Monday, April 17, 2017

Ashes to Ashes, Concrete to Dust

Nobody knew where they came from, and nobody cared to know. What everyone did know was that they were a nuisance to everyone in the town. Even Rick, who usually didn't get angry at others, was absolutely furious when he discovered two of the women carefully planting Daffodils in the cracks of his already decrepit radio station. When confronted by the angry man, the women only laughed and continued planting. It was obvious they did not care as to what he thought, and in fact seemed act like they fancied themselves to be the most important people in the town. Rick had already reported on their antics in the parking lot, but he didn't mind that as his old GMC pickup had died years ago. But this, this was too far. Unfortunately for Rick, there wasn't much he could do, save yell obscenities at them. There might have been a police force he could, Rick wasn't sure, as he hadn't seen a policeman in this city for years, but he always assumed there was, as he found the idea that there was no police to be utterly ridiculous, even in a place like this. Of course at the same time, this was the first time he had ever needed a policeman in years, so perhaps that had something to do with the matter. The women didn't seem to be the sort to even give a policeman any mind. There was something eerie about them, as if they didn't belong. They kept repeating the same few words as they planted, something Rick assumed to be their mantra or code or whatever.
"Ashes to ashes, concrete to dust."
For what it was worth, Rick had to give them credit where it was due. As much as he despised what they were doing to his station, they were the only people he had ever seen who were actually motivated to do anything about the city, even if it was backwards and utterly idiotic. And so, he begrudgingly let them continue to plant flowers in the walls of his station. He was sure to make a big complaint about the whole situation on air. He knew the women wouldn't hear it, they would be too busy planting flowers or filling other public property with dirt. In fact, he wasn't sure exactly who listened to his radio show. Every time he had ever asked anyone about it they just kind of nodded and said "it's fine I guess."


Who just sits there in the park? Rick asked himself for the tenth time, They can't just sit there all day.
He had been watching the two figures in the park for over three hours now, with no success.
There's no way he could know, is there?
Rick was nervous. He had never encountered someone like the blind man. Someone who acted as if they knew everything but just gave out vague warnings that alluded to them knowing. And then there was the boy. If Rick had guessed the boy's age he would have said around 12 to 13. The boy had tape over his mouth. Duct tape. Why? Rick asked himself. The boy didn't seem to mind the tape, and didn't seem to fear the blind man, so Rick didn't think he was in any danger. Besides, what could a blind man do anyway? Well, he can sure scare the hell out of me, that's for sure.
Rick had been walking through the park to his small radio station three hours ago when he came across the blind man and the boy. Nothing was very odd, Rick hadn't even noticed the tape, that is, until the man spoke.
"How terrible--to see the truth/when the truth is only pain to him who see."
Rick wheeled around from his position by the shutters of his radio shack. The old man was at least 30 feet away, yet Rick heard it as if the old man was right behind him. He knew the old man knew something that he wanted to keep secret, that he never wanted to let the world know. The old man repeated himself, this time louder.
"How terrible--to see the truth/when the truth is only pain to him who see."
And again, louder.
"How terrible--to see the truth/when the truth is only pain to him who see."
A terrible scream erupted from behind Rick, the scream from a furious creature not of this world, and yet he was sitting thirty feet away in a park.
Rick had enough. He ran as quickly as his decaying legs could carry him to the door, wrenched it open, and screamed at the old man
"What do you want!?"
The man fell silent. For the rest of the day Rick sat at the shutter, waiting for the old man to say something. He never said another word.

Friday, October 28, 2016

The Reporter

The "reporter" was jumpy. They all were. That didn't surprise Rick, he had too much experience dealing with these types of people. Unfortunately, his strategy of ignoring them wouldn't work in this case, when they had him cornered in his own apartment.
"What is your name?"
Rick didn't respond.
"Sir, what is your name?"
"Oh, I'm sorry. I didn't hear you the first time. My name's Philip Hornbuckle." Rick lied. There was no way in hell these people were going to get any real information out of him.
"Professional Hubcap Waxer."
"And where do you work?"
"Olive Garden." Rick knew these people didn't pay attention to what he was saying. They're more like copy machines than people. All they did was read a script and write down responses. This back and forth went on for a while, Rick continuing to give nonsensical answers the whole time. Man, Hornbuckle's going to be very confused when he reads about himself. Rick thought to himself. After what seemed like an eternity, the reporter finally left.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Short Circuits and Shortcomings

Rick wasn't there when the generator blew, but of course it somehow affected him anyway. The generator popped a fuse, and although he was halfway across the neighborhood from it, an electrical surge flew down the wire and tripped every fuse in his small shack of a radio station, and blew a few out. Those would have to be replaced, but that wasn't his biggest issue at this current time. Of course he had to be in the oldest, most unstable building in a 4 mile radius. Luckily for Rick, his hour and a half long local news program just went off the air, so no harm done there. He sighed and put away his recording equipment: a $30 headset with the foam covering almost all degraded, a $40 microphone that he had bought 6 years ago when he started the radio station, and while it had not failed him yet, it no longer could record in stereo audio. His rent was overdue. This wouldn't usually bother Rick, if it hadn't been for the fact it had been overdue for three months. He'd stop by the bank on the way home, pick up some money to pay for the rent. He didn't like having to use his savings, but the station wasn't getting any sort of profit. He wanted to be able to pay for everything using only the money he made now, and not the money he made being a coach for the Pittsburgh Steelers twenty years ago. He had left football behind after what had happen- no, no time to think about that. He set out to go to the bank. It was a pretty long walk for him, and it didn't help he had a limp either. The streets were covered in trash, as usual, but there seemed to be something missing from the air. 

Perhaps it's just the lack of sound from the generator, Rick thought. That thing was pretty loud. Maybe they'll replace it.

He had known for weeks that the generator was in bad shape, ever since he interviewed the foreman of the electrical plant 5 miles away for a story. He didn't know, however, how bad it really was. He saw the bank as he rounded the corner. Closed. Apparently the power had gone out for them as well. He slowly hobbled past, stopped, sighed, and continued onward towards the Victorian. When he got to the door, he mentally prepared himself for a "conversation" with Ellen. As he opened the door, he peered around. Nobody around.

Thank God, Rick thought to himself.

He limped as fast as possible past the front desk and towards the staircase. Four staircases later, and he was in his bed. The sun had set.