The Alley – Researching The Spot

The Alley

The library was abandoned and still when David got there. Not only had most of the classes finished for the day, but it was also Friday, and everyone had the little worlds that they needed to go into and live before classes started back up on Monday. He made his way back to the tables he usually used near the computers and made himself at home as David assumed he was going to be here until all hours of the night before eventually giving up on this spot, this “Alley” as a joke. He cracked his fingers and neck and sat down and got to work in front of the computer.

“It amazing.” After four hours, that was the only words David could manage at this titular moment in his life. He had searched through the school’s paper archive first as it was easy enough to access. He hadn’t been looking for three minutes before he found an article describing the Alley and the supposed powers it had over the people that saw it. It was written as a purely satirical piece, but there was almost a fear behind the words. For example:

“There can be no doubt that what was seen behind that restaurant that night was not supposed to be witnessed by anything of this world.”

Satirical, obviously, but there was something like steel behind the words, a warning could that dared not be said aloud lest something that was not supposed to hear it, listen in and find the speaker.

Then just a few minutes later, the town’s paper, a tad more severe on the whole, mentioned a “demonic feeling” behind the restaurant and advised the young not to go near it to be on the safe side.

Article after article. It was going back decades. Before it had been a restaurant, it had been a Five and Dime, a bar, an old feed stop for postal horses, and even an armory for the Crown.

This area, spot, whatever you wanted to call it, had been mentioned in every publication with two-hundred miles for the last five-hundred years, and that was just what David could physically find access too.

After five hours and three Red Bulls from the machines upfront, he sat back in his chair with page after page of evidence damning in its absolute certainty that there was something wrong with that particular spot in the Universe.

However, the most frightening thing was that almost all the articles, while explicitly warning the youth not to go near the place, gave near step-by-step instructions on what to do when you got there.

Excusing the vagaries in language over the centuries, the instructions were simple. First, all one needed to do was enter into that Alley with intent in your heart, then approach the spot on the wall, it is blackest one amongst the filth. Finally, you lay your hands on the wall with your desire in your mind, and you would get what it was that you desired.

David couldn’t believe it. There was no mumbo-jumbo, no “spell,” just intent. You needed to tell the spot what you wanted, and you would be given it.

He stood and stretched, the papers he had printed out scattering as he did so and making a general mess of everything. He looked down at one he had not seen before, it seemed to be from a story told by a clergyman around 1486 right here in the city of Speyer. The language had been translated serval times from what appeared Old German and Latin, and the English came across as awkwardly formal.

“Whosever in the times now or in the future approach the Devil’s spot, know then that at that moment the Hammer for you will begin to seek.

The Alley

The Alley

Like any perfect secret spot, if you didn’t know what you were looking for, you would never see it. Hell, you could be staring at it, but if you didn’t know what you were supposed to do when you were looking at it, you would see what everyone saw. You would be presented with a crappy alley behind a long since shut down by the Health Department, Korean Barbeque restaurant.

If you could read the signs that the owner of the building had put up when he left, you wouldn’t go near it. They spoke of giant rats that gnawed through steel and other incredibly unlikely facts about these denizens of the basement and alley. It got a little hysterical towards the end, and the last words were “…especially the alley.” Since most people didn’t read Korean at all, these signs were generally ignored or thought to be advertisements of some kind and, for this reason, went ignored.


David had been walking back and forth in front of the alley for an hour. The fetid stench from it assailing him every time the wind shifted just a little from East to West. The smell was something barely noticed truthfully. The palpable dread of why he was there that kept his feet moving in a line. Back and forth they moved, not taking the simple ninety-degree turn they needed to take for him to reach his ultimate goal.

He ran his hand through his hair for the hundredth time. Muttering under his breath, he kept flicking his eyes to the end of the alley, to the blackened brick in the otherwise banal masonry.


Three days earlier, David had been walking with a group of friends of his from University. Mostly ignoring the world and staring at his phone so he could know every little bit of news as soon as it happened. He was a junkie for it and would get physically upset if not kept up to date on anything and everything he deemed newsworthy.

A sentence fragment caught his attention, and he looked up to whoever it was that just spoke. He didn’t walk with people much, they just all happened to be going to the same place today.

“What was it you just said, Bill?” He couldn’t have heard him right. Goes to show what not paying attention will get you.

Bill looked shocked to see David speak and repeated what he had just said. “I was just talking about the urban legend from around here about The Alley. It is supposed to give whoever finds it and solves some puzzle, instant knowledge about anything in the world they want to know. I am sure it is just some bullshit story to draw kids downtown to shop or something.”

Bill kept talking, but David was already gone. His mind had withdrawn at the mere mention of being able to know absolutely anything that he wanted to know in a single moment. Who wouldn’t want that? He broke away from the pack without as much as a wave and headed straight for the library. He knew it was probably some jock thing to scare kids or some other stupid tradition, but not knowing was simply not an option, not an option at all.


Taking a deep breath when the wind changed, David finally turned his feet towards the back of the alley and started walking. David’s back was straight, and he was resolved.

However, if even half of the things he had read at the library were even remotely accurate, he was walking the last thirty steps of his life, and there was nothing he could now do to stop.

Reruns, Groundhogs, Mondays and My Very Own Immortality

Every Day Is Sream Of Consciousness

There is an eerieness to a Monday morning that might as well be any other day of the week for the amount of importance it has in the current health crisis. Sure, the garbage gets taken out, the recycling needs to go to the curb as well, but there is not any of that sustained energy that Mondays have.

No one likes Monday’s sure, but everyone knows that if you get by it, the week has at least started, and you can do what you need to do from there to survive the rest of the week.

Now, though, there is no school. There is no gym in a few hours. There is nothing except a day where you get to do the nothing that you did for the days and weeks before in Groundhog Day-like fashion.

It is why I have begun to do several writings a day. It at least breaks up the monotony and makes me feel like I am doing something different to the norm. Plus, there is a delightful psychological benefit to the writing of multiple posts per day I will get into, you guessed it, later in the day when I do another piece for your perusal.

I suppose the one benefit to having the similarity in days that we are having is that I can accurately measure to see if I am doing better or worse in a specific area. Be it mental health or even water consumption. It is a small thing, but at this point, I am going to go ahead and look for any little achievement that I can that helps me improve myself while I sit here and stay safe for the betterment of all, including my Ducks mind you.

On a different note entirely, I know I have been saying I am going to start writing fiction things again. I will admit I have been slacking on that, but I think I am going to resolve to do at least once piece of short fiction a day, at leas. If I get inspired and can find time for other things, well, I will throw them in for the fun of it as well.

I have a lot of ideas about which to write. There are always ideas up there. I need to get past the idea that the approval of the masses is necessary for the piece to be a thing. I may put them all on the Internet for you to read, but I write them nearly entirely for me, out of a selfish desire to know that my words are not in my head and are out in the ether forever, not just driving me slowly and inexorably mad.

What ideas, I can hear no one but me clamor?

I love writing about serial killers and Cthulhu. I love poetry that makes you feel like I am in love with you and essays that make you want to go out and change the world, instead of sitting back and hoping others will do it for you. I need to write stories of Fae and Goblins, Vampires, and Werewolves. It honors my Dove in ways I can never explain and do not feel the need to try to.

I want to make you believe, if only for a moment, that you are in a better place than where we are now. Not better because of mass murderers and monsters, but better because you have the time to read and reflect on innocent stories from a random loon on the Internet.

Immortality isn’t such a bad thing to long for when you are sending out your thoughts, is it?

Fourth

Vatican

As much as I love writing social commentary, and please don’t take that as sarcasm as I honestly do writing about the contemporary machinations of man, what I am, at my heart, is a storyteller and I think today I will try as hard as I can to go back to that if only for a day, to see if I can still do the thing I love to do the most.

His fingers flying over the onyx rosary beads his grandmother had commissioned for him years before, the bishop Jacob whispered a silent prayer over and over again to simply have what he had just heard to be a falsehood, to be cleared up when he met with his direct superior Cardinal Vanmanti, in his offices in the Istituto per le Opere di Religione, the Institutes for the Works of Religion, or as it was more colloquially known around the world, the Vatican Bank. Vanmanti would never simply summon him, it had to be false. Yet, he had to go.

Vanmanti was the President of the Commission of Cardinals that was responsible for overseeing the Bank, and Jacob was a direct employee of his, a troubleshooter of sorts, although to call someone who found a missing addition sign more often than anything else was hardly what he had dedicated his life to God for.

What he had seen since his time began at the Holy See, however, how could anyone ever come here and ever want to leave? From the nearness of the Vicar of Christ himself to an entire city that was essentially a priceless work of art. Jacob may not have been the shepherd of a flock any longer, but to be in a place where the holiest men in all of God’s creation have stood more than made up for this most days.

The various laypersons and new priests nodded to him as he walked, as calmly as he could, into the offices of the Bank. He walked to the young priest who served as the secretary for the Cardinal.

“Good Day Father Stephens, is His Eminence available?” his voice was calm and he nearly felt the tinge of pride in maintaining his composure.

Father Stephens, a young man from Eastern Europe, smiled up to Jacob and nodded with a smile. “His Eminence is waiting for you Bishop, you are to go in immediately and without knocking.”

The last was unusual because Vanmanti insisted that people knock on every door in the building before entering. They handled the finances and property of the most exclusive people in creation, a sudden movement could destroy history was his favorite line to use to explain the need.

Jacob nodded once before walking through the ornate door that held Vanmanti’s offices and was waved over to the gargantuan desk the man used to keep the Church afloat financially.

“Jacob, sit and pay very close attention to the phone call that is about to happen.” There was a bead of sweat running down his cheek and Jacob was about to speak when the Cardinal’s direct line ran and after a few button pushes, a crystal clear voice came over the phone, it spoke quickly, but with no trace of panic or fear.

“Cardinal Vanmanti, Bishop Jacob, I am glad that you could attend to this business with us all. You were the last of the connections that needed to be made before we could officially begin.” There was the sound of movement and then a voice that no one in all of the Christian World could not recognize immediately, His Holiness, The Bishop Of Rome, The Pope.

“Followers and Servants of Christ, I have called you in this unique way to tell you of a development that cannot be addressed by the very small amount of people who currently know about it any longer. See this as a form of confession gentleman, and take the sanctity of that into consideration when you hear what I am about to say, outlandish as it may seem.”

“There are more than Three Secrets of Fatima.”

I am a significant fan of writing about the former Church of my Heart, so I present this as a sampling of what I hope will eventually become something more significant than what it currently is. I will not explain the Three Secrets of Fatima, it seems a little awkward for a pagan to describe the secret of secrets of the world’s largest religion.

Thoughts?

Butterfly Motherfucker

Butterfly Effect

So, funny story?

I have been writing for longer than I have known any of you. I have had a pencil, then pen, then keyboard, at my disposal for thirty-plus years now. I am not an expert in it, I am not an author of note, I don’t even type without looking at the keyboard on a bad day. What I do know about writing can probably fit onto a postcard because I neither am a student of the craft nor have I ever desired to be.

All I ever wanted, at least in the writing universe, is to be a published poet. I wanted to write verse and make people laugh and cry with it. It was a passion that I had that has, sadly, diminished quite a bit over the years as life has done what life does to people and changed their priorities and their desires. I got married, then did that again, and again, and again. I had a kid, then did that a few more times too, well at least my late wife did, I did the easy and the fun part there.

Then, after my Dove died, I felt this huge bubble inside of me that is swelling even as we speak. I want to believe it is for the stories that I write, the ones that some seem to like so very much, and make me smile with their praise.

No, no I don’t think that is it.

As I sit here at the start of or at least the acknowledgment of, a mid-life crisis, the metaphors and the sing-song quality of words occur to me more and more. Not the cheesy prose of angry youth, but what I think is the hopeful speculation that comes with the beginning of middle-age.

Funny Story? Remember?

Ah, yes. So, about, Goddess, twenty years ago now, my brother brought home a friend of his for me to meet and how he had apparently described me was as a person who could be given a word and write a poem about it in the snap of a few fingers. I was cocky enough to shoulder that praise with determination and I met the challenge presented to me by his friend with enthusiasm. Now, granted, a softball word like butterfly is not precisely a difficult thing to knit verse about in a pretty shape. I did this, or I wrote what I wrote, and I read it a scant few minutes later and forever after that to this particular friend I was the “Butterfly Motherfucker”, a moniker he kept calling me until being recalled from Afghanistan from his third tour and he couldn’t for the life of him remember who I, or his former best friend, my brother was.

Awwwwkward……

Well, it was funny until it wasn’t?