Hello there, Dear Reader 😀
*That’s rude… /lights up and smokes… Just ‘cos I let you write a few posts, Clicky, no need to get above yourself…*
Today we have an amazing missive from Cade Fon Apollyon for your reading pleasure – see below – and…
*I was just getting to that…*
… The latest Underdog Anthology has now been published. So you can go buy and read it 😀 Death features in a number of the stories, and as Death comes for us all, it might be a good idea to find out what the bugger has been up to 😉
No need to start the conversation with “I’m suicidal”.
You’re holding me hostage before we’ve even begun to speak.
Really makes me question your motives.
Makes me think of myself as little more than a dishrag handy for soaking up your spills.
I have to do everything perfect, and keep you satisfied, otherwise, anything that happens is now my fault and you are off the hook.
I’ll talk to you.
How about we just...talk
I mean, if you are talking to me, it’s already blatantly obvious that you are desperate.
Yep, it appears we are on the same page.
Somewhat at least.
Recently, there was a video circulating of a guy committing suicide on a livestream, and yes, I watched it. Yes, it was depressing as fuck. Got me to thinking about my own self, my own life, and my desire to understand the mechanics of what is maybe sometimes happening when some choose to take that final leap of their own volition. Didn’t particularly want to watch the video, but kinda had a need to watch it.
In my own life, I’ve been surrounded by suicides of all kinds, the act has always confused me. Why are they doing this? How do I stop them? How can I help them? How can I not wind up in a similar situation? How am I supposed to react in situations like these? How am I supposed to feel about this?
The usual stuff
And of course, there’s the flip side. Those who go on living and their own conclusions about someone killing themselves. The person was a coward. The person was selfish. The person was crazy. They took the easy way out. The person was an asshole anyway, they did the rest of us a favor and we’re lucky to be rid of them. But some will even call those who commit suicide, brave. Courageous. One who took control of their own destiny.
Sounds to me like a lotta people have this shit all figured out.
Thing is, if you are suicidal, and you don’t tell me you are suicidal, I’m now on the hook for not being more attentive. Not being more attuned to your needs.
“Did they show any signs of being suicidal or distressed in any way?”
The “after” is gonna bring those types of questions if you go through with it.
Where did I go so wrong in not better catering to your needs?
It’s too late tho now.
Nothing I can do.
This is depressing.
No way out.
I can see now maybe a bit now why there is an infectious nature to an act of suicide. An embedded “copycat” type of vibe. A looping type of element. Which…Hey! That reminds me. Have you ever wondered if the spinning nature of bodies has a property of capturing and smoothing out waves? Almost like running a piece of metal through a roller, except more like winding a something onto a spool.
Yes, I’m thinking here about waves and how the spinning nature of planets may act to facilitate the dampening of such waves. Alter their frequency, amplitude and/or maybe their wavelength. And in fact, maybe in some cases, not dampen the waves, but actually increase their power. Boost the signal. Maybe even capture a wave, alter it, then re-transmit the signal. Quite the interesting thought when one adds time and capacitors to these thoughts. A planet or maybe some other celestial body could potentially capture a signal, hold onto it for ages, then re-transmit the signal countless years later. Things get REALLY interesting when one stops to think about the nature of life and maybe why it exists when and where it does. A signal could, potentially, start life on a planet. Maybe such a signal could stop life on a planet.
‘Let there be light?’ (Genesis 1:3)
‘It is done?’ (Revelation 21:6)
Maybe that’s what these “vial” things are. Some kind of capacitor that holds a certain something that does a certain something at a certain time. A signal.
Holy fuck...I've gone off the deep end
How does one smooth the wave bourn of pain that creates more pain? Transfer? Transmission? Passing on? And is it “bourn of” or “born of”? Or “borne of”?
Bourn is like… a stream or a goal.
Born is like…hatched or deveiled or unveiled or whatever.
Borne is carried.
Speaking of rolls…lets talk toilet paper and the peculiarities of hygiene.
- 1st wipe – paper is absolutely covered in poo;
- 2nd wipe – not a speck of poo on the paper, WTF?!?!??
That 2nd wipe makes so little sense, you gotta go for a 3rd wipe just to make sure because you don’t believe the 2nd wipe result. Things get even more weird if the 3rd wipe again has poop on the paper. Now you really start to question that 2nd wipe.
Did I miss?
Coulda swore that I felt the paper in the proper position.
What in the hell type of sorcery is this?!?!?
We relive that Eden thing over and over.
It echos, and echos, and echos.
Everything is perfect.
We wander around in this magical and mysterious place of awe and wonder.
It all goes wrong.
We spend our life trying to get back to the start.
Get back what we had.
We still have it, we just don’t seem to want to utilize it. Maybe it’s that lingering idea of “better”. As long as there is something in the world that is “better” than what we currently have, no fucking way that where we are can be Eden.
Maybe it's that lingering idea of “worse”
As long as what we currently have is “worse” than what others currently have, no fucking way that where we are can be Eden. Oh, and fuck all those people who have it worse than us. Even tho our worse is better than some, some have it better than us and we are worse off for it.
For better…or for worse. In sickness…and in health. What in the FUCK, is health? We know what sickness is (or we think we do).
So...health = not sick?
That’s seems a pretty poor measure of health.
Took me a lot of time to come to grips with the need for destruction. Come to grips with why the blessing of life needs to come with a curse of death type rider. What’s that? You wanna know how in the fuck I, a backwards and braindead Okie hick, somehow stumbled onto an answer to one of life’s biggest mysteries?
Q: Why do we die?
A: Because there are things that you cannot think of
You do not have experience with everything. As a result, there are things that you simply cannot think of. Things you cannot imagine. However, when you can think of these things, can imagine these things, can and do experience these things, it might be too late to unthink them. Might be too late to unimagine them. Might be too late to not experience them. You may, need an alternate out.
To relate a bit…
‘And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them.’
-Revelation 6:9 (KJV)
Now, you may have given the concept of immortality a thought here and there, but its likely that you may also equate immortality with some kind of invincibility. You cannot die, therefore, you cannot be hurt. Welp, to relate what a mistake that prolly is, maybe give this thought a bit of contemplation…
Q: When someone you love dies, and you are left alive, are you suddenly immortal?
You’re still alive. You’ve got a nasty-ass pain digging in you, and you cannot shake it.
Q: What is your salvation?
One of the things that I’m thinking about here is that you have no way of knowing if you are immortal or not until you actually die. Another thing I’m thinking about is the horrible pains and strife that we some of us encounter in life, yet we do not die. Also thinking that we tend to equate immortality not only with invincibility, but we also equate immortality with youth. I’ve lost my train of thought.
R e g r o u p .
R e g r o u p . p u o r g e R
. p u o r g e R
Ya know, it just occurred to me that we usually watch news programs just to see one thing. There’s one thing that interests us, we can only get the information we need from one place, but they are gonna make us sit through a bunch of other shit before allowing us to see it.
Hrm. Why does this ring a bell?
OH YEAH!!! School. You’re an individual, so you are likely to only have one main interest, but school is gonna subject you to all kinds of other bullshit before getting to the stuff you like. Work is like that too. Gotta work before you get that paycheck you want. Dinner is also like that. Unlikely that you like everything on your plate, and the plate also has to be clean before there’s any hope of dessert.
Just because my itinerary does not include you, that does not also imply that the road I’m on leads to nowhere.
On a scale of 0-10, rate how evil each of the below lifeforms is.
0 being “how dare you even suggest someone would ever think of this creature as evil”, and 10 being “how dare you even suggest someone would ever think of this creature anything but evil”.
01. Vampire bats
02. Pomeranian dog
03. ET – The Extraterrestrial
04. Photosynthetic cyanobacteria
08. Grizzly Bears
10. Casper The Friendly Ghost
11. Poison Ivy
12. That person at work who refuses to wear antiperspirant/deodorant.
16. Fruitless Mulberry trees
I expect your answers on my desk no later than a date and time to be specified at a later date and time.
All that shit above was written on or about 11 September 2020AD/CE.
Yesterday was Monday the 12th of October 2020AD/CE.
Yes, that makes today Tuesday 13 October 2020AC/DC
I just woke. Started writing. Had a nagging feeling all day yesterday tho.
“Today seems like a holiday.”
Actually, I did not have the nagging feeling all day as much as I had a coupla points where I had “déjà vu” type moments of “today seems like a holiday, so why is it not a holiday?”
- Is today a Monday? CHECK!
- Are we in the holiday season? CHECK!
So why is everyone not ranting and raving about a holiday?
This morning, I remember my feelings from yesterday, and suddenly…there it is.
Yesterday, was Columbus Day
Ah yes, the latest parental figure to beat on…Christopher Columbus. It’s now known as “Indigenous Peoples’ Day” in some areas, but not everyone observes it. Divisions. Divisions within divisions.
We interrupt this program for an important news flash...
Mystery = SOLVED! Next?
An actual “Mystery = SOLVED!” that has a shred of merit. Whodathunkit?
This flight had me completely perplexed. I admit that “crop dusting” or some other agricultural use crossed my mind due to the remoteness of the location, but I never in all my years of flying and being in/around aviation have I heard of a Beechcraft King Air being used for crop dusting. I focused on either some kind of pipeline or electrical lines inspection, or maybe searching for a downed something, but…at night?
So I focused on maybe a pipeline leak or spill of some kind since the patterns were in some remote areas which likely are laced with creeks and could carry a release, but again…at night?
When I looked into the flight history of the aircraft and saw that this very aircraft had done very similar flights only recently, and since the person that I was speaking with had set their mind to contacting the FAA to find out what was going on, I admit that I settled back into a “wait and see” kind of posture since none of this made much sense. The plane obviously had some kind of special clearance to be flying so low, otherwise their very first flight at these altitudes would been their last. But, I found at least three other flights that were very similar, so yeah, wait and see. But mosquitoes? Spraying for mosquitoes with a King Air?!? At 200 fucking feet?
I fucking never would have thought of that even tho’ now, yeah, it makes sense that early evening is the perfect time to spray for mosquitoes and those flight patterns make much more sense now. Here where I live, they use spraying trucks for mosquito control, and the trucks drive up and down streets spraying the stuff into the air, but again it never would have occurred to me that someone is utilizing aircraft for the same purpose. I learned something. I learned a bunch actually.
The bad part in this?
People are obviously being sprayed, and yet, at least some of these people appear to have no prior knowledge that they are being dusted at 200 feet by an airplane spraying for mosquito control.
The last time that we here had active mass spraying was I think in either 2011 or 2012 with all that Zika panic. I seem to recall some panic that Zika and West Nile were going to cause some huge rash of illness and death, and so these giant trucks drove up and down the streets at night creating this massive weird mist cloud that hung heavy in the air. But the media had so hyped the disease prior to the spraying, that when the notices went out that spraying was gonna occur and for everyone to stay indoors during certain hours, I got the feeling that pretty much everyone got the message.
How do I know this? Welp, because I got a chair and went and sat up on my roof to observe the goings on. No cars, no people, no sound…it was completely dead outside an hour prior to the spraying, and remained dead until I heard the trucks start to rove up and down the streets. At a grumbling idle they came. I could see the mist cloud boiling up over the tops of the trees in the distance. When I saw the headlights appear on my street, I looked up and noticed that a strange halo was beginning to encircle the moon and encase the stars. I figured it was time to get down and go inside.
The good part in this?
There are still people in the world who are worried about mosquitoes and mosquito-borne diseases in the middle of this nCoV-2019 pandemic thingie.
Mosque Key Toes.
Muss Keet Ohs. Moss Kiitos.
Q: Would you put your “pet” down if you knew that they were facilitating the transfer of nCoV-2019 to your family/friends/others?
What am I saying? Of course you would! You collar them, leash them, chip them, tattoo them, train them to behave like you think they should, and punish them when they don’t. You’d drop that doggo, kitten, hamster, rat, snake or bearded dragon like a bad habit if you were to learn that they were to blame for the world’s woes. You with fish/fish tanks can keep them.
And for you lazy fuckers…
- Keet = a type of bird from Guinea;
- Kiitos = “thank you” in Finnish.
What is this “tick” thing that appears by certain people’s names on Twitter? I guess it separates “the elite” from average scumbags.
Ticks are bad, mmmmmkay?
Last night was the first night in months that I’ve not had nightmares all night long. Pretty sure last night’s dreams weren’t good, but I also wouldn’t call them nightmares. Certainly not of the intensity of late. All these nightmares have been wearing my ass out. Don’t feel like reading, don’t feel like writing, don’t feel like watching anything, can’t think straight, have but one thought on my mind…what in the bloody hell is driving this non-stop onslaught of horrific dreams?
But to be fair, that thought really doesn’t pester me and I’ve really not sought any answers. Not done any soul-searching, not sought to understand it, not sought to stop it. Whatever it is, just trying to endure it. I figure if there are any answers to be had, they’ll come. This may be reckless of me.
Cade: Helloooooo thar.
Cade: “A:” never speaks, so she’s not the best of indicators. Anyone there?
Cade: Anyone at all?
T: They’re ignoring you.
Cade: O HAI! So, why aren’t you ignoring me?
T: I am ignoring you.
Cade: Um, no you aren’t.
T: Yes I am. I just wanted to let you know that we are ignoring you.
Cade: Is this because I’ve been ignoring you?
Cade: I’ll take that for a no.
Z: That’s a definite yes.
Cade: Pray tell how you’d know?
Z: I checked.
Cade: Checked? Checked what? You keeping a journal or something?
Cade: Soooo…that would mean that you may have some indication as to why I’ve been having non-stop nightmares since Spring of this year?
Z: I show it’s more like July.
Cade: HA! I already knew that. So you do actually have something there which may be indicative of why I’ve been having nightmares.
Cade: Fuckin’ hell. I’ve painted myself into a corner. Any newbies out there wanna take this opportunity to chime in?
Cade: Well that’s one at least. Any infrequent visitors up for a chat?
Cade: Hrm. I’m quite shocked that at least “0:” doesn’t have an earful to give me.
X: Oh they’ve got an earful to give you.
Cade: GREAT! Let’s have it then.
Cade: That indeed, is quite the earful. Says a lot.
0: See ya around kiddo.
Cade: Hrm. I’ll add that to my list of things to chew on.
B: What’s all this recent business about ghosts?
Cade: Well, I’ve just been doing a lot of pondering about the notion recently.
B: You did a whole series of posts on pareidolia prior to Google/Blogger blocking you.
Cade: Correct. Six posts in total, but I only shared 5 with the class. The basic notion was of a sighted person “seeing things” as being odd concept to ponder.
X: You mean to say that, when a sighted someone sees a something, and another sighted someone disputes what has been seen because they themselves either did not see it or do not see it, that paradigm is causing you personally some measure of dismay?
Cade: Yes. I was not there/did not see “Mr. October” bang those three home runs off of those three pitchers back in 1977, but it happened.
B: Others have seen it. It was filmed.
Cade: Technically, no one, with maybe the exception of Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin, actually saw Neil Armstrong walk on the moon.
B: And your point?
Cade: Welp, I can understand the need to use one’s own experiences with things to help others with theirs.
X: But what you have a problem with, is that concept taken to excess.
Cade: Yes. If I were unsighted, it would not be a problem.
Z: But because both you and those around you are sighted, it’s a problem.
T: Ever stop to think that maybe you shouldn’t share so much?
Cade: Indeed I have.
Z: Shows here that you pretty much completely shut down for most of your life.
Cade: I’d concur with that.
X: So what’s the problem? Keep things to yourself, problem(s) solved.
Cade: I um…I do kinda live in a vacuum, but I also kinda don’t.
0: You’re referring to “the vacuum of space”?
T: I think you are thinking about the concept of “Familiars”.
Cade: You aren’t wrong. Half in, half out. Not here, not there, and kinda not anywhere…
0: And yet, there you are.
X: The slightly crooked king.
Cade: Yes. That concept too has been on my mind.
Z: But everything is…fuzzy, is that it?
Cade: Very. Like certain parts of the past no longer exist.
A: I bet that recent Astrology talk about changing the past in order to make for a better future hit you particularly hard.
Cade: Indeed it did. Any such changes would not only affect me…
0: But others.
Cade: Yes indeedy. It’s that whole stupid time-machine thing about going back in time to kill someone.
X: Rumor has it that would save a lot of pain and suffering.
Cade: Um…hasn’t all that pain and suffering already occurred?
T: I think that’s a fair assessment.
Cade: So now we’re back to rending and tears.
X: Has that too been heavy on your mind?
X: A cloth?
Cade: Yes. But also what it means.
X: You never understood it before?
Cade: Well, the symbolism was that it was torn from top to bottom. Hence, that is interpreted as “God did it”.
X: That was some thick material.
Cade: Some stress that fact, some do not. I think some even dispute it because if the Tabernacle cloth was indeed that thick, it woulda weighed like 800 tons and there was no fucking way they could have carried that thing around whilst wandering in the desert.
X: Details, details, details.
Cade: So yeah, now we’re right back to some people see a something, others do not, which raises doubt.
0: People do sometimes take liberties with telling tales.
Cade: But we here in the now generally are not taught that history is a subjective something which is likely to be more tall-tale than fact. History is taught as being rigid, not fluid.
Cade: I really, REALLY fucking need to stop writing here and go get to work on…
A: You…might…want to bite your tongue right there.
Cade: Indeed. I’m in a quandary.
A: Do you edit, or do you not edit.
Cade: That’s the truth of it.
A: And what is this truth you speak of.
Cade: Typically, I’ve not a clue what truth is. But in this case, I feel that I was about to overstep some bounds.
A: And you are stuck here and now with a dilemma.
Cade: Yes. What is not mine, is not mine.
A: You gonna “mine” that concept any further?
Don’t ask me…I don’t know. Kinda working on it tho’. And don’t ask what that means either because I don’t know.
How many people know you exist?
Yeah…I thought so…not many.
Don’t sweat it tho…nobody knows I exist either.
Have a Song, Dear Reader 😀
Dear Reader, prompted by a convo in Merovee comments about rabbits and bad hair days, I’ve decided to post my story from Underdog Anthology IX: Well Haunted…
*Thanks, Clicky… /pats snout… I’ll format the story and you go get a Song for the end…*
… called ‘Fountainhead’. I was saving it to post for Halloween, but I’ll post ‘What Time Do You Finish?’ from Underdog Anthology XII then instead 😀
by Roo B. Doo
“Okay, Thom?” Jess placed on her hands on Thom’s shoulders, and gave them a friendly squeeze. “You still want to do this?” she asked him, addressing the brightly lit mirror before them.
Thom studied the reflection of the woman standing behind him. With silver hair, thickly plaited, and intricate henna designs adorning both her arms from wrists to biceps, Jess was an odd mixture of old and young. He nodded slowly before leaning his head back, to look up directly into her wrinkled face and sparkling eyes. “Yes. Let’s do it.”
“Alright then,” Jess said with a smile. She pushed Thom’s head forward playfully, and looked down at the shaved skin she’d created near the crown of his head. She tenderly caressed it’s smoothness with her gloved fingertips before swooping down to lightly kiss it.
“Hey, is that part of the ritual?” Thom asked. “Doesn’t seem very hygienic.”
“Yes and no, it’s not.” Jess took the bottle of Povidone-Iodine from the trolley beside her and quickly swabbed the pale patch on Thom’s head, turning it umber. “But this stuff tastes disgusting.”
Thom’s reflection stared hard at her from the mirror.
“Seriously, Thom. Dis. Gus. Sting.” Jess laughed jovially. “Trust me, I’ve kissed all the ones I’ve done before,” she said with a shrug. “They all turned out okay. Please, grant me a little superstition. It is Halloween.”
“Okay, Jess. I trust you,” Thom replied. He watched her pick up a scalpel, but his eyes lingered on the electric drill that lay passively on top of the trolley.
“Thank you.” Jess placed the scalpel blade against the orange patch of skin beneath her gaze. “Now, this may hurt.”
Thom’s hands tightened their grip on the armrests of his chair, hidden beneath the heavy, flowing cape that Jess had made him wear. “No problem.”
Thom Lusher’s headache had been with him for as long as he could remember. It had taken up residence in his skull during childhood, whilst Thom watched his mother die of cancer, and squatted on throughout adolescence, as Thom’s father attempted to drown himself in vodka. The nagging, low throb was a constant in an otherwise unreliable world. It was something Thom could rely on, even consider a friend.
The headache had once come to his rescue, when Thom’s PE teacher had attempted to get handsy down his gym shorts. It had immediately flared into a raging, sparking tempest, forcing the contents of Thom’s stomach out of his mouth and down the front of his fumbling teacher, revealing the damp outline of a sad erection. Yes, the headache hurt Thom, but not nearly as much as the world did.
The only time the headache disappeared completely was when Thom dreamed ‘the floating dream’. He’d be in the thick of a situation, when, suddenly, his feet would leave the ground and he would start to rise. As he looked down, observing the action below, Thom would be acutely aware that he was steadily floating higher, and that his headache was gone. Levitating upward in a world made of sky, Thom felt serene and pain-free. Until he bumped up against the hard, dark arc of space above, at which point Thom would wake to reality and a fierce ache in his head.
The headache was part of Thom’s life and he’d steeled himself to the fact that it always would be. Until he met Jess, that is. She was the hippy, dippy proprietress of ‘Curl Up And Dye’, a hair salon on the edge of town. They’d got talking at a shared smoking table, outside Starbucks on the High Street. Little did Thom know then how Jess would change his life forever.
“Go anywhere nice on holiday this year?” Jess asked, as she started to peel back the flaps of skin she’d incised with the scalpel, to expose Thom’s skull.
“What?” Thom asked incredulously.
Jess was concentrating hard on the wound she’d inflicted, but stole a glance at Thom’s reflection. “I’m sorry. Force of habit,” she replied sheepishly. “Day job.”
Thom smiled ruefully at her via the mirror and resisted the temptation to shake his head. “Not this year. You?”
Jess had resumed scraping back the skin. “I like to spend November in Thailand. I leave tomorrow. You’re lucky we met and I could fit you in.”
Thom didn’t know if he should feel lucky or whether he’d gone completely mad. He’d only met Jess by chance earlier that day and now here he was, sitting alone in her dark and empty hair salon, completely at her mercy. The yammering pain in his head reminded him that he’d not exactly been blessed with luck in his life so far, but Jess had given him hope that somehow this could change.
“Have you done many of these?” Thom asked, to cover the sounds of faint scratching that filled the silence.
“More and more this year since Bore-Heading became a thing again. Of course I did mine back in the Seventies.”
“You did it on yourself?”
“Yes, for the purpose of enlightenment, not to follow some silly rock star like the kids do today.”
Thom frowned; that wasn’t why he was there but considered it ill advised to argue given his present situation. “And were you enlightened?”
“Yes. I discovered trepanning others is entirely more lucrative than trepanning myself. Thank goodness for silly rock stars, eh?” Jess flashed Thom a wink in the mirror. “Okay, Thom, I’m down to the bone. Ready for me to open you up?”
Thom stared into the violet eyes of his reflection and took a deep breath. “Go for it.”
Jess returned a solemn nod before turning to pick up the drill.
“Do you mind if I sit here?” the old woman asked Thom, as she placed a steaming cup of coffee on the table in front of him.
“No, go ahead.” Tom smiled up at the woman before going back to his book. He rubbed his brow and took a drag on the cigarette sat idling in the ashtray on the table.
“Ta,” she said sitting down and placing her shopping by her feet. She pulled her coat tighter and took a sip of her coffee. “Brr, it’s cold today.”
Thom nodded his agreement but he wasn’t in the mood for chitchat; he wanted to finish the chapter he was reading.
“Perfect for Halloween, of course.” The woman continued talking undeterred. She looked up and scanned the sky. “Cold and clear of cloud. Perfect for piercing the veil.”
“I’m sorry, what is?” Thom asked. He wasn’t paying attention but didn’t want to appear rude.
“The veil between worlds, here and beyond,” the woman said. “It’s thinnest at Halloween. We have perfect conditions today for piercing the barrier.”
At her words, Thom immediately pictured himself sailing upward through an ocean of sky before hitting impenetrable nothingness. The dull throb of his constant headache suddenly spiked, causing him to wince.
“Are you okay? You’ve gone quite pale,” the woman asked with concern.
“Yes,” Thom answered abruptly. He squeezed his eyes shut and saw his fists impotently beating against smooth blackness of space; a fragment of his dream from the night before. “Sorry, yes I’m fine. I have a headache.”
“Wait here.” The woman ordered, before rushing off inside the coffee shop. “And watch my bags.”
Thom felt confused; he wanted to leave, but felt obliged to stay until she returned. His headache had started to settle down but his curiosity was piqued. How could this woman, a stranger, have described his floating dream, when he’d never told anybody else about it before?
“Here we are.” The woman returned, placing a mug of hot water in front of him.
“Er, thanks,” Thom replied sceptically, as he watched her rummage through one of her many shopping bags.
“It’s for this,” she said, brandishing a teabag and a wide smile. She dropped it into the steaming mug. “Ginger tea. It’s the most wonderful tension reliever. I always drink it if I have a headache. Please try it. My name is Jess, by the way.”
Thom dunked the teabag, turning the clear liquid amber. “Thom Lusher.” He took a tentative sip of the hot tea. “Thank you.”
Jess sat back and observed Thom contemplatively. “If you don’t mind me saying, Thom, you have the look of someone who knows suffering. Have you had the headache a long time?”
Thom froze mid sip. He felt the hot liquid burn his top lip but his headache had ebbed away. He stared at Jess’s frank and open face, encouraging him to unburden. He put down the tea and lit a fresh cigarette. “All my life,” he said thickly.
Jess sniffed the cold air before glancing skyward. “Well, Thom. I think I can help you.”
“No, wait!” Thom sprang from the salon chair and turned toward Jess. He backed into the mirror unit, scattering pots of hair product to the floor. “I’m sorry, Jess. Can we just wait a moment?”
Jess placed the silent drill back on the trolley and rushed round to comfort him. “Of course. Oh my goodness, Thom, you’re trembling. Just sit down a moment and I’ll tidy up this mess.”
“I’ll help-” Thom started to bend down but Jess stopped him.
“No, you’ll get blood everywhere. Sit there, I’ll sort this out.” Jess handed him a towel. “And wipe your face, you have blood trickling from your hairline.
Thom perched on the edge of the salon chair, holding the towel to his forehead, while Jess got onto her knees and started gathering the strewn pots.
“I’m sorry but it was when you gunned the drill twice,” Thom explained. “I don’t know, it just set me off.”
“And I’m sorry, too. You’re obviously not ready for this procedure. Oh no, this one’s broken open.”
Jess got to her feet and wiped her hands on spare towel. “I’ll have to get a mop.”
“No, Thom, it’s okay.” Jess grabbed Thom’s right arm and shoulder, pushing him back into the chair. “I’ll mop first and bandage you up, then tidy up your hair. Nobody will notice the bald spot. Promise.”
Thom let out a noisy sigh of relief. “I don’t know what the hell I was thinking.”
“I shouldn’t worry about it,” Jess called back over her shoulder as she made her way the the back room of the salon. “We all shock ourselves from time to time. I’ll make you drink.”
Jess stopped. “No, I’ve got something special for shock. I’ll be back in a jiff.”
Thom stared at himself in the mirror whilst Jess was gone. He picked up a hand mirror from the trolley and held it at and angle over his head so that he could see the damage. All he could see was a pool of blood that lapped across the shaven skin, soaking into his hair. Thom grimaced at the sight of maroon and black wound with crimson tinges. “Fuck!”
“Here we are.” Jess returned and handed Thom a dark green, steaming brew. She took the hand mirror from him and replaced it on the trolley. “Drink up. This is my own recipe, tell me what you think.”
She left again to collect the mop, leaving Thom to gingerly sipped at the hot concoction. “Hey, this is delicious, Jess” he shouted out. He took a slurp. “What’s in it?”
“Oh a little of this, a little of that.” Jess returned with a mop and bucket and set about cleaning up gloop and splashes of blood from the floor. “Mostly sugar. Sugar’s good for shock.”
Thom drained the cup. “Well, I thought-”
Jess quickly placed her fingertips over Thom’s mouth.”No, sit back and be quiet, Thom. Let the tea work,” she said firmly.
Thom sat back in the chair and watched Jess clean up. She moved the mop from side to side and returned the pots of creams back to the mirror shelf, all in rhythmical, moving silence.
Thom looked at the bloody towel in his hands and thought about his crazy day, and how it wouldn’t be over for a while yet. He felt the tension drain from his body and his eyelids droop. I must tell Jess that her tea is better than the ginger stuff, was the last thing Thom thought before he nodded off to sleep.
“Help me, how?”
Thom took a drag from his cigarette and looked over at Jess. She took a gulp of her coffee and stared back at him. “Help me, how?” Thom asked again.
“Thom, there are many ancient rituals and practices that have been mostly forgotten by the modern world. I happen to be a practitioner in a number of them.”
“Like what? Voodoo shit?”
Jess chuckled. “Not exactly, no. What I’m thinking of for you was stolen by the medical profession and renamed something ugly to put people off.”
Thom was perplexed. The conversation he didn’t want to have, then enticed into having was taking a turn for the bizarre. “What are you talking about?”
“Trepanation, Thom. It has been practised for thousands of years. Until quite recently that is. Now it’s called a Craniotomy and only doctors are allowed to perform it.”
“Wait.” Thom could suddenly feel his seat leave his chair and his knees bumped under the cafe table, hard enough to knock the ashtray to the floor with a clatter. He grabbed on to the edge of the table. “You want to drill a hole in my head?!”
Jess plucked up her coffee cup from the table before it flipped over. “Oh, but I’m trepanning you right now,” she said to the departing Thom, who was floating higher and higher, feet first. She pointed an index finger toward him and retracted it twice, like pulling a trigger. “Rizzz Rizzz. No more headache.”
“No, wait!” Thom screamed as at first a laughing Jess, followed by the High Street, the town and then all the land below shrunk from his sight. He zoomed up through the cold, blue, cloudless sky. Thom knew exactly where he was heading but this time he did not know what he would find.
Suck Glug Slurp
“Oh shit, he’s a gusher!”
A fountain of blood erupted from the hole Jess had made in Thom’s head and splattered over her face, neck and chest. She hastily grabbed the wadding from the trolley, in order to stem the blood spouting from the top of Thom’s lolling head. Blood streamed from between her fingers, across her hand and flowed down along the henna tattoos on her forearm. It dripped from Jess’s elbow and pooled at her feet.
She placed an arm across Thom’s chest and pulled him upright, all whilst holding his head steady, maintaining pressure on the gaping wound. Jess stayed like that, chanting quietly until she was certain the bleeding had slowed enough for her to remove the sodden wadding and she could take a look. Deep at the centre of the circle of blood and matted hair, Jess could see the pulse of pinkish brain.
She covered the wound with a bandage and removed his bloody cape, before setting about cleaning up. Once Jess was sure the floor was clear of blood, she placed black candles around unconscious Thom’s chair and lit them. Finally she hung a mournful looking goat skull, from the top of the brightly lit mirror, so that it replaced Thom’s head in his reflection.
As she finished, Thom opened a fiery eye. “Daughter?”
“I knew it! I knew he was the one!” Jess howled with glee, before dropping to her knees to kiss Thom’s hand. Tears streamed from her twinkling, eyes. “Oh, Satan, my Lord and Master. You have come at last!”
Thom gently lifted Jess’s blood-flecked face toward him and smiled radiantly down upon her.
Have a Song, Dear Reader…
Apols! I’ve been away from the LoL, Dear Reader, busy writing a short story for Underdog Anthology XII. Fortunately Clicky has been holding the fort, hopefully keeping you suitable entertained with his CLICK5 posts…
*I know you are, Clicky… /scrolls through list… Wow, and so many of them…*
I can confirm that my short story, ‘What Time Do You Finish?’ has been completed, submitted, accepted and edited…
*Yep, Death from ‘Waste Not, Want Not’ features in it, Clicky… /lights up… and this time ‘e brings ‘is mates…*
… And there is still time for me to write another one…
*There will indeed by a full, blue moon on ‘alloween, Clicky… /winks…*
… If I can get my arse into gear…
*You think I should write an ‘arry story, Clicky? …/flicks ash… About wot?*
*Interesting… /nods… That could work…*
Of course once the submission deadline for UAXII has passed, Dear Reader, I’ll be back with more shamble posts and hopefully some missives from Text US buddie, the Okie Devil himself, Cade Fon Apollyon. If you’ve been wondering what he’s been up to, Cade has a fantastic series of posts at his gaff exploring pareidolia…
*Heh. Workout shapes …/stubs butt…*
… Well worth a look-see. Until then, I will leave you in the capable fins of Library Assistant, Clicky…
… Have a Song ❤
*OMG, Clicky! Is it… Is it finally ready?*
*Yes! …/lights up and smokes… 80-fuckin’-pence? That’s an incredibly low price for some top quality entertainment, Clicky…*
*Or magick… /winks… Leggy mentions Aleister Crowley’s ‘Magick’ in the Foreword…*
*Nah, pretty sure we’d know if Boleskine House had been hit by a meteorite, Clicky…*
*Oh, of course… /blushes… Yes, Mark Ellott’s story ‘The Meteorite’ can be read for free via Amazon’s ‘Look Inside’ function…
*A line from that song inspired his second story, ‘The Trade’, Clicky… /flicks ash… Wow, all Mark’s books are 99p for lockdown as well…*
*This just in! …/sticks finger in ear… I see what you did there…*
*Oh tush… /pats snout… Praise Leggy – he’s the one giving all these writers a chance, and everybody else a chance to read them for very little outlay…*
*Yeah, his stories do seem to be taking a life on of their own, Clicky… /lights up and smokes…*