Tag Archives: thadd presley

Reverse Image (part 2)

Reverse Image

part 2

by Thadd Presley

 

When Lucas entered the room, the quiet atmosphere stopped him in his tracks before he could say anything. There was a furrow on his dad’s brow he’d not seen before and his mother’s face spelled out volumes of unspoken emotion. He hoped they weren’t talking about his spring semester grades. He brought them up at the end.

Dad spoke up first. “Would you mind explaining exactly what you’re talking about? Your mother and I don’t have all morning to play guessing games. This afternoon we can hash out all the details and decide what we will do.”

“Ryan Butress.” Mother sounded extra-weird to Lucas and for the first time that morning he and his sister looked each other in the eyes. “I’ll not hear more of that. I have all the time she needs and so do you. She will tell us what she wants, when she wants. And we will not decide what she does, she decides what she does. Understand?” When her husband didn’t answer right away, Clare started crying.

Delilah stood in the gaze of three stone serious faces and she didn’t know what to say. Lucas broke the silence before it became hysteria.

“What is going on?”

“I don’t know. I think it’s because I’m not wearing makeup.”

Dad looked up from his bowl of cereal. “Sweetie, I’m not mad and neither is your mother. We just want you to be alright.”

“Well, I’m fine,” Delilah answered. “I just want to think about how I’m going to tell you what I found out. It’s been staring me in the face for so long and for me to just realize it. I mean, it’s stupid that I didn’t see it before. Why didn’t one of you tell me? Did you not know?”

“How could we know?” Her mother asked. “I don’t sleep in your bed, I don’t go out with you when you stay over at Angela’s house.”

“Is that what happened?” Her dad asked.

“That’s not important.” Her mother answered. “What’s important is what happens now.”

“O.K. Fine.” He stood from the table. His left hand shook and that was a bad sign. It meant he was really pissed. Delilah didn’t understand why her mom was so angry. “I’m going to work before I get in over my head and say something I’ll regret. I love you all and I’ll be home by four if anyone wants to fill me in then.”

As soon as the Mercedes backed out of the driveway, Lucas took this chance to jump ship. “I’m going to the gym and then job hunting. Bye.”

His mother crossed the kitchen and hugged him. Then, she turned and took an apple from the basket. “Eat this on your way. You’ll need energy to workout.”

“Thanks, mom.”

After the kitchen cleared of the menfolk, the women of the house stood quietly. They stood at the sink and watched Lucas jog down the sidewalk until he was out of view, then they looked at each other.

“Why are you looking at me that way, mom? God, why is everyone is so weird this morning.”

“I’m just worried about you. We are worried. Your dad and I.”

“Mom. It’s not a big deal. Here, listen. I’ll try to explain.”

“No. I want you to listen. That’s all I want you to do right now.” She pointed to the kitchen table. “Sit down so we can talk.”

“Mom!!”

“Don’t you yell at me.” She said it quietly, but it was a command that Delilah knew to obey. She sat and waited for her mother to speak. “Now I only have one question and I want the truth. Who’s the father?”

“What?”

“Just answer the question. Who’s the…”

“I don’t know. Dad, I guess. Who else?”

The words her daughter spoke didn’t make sense to her. They had meant something, but they quickly turned into something else before they reached her ears. Something like red worms burrowing through the dirt. Worms that ate the all the bad words once they left the mouth and spoiled in the open air.

Shallow Grave (part 8)

Shallow Grave

Part 8

Thadd Presley

I never had to sign my name in blood to hear the voices. The voices have always been in my head, loud and clear, before the man came. While in my early teens, I listened to what they told me while dreaming of the day I would publish their lives in my stories.

I never thought I would publish a book every year? I didn’t know the public would enjoy the stories as much as they do. It never occurred to me that I had a future doing what I loved. I didn’t believe in myself, which is why I took the deal – if that’s what it was. I swear to you I didn’t realize at the time.

The voices didn’t care one way or the other. They were part of my life and I accepted them for what they were: a universe of characters swirling in my head, living out their lives for me to document. After the man talked with me, the voices became louder over the years, and now they grow more commanding everyday.

It seems lately that I don’t have a moment of quiet.

Usually, the voices took their turn. I wrote their stories and, once I had their voices on the page, they would quieten down again. Some had overlapping stories, since many of them lived in the same area, practically the same town. But, lately — and especially on nights like tonight — no amount of writing, no matter how much I wrote, could quiet the voices. They grew louder and louder. Underneath I heard a deeper fear than usual.


I began writing early this evening, my regular time, because I wanted to finish a story contracted through a horror magazine that my publisher told me would really pay off in the long run. I needed to get it written so that I could write my column for the local newspaper. But, it never became possible. I have been constantly interrupted by a small female voice. Mingled within her lightly spoken words has a loud cracking voice of an elderly man. They have kept up a running dialog in my head all evening and after just a few hours, they had taken over my head completely. I heard nothing but what was happening in their world.

Lydia, don’t you love me?” the old man asked again, possibly for the twentieth time. He spoke with a cracked voice between labored breaths. I clearly saw the bedroom and hospital bed. An oxygen hose hung loosely below his nose. A crown of billowing white hair ringed his head.

Yes, I do Papaw, very much. Now, please, you should sleep. It’s coming up on three in the morning.”

Yes, I thought, please go to sleep. Please, leave her alone and let me get back to my story.

But, Lydia dear, I can’t sleep, darling. Not while he’s here. He’ll take me away if I do. I know he will.”

She stood at the bedroom door looking in on her grandfather. Her face looked pale because of the wet, black mascara trails streaming from her eyes. “There is no one here except us.” She spoke, trying to calm him. She was worried about him not sleeping, because she’d seen this delusion worsen without proper rest.

Shallow Grave (part 7)

Shallow Grave

part 7

Thadd Presley

 

Whether I decided what type of life I wanted to live before I was born or decided through a series of choices made over a number years, does it really matter? I suppose if I had the choice to be bound by Fate or chose my life, I would chose to live a life determined by Fate. Otherwise, I would have to accept responsibility of my choices.

For years, I compared my life against the lives of my friends and family. I realized the same pattern appearing again and again in the their lives. It seemed as if they lived the same day, week, or month in a repeating loop. I felt bad for them, looked down on them, and even thought they were stupid. Something had to be wrong with them. At least, that’s what I thought at the time. But, I realized that they didn’t chose their life, just as the major decisions I thought I had made in my life seemed to be worked out by the time I got the chance to act. All the stress I placed on myself while trying to decide what to do was a waste of time ad energy. The things I wanted most in my my life, once I decided that I really wanted them, were simply waiting for me in the right places. College was there, my career was there, my wife was there, my children were there. Does that mean I was powerless? It seems the only decision I ever really had to make was: be alive.

So, was my life was out of my hands? Sometimes it seemed that way. The many distractions were always lying in wait to take me away from my work, not a moment went by that someone close to me failed to suggest “this” or “that” thing we should do, and for the most part, I was able to roll with the punches and dodged the big ones somehow just before it was too late. I don’t know how it all came together.

Maybe I wanted to believe this because it would mean I wasn’t responsible the decisions in my life. It would free me me from the guilt I’ve felt for so long. But, even while it seemed to be possible, I knew it wasn’t true. I knew I was responsible for the things I did and there was nothing I could be ashamed of more than being afraid to face up to my decisions. I could have chosen a different path if I wanted and I probably should have. I could have been a different person if I wanted.

But, I chose to do all the things I did for a reason. I wanted to get all the things I ever wanted, and because of that I’ve had nightmares for most of my adult life. I’ve feared for my immortal soul every time the lights went out and I stood alone crying out to God for some sign that I’ve still got a soul to cry for.

There were times when I claimed responsibility for all the sins I committed only because I meant I was responsible for the good things that happened in my life as well. It sounded shallow and weak even then, but that’s who I was. I wanted to look big in the eyes of some people, but not everyone.

I saw clearly what fame looked like early on and steered clear of it because it was interfering and imposing. A shadowy figure didn’t have to tell me that I didn’t want to be on David Letterman. That was my choice and it was an easy choice.

A pact with the devil wasn’t the reason I kept my career to myself. The people close to me knew what I did and sometimes knew where I went, but only when they needed to know what I was doing. There wa was no good reason to tell everyone what I did and how I spent my days. I chose not to look for adulation or seek out false praise from people who thought they knew me.

I wanted to be able to live in my small town and remain as low key as possible. It was important to me, my wife, my kids, and my own sanity. Everything depended on my ability to be a normal person, and to be able to live a normal life in my home town.

I didn’t want my name in the tabloids, the gossip pages, all the scandal rags. There was a class of people – a sub-human species of man – who lived off other people; the moochers hunt weaker people and eat everything left behind; the leeches attach themselves onto a person and suck the life out of them, usually it is painless; and then there are the parasites who find their way into a person who has achieved a level of success higher than they are capable.

The prospect of these people getting to me or my family and ruining our lives to make themselves rich turned the mansions and bright lights of Hollywood and New York into mausoleums for hollow-eyed corpses and I didn’t want to be part of it. So, if things turned out the way they did simply because I signed my name on the dotted line, that was just part of my life. Not all of it. I’ve done so much more than that single act.

Shallow Grave part 6

Shallow Grave

(Part 6)

by Thadd Presley

 

Over the years, following my first novel “Shallow Grave” there has always been one nagging question: Was the book a product of my imagination or did I sell my soul for it? Late at night, as the fear of hell and eternal damnation seem the realest, I tell myself that I’d know if I’d sold my soul? It wouldn’t be something I could forget or suppress. After all, how could selling my soul be so easy? It’s not like I have a receipt laying around in case I didn’t get everything I ever wanted.

While the book has done very well and led me to a good career, the money hasn’t exactly been in the millions. I’ve been fortunate enough to travel to many of the nicer places in North America, Canada included, more than I ever thought I would actually, and I spent time in the most famous European hot spots. Through publisher conferences, book signings, and writer retreats I’ve seen much of the world.

During the release of the second book, I was even fortunate enough to take my family to Ireland and just a year later we spent a month in Australia together. It’s been great.

More books followed, proving my success wasn’t a fluke, more than enough to convince me that my accomplishments were my own. Sells were enough to keep my children in college and the family comfortable, although we weren’t able to take vacations every year and I certainly never become famous.

In fact, after the first few late night talk shows and half a dozen book signings beside the leaders in the horror genre, I realized I didn’t want to be a famous person. Fifteen minutes was more than enough. Any more attention would have caused problems between my ego and the antisocial disorder that had been working so well for me. I was a writer after all, not an entertainer, and I wanted things to remain just as they had been all along.

But, that’s just where the fear found it’s greatest foothold. During all those sleepless nights, if I was fortunate enough to sleep at all, the nightmares and horrors were just beyond the veil of consciousness. No matter how sure I was of my innocence, the fear always found a piece of solid ground large enough to support the weight of it’s accusations. Often where the fog of memory and shadow of guilt came together, I’d find myself facing certain truths that convicted me thoroughly and deeply.

I never wanted fame. I didn’t write to attain a fortune. I wrote because I wanted to have a writer’s life. I wrote so I could find a woman who would someday become a loving wife. Together, I wanted us to become comfortable with a family.

As I am often reminded by the black and faceless accusers, who derail my dreams into darkness and depravity: I got everything I wanted. Everything I could reasonably ask for and expect to receive has been delivered into my life on time and in just the right amount, as if I ordered it direct from a warehouse.

Shallow Grave part 4

Shallow Grave
(part 4)

Thadd Presley

“He told me that all the great writers, those who came before and those still to come, have one thing in common.”

“Yeah, their crazy, like you.”

‘They all hear voices and were considered unstable.”

“And you do hear voices, don’t you?” Allen asked in all seriousness, as if diagnosing a delusional person.

“Yeah, in a way. I mean, it’s not exactly like voices but it’s not me either. Something inside me tells me what to write.”

“But, have you ever told anyone, besides me, I mean?”

“What do you think? If I told anyone I hear voices, they would think I was crazy and lock me up or something.”

“Then what did the man do? Tell me about the man.”
“He said he would give me a story to write and if I wrote it everything I wanted would be mine.”

“Didn’t that seem odd to you? A strange man appearing in your house and telling you that he would give you story and give you everything you wanted?”

“Not really. I mean at the time it seemed normal. I was desperate. I didn’t think. “Everything I wanted’ kept echoing in my head. I was focused on that part. Besides there’s ghost writers and many well known writers buy stories from people who sell stories all the time. It’s usually people like me who really come up with the ideas that make writer into famous best-selling authors.”

“Yeah, yeah. But, so far you ain’t sold shit. Tell me about the deal you made with him. Cause it seems like it was useless.” He smiled. “You’re deal with the Devil.”

“It was not the devil.” I finished the rest of my beer and this time Allen bought the round. “When it came to the story, I thought he meant he would sell me one or tell me one. I didn’t realize what he meant. I had no idea –”

“But, if he would have explained it to you in detail would you have still done it?”

“Yeah, I suppose I would have. I sometimes thought my stories came from somewhere else anyway and I was focusing more and more on the promise of everything I wanted. Anyway, my stories have always came from somewhere else, like figments of my imagination or something, and since this man was probably my own imagination, what did I have to lose.”

“Nothing I guess. Everything, probably.”

At this point, I took a long pull off my fourth beer and tried to change the subject, but Allen was having none of it. “Tell me what you did. I think you made a deal with the Devil and your new novel is what he promised. I think if you publish this book, you will be incredibly rich and famous and you will have then sold your soul. I feel it in my bones.”

“Fine. It makes no difference now anyway. I might have sold it that night.”
“Why do you say that?”
“Because I did exactly as he asked. I cut my right index finger with my dad’s buck knife, because I write with my left, and when he handed me a small document from his breast pocket.”
“You never told me that before.”
“I’m scared. What if I really sold my soul?”
“What did you do exactly?”
“Well, he unfolded the old piece of paper and asked me very politely to put my sign the bottom.”

“In blood?”

“Of course.”

“And you did it?”

“Damn it, Allen, you know I did. But I swear to God, I thought I was dreaming or having a delusion. I’d been drinking whiskey and I was sleepy. I’d already taken a few pain pills that I’d scored from Daniel so I could stay awake but they weren’t working.”

“OK. OK.” Allen was backing down a bit. He could see my irritation beginning to sow and he knew I wasn’t not a happy drunk to begin with. Allen was my true friend and he could handle me if he needed to but he didn’t want to have to. Instead of backing all the way off, he pressed me further wanting to hear the rest. “How long did it take you to write the novel? The one that you’ve been offered money for?”

“Well –”

“How much did you say they were offering?”

“Damn, Allen, you want me tell you the story or not?”

“Yeah, just tell me how much first.”

Shallow Grave (part 2)

“Shallow Grave”

Thadd Presley

“Now Greg, don’t get too drunk. You’re driving.”
“We’ll take a cab. If I’m going to tell this story again I’m doing it drunk.”

Taking me up on the idea, Allen downed half his pint in three gulps and looked back at me, signaling my turn.

“It happened in my bedroom before I came to university. Just like out of a movie, the voice came from no where and everywhere at once. I heard it plainly and was afraid someone had broken into my room. I knew someone was hiding in the dark. But, the room was so small and the window not seven feet from my desk, it would have been impossible.

“I turned around the check the door, but it was still closed and since the hinges creak when moved, I couldn’t believe someone opened it without me knowing. After a full minute of silence, I had convince myself that it was my imagination and was about to just turn back toward the desk and begin writing again. A thought went through my head and I was sure I had been sleeping. The veil of sleep was lifted, out of the dream I came, and I woke up. It was relief to figure out that I had been asleep.

“I exhaled and pulled my knees under the desk when I heard the rasp of the voice again.A dark movement filled the corner; my eye flickered toward it and I half rose, but that’s when I focused and saw a dark man standing there.”

I downed the rest of my beer and pushed my glass from the edge. Within a minute we both had two new beers. Allen said nothing.

“I couldn’t believe that someone had gotten into the room. But he was there. Just standing, no longer saying anything. I remembered to pinch myself, but I knew I was awake. I looked at my hands to make sure I was awake. I was trying everything to convince myself that this wasn’t real. I should have been more scared, maybe even angry at his being there, but I wasn’t. It was like he broke into his own house because he locked himself out. Sure I was startled, but he belonged and now it was alright.

“Allen, I have never seen him since, but I know he is there.”

“What did he look like?”

“He looked quite wealthy, wore layers of clothing like he was from a cold place. He had a beautiful face, almost looked like a woman. So smooth and white. No…” I stopped to think. I took a deep swig and it came to me. “He looked like one of my sisters dolls. The china kind.”

Allen answered for me. “A porcelain doll?”

“Yeah, and somehow I understood that he wasn’t there to hurt me or rob me or anything bad. He could help me and he wanted to help me. I don’t know how to explain this next part, but he smiled and his teeth were beautiful and I knew that whatever he was he had power. It was his teeth that put me at ease.”

Allen looked up from his beer and smiled. “That was the devil, dude.”
“Fuck you, Allen. I know you think that, but he wasn’t the devil. It was something else. Now, I wish I’d have never told you because you don’t understand and you never can because you weren’t there.

“Well you told me alreadyand it’s good thing you did because you can’t hold something like this inside. So go on and finish it. I like the story.”

2016 Third Debate Strategy

Trump’s Third Debate Strategy

by Thadd Presley

 

Trump has built a large platform from which he can choose a number of topics to talk about, joining it ever so tightly with his slogan “Make America  _______  Again.” Fusing Safe, Rich, and Great together like a giant chicken pot pie for the Conservative  soul, he throws in a hefty side dish of “Smart Trade” to tempt a few more to the table, but he has proven time and time again he is not just talk.

He has pushed the U.N. and NATO to adapt new policies, he has pushed for new strategies on destroying ISIS both on the war front, on the Internet, and the humanitarian front, and he has spoken out about the Pentagon’s policy for announcing troop movements weeks and even months before striking. There is no doubt that Trump has the mentality and mental capacity to be president of the United States of America. There are serious issues that still bother many people, though, and they are not simple, shallow differences in opinion. They have become wide gaps, engraved with precision for decades between Republican and Democrats, slicing through religious values and secular views, erupting in violent clashes where the lines between race, income, and gender meet.

While each side seems to want completely different worlds for their children to live, there are many similarities. Everyone agrees on a few things they would like their children to have: jobs, safety, freedom to worship, love, and pursuit happiness. It is not hard to find those who are voting for the next generation, listening to the debate not for the next four years, but the next 400 years. What kind of world do you want?

Strained tensions and malicious thoughts are not good for anyone. Mudslinging makes everyone dirty.  A population stressed out, over saturated with drama, lies, sex, and crime are not going to be able find a quiet moment to reflect on what they really think or feel.  In other countries there is a scheduled time before the election when no one can campaign. I think we need that here in the USA. No one can make a decision like the POTUS with all the din and banging going on around us.

It’s to a heavy a subject; one that will not be solved or rightly discussed in a matter of 90 minutes divided into two minute sound bites.  For the upcoming third debate Trump should radically change strategies. He’s held so many rallies and visited so many cities, providing ample opportunity for the average citizen to stream his speeches online and learn where he stands on everyday concerns.  He’s covered everything that’s worth covering and even uncovered much of what should have been left buried, but his policies are easy to find.

In the last debate, Trump brought up Bill Clinton’s exploits and the backlash has been many women coming forward to accuse him of sexual misconduct as well. So, what can Trump truly do now except wait for Nov. 8th and watch the Live coverage along with the rest of the districts and counties in our fair country?

The debate is not going to sway voters. It’s far too late for that. A year and a half is too long to hold an opinion and not have it form completely. Most people believe they can size a person up in a few minutes and know whether or not they like them.

Trump should try to take some of the pressure off the voters, off the moderators, and allow everyone relax a little bit. He should make the audience laugh, like Ronald Reagan used to do. Trump could drop some Archie Bunker quotes on Hillary.  Maybe, even, go so far as to call her a Dingbat call Obama a Meathead.  Some of the lines that Archie Bunker used were racist, of course they were; they were mean, yeah; but they were thought-provoking and they made everyone smile a little bit inside.

Here’s a couple Archie Bunker quotes I’ve always liked:

“You Liberals play the victim so well, I’m surprised you don’t carry your own body chalk.”

“I see the unemployment on the streets. You got your winos who you can’t get off the ground, you got your hop heads who you can’t get back on the ground, and you got your hookers bein put outta work by the regular girl givin it away for free.”

“If you liberals keep gettin’ your way – we’re all gonna hear one big loud flush. The sound of the U.S. of A. goin’ straight down the toilet.”

There are so many more way to be a good president than making the other person look bad.

Shallow Grave (part 1)

Shallow Grave

(part 1)

by  Thadd Presley

The wind blew out of the woods and though the window, ruffling the curtains, heightening my awareness of the strangely warm night. I had been writing for three hours every night for the past week, feeling more at home at my desk than I had in months. I was becoming more involved in my writing and the newest character, Markus, was finally going to escape the town and the evil I’d created for him so long ago in the short stories written in my youth. The writing had suddenly become effortless and each scene fell out of my mind so easily that I didn’t realize I’d slipped back into an ongoing story I never finished. Actually, I’ve hadn’t tried to finish the story and for over a decade I stayed away from it, dodging every scene that formed in my mind. But tonight, the click-clack of the typewriter keys calmed and somehow soothed the story out of me. I remembered a time when the typewriter was the only thing that quieted the voices in my head. The voices and scenes that returned to me tonight  were directly from the origin of my stories which took place in the same fictional town.

Lately, the voices for these long lost stories had become so loud that they were nothing more than a constant noise I couldn’t escape. I’d written nothing new in so long I was beginning to worry. I knew the only relief from the burden was getting the stories out of my head and onto the paper that I hoped would hold them forever.

Being a professional writer, I often took my writer’s curse in stride and learned how to use it to my advantage. I always told myself that I was lucky to have these voices, although it was sometimes troublesome, it was part of being a writer and, knowing that, I welcomed it.

In my work, it never seemed strange to hear voices and write down what they told me. Many of the voices came through as dialog, but others told me about their lives, their families, and I saw it as my job to document what they said. In some ways, in many ways, I was a journalist and biographer for the people and places that resided in my heart and mind. I made it my life’s work to tell the stories of those that lived and died in my head.

Does this seem strange? It might seem lunacy to those who don’t write stories, create music, or perform any other kind of art. Also, I realized that it’s not just artists who hear voices. I think most all of us have a nagging voice in our head. After all, my thoughts come through in the form of a sound. My ideas have never appeared before my mind’s eye on a computer screen. The voices, the people, the words become part of a process that drives the ideas that make  life worth living.

I always heard the voices and for a long time I didn’t mind having these strange people living in my head. It all changed when I was in the seventh grade. It occurred to me suddenly that I didn’t know if the voices were other versions of myself or if they came from somewhere outside of me. I decided I wanted to be a writer around that time and I’m not sure why, but the voices had much to do with the decision.

Whatever reason it came about, all I can say is that it’s become my career and I’ve been very lucky to have a job that I mostly enjoy. After all, not many people get to document the lives and secrets of imaginary people.
My love for writing has been very strong ever since, but I was often hesitant to write about the depravity of some lives and the gruesome themes of others. It was a good friend of mine during college who told me that it was a gift and I’d be a fool to not follow every trail and embrace it, no matter where it took me.

Years ago, before I realized what my future was going to be, I tried to talk it over with my best friend. I’d already told him the story before, but it never came out the way I intended. Perhaps, he thought I was trying to brag about my chance to publish n a back door fashion and that might have been a tad bit true, but mostly, I think, he thought I was lying. Then one night, I finally got it all out to him.

“Greg,” Allen shouted one night while we were drinking in the local college bar, “it’s time to show your talent. Come on and just publish the novel. You said yourself that it’s finished. What are you scared of? You chicken or…” He didn’t want to continue because we were friends and he knew it wasn’t his place to dictate my career, but he knew me well enough to call me on my bullshit.

“I’m not chicken. I just don’t know if I should do it. My mom’ll want a copy and she’ll not understand why I’d write something like that. It’s not my style at all.”

“Do you want to be a big time writer or not?”

“Yes,” I answered. “I want to be published, but I don’t want people to think I’m a weirdo or become someone who thinks of evil shit all the time. It’s bad enough to be typecast as a horror writer when there’s so much more to write about.”

He only smiled at me.

“Everyone knows there’s more to a writer than what he writes.”

It’s always been hard to argue with Allen, because he always knew me so well and I he usually had my best interest at heart. “But, my mom.”

“But my mom,” he mocked. “But my … What the fuck does she have to do with this? You are the writer. She knows the talent you have. Believe me, she’ll understand. I think she’d be more disappointed if you didn’t follow your dreams because of what you thought she would think.” He laughed then. “She knows it’s only a story. It’s not like it’s a biography.” He took a moment to finish his pint. “She’ d want you to publish and realize your dream. She’d want you to be happy.”

But, he was wrong on one point. It was a biography. A biography of someone in my head and that person is part of me. So, in a small way, the stories are my biography. I shrugged the thought off and took a drink of my beer.  “Yeah, you’re probably right,” I said. “I just don’t want her to be shocked when she reads it. For God’s sake Allen, it’s the weirdest story I’ve ever written.”

“But you have a publisher ready to roll.”

“Everybody has a publisher ready to roll. It’s call Amazon. They’ ll publish anything on demand.”

“You know what I mean. You’ve got an income stream waiting to be utilized and you’re…”

“Yeah, I’m behind on rent. Just say it.”

“Damn it, she’d want you to do this. Imagine if she knew you were afraid of publishing a story because you thought she’d not like it. She’s a grown woman and has probably read books just as weird.”

“I know.” My excuses were running low at this point and I needed the money.

“Then quit wasting time. The moon is full and the devil is waiting.”

“Don’t say it like that. The voices are not the devil.”

“Well, then, correct me if I’m wrong. Last time I talked to you, didn’t you say that someone spoke to you out of the darkness and promised you fame and fortune? I think you said that the voice said anything you want could be yours.”

“Yes, but that was just my imagination. I’d been awake for days writing on the novel and probably having delusions. It was probably just sleep paralysis.”

“But, you did it. Didn’t you? You listened to the voice and now the public is waiting to buy your book. Money in hand.”

Slowly I took the knife out of my pocket. “I did it with this, you know.”

“Tell me again. Exactly what you did. I want to be rich too.” He was holding his empty glass up to signal the waiter. It seemed as if he was getting ready to hear the story for the first time.

“I’ve told you twice already. It’s just not something I like to –”

“I want to hear it again. Please tell me.” He ordered us each a pint each and when they were  in front of us we took them to a dark, corner booth. He was waiting for me to begin, so I downed half the pint and began the story for him.

Have a Cigar (parody)

I’m sure you know how parodies work. Read the lyrics to the music video. I love Pink Floyd and listen to their music all the time, which is probably why I hear their songs in my head. So, here it be: the parody



Duck in here, dear boy, was that a star?
Was it a cop car? That just passed by
You’ll probably wanna hide
You better not run or fight
They’d love to shoot you
Well I’ve always had a deep respect
And I mean that most sincere
The Blacks are just fantastic
That is really what I think
Oh By the way, my skin’s Pink
And they claim all blacks are the same, boy
We call profiling a race a shame
We just got out
We heard about the shoot out
You gotta get the word out
You owe it to your people
They’ve kill so many we can hardly count
If everyone was just green
They couldn’t tell us apart
It’d be a helluva start
We wouldn’t be such monsters
If we all acted like a human being
And they claim all the blacks are the same, boy
We call profiling a race a shame

Flying Crabs

Flying Crabs

by Thadd Presley

When my mother took her children to the beach
we had the most fun while flying kites high out of reach.
So high and fast they’d fly, soaring above the water
that when  they came down, it was really no bother

For my oldest brother would put them back in the air again.
It was he who discovered the night-time sandy friends.
At dusk the little crabs would come out  in droves.
We caught a bucket full  and took them home

My mother let us keep some because they were small
but did she know what we were planning? no not at all.
The morning came and we took straight to our kites,
latched onto the string, and then put them in flight

The kite hoisted them high into the sky and with stalky eyes
they viewed the world , as the only crabs to ever fly.
Finally they would gather the courage and drop back to the sea
When my mother caught, she broke our kites, and grounded us for two weeks