Today I saw a Golden Eagle harried into a copse of Scotch Pines by a pack of juvenile ravens. They were not happy by its presence. Eagles are not so tough. I took it as an omen. Tomorrow the world is going to end according to certain voices in the evangelical circuit. It is also the first days of autumn, we are entering the long dark night of the soul in winter. Another circuit of the evangelical voice is calling Donald Trump the anointed of God. Hopefully they short each other out and we can get back to sanity.
I was dusting and straightening out my research library when a copy of “Gonzo Papers Vol. 2 Generation of Swine, Tales of Shame and Degradation in the ‘80s” by Hunter S. Thompson caught my eye. It had been a bit since I had last read it. He was writing a column for the San Francisco Examiner in 1985-86. One of the columns made me shake the book like I was looking up the word pooka in the play “Harvey”.
This week we had the quake in Mexico City on the tail end of a couple of hurricanes barreling into the Caribbean: Sept. 19th, 2017. It was the anniversary of the Sept. 19th, 1985 quake in Mexico City after a couple of hurricanes barreled into the Caribbean. It was the Reagan years, and the beginning of the Iran-Contra scandal that proved caustic for another Republican president. Ronald Reagan was a good actor, he could read a script and get his lines right. But he had the foresight of most actors, he had to wait for somebody to write the next script or he was out to sea.
I submit that we are seeing what happens when that generation of swine gets into the radioactive waste dump of Hanford and starts to mutate. Huge ravenous, mutant, glow in the dark pigs that have over run the world, and once again the gods are not happy.
Trump is fond of eagles, so were the Roman legions. He likes to work them into his tasteless décor to overcompensate for his upbringing. When they finally drag him off to the institution, raving like a psycho, he will be diagnosed, we may find out all the horrors locked up in that twisted brain.
In 1985, Trump was just starting out, a young pig rooting around in those spent fuel rods. Reagan had helped tear down the wall which lead to the rise of the Russian oligarchs who have bribed and extorted their way into the GOP and probably the rest of the 1 percent in one way or another. The Web did not exist in 1985. We had to watch it all through the tube, or read the paper. There was no fake news back then, just news and lies. You could tell who was lying because their lips were moving. The rich were counted in millions instead of billions and there was some faint hope that you could carve your own plot of ground in some cemetery after you put in your time working for the head pigs because they owed you.
This glow in the dark hog is different. They do not owe you a thing. Not only have they taught you to sit still at your desk in school, but they have taught you that nine to five is what you owe them. And the current pigs in DC with their super irradiated brains know that they are the elite, and you should just do your job as the lines in the film “Metropolis” or work on the assembly line until you snap as in “Modern Times”. But those lines have moved overseas and they are not coming back. The rich sold out the worker in the Russian Federation a long time ago, and the worker in Asia took up the slack. The American worker sold their soul for bread and circus, beer and football, wine and cheese. The ones that snap are on the street with a brown bag and a bottle of mad-dog or in an opium dream someplace. Broken parts that the rich have just cast aside because they are not going to pay for the rehab. Plenty of indentured servants in the world, plenty of people they have taught to believe the lies.
Reagan never got his, and Bush never got his . . . Trump and his ilk? I am putting my hope in the juvenile ravens. Maybe they can harry these swine into the harsh steel cage of justice to spend the rest of their days paying for what they have done.
To the world at large: The Resistance to a Russian Federation attack on the US election of 2016 continues. I just posted this e-mail to all of the representatives of my state. This is just one more grain of sand in the ever growing push to change our angle of repose.
I just want to be sure that my representatives for Idaho know that I consider anyone who votes for the repeal and replacement of the ACA to be in criminal collusion with an attack by the Russian Federation on our country. Those who are not actively responding to this attack and are attempting to push a divisive agenda should be brought up on criminal charges. This is not government as usual.
In the spirit of demonstrating that people will always fight against tyranny: Outside of Kabul in the late 1970s, the dog fights. The Afghan people will only change when they want to change, and they will fight to do so.
If a dinosaur died in the Triassic, and its bones never fossilized, would that dinosaur ever have lived?
Is there a one rayed Star?
A one rayed star would be a point.
A two rayed star would be a line.
A three rayed star would be a fractured piece
of broken crystal, diamond or quartz, sapphire or topaz.
A four rayed star would it be a square,
or a cube?
In front burns the pentagram,
behind the effulgent six rayed star,
look up in the night sky,
every one is seven and beyond.
Each star shines in Indra’s web
woven in dark and light,
an infinite tapestry of points
from nothing to something:
a picture of points,
a photo of dots.
Yes, there is a one rayed star,
and yes it has a point.
taken from Some Notes on 21st Century Sorcery.
Upon a time when you were caught in the Khyber Pass past sundown, the oddest things could happen to you. It paid to have friends who had friends who would take you into their walled compounds before the other Pathans knew you were there.
I may never know if that is my mother under that burka, or perhaps just the lady of the house. But I will tell you one thing about any group of people who want an exit strategy from a foolish invasion of Afghanistan, unless they have a way of placing the destiny of that country back into the hands of the people who lived in compounds like this, it will never be stable again. I believe we were all tied up with USAID at that time, before the Soviet invasion.
”He who dies and forgets today, dies to live some other way.”
These two letters were received from my Senator in response to emails to him expressing my concerns about US withdrawal from the Paris Accords, and the Russian Federation’s cyber information attack and collusion with the GOP and Trump campaign. If you go back to an earlier post of mine, you will find a response from this Senator dated May 11, 2017. The response to my next letter on the same topic this time is dated June 8, 2017. It is the same letter. So obviously, this senator has had no change of thought in that time frame. He has learned nothing. The letter about the Paris Accords withdrawal speaks for itself. He is hidebound and a tool of exploitation of the environment to further profit.
I am posting these in the continuing hope that the resistance to America’s crippling by internal and external forces can be overcome. There are people here who are trying to fix the problem, and any help that people in the world can lend us would be appreciated. The forces at work here are a threat to humanity’s future.
I had seen more dancing bears before I ever saw my first golf-course. I mean real golf-courses, not miniature golf. And I mean real dancing bears, not something off of a Grateful Dead bumper sticker.
In the market in Lahore there was a Pashtun wearing dirty perahan wa tunban with a long grey vest and lungee, on his feet Pathan sandals, by his side marched a muzzled sun-bear with chain collar and long chain dangling from his master’s hand, arms entwined behind his back. Very cavalier for a man with a bear. For a few rupees he would make the bear twirl on his hide legs, paws in the air.
The Russian circus came to town before I had even learned to drag a camera about. Their bears where brown, large and un-muzzled. I remember the red vests the trainers wore, very striking.
It was not too many years later that I discovered my first golf-course in the middle of the night. But I never learned to play. I did learn that high school children liked to drink beer there, smoke dope, and hook up. I imagine that college age people did to, probably for nostalgia sake. You could find the empty green bottles, empty baggies, and occasional condom. By then I had learned about grizzly bears, and black bears, Kodiak bears, and the extinct golden bears of California, and the great bear of Russia.
There is a wicker basket in the corner of where I live. It used to be used for laundry; it is now used for balls. All those nights and days wandering around avoiding the bears, the cougars, the skunks, walking by tennis courts, golf-courses, picking up lost balls. My father played golf, but I do not remember him doing so. There was a golf bag in his effects. I took home the bucket of balls for the basket, my brother took home the clubs. I learned to juggle.
This was all B.C., before Caddyshack. Those were good years, B.C. I was younger and it was fun to find empty ground without people. It was even more fun after Caddyshack. “Biggest wastes of real estate, golf-courses and cemeteries” spouts the developer played by Rodney Dangerfield. I took it to heart and was happy. Cemeteries and golf-courses were keeping the world a little nicer because they were keeping the ground out of the hands of real estate developers. I could watch the edges of towns blur the country, but the cemeteries and golf-courses were still safe at night. I could wander around avoiding the cougars, skunks, and bears.
But now it is A.D., after Donald. I try not to go near golf-courses. They have become bad places, not preserving the ground from developers. They are the playground of developers. They are the place you go to look at the kleptocrats, to emulate the kleptocrats. They are pretty like the gold souq of Dubai, or the frankencastles on the hills with well-manicured lawns and gardens. I do not go there at night anymore, because I am afraid of the great bear. He is no longer tied to Polaris.
That leaves me the graveyards at night. I pass them in the daytime; they are getting busier, new holes, new mourners. Night is the only time they seem at rest.
The cluttered office desk was illuminated by an antique brass lamp. It was the only light in the room. A man in a charcoal grey suit picked up an old, hide bound book from the stack that was face down on the pile and began to read.
‘In the legends and lore of the werewolf, the three days encompassing the full moon have total sway over the soul of the beast. There is also a tradition that the beast can change at will, regardless of the phase of the moon. My studies have shown that both are true. The young werewolf is still in partial possession of its own soul, and as such can still control the urgings of the beast until the moon is in full sway. Yet in ancient creatures, the human soul is gone, having been totally consumed by the dark beast; the desire to hunt and kill is always present. Yes, the beast remains cunning, able to mask this desire in pursuit of its prey, but all moral control is gone. But I still believe, that even in these old beasts, the days of the full moon must by-pass even the most cleverly held barriers of the creature’s mind.’
Argus, Barton, BA, MS, Doctor of Philosophy, The Lycanthrope, Lake District, England: Blackpool Press, 1869.
Doctor Hobbs laid the book back down on his desk with a little smile. He had a face that would create trust in both young and old. He found Barton’s insights charming even if he was a little parochial in his attitudes. It was such a shame that the little man had died so tragically. What was it? Torn apart in his study? It must have been hard on the staff: all that mess. Still, if one goes chasing tigers eh? He never did understand the habits of the beast in the wild, the way that the natural world intersected so easily with man’s, even with a Victorian view of tidy social order.
His patient, Miss April Grant, had been very reticent in her daily sessions of late. She had not been very forth coming in their conversations at all. He knew that she was growing in her sensations of her place in the world, so naturally her distrust of him had grown also. She had to resent his control over her. Still, she was improving.
He picked up her journal that was next to Barton’s book and began to read her narrations. He could picture her carefully sharpening her pencil every few lines. Her handwriting was immaculate.
‘There is blue behind the banded grey haze of clouds that are coming in high across the sky from the west. It will turn to black and then an eerie silver in a couple of hours as the night comes on, and the full moon rises. The large cumulus clouds, white on top, but heavy black underneath will totally hid the banded sky by morning. The moisture in the air is growing as the sun’s heat grows weaker with the coming of autumn.
Of course, I can see none of this, but I can feel it. Freedom will once more be in my grasp.
The cell isn’t padded now. It used to be, just like the one before used to be rough concrete and steel with bars. I’ve a cot now, and they even let me into the common room once in a while, although it has been several days. Some of them know the change is coming, some of them don’t believe it. I think this is my best hope of escape: disbelief.
There are windows in the common room, and through the chicken wire glass you can see the pretty garden turning brown as the season changes. It is growing colder by the day. One of the gardeners planted a pumpkin patch, green and lush all through the summer. The first frost was heavy, leaving the vines withered. The orange gourds were still laying on the ground when I last looked outside.
I hope that some of them are carved into jack-o-lanterns. People will need to ward off evil here soon. It doesn’t all come from inside me. There is other evil here.
They won’t let me have windows in my cell, my room. Someone must have told them about what happened in the jail. The first county jail was several floors up, the fall should have killed me, but somehow I escaped into the night. It is unclear in my mind; I don’t remember much from that time.
They let me keep this diary. I write in it just to pass the time. It disappears sometimes, but always comes back. I suspect that the doctor reads what I’ve written. He has too many insights into my thoughts when we have our sessions.
I’m not a violent person, most of the time I like to be with people. I’m getting tired of the doctor, something about him bothers me. I know that he is a great part of where the evil comes from.
The staff is great, really friendly. The male nurses like me a lot, and I don’t threaten the female nurses. They are all professionals. Some are a little friendlier than others, but that will just make it easier when the time comes. My body attracts them. It arouses the animal in them I guess. I can smell it on them, just like I can smell something wrong with the doctor. Some of them could even be my friends.
But I won’t remember who lived, or who died when I go.’
Hobbs set the book aside and stared at the ceiling. He was enjoying her sessions. The things he noted in her journal were most encouraging, but April had a strong personality. That delusion was not slipping away as hoped, in fact it seemed to be growing stronger. She could not come to grips that her humanity was slipping away. There was plenty of time to overcome it; isolation in a windowless room would make it go away. The less contact she had with people the better. The uncanny thing was that April always seemed to come back after the cycle of the moon, most discouraging and odd. He worried about her; she was such a lovely thing.
April Grant paced back and forth in her room in her ward pajamas. She could get six strides, but not seven. Her slight frame didn’t fill the loose-fitting white garments and her short brown hair did not bounce as they kept it well-trimmed. But her muscles bound and unbound with the restlessness of her motions. April’s brown eyes were focused on something other than the room as she thought back. She was rebuilding memories, or maybe it was reshaping them.
‘When they first picked me up off the street, ranting, broke and dirty, they put me into the drunk tank. The moon hadn’t risen yet. There must have been a half-dozen people in there with me. Come nightfall, I don’t know what happened. It must have been gory. They were assholes anyway. If they hadn’t been women, I would have been raped a dozen times over. They had done their best however. I tell myself that.
The cops dragged me out of the cell in the morning to the county hospital. They thought I was a survivor. I was in clean sheets in the lock down ward when I woke up. I hate waking up in blood.
To tell you the truth, I don’t even know how it happened, how this thing came to me. I’d been on the streets for over a year. Every drug, every drink I could find on the road to destruction had pretty well done the job. Pain and teeth in the dark, wet smell of rotting garbage and alley, nursing a wound in the morning and then back to the routine of the streets. That is the vague story in my head.
Then the first full moon and waking up naked, with blood on my hands and face, cold, strangely full for the first time in months. I’d washed the blood off with a water-faucet, pulled some rags out of a dumpster, and started trying to live off the streets again. I didn’t even care what happened, until it happened again. It’s funny. That is when I started to take some control over my life again. I didn’t have to drink, or smoke, or shoot anything that came my way. I only had to wait for the moon to forget, to become satiated, but I couldn’t forget the growing fear of those around me.’
The doctor sat in his office chair, glanced at the face down volume and then at the journal beside it. The small digital clock that faced him across the desk flipped another minute by. The clock was a plastic mahogany, the same shade as the veneer of the desk. It was set so that his patients could not see the time to better involve them in his sessions. He really didn’t need a clock; Hobbs had always had an unerring sense of time.
He checked the window; it would be dark soon. The moon would rise moments after that. He smiled to himself, knowing that April was securely locked in her room. Hobbs had removed her journal so it would not be destroyed in her episode tonight. She was obviously noticing when it was gone, but it provided valuable insights into her thoughts. Poor little April was still having thoughts that she was something other than what he wanted her to be.
Hobbs put his patients at ease. He looked to be a pleasant enough man in his early sixties. Most people thought he was much younger. He had used his appearance more than once to help in his psychological conquests to better mental health. That is why it was curious, this reserve in his last meetings with his female patient.
She was much younger than him, only in her twenties, yet this had never been a stumbling block before. If she had not been of special interest to him, he might even have expressed his growing ardor more actively. Yet she seemed to be developing an active dislike of him. Were her senses developing that quickly? Perhaps her next journal entries would enlighten him.
‘It is almost time. The sun is about gone. I can feel my senses growing: my smell, my hearing.
For some reason my mind keeps drifting back to all those pumpkins out in the field. Maybe someone has carved them. Maybe they are all around the clinic with candles lit, jagged faces fearless of demons, driving back the dark. I know that half the fear is inside me, but I know that there is a very real thing outside, waiting to get in. Right now, I know that the beast inside me is the only thing that can beat it. The human inside me is too weak, too helpless. All I can remember from my childhood is carving those pumpkins with my small hands, and it never did fight off the evil.
Somewhere, through the walls, I can hear a radio. It has to belong to one of the attendants. The doctors would never allow the patients to listen to an outside radio station. It is very low, but I can hear it. The storm is coming inside me, outside of me. Over the pulse beginning to build in my ears the announcer speaks:’
“That was a great hit! You’re listening to KNRK, anarchy radio, all naked, all live! We’re all nude here!”
Hobbs stood up and moved to the large picture window in the corner of his office to enjoy the coming darkness. The clouds were filling in the last of the open sky. They would obscure the moon rise. It did not matter; she would change anyway. Even at this time, did she really think that she was something better than an animal? Her journal might tell him when he returned it to her.
In the gloom, he could pick out large wart like objects on the ground. What were those? Ah yes, pumpkins. The grounds keeper had planted those this year.
He had entertained the thought of using them as some kind of therapy for his patients. “Idle hands are the Devil’s workshop.” But then he had remembered what they would have become in these people’s hands. Pagan charms against what filled the night. Right now, he found them a little disturbing. Hobbs would not allow the grounds people to plant them next year.
His treatments did favor some kind of keeping busy, some kind of seduction. He favored seduction. It seemed over the long run to snare more results.
Discipline, even brutality had its uses in keeping people in line. Negative conditioning was a time-honored tradition in building the wall of fear. But seduction brought them to him on their own.
April would enjoy what was growing within her to the core of her very soul! And he would put it to such wonderful uses.
In her cell, April was almost gone for the night. Her body screamed in joy as the beast was clawing for release. She had ripped off her ward clothes in an agony of pleasure. They burned her with the sublime growth of her sensations. Rocking against the barren walls, her skin trembled with the desire to shape.
There was a slight click as the observation hole on the door slid back. Her eyes pounced on it; her panting quickened. A man’s face peered through with its own needs in his inquisitive eyes.
She paused the rhythmic shaking of her body to run her hands down from her naked breasts to the tangled hair between her thighs. Moaning, she looked into his eyes with longing, animal desires. Behind her eyes she could smell the blood in him, she could taste the meat.
“Help me,” she softly whispered with her last breath of human reason.
There was a far flicker of lightning just on the horizon. It startled Hobbs out of his thoughts. There was a storm coming. He had felt no storm coming.
Something was wrong, and his mind searched for the problem behind the walls and in the corridors of his institution. Then he felt more than he saw the young ward attendant turn the latch on the beast’s door. He felt more than saw the moon rise.
His institutional whites rustled as he slipped into the room, he glanced behind him to make sure the hall was clear. He was just going to watch, just going to make sure that the stories about the woman were not true. There was no such thing as a werewolf
But she was just too hot looking. He knew that he was not going to just look as soon as he had seen her standing naked in the muted light. The blood inside him was rising. She had asked for help and in his passion he could not refuse.
As he stepped across the room toward her, it was a cloud of shifting darkness that leapt toward him and hit him in the chest like a badly executed dive from a great height. The jaws that crushed, ripping into his throat, and broke the vertebrae in his neck made sure that his lungs would never come up from that plunge.
Hobbs moved out of his office as the wind of a tornado drives the straw through the cellar door. He was a beast of his own kind moving through the halls, but even he paused as he came within sight of what was outside of April Grant’s room.
The energy, the terrible beauty of the creature that stood on all four paws, shaking the dead flesh of what had been a living man by the throat, gave even a creature like Hobbs pause. As she ripped the hot bloody flesh away, she tossed her head back to swallow. Blood stained the multi-colored fur of her neck.
A thought formed in him that he might be over matched by the thing he had locked in that room. When she screamed in her ecstasy of kill and release, he knew that doubt might have some foundation.
Then the thing that had been April Grant, or perhaps was more her than at any other time, saw him. She moved faster than any normal eye could follow, but the doctor’s eye followed. Shooting down the hall towards a vainly protected window, a leap carried her out into the gathering night and growing flickers of storm. In a short time, the rain would wash the blood from her pelt as she ran free. In the nights of darkness and chaos that would follow, she would be nurtured to form a being of a universal natural order, outside of some other’s manipulations.
Slowly, the doctor walked down the hall, pausing by the lifeless corpse on the floor. He did not even bother glancing down at it as he looked after the path of his escaped charge. He supposed he would have to say something to cover up the problems the body would cause. He was good at making up stories.
Turning into the now vacant chamber, he looked about for something that would help him come to grips with a troubling feeling that was growing inside him, the suspicion that there might be a greater power outside the darkness of fallen angels, perhaps something older.
For just a second, before the creature had fled, he and she had made eye contact. He had expected to see a beast, cunning perhaps, but still a beast, a lower animal. But in those eyes there had been a soul, a soul in the wonder of triumph. There was a light in the darkness.
There was nothing left in the empty room to help him understand.
Hobbs would have to find April when the bodies started to appear again. She had been legally committed, he had the papers to prove it. The law would help him regain his pet project.
He would have to think about it, upon more reflection he might not want to face some power greater than his own.
first published through triod.com, 2015.
This short story was written as a friend’s nudge to us both to write. Write a story with the work “pumpkin” in it. I have only had one short story published in a local literary magazine. It was called “Authority Files” and is posted on my blog at http://johnsmithiimxiii.blogspot.com/, this piece, “Yonder in The Pumpkin Patch” is probably second in line as to best of my half dozen short stories. There are another four that I am going to put on this blog as examples of how not to write short stories. They have never made it into publication except online at triod.com. I think I have the short story thing down now. My next ones I hope I can get published before I become dead.