They’re Back

by Solomon Tate

They’re back. Just when I was beginning to think it was safe to roam around the house, it’s happened. The ghosts have returned, or so my wife has reported. This time however, she’s not just seeing them. Hell, she;’s now feeling them. The spirits of the departed are now sharing information with my wife. She says that they are communicating with her. Spiritually. Metaphysically. She doesn’t hear them, but she says she can sense the information.

Last month she asked about a friend of mine who was quite ill and near death. She asked me if he had passed yet. I told her I didn’t know. “I think you should check..”, she said. “Maybe I’m wrong, but I feel like something’s happened.”  The next morning I looked into it, and discovered that he had passed away the evening before. She’s rarely wrong.

She likes to talk about it a lot. She likes to share everything about their comings and goings with me, thinking that I would like to know.  I wouldn’t.  I tell her that I do not share her exuberance about these apparitions but truth be told, the whole thing scares the shit out of me.  “Why?”, she has asked me.

“Because they’re ghosts.”, I explained.

“They’re always here, you know.”, she continued. “Sometimes they just don’t say or do anything.”

“That doesn’t make me feel any better.”, I said.

“Well it should.”, she advised. “There’s nothing bad about them.”

I suspect that my wife is like a lighthouse for the spirit world. A conduit and a beacon for those wishes to return from the other side. She told me that she recently had a supernatural experience. Someone who had passed came to her in a dream and informed her that he would be calling my daughter to let her know that everything is okay. The next day my daughter came home and told my wife that while at work, a particular favorite song came on the radio. Just then the phone rang and when she answered it, no one was there. Coincidence? My wife is sure it isn’t. She says it was his spirit.

She says that some of them have come for me. She says that every time I feel like someone is tugging at my short, or if I sense that someone is in the room but no one is there, its them. “Who?”, I ask.

“I’m not sure.”, she answers. “Could be one of your parents or your grandfather, or maybe one of your friends. They’re just trying to let you knew that they’re around.”

She found a bobby pin on the floor in the hallway. She was convinced that her grandmother had left it for her to find. “I’m not an expert”, I said, “but do spirits need bobby pins?” She told me that they didn’t, and that it was just a sign. Her grandmother used bobby pins. All of the time. It was a sign that she was nearby. I have never had an other worldly experience of my own, but seem to endure them vicariously through her homing signal that seems to penetrate the other side. They come to her, and even though though I ask her not to open the door, she willingly lets them in so that they can fly around my house just to tell me something I’m not certain I want to know. She insists that if I just open up to them, they will communicate with me. I remind her that I would still prefer a postcard, unless of course they are willing to give me the winning lottery numbers. Spiritually. Metaphysically.



Spiritually. Metaphysically.


Leave It To The Beaver

by Fielding Goodfellow


It was one of those ‘Dances With Wolves’ moments, when men stood naked in the middle of the woods, messed up on Ayahuasca, pounding their chests and howling at the moon in an attempt to come face to face with absolute happiness, as if there were such a thing. Axil Woodman sat on a Balsam Fir stump watching the event unfold. He didn’t understand it. Not at all. He had seen a lot of dumb shit in his forest, but this was quite possibly the dumbest. Axil Woodman was a logger. He was also a drummer in the Oregon State University Marching Polka Band, at least he used to be.  One Saturday afternoon, many years ago, with Utah punishing the mighty Beavers, a skirmish erupted on the sidelines between Utah fans, and Benny The Beaver. Axil was flung  into the melee, and in the ensuing mayhem, sustained a bite to his leg courtesy of the large, deranged Oregon State mascot. Emergency Medical Services were able to stop the bleeding, and he took his place in the band formation and completed the halftime show. No one, not even Woodman thought any more about the incident.

That spring stories began to spread through the logger camps, about a strange and mysterious creature that had been seen roaming through the forest, single handedly taking down massive trees in seconds. There was talk of large bite marks being found on stumps spread across hundreds of miles of forest.  Dr. Monty D’Botcheree, head of the prestigious Institute Of Extraordinary Intraterrestrial Occurrences, and the infamous Sasquatch search party that lasted five days at Gordon Lightfoot’s  home, was called in to investigate. D’Botheree spent months travelling from camp to camp, tracking the creature, completing interviews and collecting samples and was convinced that this was more than likely the transmutation of a man into an animal. “In layman’s terms”, D’Botcheree explained, “someone was turning into a beaver.”

Woodman listened intently as D’Botcheree spoke. He had been feeling like hell for weeks, not really sick, but uneasy and weird. He was troubled by his new found strength, and his sudden compulsion to keep busy made him wonder if maybe he was the Beaver. As the peyote began to kick in, Eddie Haskell and Lumpy Rutherford  two of the dumbest bastards to ever put on plaid, seemed to think so. “Hey Beaver.”, they chanted, “Where’s Wall-E?”

“Its pronounced Wally.”, Larry Mondello shouted back at them. “You’re probably the dumbest guy in Mayfield, Lumpy.”

“This part beaver, part man”, D’Botcheree continued, “would become a single entity, possessing the best qualities of both a beaver, and a man. He would be a Super Beaver, and quite possibly a super hero.” Woodman had no desire in being a super hero. It seemed like a hell of a lot of responsibility. He wasn’t thrilled about becoming a super beaver either, but he had a feeling D’Botcheree was right. There were periods of time when he just couldn’t remember where he had been, but he would often find muddy foot prints across the floor in his cabin, and small bits of lumber strewn across the table. His eyesight was waning, and it seemed to be getting worse every day, but he could hear and smell everything, as if those senses were working overtime.

When the camp awoke the next morning all of the felled trees had been moved to the river, cut into logs, and were floating their way to the mill. Not one of the loggers spoke as they walked away from the river’s edge back to the camp, and none of them ever spoke again about the events that occurred in the forest that Spring. Debocheree had had always had suspicions about Axil Woodman, but both Woodman and the beaver man had disappeared without a trace, although there stories have been told about a mascot at MIT, about six feet and three inches tall, known as Tim The Beaver. Like all great mysteries though, we may never really know for sure.


by Fielding Goodfellow


I met Ana at a campus screening of ‘Metropolis’, and shared a small bag of peyote which she claimed was surprisingly easy to obtain, and completely necessary to really understand a Fritz Lang film. She had studied piano with the great Klaus Von Klaus, or something like that, for fifteen years but following her junior year as a music major at The University of Political Weariness and Social Degeneration, she joined the myriad of Dead Heads who appeared in assorted incarnations still hallucinating from a trip they began in 1970, floating freely through space and time, searching for the aurgasm that could only be achieved in the psychedelic sunshine of The Grateful Dead..

We spent the night spinning vinyl on an old Garrard turntable, and headed off to Exhibition Stadium the next afternoon with Ana dressed to thrill in an ‘American Beauty’ t shirt and short shorts.  She had a body that I was sure had cost men their souls, or their minds, or more than likely, both. I’m not certain how we got there, but we were sitting in second row floor seats for The Band and The Dead beside some bleary eyed and tie dyed trippers who appeared to be engaged in battle with giant boll weevils, and a topless teenager who was looking for someone to blow air into her rather unremarkable tits. Ana achieved what she later described as the ultimate spiritual release, but I swear that somewhere between  ‘Ripple’ and ‘Sugar Magnolia’, she simply had an orgasm.

Halfway ‘Up On Cripple Creek’, as some of the trippers succumbed to the onslaught of the giant boll weevils, and pandemonium and paranoia began to set in, Ana wanted to leave. We walked toward the gates that led to freedom, laughing like a couple of grade school kids, as Ana grabbed onto my hand in an effort to keep up with me as I navigated the crowds attending the fair grounds. Once we made it through the gates, we sat down under a Maple tree in a nearby park as Ana tried to catch her breath. Her face was flushed, her breathing heavy, and her chest heaved with every breath, and fuck, she was beautiful. As the effects of the peyote were beginning to wane, Ana advised me that she still had half a button left, so we shared it and spent the night right there under the Maple tree, watching the dragons eyes open and close with her head on my chest, and my arms tightly wrapped around her.

I never really knew much about her in those days of peace, and love, and sex and drugs, but I saw her several years later at a screening of Fritz Lang’s “The Testament of Dr. Mabuse’ at a small, repertory theater in The Annex. She was still as beautiful as I remembered, and I hung on to every word she said. We watched the film with our minds inundated with assorted pharmaceuticals which Ana claimed were surprisingly easy to obtain and completely necessary to really understand a Fritz Lang film. We talked all night, reminiscing and wondering what might have been, and when dawn broke we said our goodbyes. We spoke often after that chance encounter and, not surprisingly, I married that woman. The giant boll weevils agreed that there was really nothing else I could do.