The Black Dwarf

Alex sighed.  Next to him laid the mental patient.  A sort of unusual man, though dreadfully primitive, indulged in the night’s dreams.  They came as flashes on the screen.  He spumed from the mouth, reminding Alex of a rabid dog.

That’s how the job went, an ever-growing sea of degenerates, the mad, the vain, the incompetent.  A seasoned vet, Alex handled them all with the care only his MD could provide, a degree of sanity.

In a strange way, Alex felt bad for these people.  They were the victims of their own frail minds, trying to navigate the world through invalid eyes.  What curiosities could they share?

Most of the people Alex waited on were malformed in cliches.  They dreamed of boogeymen and monsters.  Of course, these came by the course of their own design and demise.  They could not face their sleeping fears, trapped in a cycle of pathetic minds, handling all life so horribly.

Coming out of his thoughts, Alex observed as Mr. Barron slept and snored. Alex turned on the machine.  The screen flickered yet again, and then turned into a demonic scene.  Mr. Barron’s heartrate increased, he began to sweat and made strange noises with his mouth.

This certainly isn’t a blue dream, Alex thought.  Blue dreams were the goal, to keep people sane and on peaceful quests, not dragged down by the demons of the frail mind.  The devil tried to guile them, but he could be defeated.

The monster came out of a grave named “Lucy.”  Alex scanned Mr. Barron’s mind for the lead to the reference.  Soon, it popped up as his aunt.  He saw a figure of a woman rise from Mr. Barron’s mind, saw the childhood torture he’d been through.

A set of characteristics Lucy had alarmed Alex.  A tall, slender woman appeared. She had a switch in her hand.

“Now I told you, Barry, you aren’t to eat dessert until after dinner!” The voice yelled at Mr. Barron, and he tensed up.  The dream, of course, had changed due to Alex’s interference.

How petty these people are, Alex thought, crying about events that had happened years before, never growing up to accept reality.  Infantile wimps.

Lucy changed to another form.  This time, the summer zephyr caressed Mr. Barron.  He let out a breath, seeing the beautiful garden around him.  Pink roses blushed, green grass reached towards the heavens, and a weed stuck out.

I’ll fix that, Mr. Barron thought, going to the edge of Alex’s screen.

Mr. Barron went to the plant and pulled it up.

“BARRY!” Lucy yelled with her hair pulled back into a tight bun.  The salted blonde hair stuck out at him, making her take a supernatural appearance.  A tear ran down his face as she neared.  Her long dress shifted back and forth with her movement.

Alex rolled his eyes.  Another childhood memory that meant nothing and yet managed to still haunt Mr. Barron at thirty.

For a minute, Alex observed Mr. Barron.  He had a weak mind and a quick smile.  His long, blonde hair, now peppered to a washy brown and grey, sprayed out of a pony tail.  As a child, he’d wanted long hair, but apparently, as Alex saw, his aunt Lucy wouldn’t allow him to, wouldn’t allow him to do anything. She had such power over him.

Grow up, Alex thought.

Lucy began to walk quickly towards Mr. Barren.  His blood pressure and heartrate increased.

That could be a bad sign, Alex observed.  If Alex caused one more person to have a heart-attack, he could be pulled from the program.  He’d recently gotten his girlfriend, future wife, pregnant and needed the money for the child.  Babies like Mr. Barren were his only source of income.

Alex tuned the dream, making it light and happy.

I’ll give you a few good thoughts, you piece of shit, Alex thought.

Mr. Barren splashed in the river. He delighted in the memory, pushing his body further and further into river.  The current remained nice and steady.  He made his way to a hole above his head.  He looked at the fronds and fish.  They swam here and there, flitting to safety when Mr. Barren got too close.

He put out a hand and then grabbed the limb of a tree.  It steadied him, kept Mr. Barren from floating down the river like the dry leaves, the ones the sun had given too much attention to.

Alex flipped the screen, annoyed by the boring side visions.  Then again, that was what the boss wanted, nice and sweet dreams, not Lucy.

Here we go: The monster of Lucy chased Mr. Barren.  Once again, his heartrate and blood pressure hit the sky.  Mr. Barren cried out for help.  Rough skin, claws and teeth threatened his being.  He pushed against the wind, but the monster kept coming, yelling and screaming words from so long ago.

I’m coming, Alex thought.  He began to cut the connections in Mr. Barren’s brain.

One, two, three, four…. Alex counted.  He pulled the ray out and Mr. Barren passed out to a blank screen.  He’d need a few hours to recover, Alex figured.  They all did this.

A dark voice began speaking to Alex through the dream, however.

“What?” Alex hit the restart button, refreshing the machine.  Damn piece of junk.

“You will not get rid of me so easily,” the voice said.  Alex hit restart once again in vain.  The screen showed a shadow.  It developed from a small, black orb.

“I am the One Who Cannot Be Killed,” the demonic being said.

Sure, whatever, Alex began to cut more connections in Mr. Barren’s brain.  While he’d never had anything like this happen before, Alex’s mind knew the possibilities were endless with the infirm.

“I am the One Who Cannot Be Killed,” the voice repeated.  It chuckled.

“What are you?” Alex asked, perplexed.  This night had gotten interesting.   Alex wanted to shake off the shock but couldn’t.

“I am a black dwarf from the outer-worlds,” the voice said darkly.  Alex wondered if it was a man or a being he couldn’t place.

“A black dwarf?  Old stars can’t talk,” Alex said.

“You only know of the light.  Now you will know of the night!”  The voice roared into Alex’s head.  He grabbed his ears, but the sound crept closer and closer within him.  Alex could hear Mr. Barren breathe in and out, sucking precious air.

“You are a malefaction, and now you will know the blank space between our dreams!”  Alex screamed before his heart exploded, leaving him a rotting carcass on the floor.

The black dwarf laughed.






Love Thy Neighbor

Monk Mongo gazed at the thin, drifting clouds and near skeleton trees around him.  A gentle breeze caressed his neck.  Though late in the day, he remained optimistic about the world.  Soon the stars would come as would the dreams that enlightened him.

The Creator’s bounty…

Mongo had full faith of the Lord in the heavens, as he had seen the Lord’s wondrous nature and achievements over the years.

The supernova, or what was named “1987A,” delighted him.  He flipped through the magazine about it with fascination, after turning the sky, pretending to be a scientist.  He could be like the astronomical Mendel.  Or not.

Keep your feet on the ground, Mongo, he told himself.  His mind wandered again, however.

God created all with love and logic.

Like the soul, a star never truly died, he observed.  It becomes part of the stellar cycle.  A supernova had inspired matter to ignite into the Earth’s sun, after all.  The yellow dwarf would rise and cool again until it at last became a black dwarf, feeding another system out in the enormous universe.

Speeding towards infinity, as do we return, Monk thought.

Mongo studied the worlds available to his eyes each night, and the worlds he did not poignantly know of.  He watched Mercury, or Nebo, spin around the dusk-lit sky.

What’s out there?

Part of him pondered what an alien would think of Earth?  What would an Earthling think of an alien?

Most of the other monks told Mongo to not worry about what wasn’t when he questioned them.  God had selected the Earth for living creatures.

Ah, but the Lord had made so many other systems.  Mongo kept this truth near his heart.

Mankind slowly gained sight of the world and in the heavens.  The Almighty revealed them in due time.

“Mongo,” one of the other monks said, snapping Mongo out of his thoughts.

“Yes,” Mongo answered.

“We have noticed your absence at evening prayer.  Is there need for concern?”  The older monk gave Mongo a deep look.  It pried into Mongo, making his nerves light like fire.

“No, no, I’ll come from now on.  You know me, I snooze.”  Mongo quickly said a prayer hoping the Lord would forgive him for his lie.

It’s only a white lie, Mongo, he told himself.  Is there such thing as a black or rainbow lie? His mind strayed.

“Glad to know you’re okay.”  Well, Mongo wasn’t.  He liked to watch the sunset turn into the speckled sky of stars, liked to sneak a candy bar he’d ordered online every now and again.  He knew he’d have to fast the next day to make up for his sin.

He bowed towards the center of the table, reciting the usual thanks for life and love and all else the Lord had given to them.

After prayers, Mongo jogged off to the edge of the monastery.  He had a map in his hand, having timidly measured the four degree change in the stars every night.  The celestial sphere spun around him, making him think of the zodiac and when the universe had been geocentric.

Humanity had come so far, Mongo told himself.  Yet they had an eternity to go.  He sketched some more, putting a little green man on the edge of the paper.

He kept it an enjoyable secret, thanking the Lord for the wonders, for all He’d done.  Certainly, Jesus wouldn’t mind Mongo marveling at his Father’s work or if he prayed for an alien instead of an angel.

Why else would he have made it if not to enjoy and think about?

The crisp air fed thoughts into Mongo’s spongy brain.  He wrote down on the paper the positions of the stars.  Orion’s belt sparkled down at him, showing Mongo the home of stars.  He noted the star Sirius, too.

He looked at the little green man he’d scribbled on the page with the talent of a five year old.  If they had eyes, they would be curious about the worlds beyond their current reach, the cosmic brotherhood they would share.

Mongo let out a sigh, sucking in the cold air.

Suddenly, a loud noise came crashing down on dirt from the sky.  Mongo thought a meteor had reached its fiery hands down from above, a sign scolding him.

Then he saw the being.  The creature was small and blue.  He or she or it or whatever, had a sunken in hole and a shirk for a body.  It glowed in a circle around the middle, resplendently.

Mongo pinched himself, thinking he had had a vision of the night.  He crept slowly backwards but couldn’t move at all after a few seconds.

From the low points on the ground, surrounded in slush, a limb had extended itself, and this limb had power over matter.  A rock quickly flew out of the way of the being.  The creature moved towards a horrified Mongo.

An alien, Mongo thought.  I’ve met an alien.  The words took a moment to solidify.  They held fast peremptorily.  Mongo could not deny his senses.  Panic filled him up, and he wanted to scream, yet couldn’t.  His mouth trembled, but that was the extent of his movement.

The stars above looked down on Mongo, as would a parent a small child.

“Greetings!” Sound came from the limb.  It seemed to move a fleshy machine back and forth.  “Do not be afraid.  Love thy neighbor.”  The alien let go of its hold on Mongo.

Mongo didn’t run.  His fear melted away, and he thought the flesh-machine had done that to him.  If so, he didn’t care, his mind star struck.

Some people dream of meeting famous people, celebrities, but not I.  I have dreamed of my cosmic brother, and the glorious Lord from Heaven has given me all I’ve ever wanted, Mongo thought.

With slow and safe movements, Mongo moved towards the alien.

“What is your name?” He asked.  The alien’s lights flickered, changing like a cuttlefish.  It took a moment, but the sounds came.

“You can call me, Earl,” the being spoke with his limb.  The limb became flexible as would a snake.  It had dull lights, but Earl glowed beautifully.  He moved closer and closer to Mongo.

The next thing Mongo knew, he had wrapped his arms around the creature.

“You are my brother of the same Lord,” he said.  The creature hummed, obviously grateful to have met a new friend.






Our Sins

The fat man began to yell, “Now the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the children of Israel, saying, ‘If a person sins unintentionally against any of the commandments of the LORD in anything, which ought not to be done and does any of them, ‘if the anointed priest sins…”

The fat man paused, then started again, “…bringing guilt on the people, then let him offer to the LORD for his sin which he has sinned a young bull without blemish as a sin offering. He shall bring the bull to the door of the tabernacle of meeting before the LORD, lay his hand on the bull’s head, and kill the bull before the LORD.”

His voice shook the stained glass windows of the building. The agent could hardly call it a church. There were strange statues all over it. Some of them still had a fresh coating of blood, peeling and dark.

Agent Moore had had enough with these creepy cults. He might have been an expert, but he wanted to fall back on the boring sermons of dramaturgy than have to save another innocent colt from a cult.

It’s always some blameless damsel on channel five.

Well, Agent Moore didn’t think they were so innocent, not even the ones with blonde hair and blue eyes, straight teeth and cute freckles. Half the time, they were bratty children who’d wandered away, who didn’t listen to their own parents.

Now you’re victim blaming, his mother’s nagging voice reminded him.

They’re not so pure, he told himself.

Sure, they didn’t deserve this fate, but they had hardly earned the title of obsession the news had for them. Moore had halfway decided only Caucasian girls of light complexions went missing. The stations rarely commented on the other victims, like the Asians or Blacks in the sex market or those on their way to have a kidney harvested from their living flesh.

The fat man shook his hand and praised the LORD for his mercy, his grace and their great achievements. Yeah, Moore had seen this before. His eyes rolled in the back of his head.

Suddenly, the preacher made eye-contact with Moore. He reached out his hand, pointing.
“The outsider… beware of the outsider! He comes, he comes in sin!” The man’s belly rolled with him.

Moore gripped the gun in his belt. He had not expected this. The enmity between him and the preacher’s eyes left no hint of forgiveness, not from those judges.

“He has a gun! The outsider has a gun!” The crowd of people all looked at Moore, faces painted with disgusted expressions.

“You are under arrest,” Moore said. He pulled out his gun and aimed it at the priest, sweat beginning to rage down his forehead. He trembled at the awkward situation. He had not expected this.

“The outsider says, the outsider speaks!”

A woman hit Moore over the head with a Bible. He fell to the floor.
Moore woke up with a blinding pain in his eyes. He tried to open them, but thick blood covered his sight. He attempted to move, but his hands were stuck to the floor.
Or was it the floor? He couldn’t be sure. His sight cleared a little. The room spun, as if it too could feel the agony.
Where am I? Moore tried to figure out where the lost time had gone. How long had he been out. He moved his leg, hoping to feel his gun rub against his outer thigh.

No weapon protected him. Nothing.
“We have all witness what the outsider attempted to do…” The fat man’s voice called out to Moore’s right, of all the voices he wanted to hear. “To separate us, to divide us from our sacred duty to the divine.”
Moore groaned in pain.
“SILENCE!” The preacher yelled. Moore felt an object strike his foot. The pain instantly stung his body. He tried to move, to break free, but his limbs couldn’t obey. He said a silent prayer with the entirety of his soul.
Please LORD, don’t let me go this way. Let me say goodbye to my family. And let me kick my boss’s ass for sending me on this mission.
The girl? Where was she? Moore asked himself. She looked at the ceiling. The light pierced his eyes, dilated from injury, probably uneven to flaunt brain damage. He looked the light dead center, trying to free his spirit to soar off this God forsaken planet with all its sins.
Moore hadn’t been a devout Catholic, like his mother wanted. Perhaps she had a hand in this revenge. Old bitch.
This must be the Big Man’s way of getting even with me, Moore figured. The Guy In the Sky was probably showing him the bird for ignoring all those commandments, drinking with those young women.
So sue me! Moore told the narrative running through his throbbing head. The devil had resorted to guile to bring him this moment, to steal everything, including the gun that’d been his sidekick all these years, through all these cults.
I’m supposed to be an expert. Figures.
Moore groaned, not being able to hide the pain any longer. It came out like a burned candle, slow and then gone.
He felt himself being lifted up. Hope caused him to come back to reality. He forced his eyes open, looking straight into the crowd.
“Now,” the preacher said, “The outsider will taste the justice he tried to steal. He will suffer the same as Christ did! He must be taught.”
“We must all be taught,” the room spoke in obnoxious unison.

Moore’s eyes scanned the people. He knew they were all evil beings, spreading their worthlessness and hatred out into the world, bringing to life their dark fantasies. The blood from the statues nauseated him, and he felt vile go down chin. The green ooze matched his red blood in Christmas colors.
The light began to dim. The end reached towards him, blackness laced on the edges with light. The large window showed the sun cover the moon. A shadow cast on Moore. His eyes burned, but he could not take his eyes away from the eclipse, the sign.
“The outsider!” Fatty went again. “Now is in the hands of our LORD. May we devour his body for our sins.”
“Our sins,” the crowd uttered loudly.
That sure ain’t in the Bible, Moore thought before he lost his life to the blackness. He wouldn’t be on channel five. He wouldn’t be anywhere ever again.

Reaching Up

I sat on the wooden chair gazing out to the open sea so visible from my window.  Seconds turned into minutes, minutes into hours.  I reflected on the shore, on the fierce rocks beaten with waves.  How hostile an environment, and yet, it made me feel the most content with life.

My current path had been altered yet again.

I had married well, but my husband had recently died and left me his estate and money, much to the dismay of his spoiled children and their reckless abandoning of mores and noble dreams and endeavors.

They chased the sunset now.  The colors faded with their faces, lines of twilight danced on their faces, and as much as they tried, they couldn’t reach the sun.

A fur ball gently nudged my leg before leaping onto the table next to me.

My cat Antonia came over as close as she could, peeked into my cup of coffee and scuffed away, knowing she was too good for the drink, not addicted to caffeine as I was with the nervous twitch it gave me.  She much preferred breakfast when I indulged in real milk, giving her a taste.  My largesse warmed her heart, and she purred, offering me the best snuggles a mom could ask for from any baby.

I’d never been a mom before I married Dan, not that I took care of his.  His kids were around my age, and they attempted every spell they could to dispel of me, citing sheer numbers in desperation.  My husband, a doctor and founder of the Gift Society, ignored their sniffles but sent them money for their foolishness.

Love blinds us.

I thought it was a waste, but I didn’t want to be a bad wife.  It wasn’t my place to speak to the children, of his children.  Of course, after their father’s death, they’d threatened to sue me, saying I’d taken advantage of their ill father with my long, attractive legs and bright green eyes of greed.  Why else would such a catch marry a man thirty years older than she?

What I didn’t tell them was that I transferred onto their father.  I’d been twenty, a runaway mess with drug needles in my pocket and a sob story in my mouth. Alone.  He’d told me to cut the crap at a bar one night, peremptorily, and I’d gone back with him, drunk in the heart and in love.

Someone cared for me in a way no one else had.

I clung to that dominance.  He was a man, something I’d not known about.  I’d had boyfriends with plenty of coke, rock and ash, but I’d never had a man.

Taking another sip of coffee, I exhaled.

I stared out at the ocean again, watching a wave roll over another on the rocks, white crusted the top then fell back into the infinite ocean.  A few charging waves hit hard and splashed upwards towards the sun, which sat proudly in the sky.


I imagined the sharks catching the weak with quick bites under the folds of water.


Confronting the Lion

Last night, I had a dream.  I was across the street from my childhood home, a child myself in the vision.  I heard my stepdad go into the house on the fall day.  Leaves fell from the trees onto dying grass.  Other children laughed and played in the street.

It all seemed normal to me.

Then, all of a sudden, I saw a mountain lion at the end of the street.  He seemed so far away to me, and I thought I could handle it.  I ran as fast as I could, but the lion arrived before I could open the door to safety–or perceived safety.

In a split second, I grabbed the rake and slammed it on the ground scaring the lion away.

He ran.

When I woke up, I thought about how I’ve been avoiding conquering several problems in my life, riding down the lazy river of apathy and the ephemeral thought-process I indulge in, living seconds and minutes without reason.

Time goes by so quickly, and it’s wasted on idle pursuits.

I don’t want to go digging up graves, but I should be mindful and reflect more on the issues bothering me.  I can’t avoid them forever, or they’ll eat me.

Like the lion, I have to defeat my troubles.  My mind is my rake.

The Accident

The car spun out of control.  Ashley tried to grip the wheel, but her hands were ripped off of it in a moment of chaos.  The airbag exploded out at her.  The windshield cracked like ice on a pond.  She couldn’t think in those seconds, left to pure instinct.

Then it all went black.

The snow outside of the window woke her up.  She was upside down in the car, too much blood going to her head, which caused her brain to ache.  Her black hair shrieked in various directions, some tangled with the seat.  She grabbed it, trying to free herself.

The moments before the crash hummed in her mind.  She felt as if her inner voice was being judgmental, telling her she’d lost control and got what she deserved.

Ashley couldn’t hush the thoughts, so she screamed over them–or attempted to.  While she was in the middle of nowhere, she felt as if, perhaps, God could hear her rage.  Then she remembered Dante’s Inferno where the devil was trapped up in the ice, kind of like the way she was in that moment.

Maybe God had judged her.  She wished he would sentence her to some good days instead, some positive attention.  She thought of the two of them.  The man of her life and the woman who ended it.  She could see Carol with her lush lips and pretty face, nice and symmetrical, as if sculpted by angels.

I am nothing.

More thoughts clogged her thought process, enraging her until she burnt out.

I might as well blame the wind, Ashley concluded.

“Hello?”  A voice said.  Ashley held her breath, hoping the voice was real.

“Hello?” The voice said again.

“Yes, YES!” Ashley yelled.

“OMG, I’ll call an ambulance.”  The stranger’s feet crunched in the snow.  The deep voice of man shattered Ashley’s fear.  Hope rushed through her, and she realized she was not going to die there alone.

Someone had found her.

“My name is Sam.  Are you alright?” Sam asked.  He laid on the snow next to Ashley, bright blue eyes shone like mercy on her.  She felt a connection in his voice, deep and manly.

“I’m, no, yes, fine,” Ashley said awkwardly, voice laced with pain. She whined.  Tears ran down her plump cheek.  Her head had turned deep red.  She could see her reflection in the shattered mirror, like an insect’s eyes.  She knew she needed to get out of the car, out of that position.

“OUCH!” She screamed.  She realized her pinky figure bent in the wrong direction around her seatbelt. Blood trickled down her face into her mouth.  The adrenaline had numbed her from initial pain, but her senses grew stronger by the second, telling her she needed help and soon.

Fortunately, the ambulance came, and they secured Ashley in the back with a few clicks.  She watched Sam’s car follow her to the ER.

Something deeper had begun to fill the distance between the vehicles.

Ashley only saw the man who had saved her.


To Find

Ever since I was a little child, I’ve heard the words call out to me, that single phrase, “Find me.”  These aren’t the words of a god or a man or any shape similar to a human, but translated so that I may hear them, to give them to others, to share, and we search as one on the quest for truth.

A voice beckons me, tells me in the sacred language of all ages that I must search and find “it” or “who, “what” or “why.”

All is matter, even the mind and breath.  All is one, even matter.

It has been the fault of western science to separate and take a matter-of-fact approach, the avidya of a egocentric reality, to only welcome in the safe, the trusted.  I do not dine on the spiritual out of a need for immortality, place or righteousness, a black and white world, but for a need of sight in a universe of vivid hues, colors of the heavens and Hells, valleys and rivers.

Not the final dirt where I must bury myself.

Our eyes are so tuned to the impossible challenges humbling us to dust, to return to that from which we came, the ill-fate, but we also came from our mothers and fathers, and they came from the days of the chicken and the egg, the serpent who feeds on himself.

How humanity communicates with the divine.

The path seems narrow when defined by restrictive definitions, only “life” and “death.”

It’s hatred and fear that leads us to ignorance, closes our ears, eyes, nose and sensations.  We are force fed a mechanical reality so far detached from the binary nature of the physical and mental realities, and the spiritual growth of mankind.

We can forge a new path.

So, the words come now, “find me.”  I give them to you, and together we search with our beings for gems of the universe and sacred knowledge.