6/365

Eye Contact: Write about two people seeing each other for the first time.

It was a dream I’ve had since I was a child watching the Atlanta Braves pitch strikes and whack home-runs outta the park and into the crowds of fans hoping to catch a ball and pass it down from generation-to-generation. The dark thing about dreams that nobody tells you about as a child is that no matter how badly you want it, no matter how badly you think you deserve it, no matter the cost, the egregious truth is you most likely still won’t achieve it. It’s something you don’t wanna tell kids; you don’t wanna break them at such a young age to the true forlorn of American society. We tell’em they could be the president, that they could be astronauts, or that they could write the next War and Peace. This is the fundamental lie of being a human. There are days when I’ve build a good alcoholic foundation for thoughts to rest on, and I boil the ideas a bit, heat’em up, toss’em around and make something stupid from’em; but I can’t seem to understand why we set ourselves up for failure at such a young age.

On all levels, I am a failure. I feel like a failure because I failed at what it was I wanted the most as a child. It’s amazing what things stick from childhood and what things don’t. My childhood dream became my teenage dream, and then it became my young adult dream, and then it became my adult dream, and now it has become nothing but the giant reminder that I see everyday in the mirror, on the odd day I have the courage to look into the mirror, that I failed myself; I failed myself today, yesterday, tomorrow and worst of all, I failed that little boy wearing a Braves hat slapping his hand into a glove his father bought’em because he had a wild dream that he knew would come true and that there weren’t gonna be nobody stopping’em from getting it. I failed that kid.

Season tickets are still something I waste a good 5 grand on yearly. Not sure why I still do it, but, I guess some part of me is still that kid that thinks any day I can still make the dream come true. The thing about being a kid is that you never stop believing, you never give up on it. There’s something about being an adult that just wears you down from these cheap jabs that come from multiple angles, but kids, they ain’t aware of this yet. I bet, I bet my season tickets, if I saw my younger self in front of me today, right this moment, he’d look at me and smile, he’d say “Gosh darn, any day now, I’ma make it on that field.” Too many days spent sulking at the image of letting that boy down.

“I think from some of the questions you’ve answered here, Sully, I think I’m going to refer you to get a full mental evaluation.”
“So you mean someone else is going to tell me I’m crazy?”
“No, Mr. Sully. I believe this evaluation will better allow us to treat you for whatever is causing this depression. Maybe it’s not clinical depression but some other underlining cause and we need to get to the bottom of it.”
“What do you think it could possibly be? You know, aside from the obvious.”
“Personally, I think it would just be best if you went ahead and got the mental evaluation before I myself made a proper diagnosis.”
“You’re not leaving me with much comfort here, doc.”

I think it’s fair to believe life comes in waves to simply harm you; to do nothing more but assassinate the very ambitions that keep you going. It’s almost like life is a game being controlled by some grand-player and its goal is to see how long it takes to break us; how long it takes to crush us before we’re already spelling out our epithet and picking the lot that we wish to fermentate.

“Clonazepam?”
“We are going to see if it helps.”
“What if it doesn’t?”
“Let’s be hopeful; but if it doesn’t, we will need to see you again and try out some other options.”

A part of me is hopeful that this works. I can’t stand anymore; I can’t stand seeing that boy in my dreams looking down at me with a frown on his face all teary-eyed and whispering his disdain for me.

“Thank you, sir. Have a nice day.”
“Thanks… You too.”

I took a single pill and closed the medicine cabinet. I looked at myself in the mirror for a glance, turned off the light, and rolled out of the bathroom.

“Dream big, kid.”

 

 

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5/365

Food: What’s for breakfast? Dinner? Lunch? Or maybe you could write a poem about that time you met a friend at a cafe.

We felt welcomed. There wasn’t any sort of doubt in that. The Jamisons were nice people for the most part, and this was the first time they had actually invited us over. My friend Doug told me that the Jamisons had lived in the neighborhood for over 4 years now and no one had ever gone over to their house. Although, he did mention some sort of old-folk tale about the Jamisons and how they used to live in England and moved here after they were ran out of the country by a cult or some nonsensical madness like that. I didn’t believe a word of what he said and to be fair, I don’t think he believed a word of it either, but that didn’t stop him from sharing it with me everyday leading up to the dinner.

My family wasn’t too worried either. My parents thought they were nice people and they were happy know that the normally shy and reclusive Jamisons were actually trusting our family and inviting us over. They viewed it like a kind of honor in a sense, not sure why. My sister, on the other hand, was not excited about the dinner at all. She had talked to the Jamison’s daughter in school, Natasha, once before and described it as “discussing nuclear science with a house-cat.” She had no interest in befriending Natasha and feared that this dinner was a way of getting our families to bond so that Natasha could find a friend in school, as mentioned before, she was quite lonely in school and after-school. Although I never got to talk to Natasha, I know my sister could be a jerk sometimes and I had always thought Natasha was kinda cute in a quirky kind of way; so, I was looking forward to getting the chance to speak with her even if my sister wasn’t interested.

The dinner was tomorrow, but before then, Nikolai wanted to give me some advice on how to handle the situation. We planned to meet after dinner at the neighborhood park, which is about 10 minutes from my house and about 10 minutes from his house. It was the perfect meeting spot to be honest. Our parents didn’t like us sneaking out late, but it was easy to just hop out my window and sneak over to the park for an hour or so and just come back inside. There was always this sweet-spot of time, just after dinner, where my mom and dad would sit on the couch and watch some odd soap-opera type show that had they glued to the TV for the entire hour, and the best part was it didn’t have commercial breaks, so I knew they wouldn’t bother checking up on me unless I screamed or some jive like that, but to be fair, I never did that dance, they knew I liked my personal space after dinner, and I mean, hell, what 15 year old would want to be with their parents after dinner watching some sappy, laugh-track ridden, nonsense that only adults found funny.

My room was perfect for sneaking out late at night. I was on the second story of the house, but the window in my room and the roof were connected, so I could easily just hop out of my window and walk on the roof of the house that was directly above of the garage. The jump was from only one-story, so I stuck the landing every time. I packed my usual bag: a flashlight, some chewing gum, a knife (just in-case), my cellphone, and some spare rope that I never found a use for but Nikolai always told me to bring “just in case,” but I never knew what that case included. I quietly left my room and closed my window. I did the usual jump and landed it with a perfect ’10.’ Before I ran out towards the park, I looked back into the living room window and saw my mom and dad watching the show like no one was watching them. It gave me an odd sensation, like they were a show that I was watching, like I was the viewer in their world just as they were the viewer of the lives’ of the soap opera stars. This left me feeling strange. I sort of enjoyed the feeling I got while watching them. It made sense why they watch so much TV now.

I carried-on towards the typical meeting spot, but as I was, I couldn’t help but notice all the vibrant lights coming from the windows of houses that were filled with families and single people doing what it is they do behind closed doors. In my brain I started to think of it like channels on a television. It was a funny feeling that left me sort of fanatical until I laughed unprovoked. It was difficult to ignore the temptations, but I knew that Nikolai was expecting me. So I hurried on my way.

The park was pretty standard, or to be fair, it just looks like every other park I’ve been to; rusty looking swing-set where one of the 3 swings is broken but that doesn’t stop the kids from using it, a slide that boils the bottom on hot days, monkey bars that probably have blood-stains on them, and a small looking jungle-gym that has jagged edges from loosed metal bars that are horribly dangerous for any kid, but hey, I’ve seen parents drop their kids off here and not come back for hours, so, if they don’t care, then I don’t care. Our typical meeting spot was inside of the jungle-gym, I normally beat him there, but tonight was different because of my frequent stops staring at houses.

“Bruvi, where have you been? You’re late.”
“Sorry, man. I was caught up at home. The scene was too hot for me to leave the house on time. Parents kept checking-up on me.”

Nikolai pulled out his bag and started riffling through some tattered notebooks.
“Sure, sure. I get you. Here.” Nikolai grabbed a red notebook out and handed it over to Bruvi.
“What is this?” Bruvi grabbed the notebook and started to flip through it.
Nikolai pointed at the front of the notebook instructing Bruvi to look at the title of the notebook: Natasha Jamison. 
“What?”
Nikolai threw his hands in the air. “Dude, Natasha Jamison. I got you the rundown on her like you asked me to.”
Bruvi stared at Nikolai confused, “I didn’t ask you to do that for me.”
Nikolai turned around and walked to the edge of the jungle-gym. “No, you didn’t, but. That’s a hard but by the way. But, you need to prepare yourself before you go over to her house and have dinner with her family.”
“Nikolai, I don’t think that whole British cult thing is real, man.”
“What? Dude, you cannot not believe in that. It’s real, man. Look at this.” Nikolai took the notebook from Bruvi and flipped to a page with a printed newspaper article. “Look at this, man. It’s a newspaper article from a small town in Wallingham, England at a family that escaped a cult and fled for asylum in America. Coincident? I… think… not.”

Bruvi took the notebook back and exited the jungle-gym. He began to put the notebook into his book-bag and walked away.
“Bruvi! Read the notebook! Be careful!”

I ignored what Nikolai was telling me and just continued my walk home. The meeting wasn’t long, I wasn’t interested in hearing Nikolai’s nonsense tonight. I wasn’t in the mood. I looked at my phone and I noticed that there was still 30 minutes left on the show my parents were watching. I had some time before I needed to run home to cover my tracks. It was there when I had a strange idea, when everything that happened today led me to think about the next few steps that were about to take place.

The lighting was beauty, and I felt myself drawn to it. There was something more than just curiosity that lured me to the window of the Jamison’s house. I didn’t feel strange or sinister walking up to there window, because, well, I knew what my intentions were… I was just… I was just curious as to what they were doing, nothing more, and I guess, nothing less. There was something they were doing in there and I just had to find out what it was.

I positioned myself near a large bush outside of their side window and peered my head in front of the illuminating glass that felt to me like a gypsy staring into a crystal ball. It was amazing to me, it wasn’t sexual, it wasn’t sinister, it was just blissful to me. I watched Mr. and Mrs. Jamison watching the same soap that my parents watch this time of night, and that made me give a sigh of relief and I’m not sure why. Maybe because it made them seem much more human like my family and myself, or maybe I was just enjoying watching them through the window. Seeing them made me wonder what exactly it was that Nikolai wrote on the notebook that was so concerning to me that I needed to know before my family came by for dinner. I blew off the idea and watched the Jamisons for a bit longer before Natasha came downstairs and started to watch the soap with her parents as well. I smiled and I don’t know why.

It might have been about 10 minutes before I finally decided to get up and go home. The force that drew me to the window was even more powerful at keeping me there but the thought of getting in trouble was more powerful, and leaving was the obvious thing that I needed to do. Before I left, I watched them for a few seconds longer. The same thing; the same feeling.

I wondered my way home quickly as possibly and climbed up the side of the house and through the window. The show would end in about 5 minutes and all seemed good. I had a few minutes to burn before it was time for bed, so I opened up the notebook that Nikolai gave me and flipped through the pages. The notebook was odd and it didn’t seem like it was Nikolai who had wrote it. It seemed like it was written by several different people and not just Nikolai; in-fact, it didn’t seem like it was written by Nikolai at all. The information on the notebook seemed much more personal and private and almost childish and adventurous.

After flipping through page and page and reading entries and dates of various things, it finally dawned on Bruvi that this was actually Natasha’s diary. Bruvi quickly closed the notebook and put it back in his bag. Bruvi wondered how Nikolai got a-hold of diary and quickly texted him asking for an answer.

“Dude, this is Natasha’s diary. Where the hell did you get this?”
Nikolai replied almost instantaneously almost as if he was waiting for the message.
“Read the last page.”

Bruvi felt a bit eerie as he flipped through the pages until he got to the last page. His heart dropped when read what it was Nikolai felt such nerve over.

I can’t wait to have dinner with Bruvi and his family.

Bruvi tweaked his head and questioned the value of this statement aside from the obvious.

“What about the last page? It doesn’t seem any bit strange to me.”
Nikolai, again, replied rather quickly.
“Read it! She can’t wait to have you for dinner! Don’t go, man!”
Bruvi laughed and put his phone down.

The Loneliest Source of Company

 

The Loneliest Source of Company 

 

Morning couldn’t come sooner for the four teenaged kids circled around a single open flame in an old rundown house. The house has been abandoned for nearly 11 years now. Partly because of the terrible location the house was built around. It sat alone in a dense woods that stretched for miles, a perfect home for the true introvert. The original owner, oddly enough, enjoyed company more than the next man but he had no choice when it came to residing there, it was where he was raised and he just couldn’t leave his inheritance to rot in the woods. Nevertheless he got his social fix by spending hours on end talking on his cell phone calling anyone who would listen. A point was reached where his number was blocked by nearly everyone in the town, and his cell company even started to turn his outgoing calls into ghost dials.

After so long the lonely homeowner couldn’t handle the reclusive lifestyle he was forced to live. Eventually he went missing, or no one really cared looking for him. It took cops 7 years to even start the case of finding him, as everyone was just ignoring his phone calls and no one really cared to go check on him in the woods. But when a local store owner, the only store the homeowner would buy from, noticed he stopped coming he notified the police. Well, he notified the police about 4 years later when he noticed the homeowner wasn’t showing up anymore, and he mostly held off on doing this as long as he could but once the store owner realized he was close to losing money if he didn’t start selling more produce. The store owner bit the bullet and notified the police that the manic phone caller was no longer frequenting the shoppe anymore.

Oddly enough police were also reluctant to go and check up on the manic phone man, so it took them another year to actually go out there. Once the police department had a hiring cycle they sent the most enthusiastic young up-and-comer to go check up on him. As expected he dodged the mission for about another 5 months until he was forced to do it. So the manic phone caller was left alone in his home, dead or alive, for a little over 6 years after his actual disappearance. But, no one in the town really cared much.

Finally, the young up-and-comer made his way to the home, a journey that took about 30 minutes by foot just to reach the home from the road. He made a comment to the other officers once he got back to the station that went something along the line of, “god damn, that walk was a bitch.” Once he reached the door he knocked a lone one time, waited for 15 seconds, and declared that he wasn’t home and started to leave as soon as possible. Unfortunately, it was a rather firm knock and the knock gently pushed the door opened. Now, the rookie cop wanted nothing to do with checking on this man but he couldn’t pass up the option to see inside a home that no one had ever been inside since it was made.

The rookie cop slowly crept into the home being as quite as possible, “hello? Is anyone here? It’s the police. If someone is here you better tell me.” The first thing the cop noticed were the countless broken phones scattered across the floor. Each step he took he would hear a crunch of phone parts holding him up a few meters off of the ground. “What the hell, how many phones can one man go through?” The rookie officer questioned.

The house was completely blacked out aside from the fluorescent light from the cop’s metallic flashlight. One room at a time he levitated across the floor without once touching the hardwood, gliding on the broken phone pieces. Each room just as empty as the next room, with nothing but broken phone pieces on the ground. After several minutes of searching he came across a room that was producing an auburn glow, which radiated on the rotting wooden walls in the hallway outside of the room. It was the most pleasing thing the cop could say about the entire experience. Seeing the glow reflecting off the wall and the broken cellphone pieces, it was almost like modern art.

Inside the room the rookie cop could hear mumbling coming from different pitches of voices. He couldn’t make out a single word but he could hear what seemed like several conversations happening at once. Now, police academy trained him for this very situation. Single cop investigating a missing persons case? Hand on gun, get low to the ground, and be ready to shoot. The rookie cop put his ear to the wall in an  attempt to better hear what was being discussed in the room. He closed his eyes in an attempt to heighten his hearing sense. Sadly, it didn’t help. He still couldn’t hear what was going on, and he knew he had to walk into the room ready for whatever could happen.

The rookie cop, with his back against the wall counted to 3 in his head, “1..2..3!” he jumped into the room yelling “police!” However, inside the room there was only a fire, nothing more. The cop, still not disengaging his weapon, crept towards the bonfire. He still heard the voices, they were louder than before. The auburn glow now vibrating off his face, he pointed his attention towards the bonfire. “How recently was this fire lit?” the rookie cop pondered. “It had to be recent, the fire is roaring.” Then, it hit the rookie cop in a wave of confusion, the fire’s source, it was a large pile of cell phones burning. A gloss went down his back as he kneeled towards the fire. The auburn glow shining brighter than before on his face.

“What in the hell?” The cop stared into the fire and listened. He could hear it. He heard the murmuring that alerted him in the hallway. The phones were still on, they were connected to someone on another line and still in a call. He reached for a phone near the edge of the fire in an attempt to find the least hot to pick up. With the touch of his fingers he quickly snapped his hand back. He reached his flashlight towards the phone and started to knock it out of the pile. Knocking it a few times he moved it to the other side of the room and stared at it.

A few minutes of sucking his finger to ease the burn go by before he made another attempt to fidget with the phone. With occasional light kicks to the phone to speed up the process, the phone was cooled down enough to pick up. Kneeling down, the rookie cop shined his flashlight to the phone, he observed what little things he could notice. The battery was blinking low, there was no signal, and the screen was lit. There was one obvious thing though, there was a barely audible voice resonating from the phone. He couldn’t make out any words but he knew without a doubt there was sound coming from that phone.

The rookie cop reached to pick up the phone when he heard a knock in the wood. He was quickly alert, focusing his attention towards the hallway with his hand now hovering over his holster. There was no movement coming from the cop, he remained frozen in his stance kneeling over the phone staring into the open door leading into the hallway. There was silence. The cop may have been a rookie but he knew not to let his guard down until he was completely sure. He stared. He stared at the doorway until he saw right through the walls themselves. There was a smirk now revealing from the cops face and he chuckled, “I’m letting this old rundown place get in my head.”

He turned his attention back to the phone, but the screen was no longer lit and there was no sound being expelled from the phone. With a turn of the head the rookie cop thought to himself, “the phone was on low battery, maybe it just died while he wasn’t looking.” It wasn’t too fair-fetched to believe. As he went to put the phone back on the floor it lit up again. The rookie cop took a small step back and stared at the phone. It blinked. Over, and over, and over again. A knock in the wood. He quickly turned towards the doorway, peeling the walls down with his eyes.

The rookie cop thought of taking the risk. Was there actually someone in the house? Did they know he was there? If they didn’t know he would have the jump on them, but if they already knew he was there maybe it would be best to explain he was a cop, a rookie cop, who was here on business. He decided to keep silent. A knock in the wood. The room felt hotter, as the rookie cop’s adrenaline rushed throughout his body. The bonfire behind him consumed the oxygen in the room, it caused him to sweat, it became agonizing to be near the fire. He couldn’t move though. He knew one step would cause a creak in the floor and he would be exposed. The rookie cop stood his ground, pouring sweat. A knock in the wood. It was consistent now, it wasn’t random.

A knock in the wood. A knock in the wood. The rookie cop, now engulfed in heat and a heart beat of a racing greyhound, could not longer stand still. He sprinted towards the doorway. “Police!” he shouted as he ran towards the doorway. “Who’s there? You are trespassing on a police investigation, and if you don’t show yourself you will be arrested.” Silence passed for minutes. The rookie cop still on edge with his back against the wall, looking in and out of the doorway, waited for a reply. There was a ring, a generic cell phone ring, coming from the phone he set on the floor. A cold chill hit the cop like a wave. He didn’t move, he stood with his back against the wall.

Checking down the hallway every 5 seconds or so, the cop didn’t move. Hallway, phone. Hallway, phone. The phone continued to ring. The rookie cop, almost robotic, moved his right foot towards the phone. Then he moved his left foot towards the phone. A knock in wood. He stuck right back against the wall, and quickly looked down the hallway; Nothing. The phone continued to ring. A knock in the wood. The cop glued against the wall didn’t move. The phone ring seemed to have gotten louder, or maybe the cop’s senses were becoming more heightened. A knock in the wood. The cop wiped his face. The heat from the bonfire continued to melt away at the temperature of the rookie cop. A bang in the wood. It was louder. It was obviously louder.

“Fuck!” The rookie cop shouted and dashed for the phone on the floor. “Hello! Hello!” But, there was no reply. His breath cycle started to even out as the piercing sounds subsided. With the bang in the wood no longer happening at a frequent rate and the phone no longer ringing, the rookie cop was finally able to calm down a bit.

There was silence.

He inadvertently  let out a chuckle, and slowly started to sink onto the floor. Another chuckle came out while he sat down on the floor staring at the phone. The rookie cop picked up the phone from the floor, and examined it a bit. Noticing he had no interest in the phone anymore he threw it across the room. A phone ring. His eyes slowly panned towards the side of the room with the phone, but there was no light on from the phone. It wasn’t that phone that was ringing he thought to himself. It was his phone. He sighed a bit of relief. Pulled his phone out and answered it, “Hello?”

“Fuck!” The cop pulled his phone away from his ears and looked at the caller ID, it was a number he hadn’t saved on his phone previously. “Who is this?” he asked. “Hello! Hello!” “Yes, Hello. Who is this?” there was silence. Then a knock on the wood. The cop turned towards the doorway. A knock on the wood. He pulled the phone away from his ear and stared at the doorway. A faint knock on the wood was coming from the phone. The rookie cop stared at his phone, and brought it up to his ear. There was banging on wood coming from the phone. “Police! Who’s there? You are trespassing on a police investigation, and if you don’t show yourself you will be arrested,” could be faintly heard coming from the phone.

“Who the fuck is this!” He pulled the phone away from his ear and threw it into the fire. A knock on the wood. Every phone in the bonfire started to ring. Thousands of phones all simultaneously ringing. “What the fuck!” the rookie cop yelled. The knocks on the wood quickly turned into bangs and rapidly increased in frequency. The cop drew his gun and sprinted towards the doorway. He left the room and ran down the hallway, stepping onto hundreds of broken cellphone pieces. Maneuvering from room to room. Finally, he saw the door in which he came from and made a b-line sprint towards it.

Now outside of the house the cop continued to run, he didn’t look back. He just continued to run towards where he believed his police cruiser would be. After several minutes of nonstop running he reached his cruiser, started the engine, and drove straight to the police station.

 

A bang on the wood. “Did you hear that?” “Yeah, what was that?””It was probably nothing. What did the cop do once he reached the police station?” One of the teens smiled, “I was told he showed up at the police station, didn’t even explain what he experienced and he just quit right then and there. No one knows what happened to him but just like every victim on the Cellphone Maniac, he trapped their voices inside their cell phone.” A bang on the wood. “Ok, Dave. Stop making that noise.” “That wasn’t me.” “You’re just trying to scare us. We aren’t stupid.” A bang on the wood. “Ok! I’m leaving right now.” A cell phone starts to ring. “No fucking way. I’m out.” One of the teenagers quickly sprints towards the door and exits into the hallway. “Dave, how the hell are you calling the phone like that?” “Dude, that’s not me. Neither were the bangs.”

“I’m going to answer it,” Dave stated. “If you do, then let me leave first. This is just too fucking much for me to handle.”

“No, don’t let me do this alone,” Dave plead.

“Fuck off. I’m going to go find Dalia.” The teen left the room

Dave however stood looking at the ringing phone. He slowly reached for it, now starting to believe in his own made up ghost story. “Hello?”

There was a grumbling noise coming from the phone.

“Who is this?” Dave’s voice trembled.

“Ugh, it’s the rookie cop. And I have Dalia and Kevin hostage. If you ever want to see them again you’ll hurry the fuck up to the car so we can leave and get food! ugh!”

Dave’s muscles relaxed, “Jesus fuck you scared me..”

The voice coming from the phone laughed, “Now bring my phone with you, and hurry the fuck up. It’s so god damn windy out here. I feel like i’m about to freeze my balls off.”

Dave hung up the phone and walked out of the room.

The 4 teenagers met outside and begun their walk towards their car.

“So Dave, did you just make that story up? Or did you hear that from someone?” Kevin asked.

“I heard it from my brother. Apparently it’s a tradition to come there and discard your old cell phones to ease the spirit that haunts the house. If you go and don’t leave a phone he’ll steal your voice and trap you forever in his phone collection.”

“Wait,” Dalia interrupted, “Is that why some phones are in that bonfire while other phones are smashed across the house?”

Dave smiled, ” Exactly. Sometimes people while in there, just find an empty room, smash their phones and leave. Others aren’t as fortunate as them and their phones are trapped in the bonfire of cursed phones.”

“Did we leave a phone?” Dalia asked.

“I was going to, ” Dave replied, “but before I could you guys ran out and left me. So I just wanted to hurry and follow up.”

“What the fuck, Dave. I don’t want to be cursed. Go back there and break a fucking phone.”

“It’s your fault Dean for calling me and freaking me out to the point where I wanted to leave.”

“Let’s just all go back and one of us go in their and break a phone,” Dalia attempted to suggest.

“Let’s do it,” Dave replied, “I already brought a spare phone to break and everything. We mine as well.”

“Fuck it, Alright.”

“I’m not going inside but I’ll turn back and wait outside the house.”

“Let’s go then.”

The four teenagers turned back around to break a phone in order to avoid the curse of being trapped in the bonfire of cellphones. Their walk back was not too long, as they really hadn’t gone that far to begin with.

“Alright, anyone else going inside with me?” Dave asked.

No one replied.

“I mean, all you have to do is walk into the first room of the house, break the phone and leave? Right?” Dean asked.

“Well, I guess.”

“What do you mean you guess?”

“I mean, I don’t know exactly what is supposed to happen when you sacrifice a phone. I was always told that you have to sit in the bonfire room, wait for your phone for your phone to ring and once you’ve heard your voice in the phone, then you smash it on the ground, freeing your voice and giving a sacrifice.”

“That’s fucking stupid,” Dean protested, “Your phone isn’t going to ring regardless because that’s just a stupid story you heard from your brother.”

Dave raised his eyebrows, “Well, I mean sacrificing a phone is also part of the story and my brother told me to make sure I do it. So at this point what matters which part is a story and what matters which part is real? If they’re both fake then it’s not a problem, if they’re both real then we better make sure we do it like explained.”

“That makes no sense,” Dean replied.

“It kind of does,” Kevin protested.

Dalia stepped forward, “If we’re believing the part about the phone we mine as well believe everything. Who’s to pick which part is real and which part isn’t?”

Dave, staring at the ground, cleared his throat and then looked up at the house, “I’m not going to sit in their alone while I wait for a phone call. You all have to come with me. I don’t know how long it could take.”

No one said a word but their body language was clearly in protest to the suggestion. Finally Dean spoke up, “Fuck it, let’s just all go. It would be better if we just all did it and got it over with. I can’t believe you guys are believing in some stupid as ghost story.”

“Alright Dean, if you aren’t scared then you fucking go in their and do it alone. Because i’m fucking scared.”

Dalia nodded, “Yeah. What the fuck then. Go if you want to be an asshole about it.”

“No,” Dead protested, “We’re going in together. Now let’s go.”

They looked amongst each other and then nodded. They slowly walked towards the steps of the house and quietly entered the front door. Kevin turned around and looked into the dark woods leading to their vehicle. The wind aggressively shook the trees that lead to his freedom. He let out a sigh and trailed behind the group.

“Damn, I didn’t really notice it when we first entered here but there is a literal house full of phones in here. Like look, there are even phones in the sink and fridge.”

Dave nodded, “I’m telling you. My brother told me you have to do it.”

“So,” Daila asked, “I’m assuming these phones are in here from people who were running away from the bonfire room and smashed their phones as they were leaving?”

“I guess so,” Dean replied.

“Must be,” replied Dave, “But i’m also sure some of these are just from kids who wanted to add to the collection of broken phones and just smashed random ones around here.”

Dean and Daila nodded. Kevin continued to look behind them, almost an attempt to keep guard from the one direction none of them, aside from him, were looking at.

The four teenagers reached the bonfire room and quickly positioned themselves around it. Kevin stood near the doorway and would frequently look down the hallway. Dave stood right up near the fire and started into it’s auburn glow. Dean stood right next to Dave. Dalia was sitting on the floor almost directly in the middle of Dave and Kevin. She enjoyed the comfort of having a buffer on both ends of her.

“So, how long does it take for the phone call to happen?” Dean asked.

“I don’t know. I just know the story that happens. I’m guessing we’ll hear a knocking on the wood and then once that happens we will wait for our phones to ring.” Dave answered.

“Well, hopefully it doesn’t take long because I’m so hu-” Dean was interrupted by a knocking on the wood.

“Oh, fuck no.” Kevin stated as he quickly peaked down the hallway.

Dave’s voice with a slight tremble behind it, “Well, I guess that’s the knock we were waiting for”

There was a knock on the wood.

“Is this really happening?” Dean asked.

“I’m hearing it,” Dalia replied. The rest of the group nodded. They were all clearly hearing the knock on the wood.

“So, I guess at this point we just wait for a phone call? Will it be like a phone call in the story or could it be any phone call from any one?”

“I don’t know, Dean. I literally only know the story.”

A bang on the wood.

“Fucking, hell. That got louder? That noise is getting louder,” Kevin now on the verge of a breakdown, “It’s just like in the story! This is real. No. No, it can’t be.”

“I’m not saying anything is real until we get this damn phone call,” Dean protested.

A bang on the wood.

Dalia let out a scream. Kevin sunk to the floor and covered his ears.

“Guys! It’s just a fucking banging noise. Just ignore it,” Dean’s aggressive attempts at subsiding their anxieties didn’t have much affect.

“So, I guess we just wait for a phone call.” Dave stated. Dean nodded while Dalia and Kevin sunk their heads into their knees to avoid seeing or hearing anything.

A bang on the wood.

“Jesus, Dave. I wonder how much longer for this phone call.”

“I don’t know, Dean.”

A phone ring.

Dalia ran out of the room, Kevin soon followed behind her.

“What the fuck, Dean.” Dave stepped back from the bonfire.

“Dave, chill out. It’s my phone.” Dean reached in his pocket for his phone, “Hello? Mom?” Dean let out a sigh of relief, “Yes ma’am, I am still with Dave, Dalia, and Kevin. Probably in about an hour. Alright. Alright. Alright. Goodnight, love you.” Dean hung up his phone.

“Is that the phone call we wanted?” Dean asked.

“I guess..”

A bang on the wood.

“Fuck, that really is getting louder.” Dean mentioned.

“But listen to it,” Dave stated, “Like it sounds like it’s actually coming from upstairs and not in here.”

A phone ring.

Dave jumped, “It’s my phone now,” Dave looked at the caller ID, “It’s Dalia, I’m assuming their half way at the car now. Hello? Hey. You guys are? Ok. Dean and I are going to break this phone and then meet you guys at the car. Be safe. Ok, bye. Thanks.” Dave closed his phone and put it back into his pocket.

“Are they at the car?” Dave nodded. “Ok good. Now what were you saying about the bang?” Dean questioned.

A bang on the wood.

“Listen to it. It’s clearly coming from upstairs. It sort of sounds like it’s coming from this room or the hallway but it really just sounds like it’s upstairs somewhere.”

“So what,” Dean asked, “Are we going upstairs?”

Dave sighed, “Fuck it, man. I think we need to.”

Dean nodded, “Lead the way.”

The two of them made their way out of the bonfire room and into the cellphone littered hallway. Knowing that Dalia and Kevin were safely at the car, Dave and Dean only focused on what the banging noise was. The closer they got to the staircase they noticed there were almost no cellphone parts in this area. A few here and there that may have ricocheted off the floor or walls from the other room. The staircase was on the opposite side of the house, and in an individual room all on its own. There was a door that led to the stairs, and this door was closed.

“Fuck, how long has it been since this door was last opened?” Dean asked.

“I don’t know,” Dave grunted as he tried to move the door, “argh, it’s jammed. Help me push this.”

The two of the together couldn’t push the force of the door.

“I got a better idea,” Dean delivered a hearty kick to the door’s frame and left a rather large crack. “That felt very satisfying. Like getting out all that anxiety and adrenaline.”

Dave smiled and then proceeded to kick at the door. The crack soon turned into a small hole and that small hole was soon a hole big enough for them to go into.

Dean, now out of breath stepped back from the door, “I think it’s good enough to go through now.” Dean crouched down and entered through the small hole.

There was a bang on the wood

Dean jumped while he was still going through the hole, and the shock from the bang caused him to jump upwards scraping his back, ripping his shirt and leaving a few trails of blood.

“Fuck! Oh my, Fuck!” Dean reaching over his back holding the open wound.

“Shit, dude, you’re really bleeding. You think you’re ok?”

“Yeah, just come on and let’s stop this damn banging sound.”

The two now ascended up the staircase. From the outside the house seemed to be only two stories but the stairs led up almost 4 flights. The two couldn’t understand where in the house they were but they didn’t say a word and just continued to walk up. Finally they reached a single door at the end of the staircase.

A bang on the wood.

“That’s so damn loud. It’s coming from in here. It has to be.” Dean stated.

“On the count of three we open this door, ok?”

“Alright, Dave. 1..2..”

Dave quickly twisted the door knob and rammed into the door. His momentum took him into the room so quickly he almost fell down because of it.

A bang on the wood.

“Oh my fucking -”

Dave gagged on the floor and turned back to the staircase.

Dean slowly walked to the end of the room, fighting back a desperate gagging sensation.

“I think,” Dean let out a horrid cough, “this is what is causing the banging sound.”

Dave finally threw up, and stumbled outside of the room.

Dean stared at the shadowed figure dangling from the ceiling, swaying back and forth. He noticed a broken window directly next to the figure, and when a gust of wind entered the room the body knocked into the wood.

A bang on the wood.

Dean’s stomach sank the more he stared at the faceless figure, swaying back and forth in the air. He quickly gagged and turned around. He continued to gag until he realized he needed to vomit. He went to the furtherest side of the room and threw up.

“Dean. What the fuck. Is that him? The cellphone maniac?” Dave asked

Dean wiping throw up from his chin, “I-I’m guessing.”

“Oh my, fuck.  I can’t handle this smell,” Dave turned back out of the room and continued to throw up.

Dean slowly turned his head back to the body and noticed a book on the desk next to the body. Aside from the book and swaying body, the room was completely empty.

A bang on the wood.

Dean covered his nose and mouth, as he walked towards the book on the desk. He looked up at the body, grab the book, look back at the body, shook his head, and left the room. Dodging a pile of Dave’s vomit he walked down the stairs.

“What is that?” Dave asked.

“It was the only thing in the room aside from him and that desk. I just figured it meant he wanted someone to open it.” Dean replied.

“Makes sense, what does it say?”

Dean reached in his pocket for his cellphone and turned on the flashlight function. He scanned the book with his phone and realized the book was a journal.

January 7th: I have become increasingly aware of the lack of company my home provides. I am thankful that my father and mother would leave me with the proud family estate, but I must say I really do wish to have some company over every so often … The next few lines were illegible … But I digress. Like I always do.

January 9th: I took a trip back into town! It’s always so great getting a chance to talk to the locals. I love their company, even though none of them ever come over I am just thrilled I got to talk to someone. Speaking to Gus was great as always! I don’t know what I would do without that shoppe.  … The next few lines were illegible …

“I don’t know if this guy wanted you to read his personal journal though, Dean.” Dave digressed.

“Why does it matter at this point? He’s dead. I know once I’m dead I want people to know my story. I feel like we’re doing this guy some justice since no one else every went to his home.”

Dave shrugged.

… The next few pages were ruined, some ripped and some ruined by water damage …

April 21st: I don’t understand! I have tried to call them several times! No one answers their phone calls anymore. Why do we have phones if we do not use them! I need to speak with Gus about getting some supplies as soon as possible. I’ll have to make a trip into town tomorrow.

April 22nd: Why the hell is it snowing in April! This is bullshit! I couldn’t even find my way through the damn snow. Why is it snowing in April! Why isn’t anyone answering my god damn phone calls! 

… The next few pages were ruined …

June 1st: The weather is still cold but at least it isn’t snowing anymore. I’m just hoping someone will stop by and help me. I can’t make the walk back into town. Surely someone will notice I have gone missing, right? I have seen Gus every Monday for the past 10 years. Surely he will notice something is wrong? Surely.

June 15th: I NEED HELP.

June 17th: I NEED HELP. MY PHONE ISN’T WORKING. NO ONE IS HERE. I NEED HELP. THIS IS BECOMING A NIGHTMARE.

… The next few pages were ruined …

July 29th: I do not understand. Why has no one come to see where I have been. I can’t stand to write. It hurts to move. I can’t stand being awake, the pain is just too much.

August 5th: To whom it may concern, I: Daniel Reed, The owner of the home this journal will most likely be found in, am leaving my final statements. I am in too much pain. The injury has left me incapable of being able to make the walk to town. The pain keeps me up at night. I have tried to call everyone I can. I have tried to message everyone I can. My phone has service and it has battery. I have check several times. I do not know if everyone is ignoring me, I don’t know why they would. I loved them all. I cannot reach them. They aren’t helping me. I don’t think they want to help me. I apologize if my handwriting is illegible, I am coughing frequently and with each cough a lifetime of pain occurs. … The next few lines were ruined … I hope that someone will eventually find this journal. I hope you will read this and understand I tried to reach for help. I don’t know what was stopping the help from reaching but the pain is too much to handle. Even now I can’t handle finishing this note. I, Daniel Reed, loved you all with a warm heart. I hope God has mercy on my actions today. Love, Daniel Reed.

“The rest of the journal is empty.”

Dave stared at the journal, “Fuck…”

“Alright Dave, let’s get out of here. Smash the phone, pay your respects and let’s leave.”

“We’re just going to leave like that? Shouldn’t we say like a prayer or something?” Dave digressed.

“I don’t know, man” Dean replied, “I think he just wanted people to come here.. So just us being here is probably what he wanted. Just break it and let’s go.”

Dave nodded. He took out the spare phone from his pocket and smashed it into the ground, “I guess it makes sense then.”

“What do you mean?”

“The pile of cellphones burning, he hated them because he thought they weren’t working so he burned them. When people visit him he wanted them to smash their phones because he hates them.”

Dean sighed, “I don’t think he’s actual spirit is haunting this place. But it’s a nice gesture to do for him. He seemed like a good guy. Let’s let him rest in peace.”

Dave nodded.

The two of them walked out of the house and into the woods to meet their friends. Dave turned around and looked at the house, he could hear a faint bang on the wood.


I hope it was clear that I fucking hate cellphones for the most part. I think I went a little overboard on this short story. Honestly, I wanted to expand on it a whole lot more, but I had to keep it short to keep with the trend of short stories. I think if given enough time and editing I could make this into an actual novel link. I love the concept of trapping someone into their cell phones if they pay homage to Daniel Reed. However, to keep it short, I had to not explore it.

Time Machine

Time Machine

 

For  a moment, but not a second more, I felt as if I was a boy on the other side of the world but at the same time a girl on the opposite side as well; I was the flower plucked by the lover, the paint used by the artist, the ego lifted by the psychedelic experience, the sin performed on the marital bed, I was everything.

“We barely have a heart-beat on him. We need to hurry!”

Then it was dark, it was nothing. I was everything, but now I am nothing.

“He’s coming back! Don’t give up, little buddy.”

I groaned.

I no longer felt time passing, I was no longer here and there. Seconds were seconds again. It hurt all over. I was moving fast, each little bump in the road felt like an avalanche of pain.

“Quickly, help me get him out!”

I don’t remember much of what happened next, I suppose I blacked out because I can’t remember anything.

“Hey there young man, how are you feeling?”

My eyes still weren’t open and my mouth was barely moving. I couldn’t form words but I could only groan.

“Do you know where you are?”

I tried to open my eyes. I was ignoring everything he said. I just wanted to open my eyes.

“Hmm?”

Without opening my eyes I tried to lift my head to see if I could move anything. There was no pain to move but the force of Earth was on my head, I couldn’t move.

“I’ll check back here in a few minutes. I’ll give you some time to readjust your muscles. Nurse!”

“Yes?”

“Please keep and eye on him. He’s slowly regaining consciousness but he’s still having trouble with muscle functions. Please let me know whenever he is finally moving and aware.”

“Yes, sir!”

I tried to open my eyes, I tried to move my body, I tried to make sense of where I was. Nothing.

“Are you feeling any better, young man?”

I tried to open my eyes, I tried to move my body, I tried to make sense of where I was. Nothing.

“How is he nurse?”
“He hasn’t moved since they first brought him here.”

“Hmm, I guess we will be optimistic about it. I’ll keep checking on him daily and I’ll make sure a nurse is always with him. By the way, make sure you’re signing out whenever you leave this room. Just to better keep track of who was in here.”

“Yes, sir.”

I tried to open my eyes, I tried to move my body, I tried to make sense of where I was. Nothing.

“Hello there, ma’am. My name is Bill, I am the firechief that came to response for this young man when his house was burning down.”

“Yes, yes how are you?”

“Well, I am fine. I was hoping I could speak with you and the doctor who is monitoring  this boy.”

The nurse quickly left the room to fetch the doctor.

Alone in the room the fire chief stared at the young man, “I don’t understand, little buddy.”

“Hello, Bill? I’m Dr. Kuna. Ms. Cran told me you wished to speak with me.”

The fireman looked down and then slowly turned him attention to the dying young man, “yes, I just.. I just thought you’d like to know that after we cleared the fire and discovered what the cause of the fire was it seemed like someone had poured gasoline all over the house and everything inside the house.”

The doctor and nurse both looked confused.

“Yes, but why does this concern us,” the doctor replied.

“Well, you see.. We further investigated the house and after finding the room where the gasoline trail begun we found a fireproof lockbox that was almost burned up. Damn cheap pieces of shit. Well, the lockbox wasn’t locked and when we opened it up we found, well, we found a suicide note.”

The doctor didn’t flinch, but the nurse covered her mouth and moved her attention to the dying young man

I tried to open my eyes, I tried to move my body, I tried to make sense of where I was. Nothing.

“This doesn’t mean that I plan to just let my patient die, Mr. Bill.” the doctor replied almost angrily.

“Now, doctor, I wasn’t implying that. I just thought i’d let you know that inside the note he wrote that his final wishes weren’t to be rescued, and that if he were to be rescued he had one wish: he wish he’d had been left behind in the fire.”

this is Autumn

This is Autumn.

There was always an odd glow this time of year. The sunlight reflecting from the bounty of leaves piled on the ground, they lie there awaiting for the next gust of wind to pick them up and spread them over the browned grass. The air was autumn, and not a single hint of it being anything else. It was traditional amongst myself when driving during autumn to roll down the windows and turn the heater on together while driving. A simple pleasure for a simple drive through the country side.

It was quieter here. Nothing like the murmuring streets of New York, or the plastic avenues of Los Angeles, no, no it was vacant but not hollow. The quietness was dense and full of warmth, it wasn’t eerie or remotely unwelcoming; an homage to the first sip of beer after a long work day, one could say. This was autumn, this was autumn on the country-side.

“What did you like about autumn growing up so much, grandpa?” a young boy asked

“Well, you see… I.. I don’t really remember anymore.” replied a confused older gentleman. “I.. don’t remember what it was about those autumn days that made me feel so happy, I just know that they did. I wish I could remember them, I wish I could go back whenever I wanted to. Have you ever had a dream where you wish you didn’t wake up, Tommy?”

Tommy smiled, “Well sure! I had a dream last week where I was flying but then mom woke me up for school. I wish I could fly in real life like that.”

“Ahh, I love those dreams,” he smiled and gently patted the boy’s head, “Well, just like your flying dream the autumn memories are my flying dream. I never want to wake up from them.”

“But, that’s not dreaming. That’s real life,” Tommy replied looking as confused as any 8 year old would.

“You’re too young to understand this.. but I promise you that you will one day. Maybe life is a dream, and we just haven’t woken up yet. I’m hoping that once I finally wake up, it’ll be autumn forever.

Tommy reached over to his grandpa who was lying in a bleak-white hospital bed and gave him a tough pinch.

Grandpa didn’t flinch.