Milk and Dog Food

I have never liked grocery stores; too many humans. I’ve always been afraid that one of them would see through the carefully applied veneer of deception.

‘Just act like them, blend in. They’re too stupid to listen to their instincts. Too afraid to question the reality we have taught them to believe.’ I told myself the words my mother had taught me. The same words that all of our kind teach their young. But the truth is they outnumber us exponentially. Short lives make them breed more prodigiously. If they knew we were real, if they knew we weren’t just fables.

And if they knew we control everything touched by Western Civilization. They would rebel. That’s why our ancestors hid their nature. The Roman Empire never fell, it just went underground.

Mind you, it’s not a bad racket for us usually. But the wrong word to the wrong alpha can really screw up your life. I got reassigned, moved from one podunk territory to another. But my last posting was a job, it paid well. I could buy what ever I wanted and pretend to be human. And when the cravings took me, I had an abundance of junkies and streetwalkers that no one noticed, or cared when they disappeared without a trace.

Now- things were different. I’m now impersonating the types of humans I used to prey upon. An afternoon of panhandling gave me the funds for the two items I bought. Bare essentials, but they would keep me from starving.

“Cereal for dinner and chow for the pupper?” The cashier asked me in an obnoxiously extroverted manner. I wonder if I could get away with ripping his throat out?

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The Crucible

The Crucible- Arthur Miller

Genre: Historical Fiction, Adult Fiction, Play, Classic

Rating: four moons

As I’m sure you know, this is a play about The Salem Witch Trials. The play is a classic and worth the read, but I felt it had tones or racism and sexism that would have been common in the age that it was written (mid Twentieth Century America). The main text is about 100 pages and worth the read.

https://www.amazon.com/Crucible-Play-Four-Acts/dp/0142437336/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1542828872&sr=8-1-spons&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_QL65&keywords=the+crucible+by+arthur+miller&psc=1

First Thanksgiving

“Yes, James, Thanksgiving. And stop pretending you don’t know what it is.” There was an edge of annoyance in my voice.

“Is that the holiday where humans in America celebrate their heritage of genocide and colonialism by eating as much food as they can and generally ignoring the hungry?” He said it flatly, but I knew his sarcasm when I heard it.

I looked at him incredulously. “It’s the holiday where we give thanks for the blessings we have received over the past year.”

“Blessings from the God whose name was falsely used to justify the genocide and colonialism. I call that irony.”

“Blessings of a prosperous year.” I said, matching his own dead pan tone.

“Food and friends are involved in this festivities, Artemis.” He said, a statement and not a question.

“We have a goose on the pond that is fat. I want you to slaughter it for me. We will eat that. I was going to invite Safi and Rhea and Llewelyn and his family.”

“Just goose on the menu? I thought it was supposed to be a glutinous feast.”

“Squash.”

Bleck- James replied.

“Mashed Potatoes,” I continued. “Cornbread, cornbread dressing, broccoli casserole, cranberry sauce, pecan pie, pumpkin pie.”

“Strasbourg Pie?” James asked, hopefully.

I crinkled my nose at the thought and memory of the last time he cooked that delicacy. “If you make it, fine.” I said it grudgingly.

“With all these damn humans in our house I will presume the kidneys I have in the freezer are not on the menu.”

Pike’s Conference

“So what’s this guys story?” my boss asked after taking a long draw on an unfiltered Camel. The room was dark except for the light over the table between us illuminating the crystal ashtray that needed cleaning, a pair of recently emptied neat glasses and a half drunk bottle of Jack Daniel’s. The scene looked like a cliche trope from a noir film of yesteryear, and we were both consciously aware of it.

“He’s a young one,” I answered after snuffing out my own Camel and pouring us both another round. “Did a stint in Iraq, the first time. He showed us what we were looking for. So he inherited his father’s territory when the time came.”

“And his parents were?” my boss inquired from the shadows.

“Of no consequence, low ranking, small territory in an economically blighted area, but they ran a tight crew. Kept things good and quiet.”

“What’s changed?” The boss asked, picking up the glass of bourbon I had poured.

“A new operative is my best guess.” I answered, picking up my own glass.

“Rogue or wildling?” The voice came from the shadows between audible sips on the whiskey.

“Whittle is competent, if it was a rouge he would have dealt with it by now.”

“Wildling it is then.” The statement was underscored by the indisputable sound of a Zippo being opened, ignited and closed. Then followed by the sound of the first drag on the next Camel.

“A wildling would have been too careless, arrogant and ignorant, to get away with murder in a cop shop. And now there is a second murder. I don’t think it was a wildling.”

“So it really was a bear then,” my superior said in an amused tone.

“That or an Heir of Remus.” I said in a deadpan manner.

My superior replied with a long, genuine laugh but kept hidden in the shadows. I leaned forward so that my face could be seen plain. My expression was devoid of any emotion, mirth most of all.

“You can’t be serious,” my superior said incredulously.

“I’m always serious.” I answered.

“The last known Heir of Remus was executed over a century ago.”

“Known,” I emphasized.

“What are you driving at, Pike? Don’t bring ghosts into this; The House if Remus is extinct.”

“It might interest you to know that the last Heir of Remus died in Whittle territory. Our records do not indicate whether she had a mate or not, but it would be safe to assume she did.”

“Ok, I’ll bite. So your theory is that we are dealing with the last alpha of Remus. Why is he is active now after all this time? What was the stressor?”

“That is the real mystery.”

My superior downed the bourbon in a single jolt. “Don’t waste our time on legends. Just find the wildling and deal with it.”

I sipped my own bourbon as a reply. I was right, she was wrong. But I had no need to pursue the matter further unless I wanted to be reassigned to Siberia.

The Festival: part II

The drive which should have taken an hour took us an hour and a half. To be fair, the last half hour was spent in traffic inside the small town as far too many cars for the road infrastructure crowded into the fair grounds.

We were directed by a series of Sheriff’s Auxiliary kids in ball caps and polos to a baseball field that had been chalked off to resemble a parking lot.

“I think I’ll do a little looking around at the arts expo, care to join me?” My wife said as I put the car in park.

“I’ll see what else is around. Don’t buy too much, we haven’t got the room to take it home.” I said as I opened the door. The field next to us had a collection of old cars, trucks and tractors in it. And I was sure that I saw a 1963 Corvette that needed me to drool over it.

“I’ll ship anything I buy to Violet’s house. I already texted her to let her know to expect some packages with my name on them.” She said without hesitation. Hearing this, part of me wanted to accompany her to the expo to help curb her spending. But then I realized that she was going to buy what she was going to buy if I was with her or not. I needed to remember that the purpose of this trip was to reduce stress. A few hours away from her and not knowing how much she spent would help. Besides, we could afford her shopping spree (I hoped).

I made my way to the classic car show, and was in front of a 1948 Dodge Step Side pickup when things started to get weird.

“Like what you see?” The voice behind me belonged to a young lady. “I can show you a whole lot more!” It had been a very long time since I had been propositioned, and I was more amused than aroused when I turned to reply.

Behind me was a man, a foot taller than me and two feet wider. I looked around for who had spoken. Finding no one who looked as though the voice should fit to, my eyes came to rest upon the giant of a man in front of me. His beard was long, white aside from the tobacco stains and tucked into his blue denim bib overalls. I had mentally accepted that the woman who spoke to me was some kid put up to saying it as a prank and quickly scurried off with an embarrassed hue on her face. My eyes were resting on the man in overalls when his mouth began to move, “wanna’ know why they call this The Black Bear Festival?” The man spoke with the same effeminate voice I had heard behind me seconds before.

I don’t want to live in Germany (an Election Day rant)

If the title didn’t warn you, this post is explicitly political in nature. Turn back now, ye who are easily triggered or trapped in your own echo-chamber.

-D.W.A.

I don’t want to live in Germany.

Let me repeat that: I DON’T want to live in Germany!

It’s not that I have anything against that country or its people. It’s just that as an American I want to live in America. For the past generation our choice, at least in my opinion, has been between a party that wanted a more European-like system and a party that wanted us to remain America. And I consistently voted for the later.

That changed in May 2016. The expediency and ease with which the GOP has accepted and adopted White Nationalism in the wake of the Trump ascendency is not only embarrassing to me. It is also frightening. I can truthfully say that I no longer recognize the party that I, literally, grew up in.

The choice we have before us today is more like this: do you want to live under a Western Social Democracy or White Nationalist Fascism?

Allow me to pose it another way: do you want to live in post-Cold War Germany or Nazi Germany?

To me, the answer is quite frankly: neither. I want to live in America. But that isn’t on the ballot anymore, and choosing not to vote would still be a choice.

Another question before us today, at least for me personally, is: which decision of the three am I less likely to regret or feel the need to justify to future generations.

So with those questions in mind, I cast my vote today. For the first time in my life, I voted Democrat. I’m not happy about it. I’m not even proud of it, for there are still a myriad of issues that the DNC and I have irreconcilable differences on.

But when the choice was Social Democracy, Ethno-Fascism, or abstain- did I really have another option?

Trick or Treat?

Are you ready, Wolfric? Anise asked as the Ford came to a stop at the foot of their driveway. Beside her she heard a feral growl from her brother signaling that he was indeed ready.

The passenger side door of the truck opened and a kid dressed as Iron Man hoped out.

“Ben! Get back in the truck!” a teenaged girl said through an open window. “I wasn’t stopping to let you out, I was turning around.”

“I bet they got good candy up there!” Iron Man said as he looked up the driveway.

“Seriously, Ben, we aren’t supposed to be out this far or this late. And Mom would kill me if she knew where we were!”

Iron Man stopped in his tracks and turned to look at his chaperone. “Why?”

“That’s the McAllister place!”

“Ok…” Iron Man said slowly, “and?”

“And everyone knows you don’t go trick or treating at the McAllister place! Look at the signs and the chain!” The teenager pointed to the end of the drive way. What she didn’t know was that hours before James had removed his NO TRESPASSING signs and the logging chain that barred his gravel road. Artemis had insisted on having candy for visitors and on letting the kids go out trick or treating.

Iron Man looked to where the driver pointed, “I see nothing.”

“Look, Ben, if you want to get eaten by werewolves.” The driver pointed up the hill dramatically and then continued, “be my guest! I’m leaving!”

“Werewolves?” Iron Man asked with a laugh,”stop pulling my leg!”

Showtime! Wolfric said to his sister in her mind.

Anise howled and burst from her hiding spot in the pine thicket, Wolfric bounded alongside her.

A shriek split Anise and Wolfric’s sensitive ears, though whether it was Iron Man or his chaperone who was the source neither one knew. Iron Man dropped his candy bag and mask as he ran to and jumped into the back of the truck which was already spewing gravel as it reversed down the road.

Anise and Wolfric gave chase for a few hundred yards, howling and snarling in a frightful show.

Good enough, dibs on the Reese’s! Anise said as she slowed and then turned around to return to the candy bag at a full run.

***

“How did you do tonight kids?” Artemis asked as they came in the door, each carrying a bushel sized burlap sack full of candy.

“Acts and facts are worth more than parchment and wind,” Anise recited one of her father’s sayings as she set her bag in the floor and let its contents spill out beside one of the cats.

“I am mature enough to admit when I am wrong,” James said with a smile that he didn’t mean to wear. “I was afraid they would do something foolish and get hurt. Not our cubs, Artemis! You were correct! Mayhap we can let them have a normal childhood.”

“We can do this again next year?” Wolfric asked with a carnal leer on his face.

“I don’t see why not,” Artemis said, “but next year I won’t waste money on candy, no one even came to the door tonight.”

Anise smiled wryly.