When I first started this blog it was with the intention of showcasing not only my work, but also the work of other authors. It is with pride that I present this story written by my son Sebastian Gabriel Titus Bishop. I really enjoyed this story and insisted he put it on Neon Rabbit.

Please read and enjoy.

The body of a woman lay upon the ground, her blood soaked victorian dress draped loosely over unnaturally contorted limbs. Her head completely degloved of its flesh, crisp white bone could be seen peeking through the crimson liquor.

A clown skips away from the scene, a gleeful smile creeping from ear to ear; he picks at the blood and hair lodged beneath his fingernails. He walks through the carnival grounds, an elegant hat sitting upon his head, tipped forwards slightly, concealing a painted face. His left hand drags a large sack behind him, leaving a trail of blood. He frolics, whistling a joyful tune, his glistening teeth shining through the shadow that obscures his face.

Frightened onlookers watch him as he conducts an inaudible symphony using a scalpel lacquered with blood. A crowd of people stare towards him, their faces petrified. The clown’s skipping slowly comes to a halt. His eyes scan the crowd as men and women avert his gaze. Yet eye contact still occurred. A young boy, frozen still, stared directly into his core as only a child is able to. The clown’s face lights up. Elated, he walked towards the child. A terrified mother holds the boy against her chest. The clown drops to one knee.

“I have a g-gift for you little boy,” he whispered ecstatically. The mother still watched the clown in horror. However, the child regarded the clown with something like curiosity. The clown’s hand reached into the bloodied sack. The boy’s eyes widened,

“What is it?” he whispered, asking politely. “Is it candy?”

“Something better,” his hand reemerged from the sack, holding what looked like a rubber mask. He handed it to the child slowly. The boy then held the mask gently.

“Wow!” He held the face up to his own, looking through the eye holes. “This is such a cool mask!” The clown simply smiled,

“Something like that,” He stood up again, making eye contact with the mother. He extended his scalpel bearing hand, dragging the tip gently down her cheek. Her eyes somehow seemed to widen further, pursed lips suppressing a scream. Muscles in his face begin pulling the corners of his mouth across both sides of his head, producing an inhuman gash of a smile. He proceeds to cut downwards, leaving a bloody slit behind as a keepsake.

Walking away slowly, he flourises his blade, then wiping it across his tongue. He turned around and curtseyed, then proceeded to throw his elegantly adorned hat into the horrified, shivering crowd.

Whistling a gleeful melody, he capered, taking long energetic strides, practically bounding towards his small trailer. Before disappearing into the dark box, he turned around and winked towards the crowd, then disappearing.

Suddenly, the crowd erupted into a stupendous roar, applause and cheering ringing all throughout the carnival grounds. A deep, growling voice then played through speakers spread throughout the grounds,

“Wonderful! A wonderful show! Bravo!” Everyone was silent, waiting for the next announcement, “Can we have a big round of applause for our dear Mister Giggles please!?” Applause could be heard once again, like a stampede of bulls. “Just, wonderful! And only twenty-five people had to die”  He put an emphasis on the twenty-five, almost as if he were satisfied by the number, “Thank you all for coming!” Applause again, “I do hope we’ll see each other very soon! Have a wonderful night!”



Night at the Club

I’m back. The work has changed somewhat recently. It’s been a focused change to create something more personal. I am getting back to my roots. The idea is to step away from genre and write something visceral. The idea is to bleed on the page and hope some truth comes from that writing. I will always love genre, but in order to write it better I have to take a step back and write from my life for a while.

The piece I am posting today is satire. Let me state that again, it is satire. I was writing about masculinity in a way that pokes fun, but also shows the fragility of the male psyche. A lot has been written about male psyche recently and toxic masculinity. I have dealt with it in my own way and I’m sure I have a long way to go before I rid myself of these prejudices. This is a way of showcasing what it was like for me as a young man in my twenties while also poking fun at the sense of entitlement men often seem to espouse.

The following piece is a work of fiction. It is a satire. It is meant to poke fun at men. I wrote it in second person perspective with the tone of books about masculine etiquette (maybe, I don’t know, I’ve never read one actually). It also reminded me of “Pick Up Artists” from the aughts.

Please read and enjoy,



She walked into the room like a cliché. The room went silent, she laughed with her whole body to something her friend said. She was a woman that you could fall in love with, grow old with, have children with. All your fantasies fuse onto her like a bear trap and you suddenly can’t picture anyone more attractive. She is light and sunny, but has an edge that screams of some hidden kink that you get to explore. She is unattainable, but highly gettable. She moves like Dita Von Teese and looks like Pam Grier. You imagine she can drink you under the table, but always maintains poise and balance. She is all these things right up until you speak to her, get to know her and find out she is broken and looking for a place in this cold dark world. This doesn’t deter you however. You knew that she was a real person. You are not objectifying her, because in that two second introduction you are in love with her whole being. You don’t even know her name, but you’re sure it’s something exotic, like Rain, or something regal and old like Muriel. The names aren’t important, they’re just titles really. A way to put a sound to the woman you want to spend the rest of your life with. She moves and your eyes follow her into the bathroom and you lose sight of her. You will find the opportunity to speak with her by the end of the night and declare your undying love.
You get a drink at the bar, nothing fancy, a man’s drink. Whiskey neat or on the rocks, both are masculine enough to be seen with. Martini glasses are for women or Hunter S Thompson. Wine is for the artsy types. Beer is yesterday’s big thing. This bar doesn’t have any craft beer anyway. You are a man’s man, here for the music, the atmosphere, and the women. The drink is just a prop, like the cigarettes. The cigarettes should be cheap, but not too cheap. No Basics, No Pall Malls, It’s either Camels, Marlboros, or American Spirits if you’re feeling spendy. Nothing with black paper, no cloves, you’re not in high school, and Johnny Depp is the only straight man you’ve ever seen that can pull off cigarellos. With your bourbon neat in hand you turn back to the dance floor.
Dancing is a tricky prospect. It is necessary in a club to dance, but it can also be off putting. You need to move just enough so that the women around you can dance with you without the distraction of quality dance moves. You are not John Travolta. You stick to the two step, because you can make it look somewhat more complex than it is. Sway the arms more, step quicker or slower, Kick out a foot if you’re feeling frisky. A woman may join you on the dance floor. Match her pace, let her be the star of this show so that perhaps you might be the star of the show to come. Always be aware of your drink. A clumsy spill could end your night on the town. Watch for rings on the fingers of your dance partner, this may make it more challenging to take her to bed. Obstacles are just things to be overcome. Bear in mind it may be too much effort so be prepared to bow out gracefully. You haven’t managed to entice any women so you move off the dance floor. You were starting to sweat and that may be unseemly.
Out to the smoking patio for a quick smoke. Don’t pay too much attention to anyone in the smoking patio. The men tend to be too chummy and the women may be more brazen than you are used to. Light the cigarette, be mindful of your own space. Encourage conversation by having an open stance, but don’t be too encouraging. How many great people have you met in a smoking patio after all? This is a lottery you don’t need to win. Smoke quickly, but not too quickly, the smell may stick to your clothes. Keep an eye out for your one true love. Her smoking habits would be worth noting for later encounters.
Inside the bar the patrons have grown in number. Scan the bar for your beauty, than the dance floor. You had not seen her in the smoking patio, it would be heartbreaking if she had already left. You make a pass through the throng of dancing bodies. No need to dance while you are in pursuit. This is a tenuous time where you should look for her, but you mustn’t seem like you’re looking for her. This can create an aura of desperation that others may see and confuse as an overall desperation to find women. You don’t have any trouble finding women, not usually. The women tonight have been cold. Not one has approached you on the dance floor, at the bar, or indeed even in the smoking patio. There can be no doubt in this regard. It’s not you, it is the women. You are a healthy specimen of masculinity.
At long last you spot her on the dance floor. She is dancing with her friend close enough to ward off lesser men. You should not be fooled by this ruse, she is waiting for the right man. She is waiting for you. You move closer. Dance nearby, within eye sight, but not too close, you mustn’t let your intentions be known until it is absolutely necessary and she can be understandably wooed. At a booth is most preferable with her hand in yours as your eyes drink each other in and you ask her where she would like to spend the night. You find the opportunity to make your move. Her partner has left and she is dancing by herself. Move closer. Make eye contact. Nod at her as you dance. Not too close, but close enough where she can easily close the gap. Your eyes glance over her amazing assets. You note with some joy that she has no ring, that is not a hurtle for you tonight. You move closer. She smiles. The air between you is electric. There is a ferocity in her movements that you don’t believe were there moments ago. You feel a tap on your shoulder, it is the friend of your true love. You move your ear closer to her imagining the possibility of two partners this evening, “That’s my girlfriend.” She says to you in a more serious tone than you were expecting. You nod, of course they are girlfriends. The friend shoves past you and embraces your love. She kisses her. Your love kisses back. The friend’s hands are moving more intimately than you are comfortable with.
In these situations it is best to retreat quickly, but not too quickly. Your haste may be misinterpreted as homophobia. You are not homophobic. You’re drink is finished so you go to the bar. Glance back at the dance floor and you will see your lady’s passion for her friend growing. There is a slight sting in your chest, but this night is still young. Out of the corner of your eye you see a woman enter. She walks in like a cliché.

Work in progress

I have recently moved into a new place, started working a new job, and it has been tricky finding time to write anything substantial recently. I have been working on something that I have enjoyed, but it feels like a pastiche of whatever I’m reading which creates a kind of schizophrenic story that’s not sure what it wants to be. However I think I’ve found my groove and I’m submitting a small excerpt for your perusal. The story centers around the life and times of an expressionist artist named Taylor Messing.

Please read and enjoy.

Taylor Messing

He was in a club, couldn’t remember the name. High class posing as low class, you wouldn’t know the difference until you ordered, then you would see the strange liqueurs made from rhubarb and lavender. Frenet Branca in the drinks and the 15 dollar price tag for cocktails. Taylor drank wine, which he did to make himself feel more like an artist and less like a phony. He tried not to be concerned about appearances, but the culture magazines always made their way to him and he would see himself picked apart in those pages. He even hired a style consultant to buy clothes for him.

He never liked dancing, but instead found himself wading through the dancers as the night wore on. The music was too loud for conversation and communication became a series of gestures and body language. Taylor watched silently and tried to be unobtrusive, but kept stepping in the line of dancers. He was out of sync and he felt it, but the rush of music and the heat of the bodies was like a salve. It was the thrum of humanity that kept him coming back, not actual connection.

A woman’s arm glanced across his face and left a trail of sweat. She stopped her dancing to apologize. He grimaced as she spoke. He couldn’t hear a word she was saying, but her face was emotive. He understood her apology and nodded. Taylor made what he thought was a gesture for drinks, but she shrugged. He pulled her close and spoke into her ear, “Would you like a drink?” She appeared to have heard him and nodded. She followed him through the crowd. They wove wordlessly up to the bar and smiled at each other. Another wordless conversation. In frustration she tugged at his shirt and pulled him to the restrooms. She pulled a small vial filled with white powder from her cleavage and scooped out a pinky nails worth before snorting it. She repeated the process and offered it to him. He leaned in and inhaled deeply.

Hands groped, kneaded, caressed, and traced along the contours of her body. Her name was Jessica, at least that was the name she gave him. She was small, elfin in appearance. Her eyes looked bigger in the black light of the club, but when they got out onto the street he could see the age in her face. Her eyes were still massive. Her grin, and the way she bit her lower lip was casting spells on his resolve. She moved into the kiss first. She was bold. She took him by the hand and lead him to the street where she quickly waved down a taxi. “You in a rush?” Taylor asked.

She turned to him her smile gleaming under the streetlights, “Yeah, I want to get fucked.” She laughed, kissed him, then returned to hailing a cab.

The cab smelled like Nag Champa with a hint of urine. Money for Nothing by Dire Straits blared on the radio when Jessica pushed him into the cab and climbed on top. “Where am I headed?” The cabbie asked disinterested in the back seat display.

Taylor broke away long enough to call out the address before returning to Jessica’s insistent mouth and hands. His eyes were closed as he ran his fingernails along her tight stomach. As they played her body dissolved into a mental landscape of hills, valleys, and peaks. Her body changed shape in his mindscape, it was no longer humanoid, but instead morphed into a kind of space craft he might have seen on a science fiction movie from the seventies. Traffic lights flickered across his closed eyelids and exacerbated the effect.

He let his mind wander down this surreal path. He pictured the decks of the craft lit in green and red. The exterior was a mass of gothic spires and trellises ornamented with gold filigree against the black wrought iron hull of her body. This image held despite the obvious suppleness of her breast which was cupped in his right hand. In his mind’s eye he saw Jessica at the helm. She stood naked except for a pair of polished knee high black leather boots. She stood behind a steering wheel that seemed to be lifted from some ancient pirate ship. Her breasts were heaving and already beading with sweat. She didn’t turn the steering wheel, instead she stroked two handles rigorously with her head thrown back. She was moaning as she stroked the handles, her volume increased with the speed of her strokes.

“We’re here.” The cabbie barked, “Twenty three seventy five.”

The spell was broken. Jessica licked her lips and Mick Jagger was crooning on the radio. Taylor shook the fog from his head and slapped some bills into the cabbie’s hand.



This is a shorter post today. I was playing with the idea of an adult children’s book. simplistic, but creepy.



There is nothing to be afraid of. You didn’t actually hear anything crash through the security door at the bottom of the stairs. Pull your thin flannel sheet over your head so it can’t see you. You may have heard your neighbor scream, but that doesn’t mean the lumbering footsteps you hear in the hallway are going to stop at your door. Roll over and try not to breathe. It helps to sing a little song in your head, something from your childhood will calm your nerves as you wait out the monster that just snapped your door handle off with the ease of a child popping the head from a dandelion.

If you go down to the woods today you’re in for a big surprise.

If you go down to the woods today you’ll hardly believe your eyes.

It is helping, isn’t it? If you think very loudly it will drown out the sound of his breathing as he opens your bedroom door. Your muscles feel tight, don’t they? That is adrenalin. The sheet will protect you just keep it over your head.

The sound of its nail carving at the foot of your bed is distracting, but you just keep singing your song.

They’re in the trees where nobody sees.

They’ll laugh and play as long as they please.

Its hot breath is on your feet. You can feel it through the sheet. Don’t move. He may take you for a scrunched up blanket or a few pillows if you lay still.

There is nothing to be afraid of. It isn’t smelling your flesh beneath the cover. It most certainly hasn’t reached your head. You can ignore the thin talons gripping the top of your sheet, he didn’t actually touch your knuckle and is likely still fooled by your clever ruse. Don’t forget your song.

That’s they way the teddy bears have their picnic.

You can’t actually see the beast, because there is blood in your eyes, but at least you didn’t scream. The other tenants won’t be near as clever as you were.

Hunter S Thompson

It’s been a while since I posted anything. I have been writing a lot of non-fiction lately and it has taken a lot of my time, but I wanted to post this piece. I was given an assignment to write about Hunter S Thompson and his abuse of drugs and alcohol. This is what I wrote before I got the full instructions. The finished piece was good, but I thought this was more playful and better suited to my personal blog.

Please enjoy


I’ve never been a big fan of personal heroes. Heroes have an elevated position that creates unrealistic standards of who and what they are. It’s like the objectification of women to me, it’s fun intellectually, but as soon as they start talking the cover is blown. They become human, and therefore cease to be objects. I have never liked objectification so I never had heroes. When it comes to writing there are perhaps two people, and I regret that they are both white men. I wish there was a more inclusive list in my head, but there isn’t so we need to move past this. One is William S Burroughs and the other is Hunter S Thompson. Luckily they are both deceased so they’re actions are immortalized and fixed. I can objectify them all I want now.

The subject of this article is Hunter S Thompson and his prolific drug and alcohol use. I have used both drugs and alcohol, but never to the legendary levels that Mr. Thompson used drugs and alcohol. I thought it would be an interesting experiment to try and follow his drug regimen as listed through multiple sources on the internet here, here, and here. I would also like to note that I am not lampooning Mr. Thompson’s gonzo style so much as paying homage to a man that meant a lot to me over the years. You would see through it in a heartbeat if I tried.

His drug regimen began at 3pm when he woke. He would apparently have Chivas Regal, a Dunhill cigarette and read the paper. I have none of those things, so I am already off to a bad start. It follows with Cocaine at 3:45. I don’t have that either. Luckily as of the time of this writing it is only 9:43 am so I have time before his schedule takes effect. Chivas Regal is a blended Scotch Whiskey and fairly easy to acquire. The Dunhills will be easy as well, they just require a walk to the store. I will resume writing once I return.

I couldn’t find a newspaper, I found it odd, but they were out at every gas station that I passed. I was walking into the last grocery store on my way back when I saw him. A man of about 6 feet tall with dark sunglasses. He had a stack of newspapers under his arm and was moving rapidly towards a vehicle that was idling nearby. I ran towards him, but was not quick enough to catch him. The vehicle sped away and nearly clipped me as it moved past. I lit a cigarette and decided a free City Pages would work in place of an honest newspaper.

Cocaine is not as difficult to acquire as you might think. I don’t have any great connections in the city. I do not know any drug dealers. I didn’t think I knew any. I was mistaken. I passed a friend on my way to get a newspaper, we’ll call him J for sake of anonymity. I told him about my bold experiment. He said, without skipping a beat, “How much do you need?” I told him quite a lot to really do the experiment properly. He replied, “Meet me back here in about twenty minutes.” I agreed and decided to drink some of the Chivas while I waited.

It is not legal to drink in public where I live. I don’t usually drink before noon, but given the fact that I was waiting for coke on a city street to help write an article about Hunters S. Thompson I suddenly felt painfully sober at 11 am. I cracked the bottle and took a deep pull.

I sat on a nearby bench waiting for my drugs and sipping at my bottle. When you sip on a bottle of alcohol it has been my experience that it is difficult to gauge how much you have drunk. When my friend returned I stood to greet him. All the alcohol I had ingested hit me like a tidal wave and I felt my head swoon. A glance at the bottle in my hand told me I had about half the bottle put away. Not too shabby, but I hadn’t eaten much so the sudden inebriation was intensified and I doubled over. I reached out to the bench that I was sure existed, but missed and cracked my head on the cement. The bottle rolled gently to a patch of grass and was feeding the ground with its contents.

After J was done laughing he helped me up and grabbed what was left of the scotch. I blathered at him and tried to hand him money for the drugs. He pushed my hand away and kept telling me to put the cash back in my pocket. I was insistent, “I need that coke.” I yelled. That’s when I heard a new voice above me. I looked up and saw what appeared to be a pit bull dressed as a man. He had a dark blue bullet proof vest and a matching hat. He barked in a way that sounded like an order, but I was beyond the English language at that point and tried to ignore him in the hopes that he would go away. The rest of the encounter was a blur. What I do know is that I was not arrested and neither was my friend, since he was unable to score the drugs he was sure he could procure. I was given a fine and my scotch was taken from me.

By some miracle I made it back to my place and promptly passed out in the doorway. 3 o’clock came and went and I woke somewhere around 7 very sore and unable to turn my neck. I considered the experiment over and a complete failure. I couldn’t get past breakfast and that is my lament, but as Hunter once said, “I hate to advocate for drugs and alcohol, but they’ve worked so well for me.” I am not Hunter and to tell the complete truth I am glad of this. I am more glad that he was the inspiration for adventures like this and it is his spirit that sometimes spurs me to push myself beyond the ordinary boundaries I am acquainted with.

Thank you Mr. Thompson and I wish you well wherever you may be.



I have always enjoyed dialogue. I like hearing the variances in individual voices so this series of shorts is all about voices. The first two stories are told in first person perspective and the last is an epistle using twitter as a format. The formatting didn’t translate well into WordPress, so please forgive me for not wanting to spend an hour re-spacing the story.

These are essentially sketches that may become something bigger down the line, but for now enjoy the experiment for what it is.

Please enjoy.


I was on the porch. Music was playing in the living room. It sounded like something from the 80s, synth heavy and vaguely punk in its orchestration. I felt the need to lay down on the matted couch. Diamond strike on back matches caught my eye on the small end table among a garden of liquor bottles and cigarette butts. At the far end of the porch there was a rusty collection of gardening tools set on a gurney from a Hearse. The gurney was held up by cinder blocks and made into a kind of low table that also housed a collection of bottles and a ripped white parasol along with the garden equipment. A cool breeze swept through the porch lifting the lighter ash from the end table. The ash swirled in the air like a dancing ghost and I was swept up in the jig for a heavenly moment before the breeze caught my skin and raised goose flesh on my arms and chest. I felt the effects of the hallucinogenic mushrooms at this point. I knew I was no longer sober.


The house was suddenly foreboding so I couldn’t go back, but the street was dangerous and fraught with unknown perils. I chose the street. I walked out shirtless and barefoot into the yard and was instantly struck by the way the light and shadows lay on the lawn. It looked like a light made in the shape of a large snowflake. I was barely ten feet from the porch and I was already stalled by the heavenly lights pouring through the trees. I ripped my eyes away from the snowflakes and stopped myself from giggling at the surreal humor mundane things hold when you are not sober.

I was away from the house on the sidewalk and walking in an unknown direction. “Aren’t you cold?”

A voice behind me spoke and I was instantly terrified. I became suddenly rigid and willed myself not to look at whatever beast was behind me. I didn’t answer the question, but now that it was asked I couldn’t trust my senses to give me accurate information. I tried to focus on whether or not I felt cold. I was I decided, my skin felt cold to the touch, but I wasn’t sure if I was touching my own arm or someone else’s so I turned to look and saw that it was my arm. I didn’t feel particularly cold on the inside, I felt warm in my chest and in my head which felt as though it was pulsing from fever. “Yes and no,” I answered.

“Are you sure?” The voice said and followed the new question with a giggle.

“No.” I answered.

“You should go inside.”

“That’s impossible.” The voice behind giggled again. I wondered for a moment whether I was imagining the voice. The shrooms were very clearly doing their job and I was fantasy prone and could be having a conversation with myself. I tried to predict the next thing the voice would say. I couldn’t think of a phrase and for a brief agonizing moment forgot how to speak English. I hoped that I would be able to understand the next question. I made myself speak, “Please help me.” I pushed out what I guessed was an English phrase and had a moment of lucidity, “I shouldn’t be outside on my own.”

“What did you take?” The owner of the voice came into view. It was a woman, young, but her hair looked white under the streetlights.

“Mushrooms of some kind.” I answered and my eyes suddenly became very focused on her lips. They looked thick and had some kind of lipstick on them. Her tongue darted out and curled over her perfect white teeth.

She took my hand. Her heat warmed every part of me. There was no sexual attraction at that moment. I was completely incapable of fucking so I pushed it from my mind, but I was suddenly filled with what I could only assume unconditional love feels like. I wasn’t sure if she was black or white. She could have been transgendered, but none of that mattered at that moment I was like a baby chick and this was my mother. “Where do you live?”

I shrugged and turned my head around to see if I could spot my house. It was right there in front of me looming like an ancient God. Bright and barely twenty paces from where I stood. “There it is. I can’t go alone.” My eyes pleaded with her.

“I’ll walk you up.” She smiled and lead my up the small stoop and back onto the porch. She sat me on the couch and kissed me on the lips. “You stay here until I get back.” She gently ordered.

“When will that be?” I asked my voice had taken on a child-like quality that I hated, but couldn’t stop.

“Soon, but you stay on the porch.” She pulled a blanket from the back of the couch and wrapped it around me before she turned and left. I watched the door as she left.

One of my housemates inside turned off the porch light and I didn’t have the strength to tell them I was there so I swam in the darkness of the porch and drifted between the vast darkness in my mind and the finite dark of the porch. I knew there was light inside I just needed to make the journey. It was not an obstacle I could overcome in my state. I revisited the dark in my head and let it take me. I saw colorful fractals and the psychological homunculus of my body was distorted beyond recognition I changed my mental shape like Play Doh. I transformed myself into a woman for several seconds before the shape lost its solvency, but that was as far as my body experiments went because the drug was slowly tapering off by that time. My savior never returned so I went inside and went to bed.


I pulled a chilled lowball from the cooler, poured a thin line of absinthe into the glass and swirled it. The sazerac is one of my favorite drinks to make. It takes a level of preparation I appreciate. Next I grabbed a pint glass and filled it with rye, simple syrup and bitters. Capped the pint glass with a Boston shaker and shook it rigorously trying to break up the ice enough to dilute it slightly and release the flavors, but not so much that it emasculates the rye. Swirled the lowball one more time before dumping out the excess absinthe and then strain the rye into the glass. Shaved off some lemon zest for garnish and put it on the well for the tiniest waitress I had ever met, Carla, to pick it up. All night every night I mixed sazeracs, manhattans, cosmopolitans and martinis for the rich fucks that drink at my bar. Despite the fancy swagger of the décor and the jazz piped in when we don’t have live music we are still just a bar.

I had a few idle minutes so I washed glasses while keeping an eye on the customers faces. It was a slow night and I wasn’t making much in tips so I wanted desperately to leave. The guy at the end of the bar kept watching my ass and usually that doesn’t bother me, but I was feeling ready to jump down his throat. He was a thick guy with that five o’clock shadow that comes with a guy who has to shave every day, like it never really goes away. He also had some kind of aftershave or cologne floating off of him. It wasn’t too heavy, but I was always pretty sensitive to smells and his was bugging me.

A few hours later I took a smoke break. The customers left and it was just me and Carla waiting for our shifts to end. I stood to head back inside when the ass watcher appeared in front of me, “Could I get a light?” He smirked.

I forced a smile and nodded. I reached for my back pocket and pulled the lighter flicking it as I lifted it when he reached for my wrist. I jerked my hand back and let out a ‘no’ before I could stop myself.

“Sorry, you’ve got a wrist brace. How’d you hurt it?”

I shook my head and left him without a light. I could still see his stupid smirk in my mind’s eye. He followed me into the bar. “Listen,” I started in, “I’m going to need you to leave sir.”

“I’m sorry,” He raised his hands and dropped the smirk. “I got off on the wrong foot with you. I shouldn’t have touched you and I apologize for that.”

“I accept your apology, now please leave.”

The apologetic face was replaced with an angry expression. He lowered his head and I could feel how empty the bar was. I didn’t see the Carla anywhere and I felt suddenly aware of how much bigger this guy was than me. “Do you know who I am?” It was a phrase I had become accustomed to at this bar anytime I told my clientele ‘no’. I got really good at staring them down when I was backed by a full staff and large number of customers, now it was just him and me and I felt scared. “I do not, but I am currently feeling threatened and I will ask you one more time to leave or I will have to call the police.”

The air felt really heavy and I made sure to keep my eyes on him the whole time and prayed that my expression was more stoic than it felt. He finally nodded and left the bar.

I got on the other side of the bar and called my boss instantly. While I was on the phone the waitress sauntered in and answered automatically, “I had to use the bathroom.” She could tell I was livid from my expression alone. I felt a little bad at how much I enjoyed instilling fear into my coworkers, but I was feeling selfish.



Marlon S. Baker @TechPagon 31 Aug

I saw something tonight that I can’t explain. There were a bunch of people singing, but it was super creepy. I think they were Satanists!

Drew Haskell @bropocalypse 01 Sep

@TechPagon Yo, they were just hippies!!! LOL

Sheri Powell @SheriPowell 01 Sep

@bropocalypse @TechPagon You’re both jumping to conclusions. Go talk to them and maybe you won’t have to make assumptions. #checkyourprivilege

Marlon S. Baker @TechPagon 01 Sep

@SheriPowell I went back today and there was a big circle with a pentagram and I think there was blood in the center of the circle.

Marlon S. Baker @TechPagon 01 Sep

@SheriPowell zero assumptions. #checkyourprivilege

Marlon S. Baker @TechPagon 03 Sep

there was a dead cat on my front porch today.

Sheri Powell @SheriPowell 03 Sep

@TechPagon It was probably just a stray.

Marlon S. Baker @TechPagon 03 Sep

@SheriPowell It was nailed to the door in an upside down crucifix.

Drew Haskell @bropocalypse 03 Sep

@TechPagon Dude that was me. Found him next to the dumpster yesterday.

Marlon S. Baker @TechPagon 03 Sep

@bropocalypse You are such a bitch!

Drew Haskell @bropocalypse 03 Sep

@TechPagon Bwahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!!

Marlon S. Baker @TechPagon 04 Sep

I am seriously getting freaked out! I’m going to keep tweeting so there is a record if anything happens to me. Twitter is forever. Right?

Marlon S. Baker @TechPagon 05 Sep

Before anybody starts commenting let me get this out. I went to the woods and they were there again. I know about the occult and thought I might try talking.

Marlon S. Baker @TechPagon 05 Sep

There were fifteen people dressed in red robes. Mostly women, the man at the center was saying a prayer in a language I nev

Marlon S. Baker @TechPagon 05 Sep

Er heard before. It drew me in, like music even though they weren’t singing. They smiled as I approached, some of them

Marlon S. Baker @TechPagon 05 Sep

Patted me on the shoulder. The man at the center kept speaking, but his eyes were on me. I could feel them even with my eyes shut. I saw the

Marlon S. Baker @TechPagon 05 Sep

Sky open up like a black opal surrounded by a golden ring and I wept. It was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. I swear angels w

Marlon S. Baker @TechPagon 05 Sep

Ith trumpets descended towards me and suddenly I felt a fever come on me like a wave across my soul. This was a dark fever and it was a

Marlon S. Baker @TechPagon 05 Sep

T that point I understood I was no longer Marlon. I wasn’t a man or a woman, nor even a beast. I was a God. I have never felt such peace as I d

Marlon S. Baker @TechPagon 05 Sep

Id in that moment. I murdered the congregation of course. My hunger demands blood. I do feel some small pity for Marlon’s parents, but they

Marlon S. Baker @TechPagon 05 Sep

Would have stood in my way.

Drew Haskell @bropocalypse 06 Sep

@TechPagon That’s a pretty creepy story bro. You should have put that on Creepy pasta, seriously I’m getting chills.

Marlon S. Baker @TechPagon 04 Sep

@bropocalypse Thank you Drew. Say, I wonder who that is at your door?

Hayward Blues

I wrote a short story two weeks ago. I used the HBO drama True Detective as my writing prompt for the story. Hayward Blues is a straight cop procedural with a few supernatural flourishes. The Detective in the story is an everyman named Jeff Lowe and the town he grew up in is changing around him in a negative way, but he feels powerless to slow its demise even as a detective. I was trying to capture a noir feel and I think I succeeded.


There was a drive-by shooting. A gang of Native Americans came from the nearby Indian reservation and fired automatic weapons into the woods where a house was set a hundred yards deep into the trees. Their goal was to send a message to a rival from town. He had shacked up with his old lady. No one died, but the girlfriend has to use a wheelchair for the rest of her life.

Jeff closed his eyes and took a deep breath before he got closer to the body. “Have we I.D.ed the body?”

“Kelley Molson.” One of the uniformed officers answered.

“I know that name.” He crouched next to the body. Kelley Molson’s hands were missing and a strange symbol was carved into his forehead. “He works with Richard Heller.”

“Yeah.” The officer replied. “You think he did this?”

“Maybe.” A thin path of dry blood trailed from the corner of Kelley’s mouth to his chin where it turned into a gummy stalactite. “I grew up with Richard.”

The author claims no writes to this photo.

Heidi Crus was home one afternoon when she heard a knock at the door. Jeff stood on the stoop with his badge hung at his chest. Her eyes scanned the badge and traced back up to his face, her face was neutral, almost bored. She left the door open and receded into her apartment. He entered. The coffee table was littered with items, cocaine on a mirror, a powdered credit card, two iguanas with their toes hanging limply over the edge of the table and a large hookah at the center. Heidi flopped on the couch, her right arm reflexively crossed behind her head as she pulled a tendril from the hookah and sucked the smoke into her lungs. She was glassy-eyed and languid. “Where is Richard?” He asked.

“Gone.” she answered with an almost imperceptible shrug.

The room was muggy with heat and all the windows were covered with heavy blankets that cast the room in an orange gloom. He cleared his throat, “I’m looking for Richard.” They have known each other since elementary school but had to stop. He was a violent thug in his youth, but the years mellowed him. Now that he saw her she looked like a ghost of the girl he knew.

Memories of old sexual encounters relayed at the back of his brain in a rapid-fire montage with the girl that laid on the couch in front of him. He hadn’t taken a seat yet, but the scene was depressing him and he wanted to leave already. “He’s a fuckhead.” She said as she shifted onto her side.

He suddenly didn’t know what to do with his hands so he stuffed them in his pockets. “We tried his number.” One of the iguanas shifted and turned almost knocking the hookah over in its haste

“He got into a fight with a bartender last night. They cut him off. I left without him.” She took another puff off the hookah. “Do you want a hit?” She offered. Her eyes were flirtatious with the hint of a smile curling at the corner of her mouth. It was the sly half smile he remembered. The girl he remembered was still in there, buried under asshole boyfriends and prolonged drug use. He didn’t blame her, didn’t think to arrest her for the coke, he just felt sad for her. Years of disappointment left everyone a ghost.

“No thanks.” Her feet rubbed against each other. The movement drew his eyes. “Which bar?”

“Lincoln’s Pub,” She answered.

He put a business card on the coffee table. “If he comes back, have him call me.” she didn’t pick it up, she just pulled the mouthpiece back to her mouth and took another draw.

Outside he felt the blood rushing through his veins. He looked back at the door. Memories were fucking with him, conjuring forgotten emotions. He shook them off as he climbed into his truck. Nothing good would come from him going back to her.

Lincoln’s Pub was an old creaking bar. It had a reputation as an upscale joint in the seventies, but it’s lost its shine, now it’s the kind of place old drunks go to die. The smell of decades old nicotine still hung on its walls and the floor was sticky as he walked to the bar. Jeff flashed his badge at the bartender.

On the stage a band was setting up. The sound man was hooking cords together while the band members drank beers and laughed at inside jokes amongst themselves. Jeff smelled marijuana and he looked over, but nobody was passing a pipe or a joint.

The bartender moved closer and waited for the question. Jeff rehashed the fight to the bartender who corroborated the incident and the bartender on duty. He wrote Cody Reynolds address down on a bar coaster.

The trailer park Cody lived in was a nightmare. None of the lots were marked, the roads that crisscrossed the park were riddled with potholes and it looked deserted, luckily it was small. Jeff circled twice before he found Cody’s place. People watched Jeff through beige blinds and floral print curtains. His trailer had a wooden deck attached to it with a greasy propane grill and a weather warped case of beer next to white plastic patio furniture. There weren’t ashtrays on the table, but there was a forest of stuffed butts on plates and in the tops of tallboy beer cans.

The storm door was all but ripped off its hinges from years of misuse and the primary door had a football shaped hole at shin level. The door hung open. Leaves had already drifted into the house. Jeff cautiously opened the door and stepped inside. “Police. I am looking for Cody.” The house was still.

Cigarette funk seemed to hover in the air. Somewhere in the distance he heard a baby crying. He did a quick sweep of the trailer, he noticed the master bedroom was wide open. The water bed dominated the room and a man sat at the edge of the bed swaying slowly. “Your door was open.” Jeff said loudly. The man continued to sway in place. Jeff lifted his gun from its holster. “Sir, please respond. I need you to turn around.”

Jeff circled the bed. The man didn’t look at him. His hands were gone, blood drained all over his lap and onto the floor. He sported the same strange cross that adorned Kelley’s forehead. The man’s eyes darted up at him. His mouth drew open in an “O” shape. Thick black blood pooled in his mouth and fell forth like a dam when he moved away from Jeff. Jeff reared back startled by the sudden motion. The man didn’t make it far. He crossed half the bed and stopped cold.

Jeff stepped out of the bedroom and went for his radio. “I need backup and an ambulance at 3378 Hargrove Place, Lot 792. Get here fast as you can.” Jeff turned back and saw the motion a second too late. It was Richard, he bashed into Jeff and tried to run down the hallway. The hall was too narrow for him to break away. Jeff grabbed hold of his arm, threw a forearm into the back of his neck and stamped on the back of his knee simultaneously. “What the fuck are you doing? Didn’t you see my fucking badge?” He put his arm around the guy’s neck and held it there without applying too much pressure. His pulse was accelerated and he was seeing red. He threw him to the ground and kicked him in the midsection for good measure before he handcuffed him. “Motherfucker.”

Richard was shackled in a small brightly lit room with two plastic chairs and a table set against the wall. The room looked more like a closet then an interrogation room. There was no mirror, just a small camera covered with black plastic in the ceiling. Richard leaned back against the white brick wall with his eyes closed. He was breathing loudly trying to wish himself away from this place.

Jeff stepped in with a notebook and a piece of paper.“This is a confession.” Jeff put the paper in front of Richard, “Read it.”

Richard opened his eyes and looked at the paper. “I didn’t do shit.” He said through clenched teeth.

“Talk to me. Tell me what happened.” Jeff sat down across from him.

“Fuck man, I didn’t do this shit. He was like that when I got there.” He leaned his head against the wall. He was grinding his teeth and his eyes were watery.

“You got in a fight with Cody at Lincoln’s Pub last night and then you went to his place to get even.” Jeff laid it out.

“No.” He leaned forward in the chair resting his forearms on the table. His hands were fidgeting and his eyes were downcast. “I got in a fight with him last night, yeah, but I wasn’t going over to fuck with him. I walked out to the Res and then went to his place. He was like that when I got there.”

“Why were you over there?”

“I was, I was gonna sell him somethin’.” He shifted nervously in his seat.

“Right now you are in a very bad place. There are two dead bodies and you are my primary suspect. I can’t help you unless you tell me everything.” Jeff clicked a pen and put it on top of the confession. Richard watched the pen intensely as he placed it down.

“Crying Hawk,” Richard said quietly.

“Tom Crying Hawk?” Jeff responded.

Richard nodded, then he looked Jeff in the eyes. “Dude’s going on the warpath. He was sayin’ all kinds of weird shit about death and retribution. He said they were stealing from him.”

“Who was stealing from him?”

“He didn’t say, just said ‘they’.”

“Why did you go to the Res?”

Richard’s eyes were fixated on the paper in front of him. “I’ve been with his sister. She wasn’t around last night, so I bought some crystal. I was gonna sell some to Cody as a peace offering, but he was dead and then you came in. I didn’t kill him. I didn’t kill anybody. It was Crying Hawk, you gotta believe me.” He looked up at Jeff. “I didn’t do this shit.”

The Reservation was made up of several Native American communities and was predominantly forest. None of them were towns in the traditional sense. To the outside world it was just a casino and some duty free shops, but the bulk of the populace lived away from the tourism. The young natives formed mafia-like gangs throughout the region. The large forested area made it near impossible to regulate criminal activities and the flow of drugs in and out of the reservation. Racketeering, drug smuggling and extortion were all common crimes on the Res.

Tom Crying Hawk lived in a small trailer nestled among trees and undergrowth almost a mile from the road. Jeff turned into his long unpaved driveway. The gutted remains of cars lined the trail. He heard howling before he saw the metal pen that housed three large wolves. The air was filled with the smell of roasting meat and dog shit. An army of motorcycles and ratty looking cars were parked out front. A bonfire was burning and several men were milling about with beers in hand. Jeff’s stomach sank.

He stepped out of his car and took a deep breath into his lungs. ‘Play it cool,’ he thought to himself. ‘Just ask a few questions and if you have evidence call for back up.’ He took his time walking up to the trailer, his badge dangling around his neck suddenly felt heavier with all the eyes on him. No one spoke to him, but he could feel the cold wash of their scrutiny. He heard a bottle crash against the bonfire. At the door he took another breath before knocking.

The door opened. A woman greeted him with a smile the was wiped away when she saw his badge. “It’s the cops,” She said with a sneer in her voice.

“I have few questions for Tom,” Jeff spoke calmly. He could feel the teenagers growing restless next to the fire. There was no conversation between them which meant they were waiting for him to make a move.

A booming voice inside answered, “Let him in.”

The woman stepped out of the way and Jeff stepped across the threshold. The trailer was nice. Double wide with wood trim over everything. The living room was furnished with leather furniture and a massive flat screen TV hung on the wall. Some reality show with an MTV logo at the corner of the screen was playing. There were five men sitting around a dining room table on the other side of the living room. They had drinks around them and cards on the table. One of them was smoking a fat cigar.

Tom Crying Hawk sat at the head of the table shirtless. He was a well built man. All his muscles bulged even as he sat with cards in his hand. His hair was pulled back in a long braid. “What do you need man?” He said with a smile.

“I have a few questions about Kelley Molson and Cody Reynolds.”

“I know them.” He stood up, “What about it?”

“They turned up dead today and,” He cleared his throat, “someone blamed you.”

The smile fell away from his face. “Who did that?”

“I can’t say. Not until the case is closed.”

He stepped from behind the table, “I got a right to face my accuser. You should tell me and save us both a lot of trouble.”

“I can’t do that.” Jeff felt a quiver in his voice and took a step back.

Crying Hawk had an elaborate skull tattoo on his chest the eyes of the skull were stuffed with roses and a Red snake was trailing out from the mouth and circled around his shoulder. He also sported a black tear under his left eye. His face lost all trace of civility. Jeff felt his heart in his throat and wanted to run, but that would only throw the army out front into a frenzy and he would never see his home again. He was close enough that Jeff could smell the Scotch on his breath. “I say you can white man!”

Instead of a response Jeff unclipped his gun holster.

“Where do you think you are?” His eyes darted to the gun and back to Jeff’s face. He could hear people behind him. They came in from the bonfire to see the show. “Who the fuck said this shit about me. You can walk away, juts tell me his name.”

Jeff opened his mouth, Richard’s name was on his tongue, but the moment it escaped from his mouth Jeff knew that would be the end of Richard. Crying Hawk’s eyes bore into him with unrelenting ferocity. “I…” The crowd behind him was close. “I can’t.” He let it fall from his mouth. The hands behind claimed him.

Outside the mob was laying into him with hands and feet. He felt a belt lash his back. He reached for his gun, but a stray boot intercepted him before he could reach it. He heard Crying Hawk order, “Get his gun!” This was his last chance if they got to his firearm his life was over.

One of the men kicked him over and others moved in to pin him down. Jeff threw a punch that caught flesh and managed to get his hand to the grip of his gun. Her clicked the safety and fired. The shot went into the ground, but the sound was enough to give him a moments space. He pushed off the ground and held his gun out in front of him. “Back the fuck off!” They could rush him and he’d be fucked, but no one wanted to be the first to take a bullet.

Jeff blasted for his truck. He heard the cage unlatch and the snarling sound of wolves. He swiveled on his feet. A wolf jumped for him its teeth bared. He fired a shot that caught the wolf full in the chest. It whimpered for a moment before falling lifeless on the ground.

The other two had gotten to his hood and were barking at the windshield. He got the door shut and started the car. They weren’t pursuing him any further. The wolves jumped off the hood as he pulled around hitting cars as he clumsily maneuvered away from Crying Hawk’s place.

The investigation wasn’t over. Richard was his only link to Crying Hawk’s potential involvement and it was only a matter of time before Crying Hawk came knocking on Richard’s door. He was weary, but the bruises on his ribs put revenge in his mind. He was going to find something on Crying Hawk. His city, his place was changing all around him and nothing was going to bring back the home of his youth, but he could sure as Hell get even. Heidi’s door was closed when he arrived. She greeted him with a smile this time. “I have a few more questions for Richard.”

“Sure, he’s in the bedroom.” She let him in. Heidi touched his shoulder as he walked in. Jeff turned to her. “You look tired.” She said.

“Very.” The iguanas were off the coffee table and lounging on a rock in the corner with a heat lamp beating down on them.

“Let me help.” She pressed her fingers gently into his shoulders and Jeff’s eyes reflexively closed. “Sit.”

“I shouldn’t.” His protests were futile, she guided him to the couch and worked his back more.

He lost track of time and found she had snaked herself around into front of him. “I was happy to see you.” She said with her half curled smile.

He didn’t say anything. She leaned in and kissed his mouth. Her tongue darted between his lips and he didn’t fight it. He kissed her back. Fireworks went off in his brain and he was enraptured by her moist lips and the incense smell of her place. His hands clumsily groped at her breasts and she moaned softly as she pressed herself closer to him. He was lost in heat, but a sound from the back broke the spell. He pulled himself away. “I can’t.” He said and willed himself off the couch.

“Don’t worry about Richard.” She jeered. “He’s useless.”

Jeff shook the fog from his brain and headed for the back. Richard was dead on her bed. Blood had welled up on his chest from what looked like multiple stab wounds. Jeff’s mouth dropped open and he felt a needle in his neck. He thrashed back, but whatever was in the needle was already working its way into his bloodstream and his arms felt like liquid. He stumbled onto the ground Heidi stood over him smiling. “There’s a storm coming Jeff. I’m sorry that you won’t get to see it, but there is a plan and I’m so sorry you had to get caught up in it. I really was happy to see you.” She kissed him on the forehead and knelt next to him as his eyes closed. Her pretty half smile was the last thing Jeff Lowe saw.