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.”

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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.

 

Something’s Different

by Solomon Tate

 

It was an auspicious event, filled with the kind of tension that lives in the pages of a Raymond Chandler novel. It was the christening of my son’s new gas grill and while I was pretty excited about it I just couldn’t shake the feeling that something was wrong. Well, not wrong really, but different. Something had definitely changed, and for days I just couldn’t figure out what it was. We headed into the desolate wilderness of the suburbs, maneuvering our way through men in cargo shorts tinkering with lawn mowers and lawn sprinklers, and their wives who gathered on driveways in yoga pants to watch. “What the hell are we doing here?” I asked.

“Making your son happy.” my wife said. “Its important to him so please try to behave yourself.”

“I always do.” I said. I really didn’t, I mean sometimes it was just fun to rattle their brains about a little, and other times I suppose that I just didn’t give a shit. This time though, I had all intentions of trying my very best.

Despite the phone calls and inter family memos, one of my sons and his wife arrived fifteen minutes late. My son’s girlfriend had this five minute window either way, and anything else was early or late. Neither was acceptable to her, and both result in a significant brow beating that addresses common courtesy and respect. She slipped into one of her emotional convulsions and the show that accompanied every family dinner since she moved in with my son began. “What time did I tell you to come?” she asked.

“Four o’clock.” he said.

“What time is it now?”

“I don’t know.” he said. “I guess a little after four.”

“Fifteen minutes after four.” she said. “Five minutes is a little past. Fifteen minutes is late.”

“Do you think she’s gonna say it?” I asked my wife.

“Be quiet.” she said. “I don’t want to miss it if she does.”

“I just don’t understand why you think its okay to be so self-centered and disrespectful.” she continued.“Its just common courtesy to be on time. You may as well have not bothered to come at all.” And there it was. Common courtesy. We had all heard it from her a million times and she always seemed to place the emphasis on the word common, and not courtesy. To be honest, we all found it a little strange.

“Why do you talk like that?” my daughter in law asked.

“Are you questioning me?” she said. “I am a teacher.”

“You’re a Phys. Ed. teacher.” one of my daughter’s stated. “That really doesn’t count.”

“Well that was weird.” my daughter-in-law whispered to me.

“Not really.” I said. “That’s actually pretty normal for her. She’s fucking insane.”

That nagging feeling that something was amiss kept hovering over me. It was my wife. There was something different about her. Something had changed and I knew that my not knowing was somehow going to bite me in the ass.

“Something’s different” I said to my wife..

“With what?” she asked.

“I’m not sure, but I feel like something’s changed.”

“I don’t feel anything.” she said. “Maybe you’re just old and losing your mind.”

“It could be.” I said. “It would explain a lot of shit. Did you cut your hair?”

“Does it look shorter?” she replied.

“I don’t know.” I said, “but you did something different.”

“I didn’t do anything. I stopped coloring my hair months ago. I can’t believe you’re just noticing now.”

“Well, to be fair” I said, “I’m generally too busy looking at your eyes. They’re actually quite beautiful. Sometimes I just get lost in there. But now that you’ve pointed it out, your hair looks good. I like it”  She didn’t say a wood. For the first time since this theme park ride with her began she had absolutely nothing to say and  I was pretty sure that I stood a very good chance of getting laid  that night.

“He’s very good.” my daughter-in-law said.

“Ya, but she’s no slouch, herself.” my son told her.

“Well ” my wife said to the kids, “we’re gonna say goodbye now as I’d like to be alone with your father.”

The Beezer

 

By Fielding Goodfellow

 

We were pretty high during that reading week in Ft. Lauderdale. I couldn’t tell you what we were on, but we had been seeing some pretty weird shit. There was me and Tate, and Farberman and George Beezer. None of us really liked Beezer, I mean he was an ass, but Farberman’s mother insisted that we take him along. He was, after all,  dating Farberman’s sister, the same sister that I had been banging quite regularly at the Pinecrest Motel. We really had no choice, I mean Mrs. Farberman could be quite insistent.  The four of us went down there that February, but only three of us came back.

Sitting by the hotel pool, Farberman set his sights on the big boobed lifeguard in the skimpy bikini who he believed had been smiling at him while Beezer was bombarding us with the random thoughts that desperately seemed to want to get out of his head.  He was an opinionated little shit with views on everything which seemed quite ironic considering he knew absolutely nothing about anything. It didn’t take long for us to devise a plan to hold his head under water just to shut him the fuck up. “He may drown.” Tate pointed out.

“That’s a risk I’m willing to take.” I said. “As long as he stops talking”  We didn’t really do it, but man, we came damn close.

Farberman had finally got up the nerve to talk to the pair of tits in the bikini. As we waited for him to strike out yet again, Beezer informed us that he had not laid a hand on Farberman’s sister. Ever. In fact he had never seen her naked, or copped a feel through her clothes. She had managed to convince him that she wasn’t ready, and the poor bastard believed her. He should have asked me, I mean, the girl was at The Pinecrest Motel so often that room number five was suggestively referred to as Rikki Farberman’s hole. Beezer told us that he was still a virgin. “We need to get you laid.” I said.

“It’ll probably lighten you up a little.” Tate said. And so we had a mission. We were going get Beezer laid. And get high. We were definitely going to have to get high if we were to succeed in our mission. We didn’t say anything to Farberman. He wouldn’t have handled it well, I mean the guy was dating Rikki. Farberman had no idea that most of his friends had at one time or another banged his sister but then Farberman usually had his head buried so deep in his science stuff that he rarely knew what the hell was going on.  While he was busy chatting up the lifeguard, we headed off with the reluctant Beezer in search of a woman who was both willing and able to set him free.

We found her in the hotel lobby, one of the many prostitutes who had wandered off of Federal Highway in search of anyone who was willing to pay for an hour long game of ‘I know where you hid the salami’.

“He kind of looks like a pelican.” she said.

“Yeah, but he’s a virgin.” Tate informed her. “I don’t think it will take very long.”

“It’ll be $50.”  It seemed like a bargain to me and Tate, so we agreed. She was right though, I mean I had never noticed it before but The Beezer did kind of look like a pelican. We left him there in the bar and returned to the pool  only to find that Farberman talking to a snack vending machine.

“Did the lifeguard always look like that?” Tate asked. “Or are we really tripping?” We had been doing mushrooms all day, and I suppose anything was possible, but Farberman was getting all bent out of shape with a vending machine.

“Let’s just hope he gets some chocolate, or pretzels.” I said.

We must have fallen asleep on the deck chairs, and wound up spending the night at pool side. We woke in the morning to find Beezer and his prostitute eating breakfast in the hotel restaurant. Farberman was nowhere to be found and we assumed that he had probably got his hand, or worse stuck in the vending machine he had been feeling up the night before. When we left Florida Beezer stayed behind with his prostitute. He said that there was nothing for him back home. It was the last time any of us heard from him. Farberman caught the flight and never spoke about that week in Ft. Lauderdale again despite the persistent urging of Tate and myself. Its too bad really, I mean it would be good to know if he wound up with pretzels or chocolate.

Lori’s New Tits

 

by Fielding Goodfellow

 

Lori Finch returned from her yearlong study abroad program in France with a new pair of tits. They weren’t exactly new, but they were definitely not the same ones I played around with in the back of a Chevy Malibu during our sophomore year in high school. As for the year in France, well nobody really believed that story. We all knew that she got pregnant, and was shipped off by her parents to relatives who would keep and raise the baby. That’s just how it was done back then. That night, at the Algonquin, as we drifted through galaxies as yet undiscovered, she was once again the center of attention. And that’s how Lori liked it. She always did.

Two grease balls standing near the pool table kept staring at her despite the fact that they were with two exceptionally attractive women of their own who were so agitated at their dates and Lori’s tits, that they felt compelled to do something about it. Glances were being cast by eyes that darted back and forth across the pub, all focused on Lori’s new tits and protruding nipples. As the two women neared  our table. Lori stood and pulled her tee shirt up, exposing her tits to all who cared to catch a glimpse. The women froze in their tracks, caught between their embarrassment and their desire while the two grease balls, now with their dicks standing at attention tried to get a closer look. “Sorry boys” Lori said, “these are for the ladies.” The two women didn’t move, transfixed and intrigued by Lori’s exposed tits and by what seemed like an invitation, trying to decide if they really could take Lori up on her offer. Once Lori pulled her top back down, they turned and raced out of the bar, leaving the two grease balls to chase after them in the hope that they might provide some relief for the raging hardons they would rather not have to  deal with on their own.

Lori liked to say that she was a hedonist, but the truth was she was just another horny little shit who was more interested in getting her rocks off than anything else, just like the rest of us. She craved any kind of attention really, and often times she would feed into it just so she could feed off of it. It was all very convoluted. I understood I mean, though we never really dated and  spent most of our time getting high and rustling around the back seat of her mother’s yellow, convertible Chevy Malibu, we became close. Sometime during that sophomore year, she confided in me that she was bisexual. I wasn’t surprised. She had more balls than most of the guys I knew, and I was pretty sure that given half a chance, Lori could have turned pro and become a full time lesbian. Back then though, I was pretty fucking happy that she didn’t.

“I wouldn’t mind seeing those again.” our petite server said as she delivered the next round. She had been hovering around our table for most of the night, and we thought that she was interested in Tate. It turned out that she was really only hot for Lori “They’re pretty impressive.” she added. She was right though, they were, at the very least impressive. Someone in France had done a fantastic job.

The Algonquin was generally a peaceful place, but on Friday nights the rednecks would come down from the hills of Oak Ridges, or Victoria Square in their Ford F100s for a night in the big city. They were rowdy, and ignorant, and dumb as fucking door knobs, and they usually be counted on to start at least one good bar room brawl every time they showed up. Three or four of them arrived just as Lori and her new friend had escalated their flirting to a more hands on approach. As the server walked by, Lori would cup her ass. On the return trip, the server would intentionally brush her hand across Lori’s shoulder or boob. It was quickly becoming a lesbian liaison. The rednecks noticed too. It was hard to believe that people so fucking stupid could notice anything, but I suppose they noticed Lori’s tits right away, and everything else was just sort of there, right before their vacuous eyes. There was the customary name calling followed by graphic descriptions of how they needed to fuck the lesbian out of Lori and the server. It began to turn ugly as they moved towards us, so a few of us stood between them and Lori. In seconds, tables were being tossed over and fists were flying. People we didn’t know joined in and quite a beating was laid on the hill people. It ended quickly with them crawling out of the bar, tails between their legs, promising to return to kick our asses. Somewhere in the fracas I managed to crack a couple of ribs, and as I sat on a chair holding my side, Lori sat beside me.

“Thanks for helping.” she said. “But what the hell were you thinking? We both know you’re not a fighter.”

“Somebody needed to shut those fuckers up.” I said. “And its really not that bad. I got in some good licks and I think I enjoyed delivering the pounding.”

“Why does everything you say always sound like you’re talking about sex?” she asked.

“Well” I said, “I guess that’s just what you do to me.”

“You still want me, don’t you?” she asked. “You want my new tits.”

“I wouldn’t say no to spending an afternoon with them.” I said.

She leaned over and kissed me and then stood up, and lifted  her tee shirt to show me her tits in an obvious attempt to tease. There really was no reason for that, I mean, I already wanted her. “”How about tomorrow?” she asked. “We still have the Malibu.”

Lori left that night with the server, while I got checked out at the hospital. Three cracked ribs with instructions to take it easy and rest. It didn’t matter really. The following afternoon I was in the back seat of that yellow, convertible Chevy Malibu with Lori and her new tits.

Take Me To The River

by Fielding Goodfellow

 

One of my son’s has been preparing to join the Armed Forces, and I’m all for it, I mean I think he should  make his own life decisions.  My wife is not taking it well. She’s not sure he’s old enough to make this kind of a  decision on his own, despite being thirty-five years old. As he moves ass backwards through the transition from civilian life, he has been sorting through his belongings in order to determine what to keep and take with, and what he will leave behind. The Father’s Day foofaraw had just got underway when the proverbial shit began to hit the fan.

“I’ll take the tv.” I said.

“I don’t know.”, he told me. “I may take it.”

“What the hell are going to do with 60″ tv in the army?” I asked.

“I don’t know. We’ll see.” he said. “But I will need you to take the dogs.”

“Are you out of your fucking mind?” I asked him.

“What’s the big deal?” he asked. The big deal was, and still is the fact that the dog’s are dead. He had them cremated and their ashes are in urns that sit on a shelf in his book case. There’s a blue urn for John, the male Bichon-Poo, and a pink one for Yoko, the female Powderpap. Despite the fact that I adored both of these dogs, I have no interest at all in bringing their remains into my home. My wife however thought that it was the least we could do to help her boy make the move into army life. It wasn’t. The least we could do, as I pointed out, was obviously to not take the urns.

The dogs had been with us for ten or eleven years when my son took them. He had just moved into a place of his own and wanted to have them there, I suppose for company. We agreed. He had them for another four or five years, and as they got older, they both became ill.  I was there when they were both put down. as my son wasn’t emotionally able to deal with the loss on his own. I wasn’t certain that I was either, but I was reminded on both occasions that I am the father and this sort of thing falls into the realm of my duties, right up there with confronting the armed lunatics who attempt to break into the house. It was a difficult time for all of us, but my son handled it better than I had expected. He had made arrangements with the vet to have them cremated and placed in color coded urns that he could keep and cherish forever. And now, he wanted to pass the joy of having the dead animals’ ashes displayed as an eternal shrine in my home.

“Its not happening.” I told him and his mother.

“Its okay.” she said. “I’ll keep them in the back of my closet. You won’t even know that they’re here.”

“Ill know.” I said.

“Well” my son asked, “What do you suggest we do?”

“What should have been done in the first place..” I said. “The ashes should have been scattered in a park. They always liked the park.”

“I don’t know.” my son said.

“Well then,” I said, “You’ll have to take them with.”

“What the hell do I tell the army?” he asked.

“You can always tell them they’re your parents.” I said. He didn’t seem to think that was funny. Neither did my wife. I however was pretty sure it was fucking hilarious.

“We’ll figure something out.” my wife said.

“What if those were your ashes?” he asked me.

“They’d be scattered in a river by now.” my wife answered on my behalf.

“Exactly.” I said. “If you want I can scatter the dogs in the river.”

“I don’t want their ashes scattered.” he said.

“Well, if you leave them here” I advised, “it will no longer be your decision to make.”

“Can I speak to alone?” my wife asked me. And there was twenty minutes in our bedroom, listening to her try to change my mind. I told her over and over that the ashes would not be staying in our home. Period. She cried and she begged, but I was steadfast, like a rock. And then she did it. “Please do it for me?” she asked.  Damn, she was good. She knew exactly what to say. She knew that I would never give in to the boy, and she also knew that I could never refuse one of her ‘do it for me’ requests. I didn’t even try.

“You’re such a bitch.” I said.

“Ya” she said. “But I so do like it when you talk dirty to me.”

My son was overjoyed that the dogs would remain sealed in their urns, prominently displayed in the back of my wife’s closet. There was really nothing else to say, and I had grown weary of these festive, family gatherings that always seemed to cost me something.

“Thank you for letting the dogs stay here.” my wife said as we lay in bed that night.

“I didn’t really have any choice, did I?” I asked.

“None at all.” she said. “But if you can think of something you want to do, I’m naked and I’m free for the next twenty to thirty minutes.” Damn she was good. She knew exactly what to say.

The Talking Dead

 

There is weird, and there’s spending an afternoon at the cemetery with my wife. There’s no particular reason for it, she just likes to go. She says its the only place she can go where she can get any peace. She says that its the only place she can go where spirits aren’t constantly whispering in her ear. I always thought that spirits would be all over a cemetery, but apparently I have always been mistaken. She says that the spirits leave the bodies and make their way to the other side long before burial. Even when they come back, they never return to where the body is interred. Sometimes she says that we should pack a lunch and eat at either of the two nearby cemeteries. Sometimes I wish that I could talk her out of going in the first place. Its not that I mind if she does her thing, but it all just gives me the willies.

The sky was insanely blue and the sun shone brighter than I thought it had a right to, and the universe seemed to have lined up all of the ducks into a single row and managed to create a fucking, spectacular day for us to picnic at the Necropolis. We sat on a bench eating veal on a bun as we gazed at the grave sides of Capt. John Andrew McRae and his beloved wife, Catherine. “If you listen closely” my wife said, “you won’t hear a thing.”

“I expected nothing less.” I said. “After all, it is a cemetery.” But she was right. If you really listened, there wasn’t any sound. There was no wind rustling through the trees, and there were chirping birds. There was nothing, and it was pretty fucking weird. We walked along the pathways that wound through the myriad of headstones that often seemed untended and occasionally illegible.  She said that sometimes she could pick up latent energy from the graves. She said that this was often a message indicating a troubled spirit who was unable to rest. She said that sometimes these restless souls get angry. I had no idea what the hell she was talking about, but I was pretty sure that I wanted no part of any of it.  Suddenly she stopped dead in her tracks. The color seemed to drain out of her face, and she burst into tears. Right in front of the final resting place of William Tyrell. Now I had spent a great deal of my life traversing space and time and as I wandered through assorted dimensions I discovered that while life races past at warp speed returning us full circle to where we began, its the attractions that make it all worthwhile, and not the journey itself. Sooner or later the lights of this amusement park will go out and I had always tried not to miss a single ride. This was not, however one of the attractions that I had any interest in riding. Sometimes you just have to pass.

She stood there crying for what seemed like forever, unable to speak. I held her until she stopped. She told me that she had been overcome with an intense feeling of sadness. She said that it enveloped her like a blanket and she just couldn’t seem to get it off. She was shaking. “I think we should go.” I said.

“Not yet.” she said. “I can’t explain it, but I feel like something’s here.” For me, that was the sign that it was time to leave, but for my wife, well she had yet to meet a ghost she wouldn’t want to talk with.  She stood there for a long time waiting, although I have no idea what she was waiting for, while I smoked and  polished off her iced tea.

“We should go now.” she said as she turned and started walking quickly across the cemetery grounds. She seemed afraid or worried, or both, and I followed close behind. She didn’t stop until we walked out the front gate, and stood on the sidewalk.

“What the hell is going on?” I asked.

“I don’t know.” she said. “Something was there. I don’t know what it was but it wasn’t good.”

“Are you alright?” I asked.

“I’ll be okay.” she said. “But that was pretty weird. I wish you could have felt it.” She could never understand just how happy I was that I couldn’t.

“I’m not doing this again.” I said.

“I know.” she said. “But I have to. Sometimes they talk to me. Sometimes they need my help.”

“Can we just go home?” I asked.

“Soon.” she said.

“I just want to go, now.” I repeated.

“In a minute.” she shouted back. “I thought we’d get a soft serve from the ice cream truck over there. Do you want one.”

“Ya. I suppose.” I said. “Medium chocolate vanilla swirl.”

“Ok.” she said. “You just sit here and rest. I’ll be right back. And then if you’re up to it,  I think you’re about to get incredibly lucky.”

 

A Night At The Roxy

by Fielding Goodfellow

 

Every Friday night the Roxy Theater screened a double feature, and every Friday night we were there. It was a ritual. It was always packed with the usual cast of suburban rebels and renegades who crammed into the theatre and quickly disappeared into the clouds of burning weed that billowed up to the rafters. We preferred to sit in the back, feeding our heads mushroom after mushroom, until we were no longer able to tell if it was art imitating life, or life imitating art. It didn’t take long for the weird shit to begin as the Oompa Loompas started singing and dancing their way across the silver screen, and the Canada Goose ushers wandered the aisles trying to sell their used AMC Gremlin. Somewhere between ‘Dirty Little Billy’ and ‘Fearless Vampire Killers’, I came face to face with God himself, working at the concession counter .

“Well, we haven’t spoken in a long time.” he said.

“Ya.” I answered. “I’ve had a lot going on.”

“I get it.” he said. “There always seems to be something that has to be dealt with.”

“You too?” I asked. “But you’re God.”

“That’s true.” he said, “Nevertheless, shit happens.”

“I guess it does.” I said. “So, do you work here?”

“No, no.” he said. “I just came here to see you. There’s something I’d like you to do.”

“You need me?”, I asked. “What can I do?”

“Well” he said, ” I need you to stop being such an ass. I need you to be  considerate and kind to people.”

“But they piss me off so much.” I said.

“I know. Me too.” he replied. “But you’re life will change one day soon, and if you aren’t ready for it, it will all just pass you by.”

“How can I change who I am?” I asked.

“That’s not who you are.” he said. “Its what you’ve chosen to be. Get high and let who you are come out. That’s when the real you can actually see. Just be patient and compassionate towards people all of the time. Trust me on this.” He handed me a large bag of popcorn. “Now go back and watch the movie. You’re gonna love ‘Fearless Vampire Killers’.

“That’s it?” I asked.

“Did you want something more?” he replied.

“Well some butter on the popcorn would be nice.” I said.

“I don’t think so.” he said. “I’ll tell you something. Stay the hell away from butter. And red meat. And fried foods. Definitely stay away from fried foods. One day down the road you’ll thank me for  this too. Now go and enjoy yourself.”

I left him at the counter and returned to watch the movie. He was right, ‘Fearless Vampire Killers’ was one hell of a movie. On the way out, I stopped by the concession counter, but he was gone. There was a pimply faced teenage girl working there who had never seen a man working there that evening, so I just chalked it all up to another drug induced hallucination. Either way it didn’t matter. Whatever did or didn’t happen that night at The Roxy Theatre has stuck with me, and has driven me to be a better person. There have been times though, when I wish that I would have at least asked him for the winning lottery numbers.

 

 

The Finger Of God

by Fielding Goodfellow

 

When the blonde woman from The Weather Network who looked a lot like Connie Stevens announced the impending storm of all storms, my wife was quite excited. She had always been that way. I however, was somewhat indifferent. She was ecstatic, dancing around the house with the joyful exuberance of a school girl, waiting with gleeful anticipation of the impending downpour. She said that thunderstorms stirred up the spirit world and set the forces of the other side n motion. She said it was destined to be one scary night. The storm arrived late in the evening. She stood by the open window watching the lightening illuminate the night sky like fireworks on Canada Day, and listening to the thunder claps that shook her nerves and rattled her brain. The gale force winds howled, causing her to close her eyes every now and again as it blew the cool spring rain onto her face. She said she couldn’t sleep, not with Mother Nature being so exquisite, so I went to bed, leaving her to revel in the euphoria of nature’s unyielding power. Sometime during the deluge  I awoke to find her sitting on the edge of the bed nudging me. “You’re not going to believe this.” she said. “Someone was just in here.”

“Ah, hell.” I said. “There’s always someone in here.”

“I’m talking about someone from the other side.” she replied.

“I know.” I said. “They’re the only ones you ever let in.”

She said that the experience was weird, even by her standards, and she needed to talk about it.  I hated those conversations and did my best to avoid them at all costs. She was well aware of my feelings, but just couldn’t seem to stop herself from dragging me into her other worldly world. I had seen a lot of weird things over the years. With the assistance of an inordinate amount of hallucinogens and pharmaceuticals that I had religiously introduced to my brain, I have seen flying lizards, talking dragons, and miniature Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles performing ‘Dancing Queen’ in my kitchen sink, but to be honest, the whole spirit, and ghost thing just simply freaked me out. To my wife however, it was commonplace. It had become a recurring part of her life. This time though,she said it was different.

“It was really weird.” she said. “I was just standing at the window, smoking, and someone just came up beside me and stuck a finger in my ear.”

“You mean like a wet Willie?” I asked.

“Ya.” She said. “ But it wasn’t wet.”

“Of course not.” I said. “I don’t suppose spirits would have saliva. Maybe it was just the wind.”

“Are you listening to me?” she asked. “It was a finger.” She leaned over and inserted one of her fingers in my ear. “That’s what it felt like, a finger.”

“It doesn’t always have to be from the other side.” I said.  “Maybe it was from another universe. Maybe it was an alien probe. According to the Enquirer, they’re really quite common.”

“Do they usually probe your ear?” she questioned.

“I don’t think so.” I said. “But its possible you got a trainee.”

She thought that I was trying to be funny, and wanted me to take it far more seriously than I apparently was. I swear I was trying. She was spinning her wheels, stuck in trying to understand what the hell had just happened to  her. I struggled to help, trying to find some sort of reasonable explanation but sadly, I arrived at none. We carefully considered the possibility of her having been dreaming, but she was adamant that she was wide awake, standing at the window and smoking. Everyone else at home was sound asleep, and she claims to have not been under the influence of alcohol or drugs, although I have encouraged her to give it a try on several occasions,

“I suppose it could have been the finger of God.” I said.

“The finger of God?” she questioned.

“The finger of God.” I repeated.  “The same finger that brought the plagues to Egypt and etched the commandments into the tablets Moses brought down from Sinai.”

“What would God want with me?” she asked.

“I don’t know.” I answered. “But I’m sure you’re not the first one to ask that. I’m sure that everyone God has reached out to has asked ‘why me’? I don’t suppose it really matters though, I mean its God.”

“That’s a little nerve racking.” she said. “God has never visited me before.”

“Then I guess you’re due.” I said.

I sat beside her on the edge of the bed and I rubbed her back. The joy of the storm of all storms was gone.

“Just come to bed.” I said. “Its getting late.”

“How can I sleep?” she asked. “This is just so weird.”

“I’ll protect you.” I told her.

“Really? What are you gonna do?” she asked. I was surprised that I had to reminded her that I had spoken to God on more than one occasion, and that sometime in the mid 1970s I had firsthand experience with alien probing while completely messed up on a small bag full of peyote.

“Why don’t you just lay down and relax” I said, “and leave everything to me.”

“What are you thinking of doing?” she asked.

“Nothing, really.” I replied. “Just trying to help. I thought that if we recreated an alien probe, you might be able to tell if that’s what happened to you.”

“In my ear?” she questioned.

“No” I said. “I think we need to go the more traditional route. I think its worth a try.”

“Of course you do.” she said. “But I suppose we’ve really got nothing to lose.”

“Nothing at all. And after the probing” I added, “we can try to rule out the finger of God.”

“How do we do that?” she asked.

“Just leave it to me.” I said.