In six words, tell your story of the above picture.
“Dr. Nethers? Neil Nethers?” The nurse asked.
“Dr. Sudekus is expecting you.”
Neil followed down and through the corridors of Allister Psychiatric Hospital past the moans and screams coming from the other side of the thick metal doors that lined the dark beige colored walls.
As they passed a man kneeling and working on a control panel, Neil said, “Why are there high voltage signs posted everywhere?”
“To keep them in their rooms, of course. Where did you say you were coming from?” The nurse quipped curiously.
“It’s funny you mention that. I can’t se…”
“Hello, Dr. Nethers.” Dr. Sudekus thrust his hand out.
“Hello, Doctor,” Neil returned.
As Neil went to shake hands, he caught a glimpse of a figure crossing the doorway behind Dr. Sudekus. The shadow seemed to move with purpose and determination. Even though it appeared to walk, it practically floated and blurred into the surrounding background.
“Let’s get started right away, doctor,” Dr. Sudekus turned and headed toward the nearest steel door. “We keep the illest patients closest to our offices in case we need to act,” he said, pushing the key-like object into the small opening on the door. “Prepare yourself, Dr. Nethers. This woman has been here since the beginning. She has grown powerful over the many years.”
Flipping a switch on the wall, Neil heard the hum of electricity begin to subside. Dr. Sudekus opened the door and motioned Neil to enter behind himself.
“This is Natalie. Try not to look directly into her eyes for too long. She has, uh, she has abilities—let’s say—beyond the others.”
Neil stood before a woman strapped to an upright table by bounds the glowed blue with energy. The woman he looked at couldn’t have been more than thirty years old from what he could tell. A metal mask covered most of her face with just slits for eyes, a nose bar, and a solid cover for her mouth, “I thought you said she’d been here the longest? She’s fairly young, isn’t she?”
“Natalie’s been here eighty years,” Dr. Sudekus replied, moving closer to her. “Hello, dear. This is Dr. Nethers, he just joined us,” with that, she let loose a scream from beneath the mask that nearly knocked them both over as they ran from her room. Slamming the door, flipping the switch, and inserting the key-like device again, “She gets like this sometimes.”
As Neil was about to respond, another shaded figure emerged from the locked door and passed in between him and Dr. Sudekus. “What the hell is that?” He nearly yelled
“Oh, you don’t remember yet, do you?”
“Well, our electrified cells keep the souls in, but the living can go where they want. Dr. Sudekus placed his hand on Neil’s shoulder, “and this isn’t hell. Think of it more like weigh station, and we’re sort of like handlers, zookeepers if you will.”
“But that means that I’m, that you’re…”
“Dead, Neil. We are all dead. Welcome to Allister Psychiatric Hospital. Asylum for the deceased and insane.”
“I’m not Mandy! I’m Angela. You’ve got the wrong sister!”
“Sure, mam. Your evil twin killed all those people.” The detective laughed.
“Check the DNA or something. It’ll prove I’m innocent,” she cried, unable to sit still.
“There’s no DNA or fingerprints. Just two eyewitnesses that put you at the scene of the murders.”
Angela was livid, she could not believe her sister had anything to do with this, and she refused to think that Mandy could have set her up. After all, she had just recently come back into her life.
6 Months Later
The curved blade of the knife glided with ease across the woman’s neck as she crumpled to the ground. Blood flowed outward onto the ground surrounding the bits of trash that lay here and there.
“Hey! What are you doing?”
She took off, running around the corner and did her best to outpace the officer but to no avail.
‘I deserve this. I got aggressive and careless.’ She thought as the police car pulled into the station.
“It’s amazing. She looks exactly like her. I can’t believe she wasn’t lying. But how did this one fake her death all those years ago?” Detective Thane was asking the arresting officer. “So which one is she? Angela or Mandy?”
“I’m Mandy, or as the papers have been calling me; the Cook County Killer,” she quipped, not caring at that moment who knew what.
“Well, whichever one you are your sister is going to be happy to hear we have you in custody.”
As she sat surrounded by the other inmates eating, a heavy-set woman in her jumpsuit walked up from behind and whispered, “This is for killing my friend,” and stabbed her in the side of the neck. She instantly fell backward, trying to hold her head up.
The guards tackled the woman, and she put up no fight as she stared at Mandy lying on the ground, gurgling and choking.
The technician came running into the detective’s office, “It’s not her!”
“What? Slow down.” He said.
“It’s not her. It’s not Mandy. It was the sister Angela.”
“What are you talking about?” The detective asked, already sensing the answer.
“Mandy and Angela must have switched places before we released Angela,” the technician was holding the fingerprint analysis.
“But why would Angela go along with trading places with Mandy?”
Getting in her car, she just smiled at the fact that her threat to have their parents killed had worked. Angela sat in jail while she was out and about to leave town for good.
‘Some people are so naïve,’ Mandy said out loud to no one as she closed the car door and started the engine.
There he was. Sitting like nothing had happened. Like the past few days had meant nothing. How could a man go through so much and react so little?
The trees of the cemetery were bristling with an energy that wasn’t their own. She glanced once more over at him, simply to see if any new movement was detectable, nothing.
Why he was still wearing that awful piece was beyond her. She took a quick look around at the stones and the names upon them. Men and women and children all long forgotten and yet still fighting to be recognized among the masses that once filled the surrounding town.
The grave markers stood strongly and defiantly in the midst of nature’s grasp, standing together as one; one message and many voices.
“Come look at this one!” he said. “See how the chisel cut away what wasn’t wanted?”
“Take that thing off so I can at least pretend to understand what you’re saying.” She said.
He lifted the mask and revealed his true identity for all to see. But no one but her was there to cringe at the site. She tried not to look. Her eyes focused on the stone before her.
“This is where the future will ponder the past.” He said.
Of all the markers to focus on he rightfully always chose this one. It meant the most. It stirred his thoughts. It scared him enough never to forget.
Sliding his contraption back on, he led me out of the graveyard that rested in the middle of an abandoned society. The people had left long ago. As we walked the empty street covered in browning leaves and patches of dying grass, the sky loomed close to the ground. The clouds were hovering like a tattered blanket.
The shop fronts were frozen in time by dust and debris.
“Where are you taking me this time?” she asked.
“To show you what is unimportant, what is distinctly useless,” he said.
His true identity wasn’t immediately recognized when he had come to her a few days ago, but now what he is was becoming more and more evident to her. At first, she had fought off the idea because she wasn’t one to believe in such purposes. However, as the days passed and the sights had come and gone, she couldn’t help but begin to at least entertain the thought.
Her memory was short, going back to only a few hours before he had shown up. This certainly bothered her, but she could come up with no rational explanation.
He led her out of town and down a crumbling road pointing here and there and commenting about the state of what was left to be seen in no particular tone of voice that hinted at any meaning at all at what he chose to narrate on.
The trip was going on for what seemed like days, but the sun never set, which made it hard to determine how much time had passed. A moonlit night tugged on her imagination as one might squint to see a distant figure just out of focus. She mostly kept her gaze at his flowing movement. Trying to place all he was saying into some semblance of a comfortable context.
“Stop!” he said. “What are you thinking at this very moment?”
Shuffling to a standstill, she said, “That no matter how far you take me, I can’t help but feel that I’m getting closer, but to what I still haven’t figured out.”
He just turned his head and continued on.
Our walk finally came to an end at the edge of the stone wall that reached out in both directions until the stones reached the horizon on either side.
“Here, I must leave you.” He said.
“Why have you led me here?” she asked.
Taking off his mask once again, he came close to her and whispered into her ear. Once what was to be said was said, he vanished.
Stunned, she stood stiffly with confusion. Quickly snapping back, she kneeled and started to draw a figure in the dirt. What was this to be? Why was she to do it?
This was for certain, though; she knew where it was to be done and when it was to be completed. She turned her back to the wall and began her journey back to the dead stones. Making her way down the broken road remembering the sights he had pointed out before she reached the deserted town that was filled with empty storefronts and vacant houses and moved along the lonely street towards the cemetery.
Standing at the entrance, she once again knelt and outlined the object that was described to her. Lifting her hand and staring curiously at the figure scribbled in the loose dirt, a faint smile filled her lips. The triangular shape that rested before her was confusing and exciting.
“Build them a pyramid.” He had said.
She sounded out the last word and tried to give meaning to it.
She stood up and looked around at the standing stones, and if she was to finish in time, she had to get started.
Dana Rollins awoke every morning at exactly 3:45 AM. By 4:00 Am, her coffee was brewing, and she was in the shower. At 4:12, her shower was completed, and she was drying off her five-foot six-inch one hundred and thirty-five-pound body. 4:19, with a towel wrapped around her midsection, she would stand in front of the mirror and run the brush fifty times through her sandy-blonde hair on each side, always starting with the right side. After combing her hair, she would take three minutes to brush her teeth and then head for her cheap hotel-sized bedroom, which had been painted a warm yellow that always made her smile, to put on the clothes she had laid out the night before on the dresser top.
By now, it was going on 4:45, so she would enter the kitchen; remove her single coffee mug that had a picture of Charlie Brown flipping through the air as Lucy once again pulled the football away just before ol Chuck could kick it. Opening her laptop as she sat down on her barstool, she would place her mug to the right on a napkin and wait as the machine spun to life.
For the next forty-five minutes, she browsed the local news sites to see if any of her latest know-hows were making headlines. Some days she would find a short blurb buried deep within the website but today WFTS channel 59 news had a front-page article describing what they referred to as ‘another mystery baffles local police.’ They even had a video clip of Tom Daniels standing in a familiar part of town recounting the mystery.
Dana looked up at her kitchen clock and shut down her computer. She then rinsed her mug out, returned it to the cabinet on the left of the sink, and then calmly laced her shoes and put on her coat. 5:54, and she was out the door, sure to lock the two deadbolts, and then walked to her car parked in the short gravel driveway. By 6:00 AM the vehicle was warmed and ready to be pointed in the direction of United Electrical Industries where she sat in a five by five-foot security booth for eight hours; 7:00 Am to 3:00 Pm every week from Monday to Friday.
Dana Rollins hated her job, but at least it gave her time to think, and Dana loved to think and plot and plan. Going over the same idea from every possible angle, she could imagine.
Every Friday between 2:52 and 2:58 her replacement Karl, an older man she guessed was in his mid-fifties would enter the booth and ask her the same question: “So, what’s a pretty young thing like you going to do this weekend?”
Coming to her feet, she would smile and say, “Well, Karl. I’ll probably get lost in another book or just watch some television until I get tired and then fall asleep.”
Shuffling to his left, Karl would give her some room to exit and without exception, finish their weekly conversation with a regular, “You know, if I were pretty young thing like you I’d be out having some fun.”
“I’ll do my best, Karl,” she would say as she swiped her badge in front of the time clock and walked toward her car.
Once home, she would change into her Friday evening attire and wait until 8:00 PM to arrive, those few hours, were always the longest hours of the week. By 8:05, Dana was sitting at the stoplight at the end of her street, waiting to turn right and head for Wicker Park to get her newest toy.
9:00 PM, pulling up along the sidewalk on Keller Street, she would stop and roll down the passenger side window. A few girls always hurried up to the car and in their best effort at seductiveness would ask, “Watcha’ lookn’ for honey?” Without hesitation, Dana would ask the first girl who reached her car what her name was and then tell her to get in.
“So, what’s the plan, sweetheart?”
“I figured we would go back to my place and have some fun for a few hours,” Dana would say as her mind was spinning with anticipation.
At 10:15 PM, they would turn into Dana’s driveway and enter the house. By 10:27, the girl was unconscious and then dragged to the bathroom, placed in the bathtub, and then methodically dismembered. First, the right arm, then the left, after that the right leg below the knee would come off. She repeated that step on the left leg, with the body now much more manageable she would remove what was left of the legs and then for the prize in the cracker-jack box she would remove the head and place it on the corner of the tub so she could look into the motionless eyes. Eyes that could tell a horrifying story if only the life hadn’t been ripped away from them.
After filleting some meat off the left thigh, she would put it on the awaiting plate and enter the kitchen where the stovetop had been heating up a medium-sized frying pan.
Finally, 11:15 PM, Dana sat at her kitchen table, cutting her first bite and then placing it in her mouth. Savoring every bite, she glanced up at the clock and realized she had only one more hour to finish eating. Then, she had to clean up before bedtime, all the while thinking how predictable, routine, and most of all, mundane her life was.
Someday I’ll get out there and enjoy this life she promised herself.
The crunch of the underbrush gave way to my hurried pace. I could not tell if he was still on my trail because the hammering of my heart and heavy exhales were all I could hear. Continue reading
Daniel blinked, and he was standing in line. For what he did not know. He could not even recall how he had got there. The line was long but not long enough that he could not see the first person standing in front of a red door. There was a small man beside it, and he opened the entrance or exit he could not tell just yet. The man ushered the next woman through and slowly closed the redness that appeared to lead nowhere.
The line moved forward. Everyone stepped in unison.
“Where are we?” He asked the man in front of him.
Nothing. No answer.
He turned to ask the woman behind him and found it to be a struggle to get his body to rotate. After some time he finally got turned around and saw that her eyes were solid black disks that never quite seemed to come into focus. Attempting to jump out of line he realized he could not. He was unable to move at all except to turn in place against an air that was thick as gel.
The line moved again. Daniel stepped closer to the door, not of his own will, however. He kept striding forward until he was standing in front of the small man who was dressed unusually lacking in any semblance of style. The door opened, and he walked through.
Lit by a single light placed in the corner, the room was considerably darker than the other side of the door. A bald man sat behind a rusted desk looking over some papers.
“Where am I?”
“You don’t remember? Curious. How did it happen?” The man questioned.
“How did what happen?” Daniel became concerned.
“Well, your third and final death of course. This is the weigh station, and you’re here to be judged on your merits accumulated,” the bald man stood and pulled a chain that hung from the ceiling.
“What do you mean final death? I was just in my home and found myself standing in this line. You must be mistaken,” Daniel stood as well and tried for the door only to find himself drug back down to the chair by an invisible force.
“Sorry Daniel, but this is your final go-round, and it looks like your credit count doesn’t allow you to be informed of your fate till you get there. You are what we deem an unworthy.” With that, he let go of the hanging chain, and the chair tilted backward and a trap door opened to allow Daniel to slide down into the flames.
“Next!” The bald man took his seat and straightened his papers once again.
viral quotes and pictures
Poetry and Stories by Mark Tulin
Inspired to inspire
-Wander often, wonder often-
Lignes invisibles associant des idées, créant des images.
.... and Viral Images
People - Life - Passion
Author | Freelance Writer
Fiction in all its forms
The Struggles, Education, and Triumphs of a Writer
Think pieces on soul-searching, machine-learning, smart-working, home-making and well-being.
Baw wit da baw. Just sayin'.
Blossom Your Mind
I'M HERE TO CONVEY VALUES, AND VALUABLE STORIES FROM THE PEOPLE WHO LEFT A RICH LEGACY TO THE WORLD.
Your guide to all things fiction writing
Mental Health & Self Care Advocacy
It’s about emotions, feelings, observation, food, travel and many more
𝚆𝚎𝚕𝚌𝚘𝚖𝚎 𝚝𝚘 𝚖𝚢 𝚌𝚊𝚞𝚕𝚍𝚛𝚘𝚗 𝚘𝚏 𝚌𝚛𝚎𝚊𝚝𝚒𝚟𝚎 𝚖𝚞𝚜𝚒𝚗𝚐𝚜.
Creativity Is a Wild Thing
Learning to be the best you
Certain Songs Get Scratched Right In
A Writer of Imaginative Fiction Who Travels Alongside a Wooly Monster
Your most important show!
The Struggles, Education, and Triumphs of a Writer
Fantasy Writer, Geek, Bibliophile.
Books are immortality
Trivial views on significant issues
speaking my mind and hoping you relate
Feel the music~
Just a fiction writer, trying to reach the world.
short prose, fiction, poetry
Just another WordPress.com weblog
A NEW AUTHOR'S TURBULENT RIDE
identities, journeys, fictions away from the roots
by KT Workman
Where Fictional Characters Rule
Author/Journalist Jessica Samuels
The home page for Mike Schlossberg, author
Official Outskirts Press Blog
Thoughts and experiences of a writer!