Authors: Kenneth Horowitz
By Kenneth Horowitz
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Text Copyright @ 2013 Kenneth Horowitz
All Rights Reserved
There was not
one sound. It was so quiet you could hear the small particles of dust and dirt brushing along the pavement. The wind loudly wound its way around the sides of big skyscrapers, freeway overpasses, and trees; a sound that hasn't been heard so loudly in such a long time. You could hear thunder from a much greater distance than before. Where before you wouldn't hear it until it was right on top of you, depending on where you lived. The change was substantial. But what you didn't hear anymore was the most frightening. Of course how could you hear the change? Your head exploded. Everyone's head had exploded.
The birds, horses, cattle and all species not equal with man
, were still roaming around. The birds still sang and the dogs still barked. Of course the pets that were locked behind closed doors eventually starved or ate other. This is because the owner's heads had exploded. Everyone's head had exploded. Taxis crashed as well as planes, trains and various other forms of machinery that required able hands to keep them straight. There would be no police to figure out the crashes because all their heads had exploded. No teachers or professors would show up for class because their heads had exploded. And of course all the little darlings would be missing class as well. Yep, their heads had exploded too. There would be no more cooking dinner on the stove. And for sure there would be no one to eat it. No more ballgames, picnics, or frisbee in the park. No more newborns or birthdays. There definitely won't be any funerals. No one to do the burying, or grieve for the dead. Their heads had exploded.
All those disgusting and nasty exploding heads
; what could have caused it? No warnings or any signs. It just happened. Over a 24 hour time period, from the rise of the Sun to the dusk that eventually follows. Unwaveringly, there was that popping noise. No snap crackle; just pop. After the pop, there would be a mist of bloody droplets. Sounds similar to when the wind knocks off the remaining raindrops from a leaf after a rainstorm. Also with the mist, would be the sounds you would hear when you drop a raw steak on the kitchen floor, a wet thump. Only it would be several wet thumps. It couldn’t be Mother Nature. Wasn't anything natural about it. Was it all their inventions that did it? Mankind seemed to be on this crazy technology kick. The wireless this and wireless that! And with cell phones, man sure did quite a bit of talking. They did way too much talking! More talking means more lies, more truths, and more information that confused everyone toward the end. Is convenience a drug that you can become addicted to? Does the easy way out really taste that good? The hard way wasn't that attractive of course. But didn't man see that the hard way always brings more rewards? That hard work always pays off in the end? Nope! They just had to go on building more complicated machines that kept coming in smaller and smaller packages. They made machines that did the work for them or made life move faster. It’s possible that they moved way too fast and missed the little gadget, radio wave or bandwidth that caused all their noggins to pop.
I wonder what could have been done differently.
Man had gone through so many transitions through the many years he’d been around. Well they called them years, but they weren't years to me. Possibly they didn't have the capacity to realize in time, what it was that was actually coming. They jumped without feeling how cold, hot, or deep the water was. The feeling of invincibility became so instilled in their little minds with each new cure of a disease, victory at war, and increase in wealth. Their automobiles were so incredibly safe! Their guided bombs so precise! Oh the ever increasing human ego! But I don't have an ego. I simply have love. Man's love has been carved away to make room for all of those THINGS!! There was no more room for love anymore. It was probably all those THINGS that led to whatever led to everyone's head exploding.
Well I say let’s try it one more time.
You never can play a symphony the first time you pick up a violin. You can't do it even the next few times after that. I'll just try again, as many times as it takes. This time I will start with a garden; a garden of purity. I will have my first little ones live there. I will call it Eden.
By Dr. Zachariah Abernathy
An awesome rage
“We use to se
e each other all the time. Partying ‘til the wee hours of morning and barely making it to work the next day! I spent many workdays suffering with exhaustion; with eyes I could barely keep open. But what kept me going was the excitement of where we’d be partying next. I was really beginning to fall for him too. I mean we didn’t drink every night. Sometimes, we had to choose between weed and beer. Hell I don’t even cuss as much as the next person! I’m a decent girl, what the fuck is his problem? Is Danny too good for me now? Where did this religious kick come from?”
For five minutes
Beth complained nonstop about her boyfriend Danny while her burger sat uneaten in front of her. All her friend Lacy could do was chew through the second half of her bacon cheddar half-pounder while Beth ranted about Danny’s new found religion. Religious kicks were something that Lacy was familiar with. Once in a while a long-time friend pops out of nowhere with the fire of Jesus flowing through their body. They’d visit some church, get saved, and want to save the soul of everyone that comes across their path. Much like getting excited, juiced up, or crazy over a new pyramid scheme that preaches quick riches beyond your wildest dreams. But Lacy felt that she had balance unlike Beth. She went to church often but wasn’t overtly religious. It was mainly the social connections that attracted her.
also began to notice the wondering glances from other customers scattered around them. Beth gets quite loud and animated when worked up over a boy or anything else. Lacy was use to it after hanging out with her for five years. Almeda’s Burger Shack was a small joint that was a favorite of the two women. But the conversation today was causing a nervous knot to form in the bottom of Lacy’s belly.
I hate keeping secrets. I need to direct her to a different subject before this gets ugly.
“Ok girl, if you keep talking about him, you are going to really upset yourself even more. Don’t you want to talk about something else? Maybe that church got to him or he’s really stressed from work.” Unfortunately Beth didn’t hear a word Lacy said and proceeded to shred Danny’s character even further.
asshole always returned my texts. His Facebook status still says ‘In a relationship.’ He actually logged in this morning and ‘Liked’ some Christian radio station. With whatever is going on, he could at least have the decency to say he doesn’t want to talk right now. He was, until the last few weeks, been the best communicator I know. At first it would take thirty minutes to get back to me. Then it became an hour. Eventually it took a day or two for him to call back or text. Now he is completely avoiding me. Danny better be fucking dead, because if this is the way he wants to end it, then I guess I didn’t know the coward well enough. End of story.”
How do I deal with this?
What can I bring up to divert the conversation?
had been calling and messaging Danny since 8 a.m. this morning. Now it’s 11:30 a.m. She was determined that he was going to text back. There has to be some closure or resolution.
The two friends had met f
or lunch at Almeda’s west of downtown in an old part of Houston. Nights are full of gang activity, drugs and prostitution. During the day however, a contingent of white-collar professional types would flock to Almeda’s for lunch. The restaurant is a good five-minute drive from most downtown offices. A few minutes walk for a lucky few. Almeda’s old-fashioned, laid back atmosphere made the place a nice break from mundane office routines. Occasionally there were a few homeless people loitering around begging for a dollar here and a dollar there. Through the restaurant windows, a customer may see a car full of gang members cruising by followed by a BMW driven by an oil executive. Luckily there have never been any serious problems or crime at Almeda’s. The place seemed to have immunity to the ills that surrounded it. Old man Tony, the man who has owned the joint since day one, gave a prayer of thanks everyday for that.
Lacy had hoped
a greasy lunch would sooth Beth over. Relax her a bit. The girls have spent several lunches at Almeda’s eating bacon cheddar burgers with extra cheese while solving the world’s problems. Funny though, they were avid runners and usually paid great attention to what they ate; the regular treats at Almeda’s being the exception. Today, and every day, the burgers arrived with the smell of freshly cooked ground beef and hot fries. After a rash of ranting and over analyzing, Beth finally picked up her almost cold burger and began to eat. With each bite, Lacy thought she saw the tension in Beth’s face ease up. Beth even got the giggles when burger juice kept dripping from her chin. A small perverse association in her mind that she thought Lacy would catch. But Lacy thought Beth was just coming down from the previous high of being so angry. Yet the calmness wasn’t destined to last. With a big sigh halfway through her burger, Beth began to vent again.
Hey girl, I am not sure how to look at all this. I know he has been going to his parent’s church to make them happy since his dad got sick. But it screwed with his head! Very quickly it got to where Danny rarely had sex with me. And when he did, he would say he was weak and that he needs to repent. It makes me feel horrible like a whore or a slut. He would say I needed to restore my purity as he had. But after a few days, then eventually after a few weeks, he would get frisky again. For a few hours I would have the real Danny back. But then he would get religious again, say we did a bad thing, and make me feel like shit all over again. I thought of trying to be religious, but that isn’t me. I am not good at faking anything.” Lacy was tiring of the ramblings. She had always enjoyed being there for a friend in need. But today, she didn’t want to be a part of it. And for a good reason.
God I hate secrets.
“Now this is the screwed up part; he pursued me, got me to sleep with him, introduced me to weed, anal sex and
then tried to get me to do a threesome! He even mentioned you Lacy as a possible candidate!”
Ok, I need a break.
This is becoming too much!
slyly got up and pushed in her chair. “On that note hun, I need to go pee and maybe puke!” Beth lifted the rest of her burger for another round. “Sure, ok, go ahead.” Lacy had begun to feel very tense and annoyed while sitting in front of Beth. She felt even more unsettled standing up. Her face was flush with an achy heat that seemed to flow all throughout her body as she walked towards the restrooms. Back at the table, Beth decided to try calling Danny again and picked up her phone. He hadn’t answered or even returned any of her phone calls, but this time he answered after one ring. She assumed he wasn’t looking at the caller ID or maybe was on another phone call and didn’t pay attention.
“Wow you seem to answer when it is a surprise!
Expecting someone? What are you doing, reading your bible? Bringing your crippled Daddy his soup? Jacking off since you ain’t getting any? By choice might I add.”
“Hold on Beth
, Danny is upstairs getting my address book for me. But I still get my own soup.”
awkward silence passed before Danny’s Father spoke again. “Here he comes.” Beth felt embarrassed, yet her anger prevented her from apologizing or even saying a thing. She had worked herself to the point that if the little fly buzzing around had landed on her burger, she felt that her head would explode into a thousand little pieces right there at table five.
There was a hack, a sniff, and then Danny’s voice
, “Hello?” It was obvious he didn’t know who was on the phone. Beth felt a slight belch coming. Or possibly vomit. She leaned back in her chair and closed her eyes. When her composure returned she was ready to give hell.
, your dad sounds like he is getting better. He can get his own soup now? Pretty convenient for you I should say. Now you can go to church, bible studies, and swinger clubs without having to worry ‘bout shit!” Beth expected an immediate response, but all she heard was the breathing of someone who didn’t care for what they were hearing. When Danny spoke, it was straight to the point and blunt. “Beth, it’s over. I am done. Move on. Find peace somewhere, somewhere far from me.” Then came that usual beep you hear when the other person hangs up.
had just stepped from the restroom door when Beth started talking on her phone. She decided to wait and see how Beth reacts to whomever she was talking to. The restrooms were on the other side of the restaurant from where their table was, but she could still see Beth’s expressions clearly. A minute passed before she angrily slammed the phone back on the table.
Must have gotten through to Danny. What did he tell her?
There with a stoic, yet stunned expression on Beth’s face. Then suddenly a calypso beat signaled an incoming text message on Lacy’s phone, still sitting on the other side of the table. Lacy stood by the restroom thinking she should run to grab her phone before Beth does. She pretty much knew who it was. But it was too late.
Secrets can’t stay secrets forever.
ely picked up the phone, slid the unlock bar, and read the little message in a bubble. Lacy began a brisk hike similar to a soldier marching towards certain death. It was likely a message that she didn’t want Beth to see. There had been quite a few of them lately.
From Danny 11:42 am
Hey hot stuff!
Guess who called my phone and told off my Dad! I need some fun tonight. Go with me to club again
Lacy got to the table right as Beth put the phone back down. The damage was done. All Lacy could do is hope that the situation doesn’t escalate in the middle of the restaurant. “Seems like you got plans tonight. Funny, I have a boyfriend named Danny too!” Beth began to stand up from her chair as her anger increased. “Can’t you get your own dick, bitch?” Lacy was speechless.
Should I tell her off and forget the friendship? Danny is a fling but what’s done is done. Or should I try to reason, accept responsibility and be a friend even though I betrayed her?
Lacy’s silence infuriated Beth even more.
“You going to say anything? Cat…. oops, dick got your tongue? I thought you went to church because you didn’t want to get laid! Oh yes! Jesus had big plans for you and the man of your dreams. The secret is out!!! There will be Wednesday orgies with the reading of Romans chapter 5. Then a potluck on Saturday afternoon; which after all the pot is smoked up and everyone feels frisky, we can recreate the best of Sodom and Gomorrah! Oops, I meant Sodomy and Gonaria!” Beth began applauding at herself and yelled ‘Woo hoo’ out loudly. “Now I know what the fucking problem has been. It has been you bitch! Am I right? Are you the reason he has lost interest in me? Did you make him religious and then seduce him?”
wanted to cry. The nervousness in her stomach was now a nausea that she could feel trying to make it from her stomach, up to her chest, and out of her mouth.
The best thing would be to get out of here and hope that it will all be resolved later.
Lacy grabbed her purse. “Beth I’m leaving.”
“No you’re not
bitch; you are going to tell me what is going on. You are going to tell me everything right now!” Patrons all around Almeda’s were now watching. Several found it amusing. Some were annoyed. Lacy set her purse back on the table, and with the few seconds that seem to be available, she wrestled with how she should react.
Be the good friend who did another good friend wrong and do wh
atever it takes to make it right? Or be a woman who is trying to live life and have fun?
Just sucks that I had to hurt her in the process.
Life is too short anyway to deal with this kind of drama
, like Danny, had dealt with an ill parent who was dying a slow and painful death. Her father once told her “Fill her life with fun, pleasure and don’t hesitate when it comes to what you want.” At the Houston Baptist Ministries, Lacy had started a support group for those caring for a loved one who is terminally ill. She led discussions on being a caregiver and tried to pass on as much positivity as she could. This positivity had helped Danny deal with the fact that his Father was in pain, was extremely needy and wasn’t going to live much longer. Danny was immediately drawn to her. Lacy lifted his mood when he first came to the meetings. He began to struggle with guilt over running around with Beth. Beth never wanted to hear about his Father. All she cared about was who had weed, who had beer, and where they were going to have sex.
decided to just be honest and deal with whatever happens. “Ok, you want me to explain, account, justify and spill my guts all over this table? Fine, I fucked Danny. Fifteen times so far. Not sure how many other times we only did oral. Religious or not, he was fun. Not sure what caused the rift between you two. I don’t really care. I will say I am sorry. But it happened. Maybe you should have been more understanding. As far as you and me Beth, do what you got to do, but I am leaving before someone calls the cops.”
here was an immediate chaotic movement in front of Lacy. Beth, in what seemed like an instant, was right in front of Lacy’s face.
Wow! Didn’t know she was so fast.
The simultaneous sting and ringing in Lacy’s ears blocked out all light and sound as Beth’s ring studded fist collided with Lacy’s left cheekbone. Her head hitting the wood flooring seemed quite sudden. After a few seconds on the floor, she became aware that Beth had punched her. One second she was looking Beth in the eyes, and in the next, the legs of a dining table.
What a weird feeling it is, having a rusty creamy smell under your nose only to realize it’s your own blood running out of your face!
Several people in Almeda’s hurriedly left through the front doors. Some grabbed their cell phones and began dialing 911. Yet every few moments you would hear concerns over of a bad signal. “Is anyone getting a signal here?”