Search This Blog

Thursday, September 1, 2016

The Identity Death of Evan Michael Turner by Laisy Faire

MOD NOTE:  Another one by my old friend:)  Hope all enjoy!
Something was creeping up Evan's leg, something insectile, something with horrid little legs that made his skin crawl. He wasn't sure what it could be, but the micro-movements of his leg hair confirmed that it was there. He knew something like this would happen; nothing good ever came from spending the day outside, but he was not about to miss the chance to see his little sister's track meet, not when he saw so little of her. Work kept him busy and made the hour drive back to his home town a tricky prospect on most days, so he was making the best of the opportunity while he had it, even if it meant braving a slightly chilly spring day. The bug was persistent, he had to give it that. Its six spindly legs tickled their way up his shin at a glacial speed, inch by inch, step by step, making him squirm in his seat. He brushed at his pant leg, hoping the pest would give up on its trek, but his relief only lasted a moment. All he managed to do was embolden his tormentor. It made Evan begin to worry about what exactly was pestering him. The cool air and lack of standing water probably ruled out a mosquito, which would otherwise be the most likely suspect. An ant also seemed likely—hopefully a black one—the red ones bite after all. The idea of something biting him made him worry even more. What if the intruder had eight legs instead of six? Oh god, it was probably a spider searching for warmth. His arachnophobia spiked. The world became dark. There was nothing but Evan and the arachnid on his leg. His pulse quickened. Nausea gripped his stomach, threatening to rip it right out of his torso. He was going to die right here, right now, and all because he was trying to be a good brother. This might seem an irrational thought to a rational person, but Evan's preternatural paranoia made it clear that the spider on his leg could only be one species—the brown recluse. Of all the spiders he could imagine attacking him, it was the one he feared the most. Black widows advertise themselves with the bright red hourglass on their bodies, but a brown recluse, well, how was he supposed to get close enough to see the fiddle on their backs? Thus all brown spiders were brown recluses to him and since many spiders were brown, that meant that the fiddle-backed monstrosities were lurking everywhere, waiting to kill him. He was so stricken by this thought, that it took him a moment to notice when the tickling sensation from his right leg moved to his left as well. There was more than one. There was an entire horde of spiders out to get him. The hair on his legs wiggled and itched as if a wave of spiders was crawling up his calves. And then he felt them on his arms, and between his legs, and all across his chest. Everywhere that Evan had body hair, the spiders took up residence.

“Oh! Oh god! Get them off! Get them off!”

Higher, Better, Faster, Stronger by Laisy Faire

ADMIN NOTE:  This is a story written by a good friend of mine.  She is a very good writer and I hope you enjoy:)
Smoking can be a way of life. It brings people together in the most amazing ways. Friendships are formed, commonalities are discovered—anywhere in the world, one can light up and be sure that they will find someone with whom they can share a powerful experience. Marijuana, pot, weed—it has many names, and many uses. It can alter one's mind, calm the nerves, and relax the soul. It can cure and inspire, but most of all it just feels good. Simon's love affair with the green began when he was a teenager, struggling to deal with the embarrassment of losing his hair thanks to a skin condition. The smoke delayed some of his hair loss, but more importantly it connected him to friends that didn't care that he was going to look like Professor Xavier by the time he was twenty. Since then, it had become a ritual, something that he could do every Saturday night during his gaming sessions. Whether he was with a group of friends around the kitchen table playing tabletops, or playing some online game with complete strangers, the ritual remained the same.

It was another typical Saturday night and the sickly sweet aroma of pot permeated into every nook and cranny of Simon's one-bedroom apartment. His stoner friends had left for the evening, but he was still enjoying his buzz and there was Rocket League to be played.

Nice shot! Nice shot! Nice shot!

The canned comments plastered the upper portion of his screen as he scored a goal thanks to a perfectly timed pass from his friend, Casey.

Great pass! Thanks! Simon sent back.

Revving motors, the thundering cheering of fans, and the explosion caused by another ball in the net followed. The blue aura of his computer screen lit the room as Simon racked up goal after goal. It might have been a team sport, but leading the team in goals always felt good even if it did lead to Casey complaining about him being a little bit selfish with the ball. His friend's complaints were only a mild annoyance though. In the end, if the team won they both had a good time.

What a save! What a save! What a save! What a save! What a save! Simon spammed the chat as a member of the opposing team narrowly missed stopping a last second goal that would have tied the score.

“Great sportsmanship there, buddy.” Casey's voice echoed in Simon's headset as the game shifted back to the lobby screen.

“It's not like I told them to get cancer or something. It's part of the game.” Simon said indignantly.

“Whatever you say, man. I just thought that someone that's high all the time would be a little more mellow in the way he plays.”

“I'm not high all the time,” Simon shot back, “just whenever I'm stressed out, having trouble sleeping, and every Saturday night. Oh, and when I want to watch a really trippy movie. It's pretty much required then.”

“Can't argue with that. You're practically sober,” Casey chortled. “I don't care what you do as long as you're awake in time to hit the fair tomorrow. You know it's sweater weather and there's going to be some real cuties there. I don't want to miss my chance to find a Mrs. James because I couldn't get you out of bed.”

Simon harrumphed. He needed a best friend more supportive of his extra-curricular activities. He had plenty of friends that he smoked with and considering Casey's penchant for giving him shit about it, they all seemed like better choices. What made it worse was the entire reason for Casey's antipathy towards marijuana was that he did not smoke, thus logically it was a stupid activity.

Simon's increased irritation with his friend was a good sign that his buzz was wearing off. This was not how the evening was supposed to go. His little habit was supposed to help him forget about the fact that he was in his twenties and could not grow hair in more than little patches atop his head, or that he was of average height at best and certainly far shorter than most of his friends, or at the very least that his job was far more stressful than it needed to be. Would it kill the world to give him his one night a week that he could truly unwind?

“Simon, are you still there?” Casey broke up the self-pity party.

“Yeah, I'm still here, and don't worry about tomorrow. You damn well know that I'm not that kind of friend.”

“I know, but I still like to give you shit. Want to go another round?”

“Yeah, I have a few more in me, but not until I take one more trip down the Ganges.” Simon smirked and lit up, inhaling the stress-reducing smoke before queuing up for another game.

* * *

Another grey sky morning met Simon as they stepped out of Casey's late 90s model Range Rover and into the gravel parking lot outside the fairgrounds. The air still had that Northern chill—the kind of crisp air that would snap the senses awake and just cold enough to make Simon want to retreat further into his black hoodie. Grey seemed an all-too-familiar color lately. It was the color of his eyes and the color of his overcast disposition as of late. Sunday mornings were for sleeping in, not for spending the day hitting on out-of-town college girls. He was not opposed to girls, of course, but he just thought he had very little to offer them with his short stature and bald head that he kept hidden underneath the hood of his sweatshirt.

Casey slapped him on the back.

“Cheer up! We have a big day ahead of us. Just think about all the cuties that are going to be here.” Simon's taller friend smirked. “I'll even give you the chance now to call dibs. Who do you want first crack at—blondes, brunettes, maybe a redhead?”

“I want to go back to bed. The fair is going to be here all day long. Couldn't we come later in the afternoon?” Simon pleaded. “There's hardly anybody here yet.”

Casey gave Simon an incredulous stare.

“Do I really need to explain this again? We get first pick if we're the first ones here. Besides, how many girls are going to feel like being hit on after they're all bloated from stuffing funnel cake in their mouths?”

Simon slumped, mentally defeated. There was no arguing with Casey. His logic was so baffling at times that it defied argument. Then again, it was easy being Casey. He had everything going for him that Simon did not. He was tall with a sort of athletic look about him and had a thick mane of dark scraggly hair. Most of all, he was confident. Confidence was the one thing that Simon lacked above all else. He might have been a little frail, but there were other men that could take what he had and get a lot more out of it than he did. There was no Napoleon complex here. Simon felt about as big as he looked.

The morning hours went about as good as could be expected. Simon followed Casey around the fairgrounds like a zombie. The rides seemed even more of a blur than they normally were. Simon was barely coherent on the tilt-a-whirl, nearly sliding off his seat onto the floor more than once. He nearly fell asleep on the Ferris wheel, especially when they were stopped at the top to let on another pair of passengers. By the time they reached the bumper cars and Casey had yet to hit on a single girl, he was ready to go home. It was just his luck then that there was a fairly cute redhead in a purple skirt waiting in line and watching them as they stepped into their respective cars. 

From the start, Simon's plan was to keep moving. If he drove around the floor like it was a race track, it would be fairly difficult for someone to pin him down. Not long into their time, however, Simon noticed that Casey was getting rather competitive, crashing into any other adult male riding the track at full speed, doing his best to emasculate them. That's when he saw the redhead waving to someone on the floor. Seconds later Casey's car had t-boned him right into the wall and as he jostled about his friend backed up and then smashed into him several more times. The grogginess that had held him prisoner all morning faded away with each crash of rubber and metal. When the buzzer finally sounded, he was left frustrated and ready to get in a fight.

“What's your problem?!” Simon shouted at his would-be friend.

“Huh? Oh, sorry, no hard feelings man.” Casey seemed a bit distracted, scanning the crowd as they made their way to the exit. “Didn't you see that girl? She was totally waving at—”