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              It was a blustery weekend in Muskrat Flats. The wind was conducting a symphony as the poplars bordering the vineyard...

Monday, December 29, 2008

A strange and dark tale as told by Sheriff Hawthorne.

Anyone who has read any of my posts in the past, knows that I really don't hold back when I am writing. Whether is it my opinion, my ideas and thoughts on recovery issues or these little forays into Muskrat Flats - my little fictitious, Utopian James Thurber and Garrison Keillor meet Hunter Thompson and his Attorney in a Dark Alley, kind of place, I have a tendency to not hold back, just let it out.

One of my readers, contacted me and challenged me to write some Vampire erotica. It sounded interesting, challenging and fun. Vampires are all the rage these days why not. I even let them pick the name of the Vampire.

This is a ribald, graphic, erotic story. If you are offended by lesbians, vampires, kinky married couples, drunk horny opportunistic sheriffs, Odd Fellows, Blueberry muffins, cigars, carnies, displays of supernatural power, S&M, domination, voyeurism, creative erotic descriptions of bizarre bloody vampire sex ... you might not want to read beyond this point.

Okay? Got it? No nasty comments, no restraining orders, no coming to my work and throwing holy water at me. No smiling at me and looking at me like I should be locked up ... you should have made that determination long ago.

If you are reading on Myspace, follow the link to a less discriminating Website ... One that will not shut down your account for questionable pictures such as a mushroom which looks like a butt, even though they constantly have ads featuring videos of trashy little tarts in my hometown who want to "meet" me.

Here is your last Chance. If this type of literature offends you follow this link


It has been a busy week in Muskrat Flats. Once again, the kitchen at the Odd Fellows Hall is in full swing. Paul and Donnie, the dishwashers are taking care of all of the loose ends - everything from daily sanitation and upkeep to moving equipment and getting the catering supplies restocked and organized. All of this is happening under the direction of Sid Bartleby and his partner in crime who recently re-assumed his position at the top of the kitchen echelon, after a long hiatus, Moe Eckstein.

There were hundreds of pounds of blueberry muffin batter to be made for the Christmas Festival at the Farm Museum and Archive. That and gallons upon gallons of hot cider pressed from the apples grown in the Farm Museum's orchards, to be mulled and sold to the bundled up masses as they snuggle under blankets for warmth as their horse drawn sleigh rides take them through the panoramic tableaux of 19th century Muskrat Flats. The Farm Museum is decked with wreaths and swags fashioned from all sorts of conifers. These are accented with red and green bows, silver and gold. The sleigh riders will take in the wonder of carefully carved, luminaria displaying glowing snowflakes moving ever so gently in the calm winter wind as they sit on the peaks of freshly shoveled snow, lining the sleigh route.

Over at the Farm Museum’s main building, Jenny Smith, also known as Sveltlana by her husband and friends, was going through the archive room. There, in a back closet filled with file boxes, she found a dusty mess, and could not help but to tend to it, even though she had more important things to do.

There were schedules to be written, pamphlets to be printed and one of her most recent tasks, keeping her new assistant, Gina, focused and busy with all of these tasks, in addition to keeping her in the Gift Shop, when she was not stocking shelves and ringing customers and away from the Blacksmith shop where she would rather watch Kurt Bartleby further tone his muscular arms and torso. Yes, it is winter but he still finds a reason to take his shirt off when he is ensnared in production mode and Gina is around.

Sveltie was clearing out the file boxes and sweeping out the closet in the back of the old Victorian Style Rail Road Station. She finally removed most of the dust with the broom, before she attacked the remaining dust with the shop vac.

She was vacuuming a corner when something startling happened. One of the floor boards was sucked up by the vacuum cleaner exposing a shallow space hidden beneath the floor boards. She then removed the next board and found an ornate box which looked like it had to have been made with mahogany. On the top of the octagonal shaped box were the letters SCH III Esq., in mother of pearl inlay.

Sveltie gasped! A secret box? Sheriff Hawthorne’s? She called Jerry, her husband and director of the Farm Museum and Archive, telling him what she had just found. He came right over. Together they admired the workmanship of the box.

"What do you think Jerry?" She asked.

"I think we should open it, don't you want to?" Yes, she nodded with wide eyed enthusiasm.

He took the box to one of the lighted work tables. He grabbed a pair of cotton gloves and some brushes. He brushed off the outside of the box, revealing the wondrous luster of the finished wood and its rich dark parquet patterned tones.

Jerry carefully removed the documents which had remained untouched for presumably the better part of 120 years.

Ten of the documents were the eviction notices Sheriff Hawthorne had collected from the Silverstein Brothers’ land grab scheme which was foiled when Hawthorne faked his own death and left a trust, which paid off the debts of the downtrodden Flatlanders. Underneath those was some Confederate currency which was in very good shape, and a leather bound writing tablet … its leather tab sealed shut with wax. Jerry's heart began pumping. Sveltana leaned placing her hand on Jerry’s back, gently scratching and tickling him with her fingernails.

"Open it." She demanded. Jerry looked at her and quickly obliged her demand. He grabbed an exact-o knife and carefully sliced through the brittle wax seal. He slowly opened the cover. On the first page in writing Jerry immediately recognized as Hawthorne's meticulous cursive, was the title.

The Strangest Story Ever …

Jerry gazed at the writing and seemed slightly unfocused and taken aback at what he saw. He was creeped out. He began to speak to his wife,

"Sveltie, this looks like it is written in …"

"Blood!" she blurted, completing his thought.

He gazed at the odd rust colored cursive and questioned - Why would Hawthorne do such a thing, such a ghastly act? He was sure it was blood, and how he wished he had been wrong.

Jerry adjusted his glasses and cleared his throat as he prepared to read aloud. Jenny loved his voice it was so deep and sexy. He looked at her and she squinted and smiled.

Underneath the title, Hawthorne had written the word “Disclaimer.” Followed by a short explanation.

Jerry began.

“The conclusion of my days on this earth is near. I have lived a full and rich life have traveled the world. I have had many unique, interesting and soul fulfilling experiences. I have led a hedonistic life, a Bacchanal existence driven by a lip for the drink with the eyes, hands and mouth which craved the exotic. Anything which could satiate these senses was fair game and in demand - especially food, art and literature, and the comforts of a warm feminine form. I am positive I have entered this world too early, as some of my thoughts, desires and experiences far exceed what is considered the norm or even acceptable in any God fearing land.

With that said, I am about to relate a tale told to me by a young woman along with an accounting of what I actually witnessed myself.

I had met this young lass, Astrid, when I was in my 40th year. Thirty nine years later, just last week, the same young woman had come calling. She had not aged a day since she last sat in my office half a lifetime ago. It is she who provided the blood with which I have written this detailed accounting of the tale which launched a most bizarre and supernatural chain of events in Muskrat Flats, a tale which began on that warm August eve almost four decades ago.

This tale is the truth, it is dirty, it is lecherous, it is an affront to anything we hold pure and decent. It is a tale of supreme decadence and a shadow world of which I surely caught just a brief glimpse. This tale it is not intended to be read by anyone during my lifetime. I daresay that if it is read, posthumously, which It probably will be since I did such a half assed job of hiding this box, I may be deemed a heretic and my grave and good name desecrated. I fear for the very existence of Muskrat Flats if this is read, which is I why I pray that whomever finds this tablet and reads is contents, has the best interests of Muskrat Flats in their hearts. As graphic and fantastic as this tale is, I cannot go to my grave without documenting this experience.


Samuel Coleman Hawthorne III

May 29, 1899.

Jerry and Jenny looked at each other, flabbergasted.

Once again Jerry focused on the rust colored cursive adorning the page.

“In August of 1850, The carnival came to Muskrat Flats. Naturally, being the Sheriff of this town it was within my duties to make sure that the proper permits and fees and taxes are levied. As nightfall came I made my way through the carnival, a young woman caught my eye. She had exotic features, long blond hair, almost tomboyish in looks and stature, but very feminine. She was very pretty and I knew I wanted to spend some “quality” time with her.

I struck up a conversation. Her name was Astrid. She was interested in art. I told her about some of the impressionist paintings I had accumulated. She wanted to see them.

While we were talking, she introduced me to Isabella the Infamous, the carnie with whom she worked. Isabella was a fortune teller or Mystic. She had a legendary reputation for being able to see people’s secrets. Isabella went to lounge on a chair near their tent.

She kept looking in our direction as we spoke. She appeared to be about 30 years old, stunningly beautiful with short black hair, and a light caramel colored complexion. Her eyes were dark and calculating with thin precisely manicured brows. She was dressed in casual attire wearing faded denims and a tight pull over shirt which accented her slender but shapely body. As she sat in a chair about twenty feet away from us, she gazed upon us as if she could see right through me. As if I had unwillingly revealed to her the lecherous intentions I had in mind for her assistant. Isabella sat in a wicker lounge adorned with multicolored tapestries, smoking a fine cigar. Her piercing stare was unsettling.

Most of the carnies had set up in their encampment, a ramshackle traveling caravan of worn and tattered coaches and wagons. As trail wearied and weathered as they seemed, they displayed bright and colorful banners advertising the various acts, Freaks and games of chance. From what I gathered, Isabella was the Star of the show and the biggest draw. She continued to gaze upon Astrid and myself as we flirted. She spoke.

“Astrid, it is time! You and the Sheriff can discuss your artistic interests tomorrow during the day while I get my rest.”

Isabella stared straight at me again with that intense, hypnotic eye contact. She was beautiful, but I desired Astrid. I generally don’t submit easily to these whimsical infatuations but Astrid held such an allure for me. I couldn’t explain it at the time.

“Astrid, please bring my cloak and my bag to the hotel, I will catch up in a minute.”

“The hotel. Very nice accommodations, My lady. But I would expect no less from such a beautiful flower, obviously the star of the show.” Isabella held out her hand and I kissed it. Holding her hand was electric. I had never encountered such unsettling but desirable women before.”

Jerry stopped reading and looked at his wife. She nudged him,

“Keep reading … this is fascinating.” He smiled a mischievous grin as she walked over to the doorway to the office and locked it.

“Isabella just looked at me with such confidence and self assuredness. She said,

“It was my pleasure to meet you Sheriff Hawthorne. Perhaps you will enjoy dinner and drinks at the Hotel with Astrid and I before we retire for the night. It will give you two a chance to get better acquainted, before your “date” tomorrow afternoon.”

I could feel an energy I still shudder to describe. It was as if she dared me to decline her invitation. However my libido was steering the ship on this voyage. I accepted Isabella’s invitation.”

“We dined and drank in the hotel, having a pleasant and lively conversation. It was apparent why Isabella was the star of the show. She didn’t smile much but was far from serious. She had a whimsical and infectious personality.”

She announced that they would be retiring to their accommodations, and bid me farewell. I am ashamed to admit that I would engage in such acts of treachery, but I slipped into the clandestine surveillance area I had built into the hotel, and went to an observation area behind the wall of their room. “

Sveltie gasped. Jerry Laughed.

“Oh my, what a cad.” She declared.

“Are you really surprised? Based upon what we already know about the guy?”

“No, not really.” Sveltie’s breathing had increased a bit she was getting aroused. She leaned into her husband as he continued to read, grazing his arm with one of her taut, erect nipples.

“Astrid had set up numerous candles in the room. She seemed nervous. Isabella walked into my view. She was stunning. She was wearing nothing but a long black see through cape woven from the finest silk. Her erect brown nipples seemed to be teased as the fabric brushed against her skin. Her pubic area was covered with a dark finely manicured patch of dark down. She stretched and twirled. As she did so, I swear I saw flashes of light fly out of her body. She twirled again spraying the room with another splash of light, bright radiant droplets of energy as bright and exotic as the finest cut, African diamond. She swayed over to Astrid, who was now nude and bowing at Isabella’s feet. Her long, sandy blond hair obscured her head which was obviously touching the floor.

“I apologize if I insulted you, Countess Isabella. I have never met such a man, he is different.”

“Yes, he is, I can see what attracts you to him. As I have said, you can have him, during the day, when I take my rest.”

Astrid, looked up and smiled. I love you. Mistress. Thank You so, Much.”

“You still desire me, young one?”

“Yes, of course I do.”

“Then why won’t you be with me?”

Astrid, became uncomfortable. It seemed as if a cloud of darkness tarnishing their conversation had begun to dissipate but returned instantly as Isabella asked this question.

Isabella reached down stroking Astrid’s blond mane as she spoke.

“You know I can take you whenever I want. I will take you … you are already mine and you know it. But I want you to want it. I want you to want ME.” She hissed these words seductively causing a queer state of arousal like I have never experienced.

“I can feed anywhere. Yet I choose to let you live, relishing you like an appetizer. Let me make you. Be one of us.”

While she spoke Isabella’s fingers stroked and tickled Astrid’s Flesh. I noticed her nails were like talons or daggers. Astrid responded by sighing deeply as Isabella ran her seemingly razor sharp nails against her flesh.

I saw goose bumps rise on Astrid’s flesh as Isabella’s hands tickled up from her flat stomach to her sides and the round sides of her small, taught breasts.

Isabella leaned down and hissed in her ear,

“I want you to want me.”

“I do, mistress I do.” Isabella’s hands continued to roam, grazing her back, back to her breasts. Astrid began to moan and whimper as Isabella used a little more pressure with her talons on Astrid’s cream colored flesh. She reached up and placed her hand on Isabella’s thigh.

“DID I SAY YOU COULD TOUCH ME? Ask me nicely perhaps I may allow it.”

Isabella moved around with her back to me. She had an elaborate black tattoo on the small of her back right above her amazingly round derriere. I experienced a sensation of feeling cold. I was disoriented and my thoughts were scattered. Isabella was whispering into Astrid’s ear as she continued to stroke, scratch and caress. Astrid muttered something - a faint and inaudible submissive squeak. Isabella smiled and leaned in her flesh pressing into Astrid’s back as her breathy voice filled her ear.

“What’s that, my dear? Harder?”

“Yes.” Astrid whispered. Isabella bent down one more time and whispered,

“Again,” Astrid replied.

“Yes Harder! HARDER!”

I watched as Isabella drew her hands across Astrid’s chest lightly tickling, not using the force her assistant desired. Astrid whimpered. Isabella let out a resonant otherworldly laugh which chilled me to my bones. Her hand moved down Astrid’s pale, smooth stomach and cupped the golden brown region between her long muscular legs.

“If you want it harder, I’ll give it to you, only if you want me. You don’t want me, do you? You try to touch me but you don’t want me?”

She cupped Astrid’s nether region with those nails dangerously close to her delicate areas, teasing and torturing … ever so slowly and seductively. I was riveted, being forced to wipe away a trickle of drool which escaped my mouth, with the monogrammed kerchief given to me by Samuel Clemens. Then Isabella Laughed that roaring, resonant laugh again. Astrid shuddered and twitched beneath the precision touch of her mistress. Wherever her hand traced a trail of excited pimpled flesh appeared.

“What do you think, Hawthorne would think if he saw you kneeling in front of me, begging?”

As she said this, Isabella turned her head and looked straight at me. With a leering smile on her face she said,

“What would he do if he were watching?”

“I want you, please, Countess Isabella, please?”

“Do I hear you correctly, child. You want me?”

“Yes, I do.”



Isabella gestured for her to get off of her knees. She once again began running her hands and talons across Astrid’s chest until she was just using one nail on each hand to graze against her. She circled Astrid’s breasts with the nails slowly working her way to the center, to her pink nipples. Astrid, was whimpering, experiencing a spasm of pleasure and writhing as she stood there. Isabella hooked her nail underneath Astrid’s aroused and taut nipple. I saw her breast rise as Isabella’s talon hooked into the wrinkled flesh. Isabella continued to lift causing her delicate skin to strain against her nails.

Astrid was crying. Tears were streaming down her cheeks, as she begged - whispering over and over.

“Harder, harder, harder, oh ohh , please, uuhhh, harder, harder.”

She gasped and began convulsing and let out a cry of ecstasy as I watched Isabella’s nail pierce straight through her nipple. Astrid’s hand moved between her own legs and began to move back and forth furiously. Her chest was bleeding.

Isabella, turned ever so slightly and looked at me again, as if the wall didn’t exist, and winked.

The blood flowed from Astrid’s nipples as Isabella removed her talons from Astrid’s flesh. She bent down and seductively licked up the blood. Sucking on Astrid’s nipples, alternately between running her tongue against trail of blood on her flesh , leaving traces of crimson and saliva. Isabella began to tickle Astrid’s tortured flesh, gently once again as she moved her pouty lips down her belly following the red droplets of blood.

Astrid stroked her fingers through Isabella’s short dark hair as Isabella began to flick her tongue against that delicious area between her legs which I so desired.”

Jerry undid his pants. By now, Sveltie had already removed her panties and he was sliding one of his fingers in and out of his wife’s drenched pussy. She was panting. She grabbed his cock and began pumping.” Her hand felt so good

She closed her eyes in ecstasy and hissed.


“As I sat there, fully aware, that Isabella knew I was watching, I sat awed as she ran her tongue against Astrid’s pink tender sex , pumping two fingers into her rhythmically. She devoured her assistant, her lover, and now her partner for eternity. Astrid had a furious orgasm as Isabella moved her head rhythmically between her long legs.

“Uhhh, ohh. Im ready. Do me, do it do it DO IT!”

She rubbed her thumb against Astrid’s maidenhead. Isabella turned to look at me one more time, this time, flashing a pair of sharp fangs as she smiled. The smile shrunk from her face, which became dark and serious. Astrid gasped again and exploded with pleasure as Isabella wildly sunk her fangs into the artery in Astrid’s thigh. Isabella let out a roar and licked her blood spattered lips. She placed her mouth once again on Astrid’s leg as she drank and feasted.

She drank for a minute and then rose, seemingly intoxicated and collapsed on the bed. Astrid kneeled and placed her head on Isabella’s thigh, as the Vampire lay there panting and gasping for breath. She grabbed a handful of Astrid’s hair and pulled her head into her dark mound, which she began to pleasure and adore. What happened next shocked me. Isabella tore at her own wrist with her fangs. Still holding onto Astrid’s hair, she lifted her head, so Astrid could see what she was doing. A stream of her blood began to flow dripping down and glistening her dark pubis. She pushed Astrid head down as she eagerly began to lap up the blood. Isabella moaned. Her body shook and once again the droplets of light projected from her body. They stopped. By stopping I mean motion stopped the were frozen in time for a moment. The light which emanated from her body then fell to the floor like rain, drenching Astrid. Isabella held her wrist to her mouth and said,

“Drink!” Astrid placed her mouth on her wrist and began to loudly suckle.

It was then that I made my exit. Feeling dark, confused, depraved.

Sveltie was grunting as Jerry removed his hand from between her legs. He put down the book. Sveltie got down on her knees and saw his raging aroused state, his body drooling with anticipation and excitement. He sighed as her warm mouth began to slide up and down his rigid flesh.

He could not believe what he had just read. Hawthorne’s description of Isabella and Astrid was so alarming and so hot. Were there really vampires in Muskrat Flats?

As Sveltie bobbed her head up and down he tried to picture Isabella with her dark honey colored skin, tattoos and dark features sliding her mouth up and down, bringing him closer to release with every stroke. He envisioned running his hands all over her smooth body. Cupping those lovely breasts, running his own tongue along her musky femininity. He pictured those dark eyes looking up at him, seeing that serious and stormy expression Hawthorne saw on her exotically featured face. He felt the tension increasing, he was close. He shut his eyes and saw Isabella’s eyes piercing into his. He began to gush and cried out …

“Bite Me!” He heard Sveltie snicker as she devoured his pulsing flesh.

If you made it this far, now would be a good time to start ...

Running Hard Out of Muskrat Flats.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Till The Morning Comes

'Till the morning comes, it'll do you fine.
Till the morning comes, like a highway sign
Showing you the way, leaving no doubt.
Of the way on in or the way back out."

Muskrat Flats is an odd place these days. Perhaps it is a good thing that there are so many Odd Fellows in the town proper.

Sure there is always much more going on in Muskrat Flats than we let on here. There is the section of town which is enclosed by three sets of train tracks, Silverstein's Triangle, or the Silver Triangle we call it.

There you will find poverty, drugs and lower rents. It is a hard concept for the residents of the Silver Triangle to accept ... no matter where they go in their neighborhood, they are perpetually on the other side of the tracks. The Silver Triangle is where 20 year old Kurt Bartleby, Sid and Iva's son, went yesterday afternoon.

Now, it is not what you think, Kurt is a good kid, he wasn't heading to the triangle for reasons that others may. He was going to check in on his mentor, Jim Benoit - Benwah as we have come to know him.

You see, Benwah had not shown up for work in the smithy shop at the Farm Museum in a couple of days. Kurt had some items to make to repair one of the yokes they used for the oxen who would be pulling the sleighs at the Holiday Festival. He was unsure how to proceed and knew his master could steer him in the right direction.

When he got to Benwah's door, a foul odor hit him. It was much too foul to have simply been some un-discarded pizza boxes or garbage. He immediately got on the phone and dialed 911, unwilling to enter the apartment, even though he had a key.

When the authorities entered the apartment they found Benwah's bloated body in a swarm of flies, flanked by a bottle of of whiskey, an empty prescription bottle of Ambien and a syringe sicking out of his arm.

Gomer and Moe Eckstein sat at the wooden table underneath the impressionist style painting of Sheriff Hawthorne done by one the ex-patriate artists he brought back to Muskrat Flats from Paris, after the elaborate charade which preceded his miraculous resurrection.

They were joined by Jeff Nelson, the owner of Wake of the Flood plumbing. Jeff was crying as he traced the outline of the tattoo on his forearm. The tattoo was three links of a chain with the letters FLT centered within each of the three links. Friendship, Love and Truth - three principles held dear by the fellows and gals who gather in the warm wood paneled room at the corners of Petersen and McKernan Streets.

Gomer read aloud as his father held his hand.

"To Whom It May Concern - I was born 20 minutes late ... so they say. All of my life I have been

racing to catch up

and regain

that precious one third of an hour.

A lot can be accomplished in 20 minutes. Sometimes it can drag on forever when I am bored and unoccupied. Other times I feel that I am on the verge of letting that 20 minutes slip away, further setting me back as I traverse this infinite, endless trek we call life.

It seems like I am 20 minutes late for everything these days. Work, appointments, I was even late for a meeting because I had 20 minutes to kill and fell asleep (passed out) for 30. I was 20 minutes late for the last meeting of the Flatlanders. I was supposed to be piping when they cut the Haggis. I was twenty minutes late when I caused that accident in Dana.

When I say I've been 20 minutes late all of my life that is an exaggeration. There was a time in my life when I was either on time, or early, obsessively so. You could set your watch by me If I was supposed to be somewhere at Noon I was there.

You hear idioms and phrases tossed around about time every day. Time is money, time is of the essence, no time to lose. Good Times, Bad Times. Time to get down to Brass Tacks. Wow Brass tacks. I'm not making sense anymore. I guess the pills are starting to work. Got finish this little task soon, otherwise I may wake up.

I'm finding it harder and harder to go on. I know these problems may seem insignificant. They tell me that I need to listen and that God is going to tell me what "his will" is for me today. The last thing I need is one more voice in my head.

Believe me when I tell you this. I deserve what I am about to get. Hopefully God has forgiven me for what happened in Dana, when I killed that lady and her little boy. I was late and I was drinking and drugging.

I deserve what I am about to get, but I also deserve to sleep peacefully, if it is forever, so be it.

Don't replace me at the Museum. Kurt is a good kid and a skillful blacksmith. He will do a far better job than I ever did or could. I leave him my set of pipes.

I'm sorry if I disappointed anyone. I'm sure if some of you were here to tell me there is another option I might believe it ... for a little while, but, I just can't see any other way. "

James Benoit

Sid and Iva were at the next table listening intently as they each held one of Kurt's hands.

Jeff wiped his eyes.

"Why didn't he call me?"

"Comon Jeff you can't say that." Gomer retorted.

"Sonny is Right, Jeff. This was written by a man who had made up his mind."

"That is pretty clear." Jeff said.

Small talk ensued and they had a few good laughs remembering some of Benwah's more hilarious moments, such as the one at the last Silver Days celebration when he got caught on the railroad tie, and crashed into the table full of pipes, as he stumbled after freeing himself. As you may recall the weight of his body tightened one of the bags which let out an awful whine as the pipes snapped upward, cracking Benwah right in the face.

Jeff and Gomer walked out the parking lot lingering and moving along rather slowly. Across McKernan St., in the park Coley Blackstone was flying kites with a group of ten young children from the day care center across the way. They were laughing and running around with not a care in the world, oblivious to such matters as a sick and suffering addict willingly taking his own life as a means to end his pain, rather than doing the work and recovering a life which he would never have the opportunity to discover wasn't so bad. Coley was instructing about five of the children on the finer points of kite flying, in the mild December weather. The rest of the children were with their teachers playing fetch with Coley's dog, Chubby, and a plastic banana.

"So, You gonna be alright?" Gomer asked.

"Yeah, it just sucks, you can't help someone who doesn't really want it ... You gonna be alright, he was your last remaining sponsee brother."

Gomer laughed.

"Yeah, about that. Kind of like a Spinal Tap drummer slash Grateful Dead Keyboard player kind of thing, your sponsees are dropping like flies. I'm the last one, huh?"

"You are it my brother. When word gets out amongst the so called anonymous, I doubt I will get asked to be a sponsor anytime soon."

"It's okay, we've got each other and we've got a network. Don't beat yourself up brother."

"I won't." Jeff replied. "How's Miranda?"

"She's doing very well. We talk to each other every day. She's my kind of freak. She promised me that if she ever got bitten by a vampire, she would bite me first."

"Oh, yeah? Thanks for sharing." Jeff smiled. Gomer pulled back his ponytail and began to clean his half moon sunglasses.

"I'm going to see her next month. The Satans are doing a small tour starting in LA on January 9th then we go up to Big Sur - a private party on Thursday the 15th in Sacramento, down to Palo Alto and we end up in San Francisco on Saturday night. Then she is coming back with me for about two weeks ... If I'm not in jail of course, my next court date is in a about a week."

"Oh, yeah, that's right." The hugged and bid each other farewell.

In the blacksmith shop Sid and Iva's eyes were shrouded by dark protective lenses as were Kurt's. He held up the glowing wrought iron bracket which would attach the reigns to the yoke. The yoke was made in two parts attached together by three chain links, each of which, Sid noticed had been adorned with the symbolic letters FLT. Kurt inspected the glowing iron. Sweat ran down from his forehead mingling with his tears. He placed the piece on the anvil and lightly tapped it a few times. His parents watched intently, proudly hugging each other as they watched their son plunge the bracket into a bucket of water.

Kurt was well on his way to a rich and fulfilling life. He didn't have to wear a suit, or sit at a desk. Although his college major had been finance, he chose a different path. He loved Musktrat Flats and doubted he would ever move away.

He looked out the window as the new girl from the gift shop was making her way in his direction. She had just moved here wanting to work with Sveltie in the Winery. For now, she was in the gift shop, but she would get her crack at the vineyards in the spring. She walked in to the Smithy shop. Kurt took off his glasses and toweled off his face. She was holding a bag and smiling at him.

"Hi, Gina."

"Hi Kurt." She nodded and smiled to Sid and Iva.

"I heard about what happened. I figured you might need a break."

"Thanks, Gina, that's sweet." She handed him a coffee. He uncapped it and began to put in the sugar and cream she handed him.

"I brought you some of these blueberry muffins, They are the best I've ever had." Sid and Iva looked at each other and smiled. Kurt noticed this as well. He smiled a sly grin at his parents.

"Yes, they are, Gina, they are legendary in these parts." Sid and Iva waved, and said goodbye, slipping out the door. As they looked back through the window they saw that Kurt was showing Gina the bracket he was working on. She looked at him admiringly.

Yes, tragedy came to Muskrat Flats this week, We lost a good man. Sid and Iva weren't worried about their son, They knew he would do just fine. He was heading into a bright and shining future and it looked like he may have found someone who would like nothing better than to walk along that road by his side.

Yes, tragedy struck a chord this week, but the music of Friendship Love and Trust will always overpower that dissonant chord tragedy has to offer. All you have to do is listen, even if you do have to sift through a few extra voices in your head to hear it.

Just for Today and hopefully for years to come, Kurt Bartleby will have to look pretty damn hard to find a reason to be ...

Running Hard out of Muskrat Flats.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

A) Jails. B) Institutions. C) Death. D) All of the Above.

Here I am again. The countdown has begun. I always start at the Magic number Eight. Then I start subtracting. Since it is 10:30 PM, that means the number has dwindled to Six and a half hours left to sleep, before I have to get up and do it all over again.

Lately, I have frittered away this number until it has reached Five, which really means 4:45 or even 4:30, since I doubt that these racing thoughts, these burning desires, delusions paranoid, or otherwise will quiet themselves in a mere 15-20 minutes.

I doubt that I will ease into the abyss of nothingness so quickly that once again, I may escape into that wonderful world of unconsciousness.

I used to live on the steppes of that Mountainous terrain known as unconsciousness. I existed in the Flats. That lonesome prairie between the foothills leading up to the jagged cliffs and rocks, and the life breeding lush and fertile valley down below.

These Flats, unlike that Utopian locale Muskrat Flats, where Friendship, Love and Truth, the links in the chain which bind the so many members of the Odd Fellows to each other and their community, are a barren place. A place void of feelings and emotions. I used to relish the notion of idly spending my time in this zone lamenting the labors and pains associated with life with the likes of Kerouac, Burroughs and Bukowski. Living like a zombie as I nodded and swayed through my halcyon heroin induced stupor, occasionally rousing myself enough to attend to that errant itch on my nose or behind my neck.

It doesn't seem to me to be a coincidence that the higher you get when you have a "good nod going on" is much like climbing a mountain. You get less oxygen, the cliffs are a little more jagged and dangerous. If you get too high, you will suffocate. If you fall, it is a long an painful fall. Every twitch and every tumble brings another unpleasant sensation. Some think that if you are lucky, you will get impaled on some sedentary shale protruding like a spire out of the side of the mountain.

If you are really lucky you will tumble all of the way down and land on the banks of the river, underneath the lush canopy of a weeping willow protecting you from the sun and the rain as you begin to breathe again. Perhaps you'll even have a drink of fresh water. If you are lucky.

It has been an alarming week, for me. I have had many ups. Fellowship and fun with those who matter to me most, generous gifts from friends and family - nothing flashy or gaudy just utilitarian items which make a difference in your life or just simple pampering. A shave and a hair cut, the luxury of being wrapped in a cocoon while getting my face exfoliated, moisturized and massaged, then bathed in a misty cloud of warm steam, before the process is repeated once again. Things I never would have thought would make a damn bit of difference when I was using. But they do.

I have written before that I have tasted the nectar of the forbidden flower, not in a Roman Polanski kind of way, mind you. I have lingered at the fence surrounding that crimson dotted poppy field. I have felt the daggers pierce my skin again and again, holding onto me for dear life. As if I were the necessary component for some morbid brand of symbiosis. Like that flower needed me to exist. The daggers have left scars and discolorations both physical and psychological, which remain hard to explain away.

Now, I have tasted the nectar of the flower of Freedom. Freedom from active addiction, The Freedom to ask for help; to listen for inspiration: to understand that a power greater than myself has been guiding me ... all along. It is just more apparent these days as I begin to notice where I fit into the grand scheme of things - how I can make a difference. I'm sure it was his will not mine that I lay in that chair for an hour loving life and all it has to offer as soft fingers danced across my face and around my eye sockets. The ladies running the show even told me how smooth my skin is ... I know, it is their job to tell me that, Just like the awe the Gypsy tailor down the street demonstrated as she assessed a new suit my friend brought in to be altered. "that's a nice-a suit." she said. Of course it was.

In spite of all of these good things. I felt like using this morning. I could smell it, I could taste it. It was fresh in my mind as I awoke from a vivid technicolor dream where I found a stash and didn't hesitate to inject it. When I have those dreams, I do get high, trust me. And it fucks me up when I awake.

So, needles to say I had a bitch of a day. I burned the gravy and had to make a new batch. When dealing with the fallout and triage from the previously seared pot I spilled a little on the floor. Between the color, and the finely chopped veggies contained within, it looked like a puddle of vomit.

Thank God, for the little things in life, because seeing that puddle of gravy on the floor made me laugh my ass off.

I didn't get high. I didn't obsess about the feeling. I said a prayer and took five minutes to meditate. The laughter helped. And the feeling passed.

When they say Jails, Institutions and Death, it is no joke. I have been feeling funky since I found out that an addict I know, overdosed on Thanksgiving. He hadn't had enough and had to try to climb that mountain one more time. He didn't end up on the banks of the river. He got so high that he ran out of oxygen. Now he is free. Sad, but True.

In spite of knowing all of this, the idea, the tought that I may be able to use and get away with it, still presents itself as an option.

I've been writing for an hour. The magic number is 5 hours and 30 minutes of sleep available to me before I have to get up and do a massive catering order on top of my usual duties.

Perhaps I keep doing this to myself so I can make it until Midnight where I can tell myself, once again, I made it, another day clean.

Now that, my friends, is some Freedom I can get on board with.

I'm going to go and change my profile heading right now, because nobody should be feeling sad and discontent when they are ...

Running Hard out of Muskrat Flats.