When the Universe is F*cking With You

88BBE42F-A7F0-4FFB-92F9-815A2E2BDA3BJack opened his eyes slowly, blinked a few times, and looked around the room. The first thing he noticed was a single incandescent bulb, maybe 60 watts, hanging from the ceiling. Looking around he saw that he was on a cot in a windowless room with cinderblock walls and a heavy metal door. Then he noticed three other men, also on cots, sharing this dank room with him.

“Ah, sleeping beauty has finally arisen,” Jack heard one of the men say, while the other two chuckled.

“Who are you three?” Jack asked. “And where are we?”

“I am a butcher,” the first man said.

“I’m a baker,” the second man said.

“Let me guess,” Jack said, looking at the third man. “You’re a candlestick maker.”

“Yes,” the third man said. “How did you know?”

Jack looked at the three men. “The universe is fucking with me,” he said, more to himself than to the three other men.”

“And who might you be?” the butcher asked Jack.

“My name is Jack and I’m a….”

The baker interrupted Jack before he finished. “I remember once meeting someone name Jack. He was quite nimble, if I recall.”

“And very quick, too,” said the butcher.

“Yes, Jack was so nimble and so quick that he once jumped over a very large candlestick I crafted,” said the candlestick maker.”

“Okay, what is going on here?” Jack said angrily. “If this is some sort of psychological experiment, I don’t want to have anything to do with. Who do I need to talk to to get out of here?”

“Oh Jack,” said the baker, “you aren’t so nimble.”

“And neither are you so quick,” said the butcher.

“And no matter how high you jump, Jack,” said the candlestick maker, “you’ll never get out of here.”

“What is this place?” Jack screamed.

“Welcome to hell, Jack,” the three men said in unison.


Written for the Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Tale Weaver prompt, where we are asked to write our response to the notion of “I Remember Once.” Also for Paula Light’s Thursday Inspiration, where the theme is “universe.” And for Fandango’s One-World Challenge (experiment). And finally for Sandman’s Writing Challenge,

where the situation is “you wake up and you are imprisoned in a room with four strangers, each of a different profession. Why are you imprisoned together and what is your next plan of action?”

 

H is for Hell

A2Z2020For this year’s A to Z Challenge I’m going to attempt to post an old saying or adage each day of the month of April (except for Sundays). I’m going through the alphabet, with the first letter of the adage beginning with the first letter of the alphabet (A) and continuing for 26 adages in alphabetical order until I get through the entire alphabet by April 30 — from A to Z.

I don’t know if it can be done, but I’m going to give it the old college try. Here’s my April 9th adage and it starts with the letter H.

Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.

Finish The Story — A New Dawn, Part 2

F7C858C7-5C5F-4B49-81D4-00ED4A80923BTeresa, over at The Haunted Wordsmith, wasted no time in posting her first Finish The Story prompt of the new year. And she picked me to write the next part.

Here’s how Teresa got it started.

A New Dawn, Part 1

The snow pelted Jon in the face as he stumbled toward the trees. He looked back at the city lights and brushed his long, wet hair out of his eyes. The lights that once held such wonder and mystique now held only despair and heartache. He remembered the warm spring day he first pulled into the city and saw her on the corner waiting for a bus. Lacey would soon be his girlfriend, then fiancé with a little boy on the way. That seemed so long ago. A time when his life was perfect.

He turned back to the trees and allowed the dark to engulf him. Tripping and running into low-hanging branches reminded him he was still alive – for now. Blinded by the snow, tears, and rage, Jon pushed further into the blackness of despair.

Suddenly the ground gave way and he tumbled into a grove surrounded by dead trees. Blood poured over the side of his face and no matter how much he tried, he did not have the strength to fight to live. He only prayed, as he closed his eyes, that they would be waiting for him.

Robins and other songbirds stirred him. Warm rays from the rising sun warmed him, and as his eyes batted and tried to make out what had happened, a sweet voice laughed.

“Lacey?”

The voice laughed again as Jon rubbed his eyes and sat up.

“No silly,” the voice said. “It’s …”


And here’s my continuation.

A New Dawn, Part 2

“It’s Matilda and I am your guide.”

Jon could not see the source for the voice. It seemed to be coming from all around him. “My guide? Show yourself, guide. What is this place and why must I have a guide?” he asked.

The guide laughed again. “Oh Jon, everyone who comes here needs a guide. You’d be lost without one. You wouldn’t know what to do next. Besides Jon, you did pray for me. Don’t you remember?”

The last thing Jon remembered was falling down, tumbling into a glade, and feeling battered, bloody, weak, and hopeless. He touched his head, but there was no blood. He looked at his clothing only to discover, much to his dismay, that he was draped in a white silk robe and had leather sandals on his feet. “I don’t understand,” Jon said. “Where exactly am I and why am I dressed this way?”

“All in due time, Jon,” Matilda said in a smooth, calming voice.

“I demand that you show yourself,” Jon said. “Show yourself and tell me what this place is.”

“I am not like a child who should be seen and not heard,” Matilda said. “Quite the opposite, in fact. As to where you are, Jon, a smart man like you should have figured that out by now.”

“Am I dead?” Jon asked. “Am I in Hell?”

“You’re not in Hell,” Matilda said. “And neither are you in Heaven, Jon. You’re in …”


Now, according to Teresa, I’m supposed to tag another blogger who is supposed to:

  1. Copy the story as he or she receives it.
  2. Add to the story in some fashion.
  3. Tag yet another person to contribute to or finish the story.
  4. Please use FTS as a tag so Teresa can find it or link back to part 1.
  5. Have Fun!

The lucky blogger I am going to tag is Kristian over at Tales From The Mind of Kristian. I’m confident that he’ll do a bang up job with “A New Dawn, Part 3.”

Are Dead People Voyeurs?

CEB274F9-BD76-4B99-A978-93702D2271F0I was watching a TV show the other night when one character said to the other, “You’re father would be so proud of you. I bet he’s looking down from heaven right now with a big smile on his face.”

Yeah, right. Do people really belief that their dearly departed friends and relatives are looking down — or looking up, as the case may be — at them to see what they’re up to?

“Oh my God, Dan, that was the best sex ever. I bet your mom is looking down on you from heaven with a big smile on her face.” Oh wait, maybe it was Dan’s father who was looking up at him from hell and masturbating while watching Dan having a hot time with that blonde he picked up at that party. Hmm. Do the souls of dead people masturbate?

Do people really believe that the souls of their deceased loved ones are spending their days in the afterlife spying on their earthbound family members and pals? Do they do it all the time, or do they only do it when something extraordinarily good or bad happens?

And where’s the line? Are there boundaries, safe zones, where you can escape the prying dead eyes of the deceased? Like the bathroom, maybe. Is my mother watching me sitting on the toilet taking a dump and beaming about what a big boy I am?

Is there a statute of limitations? For example, are these dead voyeurs watching over us forever? Or are we sentenced to a finite number years after their death to be subjected to their constant observation? And how large is this circle of voyeurs? Just your parents or does it go back multiple generations and include more watchers than your immediate family and closest friends?

In the interest of full disclosure, I’m an atheist and I don’t believe in the notion of an afterlife. But I’m genuinely interested in hearing from those who are believers. Do you believe that the souls of your deceased loved ones — your parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and closest friends — are looking down at you, watching what you’re doing day in and day out?

I’m not trying to be an asshole. I really want to know what you believe. Tell me in the comments or write your own post and link it back to this post.

Thanks!