On The Roof

 

by Fielding Goodfellow

The family that moved in directly across the street from us when I was growing up were pretty fucking strange. Not in a creepy sort of way or anything, but they were weird. Everyone thought so. They weren’t really friends with anyone on the street, I mean there were the obligatory hellos and other familiar pleasantries, but no one ever really hung out with the Klingmans or anything. We called them the Klingons, simply because we were sure that they had come from some other planet, and if not then they were most likely the product of inbreeding. Either way, they were definitely messed up.  In the two years since they had moved in, I had barely said anything to any of them. In the summer of 1970, that all changed.

In that summer I began spending a lot of time on the roof of my parent’s house. It was quiet and peaceful, and the world seemed so different from up there. And there was Bonnie Klingman, who at eighteen years old had become the object of many of my wet dreams, had been mounting the ladder that bore the tv antennae and carefully placing a foot on each rung, made her way to the roof of her parents house. And there, in the heat of the midday sun, she took off her clothes and lay naked on the bath towel she had spread out on the hot shingles. I Knew that I probably should have turned away, but I didn’t, I mean I couldn’t. I stayed right where I was, spellbound as I watched her breasts heave with each breath, and followed the curves of her body with my eyes. Hell, she was beautiful.

One evening, as I was practicing my slap shot against the garage door, Bonnie came across the street. “I know you’ve been watching me up on the roof.” she said. I tried my best to deny it, but I suppose that my embarrassment or perhaps it was my guilt that gave me away. “Its okay.” she said. ” I’m not gonna tell.  I kind of like it.”

“Me too.” I said.

“You know you’d get a much better look if you came up to the roof with me.”

“I suppose I would.”

“Well, you’re welcome any time.” she said, as she walked away, just like that.

I had trouble sleeping that night, I mean there was this movie that just kept playing over and over again in my head, and no matter how many times I rehearsed every moment and contemplated every possible scenario in order to leave nothing to chance, it always had the same ending, with me falling off of the roof and being discovered naked in the bushes beside to Klingman’s house. I suppose that I should have seen it as an omen, but at thirteen years old my dick was making most of my decisions.

I watched from my roof as Bonnie came out of her house in the morning and began her long, sultry climb up the rungs of the antennae base. Once at the top, she began a slow, purposeful strip tease allowing me an opportunity to see her as God intended. She stood, proudly displaying her nakedness, lit up a cigarette and smiled at me as she seductively caressed her breasts before sitting down on the bath towel. With nervous excitement I scurried down the antennae at my house, raced across the road, and flew up the stairway to heaven. I have no idea where she learned to do the things she did to me, but it confirmed my suspicion that she was indeed not from this planet. The rooftop rendezvous went on for most of the summer. It always played out the same. For a couple of days Bonnie would perform for me from her roof, dancing naked and touching herself, teasing me to no end while I sat across the road and watched. On the third day I climbed the ladder at the side of her house and made my way to her body where we spent most of the afternoon banging our brains out. I suppose it was kind of cheap and sleazy, and I suppose it cost me some of my self respect, but hell it was worth it every bit of it. The old man had started worrying about the amount of time I had been spending alone on his roof and pointed out that it could be very lonely at the top, but as far as I knew, the old man had never been with Bonnie Klingman.

Ghost In The Bedroom

 

It was only nine o’clock in the morning and it was already forty degrees, and my wife had an urge to visit the cemetery. I guess it was more of a pull than an urge. Sometimes she felt like she was supposed to be there, although neither one of us could understand why. Sometimes she was sure that someone wanted her to go, and when we got there she would always find the right headstone. Man, it freaked me out.

“You know its forty degrees out there.” I said. ” Aren’t there any spirits you can visit that have air conditioning?”

“You don’t have to come if you don’t want to.” she said. I had been on this ride once before. Only once. She said it was okay for me to go fishing with some friends and not attend my daughter’s recital.  She said it, and I don’t know how she did it, but her eyes said something completely different than her mouth.  It would have been nice if that was really an option, but it wasn’t, I mean I was always a little apprehensive around all of the ghosts and ghouls that he become a part of my rather terrestrial existence, but she didn’t really mean it. And despite my reluctance to participate in the her otherworldly social circle, I always accompanied her to the local cemetery. It was really the only thing I could do.

Her cemetery of choice is The Necropolis and it happens to be the oldest burial grounds in the city. Its a little worrisome though that are many residents there that had been relocated to their current graves in 1850 when ‘Potter’s Field’ was redeveloped to accommodate the ever expanding city, I mean I had seen enough horror movies to know that no good can ever come out of doing something like that. There was a slight breeze that barely rustled the leaves of the maple trees that dotted the grounds as we entered.  We wandered along until my wife arrived at a particular grave. She looked intently at the headstone while I moved on slightly ahead, posting myself as a sentry in order to protect and defend her. “I wish you wouldn’t walk away like that.” she shouted. “Something really weird just happened.”

“Doesn’t it always?”

“Not like this.” she said. “I was standing there reading the inscription and I felt this wave of overwhelming sadness. Then I felt someone or something caress my face.”

“It was probably just the leaves from the tree.”  I said.

“It didn’t feel like leaves. It felt like a hand.”

“Well that’s creepy.”

“Not at all. It was actually warm and tender.” she said. “Like someone was trying to comfort me and let me know that everything would be alright.” It didn’t matter what she thought, it was still creepy. She wanted to talk about it when we stopped for raspberry ice at the cafe across from the park, and she wanted to talk about it as we walked through the tree lined streets of Old Cabbagetown. And despite my uneasiness we carefully considered the possibility that she had she had made contact with the other side.

It was hotter that night than it had been earlier in the day and I felt completely burnt out, I mean I had spent every ounce of strength I could gather pretending that the whole thing hadn’t given me the willies.  “I don’t think I’ll be able to sleep.” she said as we stood on the terrace smoking. “There’s so much going on in my head right now.”

“Don’t you two ever wear pants?” my daughter asked coming out to join us.

“Its too hot for pants.” my wife said.

“The two of you are so strange” my daughter added.  “You’re like a couple of weirded out old hippies.”

“You don’t know the half of it.” I said. “But if I had my way, the old lady wouldn’t wearing a thing.”

“That’s true.” my wife said. “He’s always trying to get my clothes off.”

“I can’t talk to you when you’re like this.” my daughter said as she went back inside. “You’re both crazy.”

“Well” I said, “we’ve finally achieved crazy.. And I think we’ve traumatized our kid enough for one day.”

“I think so.” my wife said. “We’re such good parents.”

As we settled into bed for the night, the heat was becoming unbearable, I mean I swear I could feel my eyeballs sweating.

“Did you open the window?” I asked.

“Ya.” she said.

“It just lets the hot air in. I’m going to have to close it.”

“Don’t close it.”

“Its like Death Valley in here. Nobody can sleep like this.”

“It has to stay open.” she said. “I’m supposed to leave it open.”

“For what?”

“So the spirits can come in.”

“Pardon me?”

“There’s nothing to worry about.” she said. “They wouldn’t hurt anyone.”

“Then why are they coming here?”

“I’m not sure, but I just feel like I’m supposed to leave the window open.”

“Well, I’m not putting pants on.”

“That’s okay” she said. “I don’t think they care.”

Aragon Nixx-Sci-Fi Private Eye

 

by Solomon Tate

Aragon Nixx sat at a table by the window at Fran’s, nursing a cup of coffee for almost twenty minutes without taking a drink. He just sat there, stirring the spoon around and around, and every time he completed the circle, there was a clink as the spoon hit the edge of the cup. Dressed in a gray trench coat and fedora, he looked like he just stepped out of a Dashiell Hammett story. He said he was a sci-fi private eye, following clues that had led him across galaxies, as he searched for missing science fiction writers. He claimed to be the best although his reputation was solely based on his locating Agatha Christie so long ago.

By the end of the twenty fifth century, when fiction became fact, and everything that had once been mere fantasy had become the new reality, demand was placed on writers of science fiction to produce new worlds that could be abused and conquered. In this world it was not uncommon for science fiction writers to go missing. He was now in the midst of another case which involved the disappearance of the award winning writer, Kasper Kyro. Kyro was no ordinary writer. He had single handedly been responsible for individual time and space travel by simply manipulating thoughts. Nixx’s appearance at Fran’s that night was proof that it was possible to traverse space and time just by willing it.

“I’ve never heard of him.” I said.

“Well, that’s because he hasn’t been born yet. But in three or four hundred years, everyone will have heard of Kasper Kyro.”

Nixx said that it all began on Weaver’s Planet, a barren hunk of crap hurtling through space, where he had been forced to reside following a rather indiscreet transgression that involved the wife and daughter of the Governor of Stasis 6.  Kyro’s girl walked in to his office above The Parallax Bar and Grill, dressed in a black, leather body suit that left nothing to the imagination. He would have taken her right there on the desk if he could only have figured out how to get that damn body suit off.  She was concerned that he had not come home for almost a week, and had been to the police, but they didn’t take her seriously. One thing Nixx said he knew for sure was that no man would ever leave a woman like that alone for a week. At least not willingly. The clues Nixx had followed through time and space for the past three months had led him right to Fran’s.

And now I wait.” he said. “Sooner or later, he’ll walk in the door, and I’ll have him.”

“And then what?” I asked.

“Nothing.” Nixx said.. The job is only to find him. That’s it, really. Then I report my finding to the despondent girl friend, and pray that I can figure out how that damn body suit comes off.”

A tall man with a long, white beard wandered in to Fran’s clutching a small, leather brief case to his chest. He seemed anxious as hell, and sat at a table near the back of the restaurant. Nixx tried not to be seen.  “That’s Farberman.” Nixx said. “Dr. Martin Farberman, the physicist. About ten years ago he was working at some top secret government brain trust and then he disappeared. Rumor has it that he had inserted himself into a painting. Some friend of his blew up the lab and all of Farberman’s notes. No one has ever heard from him again. Things are certainly beginning to get interesting.” Kyro entered a few minutes later and sat down beside Farberman. Nixx watched and waited patiently, as he lit a cigarette.

“You can’t smoke in here.” I said.

“What?”

“Its the law. You can’t smoke in here.”

“What kind of hell is this?” he asked as he put the cigarette out in his cup of coffee.

“The worst kind.” I said.

Farberman handed Kyro the brief case which he attempted to hide under his jacket. Nixx was already halfway to their table before the writer even noticed him. “Call the police, please.” he said to the server as he passed by her. “I’m a private detective.”

“Kasper Kyro.” he said as he arrived at the table. “Please don’t get up. Your girl is worried about you.”

“She’s not my girl.” Kyro said. “She works for The Agency. She’s a spy.” The police arrived rather quietly and headed directly to the back of the restaurant.

“Mr. Nixx.” one of the officers said. “What do you have for us this time?”

“Constable Frayer” Nixx replied, “its good to see you again.”

“Its Detective Frayer.”

“How nice for you.” Nixx said. “I’m not sure what we have here, but I was hired to find Mr. Kyro, and well, here he is. I’m not sure what the story is with this other gentleman, but I suspect someone is looking for him as well.”

“Alright then.” the dectective said. “Well let’s go down to the station and you can give me a full report. The officers will take care of these two.”

“My friend there can corroborate everything.” Nixx said pointing at me.

“Anything you can add?” the detective asked me.

“Not really.” I said. “What’s going to happen to those two?”

“Nothing.” the detective said.

“And what about Nixx?”

“Well Mr. Nixx will be returned to his bed on the seventeenth floor of St. Michael’s Hospital. You’re free to visit him whenever you want to listen to his crazy ramblings.”

The detective left with Farberman and Kyro still seated at their table. They smiled, as Kyro reached into the brief case and removed what looked like a television remote control. “Tell Nixx we’ll see him again, sometime.” he said, and with the push of a button, the two of them vanished into thin air right before my eyes.

The Crazy Train

by Fielding Goodfellow

 

Drug induced psychosis is what the doctor said. Hell, we didn’t even know that was a thing. Drug induced psychosis. The more we heard those words, the more ominous it seemed. But I guess it was a big deal, I mean the doctor said he’d never really be the same. All they could do now was give him some pills that would mess around with his brain and settle him down and everything, which we found insanely ironic, I mean but that was exactly what got him into this mess. I guess life can be like that, sometimes. As we watched him in his bed sedated and strapped to his bed on the seventeenth floor, it was obvious that  Pauly Herman was pretty well fucked. I suppose it was bound to happen to at least one of us, I mean we were pretty messed up most of the time, riding the ebb and flow of the peyote express. Pauly was always up for the ride. We all were. We’d hang out for what seemed like days at a time, listening to ‘Tales From Topographic Oceans’ over and over again, as it carried us across deserts and oceans of mind blowing melodies catapulting us to the top of the mountain from where we were pretty sure that we could see the future. It was just what we did then. We’d invite Mindy Kessler and take turns with her in the bathroom.. She wasn’t very pretty, but there was little she wouldn’t do at the drop of a pair of pants.

Things got pretty weird sometime after side ‘A’. We were used to the flying monkeys and the singing grapes and everything, but this was a completely different kind of weird. Pauly met God, or so he said, right there in the kitchen. He didn’t stay long, but he told Pauly that there were only two truths. First, there are aliens living among us, and second, Paul McCartney was, in fact dead. I was already pretty sure that beings from another planet were living in my neighborhood, but the McCartney thing, well that was a pretty big deal. I can’t verify it or anything I mean, I didn’t hear God say a word.  By the time the sun came up we had all come down from the mountain top, although Pauly was still up there, convinced that we needed to sacrifice a virgin, even though not one of us knew of any. We thought he was just stuck in some kind of bad trip or something, but Mindy was sure that he had lost his fucking mind. We had to believe her I mean, she was a psych major and everything.

Pauly had always been a fairly normal guy, despite having only one testicle which, I was assured by a nurse, had absolutely nothing to do with his mental breakdown. I wasn’t as certain though, I mean I think anyone would be a little fucked up if they was missing a testicle. He didn’t lose it or anything, I mean it was just never there. It seems that it was stuck somewhere inside, although I have no idea what use it was to him there. From his stretcher in the E.R., Pauly reiterated all of the clues that existed in Beatles lyric and album covers that clearly noted the death of the famed musician. We had been over this before and the truth was none of us really cared. They were still The Beatles, and to be honest, we didn’t really think that McCartney had written anything of substance since well, forever. Pauly saw it as a great conspiracy, the grand cover-up that scammed a planet. He became loud and animated and was eventually subdued by two rather large security guards and a syringe in his ass. He was moved to the locked unit on the seventeenth floor, where he remained for twenty-three days. We visited him a few times during his stay and he was pretty much out of it most of the time. Whatever pills they were giving him seemed to have turned off his mind completely, but I suppose that was the point. I don’t think he knew we were even there. We took Mindy with us once in the hopes of cheering the poor bastard up I mean, who wasn’t happy getting a blow job, but Pauly wanted nothing to do with it. He pushed Mindy away every time she tried to touch him. After a while we just stopped visiting, I mean there seemed to be no point to it, really.

While he continued to have his mind reprogrammed, we were just hanging out for what seemed like days at a time, listening to ‘Dark Side Of The Moon’ over and over again, fucked up on peyote, watching the flying monkeys devour the singing grapes. Mindy was on her knees, honing the skills that had made her a legend when we got the news. Pauly had died. They said it was sudden and inexplicable, but we all  knew that they were full of shit. Pauly just gave up, I mean there was still enough of him left to know that he didn’t want to spend the rest of his life uninterested in blowjobs. With no desire to live, he simply slipped into oblivion and found his way back to the deserts and oceans of mind blowing melodies that carried him to the top of the mountain from where he would be able relive the past.