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Why do you write? Is it an extension of self or do you feel the need to be heard? With me, it’s a bit of both, like a craving that just doesn't want to let go. If only it didn’t rip me apart every time a word of mine hits paper. If only I didn’t lose a part of myself. 
Though, I can say in that I am utterly grateful for a piece of me has been encapsulated in stone for all to see until time’s end or at least until words are no longer in use. I am from humble beginnings. I grew up in a place where my parents were never together. A place where I knew I was different and not because of the thin trailer park walls, or the new homes, or my privileged friends, but because of something deep inside. It is something that calls to me in every second of every day. I cannot dismiss it nor can I avoid it. It is what has made me. It holds me deep at night. It calls to me in the fog of day and in those moments, when I don’t know which way to go, it offers a guiding voice to help find the way. It is where I found my privilege. Adversary. 
Many times, the hardships of life break a person. You can see them fall apart. I have lost my cool once or twice, when I was young I hit a day when it all changed. A day that couldn’t be forced, but it turned the switch in my mind and everything in my psyche was different. That day made me, even in all its darkness. In its shadow, I began to shine, because you can’t be different if you follow everyone else’s path.
Everyone’s seen it. Everyone knows what it is, but no one has ever been to the end of the road. It’s like a rainbow, you’ll chase it, feeling closer and closer to grabbing it, being able to touch it, but, the further you go, the further it gets. I don’t know what I did that day, I don’t know which way I went. It wasn’t a dead-end or an abrupt stop, but a sign that said ‘this is it. The end of the road.’ I thought it would be more, maybe the equivalent of seeing a unicorn. Not at all. Unless seeing a unicorn leaves you feeling slightly empty and letdown. But, I was here, so why not explore. Again, I don’t know what direction I took, I just began to walk. It was a gentle walk where thoughts aren’t too intrusive and speak no louder than a quiet whisper. I could hear birds singing, soft songs like they do at sunset. There was a breeze that followed their lead. I took a small trail. It wasn’t too worn, greenery still peaking from below the recently fallen leaves. I find a bench, that like me has seen time. It’s been beaten by wild winds, pounded by burley storms, but it still stands. Before it is a vast amount of water, ocean or sea, I do not know. It is grand. Gentle waves caress the sand, as it pulls in and out. I take a seat and watch the dance, thinking to myself, how lucky I’ve been, to live the life I have. The road took longer than I expected to reach the end, which is not bad. In a way the lack of excitement is refreshing, comparing how exciting the road was, and I suppose this view at this very moment, is almost as magical as seeing a unicorn.
Ah, November, my dear old friend. So many special memories spent inside your walls. Some grand, you know, lighting the sky like a ball of glittering fire and then there were those, so cold, not even the depths of space hold them, dear. There’s been quite a bit that we have seen together, so why not this? Why not a day so special no other could compare? Why not this day? For many people, it’s the day they fall in love or the day they give birth. Equally great reasons, but not mine. I’m a different type of person, though I love some people, I’ve never felt the sweeping desire to be taken from my solid stance and have not had a child, unless, you consider, my pets. They’re not dogs nor cats, but in the night, they are the sweetest of fruit bats and in the day a few ravens and crows.
I am darker than most, not in skin but in soul. I don’t see the world as lacking. I don’t view the good as bad, but, instead, I see the bad as good, as well. I heard a voice, today, sing from the trees that frame a privacy barrier around my home. It is only strange because, no one lives near me, not even a bit close. Of course, curiosity steals my attention. I walk out like anyone would. The singing was sweet and soft like a treat beckoning for me. He sounded like the world, in all its wonder, calling out for me, of all people, me. I’m tripping over logs, hearing branches break under my feet before I come to a clearing. The singing stops. I look around curiously, not a nervous bone shaking. Then, a branch breaks to my right. Startled, I jump, but travel toward it. When I reach the spot, I believe to be it, I only see a book. Its wrapped in leather, the parchment is faded, and a bit worn, but inside is the greatest story I’ve ever read.
I’ve grown up in a place, that has made me who I am, but who I am is someone that others don’t quite understand. You see a vacation for me is going to a city. One that chokes the lungs and dirties the skin with pollution. I’ve never seen so many people than those out on the streets of any city I’ve been. To me, though, they all look the same. Tall buildings, loud people, and smog-producing vehicles. Its wild, more than the forests. I’ve been called feral, since I live out in the trees, eating greens and killing boar, yet, we do not act like our heads have been removed. We don’t shove through each other, hoping to get to wherever it is a second quicker. We share everything because everyone does their part for our community, our society. 
I have always been enthralled by the people of the city. They go so fast, for reason unbeknown to me, yet, when they vacation, it’s to be like me. To swing among the trees, walk our paths, to come back to where they know they belong, but are too afraid to leave behind all that lives in the city. I, honestly, do not believe we are very different, nor do I believe anyone has a better life. We are human, we experience and life, no matter the differences, is beautiful. There was a time, where I tried to run from this place, thought I knew better, that I’d find myself somewhere else, but, I have learned, through time, like we all do, that the path to finding oneself, is not in the trees, it’s not in the forest, but  within the self.
I think I saw him today, driving by on my way to post office. In these small towns, no one has a mailbox near their home. The only thing is, he doesn’t live ‘round here no more. He has no reason to come back this way. It easier to move on and forget about his existence, when he doesn’t try to peak in at my life. I’m sure he still thinks that I am, or that he’s still under my spell, but I am not a witch. I have no power at all in controlling others. That didn’t stop him. I wondered if it were, the drugs the doctors had prescribed, that made him think I was doing things? 
He accused me of pricking his skin hundreds of miles away. I was said to have caused accidents to happen all around him as warnings, I suppose. I, honestly, believe it was my lack of obsession with him that drew his revenge. If he couldn’t have me, then no one would. It was last Halloween. I don’t know why he chose this day, maybe believed my soul would die, cease to exist since there would be no place for it to go with the living and the dead walking the earth. Well, I survived. For the last year, I have jumped at every shadow, at every click of the stove and I haven’t slept right since. I fear he may be coming back, to try and light me aflame again. Can I believe that I saw him, or will I only continue torturing myself? Somedays I really wish he did kill me. I wish I would have burned alive and been free of this because the torture of every day is much worse than the feeling of my skin bubbling and my lungs choking on the fumes of my searing self. I should just do it, but, I can’t. I could just make it worse. My thoughts are broken, as the smell of smoke journeys past my nostrils into my lungs. I wasn’t wrong. I wasn’t going crazy. He has come back and this time I know he’ll be successful. Good riddance.
Okay, so this is a retelling of a story I heard a long time ago, of a neighbor we used to know. So, I was about 10. My friends and I would gallivant around town, you know, making a ruckus, like children do. It wasn’t any day out of the ordinary. It didn’t feel weird. The sky was blue and not a cloud dared ruin it.  Well, a cute little puppy runs toward us. We, of course, pet it, after all, who can resist the charm of a little puppy with those eyes just beg for attention. Soon after a young man approaches, spilling some story about how he lost this puppy and was overjoyed that we had found it. He wanted to reward us, but we, being children of our overprotective parents, knew better and told him it was fine, “we will be rewarded in time.” He chuckled, tried again, but we gave the same answer and turned away.
A few days later, someone was missing, a child of our age. The parents were distraught. The news was digging for any lead that could help break the case, find the little girl before it was too late, but, it was weeks later a grim tale flashed upon the screen with an old familiar face that made me scream. It was the man from the park. The one with the puppy. I didn’t know how lucky I was until that day, my friends, they felt the same. Be careful out there because though most people won’t do you a thing, there are some, those who fade into the background like everyone else, who will.
#puppy
Some people think he’s a bit creepy and I can’t say I necessarily disagree with them. He eats bugs, waits for them to die then he digs in, but, even with their guts all over his face, he’s still so cute. I named him Fang Jr. after a dog I used to own, he was the most loyal companion I have ever had. He had a life anyone would wish for, but age takes us all. Fang Jr, well, at least he can live as a long as a cat. I’ll have a few more years, and he kills all those bugs I don’t care for. Fang never really had a taste for them. 
Don’t worry, he doesn’t really get out much. Neither do I. I stopped after I realized how fake people are in your face, how you’d believe you could trust them and they turn around and take you out. Not even in a “cool, it’s all over” kind of way. It’s more like “wow, this is still happening and I’m still here” one.
Today is like any other day. We sit, we talk. Just a tarantula and girl in the shadows of the darkest room inside the home where other used to live. These others, I knew them, well, you could say, but, sometimes people you know become people you knew. People you wish you never did.  Like the times I wish I couldn’t hear their screams like I couldn’t see them frolicking mockingly in the yard and like I could remember the struggle they all put up because if I can’t trust you, what good are you? 
Fang Jr. and I know better now. We won’t make the same mistake again. So, unfortunately, we cannot let you leave. I do hope you understand, you know so much after all, but, don’t worry, it won’t hurt. We’ve become quite good at what we do.
Halloween. Samhain. The day the dead walk the earth. It’s never been a more dark night and not once this cold. I don’t remember what happened. I remember walking the streets after all the children were done collecting candies from the row of doors. Door lights are turned off, only a dog bark and a whistle of a wind breaks the silence. I am alone. The smell of fall hangs in the air, wet leaves, pumpkin and blown out candles. 
What was I doing out there? Hm. It’s like it’s on the tip of my tongue but just out of each. I was walking on the sidewalk, my feet causing small splashes in their fading shadows. It’s right there. I stop. Had I heard something? What is it? Or was I only dreaming? With a deep breath, my steps continue, until they don’t. I remember a crack, like a log being broken in half. Nothing else, I don’t remember anything else but darkness after. 
Wait. There was something, his hands were warm as they clasped my ever-growing cold wrists. What happened? What happened? My head hurts, my vision is blurred and doubled. I wasn’t dead. At least not yet. I feel the pebbles roll under my skin shards of glass shred through it. It doesn’t stop, the pain. It doesn’t eventually numb.  Every excruciating bit being ripped from my flesh. Ah, but that wasn’t all, was it? No, until my death I felt the tears of knives, the burning of my skin on coal, but, I remember the Jack ‘o Lantern eyes and the cutout crooked smile, glowing a burning orange before the lights inside me went dim and then out. 
Some years, I don’t even come out. This year, I almost didn’t, but then I felt that familiar chill of night. The same tone of the hissing wind. I saw that hand reach out for you, the smashing of your skull, the dragging of your body, and finally the roasting on the fire. No one was there for me when it was my time, but, I’m here for yours.
Hello. My name is Earlette Greylur. I’m 29 and live in a place you may have never heard of, Aparna Falls. It’s not really too far from any country. Just as far and close as any other you may know. You see, I live between worlds. We’re not exactly dead, but not alive, either. There are times, we’re able to peak into both, but it’s at this time, we accidentally slip into both. You know those strange knocks you hear sometimes? Or the whispers that come at night? They’re so loud you could swear we were in the room. We were, but we weren’t. I know it’s hard to grasp, but, its true and I need your help. 
Every year, about this time, actually a few days out, the veil between our worlds grows weak, and we are able to pass through to our side. Last year, I missed the veil’s door. I’ve been stuck here ever since. Unfortunately, you only exist to a year and day when you struck on the wrong side. At first, I didn’t care much, I had an entire year to explore your side. I could find my way back next year, get through. That’s the problem, the veil is never in the same spot. They say it’s always in the same general location, but as far where on the spatial plane it is located is another story. You see, coordinates are 2-dimensional. Our reality sits in 3. All of this is beside the point, though, it’s not at (39.4.3N,106.29.4W,0…1.1.2U), this is where we stand exactly and it’s not here, but you have an airplane and I need to explore the upper degrees on this location. Luckily, the entrance has to always be accessible like it can’t be buried. I know it’s a weird request, but I can pay you heavily. I earned much currency down on this side, it what we use. I hope that is at least the same conversion.
Throwback Day 5 of 5

Her body hit with a thump and then bounced slightly after. Thal knew this would be her final chance to get away. The final chance she had to survive. The control room was close, if she could she could get there, she’d be safe. He had no way to control her ship, he didn’t have the DNA. She had to go now. Mustering all she had, every ounce of anything left, she rose to her feet taking off toward the only room that could help her. Lester was caught by surprise. Never once had anyone gotten away. Not once had this part of his delusion been interrupted. He shook it off and begun chasing who he still believed was the late Dolly Rogers. Thal had gained enough of a head start that he wasn’t immediately on her tail. She could get to the door and shoved her hand onto lock mat. It scans her molecular structure. There is a click releasing the air locks. “Dolly,” Lester was almost to her, “You have nowhere to go.” He was no longer running, instead, he had chosen to creep toward her with a found metal tool in his hand. “Come on Dolly, you know how this goes.” The door opened behind Thal and she jumped in shutting and locking the door behind her.  He began to pound the door. It dented easily under his monstrous fists as he screamed the name of the woman he wanted to kill. The woman who he’ll always say made him this way. Thal hurried across the instruments, forcing the ship back to Earth, back to that location. She needed him off her ship. Her species had always been interested in knowledge, she didn’t understand Lester’s ways. He did teach her some very valuable lessons, though. “We will arrive at the destination in 5-4-3—2-1.” The intercom speaks, “We have arrived. Would you like to release the human cargo?”
“The living one yes.” Lester is then engulfed in the same light from before and gently taken back to Earth. He found himself in a dried pool of Sarah Gonzo’s blood, but her body was gone and police had flooded the scene. They stumbled upon the body accidentally, as they had reported to the strange sighting of something in the air. Unfortunately for Lester, they had been looking for him since he killed Dolly Rogers all them years ago.
Day 4 of 5 “Dolly, come out,” Lester was coming, being called by the immersing  scent of death.  His only thoughts were of taking Dolly’s last breath, how her small throat felt in his rough hands, but, most of all how Lester needed to feel the bones of her skull break beneath his knuckles. It had him in a trance. He couldn’t see anything, but the halls in his old home and the same furniture he had came to know. Even the smell was familiar. Unfortunately, for Thal this was all in Lester’s demented head. The ship she knows didn’t exist. The sleek metal halls weren’t there. Her silver scaled humanoid figure was masked by the shadow of the late Dolly Rogers. Thal had no idea what a monster Lester was and that he was coming right for her.
Unfortunately, Thal had a skewed perception of humanity, believing them only interested in helping others and in knowledge. While the amount of human knowledge can be debated, it does stand true that helping others is only a trait of late. The forsaken truth is everyone on Earth is more like Lester than they know or at least care to admit. She realized her error as he struck her across the face with the back of his knuckled hand. There was enough force behind it to knock her to the ground. She turned and ran as quick as she could, but, in chase, Lester was quicker and he tackled her to the ground.
“Oh, Dolly, Dolly, Dolly,” He said, “You shouldn’t have left and said ‘no’ that last time.”
“I’m not Dolly,” Thal struggled.
“Oh, Dolly, you’re going to pay for what you did.” He takes her by the throat, Thal can see the rage in his eyes. The fire deep inside him out of control. She knew that she could very well die that day. He lifted her into the air by her throat. Her hands clawing at his, trying to get loose, trying for once chance to escape. Though, Lester only tightened his grasp, gaining a wretched pleasure from her struggle. He could feel her airway crush in his constrictive grasp. “You don’t have to do this,” Thal pleaded with each word gasping for air, “I’m not who you think I am. I will let you free.” But, Lester couldn’t hear her past the sound of his own mind. He slams her to the ground.
Throwback Day 3/5

Lester woke to the sound of heavy breathing. “What is that?” He hissed, “Who is that?” His eyes strain against the shadows in the blacked room. He could almost swear the floor to been moving. Though he shrugged it off to all being in his head. “Dolly,” His voice was coyer than before as if he tried to lure her out from the shadows, but, Dolly wasn’t there. Neither was Thal. What Lester didn’t know is Thal had planned to do an experiment. One that unless sedated would cause excruciating pain. He wouldn’t have felt it with the anesthesia she intended to give him. “Dolly, I can hear you breathing. Dolly, you need to come out.” Unbeknown to him, his mind would begin to play tricks on him.
“Lester, I’m this way.” Dolly would whisper, “Lester.” A smile crawled across his face as he reached into his boot to pull out a hidden blade.
“Oh, Dolly?”
‘Lester, this way.” She was always just a few steps ahead of him. Managing to escape before he could get his hands on her, but, he was still inside the cage, and her voice was coming from around the corner.
Searching for a way out he had seen the vascular structure of the container and it only reminded him of Dolly’s neck, the arteries as they struggled to pump blood through her body. He couldn’t keep his hand from running the blade through many, separating each from each other causing whatever was breathing to let out a sharp agonizing scream.
“Dolly. Come out, come out wherever you are.” He followed her call through many corridors, missing a meeting with Thal each time. She began her search as she heard her ship scream.
“Oh, Earthling, come here.” Thal would beg, “we need you for knowledge.” She roamed the halls only a few steps behind him as he chased the ghost of the late Dolly Rogers. 
He could almost smell her as her perfume would linger in the halls. A memory that only drove him crazier. “DOLLY ROGERS, COME OUT.” His growl was deep and throaty. “Dolly, I’m coming for you.” His footsteps only grew heavier as seconds slipped by.
“Lester, I’m behind you.” Dolly sang and Lester turned heading straight for Thal with a look of death in his eyes.