towards the nightstand. My back was now facing Lia while her eyes were surely fixed on me. My wrist bent down and then up again, as my fingers lodged themselves around my store bought phone case. I looked at the screen of my phone and the words read “PD”. Hastily, I slid my thumb across the phone and placed it against my ear. 

            “Hello?” My voice echoed back through my phone.

“It’s Bryant. We need you on Brisken, now!” The man had a sense of urgency in his voice.

“What’s the deal? Where on Brisken?” I replied back, still half way confused about what was going on.

“Just get your ass here Owens. We are north bound where Brisken meets the suburbia.

I hesitated to reply. “Okay, I’m on my way.”

My thoughts began to race through my mind, and a faint voice whispered into my ear providing me with comfort.

“You’re fine. I won’t wait up.”

Lia removed her hands from my back after she gave me a slight push towards the closet located to the left of our bed. The spinning within my head persisted until I found myself, fully clothed, and stood in front of the anterior door of my home. Lia trailed me until I built up the courage to leave her. There was one last stare into the eyes of a fallen angel, and then the onset of a heavy burden fell upon my shoulders as the door between heaven and hell closed behind me. Though, I had been on the force for years by that time, I still got pretty anxious about being called out to a crime scene. It probably had something to do with the possibility that I could lose my life.

 

When I arrived on the scene, my heart dropped into the depths of my bowels. Never, have I ever seen something so gruesome. I briefly stayed seated in my car as I prepared myself for what was soon to come. I slowly reached my left hand down towards my car door handle. The upper half of my body leaned out into the night’s cool breeze, and soon after, my trembling legs followed. As I stood up, the sound of pills shaking around inside of a plastic bottle caused my hands to lightly perspire. My migraines set in, but I wasn’t comfortable being on any sort of drugs while on the job. There were slight side effects to my medication, all of which were inconsistent. Sometimes they would occur and at other times they wouldn’t. Despite all of this, I held my composer and continued on. Once I got closer to the house, I saw a blood trail that started from the frontal window and lead to the tree that was located on the front lawn. Next to that tree was the body of a woman. Her profile was hard to make out, but if I were to guess I would say she was about 40 years old with blonde hair (now highlighted with red streaks). At that point in time, her lifeless body remained pale. Her once pink rosy skin was now grey and filled with wrinkles that covered her from head to toe. My eyes continued to examine the scene, and a number of distinct features caught my attention. The door was completely untouched. There were no signs of a forced entry. Which could only mean that the suspect knew the victim. Or maybe even he or she had a key.

“Owens, there you are!” Head detective Charles Bryant yelled as he waved his hands towards himself. His strong bruiting presence laid waste to any confidence I had approached him with, which was already scarce. Bryant was six foot three, maybe 200 pounds. A lot of that weight was probably fat, but enough of it was muscle to make him the most intimidating Detective on the force. His dark skinned complexion was rich and smooth. Though, his face couldn’t be any less eloquent. There lied a big dark mustache right along his upper lip, and his neighboring hairs did not exist. He always wore a nice suit, but he never wore it in any nice manner. His tie was always halfway on, almost as if he couldn’t breathe unless it was tied loosely around his neck.

“Get over here, we got some freaky shit going down.”

I simply nodded as I walked towards Bryant and his team of detectives and forensic officers. My face begun to fill with blood and my heart sped up as I approached the cold body. The vibe that I had gotten wasn’t a good one. I approached the crowd of people and everyone looked at me as I stood still, avoiding eye contact with the lifeless woman.

“Well shit, aren’t you gonna say hi?” Bryant snarled at me as I stood in disbelief.

“Damn, Charles. How many times you gonna use that word? Shit, you’ve used it three times already.” Marty, the lead forensic officer told Bryant. Marty. What can I say about this guy? He was a jokester for sure. It was hard to take him seriously unless he was speaking about dead bodies and causes of death. It was unusual of his position for him to be out on every crime scene. He felt as if being there as it went down gave him some sort of majestic powers that allowed him to channel what happened to the corpse. His short and round build fit his personality perfectly, and it was cause for a number of jokes made about him. Regardless, he was an expert, and a damn good one. We had a couple of forensic officers at our disposal, but none of them could match Marty’s ability.

“When you’ve worked here for 25 years, and when you’ve seen the SHIT that I’ve seen . . . Then you can say whatever the hell you want to say!” Bryant snapped at Marty.

Marty’s mood completely changed after Bryant addressed him. His head dropped and his eyes were fixed on the tops of his shoes while he played with his shoestrings.

“Okay, listen up men.”

Maria Gonzalez, one of our very few female detectives, looked up at Bryant. The glare caused him to quickly correct himself. Maria was born and raised here in the United States of America. Her voice was deep, considering, and her tone was sort of dark and depressing. Her slightly tanned skin wavered, but her eyes never shook. She was a lioness. Her above average height intimidated almost everyone she encountered, including Bryant. Bryant and Maria seemed to have a thing going on. Everyone in the department knew about it, but no one really acknowledged it. I don’t see how their relationship even worked. Both of their egos were through the roof. I don’t mean to be inappropriate, but I’m positive Maria was always on top.

“And ladies . . .” Bryant said as he lowered his head to meet eyes with the victim. “This woman was a single mom. She had one son, who by the way is now missing. We’ve already put out an APB out on the kid. His name was Dylan.”

“Is, Dylan.” I interrupted.

Bryant gave me a look of annoyance, but he continued.

“He IS six years old, has dirty blonde hair, and a gap filled smile. Here, we’ve made copies of his picture. Everyone take one, and be on the lookout.” Bryant passed around a stack of flyers with the kids face on them. “Amber alerts will be out soon.” He said this as an afterthought. “Incidentally, the mother worked evening shifts at the grocery store down the street, and as a waitress at Lithium’s on weekend nights.”

“Lithium’s? What was she doing working at a place like that? It’s filled with a bunch of freaks.” An officer spoke up for all of us to hear.

“She needed to make ends meet I guess.” I told the officer.

“She also had a thing going on with one of the regulars. At least that is what the neighbor over there told us.” Bryant said as he pointed across the street.

I turned a full 180 and locked my eyes on the house directly behind me. The outside walls were bricked and there were bushes to accent the aesthetics. This particular house had two stories of brick and mortar to take in. Most noticeably, the door of the house was painted a rich red color. I saw a young kid watching the scene through his bedroom window on the second floor. I thought to myself, if that kid happened to see anything, maybe he could be helpful. That seemed like a ridiculous thought, but it’s happened in the past before. The detectives kept up their conversation as I stared down the boy through his windowpane.

“Hey! Could you show some respect please?” Bryant asked me as he began to wrap up his briefing.

“Shit Owens, I mean there is a dead lady right there lying on the ground all sucked the fuck up, and you want to stare off into wonderland.”  He said all of that as he gestured towards the woman’s corpse. In that one moment I had forgotten how graphic her appearance was, but I was quickly reminded after I followed Bryant’s pointer finger towards her body. I swiftly turned away.

“Not so pretty is it? I bet she doesn’t think so either. I bet she wants closure, and we are going to give that to her. Okay men?”

Maria, once again, snapped her head towards Bryant.

“and ladies . . .”

The team dispersed as I stood there, gazing in the direction of the neighbor’s home. There was something that kid had to say. It was something important.

Not too long after, I found myself knocking at the door of the neighbor’s home. Being closer to the door allowed me to realize that the paint looked very new. Unfortunately, there were crayon marks on the bottom right hand corner. I guess the kid couldn’t go a couple of weeks without marking his territory per say. My right hand reached into the side pocket of my coat, and I could feel my pill bottle. My urge to medicate at that moment was through the roof. To resist the urge I bent down to examine the markings the kid had made, but nothing came of it. As I looked over the script, the door slowly opened and I immediately found myself on my feet and at full attention.

“Hi, how are you doing ma’am?” I asked the older woman as she stood in the doorway. Her eyes suggested she was sweet, but her attitude proved otherwise. Maybe she was just in no mood because of her seemingly hectic life. The wrinkles in her forehead suggested she was of old age, but it wasn’t just that alone. All of the telltale signs were there: several grey hairs, slightly wrinkled skin; there was no doubt about it.

“I’m fine. I’m just trying t– I’m” I heard a noise in the background that sounded like something clanged against the floor.

“Hey!” She yelled back towards the direction of her hallway. “Stop touching–” She sighed while she began to turn towards my direction once again. “I’m sorry, now’s not a good time.”

She spoke to me in a low tone. She seemed so tired. My eyes dropped due to the feeling of shame because of the annoyance I seemed to be adding to her life. Just then I saw the head of a little boy peak around the corner, and then back into the shadows as quickly as it came out. The woman kept speaking but my attention was elsewhere. I forced my eyes to make contact with hers as a re-calibrated my focus.

“So I hope you can forgive me, but I can’t do this right now. I know you want to probably ask me questions about . . . you know. That.” She said as she pointed towards the dead lady who still remained in the same location as she did when I first arrived.

“No, I completely understand. I’m just trying t–” Once again I saw the boys head pop around the corner. “Is there a way I can come in and just ask a few questions?”

She was a bit reluctant, but eventually she gave in.

“Yeah, sure. As long as this won’t take too long.”

“No ma’am. Ten minutes at most.”

She stood aside and held her hand out, allowing me to walk past her and into her living room.

“Sorry that we’re keeping you up so late.” I said as I walked further into her home. No response. I turned towards her after having approached the sofa. “This is a nice place you have here. I saw that your door was recently painted.”

“Oh, yes, we had that done a couple of weeks ago. Brian over there took the time to scribble on it a bit.” She said as she gestured in the boys’ direction. He was sitting on the staircase near the top. “I’ll have to clean that tomorrow.”

I looked towards the boy, but once again he disappeared, but this time around the railing of the stairs. I searched the house with my eyes for any signs of who these people might have been. There were pictures of her family placed along the top of her fireplace. In one picture there was man in uniform. Most likely, her husband was in some sort of military group, but her front yard was fully grown in, and there were no signs of a male presence. Something happened to her husband. He may have died in action. Though, it was sad revelation, it was the least of my concerns at that moment. So I avoided the topic all together. Instead I focused on her kid.

“He’s a shy kid isn’t he?” I asked her in attempt to spark up conversation.

“Yeah, he has his moments where he seeks attention, but mostly he keeps to himself. He doesn’t even talk much to me. The mood around here has been pretty down since that incident over there.”

“Who wouldn’t be upset about something like that, did you know her? Her, family and what not?”

“No, not really. I mean, my kid would play with hers on occasion. She was always working. She worked almost every night.”

“Does she have any family besides her kid?”

“Not that I know of. The only person I ever saw her with, besides her child was one of the guys from Lithium’s. I could tell by his wristband. They all have these weird looking wristbands. They only sell them there I think. Is her kid okay? I can’t imagine how he is feeling about this. Given the fact that he even understands what is going on.”

I drop my head as I prepared myself to tell her the bad news.

“The kid, is missing, Ms . . .” I told her as I went to jot down the clubs name in my notebook. Soon after I noticed that I had already written it down. I had just simply forgotten about it.

“Langston, and that’s, terrible.” She told me as her right hand grabbed the back of her neck. “Brian seemed to feel most comfortable around him. I’m ashamed because I can’t remember his name at the moment.”

“Dylan.” I said interrupting her thought process.

“That’s right, his name was Dylan.”

“Is, Dylan.” I replied eagerly. “How often did they hangout?”

“Hangout?”

“Yeah, you know, play. How often did they play together?”

“It depended on Brian’s mood, maybe a couple of days a week. Sometimes less.”

We sat in silence for a few seconds, and then I decided to get straight to the point.

“Look Ms. Langston, it’s late and I know you’re tired so I’m just going to get to the point here. I need to speak to your boy. I know it seems–” I looked up towards the direction of the staircase, which I assumed led to the boys’ room all the while I moved closer to Ms. Langston. “I know it seems a bit crazy, but I think he knows something. I think he may have seen something.”

She looked a bit timid once again, but she gave me the blessing to speak with him. I adjusted my pants as I stood up, and I walked upstairs and around the corner. I approached his doorway and I began to knock on the post that outlined the entrance to his room.

“Hey, Brian, you there bud? Is it okay if I come in? I just wanted to ask you a few questions.” I said in an inviting voice as I let myself in without waiting for his consent. “I’m just going to sit here okay?” My hands grazed the top of his lightly colored wooden chair that seemed way too small to fit me in it, though, surprisingly it did. As I sat down, I grabbed his DC Comics superhero toy off of his desk and held it in my hands as I looked in his direction. He was sitting on the corner of his bed with his hands wrapped around his bedpost. That kid had an innocent look to him, as do most children I guess. His face suggested an unusual sense of innocence though. The light that shone through his bedroom window traveled directly though his pale skin. His hair was sort of a medium length, in the front it stopped right before his eyes, and in the back it reached halfway down his neck.

“Do you like superman?” I asked in attempt to lighten the mood. Of course, I got no reply. “Personally I think he is awesome. Though, I think Captain Marvel, sorry, Shazam, is just as cool. If not, maybe even cooler.” I said with a smile on my face. In return, I got a smile back from him.

“Can you help me with some stuff? There is a lady across the street that has had a bit of an incident. I was wondering if you saw what happened to her.” I asked the kid. At the same time I felt like an idiot. What if this kid didn’t really know anything? Once again, he remained silent and did not answer my question.

“I heard that you liked playing with her boy, Dylan. Is that true?” I asked the boy. He replied with a subtle nod.

I immediately felt bad for the kid, because Dylan was nowhere to be found.

“Look, I know you don’t like talking much, so how about this.” I grabbed a piece of paper he had lying around along with a red crayon and handed it to the boy. “You can write pretty well huh? If you saw anything could you please just write it on this paper?  After you are done you can go back to playing with superman here. Okay?” This seemed like a bit of a stretch to me. The kid was only 7 years old, maybe younger, but I expected him to write legibly enough for me to make out what he knows at least.

I sat and waited for the boy, sorry, Brian, to make a decision. He finally grabbed the paper and crayon out of my hands and began to draw. Which surprised me, but whatever I could get out of him was good enough for me at the time. After a while he handed the paper back to me and on that paper was a drawing. The picture was of a woman in a long dress. She had long legs and arms. The most unique feature was her face. It seemed, creature-like. Her mouth was wide open and in that mouth was a number of sharp teeth. Obviously, my attempt to get information from this kid seemed like a lost cause.

“This is what you saw just a couple of hours ago?” I asked Brian. The kid nodded quickly after I asked him. “Okay, sure. Thanks bud. Here’s your figure.” I handed him Superman and he snatched it out of my hands and ran towards his closet. I left the room and walked towards the front door.

“Was he helpful at all?” Ms. Langston asked as I grabbed the door handle.

“Yes, he helped as much as he could.” I said with a reassuring smile. “Thank you for your time, I hope you guys get a good night’s sleep.”

“Okay, sorry we couldn’t be of more assistance. If we find out anything else, I’ll give the station a call.”

“Thank you ma’am.”

Her door closed behind me, and I looked out towards the crime scene. Most of the detectives and officers were outside once again. They seemed to be taking a last look at the body before they went home for the night. I could hear Detective Bryant asking other officers if they were aware of my location.

“Where the hell is Owens?” He yelled across the yard. “We need to get this scene closed up for the night. Let these people sleep.” He told another officer.

“Bryant! He’s over there!” An anonymous voice yelled within the crowd.

Bryant made his way through the yard, and eventually met me half way across the street. His face suggested that he was exhausted, but yet determined to solve the case. We stood face to face as he began to speak to me. I noticed in the background that the cleaning crew started cleaning the area where the dead body would once lay. All the while, the lifeless body that once belonged to Jillian Hall was now being packed into a protective bag, and hauled into a van. My thoughts ran wild until I was brought back to reality.

“Hey, man, pay attention.” Bryant said to me as he snapped his fingers in front of my face a couple of times.

“Sorry, I was just thinking. What were you saying?”

“I was asking what you found out from Lady Lonely over there. I spoke to her earlier and I barely got anything out of her.”

“Nothing. I spoke to her kid, I thought maybe he saw something.”

“Well?”

“What?”

“Did he say anything?”

“He didn’t speak much, but he did draw me this picture.”

I handed the drawing of the creature-lady to Bryant. He had a look of disgust on his face. I could tell he was quickly getting upset and impatient with me. He squeezed the paper until it turned into a little white ball.

“What the fuck is this Owens?” He asked with anger in his voice.

“I know it seems useless, and it mostly is, but I think he may be on to something.”

“This is a shitty drawing of a damn boogie monster Owens!”

“Sure, but maybe his imagination just exaggerated it a little bit. We can go off of this picture. Let’s assume the attacker was a woman. Probably somewhat tall with long hair?”

Bryant chuckled at me.

“Let’s assume I get your ass kicked off of this case!” Bryant yelled, as he got closer to my face. “Are you telling me a 5 foot something woman caused this mess? We need some real evidence here, Owens. You can’t question a fucking . . .” He lowered his voice and pressed his finger contentiously into my sternum. “You can’t question a 7 year old and find reliable evidence.” His fingered lifted from the mid of my chest and his hand patted me on my left shoulder.

As much as I hated it, Bryant was right. Though, I still wasn’t quick to dismiss Brian’s drawing. Bryant threw the balled up piece of paper on to the ground and walked off to go yell at some of the other officers. I picked the paper up, unfolded it, and tucked it deep into my coat pocket.

 

 

 

 

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ZUNI – Chapter 1

An excerpt from my most recent project: a novella titled “ZUNI” 

This story will be released by chapter onto this blog site. Make an account and follow this blog for future installments. 

“I need to get out of here.” Zuni told her closest friend Fria. “I can’t stand being here.” The expression on Zuni’s face suggested that her life thus far had been a problematic one. “I want to explore the world! I want to see what else is out there for me.” She grabbed the hands of Fria (17) and spun her around a few times.

“But you know better than anyone else that, that isn’t how this works.” Fria replied as she attempted to slow their joint spin. The breeze brushed passed the faces of the two girls. Their clothes wrinkled in the wind, but Fria’s hair remained motionless. The length of it wouldn’t allow much movement at all. Zuni, on the other hand had so much hair that she was sometimes referred to as . . .

“Forrest cat!” Fria emitted referring to Zuni as she finally stopped their clockwise motion. Her finger pointed south of their current position, which was in a cave found at the mid way point of Mt. Jilt. Many Namuh’s besides themselves and a few other close friends didn’t know this cave even existed. It was sort of a hideout or a lair for the young group of friends. They had put a bit of work into making it feel like a place worth living in. This was especially important for Zuni considering that she had no family to turn to for a place to sleep. Behind the two girls sat three more Namuh’s: Graham (19), Mint (16), and Juju (14). All of which were roasting marshmallow plants above a small fire they had started not too long ago.

“The fireworks have started!” The lights going off in the distance further illuminated the excitement on Fria’s face. Zuni, on the other hand didn’t share the same experience. Her face fell towards the ground as she tapped her foot against a loose rock. However, moments later it hit her. Tonight is the night. I am going to leave the Jilts, tonight. Quickly, Zuni turned and ran towards a small chest she had hidden in the corner of the cave. She grabbed a bag and stuffed it with as much of her belongings as she could. From her hand and into her bag went a couple cans of food, a pocket knife, a number of shirts, and so on. The yells and fireworks in the background were less interesting to her than it had ever been in her nineteen years of living in the Jilts. The fireworks symbolized a bond between them all. For the six years prior to this point in their timeline this group of five friends shared moments and experiences together that they would never forget. These memories have helped bring them closer to one another than they have ever felt with anyone else including their families. At that very moment those memories were the last thing on Zuni’s mind. Her only focus was to leave this life of boredom behind.

Fria’s gaze stayed fixed on the fireworks show. On September of every year there were three consecutive days that were celebrated in honor of the New Year. Each day there was a different tradition that every one in the Jilt took part in. This particular day would be the first day of the three-day celebration. In the reflection of Fria’s eyes were a number of lights going off back to back for minutes upon minutes. She was mesmerized and nothing could break her concentration. The others enjoyed the mood that the fireworks provided, but they weren’t as interested in the actual visuals. Not like Fria was. Instead they were more interested in why Zuni all of a sudden started frantically packing her travel bag.

“Aye, Zuni. What are you doing?” Mint asked. He and the rest of the group stood and turned towards Zuni, all except Fria of course. The sticks with marshmallow plant on the end of them remained at the edge of the fire, which sent this sweet aroma into the air. The shadows of the group grew bigger and then smaller as they stood up and walked towards and then around the fire. Grahams dark brown hair shone due to the light from the fire. His thick eyebrows raised and wrinkled his light brown forehead. His shadow was the biggest considering his age and height.

“Looks like she’s packing to me.” Graham said with a smirk on his face.

“Yeah, but why.” Juju replied with a glare towards Graham. Her innocent face remained as pure as it was the day she was born. Behind her features lied a pale canvas to hold her physical characteristics in place. Though she had a small frame, her voice was the biggest thing in the cave.

“I’m leaving.” Zuni said as she grabbed her bag and stood up from her chest.

“And where do you think you’re going?” Graham replied with a scoff.

“Where do you think?” Juju’s face scrunched up. “She’s been talking about it for months. She wants to leave the Jilts.”

Finally, Zuni faced the group of friends with a look of confusion. She didn’t know rather to be excited or upset. These were her friends that she planned on leaving. The only real friends she had were possibly a couple of hours away from never seeing her again. However, she was prepared to leave. She had been weighing her options for months. Once she decided leaving was in her best interests, she began to condition herself to allow her emotions to take a back seat as she chased a life long dream.

“Impossible. They would never let her. Jiltian Patrol would catch her as soon as she got on her scooter.” Graham had a very sarcastic and demeaning way of speaking, almost as if everyone’s problems were always a joke to him.

“This is crazy.” Said mint.

“You’re face is crazy.” Graham replied.

“Shut up Graham!” Mint yelled back at him.

“Stop making a joke out of everything Graham!” Juju waved her hands in the air and let them drop down to her sides on their own.

“I’m the oldes—“ Graham was immediately interrupted by mint.

“You’re the oldest but yet the most immature and inconsiderate out of us all! So stop using that as an excuse to feel as if you can do whatever you want!” Mint’s voice squeaked a little as he finished his statement.

From that point on the argument ensued. Back and forth, the three friends went at it verbally for what seemed like forever. Zuni shook her head in disbelief and chimed in.

“I’m leaving and I’m sorry.” Zuni said with a stream of tears rushing down her face. “I’m sorry that you can’t support my decision. Some friends you are.”

“You expect us to support your decision to leave us behind? You expect us to support your decision to ruin what we have here? All of this hard work and for what, a couple of memories?” Mint told her while he gestured to the modifications they had made to the cave.

The argument didn’t end there. Not until Fria had something to say about it.

“Guys, please.” The flame from the fire waved and the hairs on the back of the four arguing members of the group necks stood up. They all turned towards Fria whom which they had almost forgotten was there. “Let her go.”

“What?” The three friends excluding Zuni all said in unison.

There was a pause shared by everyone.

“Yeah, this was fun, and we do have good memories and we could have made more. However, she doesn’t want that. Who are we to dictate her life?” Every living being in that cave gave Fria their full attention. After a minute of deep thinking and silent consideration, Fria spoke out. “You know what?” Fria turned with her head held high. “Who says we are done here? I say we help her through this. Lets create one last grand memory for all of us to have.”

Graham, Mint, Juju, and Zuni all distributed an expression that seemed hopeful and eager. After a long two minutes of silence, Mint was first to speak. His dark complexion and his curly hair melted along with his heart.

“Ok.” He utilized his big bug-like eyes to visually navigate throughout the room. “It actually sounds like a fun idea I guess.” He finished.

“I’m not sure about this.” Juju spoke out. “This is some heavy stuff. We could get in serious trouble for aiding an escapee to, well, escape.”

“Don’t be a wuss.” Graham said. “It’ll be fun. We could treat it as one last larger-than-life experience, the five of us creating one last memory together.” Juju still seemed uncertain.

“I don’t know.” She drew out her last word for a second.

“I really appreciate the gesture, but this could be dangerous. Juju is right, I can’t ask you guys to risk anything for my dream.” Zuni told the group.

“You don’t get to decide.” Fria said with a smile. “You’ve already given us enough trouble for the day. So, what do you say Juju?”

Juju was the youngest of the group so she looked up to all of her colleagues, literally. Her hands were locked behind her back, but her thumbs spiraled around one another frantically. She bit her lip until it began to hurt. All eyes were on her at this point. Graham never took anything seriously so to him this was all a game. Mint had taken the proposal into great consideration, or as much consideration as he could within a fifteen-minute time frame and he decided it could either go really right or really wrong. Which meant that he was willing to try it out. Zuni was slightly against it but secretly she would really appreciate the help. Fria obviously suggested the idea, so she was not fearful of the outcome. It was all up to Juju. If she said no, then the group would rather not participate.

“I guess if we did it as safe—“ Graham shouted out interjecting Juju.

“There it is ladies and gentlemen. The judge has spoken. Off we go!” His hands mimicked that of a Shakespeare performance.

The atmosphere in the cave changed completely. The friends began to hug one another as they hurdled around in circles singing the Jilts Anthem. Through Zuni’s eyes was a vivid image of her friends celebrating her dream becoming a reality. This was something that was thought to never happen. The change of emotion was a surprise because of how quickly things turned around. The five of them spun in a circle as the fireworks in the background slowly came to an end. It was tradition for the Jilts to release one final huge Bomb Bridge into the sky, which would leave it lit up for minutes at a time for each explosion. The lights gleamed into the cave creating what seemed like a lucid dream being played out and translated into reality.

“♫Oh Jilts, Oh Jilts, how far the forest be. Oh Jilts, Oh jilts, beyond the Great City. The land around, that fills the town with joy and clarity. Oh Jilts, Oh Jilts the land of you and me!

Photography Part 1

Hi there,

Long time no see. I want to start off by apologizing for not posting as frequently as you or I would like to. It has been a number of weeks since my last post. Honestly, I have lacked the time and the motivation to post to this blog. As fellow bloggers you all know that writing takes time because of motivation, interest, passion, controversy surrounding certain topics, etc, etc. I have been writing though. You all know that I am working on my first novel. Every writing session I do revolves around that book, so by the time I’m done, I am a little burnt out. Regardless, this isn’t a post to explain myself or to apologize for 500+ words. This is actually a post to let you guys in on my life a little bit. I am a photographer, self proclaimed of course, just like every other human being on this earth. However, I would like to think that my work is a bit more reputable than others out there. I attended/attending the University of North Texas and there I have taken photography classes. These classes are meant to teach you the equipment as well as the art of photography on a professional level.

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Here are some photos from my most recent Black&White Special that I ran over the past weekend. As of right now I just plan on sharing these photos with you. I think I will make this a little bit of a series where I speak to you all about photography. We can talk technicalities and all if you would like. Nevertheless, I do run a photography business. Right now we are based out of two different cities in Texas, but eventually we would like to expand and travel the world. All of the information can be found at https://www.facebook.com/G24LIVE . You will notice that myself and another photographer (Ado) currently are the only ones who represent goose24. We are looking for other freelance photographers to help expand our business. It isn’t necessary to live even remotely close to HQ’s. Oh, I should probably mention this is a segue into a pitch of some sort. If you are a photographer, formally trained or not, feel free to email goose24g@yahoo.com for any business inquiries. We just ask that you have a portfolio that is easily accessible so we can see if our styles are cohesive. We will go into detail on how our business works. I also didn’t intend on talking about my business at all. This just sort of happened. Enjoy the rest of my photos and feel free to critique. I myself can name a number of things wrong with these photos.

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Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head

Inspired By: raindrops & coffeestains

I have a deep desire and demand for thoughtful colloquy. I care very little about sports and extraneous Facebook statuses. Though, some particular sports do have their place. I feel that conversation is the world’s most precious art form. I also feel that conversation is taken for granted. There are great minds to be discovered in even the most common places. There are geniuses being born every day. Taking an indolent stroll through your nearest downtown area could allow you to be in the presence of a rare gem. Yet, we salivate at the sight of a pompous celebrity. It seems as if the majority of the world’s population has failed to realize what’s really important. However, I do not want to say too much about that. I could “sit and talk for hours about what’s really important”.

Before leaving home to live on my own, I would call up my friends and request a casual kick back. That seemed to be the only way we knew how to hangout. Guitars, both electric and acoustic, were strummed as a sweet melody left our throats. I would place my right foot on top of the sofa, and it would rest under my thigh. My fingers would form a C-Chord, and then a G-Chord, all the while my head nodded to the percussions provided ever so generously to us by the tapping of Alex’s shoe. We would all exchange smiles as our heads waved back and forth in alignment with the tune of either a Parachute or Dallas Green song. Minutes, hours would pass by so seamlessly as our thoughts ran berserkers. At one point I would let my introvert nature take over, and I would sit there taking in every word that filled the room without providing any myself. Then there were other times where I would stand up in front of the group of five, and I would reenact a scene from some iconic movie that I saw. They would sit there patiently waiting for that one line that any and everyone would recognize if they heard it. “Merry Christmas you filthy animal.”

Without a doubt, I would love to tell you my story. I would love to tell you what keeps me going through a long day. I would love to tell you, which book, movie, or game makes my mind whir. I would love to tell you who I stay up late thinking about, or if I’d prefer to sit quietly on my bed Indian style, wrapped up in my Justice League themed blanket that I unashamedly named “fluffy”, as I watch YouTube videos of some stranger across the country rambling about how sick he or she is. I would love to tell you how difficult it is to use a viewfinder and lens because I wear glasses. I would love to tell you about that time that I jumped off of a curb with my skateboard and then moments later, without realization of what was going on, “snap!” my board is broken in half by a maroon colored van. I would love to tell you about my dreams and my current pursuit of writing my own novel, and acting in various projects. I am dead serious; I would love to tell you.

Home Alone 2: Lost in New York. That is the quote I mentioned earlier. Just in case some of you didn’t catch that.

Lia Sung

So, I am a novelist, and I am currently working on my debut book titled “Letter 33”. I’ve decided that I would like for my first post to my new blog to be an excerpt from said novel. I am still in the very early stages of development. However the book is coming along nicely. I project the first draft to be done by the end of the year hopefully. Anyways, please enjoy this post.

This was at a time when my days were filled with coffee shops and deskwork. I was a beat cop working overtime to make ends meet. At that point in time, I began to lose interest in my job and as well as my life. The only thing keeping me on track was my beautiful girlfriend, Lia. Lia Nguyen was her full name. She was born in the Chi Linh District, which is a small district outside of Hanoi, Vietnam. I remember her always telling our friends and family that she was from Hanoi Vietnam, because that was the only city anyone here in America knew in relation to the country.

I knew Lia was “the one” the second I first laid eyes on her. It was literally love at first sight. I know it sounds corny and cliché, but there is really no better way to describe that moment. We met, coincidentally, at a coffee shop. Big Cups was the name of the restaurant. I’ve always thought that name lacked a bit of creativity. I woke up for my morning shift at the station. It was winter so I was forced to get out of bed earlier than what I would have liked in order to avoid being late due to bad weather. My daily routine depended on my coffee fix, so I would always head to Big Cups in search of that double shot espresso latte that I drank so religiously. I had never seen her at that shop before that day. That was the only variable in my routine that didn’t remain the same. Otherwise it was the same people, the same barista, and the same route to work. It’s weird how life goes on as planned, and then something or someone throws a wrench in it out of left field. I’m just grateful that this wrench was as beautiful and as nice as it was. As I walked in the shop per usual, I said hello to Martha, the typical barista to work that shift, except for on weekends.

“How are you doing this morning?” Martha said to me from across the lobby floor.

“I’m doing fine, as usual.” I said back to her. Though, I wasn’t doing fine at all. My days seemed to be on repeat. I was stuck in a groove. I felt trapped in my own ways.

I walked further into the shop, passing a number of round wooden tables and fruitwood stained chairs to match. I approached the timber-topped counter that was formed into a bar, and sat down at my seat, which was the furthest seat to the left, nearest to the coffee machine.

“You never sit anywhere else Niall.” Martha said sparking up a conversation. She was surprisingly awake at that time of day. She was always that way. “You must really like that spot sir.” She finished her sentence with a smile on her face as she fiddled with the coffee machine.

“Well, you can’t blame me Martha, this is where you stand to make the coffee. Not only can you sneak me free refills, but you also make good conversation.” I smirked in her direction but her eyes never left the coffee maker.

“Oh hush boy, you know damn well I don’t give you free refills.” She told me as she looked at me and winked. She took her leave and walked away with a freshly brewed cup of coffee in her hand.

The conversation was put on hold as she took a cup of what smelled like a Mocha Latte to another customer seated at the bar a few seats to the right of me. That was around the time my eyes started to wonder around the room. There were quite a few customers in the shop on that particular morning. Though, all of them I recognized. That shop had what seemed like a cult following. There were rarely any new faces to be seen in that shop at this time of day. Which was weird considering the fact that I lived in a fairly large city.

“Hey Martha, I’m going to the John. Put on my youzhe.” I told her as I got up out of my seat and walked towards the restroom.

On my way to the restroom, I trotted past a number of familiar faces. There was Mark; he worked at the coffee shop down the street. He claimed that Big Cups made a particularly good cup of “regular ole Joe”. He said that it was way better than the stuff they made over at his shop. One time his manager, who claimed he was there out of suspicion that Mark was giving away his recipe, caught him. But we all knew he was there for the Joe as well. He just got caught out right and wanted to avoid the embarrassment. In the booth behind him sat Martha’s niece. She was ten years old if I can remember correctly and she had the mouth of a smart ass, but she was still a sweet little thing. School was out for winter break around that time, but even during the school semesters, Cecilia would come to the shop with her Aunt right before class. On the opposite side of the walk way sat Claudia. She was a worker at Big Cups, but she never seemed to be working. At least not while I was there. She seemed to always be taking a break and checking her social media sites on her phone.

Now that I am writing this all down, I’m actually surprised at how many people I knew within that city. We didn’t live in a small town, not like you see in those scary movies. Actually, it was quite the opposite. We lived in New York City.

Nevertheless, after reaching the restroom doors, I extended my right hand out for the handle, but then I remembered that there wasn’t one. I guess that action spawned out of habit. I began to push the peculiar brown door inwards and out came Lia. The restroom was a uni-sex restroom of course. Either that or Lia was a man all along. That was a joke. The door swung back towards me in one quick motion and hit me right in the face, making my nose immediately sore.

“Owe!” I screamed as I brought my hand up to my nose.

“Oh! I am so sorry” Lia responded as she stepped out of the doorway. “Are you okay?”

“Yea, I’ll be alright.”

“I am so sorry, I had no idea that you were there. I mean, the door confused me because there is a lock on the inside, but there is no handle, and I tried to pull the door by the lock, but I couldn’t get it to budge, so then I let go off what little leverage I had and then I pushed the door kind of hard out of frustration and I don’t know I just . . .” She ended her sentence while gasping for air because of her lack of breathing.

“It’s fine, really.” I told her as I chuckled at how worked up and cute she got.

“Well okay, if you say so.” She awkwardly walked away from me and towards the bar as I placed my hand on the door and pushed inward.

Once I got into the restroom I pulled down the Ole zipper and I took care of my business. After I finished I approached the mirror and saw that my nose was bleeding. I grabbed a tissue and I tilted my head slightly back as I applied pressure to the upper half of my nose. Once all of that was said and done, I walked towards the door, and felt for the lock that she had mentioned earlier. The door was weird, but I’d never really given it much thought before. It seemed like the handle had been taken out. Despite all of the confusion I managed to open the door and went to sit back down in my seat. Except, it was no longer my seat. It was now Lia’s seat. So I sat down in the seat next to it.

“Oh, hey?” Lia said to me as I bent over placing the back pockets of my khaki slacks against the comfort of the red cushions that covered only the bar stools.

“I feel like I recognize you from somewhere. I just can’t put my finger on it exactly.” She said with a smile on her face.

Obviously we had an interaction with each other just several minutes prior to me sitting down. She was just being facetious at this point.

“You know what, I do recognize you.” I said back to her. “Aren’t you Ronda Rousey?”

“I might as well be with that number I put on your nose.” She quickly replied with a giggle to follow her statement.

At that point there was an awkward silence. Which now that I think about it, was probably a good thing. With the kind of guy that I was, I knew that if it was awkward between me and another woman, then it was a good thing. I continued smiling at her as she turned away and looked towards Martha as she approached our end of the bar.

“Looks like you won’t be sitting there anymore.” Martha said as she gave Lia a huge smile.

“No, I guess not.” I replied as I ran my hands through my hair.

“Oh, wait, is this your seat?” Lia asked while she pointed down towards the seat.

“No, not at all. You can sit there. It’s your seat now.”

“Well regardless of who’s seat it is, someone is going to have to pay for this coffee that is sitting right there in front of that seat.” Martha said to us both as she slid the coffee and its’ coaster along the bars marble top towards Lia.

“Oh, sorry.” Lia said with a forced laugh. “Let me just dig in . . .”

“No, don’t worry about it.” I interrupted her search through what seemed to be a bottomless pit of makeup and hand purses. “I’ll take care of it.”

“Well aint that nice!” Martha’s voice became giddy. “I’ll put it on your tab.” She whispered as she walked away to assist the other customers that had just walked in the doors.

I looked in Lia’s directions, and tilted my head as my shoulders nudged themselves upward a bit.

“I have a tab.” I whispered to Lia with a smirk on my face.

“Yea, I heard.” She bit her lip.

“Thanks, by the way, for taking care of that.”

“No problem, it’s the least I could do for you after you left me with such a nice gift.” I gestured towards my own nose.

“Well I’m glad you like it.” Her eyes lit up as she her smile reached from one ear to another.

We sat and spoke with each other for some time until she suddenly had to leave. I remember her getting a phone call that seemed somewhat urgent, and then she stormed out of the door.

“Hey, I really have to go, but it was nice talking to you . . .” She said as she pushed away from the bar and up to her feet.

“Niall, my name is Niall.” I told her as she reached for the exit doors.

“Okay, thanks for the coffee!” She yelled across the lobby as I watched her winter coat flap in the piercing wind as the doors closed behind her.

She didn’t even tell me her name. Of course, I know it now, but at that moment I had no clue. All I had was a face to go by, a beautiful face at that. I continued to stay seated and finished my coffee. Sip by sip, and then gulp by gulp, my cup eventually emptied. I called on Martha with the wave of a hand and ordered a second drink to go.

I then left my seat, pushed myself away from the counter top once again, and ambled my way to the entrance of the shop. That was a year prior to my new life. After that, I started seeing her more regularly at Big Cups. Soon enough we started dating, and one thing lead to another.