We Pray, We Pray, and We Prey

The only thing that is true in life is death. What a crock of shit.

That may be true for the rest of you. It isn’t true for me. From the Byzantine Empire to the very last second it has been me and the rest of you fuckers. Day after day waiting for a day that has yet to come. Can you imagine the things that I have seen? Like a slow trickling saline bag of useless information. How much do you think has really changed in that amount of time? A whole lot less than what you are imagining inside your head that is for sure. For a while there it was a whole lot of nothing. Waiting for the people you know to die. Can you imagine the amount of death I have had to endure? The amount of people I have had to watch just drift off into nothing. Lucky bastards. What I would give… My whole existence… Imagine that.

I’m not some kind of Zombie or God. And that’s all the time I’m going to waste on that, and believe me I could waste a lifetime explaining how I am neither of those things. Take my word when I say I have spent lifetimes proving that I am neither a zombie or related to God in any fashion. I bleed, I get sick, I hurt, I heal, and I’m still here. Something lost and mixed up in the code. Something is broken in my DNA code because I don’t age either. Forever 21 isn’t just a dying quick fashion outlet. Try that on for size. For you modern horror lovers and tweens out there I’m not a vampire either. Vampires don’t exist, get over it. Nope, I’m just one unlucky son of a bitch. We had different words back then of course. Less vile, but humanity evolves and gets lost in the translation. Twenty-seven different evolutions, that is if I was to die and be reborn, but as you can imagine I have a hard time passing for sixty-three. So, it is more like eighty-one different lifetimes I have had to endure, but who’s counting at this point? What is a day that doesn’t end? Tomorrow.   

1622 years, 3 months, and 19 days… or 592, 532 days… let that sink in…

I was born on Easter Sunday if you can believe it, of all days. No, I’m not Jesus and as I said, not related to God in any way that I have found. Maybe in their image. No, I’m not anything. I just am at this point. How’s that for an answer? It sucks. To be this god damn old, and not look a day over thirty-five. It sounds awesome, I can hear it in your head, and it isn’t all bad, but having to start over again and again. New places, new people, new identities, new processes of thought, and a never ending new. It is exhausting beyond the point of caring. Some people can’t even be bothered to change their underwear let alone give up on everything they possibly once knew. Did you know that the Earth was once the center of the universe? We believed that with all of our hearts. That’s a generalization though. Most of us could give a shit if we were the center of anything or not because we were hungry. People are still hungry by the way, but at least they know that the sun is the center of the universe. I’m sure it brings them comfort. I know it would have to all of us back then. The ones that could read that is. I didn’t learn to read until I was well into my second hundred years on what was not to be the center of the universe. What was the point? Imagine that.

Should I waste our time going over everything that it is that I have seen or had to relearn? Go over the greatest hits or are you good? Personally, I’m good, but I would like to at least stay topical. Lately the news cycle of modern man, that’s what I call you losers, is fixated on abortion and how precious life really is once again. Let me tell you it is pretty damn precious. About as precious as your rights to pursue happiness or walk down the street and not be harassed for existing. Do you know what we used to do to deformed babies? Where I was from at least, and you can extrapolate for the rest of the world because I’m sure we were not unique in any way. We’d throw those freaks of nature right over the cliffs south of my village and then kill the mother. We’d make her watch as we chucked her child into the rocks below and then to prove our point we’d slit her throat right then and there. Why didn’t we just throw her over the cliffs with the child? I’ll never know. Didn’t think to ask. That is just how it was. Best guess is that it didn’t seem humane.  Do you have any idea how dull blades made of iron can become overtime? Slitting throats by the way isn’t like the movies, quick and easy, it takes effort. One time in France I watched someone get guillotined over and over from a dull blade and poor equipment maintenance. That unlucky bastard was screaming, “I can’t feel my legs. I can’t feel my legs.” Over and over again like anyone gave a shit. Want to know what his crime was? Hang on to your panties… He had the balls to say the King was full of shit and enough people happened to be standing around. The river of blood that would flow down every street in America today. Paraphrasing of course, I’m sure though it was the way he said it. Because life is precious so long as it fits in with the times. At least he got to die.

Maybe I too could die by conventional means? I do bleed after all. But what if I don’t? The scars of past attempts have been enough to know that by some miracle I always pull through. Watching and waiting. That’s about all you can do with time. Replaying memories of time gone by. Even that has become boring and redundant with enough time. I thought by now I’d be on some distant planet we found and eating exotic fruits we’d never heard of. Instead, I’m sucking on dragon fruit and observing yet another debate on abortion as if we discard one. There aren’t another three to four babies screaming their way into this life. Ballpark that’s close to 10, 687 new and future assholes to take your jobs and tell you how you’ve been doing it wrong this whole time. Believe me when I say they will be very vocal about how wrong you have been this whole time as though they were born with the knowledge and not adapting to our mistakes and discoveries. It is off putting to say the least, but you’ll get over it in time or die. Unless you are me. Then getting over it and waiting is the only option. 10,687… That number to me is insane and I’ve watched it get to this point. For context, since we all love facts now, I was born one of possibly 190 million people back in 400 A.D. ish. There are 7.8 billion people now… Either get busy getting us the fuck out of here or quit getting busy…

I say “ish,” because of course we weren’t so obsessed with time like we are now. There was no, “It’s my birthday week, bitches,” type of celebration going on back in my day. Okay, boomer. Which is ass backwards if you ask me. Speaking of boomers. What a bunch of pussies. There someone had to say it. So, you had to be raised by a bunch of people who lived through the “great” depression and World War 2. “They were hard on me.” Frowning face. We conquered lands on fucking on foot like it was nobodies business. Walked uphill six miles through snow? We marched across Asia in scandals not because they were in style, but because that was the best form of foot wear we had if we had them. Only to drag your bitching and moaning asses to this point in history. Try that on for size. Think you’re so goddamn special for the things you had to endure? Well, you’re not. We all play our part in getting us here and life has been pretty soft for awhile now. There might still be plenty of real men and women walking around on this planet like we did so long ago, but I haven’t bothered to step foot anywhere they are from in centuries and neither have you. Things get gradually better, deal with it. Progress already. Where are my rockets and space travel or flying cars or any of the other bull shit ideas we’ve been kicking around?

Had I had any idea we’d still be debating abortion rights this late in the game I’d have developed the shit myself by now. That’s what faith in humanity is worth. Disappointment. Twenty-seven lifetimes and we’re debating which is more humane. To silently destroy a fetus or wait until they have thoughts, feelings, dreams, goals, a purpose, and send them off to war to kill others with the same afflictions. Only for them to come back equally as unwanted as before the day they were born. How highly evolved we have become over time. Highly evolved. That’s what they say we are now. Might as well be living in mud huts in the middle of the jungle and shitting into holes for how sophisticated we really are. How much we really care about our fellow man. Every life is so precious. Sixteen centuries later I’m here to tell you… It really isn’t.

Maybe there could have been, but that time has come and gone. Past all of us bye and we didn’t even get to say goodbye. Who knows how much more of this I am going to have to endure for no reason at all. “How much more death and destruction am I going to have to sit through,” I shout onto the sky, the dirt, to the world with no reply. How much more until the rest of you figure out what I already know? What we have always known since the beginning of time. Life and everything in it isn’t that fucking special. How we feel isn’t how it really is. How it is, is never how we really feel. The days of fucking to recreate have long since passed. We fuck for fun because we are bored. You want more of us walking, talking, and farting around? Then give us a purpose beyond standing around. If only there was a way to bring any sort of purpose to any of this. If only life mattered a little more than it did before. Purpose is the end of progression. Once you know that there is no purpose to any of anything the progression loses its worth.

In 400 A.D… ish, we thought that we were all that there ever was. We conquered lands in fear of what could be. Strangers in a strange land with even stranger ways. A misguided purpose that progressed us along. A misguided that still perpetuates simple minded people forward to this day. I’d hardly call that progression, but I guess we just have to take what we can get. Simple minded is here to stay. Incestuously we fear and we will always fear what we don’t know. Sixteen hundred years later we don’t know much more than anything. We haven’t learned to guide our misguided efforts elsewhere. Towards the stars, towards anywhere that doesn’t put any of this into the ground. The new thing is that everyone wants to be so woke about race, sexuality, gender, and who we are individually… But we have barely been born in the eyes of existence. With enough lifetimes under our belts, you’d think we’d all see that, but every lifetime is so single minded.

We are designed to only care about ourselves. I’ll admit I’m no better. All this time walking around and do you want to know what I have done to make it better?… Nothing. All this time walking amongst each of you and all those that came before you, and all I mastered was staying out of the way. My gift to a world that I haven’t cared anymore about than on my first day here. 1600 years and counting of not giving a shit. I may not be related to God, but I have to say I kind of get it. I get why she, him, they, or it hasn’t bothered to come down here and direct a day of traffic personally. How many floods before you throw your hands up and move on? I mean they killed my son and rewrote the damn book I gave them I don’t even know how many times. It is beyond frustrating to believe for even a second that they don’t care about anything more than themselves every single day. They think they’re all getting up here to live their best lives. Hedging their bets on a bunch of lies. And I’ve got some news for them. If I wanted them to wipe their asses on my couch, I’d have invited them a long time ago.

Yet, there are still some of you waiting for an invitation. A little secret between me and you. Birth was the invitation and a whole hell of a lot of you have been dragging your asses across my couch for a while now. This land was your land until you shit on it from sea to shining sea. I mean in the name of the son and the holy spirit you are running out of places to bury your shit. Some of you are living on top of mountains of your own shit right now. Mountains and mountains of trash, bodies, and chances to make a change. Y’all want to move in but I already gave you the keys. Let that sink in. Let that take a hold. Kill each other or don’t kill each other. You’re going to do it either way so what difference should it matter to me? Advance to the point that none of it matters. Highly evolve yourselves beyond the stars. Poison it all back to the start. Concern yourselves with pronouns and the beginning of life and keep shitting on all that I have given you. Keep up the great work. I’d tell you it was almost worth it but I don’t even remember how all this began anymore. Fuck it I give up. This is me now. God’s already walked out the door a long ass time ago.

It took several lifetimes to realize I wasn’t going anywhere anytime soon. It took even more lifetimes to understand that none of this was going to figure itself out. Three lifetimes ago I decided to make the best of whatever this might be. I’m running out of lifetimes in me and I’m not going anywhere anytime soon. I started this wanting sympathy, but now, once again, I don’t know what I want out of any of this. A good reason to die? A life worth living? An existence that meant anything? It isn’t there, but I keep looking. I keep the flame of humanity alive in myself. I’m as selfish as a god and as awful as the devil. I am more human than any human that has come before or since. Maybe accepting humanity for what it is and not what it could be was the path we have all been walking without knowing. Maybe highly evolved was no way to ever be. After 1600 years there really isn’t anything left to say that hasn’t been ignored already.

There is this though. Whether it means anything to anyone, to the lord, or to whatever this is supposed to be. There is this one last thing. Life may not be precious, but every day is. Every day is a moment to enjoy. A moment to reflect. A moment to make a change and a choice. Everyday given is one less taken away. Take that for what it is worth to you. Take that to some higher place. Take that for granted. Take it for what it is. Just don’t let it go to waste, fall apart, and disappear.  God’s said a lot of things, made a lot of rules, made a lot of mistakes through the ages too, but their message has always been very clear.

“Humanity is only a reflection of myself and what I have to give and I have given you everything.” 1600 years of walking, talking, and farting around I may have missed out on death, but I learned plenty along the way. So, stop wiping your ass on their fucking couch and clean up after yourselves for a change. If you want to bring a life into this world, give it purpose. Simple as that. Otherwise let it go. Pretty simple too. None of us are perfect and that is by design. For better or worse. We do the best with what we got and we’ve been given plenty. Plenty more than we’ve ever really needed. Give up on the fear of the unknown and embrace the love of knowing you are not alone. Trust me watching everyone you love and everything you know die isn’t easy, it doesn’t feel good, and it’s still going to happen. The only thing that hurts more is watching all that effort and sacrifice disappear for fear of what could be next. Change is good and in enough time you’ll see that existence didn’t put us here for any real purpose, frowny face, but here we are… so highly evolved and ready to move on. 

Hopefully this story hit all the right nerves… I’m sure it will have stung a few that I wasn’t trying to hit… That’s the nature of violence… the nature of opinion…  it doesn’t always go where you intended… Not perfect by design…

For instance… I never intended to involve God in any form… other than that the character was not related or of holy decent… still isn’t… and yet by the end… God was all I could seem to think of to explain the absence of death in the character’s existence… For the record… me using “God” doesn’t imply any singular god or religious being… confusing I know with the quote at the end… But as I believe in none of them… “Humanity is only a reflection of myself and what I have to give and I have given you everything.”… is what I have gleaned from what I know about all of them… all religions are not the same… all beliefs are not the same… but I think we can all agree that at their core this is what they are getting at… opinion… you are more than welcome to disagree… but what are you fighting?…

This question gets extrapolated to everything we have ever fought for… this idea of wrong and right is endless… based in fear… dripping with unknown… we spend too much time fighting something we don’t have the answers too… fighting for something that isn’t up to us beyond the unknown while limiting what we do know… abortion… nasty topic I know… we’ve boiled it down to two very distinct sides… drawn a deep line in the sands of time… neither side is wrong by the way… pick a side I could careless… either side is about making a choice… the choice… no matter the consequences though should be yours to choose… the conflict comes when we choose to decide for others… and that is not okay… it is not fair… in a free society… we should be free to make our own choices… for better or worse… for our reasons and no one else’s… I understand I am digging up some bones literally for some of you… and for that I apologize… I’m not trying to stir up the echoes of anyone’s past…

It is a nasty subject… one that doesn’t involve me or you… unless it is me and you that this is happening too… restricting rights isn’t going to change that conversation… it isn’t going to move the needle of our evolution… that conversations is going to happen whether we have access or not… just like it is wasting our time trying to decide if anyone should have access to such rights… because they should… like it or not… they should still have the right to choose… as you do now… as we always have… in a free society… restricting people to a safe means of fulfilling their choice is inhumane… more so than taking a life that hasn’t a clue any of this exists…

Because if we are being the most honest with ourselves… there are plenty of people that are suffering here and now that we could give a fuck about… plenty of people walking… talking… and farting around… that could use your love more than you’d ever know… if you really love humanity as much as you claim… those sad souls could really use your misguided efforts to save a child that is yet to know pain… to know suffering… to understand what it means to never be loved… because they do… again opinion and choice… abortion is what it is… agree or disagree… but it is not the worst of what we do to ourselves by any means… nasty subject… and I’ve said all that was best left unsaid about this today…

On a more positive note… I really wanted to play around with the idea of someone who has been around for too many lifetimes… and not a single thing be remotely special about them… mentally the image was very tangible as too how miserable of an experience that would be… could you imagine?… I’m sure after the realization settled in… a few lifetimes… there would be a few really good lifetimes that were the most enjoyable… before settling back into this idea that life is just life… a novel concept based on our own singular lifetimes… childhood is miserable upon reflection… not quite sure what the hell is going on… then we get the hang of it… kind of… adolescence… of course we don’t really know at the time that this will be the best it ever was… but upon reflection… we know… then like a disease age sets in even further… life doesn’t become good or bad… it just is… middle age… and that is where I am… so that is where the character has to be… a snapshot of what is… not a stretch of the imagination by any means… but still one that seemed interesting to explore…

That lasted a good solid ten minutes before I took a look around and drove the car towards the nearest edge that was bothering me on the day… and here we are… more highly evolved and ready to move on… 

Hope All Is Well…

Highly Acclaimed… Some People Have Enjoyed It…

A Lie

Where did this all begin? The hurt… the pain… the confusion… the lies…

“Everything is fine. Everything is how it is supposed to be. Lie to yourself long enough and everything will be fine. Right?” A lie is the story of where all this began. For one of us at least. Struggling through life during a time when nothing feels certain. Our hopeless character figures out what it means to survive when everything is taken away… Walks away… Goes away… How it feels or how it is? Trying to regain a sense of reality won’t be easy as everything comes closing in. As the depression comes settling in and the desperation grows.

Layne Ambrose holds nothing back as he explores themes of self-discovery and isolation in a day-to-day struggle with a town and life on the brink of collapse. Desperation can and does come from anywhere. Finding solace at the bottom of a bottle… and any substance to escape these new found feelings. A lie can only be stretched so far before the truth is exposed. What is real and what isn’t? When everything feels like a lie inside your head?

Available Now On Amazon…  


Assuming Everything Is Fine

If I was to tell you my story it would have to start like this. I woke up and I peed.  Or I woke up, I peed, and then I ate something. The simplest of variations to the start of my day. Pretty boring stuff. But I guess that’s not really the nature of a story though. Not one as complex as mine, but in fact that is how this story starts. All stories, all of our stories, can and do start with simply I woke up, I peed, and then something remarkable happened. No matter who we are. So, I guess not starting at the beginning is my only option. And not starting at the beginning my story goes a little something like this.

I woke up, I peed, I ate something, and then I said out loud, “Are you hungry?” I called this out to my wife wherever she might be in our small house. There was no reply. With the loud continuous noise coming from my wife’s office this was to be expected.  If I had to guess this unrelenting noise is probably what woke me up and now, she can’t hear me. The sound of her constantly working machine often wakes me up. This isn’t anything new. Not for the last few years or so anyway. My wife runs her successful small business right here from the back spare bedroom. She makes trinkets and other artistic things by hand, machine, or however she does it. She is very talented most of the time. Her office is often filled with all the different things she is working on. Typically, I leave her be, but I need an answer to my question.

“Are you hungry?” I question louder as I make my way towards her office. I don’t want to startle her by appearing with no warning. I’ve made this mistake one too many times and have indeed unintentionally messed up her work in some way. She often gets very into her work and naturally spaces out while she works. I wish I could have the focus she does, but that isn’t a skill I possess most of the time. Still no reply even as I stand at the doorway to her office. Her back is turned to me and she appears motionless at her desk. The machine gives off an odor that isn’t as familiar as the sound it makes loudly over and over. “Are you hungry?” I shout over the machine once again. Still, she does not move. For all I know she could be dead. But she isn’t really my wife. I mean she is my wife, but not really. She is only this version of me’s wife and I know I’m going to have to act real sad about it later.

If she is dead. I don’t get the feeling that this version of me had anything to do with his wife’s death, but I can’t be really certain either. I’ve never met this version of us in any sense. I’d like to believe that there is no version of us that could ever hurt anyone, but I know that isn’t true. I woke up on that day like any other too. I woke up and I peed. I should explain that I have a very normal bladder. I’ve never had it tested or measured, but I would say it is very average. Maybe even extremely average for a man of my height and build and age. Five foot eight and a hundred and something pounds. On second thought, divulging such facts isn’t really relevant.  I am an average man of an average size. My wife on the other hand was born with a very small bladder. Again never tested but she has always had to go more than me. So, my day began as it always began.

I woke up, I peed, and I went to the kitchen to find something to eat. Normally I like something a little sweet if it is available. Maybe two cookies right from the sleeve over the sink. Maybe even four. Really depends on my day and the day I had before. “Are you hungry?” I exclaimed. Just like recently only this was in fact a different time and there was no loud noise to drown me out either. Just like this most recent time there was no response. This next part may be a little graphic for some of you. By you of course, I mean possible me’s. I am not sure how many of us have this ability. We’ve never met in person naturally and I’m not really sure where it is that you go. Maybe for an instance you are actually me for a time as I am you for that same amount of time? It all seems so uncertain as to when and if any of this really is. A scary thought for some of you, and certainly for me. A few of us can be real bastards without even trying and that is never fair to her. In this instance though what I saw wasn’t fair to anyone.

First, I noticed blood or at least what I had hoped was maybe only a trail. Maybe people from here leave a dark red trail as they move along? As you know, if you know, anything can and is possible. I once got milk in my eyes and a scratched cornea because my eyes were where my mouth was supposed to be. Very inefficient way to eat I might add and we know how much we hate inefficiency. How is one supposed to grow a beard or not have remnants of food find their way into the opening of one’s eyes? It seems so redundant now to have ever even invented food like cereal or soup or pasta or the list of drippy foods is endless. How could a society exist under such awful circumstances? I can hear you asking yourself because I did so myself. Turns out they simply close their eyes as they eat. Food brushing asks their eyelids like the skin of our chins and gently wiping away anything left behind. Personally, I went hungry for the rest of the day. It was a very long day.

Now I always look in the mirror before or after I pee depending on how bad I have to go. I assure you that my bladder is very average for most of the versions of me. Never can be too sure that everything is where it is supposed to be. That was a longtime ago though. Even before I met my wife or our wife depending on how we are supposed to look at my situation. The trail of red leading away from the kitchen was something new at the time and was in fact blood. I know it was blood because I followed it right to the source. Right to the same doorway I found myself currently standing in. The source in that instance was of course my wife sitting very similarly as she is now. So, you can see why even as I waited for a response over my wife’s loud machine, I wasn’t too frightened or concerned as I waited. Even if she is dead assuming everything will be fine is all I can really do.  That is my mentality now of course and it was because of past encounters that I am able to reach such a mental conclusion. Then not so much.

Frustrated at the time by her obvious attempt to ignore me and my perfectly average question, “Are you hungry?” I grabbed her by the cold lifeless shoulder and turned her around with ease. The simple motion of her swivel chair rocking her head back as she still managed to look away from me. Partially headless. A little flap still hanging on by the mighty strength of skin. I recoiled in fear as I looked upon the inner workings of her throat and all that her skin once shielded from view. The amount of pressure and strength it must have taken to overcome the tension. Whatever had set “me” off must have truly made “me” snap, but again I had no idea we were capable of such horrendous acts of violence. But there it was right before my eyes. The proof that we very much were and are capable of such hideous things. I had seen many things in my life, but never had I seen such a horrible thing done to my wife of all people.  I wish they would have left a note or a warning. Something to ease the mystery of why and how. I don’t think it would have made it all that much easier to understand, but something is better than nothing.

So, I cried. Most of that day I was crying until I cried myself back to sleep. Sometimes I still cry if I think about it too much for too long. You are probably wondering why I don’t cry every day for completely different reasons. Every day a new place. Every day is something different. That part of this is easy. That part is easy because not every day is that much different from any other day. Most versions of us are just plain old boring versions of us at first glance. Few are as extreme as finding your wife nearly decapitated or have our features swapped. In fact, most “worlds” are barely noticeable in their differences. Maybe a flavor of something familiar or the light fixtures have a different brightness setting or maybe we have a different hair cut or the word “truth” has a different meaning or my voice is a few octaves higher. Some are so hard to detect that it doesn’t feel any different at all. Little differences don’t make that much of a difference in the larger scheme of life. Of course, I know that they can depending on the day. By now how could I not? Or at the very least assume? You learn to deal with it in time. As I assume you have because you are me.

Dear Lord… I just got it. When you assume you make an ass out of you and me. I wonder how many yous and mes there are out there? Returning to the present and the fact that there still is no response to my calls of, “Are you hungry?” I walk into the room expecting the worst. “Are you hungry?” I ask for a third time. Fearful that I would get no response as she sits motionless in her familiar chair. “What?” My wife calls back over the noise of her machine. A sense of relief washes over me. One murder is enough for a lifetime. She turns in her swivel office chair to face me. Her razor-sharp teeth are in full view as blood drips from her lips and she holds what is left of a human leg by the shin. What would have been the thigh picked clean to the bone. “I already ate,” she grins. “I didn’t know when you planned on getting up. Do you want what’s left?” She offers me sweetly, extending the gnawed-on leg towards my directions. Maybe a murder isn’t the worst thing to wake up to? I think to myself. Assuming everything is going to be fine is all I can really do. 

It’s a story… Not sure if it is a great story… that’s for other to decide… but it is a story… I told you I was working on some stuff… though this is not what I have been really working on… I worked on it obviously… but it was more of a side distraction to what I have been working on lately…

The format is going to be changing around here for a little bit… Until either I run out of stories or decide I have enough material gathered to create Broken Thoughts Vol. 4… Though not every story featured here will be found in Vol 4 or will every story from Vol 4 be featured on here… The new format going forward will be one story a week… followed by a week of Broken Thoughts… Two posts… I won’t drown you in sorrow…

In other news… as I gaze into my crystal ball into the future of uncertainty… the plan is to create our own podcast that we will post at the end of each story week talking about that week’s story and the previous week’s Broken Thoughts… Still researching a format… we actually want to pursue… At the moment I’m thinking of a more scripted and fictious podcast… I don’t know though… still gathering ideas…

Is a podcast something any of you are interested in?… or a giant waste of your time and ours?…  

Hope All Is Well…

Layne Ambrose

Broken Thoughts Vol. 3 : Chasing Ghost…

Now Available… Paperback or Digital…

Filled With Short Stories… Poems… and Broken Thoughts…

Chewing On Glass Presents… Just Breathe…

It all shatters right there in front of me. Glass, steel, two moving objects going at what feels like a thousand miles an hour. Was it? Is that how it really was? Everything so slow, a miss perception of time and place. Memories shifting in and out of place. Two thoughts as though they don’t exist. Two people caught in time. There was more than two? I wasn’t driving, was I? No, I was standing. Standing still as if I wasn’t even there. I no longer was there was I? I disappeared somewhere in myself. Took myself right out of there. Right out of my own thoughts and feelings. But I remember the glass.

It bounced off my face but I didn’t feel its inflicting pain. The screams all around me with no sound. Faces moving in panic, mouths open in horror, mouths open without any sound. The smell of tires and burning engines but I wasn’t even there. Where was I? Where was I standing motionless? The corner of sixth and Wellington. The burning sensation? The coffee in my hand. Two creams, less sugar. I need less sugar in my diet. Too much sugar in the coffee. Tasted too sweet, my last thoughts before the flood. The last real thought before everything took over. 

People all around me. Fingers bloody, I reach out for those in front of me. Was I crying? The ground hard against my side. Everything hard to remember. Everything a blur of thoughts and emotions. Was I sad? I was very sad. No one to go home to. Family out of town and I’m stuck here working. Lonely, am I alone now? Everything is so dark. Can’t tell if I am seeing or dreaming. The merger did it go through? Important business and I’m late, but I stopped for coffee anyway. So tired, so lonely without them. They went on holiday to see our extended family. Parents, grandparents, brothers, and sisters. Family I find myself missing more now than ever.

Out of town. Where out of town? The roses, Fedele’s roses always smelled the sweetest. The smell of innocence and purity on my hands as I hold the flowers. Was this real? Am I there now? No, I don’t know. I see them now the flowers, but all I can smell is engines. The smell of gasoline. I taste it on my tongue. Bitter like dirty metal, hot. Were they hot? Where am I if I’m not there? Screeching tires, metal collapsing, and my ears still ringing. My ears still buzzing with that hum. Am I alive or am I dead? 

Is death just nothingness or am I only in between? So many questions and no one to answer. So cold like saline going in. Washes over me, that time I was sick. Food poisoning, bad chicken, not enough fluids in me. Am I bleeding? Why can’t I breathe? Try to breathe. Gasping but it’s not working. Inhaling but nothing is happening. A rush of pain. Nerves on end. Nerves on fire. My eyes open, flood of light, emotions. “Just breathe,” the voice says. “Just breathe.” But I can’t. 

Layne Ambrose

Much To Discover…

So, as you can see, I have clearly lost my mind. Oh, wait please forgive me. I forgot that I took your eyes. You can’t see anything so, allow me to describe the horrors you are about to feel and most certainly taste. Hey, have you tasted blood before? Nothing? No Answer? How rude of me you are missing most of your tongue. The little bit you would need to help you speak. How silly of me to keep forgetting the things I have already done to prepare for this evening. If by now you don’t think I’m crazy you really should start. That warm iron taste, the one that reminds you of childhood, picking off old scabs, and licking away the blood is from the parts of your tongue that just won’t heal. It should taste sick at first, but by the end of all of this it will become comforting as you hold on to what memories you have left. My apologies regardless, but you have been more than difficult during all of this. I envy you none the less, you know?

No one has ever treated me this way despite my demands. I’d pay good money for an experience such as this. It’s always too sick or too wrong. That’s how this all started. Worthless sex workers. I didn’t want it to go this far. Do you believe me? What difference does it matter? They set me free from all my pain. Hopefully I can do for you what others were too afraid to do for me. Excuse my laughter I was remembering the screams and inevitable reminders of past mistakes. The memories like to bounce back in place while I work. Well enough of this talking let’s begin the fun. Never. Never shake your head no at me you sniveling cunt. I’ll cut your dick off and ram it down your throat. Is that clear? Sorry, that was unfair. You didn’t deserve that outburst. It’s just. It is hard being on this side of the veil you know? We’re good right? Your hair is so soft it calms the nerves. Good take a deep breath, first things first we must maintain the sharpness of the blades.

God, isn’t that a sexy sound? I use to do this beforehand Out of sight. Out of mind kind of thing. Always be prepared, but where’s the fun in that? That’s good keep up the moaning. I like that you still try to make words. It’s a little hard to understand you with what’s left of that tongue of yours. If only you could see how hard I am you might appreciate what’s going on. It interests me to see how the muscles get removed from bone. Have you ever watched a butcher work? It’s like magic. The skill, the craft, the determination. It’s almost as if the knife is his hand or part of him. My father use to be a butcher and I’m embarrassed to say that the papers call me the same. I am not my father though.

I don’t have the skill my father possessed. It is almost insulting you know? Being compared to a skilled professional such as that. This is more trial and error than anything else for me. A form of unresolved therapy. I know I talk to much, but I have things that need to be said, you know? He used to come home smelling of blood and death. Some days he would let me skip school and let me go to the shop with him. He used to say, “One day my boy you will be a butcher.” That is about all he ever said to me. That or this is for your own good before he would beat me. That’s it that simple. We only want the love of our parent do we not? Life at times is only that simple. Right or wrong simple-minded thought. We know different, don’t we? We’ve seen more than just the butcher block. For all his skill and all his talent, he was nothing more than a dumb piece of shit is what I mean. He didn’t like my reading, jealous of my education. A transition of the times from craft to thought.

Long story short he disappeared shortly after my eighteenth birthday. Mother closed the shop and I inherited the very knifes you can feel today so, in a way the papers and my father were right and believe me that makes me very unhappy. I thought about becoming a doctor once. Hey, hey you still with me? Good, but now I am only sure that I will be studied by one. Don’t know how that is going to work though as I’m fairly aware that I am what one might call crazy, but then again, it’s not me they have to convince is it? It is the twelve other people. Now for the fun part at least for me anyway. I never liked going to the dentist myself, but if I don’t at least pull out most of your teeth your mouth gets a little rough after your dead. There I go laughing again. I had you going, didn’t I? I mean I am going to rip out your teeth, but what kind of sick freak do you think I am? Do you honestly believe me too be that far gone?

Sit still now this is going to hurt unfortunately. A byproduct of all of this but if I snap the tooth rather than pull it. Well, you’ll only have to feel it happening again, but don’t worry I have needle nose pliers as well. Your choice though honestly, I can go either way. Shh… Stop your shaking or you are only going to make it that much worse. I know that some of it is involuntary, but you really must try to calm yourself. Think of something peaceful. A happy moment from the past. Your childhood maybe? The laughter is involuntary as well I must say. Man the fuck up already. We’ve made it this far. What’s a little more pleasure? Wait… Did you hear that? Fuck, mother is home. I guess we will just have to finish this later. She hates it when I work in my room. Try not to die now. You promise? Promise you won’t die on me. We still have much to discover about each other.

Layne Ambrose

From the dark mind of Layne… he doesn’t mind going to a much darker place than the rest of us… oddly enough he is probably the nicest of us all… I don’t think that it is an act or anything…

Bright Blue And Shimmering…

What do you say with a million lives to say it? What do you do with a million days to do it? An endless array of endlessness that accumulates into a pool of endless ocean. A fully powered and operational confusion ray shown across a thousand skies would still not explain all the confusion I feel inside. The isolation of all the knowledge that needs to be said greatly increases the feelings closing in on me. The pages have become displayed on the walls. Three layers thick and making no sense at all. The words bleed together like poetry at first. But after long consideration the words really don’t mean anything do they? Turn the page. Start again. See what comes out and in the end find no solace at all. What is the meaning of this madness? What is a lifetime spelled out in words?

I pace the room once again. Careful to not knock over the stacks. The pages that could not fit on the wall without nails. Hammer and blood. Zig zagging through future trash. The trash that riddles my mind. Have I said all that I mean or mean what I’ve said at all? The words trickle out like a stream that will one day be a waterfall. A tiny hole in my head that won’t stop leaking. The thoughts become dizzying.  Dazed and consumed by all the words. I bump one of the stacks carelessly. It cascades threw out the room like a great wave off the coast of some mystical land shrouded in white. It blends and bends its will to all the other stacks piled up across the land. I stand in a sea of words, an ocean of thought. Even as I stare at each one. Remembering each pen stroke for what it was once worth. I can think of no meaning. No cause to add to this madness I have chosen to live in.

Stare at each word. Each letter spelling out syllables and sounds. Meaning escapes me along with the thoughts. Every passing moment descends further into nothing at all. The depths from under my skin. Flesh and blood. Meat without a taste. I can hear words as they echo out of the screams. Words played against a black screen. Images played to the silence of it all. A hollow sound that repeats. Blood drops, drops from somewhere though I am unsure where. A stream of red. A clue left behind? A whooshing sound blocks out the silence of thought. The blood pumps harder and faster within my head. Drip, drip. I can’t hear the noise. I can only feel it as I follow the trail. In circles I spin. Brushing up against the scattered pages of my mind. My bare legs chewed up amongst the pages. My blood brings new life to the words. Washing away letter for letter. Ideas for idea. Lost to the soul and pouring out of my head. A war fought bloody and hard. I continue to circle around the words like a vulture circles a dead carcass. I will find an answer to all this madness.

I haven’t showered in days. Maybe it has been weeks for all that I know. The new words keep pouring out all around me. The body riddled with sharp pains. I fear that I have become sick amongst the stacks. To quit now would mean that I should have never started at all. I’ve long since run out of paper. Resorting to writing on scraps and bits of blood soaked left overs. I have lost track of where this is all going, but did I ever know? Follow the words. Follow the thoughts. Ideas set us free. Ideas separate the man from the beast. It is all here. Word for word. On display for any one with the time.

“A lost generation hoping for something to happen with the littlest effort at all. We all want to be millionaires, but no one has the heart to tell us that it won’t happen. No one has the heart to tell us shit.” Words cut out of my very chest. A pound of flesh I once called a heart. “They are all too scared, too afraid we’ll go shooting up the place. Our fragile minds can’t take the simplest of heart breaks. They fear that our trigger happy, unsympathetic, systematic minds with snap, and they are right for all the wrong reasons.” Man before the beast. Beast before the man. The call for blood of the innocent. The lives of a thousand sons and daughters. Is this not the calling of man? “Fear is nothing more than power. Fear is a manipulative tool used to take over the mind. They… us… the fear of it all to keep control. Governments, kingdoms, religion, and lies use the same tactics. Fear of the fear to keep control. Place in time. Fear equals control and control is fear. An impasse of conflicted ideas that have worked all too well.”

Fitting in as the skin covers my mouth. Embraced by the society that birthed me. “A stabbed out swollen eye of infected corneas lathered so thick with bullshit that all we see is darkness. What about what is next? What happens in the end if no one stands up to the fleeting masses? The controls left in the hands of children. Evolution dictates that a change will cause adaptation to the original species. A rift will develop, slowly filling up with the lost illusion we once held.” Truth written in blood and disguised by lies of the mind. How could they ever lose control? More like they are hidden amongst us like weeds that grow from the shit stuck in our eyes. “A river of deceit with a sediment so rich lies will grow like wild flowers amongst what is left of the masses. One could only hope. Giant man powered robots will reign supreme amongst the rubble of civilization. One great civilization shall rise from the ashes of our mistakes and in the end all the right will be wronged and all wrongs shall be righted.” A prophecy fore told in the shadows of the moon light on scrapped bits of stained paper. Cover the light with words and turn it off. I see your face… bright, blue, and shimmering within my eyes.

Layne Ambrose

Keep It To Yourself…

“I tried to quit smoking recently and it didn’t go well. Go well is a bit of an understatement really. In the aftermath though I realized a few things about myself. Turns out I wasn’t addicted to smoking or some oral fixation, which sounds like I will suck on anything pointed at my face by the way. No, the reason I can’t stop inhaling dried leaves laced with additives and chemicals is because I am addicted to a much darker thought. I am addicted to the thought of death. Even if it is a slow drawn-out death. One filled with hacking and an overall weathering of my body as I watch myself slowly extinguish like the very thing I love. I am fixated on the thought of death to just stop myself from killing myself. Does that make sense? In some ways we are self-destructive.  That isn’t a new idea in this world. Some of us shoot shit into our veins. Others barrel down the road in hopes that a child doesn’t pop up in a school zone. I put something to my lips and take a deep breath. We as humans are addicted to destroying ourselves. On purpose or by circumstance we can’t give it up. I can’t think of one thing that I do that isn’t killing me in some way. Which may be a good reason to give up one that I know will, but why? What’s really in it for me?

Life always ends in the same whether we want it to or not. Right or wrong all we have in life is faith that we are doing what is best for ourselves even if it is not. Our judgements and our thoughts are ours, but sometimes there is no need to express every last one. The mind is a terrible thing to waste and sometimes hearing a piece of it can be too much to handle. Opinions maybe like assholes and everyone’s got one, but it doesn’t mean we want to hear them,” I spill out. “Yes, these are all valuable points Layne, but what were you thinking about at the time?” The lady with the clip board asks me. “I prefer Ambrose,” I inform her. “My apologies Ambrose, but please answer the question,” she says in a way that lets me know that she doesn’t care. This is another job. Another moron she has to deal with. “Those were my exact thoughts give or take a few on the spot additions. I tend to fixate on an idea and kind of “black out” or chew on that idea for a while. Well, until something else pisses me off or annoys me. Then I switch to that one,” I ramble on. She gives me a look that I have seen before. Everyone gives me that look whenever I try to explain myself.  Same look just before they roll their eyes.

“Those were your exact thoughts when you were,” she pauses to flip through some papers on her clipboard. “Ah yes, here we are,” she finally says before turning the clipboard towards me. She shows me a picture of the aftermath of my actions. I try to not look at the picture, but when it is basically shoved in your face it is hard to look away. “Those were your thoughts when you did this?” She asks again. I fidget against the restraints they have me in, “I mean give or take. Yeah, that is what I was thinking about.” She turns the clipboard back to herself and flips back to where she left off.  “How does it make you feel doing what you did to that innocent lady?” she asks me.

“Well, it doesn’t make me feel good, but let’s not throw around the word innocent so loosely. I mean if you would have heard what she had to say and the way she was saying it. My actions might almost seem justified. I mean in the right circle,” I try to joke. “Justified? This isn’t a joke Mr. Ambrose. I’d hardly call decapitating a defenseless woman in front of her children justified because she was simply informing you about the harm you were doing to yourself,” she says all butt hurt. “Words, words, words it is all about how you say them. That’s the thing about perception. I’ll tell you one thing. Those children learned a valuable lesson that day,” I say in a less playful tone. “What possible lesson could those poor children have learned from you that day?” She asks with fire burning in her eyes. “Besides the obvious? Those kids learned that sticks and stone will hurt them, but words will surely kill them,” I let off a dark sinister laugh.

Horrified the doctor gets up from her chair. “You are sick Layne Ambrose,” the doctor tries to say over all of my laughing. “You haven’t been paying attention,” I say in a low tone between all the laughing. She stares at me. Puzzled as I leap at her from across the coffee table. Dislocating my thumb before I leaped at her I knock her to the floor. I sit on top of her as she tries to fight me off. She isn’t strong enough to get me off of her. I pop my thumb back into socket and grab the pen the lays next to us. “Help,” she screams. “Help me,” she struggles to say as I put my hand on her throat. “Someone,” she fights to say as I stab the pen into her neck over and over again. She slowly stops fighting me, but I can see the life still left in her eyes. I release my hand from her throat as more blood rushes from her wound. A large hole in the side of her neck. “You think I am sick?” I ask her. “You think? Maybe the next one will be smart enough to keep their opinions to themselves,” I get up off of her and head back towards my chair. “I think we are going to need some help in here,” I shout as loud as I can. “This one seems to be leaking.”

Layne Ambrose

Not based on a true story… they let me out for good behavior… that’s a lie… they let us out because we talk too much… apparently there is a limit to the amount of thoughts… even a doctor can handle… but they gave us some meds… so we can keep on working… which is good because the wifi in the asylum… fucking sucked… we really need to invest in better internet speed… no wonder most of them were talking to themselves… it doesn’t take much for someone to go a little… mad…

Into the Flames of Where This Began…

Into the Flames of Where This Began

“Tell me about God,” she demands in a scream. “Tell me about power and life and the will of man. Tell me about everything I already know. Everything I already am,” she screams with all the air in her lungs. We took everything from her and now she wants to return the favor. “Why?” Is all I can manage to say through the pain. “Why not?” She asks curiously back. A break from all the pain that she is feeling. All the pain she is pushing onto me. My mind finally doesn’t feel as though it is on fire. “Why not talk now? That’s all anyone wanted to do before, and now everyone wants to just go quiet. Is it because you all figured out just how powerful I truly am?” The bodies of our once mutual friends lay next to my feet. “Everyone thinks, everyone thought I was so weak. That little miss me with her fragile bones could do nothing. I’m powerful, in a world full of powers I am the most powerful and that makes you scared. It makes all of you scared,” she stares me down waiting for a response. “So, you have proven. You’ve proven your point Emily. Now let’s end this. This isn’t you. This isn’t how we were trained,” My voice goes silent.

Her eyes light up in anger, “Trained?” The pain comes back once again. The feeling of fire running through my veins, through my mind, and through my very being. “I wasn’t trained. I was left behind or have you forgotten?” She asks through the pain. “I never forgot you,” I try my best to say through the pain. “Wrong Nathan, you are wrong. You all forgot about me. Even you. You all left me behind,” she says. The fire inside my head increases, “Because we cared.” I fade in and out of consciousness as my knees hit the hard ground. “Please stop,” I barely manage to beg. “Stop what? Being the woman that you fear? I could have been so much more, but you and every one of them wouldn’t let me. You wanted me to be quiet, to be locked away, but I will no longer be locked away Nathan,” she says with the confidence of a God. “I never,” I try to say. “But you did any way,” she declares as everything around me fades into darkness. “I never wanted any of this,” I try to say through the darkness of my mind. The lost connection of my consciousness. Am I alive or dead? “Welcome to my world,” her voice echoing through my head. Through the pain. Through it all.

Through a haze of confusion I awake in an empty field next to those I once could call friends. Their bodies lay broken, bleeding, and lifeless next to me. I use every ounce of strength to bring my own broken body to its knees. The ground around us is torn to shreds. Pieces of earth lay in mounds all around us leaving a trail of where she has been and where she has gone. I rise to my feet and check those around me. Only to find the worst of what I could have expected. Laying there dead I am the only one to have survived what I assume will be the first of many more causalities to come.

Why? Why did she spare me of them all? Because she broke into my mind and found out I was right? Was it pure luck? Courage is measured by our willingness to throw ourselves back in the fire. Not by our ability to survive. As I stand among the dead I don’t find the courage to run back into the fire. Maybe she was right. Maybe we deserved this all along. We had to have known deep down inside that this was only going to go one way. Did we protect her out of fear or did we do it out of compassion? Her power set wasn’t like ours. It wasn’t controllable like ours. It wasn’t our call to tell her what she could and couldn’t do. We never gave her the choice. We only suppressed what we didn’t know. Painted ourselves the heroes when we were the villains all along. What I must do is not courageous. It is not the right side of right. What I have to do is finish what we should have done in the first place. God’s cannot walk among us. Unchecked they will destroy everything that we have built for ourselves. Kicking what is left of the earth around me I take the steps need to move closer to the fire. Running blindly once again into the flames for the idea of right and the pursuit of all that is wrong. I must finish what we already started.

Layne Ambrose

Some times our actions cause more harm than good… sometimes being “right” really means that we are wrong… so what is the right answer?… To continue to be wrong?… or prove to ourselves and everyone else that we were right all along?… these are the actions and thoughts that we face all the time… The surface is only worth face value… and our actions… our choices… often dig deeper than the surface… not telling you how to think… only that you should…

Because there is no answer… there is no right way to be… there is no set of rules for us to follow… because the world is chaos… but it is up to us to provide the order… to define or redefine it… no one will do it for us… Order breeds chaos and chaos breeds order… it is somewhere in between that we survive…

All I Feel Is Pain…

All I Feel is Pain

Memories are nothing more than random bits of information processed at varies speeds. This is how I remember my childhood. It comes back to me in pieces as my head slams back into the ground. Lift and repeat. Lather, rinse, and dry. Blood runs throughout your body providing oxygen and nutrients to every cell. When blood gets into your eyes it provides nothing at all. Nothing more than pain. How does someone end up reliving all their horrible childhood memories on the cold pavement? I’m not really all that sure anymore.

Where did I go wrong? Politian’s, health-conscious assholes, leftist fascists would say it was when I smoked my first cigarette. Signed a one-way ticket to hell by today’s standards. God, would I kill for one right now. Just to feel the smoke hit the back of my throat and shoot down into my lungs would make all of this a little bit more bearable. I wonder what heroin would be like in this scenario. I wonder what food will taste like as my teeth fall to the ground. Will anything ever taste the same again or will it always taste like blood? I don’t think the iron, rust like taste will never leave my mouth. I always speak my mind maybe that’s how I ended up here. The more my head hits the ground the more I forget. In the end all we have are our memories. The good ones and the bad ones. Our memories are all we have. For some reason, the only memory that keeps popping up is the time I learned to tie my shoes. Maybe because when all is said and down here. I’ll never be able to do that again. Funny how after all of this something so significant won’t even matter. Too defiant anyway. Never really learned to tie my shoes. Found a way, but not the way I was taught. The memory still comes breaking through.

My stepmother left me in a chair all day with the same story that I could get up if I tied them the dumbass way, she showed me. With the bunny ears or something. The instructions are still lost on me, but the torture is clear. “If you tie your shoes we can go to the beach.” I used to love the beach. I used to love a lot of things. Too bad we were in the middle of fuck all Indiana where there is no such thing. She paraded around in a bathing suit and beach bag as if we would leave as soon as I miracle my shoes lace together. What kind of sick fuck does that to a child? The company you keep, I guess. Too defiant maybe that is how I ended up where I am. Too strong-willed and stubborn to tie my shoes. To listen to anyone else.

My head hurts so much that my face has gone numb. I’ve been trying to pick myself up, but my head feels as though it weighs too much. Leaning into the punches is didn’t helping any. I say lean but it is more of a sway. Confused by what it is I am even doing.  I’ve got nothing left. Everything I had was all used up before I even got here. A teacher once told me that you come into this world with nothing and you leave it with nothing. I can see her old wrinkled out face mouthing the words, but the world has gone silent. Gone away into the distance that is my existence. She was full of shit. You come into this world screaming and you leave it with pain. The constant that doesn’t let you forget. Can’t change much when your life flashes in and out of focus.

Can’t change much when you know you are going to die. Can’t take away the things that you have done as the last breath leaves. Can’t forget the time that you pissed on the street corner as the neighbor’s daughter watched. Can’t take back the punishment. The belt that struck over and over again. Not even the truth can set you free after it is all said and done. That she wanted you too. No, you are only left with the memories of a childhood you wish you could forget. Can’t change the time you climbed a tree you were told not to climb. Ended up in the hospital for not listening on that one. Should have stayed in the tree. Why didn’t I just stay in the tree? Can’t change the time you got a girl pregnant and waited in the abortion clinic waiting room. Scarred out of your mind, sad for the life you wasted, and too young to realize they are one in the same. No, none of that will ever change. Time can’t change after it is already past. Time can’t change after you’re dead. Your impressions, actions stay with those you’ve affected long after your gone. Actions speak louder than words yet the words of those around you in circle your every thought.

Don’t do this, do that, why do you got to be such a little shit, clean up your room already, have you been drinking, this is for your own good, tell me what happened, happy birthday, please take the dog out, win some and you lose some, thou shall not kill, I hate you, why couldn’t you have been better, clean your face, you disgust me, this is what you deserve, I love you. Some good and some bad they all flood in as if they should mean something, but they don’t. Is now really the time to reflect on all of this? Maybe I just wanted freedom. Maybe it was only love. Maybe it was both. I don’t know what anyone could ever want out of a world like this.

For some reason, they have stopped. Could be because I’ve stopped fighting? Maybe because they know it is already done? I can feel a smile come across my face as the hits start back up. Their anger in this world somehow more intense than my own. I want to laugh, but do I dare? I can still feel as though that all of this is some kind of prize at the end of a long game. The words aren’t clear in my head anymore. Here and gone. Trapped and freed. I feel cold yet warm. But all I really feel is pain.

Layne Ambrose

Chasing Darkness…

Things aren’t quite the way they used to be. Things change fact of life and death. Even if we can change those facts like I have. Things still very much change. I no longer know who I am or what I have become. I’m not what most people would consider normal. Most would consider me to be eccentric. They always have from every moment that I can remember. Strange not normal. Broken and not equal. Different in every sense of the word. They were right of course, but I guess chasing endless winter is not most people’s idea of a good time. Not most people’s idea of where I should be or what I should be doing. But I like the isolation, the cold, and the loneliness of it all. It helps me think and that is all they really want from me in the end. They want me to think for them. To create for them. Being out here in the nothing makes me feel more alive than a room full of people sucking up to my money. Yes, I am rich. Richer than most nations to be exact. To be fair though that isn’t saying much considering most nations didn’t go with technology. The choice was too easy to follow me, to invest in my ideas. Man is flawed in that way. Self-doubt, too easy can’t be the right way. Must resist and so they did. Investing in war and death. I shouldn’t have to tell you how that turned out. But history, stories they are summaries of things we already know.

Turns out bombs don’t feed people or build homes or take care of you when you get old. No, bombs only have one purpose and they do that function very well. But robots? My robots? They can do so much more than kill. Most nations fallen to the way side, disappeared off the map of everything including people’s minds. The advancements were swift, they were quick. I discovered a loop hole that we had missed. An easy option no one believed to exist. Greatly enhanced soldiers that feel no pain, targeting systems that can target any and everything you may desire, and a defense system so advanced that it would make nuclear war less of a fear and more of an annoyance. Whole nations wiping themselves out before the missiles even left the ground. Only took a few of these “brave and fearless leader” to wipe themselves out before all nuclear missiles were deemed obsolete. In fact, less bombs destroyed whole nations then had ever been tested in the history of any nuclear program. I didn’t just make the world better. I saved humanity and everything with it. These were only the beginnings of my ideas. Yes, my pockets were lined with dirty dollars of anyone who was willing to pay for protection. This is capitalism at its finest. This is everything that we once believed in. Things they change even if we don’t think that they can. No one notices if you stay within the lines.

What is left of Christianity would blame faith in false idols and other dated terms for what was coming. Yes, I am that old. Faith can come to us at any moment, but it cannot change in an instant. It is enduring like that. The same can’t be said for nations. Even to those who neither fear or believe in God. Faith is something else. Faith isn’t something than can be so easily pushed aside. Even the most faithless person believes in something. Something they cannot see, but swear that they can feel. The new question now became how do I get them to believe in me? The faithful fought the next wave of advancements. Pushed my patience beyond their limits. I grew bored with enhancing nations to the highest bidder. It was time to take my ideas beyond governmental and to the people. Take it beyond the surface of what I knew and go deeper. Humans are a flawed design. Boasting about how we are the greatest at everything. Spreading lies beyond the fabric of what we know to be true, but I knew with my help. I could make all our lies, all our fables, and all our faith in ourselves a reality. I knew that I could make them true.

My advancements in nano tech and hybrid parts brought the revolution to the people. Put everything in their hands to do with as they wished. So long as they paid. So long as they understood what it was, they were getting into. They didn’t, but it didn’t matter. Humans adapt to ideas they don’t understand. It is a slow process, but they accept the way things are eventually or they die off. Evolution sits as a theory, but the problem is we understand it better than we like to think. We accept it as truth even as we question its very existence. Deep down we already knew. We have always known what is that we are, where we come from, and how it will all go. There may be no all-seeing god, but something moves us to follow blindly. I would give them the means for what we have spent existence to discover. No one, not even myself can be as arrogant to not believe in a purpose. A self-fulfilling prophecy written before the beginning of time.

The fall was coming. Everything I had created was going to turn. Human history is riddle with stories similar to mine. The Roman Empire, the Chinese Dynasties, the rise of early man, and the list could follow us all the way to today. Life doesn’t stop under the wheel of change. It grows stronger. Picking up speed until we no longer understand what it is that we have created. A bump in the road, a great fall, but this one was different. This one was not like the rest. Unlike the falls of the past, the missteps that lead to something else. This one changed the game. Changed the world and the human race. We moved past everything we thought we knew with built in control. We became something greater than ourselves. The ones that were left that is. The advancements I made in human tech changed the game. We became one with the robots. Equal to my creations. Working side by side until we cleaned up everything. We needed something more though. We always need something more. We looked to the skies once again. Except this time, we knew that we were ready to face any and all challenges. No longer a dream, but the next step in our evolution. My evolution, my purpose in this world. For the first time in human history people are too busy thinking. Thinking of ways to make everything better rather than how to destroy. For the first time in human history everyone is thinking like me.

That is why I live here alone like this. To free myself from all the noise. That is why among other things I do what I do. To clear my consciousness. I feel this need to distance myself from them. I feel this over encumbering need to be as far away from them as I can. So, I can better them. So, I can better us as people. Nothing will ever stand in our way of achieving greatness ever again. We will conquer the stars as one. We will take all that is ours as one. For the first time in human existence, we all have a singular reason to flourish and all it took was me.  The weight of the world sits on my shoulders held up by the strength of so many. Change is inevitable even if nothing ever seems to change outside the lines. The wind howls outside of my cabin. A few more days left of darkness and the chase will begin again. The world advancing by the minute and my wealth grows. The owner of this world, my empire, lives in near darkness studying the sky of the lost planet no one’s even heard of yet. Trying to make sense of our new purpose in this universe and the darkness beyond.

Layne Ambrose

This fucking story… This story didn’t start out like this at all… the original draft was trash… an idea that I didn’t know was there until I looked a lot deeper… So I worked on it… worked with it… typed up the whole thing on my phone… had it all amazing… had it to a point that I thought was good… then technology and my stupidity fucked me… While trying to transfer the file from my phone to Layne’s computer… using all the great advancements that Google bestowed onto us… We lost the whole thing… didn’t save it correctly… or lost internet connection… who knows…

Back to step one… and I was fucking pissed… I’m still pissed and it has been over a week… still pissed and I have rewritten the whole thing for a second time… but it is over and done?… I just read it… why are you so pissed?… Who cares?… you are right but it doesn’t matter… We’re pissed because the story was vastly different… and how it was different I don’t know… but I know… it wasn’t sci-fi… I write by the seat of my pants… I write until it is done… I purge the thoughts and move on… then one of us takes over… so if it isn’t written down… saved somewhere… neither of us have any idea what it was that the other even said…

So… all that work… all that effort… gone in a flash… and like this character all I think about is progression… not going back… But we had to go back… We had to finish this story… redo this story… woke up today… and got it done… It isn’t that bad actually… still pretty pissed that I had to do it again… but for all I know… it might have all been for the best… destruction and loss… may have all been for the best… or maybe it wasn’t… “Faith can come to us at any moment, but it cannot change in an instant”

What I’m Made Of…

Only a Matter of Time

“Hello Liam,” I say as I enter the room. “Doctor,” he smiles in his own sinister way. “How’s everything today?” I ask him. “Oh, you know can’t really complain. Got to sleep in late, watched as the birds played in the trees while I enjoyed my very nutritious breakfast, and afterword I went for a nice walk around town,” he deadpans. “Cute, I’m sure it is easy to get around town in that straight jacket,” I say to him. “It is a tad bit constraining, but you know the ladies love a man who knows how to dress for the occasion,” he laughs. “And I’m sure the ladies love you. It is only too bad that you are a danger to yourself and everyone else,” I say as I open the file in front of me. “A danger to myself?” he gasps. “Tell me is that your medical opinion or your personal opinion? Because I will have you know that there isn’t one person out there who would back up your claim,” he shifts in his chair. “That’s because beside me there is no one left who really knows you Liam. You made sure of that didn’t you?” I ask. He tries to lean his chair back but it is bolted to the floor. “There’s no use scratching at the scars of the past now is there Doctor?”

“Unfortunately, that’s all you have any more. Tell me do you ever stop to think that may be the reason you are in here instead of out there?” I ask him. “Are you really asking me if I have time to think right now? Or are you simply trying to get through your checklist of nonsensical questions? Because I’m having a hard time telling the difference,” he fires back. I’m losing him. The nice guy, everything is a joke personality is starting to fade. I can see it in his eyes. The dark hollow orbs staring back at me. I write down my observation on the paper in front of me. “See something you like? Find something new? Care to discuss what new profound idea popped into your head?” I ignore his questions. Bait to fall into a trap. Liam likes words. Uses them to distract you, confuse you into doing exactly what he wants. A trait he must have possessed his whole life. “Stop looking at me like some sort of side show freak,” he growls. “Are you angry Liam?” I finally ask him. He tries to fake a smile but the real Liam has taken over, “No of course not.” His eyes never blink. Only if you are looking for it do you even notice that the skin around his eyes begin to tighten with every passing moment. No one the wiser would think he looks calm, cool, and collected, but I can see through his mask. He has the look of a mostly forgotten memory. “God, there is just so much of him left inside of you,” I say. The lines of his face form a most sinister smirk, “Do you mean our father?”

“Are you sure that I didn’t burn most of him out? Medically speaking.” Liam turns his head to show off his scars and what’s left of his left ear. “I’m very certain that no matter how much you hurt yourself you will always be like him,” I tell him. “Why don’t you take this straight jacket off and we can test that theory Doctor,” he says. His voice calm and his eyes like fire. “I’d prefer we didn’t. Medically speaking of course,” I smile. “I’m sure you do. Remember how you used to hide behind the living room curtains whenever he would come home? You were weak then and you are just as weak now. I never feared our father. Even as a child I could see what he was. Maybe I didn’t understand it completely but I knew what I wanted to be,” he muses. “Are you admitting that you were fully aware of your crimes?” I ask with my pen in my hand. He ignores my question. “You probably get off on the idea that your little brother is some kind of monster? But here is the thing brother. You can hide behind your little curtain. You can roam these halls pretending you are some educated healer, but we both know. I know that you aren’t. No, hidden away somewhere in that thick skull of yours he hides. It hides. You think you are better than me, but you are nothing more than the same,” he rants.

“I think that is enough for today,” I say uncomfortably. “Of course, you do. You have no back bone. Never have. You can’t accept who you really are. What we are,” he taunts. Do not give in I think to myself. Don’t listen to his false words. “I can stand up for myself just fine. I know who I am and what I am,” I tell him. “Yeah, and what is that Brother?” he asks me. “Sane, normal, a free man in this world. A man not strapped down by chains for sins committed.” I say enlighten. He looks almost bored from my words. “I pity you brother I really do. You can hide behind your curtain, your title. The idea that you are sane. Free from the evils of this family, but in reality, it is you that is in chains not me,” he taunts. “You can taunt me all you want Liam, but I am the one in control,” I say firmly. His eyes look as though they might jump from his skull, “You will never know the true meaning of control. You will never feel its true power for as long as you hide behind the curtain. Those victims as you call them were nothing more than stepping stones, martyrs to show me a better life. They showed me the truth of this world. Beyond our father. Beyond reason. So, you can judge me all you want from behind your curtain or you can join me on the other side of it.” I signal for the orderlies to come in and take him away, “This meeting has been insightful as always. Can’t wait to see you in a few weeks to do it all over again Liam.” The orderlies place his muzzle around his face and left him up from the chair. “It is only a matter of time Brother. I can see it in your eyes,” he shouts as he exits the room. “Only a matter of time.”

Layne Ambrose