[Short Story] The It [Excerpt]

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It’s still hard to believe that something so ugly and useless looking destroyed our town in just a matter of days. It turned everyone here into its slaves, and anyone who is immune to it gets killed. That disgusting thing made Karen kill her own husband of twenty years because he said it was controlling our thoughts and making us go insane. Karen loves this thing now like it’s her own kids.

[Novel] Matriarch [Excerpt]

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It had been awhile since a male had made it outside of one of the reservations, they said. The news was frightening, but not uncommon. It had happened before. Reports had been coming in all morning in the form of retinal uploads onto several gestalts being run by those living near the “old world territory.”

Windell passively let the thoughts of excitement, fear, and curiosity among her friends and followers pass over her like the rise and receding tide of water over a shoreline. The thoughts would come to her in snippets before moving on to the next one.

Is he still alive?

Does he have a beard?

No, he’s clean shaven. Trying to pass as something non-binary.

Has a surveillance drone spotted him yet?

Windell, with a single thought, disconnected, and her implant chirped internally with efficient obedience. She moved on to another one of her default gestalts. More images started to flow in; some in the form of videos. The second batch seemed to be uploaded by those who were brave enough to get a closer look. No longer the one-hundred yard photo uploads from street corners or high-rise balconies. This man was not very smart.

Does he have a gun?

Are there still guns on the reservations?

No way. They’d exterminate the whole territory if they found any.

Has Civil Protection gotten to him yet?

No, but I want to see the cishet try to run.

I got a drone tailing him now if anyone wants to see him. I’m letting the feed go public access through my personal gate.

Windell disconnected again. This was boring to her. Civil Protection will have this supposedly “cis-male” by lunch time. Although, maybe not. A lot of these men were moved to the reservations prior to collective implantation. There was no way to track them in any meaningful way. Civil Protection was down to near-stone age tactics now in order to find him, which meant eye-witness accounts mostly. Same deal as before.

Reflexively, she opened her channels again to see if any new conversations had started.

I remember when I had to cross the street at night to avoid men like him.

He might be rapist of some kind. Do you remember that one victim that was living outside the Eastern Europe reservation?

If private gun ownership were still legal, I’d shoot him before he goes any farther.

Oh, please! You’d lock your door like everyone else.

Disconnect.

Were they seriously still talking about this guy?

Windell had forgotten how much older her friends were compared to her. They were around her age when binaries and non-binaries were still still living together. Before the catastrophe. She was so lucky they told her.

They shared their memories with her. Cities and cultures obliterated in the blink of an eye. The burning of their lungs as they trudged through the ruins of post-nuclear fire. The shaking and fear as strangers looked across the horizon at the kill zones waiting for them. The hunger, the disease, the rapes, the drugs, the helplessness, the numbness, the anger, the rage. All these feelings until there was a collective cry of enough. It was a torrent of atrocity and experiences that left Windell gasping for air after her screams of agony. It took months of psycho-surgery to minimize the world that she saw until it could become just another person’s memories in her head.

It was a Matriarch’s duty to share these horrors, so that the world knew what they had suffered. War, Patriarchy, and Toxic Masculinity had brought the world to the brink of annihilation. It was a more humane, much saner place now.

The world was better, no doubt; but Windell was tired of the past. All of these events had come and gone. Women could walk the streets at night alone. Women did not have to worry about a man abusing her, belittling her, making her inferior to him. Why dwell on what the world was? The Patriarchy was over.

Windell disconnected from the whole collective to be alone as she finished her coffee at the cafe. Full autistic mode. The stream of thoughts that were pouring into her head had stopped abruptly like water being cut off from a spigot. She was alone with her own thoughts, so others couldn’t hear.

There are other gestalts worth following, she thought. Time for newer, younger friends.

Maybe she’d start searching the collective this afternoon or tomorrow. There was nothing wrong with her current friends, but the past was just so depressing. Let them follow that living, breathing artifact. Let them follow him with that drone and watch Civil Protection catch, process, and release him. There were bigger problems, and bigger issues that the world was dealing with now.

The now is what’s important, she thought. Now and the future.

 

[Flash Fiction] Death Is Just Consciousness Looking For Life On Other Planets.

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“Are you ready, Mrs. Wilks?”

“I’m as ready as I’ll ever be, doctor,”

Patricia Wilks was 95-years-old. She was ready for her final journey. She had already finalized her will, as well as had her last dinner with her son, daughter, and the rest of their extended family. She wasn’t worried. Not unlike the dying from centuries past; but even so, her children couldn’t help but cry for her that night.

“Oh, don’t fret my loves,” she assured them tenderly, her voice a rusty calm that far eclipsed the sensuality and insecurity of youth that was once with her from decades past, “you’ll see me again. That’s a promise!”

“I just want to reiterate what we discussed earlier,” said the doctor, “your body will die, but your consciousness will be transferred to the satellite and will be sent out into space.”

“In order to see if there’s intelligent life out there, yes?” answered Patricia, “I’ve always wanted to travel into space.”

The doctor smiled. Charmed by her excitement.

“If anyone finds the satellite and opens me up,” asked Patricia, “what should I tell them? You’re already including a detailed history of humanity to go along with me.”

The doctor looked up for a moment. Contemplating the question with a pious air that didn’t do justice the level of thought and reverence that he gave it. He soon had his answer:

“Tell them about your life,” he said, “Tell them what it means to be you, to be human. That will be the one thing that these books, histories, sciences, and pieces of art will not convey. For if humanity can’t succeed to meeting those of you out there in space, there will be a record that we tried. That’s all we ask of you.”

“And I accept,” Patricia answered.

[Flash Fiction] Time is Just a Machine Planning to Kill You.

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It’s official: I’m trapped.

I built this time machine so that I could see into the future. What I didn’t realize was that somewhere between 2018 and 2100, Earth had gone full blown Terminator and the robots actually did kill us all!

I barely got into my time capsule before one of the machine hunter killer spheres managed to laser off a piece of my arm and the part of the controls that would have allowed me to go back in time and warn everybody about the robot overlord apocalypse.

So now I’m in this time capsule, just going forward into time because it can’t go anywhere else (it was either that or get killed by the robots), and I’m bleeding to death. I’ve thought about just stopping the time machine all together, but the machines have started building a city around me and it’s a 1,000 years so far. Doesn’t look like I’ll have any easy out before I die in here from blood loss. I’m writing this because maybe someday somebody will find this note and know that humans were able to at least time travel before their toasters decided killing us was a more viable option to combat global warming besides another carbon tax.

I’m looking at the the world around my pod and I’m seeing night and day more like some freaky time lapse video. For every thirty seconds that I’m in here one year passes by. Maybe I’ll make it long enough to see the sun turn into a red dwarf and swallow up the Earth as it dies, taking the killer machines along with it.

Kinda wish I could stick around to see the end of the universe, but I don’t know if I’ll live that long.

Nocturnal Musing [1]

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So it’s been three months since started this little adventure and I’ve been loving the outreach and experiences that I’ve gained so far. Going back to my first few posts I remembered what I was feeling back then and how nervous I was when I posted my excerpt of Con Job and my first poetry review of Ghost in the Shell. I was nervous about it because I mostly thought I was giving the world the ammunition it needed to prove that I was a freak all along and that no one would be into that stuff. However, I kept going; I wrote more blog posts, a sort-of essay about how difficult it is to be prescient as a writer, my trepidation over the possibly popularity of the live action Ghost in the Shell, and then later the review that blew all those assumptions out of the water in one fell swoop.

Then I started Austin By Night, and that’s when things really took off. I can say that my greatest achievement thus far has been the fact that my visitor counts doubled in not only April, but also in May. Two months of exponential growth! THAT is something.

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I can’t be thankful enough to the people on WordPress along with my subscribers here on this site, as well as the wonderful local community of writers in my city, my home, Austin, Texas. There are many writers on twitter and their openness and willingness to help me make me a better writer have been invaluable. And there are those who are not online, but have also helped in immeasurable ways (and you know who you are and I am eternally grateful).

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I think I’m lucky that I live in a pretty cosmopolitan city that is willing to embrace and support artists like myself. Not an easy thing to be, especially in the American South, but Austin definitely deserves the accolades. Now that I’ve seen what it takes to make it as a writer, I hope to spread the signal further through here and out there.

So, what’s next? Well, I’m working on a novel right now, which I’ve posted an excerpt of over a month ago. That novel has been my off-site project as well as what I do here, along with twitter and youtube. I’ll still be posting videos and continuing the Austin By Night series for the foreseeable future and I hope you’ll still around to see the other projects that I have coming down the artistic pipe-line. Once again, thank you for your support, your subscriptions, and continue to spread the signal. In the end, it’s all up to us! See you soon!

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