Category: saga

A Newfound Fear of the Wind

Once upon a time, I stumbled upon an opportunity that put me within reach of complete and utter insanity. The promise of excitement and adventure also lurked quietly nearby, but when you start adding and multiplying fear with terror and a little bit of horror, the insanity looms much larger. And that’s ultimately what I only just avoided, while merrily breezing through the adventure. For I had found a cave.

And I’m not talking about the Carlsbad Caverns. That shit is artificial and bi-curious at best. I mean, really? Hand rails? Yeah so what for tourists; I think they should have to crawl and climb through there like Harvey Carlsbad when he discovered the damn thing. There are lights drilled into the ceiling for Elephant’s sake. No, I’m talking about the cave in West Texas where we found the skulls. Oh, I haven’t told you about that? Well allow me to elaborate.

Read the rest of the story…

Treasure in the Woods: Part 2

Okay, I finally have some time to make the update I’ve promised for so long. Like a week. Stout and I made our trip back out to the spot in the woods, shovels and picks in hand. We started digging up around the entrance to the suspected underground lair. We knew we’d found a hatch in the woods just like they did on Lost!

As we dug and picked, we determined fairly quickly that it was going to be a small door. Until we finally found one edge of it. Then we realized it wasn’t a hatch door at all. Nay, not a hatch! But it was a door indeed. The door to a treasure chest! This might be even more exciting, we decided.

Continue reading…

Treasure in the Woods: Part 1

Sup, peeps? I don’t know what the hell happened to my other column. I guess it’s gone. Oh well. Some quick hits: We found a drummer. Bud from the Transcenders is going to roll with us for a while. We got together Sunday and played with him. That was the fact.

The Space BarThe Space Bar is almost ready to open for business. Just a few small details, and we’ll be serving White Russians with Buttery Nipples. This image is an artist’s conception of the finished product.

Continue reading…

From Panama With Love

I guess I should talk about this. It’s still the source of bad dreams that wake me up during the night, even eight years after the fact. It happened when I was still in the military. Way in. I was sent to Panama on an MRT (a Maintenance Recovery Team) to repair a bird that went down out there. I had been there for about two and a half weeks when we finally got the parts in and made our repairs on the C-130. Typical procedure is that it flies home immediately and we as a crew hitch a ride on it. Well due to circumstances upon which I cannot comment, I had to stay behind for several more days, and would catch a bus to Costa Rica (ugh) and from there, fly into San Antonio. All good.

I was staying in a cheap shitty motel on the outskirts of Santiago, trying to dodge people wherever and whenever I could, lying low. I’d already had several run-ins with the locals and had almost been arrested for being white. I had sent my uniforms and all evidence of my involvement with the US military back on the plane with my team. All I’d been left with was a sidearm. Once my double-stack magazine was empty (and I hoped to God I wouldn’t have to empty it) I was out. Bare as a naked baby’s ass.

Read the rest of the story…

A Dish Best Served Full of Ashes

I got to her house around seven. I’d come straight from work and was still in my slacks and loafers. Not those nice heavy loafers you get in the military. But the thin, soft leather loafers that feel so good on your feet. She’d called me at five or so, I guess it was, saying he was there. He had come to get his stuff. After a week’s delay he’d finally arrived to collect. I said so what. “Aren’t you glad he’s there?” She’d broken up with him the Friday before, and told him to come get his shit out. He got back from Houston today and seemingly made it top priority. So all should have been well. She said no though. She wasn’t happy he was there. Oh, he’d gotten his stuff all right. But he’d left her some things too. Some bruises.

So now I was on my way. Five o’clock I got the call, five-fifteen I ended the call, and five-seventeen I was tearing up Central Expressway like a burning chariot. There’d be no patient idling this time. She’d dumped him before and I’d stood there on her patio smoking a cigarette, watching them through the sliding door as I leaned against the rail. I’d worn my shades so he couldn’t see the true thoughts in my eyes. She had told me to stand by and make sure he didn’t hit her. I had wondered why this was even a logical threat. But I’d been there for her. And every second it took him to collect his things and throw them in the long red duffel was a second I grew less patient. I could feel anger burning my veins as it pumped through them in place of my already boiled blood.

Read the rest of the story…

The Long Way to Aquaintance

I was sitting in a bar, watching the tiny television in the corner. This isn’t something I do very often. I stopped into this place to have a cold pint before meeting with a client of mine at the Internet Data Center right down the road. I was to be giving him a tour of the facilities and showing him where his equipment was racked.

Anyway, I’m sitting in there enjoying my pint when a girl comes in and walks up to the bar. As she was standing there at the bar, right next to my stool, I casually looked at her, noticing she wasn’t wearing much. She smelled like a cheap hooker – cigarettes and perfume, and perhaps a little sweaty. Her hair was greasy and matted and her tank top was stained and dirty. She leaned on her elbows against the bar, and I could see through the armhole of her shirt that she wasn’t wearing a bra.

Read the rest of the story…

Vegas baby, Vegas!

Season’s Greetings, everyone. Have you got all your Christmas shopping done? I don’t. Three days until Christmas, I’m snowed in and I don’t have everyone’s gifts yet. Ah well, there might not be a family get-together this year anyway. My dad’s sick, my sister’s boys are sick and my daughter’s sick. Actually on second thought, maybe we should all get together since we’re already all sick. I actually have money to spend this year, thanks in part to my new job, but also to the money I will not be claiming as income I recently came across.

Yeah, I recently decided to try the online poker thing, since I play at home all the time. I put together a Friday-night table a couple months ago, and we’re going strong now playing a couple of times a month. Everyone’s getting good and the pot usually splits three ways at the end, small, medium and large. So only two people lose everything. Anyway, I’ve become somewhat addicted to the Hold ’em phenomenon, having been sucked in by the WPT on television, and playing it on Friday nights. So I checked out an online casino.

Continue reading…

And Justice for Dog

Wow, I’m sitting here trembling with adrenaline and excitement.

The guy I initially thought did this turned out to be out of town at the time it happened. Bummer. But that also restores some of my faith in humanity and – more specifically – my neighborhood. I’m glad to know I don’t have to worry about my neighbors like that.

The story takes a turn though. I got home from work a little early today and let my dogs out. While they were in the back yard and I was doing some dishes, I heard Hunter barking his ass off. Then I heard the whine of a dirt bike, tearing across the green belt. This is pretty common. Then it got louder and louder, and then slowed until it was right behind my fence. Hunter had stopped barking for some reason, and was just standing there growling at this kid as he sat there looking into my back yard. (I have a fence made of dog-wire.)

Continue reading…

A Storm of My Conscience

It came during darkness. In the late hours of the night, asleep, warm under my thick sheets. The darkness was thick, and cold. But I lay warm. The pounding of the wind upon my window, and whipping waves of rain scattering across the panes kept me wrapped like a babe in my safety. The deafening hiss and roar of the storm outside was nearing unbearable. But my tolerance was strong. My will, my fate. I would not go so easily.

All along, pounding at the gates of my spirit’s safe house, preaching at me the peril of being in its wake. To lie still was to give way to my fears. To move was to challenge it. I pulled tighter under my blankets and tried humming to myself. The louder the wind. I tried rocking. The louder the rain. The pounding was now so fierce, I thought it would surely overcome me. It was sure to break the glass with a touch more of its strength.

Continue reading…

Temporal Displacement

There was a loud knock, then a slipping sound, and I sat up sharply in bed. My head reeled with pain from the night before. Way too late, way too much. I heard footsteps coming down the hall. The hardwood floors creaked as the footsteps came closer to my room. They stopped right outside my door. I could see a shadow standing there. Just waiting.

What the hell was going on? In the other room I heard the dog barking furiously. He didn’t like not being able to see out in the hallways. But since he had gotten into the trash a few nights prior, I had been locking him up at night. The feet outside the door hadn’t so much as moved since they had found their place there. Someone had broken into my home. I wiped the sleep out of my eyes and stared, frowning, trying to make something out of it. Who could it be?

Read the rest of the story…

My Trip to Insanity

I had earnestly been in search of slumber, but the bed where she lay was cold and damp. I knew it was all a dream, and everything would be fine by sunrise. Sunrise seemed to be a cure-all for that which would hinder me. Storms were always gone by sunrise. Adversity, pain, and fear were always chased away by the sunrise. So, I told myself, would be last night’s events.

It was many nights that I had struggled with the loss of my soul, as she had – no doubt – taken it when she left. I was left gurgling on the floor, short of everything including breath, and namely, my sanity. But I knew it was a facade. A hazy delusional fantasy twisted by some dark inferior part of my mind, into existence. And I wept.

Read the rest of the story…

A Welcome Rain

It would seem that all life has come to a standstill in this drab parsed land we call the flats. There are no trees, just dust. No water lets, just empty, dry barren dirt that once flourished with green effervescence. The cracked thirsty earth stretches as far as my weak eyes can see, and without the full strength of the sun, this distance is spanned twice over by the sounds of the howling wind. Clinging to my thread-bare bag and its dwindling contents of basic sustenance, I grit my teeth against the dry wind, my lips chapped and burning, and my eyes fiery red from the dry dust. Ahead lies what looks to be a tower, but only its silhouette present against the dark red sun. My feet like broken pendulums, I trudge up the rocky trail, shadowed by the dark, lurking precipices high above. I can see only that which is just ahead of me now, and it’s finally getting dark.

The sounds of the wind seem to be backing down ever so slightly. As I glimpse at the trek that lies ahead, the sun says its final words and melts beyond the desert landscape, big as a world in the sky. With darkness rolling in, all sound and motion suddenly ceases. I can hear nothing now but my dry raspy breath, and the beating of my tired heart.

Continue reading…

So this is April?

This story may seem a little out of place amidst the last few columns I’ve written on the site, but I didn’t just write it. I wrote it back in 1996, shortly after it all came to an end. It begins in April. April 13, 1994.

I was sitting in a park. In the middle of downtown Dallas, cool weather, cool shades and cool breeze. The sun was so bright that I could hardly see anything. But it wasn’t hot. It was in fact, quite cool out. But it really felt nice. Middle of April, sitting on this bench watching the fountain come on, then go off and the mist kind of disappears into the cool April air. It was so pleasant. I was waiting on someone to come out of a meeting. It was actually kind of a long wait.

Read the rest of the story…