March 7, 2016

Hate

Filed under: about time,Hate — Tags: — franklet @ 4:47 am

so I finally watched the movie “Room” this weekend. I loved it, but then again I loved the book. At times I was bothered by the prescience Jack as the narrator, but mostly I thought Emma Donoghue did an amazing job with a concept which could have been horrible and uncomfortable without any saving grace. I struggle so much with this as a writer, because what I write doesn’t generally vibe with enough people for it to catch fire. I love doing it, when the flow is in, and when a new idea smacks me in the face. But even then my best ideas almost inevitably feel derivative. As such I continue to embrace the logic of this: all literature is derivative. To ignore the evolution of intellect through literature and knowledge as they wove into and about each other is to be willfully blind. These things give me hope. That the sincere narcissism I express in thinking people who don’t already adore me would care to invest time in what I’m typing isn’t some novelistic form of extended mirror-gazing masturbation. And with that said… I present to you the first chapters of “Hate” – which is my latest response novel. Because that is what I think I am going to keep doing. Writing novels in response to other novels. To carry forward the story.

Chapter 1 – Gone Days

Sometimes I wonder what it would be like, if I were different. Not him. I understand that I’m not him. I get it. I’m not five anymore. But it’s not like it’s easy. Doing stuff. Understanding how I’m supposed to handle things. Figuring it all out. Mostly it’s his fault. I get it. But she fucked it up, too. I don’t get to be mad at her, though. When I try, it’s like I’m back there. Stuck in that small place, with the crack running between the doors and the sliver of light shining down my body, splitting me in two.
I don’t even have the same name. Not anymore. It wasn’t safe to be him, they said. So they made me into somebody else. I don’t think she would have liked that much, if she’d bothered to stay around. Gran is always telling me not to blame her, that she did the best she could. She gave you life, Lucky. That’s not the kind of thing you hate someone for.
Hate.
It’s what I should have picked as my name. Because it’s what I am. Not literally. I’m not some manifestation of what comes from anger, though I am always angry. Except when I’m medicated, but even that is dicey. Try, Luck, buddy. You want to get better, right? Seriously, Leo? Fuck you. Why don’t you go make some fucking pancakes or do some yoga, or whatever the fuck it is you do these days. I don’t like it when people from Before say my name. Except Gran. There’s always Gran, and that’s about as good as it gets.
“Lucky’s” a great name she said it fits. It’s just different enough that you can write the story of it and leave the bad stuff behind. People will want to know who Lucky is, and that will encourage you not to be J…
I screamed at Gran that day. It was the first time I’d ever shown her who I truly am. The person inside. The real me. Not him. Not her. Not Lucky. Hate.
Don’t ever fucking call me that name! NEVER!
I feel bad, even now, for shouting at her. None of this was her fault, even though Ma sometimes said it was. Ma said all kinds of stuff that wasn’t true, but she also said a lot of stuff that was.
I was happy before this, Jack.
I used to run so fast!
Once upon a time my teeth were white, Jack!
I never really believed it when she said those things. Not at first. How could I? I was fucking five. I didn’t know any better. I’d never seen anything but the inside of that damned room and that wardrobe where I slept and the awful piece of sky that should have made me feel free but never did. I hated it. Even before I learned to hate her. Because it was outside and I wasn’t. Because she was outside and I wasn’t. Because she left me. Even back then she used to leave. What did I used to call those days? Gone days. What the fuck was she thinking? As if I wasn’t damaged enough? As if she wasn’t damaged enough. Gone days. Hate. Lucky me.

Chapter 2 – Room

I never should have made her go back. It’s not like I actually remembered the place. The only stuff I knew about it was what she told me. And Gran. And the movie. The book. The magazines. All that fucking shit that only exists because she told them about it. We could have left it all behind. Moved on. I would have forgotten, the world would have forgotten. If there’s one fucking thing I’ve learned is that the world always fucking forgets.
She didn’t want to go back. Neither time. Gran told me she didn’t want to tell the story either, but that she felt like she had to do it. To let it out. As if her body was like Room, and she was like you, Jack. She had to get it out. I believed that when Gran said it. It made sense. It didn’t make up for her leaving me, but it made sense. When things make sense I’ve learned you have to hold on tighter, for the times when they don’t make sense at all.
I made her go back. Twice. The first time I barely remember. I wasn’t even six yet. I remember how small Room was it. It was like it wasn’t even Room anymore. But something from the TV. Some fantasy. That’s how I felt. I remember that. This isn’t Room. I told her. She laugh-cried. I was such an asshole. Even then. I guess I wasn’t just hers. Just like him, I made her go back to Room. I kept her there, when all she wanted to do was leave. Just like him.
The second time I made her go back I was almost sixteen. It was like a sick little fascination. Gran didn’t want to go, and I’d snuck over there already a bunch of times myself. But it didn’t feel right. I needed Ma to go with me. I needed the closure she should have given me from the start. Like that awful bitch who interviewed Ma tried to make it out. As if Ma should have left him take me, bring me somewhere, abandon me. As if that was the right thing to do. To leave Ma in there, alone. To die. And me to never know who I am, where I came from, or why I could never know the truth. Yeah, lady, that’s the right fucking thing to do. What the fuck is wrong with people?
I should have seen it. The second time. The way Ma started shaking two blocks before we got to the house. She knew the place. I had always believed she never went there, but now I know better. She drove past the place a lot. Trying to make herself go in, back to Room. To break the spell the place had on her. To shatter the last bits of him holding on to her. Needless to say that shit never worked. Still, I should have seen it. I’ve always been good at seeing things about her. Not that time.
I practically had to drag her through the house. I remember thinking: he fucking lived liked this? While we were in Room this asshole lived like this? The least he could have done was be interesting. The house was fucking boring. A ratted old sofa. A tube television. Some exercise equipment and lots of old newspapers. A dining room table with one mismatched chair. Peeling wallpaper and fucked up, moldy carpet. It shouldn’t have shocked me that no one wanted to live in the place. There was gruesome feeling to the whole house and it had infected the houses around it. The whole neighborhood was a dump. I can only imagine what his little backyard addition did to the property values of his neighbors. Whatever. Assholes.
The backyard had overgrown, the weeds and grass and shit was up to my knees. But the shed was still there. All the greenish paint had faded, it had this worn, sort of tired color to it. As though it waiting to fall down. Waiting for the right moment. It’s sick, but I wish I had taken a picture of it. Something to remember the place by, other than my sick fucking memories and the damn magazines Anyway.
The building didn’t look like the photos. Maybe they had some kind of camera tricks to make it look… close? Fuckers. It was bigger than I thought it would be. Ironic, right? Still small as fuck, but the last time I came here Ma says I asked her if Room had shrunk. So I expected it to be smaller. How did we have a whole world in this space? What does that say about our capacity to be something other than the greedy, cruel fucks we are today? I had so many words back then, but I’ve got new ones: rapacious, pernicious, raiders, breakers, ebb tides, and devastation. I walked into the shed, into Room, and ran a hand along the wall. I had to duck to get in past the door jamb. Funny how we grow up towards things and one day realize the limit, realize we have to pass under it, so we can go back to the place where we started. That should fucking mean something.
It stank. Like mold and animal shit and years and years of being left alone, gathering dust and layers of memories and shit. You would think I had retained some sense of the tactile sensation of those walls. The alternating crisp and moist feel of the paper, of the things we put on the walls. I touched them when the first time I made her come back but I didn’t retain any memory of it. The second I made her come back she stayed in the backyard, surrounded by the weeds, the delicate pointed tops of them brushing against her in the wind like some god damned high art or something. Fuck all. She was still pretty even with the false teeth and the layers of dusted care etched into her face. Not that I care about that shit. She’s Ma, who gives fuck shit if she’s pretty? Even if I were that way it wouldn’t matter. She’s Ma. But she stood there, in the weeds, like a statue made of powdered flesh, her arms wrapped around herself in the most sublime fucking way, one hand on a shoulder, the other on her waist, so her arms didn’t cross. Because after you’ve been a hostage all your fucking life you never want to be captive, even though you are. You always fucking are.
I had to go back out and pull her to the shed. Like I said I practically had to drag her back to Room. Part of me fucking knew what I was doing: knew that I was torturing her in some real way. Making her experience this, not that I understand why. Did I want her to be close to me again? Was that fucking dream? That she and I would find ourselves enclosed again with only each other? Would I suddenly know shit again? Feel like I understood the fucking world for the first time again?
That reporter suggested the right thing would have been to leave me, to find a way to get me out of Room as a baby, to sacrifice for me, and I’ve always thought how fucked up that line of reasoning was, but at that moment, dragging Ma back to Room, I kind of understood it. We never really left the place. People never really leave the Room they’re in. They never fucking do. I went back out into the wind and weeds and pull her by the arm to Room.
She shivered as she went under the door jamb. She wasn’t tall. Neither was he. Why was am I so much taller? It must be some kind of human thing, the need to touch. She had to reach out and touch the walls too. But it was only with the tips of her fingers and her hand jerked back, like she had been shocked. I don’t think I will ever stop seeing that image. Like Room had actually fucking bitten her or something. And I brought her back to it. If you ever wonder why I did it, or when it started, other than when he fucking abducted Ma and locked her in Room – that is an obvious starting point, if there is such a fucking thing, if you ever wonder why I did it or when the idea started it was in the moment I watched her shrivel as she touched the walls of Room for the last time. The proverbial fucking butterfly flapping its fucking wings in fucking China that blows the hurricane across the fucking world.
But what in life ever prepared me to make a better decision than what I did? Huh? Fucking tell me that. I still don’t know the answer. All I know now is that she didn’t want to go and I made her. Because I needed to see what those walls meant now. And I couldn’t do it alone. I never could. I still can’t. What I needed was Ma.
What I got was fucking Room.

Chapter 3 – Not Hate
There are some things I don’t hate. It’s fucked up to say that, like it implies I’m full of hate, except for this one or this other thing, which somehow I don’t hate. Maybe at one point that was me. But it wasn’t always me and it isn’t now. I don’t hate Ma. I don’t hate Room. I don’t hate him. So rather than talk about the things I hate, I want to talk about the thing I don’t.
How could I hate Ma? She didn’t just give me life, she insured it for me. She suffered what is to most people both unspeakable and yet oddly mythic in order to make life possible for me. More, she persevered though everything which life, which bare existence, or god or what the fuck ever had put in her way, to give me life. Those people that argued she should have forced him in the beginning, when I was a baby, to let me go. Drop off like some kind of trash at a hospital, in the hopes of a better life. Fuck that.
Because do you know what he would have done? No. You don’t. But I do. Because he told me.
“I’d have smothered you with a pillow and buried you in the backyard. The only reason I let you live is because she calmed down after you came. She let me have her if I let her have you.”
That’s why I don’t hate him. Because though he’ll die in prison, long after Ma gave up the ghost, he gave me truth when he didn’t have to give me anything. When my very presence had cost him everything, both legitimate and illegitimate. I was his saving grace and his downfall, just like I was both for Ma. And people wonder why sometimes why I hate so fucking much. That’s why. Because of the things I don’t hate.

December 14, 2015

Icarus Hadwell – Chapters 11-13

Filed under: about time,Icarus Hadwell,The Book of Fates — Tags: — franklet @ 2:58 am

Chapters 11-13 are available to be read on Inkshares!
Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Enjoy! Three more chapters next week! If we push the total of pre-orders past 75 I’ll publish 6 chapters next week! Happy reading! 🙂

December 3, 2015

Icarus Hadwell – Chapter 4

Filed under: about time,Icarus Hadwell,The Book of Fates — Tags: — franklet @ 11:02 pm

New week. Time a new chapter.
Have you checked wittle Ickie out yet? He’s a bad sad little boy, but once he gets mad…

https://www.inkshares.com/projects/icarus-hadwell/book_segments/chapter-4-4548

November 28, 2015

Icarus Hadwell & The Book of Fates – update

Filed under: about time,The Book of Fates — Tags: — franklet @ 5:01 pm

“One boy. Infinite possibility. An friendless teenage boy discovers his place in the multiverse, while those hoping to take his place search for him – and for the Book of Fates. What happens when worlds collide and the only thing standing between the mind of Dark Energy is one, small, lonely boy and one little book?”

I’m exploring crowdfunding, at the behest of some cheerleading friends, so. If you’re one of the three people who reads this and hasn’t check-check-checked it out… please go to: https://www.inkshares.com/projects/icarus-hadwell

Please remember that in order for the book to be published at least 250 pre-orders must take place. So…. um…. if you could…. you know… just… GIVE ME YOUR MONEY. NOW.
Thanks 🙂

November 21, 2015

Icarus Hadwell & The Book of Fates – Chapters 1-3

Filed under: about time,Icarus Hadwell,The Book of Fates — Tags: — franklet @ 6:49 am

After much deliberation and a modicum of frustration with the attempts at getting a publishing agent to notice, I’ve decided to release Icarus Hadwell & The Book of Fates – for free. I’ll post three new chapters here, every month. No signup required. No money necessary. Just download and enjoy. In January I will post the entire novel for sale on Amazon.com, createspace.com, and smashwords.com. If you’re reading along and decide that you like it, you love it, dear Tori you can’t get enough of it, please buy it and leave a review. Also – this is my dream and if you like what I’m doing, tell somebody about it. Thanks.
-Franklet

Icarus Hadwell & The Book of Fates 1-3

November 18, 2015

14 – I Just Want My Life Back (Montage)

Filed under: Montage — Tags: — franklet @ 1:05 am

14 – I Just Want My Life Back

Vena crashed into the side of the house. Images flashed into her mind as she fell. Hank’s mother Brenda, dead, on the floor. Terrence staring up at her, his eyes crazed. Brenda’s eyes glazing as Vena stabbed her in the chest, minutes later the woman clawing at the air as it escaped her lungs. The last gasp gave at Terrence, who hovered over her, unaware.
Why did he pick up the knife? Why did he stab her again? Why did he call her a zombie? What was he doing at my house?
It didn’t really matter. Not now. Eventually the police would figure it out, piece it all together. When that happened, they’d search for her. Until then she had to find somewhere to go. She couldn’t call Hank – he was back in prison. Plus, she had just stabbed his mother. Not the most auspicious moment to call your boyfriend in for help.
Is he still my boyfriend? We were supposed to get married…
Vena ran. Somehow she had managed to grab her phone. When she couldn’t run any further Vena sank to the ground and stared at her phone until she lost herself in the little square bits of light.
….
“What makes you the happiest?”
“That’s a hard question to answer. See I’ve gone down such dark paths, that sounds so much cheesier when I say it out loud…heh. You know I’ve just lived some extreme things and it’s only after hitting one of those dark lows and coming back out that I realize what happiness is. That what I thought was happiness before was just a shadow or something.”
“That sounds awfully reductive. Infinite. Because unless you’re saying you’ve hit the final low then you’ll always be looking towards some new level happiness which invalidates the previous definition.”
“Exactly.”
“Well that’s stupid.”
“Maybe. See I used to think all the answers were locked in pop culture. That was all additive, you know? The first humans find fire and cook food and discover, ‘Shit! That tastes GREAT!’ Then time moves on and we start farming and realize farmed food plus fire is the SHIT! Fast forward through history and each new discovery enters the meme of human thought and is compounded over time until it’s all interconnected, like a massive brain of ideas folded in on itself. So when someone writes a hit love song, or a romantic comedy, a teenage Vampire novel, it’s unintentionally folded up with those connections, the accretions of past human knowledge and if you tease the work properly, all the answers are there.”
“That..actually doesn’t sound so stupid.”
“Well yeah, but I’ve never been able to as Clairee said in Steel Magnolias ‘parlay that into a reason to live.’ I needed something more. So what could be more inductive of continuing to live that the Neverending Story of happiness always waiting around the corner? And the only thing it requires is that you suffer in comparative misery before? Seems like a really…well, perfect actually, way to live.”
“There’s no perfect way to live. Even Atreyu and Bastian figured that out. Wishes are just that – wishes.”
“Except in the end they saved everything, didn’t they?”
“I guess so. Doesn’t prove anything.”
“Yes but ever does?”
“Science proves things.”
“Not really. It just gives a really good impression of it.”
“It’s best Angie Dickinson, eh?”
“Something like that. Nice to see you’re a fan.”
“Well, all the answers ARE in Tori Amos.”
“I’ve felt that way most of my adult life. Even other fans haven’t always agreed.”
“I tend to think the meaning of life is in the song Leather.”
“No way.”
“Seriously.”
“I mean, no way, because I feel the same way.”
“Oh God, could it be the weather?”
“Oh God, why am I here?”
“That’s crazy.”
“So, is this happiness, then? Is a new happiness or an old one?”
“I don’t know. But it’s nice either way.”
“Maybe it will end up becoming something truly dark and terrible…..”
“If it’s not forever…hand my leather!”
“And you’ll hit a low so miserable that you’re next happiness will be the ultimate.”
“That sounds depressing.”
“I guess so. It would mean the end, right?”
“Maybe.”
“Well would could possibly happen after that?”
“There’s only one way to find out.”
“Is that an invitation?”
“Do you want it to be?”
“Maybe. Yes. Depends.”
“On what?”
“Well. What exactly the invitation entails…”
“Look I’m standing naked before you…don’t you want more than my sex…”
“Now isn’t THAT presumptuous…”
“What isn’t?”
“Such a loaded question.”
“I can think of a few, but none worth asking.”
“Aren’t all questions worth asking?”
“Solipsism at its worst.”
“That is NOT solipsism. Clearly you don’t understand the meaning of yourself.”
“Wouldn’t you like to think so?”
“I know so. Because I know myself so well.”
“Touche.”
“I’m beginning to think this could end up being the exact opposite of a dark path.”
“Or perhaps the exact definition of one.”
“There’s the presumption again.”
“It never left. It never does.”
“Oh God…”
“So, what makes YOU the happiest?”
“That old trick? Turning my own blade against me?”
“Don’t avoid the question! It’s not all the easy is it?”
“Of course it is. I’m only avoiding it because it’s pointless.”
“Pointless? Then why did you ask it?”
“The same reason you think that all the answers to life are folded into Mariah Carey songs or Nicholas Sparks novels.”
“I have never, nor will I ever, read a Nicholas Sparks novel.”
“But you’ve seen The Notebook…”
“I have NOT. I REFUSE.”
“Oh? Such a great moral stance for someone who ‘takes such dark paths.’”
“Mockery doesn’t become you. Maybe if you tried it naked…”
“Naked mockery?”
“The only kind worth doing.”
“What if I told you there was no way this date was going to end with us naked?”
“I’d call you a liar.”
“Does all your pop culture knowledge tell you that?”
“No. Just common fucking sense. I can see the way you keep smiling at me.”
“Maybe I just find you funny.”
“Of course you, I’m pretty fucking funny.”
“I suppose.”
“You still haven’t answered my question. Or really. Your question. What makes you happiest?”
“Awfully single minded, aren’t you?”
“Yes.”
“What if I absolutely refuse to answer my own …I mean your question?”
“Then I absolutely will refuse to sleep with you.”
“Who said anything about sleep?”
“Now who’s being presumptuous?”
“Which of us isn’t?”
“This is getting us nowhere.”
“Then answer the question. I answered it.”
“No you didn’t. You artfully skirted it with pointless philosophy disconnected from anything approaching reality.”
“Well it’s a hallmark of mine. I watch TV and read books and listen to music exactly so I CAN disconnect from everything approaching reality while also engaging in pointless philosophy. Haven’t you been listening. So answer the question!”
“What makes me happiest?”
“Don’t try and avoid the question again.”
“Well if I knew the answer do you think I’d be here on a date with you?”
“Again…avoiding the…wait. So you DON’T have an answer to the question?”
“No. I don’t. I have no idea what would make me happiest. If I did I think I’d be so depressed I’d die.”
“Well. When you put it THAT way….”
“Oh, so now who’s avoiding…”
“You’re not making any sense.”
“It’s more difficult than it seems. Especially for me.”
….
The slap shocked Vena awake. She huddled away from the woman with the protective vest. A pair of orderlies hovered behind the protected woman, glaring down at Vena, bright fluorescent lights over their heads.
“Wha… where am I?” Vena asked. Her mouth tasted… metallic. She wiped at her lips with her hand, saw the streak of red across her thumb and wanted to scream. Brenda’s last gurgling breath came rumbling back to her. Memories of the last few months in isolation clawed at the edges, but Vena had her mind back and she didn’t want to lose it again.
“No.” Vena said. “I won’t go back.”
“Vena?” the protected woman said. “Ms. Lennox?”
Vena glared up at her, pushed herself deeper into the padded corner. The room about her was pulled straight from the set of a movie, the walls and floor covered in soft-looking tufts. Only they weren’t soft at all, but were hard and slick, their roundness deceptive. Like so many things.
“Where am I?” Vena said, looking away, her eyes hurting from the light as though she had just opened them from a long, dark sleep.
“East Louisiana State Hospital.” the protected woman said.
“The fucking crazy hospital?” Vena said, her voice rising an octave. During one of Hank’s many trips to prison he had been held at East Louisiana for almost three solid months, “under observation” had been all they ever told her, or Brenda. It had not been a pleasant time. Thinking it of it reminded Vena of Brenda and she blanched, seeing the dead woman’s gasping mouth in the air before her. With a force of will she pushed the image away. Her breath was hard and fast.
“We don’t call it that.” the protected woman said, her eyes flashing for the briefest moment, with something akin to buried rage.
“Well whatever the fuck you call it.. why am I here?” Vena said, struggling to push herself upright, to begin the process of climbing away from the dark hole she had been in.
“I’ve got a 25 bucks and a cracker…do you think it’s enough?”
“A cracker? 25 dollars?” the protected woman said. “Vena!” she snapped her fingers under Vena’s nose. Far enough away that Vena could not have bitten at them, though the thought did not occur to her.
What the fuck is going on? Why does she think I’d bite her? Oh fuck. Why am I singing Tori Amos songs… I hate Tori Amos.
“Are you here with me, Vena?”
“Um, yes.” Vena said, suddenly aware how dry and cracked her lips were. How long has it been since I’ve had water?
“You’re here because you had a pyschotic break. You killed a woman, Vena. You and your lover, Terrence MacNally.”
Ter.
Ter.
Oh, fuck. Ter!
Oh well.
“I didn’t kill anyone! I swear!” Vena rumbled. “I don’t know what is happening.”
The protected woman pursed her lips. One of the orderlies leaned in to whisper over her ear. Vena could read lips. She saw the words, then heard snippets of them in her mind, as though they were whispers in her own ears.
“..Dr. Ramsey…need to go…before she gets violent again…”
The protected woman nodded, a distracted look on her face. She looked down at Vena, pity etched in relief across the rage on her features. To someone not used to finding the rage behind people’s eyes, not used to getting hit and learning how not to get hit, it might not have been so apparent. But Vena was not one of those people. She could read this doctor, could see the secret enjoyment the woman took from watching bound people struggle against bonds she knew they could not break. It gave the wretched bitch a fascinating sense that all was right with the world at the same time that it, for some reason Vena could not divine, royally pissed the doctor off.
“I just want my life back.” Vena said, mostly to herself, but loud enough she could be heard.
The doctor made eye contact with her and twitched a bare, mean little grin.
“You never left it, Vena. Good luck.”

13 – What Must Be Carried (Montage)

Filed under: Montage — Tags: — franklet @ 1:04 am

Chapter 13 – What Must Be Carried

I hate it when she looks at me like that. Like I’m the reason she’s..
“Neither of us wants that.” Terrence said, only realizing the words were utterly false as they exited his mouth.
“I’m gonna go.” Terrence said. Desiree looked torn, as though she wanted, in some fashion, to beg him to remain. As though she were straining to find the way to make her mouth say the word.
Stay.
Go.
Stay.
“Fuck this.” Terrence said. He walked out. It wouldn’t be over so quickly, he knew. His things were all there. They had a lease. Shared a car. It would require seeing each other many times before it was over. He might even have to touch her again. The word hit never flitted across his mind in application to his touching Des. Perhaps something in past could be linked to it, perhaps Des assumed it was his micropenis that inspired his rage, perhaps it was all fucking bullshit.
I touch her because she’s fat. I hate fat people.
Then why have you fucking her for the last seven years?
She wasn’t always fat.
Yes she was.
I don’t know!
Terrence pressed the back of his hand to his forehead. The inner dialogue was hard to stop, when he could manage it. Most times he could not, and he just let go on its merry way. A lifetime of the dialogues had made him very good at seeming normal. Yet he knew he wasn’t normal. He also knew this meant he wasn’t crazy. Crazy people don’t know they’re crazy. It was the kind of uninformed thing his father would say.
All black people like to fight.
I can tell the difference between Coke and Pepsi.
Catholics are pedophiles.
A chair is a chair everywhere.
Guns don’t kill people, AIDS does.

What?

Terrence’s father had never uttered any of those things. Hands pressed to his head, Terrence tried to will the dialogues to stop. To make the ache of not being alone with his own thoughts dissipate. Nothing seemed to work. His feet managed to carry him half a block down the street away from the apartment building. Few people were out walking, especially this close to downtown, on a weeknight. There was a quiescence altogether discordant with the height of the buildings around, the brightness of the street lamps, or the din of the surrounding city, the voices inside him.
“You aight?” the stranger said. Terrence whirled in the direction of the sound. It was a bedraggled man, his matted hair shining with a gleam of filth even in the low light.
“Yeah, whatever.” Terrence said to the man and rushed away. He found his way to his car, unlocked it and got in, began to drive. At first there wasn’t much intention to his direction, save to get on the Interstate, headed anywhere south. A email notification pushed to his phone and it lit up. Terrence only caught a glimpse of the text at first. It startled him so much he pulled over to the side of the Interstate, to fully read the email.
“I just want my life back…” it began. The rest was just spam. Some kind of boot camp fitness program for a gym he had never visited, but might have seen before. He wasn’t sure. Oddly, the feeling of being in the car, not moving, gave his mind a sense of peace. He could feel everything moving around him, the swirls and whorls of the world substantive without evidence. More, the voices were silent enough Terrence could consider himself without them, for a moment.
“Did I really just leave her?” Terrence asked the empty car.
A car zoomed by, fast enough its Doppler effected sound was far more apparent than any visual aspect, along with the slight shake of Terrence’s car caused by the passing vortex the speeding automobile trailed.
“I can’t just…”
“I want my life…”
“What’s wrong with me…”
“What have you done?”
“Where am I going to go now?”
None of the questions had answers, even if he would have been able to provide them. Another push notification lit up his phone. He pressed the home button and then Messages to view it.
V.
How long has it been? A year? Two? Three?
What the fuck does she want?
Another push notification came through, another text from V.
“Fuck this.” Terrence said to the fear, to the doubt, to the voices inside. He hoped they were listening. His finger stopped short of pressing the message on screen. He could see V’s name lit up, knew the messages were from her, but he had no idea what they actually said. It hardly mattered, he had already made his decision.
Terrence put the car into gear, his course set, direction confirmed in his mind. He drove with his fingers wrapped tightly around the steering wheel, his torso leaned just slightly towards the windshield, as though the tilt of his frame could add the necessary inertia to the thousands of pounds of metal and rubber to get him to his destination faster.
Lights streaked by overhead, cars fell behind as he sped along. His normal attention for idling law enforcement was forgotten. All that mattered was getting where he wanted to go while his mind was clear, solid. Strong. He exited the Interstate off Essen lane and drove south. Passed stop light after stop light, the tracery of cars forming patterns in the rear view mirror which might have fascinated him where he paying attention to them. But Terrence wasn’t. He knew something about himself now. He needed a mission. A goal. A destination. Then he could keep the voices at bay. And when the voices were silenced, the was no chance the memories would come trailing after them like eager hounds.
At V’s house he screeched into the driveway, his intent stare noticing there was no car there aside from the same cookie cutter Honda Civic V had always favored, only this was black, not green, as Terrence remembered. Somewhere, he noted the difference, recorded the possibility that her life had gone on without him, despite the assertion it wouldn’t. Despite her suicide attempts, despite his disregard. Light shone from the living room windows, the blinds left open. Terrence took a chance V hadn’t grown all that different in the years since they had been lovers. He got out of the car, walked purposefully to the door and opened it.
It was unlocked, it opened easily.
Dogs immediately began to bark. The place was a mess and it stank. There was a staleness to the air Terrence only loosely recognized as dirty dog, old feces, and something sweet and foul smelling he couldn’t place. Rather than call out for V, his eyes tracked the corners of the room, noting details just long enough to discard them, when he realized they were not her.
A sofa. Messed up. Shredded cushions.
A TV. Smashed. Glass on the floor.
Dog shit in the corner.
An AV receiver. Powered off.
A floor lamp, left on.
Three large dogs, one barking at me.
And.
When Terrence saw the foot wrapped around the edge of the hallway he froze, unsure his mind hadn’t somehow begun to play a whole new round of tricks on him. Slowly, leaning first forward, as he had while driving, Terrence moved towards the lone, wrinkled white foot. It took two steps before realized it couldn’t be V’s.
The light in the hallway was blinking fitfully, as though a particularly late-to-the-game indie director had just sculpted the scene to make a point, which to him, seemed amazingly vivid, and not at all cliché. Darkened, but with flashes of light in unreadable and yet recognizable patterns splashed the walls, then fled off to the floor or ceiling before returning, slightly different for the exchange. Terrence paused over the foot, let his eyes trail up past the leg, the hips, the fat belly, to the withered, half eaten face.
He read books. He watched The Walking Dead. Terrence had some idea of what it meant to call something half-eaten, even in terms of human flesh, but he had never expected to actually see it. To see the strips of burnt brown color interspersed with the bluish pink, as though some particularly grisly abstract artist had decided to step up his game from deconstruction on the canvas to something more tactile. He should have felt horrified by the gore, the coagulated streams of blood along one of the mostly intact cheeks, traveling down the neck, florid with wrinkles and missing fat underneath papery skin. Whoever the body had been, she had been old. It was definitely a woman, though only one full breast remained, still mostly covered by a spotted, dirty bra. A pile of dog shit was just past the dead woman’s head, more solid than it should be.
It’s been here for a hot minute.
“Ter?”
At first Terrence was not at all certain the voice hadn’t been his own. Sometimes words came out of his mouth from the Others. They sounded different to his ears, as though spoken with some strange, new voice. It had taken a long time, but Terrence had finally recorded himself for hours straight until the voice change had happened. When he had played the sound back it hadn’t sounded different at all, but rather was clearly his own voice, as discordant as any voice heard by the speaker unused to the sound. But this was different. This was not a phantasm of his mind, a reinterpretation of his crazy into sound waves.
“Ter? Is that you?” V said. The tremble in her voice was pronounced, and it shook Terrence in some soft, deep place to hear. To know he still had a soft spot for V was not all that surprising, but to hear what sounded like his own soft spot echoed at him from her shocked him enough that he closed his eyes. After walking out on Desiree, driving away from his current life, the idea of suddenly finding himself in V’s house again, staring down at a dead body of a strange, half-eaten woman was not the strangest thing coursing around in Terrence’s mind.
Is any of this real?
What have you done?
“What have you done?” V said, urgency tripping over the tremble in her voice. Her hands hovered near Terrence’s face, her fists balled up, anger apparent in her eyes, when Terrence opened his own and looked into hers. She was wide-eyed with something which might have been anger, terror, suspicion, or some heady mix of all of them. Terrence had gotten very good at recognizing the blend of emotions a woman’s eyes could transmit. When he beat Desiree, before and during sex, he had tracked those mixes in her eyes, relishing the way they took him outside him, allowed him to be swallowed up by something other than the vast depths of his own crazy.
I can’t be crazy. Crazy people don’t know they’re cray…
I…
“Ter!!” V said, more urgently. Her small body slammed into his pushed him back towards the stale smelling, dog-crowded, glass-strewn living room. “What the FUCK Ter? What have you DONE?”
“I left Desiree.” Terrence said, his curved smile a bit feline.
V look at him in pure, shapeless horror. She backed away from him, backed away until she bumped into the dead, half-eaten woman’s foot. The contact caused her to tumble backwards, partially over the dead body, partially onto the floor. V shouted and scrambled away, on her hands and knees.
“I saw your text, V.” Terrence said, only becoming uncertain of the track of events when V got her feet back under her and began to run away. He watched her disappear through the back door into the backyard. Away from her precious car. This alone jarred Terrence in the most uncomfortable way. His car was blocking hers, maybe that’s why…
Wait. Why is she running away from me?

November 17, 2015

Cordelia the Vampire Slayer – PILOT

Filed under: about time — Tags: — franklet @ 2:57 am

I really wish I had someone to geek out with me over this. It could be so much fun to make this actually happen in a meaningful way. Even if it never has a chance of being made.

But, it’s got to be about putting it out there. So! Here’s the first ten pages of …

Cordelia the Vampire Slayer

November 16, 2015

new life goal

Filed under: about time — Tags: — franklet @ 1:39 am

I studied Television Writing for a breif, meth-soaked period at CUNY – Brooklyn College. I struggled with the notion of “putting out fires,” of trying to imagine how and what I would/could possibly write in terms of TV. Nothing ever stuck. The one show I wrote for class was quite awful, it was based on a short story of mine called “The Sordid Sex Life of Pickles” about an 80’s obsessed garment inspector who can only achieve orgasms by penetrating women with pickles. Obvi, this would have required HBO-like reflexes.
Just in case you were wondering, I’m posting the script below. It’s awful.
However. I have decided that if I ever DO get to write for television, if I ever realize this dream, the show I want to write is…
“Cordelia The Vampire Slayer” – a spinoff of Buffy, starring Cordelia as a “potential” who was granted Slayer status after the end of Buffy season 7.
Now…where to begin…

Inspector #4

November 14, 2015

chapter 2 – fist of the methmen

Filed under: untitled memoir — Tags: — franklet @ 6:31 am

Chapter 2

“Nah man, I don’t smoke.” I told the guy. He had a name. Phil or Jerry. Who the fuck knows? See a little known truth about gay men who do drugs. We fuck. A lot. I once tried to take this little quiz online which supposedly would use data science to give insights about a person based on questions about sexual experience. One of the questions was how many people, how many partners (this word always strikes me as funny in retrospect. It gives so much false context to what was essentially aided masturbation. Partners indeed.) I had been with. When I tried to enter what was essentially my best guess, I was told any number above 999 was not allowed. I’m totally picturing your faces right now. Quit judging me. Wait. No, keep judging me. Perhaps it will keep you interested in reading more. The guys in prison hardly wanted to accept my numbers when I gave them.
Thousands, dude? For fucking real? It’s crazy you didn’t get fucking AIDS.
Cue the crickets. Don’t worry. I’ll write about having AIDS while being in prison later. Anyway.
Yeah. Thousands. I stopped counting in the hundreds, back in 2000. A few months after Phil. Jerry. Whatever the fuck his name was. Let’s go with Phil. Good as any other name.
Phil was a guy I met on America Online. He, like me, lived in the East Village in New York City. Unlike me he was a hardcore meth user, an experienced sexual deviant, and at least ten, maybe fiften years older.
Our initial exchange went something like this:
RandomGuyPhil: u into fisting? U parTy?
EastVillageBoy22: never tried it. But curious. Party.. like group stuff?
RandomGuyPhil: nah, like party favors.
EastVillageBoy22: oh yeah, I was at Kurfew tonight. Still kinda rollin’.
RandomGuyPhil: kewl. You in the EV?
EastVillageBoy22: yeah. 2Nd & Ave A.
RandomGuyPhil: wanna come over? Get fisted?
EastVillageBoy22: sure. Address?
There was more to it than that. We traded pictures. He was decent looking, in shape for my 22 year old idea of a guy in his mid-to-late thirties. And I had thought about fisting before. A guy I’d slept with back in Baton Rouge had tried once, but he hadn’t been able to get more than four fingers in me before I cried wolf. That guy was murderously hot. I met him again years later, when meth had taken over my life. He fisted me. Took a dump in my mouth while I laid on a floor covered in random scatter of kitty litter. (The kitty litter was unintentional on both of our parts. Mike shitting in my mouth wasn’t.) Anyway, Hot Mike isn’t the story here. RandomGuyPhil is.
I went to RandomGuyPhil’s apartment off 7th St and Ave B. At this point in my life the crazy thing I’d done sexually was let a guy in Houston pee in my face after pretending to rape me. The pee was hot. No really. Pee is warmer than you’d expect it to be, the first time it covers your face.
RandomGuyPhil led me into his bedroom. I was still rolling from the ecstasy I had taken earlier. I was high enough that my insecurity about being fat wasn’t overwhelming – it wasn’t enough to keep my clothes on, to keep me from needing affirmation from Phil before we fucked. I was like Janice in Accounting. I just didn’t give a fuck.
We ended up naked, on the top bunk of his bunk bed. Yeah, he was in his mid-thirties, living with a roommate above a nightclub in the East Village, in a bunk bed. It was one of those tubular cheap black metal ones too. Again, not the point. He tried to fist me on the top bunk.
After the first unsuccessful attempt at fisting me, Phil got down from top bunk and went to smoke a cigarette at the little desk against the wall aside the lower bunk.
“Want some?” Phil asked.
This is the part where my life could have gone in a completely different direction. How many people are lucky enough to know the exact moment when everything about their life changed, to be able to trace it out so perfectly? I’d like to believe not many. I really don’t fucking know. What I do know is this was my moment, and I had no idea.
“Nah. I don’t smoke.” I said.
Phil laughed. He leaned his head towards the desk and made a snorting noise. I sort of assumed he had some coke or something.
“Come here,” Phil said.
I got down from the bunk. I heard the sound which would one day become very familiar to me: the scratchy whoosh of a butane-fueled torch lighter. Then I saw the pipe. It was a tube with a bowl on one end. I thought it was a crack pipe. Phil inhaled from it, then offered it to me, turned around backwards.
I shied away. I was terrified of all things to do with smoking. I had never smoked anything. Not a joint. Not crack. Not meth. Not PCP. Not even a cigarette. Nothing. Phil looked up at me in the semi-dark, obviously confused.
“I don’t do crack.” I said, rolling hard enough that it was difficult to keep the scorn from my voice. My asshole was loose from Phil’s fingers and my need, but it tightened then.
“This isn’t crack. It’s tina.” Phil said.
“What is that?”
“Crystal meth.” Phil said.
My knowledge of crystal meth hinged on the super-skinny, anorexic looking kids at raves in Houston and New Orleans whom Anne had identified (truthfully or not) as methheads. All of them had fucked up, terrible teeth. Ironically, this fact is, more than any other, why I had never smoked a single thing in my life up to that night. Because my parents had jacked up teeth which I associated with their constant, awful cigarette smoking. I knew tobacco – but meth. I knew nothing about it.
Still I refused.
“Nah. Nah. I’m good.”
Phil shrugged and hit his glass pipe again. After he exhaled, he told me to go clean my ass out again and then come back. When I got back, he helped me into the top bunk, gave me a hit of poppers (amyl nitrate – a whole nother fucking story) and set about gathering various humongous dildos to shove up my ass. After he was stocked, had climbed back to the top bunk with his toys, Phil put a nitrile rubber glove on. He then rubbed something on my asshole. I assumed it was lube.
If you are wondering, this was the moment it all changed.
It wasn’t lube.
It was smashed up, powdered crystal meth.
Within a few minutes I was flying. I had done tons of ecstasy – I knew what it meant to be fucking high. But this was something different. New. Insane. Ineffable. Transcendent. My whole body felt as thought it were composed of sex organs, thousands of them, and every one of them was being fondled by Brent Cockley. But I didn’t know Phil had given me meth. I thought it was the ecstasy high kicking back in.
He fisted me. For hours. I lost track of time. The only reason I know it lasted hours it that sunlight began to pour in from the window at some point. When he stopped I begged for more. But Phil had to go to work. He wasn’t completely hateful though. He knew what doing meth for the first time had done to me, and when combined with getting fisted for the first time. At least, I like to imagine he did.
He left for work, but told his roommate – another gay meth user into fisting – to come in and play with me. This guy was hideous. Fat and hair in all the wrong combinations for my tastes then. But I didn’t care. He wanted me. He was willing and my ass was in dire need. More hours passed, and I took most of the roommate’s forearm. I won’t bother giving him a name.
I never saw him again.
When I finally went home, I stayed awake for two days. After I crashed for almost twenty straight hours, and I awoke, my ass was both sore and somehow… hungry. It’s the only word that fits. The open feeling was so prevalent I could hardly think of anything else. At this point thought I still had no idea I had done meth. I did know that I wanted to get fisted again. And soon.
I Instant Messaged Phil like he was an unrequited crush. He didn’t respond for a long time, weeks maybe. When he finally did, he acted weird, like he had no idea who I was. In retrospect, he probably didn’t. Still, after some mild coaxing and begging for his fist, Phil invited me over. When I got there, I was stone sober, and Phil (I now know) bat-shit tweaked out. Even so, he recognized me.
“Oh! I …” Phil said. “I should’ve realized you’d want more.”

Older Posts »