Leaf of Fall

September 9, 2018 by Patrick Starks

LEAF OF FALL

Cotton candy clouds filled the skies. Trees swung from left to right, and all birds flew to places of where their hearts could content. But in the vicinity of it all, life was even more magical than what many had expected it to be. Out of all the leaves in the forest, Fall was the most stubborn of them all. From his own season to winter, spring and summer, Fall would continue to hold onto the very tree who had given him life.

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Days of Crime

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September 2, 2018 by Patrick Starks

DAYS OF CRIME PIC

Everyday. Every day I’d wake up. And I’d see or hear something on the news that was negative. Murders, child abductions, suicides, to the wars we fought. Was the world ending?  I mean, what does a girl have to do to get some positivity in her life.  It’s already bad enough that I’d hear about the same topics at work, but to come home to a place that’s supposed to be my sanctuary. Well, that’s a problem.­­ Although, it was better to know what was going on, then too not know at all.

Sure I could cut the T.V off, but let’s be honest, who could ever do that. I guess the good news was that I didn’t have to work that day. But little did I know that that day would be the day my whole life would turn into a Sherlock Holmes film.

It feels like it was just yesterday I made the decision to be courageous, for once in my life, to do something that most would be too afraid to do. It was a typical day in Seattle—rainy as always, and cold enough that wearing thermals was somewhat of a waste. I had my favorite peppermint mocha in one hand and my favorite pen in the other. Without a doubt, Uniball was the pen of them all. And it was the only one I liked to write with.

Nevertheless, there was a lot to be done.  I’d waited weeks to finally hear something back. And just minutes later it pops up on my laptop—Seattle Fire Department.

I don’t think I could ever see myself in the military like my dad. But of course, I could have always been a cop. But I’d had too many bad encounters in the past to ever want to be one. But that’s another story to tell. Being a fireman, more so, firewoman was what I preferred.

I took a sip of my mocha. I closed my eyes. I opened the email blindly. Then opened my eyes again. And without hesitation begin to read.

 Dear, Ms. Crime

We would like to thank you for applying for the Seattle Fire Department. Unfortunately, we have decided to…”

Sorry for the sudden pause. But why the hell would I even finish reading such a ridiculous response. It actually baffles me how so many jobs send these same kinds of shitty letters to everyone they interview. I mean come on, at least make me feel special. Word of advice to any businesses out there, get off your lazy bums and mix it up a little. Make people want to interview with you again. Sorry, let me calm down. Breathe Luna, breathe. Anyways.

That day was the last day I would ever apply for another job. There was nothing for me to prove, not to anyone. To help the helpless was in my DNA. I was a natural born leader and I knew that. But it came to find out that that just wasn’t what most businesses were looking for. Matter, in fact, the last person I worked for told me that they didn’t pay me to think. That person was an asshole, to the fullest.

But I should have listened. Dad gave me all the wisdom he could before he passed, but I ignored it like the bratty little girl that l I was. But now understand what he meant that day. Take a look for yourself.

Dear Lunatic,

Hey baby girl. This will probably be the last time you’ll hear from your old man. So, let me leave you with one little piece of advice. Something your grandfather told me before he passed. And don’t you roll those pretty little eyes of yours. Just listen.

“Leaders cannot be manipulated, they are not followers. This is you. However, it is a good leader that teaches his or her followers how to lead. Do not be a leader that has everyone always coming back to you in aid. This shouldn’t be the case. People need to see their greatness. It is okay to have a mentor, but at the end, you yourself will need to become the mentor or the knowledge of what you have inside, the gifts you hold, will never be shared. You might not have talent, people will tell you this. And you might not be the smartest in the room, but somewhere inside there is always a gift. Baby girl, my lunatic, go out there, don’t be afraid, and show them all of what you can give and what you can do. Everyone has something to share with the world. 

PS: Take care of your mother for me. You know how she gets about stuff like this. 

Love you always,

Dad

That was the last thing my dad had left me before he passed. Just the letter, the flag, and a few medals were left in the box in my closet. How could I ever be as good as him? He was a man, after all, however, I’d be belittling myself and all the woman around if I continued to exercise such negative thoughts. No, I can do it better.

I then took another sip of my mocha. It was cold, somewhat chalky. I checked more of my emails, and before I could get through them all an unusual article caught my attention. Another missing child. It was the fourth one that week. What the hell was going on? I’m pretty sure God or the gods would let you know if you were dead or not? But only the dead would know this.

I don’t know what it was that urged me on, but I needed more information. So, I clicked on the image. Flashbacks of high school all came back to me. The hallways, the lockers, the cafeteria, all of it. It couldn’t be. I read further down the lines.  The girl in the picture was the same age as me and disappeared around the same time I graduated—Sindy Law. How could I forget her? We were practically like sisters. Out of the 11 years that had passed, no one had ever told me what happened to her. I was her closest friend, but not even the police came to me about her whereabouts. All I remember was walking to her house one day and in bold letters, a signed said: “Moved.” I thought I upset her or something, but all this time the reality was that she had gone missing.

I then clicked print, chugged down the rest of my mocha like the gasoline it was, and then shoved the print-out into my MICHAEL KORS purse. I hopped into my 2005 Volkswagon Jetta, started the engine and put the pedal to the medal. And shut your mouth, Jettas are faster than they look, hence, the name Jet. I gotta Jetta way, you know. Okay, I’ll stop. Moving on.

Even though I was only an hour away, I still hadn’t been down there in quite some time, not at least since my dad passed. But mom was still there and I knew she’d be happy to see me again. We talk on occasion over the phone, but it had been years since we did so in person.

It was just like before. Nothing had changed. Any flower you could think of and mom would have it in the gardens. Dozens of bees swarmed the garden, but none I was ever stung by—they knew who I was. I then knocked on the door twice.

“Who’s there?” asked the woman.

“Mom, it’s me. It’s Luna,” I said.

“Luna who?” asked the woman.

“Lunatic mom…”

“Lunatic,” said the woman. “Is that really you?”

The door then opened. And by the way, it opened, it still hadn’t been fixed for it screeched of screech.

“Oh my heavenly,” said Mom. “You’re still just as beautiful as I remember. Come and give your mother a hug.”

We hugged. It felt right. Something I hadn’t felt in a long time—love. Or was it just the caffeine from earlier. Who knows, but my heart was racing with joy.

After a moment that felt like tranquility, we walked inside. My stomach growled to the aroma in the air. Mom had just finished making her famous pig in the blankets. I made a bee-line to the kitchen. Mom poured me a glass of Florida Orange juice. You just couldn’t have a pig in the blankets without a little tang.

“So, what brings you all the way down here?” asked Mom. “You haven’t been here in years. Sadly…”

“I’m sorry mom it is just… ” I said.

“I know you don’t have to explain it to me,” said mom. “There is no man like your father, none.”

The room was silent. Even though it had bee seven years since mom I could tell still hurt inside. I felt bad. If anything I should’ve been there for her, yet, again, like the bratty little girl I was, I ran away from my reality.

“Anyways. So what you got going on missy?” said mom. “I know that face way to well. Your foot has been tapping the floor like a woodpecker ever since ya sat down.”

“Well, mom. I’m on an investigation,” I said.

Moms eyes bulged from its sockets. She pulled a cup of tea away from her lips, then rested it down gently on the table and not the stream.

“W-what kind of investigation?” asked Mom

“Well. I’m looking for an old friend. You remember Sindy? Sindy Law.”

Mom then stood up from the table and walked away. And within seconds, rambling in the background trembled the walls. Glass broke. And to top it all off, clothes were now all on the floor, along with the boxes they’d come with.

“Mom!” I yelled. “Jesus, are you alright?”

“I’m fine. And don’t be swearing in the name of Jesus. I knew being in the city would turn you into one of those tattooed freaks. You don’t have any tattoos do ya?” yelled mom.

“No, mom. Come on. Tattoos are so overrated,” I said.

Little did she know I had one on my back. But it was for dad, something to remember him by. Mom then came around the corner with a box in her hand. It was small, with glitter all around it. But it wasn’t just any glitter, not just any box.

“M-mom where’d you get that box?” I asked.

It looked similar to the one Sindy and I made years ago.

“Sit down honey,” said Mom. “I have something to show you.”

We both sat back down at the table. She opened the box and then pushed it across the table to me. I looked inside and it was just what I expected—a folded up paper butterfly. Without a doubt, it was Sindy’s. I grabbed the box and exited the kitchen.

“Wait, Luna!” said Mom. “Where are you going?”

“Jesus mom! Why didn’t you tell me?” I said.

“I’m sorry honey, but I just couldn’t lose you too,” said mom.

“Mom,” I said. “Do you know what this means Cindy could still be out there alone and helpless.”

“Wait a sec. You’ll need this,” said mom.

Mom then went to the back of the room again. More rambling. And after a few seconds had gone by she would come back out. There was something in her hand. She walked over and then gave me a kiss on the cheek. It was as if she wasn’t going to see me again.

“Here your father wanted to give you this earlier, but you were still so young.”

It was a swiss army knife. It had markings all over the blade. I counted forty-five, but what did they mean?

“Mom ill be back,” I said. “I just need to figure out what happened.”

Mom nodded and walked me out of the house. We gave each other one last hug before parting ways.

As eager as I was to help an old friend and more in her situation, the next place I went to would be a place that would make me regret pursuing on such a case. But what else did I have? If I was going to keep seeing negative all my life, then I at least had to try my best to turn a few to positive. If not, then I’m sorry dad, I failed.

TO BE CONTINUED

The Impossible

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August 26th. 2018 by Patrick StarksTHE IMPOSSIBLE

Many told me that it was impossible to do the obvious—to fly. However, I was a bird after all. I wielded a beak as gold as the sun. And on the days when it was sunny, when my beak glistened, all who feared such a creature as I could see their death in the reflection of my talons. Not all but many laughed, telling their children’s children of the bald eagle who couldn’t fish for a dam. But let’s make this perfectly clear, I am not bald, and my friend I am no amateur hunter, but one of the best. Although, I’d have my days of bad luck.

Nevertheless, even though I was a bird, I had only one wing to show for it—handicapped at birth. But many were fools to believe that my one wing was useless. Dad always told me that for everything taken from you in life another attribute of you is strengthened, and even though I had only one wing, it was still stronger than two if not four wings.
But as me, and my brothers and sisters grew from little birds to big birds, no point intended, we became one of the most sought-after species, bearing feathers more beautiful than a peacock, and oh yes, we could fly with them too, regardless if any believed I could or not. In my family, everyone had beautiful hair, white as the ocean salt and white like the hair of the famous nature boy Ric Flair my parents would say—they were huge wrestling fans—there was a cabin not too far from our nest where it played every Monday.

Hunters, of course, tried their best to snag us when they got the chance, for reasons I don’t know, turn us into soup possibly, but we were nowhere close in comparison to a chicken. But we were just too damn good too ever fall in the grasp of a human. To us, humans were full of ignorance and still knew nothing about life as much as they wanted to believe they did. And as strong as we all stood perched as one, on a branch that should’ve broken, mom would never let me leave her sight. With just one wing, she felt I wouldn’t survive a day out in the wild. But she, they, were all wrong.

“Look, everyone, look at the mama’s boy,” said a Salmon.

And all the other salmon laughed along with him, but not long. A big shadow flew over the river and the wind drug behind it like kite to a string. My Brother Sun tail was massive and not one to play with. If there was one thing he hated, it was bullies. But his story is his own, which we will tell some other time. Everyone praised over Sun tail every chance they could, as if he was a god, calling him the strongest of us all as they marveled by his reflection from the river. Blinded by their own ignorance, I guess. And it was this that made me learn at an early age that eagle vision was just a myth.

But besides all the doubt, the day was too beautiful to be ignored. The smell of salmon lingered in the air—it was a good day to hunt, the only day to hunt. My talons dug into the bark of the tree deeper than a shark bite, and along with it my eyes involuntarily rolled back. It was hunting season, but no one had ever seen so many salmon in a group. One could say they were very proactive in the baby making department that year. Hundreds to thousands flipped in the air as they made their way gently down the stream. It was now or never. The Grizzly bears hadn’t arrived yet. But through my beak, I could smell that they weren’t too far. We needed to be quick.

The wind was gracious, although, misleading. None could fly in it. For the others, it was hard to manage at such speeds, but of course, they always bit off more than they could chew. Without a doubt, cockiness was in our nature. No bird hunted better than us, no bird. Although even Sun Tail struggled, the supposed chosen one, he liked to call himself. But don’t you go starting any drama, you didn’t hear that from me.

Below me, a young one squalled to its mother. It must have fallen from its nest or something, but the little thing was a natural, somehow it was flying in winds not even my brothers or sisters could control. The little birds’ mother did her best to get to them but the wind kept pushing her back even further the harder she fought. She cried and along with her echoes expelled through the mountains and through the clouds, escaping like humidity lodged within a tea kettle. The young one’s father would make a few attempts himself but failed miserably falling into a pit of salmon that snipped at him like piranhas. It was sad, and the annoying high pitched laughs from the salmon didn’t make it any better.

Without hesitation, I took my dive like the hero I was. Beaks dropped and eyes opened wider than an Owls. The faster I fell the more I could feel the wind beneath my wing. Just a few more seconds and it would be time to show everyone what they did not understand—perseverance. We Eagles were never known for diving but a little crow friend of mine, Onyx, taught me all about it. Apparently, that was what crows did, although, theirs were known to be a little bit more on the aggressive side. We never really felt threatened by humans. Again we thought they were stupid.

I counted, and on three I opened my wing. My body soared but was slightly off balance. I then spun as hard as I could. And before I realized it, I was through the harsh winds and halfway to the baby bird. Cheers echoed in the background. The salmon remained silent. For once in my life, I was finally getting some recognition for the things all didn’t believe I could do. However, like most mothers, mom stood back cringing to the possibilities of what could go wrong.

Just a few more seconds I would have the baby bird in my talons. I grabbed it gently but with its weight alone made it harder for me to keep steady. But not far from us a boulder sat in the middle of the river. It was the safest place I could put it down. I counted again and on three made action. The baby bird thumped then rolled on the boulder not coming to a complete stop. My talons clinched. It almost fell into the river but a salmon jumped up knocking the little one back to the center of the rock.

“Hey! What the hell are you doing?” said Salmon A.
“Helping,” said Salmon B.
“Helping? You’re crazy,” said Salmon A. “When that thing gets older. When it grows talons bigger than the one that dropped it off. It will be back but it won’t be back to thank you.”
“Doesn’t matter. It’s just a baby. If it wishes to eat me later, then so be it. I will have done my part in this life,” said Salmon B.

“Y-your mad!” yelled Salmon A.

“Indeed,” winked Salmon B.

The little bird was safe. I had done the impossible. However, I wasn’t in the clear just yet. I still soared the skies, however, I hadn’t really found a way of stopping. My body torpedoed into a bundle of bushes. The more branches I hit the more my body ached. Everything went black. Sooner or later I’d find myself on the ground, in the middle of nowhere. I tried pulling myself up but couldn’t move a feather or talon. A big roar from the background echo. And I knew exactly what it was. I could smell it, and I’d smelt it before.

“Well, well, look at what I got here,” said a voice from the shadows.

Its feet were heavy. And every placement of them shook the branches around me.

“Who’s there?” I asked.

From the shadows and into the sunlight chocolate fur appeared. Claws massive, hot breath along with the smell of rotting salmon. Yes, this was definitely a Grizzly.

“Mother nature has been gracious to me again,” said the Grizzly. “I don’t think I could’ve done one more year of salmon. Sure, its good for us, but variety is so much better don’t you think?”
“W-well there’s some honey not too far from hear? I could show you,” I said.
“I’ve already had honey,” said the Grizzly.
“Well, w-what about berries? Everyone loves berries.”
“Do I look like some kind of black bear to you?” said the Grizzly. “Do not insult my heritage bird. Just stay still, it won’t be painful I promise.”

The grizzly walked over slowly, wetting its lips, although, they were already wet enough. Drool now dripped into my feathers. It was sticky and just as horrid as the Grizzly’s breath. He then went in for the kill.

“Any last words?” asked the Grizzly.

I had nothing to say. If anything, I was just happy that I proved everyone wrong. In my eyes, this was to be a glorious death.

A jaw full of sharp teeth then opened wide coming straight for my neck. A big shadow flew over and blocked out the sun.

“What was that?” asked the Grizzly. “What happen to the sun?”

Not one but hundreds of birds hovered over. It was mom, Dad, Sun tail, everyone.

“Leave my boy alone!” yelled my mom.
“You’ve got to be joking me,” said the grizzly.

In the air, Onyx soared in the front line.

“On three,” he yelled.

All birds then took a dive at the Grizzly, even the little bird that I’d just save moments prior.

“Formations,” yelled Onyx.

Within seconds they all shaped into the form of a beak.

“Come on then!” yelled the Grizzly. “I’ll have you all for breakfast.”

Just like before, everything went black. All birds were in a pile. And as they all took flight back into the air, the grizzly was revealed. He was unconscious, no fur. All other Grizzlies ran away to the sight of a now naked bear. The salmon again laughed. When the grizzly awoke, he took off into the woods never to return again.

To make a long story short, like Sun tail I was a hero to all after that. I even became a diving instructor for the little eagles. Everyone in the wild was united again, no judgment, just the need to for growth, however, at the end we would still have to face the Grizzlies again one way or another. It was almost March and they were about to come out of hibernation, but there wasn’t anything we couldn’t handle.

Impossible? Never heard of it.

 

Bonus:

“To do the impossible for many is crazy talk, but look how far you’ve come, how far you’ve walked. You are so close that your visions become more realistic by the day, you feel as the oceans do—full of motion and waves. And as you sail along to a journey you yourself somewhat doubted, look where you are now, because in reality you have already found it.”

Sincerely, 

Ealgo

UNTITLED

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August 19th, 2018 by Patrick Starks 

UNTITLED MAIN

“You want to be single, you want to mingle, yet everything becomes like the paper you crinkle. You then try to unwrap it in the hopes that you find your regret but then realize that it’s just the same as before, something at one point you use to adore. But if you’re still wondering why you still dwell on the past, maybe its because you still have growing to do, maybe the reality is that you just haven’t passed.”

 

 

 

Distant Lover

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August 14th, 2018 by Patrick Starks 

Distant Lover

“Letting nothing get in our way would be like moving oceans like Poseidon, keeping us reminded, of the things we are still blinded to. We have seen all the signs, yet we have always remained kind, to one another, parting like the ships from docks, distant lovers. But maybe one day you will realize that I only wanted the best for you, as it willows in the night sky more symphonic than a cows moo.”

Keep Going

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August 13th, 2018 by Patrick StarksKEEP MAIN

“You have fought all your life to get to this point, and even though you should be celebrating you still reminisce on the pain, the struggles, that of which buckles your knees—your joints. But my friend, no one said that when you made it you would finally be happy because at the end you should have been just happy to begin. You must learn to love yourself always and become addicted to learning, your growth, for what he or she has said about you, you have already wrote. Go celebrate but not for too long, for what lies ahead you will need to learn to be more strong.”

You and Only you

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August 10th, 2018 by Patrick Starks
You and only you

 “People in life will sometimes tell you the things they feel are best for you, but through it all you must find your own way, your own path. Duplication of another’s success is only an illusion, that of which will deliver to you nothing but false conclusion. Some advice is good but not all, so do not be left in dismay by the thoughts of others, have pride in who you are and stand tall.”

Underestimated Gifts

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August 9th, 2018 by Patrick StarksUNDERESTIMATED GIFTS

“As he stared at his child he asked why are they so wrapped and twisted, sitting at the rosewood table his wife bought, he then realized they were gifted. And then he shifted, into a world he had forgotten, one he had put in the pot and, watch cook until overdone, until no one wanted none. And then he said son, daughter of mine, you are my greatest gift, for a life without you, to me, would be nothing but a mere myth.”

Wings

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August 8th, 2018 by Patrick Starks

WINGS

“If you had wings what would you do? Where would you go? Would it be a place where rivers flow? A place where you can meditate with the birds until your heart’s content or would you just wipe it all away like polos to lent. And what other way would time be better spent, living a life with to not seize the skies, seize the day, tell me then, what would it have all meant?

Life is not a Red Bull, but loving it will surely give you wings. And that my friends would be a time well spent.”

Kaio-Ken

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August 7th, 2018 by Patrick Starkskaio ken

“Do not allow yourself to be judged by the ones who have never tried, the ones that are too scared to let it all out, the gifts they confine. They will tell you they’re happy for you but underneath bestows envy, that of which trembles in their heart times ten, times twenty—like a Kaio-Ken. But my friends, trust in yourself, you are on the right path, you have seen it all—your future, through hyperbolic labs. And it will not get any easier, because you see the stars, you see meteors, while others only see the floor as their eyes become beadier.

Nevertheless, be strong and just hold on, can you hear it now? It’s your theme song.”