Original Flash Fiction: ‘The Offer’

Now for a little something different…

Death is an undeniable part of existence for humanity.

They fear it more than anything often pretending it doesn’t exist and doing everything in their albeit puny power to ward off its approach as they age. Death has no preferences though. She…he…it has no favorites. Youth doesn’t exclude a person from Death’s cold gaze. Once I was one of them. Human that is. I was young and handsome, arrogant in my waste of my youth until Death discovered me one night in a dank alley.

I drank far too much, snorted lines of snowy powder from tables, crosses, even the sculpted bodies of beautiful boys and girls. Awake all night and sleeping all day. It didn’t matter to me where my partners had been or where they might travel as long as they were young and perfect. Never once did I realize the darkness lurking outside my window.

That particular night was no different than any other with a singular exception. When you live hard as I did you have a tendency to make enemies and more often than not you are oblivious to the fact you do. At some point in my adventures I’d stuck my dick where it shouldn’t have been, contaminating a body not only with my semen, but with my drugs of choice at the moment. The young man I’d used had an older and much more street wise sibling who when he died of a drug overdose decided I needed to be punished.

To this day I have no idea how she tracked me down or how she managed to taint my drink with arsenic. Perhaps, she was the sexy bartender behind the counter I’d been flirting with or one of the many people I deemed beneath me. How she did it matters not, she managed to exact her revenge with a swiftness even Death would have admired.

When I began to feel the effects of the arsenic I figured I’d simply reached my alcohol limit and excused myself to get some fresh air. Slumped against the wall between two dumpsters, cigarette dangling from my fingertips, I wondered why in the hell my body was rebelling now of all times. Her appearance answered my questions with a coppery tang or now that I look back it was the blood filling my mouth.

She was tall, curvaceous and Nordic in her appearance. Not what one would think of as Death, but it was the eyes that gave her away. Where her other features cried of the Northern Lights and expansive fields of snow and ice her eyes spoke volumes more. Their darkness was deep as if an endless well of starless space, perhaps a black hole of nothing. So dark as to reflect my own terrified visage back at me…A polished mirror of obsidian.

The way her body moved reminded me of a viper undulating across windswept Egyptian sands. Curves and swells every changing beneath a desert moon, ripe and full as the swollen belly of a mother to be. She made no sound as she approached and I huddled against piss soaked brick surrounded by the detritus of what passed for humanity.

“You will die.” she whispered. “How you die will be left in your hands.”

It made no sense. It also terrified me enough I was sure my bowels would release if she were to touch me.

“All you have to say is yes to me. I will end the agony you are in, you will die, but I can resurrect you. For I am the life.”

Why I said yes, I may never know, yet I imagine it is for the same reason most humans would if they found themselves at Death’s feet. Cowering, sobbing, and choking on their own blood. They all want to live one more day, week, month, year, and they are willing to sell their souls to halt the inevitable.

Now, after close to thirty years it is my turn to make the same offer.

The boy at my feet cannot be much more than eighteen or nineteen, but his expression tells of a life lived hard in the shadows of the darkest humanity has to offer. He’d tried to escape unlike myself and his reward was to drown in his own blood as it filled his lungs. Pimp, drug dealer, it mattered not who had left him here lying in his own urine.

As I approached him I saw the fear in his eyes I’d once possessed. The corner of my lips curled in a faint remembrance of a smile. It was time to make the offer just as she had made the offer to me all those years ago.

“You will die.” I whispered. “How you die will be left in your hands.”


Excuses Are Just That…

It’s been 5 months since I posted to this blog and I could offer every excuse in the book for neglecting my blog, but excuses are just that excuses. Most of it would be pure and utter bullshit even if I had the nerve to offer anything.

The truth is I’d given up. Not just on writing, but on life in general.

For thirteen years I’ve been struggling with depression. I’ve never been officially diagnosed, but it doesn’t take a genius to figure out my head was broken, hell my spirit. I’ve been riding a roller coaster of insanity for so long I’ve forgotten what it was like not to be stuck riding it. It’s been a monumental effort simple to get out of bed in the morning. Even then there are days I get so damn lost in my own personal mire of self-hatred I forget to eat. The only thing that’s kept me on my feet is work. No matter how bad it’s gotten I’m the perfect little employee with a bright smile in my voice and on my face yet inside I feel as if there’s no point.

Maybe it’s my Irish stubbornness, I don’t know, but I’ve managed to banish any suicidal thoughts. Most days it hurts to simply breathe and behind closed doors I discover myself weeping tears enough to fill an ocean. I’ve started chain-smoking again, something I haven’t done in 20 years. And the strangest thing is I will start laughing for no damn reason as if the most insignificant thing is the funniest fucking thing I’ve ever seen or heard in my life.

Sheba, my ever present furry shadow has an unnerving ability to know when her mommy is on the edge. Days like that she never lets me out of her sight and distracts me with her playful antics. She breathes life into me when I seem to be a mummified husk and no matter how sad I feel she manages to get a genuine smile out of me…Something my human companions cannot seem to do. Or maybe I’m just not allowing them to.

A couple of months ago I started to come out of my self-induced coma. Don’t get me wrong the depression has not magically vanished. If only shit worked that way. I still need to see a doctor, but having no insurance is a pain in the ass. My only option is to go to a city run clinic and I’m not sure I’d trust going to one mainly due to the fact the folks at these clinics are overwhelmed as it is. Maybe I’m simply a chicken shit, afraid to seek help because if I do it makes my situation too damn real.

Any who…Back to the point.

I started dipping my toe back into the writing and I’ve managed more writing in the past two months than in the previous two years. I refuse to get too excited, but I’m getting back into the swing of things. Okay I’m wearing training wheels, but what the hell.

Hope has to start somewhere right?


A New Year – Educating Myself & Nosing the Grindstone

So, here we are the first day of a new year 2013. Guess the world didn’t end after all.

Okay, all sarcasm aside I made a deal with myself for the coming year. I’m not one who does the New Year Resolution list every year and then discovers I’ve gotten a big fat Fail a week later. If I fail at whatever I’m trying to accomplish at any given time I do a few things:

A) Lots of tongue biting. Sometimes it’s best to simply bite your fucking tongue and wait until later to vent. Whether in a blog, a diary, or as I often do to my poor cat. At least the cat doesn’t tell me I’m overreacting or being silly.

B) Rearranging furniture and/or cleaning. There have been a few times when frustration over my failed attempts at whatever have come close to causing my head to implode. Moments later I find myself rearranging and scrubbing kitchen cabinets, sorting clothes in the closet, or my all time favorite scrubbing the toilet until I could serve a 7-course meal on the sparkling white porcelain.

C) If all this fails to work the frustration out of my system there’s the tried and true method of burying my face in a pillow. I then scream as loud as I can hoping my neighbors won’t think I’m murdering my cat or a random stranger I snatched from the street.

Maybe I simply need to find a good therapist and drive them as crazy as I feel most days. Of course that’s an expensive option. As crazy as I feel I’d probably go through at least 20 or 30 therapists before they banned me from coming within 100 yards of anyone with a degree in mental health.

Getting back to the point though. I promised myself I would try to post at least twice a week here and focus on my writing instead of turning into a fearsome critter like the Squonk who refuses to interact with any other life form and if seen by anyone dissolves into tears. Yeah, I feel for that little fucker and his dissolving ass. Who wouldn’t? Of course, being so scared of life and all it has to offer you to the point you end up nothing but a puddle of salty tears is not a healthy way to live your life.

Point being is I concluded to begin the year off by educating myself more. For example last night I spent the evening playing the equivalent of Scrabble on-line with a close friend. She slaughtered my ass in three games. How the hell can I call myself a writer if I don’t possess enough vocabulary to win a damn game of Scrabble? I always prided myself in being a smart cookie and don’t get me wrong I enjoyed myself. I simply realized I’m not as smart as I thought when it comes to the word game. *head desk*

As my mama used to say Pride comes before the downfall and I’d suggest you tie a pillow to cushion your ass cause that’s one hard fall, girl. She was right about so much more than I was ever willing to admit. There are times I wish she were still here so I could tell her as much.

Educating myself…CHECK!

And then there is my lack of patience. When the writing is flowing I feel like a goddess who can do no wrong. Let that writer’s block rear its ugly head though like the Jersey Devil chasing cattle through the Pine Barrens for a midnight snack and all bets are off. I turn into a ravenous beast who howls at the heavens and swears if God (or whatever you call that elusive power) is out to personally destroy my pathetic life as if He, She, or It has nothing better to do. We always want to blame someone for our failures whether it be parents, friends, neighbors, or the Almighty Creator of the universe. It’s human nature to try to find an excuse and not fess up and look in the mirror. I’m no different from any other human on the planet in that sense.

Here’s where my mama comes in again with one of those wise backwoods sayings she loved to toss around. For the love of all that’s Holy quit whining, girl, and just do it. Or a less classy one when her patience had worn thin For the love of God either shit or get off the pot already. And then there’s the ever popular Get off the damn cross someone else needs the wood and nails.

As a kid I never understood what the hell she was going on about, but now as a 40-something woman I get it. If I spent as much time honing my craft and life as I do whining I might accomplish something. Now I’m thinking of all the bloody time I’ve wasted acting the spoiled child. Jeez a loo…now I know what to do.

Nose to the fucking grindstone…CHECK!

Now let’s see if I remember it come tomorrow.

Until Later

forest skull sig