The Nietzsche Files I – Part 4

cemeteryGreetings, Dreamers!

Here is the next installment in The Nietzsche Files I – Beyond Good and Evil.  If you’ve not read the first 3 parts, you can read them at the links below:

Beyond Good and Evil

“Why are we in the middle of the woods, Baldwin?” Detective James asked as the car pulled into a secluded section of Pocahontas State Park.

“We’re meeting my guy here and I have a hunch,” Detective Baldwin replied.

Baldwin pulled out her cellphone and looked at it — no signal.  She held up the phone for Detective James to see.

“And?” he said.

“I’m thinking Nietzsche figured out a way to hack into our cellphones.  I mean, we all know how vulnerable they are.”

“So why not just turn it off instead of riding out to east bumble-berry?” He said with a furrowed brow.

“Because they can be turned on remotely without you knowing it.  You really aren’t all the tech savvy are you?”

“No, I throw my cellphone on the table when I get home then I go out and meditate in my garden.  I’m not dependent on my techy toys.”

“Well,” she said.  “I don’t have any hobbies like that.  I have a few beers, watch TV and go to sleep.  Social media is the only way I can keep up with my family.”

“Don’t you have any friends?” He asked with a quirked brow.

“Nope.  Tried it.  Got sick of the drama, decided I was better off by myself.  Plus, this job gets into your brain.”

“Not mine.  It’ll eat you up if you let it Baldwin.”

She thought to say something, but simply shrugged it off and said, “My guy will be here shortly.”


Nietzsche strolled up to the dilapidated Tyler home in the Manchester section of town.  He whistled the song “Everybody Knows” by Leonard Cohen as he slipped discreetly behind the house.

As he stepped up to the back door, he pulled on his mask and black gloves.  He unlocked the door quickly with a set of lock picks and vanished inside without being noticed — a skill he’d honed to perfection over the years.

Once inside, he saw someone went to great lengths to destroy the kitchen.  He discerned by the state of things it must have been the work of vandals.  His experience taught him humans possessed a strange need to destroy things labeled as cursed or evil.  The damage he saw exhibited a need to tear down the house and rid the neighborhood of a diseased building.  Buildings are not cursed or evil.  It is the individuals who inhabit them that are.

“My, my,” he said to himself as he walked into the living room.

Obscenities, graffiti and strange symbols covered the walls of the downstairs rooms.  The estate sold off all of the furniture leaving the house empty like the molted shell of a cicada.  Nietzsche turned around in place with his eyes closed beneath his mask and took a deep breath.  His lips curled into a smug smile.

“Mmm,” he whispered to himself.  “There you are.”

He walked amidst the trash strewn about the living area to a modest study.  A blood stained Oriental rug covered the majority of the floor, a fading reminder of the atrocity that happened years before, but this did not concern him.

“You lingered here,” Nietzsche said, pointing to the southwest corner of the room.  “Your puppets murdered the children eldest to youngest.  You were trying to extract information.  What were you looking for?”

Nietzsche turned in place, examining the room carefully.  The bookshelves bare but mostly intact.  A small window offered just enough light for him to see the entirety of the room.  He noticed where a desk once sat, along with a chair and ottoman nearby, presumably where John Tyler did the majority of his reading. He walked around the room, lightly rapping on the walls and tugging on the bookcases.

“You must have hidden it here somewhere,” he said aloud, pursing his lips in thought.  “Did he get it, John?  I don’t think he did.  And whatever it was, you knew the lives of your family were not nearly as valuable as the item.  You were quite cleaver, I’ll give you that.”

“Alex?” Laertes’ voice came from his cell phone.

Nietzsche removed the phone from his jacket, “Yes?”

“Detective Baldwin and James have gone out of range.”

“Hmm,” Nietzsche said thoughtfully.  “When did you last detect them?”

“Beach Road in Chesterfield.”

“Oh ho!”  Nietzsche exclaimed with a feigned sense of delight.  “Detective Baldwin is really quite sharp.  She’s figured out our little trick it seems.  But has she figured out the cypher?”

“She will,” Laertes said.  “She mentioned having someone who could help her.”

“Very resourceful,” Nietzsche replied.  “I had expected she would take the time to solve it on her own, however, I must say we’ll need to step things up a bit.”

Nietzsche continued to walk around the room when he felt the floor shift in a peculiar way where the chair and ottoman once sat.

“What would you like me to do?”  Laertes asked.

“Half a moment,” Nietzsche responded as he pulled back the corner of the blood stained rug.

Nietzsche rapped lightly around the space and found a spot that resonated more loudly than the surrounding floor.  He pulled a small pocket knife from his jacket and inserted it into one of the gaps between the planks and lifted a section of the floor up.

“Apollyon,” Nietzsche said as he pulled a heavy object wrapped in an indigo clothe from the secret compartment.  “Oh, he would be so infuriated to know he was this close.”

“It is fortunate that the Keystone can only be detected when activated,” Laertes replied.

“Indeed, it seems Mr. Tyler did not realize such a powerful being would be paying attention,” Nietzsche responded flatly.  “But, it is clear he understood the consequences of Apollyon acquiring it.”

“Yes,” Laertes acquiesced. “We already have enough problems brewing.”

“Precisely, and that is why I am attempting to round up the ones who might assist with the end of all things.”

“What do you plan to do with the Keystone?”

Nietzsche placed the wrapped stone in his pocket and walked to the back of the house.

“We must now find in whom Apollyon is hiding,” Nietzsche replied.  “That requires activating the Keystone.”

“Do you think you are ready for such an undertaking?”

“I have no doubts, whatsoever,” Nietzsche replied succinctly.

Once outside and confident he wouldn’t be seen, Nietzsche took off his mask and gloves then tucked them into his pocket.  He entered his car and pulled away.

“Now, I think we need to send yet another warning, Laertes, but this time, we’ll add a bit of panache.”


Detective Baldwin and James watched a portly middle-aged man read the cipher.  His round glasses rested on the tip of his nose as he scanned it a few times.

“Well, Jack?”  Baldwin asked.

The man looked up at Baldwin with an irritated look and lit a cigarette.

“You drag my ass all the way out here and you’re gonna rush me?”  Jack asked in an annoyed southern drawl.  “Just sit tight, I’m almost done.”

Baldwin sighed sitting back in the seat of her car.  Jack Donovan had a formidable intelligence and could have done anything with his life, but instead decided to work at a convenience store where he spent long hours playing video games or reading.

“Gotcha, ya slick bastard,” Jack said as he crushed the cigarette underfoot and handed the cipher back to Baldwin.

“Well?” She asked again.

“I want fifty bucks,” Jack said with a smirk.

“You know I don’t carry…”  Baldwin said just as Detective James cut her off.

“I got it,” Detective James said as he pulled out money and offered it to Jack.

“Alright, now we’re talkin’,” Jack stuffed the money in his pockets.  “You ready?”

“Yeah,” Baldwin replied.

“It says ‘Robin of Locksley and I in a place of the same name did reside, but my home is here and his across the pond on the other side'” Jack turned and walked towards his car.

“What the hell is that supposed to mean, Jack?”

Jack looked over his shoulder.  “Really? You really can’t guess that one?”

“Sherwood Forest, Baldwin,” Detective James said.  “You really should learn more about this state.  You know John Tyler?  The tenth president?”

“Let’s go,” Detective Baldwin said.  “I know what he’s researching.”

As the two detectives pulled on to Beach Road, they simultaneously received a voice mail alert on their phones.

“Of course the number is blocked,” Detective James said as they both listened to their messages.

Detective Baldwin held her phone close to her ear as not to allow Detective James overhear.  She experienced hunches her whole life, sometimes she’d listen, others not. She found the hunches she ignored always led to failure.

“Detective Baldwin,” Nietzsche’s voice purred.  “You’ve been a naughty little girl.  Figuring out how to evade my surveillance.  Hiring a savant from the convenience store you frequent to decode my cipher.  Tsk tsk tsk.  You’re not playing the game quite the way it is supposed to be played.”

“Be that as it may,” he continued, “I will make the obvious assumption that you’ve uncovered the identity of the individuals I am investigating.  Such a pity that horrible tale.  Three children in a seemingly perfect family cut down senselessly during a home invasion.  It makes one wonder if there is any good left in the world. It makes one wonder, why does one even continue to try if the bodies continue to stack up like long forgotten books in the cellar of society’s mind.  You’re probably thinking right at this moment that you did catch the murderers — the monsters.  But alas, you merely captured marionettes and cut their strings.  Perhaps this will be yet another thing you can emote about at your lamentable AA meetings.  Oh yes, I know everything about you.  It seems your father wanted a boy, and unfortunately, he got you.  Always trying to show him you are every bit as capable as a man, but time and again you fail to meet his expectations.  Now, you are sitting on the cusp of another failure.  You murdered two innocent people, people who had no choice but to be puppets to a monster far more terrible than your beleaguered mind can begin to understand. Perhaps in time, as we continue our dance, you just might be illuminated.”

“Baldwin!” Detective James exclaimed. “You need to get me back to the station. He’s threatening my family if we say a word to anyone about the phone tapping.”

Baldwin nodded quickly and gunned the engine. There was a strange pause in the message, and then Nietzsche continued to speak.

“By now Detective James will have insisted that you hurry to the station. I assure you, I am not going to harm his family. But, this last leg of the journey you and I shall take alone. If you alert anyone about my ability to see and hear all your pathetic little department is doing, the consequences will be…less than pleasant. But, I know you won’t because you’re focused on catching me. You feel it will redeem all the failures in your life and show your father he was wrong about you. You are more than welcome to try, but you will fail miserably. I am beyond you.

“But, I digress. The real point to this call was to make a tentative deal. Now you’ll want to be a good girl and listen very closely. If you have indeed deciphered the case I am solving, I will give you the opportunity to redeem yourself. You may ask why, but I have my own reasons, and quite frankly they are none of your concern at the moment. However, time is of the essence. Tonight at precisely 12:13 I want you to return to the crime scene. There, you will find me and the true monster. He will be facing you when you walk into the study where the crime occurred. You must be stealthy, and you must not enter the room until exactly 12:21. You will shoot him directly in his third eye without hesitation. If you hesitate, you will be consumed by his darkness. That gives you approximately eight minutes to plan your entrance. Yes, this is a test. And if you fail, your father will be right, but you won’t have to worry about people uncovering that you are a morbid alcoholic. Addiction is a terrible thing, Detective Baldwin. I suggest, once we’ve caught your monster, that you seek professional counseling, as it is clear by your rubbish bins that AA is not quite doing the trick.”

There was another pause as Baldwin recklessly turned on to Centralia Road off Ironbridge Road.

“Hmm. I think that’s it for now,” Nietzsche continued. “I have studied you closely, Detective. I do think you are up to the task. But I must reiterate, I am not the monster you are looking for. However, I must prepare for this evening. I do hope you can make it to my little soirée. I will be very disappointed if you are wrong.

“By the way, in case you hadn’t noticed, this isn’t a recording. Ta-ta for now!” Nietzsche said and hung up the phone.

“Goddammit!” Baldwin exclaimed throwing the phone against the dash. “Goddamn him!”

“What?” Detective James asked in an agitated tone as the two sped back to the city.

“I’m going to get this asshole if it’s the last thing I do.”

“Just get me to the station!” Detective James said.

(To Be Continued)

Thank you again for waiting for this installment.  The next piece will be the final part to this particular mystery.  I intend to have it published by November 1, but we all know the path to hell is paved with good intentions.

Anxiety Disorder

anxietycartoonnourlforweb450pxHello All,

I promise that I am working on the next installment of my story, The Nietzsche Files.  But, I wanted to share that I have been going through a weaning period off my medication.  Two years ago I was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder.  It is a very real problem and many people in the world suffer from some variety of anxiety. And to be honest, this is one of the major reasons I’ve never done a public appearance to promote my books.  Whenever focus is on me in a large group, I shut down.  I also prefer to text with people rather than talk on the phone.  It takes me a long time to get up the courage to actually meet someone face to face, or talk to them on the phone.  Once I feel comfortable, then I can talk your ear off.

Unfortunately, the medication I take has a high addiction rate, even though I’m not taking a high dosage — Klonopin.   This particular benzodiazepine — street name “benzos” — has nasty side-effects.  This is also becoming a serious problem for people who take it as recreational drug.  It is quickly becoming a new form of heroin.   And, like heroin, it takes its toll on the body and some damage can become permanent.

When I started to notice side effects, I went to my doctor and we both decided that it was time to wean myself off of them  — more drugs was not an option for me.  You can’t just quit them cold turkey because there can be dire effects — seizures, sickness, severe depression and suicidal thoughts.  Luckily, the only effects I am suffering from are hand tremors, anxiety episodes and lack of energy.  I will be off the pills in 75 days.

So this has caused me to be erratic with my social media and interactions with people.   Some days I just lay on the couch and stare at nothing.  But as the days go by I’ve learned other coping mechanisms — breathing, meditation, cutting out things that incite anxiety.  I am finally getting to a place where I can deal with it.

But this post is not about my personal struggle, I say it as a warning to anyone else who falls into the clutches of this drug, or any of its many siblings.  While it allows one to function, it eventually will require more of your soul to continue to “help you cope”.  Unfortunately, there are people who have disorders far worse than me.  I know too many people who have been subjected to terrible things.  I know too many people with PTSD and they’ve either chosen to medicate with alcohol or with drugs such as the one I am leaving behind.  Some are so medicated, they can’t function daily.  I know people, despite the drugs, that still can’t overcome their anxiety.

Another aspect to consider is that we are constantly bombarded with commercials for drugs.  We are being taught that better living can only be achieved through chemistry.  We are even being told that its okay to medicate our children, rather than face the problems head on.  Now this is not to say that all drugs are bad, some are absolutely necessary.  People do have maladies that require medication so that they can survive.  However, in my humble opinion, when it comes to maladies of the brain, we really need to be careful jumping right to drugs.  As I’m finding, the anxiety I was experiencing just required me to be more mindful of my surroundings and knowing myself.  I can overcome it, and I know that those who are suffering as I am, can also overcome.  It takes an understanding from the people around you, believing in yourself, and just taking every day as it comes.

My advice, and it is only from my own personal experience, is this; Identify what causes your anxiety and is it really worth worrying about?  Once you identify what causes your anxiety, you just have to work on dealing with it in a productive way.  That may require counseling or a support network.  There are ways to deal with anxiety without having to resort to pills.  The first step is simply learning to breathe and remind yourself that its okay.  The second step is to focus on the good and not the bad.  One way I did this is I don’t watch anything other than the weather.  I have found that the nightly news is geared to negativity.  We are subjected to story after story of horrible things in the world.  I’m here to tell you that the world is not nearly as terrible as it is depicted every night.  The final step is to recognize that none of us are perfect — you can’t be, what would be the fun in that?  People stress about keeping up with everyone else.  Be you.  And if people don’t like you for who you are, then they are not worth another thought.

Yes, I had anxiety putting this out there, but I have many friends on social media and on twitter, and I don’t want anyone to think I am ignoring them, or have forgotten about them.

I hope those of you going through the same issues as I am are able to find peace.  I just wanted to share this with you so you know you’re not alone.

Thank you as always for listening to me ramble.


The Nietzsche Files – Part 3


Greetings, Dreamers!

Here is part 3 of our story.  If you’ve not read the first two parts, you can find them here:

And now part 3…

Beyond Good and Evil


To him who feels himself preordained to contemplation and not to belief, all believers are too noisy and obtrusive; he guards against them. — Friedrich Nietzsche

“Laertes,” Nietzsche said as he stepped into the office hidden beyond a bookcase in the library of his modest home. The room was empty except for a modest desk beneath a  wall covered with nine computer monitors.

“Yes, Alex,” a disembodied voice emanated from speakers mounted on either side of the monitors.  The voice sounded strange with a tremolo distortion and the hint of a Greek accent.

Nietzsche’s true identity, known only to Laertes, was Alexander Reed.  Alex was not concerned Laertes would reveal this fact as they shared a symbiotic relationship and common goals, though for different purposes.

“Did they find the package?” Alex asked as he took a seat at the desk.

“Yes,” Laertes replied.

A video appeared on one of the screens, which showed Detectives Baldwin and James as they retrieved the package at James Monroe’s Tomb.

“Interesting,” Alex said after he watched for a few moments.  “The Baldwin woman is not as obtuse as I initially thought.”

“And you have now become her new interest,” Laertes replied.

Another screen on the wall flickered with images and a dossier of Detective Kara Baldwin.  An audio file played and recounted the conversation Baldwin and James had before they left to investigate the cemetery.

“No.  I’m going to catch a monster,” Laertes played the clip a few times, analyzing the voice pattern.

Alex pursed his lips a moment, “I knew she wouldn’t let my existence remain anonymous.”

“She is very ambitious, as you can imagine” Laertes remarked.  “The inflection in her voice indicates that she is determined to prove something.”

“Not unusual with female detectives, especially in a field dominated by males,” Alex leaned back in his chair, and stared at the picture of Kara Baldwin, hands folded under his chin.  “She’s endured a troubled childhood, perhaps an absent or dismissive father.  Every relationship she has ever engaged in has ended in failure.  I would venture to say she’s given up on that part of her life.  This would explain a great many things.”

“Shall I issue a warning of some variety?” Laertes asked.

Alex contemplated the images on the screen for a few silent moments, then shook his head, a smirk curled the right side of his mouth.

“In a few moments,” he responded coldly.  “I shall also pay her a visit.  She is interesting, this one.  She has that certain indigo glimmer in her aura.  But I can’t know until I’ve actually seen her with my own eyes.”

“And what will that change?”

“Nothing really,” Alex remarked dismissively.  “However, she may be the only useful person in that department.  The rest of her slack-jawed, dimwitted cohorts don’t exhibit the same level the personal ambition as she.  That makes her perfect bait, despite her flawed sense of empathy.”

“For Apollyon?”

“Precisely,” Alex said. “Ambition can lead to corruption.  Someone as angry and driven as Detective Baldwin is very prone to making a wrong decision for the sake of the ‘greater good'”

“Of course, yet he has eluded us at every turn thus far,” Laertes reminded.

“I am well aware of that, Laertes,” Alex quipped.  “Now, show me the case file on the Tyler murders. “

All of the images and information about Detective Baldwin disappeared. Images of a murdered family, as well as a plethora of documents and newspaper articles filled all nine screens.

“John Tyler,” Alex said to himself as he looked at the picture of a man.  “So very foolish of you to think you could invoke such things.”

The images on the screen depicted John and Wilma Tyler with their three children – a boy and two girls – brutally slain in a ritualistic manner.

“I do agree that this is his work,” Laertes said.

“Yes, and the two buffoons they convicted were merely pawns,” Alex said.  “There was absolutely no motive or ties to the Tyler family.  It just punctuates my assertions on the incompetency of this lamentable police department.  The manner in which they were killed clearly suggests he controlled their actions to ensure the proper execution of the ritual.”

“Indeed, eating of the soul requires strict adherence to the will of the Celestial Ones,” Laertes acquiesced. “Yet, the police labeled it a home invasion.”

“Despite the fact they found no personal possessions missing.  Tyler must have been in possession of something no one would think to look for.  Perhaps The Keystone.”  Alex folded his hands under his chin once more in contemplation.

“That would make proper sense,” Laertes said. “And once delivered, Apoyllon provided an anonymous tip, which I am unable to find in the police database.”

“Of course, he would have expunged it himself,” Alex said.  “Is there anyone living in the house presently?”

“No, it remains vacant.  It seems that the brutality of the murder has stricken fear into any prospective buyer.  It is abandoned and falling into disrepair quickly, due to its age.”

“It has nothing to do with the murders, it is the residual presence of Apollyon.” Alex sat forward and looked closely at the crime scene photos.  “Brilliant, I shall pay a visit this evening and see if I can sense it.  If I am right, we may be nearing the end of a very long quest.  I doubt very seriously Baldwin will uncover my clue today, so this evening is the best time to perform an investigation”

“She and her partner are still trying to decipher the message you left,” Laertes reassured.

“Continue monitoring them,” Alex said.  “But before I leave, let me dictate a warning to our friends at Richmond PD.”


Chief White entered the situation room, Detective Baldwin following behind, eyes cast down.  As she took her place next to her partner, the Chief held up a printed email.

“Anyone else want to get their ass chewed today?” He asked through gritted teeth.  “It seems Nietzsche has a mole in our organization.  He overheard Baldwin expressing her need to be a cowboy.”

The Chief scanned the room slowly, his gaze stopping on Baldwin.  “I want to make myself crystal fucking clear.  No one, I mean, no one is to investigate anything about this Nietzsche until I can secure this department.  I put in a call to the Feds and they are going to be probing this department to the point you’re gonna to feel like you’re having a body cavity search.  And when I do find out who is feeding him information, it will be a federal offense.”

The Chief looked around the room once more before reading the latest letter.

Dear Detective Baldwin and Company,

I told you very clearly that any attempt to uncover my identity would be seen as an act of aggression.  As such, I have sent a copy of my first letter to the Richmond Times Dispatch.  And, by the time your Chief has finished reading this letter, Pearson will have met with an untimely demise at the hand of a fellow inmate.  Pity that, I had hoped that you could prolong his suffering, but that’s over now.

In addition, the clue you found at Hollywood Cemetery, by Detectives Baldwin and James, will be the final clue.  You are now left to your own devices to try to catch the true monster that has eluded you for some time now.  Unfortunately, that monster is far more destructive to your little town than I ever will.  Your ineptitude caused you to fail to see how all things are connected.

I will keep my word, assuming you do not defy me again, that if you are able to solve the case before me I will not claim any further involvement.  And this is how we will dance in the coming months.

I apologize for the brevity of this missive, however, I am off to do your job for you once again.  You have wasted time, and now time doth waste you.

God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him. How shall we comfort ourselves, the murderers of all murderers? What was holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet owned has bled to death under our knives: who will wipe this blood off us?


 “We are so screwed,” Detective James muttered under his breath.

“Beyond words,” the Chief responded.  “I have to give a press conference and explain that a sociopath vigilante found the killer of four little girls that we interviewed and investigated, dumb ass.  We are all screwed.  The mayor already put his foot up my ass and broke it off at the ankle.”

The Chief shook his head in frustration, then looked to Baldwin, “Have you and numb nuts over there deciphered the letter he left.”

“Part of it,” Baldwin responded timidly. “We think it’s a box cipher.  But each word has a different box, orientation and he’s salted it with useless letters.  But, I think we can have it by tomorrow.”

“What part have you deciphered?” The Chief asked impatiently.

“Locksley, sir”

“The Feds will be here tomorrow,” he continued.  “I want you to turn it over to their cryptographers unless you have something by the morning.  I suggest you and your partner pull an all-nighter.  Last thing you need is to be shown up by the Feds and a sociopath.”

The Chief waved a hand dismissively, “Get out of my sight, all of you.”

Baldwin and James quickly left the situation room and retreated to their office.

“Grab your gear, we need to find somewhere private to talk,” Baldwin said.

“Please tell me we’re not going to go looking for this guy again?” Detective James said with no small amount of exasperation in this voice.

“No,” Baldwin replied.  “But, I know someone who can figure this out faster than us.”

On to Part 4

The Nietzsche Files I – Part 2

cemeteryGreetings Dreamers!

I’ve decided not to post the The Nietzsche Files on Amazon, but rather continue with the serial story here on the blog.  If you’ve not read the first part, you can find it at the link below.  This first story is called Beyond Good and Evil.  Once this mystery is complete, I will write others.

A word to my Waking Dream fans, these mysteries are directly related to the Waking Dream universe.  Some of the characters you will encounter were in the novel and my other short stories.  It does not matter if you’ve read the novel or the stories, but this will add spice to the world, and hopefully keep you engaged as I work on the second novel in the Transformation Series, The Unkindness.

And now,

Beyond Good and Evil (Part 2)

“Wanderer, who are you? I watch you go on your way, without scorn, without love, with impenetrable eyes – damp and downhearted, like a plumb line that returns unsatisfied from every depth back into the light (what was it looking for down there?), with a breast that does not sigh, with lips that hide their disgust, with a hand that only grips slowly: who are you?” – Friedrich Nietzsche

Chief Ronald White walked into the situation room carrying a case file, his face contorted unnaturally as he suppressed visceral rage at the situation.

“How in the hell does some vigilante access our network without us knowing?” he began.

He cast a fiery gaze over the room at the dumbfounded uniformed officers and detectives. “Anyone?”

“We’ve been hacked?” Officer Jerry Harrison offered.

“We’ve been hacked? Are you fucking kidding me? Of course we have dumb ass,” he shot the officer a glance of utter shock. “Don’t say another word or I’ll pop your head like a pimple.”

He threw the case file on the desk in disgust. “Anyone else have anything stupid to say?”

“It’s not that difficult, Chief,” Detective Kara Baldwin offered cautiously. “We’ve been breached before because of this bullshit IT contract we have with Data Systems, Inc. They aren’t focused on securing our systems, sir. They’re focused on sucking the life out of this city rather than helping us do our jobs better.”

Baldwin was a new detective, and had risen through the ranks quickly with her sharp wit and odd intuitions. The chief hand-picked her for promotion, and as such became his voice of reason. She worked the Allen case and turned up nothing. Harold Pearson was only a brief blip on he radar.

The Chief pinched the bridge of his nose, closing his eyes in frustration. Everyone sat silently as the Chief gained his composure and finally spoke once more.

“Well,” he began. “Our masked man, or Nietzsche as he calls himself, managed to solve five cases in one night. We found four mummified bodies in a hidden crawl space under the house. I’m sure we’ll match them up to other girls that have gone missing over the past two years. Pearson is a janitor at Angler Elementary School. Jesus, didn’t we interview that sadistic fuck?”

“We did, sir,” Detective Baldwin spoke up again. “He was as clean as they come. No priors. A model citizen his entire life. The only oddity about him is that he is highly educated, but chose to be a janitor.  However, everyone at the school thought well of him, so we didn’t bother to follow him as a lead.  He is a true psychopath with an amazing ability to hide it from others — hiding in plain sight, in fact”

“Obviously, someone found his hiding place,” The Chief said, shooting her a gaze. “Someone figured our mild-mannered janitor was a monster in coveralls.”

“Perhaps it takes one to know one?” Detective Baldwin offered.

“Which brings me to our love note,” The Chief said as he pulled reading glasses from his breast pocket.  He began to read the letter  Nietzsche left with the victim.

Dear Intrepid Detectives and Officers of Richmond Police Department,

You need not thank me for doing your job for you, it was really quite trivial – a mere distraction from my daily routine. However, your inaction caused my reaction to an ever-growing problem in your quaint little southern town. Be that as it may, I cannot allow these sorts of monsters to corrupt the fabric of our existence. But, the blame does not fall solely on the shoulders of your antiquated deductive processes. It is a systemic problem, and you are merely flies caught in a decayed, abandoned web. Struggle as you may to grasp the entirety of your role to ‘protect and serve’, you have forgotten the most basic of principles. In order to catch a monster, you must be a monster – you must think as they do. It is unfortunate that you are unable to disassociate yourselves from your humanity in a productive way, such as I have. Your emotions are what prevent you from breaking the bonds of the common reality and embracing the true nature of what it means to be alive.

But, I digress. I have provided you enough information on the cell phone to ensure a conviction of Harold Pearson. If he walks free, it will be your failure and I assure you I will communicate this entire ordeal to every media outlet on the planet, exposing your incompetency to the world.  So, this one is free, only if you are able to attain a conviction, I shall not expose my role in this investigation.

You needn’t worry about attaining the death penalty. The memento I provided Mr. Pearson will ensure he won’t last a week in prison. It seems no one, even hardened criminals, will suffer the presence of a murderous pedophile. It will only be a matter of time before he takes his first shower among the general populace and that word will still remain, embossed in scarlet across his meaty chest.   What a fitting end to a waste of protein, wouldn’t you agree?

Now I must start working on my next case.  You have about a week before I solve it.  Unfortunately for you, I will not be telling you which one I will be working on.  I am offering you a chance at redemption in the eyes of the people of this town. Your best chance at beating me would be to find the man with the cocked hat. He might shed some light on the matter. Perhaps, you’ll begin to understand what it means to ‘protect and serve’, instead of wasting your time on trivial matters and the low hanging fruit.

Lastly, it would be a waste of precious resources trying to investigate my identity. I am watching you all the time. Any attempt to find me would be seen as an act of aggression, and dealt with accordingly. I am not an inherently violent person, nor do I wish to be. I hate dirt under my fingernails, and blood even more. Your perpetrators will only receive what they deserve, and death, no matter how appealing it may be, is not our decision to make. I have looked into the abyss, and it has looked back into me.  Do not test the depth of my darkness.



 The Chief tossed the letter down on the desk with the rest of the case file and look around the room at the blank faces.

“Garden variety psychopath,” Detective Baldwin said. “He’s screwing with us. This is just a cover for what he’s been up to. A diversion.”

“Oh?” The Chief said. “Is that the best you can think of? He’s saving little girls and branding pedophiles so he can do terrible things elsewhere?”

“It would be the perfect cover, sir,” she insisted amidst the whispers in the room.

“No it wouldn’t, Baldwin. Christ, think before you speak,” The chief barked. “He’s toying with us, yes, but there’s something else at work here and I don’t have the first goddamn clue what that might be.”

Baldwin went to open her mouth but closed it again at the risk of making the situation worse.

“I think we better focus on getting our ducks in a row at the Pearson house and Hollywood Cemetery,” the Chief continued. “Pearson is a non-issue at this point. We have a witness, bodies and enough evidence to bury his ass. I want to know who this Nietzsche is.”

“But, he just said he’s watching,” Detective Jesse James spoke up.  “He’s could very well be in this room for all we know.  Or works at the department.”

“I doubt that very seriously,” the Chief barked. “No one in this department has that sort of eloquence in their ability to communicate.  He, or she, would easily slip up.  That sort of disdain for our department would be written all over their face.”

“Not necessarily,” A brown-haired, woman with thick glasses spoke from the back of the room.  “I’m also not so sure that he’s a psychopath, either.”

Dr. Amanda Grey served as the department psychiatrist, and she proved herself invaluable in cases such as the one they faced.

“Continue,” the Chief replied.

“Look around the room,” she said with an arched eyebrow.  “Do you really know what any of us do when we leave here at night?  Do you know who is an alcoholic?  Who is beating their wife?  Who is secretly gay?”

“I would think those signs would be easy to detect in a department full of detectives, Dr. Grey.”

“I would proceed with caution,” she urged.  “If you truly want to know who Nietzsche is, perhaps you should just follow his instructions.  He’s a sociopath, and what is more disturbing, is that he knows he is, which is in of itself chilling.”

“Why do you say that?” Detective Baldwin asked.

“Because he has chosen to be a sociopath,” Dr. Grey said flatly.  “Listen to his words, everything you need to know is in his letter and the 911 call.  When he is finished, you will find him, because he will need to gloat over his superiority.  And, it will be a grandiose statement.”

“So basically,” the Chief said after a few moments of silence, “we’re sitting on a ticking time bomb?”

“Exactly,” Dr. Grey responded.  “And this one is booby-trapped on levels we can’t even begin to understand.”

“How can you get all that out of an arrogant letter and phone call,” Detective James quipped.

“His wording is precise and has meaning.  His actions have meaning.  His existence has meaning, as far as he is concerned.  He’s not a vigilante, he’s a cold, unwavering crusader.  He’s already told you where to look in Hollywood Cemetery.”

“Why do you say that?” the Chief said as he raised his bushy brows.

“The man with the cocked hat,” Dr. Grey said flatly, ” is James Monroe.”

“Baldwin and James,” the Chief said. “I want you to work the cemetery and see what you can find.  I’ll let the forensic teams and the uniformed officers clean up at the Pearson house.  Don’t screw this up.  He’s obviously been looking at our cold case files.  Don’t let him beat us to the punch.  I don’t want some psycho showing us up, again.  Dismissed.”

The room cleared.  Detective Baldwin and James went to their shared office.

“I want to get this guy,” Baldwin said as she closed the door.

“Are you looking to get your ass fired your first year as detective?” Detective James asked.

“No.  I’m going to catch a monster.” She said as she grabbed keys from her desk.  “Let’s roll.”

On to Part 3



Its only been a few weeks since I re-discovered my love for the water.  I should have understood this fact from the beginning as I’ve lived near the water at the highest points in my life.  However, life often blinds us to the simple things that enrich our lives.

I have spent so much time on my friend’s boat this summer, that I can feel the gentle rocking of the river even when I am lying still on my couch.  It’s an exhilarating experience when you first step onto the boat, feeling how small you are compared to the might of the James river.  You can feel the boat responding subtly to your movement as you shift from port to starboard.    And the smell of the water overwhelms your mind with a melange of fragrances, carried on gentle breezes in heat and in cold.

I do love the excitement of fishing, especially for catfish.  It has nothing at all to do with the need to forage for food.  It is much more than that.  When you are pulling in the fish, you have to be the fish for that span of time between hooking and landing.  For that short time, you have to be one with the fish, understanding how you would try to escape what you feel to be an inevitable end your existence.  You can sense the primal fear that is coursing through its veins as you try to coax it to the surface.  But, the fish is not wise enough to know who I am, or understand that I simply wish to catch it and release it back — and create an adventure for another day.

Friday, I was fishing and I landed a four pound catfish — miniscule compared the river monsters that lurk in the depths of the channel I fish.  That fish found me with the vigor or any human — rolling over, thrashing, trying to wrap my line around a pier.  It breached the surface three times in my twenty-minute struggle — that deep blue and white indicative of the species — teasing me with each laborious moment.  And, when I finally landed it, we saw eye to eye.  The fish acquiesced to the fact that I had bested it.  However, what was absent in its vacant black eyes was the understanding that I merely meant for us to compete.  I wasn’t interested in keeping it — though I do love the taste of catfish —  I can’t bear to take life.  It does not seem fair for me to decide such things — as with many aspects of my life.  I cannot be the judge or executioner because I do not have all the data that explains the full breadth of my action.

Fish are a lot like people.  They live, they breed, they feed and the die.  It is the fundamental aspect of being an organic creature in our wonderful but strange world.  What I like about the catfish is that they are extremely intelligent, and engaging them in a fight is truly satisfying, like playing chess with an unknown opponent.  But make no mistake on the level if their intelligence.  They will outwit you in a heart beat if you are not careful.

We often catch people in our lines.  You toss out your line into the water or into the world, and you do no know what will come up.  That’s the beauty of our world in all aspects.  I have often found that we are constantly casting our lines out into the world — to find friends, lovers or like-minded individuals. It is all done blindly because we cannot know what our line will catch.  It may be what we are looking for, but it may be something completely different.  What’s more, is it may be something more amazing than what we had originally intended to catch or do battle with.

I throw my line out with no expectations of what I will or will not catch.  I’ve learned that the moment I try to target something specific, it seldom yields the I wanted.  Now, I’ve learned that the universe will give you what you need, when you need it.  It is the learning to listen that becomes the challenge.

I spent my weekend with amazing people, living in each individual moment, trying to improve who I am.  Everyone in your life — the ones that contribute something positive (not necessarily intellectually) — brings something useful and enriching to your existence.  You many not immediately understand the connection, or even the purpose, but if you look at the serendipity of those you have met, you will find that you are being guided.  This is not so say its someone controlling you.  This is to say that your impact on the universe is recognized, and you just have to learn to listen to those prompts.

After 43 years, I am only beginning to understand the music of our universe.  But, I will say that I have learned when to listen and when not to listen, because there is a fair amount of noise.

I wrote this post from a partially selfish perspective.  I wanted to record this weekend, for future reference, but I also wanted to impart to you — my friends — that life can truly be magnificent.   We simply need to see it for what it is — moment to moment.

The Nietzsche Files

Greetings, Dreamers!

I apologize for the long hiatus once more, but I have many irons in the fire which have consumed me, not to mention my day job.  But I wanted to update you on a few things, and give you a taste of things to come.  The Unkindness is still moving along quite nicely, and I expect it to go on pre-order sometime this fall.  However, as I write the novel, I realized that there are some other back stories I’d like to impart in the Waking Dream Universe before unleashing my unkindness on the world.

So, I plan on introducing a new set of short stories centered around the first Waking Dream “super-hero” — super-hero a subjective term in this instance.  There are no planned number of stories.  I will continue to write them as long as people stay interested in them.  But for now, I call them “The Nietzsche Files”.

These are the stories of an unusual character who solves crimes using his Weirdness, but not for the sake of humanity.  He has his own reasons which will be revealed as the tales are released.  And, to make matters worse, he has decided that he will work alone and try to show the local police department a thing or two about investigation and deductive reasoning.  All the stories will be fast paced mysteries which I hope will keep you guessing until the end.

And now, part one of…

Beyond Good and Evil (Part 1)


Richmond, Virginia, November 2010

“911, what’s your emergency?” a tired and seemingly disinterested dispatcher answered the call.

“Well,” the caller began in a smooth, calm voice. “It’s not actually MY emergency, per se. You see, if you go to Hollywood Cemetery, there is a large sycamore tree just inside the gates. There you’ll find one Harold Pearson tied to a tree.”

“Sir,” the dispatcher interrupted. “Is Mr. Pearson alive or dead?”

“Oh, he’s quite alive, I assure you. A little worse for the wear, but he’ll most likely survive. But, please don’t interrupt me again, because I have other, critical information to impart to you. So be a good girl and don’t speak until I tell you. Yes?”

“I…yes…” the dispatcher replied.

“Very good. Now then,” the mysterious caller continued. “I’ve been hunting monsters, you see. Ones that you and your incompetent department failed to slay on your own. I’ve been rather bored as of late, and as such, I’ve decided to start fixing the problems in this little town you fancy a city. Now, you’ll also want to send an officer to the seemingly abandoned home at 9202 Oak Street. There you will find one Melody Allen, the child that went missing nearly four months ago. She is quite alright, so you needn’t worry. She will be waiting just inside Mr. Pearson’s home as she was instructed to do. But please, do hurry, she’s had quite the ordeal and we want to ensure that she gets proper attention. I’ve not bothered to call her parents, I’ll try to save some dignity for the detectives at Richmond PD despite the abysmal incompetency they have perpetrated on this city. ”

The caller paused for a moment then continued, “Is there anything else your feeble little mind can think of, or do you think your people can handle unwrapping the little gifts I’ve given them?”

“Sir, can I please have your name?” the dispatcher asked.

“What a banal waste of your only question,” the caller responded coldly. “Good evening to you.”

“Sir?” the dispatcher said, but the line was dead. “Sir?”

She quickly ran a trace on the call, and found that cell phone was, of course, a disposable phone and the point of origin was at 9202 Oak Street.

“All units. All units,” she said urgently. “I need a unit to Hollywood Cemetery to investigate a possible homicide and another unit to 9202 Oak Street. Someone found Melody Allen, the nine-year-old Caucasian female reported missing four months ago…”

The masked stranger looked down on the frightened, yet relieved child sitting quietly on the filthy couch just inside the front door of the dilapidated Oak Street row home.   An opaque, black, nylon mask covered his face and head, making it impossible to discern facial features. He crouched down in front of the child and handed her the phone, along with an envelope.

“It is over now, my dear,” he said in a cold, yet soothing voice. “The monster won’t harm you anymore.”

“Will I see my momma and daddy now?” she asked.

“Yes, of course,” he responded. “That is the only reason I am here. Men like Harold Pearson are like a cavity. Do you know what that means?”

She nodded slowly with big green eyes glistening in the moonlight, her face and hair covered in filth.

“And what happens when we get a cavity?”

“A dentist takes a drill and gets it out before it hurts?”

“Precisely,” he said. “And now, the world can smile just a little more, knowing that it has been fixed.”

She nodded with the first smile to curl her lips since the day Harold plucked her off the street and whisked her away to his lecherous abode.

“When the policemen come, make sure you give them the phone and my letter,” he said as he stood as he pulled a long black trench coat around him. “I must leave because there are other monsters to find. But if you sit quietly, you can already hear the police coming, can’t you?”

Melody listened then nodded with a small sigh of relief.

He patted her on the head, much the way an owner would any diligent pet. “Just wait, and soon you’ll be with your parents again.”

“Thank you,” she leaned forward as if to hug him, but he walked away.

“It will be okay,” he said as he strode to the back of the house, “Be careful out there, young lady. There are many more like Harold. I hope that I do not see you again.”

The dark stranger vanished out the back door and slipped through the shadows to Shedd Street down a narrow road passed an abandoned lot. He quickly pulled off the mask to reveal his chiseled, pale features and platinum blonde hair. He tucked the mask and his leather gloves into the inner pockets of his jacket, and steeled himself against the brisk November chill. A tiny smirk curled his lips as he started to hum “It’s All Forgotten Now” by Al Bowlly, and vanished into the night just as a police cruiser pulled up to take credit for his work.

As always, I thank you for your continued readership and following of my mad ravings.

Lost Haven

losthavenfeaturedGreetings, Dreamers!

Summer has come and as a result I’ve been busy.  But fear not, I have been working on new material, including Book II, The Unkindness.

Today’s post is to remind everyone that there is an interim novella available on Kindle called Lost Haven.  This story happens a few weeks after the Halloween events in Waking Dream: Devlin.  The purpose of this novella was to give my readers a better understanding of my concept of Weirdness.  There are several different forms displayed in this novella, hopefully enough to spur your own creative juices so you can help me build the world.

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I created the Waking Dream universe so that others could add to it, long after I am gone — such as Lovecraft fans continue to create new stories around the Cthulhu mythos.

Lost Haven is a fast paced story about a mysterious group of individuals called The Order of Seers.  It features several new characters as well as a couple of characters from the first book.

I had to throw my hat into the Zombie genre, just a tad, and give my take on the phenomenon.  While the story is primarily dark fantasy, it does have horror elements.  I try not to limit the story, because life nor the universe is limited.  Anything can happen in the Waking Dream.

You can buy Lost Haven for a mere .99 cents on Amazon!  It is certainly worth it for anyone who wants to explore the Waking Dream even further.

Soon, I will be releasing another novella, right before Book II.  “Shadows on the Soul” completes my trilogy of terror and my homage to H.P. Lovecraft, which started with “The House of the Dead Timbers” and “The Case Study”.  “Shadows on the Soul” will be available by the end of summer.  Even though they are horror tales, they all related, in some way, to the Waking Dream.  Can you find the connections?

I thank you all again for your wonderful support of my writing.  I hope you enjoy it.

The Apollyon Letter

WhiteMaskedFigureI initially received  this photo via email.  It had gone to spam, since the address seemed a bit dodgy, and over the top in its attempt to scare me into clicking the photo —  Since there was no message, I simply deleted it, figuring it was some sort of mal-ware despite its unnerving appearance.  However, a few days later, I received it again and it contained the following message:

Your world is distorted and spiraling ever further into chaos. This is by your design. You have failed to understand the purpose of your existence, and it is not for me to explain. It was your responsibility to evolve into something more than an all-consuming swarm of self-absorbed locusts. That is at an end now. I have worked silently, detected, yet unknown, hidden in plain sight and murdering benevolently. I gain no solace from my work, nevertheless, I must continue before you commit suicide, collectively and completely.

Before I continue with this first letter – the first of many to come – I want you to be clear on a few simple points. There is no point in trying to ascertain my identity or find me in any way. You will waste your time, because you cannot find me with the limited capabilities of your feeble minds. In addition, those of you who are unfortunate enough to be on my list, you cannot hide from me. You make my work easy through your insipid need to be noticed – tweeting, status updates, checking in, photos, blogging, and “selfies”. I can pluck you off the streets or out of your bed in the dead of night and there is no stopping me. My experience is vast in the art of observation and extermination. My purpose is very clear and I have no doubts about my mission. Doubt is a human characteristic. I am more than human. I know you because I began just as you do, wandering listlessly through existence without the faintest of ideas on purpose. Knowledge comes through experience, trial and error. Now, I can see things you are unable to see. I can see things you don’t want others to see – things you don’t want me to see.

You think your darkest deeds, secrets and wishes stay hidden within the thin space between your ears, yet it is recorded on the fabric of space and time for all eternity. Once something is known, it cannot be unknown. This is a fundamental law of the universe, just as I now embody one of its laws – all things must die. I can see the thoughts on the record of the cosmos, then follow the trail of putrid breadcrumbs that lead to those who most deserve punishment. The only law constraining me is that my punishment must be equal to the deed for which I will punish you. I am not the cruel one, I merely a product of your actions. Since the dawn of humanity, I have been among you. I chose to reveal myself now because your world is ending. Many will die, and not just by my hands. I watch your news and see that you are quite astute in the art of killing. The pity is that you kill at all. The evil ones kill on a whim as by-standers look on like soulless zombies, recording the atrocious acts on their electronic devices, for the same selfish reasons you do anything else in your empty lives – to attain a fleeting moment of notoriety on the internet or the evening news. This is the very reason your world will end, more rapidly than you can imagine. I have written this in the hopes that perhaps knowing these facts will change your ways, though I remain skeptical.

People from every aspect of your failed society litter my list, which I prioritized by the severity your immoral acts. Crimes against the pure and innocent I deal with swiftly and innocuously. I used to empathize with your race, but that has left me now – all that is left is pity. The more I observe, the more I find that single smudge of black floating in your soul, a scar of the deed you committed against another. These shards of darkness sing to me across time and space. Eventually, I will come for you unless you find a way to expunge it from your being, and make an act of true contrition. However, I must warn you that the only god that can save you is the god within yourself, which you refuse to see. You look to the heavens with empty eyes and hearts, begging for forgiveness from an entity who has long since ignored your disingenuous atonement. From this lack of hope, I am born.

There is no heaven or hell. Life is a cycle of birth, death and rebirth. When the end does come, some will survive to rebuild. It will be their responsibility to learn from your mistakes, and perhaps I will slumber once more — but humanity has not allowed me to do so in a very long time. There are those among you who ensure that I have a constant supply of letches to eradicate from this world. You stray from the simple path easily, and you willingly destroy yourselves every moment of the day. You have unwittingly created the weapon of your mass destruction, and you are too blind to see it, even as you read this with skepticism and contempt in your heart. Your arrogance, your technology and your belief systems have brought us to this brief moment in the history of existence where the world will face its ultimate demise.

Why do I continue my work if the world is truly ending? The answer is very simple, even for you. I will pave the way for those who have remained true to themselves and realize their purpose. There are fewer and fewer of you left. You allow the licentiousness, debauchery and narcissism of others to dirty your souls, and only you can purge this from your being.

Those of you who have received or read this missive are targets for my list. As I said, I do have pity, for those who deserve it. It is through these series of letters that I will assist you in cleansing the darkness from the depths of your heart.  You can begin by looking into the mirror. Stare into your eyes and see your soul as I see it. There, the deed will reveal itself, if you truly wish to see it – however, most of you will dismiss this. Once you stare into the darkness in your soul, you will see me staring back at you. It is at that moment that either your mind will accept this and make amends or you will punish yourself by retreating into the waiting arms of madness, imprisoned within your mind.

Spread this message, or do not. My job will continue. Now that you know I exist, you may think twice before evoking further maliciousness against others. If you do not, you should not be surprised when a stranger approaches you from the shadows to force your atonement, and witness the cruelty of which I am capable.


Has anyone else received this email? Seems like some sort of creepypasta to me. I haven’t emailed the person back because it could just be some marketing scheme, or a nutjob looking to find someone to mess with. But, if you have received it, please put a comment below.

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Corridor 03 Experiment

corridor3Greetings, Dreamers!

Over the past year I have been asked on several occasions by people if they could contribute fan fiction to my sites for the Waking Dream.  This was my intention from the beginning.

I have 4 main blogs, two of which are set up for fan or flash fictionThe Way of the Weird ( is a site that features information about the Waking Dream as researched by the character Justin, who suffers from multiple personality disorder.  Though I have been recently remiss in contributing to the site, I intend on beginning this weekend with new content.  Stories for the Way of the Weird are histories, folklore and current events in the Waking Dream Universe.

The second fiction blog I am just beginning which is Corridor 03 (  This is a mock psychiatric unit where the fiction will center around case studies and personal journals of patients, doctors and staff in the unit.  Corridor 03 is a part of the psychiatric facility from Waking Dream: Devlin (Book 1).  I am interested in anyone who would like to contribute as a patient, doctor or staff.  The site will continue to grow, adding to Waking Dream Mythos, or as I call it, The Loethian Mythos.

Over the next month I will be putting up a series of posts explaining the Loethian Mythos which will serve as the framework for others to contribute.  One can learn a great deal by all the content on Way of the Weird, as well as reading the books I’ve published to date.

If you are interested in writing for Way of the Weird, please send an email to  If you are interested in writing for Corridor 03, please use the contact form on the Administration page.

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Lift Me Back Up To The Sun

sun-e1267491079993Greetings, Dreamers!

There is code embedded in our genes. Much of this is governed by mathematical constants, ratios and equations.  Why?

We do not know.

The beauty of our sun is irrefutable–a star adrift amongst a multitude of other kindred stars, a family so impossibly large one cannot be special.  The family is called the Main Sequence.  And we have found, spiraling around these other kindred stars, there are alien planets, strange and beautiful in their own right.  One can look at any planet, either within or beyond our Solar Family, and find beauty in it, something wonderful.

One of my favorite books, and one of the first I ever read, is The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury — the Martian genocide.  The allegory was immediately apparent to me, but, as I grow older, I find new rabbit holes to explore philosophically each time I read it.  I have always been fascinated with ancient cultures, even fictitious ones.  The strange, yet alluring, appeal to the Martian culture, for me, was its foundation in humility.  History does not make a philosophy real — meaningful thoughts create the future of any philosophy.  All we need do is not repeat the mistakes of the past, and history becomes irrelevant.  The Martians as Bradbury created them were beautiful and admirable.

With spring here, we are often reminded of the beauty that exists in and beyond our world — despite the chaos and discontent depicted on the nightly news.  Winter brings isolation, hibernation and introspection as we huddle beneath quilts, blankets and layers of clothes.  Spring unleashes our creativity, with the palette of color splashed over our gardens, forests and parks.  We take up our shovels and rakes to restore our yards to what we had before the cruel winter stripped it all away, leaving its mark as if to remind us that it will come again.

Now, you are probably wondering why I am mentioning all this. Why mention the Martians, beauty and our sun?  The answer is as simple as the answer to the purpose of life.  Life’s only purpose is the pure enjoyment of being.

There is a great deal of turmoil in our world, and it does not seem that there is an end in sight.  It is not isolated to one region, people or country.  It is a systemic problem that we continue to ignore.  The Martian Chronicles is a quintessential lesson on how we as humans trod clumsily through our existence, scarcely aware of the problems we cause because we have not reached a deeper understanding of the nature of the universe or ourselves.

Life is a waking dream — we can mold it, enjoy it, and improve it– but first we must recognize we have the power within us.  The purpose of my series The Waking Dream, is not only to entertain my readers, but also to plant that seed of suspended disbelief.  Once we start to collectively understand that things can be better, we will crave for them to be better.  This requires that we all get involved.  And this has been my steadfast message.

For me, the Waking Dream is to create a culture much like the Bradbury’s Martians.  A life full of philosophical discussion, creating beautiful things, and embracing the harmony that comes from a collective understanding, and engineering, of our reality.  The easiest way to begin is to look skyward to the real master of our world, the Sun.  Without its nurturing warmth, and tumultuous demeanor,  our lives would be very different.  But despite the dangers associated with being dependent on the sun, and its cyclical temper tantrums, it is nonetheless beautiful.

Our world is beautiful, yet, we were discontent to stay in the safety of its caves and caverns, so we have built temporary empires which will be long forgotten when we are no more.  The sun and Earth will exist beyond our brief moment in history — billions of years beyond our comprehension.  Each moment, each breath, each thought should be cherished.  We learn from mistakes and move forward, ever pushed by the arrow of time.

At the beginning of this post I mentioned the code embedded in our genes that define our existence.  This is only the operating system.  We are all programmers with a keen, yet often overlooked, ability to write new code, new apps.  These apps are not limited to our smart devices — “smart” being a grossly overstated term.  We can reorder things by reprogramming the world around us — we do it all the time.  Every time you move something from one side of the room to the other, you are reprogramming your environment, but this is only the most fundamental ability we have — overcoming gravity.

If we embrace the possibility that the universe is ours to mold, then we can explore new avenues of consciousness.  We all have special abilities which we tend to ignore or keep to ourselves, for fear of being labeled negatively.  We have a nasty habit of admonishing those who are different from the rest of the herd.  This is an instinct we must learn to overcome.  Are the things that interest you really things you enjoy, or do you do them because everyone else is?  This is a flaw in our societal structure.  We are individuals first, and community second.  At the end of it all, you will leave this planet by yourself — how do you want to be remembered?

I’ve talked on many occasions about our inherent abilities, things we don’t talk about with a sense of earnestness — telepathy, empathy, telekinesis,  communing with the dead.  But why are these concepts so difficult for us to grasp as possible.  Nothing is impossible, and we know this due to our exploration of the quantum world.  However, some things are highly improbable.  For instance, a single electron has the probability of being anywhere in the universe at a given moment — the probability never makes it to zero.  They pop in and out of existence in ways we cannot understand.  There are strange attractions between certain particles that allow them to communicate with one another instantaneously over limitless space, defying what we know about the speed of light.  We have only just begun Kindergarten in the school of the universe.

The code in our genes is what allows us to operate on auto-pilot — breathing, protecting, foraging.  It also tends to hinder us as we rely on our instincts as well as our social engineering to define us.  Whenever I feel as if I am straying from the path I’ve set before myself, I look to the sun and ponder its existence.  From a distance it is a perfect orb of glowing life, but up close it is a tempest of plasma and fire.  The same can be said of our world.  From a distance it is a shining jewel in the crown of the sun, but as we look beneath the clouds, we are a hurricane raging across the planet, unable to find peace in our existence.  We are ever rushing forward to meet the future without taking time to enjoy the now.

We must look to the future, so that we can clear a path through existence.  But we must ensure that we don’t forget to enjoy our being.  The easiest way for one to do that is to step away from the computer, go outside and feel the warmth of the sun on our skin, smell the fragrance of life being renewed, and look within ourselves and ask, “Am I happy?”  This question is the most difficult to explore.

Today the sun is shining, and it is a pleasant day.  Despite being at work, I steal moments to stand outside and look to the sky.  Summer is coming, the flowers are in bloom, and before we know it, we will be back in hibernation.  But in the time we are active, we should explore new ways, within ourselves, to change the world around us.  Things are not horrible, but they are not what we should want.  We should collectively create a dream in which we all are happy, and each of us must strive to make it happen.

You are more than you think you are.  We are all stars, we are all god, we are all beautiful.  Be different, be yourself, be wonderful and the universe will reveal itself to you.


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Official Blog for Author Michael Hibbard