Medicine People

Medicine People
by Thadd Presley

The man pushed the needle under her flesh and smiled. He whispered into her ear, as he pulled the plunger back. “Drugs aren’t exactly good or bad, you know?” Her, until now, uncorrupted blood mixed with the sick, brown liquid and delighted the man. “You’re like a medicine man,” he mused. “You’ve heard of then haven’t you?”
“Yeah,” she mumbled. Already able to feel the strong concoction. “They’re like Indians…”
“Yeah, well kind of, but many cultures them. They were the people who had the guts to try things the others were too afraid to do.”
She nodded. “Like shaman?” She pronounced it slowly: “Shay-men.”
“Exactly. They’d go into the spirit world and come back with knowledge from the other side.”
She smiled. “Like wisdom.”
“That’s right! And it would change everyone’s life? They found out things from the ancestors and were decades ahead of their time. Centuries, even.
“Are you afraid?”
He pushed the plunger and forced the liquid into her vein. She smiled as the numbness flowed across her chest and up her neck. Her eyes drooped twice and then closed peacefully as she slipped from the world of the living and entered the spirit world.

Copyright Thadd Presley — All Rights Reserved

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

Rubbish Day (part 4)

Rubbish Day
(part 4)
by Thadd Presley

He pulled close to the ledge and got out. The view took his breath away. Never did he realize how deep the quarry actually was. There was no wonder why his mother begged him not to swim there. It lookedto be nearly 400 feet deep.

 He walked around to the passenger side and opened the door. While he whistled a tune, he retrieved his pistol from the glove compartment.He didn’t think there were predators near and even if they were he didn’t believe they would attack him. But, just in case, he slid the gun into his waist band at the small of this back.

 then walked nearer the edge, still whistling.

Already the stress of the road was leaving him. A tiny echo of his own whistling came back to his ears and he smiled.

Peace, he thought, was anywhere you looked for it.

Then,a car horn blared behind him. He jumped and feared he would lose his balance. He was too close to the edge.

He heard laughter and without turning around, he knew the boys in the Honda had followed him.

A moment passed before he turned to faced the two boys who had began walking toward him.

“Better watch your step old man,” called the taller red-headed driver.

“Yeah,” his passenger seconded.

Jerald noticed the face of the driver. It was red and twisted by rage.

 Thecar! Where was it?

The boys stopped fifteen feet away. The were spoiling for a fight and weren’t going to stop until they found one.

Adrenaline flooded Jerald’s veins and fire filled his brain. Fucking punks, he thought. He hit the steering wheel with his palm. “I’ll not be fucked with today, thank you very much. Now, we had fun on the road,but this funny.”

The Honda’s passenger laughed. The driver looked hard at Jerold, but he was not as amused as his friend.

Jerald walked closer to his car.

“What you doing grandpa?”

Jerald wasn’t sure which asked him, but he didn’t answer back. Seemed today was a special day for punks. They thought they owned the road and wanted all their question answered.

“Hey, I’m talking to you.”

Jerald turned and saw it was the red-haired boy speaking. He wasn’t any closer, but it looked like he was.

Nervously clasping his hands behind him, he felt the cold metal in his waste band. It calmed him a bit. He wasn’t going to let a pair of punks intimidate him. Especially after they put people’s lives in danger,his Porsche in danger, and followed him deep into a secluded,dangerous quarry.

Perhaps,they thought they could just do anything they wanted and get away with it.

Not today, Jerald thought. They weren’t getting away with anything.

No one was getting off easy today.

Today, we will all get our fucking reward.

They did exactly as he’d thought they would. They began to walk toward him, in an attempt to intimidate him. And in many ways, it should have been frightening. They were younger. He was a middle-aged,balding man who couldn’t fight worth a piss and had no chance to beat them in a fair fight. His belly stood out a bit too far and he didn’t have the breath he once did. But Jerold McCleary wasn’t afraid.He’d realized recently that he wasn’t scared of anything anymore.

He’d been Mr. Nice Guy for far too long, but somehow he knew Mr. Nice Guy was on his way out.

He was going to be in control of his destiny from this day forward, instead of going with the flow.

Assholes,especially assholes like these, were used to pushing people around.They expected everyone to cower in fear because that’s what people usually did when confronted by a unified front. They had forgotten how easily bullies crumble to the strong and courageous. They needed someone to step into place and do what they were too afraid to do themselves.

More and more, recently, Jerold had been thinking of the world and the pitiful state it was coming to. He was prepared to act on his instincts an create a new life for himself and his loved ones. It had become painfully obvious to him that the world needed someone with guts, someone with a pair of balls. There was just no other choice to make.

He had to do what was required of him. If not for his family, then he must do it for all the other struggling families in the world.

It would make the world a better place.

Copyright Thadd Presley — All Rights Reserved

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

Jack’s Apartment (part 7)

Jacks Apartment
by Thadd Presley

He woke sitting up on his couch. The quilt had fallen in the floor and was laying too close to the heater. He could see steam rising from it. Sunshine streamed in through the windows,brightening his living room.
Then the knock came again. The same three booming knocks. He looked at the red, digital numbers of the clock blinking 12:47 PM

“Damn, the electricity must have gone out,” he said to no one. Then, to the knocking, he yelled, “hold on.”

“Jack,” someone called. It was a familiar voice. “You in there?”

“I said hold on. Just a second.”

Two sleepy steps brought him close enough to the only window for him to see the red pinto on the curb. It was Adam come to visit him. He opened the door.

“Mornin’ Adam.”

“Boy you’re a light sleeper,” Adam joked.

“Lucky I slept at all.”

“Sorry to hear it,” Adam sympathized. “I hope you feel up to coming to the food drive?”

“I had the craziest dream,” Jack began without being asked about the dream. “Something I hadn’t felt in along time.”

Adam saw the unsettled look in his eyes. “You have to give it time, Jack. It’s been a long time since you lived alone. It will get easier. Perhaps, it’s the temptation manifesting itself…”

“No, it’s not that.”

“Have you had urges…”

“Yeah, I guess, but no not really. I haven’t had time to think about all that. Trust me, that’s not what this is.” Frustration was showing in his voice and Adam heard it easily.

“Well, tell me about it on the way to the church. We have a food bank to stock. I’ve got some coffee in the car. Maybe I can help you figure out something that will help you readjust to your new surroundings.”

“Do you believe dreams have a meaning,” Jack asked,turning from the door, allowing his friend to enter. Then, without letting him answer, “I mean, I know what it’s about. I remember it perfectly, but you think it might mean something in the real world?”

“Maybe, probably, maybe not. What was it about?”

“You’ll think I’m crazy.”

“You are crazy.” Adam said smiling. “Or, maybe you should be.” He put his hand on Jack’s shoulder. “Look, you probably just slept wrong.” He pointed to the couch as if it was proof.

“It’s not the couch, Adam. I’ve slept on way worse at the church and at the clinic.”

“Well, we’ll pick up my daughter’s old bed after the food drive just in case. I don’t want you sleeping on that old thing anymore. Who knows where it’s been. And then, tonight, we’ll have a few beers and talk about your new life. It’ll make a world of difference to talk about it and work out a few details of the coming week.”

“No, no, my stuff’s s’posed to be here today.Matter of fact, I should stay in and wait on the movers. Plus, I want to look around and see the best way to get started on the renovations.” But that wasn’t the only reason he wanted to stay.The dream was still fresh in his mind. He could hear the girl’s voice so clearly. He had to get that key, had to help her.

“Well, you going to tell me about the dream or not,”Adam asked, looking around the room. “It’s probably got something to do with this place.”

“That’s it exactly. It is this place. Maybe it’s the whole building.” He closed his eyes, trying to close out the locked door right in front of him, trying not to see his dream.

“Well, it’ll pass as you get used to it. Now, when do the movers get here?”
“Noon-ish,” Jack answered. “I just have the few things from the storage unit. No reason to pay forty bucks a month while I have all this room. I can put stuff in one of the other rooms until I get around to cleaning it up.”

“Yeah, I suppose you could. Tell you what. I’ll give you a call tonight.”

“Just give me a few minutes before you leave. I want to tell you about the dream.” He was starting to feel uncomfortable again, claustrophobic. “I need to tell someone.”

“Wow, this is really got a-hold of you, huh?” Sweat was visible on Jack’s face, and Adam realized then that his friend was actually shaking. “OK. Start from the beginning.”

Copyright Thadd Presley — All Rights Reserved

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

Galaxy University (part 2)

Galaxy University
(part 2)
by Thadd Presley

 We walked quickly through the over-capacity cafeteria. Her carrying a stolen tray and I hoping no one recognized me as the Compu-Server Attendant. I had shed my green and brown shirt and tried to keep from running. I felt much better once we got outside in the open air.

On beautiful days, the dome is barely visible and the red dwarf shines through like a small furnace at the end of a long hallway. Most people don’t appreciate the clarity of a dirt-free dome and it should be a crime to not hold the Honorable Guild of Dome Scrubbers as a cultural treasure. It’s not many who would go into the harsh elements of a hostile planet and power spray, acid wash, towel dry, and shine humongous domes, some the size of large cities.

The open spaces of the campus were freeing in a way that only an institute of higher learning could make is seem. It lifted my soul to know such amazing architecture of intellect like Campus 514 existed. Not all Campuses were like ours.Just to know that any place could gather together people from across the galaxy and openly share ideas of life and the future in a fearless way made all the hardships of being away from home worth it.

Back on Earth, the people who controlled the wealth controlled the schools and the food and the many of the workers had no choice but to do what everyone else did.Wars were fought and ended at the whim of the wealthy. But here, at The Europa Science Academy, no one had money. In fact, currency had become tied solely with oxygen. All data was encrypted and compiled in a closed computer system that adjusted the oxygen according to the schools placement, ranking, and listing against all other Campuses. It allowed us to be independent from economics of the system and most importantly it loosened the hold Earth had on us.

Only a few families held all the wealth of Earth and it’s Companion Planets. They dictated the cost of ore, goods, foods, and water. For most, oxygen was free. But everywhere the air was free, it was polluted. In places jobs flourished, famine and disease was rampant. Only the cities of theIdle Rich were clean, healthy, and overflowing with abundance.

There was once a great scientist, a man who’s name is only known by few and utterly unimportant to the rest of humanity due to his not signing his research papers. He explained in a lengthy letter to all the Heads of States on Earth and it’s companion planets that the culture of “currency” as we know was soon going to become nothing but a reason for war. When he wrote is paper, he described it as being invented more than 6,000 years ago and was no longer a viable way to distribute resources. He went on to describe a system of a “resource-based-economy” and how it could be initiated. He drew blueprints from what cities would look like and described how everyone would have what they needed and there would be no need of excess. Machines would build, mine, and make everything needed.

His paper was ignored by the powers and unknown to the public due to the media being owned by a very biased, but wealthy and powerful, few. The self-made videos and published books were uncovered long after his death. It was one of his students who brought the paper to light and showed the academic world the amazing promise of a resource based system.

Even as the people of Earth counted their money and scoffed at such high minded idiocy, a team of ship designers and specialist were building the first of twenty“free-ships” which were to go into orbit the very next year.

Copyright Thadd Presley — All Rights Reserved

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.