Tag Archives: murder

The Garbage Man – Part III

Continuing with the story, “The Garbage Man”.  What was to be a short story has taken off on me and is well on its way to becoming another fantasy novel.  No idea where it is going either.  I hope you do enjoy it.  The title will eventually change and Lotharic, you will discover, will return to his earlier name, Edgar, not only by popular request but because Beanna prefers it.  Oh, and the name, Allay is pronounced “Ally.”  And typos may be lurking where least expected… Otherwise, let’s see what dreams may come.

CONTENTS DELETED.  If you need this section for reference, please contact me via email:  shatara@telus.net

{start of part III}

“I feel so terribly cold…”

Lotharic brought Beanna out of the transition trance and explained: “I took you between worlds and it was your body that felt the cold of abandonment. We cannot travel thus physically. Whenever we enter the astral worlds we must leave our physical bodies behind.”

“Put the sword away, Beanna. What happened here, none of it was your fault, or even your doing. I manipulated your thoughts and feelings to expose your darkest side. It was necessary. Now, together, we will work on bringing out the compassionate, caring, loving Allaya. We will transform you. But again, let me emphasize: you needed to see for yourself; to experience, the depth of evil you are capable of as a human being. What you saw and did today is true for your entire race, or species. It is who and what you are. Some of you, particularly women and children hide it well from themselves, but the “good” among you are the exceptions and your goodness is always artificially produced. You are not naturally good, but rather always bend towards evil. Soon you will understand and fully accept that. The Allay and Allaya knew this fact about Earthians before they agreed to come here. We thought we understood the risks of course.”

{End of Part III – 180113}

I’ve got Questions: You got Answers?

[more troubling thoughts from   ~burning woman~  ]

Are there questions that need asking, but are unfair to ask?  I suppose, but then I suppose it depends who (or is it whom?) you ask.  What does it mean when you claim to be a human being?  What sort of creature, character, invention, mistake of nature, is a human, or at least, a human of earth in particular?  How do you define a generic human being, for the sake of argument agreeing for the moment that “we are not alone” and there are lots and lots of “other” humans out there among the fiery stars?

Maybe I should approach it from the opposite end: what isn’t a human being?  Is it everything else that exists that isn’t Homo Sapiens, or very similar in shape and deportment as HS?  And is it pushing the envelope to notice that HS also stands for Homeland Security?  Why does Homo Sapiens require “security” from something or someone, all the time?  Why does the character always feels threatened; always needs some sort of safety net around her/him?  Family, tribe, clan, separate group, government, a god, a police, a military, insurance, guarantees… knowing it’s born to die and there are no life guarantees worth the paper they might be printed on? 

Here’s one that tends to make a lot of people uncomfortable, but fits in with the need to hide, to be protected: the wearing of clothes.  I’ve never been able to understand why earth humans feel this instantaneous and deep shame if caught naked, exceptions being lovers at a certain level of their ephemeral steamy relationships and of course little children in their short-lived age of innocence.  Why the shame?  Why the fear?  Why the shamers?  And why the laws against public nudity? Come on, Why?  What’s really behind this control?   

OK, I’ve brought that up: we can’t go naked, it’s shameful.  Wow.  How come it isn’t shameful to condemn millions to death in order to spend zillions on war?  Tell me that!  Why isn’t it shameful to kill innocents in war?  Why isn’t war a collectively felt ultimate shameful act?  War is not just about monetary profits; millions support war, and cheer on the warmongers even when such wars are dispossessing them and their families; even when such wars bring the dragon closer and closer to home.  We’re in it right now; we can all see it happening.  Join up, go to Pakistan, to Libya, to wherever, doesn’t matter, just be ready to kill innocents in their own countries because… the point being?  The point being that the shame of such acts simply does not register on the human conscience, at least not in any significant level that could raise some doubt.  The point being that Earthians love war – they can’t have enough of the violence and if they can’t get it as the real thing, they’ll seek it in various aspects of their entertainment.  Watch the movies, read the books, play the games…

There’s a truly great word that describes man’s acts on this world: dysfunctionality.  Dysfunctionality increases exponentially, following the population curve.  The more people, the more dysfunction; the less thinking; the more knee-jerk reactions and knee-jerk reactions to reactions.  The world, it seems, is on the verge of turning into mob rule – as if that wasn’t already the case!  What are rogue states that ignore and routinely violate international agreements on aggression, such as the United States, but mob rule legitimizing itself with a thinning veneer of civilized government control?  What makes that work?  Collective denial.  Another example of a rogue state?  Britain.  What makes that collapsing fake democracy function?  Same thing: collective denial and some remaining pathetic belief that a change of party rule can make a difference, when all that is, is the carrot on the stick, while the stick is getting longer and the carrot smaller.  Speaking of rogue states, why don’t I mention China and Russia?  I probably would, if I knew more of their internal politics.  Not mentioning them doesn’t mean I’m ignoring them. 

These pseudo-countries, these mobs, well, they’re made up of people, aren’t they.  Look at how so many Americans are now vociferously blaming Trump, or those other potuses’ for the mess they are in.  Hello, who voted them in and cheered them on, deliberately or willy nilly?  If you live in a democracy, or if you at least believe you do and at the very least vote, then you’re admitting that you’re the one to “blame” for the state of the union, or the nation.  That’s how it is, unless you choose not to participate and walk to a different drummer.

War, murder, killing: tell me, Is there ever a morally defensible reason for someone who considers himself a member of the human race, to kill a child

Do you have an answer to that?  This isn’t an “ethical” question or a debatable one.  Before you answer, consider whether you are a member of a “democracy” which means that through participation in the process you are equally accountable for the death of a child if such death resulted from your “democracy’s” exploitative, oppressive, illegal, martial activities.  Remember that every nation, in one form or another, is involved in these murderous activities.  Where are the clean, the bloodless hands, in today’s world?  Every Earthian human (or pseudo-human) being has innocent blood dripping from hands, teeth and lips. 

Based on the above, are Earthians, human beings?  Let’s see: what are some particular character traits that define a human being?

First and foremost, to mean anything at all, a human being must have a compassionate nature, that’s a given. 

More character traits of a real human, as given to me by my Teacher, Phaelon, some years ago:

A human is innately self-sacrificing. 

A human never takes another’s life but would give its own to save another, regardless of who that other is.  For the human, such a sacrifice could never be for personal gain or recognition. 

A human never needs, or experience the need, to protect itself: it is not a predator, nor ever a victim. 

A human being doesn’t recognize any other as an enemy.  (It takes a higher level mind to grasp what that means.)

By those basic descriptions, how many human beings are you personally acquainted with and how does this acquaintance affect the way you think, speak and act?      

Dear Miss Liberty

(Thoughts du jour)

IRQGIRL

In the aftermath of the invasion of Iraq
Whichever one or was it the Gulf War
Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Palestine?
Or is it just the endle$$ War?
Africa’$ in there somewhere

 

Mourn, mourn!
For the thousands
fleeing from their homes
when the bombs dropped
and death rained from torrid skies;

Mourn, mourn!
For those pulverized in the streets
mixing blood and sand,
steel and plastic –
fusing burning human flesh and glass
in depleted uranium.

~*~*~*~

Becoming one
with all that is: what a simple feat
that children, dogs, mice and blades of grass
can accomplish with ease
when war falls
from the oppressor’s lips
and its fire spews from heaven –

did you not hear the monster pray
before he gave the word?

~*~*~*~

Mind dead, heart blind
the power-butchers kill the innocent
claiming it their divine right,
no, more: their sacred duty.
It’s a matter of interpretation
(not to be confused
with questions of morality
or basic human decency):

~*~*~*~

Did not a Master once say
the kingdom of heaven
belongs to little children?
There you have it: kill them now
while they remain children
and give them back to God –

kills two birds with one smart bomb:
gets them out of the way
so they don’t grow up to be terrorists
against the invader –
sorry, against the Chosen Ones.

~*~*~*~

If this seems an oxymoron –
what’s your take on it?
Where were you
when prayers aimed at heaven
rained back down as cluster bombs
upon the innocent
?

~*~*~*~

“Now, Mi$$ Liberty,
How do you wish to pay for those bombs?
American Expre$$?
Of course: thank you.
A pleasure doing busine$$!”

($mile!)

Liza’s Invisible Man

[a short story, by Sha’Tara]

For those who know me, this needs no introduction.  For those who don’t know me, I’m the recluse, the quiet one, the dreamer.  I live on the edge of the worlds that have made a pretence of harbouring me, and I do not trust them.  I trust nothing that pretends to be what it isn’t and if life has taught me anything, it’s that everything is pretence.  Fake.  Lies.  Definitely not conducive to trust.

But now, imagine the opposite; that everything was trustworthy, safe, true, real.  Can you imagine the extreme boredom of such a condition?  Unthinkable to me.  And this brings me to talk about Elizabeth, or Liza as she was then known.

Liza was a bit crazy.  Some said it was because both her parents died in jail and that her adoptive parents should have gotten the same.  I only knew the bits about her I got to know during our last two years of high school.  We sat together sometimes during lunch and compared notes.  We talked about boyfriends, well, as I remember she didn’t say all that much.

“C’mon Liza, who is he?” I pushed her once.

“Not that it’s anybody’s business, but he’s the invisible man.  Much too old and sophisticated to be around here.  He’s self assured, rich but not ostentatious.  He can be funny at times.  But I like him best when he’s being serious.”

“Oh!  And the name of this paragon of manhood?”

“He doesn’t have a name.  A name would spoil him, it, the scene, can’t you see that?  An invisible man with a name?  That would make him visible.”

“So who is it? Who?”

“He’s the invisible man.  Why do you want to know more?”

“It’s natural curiosity, Liza.  Maybe… maybe he doesn’t exist at all except in your mind, yes?  Is that why you won’t tell me who he is?  He’s a figment of your imagination?”

“Is that what you think?  That I’m hallucinating a man?  That I couldn’t get one any other way?”  She got up, threw her lunch wastes in the garbage bin and walked away without turning her head, her pony tail swinging wildly as she walked out of the cafeteria.

That was the last time we talked.  She avoided me after that and frankly I was relieved.  That was too close for comfort.  I’m a book person.  Other peoples’ private lives might contain a certain aura of mental interest but not for very long.  Boredom sets in.  I prefer action romance to every day middle class lives of frustrated teens with bad sexual experiences or hearing about their parents’ failed lives.  Jesus, listen to me.  Seventeen and as jaded as an old spinster.  “Oh Jane, you’ve got the brains, the marks, you can be whatever you want.  A librarian?  There’s no future in that, haven’t you heard of computers?  By the time you’re thirty libraries will exist in the cloud and a book will be something you go see in a museum, or in someone’s collection.  Really Jane, where’s the drive?”  It was that line, or similar lines, that followed me through high school.  But what better company can one have but books?

About a month after the cafeteria incident, Monday morning, I came in to an announcement for a general meeting for the entire school in the auditorium.  Bother, I hate these things.  Hired a new business manager?  The grade eleven Physics teacher quit?  The principal got an award for saving a few thousand dollars for the school by closing down the music department? New security measures to be taken?  Whatever it is, it’s the last place I want to go to, but no choice, the hallways were blocked and we were all ushered into the auditorium.

We took seats and we waited, nervously, impatiently and noisily.  I wasn’t the only one who didn’t want to be there.  Finally our vice principal, Mr. Morgan, came on the stage and asked for silence.  After some time the room quietened completely.

“Students of Eleanor Pringle High, I’m sad to announce that I have some bad news for you, for all of us.  One of your classmates, fellow student, Elizabeth Raynor was found murdered in Sullivan park early this morning.  This news was kept from the media until this announcement could be made.  Counselling services for those close to Miss Raynor are available through the office.  Any of you who wish to deal with this in your own way by taking the day off may do so.  Normal classes to resume tomorrow morning.  Again, the principal, myself and all the staff offer their sympathies for your loss, our loss.”

After dismissal I was accosted by Brian Lopez.  “Hey Jane, you used to talk to Liza at lunch.  Do you remember her talking about an invisible man?”

“Yeah, sure, why?”

“Did she ever describe him, like what he looked like, give you his name?”

“She wouldn’t talk about it, said he had to remain invisible.”

“That’s it, see?  Yesterday around lunch time we met at the Subway in the mall.  We sat together for a snack and talked.  She was excited, said she was meeting her invisible man in the park that evening.”

The Cursed Year, the Year of Bliss


[short story, by Sha’Tara –  part 5]

“The very large story”

5:30 AM.  I’ve just returned “home” and without even bothering to lock my door, I’m at the typewriter.  I need to unload all the information that has stacked up in my head during my night’s ramble. 

You want to know where I really was?  I entered the labyrinth; the lower intestines of the City.  My fingers type: there are no flowers here, no angelic music or happy songs around the family table.  There are no lovers walking hand in hand whispering sweet nothings to each-other.  Nobody is standing in front of some girl’s apartment and singing, “On the street where you live!” under a full moon; no emotional balcony scene.  It’s not that kind of place where people meet and greet before entering the muted sanctuary of a church for a service.  And it’s not the kind of place where people rush in a pub from the cold and order drinks for themselves and their friends. 

It’s the kind of place where the well known writers of 19th Century Europe found and collated the material they used to write their dystopian novels.

I’m not going to emulate or plagiarize Victor Hugo or Charles Dickens.  This is some hundred and fifty years later after all and you would expect things to be very different now.  So I’m going to write what I saw.  What I heard.  What I smelled.  What I felt.  You will fill in the blanks with your “what if’s” and I will not care how, or why, you question it.  You will pen letters to the editor and pompously write: “It’s their fault!  We all make choices in life.” Fine, it’s their fault.  Have it your way.  And now that you’ve passed on the blame, does it feel better?  Yes?  And how long will that last before you have to tell yourself more lies so you can justify spending a hundred dollars on a hockey game while children are raped and babies die of neglect and old people die in their unheated apartments just a few blocks from your well-lit arena with the heat flowing from hundreds of radiant heaters to ensure your temporary comfort?   Oh, Canada!  You think you’re a cut above, don’t you.  But you’re not.  

I continue writing:  I had penetrated into that murky world of the City far enough to have to step around a dead dog.  Even his ghost was silent and didn’t bark: let sleeping dogs lie. Even in the cold the smell was unbearable and I moved away quickly.  Then I heard some crashing in an alley.  Out of the mist a couple of people of impossible age or gender staggered out into the street.  They stared or glared at me and after imprinting that image in my head I turned away as casually as I could and walked on.  I wasn’t followed. 

And I realized then that here, I was just another ghost going about her business and nobody would care as long as I stayed out of their way.  Those who could care, or pay attention to my presence were either sleeping, or taking care of some other business – for the time being. 

I heard a scream in the night, a woman’s scream, and swearing, cursing, a threatening male voice.  More screaming, more banging around.  Then a child’s scream joined that of the woman and a man came out of a front door silhouetted by the light in a hallway behind the door.  He had a pair of torn jeans on, nothing else.  He stared at me and I stared back at him. 

“What the fuck you lookin’ at bitch?” He practically growled his words.

“Not much.  Why do you care?”  Says a voice that came from my mouth, but it wasn’t me talking.  Couldn’t be me, or could it?

“Fuck off, mind you own business.”

I feel cocky now.  I want to engage him on his own turf, see where this is going to go.  “I am minding my own business.  I’m standing on a public street, not on private property.  That means I’m minding my own business.  No law against looking, listening or smelling from any public place.  Check it out.”

“Smart ass cunt.  I outta step down there and teach you a lesson.”

“Why don’t you then?”  That anger rising again.  “Any lesson you could teach me I already know, make no mistake.  Maybe I can teach you a lesson, and any lesson I teach you, you’re going to wish you hadn’t asked for it.”

“Oh yeah?  Like what?”

“Ever wondered what it’d feel like to get castrated?  Just asking.”

“What?  What did you say?”

“I think you heard me loud and clear.  What’s your answer?”

“Fuck you!”  He turned back and re-entered the place, slamming the door.  End of that conversation.  And I ask myself, would I have castrated him if he’d tried to “teach me a lesson”?  An overriding part of me says, absolutely.  Give ‘em what they ask for.  And perhaps I should have forced the issue, made him come down to the street and disabled him.  Then I could have gone up and checked on the woman and her baby.  Is there a line drawn somewhere in the darkness that tells you if your are moving in the right or the wrong direction?

A car approaches, radio blaring, moving slowly as if the driver is looking for something.  I back off into the shadows, just in case, but not fast enough.  A car can hold a lot of people.  I’ve never done more than the one-on-one.  I hear someone call,

“Hey, I saw you, bitch, where’d you go?  I got a twenty here for a blow job…”

Loud, drunken laughter from inside the car.  I back up surreptitiously behind a garbage bin that smells of decomposing meat.  Because of the cold the smell is bearable.  I wait until the car resumes its predatory roll and walk carefully out of the shadows.  A cat meows sadly.  No door opens; there is no reply.  Is it mourning a dead mate?  Perhaps.  I walk on, death on my mind.  And experience some creeping sadness which I discount as a sign of weakness at the moment ‘cause I can’t afford that luxury.

Car wrecks along the streets, smell of rotting garbage and smoke from burning oil and rubber – probably a car torched somewhere.  I see a glow, too far to investigate.  I hear footsteps ahead of me and this time I hear conversation.  Into the shadows again, listening to an argument.  

“I saw the money first, it’s mine.” 

“I killed him for it – makes me partner.  I want half.”

“I’ll give you a quarter of the take.  I could’a got it without having to kill the rube.  You’re a jerk-off.” 

“Who you callin’ jerk-off, dickhead?” 

“Take the hundred and get lost or get nothin’.  I’m sick of you hanging on to me.”

“And I’m sick of you, tight-wad.  Half.  Now or I cut you.” 

A blade flashes in the pale light. 

“With that toy?  Gimme a break.  You threaten me, you get nuttin.”  I hear a tussle, some grunting and a muffled cry. 

“Aw shit, you stabbed me.  I’m bleedin’.  Where you goin?  Don’t leave me like this!”  Footsteps fade out in the rising fog. 

I step out of the shadows and perhaps at the moment I’m a guardian angel, if not a terribly effective one.  I check on the victim sprawled half on, half off the broken sidewalk.  I can see blood as black oil oozing from under the victim’s side.  He’s doubled over, panting feebly.

“What’s happened here?”

“Need an ambulance, I got stabbed, mugged.”

“You’re the guy who killed the other guy your partner robbed.  Tell the truth and I call the ambulance.”

“Yeah, it’s me.  I did.  Now call, please call, I’m dying here.”

Please, I thought?  They can say “please” when they really need your help and are helpless.  I found a half decent looking place, pounded on the door until it was opened and I was looking down the barrel of a shotgun.  I put my hands up.

“Look”  I said, “I’m sorry for disturbing you but there’s been a mugging and stabbing just down the street and I need for someone to call an ambulance.  Give them your address and I’ll wait in the street for it.  Try to find out how long before they can get here, please?  Tell ‘em the victim’s dying.”  And I slipped him my card from the newspaper for added weight.

“OK, wait in the street, I gotta lock the door first.”

“Call and let me know, will you?  Please?”  I heard the deadbolt lock snick shut.

And he did, and I did and the now dead body was carted away by the ambulance and I got a ride to the cop shop, free hot coffee and met some talkative and curious cops.  There were two questions on their minds.  One, what was I doing on the street in that part of town at that time of night?  Two, could I be persuaded to go on a date?   

One, a veteran on the force, took me to an all-night café and we talked – a lot.  Maybe you won’t believe this but this guy didn’t come on to me.  In fact he talked a lot about his family, and his wife of 15 years and some of the stuff she put up with because, he said, “She loves me.”   I didn’t know what to say to that.  Love?  What’s love got to do with any of it? … I thought.  I kept that to myself.

He asked me about my job, and I told him I was a freelance reporter and after eyeballing me carefully again, he said, “Hm, really!  Well I really, really would like to know what you think you’re doing walking around that particular neighbourhood in the middle of the night.”  He looked at me intensely and said, “You’re just a girl.  You should be home with your family.  You don’t even look old enough to hold a real job.”

So, in a rare moment of trust, like talking to an old priest I confessed to all the years, I told him my whole sordid adventure, except for my real identity and age and I saw tears in his eyes.  I apologized for making him sad.  He wiped his eyes and smiled.  “I’m a cop, Helen, I don’t get sad, but I can get emotional.  Want to know what I think?  You should have killed those two bastards – except of course there’s the guilt after, and they’re not worth it.  You did good, girl.  Take good care o’ you, Wonder Woman.  See ya around.”  I felt warm inside, like having a shot of brandy.   

[end of part 5: the very large story]