‘Fields of folly’

Through fields of folly we waltzed;
Innocent in our tender youth.

Storm clouds were so distant then,
just like the unyielding truth.

On this fantasy plateau we stood;
in our cradle of ignorant bliss.

The horrors of life were abstract,
we basked in Mother’s kiss.

Having not a care in the world.
Life was much simpler then.

Children live in a pure vacuum.
Only later exposed to ‘sin’.

In the end, we must all ‘grow up’,
and put childish things aside.

How much better would life be;
if we did the same for pride?

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Posted in Children's Stories, Different Perspectives, Essays & Rants, Inspirational, Mantras, Poetry, Recollections, Thought provoking, True Stories, True Stories, Essays & Rants, Uncategorized, Whimsical | Leave a comment

‘The dark third’

It’s not like the Hollywood motion pictures. I wasn’t bitten on the neck by a bloodsucking ghoul or a flying bat, incognito. I don’t wear a flowing cape or lurk in the dark shadows to lure victims to their deaths. I assure you that I’ve never sleep in a stuffy coffin in the cellar either. By those rigid, two dimensional standards, I wouldn’t even be considered a true vampire. Reality can be a lot less dramatic than science fiction.

The fact is, I’m allergic to sunlight. Deathly allergic. It wasn’t always that way, though. There was a time many years ago when I was able to bask in the sun like everyone else. I had a regular life and normal hopes and dreams. I can’t even say what caused my body to turn against me. In what seems like a dozen lifetimes ago, it just came to be that way. I was cursed to be a ‘creature of the night’. From that point on, my flesh would turn bright red and erupt into violent blisters as soon as I stepped into the light. Ten seconds later, my throat would swell shut and deprive me of breath. Had it not been for the keen eye of another wandering soul, I might have died right there in the morning sunlight. After that day, my nocturnal fate was sealed.

In the distant past, the world was based on diurnal life cycles. The vast majority of people were active during the day and slept at night. There were no all-night factories or third-shift jobs. If you didn’t grow your own food during the day, you might starve to death. Finally after the industrial revolution, the world became a little less dormant during ‘the dark third’. Certain industries in urban areas needed people to work while the day laborers were at rest. This progressive philosophy of the manufacturing age helped me work around my deadly light ‘allergy’.

It allows me to earn a modest living and cultivate a rudimentary social life. There are others like me out there too. They either prefer being nocturnal or have no choice because they also possess a similar affliction. With all of these adaption and modern lifestyle options at my disposal, you’re probably wondering where my homicidal urges came from. I’ve done a great deal of thinking about that. I don’t need anyone’s blood to live and I detest the term ‘bloodlust’. The compulsion to kill on a regular basis wasn’t born out of any physical need.

If there’s one thing I’d want my victims to know, it’s that I still have a guilty conscience afterward. I feel terrible after every single death. Really I do. Terrible but relieved. It’s some sort of murderous, irresistible compulsion that I can’t resist. The unholy desire to lead people to their doom nags at my gut until I give in. Then, as soon as I’ve extinguished the very life from them, true pangs of remorse and guilt flood my mind. It seems that I only enjoy the brief euphoric moment between the seduction and execution. In short, I’m basically an ‘energy vampire’. I feed on the psychological lust of stealing life from the innocent. I dwell exclusively in ‘the dark third’ and I’m very sorry for what I’m about to do.

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‘The dead man in my bed’

Things got off to a rocky start this morning. I awoke to find a dead man lying in my bed. Even more strange, he looked moderately familiar but I couldn’t place him. The ever widening mystery of how he came to be in my residence was a real head scratcher. I didn’t want to hazard a guess as to why he was beside me in bed either. That was just too disturbing to focus on.

I started to telephone the police but stopped myself. Whoever he was, he probably had a family and loved ones. He deserved to be treated in a dignified manner and not poked and prodded like a science experiment. I looked around for clues to his identity. Finding nothing in the immediate vicinity, I widened my search. As I looked around some more, I found various family photos scattered about. The dead man did resemble a few of the portraits but I still couldn’t be sure it was the same individual.

You see, the dead man was already a bit bloated and stinky. Something definitely had to be done about him soon. I suppose I intended to alert his family first, if they could be located. If not, then the police would have to do their job and find them. I just hated the thought of the man’s family receiving a phone call or an impersonal house visit with the bad news. I wanted to break it to them gently.

I kept coming back to his unknown identity. Who was the dead man? I knew his face. I definitely knew him. I could pull bits and pieces about him from memory but not enough detail to actually identify the poor sap. It was at the very edge of my consciousness. It was so close, I could feel it! The whole ordeal was agonizing. I took another look at the photos I found, hoping they would jar my memory and break it free. Was it the guy in the images? I was certain it was. Memories came flooding back. He was definitely younger, less bloated, and not deceased but it absolutely was the same guy. It was me.

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‘Two times a prisoner: II unlocked’

The proceeding months after discovering Alice Davis’ unique condition and her unbelievable progress were a blur. I kept my promise to check in on her for a while, but then my caseload of investigations became ridiculously heavy. I’m not proud to admit that eventually I forgot about her. In my defense though, I never felt her doctor was being malicious or unprofessional in his ‘tough love’ therapy. He had her best intentions at heart and wanted her to achieve a complete recovery. If I thought for even one minute that what he was doing was sadistic mistreatment or pointlessly cruel, I wouldn’t have allowed his experimental approach to continue. In hindsight however, I recognize now that it wasn’t my place to decide. Her wishes should have taken precedent over his well-meaning ambition to fully cure her.

Regardless of any moral ambiguity or failings on my part, it was a complete surprise when my credit rating took a massive, unexplained dive about six months later. I’ve always been a fiscally responsible person but according to my credit report, I had several large, unpaid hospital bills. Frankly I was furious. Incorrect billing errors are the number one reason for financial problems. I attempted to straighten out the apparent clerical mistake because it was destroying my credit score but I ran into a brick wall of accounting bureaucracy. It seemed to be unending.

I spoke to a half dozen people in billing and accounts receivable to straighten out the issue but I got nowhere with any of them. It was the same with the credit bureau. They obviously have people lie to them everyday and are jaded to claims to innocence. At the end of each call, they ignored what I told them and asked me to contact a specific web page ‘to pay my bill’. After demanding to speak to the manager on duty, I assured her that neither I, nor any member of my family had been a patient there. The billing manager acted a little more sympathetic but she still didn’t seem to believe me. Instead she read aloud an internal office memo related to the charges.

“The outstanding charges are for ‘the treatment’ Alice has received.”; It read in full. It’s double meaning and the individual behind it hit me like a ton of bricks. I couldn’t believe what was happening. Alice Davis had somehow extracted revenge against me from her hospital bed! She had cleverly monkeyed with my credit records to send a message and damned if it didn’t get my attention. I couldn’t even publicly acknowledge that I knew what the memo meant without incriminating myself in a coverup conspiracy. It was a masterfully executed move. In awe of her ingenuity, I accepted the webpage URL. It was obviously how I was supposed to communicate with her now.

I tried to put aside my own anger at the masterful credit attack. I had sided with her Doctor so I knew she was furious at me and felt betrayed. On the website there was a chat interface field to communicate. I apologized sincerely for my actions and reiterated what I’d said in my official report. As brilliant as she obviously is, I was pretty sure she had already gained access to it. I didn’t waste time trying to reaffirm or justify my reasons. Alice clearly didn’t agree and it would have only devolved into an argument from that point. We were never going to see eye-to-eye on what was best for her. Instead I offered to come by and pressure her doctor into accepting that she didn’t want to be forced to keep trying anymore.

I won’t waste time divulging the minute details of her livid response but I can tell you she was furious. Beyond furious actually. She’s had nothing else to do for months, but to stew on her seething anger at I and the doctor, night and day. She was bound to make some technological breakthroughs with all that time on her hands. After finding a hole through the hospital firewall and breaching the FBI’s hopelessly out-of-date server, she read my report and plotted her retaliation.

As bad as I had it in Alice Davis’ angry crosshairs, it was nothing compared to the venom she had arranged for the doctor. She figured out his laptop password and planted a number of incriminating photos on it before contacting the Center for Missing and Exploited Children. They seized his computer and arrested him on numerous child indecency charges. The beauty of her revenge is that no one would believe either of us if we tried to accuse her of faking the evidence against us. It was perfect.

After she had a little time to cool down and absorb my apology, I attempted to reason with her. Her new doctor had no knowledge of the surgical implant in her brain or her cyber communication breakthrough. I offered to undertake the considerably difficult task of convincing him about her lucidity, in exchange for reversing the billing charges against me. I didn’t even try to get her to uncook the doctor’s goose. She was still incredibly angry at him.

To my surprise, she didn’t want me to inform the new doctor. I think she was terrified he might remove the WiFi chip from her head from good intentions. Instead she wanted a stronger guarantee of stability for her internet connectivity. It was the only thing that mentally kept her going, she explained. As the only connection she had with the world, it was too precious to risk in her mind. I could relate to those fears but I still wished that she would snap out of the mental trap she was ensnared by. She was obviously a brilliant and talented person. It was such a shame to go through life trapped in a virtual world.

As our ‘chat’ continued, her attitude seemed to suggest a certain level of forgiveness toward me. That was a huge relief. Her tone itself softened considerably; but there was another strong indication. According to what she revealed, I was the only person in the world (except the jailed doctor himself) who knew her bizarre truth. It was both startling and revealing. While she had reached out and formed some online friendships with her internet freedom, none of them knew of her locked-in condition. She must’ve anticipated a heavy level of skepticism and hid that secret to avoid the possibility of crushing rejection.

I got the feeling she felt uniquely able to open up to me, because I knew about her absolute physical handicap. Obviously I knew and still humanized her. Truth be told, I had nothing but respect and admiration for Alice. Despite my past betrayal, I believe she knew that. No matter how many two dimensional social media friends she had, she was still desperately lonely in her physical isolation. Only I knew the full truth and ‘accepted’ her.

Each time I hit send on my phone, I couldn’t believe the speed that she replied back in the chat window of the website. There were always a massive amount of words that she typed. I’ve always been a very fast typist myself but Alice out-typed my responses three-to-one, in sheer volume of text. She explained that without the physical limitations of having to press the keys with her fingers, she only had to ‘will’ the words in her mind. She had a direct digital connection to the computer processor. It was instantaneous throughput. It made me marvel at her intellectual growth and adaption prowess.

When I complimented her about the incredible strides she had made, Alice demurely pointed out that trapped inside a lifeless body, she had nothing but time on her hands. She had foraged a level of artificial independence that was borne out of necessity to stay sane under those maddening circumstances. I couldn’t agree more. In the next few hours we had a continuous digital discourse via the chat feature. I learned a great deal about the woman behind the whirlwind of words. Fascinating things that were never mentioned in the original FBI case report or general background information I was given. She was incredibly bright, funny, charming and a delight to ‘talk’ with. In short, it was intoxicating.

After our marathon chat session, I didn’t know what to think. It was intellectually exhausting, but it was also exhilarating too. Alice Davis was trapped in a lifeless body with no other person she could be open and completely honest with. I was her sole source of real talk with. Honestly I always looked forward to talking with her but it was a scary, double-edged sword or risk. She had absolute power over me. If I didn’t want to, would she have me arrested too? There was almost no end to the things she could retaliate with, if I disappointed or angered her. Those thoughts weighted very heavily on my mind until a new, even more challengingly consideration came up. She asked if I would come back to the hospital and hold her hand.

Up until that point, our renewed relationship was that of unusual ‘online’ friends. There was a strong connection building between us but it bordered on a mutual obsession. I wasn’t sure what this next step would hold. Holding a person’s hand was a very intimate thing. Alice needed the feel the tactile contact of a real person against her skin but I was afraid of where it might lead. Feelings can be explosive in the mind of a person who feels rejected. Coupled with her almost ‘god like’ cyber powers and physical isolation, it could be a potent mix.

Alice must have sensed my growing apprehension. She tried to reassure me that she had already erased the hospital bills and promised to never do anything like that to me again, no matter how angry or disappointed she might become. I tried to put those worries in the back of my mind as I pushed the elevator door to her floor. She had already added me as an authorized visitor in her digital records. I was given a name tag at the nurse’s station and walked up slowly to the door. I hesitated briefly before opening it and at that instant my cell phone buzzed. It was her. She was monitoring the hospital CCD video feed and could see me standing there.

“What kind of flowers are those?”; She asked. “Mums? I love them! Please, come on in. I won’t bite. I promise. You know I can’t.”

In light of being ‘busted’ in the hallway, I went on in to her room. Seeing her there laying on the bed with that ‘vacant’ look in her eyes was jarring. It was impossible to reconcile with the incredibly smart and witty person I knew that was trapped inside the shell of her body. It was surreal and jarring. I sat down the vase on the nightstand and reached for my phone to message her. Like many hospitals, the WiFi is spotty because they use disruption devices to spare the patients the added stress of the internet and it’s users. Alice had already created a WiFi hot spot, just for me so I could get around the regular limitation.

In the chat window I asked if she could smell the flowers. She said that she could. She thanked me for them and asked for me to take her hand. I reminded her that I wouldn’t be able to communicate back with her with only one hand free. She replied that she didn’t care. I sat down my phone and took her hand in mine. It was strange at first because I was still having trouble accepting intellectually that the comatose person I was touching, was really alert and aware of my presence.

Once I’d been holding her hand for a few moments I started to admire her delicate, feminine features. For the briefest time, I felt as if she was actually holding my hand back but there was no evidence of cognition on her face. All the while, she was sending sporadic messages in the chat window but I was so deep in the visceral experience that I didn’t read them right away. Soon, the messages began to come faster and faster. The alert ding of each one snapped me out of my distraction.

“I can feel your hand! Oh my God! I can feeeeeel it. It’s sooooo warm!”; She typed excitedly. “Look at me! Please. Please look me deep in my eyes, Paul! This is helping me so much!”

I smiled as I read them aloud. It helped me make the connection between her inspired words and her motionless body. Finally I did as she asked. I looked deep into her eyes for a sign of life. For any sign of recognition. A single tear welled up in the corner of her left eye. That could easily be dismissed as the normal physical reaction to a lack of moisture from the eyelids but I persisted in constant eye contact with her. Her hand felt as if it was actively participating in holding mine. Another tear welled up. I heard the new message chime on my phone but I didn’t break my ironclad focus. I didn’t need to read what it said. I already knew.

I leaned over closer and pressed my lips against hers. At first there was no response but soon I was sure I was receiving feedback from her. It was almost imperceptible in the beginning but became more obvious with the passing of time. She was kissing me back! Her eyes were transfixed on mine. Her hand held mine firmly. I heard the sound of running getting louder. I pulled away just before Alice’s nurse burst into the room. She eyed my suspiciously.

“Miss Davis’ vitals are going through the roof! The monitoring panel at my station is lit up like a Christmas tree. I don’t know who you are but she’s not been that ‘aware’ of anyone in more than three years! It’s a damn miracle. Please step back. I need to examine her. Matter of fact, why don’t you go back out to the lobby, sir. This might take a while.”

Hesitantly, I went back out to the lobby. I felt like Alice was about to experience an amazing medical breakthrough but her heart rate was completely out of control. Any sort of recovery takes repetition and hard work. I intend to come back as soon as possible to further assist with her amended ‘therapy’. With time, I hope the two of us can walk out of here together, lovingly hand to hand as Mr. and Mrs. Paul Morgan.

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‘Detour’

I woke up in a strange, darkened place with no awareness of how I got there. That’s nothing new to be honest. I’m a drunk and have been for some time. ‘Blacking out’ just comes with the territory. An intense heat nearby and the smell of smoke in the air roused me from my stupor. I assumed I’d fallen asleep in bed with a lit cigarette. It wouldn’t be my first time I’d done that but I couldn’t remember ever being restrained. In my downward spiral to the bottom, that was new.

The heat grew more intense and reminded me to strain even harder against my unknown bounds. It was then that I realized I wasn’t exactly restrained. I was inside some kind of confining container! I temporarily forgot about the ominous fire and smoke lingering in the air. Why was I inside a damn box? Panic and full fledged claustrophobia set in. I flailed helplessly against the top and sides with no success at all. I couldn’t deliver much of a blow because there wasn’t enough room for my arms and legs to get any momentum. When the heavy smoke filled my nostrils to a greater degree, it inspired me to fight with more urgency. With my newfound effort, the top finally gave way.

The elation I felt for being free was short lived. I could hardly believe my eyes. I was inside a poor-man’s cremation coffin. Worse still, the whole shebang was creeping down the conveyer belt and only a few feet from the oven and pyre flames! I leapt out of the pauper box like a spooked cat. Wrath and anger filled my head as adrenaline flooded into my bloodstream. Who cremates a person without making sure they are actually dead? It was the perfect definition of neglect. The more I dwelled on what almost happened to me, the angrier I became. I yelled and screamed on the floor of the crematory parlor but nobody came to apologize; or help me catch my breath.

Who burns a body with no person in attendance? I wasn’t surprised that I didn’t have any mourners. I’d been a first rate son-of-a-bitch for years. My own family had turned their back on me over my various betrayals but the staff at the funeral home had a job to do. Besides the lack of basic respect for my premature sendoff, it was just plain irresponsible to have an unattended fire. I fully intended to give the funeral director a huge piece of my mind but that rage was interrupted. The entire place was empty. Stranger still, the building was on fire!

No wonder I was all alone on the conveyer. I guess It was every man for themselves at the crematorium. They obviously thought I was dead. Why risk your life saving what they assumed was a dead body in line to be burned away to ash? As much as that theory made sense, I was too preoccupied with trying to avoid being cremated a second time, to feel better about being left alone in a cheap pine box. The funeral home was typical of the ones I had been in before, well; except for the flaming curtains and walls. Except for the occasional obstacles of burning roof timbers and a toxic cloud of smoke, escaping the building was ‘a walk in the park’, in comparison. I escaped with only a couple contact burns.

You might assume my harrowing slide into the abyss ended at the safety of the sidewalk but you’d be wrong. My journey into hell had just begun. As terrifying as my ordeal locked inside a funeral coffin and a burning crematorium had been, it was going to get much, much worse. Outside the building, the brooding sky above was an angry, unnatural hue of bloody crimson. The fiercest lightning storm I had ever witnessed was waging war against the Earth and anything caught in its path. Flaming balls of molten fire were raining down from the heavens like bowling-ball-sized hail. I couldn’t believe my watering eyes. It was literally the manifestation of hell on earth and there was no one else around to join the ‘end of the world’ party which I had unfortunately just crashed. My lungs heaved from the toxic sulfur gasses in the air and my eyes ached and watered from the heavy soot.

Foolishly, I hoped the biblical-level Armageddon I was trapped in was just a local affair. I commandeered an abandoned luxury car on the side of the road and headed south. With absolutely no regard for traffic laws due to a complete absence of other motorists, I sped around countless empty vehicles on my panicked trek. Fireballs exploded all around me as if a massive volcano was erupting nearby. The thing is, Florida isn’t exactly known for volcanic activity; nor mountains for that matter.

The skies grew even darker and I knew I was completely alone. The truth was, there was nowhere on planet to escape the furious torment and wrath being cast down upon me. Still I drove aimlessly for hours on the highway to Hell, hoping to find some clever way of escaping the deluge of lightning and burning pitch. I knew in my selfish soul the punishment I was receiving, was for a lifetime of monumental failures and personal screwups. It was all for me. This was a personal apocalypse.

Receiving damnation in the form of eternal hellfire and literal brimstone hurling from the sky was more any man could bear. When you add in the merciless element of facing that divine justice alone, it becomes even more intolerable. Despite crushing my will to survive the holocaust, I was still determined to rebel against the heavens and their unpardonable ‘justice’.

I found myself at Kennedy Space center. My stolen Mercedes was smoldering from floating ash and molten asphalt. My hands burned from escaping the fire and my lungs heaved from the sulfur but I was still ‘alive’. That milestone encouraged me to keep going. Like a fool, I ran all the way to the launch pad of the massive perched Falcon rocket. It was conveniently all ‘gassed up’ and no one to fly it. I was determined to be defiant until the end. My single-engine plane flying experience was woefully inadequate for a billion dollar piece of rocket technology, but I wanted to go out in such a flaming ball of glory that even the heavens would stop ignoring my pitiful pleas for mercy.

Looking down at the launch pad, I was amused to see that it too was already on fire. The instant I queued the ignition, thousands of gallons of liquid hydrogen would go off like an atomic bomb. I began to laugh at the irony. Fire had been chasing me all day long but it would soon be responsible for also bringing me peace. I might just escape the divine punishment after all. Just then, a piercing siren began to wail. It’s urgent blaring message filled the air. I cringed in anticipation of the brief moment of pain that would precede the titanic explosion of the space vessel. Then I assumed there would be absolute nothingness; but the reprieve never came. Instead the wailing continued to taunt me. As I raised up from my pillow, I realized my smoke alarm was going off.

The tiny space heater that I used to warm my two room ‘apartment’ was sparking and billowing smoke in the room. Was it a sign of supernatural foreshadowing of my eternal future, or pure coincidence? I hopped out of bed and unplugged the piece of junk before it became my true source of cremation. I decided that the smoke alarm was a literal ‘wake up call’ for me. It was time to crawl back to my wife and kids and beg for their forgiveness. I had a lot of amends to make but I wasn’t ever going to turn my miserable life around living in a rent by-the-week motel and drinking myself to death. I saw the whole hellish nightmare episode as a welcome detour from my failures. I am turning around in the proverbial road and taking the other path. Wish me luck!

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‘Like a pack of wolves II: Traveler’

From the surreal events which just occurred, I no longer trusted my eyes. I witnessed something which couldn’t possibly be real, and yet apparently it was. In this case, the neighborhood dogs cornered an invisible creature against the side of my home. All of that might have been the byproduct of a particularly lucid dream but then again I had an unknown being knock insistently on my bedroom door. Even if what I’d witnessed outside the window was unconscious fantasy or dreamy hallucination, the distinct knocks were real.

I surmised that any creature which could scale the walls of my home and burst through a glass window on the second floor, could also force open a flimsy pasteboard door and interior lock. The fact that ‘it’ choose to lightly knock shows both respectful manners and a gentle restraint. I was too busy processing the situation to respond to the first rap. After a reasonable pause came a slightly more insistent knocking. With that secondary prompt I found the courage to reply.

“Hello?”; I responded timidly. I wasn’t sure how to respond to a polite, invisible intruder.

“I apologize for invading your dwelling but those agitated canines were not going to leave me be. You were too startled at the moment to let me in through your window so I was forced to improvise an escape. May I come inside and discuss the situation at hand with you?”

The creature on the other side of the door was both articulate and well mannered. Almost gentlemanly in speech. Whether ‘it’ would remain that way if I yielded the door, was another matter. I reminded myself that it wouldn’t take much effort to just kick the door in, but it did afford me a certain advantage that I would lose if I opened it. That being, I knew exactly where the invisible thing was at the moment. Once inside my door, I’d no longer have that knowledge any longer. Instead of putting myself at greater risk, I applied an evasive logic.

“Sir, I don’t know what exactly you are or how you speak my language so fluently, but I do know that I can’t see you. The only advantage that face-to-face communication offers is a better understanding through witnessing other’s facial gestures. I wouldn’t have that insight with you. Let’s just continue this impromptu dialog through the door. I can hear you very well.”

My uninvited houseguest seemed to take initial umbrage to the barrier remaining but eventually accepted my terms. I didn’t want to let my guard down and underestimate a potentially lethal adversary. The through-door discourse was both informative and cordial so far. It seems the ‘traveler’ in my hallway was humanoid in appearance and from another dimension. At least that’s what he told me. I had no reason to doubt him about any of that.

His invisibility to the human eye was because of a different spectrum of color in his world. The dogs could apparently see in a higher range of light and were triggered by his body outline. He explained that he uses a language translator technology to communicate. It apparently didn’t work very well with the dogs (or they just didn’t like what he had to say).

The traveler related that while he visits other worlds to explore them, his trip to our dimension was purely by accident. More importantly, he wasn’t sure if he could reverse direction and get back to his own plane of existence. Essentially he was asking me to host him while he tried to get back ‘home’. His ‘people’ were explicitly forbidden from sharing any information about their technology with beings from other worlds but as a matter of gratitude, he offered me ‘special gifts’ in exchange for my needed hospitality.

Naturally I was curious about his race and intrigued by the fantastic opportunity to learn more about an advanced species of creatures. It was an unimaginable opportunity but I was still very apprehensive. Maybe it was all a trick. Maybe he was collecting ‘specimens’ from his travels! I really didn’t want to be preserved in a scientific jar to be gawked at by a race of invisible humanoid creatures. It was a defining moment. To trust or not to trust.

I reached for the door knob. I held it in my hand but hesitated a moment. The conversation had grown quiet. Would he agree to my terms if I let him come in? What exactly where my terms? I didn’t yet know but I had to decide on them before I unlocked the door. That was just common sense. First I asked if he would agree to wrap himself in a sheet so I could tell where he was at all times. He agreed.

Remembering the devastating effect small pox had on Native Americans when they first came in contact with Europeans, I asked if I was in any biological danger from being in the same room with him. He admitted that he didn’t really know about such things. At least he didn’t falsely deny the possibility of a biological or radiological infection. For all he knew, my common germs could be deadly to him. It was a mutually shared disease risk.

For my final point, I asked if I could ‘trust’ him. It was a deliberately stupid question I asked to gauge his reaction. He actually laughed at the pointlessness of it. We both knew that if he had no ulterior motives, I wouldn’t have to ask. If he did want to harm me in some way, it’s not like he would be honest with the answer.

The sound of my door unlocking was disproportionately jarring in the cold stillness of the night. The canine ‘neighborhound watch team’ had obviously forgotten about the spooky intruder who climbed up my wall. I suppose they felt it was out of their hands now. (Or rather, their furry paws). I opened the door and stepped back to allow him to come inside. I ‘felt’ his invisible form pass by me and enter the room.

From the bed I removed a sheet and held it in my hand. To my surprise he accepted it, standing much closer to me than I realized he actually was. I motioned for him to take a seat on my reading chair. I assumed that being humanoid, his anatomy was close enough to ours to utilize the comfy piece of furniture. I watched as my bundled sheet took up full residence there. From that point on, at least I had a place to address my unseen guest.

Realizing that I was being a poor host, I asked if there was something I could get him. He requested water and some bandages. It seems that at least one of the dogs bit him. A glowing blue liquid spread across the bottom edge of my bedsheet. I assumed it was from a free flowing wound. The antiseptic cleaner and gauze I handed him were rapidly applied to his unseen wound but I had to explain how to use the latex bandages. I guess his people use another method of closing minor injuries. The glass of water was consumed and he asked for another. I offered him an aspirin for the pain but he declined. He declared that it was poison to his system. Instead he asked for a sprig of my aloe plant. I guess holistic pain treatments are ok for him.

As any good host might do, I asked him to tell me about his world, his family, and his life. Some things are apparently universal while others are dimension specific. He explained about the world he lives in and what it was like to be a ‘traveler’. The best comparison of which I could make would be to a field archeologist. He travels to other dimensions to learn about the beings in each one but ours is completely ‘off the dial’. The accidental leap to this realm came about through such a random series of experimentation and variables that he was doubtful anyone would ever find him here. Essentially he was stranded.

I felt bad for the ‘guy’. He had a life and loved ones ‘back home’ and the chance to ever make it back was slim. In this realm he is an anomaly. An invisible, dimensional-shifting alien with no other allies. I didn’t know if he could eat anything in this world or continue to breathe our air. Would he inadvertently expose us to a series of deadly diseases that were totally innocuous to him? It was all uncharted territory.

I didn’t want to be the cause of any earthbound plagues or make him ill from direct exposure to mankind. It seemed that if there was possibility of dangerous contamination, it was already in effect. I got the ‘traveler’ another glass of water and decided to let him rest in the guest bedroom. Even as comfortable as I’d become with the presence of my invisible guest, I admit that I still locked the door again. It was the only way I could sleep.

Posted in Controversial topics, creepy, Different Perspectives, Fiction Stories, Future technology, Horror, Macabre, Mystery, Science Fiction, Supernatural, Technology ran amuck, Thought provoking, Thriller, Twilight Zone Inspired, Utopia & Armageddon, Whimsical | Leave a comment

‘These shoes’

My shoes may look desirable

and display the latest brand.

Both stylish and fashionable;

fine leather stitched by hand.

They bring envy at a glance.

They inspire oohs and ahhs;

but all that glitters isn’t gold.

Correlation is not the cause.

You never really know the pain

that others have been through.

Appearances can be deceiving.

Just walk a mile in my shoes.

Posted in Children's Stories, Controversial topics, Different Perspectives, Essays & Rants, Inspirational, Mantras, Poetry, Recollections, Thought provoking, True Stories, True Stories, Essays & Rants, Uncategorized | Leave a comment