The Dark Universe….Mummy Review

The Dark Universe….Mummy Review

The_Mummy_(2017)

 

I waited a lot longer to see this movie than I originally expected. First, I love the classic Universal Monster Movies! They hold up in many ways and laid the ground work for the horror genre. I believe my favorite to be is House of Frankenstein, where they just threw a few of them into the same film. Now, Universal wants to go back and highlight some remakes and put them all in the same universe…because it works for Marvel.

Not a terrible idea, but its really a fucking goldmine and it would work if you would actually make these horror films……but instead we get monsters in action films…(Not surprised)

What makes horror work in modern day or even in the past? Big budget? NO! A List actors? NO! ( It has worked before, but it is not needed. It literally kick started the career for many unknown actors) CGI? FUCK NO! (I know someone in this world could argue this with me, but no. You lost if you believe it to be so. If that is the case, don’t watch horror or read me)

Sadly, The Mummy falls into these like I expected it to.

First off, Alex Kurtzman directed this picture. I am guessing he watched all the super hero movies he could before he even looked over the script. (Something he ignored for Amazing Spiderman 2) With a filmography that is hilarious to look it, Anyone could guess the lines of a box office flop flowing in.

I Just lived on the hope in my heart.

I admit I feel victim to the reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. I have been trying to ignore that and I do argue movies that get praised or thrown out. I almost believe there is a conspiracy on Rotten Tomatoes where everyone plays follow the leader with certain critics. (I miss Ebert)

Soooooo…I waited a week, went alone, bought my ticket, received my free popcorn & drink (Membership) and sat down as the only person in the theater. With my feet kicked back on the seat in front of me I watched with excitement the trailer for IT! (My favorite book) I enjoyed the classic Universal opening that turned into its dark doppelganger of the Dark Universe Logo.

It thought it was cool.

They show the backstory of how the mummy came to be and a fat Russell Crowe. (I only remember what he looks like from Gladiator) I was eager to watch in the beginning, not laughing at all the poorly misplaced jokes about Tom Cruise only lasting 15 seconds, balls deep in Annabelle Wallis. The CGI stuck all over this film in the most piss poor attempts to avoid hiring makeup artists that do more than polish Tom’s face. The middle of the movie became a little interesting but it was hardly the mummy anymore…more like (Spoiler) Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde versus Tom Cruise in a fistfight. I was so agitated with Tom’s charecter, the love interest with a weird love triangle with the mummy that I was praying the mummy would win! By the climax of the movie I saw an annoying fight that feels like something I have seen a thousand times (In action films) and kept editing the film in my head to make it better. The film has pieces that worked, if executed correctly.

Seriously, I could have fixed this movie for them….but I will get to that.

This is a few things that I thought were cool for the movie

  1. The Mummy herself. Minus the terrible CGI on her eyes I actually really liked her. Why they changed her name from the already fictional Anck-Su-Namun blows me away….maybe Ahmanet was easier for them to say. I liked her because they could have made her really scary but they dropped the ball on it, so I could tell she did her best.
  2. The easter eggs in the middle of the film introducing us to a Dark Universe that made me giddy as a horror fan. The creature from the black Lagoon’s hand was in a jar, Dracula’s fanged skull in another…and a body….I am guessing was The Bride from Bride of Frankenstein. Sadly that they are all dead…like this movie.
  3.  This was just an interesting thing. They mention that London is literally built on top of graves all over the city. So when Ahmanet summons the dead to rise  it made these zombie/mummies chasing after Tom Cruise. That is a really cool idea that fell on its face and exploded into dust. (Imagine if she unleashed all the dead to rise and attack the city) But Zombies are a bit stale (Understatement)
  4. I could believe Russell Crowe as Mr Hyde. I liked his accent for the five minutes we could kind of hear it.
  5.  I liked Brian Tyler’s music for the film.

The Bad

  1. They tried to slide comedy into it.
  2. CGI for even how she moved at times, even for the makeup of Mr. Hyde. Did we really need that for his eyes? The only CGI that was fine was the sandstorm.
  3. No atmosphere at all. No clue that this came from a horror series. Remember with the name The Mummy you recall horror films. (Its Brenden Fraser’s fault) I mean Dark Universe is the name of this franchise!
  4. Why the fuck was this rated PG-13? That’s good news for the rest of these movies. Dracula drinks blood but we won’t see any of it. The Wolf Man eats people but nothing more than a nibble.
  5. Who the hell was Tom Cruise supposed to be? He is labeled as a selfish grave robbing/ U.S. Soldier who happens to be Imhotep but never called that. I had no idea who the hell he was suppose to be and why I should cheer him on! That is why I was cheering the mummy to kill everyone…literally making this a Dark Universe.
  6. BAD pacing!
  7. The fact they tried to mislead an audience about the Dark Universe without establishing a good movie yet, all the while trying to hit a home run by doing a superhero style movie with a mummy. You know a corpse with super powers. Makes for a great superhero!

They attempted this before…in 2014 with Dracula: Untold. It suffered from everything this movie suffered from. It was suppose to be the start of the Dark Universe, but they swept it under the rug, started over with a different monster, but used the same formula! If it didn’t work then, why try it now?

Universal, don’t be scared of a R rating. It worked for Deadpool (overrated) and Logan! (Liked it!) Monsters have more right to an R rating than superheros and mutants.

One day I may write my version of this movie like I want to do with Dawn of Justice and other films that were destroyed by critics, but that might exhaust me. Just watch Wonder Woman…it is really good!

 

The Art of Self Loathing

The Art of Self Loathing

The other day a friend at work asked. “Tyler, look so miserable when we begin to work. Your eyes sag, you become monotone and are just unhappy.”

True.

I hate my job, I hate it more than anything ever. I have learned that nearly every problem in my life is associated with that place. My drinking sky rocketed when I was promoted and my writing slowed. My health became shit because of it, but I need to drink to mellow from work. Days off I am a whole different person…a good friend and lovable. But fuck it! I am not 19 anymore. So just fuck it!

I know what I sound like (A little bitch) but do you understand? Do you know what it is like to be inside my fucking head at all? How I can never make my mind up on anything…from the nearest sandwich to the nearest girl to love. No option in my life makes things simple. I hate choosing. I always have a couple voices telling me what to do and I can’t handle it. I c rave the bad thing but long for the good thing. Can anyone understand that shit? I can’t….(Never Will)

In reality…I am not this much of a sad sack. I live my life to my rules and standards, but what people don’t realize is that every single time I fail at something I relive every moment in my life where I embarrassed myself, going back to childhood and teen years and even moments from the year 2017. All failures and all moments of embarrassments fall passed my eyes like I am seeing all one last time, but it is never the last time…it never is.

Writing and drinking is all that makes me feel complete anymore. Its ugly but its true…but you know what is the beautiful thing about me? My opinion might change the next minute (Or second) I could love the world tomorrow, but hate it an hour later. That is me…a hundred percent me.

My best friend asked me if I am going to sleep with my ex when she comes rolling back into town. A huge part of me says yes, but the rest says no. My opinion on that has changes four times since he asked. its only been a couple hours as I write this. It won’t happen…but I could really use that hateful closure.

One of my new novels (A life on Mended Wings) touches on this aspect of me quite a bit. It feels good to write….but Scalp Collectors may not be the best work, but it keeps me grounded.

I really want an article about my favorite band. (Blind Melon) Maybe about my favorite album. (Soup) It is the only thing that can keep me from bouncing off the walls when I feel down some. (for a minute) So look forward to that if there are any melon heads that read this?

Speaking of that….where the fuck is the Shannon Hoon movie that I helped fund on kickstarter!? I mean its been like two years and my name is suppose to be in the credits! Hurry up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wonder Woman was great! Go see it! DC you are saved…..

I guess I will order a calzone and eat myself into a food coma, wake up and walk my somber ass to my job. (Vehicle is being worked on) Maybe I will love the day! Maybe I will hate the world! Let the coin of life flip and send me in motion……..

 

 

Scalp Collectors: All in a days work

Scalp Collectors: All in a days work

The jeep roared across the desert plain, tires crushing the skulls of a forgotten people, killed long before the birth of the two men in the jeep. The driver and the passenger wore ragged uniforms of flannel and leather, goggles wrapped around their necks just in case of a dust storm. The rusty pieces of metal served as dog tags hung halfway down their chests. On each tag was a number that was tatted on to top of their right wrist. Jones, drove like always, Kramer sat passenger, smoking a rolled cigarette he made before getting into the jeep. Specks of tobacco still lingering on his pants. The contract was to collect from a neighboring settlement, with a high price that could be distributed between the two of them. Jones had his fear since they only had seven bullets between them, 3 for Jones’s .45 and 4 in Kramer’s 9mm magazine. They still had the knives, elegant and fine, or brutal with dash of gore. All good Scalp Collectors had their knives.

“So, what happened with that girl?” Jones asked, flipping the strands of long hair off the front of his face.

“I don’t know. I didn’t like her feet.” Kramer said, scratching his thick but short beard. The hit a small hole and threw them around in the vehicle. It lacked doors on both sides or even seat belts so they held on as if lost in a sand storm. This was common place in the desert.

“What, she has like mutant feet?”

“Nah, not like that. They were kind of manly. A little bigger than mine.”

“Well, it’s not like you were going to get a foot job, or suck her toes or some shit.” Jones said, smiling. They would often talk on their journeys. Usually, about anything even during the scalping process. The job itself was common place for the both, their conversations kept things interesting.

“Nah, not with feet like that. It would be like getting a hand job with toe thumbs.”

“Didn’t that happen to you? Jones asked.

“Fuck no! I broke up with her too! We spend all day looking at broken shit, I don’t want to come home to a girl who looks like broken shit.”

They both laughed. “We are going to hell.” Jones said.

“Nah, I think we already did.”

“And we can do anything with impunity.”

“Yup!” They fist bumped as they approached a sign that read, “Meadows Sanctuary, No Guns, No Knives!”

“Why the hell do they always write Sanctuary on their signs? That won’t stop us, nor would it stop anybody else from attacking them.” Jones said.

“Like we are not going to bring weapons.”

The jeep slide through the entrance gate. One guard tower stood with nobody in it. “Real fucking safe.” Jones said, shaking his long hair back.

They rolled down the street, kicking up dust as they did. The street was crowded with old rusted cars and ragged buildings. Most looked completed with old pieces of metal and rotted pieces of lumber. Kramer doubted that any of the cars still functioned, but something sat sour in his stomach as they drove on. “If no one in the guard tower, you think someone picked this place off already?”

“No idea.” Jones replied as her drove the jeep into the middle of the town square. Burned out buildings surrounded a fountain. A statue once stood in the middle of the fountain, but had since fallen over. Only the legs remained and a plaque that read, “Ghost t,he First Survivor.”

“Ghost?” Jones asked. “That hero from the beginning? Wasn’t he a legend?”

“Thought so. Wasn’t he that albino guy who killed a bunch of cannibals or something?”

“Something like that.”

Jones parked the jeep in front of the old fountain. Kramer slid out of the vehicle, taking a look down into the old fountain and saw how dry it was. He spat into the bottom and adjusted the gun on his waist. “What about you, man? Any girls lately?”

“Fuck no,” Jones said, tying his hair back. “There was this one that followed me back to my place and started stealing my booze.”

“What do you mean?”

Checking the cylinder of his revolver, Jones replied. “I was all drunk down at the Way Station. Some older lady was talking to me about how her boyfriend was cut to pieces by some Head Hunters. Well, I was trying to go home, but the bitch followed me back to my place. I had just shut the door and was taking my boots off when she just kind of walked in and instantly took her top off.

“What!?” Kramer said, laughing.

“I mean this wasn’t anything good either. She probably had like 15 years on me and her tits hung in different directions. I yelled at her to get out, but she walked over to my bar and started grabbing all the jars of liquor I had and ran out the door topless. She left her shirt and everything at my place. She was fucking gross, man. Boils on her neck and cheeks. I’m sure there was one on her nipple. It was like she bathed in a tub of radiation. She wasn’t even worth a scalp.”

“Man…” Kramer said laughing.

They found a town hall sign sitting outside an old white house. It was rare to see a three-story building still intact in the world anymore. It could have been a nice property years ago, but the siding on the home was faded and falling off, accompanied by every window being broken. The dead grass was long and yellowed in the dirt. The skeleton of a young tree still stood like a corpse of hope. It somehow tried to grow in this world but was prematurely killed, thanks to dehydration. Very common in these parts of the world.

“We need more bullets.” Kramer said, wiping sweat from his brow. “Don’t get payed enough for this shit.”

Jones just scratched his head. “Especially if Head Hunters are inside that building. We got to spot them if they feed us a line.”

Kramer took the gun from his left and let it hang lazily from his fingers for a quicker draw. “Let’s just walk in. If anyone is even in there.”

They walked side by side. Kramer trying to hide the limp in his leg where shrapnel hit him in the knee. Kramer always used to drive them to the jobs till that bomb went off. His leg gave out quite a bit and made it difficult to step on the gas pedal. It was one of many scars that were drawn over the bodies of each collector.

“You fucked that girl didn’t you!”

“Fuck no!” Jones replied. “God damn, all the booze in the world couldn’t get me to do that!”

“You have picked some winners, just saying man.”

“Like you never been there.”

“True, true.”

They walked the steps up to the town hall, barely glancing at the skeleton that sat in a chair as they did. The door swung open on its own and the head of a spear appeared in the darkness. The Scalp Collectors drew their weapons with lighting speed. They had been there, done that more than they care to.

“Drop your weapons and step out,” “Kramer said. “We are Scalp Collectors, show yourselves!”

“It’s alright Corey, drop the spear.” A woman’s voice said from the shadows.

A worn woman stepped into view, dressed in a dirty pink blouse, gray strands of hair were spread, throughout her brown hair. The Collectors had seen leather that looked better than her skin. Her eyes were aware, but tired all the same. “I am Gretchen, leader of Meadow’s Sanctuary. What brings collectors out this far from your safe zone?

“Contract to fill. One male, dead or alive. We mean to let him live if everyone cooperates.”

“If we don’t cooperate?” Gretchen asked, trying to show her strength.

“We take all your scalps.”

“Dead or alive.” Jones added.

Gretchen stepped more into view. They lowered their guns a bit. “Who is the contract for?”

“Arnold Jay Fletcher. Under Violation of propaganda publishing some 20 years ago, resulted in a riot that killed 7 of The Queen’s men.” Jones said this without a stutter. Kramer did most of the talking, but Jones memorized all the data.

“We follow no Queen but myself.” She said, a cold look overcame her leather like face.

“Treason, is it?” Kramer asked. “You know we could probably get more for your scalp if we say we got that leather from a cow.”

“Truth.” Jones agreed.

For a second they steadied the weapons higher, but shook with a magnitude of a fear they have once felt before. Jones saw from the corner of his eye that two more of her people had come out from around the building, spears in hand. “Give up Arnold or I will turn around and shoot both of your men in their spineless guts. You can’t trick us.”

For a moment, neither of the men thought she was going to give in. “Fine,” She finally said. “Stand down. We don’t have the fire power anymore to stop them. Follow me Skin takers!” She walked passed them down the steps with her head held high, as if this was to show she still had the power. Her spearmen followed her at her sides and the Scalp Collectors walked closely by.

“What happened to your firearms?” Jones asked. “You said you do not have it anymore? Was is Head Hunters?”

“No, it was a gang of your Skin Takers. Dressed and acted just like the both of you.” She didn’t show her face as if to hide her discomfort. A chill could be heard and felt from her voice that made both shiver somewhere deep within them.

“Scalp Collectors deal with skin, not theft.” Jones said.

“Well, maybe you should remind these men of who they kill and what they take.”

Jones looked over all five of the spearmen and saw they all had scalps. “They didn’t take any scalps, did they?”

“Just the guns and a couple of the children’s virginities.”

Kramer and Jones stared at each other for a slight second. They would keep this in mind later.

“How many?” Jones asked.

“Seven,” spearmen Corey said, “All had bigger guns than both of you. All took our guns and by night they took churns with some of the children and a couple of the older girls. Killed a couple of them that fought back. Still had their way with the bodies though.”

“You all just stood there and did nothing?” Kramer asked.

“They killed five of our own men from a great distance. Blew their fucking heads open.”

“Now I only have these five.” Gretchen added. “I admit we reacted poorly.”

“Got that right.” Jones mumbled. He felt Gretchen’s glare without looking.

They came upon on an old house that looked in better shape than the other ruined houses. Kramer thought it still looked like a piece of shit, but better than most. Jones checked all the windows, looking out for any snipers that Gretchen declined to mention.

“I’ll go in and get him,” Gretchen said. “Stay here.”

“Hell no! I’m coming in.” Kramer said, adjusting the grip on his gun. “You cool out here?” he asked Jones.

“I’m sure they would like to see my knife tricks if they get panicky. Drag his ass out of here. You guys are going to want to see Kramer scalp this guy all savage! You are in for a treat!”

They walked the steps into the house, Gretchen leading, with Kramer bringing the rear.

Jones sat back and looked at the spearmen who all eye fucked him raw. They all were skinny with scars and patches of hair across their bodies. Either shirtless or wearing the remains of once a shirt, Corey was a part of that category.

“So, what do you all do for fun around here?” Jones asked and felt the tension thick in the air. “You guys have any movies, like an old projector to show all those films they used to make a long time ago?”

“We don’t have electric anything.” One of the spearmen answered. He had a large gap in his mouth where his two front teeth were missing. Jones didn’t know what color those teeth were, but he guessed they were as brown as the others.

“Yeah, it’s a true wonder to live in a safe zone that our Queen gives us. It’s just as dangerous as this place, but it does have lights. Freezers to keep meat longer, and a movie is played every night. Giant walls to keep intruders out. It is real nice.”

“Those walls also keep you in.” Corey said, rubbing at a large sore on his shoulder, picking at it with a yellowed fingernail.

Jones had never thought it that way. His queen had always been good to them, providing them with contracts to make the land a safer place, showing that crime will not be tolerated. Since he was born, the walls kept Headhunters, walking corpses, and rabid animals out. As a child he felt safe, but now that he was older, it was the gun that kept him safe, and that little bit of paranoia that hung in his brain, kept his fingers on the handle of his revolver.

“GET THE FUCK OUT OF HERE!” Kramer yelled, dragging a short, round little man out onto the porch. The little man, Arnold, matched the contract description. The details were very elaborate, especially when it came to the pointed wart under his left eye, sticking out like a cone. His finger nails scratched at the porch as Kramer dragged him to the dirt. Gretchen stepped out of the doorway, her arms crossed with distaste.

“You got the wrong guy! I aint ever but had love for The Queen!”

“Maybe now you do, but 20 years ago you called her a robot!” Jones expressed. “Scalp him.”

Kramer removed his knife. A long crude thing that shined under the broken sun. The blade was zigzagged, almost like a lightning bolt. It was the same knife he had used since he started hunting scalps.

“Now, this will hurt a lot,” Kramer explained. “But if you don’t squirm too much, it will come off  quick and easy as those sheep skin condoms you all wear. You know, the ones you make from the intestines. So, we will begin at the middle of your forehead and pull it all the way to the middle of your skull and cut it free. You cool with that?”

“No I am not at all!” Arnold said, tears begin to roll down his face.

“Let us begin.” Kramer said and dug part of his knife into the middle of the forehead. Fresh beads of blood rolled down his face and Kramer jerked his knife to an angle and began skinning up. The little man squirmed and yelled in pain, but he couldn’t alter Kramer’s skill. He was a pro at what he did.

“Jones, how do you feel about those sheep skin condoms?” Kramer asked, working the knife farther up the skull.

“I don’t know. He replied. “I only use the latex ones back at home, or none.”

Kramer laughed as he got to the hair line of Arnold. The skin was peeled back from his forehead, looking like a bloody rag, pushed into a roll. “I mean isn’t like fucking the animal too, since your using its guts to keep you-.”

“GOD, THIS FUCKING HURT!” Arnold interrupted.

Kramer dug his blade into the skull, scratching at the bone. “Can’t you see we are having a very important conversation here?

“I hate it when people interrupt us!” Jones agreed. “I am getting sick of his sobbing. Hurry up and finish him off!”

Kramer ran the blade across the top of the skull, the zigzags in the blade helped cut and peel back. He made it look as simple as slicing a hunk of butter. Kramer was a little uneven, but when Jones would perform the procedure, he was straightforward and had a perfect rolled scalp by the end of it.

One final slice and he cut the scalp away from the skull, dropping Arnold into the dirt. His bloody face caked the dirt and he looked like a ragged mess, shaking and sobbing like a child. Jones reached into a leather baggy that hung from the side of his belt where he kept the powder. “Keep rolling in the dirt like that you are gonna get a nasty infection. Hold still, this powder will clean it and stop the bleeding.” Jones took a handful of the salt looking mixture and slapped it across the open head wound. Arnold yelled so loud he made both Scalp Collectors step back with laughter. The power caused a burning sensation across his skull, white bubbles foamed over and rolled down his face as he screamed like a child. For a split moment, Kramer felt sorry for the poor man, but the he looked down at the fresh scalp and the feeling went away. They were about to get paid.

“Is that all?” Gretchen asked. She was still standing on the porch with her arms crossed, a look in her face like she wanted to draw blood.

“Of course!” Kramer said. “Best be leaving.”

Jones looked back at all the spearmen, but they looked away in utter disgust for what they just witnessed. Arnold had calmed down to just a light sob. Shock had quieted him down some.

They were on the walk to the jeep and Kramer threw their payment at Jones. “What do you think, like three thousand credits?”

Jones rubbed the skin between his fingers and looked over the fine black hair. “He’s got some silver coming in, got to count for something worth a damn.”

“Yeah, might actually get to buy some more fucking bullets.”

Hoping into the jeep, Jones rolled up the scalp and handed back to Kramer so he could start up the jeep. “If I hurry I can get us back by dark. Maybe get some tacos at the pub?”

Before Kramer could answer Gretchen walked in front of the vehicle with her arms crossed. Her spearmen surrounded the car, spear pointed as if to block them in. “New development.” Jones mumbled.

Kramer stood up and pointed his gun at Gretchen. “We got a problem?”

“I just wanted to let you boys know that you are not welcome here ever again. Just a little warning of what’s going to happen if you come back!”

“I will tell you what’s going to happen. Jones and I are going to shoot each of these savage motherfuckers in their dicks and rape them with their own spears. Jones will run you over and spin the tires across your rubber face. Then we are going to scalp all of them, drive home and have steak for dinner. How does that sound?”

Jones smiled and all the spearmen frowned. Gretchen held her ground and didn’t let up. Kramer and Jones admired her at that moment.

“You seem certain of yourselves. Tell me, what are you going to do about those rogue scalp collectors? Will you let them dishonor the codes you live by, or are you going to deliver them The Queen’s justice?”

“If we find them, we will scalp them too, but we are going to do it for us, not for you.”

“Well the leader had long white hair and two crosses tatted on both of his cheeks. He forced me to watch as he raped my daughter. Make it painful.” Gretchen eyes watered as if she was seeing it all over again.

Jones and Kramer eyed each other. Jones nodded and Kramer lowered his gun. “Let them through!” Gretchen yelled and the Scalp Collectors rolled by, kicking up dust and decay from a world once lived.

Once they were out of the Sanctuary Jones finally spoke. “Allocer.”

“The Great Duke himself? How the fuck are we supposed to handle him? The Queen lets him control thirty-six settlements. He could have an army after us even if we mention his name!”

“I know! I know!” Jones said. His head shaking the entire time. “We can’t let him get away with that shit.

“The last time we took on a gang of more than 10 we nearly died. The scars are still pink, and we both do not have anywhere close to enough ammo.”

“We could invest the entire scalp into ammo. We can skip the donation to the Dwellers.”

“Are you fucking kidding me? That is our ticket out of here! One missed payment might come unforgettable.”

“Imagine how much more credits we can get from killing rapists!” Jones said,

“We can’t risk it. This could backfire on us and The Queen might want our scalps. It would be us against the world and eventually some fuck could come along and feed us to the reaper.”

They drove in silence for several minutes. The sun was beginning to settle in the west and they were nearly home.

“I would be fun though.” Kramer said. “You know, taking them all on.”

“All in a day’s work. Let’s wait on it for now. We are close to buying our way in with the Dwellers.”

“True,” Kramer said. “Did you mention something about tacos earlier?”

“Yeah, they sound good.”

“They won’t be as good as Big Mikes. Remember when we shared the 20 pack?”

“Yeah, but then we found out he cooked human babies in the meat.”

“Oh yeah…” Kramer said and grabbed his own throat. “We did get a shit ton for his scalp and an extra bonus for his skull.

“A job well done, but someone needs to feed the reaper.”

(Chapter 2, Missionary Position coming soon!)

If I Swallow Anything Evil…..

If I Swallow Anything Evil…..

I can’t tell you how many ways that I’ve sat,
And viewed my life today, but I can tell you
I don’t think that I can find easier way
So if I see you walking hand in hand in hand
With a three armed man, you know I’ll understand

But you should have been in my shoes yesterday…….

I come to a point where I must stop living in my brain and take a break from a novel to look at the world around me. I currently sit here with a glass of Jameson & pineapple juice (Disgusting) because I can’t really afford anything better….for now. I am sitting on my floor, trying to rationalizing my world into pieces or even the slightest amount of sense that would make me feel good.

For fucks sake I think we all have the moments, so this is either over dramatic or the whiskey talking to me…It has been over a day since I have eaten anything. If I could put this in simple terms it would be that I am a man of many words, but a man of few deeds. Honestly, the greatest thing I probably ever accomplished was beating Super Mario Bros. The Lost Levels. (Its pretty fucking hard!)

Of course being in my mid 20s gives me plenty of time to having a great career and starting a family, but I have never been sure if that is all I actually want.

To people I know…They want the house, kids, and especially that white picket fence to block them from seeking their true desires. At night as they lie in bed they may dream about that broken girl at the bar they could have slept with, sitting on the porch after they leave and drink whiskey from the neck because the world seems to blissful to care. Instead, they chose the easy route…the safe route and live behind a fence.

I know my friends think this way…most of them. I however live with no fence or a safety net. I am talking to you with the honesty to admit that I have under 5 dollars in my bank account. My own fault and I live on the razors edge, which is fine because it will never cut too deep. I mean that metaphorically of course.

I can see why I have no love in my life. Am I really a catch? I chase a crazy dream, drink to mellow out and live according to what gets me out of bed every day. I hate my day job with passion and I let myself decay before the eyes of the people I care about the most. I gave up the picket fence for a dream and I live with repercussions 6 years later. Not that this the only reason…I was once rejected because they loved me but…..they could never get a read on me….couldn’t trust me…even though I am the most loyal person I know….(Just because I break up with you when I was young doesn’t make it true when I am older.) I usually tend to make the girl hate me because I play the game to rough. So maybe I did see the nightmare in you…the thing i wanted…and maybe I got a blowjob from your ex best friend, but hey you got the white picket fence you always wanted (no) (husband and kid) and I still live with no shackles, so your loss.

Normally I just get left for an ex…..that feels better honestly.

I now just get rejected….but hey…I am drunk when I ask for one simple date to give me a shot…so it doesn’t sting as bad, but it does embarrass the hell out of me when I sober up.

Maybe I should just cut all my hair off. I had more luck then…. but the ugly truth is I would do anything for my significant other, but they always side with some fantasy in their head. In The Garden of Eden, it only took a snake to end paradise and I live with two, and one I consider a Bro. However, I have never been that religious (We aint talkin bout no poison apples or some missin rib, ya hear?)

Fucking crazy I am….are you even still reading this? Or are you just skimming it like some and ignoring it like most of my loved ones. I could slice myself open and bleed all over these words and no one would notice……alright now I am just being bitchy …..

Life took its dick out and slapped me around. If I had a mushroom stamp for every single moment it did I would assume my sexual orientation came into question. (That is why girls reject me!)

It’s cool though, nothing can beat those moments, sitting on my porch with a snake wrapped around my neck, sipping at whiskey, listening to the city in the night life…usually after a good day of writing. The mellow that hits me is better than sex.

I question myself for who I really am? To some I am just Tyler or Tiller or Ty Ty. To bar flies, strippers and Bartenders I am Azrael Tyler. To strangers I am T.W. Lycan, a pen name of sorts that probably does not make sense, but the mere fact that I had to explain the 3 different Tyler’s must make some sort of sense with Lycan (Lycanthrope) in the name. (For the record…I am not a monster, just a way I describe how people see me as a different person and how I describe myself…and that is why I am single hahaha)

What others lack in a picket fence I see from the outside and I see a great many things….That is why I choose to write stories, but I am not some simple bitch who writes about politics or how the world should be from my college know it all heart. I tell stories to take the people who need a break from reality, to not make the world a better place, that is impossible….it is to make it tolerable for even a minute of the day. Our recent election in the United States just shows how insane people are on both sides of the bar. I just wish for a second people could shut the fuck up and take a step back and admire the good around them and not waste their breathe on an opinion that really does not matter all that much. Like this! What I am writing right now means nothing! I do it for amusement. I’d rather write movie reviews, or music reviews (Especially about the new MGK album coming soon!) Or maybe even book reviews…..hell I wish my terrible one could get a couple more. The reality is that this helps me bring a peace of mind and to all that actually follow me I do love you.

My novel, “A Life on Mended Wings” will be full of these thoughts and ideas with a story filled with sex cursing, booze and broken things. It’s basically a giant blog post…..an exaggerated diary of my entire life.

My friends over the years have been great to me. They give me words of wisdom to live by that really help me pick myself up when I feel down. I never thought of myself as a symbol of inspiration but its true! I have inspired people! That’s fucking crazy! There is other people who give up on what the practical solution is and they go for what they love! All because of the glimmers of light that I helped show. (It was always there they just needed a jump start.)

The greatest advice I heard came from one of my best friends who sent me a meme from a comedian

17799140_10207306382492480_1196495295570683028_n

I think about that every day. (One day maybe my mind will be a rest or maybe it won’t) I want anyone like me to think the same. Honestly I am more of a positive person than I appear to be.

For those of you who stick by me, (Or stuck around to read the whole fucking thing) I wish you the most luck and love.

Side Note: Did anyone see the IT trailer and Dark Tower trailer!? Favorite book (IT) and a great series (except for book 6) Can’t wait!!!!!!

 

 

 

 

Scalp Collecting aint easy, Ya’ll

Scalp Collecting aint easy, Ya’ll

This is an update rant (because the whiskey told me so) about all of my upcoming projects…..Since the buzz is literally in my finger tips, I believe this to be the proper time to sum up all of my work…..

Stories We Tell Our Dead: This is my collection of short stories with a novella (The Glass Spider) included. This was originally suppose to be a serious collection with a lighter tone, but I said fuck that and took it from a nice PG13 to a NC17. Should be out soon!

Scalp Collectors: My free novel that I am releasing chapter by chapter on this blog. It is about 2 guys who live in a wasteland of a world and collect scalps for their government. A dose of spaghetti western, mixed with some apocalypse, and a dash of horror. It only makes the best dark comedy!

A Life on Mended Wings: A story about a 20 something trying to survive in the world. A novel filled with theories, criticism, broken hearts, sex, booze and personal hell. Though the book is fiction, it is all based on real stories from my own life.

A Sliver of the Moon: A horror mystery about a detective who is investigating a town where victims are being ripped to shreds by a beast. Sounds typical but I promise you it is not that simple….

Maybe or Maybe Not: I have tons of material I am working on. A novel about people who are trying to survive against a giant bird, another story about a guy who works as a DJ in a strip club, a story about a museum of monsters, and lastly, a secret novel called, Red Autumn Hill.

Do these sound interesting? Do you even give a fuck? We shall find out! Thanks for reading and keeping it all alive. From the bottom of my lonely heart I do appreciate all my support!

1795735_10201305929604908_2839679191201980940_n

 

 

 

Sincerely Yours

Sincerely Yours

This is the closing story in my upcoming collection, “Stories we tell our Dead.” This is the only story in the book without a dedication. The book will be out this spring. Please read and enjoy!

Sincerely Yours

The dreadful sound came from a tree branch. It scraped and clawed at the window, the wind slapping it around as if to carve its name in the glass. Aiden took no notice as he was in a vital trance of concentration. For the last three days he had locked himself away in his cabin in the woods to work on his latest novel. In the last seven years Aiden has produced two novels every six months. Fourteen books have all been best sellers, award winners, and future movie deals, several which had been green-lit within the past year. In his seventh year as a writer, Aiden wanted to release a third book instead of two.

This was an ample project for Aiden. Most of his work has been produced effortlessly and this was no different. Horror stories were his work, and the words slipped out of his fingers onto the keyboard. Aiden never edited his novels, for it was perfect to every sentence he produced. It was uncomplicated, but a third novel in a year would surprise his fans. It would be a stunning task if he could finish the book before he would take his family on a vacation next week.

The vacation spot in particular was Paris. His wife, Amy had always wanted to see it. Their two children were young, but Aiden would make sure they got whatever they wanted. Their son, Markus was four and the child was only concerned with actions figures that he recently discovered at his last birthday. Melena was only three and laughed at anything colorful. Aiden was positive that she wouldn’t mind Paris at all, assuming that she will have plenty to laugh at.

Stretching back from his laptop he took a sip from his tea cup and almost spit out the contents. The heat was gone and Aiden noticed that it had been over three hours since he first brewed the tea. The clock read a half past ten and he could hardly believe it had been that late. For an early spring night he could feel a chill in the air and he decided to take a small break to build a fire.

He walked over to the fireplace, stretching his legs as he did, and began placing logs within. A few moments later he had a lit fire going and Aiden hurried over to the kitchen to make a fresh pot of tea. As the water began to heat up, Aiden grabbed an apple and bit into it. Amy had constructed a wall of fame for Aiden’s work and he couldn’t help but smile while looking at it.

It was her first idea when the cabin was bought. It was supposed to be their romantic getaway from the world on weekends, and first thing she did to it was place all of his writing awards all along one wall. Pictures of Aiden were in between all the different awards, usually being presented with an award or him doing an open mic reading. She even framed his honorary degree he earned from the college he dropped out of.

Since the kids were born he used the cabin to write and he knew that he only had a couple days to finish the novel before he took off for his trip. So, he needed to buckle down and get it written. Aiden just couldn’t take his smile away from the wall of fame. He looked at the wedding photo of his wife. Amy was just as beautiful today as she was then. He had met her at his first book signing. She was the manager of the store and also quite the fan of his first novel. It has been said to Aiden that some fame even with writers can attract the bookworm female types and Aiden didn’t waste any time. Amy was the first one and the only one. He never let the fame get to his head, he just wanted her.

Aiden had every little thing you could imagine. Money, fame, and all the stuff in between, but the thing he cherished the most was the family he created with Amy. The family was everything to him, his motivation to write the next best seller, to give his children and wife everything he didn’t have growing up. The family Aiden came from was broken with three different fathers, drug abused mother, four half siblings that rejected him. His only friend was his best friend, Dylan Moss. Aiden’s only friend before he became successful. How he wished Dylan could see him today. Dylan had committed suicide a couple weeks before Aiden’s first novel was picked up. Aiden honored his deceased friend by picking up his last name for his pen name.

Aiden Moss. One of the best writers in the world, with the perfect life and family. There was a lot to smile about these days. Dylan’s suicide was the last sad moment in his life. Seven years of great memories.

When the tea kettle started to whistle, he made himself a fresh cup and positioned himself back in front of his laptop. Aiden checked his emails, his blog, and any social media site he had to interact with his fans. He placed a couple lines of dialogue from the new novel for his loyal fans to drool over.

Coming across some old emails, he found a video message his wife sent him. Aiden was about to answer it when his phone vibrated. It scared him for a second because it came across loud and fierce. It was sitting by his cup of tea and Aiden didn’t recognize the number.

“Did you forget?” The text said.

“Forget,” Aiden said. “Forget what?” Aiden typed the response and placed his phone down. He didn’t know the number but he was hoping he could message the person the right questions to get the responses that would reveal to him the person texting. When no reply came, Aiden went back to work on his novel for a couple minutes, almost forgetting the text entirely.

The tree continued to scrap at the window as Aiden tried to think of what to type next, but his mind was blank. This has never happened to him before, not in the last seven years. He could not comprehend why he felt this way. It seemed like his muse had vanished and he spun around in his chair staring at the cabin.

Aiden’s eyes caught the little wooden plaque across the top of the outside door. It read “Home Sweet Cabin.” A terrible phrase, but it was a gift from their neighbor, Bill Hartford and Amy felt it was right to place it in the cabin. Bill was an elderly Vietnam vet who was a little too political for Aiden’s taste, but Amy was fascinated with him. The man did have more than enough stories to tell and most of them were filled with humor that anyone could love. Occasionally a Vietnam story would surface and the humor was gone. Most of the time Aiden just wished the old man would go back inside his home.

These thoughts crossed Aiden’s brain when a knock came from his door. It startled Aiden a bit. He hadn’t expected anyone at all. He climbed up from his chair and walked over to the window to have a look out. The tree branch still made its music against the glass. Aiden made a note to cut that branch down in the morning. Nothing out of the ordinary appeared to him. The outside light didn’t turn on when anyone approached the door, nor was there a car in the driveway beside his own. All Aiden could see was the dark and the forest was illuminated by the moon light.

Suddenly a more forced knock startled him. It was loud enough to shake everything in the room.

“I’m coming!” Aiden yelled and wondered over to the door. He unlocked both locks and pulled the door wide open. Darkness was all he saw, the cool air touched his skin gently. The smell of the wilderness was intoxicating. However, on the ground laid an envelope. Nothing written on it at all. No name, no address, not even a stamp. Aiden picked it up and examined it. The envelope was sealed and very warm to the touch. It was almost too hot to handle. Aiden peered again into the darkness and saw nothing out of the ordinary nightmares. No sounds of footsteps in the dark, no moving shadows nearby. Aiden appeared to be alone, somehow. He shut the door and latched it.

Aiden open the envelope, tearing at the seal.

“Dear Mister Aiden Moss” He read.

“I have come to the understanding that you may have forgotten about our agreement we made about seven years ago. I know you must be busy given your success and all, but we must discuss the outcome of the events that have conspired over the years. Our agreement seems compromised and I wish to speak with you in person if you can find the time in your busy schedule. If you can make time to leave your wife and kids alone I know you can make time for your old friend. Just speak my name and I will be there.”

“Sincerely yours,”

“Del Four (IV)”

Aiden paused and felt a cold shiver slide through him. A memory rose into his head as if long buried in a repressed state. “The wooden chair.” Aiden spoke, his voice broken in disbelief.

The memories flashed through his head, he could almost feel the tears that shed from his face as he sat in the chair. They tasted of salt as they slid down his cheeks and dropped between his lips. The memory was real but long forgotten and Aiden was left in disbelief.

“How did I forget that? It was so strange.”

Aiden reread the message, trying to find links between the lines that told him some kind of secret. The part that bothered him the most was that the writer, Del mentioned his family left back at the house. A sour feeling invaded his stomach and he tried to remember Del Four from that day at the cemetery. What did the IV stand for? His best bet was to let himself type it up. Aiden knew he was a master story teller so he decided to let his muse take a break from creativity and went real life. He turned to his lap top and opened a new document and began to type. Aiden couldn’t believe his fingertips as if they were controlled, typing sentences by the seconds. He couldn’t pull his hands away until they had finished the memory. A sloppy story it was becoming, but it wasn’t a time for creativity, it was a time to solve a mystery. Aiden began to read what was written.

“The rain was far off, but I could smell it coming in the air. I stopped at Dylan’s grave and stared. Flowers lay at the headstone and the dirt was still bare of grass, since his burial was only completed a week ago. Tears rolled down my face and I could taste the salt when it hit my lips. I wiped them away with my hands when I saw an odd chair sitting by the grave. It was a wooden stump with a triangle carved to act as a back. Crude looking but it seemed to be a chair to sit for visitors to grieve over. I didn’t pay the best attention to it, since I was trying to remember the good memories of my friend. I took a seat in it, with my head buried in my hands. That is when I heard the voice say, “I’m sorry about my crafting skills, but I was never the best carpenter.” I looked up to see a man dressed in a black suit standing in front of the grave. I was shocked to see him since I couldn’t remember a man standing nearby. He seemed to just appear out of the thin air. He wore a long sleeved black dress shirt with matching pants, black shoes, pale white skin, platinum blonde hair, and sparkling blue eyes that seemed to have no eyelashes. A curled smirk was displayed on his thin red lips and I was instantly afraid. Wiping the tears away I said, “I am sorry. Is this your chair?” The man replied that “It was always meant for you to find and so you have. My name is Del Four and I am here to make you a deal.” I couldn’t really understand what was being said, so I asked the dumb question, “What?” Del laughed as if I told some outstanding joke. His laugh was high pitched and almost hurt my ears. When he finished he said, “What do you want more than anything in the world Aiden?” I was confused over everything so far, but I was even more confused about how he knew my name.”

Aiden read it all and realized the story wasn’t finished. The memory came back, but was incomplete. “What happened?” Aiden read the last part of the letter again, “Speak my name and I shall appear.”

Aiden waited and contemplated on what he should do. The nearby clocked ticked away, the fireplace crackled against the logs inside, and the dreadful tree branch continued to scream against the window. Aiden took a deep breath and said, “Del Four.” It came out in a voice like a whisper, he almost didn’t hear it himself, but suddenly a sound, loud and thunderous hit the door. It knocked three times in a slow rhythm, and everything in the cabin shook. The lights flickered and the fireplace roared to life as if gasoline had fallen into the flames. Aiden knew that if he answered that door and let him in, then all of his questions would be answered, and that is what he feared the most.

Getting up from the chair was the hardest part. His bones ached as if his body had no desire to witness the man dressed in black. If the brain tried to shut out the memory, then it must have been dreadful for the body as a whole. The floorboards squeaked as he walked slowly across them. It was like the boards were saying, “stop.” Aiden payed no attention as he touched his hands on the latch and unlocked the door. He turned the knob and opened as quick as he could.

Del stood before him, His hands latched together in front of him, legs crossed as if in a pose, the smile sent a nervous twitch through his body, and those blue eyes horrified him the most. They were locked onto him like a snake staring down a rat right before it strikes and coils the life out of its prey. The no present eye lashes brought chills across Aiden’s skin. The temperature of the cabin as a whole seemed to drop several degrees colder, even with a roaring fire to keep it warm.

Seconds had passed and Del’s voice was light and eerie. “Hello there,” Del said. “It is usually polite to invite guests into your home, but I guess this isn’t your home is it?”

“Of course. I’m sorry, come in and have a seat.”

Del didn’t move at first, letting a couple seconds pass, “Oh, how kind of you!” He moved fast and with wide struts with his legs and arms. Del Four’s black suit was shiny and stunning. His movement under his garments was fascinating. The man was like an animal in his body language. His eyes were poised like a panthers, his smile was filled with the white teeth of a shark, and lastly, his garments were like the skin of a black widow spider, moving as if to spin a wed to catch his prey.

Aiden shut the door, not bothering to latch it. He already wanted Del out of his cabin as soon as possible. He turned and stared at Del who was already across the room admiring all the photos Amy had put up on the wall.

“Interesting. Lots of success over the years, and a beautiful family to show for it. Wealth, fame, and all the fine wines to drowned the world in. More of a whiskey man myself. I do find it odd that you have not put up a picture of your best friend Dylan. Why is that? If it wasn’t for his unexpected to death you wouldn’t even have this cabin, wouldn’t you agree?”

The man in the black suit liked to talk a lot. “I guess so.” Aiden replied, basically it was all he was physically capable of saying.

Del crossed towards him saying, “Common courtesy is to offer your guest something to eat or drink when they enter your homestead. As I mentioned earlier, I do enjoy whiskey. Would you happen to have a bourbon of some sort that I could use to quench the thirst I have acquired since I entered the cabin?”

“Of course.” Aiden crossed to the upper cabinet and opened to find an assortment of bottles, “My wife, Amy has kept this stocked. She has always assumed that since I am a writer that I keep myself liquored up while writing, but honestly I only drink when I am being social.”

“Cute of her to think that way,” Del said. “Thoughtful when you really think about it. Amy must be a peach.”

Aiden grabbed the 21 year aged bottle and showed it to Del. “21 years good for you?” he asked.

“18, but who is counting?” He chuckled as he stretched his arms out. “Of course, it is just fine!”

Retrieving a couple drink glasses he said, “What about you Del? Any wife or family at all?”

Del didn’t say anything at first, just watched Aiden pour the booze into the little glasses and when he handed it over to him, Del finally said, “No, not in a long while. I have had my share of a paramour of all shapes and styles, but they never interested me long. You have been married to your wife for about six year’s right? With a couple little ones to occupy the time?”

“Yes, it been crazy how fast it went, but it’s been great.”

Del’s smile widened. “I am happy to hear that. Let’s drink to your family.”

The tapped their glasses together and they both took a sip.

“Now, let us take seats, we have much to discuss tonight.” Del pointed to the two arm chairs by the fire place and they both sat in each one. Aiden took another sip of his drink and felt the smooth aged liquor stiffen him up.

“Now, Mr. Four about the letter you sent me….”

“Hush now Aiden! Let us not get right down to business yet! Let us have a few minutes of small talk before we get into business. Also, please reframe from calling me by my last name. I dropped those dreadful Roman numerals for a reason. Please, call me Del.”

Aiden realized that is what the IV stood for. “Sorry, Del it is.”

Del stared into the fireplace, watching the logs burning. “Tell me about your day Aiden.”

“Fine. I woke up, had a bowl of cereal, and went for a hike, stopped to skip rocks across the lake like I did as a kid. I came back for lunch, took a nap, called Amy and kids, and then I got to work on my latest novel. What about you?”

Still focusing on the burning logs, Del took a sip of his drink and said, “I woke up and read the morning news. I ate some grapefruit with a side of wheat toast. I usually tried to ignore business as long as I can, but I noticed some debts needed to be paid. Yours being one in particular. I first, however, had to visit my old friend William first.

Silence fell between them for several seconds. Aiden spoke, “Does your friend William have some debts he needed to pay?”

“Not quite, I just had him do a favor for me.”

“What kind, if you don’t mind me asking?”

“Oh, back in one of those wars he was praying to whoever was listening to him to get him out of harm’s way. He really wanted to get back home to his wife safe and sound. This occurred after his friend was blown apart in front of him. He almost fainted when his friend’s head rolled between his feet. Since God and the others are dead I guess I had to answer him. I kept him safe as long as he did a favor for me when I needed it. With the amount of horrors he saw during the war I thought this fit right up his alley.”

Aiden remembered his neighbor, Bill was a Vietnam vet. The old man who gave them that awkward plaque, and the last time he saw him was before he left. He offered Aiden a wave as he backed out of the driveway. “What was the favor you asked?”

“Oh, I cannot discuss the agreements I have made with my clients. I am sure you understand?” Del raised his glass and took another swallow.

“But you told me half of the story,” Aiden began. “Your part of the bargain was to save him from the war, that’s half the agreement.”

Del laughed, “I guess you are right. I have been doing this for so long that I begin to wonder if all I have to say is about bargains and agreements.”

An alarm went off in Aiden’s head, but he wasn’t sure of anything. He waved it off as he was becoming anxious to get this meeting over with. From what he learned of Del Four was that the man seemed to have an old fashioned taste with an old school approach to common courtesy. Aiden’s best approach was to present the man with the same common respect.

“Del, not to rush you or anything. You are more than welcome to my cabin it’s just that I am anxious to talk about our agreement.”

Crossing his legs, Del finished his drink and sat it on a small table between the chairs. “I had eleven brothers and sisters when I was growing up. I was the so called, Black Sheep.” Del said, tugging on his shirt sleeve to prove his point. “The real runt of the litter. I never got along with any of the other siblings. Tell me, Aiden, did you ever get along with your siblings?”

Aiden was very aware that that Del ignored the question. “No, but they were all half siblings. I haven’t spoken to them in years.”

“That is right, you had a few step fathers. Your mother was a very busy woman.” His smile was cruel and insulting.

“How was your mother?” Aiden asked, sipping at his glass. “With twelve children, she seemed quite busy.”

Del laughed. “You have me there, Aiden. You have me there. Amy is getting there herself with two kids to begin with. Tell me, which of your children do you believe will become the black sheep of the family?”

“Well, we plan on having more so my answer would be invalid.”

“Do you?” His face grew serious.

“Yes,” Aiden felt uneasy given the stare that Del was giving off. “Melena is too young to guess right now.”

“You could say so.” Del said. He crossed his legs and put his hands together as a gesture of positivity. Aiden wondered how he could be so certain.

“Now, let’s discuss the letter I sent you. I am guessing you have several questions to ask about the contents that I had written in it?”

“Yes, like how did you know I was at the cabin and my wife and children were home alone?”

“Aiden, can you please retrieve the letter and the bottle of bourbon. I have a need of a refill and I would like to look upon my written words once again.”

Drinking the rest of his own glass, Aiden did as he was told and brought the letter and bottle to Del. This time Del poured his own glass up to the top.

Aiden went to return the bottle when Del said, “Fill your own glass to the height of mine and leave the bottle on the table.”

With every command that Del tasked him with, Aiden did quickly, for each order given was a rise and change in Del’s voice. Aiden took his seat and watched as Del walked over to the fireplace and dropped the letter into the flames and they both watched it smolder away.

“To answer your question Aiden, I have been able to follow you since you first sat in my wooden chair at the cemetery.”

“Yes, I can remember the chair. I sat in it and you appeared and we made some kind of agreement. Some agreement I have no memory of. Why was that?”

“Those are the rules Aiden. If you sit in one of my wooden arm chairs you have to make a deal with me.”

“But why? How does that work?”

“Aiden,” Del began. “Why is the sky blue? Why is your hair auburn and your eyes blue? Why is the moon not made of cheese? There is a simple science to all of it, but we are not scientists, so let’s not waste our time on these kind of questions.”

The alarm is Aiden’s mind was really set off this time. Del seemed agitated but never lost the smile or the energy behind his eyes.

“Can I ask about the agreement?”

“Of course.” Del said. He sat down and took a long pull on his drink, sucking half the liquids down in seconds.

“What exactly did we agree on?”

Aiden, I had asked you that I will grant you one thing that you get to keep for as long as you want, as long as you sign over your soul to me after seven years. I offered you the ability to speak to the dead, so then you could keep Dylan in your life. I could unfortunately not bring him back to the light of day. His soul is wondering around in the cold dark for all I know. Look at your life now and tell me what you asked for.

Aiden’s eyes glanced at his wedding ring and he rubbed it gently, “The one thing I never had that I always wanted. A loving family.”

Del exploded in laughter and almost choked on his drink. “No! That’s what you wanted, but you lied to me in the cemetery that day! I could read your heart before your head spoke. You wished to become a famous author, if not the greatest author of all time. I couldn’t tell you why you lied to me that day, but I didn’t care. I just wanted you to sign the contract in blood.”

The story seemed off, but his heart told him true. He lied to Del that day and Aiden thinks he knows why. One thought took him off the most. “I signed in blood?” Aiden said.

“I snapped my fingers and a cut formed on your palm, like this.” Del snapped his fingers and Aiden felt a pinch on the palm of his right hand. Upon inspection, a gash had appeared across the hand and the blood spilled out. The blood or the pain had no reaction to him. Witnessing the blood brought all of it back to Aiden, every aspect of the memory. The smell of rain was fresh for a brief moment.

“You handed me a crow feather, and I stuck the pointy end into my palm and wrote my name in blood.”

“Exactly! Well done! The memory usually comes back with the sight of blood.”

“Why is that?”

Rubbing his chin, Del stared into the fire and said, “Blood, we can lose it, regain it, but there is always a few cells that have been there since the start. It witnesses everything! The slight attack on the body and the blood knows. Why did ancient tribes preform sacrifices and blood rituals? It’s the blood that links life together. Blood is the road to the heart and the heart is the way to the soul.”

Aiden thought this over and sipped at his drink, watching the blood spreading in his hand, as it painted him, wiggling his fingers to smear the blood around.

“Look at that,” Del said. “Booze really does thin the blood. I would propose you get a bandage for that hand.”

“So my seven years is up? You have come for my soul?” Aiden knew the truth even before Del nodded his head slowly, and he felt dread like he never has before, but he remained calm, keeping himself steady. He just hoped Amy and the kids could move on. Aiden had made enough money to keep them going for a long time. The only thing he wanted was for them to be happy, his own death wouldn’t matter if that could be accomplished.

“Is there any chance of a bargain?”

“You can’t bargain what you don’t have?” Del said sharply.

“What?”

“As I told you in the letter, I believe over the years our agreement has been compromised. That soul of yours was no longer in your possession and it hasn’t been in a while. I have been waiting to see if you could get it back before the seven years but you never did and now our agreement has taken a different turn.”

Aiden was baffled. “What are you talking about? My soul is right here, inside me. I couldn’t be talking to you if I didn’t have a soul.”

“Why is it that all of you people think that the fact you are alive means you have a soul? What you have is a life! I am not coming for your life, I want your soul. In some time period the definition became the same for so many people.”

“So you are not here to kill me?”

“I should since you gave your soul away, but I will not.”

The news was bliss in the mind of Aiden, but he knew he was still in hot water. Del looked amused but a bit angry with a dose of hunger than felt cold to look into his eyes.

“Tell me something Aiden? Why did you lie to me that day seven years ago? I know in your heart you know the truth, and I believe I do as well. If you could be kind enough and humor me with your explanation?

Aiden remembered and he gave his best answer. “Back then, before the fame and family I really had nothing. Something Dylan always told me was that if you want something, just take it. Lie, cheat, ruin the system that so many people can be blind to. Sometimes it could be something as simple as stealing a candy bar from a gas station. Dylan and I would both do it. I was different back then. Dylan was the only person I had in my life and I followed his lead. The thing about him was he always dove in head first of the situation. If he wanted something he just took it and ran. I was the clever one. I planned out a scenario and I would pull the strings in the right way to get people to move like puppets. It got to be simple and sometimes people just gave me things because of the lies I would sell. It never worked on my family though. That day in the cemetery was honestly unbelievable at the time. I didn’t believe a word you said. I thought you can’t trick me! No one can. So I decided that if there was a small chance any of this was real I was going to trick you into giving me everything off one simple wish. I liked to write, secretly wanted to be a writer so I asked to be a famous one, because if I wanted a loving family I could just buy one. If someone tells me they love me, I would rather hear a gold digger lie than not hear anything at all.”

“You are not as clever as you think.” Del said slowly, but his face was expressionless.

“How so?”

“Not long after the encounter, you had forgotten the event ever happened, but for some reason you felt the urge to give this woman your all. This woman who loved you for who you are and everything I made you into. You got what you wanted all along and in your wedding vows you never lied. When you held her at night you told her the truth and you never tricked her. Do you remember a line you once told her when you proposed to her, that you later stated in your vows?”

Aiden thought for a minute and remembered the proposal. He took Amy back to where they had their first date. The little quiet sandwich and soup place and they both ordered a Rueben, the restaurants specialty. After they finished, he took her hand across the table and told her many things, leading to the proposal. One thing he said struck Aiden like an arrow in his heart and he said it outload to Del.

“I give you every little thing. My heart and soul as well.”

“Your heart and soul as well!” Del yelled, and sounded angry as he threw his glass of bourbon into the fire place where it erupted. Aiden flinched and saw a smiling look on Del’s face.

“I can’t very well take that away from Amy! There has never been an agreement with her, last year she was visiting her grandma’s grave and I even placed a chair there just to see if she would sit in it and she did not, sadly. I cannot take souls unless you agree to it and you gave it away when you already promised me it was mine!”

Aiden felt good inside. He was still terrified of the man in front of him, but he realized he accidently tricked Del and now he was safe, but if he could cut his hand at the snap of his fingers, Aiden dreaded what his punishment was going to be. Aiden was still confused on one thing.

“I understand what I did and I am sorry for that, but can you at least tell me what a soul really is?”

“It’s a force that drives you to keep on living. You no longer are living for yourself, you are living for your wife. Most people who get married still live for themselves or at least a piece of them is. You are not at all! You are trying to write a third novel this year before you leave for Paris. You say it’s for your fans but you are still lying to yourself. You are doing it so you can spend more time with your family. She owns you, and I cannot.”

“So where do we stand?” Aiden asked.

“You beat me! You want to hear me say that? You beat the bad guy.”

Aiden felt relieved and a smile finally formed on his face. He even laughed a little. It was when he looked into Del’s eyes he saw something that made the room feel chilled. Del was staring into Aiden’s life with frozen eyes.

“Would you like to know what I do with the souls I collect? I take them to the darkest place where I reign as a Forever King. It’s really cold there and I place all my little souls into a little frozen lake and they swim around in the bitter frost, lost in the dark. The energy it gives off is delicious and captivating. It’s what keeps me alive and happy. It’s my life support and the only reason I am alive to this day, and all the other deities died out years ago. My reign will last another eternity or two. Perhaps, even forever.”

“I guess you are one soul less this time.” Aiden said, very aware of the arrogance in his voice.

 

“You feel very proud of yourself, don’t you? You were proud and arrogant for every book you wrote, and for the record, I controlled your hand and wrote every book you have published. Those are Del’s works, not yours. However, you still get to keep on writing. The agreement wasn’t just for seven years. I just claim your soul after seven, you still get what you want till you lay cold and dead. You may go on to be the greatest who ever lived and I still go without a soul! I should just warn you that even with the God you know is dead, you should probably remember one of the deadly sins.”

“Which one would that be? I have never been much for religion.” Aiden said happily.

“That’s why you were ripe for the picking, but what you are suffering from is the sin called, Pride, and that is my most favorite sin!”

“Well I guess you are just going to have to enjoy it this time around. Nothing you can do about it right?”

“Oh you’re wrong. I have already dealt with it, thanks to my good friend William! Remember him? I never did tell you what was the favor he did for me.”

“Honestly I don’t really care now. My worries are gone!”

“There it is again! That pride of yours! Lovely!” Del said happily, taking a flask from the inside of his jacket and started gulping it down. He offered it to Aiden and he shook his hand to refuse.

“I insist you take a drink.” Del said. His voice sounded that it had come from a void of nightmares. Aiden drank from it freely and felt the liquid scorch its way down the throat.

. “He probably wouldn’t want me to tell you anyways! He is already annoyed with me for calling him, William. I guess only his wife is allowed to call him that.”

This interested Aiden a bit. Aiden had always had a simple name and had no need to have a nick name. He remembered one of his stepfathers was named, Robert, but he always went by, Bob. That thought is what made Aiden’s heart sink forever and the cold crept into his bones and froze his pride in place. In that moment Aiden realized that a shortened name for, William was, Bill.

Aiden jumped out of his chair and looked at Del who started laughing into hysteria. The heart in Aiden’s chest was working like it was having a panic attack, dismay flooded his whole body and he had so many thoughts ripping through his mind he felt a hurricane of madness running him down where he stood.

Del stood up, “You know when William Harford looked into the dead face of his friend after the head rolled between his legs, and he noticed the eyes were twitching. Tell me, Aiden, Do you think the eyes of his victims twitched as well when I lead him to kill them?”

“What!?” Aiden’s voice asked, a voice splattered in horror.

“Look into the fireplace, Aiden Moss.” Del’s voice grew dark and sinister. The flames turned blue and a cold came from them. Deep into those cold flames Aiden looked and soon he saw images. Images of Bill walking into his wood shed, grabbing an ax, hoping the fence and entering Aiden’s home from the back door. Aiden saw his daughter crawling on the floor and didn’t even see Bill raise the ax up high, it jumped to an image of Bill walking into Aiden’s son’s room. Little Markus raised his action figure up as if to shield him. It jumped to the last image as a deranged Bill chasing Amy through the house till she was cornered in Aiden’s personal library. She yelled and pleaded but Bill drove the ax down multiple times. Aiden could smell the scent of fresh blood as it came from the smoke. Copies of Aiden’s books fell on the floor, blood splattered across the covers of the books. His stomach was sick and he was frozen in place.

“I didn’t get to have your soul Aiden, but I still had it taken away all the same!” Del said laughing.

“NOOOOOOOO! YOU!” Aiden yelled as he jumped at Del. Aiden went straight through him as if he wasn’t even standing there. He landed into one of the arm chairs and flipped it back, Aiden rolled with it. He jumped up yelling and ran towards Del. His left hook went through Del’s face as if it was air and it connected with the fire mantel, tearing at his knuckles. He swung a thousand more times and never hitting him. Del was laughing as if this was the greatest tragic comedy he ever witnessed.

Aiden finally hit the floor, broken and devastated, fresh tears rolling out of his eyes.

“If you look into the fireplace again. You will see the outcome of what Bill did after. That may cheer you up!”

When Aiden looked all he saw was Bill smashing his face in with the ax in Aiden’s garage. He saw it but didn’t care, the damage was done.  His wife, and kids were dead. As was his soul.

“For breaching our contract, Aiden, I hear by sentence your punishment as living in the cold your soul never made it to. For now until you die at a very old age you will live your life accordingly. You will still write my books, collect your paychecks, and talk to your fans, but you will never love again, nor will you have any desire to live, but you can’t commit suicide, because I will be there to keep it from happening! Maybe a crazy fan will try to kill you? No, I will be there to stop it! You will die old and alone in your bed, with no desire but everlasting peace. Every single day that you wake up will be the greatest torture of all. No taste to food or drink. All the drugs and alcohol in the world will have zero effect on you. With no soul your life is a blank void, and a smile on your face will tear every muscle under the skin. This is a permanent state, and not even a gold digger will want to touch you for your skin is too cold to the touch. It will hurt after a while, as if your skin is burning from frost bite, but you will have no wounds, only pain and soon you will come to know my cold. In time you will think of it as home. I can be in a thousand places at once. I will be watching and smiling with all the pride I took from you!”

Aiden stared only at his hands, silently crying. He watched the beads of crimson roll off his fingertips. The warmth and happiness was leaving with the blood. The sun was setting in his heart and he could feel the cool of the night coming for him. The night was going to be lingering and frigid.

“Well, I best be going. It was so grand of you to let me into your lovely cabin and show me hospitality. Honestly, I would have killed for some roasted almonds, salted peanuts or something. I have a soft spot for edible seeds. It is much like eating the children of Mother Nature. Wouldn’t you agree, Aiden?”

Aiden stood up and walked to the door, opening it slowly, only looking at the floor. Del walked happily towards it and turned back and said, tell me, who did you think was the Black Sheep out of your children?”

“Melena.”

“You sure know your children…. or did! You will see me again, but it will be a long time from now. I’ll be at the end waiting for you and perhaps, maybe you will take my hand as if greeting an old friend at last. Sincerely yours Aiden Moss! Sincerely yours!”

Aiden shut the door and latched it accordingly. The branch still scraped against the window, but Aiden took no notice. The only thoughts on his mind were the images of his wife and kids. He strolled over to the fire, which has since returned to normal and he placed his hands into the flames. His hands did not burn, nor did the fire felt hot, it was cold to the touch. Aiden took his hands out and went back to his computer. When he sat down he look at his emails and saw the one Amy had sent him earlier. He opened the video message and watched the playback.

It showed Amy and his children in front of the camera. “Hi, Honey!” She said to him. “Kids what do you want to tell Daddy?”

“We love you Daddy!” Markus said and Melena attempted to speak it.

“Come back to us soon Aiden. I love you!” She blew him a kiss and the video was over.

Aiden started crying worse than ever, but silently, as if he could not release all his grief at once. Aiden knew he would never be allowed to. He sat watching the video on repeat, his finger leaving a red fingerprint on the key as he kept tapping.

My Apologies

My Apologies

Ronnie Queen loathed January as much as I do. He loved his dog like I do. Buffalo chicken horseshoes and whiskey are common for the likes of us both. We both brood in the shadows suffering from a sickness with no name.

As you can see, the protagonist of my novel has pieces of my soul, which is why I lay here on a makeshift bed on my floor, feeling the heat coming from the furnace. In a world where Trump is the president, and we can now eat a naked chicken chalupa, I realize my errors in my novel as I notice the faint scars across my face. There is no such thing as fulfillment which means there is no such thing as perfection. Even if a thing such as perfection could be achieved it does not exist in the novel The Devil in the Details.

Looking over the final draft, I see the sentences as childlike, and a lack of understanding of exactly what I was trying to accomplish. The errors rip me apart more than anyone could possibly understand. I knew this then, I believe, but I let my ego get the better of me. I ignored all and sent a broken piece of my soul off for the world to see. How I loathe that I did this and the regret makes my heart fall off rhythm like the rest of my world.

I apologize for the errors and that I rushed the editing of the said novel. The magazine sized copies are enough to laugh about. I am angry at how they turned out and I will fix that along with all of these errors. I cheated myself to all of you and I deeply regret that. So, I will clean these wounds and stitch myself back up, in hoping that these pieces of my soul can actually have a proper place to be looked at.

To all that bought a copy, I appreciate it and am deeply sorry for my mistakes. The redraft will available soon, I promise.

For fucks sake….. T.W. Lycan