Monday, December 15, 2008

Sunday, December 7, 2008

UFO Sighting - Eugene, OR

I find myself fascinated by the supernatural, aliens, and the cultures surrounding them. But never in my life, until this weekend, had I experienced a convincing UFO sighting myself.

Friday night around 10:45 a friend and I were driving down 13th street heading East when he says, "Do you see that orange light?"

"Yes," I say to him, unimpressed. "It's a plane."

"Pull over."

"I am not pulling over to look at a plane."

"Pull. Over."

So I pull over and we get out of the car. At this point we're standing on 13th and Hilyard looking almost directly North, just a tiny bit NNW. There's a bright orange point of light in the sky about halfway between the horizon and zenith. And it's moving, so it's not Jupiter or Venus, but it's moving more slowly than you usually see a plane move. Then again, direction and speed are subject to a lot of illusion at that distance. A plane high in the sky headed directly towards or away from you appears stationary, a plane near the horizon moving directly towards you appears to shoot straight up. So, yeah, I'm still thinking it's a plane.

"Have you ever seen a plane that color?" J asks me. "And planes are supposed to have flashing lights on them."

"Well, maybe it's a satellite." I'm still unimpressed.

We watched it for maybe three or four minutes. Then the orange light starts to blink a little bit. Moving behind some clouds, I think, though at this point I am pushing the bounds of skepticism. Friday was beautiful and clear.

And THEN....

1... 2... 3 points of light separate from this original orange light and start slowly falling towards the horizon. The original point of light disappears entirely and then the three others fall behind the trees and out of our field of vision.

And we both start freaking out, drawing some quizzical looks from other people on the street. And then we called our friends and convinced them we were insane.

Did anyone else see this or have any idea what it might have been? I'm completely dumbfounded.

 

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Monroe Park

I haven't had a ghost story for y'all in a while now. Other than working on Little Apocalypse, I've been doing more arts & crafts type stuff lately than writing. But with the winter fog rolling in from the hills, that may change.

Still feeling too cheerful and colorful at the moment, though. Evidence:

 

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Did you hear that?

Did the world just end?

I think it's starting.

Little Apocalypse is now online. Just in time, sugars.

The first incarnation includes stuff from Cassie Smyth, Paul Carrington, Tim Wiley, and Brandon French. ARAJAY is fleeing his own little apocalypse in the form of hurricane Gustav, so his contributions are understandably delayed. But we hope to have some of his material available with the September 7th or 14th updates.

We hope you enjoy the apocalypse.

littleapocalypse.com

 

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Cherries

I talk in my sleep more and more often. Sometimes I wake myself up.

I woke up about 4AM last night. I always do, and it drives me mad. Most people, or at least most people I know, would roll with it. It's cool, it's silent, I have these dark spaces to myself. I could get so much done if I'd just embrace it.

But see, it's all about mood. And when I wake up to my own voice shouting nonsense in the middle of the night? Well I'm just not in the mood, thanks. To be truthful, I'm quite disturbed.

My cousin used to sleepwalk. He'd get up after 2 and make strange sandwiches. He was a Libra.

Last night I woke up to the words: Please don't let the next Lifesaver be banana. I can't remember the last time I even bought candy. I don't even like candy. I certainly don't like banana candy, and a banana Lifesaver would probably be awful. But I can't figure out what led to this statement. This phrase that was so tangible and so terribly important that it woke me up at 4AM. And this missing memory is frightening to me in a way that I can't begin to rationalize. I just know something essential has been forgotten.

Please don't let the next life be bananas. This one's cherries and I still can't pin it down. Maybe I could make more sense of it with a good night's sleep.

 

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Sunrise to the North

After a time you can sleep without the sound of B-52's constantly taking off and landing a few miles from your window. Not at first, though. You can't hear the trains, either, or the constant patter of a million insects smashing into screen doors up and down the block. It's all too silent. It's too much like you dreamt the end of the world would be.

Right before the planes quit flying and the trains quit running and the mosquitoes quit biting, I helped with the evacuations. We set up in a shopping center right across from the AFB, the same shopping center where I worked my first full-time job more than a decade ago now.

Have we really aged so much? I used to think the future would bring flying cars and meals-in-pills; two thousand still sounds like it ought to be far away. All the time in the world to realize our great human potential, but you can see how all that turned out, with the evacuations and the sterilized plains and such.

Point being, we had to get a lot of people away from the base and we weren't sure how much time we had to do it. I had the joy of driving one school bus after another from scattered lots across town to our evac point as the milling crowds grew on the asphalt. Then Greyhounds, SporTrans, stolen VW vans, anything that could move the masses.

I ran one of the SporTrans into a building. I do not anticipate being granted my CDL.

Eventually I ran out of vehicles to bring back and ways to get to them in the first place. They filled up and headed south as quickly as we could gather them. Soon everything was gone but the three buses commandeered by the Air Force. And the AF was more interested in transporting equipment and materials than people.

The sun was setting by the time a woman named Gloria made it to the evac. She was middle-aged, Hispanic, on foot and obviously panicked, but managed to be polite and business-like despite our imminent doom. She asked me when the next bus was leaving.

"Monday."

This wasn't the answer Gloria wanted. Wasn't the answer I wanted to give, either. I didn't exactly want to be standing there as the city detonated.

Gloria's husband and son were already in Natch. All she really wanted was to find them. To be with them when the lights went out.

"Until Monday, all we have is these three buses under AF. One is leaving tonight. It's the only ride out in the next 24 hours. But the things they're carrying, you could die of radiation sickness in a week."

Then again, we both thought, chances are we'll die instantly right here in this parking lot, waiting for a bus. And this is all I had to offer her. A slightly less certain death, one that might afford enough time to say goodbye.

I rode to Natch with her. I didn't mind the vomiting so much after watching the sun rise in the North just 3 days later. Monday's buses never made it, of course. Monday's buses were eaten by the sun and Gloria died of radiation and the skies and trails and tracks all went quiet. I feel like the merchant of death, hate that it hasn't killed me, too. But what's really keeping me up at night is that it's so goddamned peaceful.

 

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Accident

At the time I might have known what it meant, but now I've forgotten. The image that stains my vision is water. Shaped like a car, placed in the correct lane of the highway, a Jello mold of liquid. So strange. No ghost of the accident victims or memory of how it happened. Only the water remains. What an unusual haunting. It feels like I'm drowning but that's my blood. My chest's been crushed. The tread marks are actually standing out of my flesh. I'm a Jello mold.

 

Friday, April 11, 2008

Casual Family Dining

"Just a minute!"

Can't even go to the damn bathroom in peace.

The banging on the door continues. It seems like the knob should fly off and the door break from the hinges. The volume sets my teeth to buzzing and makes me squint.

"JUST A MINUTE!"

Hike, flush, cursory wash while swearing under my breath and well below the pounding.

I turn the knob and get knocked down as the door swings inward. A child rushes in, maybe six, sweaty and red-faced and huffing and spitting.

What the fuck?

Coming at me and clawing. Something wrong with his eyes. Too dark, too dilated.

"Are you-"

He reaches over to me, still on the floor, and scratches my face. Deep. I scoot back, wipe away some of the blood, too surprised for much else. And still he keeps coming. I get to my feet and grab his shoulders, holding him away. He scratches at my arms and kicks my legs.

"SOMEBODY HELP IN HERE!"

At which point the little fucker bites me, right in the muscle of my forearm. My brain flashes to scenes from zombie movies, vampire movies...

Fuck what the fuck is this?!

I react without thinking, thrashing and bringing my fist down on top of his head. His mouth opens and my blood runs over his lips. I pick him up, literally throw him across the room, and run out the bathroom door.

I'm expecting him to run out after me, but he doesn't. I'm expecting someone to come investigate, but they don't. There's silence behind me; laughter and glasses in the restaurant ahead.

I think he might be dead. There's blood all over me and I think I may have just killed a first grader with my hands. I think I may have thrown him into the subway tiles and pushed fragments of his skull deep into the cavity. I think he might be dead and I'm standing at the back of a casual family dining restaurant with blood all over me.

The emergency exit doesn't trigger any alarm I can hear.

Don't act like you wouldn't run,too.

 

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Password

The password is house. Or so I am told. The mean one talks in her sleep.

 

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Recovery Room

Dammit, Emma, would you please just go away?

She lays there, with a tube in her nose and a plate in her head, and anyone can see that she's fading. But she just won't go. She keeps jumping but she never seems to hit the ground. Not completely.

No, no, baby, I'm not mad at you. Calm down, okay? Jonathan says you will be fine.

No, we all want you to get better. We want you to stay.

I'm never sure if I am lying to her anymore. But some of them have to survive. Or none of us will.

 

Monday, March 10, 2008

Waste

She dropped the locket into my hand, and he died again, right in front of me.

Fuck lockets; how cliché. What about a blue Bic lighter? Psychics are cliché as hell, too. Whatever.

She handed me his blue Bic lighter. He smoked Pall Malls.

Pall Malls? Seriously?

He smoked Camel Lights.

Forget the cigarettes. Start over.

She handed me his wallet. The leather had a greasy feel to it.

What's your point?

I don't believe in hell, but some days I wish I did. Sometimes there is no other suitable punishment.

Bad verb tense. There's no conviction there.

Some villains deserve it.

Not villains. Men? Murderers?

Some monsters require it. The victims, too. They deserve to know you're burning.

Burning, blistering, broiling...

But this is all they get. Men in suits picking through their pockets for clues.

So, so cliché. This is all you get.

 

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Molly & Zim (A)

"Come on. Am I not the only person you've known who's loved Kansas? Thought it was beautiful? Actually enjoyed driving across it?"

"OK. What about Wyoming?"

"Wyoming. Wyoming is beautiful...."

"Yeah, that's what I thought."

"...but there's just too damn much of it."

"It's desolate."

"But it's beautiful in its desolation."

 

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Wash

Sky is darkening as I leave work on Tuesday. Maybe there's a storm coming in. The picture window at 2067, which I pass by every evening, stands out brightly. They're always home. I wonder what they do for a living.

My backyard borders a riverbank. Nothing special. Rivers crisscross the city; everyone's on the river. It's the high ground that costs money. But still, it's nice to have that water there. Something very archetypal about the nearness of water. Comforting.

The French and Spanish fought over this land bitterly, only to watch the river change course and take access to food and supplies with it. Afterwards they fought just for the hell of it.

I fix noodles. The storm does come in, hard. The river rushes and roars. I sleep well for once.

The next morning, I find a box washed up at the edge of the water. Wooden, with a lock on it. I had one just like it once, a cheap cedar thing they give you when you graduate high school. The lock is simple, but I'll have to work it later. Too many obligations. This is the tide of the day.

I pass the picture window again in the evening. It frames a brunette at a kitchen table. I have a vague impression that she is a medical student.

I've never picked a lock successfully. I prepare myself with a small pile of paper clips and bobby pins. I remember what the key to these boxes looked like. And I have nothing better to do, really.

Where could it have come from?

The state of Louisiana once lost track of the oldest European settlement west of the Mississippi. How you lose such a thing I don't know. It was called Fort St. Jean Baptiste des Natchitoches, and instead of locating it, they simply built a new one in a tourist-friendly plot. For a few decades they claimed the original site was underneath a local cemetery. Then, after a storm, something washed up on a river bank. An iron cross or some such clichéd artifact. And by following the current backwards, they determined the fort is actually underneath the Cane River. No excavation has been done. What a startling lack of curiosity.

I've decided to buy a saw and just cut into the box. I'll pick one up on my way home tomorrow.

Thursday she's closed the blinds. Everything is locked up taupe and tight. I make a ten minute stop for a hand saw, but decide to pick up a hammer and chisel instead. Maybe I can split it down the grain. I've done this even less than I've picked locks.

Tornadoes on Easter Sunday. Wind and water ripped right through the apartments and hardware stores. They swept up the splinters and built a mall.

Smashing things to pieces is surprisingly easy. I'm sorting through split pieces of wood and the metal locking mechanism and I'm not finding anything else. A little bit of moisture. The damn thing is empty.

What a let down this is.

Saltville, Virginia was built on top of a series of salt mines. After they quit mining, they pumped the hollow ground full of water. This helped keep it stable. But as people left and revenues disappeared, the pumps stopped running. Giant sinkholes covered the place like polka dots. The ground opened up and swallowed entire homes. It was considered an acceptable loss.

Friday the house is gone. There is no 2067.

I stop and pull into the lot. There's no evidence. There's no mailbox or debris or note or litter. There's just a plot of grass sloping down in the back towards the river.

I live south of here. Downstream. I start digging through my car for something that will work. Papers and receipts will dissolve. I might not be able to see the black ashtray. Finally I settle on a clear plastic water bottle. I peel off the label and stuff an orange distress flag inside, and drop it into the water. Watch it go.

I rush home, then wait at the back of the yard. The water is slow and hypnotic. And the orange-filled bottle floats right up to my feet.

Roanoke, Virginia. They may have simply given up. It took years for their emergency supplies to arrive as they fended for themselves. But all we know is they disappeared.

Do we start at the mouth, the head, or the bed? I'm not even sure what I'm looking for, but I'll know when I find it. I'll start at the high ground and follow it down.

There's no single source to the river; mostly melted snow. I think the Augustine Hills are a good place. A manageable climb, and a good view to survey the first stretch. Naively, perhaps, I expect to cross the city along its banks.

But the fog starts to roll in. Great banks, like volcanic smoke, seeping in through the firs. Like the city isn't even there below me. And I have a feeling it isn't.

Mount St. Helens lost more than 1000 feet of its height in 1980. Smashed it to pieces. All that rock is just gone now - or perhaps it's burying something you love. What could make the world so angry?

I've been walking for days, and there's nothing. 2067 is gone, my own home is gone, the hurricane fencing is gone. All that's left is water and the faint smell of cedar. And something about it is so comforting. So archetypal.

click

Metal against metal, and everything goes dark.

 

Thursday, February 21, 2008

For Sale





See below for larger photos

Rabbit Face

Current bid: US $13.66
Your maximum bid:
End time: 1 hour 57 mins (Feb-21-08 17:00:46 PST)
Shipping costs: US $6.00
     US Postal Service Priority Mail®
     Service to United States
Ships to: N. and S. America, Europe, Asia, Australia
Item location: Shreveport, Louisiana, United States
History: See below
High bidder: wyattearth (21 Feedback score is 10 to 49)

Meet the seller
Seller: widower08 (102Feedback score is 100 to 499)
Feedback: 96.4% Positive
Member: since Aug-24-07 in United States
     See detailed feedback
     Ask seller a question
     Add to Favorite Sellers
     View seller's other items

Buy safely
  1. Check the seller's reputation
  2. See detailed feedback
  3. Check how you're protected

Up to $200 in buyer protection. See eligibility.
Returns: Seller will not accept returns.

Seller's Comments:
Auction closes tonight. Item shipped immediately. Need out of my house. Daughter's gone crazy. Fell from the attic. Chasing rabbits. So much blood. Nightmares. I dream about a wasteland. So empty. Must go. I'll take anything. Don't come back. Be careful. Soon it will be too late. Can't fix anything. Heading west. She's in the Briar. Just leave her be. It's magic. Take it. Emma.


 

Monday, January 21, 2008

Spaces

Being from the swamplands, I don't dream of basements. It's attics or nothing, I'm afraid. Jung said dreams of attics were for exploring the mind, the past and memory. Dreams of basements were for exploring the subconscious, all the dark and ugly things buried there. I have always jumbled the two together. How sinister are those dusty toys. How curious is my house.

These days I live in an apartment. Only more bodies above and below. My nightmares by necessity invade spaces that don't belong to me. Moving vans come and go. I think we may have the building to ourselves soon.

 

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

All this glass

She's got all this glass laying around. There's still a damp spot on the couch from Alan's sweat. She's the only one left in the apartment and her mark is as dark as ever. Plus she's got all this glass laying around. What would you do?

I reckon you'd go home to your daddy.

So there's all this glass laying around, and some sand, and she's spilling saltwater everywhere as she repeats a mantra into meaninglessness.

I'm not one of them not me I'm not one...

But Alan is gone and she's pretty sure he's one of them, which weakens her own case considerably. And she's got a mark on her hand, and all this glass laying around.

Things go on in this vein long past sunset, when the street lamps turn on outside her window and make all that glass glitter and sing. And she keeps bringing her heavy eyes back to her wrists and studying the spiderwebs there and contemplating all the rushing fluid in that river.

So she picks up a piece of glass. There is so much of it just laying around and singing.

Nica is not religious. She's not sure if Judas killed himself, or if perhaps he invested his silver in Google stock and lived a long and prosperous life. This is what runs through her head, though, as she takes the glass to the spiderwebs and pours the river out onto the carpet.

Not me not me I guess we'll see...

So there is all this glass laying around, and sand, and saltwater, and all these beautiful rubies, and a woman lying on top of it all whispering something about bad timing.

What did Daddy say? That you can only run out of breath. Right.

And she does.

 

Monday, January 14, 2008

Going for a walk

"You're free, Kemp. I'm taking the glass from your hand."

He's not sure if he should feel relief. How unfair is that? How cruel is it to get a stay of execution, while Alan is led out of the apartment by the strange and crippled Albert?

But he does feel relief, a flood of it, drowning everything else. He can't even bring himself to curse and spit at Nica. Instead, he waits until the men's backs are far down the street, then walks out wordlessly.

Then there is only Nica, with a hand full of glass and a bowl full of sand.