it is nearly morning, after dark but before light
and i am having trouble sleeping even more than usual
these footie pajamas keep the heat sealed in
and i am burning up alive
so i get out from under the covers and carefully walk
across a toy infested room with the help of a nightlight
slip out into the hallway and tiptoe down the stairs
in absolute silence until the last step lets out a disgruntled sigh
but no is awake to hear the groan so it is alright
and i finally make it to the family room, flip the television on
and skip over channels until i find cartoons or at least
something less boring than paid programming lies
and i am hungry so naturally i venture off into the kitchen
to find a snack to hold me over until breakfast time
but as soon as i stick my hand in the cookie jar
i get this terrible feeling building up inside
and i run to the living room, shuffling my feet
past the grand piano, the coffee tables,
the toothless grin photos in their frames and
even the family dog that let’s out a pathetic cry
and the bay window is staring at me,
and i can see myself and i touch my hands
to the cool glass and a jolt of electricity shocks me
but i am not phased at all by it because i am staring past
my own reflection and across the street and i am learning
what a noose is and i am eight years old and
even from this distance i can make out the bruises
riddled in a loop around his throat and i start to scream
at the top of my lungs and everything is growing fuzzy
and i don’t remember much but there are these
flashing red and blue lights headed this direction
and the tire from the tire swing is missing
and the tree looks slumped
beneath the weight of a body spinning
in its place and i am staring at my own reflection again
and all of the color is draining from my face
and i know what color death looks like now
and let me tell you, it is the ugliest shade of bluish grey.
- Savage Henry Lee, of savageleewriting.tumblr.com
and why is it of any value
for you to adhere in a way
that flexes of intelligence
does it cause an ego enlargement
as though your fingers clinch
and you sex organs fluctuate
or is it a metaphysical problem
proportionally blamed on ideologies
that promise obedient rewards
[I ran ‘Masks of Nyarlathotep’ for my gaming group when we played Call of Cthulhu a few years back. Wherever possible, I tried to inject original content into the game to make it extra personal and creepy. At one point, pretty much everyone had spooky dreams on the same night, so I wrote them all down and handed them out to the players. Here’s one of them.]
You are working at an office for a telegraph company. All day long, you job is to send off telegraphs. Write them down for people, sit down behind your desk, tap out to message to various points around the country and around the globe. Scribble scribble, tap tap-tap-tap. If feels like you’ve been doing this for years—maybe generations—when you start to notice a pattern in the tapping. Beyond the Morse code, you see an order that maybe no others have seen. Tap-tap tap tap. Putting aside your latest message, you start following your instincts, the impulse in your brain. Tap tap-tap tap tap-tap-tap. Your finger is moving at a fever pitch now and beads of sweat are appearing on your forehead, but you know you’re onto something—something primal, some truth as old as the universe itself. Tap-tap-tap-tap-tap. And you can almost visualize it, it’s right there at a point just beyond your vision, something past the three dimensions we view as everyday life, if only you could send the signal out in exactly the right increments at precisely the right rate. Taptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptap. Your hair and blouse are wet with sweat but you can actually see it now, at a right angle to our entire world, the spheres floating shifting, coalescing, waiting just there where we can’t see, waiting for the time to be right. And then the spheres turn in your direction. And your finger stops tapping. And you realize that just as you can see it, it can see you. And you scream.
And wake up.
(Lose 1 Sanity Point and gain 4 points in Physics.)
He loves it when
she talks dirty to him;
the feeling uncleanliness
takes its limit
a midst this muddy distance
between two souls
wrapped in silk sheets.
Sometimes I feel like my life is spinning out of control. As an Asian girl in distress, I’ve decided that the only solution to my problems is Jason Statham. As Mr. Stratham has demonstrated on numerous occasions, he is excellent at assisting Asian girls in times of need. So, it’s well within his skill set to help me navigate safely through the mundane emergencies of my life. Also, I’m pretty sure I would be his first Korean girl.
ATM charging me silly fees? Jason Statham. Can’t open this pickle jar? Jason Statham. Need someone to scrub my back in the shower (in a totally non-sexual way)? Jason Statham.
Also… not to enforce stereotypes, but he seems like a much better driver than me.
There are bees in my house.
I don’t know how they’re getting in, but they’re here, and I’m terrified.
I’ve never been stung.
I told my father about them, and he recited his bad joke about the guy living in the city calling himself a bee keeper, keeping bees in a shoebox who gets shamed for his awful bee-keeping ways and responds “screw ‘em, I hate bees”.
“Yes daddy, that’s funny.”
“You just need a shoebox.”
“Maybe, but I keep finding bees in my bed when I wake up.”
“Well, that’s weird.”
“You’re gonna need more shoeboxes.”
I think sometimes, my parents are so used to my exaggerations and overstatements that something like a home full of bees is simply translated into me seeing a fly on the wall while drinking coffee. They don’t think it’s a problem.
So I’ve stopped telling them that I’m scared and I’m not sleeping.
I didn’t even bother to tell them that my doctor called to tell me that further tests were required. I didn’t want to blow things out of proportion.
And I tried to ignore the bees, but they kept showing up. Just, appearing when I was living. Just being around while I was doing my best to ignore them.
So, I asked my brother to fix it. And he tried. He turned around and came right home, stalked through the house, thoroughly searching every corner, every closet. He even checked under the beds and in between curtains and windows. He came back with three dead bees, the results of his seek and destroy mission.
“Got ‘em, you’re safe now.”
“Are you sure?”
“Definitely. I’ll be right here. You let me know if you need me.”
And I crept upstairs to take a shower, delicately peeking behind the curtain, in case there was a bee he had missed.
But my brother had, indeed, cleared the house of all the invaders who’d showed up uninvited. And when I came downstairs, he had coffee waiting for both of us.
He asked, “How are you feeling?”
“No more issues?”
“None that I can tell. Thank you for handling the bees.”
“Let me know if you see any more and we’ll call somebody.”
My doctor called on a Saturday morning. He said it wasn’t cancer and that things could get back to normal now. I don’t think he realizes that when a house is full of surprise, unwelcome guests, things don’t ever get back to normal.
I’m sure it’ll be fine, and I’m trying to forget about the fact that we have an attic.
Maybe, just maybe, everything isn’t fine, and there are a few places left to look.
So, I tell my brother what the doctor said, and he says he’ll call an exterminator about the bees. There are some things he can fix for me, and he knows I’m afraid of the attic.
I have a shoebox of your things,
The letters you wrote, CDs you
Gave me, pictures you drew.
I’m looking through it now, smiling
At all the memories we made
And tomorrow it will be gone
Because pictures can’t hold me
The way I needed you to
Something, something, and nothing
He stands alone against a streetlight. The streets are wet and he’s alone, always, always alone. He angles his head against the wind cupping and lighting another smoke. Another smoke, another day, another night and all his dreams drift away. He doesn’t think of much anymore, just walking through the door to another world, that’s really all he wants.
That other world is full of candy covered cunts and naked machine gun bearing nuns. Car crashes, mutant army’s, they are just another day at the office for him. Nothing too extreme, really- just words and phrases you’ve never heard before. He’s like nothing you’ve ever seen before, and He’s just fine with that.
When I first opened my little tumblr so very long ago, I managed to stumble upon his blog. My mouth literally fell open, and I spent the next several months looking forward to his morning posts. Without him, I’d never have met Noelle. Without him, I would have closed my tumblr and never looked back. Most of what I write in prose form is slightly or majorly inspired by him in some way. That boy gets my creative juices flowing.
Hank is an amazing writer, and I’d like to call him- friend.