Boys and Girls Ultimate: State Championships
Teams must qualify.
(Sitting and looking at chair. Resting pistol against his head.) Four thousand, one hundred and sixty dollars. Phew. There’s no way to say that lightly. (Stands up. Pacing.) What has a man done with his life to owe four thousand, one hundred and sixty dollars of his livelihood to another man. What paths does he have to follow to bring him here, today. Ropes binding his hands and feet in some display of pitiful arrogance towards his ancestors. Sitting, waiting, ready to let go, ready to die. (At die pulls pistol up and holds it at chest height. Stays there for a couple of seconds. Holds pistol back down. Sits down and looks out over pool.)
You know, they say that taking a life is the hardest thing man has done, but man, MAN, has always been capable of incredible things. But what am I, incredible? No. What have I done to deserve such a title? My title is Janitor. “Sweep,” they say. “Sweep, clean out the pool. Sweep, clean the damn bathroom.” I... I’m goddamn tired of this job. (Turns back to man) For twenty thousand dollars a year I am a... a servant of the working class. And do you know what? I am damn good at it. Maybe that’s why I don’t leave. Plus there’s this; this “job”, if you want to call it that. Dirty, nasty business. That’s all it is. The dirt and grime rejected by society. Lowlife criminals like yourself owe someone like your boss a lot of money, no? Haha. But you know how this goes. I am the end of the line. I am the last face you will ever see. And they’re paying me a hell of a lot more than twenty thousand dollars. (Laughs)
You lived the life of these men, damn near walked in their shoes. How does this make you feel? Your whole life has led up to this very moment. Every (emphasis) decision you have made since your eyes first caught a glimpse of this magnificent world of ours has brought you to this. Very. Moment. (Pauses) Every decision I have made has brought me here today. And what have I done right to be the one holding the gun and not looking down it’s barrel. Maybe none of my decisions were right. Maybe my decisions were just less wrong than your’s.
Who’s to say you haven’t lived a full life? Hell, I don’t know a damn thing about you. You could have once had a dream, a life, a girl. But you threw that away didn’t you. Crime itself is a drug. That’s what I always say. (Emphasis) You think all of those dealers and druggies on the streets are out there throwing it all out there for a reason? No, no man. They are a slave to the rush, the, the false sense of purpose and power that comes from disobeying. They seek to overthrow, to prove their worth, and for what? Status and singularity. They long to be unique and to stand out from the crowd. It starts young; they always do. I did. And I’m not talking about selling weed on the corner. I was never about that life. Harvard educated, not top of the class, but up there. I had a girl, a life, a dream. But I just couldn’t be happy, could I? I had to go and rebel, I had to be unique, to stand out. (Laughing) But look at me now! (Gestures around room, arms spread) A rec center my kingdom and a mop my staff! This is living, is it not! (Laughs)
No, I should be as fortunate as you to have the comfort of death. You don’t have to worry about anything at all. Not a care in the world. At least, not in this one. But, ah, listen to me ramble on. I am selfish, taking up so much of your time. We have work to do, do we not? Thanks for listening. (Raises pistol quickly and fires almost instantaneously. Picks up mop and begins to clean up blood. Fade to black.)
And I’m all alone again, with only a deadline here with me.
Really? Nobody stayed to build the set. Sure they’re all young, and don’t understand it, but our jobs are on the line. If this stage isn’t built the boss will get pissed off and we’ll all get fired.
Which would kind of be okay, since the director is such a dick, but the job markets down man! With CGI around, even master movie set designers like me have a few issues finding a job. More than a few issues or I wouldn’t have such a dick of director right now. I mean, this deadline is impossible to meet.
The only people who don’t care are the tech people. They’re always on a constant ego trip though, so they don’t count.
You know what man? I quit, I quit, I’m done!
It was better back in the day, before all of this technology. People were honest then, with the master worker leading me and my bros, and we actually wanted to make the movie, we weren’t working there in the middle of college, just to get the spending money our parents wouldn’t give us. No! Because back then they worked for the sake of the work, for the vision, for the movie. Not like these kids, always following “The System”. Also coffee isn’t as good anymore. Back in the olden days, I could stay up for three nights, with just coffee, and be completely fine! It was far out! Now, 10 o’clock, BAM! Asleep! Done! And 5 in the morning I’m up no matter what. Sleeping sucks man!
And then I’m tired, and I’m in charge, and I’m supposed to be telling all of these kids what to do, and I realize I’m not getting paid enough for this you know? This job is my life, except the movies I’m working on is a drag, and the deadlines are tight, so you know what that means? My life sucks right now!
I don’t have time to date, I barely get enough money to get by, and once this movie is over, I don’t know where I’m going to go!
…Maybe I shouldn’t quit then.
I could change jobs! I could be an artist! I could spend all of my money for a time in Paris; to admire art and get inspired, so that when I get back here I can paint! All of my work will be my own, my dream, my credit, no one else to screw it up, it would be a blast! I could experiment with different styles, change things up, as no monotonous stage job ever could, I could let everyone around me see my true worth! As an artist, I could paint nudes, and pick up chicks, and work from home, and have medical pot, and get blitzed, and be called eccentric!
…Or I could be out on the street in weeks, or caught by the fuzz, with no one there to help me, after all most artists wash out of the scene and die within month’s of becoming an artist.
I could do the opposite! I could get a degree at a college, get a good job, move out to the suburbs and buy a house. American dream, right? Moving out to the suburbs and living in isolation for eternity?
Actually, that would be a bummer man. And where would I get the money for a degree? I’m not made of cash. Going back to school would be stupid anyway. I wouldn’t be in this situation if I had been good at school.
If it’s too late to change at all, why even try? I could definitely do well right where I am. Sure life sucks, but it could always be worse right? As long as I’m good enough, my job security doesn’t matter. And even if I don’t get a job, well, that would be the perfect time to change my lifestyle. I could live off of the government any way. I mean, everyone hears stories about it, it’s gotta be true.
I guess I’m not going to quit. (Thinking) This is a lot of work to get done…(Pointedly looks around) No one else is here, so no one will care if I book it right? Right. Problems can always wait until tomorrow
(Lying on her bed) My childhood friends, with there big smiles and there eager eyes waiting on me to speak. “Mr. Shnuggles, Nyla, and the best one of all Peachy.” I instantly leapt straight into my story describing how my mother called me down the steps.My father was sitting in his chair watching my every move like a hawk. I immediately sat down on the couch, and waited for the conversation to begin. As I got situated in the chair, my mother walked toward me and handed me pieces of paper with lines and lines I couldn’t make out. She told me to read the paper and explain. So I held the paper to my face and knew what was about to happen. The words that I had held in my hands were all of the messages I sent to my girlfriend. Now a lot of people would say what’s so wrong, but when your a teenage girl living with your parents that praise the Lord...it becomes a big deal. So when I looked up over the paper my mind completely left my body as I saw my mother jump around and throw a tantrum of a 4-year old child. She kept repeating “You are nothing more than a lesbian, and won’t be anything in your life because your gay now.No man wants a woman that is interested in woman. People are going to call you names, and do so to me and your father as well. So now all I’m going to say is that “this” is just a “Phase” and your not allowed to be gay!End of discussion. I stood at the end of what looked like the longest stairwell there was, watching as my parents left with no hint of a “goodbye”. My mother had simply turned the knob, and stepped out with my father right behind. All I could make out through my throbbing throat and watery eyes was “Damn...Angel messed up, I messed up? Or did I?” I slowly pressed the side of my back to the wall and dragged myself up to my room. I practically tripped over my cleats, into the middle of my bed. I forgot earlier to remove them from the path, but I didn't care. I just laid there just doing nothing. All I needed was just somebody to listen to what I had to say, but thenI looked up and there they were just waiting for me to tell what happened. Why would she ever say such a thing? (Turns on her back) O, I know why....because she hates me! I mean would your mother say such a thing to you?(Holds Mr.Shnuggles up in the air and places him next to her leg on the bed.) Don't even answer that Nyla,it was an expression of my feelings. But you know what?That's it right there, it's MY feelings! I mean so what that I have a girlfriend and that I'm gay.Does it truly make a difference in my mothers heart?But overall of that, why did my dad just sit there and not say anything? Doesn't he have a take in all of this? That's exactly what I'm saying Peachy, like do you really wanna be here, or do you just want to hear your wife talk? I'm truly sick of all this. But the sad thing is, is that it has just begun. An I really want another network for my phone.Cause that's the way she found out about my relationship, oh sorry, my "PHASE".(Angel does air quotation marks.) It's not a "PHASE" Nyla. It's who I am, and if she can't except that, than that's her problem. (Peachy falls on the floor, and Angel picks her up.) Peachy,why in the he'll would I start paying my own bill and why you falling on floors? As a matter of fact I shouldn't have to do anything, because that's my personal privacy and her and nobody can take that away from me.
I have no inspiration! I’m an artist right? Then why can’t I think of anything to paint? What’s wrong with me? I have my paint set out, brushes, a palette and then there’s a white paper sitting there mocking me. All I can draw it seems, are doodles, little scribble lines in bright blue and yellow. I paint these until the page is a muddy off-brown color sopping from layer after layer of paint weighing it down to the point of tearing. I take it and place it to dry but only to reveal another identical white paper beneath it. “Maybe I’m an abstract artist”, I think to myself, so I start to draw more squiggly lines, being careful not to overload the page like I had last time. After I was done I looked down to see a painting the likes of which can be found in the average kindergarden classroom. In that moment I realized how abstract art works: you still need to have inspiration for it to be interesting.
So I dig down into a place of deep raw emotion, dip my brush into a blob of yellow paint and I draw a telephone phone, well... some might mistake it for technologically enhanced banana, next, I write the words “love you” squeezing out of the receiver, then, this time intentionally, I scribble it out. It’s harder to to artistically scribble something out than one might imagine, and I give this painting up, concluding that it too is a lost cause.
To rationalize things, I tell myself “I’m only a sophomore in high school, I don’t have the emotions built up to the point that I am able to paint something in particular or well for that matter”. Feeling better, I sit at my desk doing nothing, as if to wait for some sort of inspiration to walk through the door and strike a pose in front of me. This, unfortunately does not occur, so I am left again with my mocking white paper. I start twirling my brush in the dollops of paint on my palate, mixing red, then white then yellow, then more red. I lift my brush from the palate and onto the paper, then slowly I drag the bush in a straight line 3/4 of the way across the page, then to my surprise the brush takes a sharp 120 degree turn, then another 60 degree turn, and then a final 120 degree turn returning the brush to finnish it’s straight line across the page. When I’m finished I have a read streak across my paper making the same shape you might see while watching one of those heart rate monitors in a hospital. I wash my brush off in a little plastic solo cup and watch the red paint disperse and dye the water. I mechanically like before dip my brush into a dollop of blue paint and draw a second line running parallel to the first. I look down and I have done it. I have made a successful painting, and I know what my lines symbolize too. This was the heartbeat that started my future as a painter.
This isn’t living. Waking up and knowing your wife isn’t beside you, your mother isn’t in the next room, and your son isn’t downstairs watching saturday cartoons. I don’t know what to do. I left them. That’s what I’m reminded of every time I see one of those creatures out there, stumbling about looking for the next person it will rip to shreds. I left them for bait. My wife, my son, my mother. Everyday since the first outrage came on t.v., I’ve been giving them a false sense of hope. They relied on me. They trusted me to keep them same. And I just left them. It all happened so fast. The door was broken down by dozens of them. The entire house was filled with their disgusting odor of dead meat and dried blood. I reached for my handgun, the one I used to get rid of the groundhogs in the back yard. My son, Steve, he just kept crying in Ana’s arms. I used my gun to shoot them, but I couldn’t reach the ones that were climbing up the stairs in time. In a matter of seconds I heard my mother scream and then the growling. That one moment of distraction was all it took for those bastards to run me over getting to Steve and Ana behind me. They stepped on me, and all I could hear was them yelling my name. Their screams were also consumed by the growling. I dragged myself across the floor with my gun in hand to reach the street outside. They noticed me and I starting running, I didn’t think twice. I didn’t stop to think about my family I just left behind. I ran and ran. I passed a couple of stupid ones who didn’t know what the hell was going on. I didn’t look back. I didn’t even look forward. I looked down at my running feet and stopped after I was sure I wasn’t being followed. I stopped here, at this doughnut shop. By the looks of it, it was out of business for a long time now and there were signs that a horde had torn the place up. I looked for a way to get in and I found the back door wide open. I closed it and chained it back up. I found this tape recorder in here. It replayed a young woman’s voice . She lists all these groceries. Eggs. Milk. Canned corn. Groceries remind me of my wife’s cooking and I realized, and it’s still on my mind at this moment. I realized that my family was dead. They were back there, on the house with the once beautiful garden I planted for Ana. They were there completely disfigured to the point where they can’t even be considered to have once been alive. I just stared at the blood on the wall. I wanted to cry and I would have given up anything to do so. The tears wouldn’t come. I was overpowered by other emotions. Disbelief. Shock. Fear. My family was killed by those freakish man eaters and I couldn’t do shit. I only saved myself. I wish I could go back out there and die like they did. But, fear gets me every time I try to open the door. I’m so damn selfish. I’m a coward. Some father I came out to be. I just keep checking my ammo. How bad of an idea is this? One bullet left. Yeah, this is how I’d rather it end. I don’t want to carry this guilt anymore. Shit. There’s a horde outside. I might as well do it now. There’s no way I can fight them off. Mom, Ana, Steve. I’m sorry. See you soon.
“What is that? I’ve never seen anything like it.” This was the first thing that crossed my mind when I saw the unusual looking creature with an odd stick.
He was holding it very fiercely yet the focus coming from its eyes paralyzed me.
I’ve heard many stories about these creatures or as I should say humans.
Me and Foxy remain paralyzed with confusions and curiosity as to what the purpose of the stick was for.
It seems to look like a stick but it was spiting something out of it, what looked like rocks and the noise coming from it was so loud that it exploded the inside of our ears.
“Whoah, what was that?” I just can’t stop repeating these words. “What is that thing coming out of the stick?”
When me and Foxy saw what it did to the tree, the rock going through the front and exiting the back, we knew that we had to avoid getting hit. Then we realized the human was aiming at us.
At this point I’m really scared but yet still confused about what this is and what is happening. Why is the creature pointing that stick at me?
Ahhhh … another rock!
I gotta get out of here!
Galloping through the woods, I hear Foxy’s paws scatting across each leaf.
I feel her fear and confusion through every breath she takes as if we were both in the same mindset.
I start to get tired but I don’t slow down. I feel my fear taking over my hooves and I feel as though my pace is beyond its average speed.
I hear something go off. I hear another one and another, but I can’t see them.
Wait … Where’s Foxy? The noise from the stick is so distracting that I forget to listen for Foxy’s scatting paws across the leaves.
I stop and turn around and see foxy nowhere in sight. I run back hoping that she just fell behind. I feel myself getting anxious as if I’m gonna see her face any minute now.
With every second I get more nervous and nervous. “Where is Foxy?”
I’m trying not to panic.
I see something that wasn’t there before. Red in the grass, I knew what it was but I didn’t want to believe it. I couldn’t believe it.
It seemed like the whole world went silent, even the loud noises came to a stop.
“No, No, No!” “Get up!”
I knew it was no use. I faced a reality check that my best friend was dead.
As the tears formed, out of the corner of eye was both a tear and the figure of the creature, I mean human, whatever.
When I looked up, our eyes meet again. He has the same fierce look in his eyes. But this time instead of me being paralyzed with fear, I look up with the same intensity as him. We both had that same look as if looking in to a mirror.
Then he looked down and I looked to where he was looking.
“Why was looking at Foxy? I know he’s not thinking of taking her body.”
I couldn’t let him hurt me either though.
“Think, think, think! Think faster Bambi, he’s putting the rocks into the stick again”, I say to myself.
“Whatever, I’m going for it!
This is for you Foxy!”
I charge at the human with full force.
Once again something took over my hooves but this time it was ambition and vengeance.
My world goes silent once more but I continue charging.
With my antlers, I chug the human with all my mite just enough to knock him over.
He hits the ground with a hard force and I stomp on the ground so hard, he ends up dropping the stick.
When he got back on his feet, making sure he had his balance, he looked in my eyes and saw a familiar reaction.
This time the tables turned and I had the fierce look and he was paralyzed with fear and confusion.
The human soon disappeared with the trees and I turned my focus back on Foxy, as if someone popped me back into reality.
I walked over to her and see her lay there so lifeless and begin to blend with the stillness of the trees.
I place my nose on her cold body saying in my head “You’re really gone.”
A single tear runs down my face.
Suddenly I begin panting heavily but not because I’m crying.
My legs get weak and are unable to stand any longer.
I collapse and notice the warm liquid against my skin.
I look to see what it is and realize that I’m bleeding. I too have been hit, several times.
My heart begins to race uncontrollably which triggers my breathing.
As I lay next to my best friend I intensely look into her open yet lifeless eyes, knowing that I am dying and silently say, “I guess I got the invitation too.”
People don’t know the real story, what really happened. I’ve tried to tell as many people as possible, no one ever listened to me. I have begged and pleaded for them to change it, to change what they think happened. I just hope they let me out early, so I can see my niece. She was just born did ya know ? I only saw the kid once. But once I get outta this joint, i’m going to bundle her in my arms. So since i’m stuck in here, I might as well write out my feelings on this crumpled paper and crappy ass pen they gave me. I’ll start from the beginning.
It was a nice day, just gotten the call from the pops saying Sierra, (my niece) was just born. Of course i wanted to go see her, but i wanted to give her something nice. Something she would remember, or that a baby would love. Of course i didn’t know what to get for her, since i myself, have never had a kid ( or never wanted one to be clear). So i decide to get her 3 things: A huge teddy bear, quality bacon, and a huge tv she can watch “Dora the explorer” on. The first place that comes to my mind to get the teddy bear is a gift shop around my cousin’s way. The only thing is, i think the owner is scared of me but i really don’t know why. Anyways, i head up to the store and start looking for the bear. “Found it! Sierra would love this” as i held up the bear in the light to see it better. It’s soft fur would make her fall asleep right in it’s arms. I go to the cash register to pay for it. “Well look who it is” I hear Mr. Pig say abruptly. “Hey I don’t want any trouble, i just want to buy the bear.” I say. Mr. Pig rolls his eyes and says “that would be 25.99”. I look at the tag on the bear and see that it says 10.99. “Apparently you did not ring this up right, it says 11 bucks.” I say confused. “Either pay for the bear the price i said, or get out”. Gosh i hate that pig so much. As i pull out my wallet, i feel a sneeze coming. I better hurry up, i think to myself, my sneezes can be vicious. It’s Too late. “AH, AHHHH, AHHHHHHHH CHHHHHHHHHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO” As i open my eyes, you see everything toppled over, upside down, sideways, papers scattered from the tornado i just caused. As i look around, Mr.Pig is no where to be found. As i look over the counter, i see that the cash register fell on something pink...I quickly take the bear and run. As i run out the store, i hear someone say “I’M CALLING THE COPS ON YOU!” Oh well, on to the next thing on my list.
The quality bacon. I can already tell this is going to be a problem. As I go into the corner store, I see Mr. Piggy (Mr. Pig’s cousin) stocking the 35 cent bags of chips. I remember when those things cost 25 cents. I can see Piggy giving me a stank look. I ignore it, and look for the quality bacon I came here for. I find the packet of bacon, Go to the back of the store where the butchery is, and ask how much it is. As i get my wallet out, I can feel another sneeze coming on. “Uh,oh i better hurry up” i think to myself. “AAAH, AHHH, AHHHHH, CHHHHHOOOOOOOOOOO”. Im scared to open up my eyes to see the damage i have caused. As I slowly open my eyes, all you see is knives everywhere. I look for Mr. Piggy, since he was back there pricing the bacon for me. I see him with multiple knives stuck in his back. He is still. The thing is, I had bacon in my hand, and he look some what cut up... What would you think happened if you walked in to this situation? I ran as fast as i could, on my way to the electronic store.
I walk into the store and see Mr. Pigster. Guess who he’s related to. I look around for the right TV, and i find it. Big, High def, and a what beauty it is. I wanted to quickly get out, because at this point i’m just sweating bullets. As i go to the counter and ask how much it is, I pull out my wallet. I feel ANOTHER sneeze coming. “I need to hurry up” i think to myself. Too late. “AAAHHHHH AHHHHHHH AHHHHHHHH CHHHHHOOOOOOOOO”. As i open my eyes, i see Pigster killed by the “grand TV “ he was selling for 4,000 dollars. Fell right on him, what a damn shame. I run out with the TV in my hand, struggling to carry this thing out the door. All you hear in the background is “I’M CALLING THE COPS ON YOU” . I run back to my house, but all you see is cops surrounding my home. As i try to run the opposite way, i realize its to late, they saw me already. Police officers running toward me, I can hear there heavy boots hitting my neatly lawned yard. Im not sure what happened next, i was just told that i ran into my shed and i was knocked out. Next thing you know, i’m in here, wishing i could see my niece. Well there you go, thats my story. now you know they truth, but apparently a wolf and 3 dead pigs in a story don’t go to well.
~ Mr. Wolf.
We caught up with each other, and he showed me his stepdaughter, who was on the other side of the shop playing "Girls Just Want To Have Fun" by Cyndi Lauper from the old jukebox. Yeah, Christian was married. Wow. Right as he asked me if I had any kids running around, Lucille, my barber, came into the main area from the back. She gave me a quick glance and nodded towards her chair to tell me it was my turn. By the time I barely was out of my seat to walk over, she was in my arms giving me a bear hug. "Arlo, my baby! What can I do for you today?" she asked. Guess it took her a double take to recognize me. I pushed off her question and said, "Hi, Lucille. How are you?" She was more than happy to take this invitation to talk, and told me about everything big that went on while I was away at university. I didn't even notice the walls of the shop were repainted and the new mirrors. "Always took you a while to recognize new things. Head always in other places," Lucille laughed. "So really, what can I do for you today? The rush is about to start soon." Before I said anything I went over in my head what style my niece Charlotte had come up with. She was always trying to get me to do new things. I only went with this because honestly, I wanted something new, too. Her exact words were "You should dye your hair, and... chop off a few inches, it's a little long."
Why I would take advice from a flamboyant teenager like her, I'm not sure, but I wasn't gonna dwell on the thought and punk out at the last minute. So, I said, "Maybe a tr—cut— up to here," I put my hand to the part of my neck where my chin ended, "and I wanna go brunette." I looked around to make sure no one had overheard that last part. Did most guys dye their hair? Lucille gave me a questioning look like "You sure about this?" And like I’d read her mind, she said just that. I nodded quickly. "Alriiiiiigght, anything for you," she said and started on my hair. "I guess a dark brown would bring out your pretty blue eyes. What is this for anyway?" Lucille asked.
I told her about the wedding I was in. "It's tomorrow, actually," I said, smirking some. Lucille didn't let that past her and asked what the smirk was all about. "Well, I gotta look good for the ladies," I smiled. She laughed. Really laughed. To her that was a knee slapper. "Aww come on Lucille, I was telling the truth." I chuckled a little. So what if it's been a while since I've had someone? Okay, a little longer than a while... Since my third year in college, actually. So, like, three years. Not bad. "Okay, okay, Mama Lucy's gonna hook you up," Lucille said and patted my shoulder. Then she said something I dreaded would come out of her mouth. "Wait... you're the best man for Nick? Wasn't he tripping rainbows over that one girl you dated? Oh, what's her name..." I mumbled, "Selena, yeah." Right in the damn bull’s eye. I forgot how smart this lady was.
Selena and I were the closest; inseparable. I don't even remember what made us split up. Distance? I couldn't stand to be far away from her, I remembered that. Yeah, I'd gone off the college and she was at home finishing up high school. She was so beautiful, from head to toe. Those light brown eyes lit up a room when I saw her. But she was a memory now. For me, at least.
I didn't realize I was daydreaming and left Lucille chattering on. Soon enough I came back to life to see Lucille coming back to my chair with a mirror. When she gave it to me, I took in a deep breath and closed my eyes. No more dirty blond, no more hair making my neck hot. I opened my eyes to dark brown strands of hair hugging my face. I barely saw myself. Definitely new. "You must like it, the smile says it all," Lucille said. "Yeah," I said, "I could run with this for a while, actually."
It still looks pretty okay, right?
This is ridiculous and just down right unacceptable. This has happened to many times this week. I don’t understand why they can’t just leave the food tin open. They’re inconsiderate thats why. They literally think of no one but themselves. ‘Lets let them starve’, they say. ‘I wonder if they’ll be alive when we get back?’ they question. ‘Probably not’ are their answers. Well I am sick of it! I am sick of their shenanigans. Ya know, one day they’re going to come back from their luxurious adventures on the town and I’m not going to be her. The girl will cry and I will laugh because I’m cruel and better than all of them. Psh, the Christmas’. YOU DON’T EVEN DESERVE THE NAME! I’m hungry and upset. The plight of my life. I bet they would leave the food tin open is this fat tub of lard didn’t exist. “It’s your fault!” Ugh he doesn’t care. Nobody does. Is it even worth it living here anymore? I mean, what’re the benefits staying here anyway besides; being able to sleep without worrying about getting clawed to pieces by an illiterate stray. But could I really go back to living on the streets? Would the gang even accept me after how I left on such bad terms with them. I mean theres a chance. I could call in a few favors, but that’s so much effort. I am a cat and cats are lazy. Its genetics. Besides living outside isn’t that great anyway. I don’t wanna go where the sun lives. The sunlight hurts my eyes and burns my skin. Of course I could always just live in the alley ways. That’s what all alley cats do anyway. Duh. What could really go wrong though if I left. I mean if I think about it realistically. There’re people out there waiting for me right this minuet. I know it! I mean besides the fact that I have no claws so I wouldn’t really be able to hunt for food when I’m hungry or defend myself when I’m being bombarded, and that I’m not the sexy cat I was 6 months ago, I could still make this work... Ya know the more I contemplate about leaving the more I realize how possible this is. And the more I realize you’re not actually listening. Oh, wait they’re home. Thank god I’m starving. Forget I said anything.
Nothing Last Forever
Why Rou (teddy bear her dad got her), just why, I mean I wouldn’t be a bad girlfriend I think I would be a pretty good one matter of fact, doncha think? Why can’t I just find that boy who will make me that girl he can show off to all of his friends and we can be together forever, where is my prince? I mean daddy called me his little princess all the time but after he died no one called me princess since. I miss it rou, I mean you don’t understand. I want to fall in love but then again I loved daddy and he left me. I just don’t know what to do anymore. Should I just give up? Should stop trying to find someone that will never want to find me? What should I do, (sniff and tear). Why aren’t you saying anything, what you don’t love me anymore either? Are you going to leave me too because thats what seems to happen every time. Fine just leave, get out now I don’t what no one anymore not even love (throws teddy bear behind her).
(Still crying to herself, singing a song her father sang to her when she was a little girl)
“Baby I love you and I'll never let you go. But if I have to my little princess I think that I should let you know. All the memories that we make can never be erased And I promise you that you will never be replaced, god gave me a gift and her name is Stella she’s my little princess forever.”
(Girl starts pouring down crying for a little bit then looks back at the bear) Its not that I hate you Rou its just that I don’t want to lose someone I love so easy again. (Stella goes over to the bear and hugs it so tight)I love you Rou, I just don’t know what to do anymore. I miss daddy so much. Gosh, I would do so much to see him one more time. Its just that mama said he’s looking over me now, she said he would be so happy on what i'm becoming as a person. Remember the first day daddy gave you to me, I felt like my heart smiled Rou. Can you just promise me something Rou, please don’t ever leave me(scene ends with the girl hugging the bear really tight with a smile on her face).
“Listen up, maggots. You are not special. You are not a beautiful or unique snowflake. You're the same decaying organic matter as everything else.” That’s from the book Fight Club. We used to keep this book in the bathroom for toilet reading. This quote makes sense to me. Mainly because it applies quite literally to my life.
“That kid’s a piece of shit.”
“Well of course he is, his dad is an asshole.”
My dad is an asshole. You know that. You know my whole story from when I was flushed to when we became friends down here. We live in a cesspool of grime and disease but I mean, that’s the sewers for you, right? My dad got rid of me while we were on vacation in Paris. Bam, right down the toilet after his feast of steak frites and various french wines. He couldn’t hold me in so he ran straight to the bathroom after he paid his check.
I can’t talk about this anymore. At this point it makes me more irritated to think about it then it makes me sad. You know how it feels, Sanchez. Your parents flushed you after they thought you were dead. You went straight to the sewers while you were sleeping. They didn’t even care enough to see if you were awake. They just assumed, “oh he’s not moving... He mustn’t be alive.”
To the outsiders, our friendship might seem unlikely or perhaps even scientifically impossible. I have news for them, the laws of science don’t apply down here. Down here it makes total sense for a goldfish and, well, a person like me to be friends. What am I even talking about, you ask? Okay, fair enough. You know that big crazy dumb sports game that’s happening today? Yeah the one that everyone’s been talking about. Like a soccer game or whatever. Yes I know, sports suck. They’re about to make our lives and every other sewer dweller’s lives a lot worse.
So when this game gets to halftime, all the humans are going to go to the bathroom. This is going to cause a massive flood for us, almost on a biblical scale, if that helps with perspective at all. When this happens, we’re all goners. I hope this flood goes all the way up to the streets of the human world and they have to walk amongst thousands of goldfish and rats and excrements like me
I figure it’ll happen within the hour. This is your life and it’s ending one minute at a time. I got that from Fight Club.
The cranes outside are moving the ships and here I am, sitting in the comfortable chair across from him. (sigh) He was screaming into the phone at someone and it’s making me scared so I back down and shrivel in the chair. Oh what do I do? I could hear the phone screaming back at him so I focus my attention to the room around me. It’s a small office consisting of two file cabinets, a wooden desk and a couple lamps in the corner, along with the dying plants next to them. (pause) Should I try to get his attention? “Sir, I would like-” This made me nervous. I get up to leave but he cursed at me, promising to fire me if I walked out the door. Fine by me. I walk to the door but he calls me back with a slam of the phone and cursing under his breath. “May I-I talk with you for a second s-sir?” I stutter out the question. He ignores me through a swig of the silver flask on his desk and twirls to face his cabinets. I shuffle around nervously. He grunts an approval and I continue. “I got an o-offer a-at another location and I-I...” I couldn’t continue. I was too scared of the man I was facing. I notice his neck muscles tense. Oh my gosh. Is he mad? (crane outside moves, creating loud noises) I suddenly awoke to the smell of alcohol. That’s what he was hiding in that flask.
Richard V. Yoeun
Character(s): Asura (main)
Setting: 1800’s, Tokyo, Japan, Zen Garden
I will be successful, as a General of the 4th battalion, trained to be the highest ranked and best men around. Striking upon millions to know our wrath. Japan may be a country in which we battle with the upmost respect, One on One combat to see which is superior, but when it comes to my people, I will battle to the best I can do to make sure we all go on living.
(Pulls out Katana) This Katana has spared so many lives, but slain so many without mercy. The sharpness of the blade runs through a human body like a hot blade through butter. The thousands of lives you took and yet you have not one bit of guilt within your thoughts.
Yasha!! Where are you? Odd, no response. He usually is around here somewhere. Yasha!!!! Where are you?! I need to talk to you about our later plans of attack against China, bring Wyzen with you too.
(There is no answer.)
Hmm... Where have those two disgraces gone? Wyzen!?! Yasha?!? ANYONE!!!!!! Bitter silence is going to test my patience.
(Walks into the Garden)
Where are.... no... How can this be? My two greatest generals... Dead. I will find who has done this. I will slain them slowly and painfully. My blade will slice every bit of their body without a bit of skin left unharmed... (Tears come down) My best friends gone.I have two choices. Join them or avenge them. It was my duty to watch upon them, a simple task to protect them and I screwed it up!!! Why can’t I accomplish this task that was very important to my army and myself?
(Sits in the garden)
What is it to take the life of those you care about and not those you hate most? There’s no need to fight anymore... Yeah that’s it, I should stop with all my terrorizing. Maybe I should just become a broker or whatever I could put my skills into. Better yet! Maybe I can go back to my wife and daughter!!! Durga and Mithra... I love those two. My Beautiful Wife Durga, she’s my complete other half. Not to forget my Beautiful lil’ bundle of joy... Mithra! I love that girl, just my sunshine. Maybe going back isn’t a bad decision what so ever, might be look upon as a failure perhaps. No... I can’t... Not go back...
It ends here... This is what i strive to live for and all I do. Great ancestors please forgive the judgment for I will lay my.... life.
(Stabs sword through Heart)
“Mr. Johnson, could you please tell me and Lieutenant Smith what your night was like on January 7th, 2012?”
“Well you see officers, it went like this...
Its a cold Wednesday night at 11PM. I am freezing; in fact, it’s more than freezing, its 13 degrees. As I walk back to my house on the South side of Chicago, I try not to act like I am freaking out. I want to seem “chillin.” Doing that is a considerably hard task because I do not even know if my wife is home taking care of Maya and Leah. You see, the thing is that lately my girl and I have not been on the same page. It’s crazy that after all this time we can both just lose feelings for each other at the same time. The worst part about it is that she does not even care about our two little girls.
Finally I get off the El and its just 5 more minutes until I can see the two people that can always put a smile on my face. I never get a chance to see them in the morning because I have to be at my first job at 6 AM. I keep on thinking to myself if my babies are safe or not; will she even be home? Where I live one must know where to go and where not to go this late at night. The moment I have been waiting for all day is just seconds away but as I approach our porch I realize the door is open.
I step into the house and there is complete darkness. Some how I find a light switch. My house had been robbed and everything that I have worked for for the past 7 years has vanished. But that is not my main concern. Where are my children? I run into the bedroom and find my two little babies handcuffed to the heater. I start to break down into tears. Maya and Leah have bruises and scars everywhere. I try to wake them up but they are unconscious. Since I cannot afford the phone bill, I have to run down the street to a pay phone to report what had happened.
As I wait for the police and ambulance all I can do is sit by them and wash them off. I just cannot understand why someone would do this to me. I have lived a respectful and hard working life; what did I do to deserve any of this? My mother taught me that things are earned not given, and I earned everything that was once in my house.
The second big question I have is who. Who would do this to me and my family? I have a decent relationships with everyone on the block and I have never had any problems with my coworkers. The only person that has been disrespectful and violent towards me lately is Natasha, my “wife.” The past few months she has been coming home later than me drunk and all drugged up. I cannot think of anybody else that would do such a thing to me, besides just a random thug.”
Two weeks is what the doctor told me today. In a way, it’s comforting. I’ve been waiting... waiting for so long for a date. Half my life, it seems. No, it’d take a lot to be half my life. My nurse told me today that she would arrange everything for me for when I die. She comes to see me everyday, even today even though it’s her day off. She told me she wanted to be with me when I found out. It’s nice to know that someone cares about a haggard old lady.
I told him today. It was the first time I’d heard his voice. It was the answering machine, but that’s the most I can ask for. Even that is better than nothing. He wouldn’t see me if I told him I was on my deathbed. A part of me wonders if he ever thinks about me. He probably has better things to do than wonder how his old, sick mother is. What was it he said? ‘Driven mad by time’, he told me. A ‘raging lunatic’ he said. Maybe I was, but not for much longer (cough out a laugh hoarsely). I haven’t laughed in a while. Not since Christmas in ’99, I think. Or was it Christmas ’09? Well, not since... since I heard. It took me so long to accept it. I wasn’t sure I ever would. He didn’t. Said I had gone off my rocker. I said he was crazy, because I couldn’t get off my rocker without assistance from a specialist, but he said that joking made it worse. I haven’t seen him since. He won’t let me near my grandkids either. Two little girls. They’ll never really know me I guess. Just how he wanted it.
How many weeks was it? Two weeks is all I have now. Two weeks, an estranged son, three shabby cats, and this old chair that I can’t seem to get out of. There’s not time, it seems, to fix all that. Well, it won’t matter. Not to me, I guess. I won’t have to worry about standing up from this chair for another minute. Will he come to my funeral, I wonder? There probably won’t even be one. All my friends are dead, who’s left to come to mine? I wonder what he’ll do with this old chair. It’s been here for so long. Ah well, it won’t matter in... what did the doctor tell me? Three weeks? One? It won’t matter when I’m gone, I mean.
I’ve spent so much time on this planet, you’d think I deserved an award. I’m sure no one from my year in high school is still alive. Good thing they stopped having reunions a while ago, I would be lonely there, dancing by myself. No one else graduated in my year that stayed in Birmingham. In... what year was I? Oh well, no one else stayed around these parts. My old leg’s fallen asleep, but the nurse won’t be here to stretch it till later. She comes at the same time everyday. What time will she come? Soon, I hope. I should probably try to stand up to get rid of those pins and needles. That’s what my mama called them. I wonder when she’ll come see me again.
My damn old leg. Don’t I have a doctors appointment soon? Yesterday, that’s when. I guess the doctor will call me soon. I should tell my son. I miss him, and the grandkids. I know I saw them yesterday, but days seem so long when you’re sick and old like me. When’s that doctor gonna call?
Mmm. That was the best food I’ve had in a while. Especially that burger. Or the fries. I can’t decide, but I think that the burger was better. But then again, who am I to judge? I can’t even remember the last time that I had a McDonalds. Come to think of it, I can’t remember the last time that I had my own money to pay for food.
Chicago is rough, man. It starts with your heat being shut off. Then your water. Then a notice telling you to pay your bills. And then an eviction notice. And then all of a sudden the city if fed up with you not paying and you’re out on the street. It’s not as bad in the summer because of all the tourists, but the winter is fucking cold and windy.
Hm. Maybe there are more fries in here… (digs). Yes! More salty heavenly fries at the bottom of the bag. I think that the McDonald’s worker gave me more fries on purpose. I guess he could tell that I hadn’t eaten a while. (eats fries)
I liked him—the worker. He didn’t look at me like most people do.
“Don’t make eye contact,” they whisper, “we’re not going to give him any money. Just keep walking.” It’s like people think that homelessness is contagious. If they come to close to me, they might catch it. Do you know how insulting that is? They think that they can regard me as trash because of my state. But news flash for you-- I’m still a human, and I’m trying to change my situation.
It was my fault though. And I fucking hate myself more every day for those decisions I made. Ya know, when you hear that trying drugs just once can get you addicted, most of the time you think “Yeah, right”, but now I’m thinking “Yeah. Right.” It happened fast. I’ve never had lots of money to begin with, so once I lost my job I was basically a goner. Hitting the streets was hard, but it made me realize that this is real. I’ve got to get my shit together.
But no. Not him. Not this worker. He smiled at me as I ordered my food and did not seem to shy away from me as I reached out to hand him the crinkled dollars that I got this morning. But he wouldn’t take them. Can you believe that? He refused my money, and in turn handed me a bag full of food. I could see the grease spots of the bag.
“Enjoy your meal, sir,” he had said.
Nothing more happened then. I left with my food and money. He wished me a goodnight, and I told him thank you.
Turns out he gave me a happy meal. With a Shrek figurine.
This world is kinda twisted, don’t you think? I’m the kind of person who, if I had anything, would want to share it all with people who are in my position. But no, I have nothing to offer, especially considering that people won’t even take a kind word from me. I wish I had it in me to change the world.
Thanks to this man, I have had my first meal in days. And furthermore, since I left McDonalds it’s like an internal fire has been lit in me. Maybe it’s the warmth of the burger or the fries that have seeped into me. Or maybe it’s the way that he smiled at me and did not judge. Since I left that restaurant, this cold air hasn’t felt so cold any more.
I go down stairs. Sure enough there he was just watching tv my over achieving little brother. “How long have you been awake”. Since 6. I honestly don’t know where he gets the energy. He starts asking me question after question after question. Unfortunately, yes was the answer to everyone one of them. I didn’t want to do it but I had to. Just please get dressed so we can get this over with.
About an half hour later he comes back with his bag already to go, and passes me a bag. I look in it and it a bunch of swim stuff. Is this from mom, he noods. Alright give 15. I come back down stairs and he’s waiting at the door. I grab the keys and leave the house.
I arrive at the hell hole. My little brother runs and leaves me as always, and I just sit on the side of the pool act like I was there to relax. As I watch my little brother swim in my view is this girl. This girl I can’t put in words, how beautiful. She had on this black bikini, and there are no words. As I pretend to follow my bother with my eyes as he swims I watch her walk.
Then I notice her eye wandered over to me. And she stares at me for a while. I still pretend like I didn’t notice, but I do. About 5 minutes later I see her start walk over to me. She can’t be walk to me maybe just by me. So I close my eyes and listen to my music. Then I hear a hey. I look up “me” I ask, she nods. She gets up and gestures for me to follow her. So I do.
She’s about 10 feet in front of me. She walking over to the deep pool and sure enough she jumps in, I sit on the side and put my feet in the water. A couple seconds later she resurfaces. She holding on to my knees. She ask what's my name. “Josh” I say. She laughs and says my name again. The way she said it made me cringe. She went under water again, and when she did I thought to myself this doesn't happen to people like me. Girls just don’t come up to you and ask you to come with them. I have to make the best of this.
When is comes up again I asked for her name. “Ella” she said. Damn even her was pretty. She asked me to pull her out of the pool, but I knew what was about to happen. I was going to put my hand out to pull her out, then she would pull me in. So at this point I knew I had to face my fear of water for this girl.
As she puts her hand out for me to pull her out, I shake my head, and just get in. I hung onto that wall with my life. I made sure Ella didn’t see me. See took me hand and pulled me out to the middle of the pool. I was trying with all my mite not to squirm. I don’t want her to know I can’t swim. Then lets me go. I went under the water then blacked out.