Author Adam

White Collar Terrorism

The manual was right. It only took Vince eight days to build his helicopter. He had ordered it online, a build it yourself: two-person helicopter. Each piece of the chopper was shipped to him with its own serial number and instructions on putting it together with the other pieces. Eight days is all it took for him to finish his project, now he had to learn how to fly it.

Vince put so much passion into, but couldn’t tell anyone. It was his secret, his plan. He couldn’t share anything or they would all be accessories. So he learned to hover and fly the chopper on his father’s land not far from the city. He had chosen to build it in an open field. No one would be able to see it or even know about it because the neighbors lived miles away.

He learned how to fly the chopper in and out of the trees with precision. He would steadily hover inches above the ground. It was very difficult for anyone to learn to fly a helicopter but the hardest part was hovering. Luckily, Vince had ordered the right one.

After seeing this incredible helicopter advertised on his favorite show on, The History Channel, he decided to do some research. He found that he could get a small two-person helicopter for only four thousand dollars. The helicopter comes with all the pieces, two videos and a manual. It advertised that anyone who purchases it is guaranteed to build it and fly it within twelve days. Vince finished in ten.

With three months of planning, with stolen credit cards and fraudulent Post Office Boxes he had managed to get a helicopter, an AK-47 with enough ammo to take out a small army and of course the essentials for his plan. Such as a duffle bag and a complete makeover mask and body suit.

The suit and mask, Vince believed, were the best part of the plan. Our culture looks down on African-Americans and only sees crime. Such a stereotype can be taken advantage of. So he bought a full body suit, which he ordered from one of the major movie production companies. It made him look like an average African-American male at 6’4. Vince was only 5’10.
Through months of planning, building and acquiring, Vince was ready for the operation.

The sun was already up when he awoke. He cooked his usual Sunnyside up eggs and flipped them onto his hot sourdough bread, which was already covered in organic Swiss cheese. He was smiling the whole time. Then he made himself a stiff Crown (the legendary import) and Sprite to let things settle.

After a quick shower he put on the clothes he had set out for himself the night before. Besides the dishes in the sink, his cosmetics, and his dirty clothes from the day before, he was alone in the apartment. Nothing remained. Vince had sold all of his belongings on Ebay. He made enough money to purchase his black Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor.

Vince laughed to himself. I have a stolen car, a cop car, a helicopter and a shit load of gear……… And I did it EBAY!!!! He cleaned out the apartment and got into his car. The long drive out to his father’s property gave him a chance to become more confident. He knew that today he was going to have to be assertive and make sure things were done his way. He could visualize everything happening and knew that this was it.

He pulled up to the property and had to unlock the gate, drive through, and then lock it up again. Then about a mile into the property he came to the field. His helicopter was parked right in the middle of the field glimmering in its magnificence. He pulled his Police interceptor up between the ten-gallon drum of gasoline and the chopper.

It took a lot of work to get the drum into the passenger’s seat, but nothing could faze him. The barrel shook back and forth as the gas swished from side to side. Vince loaded the equipment into the helicopter, making sure he put his baby right next to him. He had gotten the white AK-47 through illegal sales at a gun show. Purchased without using names or any form of information, just a fat role of hundreds and a smile.

He started the helicopter up and took off. Quickly he flew around the same trees he had practiced flying through for weeks. This time the helicopter was much heavier, but it was easier, more steady. He reached Columbia, the capital of South Carolina, faster then he had planned. The helicopter’s speed and the fact that he was traveling in a straight line had made the trip much shorter.

Vince knew that no one would even notice the small helicopter once he started flying over the residential areas of Columbia. Looking down, he could see all the cars and people around mingling between each other. None of them could ever think of my plan. Too easy, but now I’m a criminal. In whose eyes? The government? They are criminals in mine. I’m a whistle blower, I’m a patriot. Who are they to judge me?

He caught himself rubbing his baby while he flew over downtown. He could only see the taller buildings blocking the view from his destination. Quickly he flew over the main streets and then finally he could see it, only a few blocks away. He put on his mask, and wrapped the neckpiece around the bottom of the mask. He looked into the mirror next to him, and smiled. Then he pulled a black wool facemask over his African-American head mask. Now I look like a criminal.

He flew right above the Bank of America, and landed on top of the first floor drive-through roof. He grabbed his empty duffle bag, and his loaded baby and opened the chopper door. He jumped out to face his reflection in the tinted window that was a wall for the second floor bank. He could see in detail his overweight look of a 6’4 male, with facemask on, hiding all of his identity. With the butt of the AK he smashed the window in. People were already lying on the floor as he stepped over the shattered glass.

“Nobody fucking move or I’ll kill all of you.” He said in a very commanding voice. “YOU, PUT ALL THE MONEY IN THE DUFFLE BAG! BOTH DRAWERES FULL!” He threw the duffle bag at the teller to the left. Then he ran over and locked both doors. As he ran back to the first teller he saw that she was throwing in all the money from the bottom drawer. Once she was finished he yelled, “GIVE IT TO ME!”
He sprayed out three shots at her left breast and watched her fall to the ground. He never killed anyone, but he knew she wasn’t dead. Vince then threw the duffle bag at the second teller and yelled “Put all the money in the bag, faster than her, or you’ll die too.”

He then turned his back towards the tellers and stepped over a few people to the man laying face to the floor with his hands over his head. The manager with all his training would know exactly how to lie during a bank robbery. Too bad I know what a pussy he is. “Stand up!” Vince said as he kicked the man in the ribs.

The man stood up. His tie and clothes disheveled, from him lying on the floor. “Lets go, or I’ll kill you. Think about how your wife and daughters will feel about that.” Vince said. The man’s face turned white as they walked towards the safe. Vince stopped as he reached the outside of the vault. He reached in his pocket and pulled out a steel cylinder. “Open the right one. Give me the goods or you’ll die,” Vince said as he threw the cylinder into the vault. “Close the vault on yourself, and say goodbye to your family.”

Then Vince ran back over to the tellers. The second teller was throwing in all the cash from the second drawer. “STOP. GIVE HIM THE BAG!” Vince yelled pointing at the last teller closest to the door. The middle teller handed him the bag. “YOU! Fill the bag up quickly or I’ll kill your friend and everyone in here!”

There was a lot of moaning and whining from the people lying on the floor. Vince looked through the front windows and could see no police and no one staring. Cars were driving by like normal, but they would be there soon. He looked down on his watch, six minutes since he landed. That’s too much time.

“Stop. That’s enough. Give me the bag. Give me the fucking bag NOW!” He grabbed the duffle bag, which was much heavier now and ran towards the vault. The manager had opened up three or four of the different safe boxes and was staring at Vince. “Put it in here now!” Vince demanded. The manager put all of the Gold coins, necklaces and jewelry into the duffle bag.

Once he was finished, Vince shot him in the stomach. He then turned around and sprayed bullets all over the bank. As soon as he thought he shot everyone, he ran over to the helicopter and jumped in, throwing the duffle bag over to the floor of the passenger’s seat. He shut the door as he heard the sirens screaming their way closer to him. He pulled up on the throttle and the helicopter took off. He flew south again this time to a car garage he knew very well. It only took thirty seconds to reach it. No police or any other helicopters in the sky, almost there.

He landed the copper on the top of the building and started throwing his gear out. He jumped out and reached in to tie a rope around the throttle. He pulled the rope behind the pilot’s seat and around the back of it. Taking several steps back while feeding the rope so there wasn’t any slack but made sure he didn’t pull hard enough to pull the throttle. When he thought he was a safe distance away, he pulled hard at the rope and the helicopter pulled right off of the ground. It pulled back at a twenty degree angle and continued to go higher and higher. Vince let go of the rope and grabbed all of his stuff and ran to the roof door.

He ran down the steps as the helicopter crashed into the building next to the garage. He felt heat from the fire, through gaps in the walls of the garage. He ran over to the stolen mini-van and opened the side door. He threw the duffle bag in and jumped in after it.

They must have done something to catch me, they are trained. This is the federal government’s money I know they want it back. Vince unzipped the duffle bag and poured its contents out all over the middle of the van. He then reached for the other duffle bag he had in the back seat. As fast as he could, he pulled his thumb over each stack of cash to make sure that it was real. Then he threw them into the other duffle bag. After finding seven separate piles of cash that were impossible to run his thumb over, he was finished. He dropped the fake money into the original duffle bag and threw it out of the van.

Time to ride. Vince started the van up and pulled out of the parking spot. He drove down the seven stories and finally out of the main exit. He pulled out in front of a fire truck on its way to the huge fire burning the building next to the garage. Smoothly, he pulled the minivan over to let the fire truck drive by. The sirens were almost deafening but it didn’t stop Vince from laughing to himself.

He drove the mini-van to the interstate and then took the long drive back to his father’s property. So this is it. The end of all of this shit. I’m out of this fucking country for good. He had planned on laundering the money through banks, so he could get some clean federal bills out of it all. He had set up major accounts with three nationally accredited banks. All he had to do was get away with it.

Vince took off his full suit and mask, and cleaned himself up a little before putting on his suit and tie. Now I look like a businessman. He threw the remainder of his gear and belongings in a small fire he started in the field, except for the duffle bag. From the trunk he pulled out a black leather briefcase. He opened the duffle bag and poured all of the cash into the trunk.

He pulled off each of the paper wraps that were Vinceed hundred, and carefully stacked each bill on top of each other. Making sure none of the bills were made of plastic so he couldn’t be traced. Bundle after bundle, he undid them all until he reached one of the many twenty dollar bundles. When he pulled off the paper wrap that kept them together, the bills didn’t come apart. The middle was stuck together. He pulled hard at it, to reveal that the middle of the bundle was actually a space where a microchip was hidden.

He quickly put the bundle aside, and continued looking through all of them. After he had gone through every single bill he had, he closed the suitcase and put the bundle in his pocket. He got in his car, and drove away as quickly as he could. He could hear helicopters in the distance, and began to drive even faster. He got out of the property and pushed the pedal to the metal. As soon as he got to the I-95 on-ramp, he threw the bundle out of his driver-side window. It soared over the barrier on the left side of the bridge, and landed on the south bound lane.

Fourteen hours of driving and he finally made it to the Empire State. He spent the night in a hotel right on Lake Ontario. He knew that he didn’t have much time. CNN Headline News was showing the clip of the robbery every 12 minutes. They were looking for him. Time was the only thing he didn’t have now, and he had to make it across the border to freedom.

The morning came, and Vince could feel the cold dry air coming off of the windows in his hotel room. Fuck its cold. He took a quick shower and put on his business attire. Then he walked over to the office where he had his continental breakfast.

“Bank Robber shot all the victims inside with an automatic weapon traced back to a gun show held in Tampa, Florida. He used only rubber bullets, injuring all inside the bank. No one died during the heist, and witnesses say that he flew the homemade helicopter off of the roof and crashed not far from the bank. The FBI had given no more information on the body or bodies.” The TV blared as he ate his bagel with cream cheese. He watched and listened as they rolled a new clip of the heist from another angle. It showed him locking the doors and grabbing the manager.

They can’t catch me, I planned this. Don’t they know who I am? Vince finished his coffee and walked out to his car. He only drove about a mile to the nearest Bank of America. As he walked in he saw a free teller who was welcoming him with her eyes and smile.

“Hi. How can I help you?” she asked.

“Well,” he said while noticing her nametag. “Diane, I’d like to deposit some money. A lot actually. I’ve been holding onto this cash in my casino for about a month, and I never got a chance to stop by.”

“Well let’s take that off of your hands.”

“Perfect, but here is the thing. I need to deposit it into my wife’s account, and then I’d like to close that account and move the money to mine. My name is on my wife’s account,” he said showing her an Identification card.

“Alright Mr. Paulson, we can do that for you.”

“You can call me Henry, I don’t like Mr. Paulson. It makes me feel old,” he said while laughing.

Diane took care of the transaction without looking twice at the account. She finished up and handed him a receipt. Four hundred eighty-three thousand seven hundred and nine dollars. It’s not over yet.
Vince left the bank, and walked out to his car. When he got in he pulled out a business card that he had gotten from inside the bank. He picked up his cell phone and dialed the number.

“This is Rita at Bank of America how can I help you?” said the woman on the other line.

“Yes Rita, I’d like to wire some money into my account at my other bank, but it’s in another country and I’m so new to this wiring thing that I don’t know what happens.”

“Well sir, why don’t we start with the basics. I’ll need your Social, your account number at Bank of America and the account number and name at the other bank.”

Vince quickly flipped open the center console and pulled out a small index card with all the information needed to make this simple transaction. He told her all she needed to know, with an innocent tone and she was more than willing to help. All of that customer service training really helped her out.

“Ok, Mr. Johnson we have wired your entire account to Scotia Bank. Is there anything else I can do for you today?” she asked.

“No thank you Rita. Bye bye.”

Vince clicked the phone shut and drove back to the interstate. As soon as he got to the border he was ready to be searched. He had all of the right paper work, to get back in as smoothly as he needed to.

“Welcome back Mr. Barnookie. Did you enjoy your stay in the states?”

“I’m just happy to be home, the people are crazy,” Vince replied with a hefty Canadian chuckle. “Hey do you happen to know what the best way to Montreal is?”

“Sure just take 15 all the way. I-85 turns into 15 right here.” He said pointing down the road.

Vince thanked the man and drove on. It took less then an hour to get to Montreal and he knew exactly what he was looking for. As he was driving downtown he passed many streets unknown to him, but he finally hit ‘Rue Rue’. I can’t understand these damn Canucks. As he drove down the French road, he saw the huge sign that said American Bowling. He pulled up to the parking lot and got out. No one else was parked in the enormous lot. He walked inside and was greeted by a person behind the counter.

“Yeah I’m looking for a man named Tino Oliverey,” Vince said with a strong Italian accent.

“One moment,” the kid behind the desk said. He picked up the phone and mumbled something. “He’s in that office, he’ll see you now.”

“Thanks,” Vince said as he walked down the small hallway to a dark wooden door. Vince opened the door. Inside the lavishly decorated room was a man standing with his hands wide open. “Vince. I missed ya so much. Where ya bin? Huh? It’s been years,” The man said.

“Tino, I know. Things in the states have been stressful enough. I had to leave, you understand?” Vince replied.

“Actually Vince, I don’t understand. I thought I told you that staying in the states was the way to go.”

“You did, but you were wrong. Shit just isn’t working out for me there and I had to leave. Besides your more free here with the free health care and decriminalized government.”

“Vince that doesn’t mean anything if you’re not living the life you dreamed of. Look around. You see anyone in here?”

“Well you fucking named it American Bowling. Who likes Americans other then you?”

“Everyone loves America. Home of the Brave…. If momma knew that you were fucking up your life, you think she’d be happy. You think she wants you coming up here to work with your brother at a bowling ally?”

“Hey Tino. You watch it. I didn’t come up here to fucking work for you in this piece of shit. I came here to buy it from you.”

“You watch your mouth. I worked hard on this place. And fuck you.”

“Hey man, I’m just trying to make it work out between us. I know your strapped for cash and nothing is working out right for you. So I got a lot of ideas and I think I can clean this place up a little, plus I’ll give you some money to live off and you can still work here.”

“That’s enough. Get the fuck out! I won’t have my little brother drive up here from the states, tell me he’s got money now when he’s been getting checks from the army on disability and best of all he’s gonna take over my business. Get the fuck out of my office and my life.”

“No way. I came here for a reason. Give me the rights to the ally and I’ll give you twenty ‘K’ Canadian.”

“What? Where the fuck you come up with all that money?”

“I’ve been working hard down there and saving my money. I’m serious Tino. I want this more than anything. And I got the money to do it all.”

“Are you sure this is what you want to do Vince?”

“Yeah Tino. I’m so sure this is what I want. I know you didn’t have the choice to stay in the states or leave, but I want to leave. I want this. Please.”

“Alright Vince. Welcome home my little Oliverey. Its good to see you again.”

LISD

The tiny square paper sat on my tongue. Its structure became soggy, forcing me to chew and swallow it. To think that a piece of paper the size of a button on a cell phone could change the way things are and will be is completely mind-boggling. Maybe now I can explore the self from deep inside the conscious.
The couch I was sitting on, its fabric rough and uncomfortable to the skin, was ruining my buzz. I chugged my beer, and decided that I should call it a night. I already drank before and after work. Why keep drinking? I thought hard to myself, I must have a problem. So what is it that I can do to make me a stronger human being?

The bass of the enormous subs in the house sucked me back to reality. This party was something I shouldn’t be at. Unfamiliar faces walking around, some staring but, some drinking and laughing.

“Not even Frank the Tank could bank this stank! This right here is the Dank!” offered a short African-American man. “Or is life to slow? Try some of this here blow.”

“Nah man I prefer not the weed or the speed.” I replied. I chose to come clean, tonight, I don’t need to pollute my nose or lungs. In fact I don’t ever need to do something like that. What could I profit from feeling good from an outside force? If not happy within one’s self, then one would not be happy at all.

“You snooze you loose, just drink some more booze.” The man said, after seeing my empty red Dixie cup.

“I don’t think I’ll drink another ounce, in fact I just might bounce.” I said to him.
“Don’t clown, with that frown. Ride then, I won’t make a fuss. Just remember you’ve missed the bus.”
He was right. The bus had left this castle on the mountain. It would return though, probably after the 5-0. I got up from the couch, and walked through the many people crowding the path to the door. This party must come to an end for me, the Fairbanks festivities must have started getting underway. Maybe I can go watch that and reflect on my life under the midnight sun.

I can feel something now, abnormal. I started to laugh. My life is very funny. Soon I couldn’t breathe. The laughter was non-stop. I put my hands on my knees and tears flowed from my eyes. That guy in the party, the people, the festival…. everything just so funny. Wait. I was staring at the floor now, and I could see in detail the intricate lines of designs on the floor. I blinked and they were gone. I kept staring and slowly they formed again, moving around. Shapes and forms I’ve never seen before. Amazing. I took a couple deep breaths.
I had only walked for, I can’t remember. I really have no idea. I looked at my left wrist to check the time. Wow, the hairs are dancing. My happy, happy arm. I could hear a vibrant noise. Like a plane flying in and out of a valley, but amplified, in my head. Then it was silent. Then it continued up and down, music of the plane coming in and out of my head. Where is this coming from? I started to laugh some more. Crazy. I looked to my left, or what I thought could be left and could see the trees dancing on either side of the road.
I turned around, trying to see this plane enter my head and exit. The noise now really loud, coming from right in front of me. Through all the colors and the dancing trees and confusing thoughts and sounds, I caught a glimpse of the honking Volvo. Its front bumper hit me in my kneecaps. Then my face slammed through the windshield. Up and over my body flipped over, but my neck held in place by the clamps of glass holding my head in the windshield. My neck snapped and night came.

Lestat

Humid air flowed into his old dried lungs. His eyes opened to the dark, of the dank coffin. ‘Is there any shame in being happy?’ he awoke thinking. Back to life he was, or back to the life of a damned. He pushed open the damp black lid covering his weak body. Too many years he had laid, longer then any sleep he had ever had before, since his birth in the beginning.

Pure is his blood from the old world, before history, even before man, as we know it. He has lived for years, centuries even millennia, but nothing in his life could have prepared him for what happened some nights long ago in a place called Nazareth.

In that city called Nazareth, Lestat was drinking the blood of an elderly woman. She had gone blind from the plague, but Lestat, who was immune to every disease, cured the women. Before she was done drinking he was caught, which was almost impossible. They through a net over him, and over ten men, led by a Roman leader, grabbed him and dragged him out into the court yard, where they nailed his hands to a board and then hung him in front of the town to see. The Romans believed he was some kind of creature from one of the evil pagan Gods.

He hung in front of the town for days until he drew to week to stay awake. They took him down, after a day of no consciousness and checked to see if his heart beat. His cold palmy skin startled them, and then they realized that he had no heart beat. They declared the beast dead, put him in a coffin, and placed him in a grave with a large stone over it. One night fell, then day past and then night drew near again.

Lestat was the host of few vampires, but one was the elderly woman he cured from blindness. She came out that night along with the few others who owed their freedom to Lestat, and pushed the rock off of his jail of a coffin. They opened it and saw that he was restored to full strength from the rest he had gotten. Long had it been since he slept more then a full day. He felt renewed, but then reality struck in for Lestat, and he realized he couldn’t live there any more, so he fled. He left the land, and took towards the moon. Above the puffy white clouds he flew swiftly to the east.

He grew tired of riding the wind high above any streets, and decided to stop when he could taste the salt in the air. He flew down to a small port on the large body of water. The sun was setting, after a full day of flying he was exhausted to the point of blacking out into unconsciousness. As he came in and out of a dream like reality, he saw a huge black gate that marked the entrance to an old cemetery. The gates had dark green vines of ivy growing on them, and it was very difficult to see through. Lestat however could smell death, a cold weak hint of aroma seeping through the 6 feet of soil covering wooden boxes, with rotting corpses of the mortal. He leapt completely over the black fence, and landed gently on the other side. To his surprise most graves were above ground, meaning easy access to a goodnights sleep for him.

He swiftly glided to the tallest of graves, and ripped open the coffin, drawing out a strong odor of decaying flesh. New was this woman, to this old land of dead. Her scull still had hair, but her face was caved in. She surprised Lestat to the point of gasping. She had taken quite a blow to her head, enough force to smash half of the bones in her face. Lestat, pulled her limp body from the black coffin laid her down on the far side of the room. He rose up off the floor in a smooth motion, and came back down, horizontally into the casket. He reached up and slid the lid over him, and then darkness came.

It seemed like time had passed for too long, but a couple thoughts still lingered in Lestat’s mind. He had pondered about many things that night in the salty black coffin. A question that rang through his head, since the beginning of his time, ‘Is there any shame in happiness?’ he had asked himself for the trillionth time. ‘How can there be any? Happiness is the key to life, correct? I who have lived for so long should know. Unhappiness is the end of life. Living is not just eating, breathing and having a heartbeat. The end of my life, in a literal sense, will never come. I stop living, however, when I become unhappy. So is there any shame in being happy? Can I be happy, and kill? Can I take the blood from innocent and guilty and drink to life? How can things as such be shameful?’ Lestat wrestled these mind-boggling questions alone, in his restful state in that salty black coffin.

When rejuvenated, he pushed the lid over and glided out of the coffin onto the cold cement floor. He opened the door to the bright sun beaming down on him. His long black silky hair shimmered as the wind twisted around his body. ‘The sun and all its warmth,’ he thought, ‘its rays only warm a cold soul such as mine.’
Hunger set in, and he realized it had been days since his last taste of a mortal. He glided swiftly over the graves and flew right over the ivy-covered gate. Quickly he soared through the trees, away from the smell of the dead, into a small village. The salty taste of sea creatures and that of mortals filled the air, and he felt somewhat relieved. He entered a small cottage not far from the water. Its smell intrigued Lestat to no end, and he had to find what could produce such a fragrance. He opened the door, and glided in to see two woman drinking wine and having a small bite to eat.

They stood up quickly at his entrance, surprised but then welcome to his handsome face. Lestat gently wooed them with his thoughts, and his precise words. “Your beauty is breath-taking and I’ve dreamt of a day I’d see you.” He said gently. Both women believed in their hearts that he had been talking only to her, and forgot about the other. His words so powerful and overtaking that each of them walked towards him with their hands out for his kiss. Within seconds they were both laying on the floor drained of life and blood. The last mortal blood he would drink in over 2 millennia.

He left from that land, long ago and flew to a small island, uninhabited by any mortal. Long had he traveled and very weary he became. Days he flew over the dark salty water, endless it seemed, but to a fantastic reward. He lived off the sea creatures, and the small animals on the island. He learned the answers to all his questions on his own through self-exploration and reflection. His only unanswered question remained whether there was shame in happiness or not.
He built a home on the island with his power and bare hands. A coffin made of thin wood, he had gathered from surrounding trees. Tired he was from the traveling and the empty feeling of eating that of animals and sea creatures. He slept that night. That was a very long time ago, and now he has awakened.
He stood now, for the first time and looked up at the sun. It was much larger now then he had ever seen it. He could see no clouds in the sky, but he could feel the humidity of a rainstorm. He stepped out and glided down the small incline to the shore. The beach had eroded, and the water level was much higher then he had remembered it. He took a deep breath and could taste something alien in the air. Toxic was its taste and its smell even worse. He felt saturated in its potent aroma, and was curious to see what world he lived in now. Laughing at that idea, he realized that he isn’t alive in a mortal sense.

He flew over the warm choppy waters, and could see more sea creatures then he could remember. One in particular caught his eye, he stared down at it through the ripples of water and rays of light streaming through the surface. The sea creature, was a large black figure with two, rather then one fin and its eyes were penetrating Lestat’s brown eyes. The two of them stared at each other for a little while, Lestat was wondering ‘what had happened to such a sea beast? What could make such a change in all the creatures of the sea?’

Pondering this question and hovering over the surface of the water, he didn’t realize the beast shot under him, and straight up. As soon as it broke the surface however, Lestat was behind it, with his unmatched speed he wrapped his hands around the torso of the beast and sunk his deep fangs into its body. Blood oozed quickly into his mouth, as they began to drop towards the water. The beast was to great for Lestat to keep above water, he followed it under. Drinking and looking through the haze of salt water, he saw a dark shadow coming quickly at him. Much larger was this beast then he had ever seen, he immediately let go of the sea beast and shot straight through the surface of the water, watching the massive black body come, and with an open mouth swallow the smaller sea beast whole.

‘Enough’ he thought, ‘I must leave now to see what the world has done, or what has done this to the world.’ He flew quickly, up and away into the sky. High above the salty body of water he flew, towards the source of that potent toxic taste. Soon he could see massive mountains, yet they were rectangular, and there were many standing next to each other, on the water.

‘What has happened to this world while I’ve rested? What could have done this?’ he asked himself. Closer he got to the mountains, he could see that there were so many, almost infinite, some higher then others but most of them too tall to see over. He flew quickly now to the top of one of the higher mountains, so no one could see him. Swiftly he had made it to the top. He looked out from the top and could see huge birds with no wings flying between each mountain. He could see they were flying in and out of the valleys below.

A door opened behind him, and a man stepped outside. “Freeze! Don’t move” the man said. He reached for something on his chest that made a noise, but it was too late for him. Lestat shot behind him and then wrapped his hand around his forehead and snapped his neck. The man went limp and fell onto the hard completely flat mountaintop.

‘Answers will be found soon……….As for this door.’ He thought. He glided over to the door the man came through. He saw there was no door handle, but a black reflective box in the center of the door. As he stepped up, he heard a woman’s voice come from the door.
“Place your iris at the sensor for conformation,” the woman’s voice ordered.

“What is an iris.” He asked. The woman did not respond. He asked again louder this time with a powerful voice, “What is an iris?” The voice still did not respond. He grew impatient. Lestat, deep in thought and control of emotions, realized there was no getting passed this door the normal way, ‘because what was normal?’ he thought. He reached back his right arm, with his old world garment still perfectly intact covering his upper torso. He then punched the door with more power then it could handle. The door bent in and collapsed feet from the where it had been.

He looked down at his fist, all the bones out of place. Never had he hit something so hard. As he carefully studied the detail of his skin, the bones began to move back into place, and soon enough his hand was back to normal. He stepped through the door and could see that there were only stairs going down, so down he went. Spiraling around a gap in the center of this mountain. Soon there were many doors on the side of the mountain. He stepped up to the second one he saw, and the door slid straight up, welcoming him to enter.

To his amazement, the place was packed with people. Most of the people were sitting around small tables here and there, and some were sitting at a long wooden table, that was right at the edge of the room, overlooking the large body of salty water. He saw a seat open over by a table with no legs. He sat down between two men. They didn’t even notice him sit down next to them. Each man looked somewhat different then the mortals he was used to. Neither man had any facial hair, and their necks seemed, somewhat longer. Their fingers were even longer, and their heads seemed larger if anything. Before he noticed anything else, a voice came from in front of him.

“Can I get you something to drink Dracula?” The man asked, laughing.
“Who is Dracula?” Lestat asked confused on how a man could just guess his name without asking.
“Never mind, it’s just the way your dressing man, its funny. You look like your some kind of, I don’t know old school vampire,” the man said, laughing some more. “Fuck it, you want a drink or not man?”
“Very well. I would like a glass of red wine.” Lestat answered. The man on the other side of the table smiled and walked away. He came back with a bottle of red wine, and poured a glass. The wine poured carefully into a cup, but the cup was clear. Lestat stared at it. Confused at how could something hold wine like that. He could see the wine, but it didn’t pour everywhere.
He knew that the world had changed, but he didn’t think that the wine would change with it. He knew that he had to find answers soon. ‘There were many ways of getting information’ he thought. ‘Ask and you will get an answer, bite and you will receive the knowledge, or bite and get a companion, then understand.’
“What is your name, young man?” Lestat asked the man on the other side of the table. The man looked at Lestat, surprised at his question, but nevertheless he answered, “Adam Sonenshine.”
“Well, Adam what are you doing here in this mountain?” Lestat asked curiously.
“Hahahah, I never thought of the Chicago building as a mountain. I guess it is. Well, I’m a bartender here, during the day and I am a DJ at night at a local club.” He responded. “What is your name?” he asked.
“My name is Lestat Dark,” he answered. The man smiled as he nodded and then walked off to serve another person. ‘Well, I now can have a companion, Adam. This extremely happy mortal will finally answer the questions. I wonder if he believes there is any shame in happiness. I’ll have to ask him, when he returns,’ Lestat thought to himself.

“Goodnight everyone,” Adam said from the edge of the table and he turned to walk towards the door, and stepped off of the higher-level floor he was on behind the table. Adam was a very short man compared to the rest, but he was also much happier then all the others in the bar. He kept walking past all the people in the bar, and right past Lestat. As he approached the door it slid straight up and he exited. Lestat swiftly blew past everyone faster then any of them could see, and he too exited the room. He came to a stop right in front of Adam, and stared into his eyes.

Adam shocked to see that Lestat was in front of him, hesitated. Fear filled his blue eyes for he had never seen Lestat leave or even walk past him. By the time Adam finished his thought, Lestat was already draining the blood from his neck. Slowly Adam was emptied of his mortal blood, and he lost strength to hold himself up. This was the first feast of mortal blood Lestat had tasted since the women in the small cottage. Its flavor and essence hadn’t changed at all. In fact it was sweeter then he could remember, rejuvenating Lestat to full power again. After Lestat had drained almost every drop of mortal blood from Adam he let his grip go, and watched him fall to the floor.

Lestat then rolled up the sleeve of his garment and cut the flesh of his arm with his fangs. Blood oozed out of the hole and drops started falling onto the floor. He bent down to Adam with his arm out and blood still coming out of the hole in it.

“Drink Adam and join me in world of eternity,” Lestat said, as he pushed the hole close to Adam’s mouth. Adam pulled up his weak hands gripped Lestat’s arm. He then put his lips to the bleeding hole on Lestat’s wrist. At first he let the blood touch his tongue and drip down his throat, then slowly he began to suck. Soon he was siphoning the blood from Lestat through his mouth deep into his soul.

Lestat ripped his arm free of Adam’s grip and stepped back to watch the end of Adam’s mortal life. Adam looked at Lestat in surprise, but then soon blacked out and fell back onto the floor. His body shaking violently in fits of death, overcoming his body. The shaking continued; and his arms spasm in pain as he shook on the floor of the stairs. His body stopped shaking, and he lay still, dead. Lestat watched carefully now, for it was long since he had a companion, even longer since he had brought someone over to the dark.

Adam’s body sat up quickly without any effort, his eyes now deep blue and his skin paler. “Welcome to the life of the damned. Free of sickness and death for eternity. Now you and I will travel the world, to find the answers to….” Lestat hesitated. He thought for a second and realized he knew what happened to the world. He absorbed the knowledge from Adam. This was no mountain he was in, it was a large building, time had passed by much further then he thought. Now technology ruled, not people, nor vampires. There were no kings, but a democracy of free people.

‘Vampires’, he thought, ‘How is that possible? They are different, I can feel them now that I know they are here in the new world.’
“Let us go Adam, we will find these vampires you know of,” said Lestat.
“Not until dark do they come up from the underworld. We should go to the bank where they gather for their feasts. The sunlight is too powerful for them, master.” Adam said.
“These creatures are no vampires then. What do you mean by feast Adam?” Lestat asked, but he already knew the answer. ‘A feast,’ he thought, ‘Yes a feast, unlike anything the old world could dream of. The mortals donate their own blood to a bank, called Red Cross. Then the vampires come from the underground, and drink the blood of the mortals, cold and empty of memories.’ Lestat pictured them coming up from their homes in the deep earth. Their hair short and white, and there pink eyes piercing the dark for any mortal life. Their skin pale and white, so sensitive to any light they would burn away.
‘What has happened to this world? Why have the vampires turned into beasts? Are there none left from my pure bloodline, who can fly or stay in the sun?’ He thought to himself, but he couldn’t find these answers in Adam’s memory.

“Time for you to use your new wings,” Lestat said to Adam. They quickly flew up the stairs to the door, and then out of the building. As soon as they flew out of the door, the two shot right, and over all of the enormous buildings that made up East Side Manhattan. Faster they went, their dark figures two quick for any human eye to catch. Over the river and into Brooklyn, they soared. Soon enough, Lestat could smell the blood. Its sweet metallic taste lingered in the air over one of the many streets in busy Brooklyn, NY.

The two of them came swiftly down in an ally between two old brick buildings. The sun was setting but it wasn’t dark enough for anything to happen yet. They had enough time to walk around. A man about Adam’s size was sitting on the corner of the alley and the street. Lestat could feel his presence. He was, a very grumpy man. Unable to function in the New World, with no money or family or any type of support he sat there. Day after day asking for pity. ‘How could this be?’ Lestat thought. ‘Why are there mortals begging? They have such lifespan, better live it up rather then sit on your ass, and ask others to help you out.’

As Lestat and Adam walked closer, they noticed a man sitting side by side to the other man on the corner of the alley. The two were identically the same size. The one on the left that couldn’t be seen before is now in a sneezing fit, shaking his head violently. He kept jerking his head forward, as huge wads of saliva shot from his mouth and a liquid came from his nose as well.

‘These two men could do nothing more, but benefit from the eternal freedom from the mortal world. Never to be sick or die again, never ask for money from other mortals on the side of an alley, he most likely slept in. Not yet though.’ Lestat contemplated. ‘Adam and I will free these mortals from their disturbing lives when we are finished seeing these new world vampires.’

Lestat and Adam walked down the busy street to the Red Cross building where four mortals walked around inside checking everything. One by one they stepped out of the large square building. All the men wore white jump suits and black shoes, and almost all looked like brothers because of their heights and widths so similar, especially in the jumpsuits. The only difference was their facial complexes were built differently. The first man came out and began to yawn. As he waited impatiently while the next one came out. He also looked tired, but his eyes were more worn then his body, for he was still crying as he walked through the doorway of the building.

Lestat and Adam now went to the entrance but were stopped by the third man leaving. “I’m, uh, sorry folks, but, uh mm, we’re closed now.” Said the man. He didn’t look or sound very bright, and his eyes didn’t seem like they could focus on anything.
“That’s too bad, we came to donate the finest of blood to your bank. We’ll just have to come back tomorrow.” Lestat said to the man.
“Well that’s not possible.” A voice interrupted from behind the one still standing in the door. “Tomorrow is Easter, and I’d hope you have some family of friends to go to for that day. I’ll tell you what, come back on Monday, and ask for Doc, and we’ll just fit you right in.” said the man.
“Alright, we’ll do just that.” Lestat said. They turned and walked from the door together. The sun was now completely hidden behind the skyscrapers, and it seemed to make things much darker on this part of the street. As Lestat and Adam, neared the street corner to the alley, they turned back to see the two men lock the door, and run. They ran very awkward, their legs to small to make long strides. They continued running through a bunch of cars, and then through the alley across from the building.

“Now is our chance,” Lestat said gesturing with his hand to move back to the bank, and enter. It was deathly silent on the street, and nothing could be heard for at least mile. Making the sound of the glass shattering all over the street ten times louder then it should have. Lestat and Adam made there way through the doorway now of the bank and proceeded to the rear. They could feel the ice-cold air on there feet as they walked near an entrance through the floor. Its doors bolted shut, but from the inside.

There was a distinct humming noise coming from the coolers behind them. Lestat glided over to one and pulled it open. A heavy fog poured out of it, exposing huge fluorescent lights above. Through the white cold cloud of mist, Lestat could see thousands of plastic bags with blood in them. He reached out and touched one of the extremely cold jelly like bags. He looked carefully at its sticker on the front that said it belonged to a Mrs. White, Snow serial number 187666.

A sudden flicker above him, and then it went dark. The cooler’s fluorescent lights just shut off. All the lights shut off in the entire building. Laughing could be heard not far from them. The laughter continued getting louder and closer to the entrance. Ringing in the ears of Lestat and Adam who were now standing completely still, frozen in time.

The laughter stopped. Lestat and Adam stood next to the entrance awaiting the arrival of the unknown. “Who are you?” came a high-pitched voice from behind them. Standing next to the cooler was a man wearing a large dark cape and holding a sickle. “This is the end for you Lestat,” Said death. With one sweeping motion he sliced the head off of Lestat.

Darkness came. Humid air flowed into his old dried lungs. His eyes opened in the dark, moist coffin. Back to life he was, or back to the life of a damned. He pushed open the damp black lid covering his weak body. A horrible dream, during the longest sleep he had ever had in his entire existence, since his birth in the beginning.

Stairway to Heaven

Dante sits on the stairs watching the sun climb the steps. The warmth of the rays brings blood back to his cold feet. Looking through the windows of the stairwell, he can see the world move around him. Time blurs by hour by hour. He watches the trees sway, and the people sing on their cell phones. Their words blur with the wind.

A couple outside, drinking coffee at the local Starbucks catches his attention through an older window. The window must be a couple years old, not broken but fogged with years of changes. It brings a feeling to Dante. The nervous yet comfortable mixture of emotions he was torn with on their first date. She came into his life years ago and he brought her to a Starbucks. Immediately they became friends and had been ever since.

Another couple walks by the two sitting at Starbucks. Laughing and talking as they skip along the road so happy together. Dante remembers how happy he was when he was with her. Nothing could break his joy. He remembers smiling, all the time, even when it rained. Everyday was the greatest day of his life.
Looking down through another window, clearer now, he can see a man on the phone, smiling as he sits under willow tree. The man is unaffected by the karma of the weeping wooden body blocking the sun from his skin. He laughed and listened intently to the voice on the other end.

Dante could hear her voice in his ears. Her gentle soothing voice explaining the day in her most graceful summary of events. A nurturer, Dante thought, that must be her gift in life. She brings this comfort with her words and atmosphere, unmatched by anyone.

He could remember their long conversations about life and choices they made. Or his thoughts on consequences with his future actions. He learned what faith and love were. Dante could talk to her about anything, at anytime, and his love for her only grew. Even the short conversations could bring a smile to his face. Even after he would get off the phone with her, he would laugh to himself, thinking about how much he cared about her.

Regret filled the emptiness that was once full of hope a long time ago. He never used the ‘L’ word with her because they were just friends. It would have made things too awkward, he thought. Memories of him lying in bed alone, thinking about her, flowed into his conscious. The unmistakable feeling of his chest swelling, the knot in his throat and the idea of him telling her how he felt took over. I can’t. Besides she already knows, right? Oh, I miss her so much already.

He quickly regained composure and let his eyes travel to another window. A new window, probably just replaced within the past year or so. He can see the crisp air blow around two people kissing. The cold breeze not even aware of them embracing as their lips touch.

A flashback of her and her sweet soft lips took over Dante’s sight. Her dark shimmering hair so gentle in his hands. Her unforgettable kiss and her compatibility with the movements of her tongue. He could kiss her forever. Some nights, Dante would just lie there holding her. He didn’t even need to sleep. It was the greatest feeling he had ever had.

A horn honked and Dante hears it loud and clear. It brings him back to his uncomfortable viewing spot in the small stairwell.. He sees a man wave goodbye to a woman as she drives away in her car.

A fierce cold blows over Dante’s body. He knew this feeling too well. The melancholy emptiness that sucks all the joy left in his life away. He cries with his hands covering his face. The tears billow out, pouring into his hands. His heart aches for her.

She left Dante’s life and her own on a beautiful day, just like the one he sees through the window. Dante was a broken man for such a long time. Nothing could ever fill that void of unlimited sadness that seemed to expand even farther into the center of his heart. If only I could hold her again. The pain was unbearable. His whole body became a cold, crushed heart.

He sits on those steps of remorse, remembering all of her and her sweetness. Even her fragrance engulfs his olfactory. So real she smells. A soft familiar kiss surprises Dante while he sits. Her hair grazes his cheek as he turns to face her silhouette. Her beauty unaltered by time. Dante could feel his heart beat again.
“Come on Dante. I’ve been waiting for you,” she says to him.

“I’ve missed you so much Mary Jane,” he whispers as he stands up. He takes her hand and looks deep into her eyes. Nothing I have ever seen in my life has ever been this beautiful. He closed his eyes and put his lips out. She reached up, and gently let them touch. This must be heaven.

Freedom

The morning sun beamed through the stained glass windows on to Daniel’s unshaven face. His dark brown eyes appeared from under his tired eyelids. He knew this would be the last morning that he would have to deal with his father’s shit.

“Danny get down here, its past sunrise, and the chickens ain’t been fedded yet!” came a deep angry voice from downstairs. Daniel stood up and stretched his long arms. He reached them high up and felt the overpowering sense of dizziness come over him. He caught himself on the edge of the uncomfortably sandy bed. ‘Stood up too fast’ he thought to himself, and took a couple deep breaths before going downstairs to begin the morning work.

‘Every morning’, he thought, ‘I has to get up and feed the chickens and milk the cows and do all this shit, just to barely sleep and sleep alone at that’. “Every morning” he muttered to himself. ‘Not any more’, he thought to himself as he opened the door to a very crisp Ohio breeze. He stepped outside in his usual flannel shirt and dungarees, but today was a little different. For today he saw riders in the east coming over the plains and heading straight for his house. He wasn’t startled at this sight, because he knew exactly who it was, and he was ready for them.

He took off his flannel shirt and waved it over his head as the riders came with in a clear view of the house. Daniel then ran back the chicken coop and retrieved his musket and carefully slipped back into the house. His father was sitting at the breakfast table having eggs and his usual cup of whiskey. He met his father between the eyes with a deafening shot that rang through the bottom floor of the house.

Daniel stood there staring at the blood drip down from his father’s head onto his stained shirt. For as long as he could remember Daniel had waited for this moment. To take the life of the person who took his mother’s. For years he has held in this anger, this powerful rage for his drunken abusive father. Well no longer would he wait. It wasn’t as he had expected, he stared for a while realizing that he had just taken someone’s life.

Memories from childhood of his mother and his father, enjoying the beauty of the their land while Daniel ran around in the grass flashed in front of him. His father getting drunk and coming home and beating his mother to death and visions of the beatings he took as a kid from this man. He flashed back to reality and he stood there with the rifle hanging down to the floor in his right hand.

Daniel turned around at the creak of the floor to see his four friends standing behind him with their hats in their hands. “You really killed your paw, this isn’t what we were gonna do Danny,” said one of the taller boys.

“Yeah well this is what I had to do. He killed momma and he beat me too many times. Now he ain’t nothin’ but a dead man and we got everything we’ll need here in this here house,” said Daniel.

Daniel looked at each of his friends, on the left was Jensen Young. A very good friend of his since he could remember, and someone he had trusted for a long time. Jensen stood taller then the rest and he had deep blue eyes that seemed to draw you into them. His hair blonde from the sun and his skin tan and dark, but not like an Indian, as most would expect if his hair were dark. He walked with more confidence then everyone else except for Theodore Raskin.
Teddy, as his friends called him, was a short stocky boy who might have been the strongest out of the friends. He had been working with his father in the lumber industry pulling wood up and onto all the different machines. He might not have been the handsomest of the bunch, but he sure was the meanest. His strength alone could beat a man but his pure hatred for all but his good friends could destroy an army.

Adam Miller, a quite reserved young man stood, with his hat in his hand. He had never witnessed a murder before, and couldn’t believe he was seeing his best friends father dead. Adam wasn’t going to join the group in their journey, but he had been so close to his friends that he co

uldn’t let them leave without him. Adam was more of the brains of the group but he didn’t have the courage to do half the things the others could do.
Kelly Cedar, the worst of the group, stood by Daniel’s side. He would never leave Daniel and would be willing to give his life for him. With that out of the way, Kelly would kill any man, in cold blood if he dare look at him wrong. Kelly was the craziest of the bunch and enjoyed to booze out and fight all the time.

This was the group of five, standing in the kitchen looking at a dead man they all grew up and feared. This they had believed was the end of their childhood and the beginning of their future. No more small Ohio town, with hard labor for ungrateful drunken fathers. No more hard times without any money. They had their horses, and they had their guns.

“Grab the guns from paws room, and I’ll grab some money from his hiding spot. Then we’ll burn the darn house the ground and ride on to Oregon Country!” Said Daniel.

“Yahooo!” said Kelly, “We’re finally leaving this hell hole for the gold. Yeahaw!” And they all started cheering. The young men ran quickly through the house, grabbing things they thought they would need for such a journey.

Finally after rummaging through the house and grabbing the chickens for the ride, the five of them stood in front of the house, as they saw the first of their flames catch the window and its curtains. The smoke began to billow through the second story windows, and the fire began shooting out of the doors and windows of the first floor. As they stood and watched the house burn and smoke, they all realized how important this action was. They knew the smoke would be seen by the neighbors who only lived a mile east of the property.

They packed everything they took from the house and put it on the horses and departed from their old homeland, never to return. Swiftly they rode past the final gate that marked the Whitmore property and rode on down the road. Laughing yet riding swiftly into a gallop they left the small Ohio town of Dayton.
They rode on farther then they had ever been from Dayton in their entire lives. The wind blowing hard at them from the north, their faces eager with the excitement of what the future held for them. The sun beating down on them, sweat beading up on their faces could only be tasted as a bittersweet freedom from the shackles of home. Long had they wondered what it would be like to leave Dayton and roam free wherever they chose. Do whatever they’d like and drink whatever they want.

They kept riding only to take a small break to let the horses drink from a small stream running through the plains. The rolling grass fields, and the strong winds persisted for miles on miles. It seemed the day would never end but Daniel could ask for nothing more then to live this day forever. It seemed to him that he had been cured from the agony of living with his father. The stress of the same old job, doing the same shit everyday. “If only my mom could see me now,” he thought to himself.

Hours it seemed later, the sun was setting in front of them. They followed the sun on that road until it disappeared on the other side of the plains. They decided to stop and make a fire. Kelly and Adam went out to find wood and the other three tied the horses to a couple trees only feet from their campsite. As Daniel pulled off some of the equipment off his horse, he realized that the two chickens he brought with him were dead. The chickens had suffocated in the tight knit bag. Leaving them with only bread and some water from the river. Jensen noticed and looked down to the floor, he realized what a mistake his friend had made by stuffing them into the bag.

“Damn it, well it looks like chicken tonight boys.” Daniel said pulling his knife from the sheath. He laid one of the chickens down on a rock and penetrated the chicken above the breast, and dragged it down to its pelvis. Then he cut the head off and pulled from the seeping gash he had made on the chicken. He peeled its outer-feathered skin from the muscles and laid it out on the rock. Blood oozed quickly from main veins on the neck of the chicken. Theodore realized this unorthodox way of skinning a chicken. So grabbed the other one and proceeded to skin it the proper way.
By the time he was finished, Adam and Kelly were back with bundles of dried dead wood that was pre-chopped. It was perfect for a fire, but it had been chopped long ago.

“Where did you knick all that wood from boys?” asked Jensen.

“There’s a deserted old fort over that away and we just went on up and took us this here wood. Didn’t think no one would mind, seeing that no one was home.” Snickered Kelly.

“Abandoned fort, must have left it a couple years ago by the way it looks, probably to head farther west to the border to guard Illinois from the territory.” Said Adam.

Daniel roasted the chickens over the fire while the young men sat around the fire discussing their future. They all had different dreams of Oregon Country, and how they would strike some Gold and start up their own stores in the cities out there. Some talked about opening a bar with women who worked in a brothel. They all agreed, however, that they were happy they were out of Dayton and would never go back.

Kelly pulled from his horse a large glass bottle. It looked as if filled with lots of water, almost to the top. It was corked by cowhide jammed into the opening on the top by a small broken limb of a pine tree that was still lodged into the bottle. As soon as he pulled the stick from the top, the cowhide followed, along with the overwhelming aroma of moonshine. Its smell alone intoxicated the 5 of them sitting in a circle. “Be careful now ladies, drop any into this here fire, or we’ll have a big ol’ flame come straight up out a hell,” he said laughing.

The rest of the guys sat in uneasiness for a little bit, while Kelly poured the moonshine into some glasses he took from the Whitmore house before they left. As he poured it, they could all see the thick syrupy liquid pour from the bottle. Its penetrating odor still ringing strong in all of their faces. Kelly handed each of them a cup and stood up holding his high in the sky.

“To freedom” he said.

“To freedom,” they all repeated after him. Then as a group they tipped back the glasses into their mouths. The liquid poured into their mouths, immediately stinging their lips and tongue. Its fiery essence burned down each of their throats. One by one they coughed and lost some sense of reality for a few seconds.
“Hot damn that’s some good shit!” screamed Kelly, pouring himself another. Daniel looked around at the other faces, all laughing at Kelly, who was standing up sipping his second cup of this poison that had engulfed all of his senses.

‘So this is it’ he thought, ‘days of riding hard west to a place we’ve never been or seen, just dreamed of. Nights of drinking and resting from our long rides, but nothing seems to change.’ Daniel poured himself another drink. Looking at the stars he thought to himself a little more, ‘Nothing has changed. The same guys I’ve spent my whole life with are right next to me. I wake up every morning still, just to ride all day. Sure that fuck is dead, but I’m not, and I’m alone here. These boys don’t know what they’re doing here. They are just following a dream that I told them about. Shit, we’d all probably be still in Dayton if it wasn’t for me telling them I wanted to leave.’

‘Maybe its best that we left anyway, I mean look at our lives there, I bet it’s best being here…. I mean there, or wherever. Shit, just any place but home.’ Daniel realized he had called Dayton home. The word rang in his head. ‘Home, where was home, with that fuck of a father? With these 5 guys working all day? Was it in Dayton? Where was home, or where is it?’ The thought set in hard for him. Feeling the effects of the word, but not realizing that he had finished his 3 glass of moonshine.

He sat up and looked around at his friends. Everyone was passed out already. Lying on the floor, drooling and shaking once in a while. Daniel put his glass down on root, and it tipped over and clinked as it hit the hard dirt floor. He realized what he had done, and reached down to pick it up.

A sharp pain shot right down his left arm, as soon as he felt it he reached for his shoulder. A large wooden arrow stuck right into his arm. He screamed, loud and panicked from the pain and surprise of an arrow in his arm. His friends all stood up quickly but too fast, for they were all extremely intoxicated from the drink.

Daniel tried to stand up. Unable to move his left arm to support himself he fell over. As sat back up, horror struck him deep inside, as he saw a longhaired man with his face painted black come flying into the light. In the man’s hand a large knife cut right into Kelly’s jugular. Another man came up and stabbed Adam in the back. Daniel watched both young men fall to the floor.

Daniel got to his feet and sprinted towards his horse. The two Indians didn’t see him disappear. One of them was busy cutting the scalp off of Adam, while the other was wrestling with Theodore. Teddy put up a good fight, tossing and turning with the Indian. They fumbled around near the fire, forcing the other Indian to stop cutting off Adam’s scalp and come to help his friend. He wiped the blood off on his thigh and ran over to the two brawling. As he came up to them he pulled his arm high above his, holding the sharp knife that had killed Kelly, and had been used to remove part of Adam’s scalp. The blade shimmered a reflection of the fire.

A shot rang out, deafening the two on the floor. The knife dropped from the Indians hands, as he fell forwards over the two fighting. Teddy and the Indian let go of each other and rolled over onto their backs to see where the shot came from. There sat Daniel on his horse holding his rifle in his hand pointed at the Indian. “Don’t fuckin move you damn injun!” he yelled. Teddy stood up quickly. “Go get your gun, Teddy, quick!” Daniel barked, with terror ringing in his voice.

Teddy couldn’t understand why he needed to go get his gun. He ran over quickly to his horse, and unstrapped his long musket. He checked it to make sure it was still loaded with gunpowder, and he poured some muzzle balls into it. He then ran over to Daniel looking at him in terror. He saw now that Daniel’s left arm was covered in blood, and a long thick arrow was sticking in it.

“Shoot him, quick” Daniel said. Teddy hesitated for a second; he had never killed a man before. He looked at the Indian, over the tip of his barrel. His finger embraced the trigger, and his eyes focused on the chest of the Indian. The Indian laughed, he could see the fear in Teddy’s eyes.

“Teddy!” Daniel screamed so loud, it shocked teddy, and he squeezed the trigger. The Indian dropped his head to the floor and lay there motionless. Blood oozed between the openings of his garment. The two of them stared in total disbelief. ‘What has just happened?’ Daniel thought. ‘What the fuck just happened?’ Tears ran down from his face. He looked around at his friends. Their bodies strewn on the ground, Adam’s scalp hanging off part of his head.
Kelly with his face in a puddle of his own blood. Behind him Jensen with the one Indians knife still lodged far up under his chin. His mouth stapled to his head by the extremely sharp knife. Teddy wouldn’t have lived, if it hadn’t been for the knife getting stuck in Jensen’s head, for the knife belonged to the Indian that wrestled him.

Daniel and Teddy stared in awe at the massacre of dead bodies. The fire crackled loudly in the silence, and then an arrow shot straight over the fire, into Teddy’s chest. A very audible wheeze came from his mouth. Teddy dropped to the floor on his knees, coughing up blood, while clutching the arrow that penetrated his lungs.

He collapsed head first onto the floor, pushing the arrow even farther into his body, until it was protruding from his backside. Daniel watched in amazement. He then realized what had just happened. He kicked hard on the horse, only to see five Indians in front of him with tomahawks drawn. He turned his horse hard, and faced the fire, where he could see more men. He spun the horse around to face even more men. He was now surrounded.

The Indians ran up hollering in high-pitched screams as they knocked Daniel off his horse, and beat him to death with their tomahawks. The Indians stole the horses, guns, and supplies. They left the five scalpless boys naked lying face down. Finally, Daniel was free.

Dreaming

It started to rain on that friday afternoon. Robert slept in his full size bed, dreaming of a better place. His clock/radio alarm went off at exactly 8pm, but he couldn’t hear the nasily voice of howard stern through the sounds of the rain. He awoke a little after 10:23, and jumped out of bed in fear. He put on his gear and drove his old Ford ranger to the mill.

Robert worked the third shift, 7 days a week. He arrived 30 minutes after his shift began. This was the second time he showed up late that week. His supervisor Vince, scorned him for awhile. Yelling about everything he could possibly think of, and using metaphors that didn’t make sense, to mask his anger at his marriage and life as a supervisor at the mill.

After his shift, Robert cleaned up and drove to the University. He had a final that Saturday morning at 8am. He stepped into the auditorium and looked at all the young sleepy faces. Most had been up all night cramming for the test on adderall. They looked cracked out, and delirious.

Robert was 41. Divorced and a father. He felt no pity for those 20 year old punks, who didn’t give a shit about the class. They had no passion for anything. They showed up to classes when they wanted to, most of the time hung over. They didn’t have a job, or bills. Mom and Dad took care of everything, while they drank and partied all semester long.

He sat down and thought about his daughter, and his tramp X wife. He thought about his bills, and loan payments. His pension plan, and his health insurance. He was getting old, and hoped that this final would end the blue collar work. He hoped he could finish this type of lifestyle, by getting a degree and getting a job he could be passionate at. He could sleep at night, and relax once in a while. He didn’t have to kill himself any more.

4 weeks later, he got the interview he’d been dreaming about. He shaved, and put on his Sunday best. This interview could be the beginning of a whole new life. He hopped into his Ranger and drove downtown to the clinic. When he arrived he saw a bunch of the kids from class. They greeted him with the head nod or eye contact, but it just made things awkward for Robert.

The interview processes only took about 9 minutes. Each candidate was called up, they stepped into the office, and came out just a few minutes later. Some smiling, some looking down at the ground. Robert was one of the last names called. He stood up and walked into the office. He shook hands with the Doctor behind the desk and sat down. The Doctor reviewed his resume, and credentials, and asked him, “Did you graduate with most of these kids?”

Robert was caught off gaurd. “Yeah…. I mean, yes sir. I was in classes with a lot of them.”

The Doctor replied, “Did any of them shine in class? Make an impact on your perspective?”

Robert thought about it for a few seconds, and decided to answer with his heart. “Actually, none of them shined. Half of them weren’t prepared, and a few barely showed up for class. Especially Edwards. He came in stoned half the time, and fell asleep during the lectures.”

The Doctor was smiling for most of Roberts answer, but immidiatly turned serious. “Edwards? John Edwards?”

Robert, “Yep, why did you interview him?”

The Doctor responded, “Thats my son….. I think I’ve seen enough today. Thanks Mr… a Mr…… That will be all.”

Robert was stunned. He got up and walked out of the office, and back to his truck. When he got in, he sat there stairing into the mirror at himself. What the fuck just happened? He sat in the truck for half an hour, reflecting on all that happened. Fuck it, I’m gonna get a beer. Robert drove to the local pub down the street. It was pretty empty, except for the usuals sitting in front of the poker machines. He sat down and ordered a pint of the dark draft, and looked around. There was a couple sitting a few stools down making out, and beside them was Eddie, the town drunk.

Real winners, Robert thought. Fuck it. He chugged down his draft and drove home. He was sick of all the bullshit, and sick of the fucking people he had to deal with. So he rolled himself a nice joint and climbed up to his roof. He lit it and took a few puffs before he started to pray. He asked for forgiveness, guidence and strength, and continued to puff down his spliff. He felt better already.

“Hey what are you doing up there Robert?” asked his neighbor.

“Um, just hanging out. What are you doing?” he replied.

“Whatever, I can smell that from down the block.”

“Smell what?”

“Robert… are you gonna share or what?”

Robert laughed and told her how to climb up the window ledges to reach the roof. He helped her get up, and they found a spot near the chimney.

“I didn’t know you smoked,” Robert said.

“I didn’t know you did either.”She replied, as she hit it a few times. She passed the spliff back to Robert and coughed a few times. They laughed, and sat stairing down off the ledge. Slowly bobbing back and forth in a trance.

She snapped out of it and asked, “Hey have you heard the news? Iran announced its first production of the nuclear bomb. They showed it at a press conference in a masque. Leaders from China, Russia and France were all there.”

“Thats crazy. I don’t like that one bit.”

“I mean what could you do? Your just another guy.”

“Thanks, I didn’t know you were so cold.”

“Oh, I didn’t mean it that way, sorry.”

“I know… I am just some guy.”

“Well thats cool, I’m just some girl.”

They smiled with there eyes half opened, burning from dry air, and the metal halide street light.

Well come on, I got some good grub and a little more grass.

They crawlled back into Roberts house through the second floor window. Robert helped her into the house, and jumped in after her. He shut the window, and closed the blinds on a dark shadow sweeping over head. They walked down stairs, and went straight to the kitchen.

“Waffles?”

“Definitly.”

“Strawberrys with whip cream?”

Jessica stood in awe. It was like she won the lottery. “Oh yes, please.”

He prepared the feast with Smuckers Strawberry Preserves, Egos, and some whip cream. Robert poured syrup all over the counter, in a foggy stumble. The two ate standing up in the kitchen, right where Robert prepared it. They laughed at each other’s syrup stains making weird shapes on the front of their tshirts.

“Hey do you want to watch Grandma’s Boy?” Robert mumbled with whip cream in his mouth. He swallowed and finished his sentence, “Its from the guys who made Billy Madison and Happy Gilmore.

“And Mr. Deeds, and Little Nicky?”

“Yeah thats them. But this movie is way weirder. Crazy shit.”

“Yeah lets do it.”

He turned on the TV, to hear the deafining tone of the alert message. He started to lower it, when it went silent. He looked at Jessica. Both stunned by the sound and colors.

“This is not a test. Take refuge. The United States has been attacked. Our communications system has been crippled, all over the country. We are unable to receive any signal at this time. Please stay tuned. An announcement from President Howard should be broadcasted with in the hour.”

Static.

Robert rolled over, and felt him self slip. He grabbed the shingles and stopped from rolling off the roof. Alone. He looked down at his watch. 5:41pm.