If you reading this it means that you can't quite look away and I have a final message to all of you who may be here.
Wednesday, May 4, 2016
Simon Frost’s small well-worn civic ascends the one lane unpaved road that leads to the State Park lodge and trail entrance. The journey that was once so nerve racking has become second nature to him, and often not as carefully driven as it should be. His head bops in rhythm as he raps along to the stereo;
“And this is like a miracle, to linger past your passing,
a blessing that’s lasting: a horde fast amassing.
Please forgive loved ones who aren’t missing you,
photo albums they’re not reminiscing through.
Remember what the preacher at your funeral said:
it isn’t quite a tragedy, you’re not quite dead...”
With the cabin coming into view Frost stops rapping and pilots the civic over the gravel parking lot. He comes to a stop in the closest space to the lodge, the one marked and reserved for the on duty ranger. Frost turns the car off and feels a sense of relief as he always does that his car did not die on the way to its destination. He steps out of the civic and stretches while depositing his thick key ring into his pocket. Frost then leans down and reaches into the passenger seat from the open door. He grabs his official Ranger’s hat and places it on his head. Next he grabs his extra-large extra black coffee from Jimmy’s Grindhouse and places it on the roof of the civic. Frost shuts the unlocked front door then opens the back door to retrieve his messenger bag. As he does he catches sight of his reflection in the window. “I look like I’m in a fucking costume.” He mumbles, still not used to the look of the brown ranger’s uniform on him. He slings the messenger bag over his shoulder and grabs the plastic shopping bag containing his lunch. With the messenger bag over his shoulder, his lunch in one hand and the coffee in the other Frost moves toward the stairs leading up the porch to the Park’s main entrance. The lumber used on the porch and stairs has sizable gaps between each plank and a sign beside the entrance lets visitors know to be careful not to drop anything, as it could easily fall through the cracks.
The old wooden steps creak under his weight as he makes his way to the front door and realizes the key ring is in his pocket, again. With two fingers Frost awkwardly fishes into his pocket with the hand holding his lunch bag to retrieve the keys. After fishing vainly for a moment he manages to get a finger through the key ring. Slowly Frost brings the keys up and shuffles them with his knuckles to try and take hold of the main entrance key. “I don’t know why we lock it, no one is ever up here.” He mutters to himself in frustration.
The key ring slips from his hand and Frost fumbles for it. As he leans forward the top comes off his coffee cup and the hot dark liquid splashes into his crotch before spilling down his thighs. “Fuckin’ swell.” He says, watching the warm liquid’s steam rising in the early morning air.
Frost throws the empty coffee cup past a trash can and a sign reminding him this is a bag in-bag out park, then thanking him for his courtesy in this manner. Even if he loses his keys Frost knows he can get down on his ass and scoot through the basement window, but would just rather not do that.
Frost’s knees creak as he slowly squats to see the key ring hanging in the slot between two pieces of lumber, equally above and through the gap. With two steady fingers Frost takes hold of the warm coffee soaked ring and pulls up the keys. He rises awkwardly and then unlocks the main entrance. The door opens and he steps inside the Ranger’s Head Quarters moving toward the main desk.
Frost holds the wet keys away from his body with two fingers as he moves past the giant taxidermy black bear. “Still no picnic basket?” He asks the bear as he does most mornings. “I thought you were smarter than the average bear.” Once behind the desk Frost drops off his lunch and messenger bag before heading to the small employee bathroom at the end of a very narrow hall off the main room. In the hall leading to the bathroom on the left there is a small staircase that leads up to emergency quarters in case any of the rangers get stuck here due to weather. Though in Frost’s case he suspects that it would be less likely due to incremental weather, and much more likely due to his civics engine being temperamental.
Frost moves past the doors on his right labeled ‘Bear Emergency’ and then ‘Communications’ room. A whisk of air from the large floor level vent that leads into the basement causes Frost to shiver as the coffee soaking his legs draws goose bumps from his skin. The last door on the right is the bathroom, which reads simply, ‘Employees Only.’ Once inside Frost washes off the keys while trying to avoid looking at the mirror above the sink. He has still not gotten anywhere near used to the image of himself in the Ranger’s costume as he thinks of it.
A lifelong city boy Simon Frost has only held this state park job for three months. While there were elements from his urban home he missed, like not needing a car, he could no longer deal with the people. With a BA in social work Frost had grown tired of watching the droves of depressed souls that entered the Welfare building every day. The unending stream of shit stories was just overwhelming, and he knew based on the available data the trend would only continue. The few people he could genuinely help were but a few droplets of water in a large bucket that was his workload.
On his off hours he drank with what he called his friends but now considered enablers as they all shit deservedly on their bosses, and lamented their comfortable existences. No one had any real hobbies or interests so they created social drama that Simon always seemed to be policing and fixing.
While he cared for his girlfriend, the two had been drifting apart physically and emotionally for years. With each passing day they were more and more consumed with their jobs, but they had created a no work talk at home rule. This left little else to do but go drinking with their mutual acquaintances and watch TV, though they would always compromise and neither was ever watching what they wanted to. Sexually they had been growing distant long before Simon’s metabolism slowed to that of an adult and the obscene amount of bar food and beer began to take up permanent space on his ass and gut. As they began to go out separately Simon had learned that she had been seeing and having sex with another man, and he noticed her mood and demeanor improving. Without ever letting her know he knew Simon said that they should spend some time apart and offered to move out. After crashing on a co-worker’s couch for a week he had found, applied to and been accepted over the phone for his current ranger’s job.
On his way back to the front desk Frost looks down, peeling his pant legs away from his thighs, and remembers the spilt coffee. Once behind the desk Frost sits down and kicks off his boots. Next he slides off his pants and leaves them in a soppy pile beneath the desk, and him in his Batman boxers. Next he pulls his lunch, a chicken salad out of the plastic grocery bag and places it in the small fridge behind him, next to the old CB radio and the window overlooking the park. The view allows him to see the ranger’s storage shed beside a tall thick oak tree. Past this are three marked paths for beginners, intermediates and the advanced. With his lunch away Frost turns to the main desk and out of habit searches briefly for his coffee, before remembering why he isn’t wearing any pants.
After cursing his poor short term memory Frost slides his wheeled high backed office chair to a nearby filing cabinet and pulls out his coffee maker. He sets the machine on the desk, fills it with grounds before getting up and returning to the bathroom to fill the pot with water.
With the whirring and bubbling as the machine brews behind him, Frost again remembers about his pants, or his lack of pants, which is when the front door opens and he realizes the day had officially began.
Wednesday, April 27, 2016
Scratching at his receding hairline and dressed in a black short sleeve button down shirt, Howard Pace drove his family’s old hearse up the narrow drive that runs parallel to the state park. His powerful forearms twitch as he guides the old car down the uneven road, if you can really call it that. The path is an ancient family secret, hidden consciously and carefully through a collection of deliberately planted shrubs and bushes. Decades ago his grandfather had thought of this cost cutting measure for the family business, and his father had taught him when he was old enough. World willing, Howard hopes to find a woman altruistic enough to accept his ejaculate without payment or birth control so he can pass the information along to the resulting kid, but as the years pass it feels more and more unlikely to him.
In the funeral business cremation is a cost consuming bitch. As awful as these trips are, they are worth it for the company’s bottom line. The fact that Howard can and has charged for the same coffin dozens of times is another huge source for saving money, and burning a fine wood crafted coffin is the real crime he tells himself.
With his hands gripping the wheel tightly, Howard drives the hearse with practiced precision under a jagged and narrow rock ledge. Hidden from the sun in the cavern the vehicle comes to a stop. Howard steps from the car and adjusts his black tie before moving to the back of the hearse. He pulls the rear latch opening the door. From inside the foul odor of rot immediately hits him. “Fuck, I should not have put this off.” He curses himself.
The hearse is filled to the brim with rotting corpses piled to the vehicle’s roof. Howard had already charged bereaved family members for the cremation of these bodies. The urns he had then given them contained nothing more than soot from his home fireplace. Casually Howard leans into the vehicle, and grabs the body at the top of the heap. It is an old man whose name he can’t remember. His hands wrap easily around the corpse’s thin ankles and Howard jerks hard using his body weight to pull the corpse. The body comes loose from the hearse. The corpse’s head slams onto the uneven rock ground with an audible popping sound that echoes in the enclosed space. Howard drags the cadaver unceremoniously toward a dark ravine, ripping some of the decayed skin from the dead man’s face as he does. The only light around him comes from the tunnel’s entrance concealing the space in near darkness. Soon Howard reaches his destination, the ledge his family has been dumping bodies down for three generations. With rehearsed and refined movement, Howard bends his knees, arches his back and swings the cadaver into the chasm. Contentedly he watches it roll down the embankment and into the darkness below. The corpse rolls from sight and Howard hears it building speed before coming to a stop. The odor from the freshly disturbed pit is rancid and wafts upward. Howard curls his nose in disgust before returning to the hearse.
“Ah Mrs. Lawrence I remember you. Your daughter was a really hot bitchy chick.” Howard says as he grabs the dead woman’s ankles and pulls her out of the hearse, banging her head on the ground as he did with the last corpse. Again the rotting skin is peeled off from the uneven rocky ground as Howard drags the cadaver to the precipice. At the ledge Howard breathes deeply in exhaustion, feeling his age beginning to catch up with him. He takes a moment to think about how his son or daughter should be here doing this with him. Corpse tossing is a young person’s game Howard tells himself. Bending his knees Howard prepares to toss the corpse when he feels something wrap tightly around his ankle.
The sense of pressure builds, moving from discomfort to pain. Howard painfully squints through the dark shadows. He sees a rotting hand moving up the ledge of the pit, and another gripping his leg. The flesh around the hand’s fingers has nearly rotted completely away and Howard sees damp marrow glisten, reflecting the dull light from the tunnel’s entrance. The grip of the fingers tightens, digging into Howard’s leg. Then it pulls hard. Losing his balance Howard drops Mrs. Lawrence and falls back, smacking the back of his head on the stone floor. Dazed, Howard blinks quickly trying to regain his focus, and he feels the warm sensation of blood begin to drip through his thinning hair. The hold on his ankle is still strong and he feels it pull sharply. Howard rolls over the ledge and tumbles down the rocky incline. Jagged bits of stone tear through his clothes, drawing blood as he descends into the corpse filled abyss. The cool rock underneath him turns to something soft, and wet. The surface will not support his weight and Howard feels himself sinking in the encompassing darkness he tries to stand. His movement and weight causes him to drop deeper and he feels his legs sink through cool, wet putrefying organic matter. When the rotting flesh reaches his upper thigh he stops sinking. Beneath him he can feel the bottom of the pit. Howard’s body shivers in a combination of fear and cold. Cutting past the chill running through his body, he feels slivers of warmth move over him, climbing between the buttons of his shirt and trailing across his skin. Howard fumbles as he reaches into his pocket and takes hold of his cell phone. He flips it open. The dim light cuts through the gloom and reveals his surroundings. Looking down at his body he sees that the fingers of warmth are countless maggots moving over his body.
There is no stillness around him. Howard witnesses three generations worth of decomposing bodies writhe. Their hands move like a roaring sea, reaching up to claim him. Through the bodies he notices one of the corpses coming toward him faster than the others. Its mouth is open revealing missing teeth, and a rotting jaw. Howard launches a fist into it and feels the soft decayed flesh contort against his thick knuckles.
Howard knows he needs to escape. Moving the light from his cell phone in each direction he is soon able to determine where he fell from, slowly he begins to move toward safety. Every step is a struggle and he moves as quickly as possible toward the incline. A withered cadaver moves on all fours above the soft flesh toward Howard and unseen from the darkness reaches out and clamps its jaws down on his arm.
Screaming, Howard pulls sharply away from the painful sensation. The corpse’s jaw is clamped down and rips a chunk of his flesh away as his arm moves from its mouth. Unable to process the image before him Howard’s body begins to spasm and he feels bile rising in the back of his throat. The rotted cadaver is sloppily chewing a bloody hunk of his forearm in its mouth. Bits of gnawed flesh fall from its slack jaw. Howard vomits and his entire body convulses as warm chunks of a partially digested meal dribble down his chin. The pain in his stomach shakes away his fear. Enraged, Howard lashes out at it and feels his blow connect with a wet pop beneath his knuckles. Its full mouth of flesh erupts like a popped zit from force and dribbles down its emaciated form. Howard’s anger fades and he turns quickly from the horror of the site and continues toward the incline to escape. As he slogs through the horde of decaying corpses they snap at him incessantly. Some come away with chunks of his body, other only meet his fists. Others still take hold of him and are dragged along.
Reaching forward Howard grips the rocky incline and pulls his body from the organic sludge around it. His legs come loose and he feels bodies fall from him and back into the stew behind him. Abandoning his phone Howard frantically begins to climb. Behind him they follow.
Hand over hand, Howard’s progress is slow but steady. Every so often he shakes his legs, freeing himself from the grasp of a corpse until he finally feels the ledge above him. Howard wraps his fingers tightly around the rough rocky surface and hoists his body up over the precipice. With his torso above the drop he leans forward and rolls toward the hearse.
Looking over he sees shadowed empty eye sockets rise above the ledge after him. “Fuck.” He curses as he pushes against the ground and rises to his feet. In a few quick steps he reaches his car and yanks open the hearses’ driver’s side door. Sitting down he feels his wet clothes press against his skin and the sensation of the maggots exploding from the pressure on his bare skin. The sensation of cold and warm dampness sends convulsions through his entire body. Howard gags while turning the ignition key. The ancient engine wheezes before turning over and the hearse comes to life. Howard puts the vehicle in reverse and cuts the wheel hard spinning the car around. While shifting the vehicle into drive Howard checks his rearview mirror.
He sees an escaped horde moving from the pit in steady lumbering steps toward his vehicle. The bodies he brought in the back begin to twitch and Howard slams the gas pedal down hard. The remaining corpses fly through the open rear door of hearse.
“Fuck em’.” Howard mumbles gaining speed steadily, needing to be away from here. The corpses roll in clumps of dusts behind the fleeing hearse. Even with the bodies no longer present in his rearview mirror Howard’s fear continues to grow and he presses down harder on the car’s accelerator. The vehicle’s suspension creaks as it bounces on the uneven terrain. With the main drive approaching rapidly Howard cuts the wheel hard and to the right without slowing down. He feels the weight of the vehicle shift onto two tires, and then the entire hearse crashes onto its side and begins to roll. Howard’s body slams around in the cab and he loses consciousness right before the hearse collides with a large tree.
Further up the main road Cindy giggles as she pushes aside a few branches and hurries to the concealed foot trail. Behind her Mark pulls out an equipment bag, duffle bag and tripod before he shuts the station wagon’s trunk. When she can hear Mark hurrying to catch up behind her Cindy reaches down to the bottom of her t-shirt and pulls it over her head.
Smiling she turns to Mark and tosses him the shirt. He catches it and says. “We’re not to the spot yet.”
Cindy pinches one of her exposed nipples and massages it to a fine point. She watches Mark’s eyes take in her hard nipple and she enjoys the mischievous smile that is always on his face right before it happens.
Turning from him she unties the bikini bottoms she is wearing and lets them fall to the ground, before bending over slowly to pick them up. Bent over she looks back at Mark, past her ass and smiles coyly saying, “Its naked time and I want to feel two things on me right now, the warm sun and your eyes.”
She tosses the bikini bottoms to Mark who says, “I will do my part, but sometimes what’s on you soon is in you as well.”
“Such sweet promises.” Cindy giggles leading the way to a clearing at the top of the trail. The clearing has a view that looks down at the State Park. Cindy stands naked at the edge of the precipice looking down and savoring the feel of the cool breeze on her sun warmed skin. Behind her she can hear Mark unpacking their supplies, laying out the blanket and then his footsteps as he moves toward her. She feels his strong callused hands take hold of her hips. Arching her back she rubs her ass against him, feeling him swell beneath his pants as he bites down tenderly on her neck.
Rolling from him she steps away and looks him over with an exaggerated motion before shaking her head. “Honey,” she laments playfully. “You said we could have naked time, and here you are dressed.”
Mark quickly pulls his shirt over his head as Cindy crouches before him and begins to undo his pants. Mark pulls off his shirt and tosses it aside. Cindy looks over her shoulder briefly to see the red light blinking of the video recorder on the tripod behind her. After pulling Mark’s pants from his legs, Cindy nuzzles the tip of Mark’s cock and lightly strokes his base before she stands up and steps away from him. She watches his erection twitch upward before she turns to grab the digital camera from their bag. He waves excitedly to her and she smiles.
“Turn sideways.” She says while gesturing with her hand. Mark obliges, but keeps his eyes on Cindy as she looks through the camera’s view finder.
“Arch you back a little and move your left leg back just a hair.” To Cindy the image is amazing. The sun is rising behind her nude husband. His body is framed perfectly by the light, as his cock reaches toward the sky. She snaps the picture, trying to think of a place in the house to have it framed where company won’t see it.
Cindy continues to take pictures until she feels a gust of wind against her tingling body that takes her breath away. With the video camera still recording behind her she puts the digital camera down and lies on the blanket Mark spread out earlier. Cindy’s back is on the ground as are her heels. Through her open legs she watches Mark move toward her. The sight is one of her all-time favorites, him walking toward her, his hard cock bobbing with each step.
Mark slides himself between her open legs. Cindy is so wet he enters easily. For Mark and Cindy there is only this moment, where beyond their deep mutual physical attraction they feel totally and emotionally connected as well. The sound of Mark’s steady thrusts are soon accompanied by Cindy’s rising moans of pleasure. Through the blanket she can feel the rough ground below, pricking her tingling body. Mark’s hands cup her face, and he looks deep into her eyes, his gaze is as penetrating as his thrusts inside her. Cindy takes all of it in, cherishing each sensation coursing through her body.
Past the couple and moving up the cliff’s face a corpse begins to pull itself past the ledge. Unaware of the creature Mark looks deeply into Cindy’s eyes, knowing she is close. Her hands move to his ass, cupping his tense muscles as he moves in and out of her. Moaning feebly Cindy feels herself about to cum. Mark bends down sliding his tongue into her open mouth as Cindy’s body succumbs to her orgasm. The walking corpse crouches, moving downward toward the couple. Awash in her orgasm Cindy’s legs flails out and catches the cadaver hard in the face. The blow sends it plummeting down the side of the ledge.
Mark groans as Cindy wraps her flailing legs around Mark’s waist, keeping his body tight against hers and feeling him empty himself into her with a groan. Cindy kisses his cheek keeping her legs wrapped snuggly around his waist, still savoring the feel of him inside her. “You really needed that, didn’t you?”
Mark kisses her cheek. “You are so amazing.”
“I know,” she says loosening her legs. Mark rolls off of her and they hold hands while blissfully watching the sun rise.