Two new Sherlock Holmes tales available now on Amazon. Just click on the image to go straight to Amazon to purchase them for 99 cents! Or click here for Sherlock Holmes, Master Detective or click here to purchase Sherlock Holmes and the Missing Death!
Go Halloween with Sherlock Holmes, Master Detective as he faces off with a demon god.
Go scary Halloween with Sherlock Holmes when he deals with an otherworldly creature who pets its victims before they die in Sherlock Holmes and the Missing Death!
Audio Book of Invasion of the Fractals is now posted in my Audio section. And you thought I had forgotten!
Well, here's the last audio post until November 21. It's posted in the Audio section.
As I said earlier I will probably intermittently toss a few things in when time allows, but my full postings will occur on November 21 on that weekend for several days. I intend on having lots of lovely things to present to you all when that weekend happens.
Bye for now.
And don't forget if you want to be sure to know when I post things, subscribe!
I am so happy to be posting this. Not because I won't be able to give you so many free stories anymore, but because I can get back to what I started to do in the first place, write and publish.
I've been so caught up in making this a wonderful place to visit, I've left no time for myself to develop as a writer and illustrator and that's not a good thing. I've also not been writing the longer stories and novels I now can do. But more importantly, I can now begin publishing more of my work, which is actually a positive in that it means there will be more for you to read in the long run. Maintaining a blog is a very time consuming thing and I didn't think it would use up so much of my writing time as it has to make it work. So, I'm going to spend more time now on my writing and a lot less on this as a blog.
The site shall be primarily and first of all a place for my readers and potential readers to learn about me and to sample my writing. I won't be pulling anything down from this site, except what I previously said I would, and there will still be lots of things to look at even with a once a month thing.
I'm glad to have been able to share this journey with all of you, but I need to get back on track with my writing again.
I will now be posting just once a month.
I may from time to time when I have extra free time post a few things here and there, but the new stories will only come once a month now.
I will have a conclusion to the current Chesterton K story up at my next posting, so I won't leave you hanging, though...heh, heh, heh...it does leave you wanting more! No, Patti, not the side of the head again.
See you all again soon on the Internet. And if you don't want to miss future posts, subscribe!
Next regular posting date is Friday, November 20, 2015.
"The Black Orchid Slayer." The Fractal Universe byJohn Pirillo. "They're coming. And they're taking no hostages!"
"The Black Orchid Slayer"
The Fractal Universe.
Sometimes life's like a carnival. You get on a merry-go-round that always brings you exactly back to where you started. But sometimes it freezes in place and you can't get down without some nasty little critter taking a nip at your cute little toes. --- Boggle the Clown.
Then the door to the classroom slammed open and Gerald Butler walked in with a grin large enough to fly a squadron of dragons through. "Good morning, shortkins. My names Gerald Butler and I'm your friendly Black Orchid slayer, and I'm here to kick some butt!"
The kids went crazy!
I've had to deal with some pretty strange kids, who are given the politically correct category of being mentally challenged, which in the old days we would call just plain nuts. But in today's modern world even a housewife can be a domestic engineer. Again, I'm not being insensitive; I just think we're so afraid of saying the wrong thing anymore about someone that we just keep our shorts twisted in a constant knot of frustration because we have to lie to everyone, even ourselves about what we're really dealing with. Are we really helping someone who is seriously defective by tossing them into a classroom of normal kids, or are we just putting them into a whole new world of hurt as well as the kids they're now with.
I have this one kid who suddenly jumps on a fellow student and starts beating the hell out of him. I send him to the Dean of the school and next day he's back to do it again. I don't get it sometimes. How they think that getting another kid hurt is helping either the beater or the beaten?
Sometimes I want to quit teaching because of the insanity we teachers have to deal with from all the rules and regulations which more often than not tie our hands from truly helping the kids.
I have a bud, his name's Cisco, who is a paranormal psychologist. He claims that the real reason so many kids and adults are nuts is because they have multiple personalities inhabiting them...not as in I'm John one and two, but as in here's Charlie, Rosie, red and fern...all separate and distinct entities that have decided to move into our bodies and play house.
Whether you believe in psychic possession or not, it's what he believes and he seems happy or unhappy depending on who he's dealing with...sound like anyone you know?...just like the rest of us, but he has an awfully large and accumulating body of evidence to indicate that our world is being invaded by dead people.
With my recent excursions into the Fractal Universe I'm not as loathe doubting another man's discoveries, no matter how far fetched they might seem to be, anymore.
Maybe that's even why my kid that goes from smooth to killer in one brief hop is so fractured in his personality, so suddenly violent. I can't rule it out. I also can't say it publicly, because then I'd be called stupid, a moron and politically incorrect. Oh by the way, I am already, but not because I'm mean to my kids, but because I speak what's on my mind. People in power hate being spoken back to, it means someone is listening and not liking what they say.
So when Gerald barged into my classroom and announced he was there to slay the Black Orchids, I had to open my big mouth. And you know I don't need any possession to do that. I was born with a big mouth. Just ask my father and mother how much sleep they got when I was born!
"Uh. Do you have permission to be in this classroom?"
His attention went from the kids to me. I didn't like his look. I suspect the feeling was mutual.
"That gel you use for the colored highlights?" He asked innocently, totally blowing my ready to blow him away attitude into one of perplexity.
"Fermin's. Theatrical. Best on the market."
He rubbed his scalp which shone because it was bald. "I used to do the same until it rotted the roots of my hairs away. Now I just suds and dry."
The class, which to this point in time, didn't know what to make of either him or me so suddenly mild mannered, broke into laughter.
"Shut up!" We both said at the same time.
The class became as still as a mouse with the cat at its door.
I glared at Gerald a moment, and then gave my kids an apologetic look. "Get out your science books and read Chapter Eleven. Quiz tomorrow."
They groaned for about fifteen seconds, until I began to write names on the board for detention and then they scrambled to be studious, good citizens. Except for Morris, of course. He just never knew when to shut up.
"Uh, Mister K."
"Who's that dwarf?"
Gerald whipped a hand out so fast I didn't have time to block it and a lead pipe extended from it long enough to crown Morris. The pipe stopped inches from the top of his head.
Morris said. "Are you going to knight me, sir?"
Gerald whipped his pipe back into its hiding place and gave me a look of sympathy. "You teachers put up with a lot, don't you?"
"Yes. Part of the job description these days. Wipe 'em and dype 'em."
He laughed. "I like that. Wipe 'em and dype 'em."
He wiped at tears in his eyes, and then stepped across the room to join me by my desk. He lowered his voice. "These shortkins are in great danger."
"Don't I know it! Drugs, premature sex, petty theft, slack brains. You name it."
He gave me a blank look, then stepped so close I could smell his breath. I'd smelled it before. But not on this world.
"Not that kind, you idiot!"
I gave him a hurt look. "I'll have you know my IQ is not measurable."
"And I can see perfectly why, if you don't listen." He told me in an accusing voice.
I sighed. "Okay. What's your real mission?"
He took me further back so the prying ears of my students wouldn't overhear his next words.
"You know where I come from, don't you?"
"Let's just say, I can make a pretty good guess."
"Then you also know what might be following me, or what I might be following?"
"Uh...is this conversation going somewhere, I've got a class to teach."
"You mean police, don't you?"
Then my fractal alarms went off. His ears perked up too and his lead pipe shot into view again. We both turned to face the entrance to the classroom. Except it wasn't there. It was just a black void. Devoid of color or substance, as if someone had erased a part of our universe and replaced it with nothing whatsoever.
"This is really bad." He muttered. "I don't know if I can handle it this time."
"Handle what?" I demanded, my fractal alarms notching up to a new level of disturbing.
"The Black Orchids usually don't come on so strong."
He suddenly whipped around to look into my eyes. "You've pissed off one of their head honchos, haven't you?"
He glared at me with those accusing eyes. Eyes that could have matched Patti's if she had been mad at me for being stupid and arrogant.
He turned away, stiffening to stand guard against the now, for certain, void that was now pulsing at the entrance to the classroom.
"You better get the kids outta here fast." He told me. "I'll try and hold them off."
I was about to argue, when my alarms went up about ten notches. Even the sparkles on my hair were tingling now. Time to remove and be removed.
I sidestepped our world and tugged on the edges of all my students as I did so, and accumulated them in a Fractal Universe that was very sedate. So much so that they all fell asleep immediately once I let go of their substance.
I had held my breath, so was good. I side stepped back into my classroom and nearly had my head blown off as a blast from a machine gun ripped above it.
I dove to the floor where Gerald was also lying.
"Yeah. They pretty much use whatever is available and easy to steal."
"We better move them away from here before they hurt kids in the other class rooms." I suggested, reaching into side space to pull him with me.
He stopped me with a tap of his lead pipe on my shoulder. "I'll get this. Meet me on the peak in about ten, okay?"
He gave me a what-are-you-a-wise-guy look.
"Oh, that peak!" I sidestepped from the room just as a grenade spilled onto the floor and landed next to the chin of Gerald.
Ten minutes later my time on the peak a bloom of exploding energies erupted and Gerald spilled onto my peak top, rolled several yards across the fractal daises and moss, then came to a stop at the edge of the mile or so drop down to my fractal critter buddies below with the incredibly big teeth and mouths.
"I've got to get another job." He complained as he sat up, dangling his feet over the edge.
"I wouldn't do that." I advised.
Then he noticed all the critters below.
"Right. Almost forgot myself."
He hurriedly withdrew his feet and flipped to his feet. He walked a yard and dropped next to me.
"Talk to me." He told me.
I gave him a stare.
"All right. I'll talk to you then."
"Hey!" I almost yelled. "I heard you the first time!"
He stopped, and then grinned. "Nasty temper you have."
"Only when I'm pissed off."
I realized my paradox and sighed. "Look, it's been a tough week for me so far. I've had to dodge bullets, now a grenade and a day ago this crazy Senator with his goons who wants to help me sprout daisies."
He gave me a puzzled look. "You don't look like you have the kind of skin that would nurture daisies."
"You'd be surprised." I quipped.
He shook his head. "You're almost as stubborn and as stupid as my brother."
"What's your brother's name?"
"Gerald Butler." He told me.
I waited for him to finish his joke.
I nodded. He eyed me sidewise. "You've got sharp one, don't you?"
I tapped my head. Mother Nature did it, not me.
"You do yourself a disservice."
"If I didn't, Patti would swat me on the back of my head. Not good for happy thoughts."
He smiled. "She sounds like a great gal."
"She is. But she's sure going to be pissed once she finds out what happened to my room."
"It's not your fault."
"Explain that to the School Board Members who will demand an investigation of why there was a small war in my classroom and forty students vanished for an hour."
"Speaking of which?"
I opened up a small fractal portal and he could see the kids sleeping. "Good work."
"I care for them. Even the ones that piss me off."
He smiled, and then patted my knee. "It's as it should be. A good teacher is like a duck under water. It just rolls off his feathers."
I stood. "Easy for you to say, it's not your scalp that going gray."
"You dye your hair?"
"Not yet, but I can't feel winter coming."
He laughed and offered his hand. "I'm sorry we couldn't have met under better circumstances."
"You know they're going to try again, don't you?" I asked.
"I expect no less. But next time it'll be on my terms." He said with an undertone of threat in his voice.
I shuddered. I wouldn't want to face this man in a battle.
He caught my look.
"And you also must be careful, Mister Chesterton."
"K." He said.
"Because they are not just after you, but your entire world."
"Talk to me." I asked him.
"I will. But the time's not right yet."
"Does the Tall Man know about you?"
"No. But I know about him." Then he sidestepped my Fractal Universe.
I would have stayed to visit longer, but his loud voice had disturbed the critters and they were only yards from spilling over the top of my favorite peak. So...
Patti found me and my students in the cafeteria, each with a burger and fries in front of them and a chocolate shake. They were all still drowsy. Not one of them suspected what had happened, except for Shondel, who kept giving me these side glances. I was going to have to make it a point to have a private conversation with her, and maybe her parents too.
"How?" She asked.
She scowled at me. "Chess!"
"I don't know how. I only know why."
She shuddered when she looked into my eyes. She could see what I was thinking. I wasn't all that opaque to her anymore.
"The room's a disaster. The fire department arrived in time to stop the spread of the fire to the rest of the building, but..."
"We'll be meeting in the old portable for a few months?"
I turned to the kids. "Hey! Our new classroom is the old Grass Shack!"
They broke into cheers.
The old portable had gotten that name because the local carnival had rented it for a time and put camels in it. The smell of straw and camel dung still clung tenaciously to the floors and walls. But the kids loved it. I let them paint graffiti of circus animals and clowns and they got to forget for a time how bad the room really was, even with the air cranked up all the way.
Life's just great, isn't it?
Shaw. It was Fractal.
The Fractal Universe.
For the sake of not repeating myself again I will once more say the following. Nothing is real! Except for the cupcake you ate for lunch. --- Boggle the Clown.
If you've followed my story this far, then you know I skipped a few things, like what happens next to Senator Murphy, who the two men in my classroom were, and why I let them get off so easy and how in the hell did I know that was going to happen.
First, let me say that I'm not going to answer any of your questions directly. Just take this hint instead and read very carefully what happens next.
The Senator sat deep in his hidden bunker beneath the Nevada desert, fuming and scheming. It was his nature to do both, since he was both a man of great power and a fool in pursuit of more. For only fools seek power when they could have peace of mind. And only those who seek peace of mind find true power.
Nonetheless, he sat there wallowing in his pit of worry and self doubt, agonizing over the details of what had gone so horribly wrong.
His fingers drummed repeatedly the edge of his armchair, tattooing a remarkable sequence of semaphores that told anyone truly listening that he was mad as hell and they better back off, or they'd be dead men or women!
A man stood looking at him, if you can tell by the fact that he appeared to be facing the Senator, even if his body was hidden in a curtain of softly susurating shadows and deeper shadows that forever cloaked his true identity.
"We are very disappointed." The man told the Senator.
"As I." He replied, unphazed by the seemingly casual remark.
"We expect greater from you."
The Senator stopped drumming his fingertips on the arm of his chair a moment, and without moving a muscle on his face, gently caressed an emergency button placed beneath his left index finger. Nothing happened. At first.
The Shadow Man cleared his throat.
"I'm waiting for an explanation."
"I have none."
The Shadow Man stiffened for a moment, and then relaxed. "You cannot harm us."
"I can try."
The Shadow Man laughed. "You're a fool on a fool's errand."
The Shadow Man vanished.
Immediately, the door to the shadowy room flung open and the Senator's most trusted men threw themselves inside, fanning out with very unusual weapons and scanners in their hands. They rushed past the Senator to where the Shadow Man had stood and then vanished as he had.
The Senator sighed, then got to his feet and exited the room, gently shutting the door behind him.
Chesterton put the finishing touches to the tuft of blue hair overlapping between his eyebrows, and then topped it with a crest of green sparklies. "Baby, you are so beautiful!" He told himself, and then someone swatted his butt. Hard!
"Hey!" He screamed.
Patti slipped into view on his right, grinning. "Someone's gotta knock sense into that brilliant mind of yours."
He turned about and pulled her close. He nuzzled her right ear with his nose, inhaling the fragrance of sandalwood she had generously doused there.
"And you intend to do that how?"
"Every which way I can." She told him, pressing closer.
We interrupt this story to allow the twosome to complete their romantic interlude and move on to Gerald Butler, a heretofore, unknown man who will figure quite prominently in this story.
Gerald is a small man. Maybe not more than five feet tall, but he is built like a tank and like a tank, he doesn't accept no for an answer. Just like at this moment when Chesterton and Patti are having one of those moments we all look forward to and long for, he bludgeons a man behind his right ear with a large lead pipe, sending him to the pavement.
He kicks the man over with a steel toed shoe and grimaces.
It's a homeless person.
"Damn me!" He curses. He feels for a pulse, and then lets out a breath of air, when he finds one. He whips out a sheaf of hundred dollar bills and wads them into the right hand of the homeless man, along with a credit card, which if the man has even an ounce of wits about him when he reawakens, he'll promptly test out and find himself a million dollars richer.
Gerald is not slouch, nor is he a cruel man. He just doesn't take no for an answer, and he doesn't suffer fools or bastards.
In his category of things a bastard is anyone who hates the world and is intent on making it an uglier place, especially with such things as crowd bombs, restaurant burn outs, and truck bombs that explode into supermarkets. Yeah. There's been a lot of those lately as the Black Orchid moved in for the kill on this miserable runt of a planet.
Wait! Did he just say planet?
Gerald is not just a runt of a man; he's a runt of an inhuman man. Were he somehow to get wounded and taken to a hospital, which seems unlikely at this point in time, the doctors would find he has a heart on the wrong side of his chest and a partner on the other, as well as three lungs, four kidneys and bones made of silicon. In other worlds he wasn't human. Except that he had a heart as big as Texas, although on his world Texas didn't exist.
He'd been following the bastards since the last universe imploded from their intrusion there. He had barely managed to escape with his life, sidestepping from it in the nick of time as it dissolved into a gentle whimper of disappointed electrons and neutrons and protons that scattered across that time and space into the vast nothingness of Creation.
He patted the homeless man's head, like a proud owner might his own mutt, and then rose to move on. He had felt for sure that he was being followed by one of those Black Orchid fellows, but for once his intuition had gone south and sour. He spit out a glob of yellow blood, and smashed it into the pavement, watching several bugs that had been gathered there toast in the acid he had sprayed upon them that existed in his blood.
His blood would be hostile to any living creature of this world. Another reason to stay out of hospitals and away from doctors.
He hefted his lead pipe like a knight his lance, and allowed it to slide inside itself, until he could safely tuck it away into his boson jacket. The boson is a shape shifting material he had worn from his home world. It could simulate any clothing material of any planet he visited. It could even act as a second skin for him in a pinch. It was bulletproof, fire proof and dragon proof.
That's right dragon proof. On his world dragons were quite the rage, and often used to attack those stupid enough not to wear boson.
He stepped from the alley and began walking south. He made it several blocks when the sun peaked enough over the scrapers in front of him to allow its light to illuminate a flat structure with odd looking yellow vehicles parking in front and letting out hordes of shortkins. Kids. He loved kids. They made his job safer in many ways, because they didn't attract Black Orchids, and their natural naivety made them invulnerable to their influences, unless they were hawking something more familiar than power and fame.
Middle school kids loved power and fame, but not the kind that Black Orchids sold.
He thought about it several long moments, then tucked his boson tighter, made some sensory adjustments so he looked more normal to the humans he might meet, and strode purposefully towards the structure. Something about it was ringing a silent alarm in his intuition and he had every intention of finding out why and what.
Chesterton made a yawn large enough for a small dragon to fly through, then capped his mouth and stretched. He finished using his dry marker...a black colored one...to post the daily routines and objectives for the kids. They usually ignored it, but the administrations that overlooked the sacred halls of education, found in their infinite wisdom to bless this exercise of futility in the name of providence of good will and direction.
They so misunderstood the generations of Smartphone and Minecraft kids that most schools were crumbling under the constant onslaught of rebellious souls determined to break out of the factory mold that the administrations claimed they weren't doing.
He laughed inwardly.
The more things changed. The more they stayed the same.
The bell rang.
In came the hordes of the future. Small ones, tall ones, brown and white, gold and tan, male and female and genders as yet unborn and unknown or at least unspoken.
He watched red heads, yellow heads, spiked hair, and no hair, hair with messages, tattoos of unknown origin, body piercings and ear buds that were carefully hidden beneath folds of hair or uplifted shirt collars.
Just as carefully, he danced among them, exposing the ear buds, removing them and tucking them back into their shirts and pockets with a knowing smile. No one ever complained. It was useless. Whenever someone did, the buds mysteriously vanished and no amount of angry parents could ever prove he had taken them even if everyone, including Patti, who knew better, did!
Once he had closed the classroom door, after kicking the door jamb back inside, he grabbed his pretend mike. He didn't really need it. He could bend the air molecules with fractals that magnified his voice, but he had to make the pretense so as not to frighten them. "Hey guys and girlies!"
"Hey back at you, Mister K!" They greeted enthusiastically.
All except for Morris, who as usual was mining his oral orifices for significant chunks of masonry he could ply the bottom side of his desk with. Chesterton shuddered at those times he had to clean them up. He didn't dare ask the janitors, because they had gum and candy to clean up from the rugs. How could he bear to ask them to handle those nuggets of joy as well?
Morris looked up, a finger still stuck in his right nostril, as Chesterton waited for him to finish. "Well?"
"Well, what sir?" Morris asked in his most intelligent voice.
"Ready to rock and roll?"
"Not really. My dad says that stuff rots the soul."
Chesterton sighed. The fruit never falls far from the tree.
He turned to the other more expectant and alert kids. "Did you do the homework?"
Shandel rose, a drawing in her hands. "I did. May I read it?"
Chesterton nodded. She always asked if she could read her drawings. This made him think either she was pulling his leg, or she was a certified genius in the making. Not one to discourage intelligence on the moon, he nodded twice to be certain she got the signal.
She went to the front of the class and held up her picture.
Chesterton's casual glance turned rock hard. What the hell?
"I call him the bone crusher. He's built like the Thing, but about three feet shorter, has a weird coat that can shift forms and he kills Black Orchids."
The class went wild.
Chesterton raised his hands and they calmed down.
"Yeah, Mister K, the guys that are trying to destroy our planet."
The kids went crazy again.
Again Chesterton raised his hands.
"Wait a second! Did anyone else see this?"
About half a dozen hand rose.
The kids slowly stood and raised their own drawings for everyone to see and the same man stood in the drawings, even if somewhat differently shaded or proportioned.
Then the door to the classroom slammed open and Gerald Butler walked in with a grin large enough to fly a squadron of dragons through. "Good morning, shortkins. My names Gerald Butler and I'm your friendly Black Orchid slayer, and I'm here to kick some butt!"
The kids went crazy!
If you Phish off the Fractal.
The Fractal Universe.
You know. You know. You know. And you know, but you really don't know. And you thought you did.
A caveat of being able to go anywhere, anytime and pretty much anyplace is that you have so many choices that you get fried by it. Not chicken fried. Not grease or turkey fried, but just plain burned out.
I remember the first time after I discovered my ability to side step our world that I got so damn slap happy about it, like a drunk drunk on being drunk. Does that make sense?
I was so lost to the possibilities that my new found toy had created for me that I spent the next month zippy do dah-ing here there and everywhere. I was kind of the Tinker Bell of exploration, magic dust, time and space and fractal swerves and curves of dimensional extra reality. I know that sounds kind of heady, maybe even a bit intellectual...but the damned truth of it all was that I was so giddy about no longer being frozen in time and space that I pretty much almost become unstuck from it.
Had that happened. ...well, I guess you might not know about me now, or be reading these journal entries I've put together to explain my kind of rowdy existence to this point in time
The hardest part of all of this has not been the side stepping into the Fractal Universe and back here, but deciding where to go next pretty much. You just don't realize how bigggggggg that place is. Even Neil deGrasse Tyson would have heartburn trying to explain it, let alone make all the digits of its wide open spaces come to any kind of sense he or pretty much anyone else could explain in any kind of terms that were recognizable without actually side stepping yourself.
I'm not bragging here. I'm not really a braggart.
Well, maybe a wee bit.
Sometimes a lot.
But I always have a B exit. Meaning, a way out of my own nonsense.
If I don't keep humble, Patti manages to derail my ego pretty good. Another reason it's great that I didn't get lost all those times, because without her to anchor my life, I'd be a rudderless ship on a typhoon tossed sea. A cork going down the drain of life.
I have to smile here, because corks sure can have a lot of fun as they make that last Wahoo spiral of the drain tumble.
"Good morning, Vietnam!" I greeted the kiddies as they marched dutifully into my science class, ear buds bristling from their cute pink ears, nuzzling Cheetoes beneath their nostrils and lolly pops stuck squarely beneath the brow of their mouths.
The bell rang.
I waited about twenty seconds. The dark intercom would usually blast about twenty five seconds into the class and I would get interrupted by the Pledge of Allegiance...which not so many take seriously anymore, not even the adults who do it...and countless, long winded descriptions of class projects that had won this or that prize and kids who had made the honor roll of Chief Whatamucka's Tribal Ceremonies.
Don't get me wrong. I appreciate the need to show achievement. We all have within ourselves the capacity to achieve great things, I just get a bit frazzled on all the corny bits of molasses that the kids have to suck down on their way to liberating their minds...if they do that is.
My experience is that most of them are no more than cogs in a great corporate wheel of exploitation that cares little for the individual spirits that turn the cogs, and even less care for what becomes of them.
Am I a fighter against corporations?
You be the judge.
"I gotta pee, Mister K." Morris said in his usual dry manner, squeezing his legs together to mime being urgent.
"I just saw you exiting the girl's bathroom, Morris, ten minutes ago. I'm assuming that was to relieve you then, or do I need to go to the Dean and report this little error?"
Morris suddenly straightened and sat back down.
The class broke into laughter.
He wasn't a bad kid, just an over privileged one that thought the whole universe ran by his clock. Wrong! It doesn't do that for anybody or anyone. Here, there or anywhere. The universe is our friend as much as we befriend it, but sometimes it can nip us in the butt when we're least prepared and it's best to be flexible enough to whip our asses back out of the way as fast as possible, so we lose as little tail feather as possible.
"Today, class I'd like to take you on a small detour of reality."
Shandel raised her hand, which held the usual lolly pop in it.
I glared at her.
She quickly dunked it out of sight in her lap.
The kids laughed again. "Gotchu!" They hollered.
She blushed, but kept her other hand up.
"Last one you took us on caused a few odd things to happen."
"You nervous or scared?"
She looked around. Everyone was watching her intently and waiting for her next words. She took a deep breath and made the plunge. "Hell yes!
I pressed the button on my desk and a foghorn blew, then a chicken cackled and cannon went off.
When the dust settled...I had rigged some fine dust to powder the room with sparkly things when the sounds erupted...the kids were smiling, admiring each other's head which was properly decorated with glowing bits.
Not as cool as mine. Mine are deftly combed and glued to the top of my head. Today was mustard day and I had yellow swirls mixed with globs of green. Kind of a polka dot chicken color, or a toad with smallpox.
"But seriously." I went on. "Shandel has a point. A lot of adventures...and I consider science to be one of the greatest adventures bar none...except maybe figuring out who God is, but who alive can do that...a lot of adventures are dead ends that lead to dull lives and little or no true progress for humanity, let alone the individual."
"Uh. I disagree." Morris said without raising his hand.
Everyone looked at him. It was a rare thing for him to get it right when Mister K spoke, so they were making quick bets among themselves as to whether he would get it this time.
I held my hands up and the class settled down. "Yes, Morris?"
"The invention of corporations has made our world a safer place."
I pressed another button on my desk. It made a dull sound like Eeyore of Winnie the Pooh all sad in a thousand different ways at the same time.
The class laughed. Even Morris, until he realized it was about his words.
I leaned forward, my face straight, and my lips firm. "Morris, the world is on the brink of total economic collapse again, the majority of people on the planet are seeing all their wealth vanish into the hands of a few, the oceans are rising, the poles are vanishing, it rains where it's wet now and dries where it's dry. All of that is because corporations are more interested in accumulating profits than helping the masses or the planet."
"I don't agree."
I didn't press the button again. I waited.
Morris stood up. "Without corporations we'd have no Big Macs, no KFC, no Big Size 'Ems, and no Christmas in July."
He sat down, proud of his display of uncanny insight.
I sighed and sat down on the edge of my desk.
I didn't speak to Morris. More like to myself as I knew the majority of the kids in the room felt the same as Morris. None of them would want to give up their Big Macs, their KFC or their endless games that made tons of plastic heaps in the ocean and landfills around the world.
"It's a wise man who is able to admit it when he smashes his nose into a wall, and realizes it's so solid he can't make it through, rather than keeps butting it over and over until he blood well kills himself."
The room fell into a deathly silence.
Had I made my point?
Then Morris farted.
The room became a chaos of laughter and lesson was over.
I flicked off the overhead lights and turned on the projector. I let its beam play out on the screen behind my desk and stepped aside, as if about to show a movie. It wasn't going to be a movie. I was going to side step a part of myself and use my Smartphone to catch glimpses of the inside of one of the many Fractal Universes I had seen.
As the first images began to roll on the screen, the laugher in the room subsided and students leaned forward. Some looked like they were horrified. Some looked titillated. Some looked fascinated, but all were definitely caught up.
I set the camera to automatic, and then carefully orchestrated a move to t he side of the room in the shadows. As I did so I noticed that two men had slipped into the room through the hallway door when my back had been turned.
I pretended not to notice them. But I had. Very much so.
Before the kids could realize what those two men were doing there, or even that they were there at all, I had sidestepped between them, seized them both by an arm and sidestepped to the top of my favorite peak.
As the men struggled I said to them. "I wouldn't do anything too demanding or you might have guests soon."
The two men shook me off.
I stepped off the edge, but didn't fall.
That's when they realized I wasn't in the same world as before. Neither were they.
They both reached for weapons holstered in their suits.
I sidestepped and slipped the weapons easily from their hands and tossed them over the edge. I stepped back, took a quick peek as my favorite fractal critter carnivores gobbled up the weapons as they plunged headfirst and lots of teeth first upwards towards where the three of us stood.
I sat down and patted the fractal flower moss and flowers nearby.
"Have a seat, gentlemen."
They glared at me.
I smiled. "Have it your way then. So what is your B plan?"
They gave me blank looks.
I shook a finger over my neck. "In about thirty seconds the top of this peak is going to be overrun by about a billion or two fractal critters with teeth too large and appetites even larger. I would suggest opening up a line of communication before I get bored and side step out of here."
Their eyes grew round as moons.
I sighed and stood up.
"He sent you two to stop me and didn't even tell you what you were going to be facing?"
They shook their heads.
I sighed again and side stepped them to the Antartic near a United Nations post. They would get really cold, but not freeze to death if t hey hustled their butts to the post ASAP.
I side stepped back into my classroom and flicked off the Smartphone and withdrew it from the Fractal Universe I had stashed it.
I flicked on the lights.
Morris was sitting there with his mouth open so wide that a swarm of flies could have landed safely there.
"That's just incredible!" He said.
"Anyone able to tell me or describe what they saw?"
Shandel raised her hand.
"Yes, Shandel. Can we draw w hat we saw?"
I glanced at the clock. I had been gone almost the entire class period and they hadn't even noticed. I wondered how much bubble gum I would find under the tables this time.
I nodded. "Homework. Each of you draw best as you can what you saw."
The bell rang.
The class funneled out of the room, back to lollypops, Smart phones, ear buds spouting music into their brains, nudging each other, elbowing each other and generally having a great time. It was the end of the school day too and the week.
Patti appeared in the doorway like clockwork.
"I couldn't refuse them entrance. Are you okay?"
"The real question is...are they?"
"What did you do, Chess?"
I grinned. "Let's just say I put a little Popsicle up their butt!"
She gave me a blank look.
The two men that Chesterton had sent to the Antarctic stood in snow parkas outside the UN Post, with Marines guarding them as a huge helicopter swooped in. It landed amidst a swirl of furious white snow and then the Tall Man stepped out.
He saluted the Marines, who saluted back.
"Gentlemen." He told the two men. "I think I owe you a little ride."
The first man grinned. "They couldn't keep us here even if hell froze over."
Their faces looked relieved as he led them to the chopper. As they climbed inside their friendly banter vanished. A squad of armed men in white sat inside, their weapons trained on them.
"Inside please." The Tall Man urged.
The two men stepped inside.
The Tall Man sat opposite them as the door slammed shut and the chopper lifted. He gave them his best smile. "I hear you made a little mistake."
The two men looked at each other. Hell had just frozen over.
Chesteron K is back! "Shave and a Fractal." The Fractal Universe. "A good shave can solve many problems. Especially a close one!"
"Shave and a Fractal."
The Fractal Universe.
Fractals are these really cool mathematical formulas that have been converted to astounding, sometimes even breath taking strings of matter and light that appear to be more like another world, or even galaxy or universe than just a string of number ones and zeros. Binary code. You see I'm a scientist. Not a rocket one. More intimate than that. Perhaps a bit crazier too, considering some of the things I've done, places I've been, and sights I've seen.
Anyone lucky enough to have seen one of the awesome fractals has a life that will never be the same again afterwards. The tiny buggers...on our computer monitors, or perhaps classroom screens...are actually not what they seem, but everything we can't imagine. Vast spreads of shining orbs of light strung behind each other in perilous patterns of color that may as easily resemble a chocolate shake as a distant and far off galaxy of stars and Oort clouds.
I could go on and on about how incredible they are, and you still would only be peeking from the outside into a vast universe of variation that the Infinite Creator, or whatever you want to call the Force behind Creation. It's sort of like peeking into love by watching two attractive people lock lips and exchange glancing blows across their faces...we call them caresses and kisses, but they call them love knocking at the door. Whatever we call fractals they remain mysterious and unattainable to most, even as love is. True love. True fractals.
It's as easy to find the true world of fractals as it is to get a shave and a fractal...in other words, pretty much impossible. This is why I compared it to love. Look around you and you'll find examples of love, sometimes even pure love...course those sorts usually get strung up on a cross, tortured, or killed in some other vicious and low mannered way...but even those close in love, close in the spirit of love are few, though enough of such exist to keep our world from exploding like that ancient world Maldek that is now a series of asteroids past Mars. The Asteroid Belt.
Yeah. Planets explode. With a little help from our friends...anger, jealousy, hatred, self hatred, greed, lust and so on and on...but let us not get lost in philosophy. A little Nuke will do ya, and a lot of Nukes will do the planet. But let's not linger on what idiots those people were, we've got enough here to deal with.
It's all about fractals. Or it should be.
I feel that God created them because we needed a place of redemption, a solitary and remote place, and yet an attainable goal where we could rest our weary hearts and souls and replenish ourselves on the pure beauty of Creation before diving back into the thick man soup of confusion and dismay that life on earth has become with the rise of corporate consciousness and the lessening of human value in the greater scheme of things.
My name is Chesterton K and I'm a science teacher. At least that's what the people in the know say. The ones who gave me grades, a slab of wood with a paper on it stamped, "You're Done!" And then a boot out into the world of reality where I struggled a few moments, before deciding I couldn't take it any longer and found a better path. Teaching the young not to follow my footsteps. At least the ones that led to destruction of spirit and the holding back of self love and pride.
I teach science because I can still share the wonder of a universe that is mostly unexplored with young minds still in awe of their own bodies, and also quite ignorant of the abuse they are already putting them to with their over chemicalized food, super saturation of constant sexual titillation and overly zealous attraction to chemicals that alter the mind and body in pursuit of pleasure.
Enlightenment is a bitch. Really. I doubt that any master of the past...Galileo, DaVinci, Moses, Buddha, Jesus...you name them...had an easy path in life. The more you get it...life that is...the more painful it is at times to be in it, and yet with that revelation comes a kind of remote and peaceful impersonality that you learn to not only deal with it, but to love it back in ways that that reality...kicking and snarling...doesn't think it deserves.
Yeah. I'm a teacher. A damned good one. I stand a tad over six foot. My hair is black when I'm not starching it with blue, ruby or mint sparkles. I have intense eyes, mainly because I see so much and my humor is cosmic. That is, I laugh at pretty much anything, because it's hard to take serious a world where people are just the blind leading the blind for the most part.
I remember reading an H.G. Wells story, The World of the Blind, I think it was, where everyone was blind, but when a one eyed man entered the kingdom he became king. Except it doesn't work that way in our world. In our world the one eyed man will get his eye poked out. The blind are very jealous of their darkness.
The Tall Man paced his office, hands clasped behind his back like the fabled Sherlock Holmes as he paces his sitting room floor before the window looking out over Baker Street, intent on the defying mysteries of his most recent case, the inevitable pondering of its meaning, and the huge leaps of logical deductions which inevitably lead to a revelation that impounds a criminal or murderer in jail or a comfy six by three apartment beneath the earth.
"Chesterton, it's getting a bit hot out there."
I nodded, not really interested. I was playing mini chess with two fractal partners who sat across the desk from me. I had borrowed them from their universe precisely because they were incredibly smart when it came to chess; they could survive in my world, and also to annoy the Tall Man, who saw such ventures as a waste of time and stupid.
They're not. Man without the ability to play is a lost soul. One must play as surely as one must work. The two are wed as tightly as a couple who have been married happily for fifty years. They belong together and know it.
"Checkmate!" I told my fractal partners.
They both gave me these lopsided grins. They can't give any other. Their mouths are just dabs of swirling essence and hard matter that resemble a jigsaw puzzle out of synch. I gave them the high sign, smacked their open palms, and then watched them step sidewise back into their own realm, where they would continue playing chess forever and a day.
It had been a lucky break for me when I found that universe. Can you imagine a universe filled with beings whose only reason to exist was to play chess? I could and I found it. Lucky me.
"Never been less." I finally decided to tell the Tall Man, who had turned to face me, waiting patiently for me to finish my dallying and reply.
"I agree. But you must stop reaching for the impossible solutions and find ones that allow us to live at least...partially...in harmony.
I shrugged. "I don't think that Senator Warner would agree with that estimation."
The Tall Man shrank down into a chair, defeated. Senator Warner was a wart that would never stay excised from our skins. He was too thick, too worrisome, and too determined to make our existence miserable. He was also damned lucky.
Last time I had seen him was on top a favorite peak with billions of hungry fractal critters scrambling up the peak's side to help him with dinner. Theirs!
"I just have one question." I said while playing with a fractal sun that I had plucked from its orbit and was now spinning around my right thumb.
"Will you quit that?" The Tall Man ordered in exasperation.
I tucked the sun safely back into its orbit, and then looked him in the eyes. "When do we off him?"
The Tall Man shrank even further if that were possible. "We don't."
"Why not? You've got the President's right earlobe. You're on the inside looking out, shouldn't the Senator be spam by now?"
"In Nixon's world maybe." The Tall Man replied with a touch of sadness in his voice. "Even the Black Ops have people watching over them. People connected. Politics can save anybody's butt these days."
"And probably connected to the same dirt bags as the Senator." I added.
I sighed and got up.
"Where are you going, I haven't told you your assignment yet?"
I turned to look back at him. "When Mother Nature gets fooled, she gets even."
"You're not going to do anything stupid, are you?"
I gave him a blank stare.
He shook his head and gave me a weak smile. "Chesterton, either you really are the smartest man on this planet now, or you're a total idiot out of control."
"I prefer the latter configuration. I like to keep people guessing." I grinned back.
Then I sidestepped from that room somewhere deep beneath the White House and vanished.
Patti and I played MineCraft on my wall to wall Digital Screen silently, while the roars and noise of the game filled in the gaps between our conversations.
Finally, I switched off the game, twisted around to face her.
Her lips were puckered. I kissed them.
She smiled into my eyes.
Damn her! She knows my most deep and darkest secrets I thought.
Then she turned off the guilt spots and I relaxed, alone again with my deepest darkest secrets.
"Chesterton, you're like glass. I can see right through you."
"Shields, Captain. The enemy is upon us!" I cried out in horror.
She clapped a hand over my mouth and hovered closer, ready to strike me dead with the venomous Vulcan death grip.
"You're going to do something stupid, aren't you?"
Exposed. Annihilated. Destroyed in one nanosecond. Shields down. Not holding. I am alone and unwanted in a universe of hurt. Retreat and lick wounds.
She kissed me again, and then pulled back.
I nodded. She had the power of voodoo over me. No fair.
"Look." She said. "I know this Senator Murphy thing is starting to get to you."
"Starting..." I blurted out, before she clapped her hand over my mouth again, stopping me from profaning myself and all that I held dear.
"Honey, you gotta get a grip on yourself."
She let go.
She gripped my mouth again with her palm. "Promise?"
I was held in Darth Vader's powerful claw of force death. I couldn't speak. I couldn't breathe. I was no longer to be of this mortal world. I looked into his powerful helmeted face and could only nod.
The grip released and I collapsed back against the sofa, banging my head into the wall in the process. "Ow!" I complained.
She touched the banged spot. "Daddy got a boo boo? Want Momma to make it better?"
"Oh did I!"
It's not polite to peek into other people's love life, so I am omitting what happened next and segueing to a more interesting avenue of thought. How to bring down the Black Corps that Senator Murphy was part of. I called them Black Corps, because nothing else fit better, and besides, it sounded more ominous.
If I'm going to be a Luke Skywalker diving into the death star, I want to know that all the men and women I am about to destroy are as evil as Dark Vader, or else I'm going to be killing the evil Darth along with many, many innocent military personnel, who are only doing their job, and could give a crap's ass about the evil master's true intentions.
War is not pretty and weaves the greatest of fools and the kindest of hearts into its all embracing glove of violence.
I stood on my favorite mile high peak with the milling billions of fractal critters below with huge mouths hungry for my flesh and gathering to take another run up the sides to nab me before I side stepped away. I loved this domain, though God knows why. The critters here are all teeth and hormones, the flowers bite, the trees fall on you and the rivers run with creatures too gruesome and fractal mad to even discuss. Yet I loved it. Maybe it's because I could see the beautiful fractal rainbows that played across the descending fractal sunset here. Not just once a day, but all day.
"What do I do?" I asked the infinite fractal universe spinning, twirling, shining, and illuminating the skies before me. "How do I solve this equation?"
I sat down to ponder the complexity of what I was planning.
I knew the fractal critters were already hurtling themselves up the sides of the peak. Maybe one day they would break it with their weight. I was not the kind of scientist who could determine that, but I had a suspicion that our laws of physics didn't apply here the same way over time, even if in the shorter term they did.
I felt no trembling or shaking of the peak as the tidal wave of hungry critters raced towards where I lay among fractal flowers pondering the meaning of my life and how to displace a certain dishonest Senator who kept reincarnating back from whatever hell he was sent to into a prominent position that allowed him to keep on complicating my life and that of my loved ones.
My greatest fear was that he wouldn't stop at hurting me, Patti and the Tall One, but also my children at school. Granted, they weren't all the kindest most lovable things in the world, but they were in my charge, and despite some of the negatives that these sprouting buds possessed, they were still children and deserved as best a shot at making it to the fully sprouted stage, even as a forest tree should reach its height in the sun.
What to do?
The sound of thundering billions of tiny fractal feet finally reached my ears.
As the first of the bizarre all mouth like creatures spilled over onto my little heaven, I side stepped into fractal space, still unsure what to do next. I wasn't a killer, but I wasn't opposed to protecting those in harm's way. What to do?
What to do?
I sidestepped into my favorite barber shop. Dave's Barber Shop. A Shave and a Fractal was its name. He and I had a lot in common. He was an ex-student of Mandelbrot...the explorer of the Mandelbrot fractals and one mean sonuva bitch. He took crap from no one. He would as soon knock a jerk out as keep talking to them to find common ground if the jerk wouldn't cool their heels. I had watched him deck a customer who began bitching in his face because he hadn't a spot open for him to get his hair done, even though he had been told many times before to get an appointment!
Dave was no man's stupid, or lackey.
As he took his razor to the barbs of hair beneath my chin, causing the soothing peppermint soap suds there to curve away as he slid the blade smoothly across my stubbly skin, I sank into a soothing relaxation of spirit and mind I seldom allowed myself. This once a Sunday excursion into self pleasure was my only allowance of pleasure in a world that was becoming more and more complex, and of late more and more deadly to me and my loved ones.
What to do? I thought to myself, and then as I slipped into a kind of slumber from the gentle touch of Dave upon my face, I came up with an idea.
It was enough to get me to surf above my dream state a moment and be aware that he was no taking the razor to my other ear, and then I dove back beneath the waves of contentment, patient enough to know I...
...Knew what to do!
I smiled inside myself.
Someone was in for a big surprise.
Then I was lost to the pleasures of a simple shave.
Just finished updating my thefractaluniverse.weebly.com site where I post fractal flame slideshows.
The Sum of All Fears
Journey to the Center of the Earth
By John Pirillo
No one knew how long they'd been down under as they were beginning to call their trek through the vast, seemingly unending tunnels and labyrinths of stone and molten lava rivers. Yet, no matter how far they walked, or how long, it seemed the path was never ending.
Once they had gotten excited when they found what could not be ignored: Proof that Jules Verne had actually made a trek beneath the earth. The only question was how he had gotten so far and how he had found his way back home. Perhaps more importantly yet, why?
Why had he made the journey?
Why had he risked his life and that of his party of brave friends?
What had they hoped to achieve?
If they could answer one of those questions it might yet help them determine a positive and perhaps saving turn in their own downward spiral...it had to be that...into the interior of the planet, Earth.
Rush, a former explorer, had been at the height of his career, preparing to ascend Mount Everest with the woman of his life, whom he had been fighting with in their mountain chalet in Switzerland when the Big One struck.
His fortune, his fame, his life, his love had all been swept away by cascading avalanches of snow, ice and rising walls of lake water.
Just like that Rush had lost everything. All hope. All life.
It had taken the Special Forces and their mission to enliven his heart again. That and finding men and women, who like himself, were haunted by a past they hoped to forget and a future they hoped to save.
Everett was a spicy Brit, a Professor, a climatologist who had warned everyone that something big was in the air, but no one had believed him. And after it happened, no one believed it then either. He had been there in London, just a short distance from the famous headquarters of the last two Beatles when the Big One had struck.
He had watched in horror as building had been lifted like child's toys and plummeted back to the ground in thousands of pieces, seen civilians smashed, rended, and torn by flying debris, collapsing edifices, and hurtling pieces of metallic cars that had lost control.
Both men had a lot to forget and now. And now?
Rush and Everett looked more and more like the cavemen they were beginning to look like. They had both given up trying to keep their beards shaved and their hair short. Now, they just threw their beards over their shoulders, and wrapped their hair in tight bundles on top their heads.
"If the President could see us now, he'd think he'd gone back in time." Everett grouched, picking at the tiny creatures that now inhabited his scalp and hair. Yeah. It was hell down there. Bugs were everywhere. All sizes.
"Rowlf!" Their tall bug like companion noted and both men just grunted, sounding like Cavemen too.
Rowlf barked in his grinding low voice and both men did their best to ignore his laughter. It was becoming more and more irritating and besides he was starting to look like a walking turkey breast. None of them had eaten for about eleven days now. Water was abundant. Their trek had brought them to an underground stream that poured downwards along their path.
Without the water, no doubt both men would have died long ago. Both were familiar with the concept of fasting, but neither particularly enjoyed having to do one because they had no other choice. It's one thing to fast when you know you can raid that frig at any given time, but when the only thing you can raid is an eight foot plus Insectoid, who also happened to be a friend, then fasting became distasteful as well as painful.
"Remember when there used to be KFCS all over the place." Rush reminisced during one of their more and more frequent stops.
Rowlf listened behind them, still as a statue, for some reason he'd become more and more quiet as the two men slowly starved to death. Whether it was because he feared for their lives, or was himself beginning to see them as walking meals, no one knew. No one wanted to conjecture or voice their own fears, knowing each had enough as it was to weigh their minds down.
"Yeah. And the fries at Burger King. Those new fancy ones that were low fat." Everett added, wiping at the spittle gathering in his mouth as his hunger pains kicked in again.
Last time they did that he had thrown up.
It was supposed to make you throw up. Being hungry, but when the stomach hurt that bad, it no longer obeyed the laws of the universe, but began turning in on itself. He could tell his body was beginning to eat itself up. He could put a finger around his wrist effortlessly. Before it would have taken his hand to do that.
Rush nodded. "And when grasshoppers and night bugs were the worst of it."
Rush glanced over at Rowlf, who was still silent. "My apologies, Rowlf, no insult intended to your family line.
"Rowlf nots buggy." He finally said, then lapsed into silence.
Everett looked at Rush. "See! Now look what you've done. You've insulted our meal...I mean our best friend."
Rowlf stomped off, leaving the two of them behind.
Everett pulled himself up and wobbled on his legs a moment, then sat back down.
"Great! Just when dinner was getting so close."
Everett chuckled. "You know I didn't mean it."
"Yeah, but he doesn't!"
Everett sighed. "Do you ever wonder...?"
"If we're the last humans?"
"Constantly." Rush said with a grunt, picking at another critter trying to get into his right ear. He caught it and held its struggling form out before his friend. "Whose turn?"
Rush made a face and popped the bug into his mouth and began chewing it. For a brief moment it struggled for its life before his teeth mashed it into bug matter and juices, which he savored for the length of time it lasted. About two seconds.
" For all we know the Hollow Earth Special Forces are just echoes streaming down towards the center of the earth now, hollow memories in a hollow world of hollow souls fleeing to nothing and nowhere."
"Wow! That was really philosophical." Rush pointed out with a sigh. He scratched at his head and clasped another struggling critter between his fingers.
Everett scowled at the creature and shook his head. "I'd rather die."
"You will die if you don't eat." Rush reminded him.
"We're dying anyway. They're living off us. We're living off them. The balance is shifting not to us, but to them. You know it. I know it. We're just meals on wheels."
He barked with laughter.
Rush joined him.
The two men stopped as suddenly as they had started.
"I wonder what it's like to be with a woman again."
Everett looked over. "What? My hair too much for you?"
"You idiot! I like girls, not Neanderthals!"
Everett made a girl swing of his beard hairs and a cutesy smile, fluttering his eyes in a mock flirtaceous glance at his friend. "Not even once...for old time's sake?"
Rush scowled at him. "There's never been an old time's sake and there's not going to be a new time's sake. We'll be dead first."
Everett let his beard hairs drop back over his shoulder again and sighed. "Do you think angels have sex?"
Both men got very, very tight faces and then they broke into a laughter so bright and clean that both got their energy back, even if temporarily.
Rush stood up, t hen gave his friend a hand up.
They leaned on their stone spears and eyed the direction Rowlf had gone. "Down or sideways?" Rush asked.
Everett snorted. "Does it even matter?"
"Well, for one the water goes down...."
"And for two, Rowlf went that way."
"He's our friend." Everett agreed.
Without another world both men made their way along the moss lit path that wound round and round great glowing lichen covered boulders and past glowing streams of lava that coursed in channels parallel to the water they needed to survive.
As they descended the path broadened.
Everett suddenly stopped and put a hand up.
Rush looked at him, almost falling over he was so weak.
Everett grabbed him to steady him. "You smell that?"
Everett pointed ahead. "That. That!"
Then Rush smelled it.
Both men held onto each other and hobbled as fast as they could to reach the origin of the smell. They forced their sore feet, their weak muscles, their tight backs and sore arms to carry them the hundred yards necessary to reach a weak fire, set by a stream of molten lava.
Rowlf sat there on a stone, while he rolled over with a thinner stone, shaped like a branch, several odd looking bloated things that steamed in a bowl of water he had forced from the flowing stream to lay next to the molten lava and warm it up to cooking temperature.
Both men stumbled to a stop as Rowlf turned to eye them. "Twaste wike chicken!"
He cackled and both men laughed.
"I don't care if it tastes like my old tennies right about now." Russ said, and then his eyes rolled up in his head and he fainted dead away.
Rowlf got up and hurried over to Everett who was barely able to lay his friend down, before he also collapsed. He lay beside Russ and closed his eyes.
"Whatever you do, Rowlf. Don't bury me next to that lice infected sonuva bitch, will ya?"
And then he lost consciousness as well.
A bright light flickered in his face.
"Go away!" He cursed.
The light flickered again.
"I said go away!" He cursed even louder.
Then something stuck him in the arm. He screamed, and then woke up all the way.
General Miles Davison loomed over him, watching with a smile, as Nurse Betty administered to him. She stabbed him with another shot, after which he cursed again, but not at her, instead at Russ who lay next to him, watching silently.
Russ reached a hand over. "We made it, pal."
Everett looked again at Nurse Betty. "Do you like to dance?"
She stabbed him with a third shot and he began to lose consciousness. "That isn't an answer." He slurred, and then vanished in a peaceful slumber.
She turned to Russ, who was looking ready to go out himself. "If it wasn't for your friend, Rowlf finding us, you'd both be dead. What in the world did you two eat that horrid thing for?"
Russ grinned. "When in Rome..."
General Miles sat down next to Russ and patted him on the knee.
Then Russ became aware that dozens of men and women were gathered about him and Everett, all smiling. "Did I die and go to heaven. And if I did, why aren't any of you wearing wings?"
Nurse Betty laughed and turned to General Miles. "Can I keep this one?"
And that sweet voice was all that Russ heard for the next sixty four hours as he descended deeper and deeper into the Hollow Earth alongside his best friends, Everett and Rowlf, as they searched for a way home.
Rock and Roll the Comic Books."A Cartoon Story." by John Pirillo. "Love is sometimes a glow in the dark."
Rock and Roll the Comic Books.
"A Cartoon Story."
By John Pirillo.
It was a fierce battle, and no one was going to back off. No one was going to give an inch without getting blood in return. Lots of blood.
Trouble was, it was all from his picking fingers. They hurt like someone was cutting off a piece at a time and were starting to bleed. But he was relentless; he couldn't give up, because the fate of a world depended on him.
He was the Rock and Roll King and the beautiful Princess beside him, Cartoon, was the woman of his heart and soul and he couldn't let her be swept away by the hordes of Zombie guitar players who were hungry for her body, as well as her soul.
So he kept on picking at his electric guitar, his Jimmie Hendrix afro, flagging in the breeze of all the megawatt amps behind him and the ones behind the Zombie King, who was rocking on from the other side of the zombie horde, using the power of his rock and roll to stir them, to move them, to guide and rush them for he and Cartoon.
Johnnie had fought a lot of weird battles lately, but this had to take the cake for the most blood he'd shit.
"Oh shitzleputt!" He cursed as one of his picking fingers got so greasy from blood that he made a bad note.
That gave the zombie horde all the time they needed to reach the platform he and Cartoon were on. She took out her drum sticks, the ones he had gotten from the comic book Rock and Roll Stars and began poking at the closer ones. Each poke took out a zombie, but for every zombie she poked and annihilated into a cloud of gray and blood colored dust, came another one, just as eager as the last to take a bite of her tender flesh and anoint her into zombie hood.
"You won't win this battle, Johnnie!" Screamed the Zombie King. "My Mojo is greater than yours."
"You have no Mojo." He hollered back, staring down the monster. "Because you don't even know what it means, you son of a dog bone!"
The Zombie King snarled, revealed all twenty of his scary teeth, each one of them capped with gold and diamond studs. "Pretend you're tough, but admit it, this time I win!"
Johnnie reached into his back pocket where he kept the comic with the Rock and Roll King. Issue Number Ten, where the Rock and Roll King had a blaster for a right hand that could knock space ship out of the sky. He hurriedly thumbed through the pages, feeling the energies grow. He was getting better at this.
Then he started to lose the energies, until Cartoon put both her hands over his and gave him that smile that would knock the socks off a space suited astronaut.
His right hand flew up, now a cartoon blaster and he began firing into the horde. Zombie parts flew into the air, their snarls continuing as their heads separated from their bodies, then there was only one left. The Zombie King.
The Zombie King put down the bone guitar he had been playing and then stomped across the space of the auditorium towards them.
"I don't need hordes to finish you!"
Johnnie let the blaster hand dissolve back into his good right hand again, then pulled Cartoon against him.
He felt her warmth suffusing his body for a moment, and then said. "You don't have to stay with me."
"I'm not going anywhere without you. If you die, I'd rather not live!"
"But that monster won't let you die! He'll suck your flesh dry for centuries!"
"Just let him try!" She cursed, her eyes flashing with fury, and then turned to join me in the battle. We raised our silver swords tipped with Twinkies. They were deadly. The only way you can slice and dice a living zombie like the Zombie King is with one of those. It may sound a bit Disney, but it's true. They hate Twinkies. It separates them from their bones, and dissolves them back into dust ands them off to LaLa Land where they have to face the karmas they've created by their horrible deeds.
Oh yes, and in case you were wondering, not all zombies are made that way. Some choose to be that way. They're the worst and they're usually led by a scoundrel like the Zombie King. God knows I'd dissolved him a hundred times by now, but his hatred for me and humanity was so strong that he kept coming back from the dead.
Some day, when...if...I had the time, I'd have to do some research to see why he gets away with dying so many times and coming back. Was another human re-energizing raising him, a black sorcerer type like those from Doctor Strange? Speaking of which, I'd forgot to close up my Doctor Strange back home. I just hoped Elizabeth didn't sneak in and start reading it; it might let loose a horde of different monsters for me to take out.
The Zombie King leaped to the stage I and Cartoon stood upon and raised two swords over our heads. "Which to die first. Eeny, Meeny, Miney."
Cartoon and I both swung our Twinkie swords at the same time, one beheading him, the other slicing his body from neck to abdomen.
His head clunked to the platform we stood on, making a kind of squishy sound, then his eyes looked up at us. "Oops!"
Then the head the halved skeleton all made a powder puff explosion and vanished into gray and red dust.
Cartoon and I choked on it for a moment, and then took a deep breath as we leaped off the platform, which dissolved, along with all the remains of the battlefield. The local Wal-Mart store. Most of the patrons had scurried out as fast as they could when the zombies came a biting.
We exited the huge store, and then hugged.
"One of these days we really gotta get a life." I told her.
"You do." She said, smiling as she raised her lips for a kiss. "Me!"
We kissed. Oh, did I tell you that I really, really love this girl. Even if she is a cartoon that glows in the dark. Sigh!