‘Reflecting pool’

He gazed with awe and wonder 
at a faint reflection in the stream.
There below the rippled surface 
was another ‘him’, it would seem. 

Was the doppelgänger realm a lie 
or did it perfectly mirror his own?
For all he knew, truth was below;
and the reflection was his home. 

He reached quickly into the water 
to seize hold of his phantom hand. 
To great surprise it grabbed back;
definitely not what he’d planned. 

The mirrored world was identical 
In every detail that he could see. 
Another ‘him’ tracked his actions
and just refused to leave him be. 

To analyze the perplexing enigma
he eased into its deep water, slow.
From a new perspective he hoped 
would display, reality from below.

In revelation and great surprise
the underworld was just as real.
Above or below, both are visible
but only when the water is still.

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Posted in Children's Stories, Controversial topics, Different Perspectives, Fiction Stories, Inspirational, Mystery, Poetry, Recollections, Thought provoking, Twilight Zone Inspired, Uncategorized, Whimsical | Leave a comment

  ‘Brown state’ (George Romero fan fiction)

  They rose up all at once. Those who once were. Immediately an army of the dead was amassed from the decaying legions. They marched with one purpose; vengeance. They were furious that time continued on without them. All of their loved ones had moved on. Everything they knew had changed and abandoned them. Rage intensified with the unity of ten million singular-minded souls. The decaying leader of the corpse horde focused this universal anger into a razor-sharp weapon against their common enemy; the living. 

  General Bub rallied the troops as few leaders (living or dead), could. He knew how to motivate them. He knew how to inspire. He led his army by example. Into the streets they spilled, for as far as the eye could see. They swarmed everywhere and added exponentially to their growing numbers. No one was immune to the merciless attacks. For every soldier he lost, he gained five more angry new cadavers in the assaults. 

   Each new recruit had to be trained. They had to come to terms with their recent mortality. They had to adjust to the very distressing limitations of being a decaying corpse. They also had to learn to fall in sync with the unifying wavelength of the army. His wavelength. With time, every one of them matched the shuffling cadence of Bub’s relentless legion. 

   The paradigm of ‘good and evil’ didn’t exist in their minds. Nothing really did any more. If was just the living versus the dead in a battle of raw attrition. To win the war, all of the living had to die. That was the determined focus of every single murderous campaign. The general sought to outwit and outflank all of the feeble efforts to stop them. His prior military training and war experience taught him well. The irony of using those disciplines and war strategies against the very ones who had taught him, made him sneer morbidly from the corners of his cracked, necrotic lips.  

   The enemy often underestimated their physical agility and lucidity. It was an easy mistake to make but with the loss of graceful movement and fluidity, also came a complete lack of body pain. It was an equitable trade off. When pared with no need for sleep and a primal focus on basic goals, it was a perfect combination. None of them were saving up to buy a new BMW or trying to make a killing on Wall Street. They just wanted to kill the living. Fearless, zombie soldiers unafraid of anything were absolutely indispensable. 

   The horde made its way across the country in a blood-soaked frenzy. Regardless of whether they were a so-called ‘red’ or ‘blue’ political state’ before, afterward they were simply ‘brown states’. The color of putrid death and decay. The masses of the undead left nothing living in their voracious wake. Occasionally there were isolated pockets of resistance along the way but in the bitter end, General Bub’s corpse army always persevered. Either by direct victory over the living or from their eventual deaths from natural causes. Either way, death was the eventual victor.

   Once the whole of the North American continent lay conquered, Bub set his sights on South America, Europe and greater Asia. He had former pilots in his invading horde. He had deceased sailors, large city planners, construction workers, architects, and all manner of tradespeople at his disposal. Skilled individuals from every necessary vocation shambled alongside him in their celebratory praise of death. He would need all of them to rebuild the world; one necropolis at a time; once the revolution against the living was done. 

   He loosely saluted his deceased comrades-in-arms as they slowly staggered into the next battle. The war was almost won. Victory was within their grasp. Soon there would be no more death to separate them from loved ones, because everyone on Earth would already be dead.

Posted in Fiction Stories, Horror, Humor, Macabre, Mystery, Science Fiction, Supernatural, Thriller, Twilight Zone Inspired, Uncategorized, Utopia & Armageddon, Whimsical | Leave a comment

‘Rule of thumb’ (a Dr. Seuss inspired poem)

I just awoke and my skin was numb.
It turns out, that I slept on a crumb.
Keeping a clean bed is my rule of thumb. Anything less is surely dumb. There’s no point in living like a bum, or the next time it may be gum. This is my message and I’ll bang the drum. Follow along, it’s easy to hum.

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

‘A few dark pages’

A good novel contains many pages
and a life story spans all the ages.
From virgin origins in chapter one,
until our final adventures are done.

Some sections fill us with despair.
Others we wish we weren’t there.
The whole journey can’t be a win.
Even the dawn must face its din.

A few dark pages don’t end a day.
To keep on reading is the only way.
Life’s all about the sum of its parts
and every novel is filled with heart.

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

‘The eternal war’

The wind cried out.
It huffed and puffed.
There was no reply,
to its insistent howl. 

Violently it whistled 
on through the night.
In a thicket of pines; 
lips pursed in a scowl.

The woods grew angry,
and took great offense.
The gales didn’t relent.
That, it couldn’t allow.

A light breeze was nice 
and a truce was desired.
Both sides wanted peace
but they didn’t know how.

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

‘Lighthouses’

Who lit the heavens aflame;
making the darkness warm?
Never meant to extinguish;
but to survive astral storms.

Their corona glows proudly
for all these radiant flames.
Vigilant lights which shined
before even having a name.

Like fiery cosmic beacons;
each ball is a burning light.
They hang like decorations,
so the solar fabric is bright.

Every sparkle in our sky
belongs to a unique star.
They illuminate the way;
as lighthouses from afar.

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

‘Old Willie Padgett came home’

There at the dried-up river bed on Bracket Ridge I saw it. Twisted. Dead. Half hidden by autumn debris. I wanted to believe it was something else but in my heart I knew it was real. I hesitated to disturb it. No good could come from bothering the mummified remains of a discarded human being. Whatever measure of peace it had bartered with its long-forgotten surroundings would surely deteriorate with my crude meddling.

Using a stick, I gently brushed aside a brittle layer of leaves and twigs camouflaging the corpse. Flash-flood waters had carried this abandoned soul downstream from points unknown. By the appearance of things, it had been abruptly deposited there during the last big Spring run-off. The rest of the year, the riverbed was as dry as a desert.

About the only thing left of the decayed flesh was its dehydrated skin, stretched over jutting bones and a few scraps of dry-rotted clothing. Lifeless, shriveled eyes stared back at me through sunken sockets. If the leathery remains could speak, what would they tell me? I wondered how it came to be there. From examining the cadaver, there was no obvious cause of death. I also assumed there would be no personal answers forthcoming from it either. At least I hoped not. It was one mystery I was better off not learning the answer to from the source.

I marked the spot so I could lead the authorities back to the remains. With any luck, the victim’s family would get some needed closure. I dubbed this person-who-once-was, as a ‘victim’ because even if they died of natural causes, it was no place to die alone. I looked back at the makeshift grave marker one last time before losing sight of it. At the time I didn’t realize how important it was.

The winding path down the ridge was a familiar one. I knew the way from countless past excursions. Deer and squirrels scampered about in nervous agitation. Occasionally a snake would slither under its bed of leaves. I had plenty of time to think about what I would say to the deputy about the mystery I had uncovered in the creek. At the station however, my statement was less smooth than I had practiced.

The detective I spoke with asked if I would help lead his team to the site. Naturally I agreed but it was almost sunset. Because of the rugged terrain and difficulty of investigating a potential crime scene at night, they elected to wait until first light. That night, a heavy storm fell upon the area. The mountain creek bed was surely flooded with cascading rainfall.

Even so, it never occurred to me that the remains might be disturbed. It had been washed to the edge of the creek bed for quite some time. I didn’t expect for a thunderstorm to dislodge it but when we arrived, only my marker was still there. The flash flood on the mountain had washed away all evidence of the unidentified body. Immediately the investigators began tracking it downstream. The water level was still very high and they had to be careful and not get swept away too.

The raging torrent of water coursed over the rounded stones and around the various bends in sight. For all we knew, it might have floated ten miles downstream, or just around the next corner. That lingering doubt made the detectives continue for a long time. After witnessing the renewed fury of the river, I wasn’t convinced they would ever recover the missing body again. In various places, the creek would split off into different forks and then rejoin itself further downstream. The remains could be anywhere along those twisting miles of rushing waterways.

About midway down the mountain, the stream ran alongside a hermit’s rustic log cabin. Ordinarily, no one bothered the old man because he preferred to be left alone but this was a special circumstance. The deputies wanted to make sure he knew they were scouring the area for the lost body. Advance warnings helped to avoid misunderstandings. The sort of misunderstandings that involved firearms and shootouts.

The old man didn’t answer their repeated shouts from the porch so they had no choice but to knock on his fortified door. Again there was no response. I watched the whole thing from a safe distance. Everyone in town knew about the old man’s volatile temper. He was legendary for flying off the handle when people ‘trespassed’ on his property. The deputies were already on high alert as they waited on him to answer.

After numerous attempts were made, they had no choice but to enter the premises to perform a wellness check. Luckily, they didn’t have to break down the door. It was unlocked and no one was at home. Once his absence was established, the team searched the portion of the creek that ran through his property. On a high cluster of river stones within eyeshot of his cabin they located the human remains which I had brought them to see. Police tape was strung around the area to insure no more contamination of evidence.

“Old Willie is sure going to be agitated when he comes home and sees that we’ve been in his cabin and cordoned off part of his land.”; One of the detectives commented nervously. “I bet he’ll go straight for his shotgun. We’d better form a search party to find him and explain before he finds us.”

“I doubt we’ll have any more trouble out of Willie.”; The lead investigator grinned. “I’m pretty sure these human remains are his. We will need the forensics team to confirm the identity officially but I recognize the scraps of clothes hanging on the skeleton. I don’t know what he was doing upstream but his corpse must have used the flash flood to return home one last time. He sure loved this place and hated other people. At least we won’t have a shootout on our hands.”

Posted in Controversial topics, Different Perspectives, Fiction Stories, Ghost stories, Horror, Humor, Macabre, Mystery, Science Fiction, Supernatural, Thought provoking, Thriller, Twilight Zone Inspired, Utopia & Armageddon, Whimsical | Leave a comment