The Girl With No Tattoo

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Every person is born with a unique tattoo on their body.
Imagine a birth mark, only everyone gets one, and each is unique.
Then imagine that you gain a tattoo every time you fall in love with someone.

That was what my mom told me. I was 7. I had only every seen my own tattoo on my body, and now there was another. I was sacred. I didn’t understand what was going on, what was happening to my body.

She said that I must be falling in love with someone. Maybe a girl at school, she teased. But there wasn’t. And I wasn’t gay, so it wasn’t the tattoo of any of the guys. Where was this tattoo coming from? Continue reading “The Girl With No Tattoo”

The History of The Purple

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Blacksmiths work with iron. Goldsmiths craft wonders with gold. Silversmiths with silver, and redsmiths work copper into numerous things.

These have been normal and noble trades throughout the centuries. Dating back to the time of kings and regal Knights, men and women have put their minds and hands to these most precious of minerals and created great things. Suits of armour, weapons for thousands of armies, things of beauty for royalty, the profession of a smithy was and is still revered.

But my work, my smithing, has not gone celebrated. It has gone unappreciated for centuries. And as master smith has taught and raised up new smiths to take hammer and anvil to our precious material, we have borne the burden of being scorned.

No more.

I am the last great master of my kind. I am the lone Grand Smithy of the Purple, and this story will be shared.

Continue reading “The History of The Purple”

Moments In The Life Of Jerry – Part 5

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If anyone were to ask his co-workers, they would say that Jerry was the best. Not only could he find any book, anywhere in the library, but he could recite the Dewy Decimal Code for the particular book.

Jerry was a 21 year-old young man. His passion for books had taken him from a young reader, to a young enthusiast, until now, where he was the Assistant Head Librarian of this major university. He had even dabbled with writing, but found it best to leave that to the professionals. One professional, in particular, had actually come to the library for a signing, and Jerry, though an employee, was at the front of the line. You guessed it: Albert Ross. His seventeenth novel,The Pen that created the Sword, was released, and Jerry had his hard-cover copy signed by the man himself. Continue reading “Moments In The Life Of Jerry – Part 5”

Moments In The Life Of Jerry – Part 4

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If anyone were to ask his banker, he would say that Jerry had modest savings for a boy of his age. However, if you were to ask his mother, she would be surprised to find he had a nickel to his name. And, as it happened to be, now that graduation was over, Jerry’s focus was on money.

Jerry was an 18 year-old boy, young man as some might say, and he was looking at colleges to attend next year. He figured his mother, his abusive mother, wouldn’t have set aside a dime for him. So, we find Jerry sifting through paperwork, letters, and bank statements. Continue reading “Moments In The Life Of Jerry – Part 4”

Moments In The Life Of Jerry – Part 3

black-and-white, restaurant, eating

If anyone were to ask his gym teachers, they would say that Jerry wasn’t much of a physical kid. He was a small for his age, and didn’t play sports. He participated in Physical Education class, but seemed to only do the bare minimum, or perhaps, that was all he could do.

Jerry was a 15 year-old boy, with short hair and a keen pair of glasses. Unlike some of the kids in his class, he actually needed the glasses; it wasn’t a fashion statement for him. His mother had scuffed at the optometrist’s suggestion for glasses, bellowing that she didn’t have money for glasses. But, through a system of his own, Jerry had been able to afford a pair of glasses for himself. A pair, in fact, that Laura found, and I quote, “hot”. Continue reading “Moments In The Life Of Jerry – Part 3”

Moments In The Life Of Jerry – Part 2

Old wooden furniture

If anyone were to ask, his friends would say that Jerry was safe. He never did anything outside of the rules, except that one time.

Jerry was a 12 year-old boy, going to school, and getting good grades. His friends, Thomas, Laura and Sari, enjoyed his company, and also enjoyed their after school studying. As you may know, Jerry did not like to go home. His mother was a drunk and an abuser, and his father had left them a year earlier. So, we find Jerry here, walking through the halls of his junior high school with his friends.

“I think we should start with the English homework,” suggested Sari, always eager to set a schedule. Continue reading “Moments In The Life Of Jerry – Part 2”

Moments In The Life Of Jerry – Part 1

Girl reading a notebook

If anyone were to ask his father, he would say that Jerry is a wonderful boy. At the same time, if anyone were to ask his mother, and she were sober enough to answer, she would say he was the worst thing that ever happened to her.

It is into this time I would like to introduce you to Jerry. A 9 year old boy, filled with curiosity, which would usually entitle him to a beating at his mother’s hand; and, yet, a bit of timidity, mirroring his father, who often suffered the same fate as Jerry. He had a few friends, but found his peace in the pages of books. Continue reading “Moments In The Life Of Jerry – Part 1”

The Mystery Door (Extended Version)

 

As Alfred began to turn the door knob, this thought flashed in his mind. Is it safe to enter? He hesitated and let that thought linger. Is it safe to go into this room, if it is a room?
His fingers slid away from the door. Was it safe?

He looked down the hallway. His bedroom on the left and his office to the right, that was all the rooms that the upstairs had. Had, until this door appeared. He didn’t understand how it got there, where it came from, and where it lead.

Are you sure you’re awake? Could this be a dream, or a nightmare?
Alfred breathed deeply, and gave his arm a pinch. The pain reassured him he was awake. But that reassurance didn’t help the real issue. There was a mystery door in his house.

What if there is something on the other side? Can I defend myself?

A step back seemed to be Alfred’s answer to his own question. As a paper pusher, he wasn’t overly athletic or physically fit. No match for whatever could be waiting for him.

He looked down as he reached into his pocket for his phone.

The door knob rattled.

No. That did not just happen. The door knob did not just rattle. I’m tired. It’s late. My mind is playing tricks on me.

His bottom lip began to quiver. Logic was not helping the situation, because as true as his statements were about his feeling exhausted and the hour being late, the pain from his pinched arm reminded him of what was truer still.

A mystery door had appeared in his house. And yes, the door knob did rattle.

Alfred carefully pulled his phone out of his pocket, both eyes still fixed on the door knob. Could he ring the police without looking? Did he dare look away?

A panicked breath and Alfred looked down at his phone. 9. 1.

Click.

Alfred froze. His eyes clamped shut. Every muscle In his body locked up.

That did not just happen it. That did not just happen. The door is still closed. The door is still closed. Maybe it was the sound of your phone, he told himself trying to calm his racing heart.

It could have been your phone…but it would have made a noise when you pressed 9.
Another anxious breath, and Alfred knew that was true. That could only mean it was the door knob. Did he dare open his eyes to confirm that?

He licked his lips, trying to ease his nerves. It didn’t help. His mouth was dry from the heavy breathing. His hands however were beading with sweat. How could this be happening? And why to him? A simple guy that never bothered anyone; why would this horror plague him?

A deep gulp was the only sound he heard. Everything was still. No freaking of the door opening. No floor boards moving. Just his steady breathing and the occasional gulp. Seconds dragged on into minutes. Minutes into hours. What felt like days for Alfred passed.

I can’t keep doing this. I can’t just stand here anymore.

Alfred gathered what little courage he could muster, and began to open one eye. It was a slow and calculated move, tilting his head to the right as if to dodge an oncoming punch. The door blurred into vision.

Oh, God no.

The door was open. Just a crack. Just enough to overwhelm Alfred’s heart with dread.

Did something come out while I had my eyes shut? Is there something in my house now? Do I close the door? What if that traps it in here with me? Would it be safer for me to go in there if it’s in here? What if there is more than one? What if all this is a trap?

He winced, and turned away from the door altogether. He was starting to get a headache from the limitless possibilities. What was he going to do now? Should he just leave the house? Forget the door even exists?

That thought brought some relief to his soul. Yeah, I could just walk away from this. From this door. From this house. I could leave and never think about it.

The door creaked.

Oh no. No. No. No. No.

The labored breathing and panic was back. Alfred grabbed onto the staircase failing to brace himself. That and something to hold onto if he started to get dragged away.

Again he was left waiting, and wondering. Time slowly passed until Alfred started to loosen his grip.

Maybe there is nothing behind the door. Maybe there is no monster, no reason to fear. But reality again hit him. There was still a mystery door in his house. And it opened. By itself.

Alfred leaned heavy on the railing. A exasperated blink, and then he had decided. It was time to go through that door.

He put one foot in front of the other. For a man that was rarely curious, he wasn’t sure what to expect. Should he dare to be bold and fake some grand authority? Be the hero that he secretly wished he was?
Another step forward. Then another. His foot hit the threshold of the door. He looked down. The door was open, just enough that he had to move it to get in. It was taunting him, teasing him into pushing it wide. Who knew what would happen then?

Alfred looked straight ahead. He took one last deep breath to calm himself, and looked down. The door knob was waiting for him. He reached out his hand, and grabbed it. The cold metal handle reaffirmed that this was all real. Whatever Alfred found behind that door was just as real as his house. Just as real as he was.

He put his right foot forward, stepping into the blackness. It enveloped him. Alfred turned back to see his safe haven, but it was gone. There was nothing.

Oh, what have I done?

A Sip Of Freedom

Coffee

Greg stared out the window of his office, wondering what it would be like to fall from the 34th floor.

He sipped some more coffee, followed by a weighed sigh. It was sweet enough for his liking, but also the only real highlight of his day. Within the next 15 minutes, he expected to be fired, or “have his professional relationship with the company ended.” That was the joy of a recession. Everyone was getting fired as companies looked for ways to pinch pennies. Greg knew that his termination was coming. It just seemed to be the way things were going in his life. Everything was ending. Continue reading “A Sip Of Freedom”

Greetings, Mr. President

Desk with Laptop

I sat down behind the desk. My desk, the one that I had handpicked. Every President gets to pick out the desk that they work behind. I liked mine, a sturdy oak desk. Plenty of drawers, a large working space for all the things that I wanted to do as the latest POTUS.

I breathed deep the smell of the freshly cleaned carpet and upholstery cleaner. Hmmm. Starting something new. Something fresh. Something powerful and life changing. That had been what I ran my whole campaign on and now it was time to start delivering.

I slid my chair back so I could grab a pen and legal pad. Time to prioritize the madness of the day. Who really needs my time and attention right now? I pulled the top drawer open, discovering no pen or paper. Instead there was an envelope, addressed to me.

To the New President

I didn’t touch it, only stared at it. Confused, I called to my assistant.

“Marilyn, did someone leave me a letter? Clinton or her husband, they didn’t drop something off?”

She poked her head through the door, glasses almost falling off. “No, Mr. President, nothing. Were you expecting something?”

“No, no. That’s alright. Thank you Marilyn.”

As she closed the door, my eyes darted back to the open drawer and the mystery envelope. Who left this for me? How did they get it into my desk, without anyone noticing? I hesitantly picked it up. Was it safe? Was this a terrorist attack? Was Anthrax still a threat? To my surprise, it was heavy. There was something in there, more than a letter for sure.

I opened it quickly, trying to end the suspense. I had stuff to do. I was responsible for so much now. I didn’t have time for this kind of foolishness. I was the President of the United States of America.

The content of the envelope slid out onto the desk. I was right, there was more than just a letter. A old brass key clunked against the wood, while a small note gently fell. I snatched the note up quickly.

Greetings Mr. President. Please report immediately to the lower basement for training by your superiors.

Superiors? What lower basement?

I dropped the note and picked up the key. It was old, not a modern key by any stretch. But there were markings on it as if it had been used recently.

I looked back at the note. Had this key been used by the former president? What about the one before that?

I almost gave Marilyn a heartache when I poked my head  out of the Oval Office and into hers.

“Oh my, Mr. President, you frightened me.”

“Sorry about that.  I just had a question. Umm, you’re sure no one left anything for me? They didn’t’ drop something off in Office for me?”

“No. Like I said Mr. President. No one has dropped off anything.”

This didn’t make sense. “Alright, thank you Marilyn….” I slowly started to slip back into the office, when I had another thought.

“One more thing Marilyn, how do I get to the lower basement?”

Marilyn had given me the strangest look when I asked that. She said that there was only the one, based on her knowledge. Unless there is something the Government doesn’t want me to know. She laughed about it, while I mustered a smirk for her. This note and strange key had me rattled.

Who were these superiors that were going to train me? Who could be superior to the Master and Chief to the largest army in the world? What would they want me to do?


The elevator dinged, announcing that I had arrived at the basement.

The door opened, and I cautiously stepped out. As soon as my foot hit the floor, the entire place light up. I was blinded momentarily, but it was nothing sinister. The lights were motion activated. Probably an energy saving move by the previous administration.

I started to walk around. There weren’t any Superiors that I could see. A lot of boxes from the move to the White House. A furnace and hot water tank in one corner. The Great White House Christmas Tree in another. I stopped when I reached the middle of the basement.

This was ridiculous. What was I even looking for? It wasn’t like there was a door somewhere here that would take me to the Superiors. And why did I care? I was the President. I could do whatever I wanted. I didn’t answer to anyone.

I pulled the note from my pocket, crumbled it up, and threw it into the old packing boxes. Screw the Superiors. I reached for the key. I began to pull it out, when it got stuck. I looked down. What had it gotten snagged on in my pocket.

There, in the floor, was a lock. An old, brass lock to a cement door.


I slowly made my way down the cold stone steps. The door to this lower basement may have been cement, but as I continued I realized that there was an older structure below the White House. How long ago was it built, I couldn’t even imagine. But I continued going down.

There was a strange blue  light at the bottom fo the stairs. I continued towards it. As I set foot on the floor, i realized that the light didn’t shine out. It only shone in this one spot. Should I keep going? Should I see how far this basement goes? What if it doesn’t go anywhere?

Something inside me urged me to speak, so into the black I asked, “Are you there? You Superiors?”

I expected an echo, but my voice died as soon as it left my lips. I was starting to worry about what I had walked into. Sweat started to bead on my brow.

“Hello? Is anyone there? I got your message.”

Still silence from the black.

“Welcome, Mr. President. We were expecting you.”


Read Part Two here.