Cult Forty5


Through the black acrid smoke and bright  flames that were ablaze in my dream, the child walked out from within the fire and pointed at me.

Then, turned his palm up and beckoned me to come with his index finger.

As the hot embers encircled and danced around him, he stared directly into my soul, smiled a devious smile and said-

“You should be here with me….”

He then put the hand up to his mouth, blew on the muzzle of his index finger, turned, dropped his weapon to his side and returned to the blaze.

The bang on the metal door is what awoke me and prevented me from following the child into his abyss.

BANG BANG

“Med time, Forty5.”

I got up from the bed and made a slow walk to the door.

The slot on the center of the door opened and a cup with a single pill and another cup  filled with water were pushed through. 

From behind the tempered glass window above the slot, the pill pusher said,

“I expect you to be shuffling around in a daze the next time I do my rounds like the rest of the psychos in this place.  Swallow your pill this time. Don’t make us come in and force you again.”

Without a word, I looked him in the eyes and pointed my index finger at him. Then I turned my palm up and beckoned him to
him to come in, while wearing a devious smile across my sunken pale face.

He returned the smile with a missing  front tooth and held up his arm which was in a cast and replied-

“I said us…..not me. I learn a lot quicker than you psyche patients do, which is why I am on this side of the cell and you are on the other. Take your pill.”

I took the pill and swallowed it.

I then put my index finger up to my mouth and blew on the muzzle, turned and returned to my bed on the other side of the sparcely furnished cell.

“Good boy, Forty5. Once you are nice and loopy, the doc is gonna come by for a session. Don’t worry….he will have back up, also.”

My name is not Forty5, by the way.

It’s the cell number.

I’m not the only Forty5 that has called this dump home. Evidence of their past occupancy are carved into the concrete walls like cemetery headstones.  Names, dates, conversations, pleads for help, admissions of abuse and criminal acts by patients and staff.

The walls are a virtual soap opera of psychotic bliss.

The pills I am forced to take are Thorazine…..which are used to keep psychotic and schizophrenic people in check.

By, in check, I mean turning them into zombies that shuffle around in circles until then last coherent thought slowly escapes their mind and the drooling sets in.  

Then hours of sleep.

I’m not crazy.

It’s just that no one believes that they are real.

……………..

And…

That they will stop at nothing to get me to join them.

(Shuffle shuffle)

………………

I thought the fire……..

(Shuffle shuffle)

But even death won’t…….

………………

Sometimes the writing on the walls talk.

(Shuffle shuffle stop stare)

Beware of the listening bugs in the vents – November 1973 fourdefive

I pull my stubbed pencil out of my pocket and scrawl a sentence on the wall amongst the other cemetery residents.

(Turn shuffle shuffle)

The bed…..is……far.

I reach the bed, groggy….lay down and face the wall that I just wrote on.

As I surrender to the effects of the pill, my  epitaph on the wall rings through my head-

And a child shall lead them – yesterday today n fourever Forty5

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To be continued……

Feeding The Labrinth


The labrynth calls to me…..beckons me into its maze of bound backs and spines filled with stories from centuries long past and ones yet to be told.

Fantastic imaginative yarns weaved with words that speak louder with each page that is turned.

The labrynth allows journeys to the farthest corners of the earth and beyond. The only barrier being the limits of the imagination of the one who breaches it’s hallowed corridors.

One does not seek the labrynth. The labrynth seeks for the one.

Calling out in dreams that begs to seek the reality.

The labrynth has no address, no sign to announce it’s existence.

It is only found when the one seeks to follow it’s call.

The whispers begin at the back of my  memory. A distant calling back to a time when when audible letters became words. Pieced together, they became sentences. Transcribed on paper and repeated through the eyes they became magic. Unleashing worlds and creatures that beg for existence beyond paper and ink.

Those whispers beckon the search for the location where imagination lies in print.

The Labrynth.

The whispers called to me.

The only rule of the labrynth is this-

To satisfy my hunger for the labrynth, the labrynth must be fed in return.

To keep the delicate balance of the mysterious labrynth in check, I  must give my words in order to take someone elses.

I left my home as day was turning to night. Dark clouds began to roll in and shielded the blood moon from illuminating my way.

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The whispers as my only guide. Leather satchel flung over my shoulder containing a bound portfolio of my minds work.

My imagination.

My sweat.

My cramped hands.

My soul.

Stories created on this blog, casually listed under the menu section, transcribed from screen to paper using ink that flowed like blood once the process began.

My words.

My sentences.

My stories.

My soul.

About to be turned over to a place that I have never been to and will probably never find again.

In order to be fed…..I must feed.

The whispers grew louder as my journey wore on.

Beckoning.

Begging.

Pleading.

My head was ringing with interconnecting voices, accents, and language I could not decipher.

My eyes began to water and blur from the decibels the arose within my mind. I closed them tight to regain my focus.

As I turned a bend in the road and nearly collapsed from the weight of the drawing force within me……

Everything stopped.

Silence.

I gripped my leather satchel with both hands until they became numb and then opened my eyes.

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A single building with a single light stood before me in the darkness.

I walked up the few steps and cautiously rapped on the metal door.

Knock…..

Knock….

Knock….

The door opened.

A man who stood easily over 7 feet, looked me up and down and said,

“Welcome to the Labrynth…..we have been waiting for you.”

I walked past him and into the entryway of the labrynth. My first thought was he smelled of dust…..and time.

“I trust you have brought something of yourself to leave behind….” he asked.

I opened up my satchel and reached in to grab my portfolio.

The tall man stopped me and shook his head.

“You dont give to me, young man. You give to the labrynth. Leave it in place of the one you take.”

I quizzingly asked,

“How will I know which one to take?”

He smiled and replied,

“The labrynth knows…..the labrynth knows. Come. It is time.”

He walked over to 2 large oak doors that stood taller than he. He pulled them open revealing as many stories of books above as there were stories below.

Walkways.

Hallways.

A virtual skyscraper of books that reached into the heavens and to the depths of the underworld.

I tried to take in the massive inventory of bound words.

All I could manage was a gulp.

The man led me in and said,

“Take all the time you need. Find what has been waiting for you. Leave what will be sought. Exit through the door from which you came.”

I began walking through the catacombs. Brushing my hand against books that could very well be older than time itself.

Every language.

Every genre.

Every type of script ever imagined.

Shelves upon shelves lined with books, manuscripts, stories, lives waiting to be awoken and explored.

I searched up.

I searched down.

I lost track of time and place.

Mesmerized by the centuries of print.

As I glided down a certain corridor lit only by candlelight, I was strangely drawn to a spine that seem to illuminate the closer I got.

My heart rate quickened, my fingers seemed to tingle as I brought the book out from the chorus line of the adventures that surrounded it.

Upon releasing the novel from its libraric prison, a soft but quite audible

“yeeeeeeesssss.”

was heard from somewhere deep in the labrynth.

I turned the cover toward me and shuddered when I saw the title-

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With shaking hands I placed the book into my satchel and pulled out my portfolio to put in its place.

As I pushed it onto the shelf and released my fingers from my written soul another soft yet audible sound was heard-

“aahhhhh”

Then all went silent.

The only sound was my footsteps as they were strangely led directly to the door from which I entered at the other end of the very corridor from which the feeding took place.

I walked out of the labrynth into the sunlight, which was overtaking the west and illuminating toward the other horizons.

I felt exhausted…..yet light on my feet. With my prize under my arm, I began to walk back to where my reality resided.

Stopping once to smell the bluebonnets, whose sight and smell were much brighter than I had ever imagined.

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I stood up and opened my satchel. In the darkness of the case, the book that lay within, which bore the chosen name of my blog, seemed to tell me-

“We have such sights to show you……”

But that…..

Is another story all together.
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All photos taken by good2begone or Mr. B Gone, if you will.

Story created as a tribute to the ‘Cemetery of Forgotten Books‘ found within the pages of “The Shadow of the Wind” series written by Carlos Ruiz Zafon.

The “We have such sights to show you” Quote taken from “Hellraiser” by Clive Barker.

GET YOUR READ ON

Phantom Bridge


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“And so you haunt me. Always with me, you are the invisible diner at our table, the constant presence that trails me as I go about my daily routine…. In the darkness of a closed-lidded world, you are alive and vital, unchanging, mine. You are the ghost of everything that once was lovely… a shadow casts its majesty over everything that remains…”

~Samantha Bruce-Benjamin, The Art of Devotion

Photo taken and edited by good2begone.

Alchemy


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“To be totally honest, I don’t know who I am. And I don’t think people ever will know who they are. We have to be humble enough to learn to live with this mysterious question. Who am I? I am a mystery to myself. I am someone who is in this pilgrimage from the moment that I was born to the day to come that I’m going to die. So, what I have to do is to honor this pilgrimage through life. And so I am this pilgrim who’s constantly amazed by this journey.”

— Paulo Coehlo, from “The Alchemy of Pilgrimage”

Not my photo….not my words…But I like them just same.

The Muse


Often the Muse will not respond to direct and logical requests. She must be lured in with the playful and gentle.” –Jill Badonsky

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“I‘m not in control of my muse. My muse does all the work.” –Ray Bradbury

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The muse is born in pain, thrives on it and loves to inflict it.” –Warren Criswell

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Never forget that the nurturing and preservation of your own muse is job one. Lose it and you may be losing a great deal.” –Robert Genn

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The man who arrives at the doors of artistic creation with none of the madness of the Muses would be convinced that technical ability alone was enough to make an artist… what that man creates by means of reason will pale before the art of inspired beings.” –Plato

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Images by good2begone.

The Wait


He sat in silence.

Listening to nothing but hearing everything.

The air conditioner would click on and the motor would hum to regulate the temperature to his preferred setting of 72 degrees.

The ceiling fan, that had fixtures for 5 bulbs but only contained 1, turned unsteadily but continuously on the low setting.

He looked up at it, shrugged his shoulders, and returned his gaze back to the flat screen tv that hadn’t been turned on in 4 years.

And sat in silence.

He glanced at the framed memories on the walls that surrounded him.

Each photo a freeze frame of smiles, hugs and happy times.

He reached over to the end table that sat next to the sofa and picked up a frame and looked at it.

It contained a photo of his wife and daughter at the dance recital for the 6th grade class.

He smiled and ran his finger over the glass.

RING RING

RING RING

He placed the photo next to him and answered his cell phone.

“Hello.”

“……………”

“Yes…of course I want to be there. I have waited a long time for this.”

“………….”

“Ok, see you soon.”

He clicked end on the phone, picked up his keys and the picture and headed out the door.

He reached the preceding just after it had started.

The judge banged his gavel and began, just as the man took his seat in the front row of the gallery.

“Order in the court….Mr. Foreman….has the jury reached a verdict.”

The jury foreman stood up and replied,

“We have, your honor.”

“Very well. This case has 2 counts. On the first count of intoxicated vehicular manslaughter in the first degree…how do you find…”

“We find the defendant….guilty.”

After a pause, the judge moved on.

“On the second count of intoxicated vehicular manslaughter in the first degree….how do you find?”

“We find the defendant….guilty.”

The man sat in silence. Listening to everything but hearing nothing.

All he knew, was that after 4 years, it was finally over.

His wife and daughter had been taken from him, and only now could he properly mourn.

Having the man responsible being sentenced to whatever amount of years would never by adequate compensation for the years he will never get to have with the loved ones that the drunk driver took away.

But justice does not have feelings, it can only hope to provide some sort of closure.

For him…he had to find his own closure.

He reached into his jacket pocket and pulled out the photograph that he had brought from home and walked over to the defendant.

The defendant’s eyes grew wide but he could not go anywhere.

The man looked him in the eye and handed his lawyer the photo and said,

“I want you take this photo of my wife and child with you to wherever you are headed. I want you to look at it….every day as a reminder of why you are there. I want you to know that I have forgiven you but I can not be at peace until they forgive you as well. Look at the picture and realize that someday you will be free and be able to live out your life but they…..”

Without finishing his statement, the man turned around and walked out of the courtroom.

He got back into his car and returned home.

He sat on the sofa in silence.

Listening to nothing but hearing his wife and daughter practicing her dance routine for the 7th grade recital that they never made it to because of the accident that took their lives.

He began to cry as he heard them practicing.

Through those tears, he knew that he would eventually find peace.

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The Fix


The young boy wandered the streets in a frantic daze. His eyes would jet back, forth and he would look behind him to make sure he wasn’t being followed.

He needed a fix.

It seemed, to him, that all the kids at school were experimenting with new things.

He wanted something new, too.

He didn’t fit in and had a hard time making friends because he was transferred from the “bad side of town”.

His clothes weren’t right. His hair wasn’t right.

He just needed something to make him “feel”…..right.

The other day, he overheard talk about a guy nicknamed “the fixer”.

They said he knew a place that had some stuff that would take your mind to places you couldn’t even imagine!

They said he promised that one fix from him and you would be hooked.

No joke!

They talked about going to look for the man with the raven tattoo on his arm, but they were all talk.

He wasn’t.

He was on a mission to get the elusive fix that all the kids were talking about.

He combed the downtown city blocks, glancing at every male arm he could to hopefully catch a glimpse of the raven.

As the heat of the day wore on and perspiration began to drop off his cheek to the concrete below, he knew he needed to take a break from his search.

He glanced across the street and saw a single water fountain at the edge of the downtown walking park.

He crossed the street and jogged up to the fountain, where he pressed and held the button and drank until he thought he would burst.

As he drank, a voice from behind him scared him into stopping.

“Are you planning on draining the cities water supply or are you gonna leave some for others to have?”

The young boy stopped, turned around and began to reply,

“I’m sorry…I was thirst….”

That’s when he noticed the tattoo.

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He stepped out of way and let the man in torn jeans and long hair by.

The man with the tattoo pulled his hair out of the way and drank slowly from the fountain.

The young boy just stared at the tattoo and gulped, waiting for him to turn around.

The man finished drinking, turned around and gave the boy a quizzical look.

“You look like you’ve seen a ghost? You ok?” He asked the boy.

The boy quickly replied before he changed his mind.

“Are you the fixer?”

“Huh?”

“The…the fixer…I heard a man with a raven tattoo has some stuff that promises to take you away for a while….I heard one fix from you…and…and…I would be hooked…are you him.”

The man with the raven tattoo studied the boy.

He then asked him to sit with him on the bench, so they could talk.

“Look, kid..I don’t have “the stuff” as you called it….but I can take you to the place that does. But I have to warn you…..the one fix and hooked deal is real. It’s not one of those new fancy drugs that I hear about. This one has been around…a long time..and isn’t used much anymore…it lost its ‘cool factor’ a long time ago…..but it still works better than anything else. How much money you got?”

The kid shifted his eyes, stood up, turned out his pockets and replied.

“I don’t have any money….”

The man rubbed his tattoo and answered.

“First fix on me…..but here’s the deal. I will take you, but, when you come back for more, which you will, you have to bring a friend. When we get there you will have to talk to the woman who also has a raven tattoo….she monitors the joint to make sure anyone who goes there gets their “fix” in silence…..she will set you up for future fixes. Deal?”

The young man stared up at him and pondered if he could really handle what he was getting himself into. In defiance to his normal unconfident self, he stuck out his hand and said,

“Deal.”

The man stuck out his arm with the raven tattoo and shook his hand gently with his hand.

“Let’s go.”

They walked two blocks down from the park, and up a stairwell that was in between two buildings.

At the top was a clearing of trees that had a walkway and two flights of stairs that led up to an old building.

A few people hung around outside.

They each nodded to the man with the raven tattoo as he and the boy passed.

No words. Just nods.

As he opened the large oak front door, the young man was stuck by a silence he was not used to. At first it was uncomfortable but soon it began to soothe him.

They walked up to a large desk, where a woman with long red hair sat.

The man with the raven tattoo cleared his throat.

The woman looked up and brushed her hair behind her ear, revealing a small raven tattoo on her neck trailed by stars.

“This kid is looking hit his first fix. I told him we could fix him up.”

She looked at the boy and then at the man and replied,

“Kinda young…isn’t he?”

The man shrugged his shoulders and answered,

“Hey…he came to me…if we want to keep this place going, they need to get hooked as young as possible. I told him first fix was on me…you set him up for a return visit?”

“I suppose…take him in…and don’t bother the others…I’m unusually busy today.”

The man with the raven tattoo led him to an opening that was covered by a curtain.

As he opened the curtain, the young mans eyes grew wide. He slowly looked in each direction and asked,

“What is this place?”

The man with the raven tattoo knelt down to be able to quietly speak into his ear.

“This place is the only fix you will ever need, it will open your mind, expand your imagination and take you wherever you want to go…..welcome to the library.”

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