Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Who Are We?


      We are only vagrants passing through. You take a look at the world and where it's been and where it seems to be going, and it kind of gives you a perspective as to what you really are. To each individual person, we are these amazingly complex and unforgettable people. You me, no one has ever been me or could share the same past or present. Yet to history, we were barely here. If you didn't do something historically terrible or historically wonderful, you are just another fish fly that is just passing from the last to the next for a day. It's a disastrous thought really. It's sickening to think that we don't actually matter.

    All of the things that happened to us that mean so much to us. All of the people and moments that we would die to preserve. The moment you realized your friend was no longer just your friend...but your family. The moment you looked into your date's eyes and knew she would be your wife. The moment your kid's breath blew hot onto your face as they were sleeping on your chest. These are the moments that make life absolutely beautiful, but we are a blip on the radar of what has and what will be. It's a really terrible thought if you don't believe that God has made you for a specific purpose. If you believe it is just another day closer to ultimate death, then I feel for you.

     I don't think that's the case. I believe we affect the future. I believe that because of me and my wife, my kids will love their kids more than their own lives. Then those kids will carry our love to the next and the next. I believe God loves all of us individually.

     He loves even if you are a screw up. He loves when you do everything by the book. God loves absolutely everyone.

    People who are religious sometimes get too caught up in their religion and forget the point of what Jesus was. He died. He actually bled actual blood for the worst sinner you can think of. His forgiveness and grace is the entire point of why He was a Savior.

     I needed a savior more than many. I needed a savior to save me from myself. I needed a savior to lead me through very dark times that I couldn't see my way through. I need a Savior this very moment to lead me to where He is.

     I think the world is full of hatred. I think we can all agree. I think America is particularly spoiled. I think American religion has at least partly, lost it's way. We judge good from evil. We label everyone according to our own standards. We think politically instead of spiritually. I think we should be something different.

     I think we should be students of learning. I think that we should work on being educated. I think we should be spiritual. I think we should work on being educated scientifically. I think we should educate ourselves spiritually. I think that we should work on actual tolerance...not the tolerance that's based on hating the intolerant. I think we should think. I think we should care. I think that we should let God do the judgement and focus on your own house.

Migrate. T

Thanks for reading...Z

Sunday, August 23, 2015

A Blog About Other People

     I don't have the creativity right now to express myself in a short story. I wanted to. I sat here and tried really hard to think of something, but there is simply no interesting story about "Hanging in there." When I say that, I mean that there is nothing at all new to speak of. I don't have any news or new feelings to express. Because of this, I haven't written anything to note of in a while. There is a Macklemore lyric that says "Ask more questions, talk about yourself less." I like it. I think there is real wisdom there. So this blog is for other people.

     I was struck by a car in the late hours of the night. I laid there in the turn lane unable to move. Car after car drove by and I looked into the eyes of many people whose gaze told me, "Sorry, I won't stop for you." Cars drove by and humanity was lost in my heart. Until a terrible smelling black homeless man came running toward me. He shouted for me to hold on. Help was on the way. He got to me and told me that he didn't know what to do. He told a gas station clerk to call 911 for me. He didn't know how to help me, but he did tell me how I humorously shouted "What!" when I was struck. He told me that he thought I'd be dead. No one asked him to do any of those things. No one was watching him. He was free of the fear of losing something that doesn't actually mean anything. He knew what humanity looked like because he maybe hadn't seen it in some time. Maybe I would have driven my car right by him while he was laying in a rode. I don't know. I hope not.

     It took me a long time to tell my future wife about the bad things I had done in my life. I hadn't murdered anyone with my hands, but I had killed a few with my words. I wasn't proud of the things God had forgiven me for. I had spent a lot of hours finding those people to apologize to. I had prayed for forgiveness and mercy. Then here comes this girl. I didn't deserve her and I knew it. I walked softly and was very slow to move because when you see a unicorn you are careful not to scare her away. I reluctantly took her on a walk I had taken every day for months to pray for forgiveness. I told her everything while trembling. She didn't see it. She didn't see the man I thought I was. She saw me. She loved me. That is a woman you marry. So I did. Holla if you see us! He will be the the two holding hands after almost 15 years.

     There are so many more. I'm gonna save them for future "About other People" blogs. Truth be told, I led with the homeless man story because I didn't want to be so obvious that my wife saves me everyday because she doesn't like the attention...just like any other hero.




Thanks for reading...Z

Monday, August 17, 2015

Sane. (A Short Story by Caeden Coffman)

This is a short story written by my 12 year old son Caeden. He is on a horror kick lately and this impressed me. I hope you enjoy it too. 

     I was sleeping one night when I heard a faint noise like somebody was carving something. It immediately freaked me out so I put on my robe and went downstairs to see SANE written on the wall. I went up stairs to tell my parents when we got downstairs the words were all gone. The next morning I went downstairs to get a bowl of cereal, midway through I got a text from my best friend Ben when I went to get another bite I saw that my cereal started to move and it spelled the word sane. I went to go get my parents the word was gone. Later that day I got a phone call I answered it and in old raspier voice it said “Your sane Your insane.” After that I heard the door open then my dad yelling I rushed down the stairs and their was a man with a knife attacking my dad. He stabs my dad, and my heart sank as I watched him carve sane on his forehead. The man lunged at me with the knife pinning me down I shout “What do you want with me!”

He says “Your sanity.”

He stabs me and carves im sane on my head.


Thursday, August 6, 2015

Love and sometimes...Ping Pong

     Growing up is hard sometimes, but in the end the getting there is so beautiful. Hard times lead to growth and good times lead to shared laughter. I've had the joy of growing up with my best friends. Two of them aren't walking the same earth as I am anymore, and that sucks. I get sad thinking about not being old with them one day going on one last adventure before we give up and die. But this blog isn't about that. This blog is about enjoying what is in front of you. A month ago, I got to travel with my family to the west coast to see my little brother. The mountains were awesome..and the sunset so beautiful from just below the clouds. But the best moments of that trip were spent in a basement buried in a mountain playing ping pong with my little brother and oldest friend Andy.

     It doesn't matter the time or distance between us. When we are in the same room, nothing has ever changed. There is a beautiful feeling that comes with nothing changing. We played ping pong all night. I lost every single game to a kid I used to exert big brother strength to growing up. For a few days, I forgot what I was missing. I've been trying to figure out a way to thank him for being a great host and a great friend, but most importantly a great brother. He may not be blood, but I'd bleed for him as if he were. Sometimes God chooses your family. We sang stupid songs in strange English dialects. We drove for hours. We smacked a little white ball back and forth until the wee hours of the morning. I wouldn't trade that week for anything.

     We have many more adventures ahead of us. But one day, we are going to be old and senile and we are going to be smacking a ball back and forth at some old man's home. We will look at each other and remember every adventure we have had together and laugh...because life was love and pong.


Thanks for reading...Z

Friday, July 24, 2015

Into the Night ( A Short Story)

     He looked at her as if the moment wasn't really happening. Her beautiful dress reflecting warm light across time and space, reminding him that what lives in that dress is being subdued by it. Her beauty was more than he could take.

     This could not be him and she could not be her. He met her at a wedding. She was pretty in a way he had never seen before. She was that blossom tree that you see while driving that takes away your breath and beckons you to turn around and go back to it. But you don't ever, at least he never did. Beauty like that was something he wasn't accustomed to. So he would usually keep driving.

     She was warm and promised more than beauty for a week before she would die all over the ground. She wasn't a girl he deserved or pictured himself with. Really, he didn't picture himself with anyone at all. Yet she loved him like he was the only person on the earth.

     He looks across the isle and stairs into her eyes. He wasn't a person who cried much, but this moment tested his resolve. She was an angel. She was the only person in this world that would save him. He knew that the day they met.

... a decade

     She looked at him while he shouted in her face. He called her names and threatened to leave. She shouted back and accused him. They fought until they both felt awful, then would go to bed crying and hopeless.  No matter the offense, it was always the other's fault. It was always something that the other had done that was unforgivable. They had many moments of peace and harmony, but the bad days were very bad days.

    She would think about that dress she wore and that smile on his face and it kept her working. He would think about his life before and the warmth of every time she had touched him. They both had a longing for each other that they couldn't voice. Both were so proud and stubborn. They would fight, but hope was found in the moments of anger evaporated by certain looks resolving into moments of laughter.

...another decade

     He was comfortable. She was comfortable. They rarely fought anymore. They watched television and drank together as if there wasn't a very sick world outside. They would laugh at the same time when someone said something that triggered an inside joke. She made his appointments and he made sure her cell phone was always up to date. They both loved the only way they knew how to love. It wasn't that they didn't know how to love the best way it would be perceived; it was that they were still both so stubborn and proud.

 ... 3 decades

     He sat up in the bed. The nurse came in to give him something that would make him tired in about a half an hour, but would help the pain. The problem with this medicine was that it made him let go of her hand and lose focus on her eyes. At the very moment before he would close his eyes to sleep, he would worry about whether he would wake up, then become anxious and regretful that he had been so proud his entire life. He wanted to tell her that he was sorry for all of the fights he knew he was wrong in, but made himself heard anyway. He wanted to tell her that she was the only reason he had lived such a wonderful and normal life. He was never destined for a normal life. She was that blossom tree that never died. The only beautiful thing he had ever gone back to. He wanted to tell her how very much he loved her, but he had lost his ability to speak weeks ago. The illness had taken away his ability to fight anything or anyone. In that moment, he could only squeeze her hand and fall asleep forever.

     She felt his hand in the night. He squeezed her's harder than she could ever remember. He was speaking to her. She looked into his eyes that were glossed over and fighting to leave. Every time they would begin to fail, they would fight themselves open again. She knew this was the very last bit of love he could show her. She put his hand to her face and let her tears fall over his fingers. She brushed his hair back and kissed his head. "I'm sorry too," she said as he slipped away into the night.



Thanks for reading...Z

Sunday, July 19, 2015

The Abyss

     The eruption occurred without warning. I was thrown from where I was lying into the side of the hull, then jerked back left into a maintenance closet. Sparks and small flames lit up what little I could see. No time to think about anything, I just started wriggling out of a labyrinth of wires until I was too tangled to get to my feet. My legs felt weak and my arms hurt on both sides. I was bleeding as far as I could tell from somewhere above my eyes as I felt the warm trickle of vicious fluid roll off my brow. The ship settled. "No submarine!" I remembered.

    "I am Victor Gost. I am in the United States Navy. I have been on this sub for 2 years. The president is Kellen Murphy. The year is 2033." I continued to reassess my brain function. The bleeding had stopped and the hull also free from leaks. I regained my composure and emerged from the wires and out of the closet. My legs were still weak, but I managed to crawl to the sub window by the fern garden and pull myself to my feet. I looked inside and the room was bursting with green so dense I couldn't see beyond the plants to the other side. As far as I remembered the seeds were planted only a few days ago. I could be wrong.

     I made my way to the corridor 23 and entered with my keycard. I approached the wooden desk next to the hull window and peer outside into the abyss that has become my home. The water was dark and it appeared the lights from the sub were cut off. There were no fish that I could see, which was wasn't a rare occasion, but it wasn't frequent either. The fish always tend to hang close to the sub to ward off predators. I couldn't see anything that would cause such a jarring blow from that angle, so a moved to the other side of the corridor and looked out the other window. What I saw, not a single person would have believed. I had smashed into and through the hull of a sunken ship. There were old plates and chairs floating around the water, still held up by the sea bottom that was stirred up and roaring from the ocean floor.

     I made my way to the control room to find Captain Denning. As I progressed to Sector 1, I noticed the lack of officers. I noticed a lack of anyone at all. No rattling, no talking, and no radios. I noticed silence, save for the hum of the engines underneath me. I passed the specimen lab, then the mess hall, then the one stirred or made a single noise. I felt all of the sudden lonely. I reached Sector 1 and entered through a door rarely left open. No one. Nothing. The lights on all of the panels were lit with their normal colors and the depth screen was accurate to the sea floor. I sat down at the communications desk to go through the manifests. In the cabinet was a hard drive. I plugged it in and saw Captain Denning on the screen emaciated and pale. He was crying and apologizing. To me.

     He said they tried to get me out, but they were too weak to lift me through the airlock. He said he was sorry he gave me that order. Then he said goodbye. The video went to black and the time stamp lit up November 5 2034...nearly a full year since I can could remember hearing a date. I played the next video, then the next, then the next. I played 5 terabytes of apologies and goodbyes. Most felt guilty for the war. Other's just lamented about the smell of flowers and the taste of real meat. I traced the videos backwards and watched the men grow in weight and shrink in facial hair. When the video footage was finished, I opened the second file on the hard drive labelled "Media." I spent the better part of 2 entire days watching the footage. I could not believe what I saw. We, the Americans, launched a nuclear missile from a submarine (which I now gather was me and my crew). The missile struck France and obliterated 5 entire cities. In retaliation, Germany launched, then Iran, then Israel. The entire world was shown in pictures flashing across my eyes. Everything was melting. The final transmission was made by a man who spoke gravely alone in a studio. His eyes were sunken in and his skin sloughing off. He spoke about the end of civilization and sounded much like my crew in their goodbye videos.

     I closed the file and opened the third and final file on the hard drive. It was labeled "For you who remained." It was a video dated the same day as his last, of Captain Denning, again emaciated. He explained what happened to me in case I ever woke up. He explained my demise to no one in case I slept forever. I had tried to kill myself. The order was given from Washington to launch the missile. I am a bombardier and I pressed the button. I can't remember it or what happened after. He guessed I had gone crazy over it. I took all of the pills I could find and fell asleep. They resuscitated me. The crew medic diagnosed me with anoxic brain injury with a guarded opinion on whether I would ever wake up. He told me they were all going to set themselves free into the water. He was very sorry they couldn't bear my weight.

      I recovered my legs and toured the ship. I cut down the pants, devoid of any edible fruit and waited to die. I got hungry, then more hungry. I saw my reflection in the mirror and didn't recognize who it was at first. I shrieked and almost spoke in excitement at the stranger. Maybe I wasn't alone! But he mimicked me perfectly and I knew I was alone and would die alone. I was the last man on Earth and I was in the sea.


     He pressed stop on the controller after rewinding the video a dozen times. "This is our father," he tells Lincoln. "This is our father!" "You heard him say that?" asks Reagan. "He just said he was the last man on the Earth. He didn't know about Roosevelt or Liberty!" He is our closest relative to what was before. Do you get what this means?" asks Lincoln. "Enlighten me," replies Reagan. "It means we have the answer to what happened to humanity! We know what they looked like and we know about the bombs, but we didn't know about their desire to die," says Lincoln. "This answers why they killed each other. They all wanted to die," continues Lincoln.

     Washington walks into the room. "Why are you guys watching that video again? You're 9 years old," he says. "Dad, you kind of have to watch the videos you are supposed to be writing a report on. This is fascinating. This is my connection to 15 centuries separating me from this man in this water vessel," says Lincoln. Reagan rolls his eyes. "No son, it is a video found before the beginning of our time about the death of their time. It means nothing more than our ancestors all killed each other and this man died in a boat hundreds of feet under water all alone because he he followed an order and pressed a button and ruined our planet," says Washington. "This isn't a connection to the past; it's a lesson to be learned from fools. While he starved to death and rotted under the sea, two toddlers placed in a bomb shelter with canned food and bottled water grew and had children. Their children had children and no one has shot a missile in centuries. We learned from idiocy. That is the only connection we have to them," he continues. Washington turns off  Lincoln's computer and pats him on the head. "Let's go see what your mom has made for dinner."


Thanks for reading...Z

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

What's in Front of You

My last blog was stupid and I don't like it.

I do things spontaneously. I feel a certain way for a moment and if that moment is strong enough I write it down. I had a lot of strong moments that moved my fingers across the board for the last bit. It wasn't untrue. It was how I was feeling and how I have been feeling, but it wasn't the image I wanted to portray.

So here are some things I need to get out about those feelings.

1. I feel really angry, and when I'm angry I try to blame anyone that isn't the person that is to blame. I had just spent the day with Will's kids and every single moment hurt me. I got angry that they will end up being more like anyone around them than Will. Because he quit. I love him and will always take his side, but he quit on them and it makes me angry. I'll speak to him about it in heaven.

2. It upsets me that I feel like God let me know this was going to happen and it did. It makes me feel more responsible for their lives. I didn't help them. In many ways I hurt them.

3. Regardless of what the actual word of God says, I guess I still felt privileged and except from loss. Some people have to learn the hard way. I am that person. When God promises heartbreak, He means it. It doesn't make Him less beautiful.

4. I am to blame for any and all hard feelings. I wrote things about being God being unfair, but it isn't true. Life isn't fair. God never promised anything different. God promised tears until the day we would be perfected. I think He gets pretty mad about it too.

5. If you mix certain feelings with certain songs, you create a monster of sadness. Sometimes your ghosts become powerful. You may not think of them much, but when you smell something or hear something ancient, you awaken to the most vivid emotions. Many times, I become overwhelmed by certain moments and it doesn't reflect what is really going on beyond that moment.

So what really is going on?

I'm living my life.

Nothing has changed. My wife and children bring all of the light into my life. I just returned from a visit with my brother Andy which made me smile for 8 days straight. I've lost much, but I'm making new friends and I really like them. I'm not lighting rockets, but I am placing fuses. I work hard and I like my job. I'm doing things I have always liked to do. I'm playing music and writing, I'm thinking a lot, which is good. Thought produces better results than emotion.

I am happy with who I am. That's enough for now. I believe in my God and will continue to. I'm going try to pray more and see things without bias or pride. I'm going to start from 0. It will be as if I have never known anything. I want to be a blank canvas.

I am starting over.


Thanks for reading...Z

Monday, July 13, 2015

The Leftovers

     Which is worse; losing the guys you grew up with, or losing the God that has been with you all along? Anger and negativity mutes the colors of everything around you. Things seem darker than they appear because that's the only way you know how to see them anymore. I've never been a person to hold least not up until 5 years ago. I could forgive so easily. This isn't the case anymore. I find myself writing people off before they ever get a chance to prove my pretentious mind wrong. It's a pretty sad state to be in. It isn't what I should be. I am nowhere near who I should be. I've been given so much and yet I cannot shake this resentment and anger. I have been given every reason to believe that God exists and loves me dearly. I know the facts of the matter. I know what He did and what my friends did. I know that God grieves with me, both for them and for me. But I cannot divorce myself from the feelings that God simply isn't fair and doesn't appear to have ever been.

     I'll explain the best I can and please understand that I know I'm not at all rational in this. I know the counter arguments for all of my queries into who God is. I know about Job and I know I haven't lost even a fraction what he did. Yet, I still feel anger, and I can't conquer it. I don't think it's fair to give a broken and destitute kid all of these beautiful people, then rip them away violently one by one. It leaves that kid an even more destitute man. I don't think it's fair to take both sons from a mother and father that have always worked so hard to be good parents. I don't think it's fair that 7 children have lost their fathers and don't even have an adequate answer as to why they were left behind. I don't think it's fair that the world will forget about two people that saved my life. Or that the world will forget about anyone. It isn't fair that we are so insignificant. We don't feel that way, so why does it have to be?

     It isn't fair that I have always believed I would lose half of who I am. I told my wife and I told my brothers that I felt something terrible coming a decade ago. I felt it as a kid. I always felt this dread of the future and hopelessness. I felt like nothing good could last. I know this isn't true as I look at my family, but I also can't help but be angry because two very significant people aren't in the car with me rehashing old stories and visiting stomping grounds. They aren't doing anything on earth at all and that pisses me off.

     I feel like in some ways I am starting my entire past over. It simply isn't fair to give a person all of these great memories of being a teenager, then take away the very people you wish to share them with. I drive past places that great things happened and I want to call Will. I want to call Joe. I want to laugh about these crazy memories, but I can't. So these memories bring me sadness. They are like a thousand little ghosts that haunt everywhere we had been...the very places I still reside. It's just not fair.

    I know I am whining. This is the paragraph I dedicate to reality. God is good. God doesn't kill, sin does. Evil took my brothers, and mental illness. I have the most beautiful life. I still look at my wife the same as the day I met complete love. I am breathing and my heart still beats. I am very much alive and happy to be. God doesn't cause terror. God is all knowing and powerful, but He doesn't deal in mind control. We aren't perfect and He doesn't force us to be. This is the very thing that attracts me to Him in the first place. I am not perfect and He loves me. How can I blame Him for not preventing mistakes from people I love. God never promised me or anyone safety. In fact, God promised persecution and sorrow.

      I don't write much like this anymore. I would rather mask these things into short stories. But I read something I said here years ago and it was a promise to never lie to you or myself. I wanted my life to be transparent. I have been anything but transparent lately. I have been hiding everything. This isn't who I want to be. I want to be the guy that has no secrets and the guy that people want to be around because of his honesty. So here it is. I am broken. I am confused. I am angry. I am sad. I am lonely. I want to feel the warmth of God again.


Thanks for reading...Z

Friday, June 26, 2015

The Great Escape

     "I NEED OUT NOW! I have an appointment," he shouts as he bangs on the door with his fist one last time. He hears nothing in return from the halls. He slides his back down the large white door that separates him from the silence in the hallway. He traces his finger over the outline of his name on his facility issued pants. He mouths the words as his fingers sweep across: "Graeme," he says under his breath. It's been a really long time since he has considered himself an individual, he considers. He punches the door one last time in defiance behind his head and hears only the echo of his wailing.

     Graeme was sent to the Beacon Institute two summers ago when he drove his car off of a ferry headed from New Jersey to New York. He had always feared tunnels and bridges, so the ferry was his commute to and from work. This day in his history, he felt "somewhat strange" waking up. He got on the ferry to Jersey, sat on the 67th floor of the financial building, and ate a cheese sandwich he had purchased from the truck out front. He typed feverishly into his computer. He had this strange habit of faking suicide threats on unrelated internet forums and chat threads.

     "I think I'm ready to go through with it," he said on a video game review thread of the latest Call of Arms installment. He continues, "I'm going to jump off the top of this building. No words are going to make me chicken out this time." Later after lunch, he posts onto the social media page representing the cereal maker advertising a "Blend of happiness, with a touch of fire." He writes, "This blade feels hot under my chin, I think about the Joker and his permanent grin."

     He left work and headed for the ferry at 4:00 PM sharp. By 4:47 PM, he was rocking back and forth from the waves dancing with the boat underneath his car. He didn't know why he did it, but he turned the key and pushed the peddle, smashing through two railings and into the water. He left his car and swam for shore. Police were waiting when he finally arrived.

     Lying under Graeme's bed are the skeletal remains of rats and various bugs he has trapped in his cell and eaten over the course of the last 15 days, give or take. He is tired of being neglected and has made his decision to break out. He stands and moves to his bed frame and begins tearing it to pieces. He takes and uses the pieces as pry bars for the door, but never budging the door a bit. He begins beating the door with an aluminum bar that formerly served as a leg of his bed. He beats the door until his hands bleed, continuing to shout curses at the silence that lurks on the other side. No reply.

    After a few hours of work, he gives up his anger and motivation and drops the aluminum onto the ground. The metal makes a sound that produces an echo from the outside of the door. "Emptiness leaves echoes," Graeme thinks. He takes a look at his hand as it reaches for the doorknob slowly. He takes hold and feels how very cold it is from his side of the door...the loud side. He pivots his wrist and to his surprise, the knob turns and the door creaks open. He shakes his head and chuckles once, then shakes his head again.

     Graeme Clay steps out into the hallway and attempts to look around. The lights appear to be out. He walks left to the door that opens up the block to the mess hall. It should be locked, but it isn't. The lights are out in the mess hall as well. He finds his way to the office suites, then to the visitors waiting room...all doors that should have been locked. He reaches the back visitor entrance to the building. There is no guard, no receptionist, and no visitors. He pushed the little iron bar in and the door swings open and gets caught by the wind which blasts it open too quickly and gets away from him. He squints as the sun beams through the door. He has wanted to see the sun for the better part of two weeks, but for now, he wishes it were dark so he could see.

     After several moments of adjustment, wondering why it was so windy and imagining stepping back into his old life, he takes his first step into the sun. He sees no one around. There is a parking lot full of vehicles, semi-trucks, and people standing all around very still. He hadn't seen or heard anyone in the building, but then again, it was too dark to see much of anything. Graeme walks over to a woman who is holding her son's hand while walking toward the visitor entrance. Neither of them are moving and she is off balance, but not falling over. He looks her into her eyes, which look dead to him. "Ma'am? Hello?" He waves his hand in front of her face and then in front of her son's. There is no response from either. He walks a hundred feet and repeats his greeting to the man who appears to be painting new lines on the parking lot. He isn't moving either. No response at all.

     "What is this?," he asks himself. Then as if he were awakened by the sound of someone saying his own name, Graeme thinks, "Emptiness leaves echoes." The sky immediately changes from one color pattern to another and he quickly realized that it is him that is controlling the changes. He looks at the tree in front of him and bends it down from the top with his mind, then releases it, sending a truckload of apples into the sky. They go straight up and do not return to the earth. Graeme laughs and begins running at a pace faster than sound. As he runs, letters starts falling from the sky to the ground and bouncing in front of him. He sees the name of his mother and father drop, then his own name. He stops suddenly. Something feels different inside of him. The sky clears of all color, then the ground. Everything turns an eggshell white in front of him. This was a feeling he had never before had in his life. This was freedom.

     At this very moment, in another dimension, a man with a large white beard sitting in a creaky wooden chair, drops his hands to his side and keels forward, bouncing his head off of a type writer. His chest neither rises nor falls. The rhythm in his chest goes silent, and all of the characters in his head are freed.



Thanks for reading...Z

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The Last One Left- Part 2

...Control connected
...recon systems online

"Houston? You there? Over,"  says Captain Joseph.


Joe- "Houston? Anyone? Over."


Joe- "I just woke up from hypersleep Houston. I'm a little confused, over."

Joe- "Systems are good, but they tell me it's 2185? Is this true? Over."


Joe- "OK. I accept that. I'm a really old man in a really young body. I'd love to know what ha- ha-. I'd like to know what happened to my family. Over."

Joe- "Where is William, my brother? What happened to Andy? Where are my kids? I'm alone up here. Everyone I tried to wake continues to sleep. They aren't breathing."


Joe- "Any news from Captain Steadway?" "He was scheduled to come home 50 years before I was to wake up."


Joe- "I need to know he is awake and safe. We went to college together...we shared a dorm. I wanted so badly to be in his place so I could see my kids as grown-ups. Live or die, I will never see my kids again. I held my daughter once when she was very young. I let her little wet lips touch mine. She tried to swallow me. I guess that's what babies do. Her little fingers were wrapped so tight around my index finger. I knew when I signed up that I would never see her again. This was the plan. I never wanted to be a father...but when my skin touched hers, she seemed to look so deeply inside of me. All of the sudden I wanted everything she was. It was too late to turn back. Steadway was supposed to come home in 50 years and I would follow in 100. Captain Brian will follow in 150. She has to be gone.


Joe- "Houston, tell me I've just woken up early and she is still alive. I've looked on the video messages feed and she is absent. Did she grow up hating me or did the world end before she could respond? The last few nights I have had bad dreams. I think I'm awake, but my thoughts travel. My eyes close and re-open to fear and panic. I want to go home. I'm sorry I left in the first place. When I was a kid I had surgery on a gland. The doctor told me I would wake up and get to see my mom. That stuck inside of me. I woke up several hours early and ended up trashing the place looking for my mom. I hope to God that this is what is happening. Why are the rest still sleeping?"


Joe- "They're dead. I tried to wake them. I checked the computers and logs. They were all wake for a few years. They couldn't figure out what went wrong with my sleep pod. They tried to come home, but no one answered their beacons. They spoke to static as I do now. They starved to death."

Joe- "I wonder why they didn't use my food supply? Why would they let me be fed in a lost cause on a lost corpse? I don't think I'll ever know. I guess I'll die as they did. Alone. I guess they all felt alone too. It's hard not to when you are in a ship lightyears from the very spot you were born. I'm not upset really. I'm just sad that I didn't choose to live. By choosing this ship, I was committing suicide in a way. I left a little girl."


Joe- "I was the last to go to sleep. They all just went like it meant nothing. All singles without kids. I acted like I was going in, but I didn't press that button. I sat there for several days and watched the stars fly by. I thought of her and dreaded pressing the button. I wanted to see her, but I knew it was too late. If I pressed that button, I wouldn't awake until she was dead. The thought of her in school with the smell of pencil sharpenings and the image of her in a wedding dress without me haunted me. This ship wouldn't land on earth until her grandkids were my age. It made me so profoundly sad that I wanted to kill myself. Instead, I pressed the button and went to sleep. It felt like actually dying this falling asleep. It really was the same thing as suicide."


Joe- "I'm gonna press a button again. This one charts a course back to earth. I know it's been longer than expected. I am at least 100 years older than expected, but I have to go home to die. Houston, I don't believe anymore that you are a place, but if your and there are people there, tell my great-grandkids I'm coming home."


...chart course



Thanks for reading...Z