The Butch of Egypt

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November 6th, 2018 by Patrick Starks

THE BUTCH COVER

A lot have said that the story of the gods were just fairy tales or myths, but I knew better, no matter how much I wish I didn’t, I knew better.  I still remember that day even, the taste of the salt from the seven seas. Thunderstorms, all of which brought luminosity to the grey, and from that grey, mysterious objects that soared amongst the stars like no other—something like birds, but still, more than what met the eye, I assure you. And as beautiful as it all might’ve appeared to be, many men lost their lives that day, many widowed wives in fact. Chaos flooded the city—no hero, no savior, just evil alone.

But before all of it had occurred, I was just a butcher, a one arm butcher—a retired soldier. I had a beautiful wife and son. And on the nights when I needed too, I’d keep the shop open a little longer, all in the hopes to put food on the table, more so, fix the leaking rough up over our heads that Iyala would never let me hear the end of. Ziyad, my baby boy, was only four months old at the time. And how the weather was changing miraculously, there was no way I’d allow any of us to be on the streets. I’d always deny it, but I was getting old. My back was killing me. But still, for my family, it would be worth breaking, no matter how much the doctor told me it wasn’t.

The city was growing like no other, trades were better than they had ever been. Many in the city spoke on this growth, and how it was good for the entrepreneur minded, however, all it ever did to me was bring more clutter, more chaos, more competition, and debt to the ones who just wanted a peaceful life—and so the saying goes, it’s a small world after all. Although, I still disagree with this notion, for there is still so much about this world and ourselves we have yet to discover.

Everyone and their children’s children cooked up whatever extravagant dish that they could. The night was busier than normal. The gods are angry, no, the gods are sad, the people argued. But at the end what they really wanted to say was that they didn’t want to be the punching bags for the gods that knew not of what being emotional was. Supposedly, a little bird down the street told me that one of the gods had died. But how they knew, anyone’s guess would be as good as mine.

Nevertheless, men and women all drank the most potent of pomegranate wines until their bellies burst, all while their little ones scurried along to their beds. Part of me wondered if the party was really for the gods or for them. I’d never seen so much sin in one day, naked bodies everywhere, although, there was that time in Rome.

Not long after, all of what I thought was a ritual, more so an outside brothel had stopped. For once, there was silence. I could hear my own thoughts. It was my clue to close-up shop, get the hell out, and onto a place more righteous than it. But before doing so, there’d be a knock on the door.

“Sorry my friend, we are closed. Come back tomorrow,” I yelled.

The door then pounded even harder, followed by the horrors of scratching and grunting. I ran over and took a peek through the eye hole. Part of it made me nervous. There was a man who did the same not too long ago and was claimed to be murdered—a spear right through the eye—wife taken, then child sold, oh, such horrors would make any many feel the death of cold. I wasn’t taking any chances.

I then pulled away, as opening door would’ve probably been safer, but I’m sure many would argue to this. But still, I opened the door and from left to right I searched.

Meow! Meow!

Down my feet, completely grey in every way, like the sky somewhat, and if so, its eyes would’ve been the stars—a kitten. Most of the time I preferred dogs or horses, but this little fellow was just too cute to ever deny. Iyala was always fond of furry critters—I knew she would love it, for I’d already made my decision to keep it. Besides, had I left it to fend for itself on the streets, it might’ve only survived for only a few days.

I had only scraps of bread and a liter of milk—the meat had been completely sold—no fish, no chicken, no beef, not even swine nor wine—just bread and milk.  Nevertheless business was good, and there’d be a patched-up rough soon enough.

Being haste with the little time that I had, I locked up the shop as I’d intended. It was off to the drunken streets of Egypt. The night had become darker, and a little too dark if ask me. But I had the perfect guide, the cat could at least see. Excitement pumped through my veins, just a few more blocks and I’d be in sanctuary again.

“Stop,” whispered a woman. “Come here.”

A cold breeze then brushed up against the back of my neck. I stopped. For being in the middle of the desert, it was pretty odd to experience anything cold. The cat hissed, as most would do when they smelled evil from afar. Part of me hoped that the cat was the reason the woman had not come out to introduce herself. But I was sure she’d do so regardless if she really wanted to.

“Are you the butcher,” she said. “I have heard many things about you from above.”

“Yes, I am a butcher, but I am afraid to inform you, I am not the one you seek,” I said.

Underneath the moonlightؙ—toes, ankles, thighs—revealed. Tattooed scriptures all over, coiling around like a cobra’s tail. And not long after, I would lay eyes on the one who bared them.  The woman was tall and beautiful. Not really what I’d expect from a woman submerged in the dark corner of an alley but there she was, pure beauty. However, I had a woman more beautiful waiting at home that no woman, not even a goddess could’ve seduced me from. Love was love.

Her tongue slid up and down my neck. I pulled away. “How did you?”

“Don’t worry about any of that,” said the woman. “The only thing you should worry about is what you are destined for.”

The cat then ran beside the woman. It arched its back and rubbed up against the woman’s leg. Things were beginning to look like those days on the battlefield—the battle between sere illusion and reality, I feared. But no matter, I was not the man to play with.

TO BE CONTINUED

Case #02: Lové Patricié

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October 28th, 2018 by Patrick Starks

CASE 02 MAIN B

PART I

Smoke filled the air, sweat fell from everyone’s back, booty poppin’, in every direction, followed by music that was probably just as worst as the AMF, the Adios Mother Fucker I’d be drinking. No doubt about it, I was tipsy as hell, but don’t get it twisted, a girl could handle her liquor. The place was jam-packed, shoulder to shoulder. Who the hell was in town? Bruno Mars? I wish. But of course, it was Lové Patricié.

Everyone was dressed in black, from their heads, shoulders, knees, and toes. Obviously, I didn’t get the memo. You could say I stood out a little too much for someone who was supposed to be undercover. But it didn’t matter, the only thing I could think about, that I couldn’t believe, was the fact that I was there looking for Jonathan Pike’s murderers. If anything, I thought it be the other way around.

To the left of my peripheral, I could see that the two bouncers hadn’t lost sight of me. They looked like they’d come straight out of a Blade film, only neither of them resembled Wesley Snipes. More so, I’d prayed to my mother in the big blue sky that none of the goons around me were vampires. Or else, this story would probably need a Kate Beckinsale, and I just wasn’t that jack.

The DJ was now on a roll, for once. For every song she played, more people would slide their way from the bar and towards the dance floor. But the good news was that I’d finally finished and said adios to my AMF, without passing out like that time in downtown Tokyo. But that’s another story.

Without hesitation, I took the dance floor and grabbed the arm of the closest hubba bubba I could find. The man looked like the son of Odon himself, although, I ain’t talking about Loki. The man had to be at least six foot tall, if not taller. He wielded the perfect beard, along with delicious eyes that complemented his golden man bun. Ha, man bun.

Moving on.

But the bodybuilder physique really wasn’t my cup of tea or protein, to be frank, but anything was better than the rest of the T-Bird wannabe’s that smelled like old spice and my grandmothers closet. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, I absolutely hate that smell, old spice that being.

“You come around these parts quite often aye,” said the man softly grabbing my waist like a gentleman should.

My hazel eyes stared up at him seductively. I was like a helpless little anime girl. I wanted him right then and there, but I was smart enough to know that it was just the alcohol talking.  Nevertheless, I just nodded.

“Where you from aye?” he asked. “I don’t mean to offend you, but you seem like you’re from California or Seattle, somewhere on the West Coast.”

Dodging the rapid questions, I pulled the man in closer, my breast against his chiseled chest. For a guy that looked like a total meat-head, he sure did have a shit ton of questions to ask, and good ones too. I knew when I was being interrogated. But for the moment, everything felt right, like a Cinderella story. My chin rested on his shoulder. It was a little sweaty but warm. My eyes were closed. But when I opened them that was when the games had begun.

There, at the end of the crowd, danced Jonathan Pikes killers. And as usual, seduction swarmed around them like buzzards. Everyone around wanted a piece of the apple, but little did any of them know that they were drooling over forbidden fruit.

“What’s wrong?” the man asked.

“Nothing at all,” I said. “Say, can we move a little closer to the middle.”

There wasn’t a response. I could tell by the way his man bun was falling apart already that the last thing he wanted to do was move closer to a pit of raw heat.

I thought fast. “Do you mind grabbing me a bottle of water?”

“Of course gorgeous,” he said, giving me a kiss on the cheek followed by a pinch of my other cheeks.

So much for him being a gentleman, I grunted. 

But now it was down to business. I reached down to the inside my Michael Kors bag, and pulled out my Clinique Lipstick that the guys down at the station had cooked up for yours truly. They called it “TABA,” which was made to take a breath away by anyone that was willing to pucker up with me. My lips were blood red, with a pinch of gloss. It was just the bait I needed. Just the weapon I needed to bring them into the station.

I then looked over a few heads. Thor was still waiting in the long line of drunks that couldn’t take no for an answer. Some poor bastard driving off the intersection? Yeah, that was the last thing a Bartender wanted to hear after a long night of dealing with adult babies.

While I still had time, I walked over to the women to introduce myself, gliding across and through the crowd as if I was doing my little turn on the catwalk. I was too sexy, for them to resist. We all started dancing. Me in the middle and them all around. I’m sure this is what they call a sandwich, I said. The two women said nothing. Without a doubt, they were attractive women, but their silence easily dropped them from dimes to nickles in a heartbeat. It was just fucking weird.

Son of Odin, I mean, Thor, no, what the hell is his name? Ugh. Doesn’t matter. Whoever he was, he finally showed up with my water. In his eyes, he looked a little confused to what was going on, but in his mind, I could tell he was thinking that tonight he was going to have the time of his life—a menagè a quartè. Three gorgeous women, well, how could a single young man say no to that.

“Her ya go doll,” said the man, holding a bottle of Aquafina.

I remained locked onto his eyes as I grabbed it, but could see that at the bottom nothing but fizz rested. Last time I checked Aquafina sure as hell didn’t make sparkling water. Out of all the days, this was the last thing that I needed.

I played stupid. I struggled with the bottle of water.

“Ugh. I’m having a hard time opening this. Do you mind?”  I asked

Again, the man looked confused. Of course, he was, he’d already opened the bottle. He then gave me one hell of a wicked smile, as he opened it with ease.

“Here ya go,” he said. “Better stay hydrated aye. It’s not good to have alcohol in your body with little food or water.”

“Bullshit,” I whispered, rolling my eyes towards the ladies room.

“I’m sorry?”

“N-nothing at all. I’m gonna run to the ladies room okay. A girls gotta tinkle.”

“No problem. I understand. AMF’s have been known to have that effect on people. I’ll be here waiting.”

The alcohol must’ve been getting to him. I knew for a fact I never told him what I’d been drinking that night, which made the standoff even more awkward. He must’ve been watching me from the time I walked in, or worst, him and the bartender were in some sick game together, and it wouldn’t be the first time I’d seen in it—Case Z14: Kokomo. Another story.

I looked around, and the two women were gone. I huffed, puffed, and swore all the way to the women’s restroom in disgust, frustration, like a little princess that didn’t get to wear their favorite dress. I’d lost my lead.

 

PART II

Fifteen minutes I waited before I could finally get a stall. Shit talking echoed the rooms, a few cat-fights as well, and the stall to my right, of course, would have a couple getting it on. This woman obviously had no standards, I silently laughed. Two minutes and twenty-two seconds exact—unlike I, sadly, alcohol couldn’t be the excuse for this poor souls performance. But from the way the girl moaned, I could tell she loved him, lucky for him I guess, although, her faking wasn’t even remotely good enough to get Ron Jeremy to kiss the back of her hand.

But finally, after all of that, there was silence—me, myself, and the toilet. On my phone birds soared the skies, plummeting into barriers filled with nothing but worker bees, I mean, pigs. The game was quite fitting for the mood that I was in, I, in fact, was an angry bird.

The doors to the bathroom then swung open, smacking against the wall. Two pairs of heels clicked and clacked on their way in. There wasn’t any talking, which was odd for the ladies room, but I couldn’t be a hypocrite, it was what I wanted. The stalls to my left and right then opened. I slouched over and took a gander.

“Jesus,” I said.

Whoever they were, these women were rolling. I’d only ever seen them in magazines but there they were—Christian Louboutin’s. They had to be at least a one thousand dollars a piece. A hand then reached over my stall holding a golden lock of hair that looked like a paintbrush that had been dipped in red. It dropped down to my lap. It still had chunks of skin from where the scalping had started. Poor Thor, I thought. Although, served him right for taking advantage of women. I’m just glad something was done about him before he preyed on someone else.  Justice had been served, but now it was my turn to do the serving.

I flushed the toilet and stood up. The two stalls did the same. I put my purse down, kicked my stilettos off and then kicked open the stall door. Again, the two stalls did the same—it was like a game of red light, green light. I then threw the golden lock up against the wall from across us all, and following in its lead came the two culprits of its demise.

Dumbasses, I said. 

From then on I knew exactly what time it was. From my lingerie, I pulled out my two Ruger SR9’s like the Hitman himself. I jumped out.

It was party time.

To be continued—so sorry 😉

 

 

 

 

Case 01: Agent Pike

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October 21. 2018 by Patrick Starks 

Case 01 AGENT PIKE

Drawings all over the walls, twelve screens for a desktop, three empty cans of full throttle, along with the horrid smell of two-day-old body odor. Just what the hell was he doing, what was he plotting, I wondered. It been at least six years since I lost the bastard, but there he was perched up in his black vinyl gaming chair like a pig that could fly or is it the other way around? Whatever. A pig was a pig.

I could’ve taken him right then and there.  “Don’t,” said the voice in my head. “There’s too much at state. You should call for back up.” 

Back up?? Ha. Forget about it. The son of a bitch was mine. Plus, I’d already get enough shit at work about me, a woman, being a part of the FBI. I was gonna shut them all up one way or another.

Jim Bean burned down my throat. I’d forgotten how many shots I had, nevertheless, the bottle was in my hand now, so, I guess it really didn’t matter. Drinking on the job? No. Liquid courage to take down the man that disgusted me, to prove to rest of the slobs what a woman could do, yes.

“My god he’s moving,” said the man in the headset.

No doubt about it, it was the captain. He had a deep voice. Sexy. Like Barry White or was it Manalo, ugh, I should really stop drinking.

“Pay attention agent,” said the Captain, I got the chills. “He’s in the kitchen now.”

Of course, the kitchen, where else would he be. The man then looked back. Beady eyes and all, glasses that sparkled like the finest of ciders. He walked to the window and took a gander. Flashing billboards, hookers, drug deals, five o’clock traffic, and in the reflection a five o’clock shadow. New Tari was a sinful place, but you can blame the man that gazed at them for that.

He had a smile like the Grinch on top of a snowy mountain, plotting his revenge on all the Whos. And who would’ve known that he’d been watching. The man then walked back to the refrigerator, and little did we know, his workstation wouldn’t be the only place that had a combination.

Eight, nine, four, seven, he punched slowly. Was he doing it intentionally or was he really struggling to remember? The frig then open, and clouds spewed out from it like a steam room. Bulks of everything—meat, bread, ice cream, pizza, anything you could think of. It was easy to say that Costco was his favorite place to be.

Half his body was in the refrigerator now, deep enough to be declared a walk-in frig. But more so, I wondered how deep I could put my stilettoes between where the sun didn’t shine. I hated criminals, especially him, the Golden Pig, he was named.

But the Golden pig didn’t always look like he does now. In fact, he wasn’t a criminal at all. His real name is actual Jonatan Pike, and he was one of the best dam agents I’d ever seen. Sexier than any Bond, taking on gun fight’s that made you think he was on the path of Neo. It was mind-blowing. But for whatever reason he’d turn on the agency, stealing files that not even the captain knew about—files that the captains boss didn’t want to be seen. In his own words, it was confidential. But we all know how that story goes. For the betterment of the people my ass.

“What the hell is he doing now?” said the Captain.

I didn’t know.

Jonathan Pike then walked over to the door of his apartment. He was expecting company. Two women dressed in black. Prostitutes? Who knows. All of their heads swayed from left to right like bobblehead dolls. Out of nowhere, Jonathan crossed both of his arms by his crotch, giving the two women a rude gesture. And man was that a mistake.

Bang, bang, and then, bang. Blood now saturated the carpet floor of a one-bedroom apartment. The two women were turned on by it, they kissed. I never really swung that way, however, I couldn’t deny that it was somewhat hot—their bodies shaped like hour-glass, dominance instilled in them both, such an artistic combination. But thank god this bottle is finally empty.

“We got a code red!” yelled the Captain. “The Golden Pig is down, I repeat, the Golden Pig is down!”

 ONE HOUR LATER (5:22 pm)

Yellow tape was around the whole room. The smell of iron was in the air. I’d only been in the room for ten minutes and could already hear the captain ripping someone a new one.

“What the hell do you mean the files are gone?” he yelled.

The tech-guy sweated profusely. It was his first day on the job.

“Well spit it out man!” yelled the Captain.

“Well sir, you see, it seems that the Golden Pig’s rig was completely booby-trapped, and I ain’t talking about the ones at strip clubs. Ayoooo!” said the Tech-guy, going up for a high five.

But the captain didn’t smile, nor was he planning on touching hands with a twenty-year-old that knew not of what he’d sign up for.

“Shit!” he said.

“Yeah, I know right. Two password fail’s and it was game over,” said the tech.

“Fuck! Fuck! Fu… No, we can figure this out. Come on cap remember what you learned in Yoga. Just breathe.”

Chuckles throughout the whole room began to build up. The Captain in yoga pants, that would’ve been quite the sight to see. He and I then locked eyes, a sight I didn’t want. I looked away as fast as I could.

“San Diego!” he yelled. “Get your ass over here.”

I walked over. The smell of iron disappeared. Old spice and menthol now lingered. I hated the combination, I mean, I’m sure most women would agree with me on this. Although, handsomeness always wins at the end.

One ear and out the other. I’d forgotten that the captain had been talking. I was still stuck on how the hell Jonathan could be taken down so easily. Just who the hell were those women?

“Quick everyone!” yelled a man, doughnut powder still around his handlebar mustache.

We all ran to the living room. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. It was the two women. A few of the men drooled to their beauty but not me or the now deceased Jonathan Pike were going for it. I would’ve said my peace with him, but unzipping a body bag was something I’ll admit for a woman I could not handle. 

“In our hands, we have files from all of the dirtiest secrets you could ever know about your country,” said the woman with the mole on her face.

“Yes. And we think its time the people should know these secrets, unless, you give us what we want,” said the other, she had no mole.

Everyone in the room stood in awe. I looked to the captain on what to do next, but he was gone. If anything, we at least knew where the missing files went. Jonathan was a cautious man, but I knew he wasn’t that cautious for he always enjoyed a good thrill.

“We’ll give you till next Sunday to make your decision. We are patient women, but still, do not test it,” said the women. “Adieu.”

The sixty-inch plasma went black. We had a week left. But I had a lead. The captain didn’t know it, but when I walked in, I found something, a receipt, a payment from Costco, but on the back it had written, Lové Patricié—the most popular club in downtown. Only there was one problem, we’d bust enough nut heads in that building to get stabbed on our way in like Cesar himself. I needed to blend, I needed a new look. Nevertheless, Case one would get closed. 

“If it was a mystery for me to solve, then I have no regrets for Case One; I’m no maverick, but still, I was the top gun. It taken me years to find the golden pig but sadly his fate was ended by two others, we weren’t in New York, which was all the more reason for me to stay undercover. Next stop was Lové Patricié, the home of the mysterious turtle dover’s.”

— V. San Diego

 

Mr. Books

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October 14th, 2018 by Patrick Starks 

MR.Books COver

Say what you want about me, but at least I know who I am, I do not eat green eggs and ham, and no, my name is not Sam. My name is Mr. Books and all my life I’ve wanted to be a bestseller; to be read by millions, to be read internationally, to lie rested in the palms of coffee stained hands, oh, it could be so stellar. From the pastry shops near pioneer square to the possible selfies of me on Instagram, no matter the place or case, I knew I could impress for everything I have dreamed about thus far could never be a waste.

On the inside, I had become dim and fragile as a leaf. Page after page would lose its essence over time. I’d been abandoned but not purposely you see. My father had passed long before he’d gotten the chance to see me touch the hearts of others as he’d always envisioned.  O’Rien Crumble was his name or O’Rien the Extraordinaire he liked to be called in bold and italic. O’Rien was what many would call charming, a man’s man, but like most heroes, his story eventually came to an end.

We, the fantastic duo, would spend many years together, traveling the world, from six chapters to twelve. And for three years we both worked together until the day O’Rien would decide to have me published. But sadly, New York was not a fan of innovative writers—if it wasn’t a topic or genre that was trending, then to they, the anonymous judges, wasn’t worth the investment. And it was this reason why O’Rien Crumble had to learn how to write with his left hand.

But his funeral was heavenly. Flowers of every color and a casket artistically painted in ways by the finest of fine artist—just the way he’d always imagined. I never realized how many people O’Rien knew until now. Family, friends, co-workers, students, the whole dam city. But in all honesty, the soft legs I rested on were more appealing–thank the gods they didn’t burry me with O’Rien.  But one thing was for certain, I might not have been a best seller, but at least O’Rien had still made an impact on the world one way or another. And I could never be any more happy for my old man.

After O’Rien’s passing, I’d get handed down to his wife Carmela, the woman with the soft legs. She was quite charming herself which made me feel even more okay with the fact that O’Rien was gone—I at least had something to remember him by.

In his name, Carmela would crack open their favorite—Cabernet Sauvignon. It was a cheap wine, but still, it got the job done. And if one were to turn to page two thirty-two, they would still see the stain of red wine from the nights Carmela sat in O’Rien’s lap as he read to her like one of Santa’s little helpers.

And Just to remember him, Carmela would read me every Friday night, from chapter four to seven, specifically, for reasons I do not know. Mozart, a little Frank Sinatra, it was all that played in the background. And afterward, it would be I who would lay rested on Carmela’s soft and suckle chest. It was warm. I could hear every beat of her heart like something from Jumanji but nothing about the moment was a game. O’Rien was a lucky dog, I thought, at least for the moment he was. But all I could really think about was O’Rien throwing me into the fireplace that roasted by Carmela’s pampered feet. He was somewhat of a jealous man, but what man isn’t for his precious. Without a doubt, on a night like this, I would find that not all stories like that of my own had happy endings. I’d become depressed.

 

PART II

Cobwebs and darkness, it was all I could ever see through the crack of the box I was in—molded from the water that dripped from the damaged ceiling above—there was no other place in the states that rained buckets in October like Seattle.

To my right, a dark magician stared at me, with seven stars that hovered above its head that of which resembled dragon balls from O’Riens favorite anime,  but I never really knew what any of them meant for I was no Manga. And to my left a U.S.A flag and a few medals. Fun fact, O’Rien was a military brat, although, he never really spoke much about it to Carmela. But that is another story.

Carry on soldier.

Every now and then, I thought I heard something, the fast pacing of footsteps maybe, no, I was no book of horrors. But out of all the years spent in silence, I knew for sure it was something.

Light then revealed itself to me. It was blinding, yet refreshing all in one—I could finally see my di… I mean, words again—let’s keep it PG-13 Mr. Books.

“Dam. This is some good shit,” I said to myself, like a drug addict around the corner of Third and Pine street. But there was no sugar coating it, O’Rien was a genius. An underrated one at best.

The lights flickered on and off—it been a while since the bulb was changed or cut on. A mysterious being searched the room. I didn’t have a nose, obviously, so, depicting their smell was slim to none. Although, the way they huffed and puffed all over the place like the big bad wolf was enough for me to know they were just like O’Rien, a man.

“Honey did you find it!” yelled an angelic voice. This I knew for sure was a woman.

The man then stopped what he was doing in response to the question.

“Almost love,” he said. “I think I’m getting close. But you should come up here. I didn’t know that mom had so many things. I’m sure you’ll find something you like.”

There was a pause but not long after the woman would respond.

“Yeah… No, I think I’m going to head back to the car. Besides, I don’t trust Cami and O’Brien in the car by themselves. You know what happened last time,” she said.

“Yeah your right, how could I forget. I still got the scrapes and bruises all over my knees from that day,” said the man. “But that’s what we get for getting those to hooked on race car driving at such a young age. Our little Talladega Nights.”

The man and the woman both laughed. It brought joy to my pages.  It had been a while since I heard or seen happiness from anything. Nevertheless, the man continued his search. I was amused. Just what did he mean by mom? I wondered.

Now two feet stood in front of me—shined by the best of shoe shines men they were. A knife then pierced the top of the exterior nearly cutting into my interior. A hand reached around corner to corner of the box. It was hairy and tickled the sides of me like the Elmo doll from behind.

“There you are. Time to get you published once and for all old friend,” said the man with a familiar smile.

Was I dreaming all this time? Of course, it was a O’Rien. But the funeral? What about the red wine and warm breast, I mean, chest? Stop being a perv Mr. Books.

No, of course, I knew all of this time. None of what I’ve told you until now was true. I fooled you all, but calm down, I am a book after all. I tell stories, you should’ve known all along.

It’s not April yet, but I still fooled ya.

Sincerely,

—Mr. Books

Pluto and Friends

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October 7th, 2018 by Patrick Starks 

PLUTO MAIN COVER

Part I

For centuries I have been made a fool out of, being made to be the least important or the irrelevant one of my family. It’s too small they say, it doesn’t have enough gravitational pull, followed by a “that’s what she said,” joke. They all go back and forward with these assumptions year to year, all in the hopes that they’ll one day understand the things that they fear. But they are all fools. No matter what they say about me, I know who and what I am—I am a planet. And if you don’t believe me, I swear, just go ask your green haired captain in the red underwear.

But first, let me explain in more detail. Continue reading

Luchadora

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September 30, 2018 by Patrick Starks

LUCHA LUCHAlUCHADORA-animation-giff

Sweat, baby oil, with a little blood was all that ever remained in the ring. The stadium was empty but still, the echoes ringed in my ears like the bell that started the match. And from the nosebleeds, I could see the section where my dad had taken me to my first Wrestlemania. Those were days—I could never deny that I had a pretty good childhood or that I was somewhat spoiled—a cherry frosty in my right hand and a chili dog in my left, what kid would ever complain. Although mom probably would’ve killed dad had she found out, dad and I were always good at keeping secrets between the two of us, sometimes.

Continue reading

Adopted Stars

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September 23, 2018 by Patrick Starks ADOPTED-STARS

On the nights where you could see only the stars, down below many things were revealed, but nothing like a rainbow to a pot of gold, but something more magical than the rainbow myth itself that of which many told. It was a beautiful night as always—the owls hooted, the wolves howled, and many other species as well did as they would normally do whenever the sun came down. Nevertheless, I was completely lifeless in bed—I was deep in fantasy—I had a red hat, blue suspenders, and mustache to match, along with brown shoes and a few cabbages to patch. Continue reading

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. Continue reading

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

Heart Attack

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July 29th, 2018 by Patrick Starks

HEART ATTACK MAIN

Heroes. What if I was to tell you that the person that sat next to you at work was, in fact, a hero. What would you do? What would you think? What would you feel?

Oh, right, they couldn’t be. It’s impossible. That’s at least what you tell yourself, however, it is sometimes the impossible that can be quite possible. Yet, you have never succeeded in such, so how could they? How can they become so iconic? Well, first one must drop their assumption that that person is beneath them or equal. Titles mean nothing in this life. Rather your that person’s boss, older brother, father, co-worker, it doesn’t matter, they are them and you are you. And the differences tell.

You see Bronson was just a young lad fresh out of college. And over time he’d gotten his masters in Law, however, none would have believed at his firm that he was so much more than meets the eye. Day after day, Bronsan’s co-workers spoke of bridal showers, baby showers, trips to places most would have never considered a vacation, nevertheless, Bronson always remained to himself for there was a mission at hand. Now don’t get it wrong, all of which I speak of is what most of us live for in this life today, however, not all are destined for such things, can we agree?

Bronson wanted to be more than average, it coursed through his veins after all, and the idea’s of living behind a picket fence was just old jibberish to his generation, at least it was for the ones that felt life to be more. In fact, his father was his own boss, who owned his own tennis shop, that of which he used to help kids in need off the streets. And the money he made from such he used to get those same kids through school, and the list would go on. His mother as well held her own business, selling jewelry she made from scratch, and there was no doubt about it, she adored the finer things in life. And like his parents, his grandparents were the same for they were the ones responsible for embedding such drive into the DNA of the family tree. And at the end of it all, they all wanted to see a greater life for all. It was apparent that heroism and the fight for independence flowed through Bronson’s body faster than venom from a black mamba, and it was this he would seek no antidote for. Who would?

In such a plastic world that he lived, Bronson would forever hold doubt in his heart. From the half-naked photos on Instagram, to the cars people drove, to the number of trips you went on, to the people you knew—it was all any cared about or valued to choose—all the things that they wished they could be or do. But Bronson was never known to be a fanboy, not in the slightest, and if he was, it would be geared more towards himself for his love seeped more graciously than the sap from an oak tree.

So many of the gifted. So many overlooked by the aroma of false icons, Bronson thought. And little did the fans of these icons know that in the end they only cared about the money, more so themselves at the end.

“I don’t want to be a role model, I just want to do what I love,” said a Celebrity.

Hmm. They would not be wrong to feel this way. Nobody in this life is responsible for no one but themselves. However, if you’re going to stand at the top of the mountain, if you’re going to expect people to follow your lead, bets do it with good intention—something more than the money in your wallet for this is not fulfillment, this is only death. But of course who doesn’t want to be wealthy and have a better life for themselves? But what one does with that wealth will depict if they are truly a hero or a villain in the making, and it is this that is most important for money only amplifies who that person already is.

Even though his mother told him that he couldn’t, Bronson always felt that he had what it took to save the world. It was a mom’s duty to see her child out of harm’s way. Bronson’s mother had seen it all, and she just wanted to make sure that her child was not taken advantage of. To her, everyone was a suspect till proven innocent.

And there Bronson sat in his worn out computer chair, drawings on the walls of his cubicle as he sipped on a cup of tea that he hoped would bring him closer to the perfect antidote to this life we live.

“That Beyonce was so amazing, she’s such an incredible woman. I could never do what she does,” said a woman from behind.

Bronson’s eyes rolled to the back of his skull. It was the one thing he hated—negative talk—about oneself. People who believed that they couldn’t be as great as the ones they admired sickened him. Everyone had what it took to be something great, in his eyes.

“Better to die trying than not at all,” said Bronson. “You could if you’d just stop…”

And just like that, Bronson had caught his tongue before getting himself into an awkward situation. One of which that could possibly get him fired, however, he laughed. They would be doing him a favor.

They say in life you should always start your days off positive. That positivity along with the faith that you bring will gain you a step closer to your destiny. Although, such is easier said than done. With so many irrelevant thoughts swarming around his mind, from nine to five, it would be too hard to ever fully turn blind from thought, that being the negative ones.

As much as he wanted to shed some light on the ignorance of the ones around him, he was taught by his father that heroes must keep their identity a secret, for the ones around them could never truly understand the sacrifices they make or the trail of blood they leave behind. And loneliness would be at the peak of it all—no more clubs, no more girlfriends, no more parties—just themselves and their gift—the only reason to keep moving forward, to stay alive.

But of course, Bronson had always felt such from birth, and it was this he was never afraid of. To hear his own thoughts, to help the blinded, it was all that moved him faster than a can a of Rockstar.

Beyonce, Oprah, Bill Gates, James Patterson, even Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, he thought about them all and the journey’s they took. He looked at the timeline and then became anxious. Waiting for another ten to fifteen, to twenty years, to be big enough to make an impact in the world was something he felt he hadn’t the time for. Something had to be done now. But little did he know that patience was the key to it all.

“If they believe in what we believe, then together we can heal the rest of the fallen,” said Bronson. “If they believe what we believe in, then together we can rejoice, we can be one, we can find our calling,” said Bronson.

And months later Bronson would finally quit his job. His first task was to build a team, however, had no friends within his circle that cared enough—mediocrity was their only mission in life.  And for hours on end, Bronson worked towards ideas that could make the world internationally a better place for all. He was, of course, American, nevertheless, he never believed in turning his cheek from the whole world entirely. Yet, on his forty inch LCD, others would disagree to that notion.

“It ain’t our problem. Why should we have to help them?” said a woman on Komo 5. “They need to help themselves. Besides, we have too many problems in our own backyard that still need to be addressed.”

The woman had made a few valid points. But in order to get aid from others, you as well have to give some aid for anything to ever get solved. It is the circle of life after all. You scratch my back, and I’ll scratch your back, the saying goes.

We as humans were better than that, Bronson thought.  Yet I knew better than he, that he was more than just the average human.

Running footsteps above him then sent vibrations through the ruff. The wall to the right side of his bedroom thumped from a slow to a fast rhythm, and then stopped at the sound of a howling man and woman. It was a Friday night, Netflix and pizza. A marvel show sounded it good, so, he settled for “Black Lightning.” He was never really a fan of DC Comics, however, a so-called witty man made him aware that there was a lot of knowledge that could be taken from a hero’s journey, regardless if it was DC or Marvel. Homework had to be done.

Time went by fast. It was 1am at night. Bronson was now halfway through episode 6, season 1 of Black Lighting. A scream then pierced from behind his front door. More thumping went around but this time he was for sure it was nothing sexual. He then ran to his door tripping over the cord to his lamp. He pulled himself back together and peeked through the eyehole hesitantly. It was a man and a woman.

Crusted hands gripped tightly around the woman’s neck, while all life that the good lord put into her spewed out. She fought but then the man fought harder. Bronson opened the door.

“Hey! Let her go,” yelled Bronsan.

The man smiled. He threw the woman to the side like a ragdoll and then turned his direction towards Bronson. His teeth gritted, along with veins that bulged out of his skin more than a bodybuilder on steroids. He sweated profusely, and the stench of evil emerged from that very sweat like a homeless man in a sauna, if possible.

The man then sprinted towards the door to Bronson’s apartment. Before Bronson could react the two had gone through the door to room 3-406. The man’s weight was now on top of him, and just like the woman moments before, hands wrapped around his neck like a boa constrictor. All life, all fight that he’d been given since birth was now being pulled out of him. Days of becoming a hero were not looking so good.  But then it happened.

A power that not many heroes nor superheroes have seen. Not even the great Stan Lee. No, this one was unique in its own way. Through his turquoise t-shirt red glowed from underneath. His eyes didn’t glow, his body didn’t glow, no part, except for his heart. It was like being on a thousand energy drink high or insanely in love, comically.

“What the hell?” said the man.

His arms began slowly reversing from Bronson’s neck, and not long after Bronson would give the man a chin check. The man flew right through the entrance they’d come through. The man then pulled a gun from his back. He fired a shot. He’d hit his target.

“No!” yelled the woman.

For the moment Bronson could feel the burn of the bullet just two clicks away from his belly button. His heart now glowed more radiant than ever, sending energy down to the hole in his stomach. It flowed like nothing anyone had ever seen, like a bucket of paint to a wall perhaps.

“What are you freak?” said the man. “Doesn’t matter. A bullet to the head will surely solve the problem. Say cheese,” the man smiled.

He fired another shot but this time missed. He then reached back over and picked up the woman who obviously should have left moments ago, but we all know how these stories go.

“Step back!” yelled the man. “Or I’m gonna send something pretty to the man upstairs..”

Bronson then took a step back. He feared for the woman’s life. He’d never been in this sort of situation before. The sounds of djembe drums pulsated from his chest, something like that of Jumanji, however, know wildlife came through the walls. Anxiety from when he was a kid, he pondered. He hadn’t taken his meds in years that’s for sure.

The man now let the woman go. He took his left hand and then gripped his left pectorial harder than a bald eagle would do a goat. That was real right? Another story to tell perhaps. Moving on.

The man dropped down to the floor, pulling down all the decor to the window next to him. All was history. The woman ran over to the man and then checked his pulse.  Luckily for Bronson that she was a nurse.

“He’s still alive,” said the woman. “But he will need medical attention asap.”

Bronson was still silent. He was in awe. Was it a dreamed? He wondered.

“How did you…” said the Woman.

“Yes!!!” yelled Bronsan. “Yes!!! I mean I knew I had a gift, but holy shit. What am I? How did I get this? I gotta think of a name for myself.”

With her jaw dropped to the ground the woman would slowly pick it back up, backing away from the man like a startled feline. Sirens now echoed from outside. Red and blue pierced through the window glass.

“Did you call the cops already?” asked Bronson.

The woman then raised her cracked iPhone as if she was giving a toast to his heroicness. Nevertheless, someone did. And that’s where I come in.

The room became dark for only a moment. The woman would be removed from the scene as well the horrid stench of the heartfelt man if you catch my drift. And for the first time that was where me and your dad stood, eye to eye.

“Did you guys fight?” asked a young woman. “Was it like Rocky and Apollo? Like David and Goliath? Like Godzilla and whatever he fights all the time?”

Oh, my dear if we did trust me I would not be hear with an angel such as yourself, at least not hear on the ground.

But that was the day me and your dad would work together. I had always searched for someone like him, but in the back of my mind still couldn’t believe how real he was. I taught him everything I know about life, just as I have taught you.

That was the day the Superhero we all know as “Heart Attack” was born. That was the day your dad became a hero. I only tell you this now because you are older and you have a right to use your gift however you’d like. But let this be a warning. Use your gift with good attention. Most importantly, be humble.

Here your father left this for you to have before he disappeared. Maybe you’ll find your as he had once:

To whoever reads this, may your heart fill the emptied

“I have been told I cannot save the world, only myself, but ignoring such in my eyes would have been a bad hand to be dealt. Superhero, me, yeah possibly, however, I feel that in all of us, but can you see?
And It’s a fact. I have a heart too big for this cage that bestows in my chest, but I’d rather be out there fighting then letting thy soul be to rest. Crawl, walk or run, its all the same, I don’t do it for the fame, but only for the peace, we must regain.
They call me Heart Attack, feel my name beat through yours.”

Sincerely, 

Heart Attack