Sunday, January 29, 2012


I don't know what to put up here today, perhaps I'm just not feeling particularly inspired or I've got that lovely sickness of Writer's Block. Who knows? Either way, it's going to be a quick one today, so let's get to it.

On Writing:
Looking forward to February to unleash some words upon paper to a ridiculous degree like I did in November. I've got ideas, too many ideas, too little time, but we'll see.

On Beer:
One more week to go until my tasty beer is ready. It really hasn't felt like it's been that long, time is just flying by.

On Cooking:
Made Beercan Chicken (also known as Beer Butt Chicken) the other night and it was delicious. Throw some butter, salt, pepper, thyme on a whole chicken, stick half a can full of beer up it's butt and bake it in the oven for an hour and a half and it makes some mighty tender juicy chicken. Bon Appetit!

On News:
Mitt Romney apparently thinks 300,000 dollars a year from 'speaking fees' is "not very much." Could he be a little more out of touch with reality? And Newt Gingrich is quite simply a terrible person. These two are the best republican candidates?

Is there anything else I talk about? Meh. Here's something I wrote a little while ago and never continued, using my brother's idea for inspiration.

     Post-Apocalypse With Aliens! (Temporary Title)

The acrid smell of smoke hung heavy in the air. Four men stood in the burnt remains of a house, still smoldering, looking in silence, at the corpse that lay in the ruins before them. One of them turned away and vomited noisily. He was younger than the others, and looked embarrassed when he turned back, though none of the others thought him less of a man simply because of a little puke. Everyone pukes. It was simply a fact of life. Better to do it after everything’s done, than when shit hits the fan. Shit had certainly hit the fan here, and the youth had proved himself more than capable. A little puke after the fact didn’t matter to nobody. The youth’s name was Jackie Bean, and he’d be dead come dawn the next day, as would two of the other men standing there that day.

“Ah shit in a shithouse, ah man, ah tell you this is somethin’.” The speaker was the eldest there, wisps of white hair fraying upon his head above a small wrinkled face and gnarled hands gripped an equally gnarled walking stick. “Ah didn’t even believe in ‘em myself.” His name was Derry, Derry Banner, and he was the oldest resident in the village.

“And the fireballs in the sky? What did ya think they was, Derry? Fire-fucking-works?” A middle-aged man responded, taking a pull from a silver flask. He was short and thin, with greasy black hair and a sharp face. His name was Gary Tate, a farmer who was fed up with the world and just about everyone left in it. He wasn’t a bad man, though, just an angry one.

The old man simply shrugged in the tired way that old men do. “What with everything else, earthquakes and storms worser than any before, cities swallowed up or destroyed as if they was nothin’ at all, well I just guess I figured why not fireballs rainin’ down upon us. Just one more thing...figured all that talk about you-know-whats was just nonsense. Crazytalk. Foolish chatter. Guess I...Guess I was wrong.”

“It’’s dead, right?” The boy spoke up hesitantly, not wanting to sound scared. Someone should have told him they were all scared. They were all scared shitless, to tell the truth.

The fourth man finally spoke up, voice cold and hard with a face to match. “It’s dead,” he said, scratching a grizzled five-o-clock shadow. His name was Joe, but that didn’t matter. It was the dead who mattered.

The thing in front of them was making a hissing noise, like when a wet log is tossed on a hot fire. Smoke was still pouring off it’s body. It was a creature only one of them had seen before, but they had heard of it. Rumors had spread like wildfire after the fireballs were seen in the sky. The proof was now plain to see. It was humanoid, with a skin of black scales, a wide mouth filled with teeth, a serpentine tail, and handfuls of claws instead of fingers. Solid red eyes glared at it’s four killers, standing over it’s body. A true alien, from space. It was almost too much to handle, after everything else, but what could you do?

The fourth man sighed and took out a cigar. “Let’s hope it was alone,” he said, lighting it. The others nodded. Unfortunately, it had not been alone, as the four men soon found out.

Joe woke in a sudden rush, jerking up and looking around wildly. Blackness was all he could see. Nothing moved, nothing made a sound. He rubbed the sleep and memories from his eyes, finally remembering where he was. When his eyes adjusted to the darkness enough, he lit a gas lantern, illuminating the trailer. It stood behind a gas station by the road, likely used by the station owner himself. Joe pushed himself off the hard mattress and moved around piles of undefinable garbage. Whoever had been here before had trashed the place, which was probably why nobody else had made a home here. At least, not yet.

A sound drew Joe’s attention to the window, but all that lay outside was darkness. Dawn would be coming soon, but for now, the night still held strong. Dark, but the sound came again. A shuffling, scuffling sound, and something moved in that blackness. Joe grabbed his revolver and went to the door. He pushed it open.

Two glowing yellow eyes peered from the shadows in front of the trailer. “Git!” He shouted, waving the revolver in what he felt was a menacing manner, but the eyes didn’t move. In fact, they moved closer and he heard a low growl. Joe lifted the revolver, put both hands on the grip, took his time, and fired once. The eyes dropped to the ground and didn’t move. He saw the shape of the wolf as a grayness came over the land, the sun would soon be on the rise.

The wolf was dead, hole between the eyes. Joe hated to waste the ammunition, but at least it would be good to have meat for a couple meals. He went back inside, grabbed a cigarette and walked back outside to catch the sunrise. It was still a beautiful sight, even with all that happened. It always would be, too. A comforting thought.

Joe watched the sunrise from between the trailer and the gas station. Light glinted off the metal of dozens of cars and trucks standing still on the road. When his cigarette was done he went back inside and grabbed a portable gas grill and a small propane tank. Stuff he’d scavenged from a Wal-mart, heavy to carry but worth it, though the tank felt nearly empty. There’d be enough for one more meal though, enough to cook one dead wolf. He lit the grill, then turned to the corpse.

It was a fat wolf indeed, having no lack of meat to feast upon these days. They were getting increasingly hostile though, as their fear of men slowly faded. Joe threw on some especially raggedy clothes, grabbed his combat knife, and set to bloody business. Soon, he was covered in blood, but he also had a hunk of meat which he threw on the grill. Blood dripped into hissing flames. He tossed the remains and his bloody rags away, and went back inside the trailer. He grabbed some dirty clothes and wiped himself off, before throwing on his own clothes, blue jeans and a plain t-shirt, cowboy boots and a brown cowboy hat. Yeah, he would’ve laughed at himself too, only the hat, taken from the wall of a farmhouse, kept the sun out real well and the boots were damn good for walking. And he was doing alot of walking under the sun lately.

The meat was pretty well cooked by then so he dug in with his fingers, tearing it apart with his teeth as hot grease dripped down his hands. It was medium well but Joe could really give a fuck less. It was meat, not canned soup or vegetables or any of that bullshit. Good old meaty goodness, cooked over a fire and tasting divine.

After breakfast, Joe grabbed his things, consisting of a few backpacks and bags which he threw on a wheelbarrow he’d found days ago. It was extremely helpful, as it allowed him to carry much more than he could’ve without it. He supposed he could’ve taken one of the vehicles left on the road, but these days, cars were more trouble than they were worth. The amount of traffic jams, crashes, and simply abandoned cars made driving very difficult, with alot of backtracking and off-roading. Joe had tried, multiple times, until he finally said ‘Fuck it’ and put on his goddamn walking shoes.

He took the grill just in case, though the tank was empty and he tossed it. Then, after putting on some sunglasses, the only useful thing he’d found in the already-looted station, he picked up the back of the wheelbarrow and started walking.

The sun rose, beating down on Joe’s shoulders as he walked. At first it was easy-going. The wheelbarrow didn’t have much weight and rolled along the pavement quite easily. He maneuvered around the various vehicles with ease, the only sound the heavy clop-clop-clop of his boots on the concrete.

The cars and trucks held few occupants, as most had likely abandoned their vehicles before they died. There were a few corpses though, heavily decomposed, killed by disease or violence, it didn’t matter. They’d been there so long they didn’t even smell, which Joe was thankful for. Joe tried to ignore the bodies, but he did glance in the cars as he went by. Who knew what useful things could be inside? Camping supplies? Bottles of water?

Other than the cars, the road was empty, devoid of movement or life. Joe walked, a lonely traveler, and at times, times when he felt he might nearly go mad, he wondered if he was the only one left. Even after everything went to hell, he’d found a town of sorts. He’d been with other people, part of a community. He hadn’t realized how good it had been, an easy conversation, the presence of another person, a closeness. He hadn’t quite realized how much damage the human race had taken, how completely destroyed it had become. Being around other people helped you ignore the truth. Too much destruction, too much death. The truth was that the human race was over, that they were all dead. It was only a matter of time. The earth was empty.

They returned to the town without the corpse. Joe considered that a mistake, but he’d been persuaded to leave it. Derry had said it would scare the folk, and the other two agreed that they didn’t really need it. Their accounts of what had happened would be enough for sure. Joe was hesitant, but finally went along with it. They could always come back and get it, should anyone need more convincing. The real truth though, was that none of them wanted to touch it. It was an alien, not of this world. What had once been rumor and fantasy had been proved to be real. Seeing it had shaken the men terribly, but they still held together. The sight of a thing can be thought of, in the deep dark recesses of the mind, a trick of the eye, an illusion, and this comforted the men, though they knew this was only wishful thinking. To touch it would have confirmed the truth and completely destroyed even this faint hope that what they saw was not real. After everything, it was too much to ask for, though it was a decision they would all come to regret.

So they came into town with a weary look on their faces. The town would’ve been considered small back in the day, but it was more than enough for the people who were left to live there. There were cracks in the pavement and a few buildings had collapsed but for the most part, the town had been left untouched by the force of natural disaster that had affected the vast majority of the world. Unfortunately it had been hit hard by the disease, leaving nobody alive. It had literally been a ghost town, but a few people had settled here. There was a lake nearby, plenty of food left in houses and stores, and enough shelter to accommodate thousands of people. More and more people drifted in and stayed. They cleared the streets of corpses, cleaned up the town as best they could, and really began to live. It wasn’t just a few people struggling for life, it was the beginnings of a true community.

It was nearly noon when they walked into town. A couple kids were playing soccer in the park, a group of men and women were searching the remains of one of the collapsed houses, and others were simply walking around. The folk in town stopped what they were doing when they spotted the four men coming in. They gave half-hearted waves which were returned with waves equally half-hearted.

Usually the sight of the town, of people doing things together and helping each other, brought a smile to Joe’s face, but not this time. The four mens’ faces were grim, and brought troubled brows to those who saw them. Joe wasn’t sure how much the townsfolk knew, but seeing four men with guns and frowns was a sign of obvious trouble. For a moment, Joe thought of the four horsemen of the apocalypse, bringing death and doom behind them.

He knew most of the folks names, though there were more than a hundred in the town now. Jack, Harold, Jimmy, Todd, Evelyn, Amy, Allison...the list went on, a list of names Joe knew all too well.

“So you’re back.” It was not a question. They were in a house, now, a large townhouse, facing Tom, or Good Ol’ Tom to anyone who knew him, which was everyone in town. He was the mayor in all but name, and everyone turned to him when they needed advice.

“Yeah Tom...” Derry hesitated. “We found it. The thing ‘at got Mary.”

Tom peered through thick spectacles, sitting in a recliner, mug of coffee in one hand and a pencil in the other. A notebook was open on his lap. He waited, not asking the obvious question.

Derry looked at the others but they were deferring to him, it seemed, not that he liked that very much. “And it’s a creature, Tom. Somethin’ we ain’t never seen afore. It’s...” He sighed, shaking his head. “It’s what we heard, Tom. It’s...It’s an alien.”

“No bullshit, Tom.” Gary spoke up, as if afraid Tom wouldn’t believe them. “I seen it myself, Tom, we all did. Fuckin’ real.”

Joe and the kid nodded, for what it was worth.

Tom sighed, closing his eyes. “I was afraid of that.”

“Tom...what do we do?” Derry asked.

“We convene the council tonight and see what they think. It is why we have a council, after all.” Tom gave a sad smile. “We thought the bad times were over, but...” Tom simply shook his head. “You did well. Go to Jill’s, rest, recuperate." Tom paused, hesitating, and then gave a shrug.

"Then we'll see what's what.”

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