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Harbinger-an excerpt

It always starts out exactly the same way, with total darkness. I can't see anything, but the dins of war are overwhelming. Metal scrapes against metal. Thousands of wings rustle together in flight. Battle cries and screams of anguish can be heard from all directions. Then, there are the wet sounds of liquid splashing across the ground, always followed by a heavy weight. I open my eyes and gasp.

For millennia, we've lived in peace. There was never so much as a harsh word spoken between any of us. That's all over, now. After tonight nothing will ever be the same again. The fighting stretches far beyond my eye's capabilities to follow. The sky fills with the sounds of heavy sobs.

Father is crying.

Something heavy strikes my right temple, sending me to the ground. I drop my sword and my assailant kicks it away before I get a chance to retrieve it. My head is filled with a blinding white light that makes it impossible to see who is standing above me.

"Do you want to live?" The voice asks. It's him.

My vision kicks back in. His blonde hair flows in the wind behind him. His light blue eyes gleam with hatred. His golden armor and perfect face are stained in red. The point of his sword is at my throat. He started all of this.

The Morning Star.

"I'm only going to ask you this once more, Michael." He says. "Do you want to live?"

"Yes." is all I can say.

"Then denounce Him."

I was more than thankful for the thunder that brought me out of my nightmare. We have them every night to serve as a reminder. I sit up in my bed that's soaked in sweat and wipe the sleep from my eyes. The glowing red numbers on the alarm clock read 9:17 p.m. Just as well, I needed to get up anyways.

I stand up, stretching my arms and wings as I make my way to the window. The rain is coming down hard. It mixes with discarded motor oil before it reaches the storm drains. It's getting to the point that I can't even remember what this world was like before it became sick, back when it was still clean and untouched. Before men.

A harvest moon hangs in the sky, never a good sign. My cell phone rings and I answer it. Gabriel's on the other end.

"Michael?" He sounded panicked. He never gets that way. Another bad sign.

"Yeah?" "There's been another attack. Man, they're getting more brazen."

"Calm down. What happened?"

"They got a convenience store this time. 9 dead and 1 survivor."

"What kind of demon was it?"

"No. That's just it. It wasn't a demon. It was..." his voice cracked, " the Fallen, man. They're here."

"That's impossible. They're not allowed to come up."

"Yeah, well, apparently things have changed. The woman who survived described them perfectly."

"Them? How many were there? And do we know which ones?"

"There were four of them, not sure about their identities. She could see through us as well. She knew what we were."

"This is insane. First the cop and now her? What's going on, Gabe?"

"I don't know. Something bad is coming. Can you meet us at the usual place?"

"Yeah. I'll be there in thirty minutes." I hung up the phone, got dressed, grabbed my weapons and was out the door in five.

The Mark: Chapter 1

“I hope you have somewhere else to go, because you no longer have a home here!”

My father's angry words rang heavily inside my ears as the front door of the house slammed shut behind me. I didn't even look back once as I made my way across the yard to my car. This had already happened a few times before, and I knew all my belongings would be waiting for me in the front yard when I returned. I pulled my keys from my pocket, unlocked the car door, and climbed inside. I sighed as I put the key into the ignition. It was only then that I finally looked back towards the house. The hate that brewed inside could even be felt from all the way out to the street. Hopefully, all Dad needed was a little time to cool off, and by the time I got off of work things would be better.

Life had been utter shit ever since Mom died and Dad remarried. For the most part my stepmother was ok, we just didn't see eye to eye on a whole lot of things. I think she viewed my older brother and myself as physical evidence that Dad had once been in love with another woman besides herself, and resented us for it. Samuel, the eldest, got sick of it and left. I hadn't see or heard from him in three years. However, it wasn't all bad.

The best thing that had come from Dad's new union was my younger brother, Nicholas. He had just celebrated his fifth birthday, and watching him grow had been a joy. He was the flower that had grown from the field of shit that was our broken home.

Most of the tensions grew from Samuel, Dad, and myself. Every single night had been a continuation of an ongoing fight that had lasted for six long years. I wasn't even sure what this particular spat had been about. At that point, though, I didn't even care.

“Fuck it,” I muttered to myself as I turned the key. The engine roared to life and I sped off. I was gripping the steering wheel so tightly that my knuckles had turned white. With a shaky hand I turned the radio on full blast and got lost inside a cacophony of guitar and lyrics.
It was about ten minutes later when I pulled into the parking lot of the grocery store that I so reluctantly called my job. Part of me wished I could just keep on driving until I found somewhere better to be, or just simply ran out of gas. Quite frankly, I would've settled for either. I was already half an hour late and I knew the boss would have my ass for it. I pulled into a parking spot and shut off the engine. My hands were still shaking. Why did I always let him get to me like this? I should be used to this by now.

With that thought in mind I climbed out and shut the door behind me. I glanced at the store and then looked up at the sky. I took in the beauty of the blue abyss that had been dotted with clouds. I found solace in the warmth of the sun, and smiled briefly. If I had known that this would be the last time I would ever see it, I probably would have stood there a little bit longer.
“Well, from one hell to another, I guess.” I said to myself as I walked sullenly towards the store. Little did I know how prophetic that throw away comment would soon be.

Halfway to the store's entrance I noticed flakes of snow, slowly wafting down from the sky. Least, that's what I figured it was. Then I remembered that it was August, I live in Texas, and the temperature was a mild 99 degrees. I picked up one of these “flakes.

“Funny,” I thought to myself, “I don't remember the weatherman saying anything about it raining feathers today.”

I looked up and around the parking lot. These feathers were everywhere, ranging in colors and sizes, some over a foot long. Several of them had splashes of a red liquid that made them hit the ground with a splat, staining where ever they had landed. I had no idea what could have caused such a phenomenon, but I was late, so I tossed the feather aside.

The doors opened in front of me, greeting me with a gust of artificially cooled air, and I stepped inside. No more than two seconds in, and the boss was already down my throat.

“Where the hell have you been? Do you realize you were supposed to be here forty five minutes ago?” He interrogated.

“Well, if it helps, sir, I've been in the parking lot for fifteen minutes.” I spat out sarcastically.

“I don't have time for this, get to work or your fired.” He threatened before turning around and walking away.

I flipped him off, went to the time clock, punched in, and started working at my checkout line. God, I hated my job. I saw the worst type of people come through my line: thieves, liars, and, more importantly, the assholes. Days like this made it really hard to keep that fake smile plastered on my face just so I could interact with all the customers.

And then it happened.

My co-worker, Jen, screamed out to me. “Joe, come quick! You've got to see this.” She was standing next to the window with a look of bewilderment and awe on her face.

“Jen, what's wro...” I started to ask as I made my way over to where she stood, but lost my voice at what I saw.

She didn't need to answer anyway. The sight spoke for itself. I looked out the window and up at the sky. It looked like it was on fire. There was simply no other way to describe it. Enormous streams of smoke billowed from the fires and covered the sky like a shroud. The clouds of smoke only grew thicker and darker as the fires consumed the sky. This didn't stop until it and the sun and sky were blacked out, leaving a premature darkness over the city. Burned down to a smoldering blackness, the sky seemed to swallow itself up into darkness, taking the earth with it. It grew so black that all I could see was my reflection in the store window. Looking back, raining feathers didn't seem so strange, considering what followed it. Suddenly, the blackness began to glow with a blood red tint.

That's when the storms came and with a fury. Thunder like I had never heard before echoed from every direction. The glowing sky churned and seethed in a completely unnatural way. The thunder receded, and a silence came. Nobody outside moved. Everyone in the store crowded around the windows, completely frozen. That's when the sky screamed. It let loose an ungodly cry that rattled every window and crumbled loose bits of dust from the ceiling tiles. Then the rain fell. It was a horrible mix of blood and acid.

Those unfortunate enough to be on the streets screamed in agony as the boiling brew fell upon them. I watched in horror and revulsion as the flesh melted off of their bones. It reminded me of one summer I spent with a bucket full of army men, and a very powerful magnifying glass. I felt sick. Sick with sympathy for the poor souls out there. I swallowed down the bile taste that formed inside my mouth. It all happened so fast. I wanted to help the people outside, to open the doors and help them, but they wouldn't even make it that far. To go to them would be suicide.
The tires on the cars melted on the asphalt from the heat that was steadily growing outside. It was so intense that the windows became too hot to even stand near.

Unnatural lightning erupted from the heavens and exploded on the ground in fiery bursts of crimson, obliterating whatever they hit with pyrotechnic displays of destruction. Buildings all around us were being blown down to rubble by awesome winds. My lunchtime options were diminishing rapidly. That's when the lights went out.

Twelve hours later...
It was only when the storms ceased that the emergency lights finally kicked on. This gave us a better view of the chaos that had been wrought all around us. No other buildings surrounded us. It's funny. I had always joked that when the world ended, all that would be left were cockroaches and this god forsaken store. I just never thought I'd actually be right. People started to say that it was a sign from God that we saved.

Everyone was huddled together in fear or silent prayer. I saw a little girl that clutched a teddy bear close to her chest as she whimpered in her mother's arms. I felt a sting of pity when I saw the fear that resided within her eyes.

“Well, at least it's all over.” I said to her gently, hoping it would offer some comfort.

“Everyone, come here! There's something out there!” A man screamed as he looked out the window.

We all made our way to where he was standing and followed his gaze. All I could see was red. Red skies. Red pavement. Red rubble. Red mist...then I saw it. The shadows outside seemed to be alive. There was movement everywhere. The vapors hanging in the air swirled and cloaked the figures, making it impossible to tell who, or what, they were. Then, something came into view.

It looked human, as far as shape and form were concerned. Hunched over as it gated the ground, knees to face and elbows scraping the pavement. Hairless on the few patches of skin it had left, its body wretchedly thin. Every step it took looked like a mile, and it felt as if the creature could reach out from where it stood and grab us through the glass. The arms alone must have been 6 feet long from shoulder to tip. It stood up towering above everything, standing over eight feet tall. Its arms stretched down past its knees and ended with talon tipped fingers. But the creepiest, most horrifying detail was the face.

The corners of its mouth stretched to the back of its skull in a permanent smile that revealed a jumble of needles that can only begin to look like teeth. Thousands of them standing at a messy attention behind its jovial expression. It's face looked like a mans might after it was peeled off a brick wall after a head on collision, flat from forehead to jaw with two in the middle for sniffing out its prey. The tissue of it's scalp and forehead was bulled down over its eyes and tied back behind its head, creating a makeshift blindfold. Its spine jutted out like the teeth of a saw.
A few people in the store rushed to lock and barricade the doors. I knew it was useless. If the bastard wanted in, it'd find a way.

Its head swiveled back and forth as if sniffing the air. It paused, and turned its head to look directly towards us. As its eyeless gaze fell upon us I felt a shiver run down my spine and stay there. My worst fear was confirmed; it knew we were there. The chill was a stark contrast to the head that had grown from outside, but offered no relief. It reached a taloned hand out towards us and I blinked. In the fraction of the second that my eyes were closed, it had already made the distance from where it stood across the parking lot to the window.

“Fuck me,” I gasped.

It tapped the glass with a single clawed finger, and I watched as its smile grew even larger, tightening the skin around the face. I looked behind it and saw why. Hundreds of creatures just like it came out from the shadows and joined him at the window. Most of them were smaller than him, but some were bigger. It didn't make a difference what size they were, though, they all seemed just as deadly. Some had no skin over where their eyes should have been, just empty holes. Every one different in its own way, and yet the same.

Some people inside screamed and began to run to the back of the building, while others just stood in their place, paralyzed. Unfortunately, I was with the latter, and I've seen enough horror movies to know better. As if on cue, all the creatures opened up their mouths and let loose screams that shook the windows until they shattered inwards. Some of the people around me had blood pouring from their ears, a sign their eardrums had burst.

The creatures flowed into the store like water from a crumbling dam. They whirled through the crowd of stunned patrons, randomly slaughtering anyone in their path. Screams of agony could be heard from all directions. I stood there dumbfounded until one of them backhanded me. I flew back, bounced off a checkout counter, and landed hard on the floor. It was already on top of me. I gazed into the empty sockets that once might have contained eyes, then at that damn smile. The emergency lights reflected off of its bloody muscle and tissue where skin should be. It opened its mouth, and drool fell onto me. It smelled like rancid meat left out in the sun. I came out of my stupor as it raised its hand. I kicked his kneecaps hard, and it howled as they cracked and were broken in the opposite direction. I stood up and ran, my paralysis having finally wore off. God, they were everywhere, tearing customers and employees apart unmercifully and without prejudice.

I heard the fabric on the back of my shirt rip and felt the skin tear. I fell forward and landed on my face, hard. As I flipped over I saw two more standing at my feet. Before I could try any sad attempt at fighting back, one grabbed me by the head and lifted me up off of the ground. Its palm pressed against my forehead, and its fingers wrapped around to the base of my skull. A blinding light emitted from the center of its palm, and I pass out from the pain.

When I awoke it felt like my forehead was on fire. I had a blinding headache, and as I reached up to touch the wound, I could feel heat radiating from it. I stood up and looked around me, my eyes barely able to approach the carnage they were seeing. The store looked as though a fire had swept through it. Charred boxed and foodstuffs lay scattered about. More disturbingly, so were people. I random parts and entrails everywhere. Then, sadly, I saw a tiny severed hand that still clutched a teddy bear.

“Jesus Christ.” It was more of a declaration than a prayer, really. Upon further inspection I found neither a survivor, nor any of the creatures that had butchered them all.
I walked into the bathroom and looked into the cracked mirror. Nothing could have prepared me for what I saw in my reflection. A cross was carved and seared deep into the skin of my forehead. The cross was inverted, and inscribed around the intersection was a circle with three bent legs equilaterally placed. It looked like a six, copied and turned once, then copied and turned against. For those of you keeping score, that's three of them. It was about this point that I realized just how fucked I truly was.

Once I had calmed down a little bit, something lurking in the back of my mind came to the forefront and screamed for some much needed attention.

“Nicholas!” I screamed and ran to the front door.

I stopped, afraid of what might happen to me if I stepped outside, remembering the boiling rain and earth shaking storms from hours earlier. As I looked at the debris and ruin, it became clear to me that things outside had settled down enough to venture out.

As I stepped out onto the concrete, my shoes sizzled. The air was hot and heavy, filled with the stench of death and decay. There was nothing left standing on the block except the store.
I ran. I ran as fast as I could towards where I knew my house was, although all the old landmarks were gone. I could only tell where I was going by the up heaved road that I had been driving on almost a day prior. It seemed like a lifetime before I reached my street. All of the houses were gone or leveled. A sea of foundations where there had been a myriad of bricks, windows, and siding. What had once been trees and laws were now charred stumps amidst an ocean of red rubble.

My house was only a hundred feet or so from the turn, and I could see it standing alone, or at least I thought it was standing. Half of it was torn out, and the other half was staying up with only the support of my only prayer.

Please, let him still be alive. Please, let me find him. Please, please, please...
I saw my father's corpse lying in the front yard, dismembered and blood soaked. I nearly vomited at the sight of his body, and every word that I spat at him during our fight flooded my inner thoughts, wracking me with guilt. I fell hard onto my knees and wretched my stomach until I nearly heaved out my intestines.

Lying there on the ground, I heard it. The only beacon of hope from the darkest twenty four hours of my life. Using every bit of strength left, I pulled myself to my feet and walked towards the remains of the house. I passed through the remnants of the living room towards the source of the sound. There he was, my little brother, the only source of hope and redemption in my life. He was crouched, holding the lifeless body of his mother in his lap. Cradling her head, he rocked back and forth, back and forth. Tears streaming down his tiny face, barely audible sobs emanating from his rigid body.

“Monsters came. They took Daddy away. And now...Mommy won't wake up. Please, Joe. Make her wake up.”

I collapsed next to him and pulled him towards me, holding his head against my chest.

“I'm sorry, Nicky. I'm so sorry.”

We wept together then. Little did we know, we only got a taste of hell that day. It was meant to prepare us for the worst yet to come.

Everything Has A Price

On my lunch break I got a call from my cousin asking me to pick her up from work. All I wanted to do was go straight home, but I told her I'd help her out. On the way there, the buildings grew more and more dilapidated. Welcome to South Dallas, a place a skinny white boy like myself shouldn't be traveling alone.

I called her when I got there and asked if I could come inside because I really had to pee. I opened the car door, climbed out and the second it shut behind me I realized the keys were still in the ignition. Perfect. This happens to me. A lot. Why don't I get a spare key you ask? I don't know and you're really starting to sound like my father.

There's a church next to her office, so I went in there to see if they had anything that could help me out. The inside was rundown with a few pews in front of an elevated stage, on which rested a drum set, guitars and other equipment. It looked like they had turned one of the old music clubs in Deep Ellum into a place of worship. Badass. An old biker guy wearing a bandanna ended up finding a hanger and told me if I couldn't get it to come back for help. I worked with the hanger for 15 minutes before I realized I had no idea what I was doing and went back for assistance.

He grabbed a hammer and two wooden wedges and we went back to my car.

"I learned this trick when I worked for a used car dealership." He told me.

"Hey, I'm not judging you. I just hope this works."

He wedged the door open and began trying to use the hanger to catch the lock. I told the biker that I really appreciated the help he was giving me and he told me to thank Jesus, because he was just the messenger. Jesus.

I was only wearing a T-shirt and my coat stared at me from the back seat. My teeth started to chatter and my cousin told me she was going to get me her extra sweater. While she was gone the biker went back to find something stronger. It was at this point that another guy rode up on a bike.

"Lock your keys in your car." Must resist make...sarcastic comment.

"Yeah." Whew...almost didn't make it.

"I can help you out."

"Alright. Thanks."

"So I have permission to touch your car."

"Yeah, I'm not using it at the moment."

"I'm just making sure. I'm no car thief."

"Right on."

He pulled out a pair of pliers from his pocket, unscrewed my antenea and made the end into a curve. At this point my cousin comes back with the sweater. So now I'm a skinny white boy in south Dallas in a white lace sweater. I ask her if she has the pumps to match it and the guy laughs. I was really touched that these guys went out of their way to help a stranger. It's so rare in life that we take the time to do a selfless act for our fellow man. After about ten minutes, he's got the door open. I thank him profusely.

"You know, I just saved you a fortune." Of course, here it comes. "I'm trying to get something to eat and I'd really like your help." You son of a bitch.

I explain to him that I've only got $20 to last until my next payday. This was the truth. I didn't have any money that I could spare.

"That's ok, I'll take ten."

"It's not broken."

"I'll go down there to the store with you." He wasn't backing down.

"I don't want to go down there."

"You don't get. I'm gonna go down there with you." Fuck me. I'm gonna get stabbed tonight.

"Hold on."

I went inside my cousin's work but no one had change. I've just started enjoying my life, I don't want it to end. I went back to the church and they helped me out again. When I returned to the guy the exchange went like this:

"Look, man. This 20 is all I have to my name. That's it until next week. I can't give you ten, that's half of what I'm worth. I'll give you five."

"You're hurting me, man."

"And you're hurting me. I appreciate what you've done for me, but now I can't eat tonight. So there you go."

He stared at me for a long time. I grew uncomfortable.

"You're really hurting me man. I can't believe you're not gonna give me ten."

"You get five. Take it or don't." You aggressive bastard.

Finally, he sighed and took it before riding off in the sunset. I was pissed. I just don't know why something has to always be expected, you know? Why do nice things always have to have a catch? There's probably a lesson in there somewhere. Good one, Jesus.


Saturday night...

I remember a couple of years ago when I'd look forward to the weekends. It always meant being out all night with a bunch of friends in a bar or some other random place. Now it feels like I spend most of them companionless. Almost like it happened over night.

I don't know if it's just what happens as you get older, or if it's just the way the cards fell. A few of the friends I have are married, which fills up most of their time. Some have conflicting schedules and the others, well, I didn't much like in the first place.

It's times like this that I get lonely. I miss the excitement a night out could bring. Getting ready for the evening and unknown adventures that would almost certainly take place. Now they're spent in front of a screen, be it computer or television. I wanna get out of this rut.

It's kind of hard to meet new people when you get older, though. The two places in life that it's the easiest to do so are school and work. School's out and all my co-workers are considerably older. Shit, I've only killed five minutes doing this.

Now that I think about it, this is the first time in over a week that I've just been able to kind of hang back. I should relish it, but idle time is never a good thing. It lets the mind wander and that's something to be avoided. Ugh...I'm starting to prefer being at work. How the hell did that happen?

This one's for you

Words To Live By

This song is for,
Those of you out there,
Who live your lives,
And yet wish for something better.
This goes out to,
All the people out there.
That feel all alone,
Like they don’t matter.
But this is not,
The way the story goes, no.
This is not,
The way the story goes, now.
In my heart I know,
It’s all gonna be ok.
We have cleared,
Every obstacle in our way.
But you let your fucked up past,
Keep you out of touch.
Just enough to,
Drag yourself down.
End Chorus:
These 23 years passed,
As if they were nothing.
But maybe before you can have it all,
Ya have to lose everything.
Sometimes I miss,
The friends I used to have.
I miss the days,
When I was close to my Dad.
I’d be lying if I said,
Things turned out the way I’d expected.
But this is not,
The way the story goes, no.
This is not,
The way the story goes, now.
Chorus1 1x:
And I’m thankful,
For every person,
That fucked me over.
And all those people,
That showed their true colors.
I wouldn’t trade,
A bit of the pain, cuz
It’s made me stronger.
Chorus2 1x:
In my heart I know,
It’s all gonna be ok.
We have cleared,
Every obstacle in our way.
But your troubled past,
Is not a crutch.
Not a reason to,
Hold yourself down.
End Chorus 2:
It’s not over yet.
It’s not over yet.
It’s not, it’s not,
It’s not too late to start healing.
To start living up to your potential.
You’re so much stronger,
Than people give you credit for.
And it’s not, it’s not,
It’s not over yet.

Check it out! I just got happiness in a bottle. Hurry up and get in line cuz they're handing that shit out like candy!

I'm fifteen minutes early when I get to my psychiatrist's office. After I pay the lady behind the counter, she gives me the Dean Koontz book I let her borrow and then I sit down. I put on my headphones on and pull out my phone, cutting myself off completely from everyone in the room. The first song my MP3 player picks is 'Wonderful' by Everclear. The sheer irony of that playing while I'm in a shrink's office makes me laugh out loud which, in turn, makes everyone else look at me like I'm crazy. Good thing I'm in the right place.

I start to look around the room at the other people waiting to see their doctor. There's a couple of business men with balding heads and wrinkles carved deep under their eyes from stress. A few children hang on their mother, who aged twice as fast as she should have. I wonder if I still belong here. Six months ago, sure, but now I'm not so sure.

It's when this thought hits me that my doctor comes in to call me back. I don't have any problems with him. He's nice enough and everything, but the whole visit always feels awkward. I'm never there more than five minutes and this occasion is no different.

"What do you need this time?" he asks as he pulls out his scripts. When did doctor's become nothing more than drug dealers with degrees? With a new piece of paper that guarantees me another month of sanity, I take my leave. Back in my car my mind wanders.

Pharmaceutical companies run more of this nation than you think. The U.S. is the only country in the world that advertises medications on T.V. Think about that. The commercials all start out with a broad spectrum of symptoms that you're bound to have at some point. Feel tired? You must be depressed. Ass itch? Must be anal cancer. So you go to the doctor and order it like it's fast food. Oh, and don't forget the side effects they spout off rapid fire. You're gonna need medications to counter act those, too.

I wonder if I still have mental problems, if I ever really did. I'm starting to think I was just dealing with too much bullshit at one time. (See earlier blogs) Now, I feel great. So where do I end, and the medications begin? I don't know, it messes with me, though. (Just don't try to take away my Ambien. Seriously. I'm not fucking around here.)

We're just so quick to throw pills at our problems. We don't look at the source, we just numb the pain. "I think my kid has ADD. He has problems paying attention." No, your kid's fucking six, it's how they act. Now you wanna throw in a pill that messes with his brain's chemistry? You're supposed to be his parents, for Christ's sake. And that's only one example.

My second psychiatrist labeled me as paranoid schizophrenic and bi-polar. Then he never returned my calls. When I went to the hospital because I couldn't deal, they told me that it was clinicaly impossible to have both disorders. Do you have any idea how much that jacked me up?

I'm not saying that all doctors are bad, nor are medications. I just think they should be a last resort, even though I'm perpetuating the system. I love me some Ambien. Until next time...

Epiphany in the static

Night time...

I'm driving. The lonely country road stretches out under an ocean of stars that will soon be lost within the ambient light of the city. I think in white noise.

Ten minutes from Rockwall and it finally kicks in. I roll the window further down. The radio is on full blast. The music seeps into my pores and pumps through my veins. The cool night air whips past my burning face and I smile. It's moments like this that I truly feel alive.

I come up the hill that marks the last exit for Rockwall. The Dallas skyline burns in the background like a fire that refuses to be extinguished. Beautiful. The bridge over the lake seems ten times longer than usual. The moon chases me along the surface of the water. It looks as though I can almost touch it.

Everything begins to slow down, including my thoughts. So, let's get down to it.

A lot of people lately have been asking me why I'm single and I don't know what to tell them. I analyze the decisions I have made and decide that I need to re-evaluate my priorites. I wonder why I am the way that I am. This line of thinking can be dangerous.

I start with childhood and work my way forward. The realization sets in that a part of me is still in that state, that it never matured. I think it's because, like so many other people, I had to grow up too fast. When your innocence is taken away from you at such a young age, a part of your emotional growth becomes stinted. If that happens, you could be stuck forever.

I have decided to let it all go. The baggage is too heavy and I am tired. I'm ready to be happy, to feel new emotions without the influences of the past. I don't want to be angry anymore. I just want to be.

Back at home, I flip through the channels and stop at a French animated film called 'Persepolis'. It's about a girl growing up during a revolution in Iran and I relate to it on more levels than I'd like to admit. I see myself in many of the characters, a few that I'm ashamed of.

At what age do our behaviors stop being cute and fun? When do we just become tragic and sad? I want to grow up and now's the time. I'm right back to where I started from all those years ago, only now I've got the lessons to help guide me. I've also got hope and opportunities, and those are things that I will never waste again.

This shit just cracks me up

And One Last One

HSH Excerpt-Enjoy!


The camera is sitting in one end of a booth. Right across are Kahleb and Katy. they are sitting rather close and appear completely comfortable with each other. They sit talking quietly.

Where do you think Richie is? He was supposed to meet us here half an hour ago. It's weird, he's never late.

Yeah, I know. He went to the bathroom after first, but he's been a ghost ever since. I hope nothing happened to him

(Angry now)
I swear, if those assholes jumped him again.

(Trying to calm her down)
I'm sure he's ok. Probably just lost track of time. But listen. Since we're alone there's something I wanna talk to you about.

Ok, what's up?

We can see Richie approaching in the background. His face is red and there is blood on the neck of his shirt. The camera swings around to give us a view of both sides of the booth.

We've been friends forever and-

Richie plops down in the empty side of the booth, and lays across it. His elbow is resting on the table, head in hand. Kahleb and Katy are now sitting a considerable distance away from each other.

(Devoid of emotion)
Hey guys.

(Sees the blood on Richie's shirt)
Jesus, what the hell happened?

It's been a really bad day.

They jump you again?

Yeah, and it was one of the highlights.

What do you mean?

I've seen things.

What kind of things?

Terrible things. Stuff no one should ever have to see.

Care to elaborate?

Richie stares at her blankly for a few seconds. He opens his mouth, but then shuts it before any words come out. He sits up and looks at his friends.

Fuck. I don't even know if I can say it. I don't think you can handle the burden of my newfound knowledge.

(Grows impatient)
Just tell us already!

All right. But I warned you.
(Takes a deep breath)
I caught Chase humping another guy in the bathroom after first period.

I fucking knew it!

(In unison with Katy)

It's the truth man.

(Very excited at this recent development)
Tell me everything!

Why do you want to know the details?

Morbid curiousity, just shut up.
(To Richie)
Now, continue.

Well, I went to the bathroom after first. While I was pissing I heard noises coming from one of the stalls.

(Fully immersed in the story)
What kind of noises?

They were just noises ok? Can't we just leave it at that?

Ok, fine. Go on.

I was just gonna let it go, walk out, and go to class. But that's when I heard Chase speak.

(Now into the story as well)
What'd he say?

I'm not gonna repeat it! It was pretty graphic, though. And you know me, never one to miss out on such a golden opportunity. I kicked the door in.

(Squeals with glee)

I did. And there he was with Marcus, giving him all he had.


Marcus. You know, the feminine guy that works at hot topic.

(With excitement)
(Voice lower now that the picture is in his head)

That must have been quite the sight.

Yeah, still burned into my fuckin retinas.

So what happened after that?

Well, Marcus ran out with his pants around his ankles. Then Chase punched me in the stomach and said that if i told anyone he'd kick my ass.

Just kick right? Nothing else?

That's exactly what I asked him.

That's priceless. I called it, too. I knew he had something to hide.

(Desperate to change the subject)
So where've you been all day?

I didn't exactly feel like going to class in my traumatized state, so I just took the day off and went to the movies.

(In shock)
You...skipped class?

Yeah, my parents are gonna kill me.

Wait, so why's your shirt bloody? You said Chase hit you in the stomach.

Richie goes quiet. He is looking down at the table, his hands cupped together.

That happened later. I realized that I forgot something in my locker, so I went back to school to get it. That's when Christian caught up with me. You can fill in those blanks yourself.

You gonna be alright man?

Yeah, i just...

Richie buries his head into his hands and begins to sobs. Katy exits her booth and takes the seat next to Richie. The Camera swings behind Kahleb to give us a better shot of the other two. Katy puts her arm around Richie, and he rests his head on her shoulder.

I just wish they'd stop.

An Angel and The Fallen

Your wings.
Your wings are gold and shining,
mine are broken and black.
I whisper that I love you.
You smile and say it back.
After that no more words are spoken.
Only with the occasional moan,
is the silence broken.
Every time I see you,
a little more I fall.
Our time is almost over,
and so I try to stall.
Let’s just listen to one more song.
Just one more song...
It’s never been like this before.
We lay in each other’s arms,
both secretly wanting more.
Then it happens.
Breathing gets heavy,
as hearts beat faster.
Then as we move they,
well they beat together.
The world melts away,
as we gain momentum.
We’ve dreamed of this perfect moment,
that we become one...
The feeling of bein alone,
slowly withers and dies.
The star’s sparkle has been stolen,
and been placed inside your eyes.
I look into them,
and get lost in the greenish blue.
I wish I wasn’t tainted,
that I’d saved myself for you.
You’re not just another girl to me,
and this isn’t just another mistake.
Nothing in these feelings I have for you,
are even close to fake.
So if you give me your heart,
I’ll give you my all.
And revel in the love expressed,
between an angel and the fallen.

Home Is Where The Hate Is

I’m layin in the darkness,
When light floods the room.
You enter slowly,
And the fear it consumes.
A smile on your face,
Turns the fear to dread.
You start to laugh,
And lay your hand on my head.
And I know when I was younger,
You went too far.
The pain almost runs as deep,
As all these fucking scars.
And I’m glad I don’t remember,
Those things you used to do.
But I can’t sleep at night,
Cuz all I see is you.
End chorus:
You told me not to worry,
Or to get upset.
Your hand goes all over,
My blankets drip with sweat.
I close my tear filled eyes,
And hope it’s over fast.
And you fucking wonder why,
I blocked out my past?
Chorus 1x:
So you touched me?
I don’t fucking care.
So you hit me?
I don’t fucking care.
So you took advantage?
How could you,
Do this to a child?
I was just a fucking child.
Chorus 1x:

So...I'm stealing this from Ms Danni cuz I can't sleep and it'll buy me some time.

Top 25 songs...
25. Audiopilot-Not waiving, but drowning
24. Adema-Open Till Midnight
23. Fort Minor-Slip Out The Back
22. Third Eye blind-Semi-Charmed Life
21. cky-close yet far
20. Angels and Airways-Do it for me now
19. Smile Empty Soul-Bottom of the bottle
18. Bayside-Tortures of the damned
17. +44-Lycanthrope
16. ICP-southwest song
15. Blue october-Breakfast after ten
14. New Found Glory-hit or miss
13. Normal Like You-Behind Those Eyes
12. Linkin Park- Bleed It Out
11. Rise Against-Ready to Fall
10. Saosin-Collapse
9. Seether-Fine Again
8. The Used-Noise and Kisses
7. Taking Back Sunday-Cute With Out The E (Cut From The Team)
6. Hollywood Undead-Black Dahlia
5. Sublime-What I got
4. Blink 182-Stockholm Syndrome
3. (Hed) P.E.-The Meadow (Special Like You)
2. Everclear-Portland Rain
1. Brand New-Limousine (Ms Rebridge)