How I met Death… (Lance Morgue beginning.)

It was a beautiful and not so cold Sunday afternoon… I woke up to the eye piercing of sunlight coming in through the Victorian shades of my town home. It’s funny how in the summer time the noon sun is hotter and as it hangs way overhead, the light is proportioned uniformly all around the time zone. Winter time though, it is a totally different aspect. The angle that it hits the Earth with its’ rays works in strange ways. If you look towards the Sun, it pierces you right through your retina; if you look against it, then things seems dimmer… like a fading light….

After an exhilarating hot shower, I wrapped a towel around my waist and made my way to the kitchen. When I opened the door my eyes laid upon half a carton of eggs with a single shell; half a cup of milk and some wicked smelly summer sausages. “Street takeout it is, then.” I muttered to myself. 

I got dressed, retrieved my gym bag and my set of keys then made my four minute walk to the bus stop. Usually the Sunday buses are rare. Likely every one hour or so. Lucky me, the bus was approaching when I made the corner. The ride wasn’t so bad… the usual low income elderly and the unruly kids, dressed their best, returning from Sunday school. Once I arrived at the bus terminal, I ordered a hot dog with mayonaise. Yes it sounds really strange but I love my food dipped in mayo. A byproduct of eggs, it contributes to my protein intake… once food was ready, i grabbed the container and walked to the nearby park with the intention of enjoying a couple of chapters from one of my many favorite authors. This time it was Ghost Ship by Clive Cussler. I find Clive awesome because his novels, with their in depth description of the Earth’s oceanic borders take me on different sea tours without even stepping in a boat. After finding a bench that was totally splashed by sunrays, I started to munch and read. Lips coated with mayo and smacking my lips. I ain’t that much of a sloppy eater but this time it was obligatory. A college aged girl sitting on the bench across, her auburn hair playing with the wind over her eyes; kept giving me dirty looks for no apparent reason. Typical feminist, I should say. It has been official for some time now; feminists and I do not get along. Usually it is about their idiotic ideas and their use of the word “rape” more often than the number of mushrooms I can count after a thunderstorm. Speaking of that, my house is built on a forest hilltop… 

All of the sudden i felt an arm around my neck, then blows. Hard, cold blows centered mostly on top of my head… followed closely by warm liquid, fogging my eyes… In the middle of the turmoil i threw a couple of punches vectored towards the assumed position of my attacker. Sharp cuts on my left hand exposed bone and tendons…. then nothing… light begun to fade…

They say walk towards the light but all i could see was fog…. and a feeling of dizziness… then it got clear again… I was awake on my birth suit, bed set up on a forty-five degree angle, tied to machines that i didn’t even know they existed… like at my ankles there were two torniquets resembling a blood pressure sleeve, squeezing and releasing my ankles in a calculated rythm. At the foot of the bed, standing statue was the man himself, Death. His jaw shut in a relaxed manner kept starring at me. “Well?” I asked lifting my hands, palms up. “I would have taken you in a heartbeat, son. But your machism and foolishness into thinking and acting like a true action hero which I am pretty sure it is your everyday mentality, is forcing me to give you another chance… A chance to do bigger things.” “Are you even real?” I was still puzzled. I could feel it, he was the real deal, I still needed some convincing though. “Don’t push it, idiot” then he disappeared into thin air.post

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A witness

Graveyard shift. The night was still. Prolonged radio silence was making it eerie. Officer Kraken sat on the wheel while his partner, officer Beaucomb snoozed softly on the passenger seat. With no reports to write and no nearby plates to run, Kraken decided to tune in to his favorite show. “Coast to Coast” with a well-known space and time travel theorist. A little late-night gem that saturated the night atmosphere with a light coat of menacing feel.

Tonight’s theme was the Black-Eyed Children. The moderator was getting in a powerful debate with several guests. A gentleman with an Asian drawl was insisting that those cringy beings were the souls of the dead children. The next guest was a Muslim man. He was proclaiming to have read both, the Bible and the Quran. He was debunking the Asian guest by counterclaiming that neither of the holy scriptures talked of ghosts. He insisted that those beings were demonic that impersonated young children. A pastor kept backing the Muslim man up by reciting the appropriate verses on the Bible. When the audience thought that the pastor and the Muslim gentleman had the Asian man backed against the wall… another voice joined the conversation. The voice sounded confident and had a pronounced southern drawl.

“Gentlemen,” the voice interrupted. “You do realize that all the sightings of these darn boys got done seen in the California and Nevada desert, no?”

“I have not thought about that before,” the moderator chipped in the conversation. “But it all makes sense if you read all the accounts posted on the internet.”

“Thus,” the voice concluded. “Chances are, those menacing looking beings might as well be extraterrestrials. And you, father! You should be the first to accept that fact. Both you and I know that in one way or the other, the Holy Bible insinuates their existence in more than thirty-one different parts. That’s only in the First Testament.”

Old mamma Jeanine was sitting crossed legged on her sofa as she moved her nine-inch knitting needles lazy between her fingers. She was more focused on the sarcasm that the show’s host was throwing around toward the audience. He seemed to agree with the man with the southern drawl. He seemed to defy the other guest’s religious claims and kept insisting that those beings were alien greys. “Chances are”, he said. “They had managed to have obtained human masks. As for the folks in Washington… they were in knowledge of their existence and had no other choice but to back them up one hundred percent.” Mamma Jeanine had been roaming this earth for way too long. She has realized by now that politics were a refined joke. To her, it all seems like the politicians strive to compete with Hollywood, so they can provide the American public a much better daily show. From her sofa, Mamma Jeanine could see her front door well. Suddenly something interrupted the weak glow of her porch light. Something else is reflecting on the front door… Or so the old lady thought…

Her heart to her throat. She realized that someone is rotating the handle to her front door… A quarter of a turn left. Then halfway right. Such a stressful situation, she felt warm liquid running down her aging thighs.

“Is anybody there?” she asked with a quivering voice.

“We are lost. We need to call our parents. Let us in.” the voice on the other side of the door sounded monotone and ridiculously strange.

Mamma Jeanine opened her door halfway. There in front of her stood two children. One taller than the other. Both were looking down. Strange was the way they were dressed. Heavy winter coats. Stranger their haircut… Emo style jet black hair that brought their skin tone to a pale grey. Or was it bluish?

“The police station is around the corner. They might be able to locate your family or give you a ride there.”

“You do not understand.” the taller kid spoke with a beautiful grammatical order. Still, his voice remained monotone as continued. “We need to call our parents. Let us in.”

Mamma Jeanine is a tough nail to beat. She stood her ground still.

“If you can give me your parent’s phone number, I will be more than happy to give them a call for you.”

“Let us in. They will come to pick us up in here.” The last monotonic part is lost in Mamma Jeanine’s conscience as she now noticed that both boys had lifted their heads up and they were looking at her. Tough as a nail, Mamma Jeanine locked her eyes with the children, so she could do her best effort to intimidate them.

Once she established eye contact, she realized that something was wrong… Everything about their eyes was black. Even the sclera area. Dread washed over her, and she began to tremble with fear when she realized that she was staring into two black holes. “Get the hell away from me, you demons!” Mamma Jeanine reached for the cross that she religiously wore on her neck for most of her life.

But the children did not flinch… Neither did they back off. The taller one repeated his monotonic speech about their parents one more time. “You do not understand. You must let us in.”

Kraken was focused to the radio and he was listening so intently. In this job that he loved so much, he had seen almost anything. Still… He got a chill down his spine. Followed by the need to scan the outside of the cruiser. His sheer panic was brewing into something more sinister. To avoid any possibilities, Kraken woke Beaucomb up. He brought his partner up to date with the conversation in the show.

“What’s up?” Beaucomb stretched wearily in the passenger seat.

“How would you react if one of those fellas walked right up to you?”

“Bro, we are the highest force in the town of Frighville. We have guns and the authority to detain. If they set foot in this town, they automatically trespass.” Beaucomb’s eyebrows shot up full of authority. “They either get jailed and turned in to the military installments such as Area-51, or they eat lea….”

At the sudden the polcom radio went off:

“All available units, there are reports of many domestic disturbances along Beech Avenue. Two subjects ranging in age of teens have knocked on several doors with the claim that they need to go in and use a phone so they can call their parents. Both subjects are donning in heavy winter coats. One resident that had come to contact with them, described their skin tone as bluish grey. They are also sporting black spectacles.”

“Those aren’t no damn spectacles,” Lance Morgue muttered to himself as monitored the polcom from the comfort of his 1995 Deville hearse. Lance was the most interesting resident that the town of Frightville had. A true asset. No one knew where he came from… What the folks know is the fact that he bought the failing funeral home. Nowadays it has been thriving in business. To this day, the town folk cares more about the fact that Lance is the most reliable person when it comes to solving problems. Other than providing a reliable and affordable funeral service, that is… And one of the things that he thrives on: Ass kicking. bonus points if the opposing subject belongs to the supernatural spectrum. Excitement for a new adventure began to swirl through his veins like a raging tornado. Lance wasted no time before he fired up the ignition and lurched the hearse toward his destiny.

“Fuck me!” Beaucomb exclaimed. “Pray that this is a prank…”

“Code three or one twenty – eight?”

“Code three and we beat it in the opposite direction. Declare flat tire emergency and let that Morgue boy deal with this.” Beaucomb seemed tenser than usual. something that caused Kraken to wonder where did all the tough guy talk crawl to?

“Copy that, partner!” Kraken plastered a full-on sneer on his face.

A short time later Kraken and Beaucomb had pulled over on the side of the main road. They were ready to undo the rear passenger wheel of their cruiser. All the sudden they noticed headlights approaching from a short distance away. A few minutes later an American made SUV speeded past them in the direction of Beech Avenue. Inside, Kraken spotted two well-dressed men in suits and fedora hats. No more than a quick glance at Beaucomb gave them both the mutual understanding that shit was about to get real. It was best to follow up and see what dish of monstrosity the Universe was about to serve Frightville tonight.

Less than three minutes later they broke chase and detoured towards the secondary road that leads to the hilly terrace. Located on an elevated part of the neighborhood, it allows the officers on duty the best reconnaissance view. Both Frightville’s finest unpacked their respective binoculars and began scanning the scenery…

“You do not understand. You must let us in.”

“In where? In your mother’s womb?” Asked Lance as he stood right behind the children. Simultaneously both children turned to him. “We need to use the phone. We need to call home.” “And where is home? Mars?”

The entire episode had Mamma Jeanine bug-eyed and flabbergasted. How come the boy that arrived didn’t even flinch at the sight of these ungodly creatures. Through her aging eyes she might have seen a slight wince of pity, but no signs of horrification.

Feeling made, the shorter boy lurched to grab Lance’s leather jacket. As he snarled at him, revealing a set of sharpened metallic teeth.

To be continued….

Cemetery Gates

The air was warm and damp. The clock was two minutes to striking midnight. All was quiet in the small town besides the rhythmic shuffle of James Brock. Once a bull master; he now tended to horses on the Rocking Galloper ranch that almost took his life a decade past.
Under the pale moonlight, the vast deserted flat terrain shrouded him in a fine calmness which was a bonus, when he emptied his mind from all the stress and synced with the good energy that emanated from the humongous Universe high above. He loved moments like this. He usually let the powers that be to guide him home. Although, tonight something didn’t seem right. There was a shadow perked up in the middle of the road. About eight hundred yards away ahead of him.
A soft roar that ended with a groan. James recognized the confused bellow of a brown bear. The beast didn’t seem hungry but James figured that it wouldn’t say no to harassing him just for the kicks.
Hope was not lost. The same good energy was pulling James through an alternative way. The old cemetery where his parents were buried. After all, if the beast gave chase, common sense would dictate that it would be unable to climb the iron gates.

As James is shuffling in a rush inside the holy cemetery gates, he hears a faint voice. “Hey man! Why do you shuffle for no reason?”
The poor guy feels very spooked to atrocity. “Be… beca… because I’m damned,” said James with a quivering voice.
“No you don’t!” The voice sounded like it emanated from the underground. In a graveyard, that would mean from the nearest plot.
“But I am…,” whimpered James.
“Go home. Check yourself in the mirror. Enjoy the rest of your life in peace”.
Suddenly after a short test, James realized that the shuffle was gone and to make things better, he was able to walk faster. He even broke through a power walk.
“Thank you, good man of the afterworld!!!” He couldn’t thank the man enough for that miracle.

All the way home James thought about many different ways on how to pass the good deed to someone else. He remembered that his fellow foreman Tim, at the Rocking Galloper ranch had a slight hunch. He decided to phone him immediately and tell him about the good deed that happened to him. James pushed his front door open and picked up the phone. Then he explained to Tim what happened and exactly where to stop once inside the cemetery.

It was just past midnight as Tim Collins was betting with himself as which side of his hunching body would give him sweet dreams tonight. As sweet and welcoming his bed seemed to be, he was looking for a thrill. Something menacing to trash his sleep for once.
Suddenly the phone shrilled its’ outdated bell. The device had been hanging on that wall for more decades than Tim had been roaming this earth. He lifted the handset reluctantly. After all, his wish for a thrill seemed to have received an answer. Without the faintest chance to throw an hello, Tim’s ear was getting occupied by a barrage of rapid firing from his fellow James.
“Say what?” Asked confused Tim.
“Go to the old graveyard and go now! There’s a good spirit there waiting to do miracles. Trust me man, you will lose your hunch!”
“Says who? Cause you don’t exactly sound like the James I know.”
“Says James that is walking shuffle free now”, the line clicked and the touch dial tone resumed.
Tim thought about it for a minute, and then he got dressed and made his way toward the old graveyard.

“You arrived!” Came the voice from the underground.
“I did, indeed. Will you help me?” Asked Tim with a massive excitement in his voice.
“You’re a shuffler!”
“I am afraid you got that wrong! I am a hunchback!”
“You’re a hunchback and a shuffler!”
“Who says that?”
“Me! Try and walk!”
Tim smirked and took a few steps. With each off step his right shoe screeched on the gravel….

Wishful Thinking – Pt. 1

I can jump from the Earth’s surface to the rest of the eight planets when the time is right.This sounds so great if you think about it. But all of it is just Wishful Thinking.How beautiful would it be though, if you imagine for a moment, as all the planetary orbits would have a totally different arrangement which would bring them feet away from the Earth’s surface. We could jump on Mercury and take a ride closer than ever to the Sun as we hide behind the Rocky Mountains while they get scorched to coal from the intense heat.Or we could enjoy sunbathing in the sulfurous rusty sands of Mars.Why not get ourselves lost in the clouds of Jupiter as we fall through the foggy madness and then try to get ahold of a meteor and hang on it while it viciously vagrants through space until it gets arrested by the giant rings of Saturn?What do you say? Just you and me racing each other through different rings?…..until we let go and have the inertia throw us upon the cold blue icy surface of Neptune…. Can’t wait to come back to Earth….

Book Report: A Dowryless Wedding

As a writer and a published author, I like to expand my horizons by checking out and enjoying the written work of my fellow authors.

My hunger for knowledge and my taste for action and romance has pushed me to collect over 300 titles to date. My collection ranges from well known, top – shelf authors that are found on the primary displays of the chain – store bookshelves to the lesser known gems that I have dug from the various adventures that I have found deep inside one too many sacrophagi in the coffers of my neighborhood’s bookstores.

To be honest with you, several books from my collection have caused me distress. major enough to close the book mid – chapter nd hurl it across the room (or even off the mountain top, or boat – depending where I am). Then there are the others which I have treasured and enjoyed through times and times again. Just like a DVD that we play over and over gain because we can not get enough of the story.

One of those occasions was the story which I am about to tell. It has the boy, and the girl, and a thousand finely tuned details that will make their world swirl. Just the same as me, during a heart to heart with the author Dr. Merlin F. Franco, I learned that his main focus in the afterglow of the release, was the need to make people smile with his written work. Something that would bring him joy, even if there was only one person in the world to tell him “I read your book and I can relate to it. i find myself in it.”

Set in modern India, the story of Pranklee (intelligent millennial that regardless his upbringing in the India’s conservative cultural ways, struggles to maintain his western ways), picks you up like a storm in the tornado belt and twists and twirls you for about 5-6 hours until you reach the final page.

Through satire and salted humor, it portrays the ways of the poor. The greed to go big just for the eye of the neighborhood, even though it might mean that the debts would quadruple. But when the plans don’t get set in motion, then there’s the word of the patriarch and his goons against the new groom.

Dr. Merlin F. Franco is based on the beautiful island of Borneo, where amazing cultures coexist with evergreen oil palm forests.

To obtain a copy in the Amazon.com, click here.

Surrender my bollocks.

I heard the rumble of engines echoing across the hilltop. Then, a few seconds later I spotted the moonlight beaming its silvery face on the hoods and rooftops of the long automobile snake that was their calvary. The had killed the headlights already, but I could still make about five or six of them. All of a sudden all hell broke loose as bullets started flying towards the car and towards the burning wreckage. Once I realized that the car was really bulletproof I collected myself and began to lay on the horn viciously. Holly shit. Lance is trapped in between two fires.

Then I saw Lance crawling in the sand, beside the hearse. His knees leaving small contrails of powdery matter as he shifted simultaneously to the left and to the right. Then he looked at me. I lifted both hands as i pointed upwards with an OKAY. Then he spotted them…

All of the sudden, he got on his feet and he began to shout at them. His hands up; a clear sign of submission to surrender.

“C’mon you cowards! You want some of this? C’mon. Man to man! Hand to hand. Get your motherfucking asses down here!”

Oh my God… No idea what was getting into him, but that was the breaking point. Challenging a psychopath is one thing. Challenging a psychopath with a gun is something else.

“Lance! You asshole! I know you don’t care about yourself, what about me? What if you get hurt. Stop that right no…” i was interrupted as a barrage of automatic gunfire was piercing his body…

Guttural screams were encasing the air as Lance began to flail his arms and danced the rhythm of death. For good measure, I locked myself in the hearse. About two dozen men all dressed in black made their way down the hill and were trotting towards his lifeless body. What the fuck just happened here?

Then all of a sudden Lance was on his feet, he opened the back of the hearse and removed a long and fat tube. All of the sudden in the distance, the SUV’s begun to explode. First the one at the end of the caravan. Then the other, then the other, and the other… until the sixth was gone up in flames. The men in black camouflage had nowhere to go, but continue their march towards us.

Lance dropped the big fat tube which apparently is a real life rocket launcher, and he undid his leather jacket. On top of his shirt, gleaming under the moonlight, was a long chain of rounds which was connected to an M&P 7 which he cocked and began to fire in the direction of the men. One by one they dropped on the desert’s sand. One man behind the next.

In the cold deathly tone of a man who just took the lives of other fellow human beings, regardless of their guilt, Lance ordered me to sit tight and wait for him to come back.

Lance….

Holy shit. Wow. That is bigger than i ever imagined it would be. First an airliner comes down and then an entire procession of SUV’s loaded with bad guys who are following someone’s agenda open fire towards the said airliner. What would the doomed structure be hiding, that there was a need to bring it down and even commit murder over it?

On a morbid sense of humor, i checked each and every one of the fallen men for signs of life. I needed someone to talk, i needed someone to give me the cornerstone of the investigation. All dead. All lifeless. I returned to the hearse and send the following to Arrgahal:

“Dozen mercenaries down. Need help to clean this shit up. Send DNA kit for future stock.”

Being in my shoes at the given time, i could not just wait around for a reply. i decided to go and double check the fallen mercenaries. monsters trained to kill, swimming in the waters of life. Too bad they did not realize that as you swim to pray towards smaller fish than you, bigger fish can eat you up and shut down your operation.

A second attempt to check for missed pockets, turned out nothing. Emptier than the pits of hell. Thus, I took out my pocket knife and taking my morbid mentality one step further, i begun peeling their clothes like skin layers; searching for any clues such as tattoos, gang affiliated signs or previous incidental marks. After all, all these stupid crime and drama television shows such as NCIS and CSI are proving to have knocked some sense into me. Then there is the next major part: if i find any clues, which database do i use to identify someone? I could start with having Arrgahal involved with the discovery analysis part of the job. Still, with the rate that the action comes to me, I would appreciate having an basic program handy. Just enough for a heads up. Like “hey caution. Chemical skills ahead”.

As i was making my way back to the hearse, i heard a low humming sound resonate from the distance. Then a soft blue glow materialized upon my sight. It was the undercarriage landing lights of a fighter jet. it really puzzled me. Arrgahal was supposed to reach me before the military would. How can that Andromedan little shit slack so badly?

Then the canopy popped up with a hiss and out jumps Arrgahal. Snacking on a copper bar like always.

“NTSB, FAA, FBI, and the rest of the cavalry are on the way. This beauty is the next generation of Harrier like jets, called the Boeing X-20. Nobody knows about this one so it’s all discreet. Now get lost.”

Whoa, there boy. Hold on a second. What do you mean get lost? The hearse and the girl? The fallen mercenaries?”

“Get in the jet and get lost… Don’t worry about anything else. Another thing. That beauty is easier than an XBOX. Don’t screw it up…”

“Never played with one.”

Sierra….

There was no reply from the central command. While Lance kept going in circles around the fallen G.I. Joes, i kept an eye on the screen for any signs of communication. After what seemed like an hour, a faint blue glow rose from behind the Rocky Mountains and made its way in circles right beside Lance’s. The lower it came, the better i could make the outline of an alien being being reflected by the canopy lights. Then i started feeling a sense of dread and fear. At some point in time i would have to meet with the ungodly creature that has been taunting the screen of the center console all this time.

Oh my god. What the hell? Arrgahal jumped off the jet and he seems to be talking Lance down. He is pointing at it. Lance is checking the tyres and the undercarriage. Arrgahal and him seem to be having an argument. Lance is climbing in the cockpit and lowering the canopy… What a coward… I cannot believe this….

The Angel and The Devil

Since we are born, they say that on each of our shoulders reside two entities. On the right we have the Angel with pure white wings of feathers getting tickled by the wind.. and on the left we have the Devil with bat like covered wings of red skin and a pitchfork to pinch us anytime we disagree with him.

In my case, the two culprits treated me like a gluten for punishment!

It all started the moment I was born. They roll my mom in the maternity room where she is in the position and ready to have me spring out of her body, but there was a catch. I was refusing to come out and I was unreachable via prongs…

“Where was I?” – you might ask. Well, that’s a good question without knowing an additional fact. I was a tiny infant. Tiny enough to be compared to the largest Chihuahua…

Thus, C-section was required to bring me into this world. You’re not convinced that I am stubborn yet?

In my city, which goes by the name of Berat there is an old piece of architecture which is composed of mural art and a tall superstructure of a fountain. That is called the Bogova monument. Supposed to commemorate the natural drinking water source of Bogova. Basically there is this big circular water pan made of slick granite and in the middle there is a Greek styled column which extends upwards as much as 70 feet high and which is a key element when it comes to water circulation. For some reason the smart brain that designed the superstructure thought it would look cool to have it polished to the maximum slickness while they forgot that it would spend it’s entire life coexisting with water. The Democratic party took over after the fall of communism and having no idea what to do with a government post, they led the country’s infrastructure towards ruins. The rough hand of the elements did not exclude the Bogova monument, courtesy of the Mother Nature. It began to crack and leak water on the sides. It was that time when my mother and I went in the downtown area for a little summer afternoon stroll. She found a nice bench where she gave me some snacks to enjoy. Then the devil on my shoulder spoke to me.

“Look at the water. Go play,” he said. So I skid off the high bench that we were sitting and I went towards the fountain. I looked back once towards my mother and I exclaimed: “Look mama! Water!”

She looked at me and said: ‘don’t you dare ste…” ‘THUMP!!!’

Ouch! Oi! I fell into a pool of water and my clothes were soaking while my back was wet. It was the Angel standing on my other shoulder that did save me from slamming my head on the polished granite.

If you thought that was a one time incident, my dear reader you are completely wrong. At 9 years old, my neighborhood had a single mountain road. It curved a lot and was barely able to fit two cars side by side. It was that same road where I fractured my clavicle. As soon as I was done playing with little boys and girls in my neighborhood, I started running home. In front of me an unattended horse trotting with joy wherever he wanted to trot. Me trotting after horsey downhill. Around the bend there was this car coming uphill and in these situations I would usually grab the hand of an adult to feel protected. With no one else being around, the Devil on my left shoulder said to me: “Grab the horses tail.. The animal will comfort you.”

I might have pulled hard a little bit, cause the horse felt that. Gave me a double kick backwards. That kick lifted me a foot or two off the ground which made me drop in a hard body slam….

Gets even better. Around the age of 11, I moved in to my cousins’ apartment. It was in the main road and about 20 minutes to my school if I would walk, or 5 minutes if I would catch the public bus. I don’t usually hail a ride, unless it is an emergency, but when I do… disaster strikes.

That was about the time that my granny was still alive and because we had the balcony located into a higher level of the street, she stroke a deal with me.

“I will watch for the traffic from the balcony and you will pass only when I give you the sign,” she said full of grandmotherly love and care.

First day, I make it off the bus. Look at granny; smile and cross! My feet hug the hood of a Mercedes 240D. I walk home with my heart beating fast and blood frozen through my veins… My grandmother scolds me: “you do not cross without me giving you the sign. What would happen if we lose you? Do you think your mamma could take it?”

“I am sorry grandma!” I said as I hung my head and walked into my room sobbing in silence. When you love someone from your immediate family circles, you always break down. All the care and love in the world turns to swords of icicles when they scold you.

Tomorrow was a new day. Rinse and repeat…

Off the bus, smile, run… into the hood of a Fiat Punto this time…

“Listen son,” my grandma said. “Next time you do not cross the road anymore until there is your mother and I with you to pick you up.”

Told you ladies and gents. The Angel and the Devil both, keep using me as a gluten for punishment. Even to this day. Even in the United States.

Around September of the year 2010, I was biking to go to work at the Dedham Stop and Shop when, as I am speeding on the sidewalk and I was trying to merge with the traffic of cars, the Devil spoke.

“Bad asses do not slow down. They look back and merge.” Following the directions of the hot chili pepper representative from hell, I felt the back doors of a stationary truck slam on my face; the bike falls on the ground and my left shoulder did a 90 degrees inward rotation…

It was the Angel who actually advised me to put my helmet on. I had purchased a really cheap Schwinn branded helmet. Rarely put it on because from time to time the airflow would shatter the crap out of my eardrums with a windy whistle which was more like a static. But that day I was like: “I gotta wear this one.”

The grand finale. Well, I prefer to call it that cause it is the last major incident that I had with death so far in my 30 years of roaming this Earth. It was a cold Sunday afternoon on December, 09, 2012. I did my usual morning routine, had some lunch and then boarded the route 34E bus. Just like every millennial, I had the latest smartphone at the time (a piece of shit Virgin Mobile LG entry Android phone) and over head slung headphones. Total blockage of my world around me which led to me having zero to nothing situation awareness. All of a sudden I felt huge blows on top of my head. I punched the attacker blindly and I felt pinches on my left hand. A quick look revealed several cuts on my hand and sliced tendons. Then blood started pumping out of my head as it flowed downwards. It began to cover my eyes and trickle inside my mouth. Watching my own blood pooling on the floor, I was convinced to believe that this was it. There was no turning back, and I was only wishing to have a chance to say my goodbyes to my family and friends. A 15 minute ride in the ambulance later, I found myself in my birth uniform at Brigham and Women’s in Jamaica Plain.

I would like to thank the Angel on my right shoulder for keeping me alive and keeping me convinced that I would make it. Half way in the ambulance ride, an unexplainable calm washed over me. I was fierce and fearless. That feeling continues up to this day, five years later. I do not fear death. I do not fear knives or guns. When you go to the extremities that life has to offer, you become fierce. No fear of death. No fear of knives or guns. These situations release your inner beast. That doesn’t mean you become evil. That animal is your upgraded situation awareness. You smell trouble in the air before it even begins. Hitting the available pressure points on an assailant before the offending weapon comes out.

As a side note, I have been advised too many times to veer off the confrontation so “I can keep myself safe”. If someone gives me a hard time, I should sit and wait for the police to do their thing. They do not know, as they have not experienced what I have. You mind your own business; society is keen to put you down and intimidate you. Thus, I have come to realize that life is so much easier when the opponent is terrified of you. You play the right word game, keep the right stance and attitude and the most hardcore criminal will think twice about messing with you.

As a second side note, when I was accepted at Brigham and Women’s hospital, I noticed a huge gap in staff communication. Unsure if I was up to date with the Tetanus, one of the nurses loaded me up with alcohol. The second nurse then reported me to the Transit Police detective who was interviewing me, until she original nurse asked her if she had read my chart and then ushered her colleague out of the room. That was totally unacceptable!