Starting Stories: The Cyborg Who Looked

The streets were a mixture of fog and firmware. Anywhere he looked, he could just as easily have brought the sight to mind and stored the wasted energy for more pressing activities. With so much to do at the factory, any bit of inessential endeavor reminded him of his shortcomings. His attention wandered, where other’s simply did not exist. They did not see a tree, or a street at all. They saw purpose before them, and so they walked. They were strong, and he was weak. He would never hit ^2500, let alone ^1500. Mediocrity clung to him like the day’s birth dew to his cold-steel shoulder.

Morning rose further, and with it, the sun. Its light would power him for the day–he could tell by its brightness. He already knew what it looked like, and knew there was nothing to gain for looking again. If he could just keep his head down, perhaps today…

But, he so enjoyed to look.

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I’m Sorry, Home Depot Guy With the Crackers

Long ago, in a distant land, a young boy was incredibly grumpy. He was hungry, and he was bored. To top all of that off, he was in the one store every child with moderately handy parents dreads..

Home Depot.

Yes, it was in this gray and orange, smelly, musty establishment, that we find our hero. He is whining, moaning and groaning. Nothing, nothing in the world will fix his mood. He is beyond help.

His cry for sustenance is met only with impatience by his mother. She does what she can to keep him quiet enough for her to be in and out of the dreaded depot as quickly as humanly possible. She wishes should could stuff some food in his whiny little face and shut him the hell up, but she cannot. Alas, she is a mother who takes care of this little brat all on her own, and spends every penny making sure the two of them keep a roof over their heads.

An employee, probably on his way to save some cats from trees or babies from burning buildings, stops to try and reconcile the increasingly irritated child. His heart is pure, despite the dust and must present atop the vest of his chest.

“I’ve got some crackers you could have,” he practically sings. He is a golden beacon of hope for the mother, who just wants her child to, for once, shut the hell up.

“I don’t want CRACKERS,” the child screams indignantly.

“Get over here, you do not talk to people that way! Sir, I’m sorry,” the mother does her best to remedy the situation. The hurt on the man’s face is small, but present. The child, remorseless, continues on his way, convinced the world is out to starve him right to death.

 

Sir. I’m so, so sorry. You were so nice to me. I can’t believe I was so rude to you. You offered what you had, to someone you had no connection to. I tear up to this day, thinking about how incredibly kind you were to me that day, when I gave you less than a single reason to do so.

You deserved better, and I hope you got it from every other waking moment of your life. The world needs people like you. People who simply want to help, just to help. People who do not care if the person in need seems to deserve it, they try anyway, just to make the world a little brighter.

 

Thank you so much for offering your crackers. I’m sure they were very delicious. That little brat I grimly think of as past-me didn’t deserve a smile from you, let alone a nice package of salty, crunchy crackers.

More than anything, I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. I hope I didn’t ruin your day. I hope you forgot about me, and kept on helping, with that big, dust-free, pure heart of yours.

Pizza and Depression

As a teen, there were many days I would get off the bus and just be crazy depressed. Usually for no good reason beyond the fact that I hated home. I mean, who didn’t?

For a long time, my mom would be all like, “do you want to stop and get a pizza from Little Caesars?”

For a while, I was like, “*sniffle sniffle*…yeah…”

It worked, man. I loved that pizza for whatever reason. Didn’t feel guilty either, because that shit was cheap.

Then, a day came when my mom asked, and I said, “No.”

I remember her silence. I can imagine her thoughts at that moment. “Shit, this kid might be really depressed today. I don’t know what the fuck…hmmm…”

I feel bad for her. There was nothing she could have done. I was a moody asshole. Simple as that.

I never appreciated her enough. I mean she’s still alive, so I tell her now. But, at the time…God, dude. Thank your fucking mom for being such a trooper.

I don’t know why that moment sticks out so much in my memory. I haven’t had a Little Caesars pizza since.

It’s like…is that good, or bad?

The Teen Finally Sleeps

D.A.R.E. was weird, right? We can all agree that was strange and jarring.

I thought I would never smoke marijuana until I was 16 at my friend’s birthday party. They were right about one thing–that peer pressure tho!

I kept smoking through the rest of high school. You might think that messed me up. Made me worse, slowed me down.

Man…all I know is, I could finally…finally sleep.

It was so great. I was a bit high sometimes, which can make you feel like you aren’t yourself. But Christ on a damn crutch, I felt more like myself than ever before. I slept about 4 hours on average each night as a kid. From sophomore year on, whatever bullshit weed did to my brain…it was worth it. I was finally able to sleep.

 

Hot Pockets were a lot better, too. I legitimately got a boner eating a Four Cheese, once.

No Story For the Wicked

It wouldn’t be long now before I met the final bitter moments of my short, pathetic life. What an ending–such a tragedy. I never got to be rich and famous for the sake of my mother’s smile. I patted at my pockets weakly–Out of cigarettes, too. What a uselessly cliche picture. Cue the noir music already, would ya?

That’s better.

Blood dripped from my busted lip, down my neck as I chuckled. I tried to move my legs, but couldn’t. The old man had proven to be more of a challenge than anyone I had ever  killed before. Someone that had gotten real attached to my character would say I’d won. Thankfully, there’s no chance of that. You can see as plainly as I can that this–this is no victory. This is a sad, sober man, bleeding out on a beautiful artisan rug in the rain.

Did I mention the roof had been blown out? Well, it had. I’m not exactly known for being less than showy. Especially not with such a big target.

Sometimes, people want you dead. That’s normal. People are assholes. Not a one that passes me on the street can say they truly deserve to live. Ha. They’ve all said some shit or pulled some shit that solidifies their soul as pure, brown and black, lifeless and smelly shit.

Maybe it comes with the territory. I’m sure folks are nice somewhere out there.

Anyway. This guy, laying right over there? Yeah. People wanted him really dead. They wanted him so dead, his sorry excuse for a spirit couldn’t even take a step towards the pearly gates to ask forgiveness. He didn’t deserve that. No one who ever shook his hand did either, but that’s just me. I made sure none of them would ever get that chance. Especially him.

Now I’m no saint. You might think I’m a good guy for at least ridding the city of this asshole, but trust me when I say this rain-ridden evening is witnessing the departure of two villainous scumbags.

Probably why I don’t have a cigarette. God hates smokers, I can tell you that much about the big guy.

I cough and gag as the cough causes the blood in my mouth to choke me. I cough some more, half on blood, half on laughter.

“This…this right here…” I gurgle out a few useless last words.

“This…sucks.”

Sirens. Naturally. The last thing a criminal wants to hear before passing on. Such bullshit. The hell is this body doing, not bleeding out faster? I punch at my chest, but my arm doesn’t have the strength to expedite the process like I was hoping. With my last bit of energy, I grab my signature hat, and lay it at my side. For all the good times and the terrible, rain-ridden nights, this hat was there. You’d know that, if you knew my story.

I gave one last look to the lighter across the room. Etched with the runes of passing, I could still see the bastard’s soul in there, trying to escape. Trying to keep this tale alive, to be told another time.

Sadly, there’s no story to tell. Not anymore. It dies with me, rotten and alone. Shame, really. There were a couple funny parts, and you would’ve…you would’ve liked em…

 

 

Art is an edited piece from thelocksmith.me, and is not my original work.

The Broken Moonlight

A boy lived in the woods. It was alright there. Anywhere else was much worse, so the woods had to suffice. Though it was oft dark and cold, he learned to love shivering and lacking sight. No stray beast came to devour him as of yet, as they only seemed to look upon him with passing curiosity. It could be assumed his frail frame did not delight the eyes of nature, in that he could never make for more than a light snack. Even the moon’s all-loving eye strayed from his being. He tried to court it, building small homes where a gap in the tree tops allowed for light. The small warmth of the moon might allow him some respite from the shadows he so desperately clung to. When he tried this, the moon would call the clouds to mask her face from him, leaving him all but the faintest of glances from the eye of the night. Even those did naught to sate his need for heat, as he knew they were but miniscule mistakes, and it would only hurt him to take them as anything more.

When the sun would wake at the outset of each day, the boy would disappear. He would retreat into himself, to become one with his own inner lightless nature. He knew the inhabitants of the sun would poke fun at him. He knew they would ask at his pale skin and feeble stature. The boy became weakened by every trifling thought of negativity that crossed his path, until the path was gone and he remained, stranded.

Now, he sits. He breathes. Water is near and he thinks about drinking it. He wonders at the point of going on and, realizing there is none, continues to sit. The boy believes this darkness to, at least, be more comfortable than the endless void beyond the land of life-full beings.

Air is not so thin to one who is himself shaved down to but a pale and broken beam of mistaken moonlight.