Chapter 1

The car, SUV, or whatever it was once was, lay on its side as if it had been a mound of dough slapped flat by callused hands then thrown against a concrete pillar. The pillar was real and seemingly unscathed—still standing proudly helping support the platform above it. But the vehicle—whatever sort it might have been now wrapped around it was just this deformed and rubbery thing. The vehicle, (I was told the make and model before arriving on the scene, but couldn’t remember the details), had an upstanding 5-star safety rating of reinforced steel and hard plastic. Yet today it was just clay. And out of that unglazed pottery shot a solitary arm of flesh and blood—mostly blood. It belonged to what was presumed to be the one person wearing their seatbelt. A lot of good it did them. Another two bodies whose profiles could still be seen under the thin, white sheets now covering them were resting about 15 yards past the pole at an almost exactly 45-degree angle on either side of it. Such is life (and death) and foolishness and just plain bad luck.

Chapter 1

Someone told me that I should write down my thoughts. They said that it was something that would help me organize all the shouting voices in my head. Honestly, I don’t really see the use in that. I like my shouting to be confused. At least then it makes sense. Otherwise it’s like some media-envisioned drill instructor barking orders at you and telling you what scum you are. I think that shouting should be chaotic—a spontaneous outburst of raw emotion. To me, controlled, orderly shouting is scary. There should be no premeditation; just a pure release of the soul. I don’t want to control it. I mean, I tell myself that I want the shouting to find its release and then retreat leaving me stillness to reflect on its words. On the other hand, the shouting has become me and who I am, and I fear the day that it stops.  But for now, I’m taking the advice. I just don’t remember from where the advice came. Was it someone’s insight I trust, someone’s insight I don’t trust, or just a random thought? While the world and my life in it spins around corners and hallways, doorways and walls, there are glimpses of rooms dressed in facades where scenes are played out on stages. Sometimes I am an observer while other times I’m an actor. I trust my instincts, though, and right now they are telling me to write.

I:  Death

She stood above me at the top of a long, plush staircase—each stair padded with a thin layer of foam and encased in a red velvet shell—holding the spiritual implement of my death in her sticky, blood-stained hands. Her yellow shirt was paired with white shorts, white knee socks, white shoes, and a white hat. Her smile was matched by the shy innocence reflected in her glassy eyes. Already the look of happy recognition was vanishing from her face as the existence of my memory erased itself from her usually flawless recollection. She saw me not as a friend nor a stranger nor an acquaintance, but as a whisper of wind that touched her cheek and stroked her hair; a cooling breeze on a hot day; a comforting blanket of warmth and understanding on a cold night. She saw my physical being no more and would not miss me because she never knew me. Yet I remembered.

I cried that evening when we parted; she slipping silently into the comforting cloak of darkness while I drove away into the night bound for my empty shell of a home filled with no one and no thing except meaningless material possessions.  I could still feel her presence beside me even after she left.  She was sitting next to me - curled up - finally wearing the mask of tranquility after an emotional evening.  What was she thinking behind those lying eyes?

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