Friday Freewrite

What’s Friday Freewrite? Find out here.

He thought of the dead, said a silent prayer. And as he did so, he asked his God for a word of protection against the souls of the damned, for such things did prowl the world, though encounters with them were rare.


We have finite length lives in which to figure out what the Truth is, and all the while have to fear death. Death is scary.

Is death the end, or just the beginning?1 And if it’s a beginning, what kind of beginning? The beginning of Heaven? The beginning of Hell? Or just another beginning in an infinite chain of beginnings and endings?

I’m confused. I don’t know what’s true and what isn’t. I have a mystical outlook on life. I know we exist in this world for a reason, and I strongly expect that we are loved, supported and protected in profound ways that we couldn’t even begin to imagine.

What is this life all about? Everything to us is surface and appearance. Most of life is but the thinnest of veneers, stretched taut and thin. That veneer breaks sometimes, stretches too thin and tears like paper. And what lies beneath the surface, what we hover over everyday without seeing, that great and terrible waging war between good and evil, it would freeze the blood in our veins, make the hairs on our arms and legs stand tall and rigid and erect.

Good and evil2. Evil and good. What is good? What is evil? They transcend definition. They just are.

Good is love. Good is kindness. Good is patience, support and gentle understanding.

Evil is a baby left on the street to die. Evil is a baby punctured in the hollow of the womb and left to die. Evil is pain and wickedness and suffering.

Yet, what is evil but a counterfeit good? All that is evil has its origins in something good, because evil is nothing more than the great imitator. What is a lie but a modified truth?


Footnotes

1. This paragraph I actually edited and posted on my Tumblr as a writing fragment. You can find it here. If you’ve read this before, now you get to experience the broader context in which it was written.

2. This and the remaining paragraphs were what lead me to write the blog Does Reading About Evil Make You Evil?


If you want to keep up with my work and to know when I publish my next book, join my mailing list by clicking here. In return, I’ll send you a free copy of my short story The Sign. I’ll only send you an email once a month and you can easily unsubscribe at any time.

A Case of Mistaken Identity, Part 8

You can read part 7 here. Reading for the first time? You can find part 1 here.

I hid behind the door, wearing the darkness of the night like a shroud. I waited:, eager for freedom, eager for revenge. I would no longer be my new big brother’s punching bag. The prey had become the predator.

I chose the night, not only because the dark gave me an advantage, but because that was when my brother usually came to see me. He liked to torture me before bed. Today, the tables would be turned.

I crouched there, face hidden in shadow, and I brooded. How could my double have done this to me? He’d pretended to be my friend. We’d told each other stories. We’d shared in each other’s secrets. And then he’d betrayed me. I’d been so naive, so quick to trust. I would never make that mistake again.

I heard footsteps, muffled at first, like the sound of a distant drum. Then sound grew louder, approaching the other side of the door.

“Hey, dumbshit. I’m coming in to say goodnight.”

Tom. He laughed, a malevolent chuckle that caused the surface of my body to break out in gooseflesh.

I stood there, silent, taut and alert.

A set of keys rattled. There was a clunk, a sound like a zipper as the key fed into the lock, then a click. A pinprick of time stretched, pregnant with possibilities. Then the door creaked slowly open. Light poured into the room like water.

“Hey Dumbshit, where are you?” Tom looked around, unable to see me from the doorway.

I’d performed a dozen thought-experiments, had trained myself with countless mental simulations. But this was not a thought experiment. This was real life, and real life was good at throwing wrenches in even the most well laid of plans. I had to tread carefully.

“Lost your voice, Dumbshit?” My new brother crept further inside, eyes focused ahead as he scanned first the bed, then the space by the closet. “Get out here. Now.”

I grabbed the edge of the door to steady myself. Tiny pearlescent beads of sweat popped out of my forehead. I inched forward, one tiny step after another. I had to be careful, had to time this just right. If Tom moved at the wrong moment, if he started to turn his head

Tom’s eyes flicked in my direction. It was do or die. I rushed him.

“Eug

That was all he managed to say before my foot thrust upward, making contact with the tender spot between his legs. Tom’s eyes bulged with pain and surprise. He sucked in a lungful of air, hoarded it like a spoiled child and finally let it out in one long and shuddering gasp. He sank to his knees, looked up and opened his mouth again. He looked oddly like a hooked fish.

“Mom!” he rasped. “Euge

I kicked him again. Again. And again.

Each blow produced a soft thud, a sound entirely at odds with the force of my blows. I delighted in his suffering, reveled in it. Where was that evil grin now?

“How does it feel?” I asked, planting another one squarely in the groin. “Does it feel good?” Thud. “Tell me, Tom.” Thud. “Does it feel good?”

He writhed on the floor like an injured snake, clutching at his man parts. Tears streamed down his red and puffy face like rivers of blood. I could hear him trying to speak, and I kicked him again.

It was almost impossible to pull away. I wanted to hurt him some more, wanted to pay him back for all he’d done, with interest. But I had to get out of there before my new mom wandered by and discovered what I’d done to the light of her life.

Tom began to curl into a ball. He reminded me of a rolley-polley, an insect that drew into itself to protect itself from danger. I left him there, confident that he wouldn’t be a problem for a while. I headed for the door.

I squinted up at the flood of light on the outside: dazzling, pristine and pure. I clutched the threshold with reverence, not quite believing that I could really walk away so easily. I couldn’t screw this up now, not when I was so close. I hesitated, glanced over my shoulder at the closet where my double had imprisoned me only three weeks ago. Once I left this room, that door was lost to me forever.

Correction. It was already lost the moment I’d attacked mirror-Eugene’s brother Tom.

Still, once I left that place, I would have to admit to myself that there would be no rescue, that nobody would come bursting through the door in the nick of time, as had happened so often on TV. I would have to wander through the desert of a foreign world in search of a way back home, understanding that I may never get there, that mirror-Eugene might enjoy what he had so callously stolen from me for the rest of his life. The thought turned my heart to acid, but there was nothing to be done now.

When my eyes adjusted to the light, I spared a final look at Tom. He was no longer moving. Had he lost consciousness? I looked out the window, glimpsed the stars, spattering the sky like glitter, and thought of my double, a nine-year-old Judas Iscariot. I promised that I would come for him, that I wouldn’t let him get away with what he’d done.

Then I stepped across the threshold. Into the hallway. Into another world.

 

Continued next week…


If you want to keep up with my work and to know when I publish my next book, join my mailing list by clicking here. In return, I’ll send you a free copy of my short story The Sign. I’ll only send you an email once a month and you can easily unsubscribe at any time.

Friday Freewrite

What’s Friday Freewrite? Find out here.

Noise. Voices chattering and clattering, stumbling one over the other, tumbling, rolling across the air, through the restaurant, falling, even though falling doesn’t make sense.

Words, jumbled, tangled, mingled, mixed, floating, falling, colliding, crashing, like clapping symbols, stumbling finally to my ears in a great drunken disorderly fashion.

The noise drowns all thought, leaving me alone, isolated, turned inward on myself, thinking, surrounded by a thousand and one voices, none of them one with me. My voice is the only one silent.

Thinking, reflecting, pondering, wondering, worrying, anxious that I’ll always be alone, solitary, by myself. Forever, everlasting, a great void filled with darkness, a great cavernous empty space, with only me to fill its lonely halls.

Cathedral, columns rising into the infinite depths of sky, reaching, grasping, pulling toward heaven, trying to pull it down, bring it here to us broken earthly creatures.

Colors, swirling, tumbling, mixing, splashing.

Cars, growling, engines churning, shaking, vibrating, moving in place.

Rhythm. Rhyme. Music. Beat. Tamborine. Strumming, beating, hitting, shaking.

Bells. Tinkling, shaking, twirling, a streaking silver rainbow arcing across the sky, shining, glittering, reflecting back bright blinding crystaline light, illumination.

Chase1. Azure fire, glowing, piercing, blinding. The glow suffuses the darkness, gives it substance, texture without touch, patterns and shapes and definition, blue, filling his eyes; blue, filling his mind; blue, filling his heart; blue, filling his ears2.

Blue. Azure. Fire. Burning. Imolating. Consuming. Destroying. Raging. Tearing. Canceling existence. Annihilating. Cutting. Piercing.

Fire. Raging, a bright burning sun, blackening, charring, killing, painting the world with bright golden light, new life in the face of death, creation in destruction, beauty in ugliness, lightness in darkness.

Contradictions. Filing my ears, buzzing, contorting, twisting, filling me with tension, mind taut3 like a rope, waiting, despairing, crying out for safety, for salvation, for obliteration.

The soul, yearning, feeling, reaching. Truth, so far, so wide, so broad, so narrow, a light in the vast multitudinous darkness, one of infinite possibilities, the truth alone given substance and form, a million alternate realities denied existence, darkness without end.

Needing, wishing, loneliness, coursing through my veins like acid, burning, killing, annihilating love, leaving behind only bitter alkali in its place.

Evil. Patient. Waiting. Dark, choking vines, climbing, reaching into my mind with feelers, poking, prodding, pushing buttons, testing, probing for vulnerabilities.


Footnotes

1. I was looking at a Chase Bank sign when I wrote this. It glows a bright blue at night :)

2. As I’ve said before, like dreams, freewriting often doesn’t make sense. These are words that happened to tumble into my head at the time. You’ll see a lot more of this in future posts.

3. I actually misspelled this as taught, but reproducing that error here would have changed the meaning. I’ll do my best to present my freewriting in its raw form, but whenever that raw form presents an ambiguity that wasn’t actually present in my mind at the time of writing, I’ll correct it.


If you want to keep up with my work and to know when I publish my next book, join my mailing list by clicking here. In return, I’ll send you a free copy of my short story The Sign. I’ll only send you an email once a month and you can easily unsubscribe at any time.

A Case of Mistaken Identity, Part 7

You can read part 6 here. Reading for the first time? You can find part 1 here.

For three days, I thought about how I would get away. My double had used magic to pass from his world into mine. Unfortunately, I would have to find another way.

The window would have been a fantastic choice, had it not been for the fact that it was on the second floor and that there was nothing for me to grab a hold of on the way down. Once, in a mad desire for instant freedom, I considered jumping. But after a careful survey of the ground below, the need for self-preservation overcame the impulse. Survival was paramount. In such a world as this, I would have to look out for myself.

Querying years of accumulated knowledge from TV, I thought in a fit of desperation that perhaps I could tie mirror-Eugene’s clothes and bed sheets together, forming a makeshift rope that I could climb down to freedom. But an hour spent trying to create secure knots in thick swaths of fabric proved futile, and I learned that perhaps TV didn’t possess all the answers after all.

The only way out, I concluded, was through the door. I would have snuck out a long time ago had it not been for the fact that my new mom always kept it locked, and that she only ever opened it to give me food or to let my brother in when he wanted to see me.

For three days, I wracked my brain, and for three days, I came up short. Despair was slowly turning sour, like milk left out in the sun. I began to brood. Hatred toward my double for trapping me in this God-forsaken place transformed into hatred toward new mom and brother, not just for what they had done to me, but for the fact that they looked so much like the ones I had left behind. Their very existence was a mockery, a cruel sadistic torture.

I began to entertain dark thoughts, much like those mirror-Eugene had told me about in the few weeks he’d visited me in my own room. I wanted to hurt them, to make them pay for how they’d treated me.

It was on the third day, during one of my many fantasies, that an idea struck like a bolt of lightening. My lips curled into a slow creeping smile as I lay there in the dark. I could kill two birds with one stone, I realized. I could hurt my new brother, and I could use his pain as an opportunity to escape.

I spent the rest of the night planning, resolved that this would be the last night I’d ever spend in that house.

Continued next week…


If you want to keep up with my work and to know when I publish my next book, join my mailing list by clicking here. In return, I’ll send you a free copy of my short story The Sign. I’ll only send you an email once a month and you can easily unsubscribe at any time.

Friday Freewrite

The human mind is pregnant with ideas, tumbling and spinning, popping in and out of existence deep within the labyrinth of the subconscious, souls without bodies, dreaming of a day when they will finally be allowed to surface, granted new life through the power of articulation. Sadly, the conscious mind capable of freeing them from their dark and lonely prison is a frail and cumbersome thing, burdened by the often bulky and imprecise tedium of language; it’s an old man with arthritic joints, hunched at the shoulders, weak in the knees, capable of bearing to the surface but a handful of thoughts at a time. By the time a few of them have been released into the world, at last expressed in the full stature of their essence, a million more have winked into being, most of them doomed to an eternity in Hell, forever denied an audience with those who would otherwise know their secrets.

The blogs, short stories and books I write represent an infinitesimal fraction of those which come into being inside my head every day, some of them known to me and some of them not. In an effort to capture more of them before they’re lost forever, I’ve been practicing the art of freewriting.

What’s freewriting?

Ordinarily, sitting down to write is an active conscious experience, subject to the rules of spelling and syntax. The number of thoughts we can allow into our awareness in such a state is merely a trickle, thicker and slower than molasses. In the time it takes us to express those thoughts, thousands of others have come and gone, lost forever, cursed to drift in the empty space of the subconscious, eternally out of reach.

Grammar and structure are important, of course. They allow us to communicate in a concise and organized manner. But sometimes we need to bypass some of the many layers of the conscious mind, filters that prevent so many good ideas from ever surfacing.

Freewriting is setting down on paper whatever pops into our heads as soon as it pops into our heads, without a care for spelling or grammar. It’s a leap of faith. You don’t know what’s going to come out of you until it’s already there before your eyes, granted life in its rawest nascent form. It’s a mode of expression that heavily favors the wellspring of the subconscious. Ordinarily intended for private consumption, there’s no need for editing. It’s a seed, a literary embryo whose soul has been anchored to the world so that it can someday grow up to be a novel, short story or a blog.

Okay. And What’s Friday Freewrite?

Unfortunately, my time is limited. I have a full-time job, familial responsibilities and other duties that have nothing to do with my art. The time required to feed and water all these seeds is exorbitant, and far more than I can ever hope to afford.

I would like that to change someday. But until I win the lottery or post that magic blog that will make me go viral and sell a million books, I thought it would be fun to at least share some of these seeds. They may not be well structured, consistent or grammatically sound, but they’re the ideas from which my fiction is born in their crudest form. Like unrefined ore, they may not be as polished as smelted gold, but they nevertheless contain interesting concepts and images that deserve an audience, and I believe it’s better to share them imperfectly than not to share them at all.

Starting next week, I’ll post a selection from my freewriting every Friday. Some of them may blossom into more fully developed entities later. Many of them will not. But all of them will enjoy existence, however skeletal, because it would break my heart if they were to be lost.

Most of my freewriting is abstract and dreamlike, containing disjoint symbols, thoughts and sensations. Some of it, however, ponders more tangible and concrete ideas. I’ll try to curate an interesting mix of both.

I’ve already scheduled posts to automatically publish through the end of this year, and I’ll continue to add more to the queue, so expect regular content. I hope you’ll enjoy reading it as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it. Stay tuned!


If you want to keep up with my work and to know when I publish my next book, join my mailing list by clicking here. In return, I’ll send you a free copy of my short story The Sign. I’ll only send you an email once a month and you can easily unsubscribe at any time.

A Case of Mistaken Identity: Revised Part 6

As I mentioned in my last post, I was going back through previously written installments to fix inconsistencies and to improve the story. I’ve finished editing part 6, concluding this round of revision. Starting next week, I’ll continue the series with new material. Thank you very much for your patience, and I hope you’ve enjoyed A Case of Mistaken Identity so far!

Please note that this installment was significantly altered. You can read the revised part 6 here.


If you want to keep up with my work and to know when I publish my next book, join my mailing list by clicking here. In return, I’ll send you a free copy of my short story The Sign. I’ll only send you an email once a month and you can easily unsubscribe at any time.

A Case of Mistaken Identity: An Update

It’s been a couple of weeks since I posted the last installment. I’d like to explain why. As I was going through previous posts and sharing them with others, I was discovering that a lot of what I’d written was inconsistent and needed substantial revision. I’ve taken the time to do so, and have finished editing parts 1-5.

I’m going to revise part 6 next week, and then I’ll continue on with part 7 the following week. Thank you so much for your patience, and I hope you’ll continue to enjoy the story.

Here are links to the revised chapters:

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5


If you want to keep up with my work and to know when I publish my next book, join my mailing list by clicking here. In return, I’ll send you a free copy of my short story The Sign. I’ll only send you an email once a month and you can easily unsubscribe at any time.