Fake Blood

“All that blood looks good on you, really brings out your eyes.” Manuel tossed his rag aside.

“Right, it’ll be in all the winter fashion magazines. I’ll start a new trend.” The actress barely moved from her chair and waved for the assistant. The clumsy twenty something ran over quick to give her a small sip of water from a straw.

Manuel shooed him away, “Okay Charlene, we’ll need to let some of the glue dry. Think you could hang tight in your dressing room until they call?”

“Guess I’ll have to. There’s a tour soon and they don’t want the fans to see that it’s me they’re killing off.” The actress stood up carefully. “Suppose I’ll just go watch TV or something. Come on Mike, keep me company.”

Manuel watched the two leave his trailer from the backdoor, the assistant mumbling that his name wasn’t Mike. He began cleaning up his pencils and paintbrushes, screwing the caps back on the fake blood containers and putting sponges near the sink. His next appointment was going to be the triplets from “The Sisters.” He knew that he was in for a rough afternoon, but at least the makeup wasn’t so extensive as Charlene’s. 

A couple hours later Manuel heard a knock on his trailer door. He had done the triplets makeup and a retouch on Jose from the buddy cop movie and was just cleaning up before heading home. “Just a minute!”

“Mr. Cheve we need to speak to you.” It was a voice Manuel didn’t recognize. He put his rag down and opened the door to find the director of the Zombie Show and a police officer. 

“Can I help you, fellas?”

“We’re aware that you’re the last person to see Charlene Bernese this morning, we’d like to ask you a few questions.” The officer said politely.

“Last person? She didn’t make it to the set?”

The director sighed. “Unfortunately not.”

“Do you mind if I come in and look around?” The officer already began up the steps, he was determined.

“Please, by all means. So what happened?” Manuel stepped to the side so the two men could enter.

The officer didn’t say a word. He put on gloves and began searching the makeup desk. It seemed he was looking for something in particular.

Manuel turned to the director. “Mr. Jefferies, what’s going on? Where is Charlene?” 

The director let out a sob he had been holding in. Once he gained composure he sighed again. “They found her when she didn’t show up to set on time. In her trailer, the TV was on, she was sitting in front of it. Face was mangled and blood everywhere.”

“Special effects, that was my job today.” Manuel was confused, his orders were to make it look like She had been almost eaten by a bear.

The officer found what he was looking for. “Sir, we’re going to need to take this in.”

“My fake blood, why?”

“The blood found on Charlene was not special effects blood. I’m going to need  to take you in for  questioning as well. The blood was her own, we believe this is hers as well.” The officer put the jar in a plastic bag and held out cuffs.

“She left my trailer with her assistant, Mike or something. Are you sure he didn’t have anything to do with this? All I did was apply makeup like I was ordered to do by you Mr. Jefferies!” Manuel was becoming upset. He had been in his trailer all day.

“She didn’t have an assistant, Manuel. You’re the last person to see her alive.”

The officer motioned for all of them to leave the trailer. “As of right now Mr. Cheve, you’re the last person to see Charlene Bernese alive.”

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Chaos

A shapeless heap kneels before me. It is darkness, a jumble of words and phrases and colors and emotions and thoughts and there it sits.

Most would struggle with this mass, they would fight against it. Mold it to their views and toss it out when it just didn’t work for them. It would become a mass for someone else to mold and toss.

But I have chosen to decipher it. I don’t want to make it my own, I want to understand it. Look deeper into this jumbled mess and see more than what meets the eye. I’ll sit down with the shapeless heap and let it know that I do not wish to tell it my story but rather let it tell me its own. 

The heap will speak to me and tell me how it came to be. From just a simple mist, one simple idea. And it grew and grew. That shapeless heap will tell me it’s just a shapeless heap but I’ll know better. That bundled ball of chaos isn’t all it seems to be. That shapeless heap is me.


Taken by the Sea

I wish to be taken by the sea. I wish for the wind to sweep me away.

But first I must take a step into a river. This river knows the way. Let the current take me under, for I will be strong. It knows when I need rest, when I need breath. 

The crocodiles will be friends and teach me how to fish. They’ll wish me farewell on my journey.

Waves greet me. They’ll crash down and pull me back. Back into the sea.

And maybe I’ll be met with a great storm, dark clouds coming from the sky to shake my hand, but they know where I need to go. In the morning the sun will shine as if everything is all right.

Then I’ll be brought to the depths. An Angler Fish will teach me about bioluminescence,  I’ll experience what no human has felt before. That in this darkness, there is still beauty to be found. The Angler will point me back to the surface and promise to see me again someday.

I’ll find myself at the center of the Bermuda triangle. With all of its secrets and stories. Lost at sea, calm, and there. There I will find happiness.


Blog August Twelve

I have the weekend to myself. Parents are visiting my brother two states away and I’ve volunteered to watch the dogs. I might have made a mistake in that point though, while tidying the house I left a trash bag upon the kitchen floor. Hopefully the mess isn’t too bad when I get home. They’ll still get a treat though, after all it was my fault.

The reason I left, to get some cleaning supplies. Well. The first stop anyway, was for a plant. You see, I second handedly killed a special house plant of my mother’s. I tried to revive the poor thing with new soil and water and love, but I believe it was too late. Now the pot sits dirt full in the living room, it’s only use now is the primary reason the poor plant died in the first place, my cat. So I bought a new plant, an African Violet. I know Mom had one some time ago but she never got it to bloom. I’ll take really good care of this one and make sure that darn cat stays clear.

Second stop was Super Target, for the cleaning supplies. That was uneventful.

Then I decided to do something I’ve always wanted to do. Part of an earlier blog days ago where I said I was going to start doing things for myself and be somebody. I decided that I’d take a little artsy hop along downtown Davenport, IA. Crafted Quad Cities was a cute little working studio shop that hosted a wide variety of handmade items from local artists. What caught my eye was a t-shirt, I love t-shirts and have a ton, which said “Quad Cities Where Iowa and Illinois Spoon”. I had to have that. I should look into their classes and see what they have to offer 

I also stopped at the Bucktown Center for the Arts. Another dusty old building housing real art work from real vendors around these parts. I really came here for one particular artist, the girl friend of a co-worker who does pottery. She had a small selection here and there is one thing I’d love to have so I’ll have to go to one of her shows to get it. 

Next up, one of the most prized possessions of the Quad Cities, The Figge. It’s free entry all summer long. Right now I’m sitting in a gallery as I write this all out on my phone because there’s one particular painting in the say, three rooms I’ve been in so far that caught my eye. My father doesn’t like art. He doesn’t understand how anyone could paint something and it be worth so much. “Looks like Picasso just didn’t know how to draw a face, I wouldn’t buy it.” I get what he’s saying of course, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder after all. Maybe he just hasn’t found his beauty yet. I know he himself is a wonderful artist and creates all kinds of things. He had a mural on our dining room wall of something he saw on an old record. It stayed there for nearly 40 years until we had to tear that wall down. But he was able to recreate what he saw and it was beautiful in it’s old cracked way.

But back to the painting I saw. It’s a landscape of wide open space. And what really drew me in was how the artist was able to create such detail in the background. What looked like farm houses and trees from a distance, were merely dots when looking closer. Dots. I’m just awestruck. So simple, but damn. It’s interesting how the little things are the things that speak to me. 

Now maybe I do have a lot of my dad in me, the next exhibit I walked through was a photographer’s journey down the Mississippi. The stops she made a long the way and the people she met. And sure, they’re cool pictures but I’m not sure how that makes it art. Moving along. There’s many floors to this museum and not much else jumped out to me. Though I did have a lot of fun in the Corn Maize. Which was a lot of plastic bottles in the form of corn stalks arranged in an actual maze. It was easy to navigate, but I’m sure a three year old would have some difficulty.


From here on I just walked around the downtown area. I’ve decided that Davenport is a great place to be a people. Theres plenty to do, beautiful sights (when it’s not flooded of course), and it’s definitely got that midwest courtesy. Reminds me that I need to get out and enjoy what’s in front of me a lot more. I highly recommend being a tourist in your own town.

Now it’s time to go back home and see what kind of mess my dogs got into. 

Bonus: Something my dad definitely wouldn’t get in the least. 


Blog August Eleven

My laptop died. So. Any stories from here til I get it fixed or replaced are going to be short and written with my phone. 


Blog August Six.

So. Things happen in real life and I think I decided at one point and didn’t tell anyone that my “blog” posts weren’t going to be like diary entries telling you about every detail of my life. And it seems the majority of them have been that way in explaining why I haven’t written. Excuses is what they are.

Here’s some more excuses.

I quit my job at the bakery. Moved back in with my parents. Didn’t have a job for months and didn’t feel like writing much. Met a great guy. Didn’t write much because of the distance I had to travel to see him. Got a job at a factory. Work extensive hours and don’t feel like doing a damn thing when I get home. So much so in fact that instead of reading or watching anything or writing or anything else that I liked to do I scrolled through pointless Facebook. Stuck in this everlasting loop of “when I start my career someday I’ll do all the things I love.” That cost me my relationship I think. Well there was more to it then that. But that great guy is just a number in my phone now. And that job is still a time sucking hole. I don’t want to write at home for all the distractions and coffee shops in my town are open for what seems like only during the hours that I work. Exaggerating, but still. 

No more excuses. 

Well except maybe the writer’s block excuse, because let’s face it we all have those. I did pop some stories up a couple weeks ago. One or two that I really enjoyed doing and a few that felt like work. Today even I got a prompt idea from a friend and got some words in before my computer died at a coffee shop with outlets that didn’t work. That story I wasn’t excited about anyway and those are always hard to finish. 

Someday I’m gonna be somebody. And this is me saying no more excuses. Just do it.


On Holiday

I can only turn my abilities down, I can’t shut it off. So during my time as a “regular human”, I’ll still be able to cause death but it won’t be so potent. It’s still nice to get out there and enjoy the living. They’re such facinating creatures. 

I met a boy who was a great tee-ball player. Destined to make it to the big leagues. He had a wild imagination and loved frogs. Had he not hugged me after buying one of his fundraising cards, he might have lived to be some wild scientist Major league baseball star. But he did hug me, and that’s when his white blood cells began multiplying. He got a few good years left, but they didn’t find out that he had lukimia until it was darn well too late. My boss said not to feel the blame, and I usually don’t when a human touches me on their own free will, but I really thought this little boy was special.

This other time I met a homeless man. He was depressed, obviously, but I could feel it from a block away. He had lost everything after his wife left him for a rich man. His children wouldn’t speak to him anymore, his friends nearly forgot about him, and he lost his job over a simple miss calculation error. He struggled for years. I had a conversation with him and knew the best solution for him. I touched his cheek and handed him a ten dollar bill. The next day he had a heart attack right there on the sidewalk of a big hamburger chain. My boss sent me a congratulations once the man got to heaven, he was much happier there.

I treat this like a vacation, but occasionally the boss will send me instructions. I can’t always control what the human is inflicted with however. Once I was told about a very bad man. He had only raped his ex-girlfriend at the time I caught up to him. We were at a grocery store and I bumped into him, making sure to touch his arm with my hand. It was two more rapes and five murders before the police figured him out and the judge sentenced him to death row. If I had a choice, I would have done more right there in the grocery store. There are rules against that, especially when I’m taking these vacations.

I get a month each year to go amongst the living. And just like any American vacation, I’m always happy to come back to work.

Once, I was walking by a crime scene. There wasn’t anyone near by that I could tell, but the house was all roped off with caution tape. I hadn’t heard about this case, since while I am away some of the others that I work with handle big murders. I was minding my own business trying to get to the ice cream truck on the other street when a dog came running from behind the roped off house. A beautiful German Shepherd with a vest on. The embroidery said “cadaver team.” Oh no, what he was running to was me. I jumped into a tree, I didn’t want to end up touching the dog that would bring more suspicion than necessary. His handler, a nice looking middle aged police officer came running. He apologized, but still wanted to ask me some questions. It’s not often that his partner sees any actual dead humans, and maybe he was just smelling old chicken from a dinner I had, but he needed to make sure. I gave him my credentials and came up with excuses of why I was even in this neighborhood. The dog was still curious about myself. It was a good half hour, my ice cream truck moved on, of just talking with the gentleman. He unprofessionaly gave me his number, and went back to the house. It’s moments like that that I wished some times I could be full human, but I do really love what I do.

Next week I start my time off for the new year. I haven’t decided yet where I am going this time and only have a few days to do so. I have already given my paperwork to the boss so that he can find a suitable replacement while I’m gone, and my bag is already packed. I’m excited for the new adventure, and hope this time there are no accidents.