Jack’s first day in the apartment was a new lease on life. He wasn’t sure what he wanted to do first. But it was an answer to his prayers, and, yes, Jack was now a praying man. God wasn’t always on constant call when it came to Jack’s old life. However, since he began his life after drugs, he was in constant communication with the man upstairs. But, this was more than Jack could have asked for. He never knew gigs like this existed. The idea of “cup runneth over”truly had a meaning now, and Jack felt like a human being for the first time in years. But, Jack was logical. He knew that it wasn’t all God. Jack owed a special thanks to Adam, the man he met while in the county rehab.
Adam was a preacher of sorts, who spent time with addicts and gave them hope. But Adam was much more than a counselor to Jack. Adam was a guiding light and a mentor. He helped Jack and gave him a chance to work at the church and prove himself as a carpenter, which had been instrumental in getting the job at the apartment complex.
He thanked Adam as he sat alone for the first time in a long time,with his dinner on his lap, and thanked God for his apartment, which was on the fourth floor of the Wartzburg Building. It was only a small, cheap, four-room cracker box, but he lifted his head toward the roof, as if he could see into heaven, and asked God to come into his home. It was a quick prayer, just something to bless his food and to invite good spirits to his new place. But he knew it was important, because he didn’t want to forget about all the good things that had been happening to him lately, nor did he want to forget what drugs had done to him.
Before he left the rehab center, he thought that he’d be happy out in the real world, away from the clinic and all the church meetings, away from all the drug addicts and the whiners. But, he wasn’t. Over time, he’d come to like working for the church and he liked the few friends he’d made while living at the halfway house. He liked that his life was on a new path, but he was more afraid everyday. Afraid that he’ d mess everything up now that temptation was at every turn.
What he felt then was suffocation. Anytime he thought about running into old friends or what he was going to do if he started wanting a hit, a panic quickly closed in on him and crushed his goodness. His ideas of a good life and of the spirit who he’d prayed for began to wilt as if something didn’t want him to have a good, new life.
He just felt so alone.
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.
You receive the vibration you are tuned
to, exactly like a radio antenna. Although, there are many radio
stations, the radio only tunes into one at a time. There are also
many vibrations to the human being, but we also broadcast a single
wavelength at a time. I point out that we broadcast and not receive
because if we want to receive higher vibrations we have to learn to
broadcast higher vibrations.
This is great news. It means that once
we are broadcasting higher vibrations like love and gratitude, we can
not receive the lower vibrations like hate, depression, jealousy,
envy, and frustration.
We tune into a higher vibrations by
tuning ourselves to broadcast it. This is also great news because it
means what we broadcast is not dependent on what we receive. We don’t
have to wait on anything or anyone to tune us into what we want to
Of course, it will be a challenge in
the beginning to broadcast high vibrations when you are receiving low
vibrations. You might even think higher vibrations are for someone
else. You might think you are not worthy of receiving love and
gratitude. You might not even know what love and gratitude really
Ever hear someone say, “we can’t have
nice things?” They say it like it’s a joke. But, really it’s a
powerful mental program they were taught early in life. It’s one of
the many station on your radio. What you think, it what you become.
You must be present in your thoughts.
Especially in the beginning. You have to make yourself think in
higher vibrations. It is a skill and it takes practice. One way to
think about “being present with your thoughts” is like this:
You know when someone is present with
you because they paying attention to what you say, do, and how you
react. They care about you enough to stop you when you say something
or do something harmful. Even if it’s meant as a joke, they will say
“don’t talk like that,” or “Don’t call yourself stupid.” And
especially, “Don’t say I wish I was dead.” Although, they know
it’s a figure of speech, they don’t want to hear you say it because
even the idea of it hurts them.
We have to be the same way with our
thoughts. By being present with our thoughts we pay attention to them
and stop them when they become negative. Also, being present with our
thoughts puts us in the present moment and puts all of our attention
Remember: where your attention is, so
is your energy. We want to put all of energy in the present moment.
Just like an antenna can transmit farther by using more energy, so
can we. The reach of our vibration depends on how much attention we
give to our thoughts and what emotions our thoughts are creating.
What you might not know is that you can have everything you want, but you have been programmed since childhood to doubt yourself and the world around you. It is time to get specific. Goal-driven action is the answer to your dreams.
People often quote “ask and you shall receive?” But, when asked what they want they reply: more money, a better job, house, car, wife, husband, children. But, they don’t know specifics. How much money, exactly what job, how big is the kitchen counter and refrigerator in your dream house? Who do you want to be your wife or husband? Who exactly do you want to be?
Being specific is a major key to receiving your desires. You can just ask for money. You have to ask for an amount. You certainly can’t have someone else ask for you and you an’t ask for someone else. The universe is vast and wealthy and it has everything you want, need, and desire. But, it can not decide for you.
Answer these questions below for
yourself and imagine what your perfect life would really look like.
1 – What is the greatest, most ideal version of you?
2 – How would you start your day if you had a perfect life? What time would you wake up? What type of bed would you have? Alarm clock? Curtains open or closed?
3 – Would you be married? Who to?
4 – If so, what type of wife/husband would you have?
5 – What would you eat for breakfast? Do you prepare it yourself?
6 – Where would you work? How many hours?
7 – Who would your co-workers be?
8 – Where would you spend your lunch break?
9 – Do you exercise during the day?
10 – Who would your boss or clients be?
11 – How much money would you make a year?
12 – How much money would be in your bank account?
13 – What would you do after work? Who are your friends? Do you have a place to meet? Is there a room or garage in your house where your friends visit? Maybe a workshop outside?
14 – What hobbies would you have?
15 – How many children would you have?
Can you think of other questions that
would better create your perfect day? If so, ask and answer them
Now, describe in detail your entire day from the time you wake-up to the time you go back to sleep.
I was reading W.K. Clifford and it put me in mind of Plato’s Meno, in which Socrates distinguishes between Opinion and Knowledge. The man who has the right Opinion knows what it true but can not say why he knows it. The man who has knowledge knows what is right and can say why.
For Socrates, it made no difference whether the actions are based upon right Opinion or Knowledge because the results would be the same. But, for Clifford the difference is crucial. He insists that every person has a responsibility to make sure that their action is based on knowledge and not only right opinion.
“The life of anyone who will not accept the responsibility of acting only on knowledge will prove to be one long mistake against mankind”. — W.K. Clifford
What is Belief and how are they created?
If I were to ask you about
what your belief, what you answer?
But, before you answer, I want to say that your belief is not a private matter. Your belief concerns more than yourself. Our lives are guided by the general assumptions made by society for social purposes. Our words, our phrasings, our form, and their processes, indeed every mode of thought are common property, fashioned and perfected from age to age; heirlooms which every succeeding generation inherits as a precious deposit and sacred trust to be handed on to the next one, not unchanged but enlarged and purified with clear marks of each.
It is our belief that prompts us into
action. Any belief at all holds some influence upon the action of
whoever holds it. Even if the action never comes to fruition and the
belief is not immediately acted upon in open deeds, it is stored up
for the guidance of the future.
Imagine there was once an island where
some of the inhabitants professed a belief and formed themselves into
a Society for the purpose of informing the populace of their belief.
They published documents and did all in their power to spread the
news of their belief and get others to believe. So loud was the noise
they made, that a commission was appointed to investigate the facts;
but after the commission had carefully inquired into all the evidence
that could be got, it appeared that their belief was unfounded. Not
only was it untrue, but it became apparent that there was very little
evidence to support their belief to begin with and could have been
settled easily if the original believers had attempted a fair inquiry
After these disclosures, the
inhabitants of the island looked upon the members of the Society, not
only as persons whose judgment should be questioned, but also as no
longer to be counted as honorable. For, although they had sincerely
believed in what they spread to all who would listen, they had no
right to believe considering what little evidence they had before
them. Their sincere convictions, instead of being honestly earned by
patient inquiry, were in fact stolen by listening to the voice of
prejudice and passion.
Let’s say, the investigation proved the belief to be true and the Society in the right. Would this make any difference in their guilt for believing without knowledge? Clearly, they are still guilty. Of course, they would now say: “We were right after all. Perhaps, next time you will believe us.” But that does not clear them of the guilt, it only means they were not found out.
Imagine how much our perception has changed in the last five years. Most of us have seen undeniable Mandela effects. We’ve faced the reality of our childhood memories being wrong, contemplated the obvious changes to the past, noted things we know that are now different, and we just write it off as a thing that happens now. Accepted it as if it’s not that strange anymore.
The past is changing right before our eyes and the future is changing by the decisions we make. So, why is it so hard to grasp that NOW is just as flexible?
You can change the future right?
The past is changing right? Atleast, something is changing it.So, think about it. There is a way to change your situation, your role, your everything.
People say and we read: Become who you want to be, become the greatest version of yourself, visualize what you want and you will attract it.
These are true and they work. But I want to add or change one thing:
Be who you want to be… Right Now.
You want to be a writer? Then, get a pen and write. Publishing doesn’t make you a writer, writing does. You want to be a director? Then, shoot a movie. Use a VHS camera. Use your phone. Be the director you imagine yourself being. You want to be a musician. Get the instrument and play it. You’re not going to be good at it. But, your not supposed to be. You’re just supposed to be at it.
It’s an honor to showcase poet Michael Dickel in the first ever Fiction Weekly Spotlight. I thank him for the faith he’s showing by participating and placing his good name in my hands. I also thank him for his wonderful work, not only as a writer and poet, but as a teacher and historian. He does more than entertain his readers. He uses his gift of writing and storytelling to document our world and the many different people and places in it.
He chooses to document our present condition and put in writing the lives of the people affected by it and how it effects the lives of others. His journalistic poetry and storytelling makes me aware that he is here with us, but somehow outside looking in, which brings me directly to his book:
“War Surrounds Us,” a poetry collection he wrote during the Israel-Hamas conflict in the summer of 2014. The poems evoke a resistance to the violence all around, and make acute observations of its effects on family and daily life – from the provocations before, through the disruptions of rockets falling on Jerusalem and devastating loss of human life during attacks on Gaza, and past the line of failed cease fires to an uneasy truce.
A Bit of Biography for Dr. Dickel
grew up outside of Chicago, where he began writing young. His first
recognition came as a co-winner of the Glen Ellyn Jr. High School
Poetry Contest; early poems appeared in the Glenbard West literary
magazine, Early Wine, of which he became one of the editorial
triumvirate in his Junior Year. He moved to Minnesota before his
Senior year, graduating high school in St. Louis Park and continuing
for a bachelor’s degree in psychology. He continued to write during
a decade of working in various youth work, counseling, and other
psych-related jobs. He married and his first child was born also
during that decade.He returned to graduate school, where he obtained
a master’s degree in creative writing (with dual foci on poetry and
fiction) and a doctorate in literature. His second daughter was born
during his studies. He taught literature, creative writing, and
composition (academic writing), and directed two writing centers in
the next phase of his life, also divorcing. A little over ten years
ago, he moved to Jerusalem, Israel, re-married, and had two more
children. In Israel, Michael mostly writes, but also teaches English
(mostly language, but also other courses, which have included media
literacy, literature, academic writing, and creative writing).
While individual creative works started appearing in small presses from 1987, his first book didn’t come out until after he moved to Israel, The World Behind It, Chaos…(WV? eBook Press, Chicago, 2009). He self-published his second poetry book, Midwest / Mid-East (Lulu 2012). His third collection of poetry, War Surrounds Us (2015), and first collection of flash fiction, The Palm Reading after The Toad’s Garden (2016), came out from a micro press project with his friend and fellow poet, Gary Lundy—Is a Rose Press (Montana and Minnesota). His most recent poetry book is a chapbook, Breakfast at the End of Capitalism (Locofo Chaps, an imprint of Moria Poetry, Illinois). Along the way, his work has been translated into several languages, he is an active organizer with 100 Thousand Poets for Change, and has organized readings and literary events on three continents. Michael also has served as a literary editor—from the book review section of The Minnesota Daily in the 1990s, to online and print journals, to his current position as contributing editor of The BeZine.
“Writing well means never having to say, ‘I guess you had to be there.’ ” — Jef Mallett
No matter, how much I want to place Dr. Dickel’s work into a box and neatly describe him as a Poet Journalist, the words of Edwin Arlington Robinson come to mind:
“Poetry has two outstanding characteristics. One is that it is undefinable. The other is that it is eventually unmistakable.” — Edwin Arlington Robinson, winner of the the First Pulitzer Prize for Poetry
From the dawn of communication, many have put verse to words, capturing our imagination by describing fictitious and fantastical worlds, incredulous cities, and impossible deeds of men and women born by gods. But, it’s few who dare to lay on page the efforts and actions of the modern man and outline for better or worse his plight or privilege.
I say few because out of the nearly 8 billion people living today, the number is quite insignificant. So, when writers like Michael Dickel write poetry and stories in a way that humanity can get a get a clear glimpse of itself, I believe we should seek out their words and read them until they become truly unmistakable.
What to expect in 2019:
Finishing Line Press has agreed to publish Nothing Remembers, a collection of poetry by Michael Dickel (editor / publisher of this blogZine). Coming in Summer 2019…
A Submission Call:
If you do more than enjoy great stories and poetry, you might like to submit to Michael Dickel’s Blogzine Meta/ Phor(e) /Play.
Fiction Weekly is more than a small online library of my stories. At least, it will be. New writers and their original content will soon be showcased each week. Whether it be stories, poetry, music, or video the weekly spotlight will reach out to writers and artist of all camps and offer them a platform worthy of their craft. Together, we will entertain the visitors and share our audiences
Fiction Weekly will also link writers to resources and website, such as Ralan and Fiction War, that will broaden their submission targets and further their online reach.
I am very optimistic about how much can be accomplished through the self-publishing avenues. Sites such as Amazon, Smashwords, and Wattpad could possibly be the launch pads many of us have been searching for.
Of course, there are literary services all writers need from time to time, such as editing, graphic design, and ghost-writing. Fiction Weekly will begin adding links to connect the artists and writers.
I believe everything can be accomplished when time and energy is applied appropriately. Potential is in everything and we only have to act with intention to make our desires a reality. Nothing is just going to happen. We must always be making the “happening” Now.
“Our ideas are only the blueprints of our dreams. It’s the combination of our intention, emotions, and actions that create the steady platform and solid materials of which our reality is made.”
It was the fourth venue on John’s tour. He’d sold more than three hundred books, everyone of them signed, and shook nearly a thousand hands. He was getting into the swing of things, when he was stopped in his tracks by a man in a wheel chair.
The man held his hand up to John and waited for him to shake it, which of course John did. The way the man sat made the twist in his spine obvious and it brought reality rushing in on him.
Why did these things happen? Why are people crippled? Why do I get to think an achy back is any reason to whine and fall into depression?
The man in the wheelchair smiled as he held up John’s book. His thin arms shook with the weight of it. John’s breath shook in his chest and a sob escaped his lips.
Everyone noticed. The man in the wheelchair looked john directly in the eye and exhaled a slow breath, in an effort not to cry himself. John took the book, signed it quickly, and laid it in the man’s lap.
Then, he took a card from his back pocket and help it out to the man. “I’ve got to go on stage now. But, please call me tomorrow at noon. I want to speak with you.”
A woman standing near the man reached for the card. She took it and nodded her head. “He’s looking forward to it.”
“Yes, ma’am So am I.”
On stage John spoke to a crowd of nearly two hundred people, who had come to the Hyatt Regency to hear him talk about what he thought life was and what people are.
“By the time we are teenagers, most of us have been taught to believe in only what we can see. All the wonder, fantasy, miracles, and magick of the world, while encouraged in the early years, is quickly discouraged as we get old enough to act upon them. The moment it seems we might be in a place to make our belief in the invisible world a reality, we are told that it’s childish. If we insist with our interests in the invisible things and things actually begin to happen, we are shunned and told that only demons will give us the things we desire. To get happiness and become fulfilled, we must have sold our soul to the devil.
“The powers that control our culture and society want us to know what is out there. They tell us that we can have all of these amazing things that exist in the universe. But, they warn, it’s wrong to want them. So, we’re not being denied the gift’s of the universe. We’re not having our happiness taken away.
“Eventually, we’ve become convinced that it’s an evil impulse and a selfish desire to want worldly treasures and beautiful things. We chose to forfeit our rights as the Prince or Princess of the Universe, as a living Child of God, and we’ve forgotten the amazing temple we are: a temple that houses the creator’s spirit and acts as the sanctified connection between us and the infinite treasures of timeless wealth and knowledge.
“But, it’s our creator’s will for us to live fulfilling lives and have abundance overflowing. More times than we realize, we are blind to the real treasures of life. We are on the receiving end of unlimited lifeline of happiness and pleasure, but we disconnect ourselves.
“Life has a secret menu that we are taught to ignore. We close our eyes to the reality of receiving gifts from the universe.
“We believe it’s demons and devils that grant our wishes, but what if the universe is a mechanism built for the sole purpose of fulfilling your desires. This is hard to believe because it seems as if the universe is actually working against our will.
“And perhaps it is. But, it doesn’t have to be that way.”
The audience did not stand when they clapped, but John liked that best because it meant they were thinking.
This is not a story for the young readers. It details the great evil people will commit for their love of money. This is a dark tale of a friend stabbing another friend in the back. Dark sexual perversion, pure evil, gruesome deaths, unabashed hatred, treachery, and greed is what “Corporate Friends” explores.
When you purchase a copy of “Corporate Friends” you are supporting my dreams and the continuation of free short stories on Fiction Weekly. Thank you for your visit and for reading. Even if you don’t buy the book, I truly appreciate you for being here.