In college I was on a bus that hit a man on a street. I was in the second row watching as the man hit the side of the bus, and felt like he went under a tire. It was a terrifying moment in my life. In that moment I was sure that he had died, and to this day I’m not sure if he lived. We sat on the bus, as some students ran to the front hoping to help. I can remember thinking what were they going to do for him? CPR as he bleeds out? I called 911, and a few others did.
We weren’t allowed off the bus, and the body was behind us a ways. We stayed on as reports were filled out, and police began to escort us to another campus bus. The man was transported to the hospital, and that was that. During the three hours that we sat there the news crew that pulled up stayed for only 20 minutes.
20 minutes to take some photos, ask questions to some people who were not police, and climb back into their van off to the next story. Each station had a fleet of vans on standby monitoring for any hint of a story. I don’t blame them it’s the nature of the beast. The first to release the story is the first to make the money.
What I do have a problem with is that they got the details of the story wrong. Three stories came out. The first was the man was at a crosswalk, second he was on a bike, third he was actually a she. All three news stories of the events were wrong. It was a man who illegally crossed the street without a bike, and was hit by a bus.
Information in the digital age is fast, and at first appears to be accurate. Everyone has a perspective about an event, and when perspective fits our bias we like it even more. Four people can witness the same event, and come away with different stories of how that event played out. What that means for our news in the digital age is that anything at any time could be fake news. There isn’t one perspective, and news stations get information as a secondary source from those that experience the story. It takes multiple sources to get even a glimpse at the truth of the story.
Its important to take time to reflect on the source of information, and take it with a grain of salt.
Sometimes I wonder where my life went all wrong. It’s not like I was on the fast track for success, but I could have hit for somewhere in the lower middle. I would worry about bills, maybe taking a vacation at some island once before I die, waking up with the existential horror a couple of weeks with a realization that my life is just an echo in a void of suffering (instead of every night). What I wanted wasn’t perfect, but anything was better than this meth ridden Scooby-Doo claim to fame.
There actually is a killing to be made for real life horror films. We were not making that money. I hope that wasn’t an impression you got from before. We wanted to make that money, part of the reason we dropped out of school, bought a van, camera equipment, and whatever else we needed. The whole freaking student loan spent on this. I can’t remember the last time my food didn’t come from a tin can.
We broke into places that looked haunted, or scary. Taped some stuff, edited the hell out of it, posted it with a lot of explanation points, then profit. Which was barely enough to break even. Penny would get leads from communities online, books sold at visitor shops (trucker gas stations), random searches on google maps. Most recently Penny found the Revolver Mansion, so named for the suicide pact the previous owners had. Each one ate a bullet from a revolver apparently made from metal that was gifted to them from a great old god. The next owners after were found crucified around the property. Everyone in town apparently agreed to let sleeping cultists lie letting the mansion decay.
It looked broken down, missing its door, broken windows, and huge whole in the side. Penny, Eric, and myself set up camera’s, and cleared out some of the debris. While we were setting up Lenny, Jessica, and Sydney did make up, and costumes. We all hated each other, and have for a really long time. You can only live in a van with six people for so long before you want to create a massacre so horrible that dumb ass teens drop out of college to set up cameras to see if they can raise our pissed off spirits.
We didn’t talk as we worked, all of us stayed in our own little world. None of us could see what the house was doing, we hated each other enough that when we finally were up shits creek, and all possible escapes were completely ruled out. Whatever game the house was playing we were too far in now, death was assured for just about all of us.
It was several hours ago from when I fell into the pit, but it felt like an eternity. Penny, and I were smoking on top of the stairs. We didn’t notice at that point that the whole house had boarded itself up. It was like we always knew that the windows had bricks over them. I won’t forget the last normal conversation I had.
“Its pointless you know.” Penny said.
“What like the whole ghost chasing thing?” I asked.
“No, life. We’re just roaches man. Eating, killing, and breeding ourselves out of existence. Whole damn world is on fire, what are we doing about it? Shooting a fucking garbage video for tweens.”
I couldn’t respond. I didn’t know what to say to Penny when she got like this. She took a long drag flicking the butt down the stairs. Penny was a tolerable person compared to our other companions. She wore those thick rim black glasses, often in a sweater with her hair always curled tangled mess.
“David…I’m leaving after this. Going back to school.” She looked around some. “You should come with me.”
I didn’t get to respond. A loud scream came from the room below us.
Penny yelled, running down the stairs, “We haven’t started yet what the hell are you doing.”
I followed close behind for a couple of reasons. One, when Penny gets pissed everyone in her way gets destroyed. Two, that scream was way too realistic for anything that we do. Penny was around the corner before I finished coming down the stairs. The look of horror across her face should have told me to run the other way. I’ve never seen Penny scared. She stood up to a midwestern biker gang getting a tooth knocked out from one of their old ladies. She beat that bitch down, and another two that day. She was a goon on a local hockey team with a passion for film. She began to scream to.
Life is full of surprises. Like when I shit my pants in high school gym climbing the net right above my crush who got a face full who I imagine was also surprised. The therapist who unpacked that mess was also in for a surprise when my parents who racked up a bill of over a thousand dollars for his services never paid a dime preferring to go to collections. When I came around the corner I wasn’t sure what I was expecting, but after seeing it I was naturally surprised as anyone could be when they see someone getting their stomach pulled through their mouth by a gigantic muscle of a monster whose face was completely blank. Its face was literally blank like just skin just pulled over a head. The smell was overwhelming, and thick. A human stomach that hasn’t seen a vegetable in years broken open spilling fluids onto the floor filled my body with both surprise and fear. There was a pain in Sydney’s eyes like I had never thought could exist in a human being till today. I’ll never forget that look for the rest of my life. The look of pure horror, and pain. Sydney was alive.
Penny screamed, we all were terrified. I looked for a way out, but it was at that unfortunate moment I realized that there was no exit, and in my mind I already knew that. I had always knew the exits were blocked, but I remember there was a time when they weren’t. I ran as fast as I could. Fear is a very good motivator. It has been since the beginning of time. There wasn’t a particular place that I was running I wanted to create distance between myself that thing. After going up stairs, and turning through several halls, getting completely lost did I stop to rest.
The mansion wasn’t this big before, I was sure of it. It just kept growing I think. Each path I took was an endless horror filled nightmare before my time. My chest heaved, the back of my throat dry, and ankles sore. This was the first time I had run in years, and I regretted every moment of it. How did our ancestors ever get meat? I wondered who else had made it away, if they were safe, or if Sydney was dead. It was the horror of her dying that way that caused me the most pain, not her death itself.
The room’s temperature shifted, and became noticeably colder. Hair stood up on my neck, as I began to see my breath. I went to pull open the door as I did a hand reached through.
I backed up quickly the only thought in my mind Sydney’s face as she died. Quick was all I wanted, don’t let me die like that. The rest of the arm had come through quickly followed by a body. I saw a girl, well she would have been more like a teen, form before me. I was thinking ghost, but I thought they were white like transparent.
“You thought ghosts were transparent too right?” It asked me.
“Yeah…I guess I did.” I said.
“Man, everyone thinks that. It’s so hard meeting new people because there like oh you’re a ghost you sure don’t look like one. Like that’s so rude, and how the hell would they know what a ghost looks like?”
“I…I don’t know?”
“So, you got trapped in here then. Wanna get out?”
“You don’t sound so sure about that, were you like wanting to be a ghost too because that’s not really a great idea.”
“No, sorry just my friend she was killed. I’m not sure where everyone else is.”
“Your friend just died in a creepy house, and your only emotion is confusion? You sure this was your friend?”
Before I could answer a faint dragging sound could be heard outside of the door. The ghost put a finger to her mouth signaling me to be quiet. I wonder who the first person was to do that, and if anyone understood them at all. She popped her head out the door and brought it back quickly. She pointed to the bed signaling me to get under. I did so after a very hushed argument with. I didn’t want to do it because there were dead rats, and all other manner of nope under the bed. She insisted thinking that this thing wouldn’t look there first.
The dragging became louder. Step, drag, step, drag. The steps heavy, and full of anger. Closer, and closer it came. My heart felt as if was beating out of my chest. Right in front of the door it stopped. I was waiting for it to burst into the door claiming its kill. A sound similar to nails on a chalkboard screeched across the door, and its walk continued.
I stayed under the bed until I could no longer hear its steps. I coughed, and gagged from the dust stuck in my throat that most likely came off the dead rat under the bed with me. The ghost was laying on the bed.
“Call me Temperance.”
“Is that your name in your past life, or ghost name?”
She smiled, “Ghost name. Lets get you out of here.”
The four of us sat in silence ignoring the body of our friend in the next room. The smell of iron occasionally wafting out to where we sat. You could time it with the blizzard outside, wind whipping against the house would soon be followed by the smell of blood. Becky kept looking over at me…at my hands. The once hot sticky blood was starting to dry flaking off in some places. I could feel her eyes digging into my soul, burning my hands. It made me feel guilty. Guilty like I did something wrong. Like she was so perfect. She started to cry. It made it worse.
Kelly’s tapping foot became noticeably louder, as Becky began her sobbing, “Would you get a hold of yourself you gigantic baby.”
“Kelly!” Jennifer snapped “That doesn’t help.”
Jennifer put her arm around Becky trying to console her. Kelly gets up and walks to the room with the body still inside. She stands there for a moment before slamming the door shut causing some of us to jump.
“KELLY, seriously please stop.” Jennifer said. She was still trying to calm Becky down.
“How can I stop Jennifer, hmm? Shall I just play some music, maybe we can bake brownies, and braid each other’s hair. Or maybe we can actually acknowledge one of you is a killer.”
Becky’s let out a large wail. Kelly throws her hands up, “Stop crying or the next person dead is you.”
Jennifer confronts Kelly standing up, “That’s enough.”
“Or what? You going to sleep with Jake again? I bet you did it. Your always stalking people. Did Angel’s happiness bother you that much that you killed her?”
The room returned to silence, except for Becky who was still crying. She was a baby, always has been. My hands grew cramped. I didn’t want to close them. The blood was sticky like maple syrup. It wasn’t the only blood on me, but it was all could focus on. The cold was setting in as my adrenaline began to dissipate. I wanted to vomit, I wanted to scream.
Michelle noticed too that Becky kept eyeing my hands. “Hey Steph, why don’t we go get you washed up.”
Kelly said, “No she’s not going anywhere, no one is leaving this room until the police come.”
Michelle said, “We don’t know how long it will take for them to get here, and her covered in blood is uncomfortable for us all.”
Before Kelly could argue more the front door swung open with a great force. Snow forced itself inside as two figures fought their way in. Jake was the first to take off the ski mask covering his face while Andrew pushed the door shut against the wind. The room grew noticeable colder when they entered.
Jake looked at the girls. He kept his eyes on Becky looking sympathetic. He eventually turned his gaze to me. “Why is she still covered in blood?”
“We don’t know who the killer is. We need the evidence.” Kelly said.
“We don’t know there is a killer. She could have just done it herself.” Jake said.
“I don’t know many people able to slit their own throat” Kelly replied.
I knew what Kelly was trying to say even if she was being a bitch about it. I wasn’t sure that I even wanted to wash it off anyways. It was all that seemed to be left of Angel. Kelly and Jake went on arguing. They normally did that. It’s what happens when you date a close friend. You can’t have disagreements without it getting personal. I liked Jake he was nice.
Michelle touched my shoulder and whispered to me, “You need to change.”
I didn’t want to, but I did want to get away from Kelly and Jake even more.
Michelle didn’t say anything as I stripped and got into the shower. She had brought me a fresh set of clothes, and sat on the counter as I showered. I knew of Michelle before we went to college. We had a class together in high school. We ended up becoming friends after we recognized each other in English 1010. It wasn’t like Michelle and I were the best of friends, but it’s how I met Angel who was now dead.
I could see the water tainted red as the blood washed off me. My head leaned against the wall as the stress was overcoming me. There was so much more blood on me then I had realized. The red tint to the water just kept going. I could feel myself start to cry, but I held it back. I could hear my grandmothers voice Wyoming girls don’t cry.
Michelle broke the silence, “Do you think Kelly was right. Someone killed her? You didn’t really say what you saw.”
“Her neck was slit when I got there. Like I said. I tried to put my hands on it to stop it, but I couldn’t.”
“Yeah, but was anyone else there?”
“I couldn’t tell the room was dark. I only saw Angel. She was still standing. She looked scared Michelle.”
“Did she have the knife?”
“I don’t remember.” She looked so scared.
There came a knock on the bathroom door. Jennifer spoke on the other side, “Hey guys? Are you about done?”
Michelle answered, “Can we have a moment to process please.”
It didn’t feel like we were processing. It felt like Michele was digging for something.
Kelly spoke next, “Is that so you can get your stories straight so you can kill one of us next.”
“Fuck off Kelly” Michelle said.
“I think it’s best if we are all together right now.” Jennifer said.
Jennifer was right we did need to be together. I didn’t want to but I understood why they wanted to. Hard to kill us if we are all still in the same room. The red tint in the drain cleared showing clean water. I scrubbed with soap as they continued to fight each other. Angel…she wouldn’t have done it.
Michelle left the bathroom so I could get changed. I didn’t bother trying to look normal. It’s been like this for a while now. We all have been depressed it’s why we came here in the first place. Seven people killed themselves this semester all under suspicious circumstances. We all knew someone who was killed. Kelly had the idea to come up here, and try to have a trauma bond. It was to work out some of the depression, and make sure we all took care of each other.
Michelle waited for me, and we walked down together. Everyone was gathered around so close together that no one really changed spots. Becky looked to have stopped crying, and seemed relatively calm. The place where I had sat was covered in dry blood. Kelly saw me looking at it, “I’ll send you a bill when we get back home.”
Blake shook his head, “Seriously Kelly.”
“We were hoping that you could tell us again what happened now that you had some time to calm down.” Jennifer said.
I looked for an open seat, but I didn’t see any. Michelle took the last one. All of a sudden the emotion of the room shifted. They weren’t asking if I saw the killer. They were saying I killed her.
“Nothing’s changed.” I replied, “She was standing there. Her neck was bleeding. As she fell I went to catch her. Once she was on the floor I tried to stop the bleeding, but she was dead before anyone else arrived.” I left out that her eyes screamed out in pain, her face surprised. Her hot blood burning my hands. She tried to tell me something, but each time she would try to talk blood would pour out of her mouth. I wouldn’t have heard her anyways. I was screaming.
“No one else was there?” Jennifer asked.
“No, I mean I don’t know. It was dark. I wasn’t really looking”
“Where was the knife?” Kelly asked.
“I don’t know.”
“Well was she holding it?”
“I don’t know.”
“How do you not know?”
“Because she was fucking dying in front of me. Fuck me trying to save her life right?”
The room became silent, frustrated I said, “When are the police coming?”
Andrew answered, “There not.”
“What did no one try to call?”
“My families safe where we locked the phones away, the code has been changed.” Kelly said.
They were all looking at me. All of their accusatory eyes. Looking at me. I wanted to hit everyone single one of them. “Why are you looking at me. I don’t know your family safe code.”
“No but your good with computers” Becky said.
“So is literally every millennial, Becky” Michelle said.
“Not like her. That’s what her major is.” Kelly said.
Michelle stood up next to me, “So what is this, are assuming Steph did this then. She just what, took a knife and decide to slash Angels throat today? What would be the point in that?”
“We went back into the room. There was no knife. Jake, and Andrew walked around the house there weren’t any tracks, and all the windows were locked. So was the door. The only one to see her was Stephine.” Kelly said.
“Stephanie I know this seems bad, but you have got to admit if you were in any of our shoes you would feel the same. There is a lot of evidence against you.” Jenifer said.
“Evidence that you are looking for against her. You just said there was no knife, where would Steph have hid it. She slashed Angels throat, ran out hid the knife, came back, and screamed?” Michelle said.
The arguing continued to get louder. Michelle seemed to be on my side, but it was obvious that no one else was. I knew that I wasn’t the killer, but that meant someone else was. I needed to process, and to think some way to get me out of here. “So, what now? What are you going to do with me?”
“Is that a confession?” Kelly asked.
“No, but everyone believes I did it, so now what?”
“We all stay here, so we can all keep an eye on each other.” Kelly said.
“What happens when you get sleepy, what if I’m not the only killer. It would be safer to lock me in my room. Keep me away from all of you.” Keep me away from the real killer.
It was a good plan. The look on some of their faces told me so. Some looked as if they wished they would have thought of that. I was taken to my room. It was on the second floor, and Blake was placed at my door they would rotate making sure that I under watch at all times. It didn’t matter though. I needed to think. I needed to process. A friend was dead, and I was the only suspect. Closing my eyes, I pictured hard on who would want to harm Angel, and who else was in the room.
So, why is the blog called A Work in Progress? Short answer, life is a work in progress. When you were born you had the ability to breath, eat, and not much else. Compared to then you’re a miracle now. We are all on a journey with no real destination. We live in the ultimate sandbox with an infinite amount of decisions to be made. When you learn where you want to go in life you gain the ability create action toward your dream. For me it was starting a blog, and learning to tell a story.
Failure doesn’t really exist in life, so long as we continue with our journey. We work perfecting ourselves a little bit each day, and with setbacks comes knowledge. I wouldn’t admit to anyone that I was sad at how things turned out for me. I had this whole plan of where I wanted to be, and what my life would look like. Over time my life continued to divert from this ideal path to something that a few years ago would be completely alien to me. People don’t even recognize me anymore in my hometown. I’m completely different.
I was sad though because I felt like everything I have done has failed, and that it’s the end of the line. Actually though I have learned, and grew as a person. I will continue to grow by making mistakes, and improving upon them to form the life I want to live. No one can take that from me, and at the end of the day it doesn’t matter if I stumble so long as I learn from it.
I am a work in progress, so is my writing, my marriage, my religion, and my life. It will never be perfected, but it will grow day to day. It will eventually become my life’s work, and when my life is completed I will have known it was a good one. That is what brings peace to me is the knowledge that I don’t have to be the best, only better than I was yesterday. My life isn’t anyone else’s, and as long as I breath I can still make plenty of mistakes to work on.
What is your work in progress?
The dark, damp, dreaded, really messed up why are we even here hallway awaited me. It was one of those moments when life goes from puking on your first kiss to having said kiss go viral online collecting a million views. Both of which happened to me. You might say, “David, why are you walking down a big scary hallway that is most likely full of monsters?” I would answer “because that is my job.” Not the walking down terrifying halls part, but “ghost” hunting. Big emphasis on “ghosts” as it’s usually just props, and subpar acting. However, after years of desecrating graves, and messing up old houses the universe decides to take a large steaming dump on me like last night was taco Tuesday.
Truthfully, there really is a killing to be made online for scary stories posted on a site called Paranormal Nights, shot in grainy footage, with hot young people running away in fear. Every tween goes crazy making reaction videos of our videos where their screeching becomes like a banshee striking its kill. At most it takes twenty minuets to get enough footage to last a week. We get in, fake it, tape it, then bank off it. As you can obviously tell that wasn’t the story this time. Nope, instead of fake blood and cheap rental costumes, we walk into some other worldly nightmare bullshit that now involves me walking down a hall that looks eerily similar to every horror film.
The wallpaper was peeling off revealing the rotted wood behind it and the strong smell of decay. Hung on the walls was a collection family memorabilia letting anyone who came to visit know how batshit crazy they are. Family pictures with eyes crossed out. A horse race with mutilated horses screaming out in pain forced to run. Who the hell even paints something like that? All the way past the dimly lit hellhall stood a glossy red door that for some reason was lit up by a beacon of light from a source I couldn’t find. Hope, was the word that an optimist would use for what was being held behind the door. Certain death, and dismemberment were the words I thought of. Either way I had to go down it (Other choices were made prior to this).
I Gripped my axe the blood now dried from where I pulled it out of Lenny’s head (one of the pretty ones), I marched forward. Everything becomes so clear at times like this. Its like the entire body goes into overdrive. Hearing becomes clear, eyes pick up every moment, every painstaking movement done with the upmost precision all in the hopes that one could somehow sneak through the house unnoticed by the devils whose one job is to torment people who try to sneak down scary halls.
The floor creaked under each of my steps, even trying to slide my foot made a long squeaking noise. Obviously, I thought about running, but that seemed wrong somehow. Like if I tried running down the hall the beast would come out and kill me for running. Not that I believed for a moment it wouldn’t do that while I was sneaking. A giggle came from behind me, a million invisible ants crawled down my back. Oh shit.
There are two people in this world. The ones that when a monster knocks over the lamp in their room they stay under the covers pretending the monster didn’t want to be heard, the other kicks open the door greeting death with arms open wide. I turned to face the giggling sound hoping it didn’t want to be heard, but instead saw the door close. Was that a clown?
I walked backwards now a bit quicker the wrongfulness of sneaking worn away by whatever new horror awaited me.
“I’m right here.”
Oh no, nope nope nope. I didn’t want to look. There came a sound of what I can only imagine as a knife scraping against the carpet inching toward me. Hit it with the axe. Just swing and run. The sound of the dragging stopped. I slowly counted in my head. One…Two…Three I turned quickly bringing the axe down where I heard the noise. Nothing. The axe hit the ground splitting the rotten wood below.
“Oh no, you missed me. That’s ok I won’t miss you.”
I looked back, yep it’s a clown. It had the clown makeup, the clown suit, and terrifying clown smile that showed razor sharp teeth. It stood at two feet tall with a knife half the size of its body. We made eye contact. I was trying to calculate how many steps it would take to get to the door. The little clown lunged at me before I could get an estimate. It was difficult to tell who was screaming at the time. I sprinted down the hall occasionally taking a moment to chance a glance behind. The little bastard was running hard, its stubby legs pumping so fast almost tripping over the knife. It would have been a kind of funny sight if it wasn’t happening to me. Reaching the door, I turned the nob throwing my whole weight into the door without it so much as moving an inch. I kept pushing and hitting hoping that it would move somehow. The clown was closing the gap fast.
Fight or flight only works if you have the choice of flight. If not it’s only fight or die. I was left with no choice but to take the axe and charge. Overall, I felt pretty confident. I was larger and had the bigger weapon. I ran toward the tiny clown bringing that axe across my body to cut it in half. At the last moment it jumped past my axe as I brought it across flying right onto my check stabbing my shoulder. There was no question who was screaming at that point.
I dropped the axe yanking the clown off me it still holding onto the bloody knife that was stabbed into me multiple times. I threw it down into the ground immediately began stomping on it until I was completely out of breath. Looking down should have revealed a mangled clown body not a stuffed doll with a plastic knife. The knife wound was still there burning away at my body. I had to get out of there.
There was nowhere left for me to go in the house but that red door. The whole house was completely ruined complete with shattered windows busted doors, and a gaping hole in the side. It was when we tried to leave that everything became blocked. Literally every exit that we saw on the outside was filled with bricks. We were all in different rooms waking up and we couldn’t remember how it all went down. How the hell does that happen?
The massive expanse took hours for me to go through looking for some hope of escape other then that door. Each person I came in contact with were dismembered, and killed in increasingly creative ways. Like some sort of scrapbooking of human limbs. Everything leading back to this damn red door.
I took the nob of the red door in hand about to shove my way in then I took notice of the hinges. I pulled opening the door right up. Damn it. The entrance was completely black. Not the normal its dark or hard to see. The door was literally absorbing all light sucking it into an infinite void. I started to miss the little clown.
I put my hand in first because that was better then losing my head. The darkness was powerful like it was an actual substance with a living mind. It began pulling me in because why not, and immediately all was lost.
There really isn’t a way to explain what I saw going through the door. The only proper way to describe it is the spinning sensation when you get really drunk, and go on that ride that pins you against the wall turning so fast the vomit just goes right back into your face fast forwarding you to the moment you wake up full of regret and lost memories of cleaning up the vomit.
I awoke in a daze. The room had shifted around me. Instead of molded walls full of disturbing images of incredible abuse I was greeted with a giant pulsating blob of flesh stuck to the ceiling like gum. It latched onto the gray dungeon like walls, and moved in and out as if it was actually breathing. The walls had lines of flesh latched onto them similar to an ivy plant growing. In the distance I could hear a faint chanting, but was too far away to determine any of the words. I assumed that the blackness absorbed me taking me to hell. I learned that it would have been better if it did.
If you are an observant individual (like I know you are) you will have noticed my tagline is Life in Mind. Now there are several reasons why that is an important phrase to me and it also explains more about why I am blogging. It’s also an important phrase to you. That is really what we should be talking about because you are the most important person to yourself.
Life in Mind is a mantra of mindfulness for the busy person who is on the go (most everyone). To me it means Don’t forget life. I do forget about life, not the functions like breathing, but noticing that I am alive. This is my life. I only get one of these, and what am I doing with it? North American Culture specifically the United States is one that is constantly on the go. We like fast food, fast lines, fast fun, fast movies, fast cars, and fast work. We like to get it done get it done now and move onto the next thing. We are so on the go all the time that we forget about living, we forget about life, we forget about ourselves.
Life in Mind isn’t trying to stop your life, or even slow you down. Some people live in the fast lane it’s perfect for them. What it is about is taking a moment each day to notice you’re alive. You take a moment to be mindful of the thoughts, feelings, and sensations that surround you. You notice the feelings you feel at that moment. We want to be non-judgemental during this, and just be in the moment.
Each time we take a moment we get better at learning how to take moments more often. As we get more mindful we get to learn about ourselves in new ways. Once we learn about ourselves we can make good decisions that benefit ourselves emotionally, and logically. Take some time every day to just be, and you might find something about yourself.
Now time for me to be selfish and talk about how it affects me. I like writing, and I love reading. I’m not good at either, but each time I took a few moments for myself I learned I really like what I think about. I really enjoyed the stories that played out in my head, and the drama. I enjoy making the characters move, and change. So, I wanted to write stories, opinions, reviews, and ideas. I wanted to write, so I made a blog with Life in Mind to write. It doesn’t matter if its good, just matters that I do it to benefit me.
Are you a mindful person? What do you do to be mindful? What can you discover new about yourself?
Let me know.
There was, at the present, a need to move with purpose. Had the Tashania arrived when they said they would, or the border guards taken the bribe then Deva could relax. Since that was not the case purpose was to be expected. The Galactic Federation taught her that, move with purpose. If you could then impossible becomes possible. As it stood now customs would be tearing down the hanger doors any moment, if they survived that then the planetary defenses would tear their ship down from orbit, and if they survive that then the largest trade blockade since the Federations Civil War would tear them to shreds. It was all for silweed the most lucrative drug in the Galaxy. Billions where being made off of getting people high.
Deva shoved Rickshaw off the pallet jack, “Forget the decoys move the silweed. We’re leaving hot.”
Rickshaw gave a huff, but Deva made the message clear, they needed to shit or get off the pot. Deva clicked on the cockpit communication link, “Silvia, we’re leaving now.”
“Sorry Captain, the cartel hasn’t given us the go ahead.”
Deva clinched the com tightly cracking it. “Tell that slimy alien that he is about to make a huge donation to Customs.”
Deva didn’t wait for a reply clicking off the com. The cartel had hundreds of pilots flying silweed off world to the core planets. If caught, they were an acceptable loss and would be disposed of in prison. It’s better to be dead in the sky then a Tashanian prison, even better alive on a pleasure moon.
As if a prophetic sign from above the hanger doors blew open. Custom agents filled the gap aiming large deadly rifles at the crew. The law was only fire when fired upon. If the Galactic Federation had any balls they would just kill them all right now and glass this hellhole stopping the cartel. Today bleeding hearts would save the crews lives. Before they could demand anything, Rickshaw opened up on them with the ships rear turret cutting down the customs agents. Deva pulled out her handgun looking down the sights. Move with purpose. Deva pulled off four shots hitting three plus the officer. Customs open fired back, but most were under cover now. Deva ran up the ramp toward the cockpit. Silvia launched off two rockets into the blast doors blocking their escape out.
“Do we have permission now?” Deva said.
Chariot, the ship, lifted off out of the hanger into the Capitol skyline. Rickshaw kept firing at the fading custom agents till they were out of sight. Silvia kept them low weaving in and out of buildings staying lower than the anti-aircraft towers. All it would take is one of those homing missiles to bring Chariot down killing them all. No ships followed them in the city, collateral damage would make the Federation look back turning what little support they had here with the royals. They would wait for them to clear the city to pursue. Plenty of desert in Tashania. The three suns of the desert planet shined off the glass buildings blinding Deva. The ships view screen adjusted.
In past runs they wouldn’t have to weave in between the buildings. They were in and out with clearance without so much as a shot being fired. Customs either got smart, or they got sold out. Deva knew what her gut told her. The city walls were ahead, and Deva could see the sweat on Silvia face. They were about to be in a case for their lives. Deva clicked her communication link to the ships encrypted battle frequency.
“Who is not at their post.” she said.
It was always better to ask who wasn’t doing their job rather than listening to kiss-asses. The all clear came back from each of the turrets. All signs where green, they wouldn’t die from lack of preparation. Deva gripped Silvia’s shoulder.
“I don’t want to die today.” Deva said.
“I’ll do my best captain.” Silvia replied.
Chariot would be a sitting target flying straight up. The G-force would blow off any unlocked turrets sending them back down planet side. They would have to fly at an angle slowing them down substantially but giving them a better chance to protect the ship from the pursuit of customs ships.
Deva opened the hatch just behind the cockpit and jumped down. She belted herself in the 360-dual gun turret. Her crescent moon necklace hung around the trigger. Move with Purpose. Looking down she could see the custom ships launching off and going into pursuit. All of Chariots turrets opened fired casing falling back planet side. Deva couldn’t see any of the ships, yet they were still too low for any of them to sneak under their belly. On the COMS she could hear the other crew members.
Deva was white knuckled waiting in anticipation. This was the most dangerous position to be in as it was just her verses anything coming underneath. Deva took it because she didn’t trust anyone else with the job. Chariot picked up altitude and three custom ships slipped under and opened on their belly. Their guns where still hot from firing. She pulled the trigger unleashing a stream of bullets. Most ships don’t have a belly turret, so the first ship was an easy target, they never knew she was there. Once the other pilots released they opened fire on her.
It was harder for them to hit her then for her to hit them. They had to line themselves up. Deva opened on the next ship setting fire to its wing she cheered to herself in a small victory. The last ship had her lined up in its sights firing a bust into the turret breaking the seal that held her in. All the air was sucked out and as the speed of the ship prevented her from catching any breath. This high up there wouldn’t any air to breathe anyways. She opened her mouth panicking from the shock. She pulled off the emergency kit in her turret pulling out the rebreather. She set it in her mouth regaining some sense. The custom ship kept firing putting more holes in the belly. Deva could hear over the coms that the top wasn’t doing any better. They had lost two turrets, and engines where critical. Bad news turned worse as Silva screamed over the coms, “Nuke.”
Deva kicked on the coms sill out of breath, “Silvia lock up, everyone, we’re diving.”
Ships like Chariot are too small to have escape pods. The only alternative is a drop suit. Used by Federation special forces they had a poor survival rate when used properly. Jumping from a ship this high was suicide for most people, the alternative was getting nuked.
Deva locked the turret kicking the hatch open to the ship. Silva had already locked the coordinates in to fly straight up. It was their best bet to get a clean jump and get as far away from the nuke as possible. She jogged down the hall to the cargo hold putting on her jump suit, and emergency bag. Clicking her helmet in place she ran toward the edge of the hold past the silweed meeting the rest of her crew. She counted heads and clicked on.
“Goon, and Furrow.”
Good no one important. “Survive the jump, we will find each other planet side. Let’s go!” Deva said before jumping out of Chariot as it took its vertical assent.
Immediately air rushed passed her as they made their return decent planeside. She had to get far enough away to survive the heat radiation from the nuke. Custom ships had already peeled off. A locked-on nuke to an old school freighter like Chariot was sure destruction. Deva watched the nuke as it flew up passed her. The air current knocking her a bit off course. Just a moment later a bright light blinded her followed by an incredible heat on her back. The suit should hold, but if it melted…
Tashania’s red and brown surface grew in front of them. The drop suits were made to withstand orbital drops behind enemy lines completely undetectable. The speed of the fall was dangerous if even one finger slipped its place she would send them into a death spiral rupturing every organ bleeding out of the pores in her skin. Deva saw it more than once. Even the most hardcore panic with anti-air cannons firing at them. At about a mile from the surface the suits kick into a slowdown mode allowing for a smooth descent. It was impossible to talk on the fall, and impossible for Deva to turn her head without snapping her neck. She would pick a spot to land, some of the crew may land nearby. Or maybe they were all dead from the blast. Either way she wouldn’t know where they landed until she had.
Deva’s landing was graceful, and silent. She came in hitting the ground, but not so loud that it would be heard more than 100 ft. It took practice to accomplish a feat such as that. She unloaded her emergency bag taking inventory of her supplies. Two pistols, a rifle, med kit, water, food, and a million Galactic Federation units. Everyone had an account tied their name to buy and sell just a matter of using a finger print. Deva had several accounts protecting her money, but if her suspicions where correct this mission went to hell for one reason alone, someone sold them out. If she was right all of her accounts would be depleted, and without at least some money getting off world would be impossible.
Each drop suit would have a beacon to bounce off the others. Deva had rewired her suit beforehand to just seek, and not ping. Paranoia, had always been a close friend, but it was the wisest choice she had made. Each crew that smuggles silweed is different. No two crews have the same members after meeting for the first time. This was done to prevent anyone from ratting on each other. Too much unpredictability for her, but silweed smuggling paid more than slaves. A lot less sad too. She opened her seeker looking for pings. She found one a few miles from her. Move with purpose.
Deva hiked the mile cautiously taking extra time. Tashania had three stars orbiting the planet creating constant light, that mixed with an incredible spanning desert made it difficult for anyone to hide unless they were using a cloaking device.
Deva crawled up a mound of dirt to peak over the other side where the ping was coming from. She cradled the rifle in her arms careful to watch her six. At the peak she covered the scope to prevent a glare and looked down at the basin. A figure was there sprawled out and unmoving. It didn’t look as if anyone had left the suit, and this had been the only ping not moving since landing. Deva picked up after a while and hiked down to the body.
It didn’t move an inch as she worked her way down. Coming closer the body lurched up, Deva quickly shouldered the rifle. The body held up its hands.
“Whoa whoa, chill it’s just me.” The body pulled off its helmet revealing Gavin.
Gavin was one of the ships engineers and not much else. He helped with the loading of the silweed, and repairs of the ship. However, Deva knew that anything could be under the surface. Gavin could be truly capable of anything, but if he thought he was going to fool her he was wrong.
“Why did you set us up Gavin? Was it the Cartel paying you or the Federation? Better answer quick traitor.” Deva said.
She watched as Gavin attempted backing up still sitting in the sand putting his hands up, “Whoa Deva that’s not true. All I know is ships. You’re looking at the wrong guy.”
Deva kept the rifle shouldered for a moment studying Gavin. He looked afraid, and legitimate. Her gut had another idea. Just kill him. At least dead he couldn’t hurt her either way.
“I can blow your head off right now Gavin, and I can do that to anyone who comes in my way. What’s something you can do that would make it, so I don’t want to?”
“I know Rome, personally. He will come, I just have to contact him.”
Rome was a Tanashian cartel. Instead of silweed selling he was a pirate of the ships smuggling the drug. Rome was obsessed with human culture and earth. Naming himself after the ancient empire he believed he could ascend to its legacy. If Gavin knew Rome then Gavin was a leak, but not the one that she was looking for.
“I should kill you Gavin, you are a traitor.”
“True, but my plan never actually happened. Enemy of my enemy and all that.”
“You got a gun?” Gavin shook his head, “You still don’t get one, let’s go.”
Deva wasn’t against Rome, and from others accounts he’s open to negotiation. Rome would be much more open to negotiation if she had the person who lost him a profit, whoever brought the ship down. They would have to find a way to contact Rome, and avoid the Federation. The only way for that was a signal scrambler. Those could be found out in the desert in silweed farms used by the Cartels. Deva checked her tracker for nearby structures finding a couple of clustered huts a few miles off. If they were lucky they would find a farm.
Deva checked the tracker for the other pings. She couldn’t be sure if others had altered their suits in the same way preventing it from pinging. She also couldn’t be sure who died in re-entry. About fifteen souls were aboard the Chariot. When she first landed eight of those souls remained. She found one, and now only five were left. A couple expired since her confrontation their lights no longer flashing. Gavin’s suit would still be pinging a beacon to the person hunting them down. The only way for that to change was to kill him or hack the suit. The former actually doable in the desert. It was time to move.
The hike to the farm would be unbearable without the jumpsuits. Temperatures could reach upwards of 54 C able to melt the paint off a ship. The suits were cooled for re-entry making it the perfect option for the hike. However, the walk through the desert was boring made only worse by the constant anxiety that at any moment she could be fired upon. That was the curse from years of dropping into war zones, everywhere was hot. Gavin walked nonchalantly compared, almost a skip to his step. It bothered Deva.
The last of pings, what was left of Chariots crew, met together just as they came up to the farm. A field of burnt silweed spread out from demolished huts. Deva shouldered the rifle sweeping the area. Gavin close beside her. She could feel his panic rising. By the time they reached the huts the other pings had vanished from the tracker, dead most likely.
Inside the were just charred remains of the Tashanian who worked the fields. Most likely the victims of an aerial bombing from the royal family. Unlike the Galactic Federation the Royals bombed first, and never asked questions. Deva sat against a wall facing the door holding the handgun. She took out her water drinking it quickly. The next town would be too far away for a hike. They would have to open a communication link revealing their location. The only people monitoring the links were Federation, and unless they took a bribe it would be prison time. Gavin was across from her vomiting.
He looked up at her, “How can you handle this?”
Deva looked at the charred body next to her studying its face, “Move with purpose.”
“What does that mean?”
“Means you get brainwashed into thinking your fighting for something bigger then yourself. Like somewhere out on the rim there’s a family thankful that you where there killing the terrorists.”
Deva smiled wrapping her arm around the charred corpse, “Just ask her yourself.”
Gavin would never get the chance. Suddenly his head exploded all over Deva. Move with purpose. Deva had an idea of where the shot came from. There was nothing left of Gavin’s body, large caliber. Whoever shot him was far enough away. Deva dropped the handgun taking up her rifle. She crawled toward the exit door twisting out getting cover on the wall. She popped her head out quickly checking for the killer. Deva pulled her head back just in time as a bullet hit the ground next to her. A com kicked on,
“Captain the cartel has cleared you for takeoff.”
Deva laughed, “Silvia, I figured you for dead. What made you want to give up a fortune to screw us all over?”
“Isn’t like that Captain, Federation smuggles more silweed to the core planets in a day then the cartel does in a year. What the Federation can’t take is a traitor. It’s time to answer for your crimes on the rim.”
Custom ships flew in surrounding Deva, hovering just above the ground kicking up dust.
“Give it up Captain, come on home, and stand trial. Do the right thing.”
“Silvia, I’ve been doing the right thing all my life.” Move with purpose.
The ocean wave crawled up the shore licking Jessica’s feet. The sun beating down upon her burnt body, chapping her lips, and making her eyes sore. She hasn’t eaten in so long, and yesterday was the last of their water. She corrected that thought, last of her water. Everyone else was dead. Thirst, and hunger sat like an untouchable itch in her mind. No matter how hard she to tried to think of something else her thoughts always returned to water. Drinking it, bathing in it, hell downing in it. The itch grew until she could no longer take it, she would die without any water. Getting up she pushed forward to the edge of the jungle peering in.
The entrance met her with complete silence. She had never been to a jungle, but it should make some sound. Bugs, birds, or even rustling of trees nothing moved, all that awaited her was the silent dark. She played with the plants in front, her body in pain from the hours in the sun. Exposed for days her once perfect skin became blistered scared. Nowhere close to the jungle was safe. What she would give to just to go in. She knew what happened in there. She saw what it did.
It watched the meat on the edge, heart throbbing in anticipation. The meat had been on the edge of the water too far away from reach. Now it was closer, so close it could just reach out and grab her. It wanted the meat, it needed the meat. The meat would be rewarded. Drooling it blew its nectar out toward her.
Jessica smelled the sweet nectar. Pulling her hand away quickly from the plant she felt her insides warm with pleasure. Her body wanted to go deeper into the jungle toward the smell. That’s how it consumed the rest of them. The sweet smell that lured them away. They laughed in delight as it tore at them. Jessica teased more of the entrance. She just needed to get in their and fill her skin of water. She could last three weeks without food, but she had been too long without water. The lake was close to the entrance. They had made it before when there were others to target, but it was just her now.
It watched her, drooling over itself hungry, so hungry. It wanted to feast, needed to feast, it has been too long. Such a vibrant place this was and so full of meat to eat, but the meat was gone now all gone, gone away come again another day. It hummed to itself blowing more nectar out toward her. She would feel good, oh so good like a good meat she would be pleased, happy meat is good meat.
Jessica smelled the nectar again, stronger this time. A surge of adrenaline flowed through her as she cringed from the sudden pleasurable feeling that was overwhelming her. Her mind screamed in fear knowing it was just beyond her sight. They tried hiking everywhere around the island trying to get away from whatever the hell it was. It just followed, always following. Always on the edge watching.
Digging her boots into the ground with the water skin in hand she sprinted toward the opening of the jungle, pushing everything she had to reach lake inside unscathed. It was a straight shot, but the once quiet jungle awoke immediately with the snapping of branches. It was right behind her chasing for its kill.
This meat moved the fastest, it was the hardest to feast. Fast meat, lean meat, delicious meat. Soon lean happy meat. It will have its meal. Jessica pumped her arms dashing toward the lake, pain in her chest rose as her burnt exhausted body pushed forward. The pain was almost overwhelming. She forced herself to keep her mind only on the water. The snapping came closer as the sound of something massive flew through the trees.
The faint trickling of the river could be heard, hope began rising in her chest. The lake in sight, its cool dark waters welcoming her into its embrace. She dived into the water plunging deep down. Opening the skin, she filled it while readying herself to spring out. It watched her jump into the lake. Jessica knew it wouldn’t go in, knew she would be safe if for only a moment. It became frustrated it wanted to eat, it couldn’t wait to eat.
Jessica came up, and out of the water the smell of nectar filled her nose, but she pushed down the euphoric feelings it gave her. She looked toward the shore knowing it was on one end of the pool. Jessica looked around everywhere trying to find some clue to how she could get away. She came to the opposite of the stream and began her sprint out. The smell became more intense as her mind became clouded. The jungle melted away as the warmth built up inside of her. She kept sprinting as the world around her changed. She kept running in fear, but suddenly her running stopped.
Awaking from the horror of the nightmare she lunged out of bed. She quickly reached for her phone and started calling the others. Each one picked up saying they had the same dream. Jessica sat back down on her bed relaxing some. She let out a long laugh relieved to be home. She got up going to take a shower after the experience. Her neck tickled, and then felt bitten. She slapped where the bite was, but it wasn’t a bug.
It dangled down from the trees biting Jessica’s body wrapping it up like a cocoon. It hummed to itself as its feast laughed. Such good dreams make meat taste the finest. No more meat after this feast, it would grow hungry. The island will provide though. It will bring more meat, and it would feast again.
A large unfairness that I find with starting a blog is that so much seems one sided. I get to expel my beliefs, writing, and reviews all over you like the annoying kid in class who only has the one joke. You just get to sit there listening to it wondering what your life has become. Lets hope its not that bad of a blog, but I do hope that you will leave a comment letingt me know what you think. If you are nice then that just makes it a more positive experience for the both of us (especially if we disagree with each other).
Overall I think that I am a failure at life, and what I wanted out of life. This isn’t some sort of emo rant where I spill my nihilistic values all over the web. I am just being honest with myself, and understanding that if I want to improve I have to accept that I failed in many things (most things). Focusing on the positive first I did a couple of things right: I married the love of my life, and I learned how to play dungeons and dragons. Other than that there isn’t really a whole lot I have to be proud of, and in comparison to now I wonder how I honestly managed to get either of those right. I’ve become overweight, I am in debt, I have to idea how to get better work, and I don’t know what it means to live a good life.
When I work with clients I often ask them what they want out of their expereince, what are their goals, and do they have plans to accomplish them? I never took the time to answer these questions for myself. I don’t know who I am really…and that is a strange thing to say. I mean we all know who we are as in what we look like, and how we feel around situations. I just don’t know who I am. I don’t see myself fitting into a situation, and I feel more like a ship on a sea of desperation to find what life all means for me.
So that is why I am writing. It’s self-discovery, and a chance to improve. It’s a way to hold myself accountable to my goals, and one day live a better life. I will be writing my opinion on things, creating fiction, and blogging about my personal life. I’m going to get it all out there to hopefully make a change, and get somewhere close to where I want to be.
What do I want out of this blog?
To grow into the mistakes I have made overcoming the setbacks, and setting up a foundation to build off of.
What are my goals of this blog?
To write fictions, reviews, personal tales, and opinions in an effort to understand myself.
How do I plan to accomplish this?
Write when I can. Post something at least three times a week, take pictures, understand the blogging community.