About Me

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Writer, soldier, thinker, and science fiction lover. I just can't seem to find a way to divide my adventurous self of constant outdoor activity and exercise from my nerdy self playing games and going to conventions. So why not just be both?

 I am a young professional living out of Tallahassee, Florida for the past five years. I have been on a deployment with the United States Army and continue to work outside of my other occupations to better myself mentally and physically. My passion for writing is driven by my passion for everything I find entertaining in life, and of course by my friends and family.

Friday, December 19, 2014

One Level Below Hell (Continued 3)

Zack Rogers swiped dried bread crumbs off his shirt. Bits remained out of his sight under the wrinkles of his shirt and in the shadow of his tie. Light grease marks remained as trails from wherever he lay his hands. His note pad and pen wrinkled with various foods’ greases and his digital camera slick with the oils.
He waited outside the police detective’s building. Knowing that James fellow, he would try and avoid Zack, and that’s when he’d get him. Zack wiped his mouth in anticipation, sweat and grease rolled off his lips and cheeks. The sunlight passed through Zack’s thin hair and the beginning of a sun burn was visible on the balding spot on the back of his head.  
Finally a tall wiry black man emerged from the building. Zack sprung up in action closing in on the back of the man. He waited until he was mere feet from the man.
“Detective!” James looked back, and seeing Zack began to move faster. “Detective! Is it true you are completely lost on the Collector Case?”
“We have no case under that name.”
“Sure you do. The Collector, the serial killer terrorizing our local citizens!”
James stopped to face Zack. Zack had a recorder running in his pocket, but that wasn’t the detective’s concern. Zack used his pen and paper for show.
“Look Mr. Rogers, this is a sensitive case. I would appreciate The Insight’s understanding in this situation.”
James tried to start off again, but Zack had him.
“What understanding is that? That the department is completely lost? That there is a rampaging serial killer with no opposition? Or that the police refuse to put in a concentrated effort because of the large Latino population?” The ruffled look in James’ eyes lead to a cracked smile on Zack’s face. James turned in a huff and walked away, but that would be the story Zack would run.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

One Level Below Hell (continued 2)

James flipped over in bed, being awoken by a ringing phone, an anger rising in him like a hunger. The voice on the other side settled that hunger.

James was still waking up when he arrived at the crime scene. He wrung his hands as he surveyed the image before him. His black skin rough with callouses. His left hand slightly gimp, the flesh pulled tight and dry. The jerky flesh of his left hand the result of a fire when he was younger. He remembered his mother saying afterwards in the hospital, the world is a sea of pain. 

That could be said for what he was looking at.

“Is it definitely our man?” James asked as Connor approached. A heavy man and an honest racist, James and Connor got along. 

“Has to be. The poor woman was skinned, and the skin is nowhere to be found so we can only assume it was taken. You don’t seem like you buy it. Something up?”

“Profiling problems, something is off with this guy. Most serial killers collect specific parts for reasons. Eyes, organs, and skin, I’m just trying to put it together.”

“Well, nothin’ is putting her together.” James didn’t acknowledge the humor. “Well I’ll send it to the boys in the lab, make sure Dr. Shen personally has a look, that dink knows his bodies.”

“Keep me posted on anything will ya’?”

“Of course.”

James found himself in his office early that day. His office a melting pot of education of his work, Holms just one of the many names present. Despite it still being light outside, he sat in the dark with his single desk lamp and computer being his only light source. There came a rapping at his door. 

“Still empathizing with the killer?” A tall lanky man stood in the doorway, silhouetted by the hallway lights. James did not need to hear the voice or see the face to know it was Thomas. 

Coming in uninvited he was dressed in his usual manner. Well-tailored coat and pants, at least of moderate worth. Yet skipping on the finer details, a cheap thin white shirt, almost transparent was haphazardly tucked into his waist line where a cheap black belt was used. It was a sore to see that the belt wasn’t even a dress belt, but simply a plain black belt. 

“I would say you’re mistaking understanding for empathy.”

“All the understanding hasn’t even given a lead yet.”

“Did you come in here for something? Or simply to rattle my cage?”

“I didn’t know it was so easy to rattle you.” A rat smirk slinked across Thomas’s face as he turned to leave James’ office. “By the way, that reporter from the Insight was asking about you. I would say he will be dropping by to give you a visit.” 

James leaned back in his chair. It was true what he had told Thomas though, and he had not even realized the profound fact he stated. It is too easy to mistake empathy for understanding. Being in a society where people seek empathy so readily. Perhaps it was understanding the difference which threw men into manhood or casted them to be mice. It’s a hard truth to know someone can understand you without liking you. But men are cursed with only being able to learn so much and live.

James looked at his desk, an organized chaos. He would have to deal with the reporter.       

Sunday, November 9, 2014

The Individual

Hello everyone! Thank you all so much for the views, and again I'd like to hear what you think in comments and know what you like! But I digress. Below is a small snippet to a train of thought I'd like to turn into a full length story at some point. I have begun writing on the story, and considered putting this in as the end but realized it did not fit the character whatsoever. So, enjoy!

Have you ever felt surrounded by familiar faces, yet still alone? I have, especially walking along these worn out places, along with the dirty streets. The faces seem so bright for the rat race that they will continue to trudge along in.

Somehow, in the last few years, individual rights had become subject to votes. The smallest minority in the world had its rights stripped from them, the individual. I have learned that governing powers only retain one true “power” and that power is the ability to punish the criminal. I have learned that if there isn’t enough power to quench that thirst, the powers that be simply create new criminals. I have learned that the patriots continue to use tears to fill their glasses. And no matter how complex a situation, there are only two sides, the right, the wrong, but between the two there is undeniably an evil.  

As a young couple passes I hide my face under the brim of my hat, wishing to drown my sorrow. Wishing there was no tomorrow. Their smiles are only momentary. It’s not like it once was. It once was that men could take a step down a new path armed with only their drive to succeed and their knowledge they were free to. But when a power retains a monopoly of force over the innocent with the justification of the law, men stop taking steps.

But not all men stop.

I seek truth, always have, but perhaps I never realized I was. Truth is not for all men. Truth is only for those willing to seek it, particularly when there are high costs.

The only power the people had was to vote for those they felt they could trust. To use those individuals to vote and if need be, filibuster that which was to hamper individual prosperity. But three years ago, they abolished the ability to do so. The one who vote for the greater good, the betterment, “progress”, for equality, for evil.    

I would say it’s all kinda’ funny, but mostly I can only tell you it’s all really sad. How government “help” is more disastrous than persecutions. The persecution of millions. I would say that the path to hell is paved with good intentions, but power is far too purposeful of a pursuit.

The dreams of which I am dying are the best I’ve ever had. To see people thriving. To see freedom come. Freedom to progress on their own, not to beg for hand outs and or simply be content to exist.

I do find it hard to tell you, but worse is I find it hard to take. I watch these people pass by, so much potential locked away by bars of fear. So many people accepting guilt to a crime of a crime they are victims of. The mass acceptance of a contradiction.

I can see now children running in circles. Children waiting for the day they feel good. A school had let out and now children were rushing to play or get home. A single child has his birthday being celebrated by classmates. The tune of happy birthday ringing out in the chants of tiny voices.

Yes, happy birthday dear child.

A pair steps by me, looking back at me. Look right through me, look right through me.

The only way government can assist in prosperity is to keep its hands away from it. So now I stand at the end of a street. The street dark and crisp with cold air. I have learned this, if a rational man is confronted with you in a disagreement use reality. If you are wrong, you will learn, if he is wrong, he will learn. Regardless, both with profit.

So now I hold in my hand the final disagreement. Using a lighter I light the wick which leads into a glass bottle. The bottle full of slick oils which are apt to set fire. My face a glow in an orange light. There is no difference between a state seeking to fill its welfare and a totalitarian state. So now I will throw this bottle into buildings, I will fire the shot which will end this nation. I will throw this not because I look down on society, but because I look up to it, and hold it to such a higher standard. I will fire the shot not out of anger or in hopes for growth of political power, but because I love you, all of you.

But I must first teach you, to say I love. And the first lesson in saying I love you is to understand there is not a we, an us, or a them. There is first an I, the individual.    

Friday, October 31, 2014

The Horseman's Blade, Part 7

Spears and Emily headed back the way they came and then down the passage way where Mark and Jesse headed earlier. They moved slowly with dread down the passageways. They came to a right turn in the passageway and they both turned it slowly and carefully not fearing the now endless possibilities. They turned into a large cabin. The cabin was lined with operating tables on both sides; an autopsy room. The tables desolate pods of past terrors. In the center of the room a tray of operating instruments had been knocked over and several bits of glass lay across the ground. Spears and Emily proceeded through the cabin watching all of the corners until they reached the other end where a door with a small reinforced window separated them from the next passage.
Spears peered through the window. He could see the next passage way straight ahead was clear, but there was also another passage way he could tell that ran to the right which he couldn’t see down. He pressed down on the silver knob and pulled the door open. He stepped out forward and Emily stepped out behind him facing the right. Both passageways were clear.
Spears looked to his right where Emily was staring quietly. Another cabin lined with operating tables. The room was brightly lit and down the center of the cabin was a long smeared trail of blood which ended at the opposite bulkhead. Spears and Emily entered with their rifles up and searched all four corners. Spears moved down between the tables and found a mass of meat; the blood was splattered all over the deck.
“I think this was Jesse.” Emily spoke out gagging as Spears looked up and across the cabin at her. She too was looking down at something between the tables near her.
“I think this was too.” Spears answered looking down at the mass of flesh and muscle before him. The part was unidentifiable. Between each table were more and more parts, of what they believed to be their former colleague. As Spears neared the door at the end of the cabin he could identify a large dent in the door. The dent was going out to the other side of the next passage way, whatever had made the dent was on their side of the door. Spears tried to open the door but the latch was also morphed and wouldn’t allow the door to function. “We’re going to have to go back down that other passageway. This door is fucked.” Spears turned back around to Emily across the cabin.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

One Level Below Hell

 Catherine walked the steamy streets. Seedy pawn shops, thrift stores, and a dollar theater the only attractions still grasping for life on the block.
 Turning down an alley the lights could not penetrate the cold dark. It had been the scene of a gruesome ordeal sometime more than a month ago. Catherine came to a stop where the body had been found. A streetwalker had reported the finding. A young woman, blonde hair, not natural, with her face sunken into a stagnant puddle. A deep wound below the sternum was found to be the cause of death. The trace amounts of chloroform proved that she was not the result of a pimp taking out vengeance. The removal of the eyes proved, that he had struck again. 
 The first victim, a woman in her mid twenties. Found in a park, a runner reporting it, the most common means of finding bodies. The feet and hands removed. Chloroform used, a slit throat to pull the life force from the body.
 The second victim, a male, found in a warehouse. The body wrapped neatly. The internal organs removed. Autopsy showed the victim was conscience and not sedated for the surgery. Filthy socks remained in the victim's mouth as a gag. 
 And now the third victim. 
 Catherine mused to herself, the killer must be quite charming. Perhaps physically sound, intellectually superior. After all, the cuts were done with surgeon precision. Maybe, maybe a perfectionist? 
 Catherine caught a glimpse of strand from the corner of her eye. A web, so intricately assembled. Its architect proudly in the center. Spiders, such perfect killers. So precise, yet a creator of chaos. Perhaps, in someway, the killer was a spider. 
 Catherine left the alley for the theater. Purchasing a ticket to some animated movie she headed for the screening room when, behind the concession a shine caught her eyes. A young woman working the concession stand. Catherine approached. The worker in her twenties, plain, unruly hair. Baggy around the waist. 
 But her complexion!
 To say Catherine was captivated was, an understatement. The worker's eyes shifted up to meet Catherine. 
 "Can I get you something?"  
 "Oh yes dear, please, um, something sweet."
 "Well I only got candy and soda."
 "That's not all you got."
 The worker looked at her quizzically for a moment, and then blushed.
 The poor thing, Catherine thought.
 "I'll take the Crunch bar please."
 The worker bent over reaching into the case for the candy bar. 
 "What's your name?" Catherine asked. The worker stood up with the candy bar.
 "Sam, my friends call me Sammy." 
 "Sammy, you have such a beautiful complexion." Sam blushed once more.
 "If only it weren't for the weight."
 "Oh so we aren't anorexic little bitches. Oh well." Sam's blush intensified. 
 "What's your name?" 
 "Ashley." Replied Catherine. "Sammy, w-would it, be, be alright if I gave you my number?"
 "Oh well, I don't..."
 "Oh, I'm sorry. I thought you were..."
 "Oh but I am! I'm sorry, I haven't, you know, come out or nothin'." Catherine couldn't care, she really wasn't. She wrote her number on a napkin and handed Sam the cloth. She walked away smiling, biting into her now open candy bar. She would enjoy the movie, but more so her thoughts on how to best skin a large woman.         

The Horseman's Blade, Part 6

Spears slowed down in the bridge attempting to overhear anything but it was just meaningless murmurs. They headed down the first flight of stairs to where their cabins were. Jesse was standing in the hall waiting for them.
“Come on, Mark is waiting for us, two decks down.” He had his rifle in his hands already. Spears took his rifle off his back, chambering a round. What was on the ship that required rifles? Regardless, he followed Jesse down the passageways and down the flights of stairs where the bulk head suddenly changed. The usual steel bulk head was no longer the same, now a clean, white, smooth bulkhead was all he could see on both bulkheads and the deck and ceiling. At the end of the passageway was a large air tight door where Mark was standing. Above the door was a sign that read ‘Tartarus labs, Restricted Level.’ Spears considered stopping and questioning the entire image, but the tone of urgency overruled it. He had never seen a passageway like this, nor ever heard of a ship with labs or a restricted level. Mark pulled out a small hand held radio and requested that the door be opened. The electric lock lit up and Mark pushed open the door.
Mark and Jesse went in with their rifles up, the lights were on and the bulk head changed again. The ceiling and deck were still the clean, smooth, sterile, white, but the bulkheads were lined with large pipes, on one he read ‘Numina Engine: Steam.’ Spears shouldered his rifle as well and stayed to the right bulkhead. He moved slower than Jesse and Mark did, he didn’t know what was going on and now was not the time to ask. He looked across from him to Emily who also had the same look on her face. An information gap between the four could not have been more obvious. They moved down another ten yards in their staggered column formation until they came to a junction in the passageway. Jesse and Mark looked at each other and then without saying anything they both went left. Spears looked over at Emily.
“Guess we go right?” He said hearing Mark and Jesse already farther down the left side.
“I guess that’s the case.” Emily went forward and aimed down the right passageway. Spears turned the passageway and stayed on the right hand side of the passageway clinging next to the bulkhead. He kept his rifle pointed down the passageway; on the left bulkhead Emily did the same as they moved forward. They came to another turn, they turned left. The pipes ended into the walls, now they only faced the long clean white hall. The overhead lights were sterilized the walls in white light with a copper coated buzz. At the end of the hall some twenty yards from them the lights were broken and they could see one of the crew members sitting down in the hall. He was centered in the light with his back turned. A yellow rain coat with the hood up covered his skin from view. The light glistened on the water specks which remained. Something in Spears screamed to stop moving, to go back, something primeval, an animal instinct was pulling him back. Something his ancestors had developed. But he pushed with his will to take a few steps forward and yell at the man sitting in the hall.
“You, in the coat, turn around!” He thought maybe this man was some sort of thief or saboteur. Environmentalists had been known to do extremely dangerous feats to ships at sea to push their terrorism. Yet the man remained unresponsive. “Now!” Spears yelled out at the top of his lungs. Given any other location or job he’d have shot by now. The man seemed to be rocking back and forth now but remained unresponsive to his shouts. He knew the rules of his job. He looked over at Emily who also had her sights on him. He started to take steps forward towards the man. He remained in his rocking position; Spears and Emily were now only four feet from the man.
“Sir, we won’t ask you again.” Emily began to speak to the man now. She sighed and parted her lips to continue, Spears pressed his cheek in harder on the sights preparing to fire. Then a whistle and clatter, and sudden rattling, the ship came to life with noise around them, burst upon burst and then the defying shriek of human pain. Spears reflexes snapped him to one knee and he turned around. It had to have been Jesse and Mark, but the shooting stopped. He looked at Emily who was looking over her shoulder and Spears turned around realizing no one was watching the man.
As Spears twisted around, the man’s face flashed as he swung about, Spears kicked back falling onto his back. Emily turned in time to miss a large blade which struck the wall next to her forcing her to stumble back. It had all happened so fast Spears hadn’t seen what it was until now.
The torso of the crewman was being lifted up above him to the ceiling, his stomach sucked in, his ribcage showing, his skin darkened to a fine wet wood brown. His arms outstretched to the sides. Eyes sunken to mere pearl beads within the skull, the nose was missing. His ears plastered to his skull with a hard crust. His lower jaw was gone, and in its place was a clutter of tentacles that squirmed and lunged back and forth, fighting to reach out at them. His upper jaw was lipless and revealing the black decay of the gums which held the front teeth of what was once a man and two large dogteeth. The man’s limbs were replaced by long muscular appendages, at the end of each looked like a long serrated, curved blade.
The creature took in a gasp of sickly air and brought its right limb up in a stabbing motion towards Spears. Spears fired a burst from his rifle up into the creature as he began to crawl away by frantically kicking his feet. The rounds tore uselessly into bone and flesh. He finally got his footing and stood up stumbling back before he fell into his firing position. He fired another burst along with Emily who fired more rounds into the creature. It shrieked at them. Lunging forward with its large blades whipping back and forth, they both fired rounds which passed through its flesh and snapped its bones. The creature stumbled and fell forward and continued to try and crawl towards them with its front two blades. Spears and Emily were being forced back by the ever quickening monstrosity crawling towards them. Emily dropped her empty magazine and snapped a new one in as the creature reached her ankle. The blade sliced through the leather boot with ease tripping her. It began to pull her in. Spears rushed forwards and fired the remaining rounds of his magazine into the creature’s skull shattering it across the white floor of the corridor.
  Spears breathed with his adrenaline and reloaded. He turned back to Emily who was now leaning up against the wall. Bright red blood encircled around her foot. The rose colored liquid died her boot a dark wine red.
“How bad is it?” Spears asked while watching the corridor where the creature was once sitting.
“Not too bad, my boot took most of it.” She straightened up and stood straight and instantly winced giving away her lie.
“We need to find Mark and Jesse.”