Tuesday, May 31, 2011

"Fever Ship"

The Ticonderogo was a clipper that became famous for being a "fever ship" in its voyage from Liverpool to Port Phillip in 1852.

It carried 795 passengers. One hundred of those passengers died of typhus during the voyage. The ship was overcrowded, mostly with small children. Sanitary conditions were almost non-existent. Passengers ignored symptoms: red rashes, dysentery, and a strong delirium bordering on madness. The doctors soon became overwhelmed and caught typhus themselves. Bodies were bundled into mattresses and thrown overboard.

When it finally moored, a space of land was converted to a quarantine station (called a lazaretto). Many more people died there, buried in shallow graves.

One child, who had managed to survive the voyage but not the quarantine, was recorded by one of the doctors in his delirius state talking about a man with a beak aboard the Ticonderogo. "He had a funny beak face," the child said. "I asked him. I asked him why he was wearing such a funny mask. He told me that he wasn't wearing no mask."

The child died hours later.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

"The Eye"

VIEWING TOPIC: Guess who's back!

Spockinator at 10:08:23 am 12 May 2011
Hey, 'yall, I'm back. Sorry for my little absence. I was having some personal problems. I kept hallucinating that a bigass eye was following me around and watching me. Kind of stupid now that I think about it.

Arstan at 10:13:46 am 12 May 2011
Oh hai Spock! Yeah I was wondering where you went. Are yuo all better now?

KirksGirl at 10:34:03 am 12 May 2011
SPOCKINATOR! You're back! *glomp*

Spockinator at 11:02:31 am 12 May 2011
Ah! *is glomped*

And Arstan: yeah, I'm fine now. Well, mostly. I've been taking some antipsychotics or something and I haven't seen the eye since. I still freak out about it sometimes though. Like the other day I had to shut my blinds because this guy was jogging down my street and I kept thinking the eye was hiding inside him.

Falcon at 01:06:54 pm 12 May 2011
Welcome back Spockinator!

Arstan at 01:35:26 pm 12 May 2011
Oh man thats weird. Try not to do anything crazy. I hope you get better.

Spockinator at 01:43:56 pm 12 May 2011
lol Don't worry man. I know the eye isn't real. I'm not gonna hurt anyone.

And yeah, I hope I get better too! :-)

judgment at 02:04:17 pm 12 May 2011

Her name is Jacqueline Banks. She was born in Jacksonville, Florida on August 13, 1986. She was an unremarkable student, mostly making C's. She collected bobbleheads. Her first date was with a boy named Mark Reed. She was 15 at the time. They kissed on their second date. She left him after the fifth date. She moved to Connecticut three years ago. There her neighbor one day held a knife to her throat and raped her. He told her that he'd kill her if she ever told anyone. She moved away a month later. She still has nightmares. She still sees her old neighbor's face every time she closes her eyes. A man asked her out at work the other day and she had a panic attack.

The neighbor's name was Fred Hudson, also known by the internet handle of "Spockinator."

I'll be seeing you very soon.

"A Brother's Gift"

Yesterday I saw my brother kill a man. There was little fanfare to it. He just walked up to the man and shoved a screwdriver through his neck. The man had come to sell me something, and was standing on my front porch, and my brother killed him.

Then he looked at me, and he raised his bloody finger to his lip and smiled. Without a word, he walked away, and down the street, and was gone.

The police think I killed that man. I told them what happened, but they didn't believe. And why should they?

My brother has been dead for six years.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

"The Confession"

Maybe if I confess, even like this, it'll leave me alone.

I didn't mean too. Not really. Once it began I knew where it would end, but I really didn't mean too. I am really truly sorry. I need to explain. 

My name is Micheal Sanderson. I am forty-three years old with no children and one ex-wife. She is eighteen years younger than I am. Don't think of me like that, she is the only woman I have ever been with that was that much younger than me. Ok, I can't lie in this, or it will find me faster. It's my scent you know? It can smell my secrets. I need to make them not secrets so it can't find me anymore. She was the only one who would be with me that was that young, but it wasn't for lack of trying on my part. There is something beautiful about young women. Never would I resort to unsavory tactics though. I was always honest about who I was and my intentions. I didn't just proposition them, I courted them. 

Her name was Sandy. She had black hair, truly black hair. So many women say they have black hair just have really dark brown hair. Not her. Black hair, with hazel eyes. That vitality! It just makes women so much more beautiful when they are young. Oh my god I think it's outside the building. 

We married quickly, and her family did not approve of me. A young woman cut off from her family, that is traumatic. She couldn't handle it. I tried to be everything to her, but as it went on, her vitality seemed to leave her. She just wasn't beautiful anymore. Others were though. Her bounce, her glow was fading and so many others had it. She noticed me looking, and she told me her family was right. I loved her, she is a fantastic person and I would have spent my life with her. I just can't help but look! Many men do that, why was it so special that I did too? I was always faithful. She left me, and went back to her family. I was so angry. I missed her so much. I tried calling her, writing her, everything. Finally her brother called me and told me to stop. "Let me explain it to you in person", I said, "and if I can convince you then help me win her back. If I don't, then I walk away forever."

He came. We fought. I drove a railroad spike through his head. He was younger than her. It was easy. They found him, and he told no one where he was going. They never pinned it on me. He lived, but his brain was never the same. She came to me after it happened, weeping. She was mine again. 

One day I got attacked by a creature from the depths of my nightmare that had taken the form of a large black dog. It was larger than I was. Solid black, it's fur felt greasy to the touch. It's eyes were black orbs surrounded by whites so bloodshot they looked red. It bit my face, scoring two lines under my eyes. That was it's mark on me.

I would see it around, and then it started bringing me things. First a railroad spike. Then a flyer for a Miss Teen pageant. It knew. I tried hiding what it brought me. Sandy would take me with her to visit her brother, and he never recognized me, or anyone for that matter. Her family accepted me, for comforting her in her time of need. They didn't know! I had everything but the dog knew. Every time I would look at a young woman I would see the dog and it was watching. It was coming for me. It knew! The more I hid the things it brought, the more it would bring, and the more it would come after me. Always the marks on the face! They were my tears of shame! 

She was beginning to suspect. I left her, what could I do? She would have found out! How can I explain this to her? That a dog has just broken down the door and it's coming for me oh my god forgive me I'm confessing right now it's outside the room please save me i'm sorry Sandy I lo 

Sunday, May 15, 2011

"The Man Who Was Set Free"

The old man sat down at the table. It was a large table made of solid wood. The light overhead was bright, but not blinding. Around him, there was darkness. He put his hands, old and wrinkled, on the table in front of him.

"My name is Silvester Plahke," he said to the darkness. "I was...I was a guard at Auschwitz-Birkenau from 1942 to 1944. I wasn't high up, I wasn't part of the command. I was just a guard. That doesn't excuse it though. There are no excuses. No excuses, no reasons, no answers. There is nothing I can say or do to make what was done undone." He looked upward into the light and then down again at his fingers, each wrinkle time had made laid bare.

"I was there when they were carting them in. The trains that came up each day filled to the brim with people. Was I one of the ones who divided them up, separated them into lines of who will live and who will die? I think so. I think I did that. I'm not sure...my memory isn't as good as it used to be.

"Anyway, I was lucky. I was transferred to away before the end came. I wasn't there for the marches. And then the war ended. And I decided I couldn't be myself anymore. I decided to go away. Away from Germany, away from everything. I moved to America.

"It was different. I had trouble adjusting. But eventually I did. I found a wife, I had children. I have grandchildren now.

"Then...last week, I saw a man. He was tall and thin and wore a black suit and tie. I remembered him. I remembered him from the camp. I remembered sometimes prisoners would talk of a tall man in a suit that walked outside the gates. I remembered how my commandant had told me to stop such talk. It couldn't be the same man, but in my heart and in my soul, I knew it was.

"I decided to go back. If I could go back, I could meet him, tell him I was just a guard. I flew on a plane and went back to Poland, back to the hard and cold ground that I had left behind so many years ago. As I walked back through those gates, so many memories rushed into my head, I thought I would collapse.

"I walked through the first camp and then the second, passing through each building. But I didn't see him. He wasn't there.

"I thought of myself as silly. Of course he wasn't there. It wasn't the same man. In fact, there probably was no man back then. Something the prisoners just made up so they could hope.

"I went back to America, back to my home. The woman on the plane next to me was coughing all throughout the trip. At home, I greeted each of my children and grandchildren with a visit. They each looked so thin. I asked them if they were eating much and even took out a few for large lunches, but it didn't seem to help. They ate so little, even with so much food piled on their plates.

"When I visited my eldest daughter, I could hear her cough and it shook me. It wasn't the cough of a person with a cold. It was the cough of a dying person. I had heard many coughs like that back in Auschwitz. I tried to take her to the doctor, but she refused. She said she was fine, it was just a small cough.

"More and more, I noticed the people around me were sick. They coughed harshly into their hands. They were thin and weak. Some of them had black splotches on their hands or arms. When I visited my family again, they were sicker. Some of the children had their ribs showing, their skin stretched tightly over their bones.

"I dragged them to the doctor, despite protests. He found nothing wrong with them. I noticed him coughing, too, and there was a long black and yellow spot on his arm. I knew what it was: gangrene.

"As I continued visiting my family, they got sicker and sicker. I came to my oldest daughter's house one day to find her dead body, a crowd of flies surrounding it, lying in her bed. I wept at her bedside.

"My grandchildren died of starvation the next week. They had simply refused to eat. The people on the bus, the people in the market, they looked like stick figures. They looked like they had given up on life and were simply going through the motions, buying food they would never eat.

"I woke up one morning to find that my neighbors were all dead. The smell was overpowering and unbearable. I walked outside to find empty streets and silent houses. There were no more buses running, no more boys on bicycles, no more people. As I walked the soundless streets, I saw men and women dead in their houses, their bodies emaciated, looking so much like skeletons with thin coverings of skin. Some had their whole arms turned black and yellow.

"Everyone was dead. The whole city, the whole country, the whole world. So now the question was: why was I unaffected? Why was I alive? I thought this as I dug plots for my family. I could not bury everyone, but I could bury them.

"The work was hard, but I needed to feel alive. I laid them to rest, each one, and said a prayer. I didn't believe anyone was listening, but I said it anyway. Then I walked back to my home and I saw it. Three words, just three words, written above my door. I knew then.

"I was still in Auschwitz. I had never left.

"I walked through the door and I was back in the camp. I was back where I had been before all those years ago. And there was the man in the black suit.

"He had seen me, all those years ago, executing the prisoners. Executing the ones who had seen him. He had seen me push them on their knees and put my gun to their heads.

"He didn't speak. When I looked into his face, a saw a thousand faces. A saw the faces of the men I killed. I saw the faces of people I had led into the gas line. I saw the faces of men and women and children. And finally, I saw my own face. It was young and smooth and I just wanted so much to make it go away. I yelled and pleaded and cried for him to go away.

"He held out both arms and there was a moment where his arms grew thin and long, like the branches of a tree, and I let myself be entwined in them.

"And then I found myself here. In this place." There was a sound outside and the old man stood up, revealing his striped fatigues. "That was the reveille. It's time to work."

Then the old man walked outside and through the camp gates and went to work.