A few months ago I read the book “Naming Jack the Ripper” by Russell Edwards. Here are my thoughts…
The rain fell slowly and floated above the street in a mist; a mist that carried the death and decay of the world with it. I held no presumptions that life as I knew it would soon end. We had long ago set upon a path of self destruction and ignored the clear warning signs.
The extinction of the human race began 20 years ago with the first release of the virus. The virus – engineered specifically to merely reduce the earths population had run amok and had killed indiscriminately. Those of us that had distributed the virus are the only ones left; left alone with our shame and our guilt.
At the beginning of the 21st century, the Earths population was a little over seven billion people. At last count, there were only 7500 confirmed alive; walking this deserted planet alone: alone because we fear the company of others. Alone because we cannot trust each other any longer, and alone because we are all carriers of the virus.
The elevator doors opened and my eyes were instantly focused on the odd scene in front of me. I had to look twice because I wasn’t quite sure of what I was looking at. There was a man, dressed in a blue suit with a top hat of all things, sitting on the roughly carpeted floor and drinking a glass of ice-filled liquid the color of amber. I’m guessing it was some type of whiskey. Behind the man was a woman – naked – red hair and the lightest group of freckles adorning her magical face. She was holding a snake in her arms, the thing wrapping itself around her supple neck. Still, these were not the strangest things to be witnessed. Behind the two odd characters and to the right was a large ceramic planter, painted with dull southwestern designs. Normally this would not cause a stir. Foliage of this type are frequent in hotel lobbies, no. The thing was hanging upside down from a series of chains attached to the ceiling. The plant was fixed somehow to the inside of the large pot. My head cocked to the right like a confused dog and yet this was not the oddest thing to be seen that morning.
Suddenly, my feet felt a rush of icy cold and I looked down to find that I was standing in water up to my ankles. A school of fish swam around me as if I were invading their space. The doors to the elevator remained open and I wondered if I would ever wake from this awful dream. Clearly I had to be dreaming. The images and oddities placed before me were too fantastical to be actual. I felt something warm brush against my left shoulder and turned in its direction. A thick red mist hung in the air like a cloud on a rainy afternoon. I closed my eyes and attempted to wake myself. I thought I was gaining success until the red mist began to speak; to me apparently.
“Lovely day isn’t it?” It announced through no mouth at all. I nodded in lieu of a response. This did nothing to deter the thing from continuing.
“Pardon me, but I couldn’t help but notice that your shoes are untied. I wouldn’t have said a thing had they been sneakers. Dress shoes of your style should be fastened; for safety reasons of course.” I glanced down to see that not only was the crimson fog correct, but that I was no longer wading in the fish-filled water. I was overtaken by the urge to thank the thing but after straightening from tying my laces, he had vanished. Nonetheless, this was also not the weirdest spectacle of all.
The top hat man and naked snake lady had remained unmoved from the threadbare carpeting. Out of the corner of my eye – which eye I cannot be sure – I noticed movement: thick heavy movement; like construction machinery, only it appeared at first to be human in nature. As this whatever came closer I was shocked out of my recently tied shoes to find that it was the actor David Ogden Stiers, the fellow who portrayed the annoyingly brilliant Major Charles Emerson Winchester III on the 70’s comedy M*A*S*H. I was immediately thrilled as he entered the elevator.
“Big fan!” I told him, and instantly regretted it as I seemed like a crazed lunatic. He smiled curtly and stared off into nothing. It was only seconds later that I felt something tug at my pants. I twisted around to find Major Winchester going through my pockets.
“What the fuck man!” He looked up and I noticed a small fish in his mouth. He continued to search through my pockets. “Excuse me!” Only then did I notice that it truly wasn’t David Ogden Stiers, but a waxen version of him. When the waxy imposter tried to speak I no longer felt the need to stay in the elevator, but my attempt to leave sparked the doors to close and I was headed down. I hadn’t a clue what was in store for me next but I didn’t assume that it could possibly get any weirder. Upon reaching the bottom of the hotel, which I was assuming was the ground floor, the doors opened and Winchester ran out screaming. I was relieved to see life as I had remembered it. People – normal people – all doing normal things. This is when the morning took a turn for the worse.
The hotel lobby was full of what appeared to be business type folk. They moved quickly from one point to another – talking on their phones or typing on their computers.
“psst…” I heard this coming from one of the many lounge chairs available in the middle of the lobby. I approached. “psst…” The sound got louder as I got closer and I entered a ring of chairs situated around a stone fireplace. I glanced around at the guests who sat there. There were all types of humans: men, women, tall, skinny, ugly, you name it. As I reached the 9 ‘oclock position in my rotation I spied a familiar face. It was Donald Trump. He was trying to get my attention. He offered me a seat on the couch next to him and I obliged. Before saying a word he took out his wallet and began throwing 10 dollar bills at me. This was confusing to say the least. When he finally did speak, it all came crystal clear. I picked up the 40 dollars and he grabbed my arm.
“Vote for me and you will always have cookies.” I slapped him in the face, stole his wallet and ran. Then, inevitably, my alarm went off…
Many of us do this. We come home from a long day at our respective jobs. We slip off our shoes and relax; to whatever for of relaxation works for us. For me its my recliner for roughly an hour. If I have nothing to do that night then the time that I spend horizontal may increase. With most of us we feel a proud sense of accomplishment from a job well done. Or perhaps we’re just happy to have a particular project off our plate. Or maybe you’re one of those rough necks who works so hard that by the time you get home you’re sore and you just want to stop moving for a while. If you are any of these people then I envy you. Take a wild guess at what I do for 8 hours a day… NOTHING. This is not an exaggeration. I literally sit behind a desk and do nothing. Yes, I get paid and some of you might consider me to be ungrateful and I am happy to be employed. But spending the entire day doing nothing is exhausting. Seriously – its only 9:30 in the morning and I’m all ready for bed. Here’s a quote for you to ponder. If you know me well enough (who really does) then you’ll know who this is.
“I’ve often thought of becoming a hairdryer.”
I am giving serious consideration to an idea that I’ve had for some time now. Tentative title: “Jesus & Me.” Yep, you heard me right. Taken from the point of view of his best friend Steve, the story, which will be my first comedy, will follow the would-be king of the Jews throughout his formative years and into adulthood. Many of the decisions and choices made by Jesus weren’t actually made by Jesus, but by Steve. It was Steve who advised Jesus to become a carpenter. It was Steve who thought it would be a good idea to start a new religion. A little like a “mom always liked you best” sort of thing. I will of course, have to do some serious researching; facts are facts as you know and I want to be accurate as far as the historical accounts go. However, the grey areas will be slightly muddled.
Stay tuned for Princess Jessie and The Way Back. Both to be released soon. (cross your fingers)
In case you haven’t noticed, I’ve been gone for a while. Nothing serious I suppose; unless you consider rheumatoid arthritis serious. It certainly isn’t life threatening, but it is life altering. Being back at work has helped to clear my mind (mainly because at work, my mind isn’t being used) and I want to get back to work writing. “The Way Back” will be released soon. That is if my editor would get off her lazy butt and get my copy back to me. But I digress. The hardest thing I have in front of me is the completion of my current manuscript which is lossley based on the Hinterkaifeck Murders. I hope you y’all stick around long enough to read it. I hope I’m around long enough to finish it. Perhaps I will take my imagination and my words to the campground with me this weekend.
Happy Friday y’all.