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Always Going Somewhere

Kyle Schreiber

“You’re always going somewhere” my college friend Erika once said to me.

Like my idol Bob Dylan, there was always a place to be.

Its true, I was always going somewhere and never sitting still; different scenery and different places, for me it’s all a big thrill.

The people I’ve met and the stories they’ve told, cannot compare to the riches of the world – not even all the gold.

From Long Island and the Five boroughs to the towering pines of Maine,

from Key West to Seattle, no place is the same. 

Colorado has its beauty as Georgia has the heat,

Wisconsin is an interesting place – and while we’re in the area, Illinois is pretty neat.

Washington D.C. once stole my heart,

I have a lot to say about Florida – I think we all do, but where do we start?

Pennsylvania is pretty terrifying after dark – but not as scary as Oregon,

I’ve yet to venture to Texas, I’m not ready to be born again. 

The Bible belt is an area I need to explore as well,

but when I visited my sister in Alabama, the locals knew I was a Yankee – they could just tell. 

Still, to cross off attending a bible revival tent in my life would be pretty wild,

I plan to navigate the southwest too – you know, when the weather turns mild. 

Kadoka, South Dakota is a gem of a town,

I arrived smiling at breakfast and left the diner with a frown.

On that same journey we traveled through Wyoming at 4:00 in the morning,

the roads were slick as shit – I didn’t see any highway warnings.

The Anza-Borrego Desert in Southern California is the closest I’ve come to a vision quest

not counting the time I slept at a truck stop in Montana – the morning coffee wasn’t the best.

Idaho is different; it’s hard to explain,

I’ve passed through Coeur d’Alene a few times, and I understand the city’s claim to fame.

The joke of Ohio being the 5th Dimension isn’t too far off,

West Virginia is quite pleasant, but I’ve never seen the man of the moth. 

Hawaii and Alaska I haven’t forgot about you; North Dakota, Minnesota, and Rhode Island too.

Utah, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas, you’re also on my list,

Nevada, Missouri, Kentucky, and Michigan how many more have I missed?

There’s also Mississippi and North Carolina – I think that names them all,

One day I’ll cross all the remaining states off my wall.

“It’s all about the adventure” I tell people with a smile,

“I have places to go and things to see, so I can only chat for a little while.”

Baltimore for football, or Bend for a concert,

gambling in Atlantic City and walking the beach until my feet hurt.

Always a fan of Miami with my old roommates in late October,

never drank that much in my life; took nearly a week to get sober!

Am I searching for something? I wouldn’t say so,

 I just love boarding planes or packing up the car, and away I go. 

Trains too! I’ll take a train when I can,

“you’re always going somewhere,” I’m just a traveling man. 


How I wish to be a Traveling Writer

Kyle Schreiber

Someday I’ll be a traveling writer; I’ve got a story or two to tell.

Nothing bad or defaming, but I figure what the hell.

Now that I think of it, I’ve got more than just one or two,

I think I have about six dozen active ideas, but let’s keep that between me and you.

“What do you write about?” Some people ask every now and then,

“Oh the usual” I say, “money and desire, adventures of woe, falling in love, finding yourself and falling in love again.”

Some react with interest; others could care less

It doesn’t bother me though, I write for me, not them, I don’t care about the rest. 

Oh how I wish to be a traveling writer and simple just move around,

That’s the dream for me, writing stories while roaming from town to town 

My stories will provide and entertain along the way,

I don’t want riches, I don’t want an agent, I don’t want L.A.

To have freedom, that is what I want the most,

I’d like to spend a night writing in Charleston Harbor and hop a train the next morning destined for the West Coast.

I have a lot to say – but sometimes I feel like no one listens,

My stories are about real life, and to tell them is following my vision.

In order to fulfill my wishes I’ll have to do the work,

There is more to life than scandalous pictures and videos making your ass twerk

Sadly, it today’s world many obtain fame that way,

Good for them, “the bare minimum”, that’s what I say.

I don’t have time for wishing, only action,

my goal in life is to have as many accolades as the NBA’s Phil Jackson!

…Or maybe not, and that’s okay,

for I know one day I’ll be on my way.

Oh how I wish to be a traveling writer, or maybe I already am,

I’ve been running around and writing stories for years, this isn’t a new plan.


A Journal from Bidwell Park

Kyle Schreiber

What was I suppose to do? Where should I sit? I mean, the park is only so big and most of the trees were occupied by yoga enthusiasts or bongo musicians. In the open grass picnics were underway with smiles and sunshine filling the air. I passed a few fellas playing hacky sack near Elmwood Avenue but I was too high to engage; all I cared about was finding a tree to sit under.

I found a vacant tree near the Potomac Avenue split and sat down with my back to Elmwood. Across the street my eyes fixed on a bricked mansion with tall living room windows and beige curtains.

I had nothing to write – I just needed to get out of my apartment for a few hours.

A sense of rebirth is in the air – an anticipated event from the onset of when the colder months approach and the skies turn grey. During these short days and long nights I yearn for the summer months and warmer weather.

Now it was early May, and the weather has broke from the coldness of Buffalo winters. My seasonal depression vanished as it always does for the warmer months leaving only constant depression and worsening anxiety to distract me from life. One less layer goes a long way.

Anyway…Looking around I see a lot of people around. As I scribble down this nonsense as if you the reader care, I’m also trying to take in all of my surroundings and enjoy the sunlight and maybe catch a contagious smile.

A few bikers – the pedaling kind – rode by.

What do cyclists talk about? Tires and spokes; Handlebars and seat adjustments? Are these thoughts too elementary? Maybe I’m wrong. Perhaps the heavy peddlers discuss the inter workings of velocity and speed on the given grade and erosion of Buffalo’s streets – maybe they write the Mayor and Governor angry letters demanding the streets be repaired and I’m the asshole for judging…I wonder if they’d let me cycle with them.

What was the right way to do things? What is the wrong way? Why do people judge? Why am I so curious about so many things?

I don’t have the answers to these questions.

I turned back to look at Elmwood. Traffic was heavy now. It was probably around 5:30 pm; everyone was leaving work and heading home.

A motorcycle turned away from the gridlock and slowly roared by the park.

It looks like a cruiser. An all-white polished body glistening in the warm sun. The spotless chrome engine rattled as the husky and fierce-looking rider rolled by. Their body weighed the bike down low to the weathered streets. The bike came to a stop at the split. Looking both ways the rider took a second and scanned the area – then he released the brake.

A thunderous rumble tore through the air. The motorcycles hot anus exploded with each gear change sending echoes down the city streets. They were off to the races. The rider was soon out of sight, but I had a feeling I’d hear him for the next few minutes.

I wondered what time it was. I use to wear a watch – it was easier to tell time that way instead of awkwardly pulling out a phone in mid conversation – but I gave that watch, a watch that was with me for many miles and many years to the woman I love. Since then, it’s never left her wrist. The story itself is one made for Hollywood, or maybe someday a novel. The timeline of events is more romantic than just gifting someone a sentimental wrist watch out of strong feelings of love…But we’ll save that for another time. Today, I’m in a park being a person – and it feels great.

Sure money is tight and bills are due. Debt collectors and the bank are calling to harass me over money I simply don’t have. But who cares? The power of the suns desiring rays cause me not to worry about these obstacles and instead to simply enjoy the outdoors again. I’ll give those demons my energy a different time – probably later this week while I’m at work contemplating my career, contemplating my life, and trying to understand what happened to the world.

I didn’t have anywhere to be this afternoon. I sat for a few seconds zoning out to the fantasy of what else I could do with the remaining hours of sunlight today.

In the distance a loud engine screamed – I wondered if it was the motorcycle from before. Whoever it was they had somewhere to be. That’s the real feeling of freedom – a loud and fast car with your music blasting and somewhere to be. I wanted to go fast, I wanted to listen to music – first I needed somewhere to be. But for now, sitting in the park is a good gig. I think I’ll stay a little longer.

Vestiges of Eternity: Ergo Station

Patrick Mazzu & Kyle Schreiber                   

Buffalo, New York

Ergo Station

The bow of the Indwell drifted towards Ergo Station’s wide docking terminal. After traveling thirteen lightyears through an uncharted expanse, IP and Captain Castor Vale received a communication from two furloughed crewmembers: Zere and Redmon. Stopovers at a place like Ergo were not ideal, but the Indwell needed all-hands-on-deck before it delivered its cargo to the disreputable hide lord, Sicsin Tamerlane.

“Lorelei, initiate the docking sequence,” IP said. 

“One option I see involves docking via the cargo hold. Would you like to try that one?” Lorelei replied in a synthesized voice.

IP let out a sigh as she rose from her navigation chair. She needed to walk off her annoyance with Lorelei and began to pace the flight deck. The cargo hold wasn’t just one option, it was the only option.

“Yes, Lorelei,” IP groaned in frustration.

“Why don’t you just fly the damned ship?” Castor asked.

“Hey, Lorelei isn’t—”

“I’m sorry I don’t understand. Is there something else I can help you with?” Lorelei said.

“No, Lorelei…” IP rubbed her temples. “She isn’t perfect, I know. But once I tweak her command-and-action database she’ll be smooth sailing.”

Castor snickered, “I’m going to get ready. I don’t want to spend more time here than we have to.”

Ergo Station. Most ports began as simple stop-and-go fueling hubs. Then profiteers realized there was value in transforming waystations into pit stops for the wicked. Under the station’s giant solar dome was the U-shaped promenade, a neon bazaar where merchants pawned off their gilded trinkets and trifles; conmen lurked the walkway, hoping to sell their ruse to uninitiated travelers. If one could ignore the aggressive peddlers, temptation would greet them a second time as they passed by the carnal delights of the Astro-Lounge, one of the many institutions designed to collect loose credits from blue-balled patrons. Castor didn’t know in which seedy establishment he would find Zere and Redmon, but he knew he would have to ignore every one of his pent-up desires if their voyage was to remain on schedule.  

“Should you really be the one taking a trek on the promenade?” IP asked.

“Yeah, yeah…I shouldn’t be long.” 

As Castor disembarked from the ship, IP placed her hand on the switch that controlled the sliding door. She watched as her captain walked through the airlock and into the station’s terminal. 

“And don’t forget to review Sicsin’s hides; I’d like to avoid upsetting him with a bad exchange.”

“I’ll get Grae on it.”

“I need the cargo reviewed, not ‘reviewed.’ You know as well as I do: Grae isn’t going to check the haul with the same detail.”

She shot Castor an unamused glare as he set off to find Zere and Redmon. She had better things to do with her time than to check an order, even if it was for a scoundrel as dangerous as Sicsin.

IP ignored Castor’s commands, at least for the moment, and began implementing new subroutines for Lorelei’s ship-wide expansion. Others saw her obsession with tinkering as nothing more than play, laziness at worst. This earned her the nickname Idle Pilot—IP for short. She wanted to make life simpler by developing an AI program that responded to verbal commands throughout the Indwell.   

To retrofit the entire ship, IP had to connect Lorelei’s mainframe to the communication relays in each of the ship’s five compartments. Recircuiting cables was a tedious task, but she enjoyed it—lugging around the bulky spools of wire was a different story.  

Lorelei’s expansion started in the flight deck and worked her way through the elongated ship chronologically. The galley was small and proved to be a quick installation; the max capacity was five, though it regularly seated eight members. IP lugged her coil into the galley and connected it to the ration dispensary. The vending machine already had a basic virtual assistant, which the crew referred to as Fodder because the rations it dispensed were dry and tasteless. She accessed Fodder, asking it to delete its program from the dispensary. Fodder questioned the command saying, “If you delete my interface, the crew is expected to starve. To continue with interface deletion please confirm it on the touch screen to ensure your command was not misheard.”  IP confirmed Fodder’s removal and scrubbed the AI from the vending system, allowing IP to marry Lorelei to the dispensary.

As she worked her way through the crew cabins, she stopped outside of cabin six where she found Grae cleaning his rifle. He shot a curious eye at her and returned to assembling his firearm. IP continued to lay cable in the rest of the narrow cabins, connecting the AI to each bunk relay, meticulously double checking her work along the way.

Two compartments were left: the mainstay and cargo hold. Lorelei was set up in nearly the entire ship. The most critical compartment was the mainstay, which housed the Indwell’s most necessary controls, from data storage to propulsion systems. With the mainstay done, the ship was optimized for improved communication and function. 

IP made her way to the cargo hold, the ship’s final compartment. Her project was almost done. Grinning, she rolled the giant spool of cable into the hold. With the excitement of upgrading her brainchild, she almost forgot to review Sicsin’s requisition, but Lorelei’s upgrade was nearly completed so she told herself that Sicsin’s cargo could wait.

 The cargo hold’s panel was an older model and required a different type of connection than the rest of the ship. She opened the panel and began to strip wires to fit the older model. IP sorted twelve varicolored wires into a specific order before jamming them into a round connector. Once the wires were in place, she crimped the connector and attached the cable to the intercom system, establishing a connection between Lorelei and hold’s intercom.

While IP silently reveled in the success of expanding Lorelei’s functions, she heard a metallic thud echo from Aisle 1 on the far side of the cargo hold. 

“Grae?” she shouted. 

There was no answer.

“Grae, is that you?” she shouted again.

 She readied one of her two sidearms and aimed it towards the noise. The airlock was sealed shut and the alert systems did not indicate the presence of an intruder. This meant whatever was on the ship had been there before they docked. She inched closer to the noise’s origin, adjusting her aim as she peaked around the storage aisles. 

IP arrived at Aisle 1 where the most valuable cargo aboard the Indwell was stored, Sicsin’s requisition. She heard the three bio-cradles before she saw them. Pressurized hisses emanated from the elliptical vats. Each cradle had a large membranous window that stopped about three-fourths of the way down. The remaining fourth was a base that supplied power to the cradle which allowed it to maintain hides autonomously. 

An ominous light radiated from the cradle’s base. Barely visible in the otherwise dark tank was a woman’s body suspended in gelatinous ichor. The fluid not only protected the body from harmful impact, much like the dampening shields that protected the Indwell from attacks, but it also preserved the hide’s youth. 

The woman’s skull was covered by a hideous apparatus, leaving tufts of curly hair sticking out. The device linked her nervous system to the cradle’s base. A liquid ventilator protruded out of her mouth, allowing her to breathe through the oxygen-rich ichor. She was wearing a form-fitting jumpsuit that did not leave much to the imagination. Her lifeless gaze was frozen on IP. Despite the ugly mess of tubes, wires, and goo, IP fixated on the hide’s eyes and soft complexion. They radiated in the light. IP wasn’t the jealous type, but she had always wanted natural curls like the hide.

Of all the components that made up the cradle, the umbilical tendrils revealed the alien craftsmanship of the machine. The strange cables attached to her navel reached outward; fibers on the leaf-like tips collected necessary nutrients from the ichor to maintain the hide’s health. 

As IP’s eyes drifted to the second of three chambers, she noticed the protective membrane had been ripped open, causing the ropy, blue preservatives inside to flow out of the chamber and drip through the steel-grated floors of the cargo bay. The liquid ventilator had been discarded a few feet from the cradle. She immediately pointed her gun up and down the aisle in search of the hide. There was nothing in her line of sight except a trail of ichor.

She quickly inspected the last cradle to determine how many tenants may be wandering the Indwell. Luckily, the third was intact, only one hide had been occupied. She followed the trail to the opposite end of Aisle 1 to determine where the occupied hide had gone. 

A thud echoed through the chamber, only this time it carried with it a distant splashing sound. IP’s aim snapped towards Aisle 3. As she approached the aisle, she closed in on the sound yet again. 

Legs were sticking out from the center aisle near the airlock which was across from the doorway to the inner decks. She quickened her pace to discover a man covered in the same ropey spillage from the empty cradle. IP aimed her pistol at the stranger with an unwavering grip and focused eyes; she reached for her shoulder radio to notify the crew.

“TEN-LU, I repeat, TEN-LU.”

“I’ll be back as soon as I can. Zere and Redmon got mixed up with some rabble-rousers at the astro-lounge. Grae, get down there, now!” Castor shouted.

“Already en route,” Grae hastily replied.

“Don’t believe a word it says; we’ll let Sicsin sort out its true identity when we reach Outpost II,” Castor said.

The radio returned to silence and IP redirected her full attention to the man on the floor. He looked at her with pleading eyes, eyes that begged for mercy and prayed for answers.

“Choose your next words carefully,” IP demanded, “I don’t enjoy killing so don’t give me a reason to.”

The man’s mouth opened but stomach bile, not words, spewed onto the bay floor. He caught his breath and replied in a low, hoarse voice.

“Wo-wo-woah…you can’t just kill me! Let me go and we’ll never come back. I promise.”

The man vomited a second time.

“We? You’re the only one here.” The tenant’s eyes widened as he processed the presumed deaths of his team.

“Why would you kill them? They were innocent! Look, I don’t know how I ended up in this part of whatever compound we stumbled upon, but we were just looking for…I don’t remember what we were looking for,” Dr. Acre’s distress put a strain on his voice.

“I can promise you that you’re all alone. No one else migrated here. You must have been cut off from your team. You may as well save your hide by answering a few questions for me. What will it be: the truth or a spacewalk?”

IP charged her weapon, intimidating the sludge-covered tenant.

“Okay, okay, okay.” The man raised a weak hand to hold her trigger finger. “What do you want?”

‘I want to know who you are and the location of the artifact.”

“Dr. Wayne Acres. I knew this dig had its own dangers, but I—”

“And the artifact?”

“Is this some sort of mind game? How long have you been following me? You know where it is…”

“Humor me.” 


IP paused a second to reflect on Castor’s precaution: “Don’t believe a word it says.”

“Can you tell me where my team is?”

“I told you, there is no team, you’re alone.” 

IP sat on a nearby crate and let out a sigh. The noise didn’t express relief or stress but something in between the two feelings. Grae had arrived during her interrogation but proved to be less than helpful; the only assistance he provided was an intimidating glare while he lit a synthetic cigar. She clicked her radio to check on Castor.


 A crackle of white noise came through her receiver.

“Castor, ETA?”

An unfamiliar, male voice responded, “As soon as you open the door, I would be more than pleased to solve your dilemma.” 

IP was reluctant to respond. The Indwell’s communication frequency was encrypted.

“Identify yourself,” IP said.

“You’re lucky I don’t take offense to that; then again, I can’t be worth committing to memory if you could so easily double-deal me.”

“If you want this conversation to continue, you will identify yourself.”

“Hah, it’s been a lightyear or two. Tell me, have you ever wondered what happened to your dear friend Morfran Amon?”

IP was never good with names yet the voice sounded familiar. She turned to Grae. He shook his head firmly as he exhaled a cloud of vapor.


“Your captain didn’t remember me either. That explains our effortless attempt to preclude his participation in this deal. Now, I don’t hold grudges, but I think it’s only fair that amends are due to even the score. Since your captain is no longer able to set things right himself, I will place that responsibility in your hands. Perhaps you and I could even overlook our murky past and partner up.”

“What do you want?” IP asked. 

“Well, my ship’s cognitive sensors detected an anomaly in Ergo Station’s census. You see, there was a sudden jump in the number of consciousnesses at the station—an increase of one to be exact. And yes, we double-checked. No new ships, births, or malfunctions. This anomaly led us to your charming ship. The only reasonable interpretation would involve the presence of a tenant onboard the Indwell. Wouldn’t you agree?”

IP bit her tongue. She didn’t want to further involve Morfran in the Indwell’s affairs. She hoped to divert his train of thought by peppering reality with pretense.

“There was a tenant onboard, but it escaped onto Ergo Station. That’s why Castor’s off ship. We have a requisition to fill, but I’d be willing to part with its cradle if you’ll let us secure the tenant without interruption.”

“Ah, yes. That would be a most prosperous trade…If I believed your inventive story. I know the tenant is still on board, likely in an arm’s reach, I’m sure. I know your Captain wasn’t searching for the tenant but rather for crewmates who were getting plastered at Sinner’s Sun. We are capable of opening the airlock ourselves if necessary, but I propose you act as a proper host and see us in. We’ll just take the cradle and the tenant, and free up some cargo space for you.”

IP experienced many losses while aboard the Indwell; she was enraged that Castor, Zere, and Redmon had now been added to her list of grievances. As a freelance transport, forming bonds with crewmates wasn’t typically encouraged, but Castor was of a different mind. Contracts didn’t usually provide a dossier of associates to avoid or collaborate with. Every mission was a wild card; it could be an easy way to fill the coffers or a path to great loss. 

Castor captained the Indwell for nearly twenty years, inheriting the original Indwell from his predecessor, since then he has captained four different iterations of the Indwell and guided twenty-eight crew members during his career. Many crewmen either found a reason to leave or died before they had the chance to. 

Morfran Amon’s involvement in their delivery added an unneeded level of stress to an already-demanding mission. IP and Grae were the only crew members on the ship unless you counted Lorelei, which IP usually did. However, Lorelei wasn’t autonomous and could only help by way of a command. As acting captain, IP needed to determine how she was to deal with Morfran. What would Castor do? She thought.

Morfran’s crew sounded well-equipped. For all she knew, casting off from Ergo Station meant the destruction of the Indwell and being lost to Sable’s Void, the vacuum of space. She felt the need to confront Morfran. She thought to herself for a few long seconds before answering.

“I’ll open the airlock.” 

IP didn’t open the door immediately. Instead, she turned to Dr. Acres saying, “Do you think you can walk?” 

“I don’t think there’s much in me, to be honest.” 

The doctor attempted to raise himself off the ground, but his body quivered and collapsed. IP cocked her head in deep thought.

“He’s dead weight,” Grae muttered.

 “Grae, help me get him away from the airlock.” Grae and IP each grabbed one of Dr. Acre’s arms and lugged him to the other end of the aisle. IP’s head turned to Dr. Acres, “Look, you’re either going to work with us or hand yourself over to Morfran, and I promise you’ll find much better company with us than him.” 

IP unholstered her Frontier-41 revolvers. They sat behind cover, waiting for the access command to be given.

“Lorelei, open the cargo bay door.”

“Sensors indicate that opening the door will permit men with ill intentions to enter the craft. Are you sure you would like to open the airlock?”

“Yes, open the airlock!”

When the door slid open, a man traipsed into the cargo bay, followed by five men with surly faces. The leading man, who IP and Grae assumed was Morfran, looked deceivingly stand-up for a privateer. He was wearing black suit pants emphasized by a violet vest over a lavender button up. He walked into the ship, tapping his shock cane against the floors. The cane had a silver knob and black shaft; the end was covered in thin one inch silver prongs charged with an electrical current.

The marauders were adorned in battle-worn garb that juxtaposed Morfran’s elegant appearance. They carried themselves with ill-repute, the kind of attitude seen in inhabitants from backwater planets. Their menacing eyes emblazoned with the opportunity of plundering whatever valuables they could carry.

Morfran sauntered down the center aisle of the cargo bay passing his brutish men as they sacked the shelves for valuable cargo. The rapid but refined thud of Morfran’s cane punctuated the pauses between crashing cargo being thrown about the cargo bay. Suddenly, the cacophony of chaos was silenced as Morfran stepped into the gummy spillage left behind by Dr. Acres’ mechanical womb. He kneeled down to examine the slimy residue with his fingers.

“I see you didn’t bother to clean up for your guests,” Morfran said. His gaze returned to IP as he rubbed his thumbs against two ichor-covered fingers. 

IP emerged with her pistol pointed at Morfran, and Grae followed behind. She motioned the tenant to approach slowly. When the newly occupied hide came into sight, the privateers greeted the tenant with eyes peering down their sights. “Composure, now…remember who you represent.” Morfran commanded his marauders at ease with a gentle wave of his hand, attempting to calm the actions of any loose trigger fingers.

Grae charged his energy weapons and kept his sight steady on Morfran.

“Your reputation doesn’t depict a crew of fools. Nonetheless I can see you aren’t interested in chatting. Such a shame…hand over the tenant,” Morfran said.

    Two marauders walked down the trashed center aisle to apprehend Dr. Acres. As they closed in on the tenant, blaster fire zipped down the aisle from the airlock, stalling the abduction. Castor, followed by Zere and Redmon, flanked the trespassers.

“I’m not surprised you’re back…there’s a reason they call this ship the Indwell, but this ship set you free a long time ago, Morfran.” Castor said with a gun aimed at the privateer.

Morfran exhaled an irritated sigh as the rest of the Indwell surrounded his position. He pondered his next move, rubbing his pointed chin beneath the dim overhead lighting.

The marauders took aim at Castor, Zere, and Redmon as the two sides looked at each other in anticipation finding themselves in a standoff. 

“You’re the one who’s surrounded, not me,” Castor said.

“Ah, yes. That appears to be true, which begs the question: would you please excuse yourself? Your dear first mate and I were in the midst of a delicate transaction and you’re creating quite the commotion.”

Castor stood steadfast to protect his ship, crew, and cargo. He squinted at Morfran and grimaced.

Morfran began to raise his commanding hand, but it froze in reluctance.

 Castor’s crew readied their aim as Morfran’s hand rose halfway. He quickly raised his hand in a mocking manner, ordering his crew to lower their weapons.

 Rolling his eyes, Morfran raised his hand once again to let his soldiers bask in the adrenaline of battle. 

In an instant, gunfire volleyed between the privateers and the Indwell’s crew. Castor, Zere, and Redmon found cover behind stacked containers near the airlock. The trio retaliated with corrosive blasts. Gunfire from the marauders focused on Castor’s position. A sharp shot fired from a gun hidden in a slew of containers hit Zere, dissolving his chest in a flash of energy. Zere’s remains fell to the ground.

IP and Grae joined the fray from behind cover. Meanwhile, Dr. Acres cowered from the sounds of ions and lasers colliding with his cover.

Bursts of energy zipped by like shooting stars, and scattered rounds marred the inner hull. One of Morfran’s men tossed a frag grenade. Seconds later an explosion rattled the Indwell, causing the shelf walls to shift and topple onto Redmon, his remains buried under the wreckage. 

Castor motioned to Grae to flank Morfran through the collapsed shelves. A precise shot from Morfran maneuvered through the misshapen cargo and hit Grae in the sternum, leaving only a charred corpse behind. 

Missed shots from energized weapons cut deep into the walls and ceiling causing an overhead light to swing spastically back and forth. Through smoke and flashes of light, IP saw Morfran vanish into the darkness. Castor Vale fended off the approaching soldiers with a technique he learned from his military service on Nayon. 

Castor tumbled and shot at marauders inching closer and closer to his position. Marauders crashed to the floor around Morfran who shielded himself behind an enclosure of crates. Two marauders were left, but Morfran wasn’t scared by any means; he was strategic and foresaw an unfortunate demise for his remaining soldiers. He gripped his cane firmly in his left hand. In his right, he held his prized pistol recovered from the body of his late mentor, High-reeve Ora MaCayleigh. 

The weapon energized. All Morfran needed was a clear shot at Castor.

Suddenly, a shot flew over Castor’s head, causing him to fall backwards onto a piece of blaster-warped metal, his side skewered by his own ship. The MaCayleigh pistol never left its target unscathed. Morfran laughed to himself, stroking his prowess as IP mowed down his remaining henchmen.

With Morfran as the last-standing trespasser, IP motioned Dr. Acres to follow her down Aisle 7 to Castor’s aid. 

IP dragged Castor into the aisle and propped her wounded captain up against a crooked shelving unit.

“I-If…” Castor began, breathing heavily, “IP…if I don’t pull through, the Indwell’s yours. You’ve earned it…”

“It’s nothing…” IP said in an anxious tone. “Remember when we met on Caloreth?” she continued.

Castor nodded slowly.

“The renowned Castor Vale,” IP professed in a mocking tone, “in distress yet piloting through the violent Mallo Belt, saving a dozen asylum-seekers.”

“Hah…” Castor remarked as he faded out of consciousness. 

IP studied his wound, looking for the best way to remove the warped metal. She couldn’t afford to take her time to patch him up properly. She searched the area for something to treat him with. The medical kiosk was located on the far side of the cargo bay. She couldn’t abandon Castor or Dr. Acres.

IP turned Castor on his side and gripped the metal stuck in his abdomen. She yanked the spike out. Blood gushed. She scooped a handful of preservatives from Dr. Acres arm. IP applied the transparent sludge to both sides of Castor’s wound which she hoped would place his wound in stasis, protecting him from infection and blood loss. 

The Captain’s brown eyes rolled to the back of his head. The rush of alien ichor circulated through his cardiovascular system, causing him to blackout. IP checked his pulse—he was still alive. She was relieved until she heard Morfran’s triumphant laughter resonate through the bay. IP surveyed her surroundings, but she could not see him anywhere. The swinging overhead light slowed to a steady sway, creating a strobe-like effect in the hold. Morfran approached the crew and appeared to be teleporting through the ship as his visibility shifted between the light and dark.

“So, I’ve noticed you go by IP now. Such a shame, I always thought your real name had a certain allure to it. It really rolls off the tongue— “

“Not. Another. Word.”

IP cocked her weapon and aimed directly at Morfran’s ego-filled head, “Well, at least you’re dressed for death.”

Morfran sneered, steadily creeping towards IP, Dr. Acres, and the unconscious Castor Vale. 

“Pull that trigger,” Morfran said, “My handler will hunt you through the myriad of solar systems that make up this galaxy.”

“If you knew who our client was, you wouldn’t be so quick to threaten me.” IP said.

“I’ll spare you in exchange for the tenant and the remaining hides. After all, I’m not greedy. The rest of the cargo is yours to keep. These are my terms and it will be the only condition I’ll lobby with. Take it or leave it.” 

Morfran holstered his MaCayleigh pistol. Then, he took his right hand and grabbed the cane that was gripped tightly in his left. His shock cane was almost as distinctive as his famed pistol; however, the cane didn’t carry a unique history like the MaCayleigh pistol. Pulses of electricity jumped from prod to prod as Morfran glared with intimidation.

“So…?” Morfran Amon raised the cane high above his head and violently swung down, knocking IP’s pistols from her grip. IP retaliated with a sucker punch to Morfran’s left cheek. 

“Dear me, a different one from the bunch.”

“Our payload isn’t up for negotiation,” IP said.

IP tossed her hair into a tight ponytail before raising her fists, implying she was ready to fight for the Indwell and its contents. 

Morfran chuckled to himself before accepting the challenge. He set his cane atop a cargo container. 

“I don’t usually partake in such savagery, but it doesn’t mean I’m opposed to it.” 

He raised his fists, bobbing his left with a taunting sway, all the while his striking right lay dormant ready to swing. IP swung first, landing a blow across his face. Stunned, Morfran couldn’t believe it, and then she struck again with an even harder right hook. Blood spewed from Morfran’s now crooked nose. For a third time, IP swung, but she was blocked. Morfran smacked her hard with his dominant left. Dazed, IP fell back. She was hit several more times. He unleashed a fury of blows striking IP’s head. Morfran swung his right; she dodged, and countered by kneeing the privateer in the abdomen, causing him to stumble back as he gasped for air.

Castor’s eyes fluttered as he began to regain consciousness. He heard indistinguishable grunts from the ongoing brawl between IP and Morfran. He attempted to lift his head but was too weak, falling back into a daze. 

Morfran delivered a head butt shattering IP’s nose. Her eyes welled with tears, but she knew she had the strength within to defeat her opponent.

The two exchanged fists and elbows until Morfran grappled IP and tossed her to the floor. 

Morfran straightened out his beaten outfit and wiped his bloody face. He perked up to the sound of a shuffle near him. He quickly unholstered his pistol and aimed it at the tenant who was attempting a futile escape. Dr. Acres was frozen as Morfran swaggered towards him. He grabbed the cowering tenant by the neck like a dog. Dr. Acres flailed his arms and legs, attempting to escape his assailant’s grip to no avail.

“Now, now. Don’t squirm. It’ll be easier if you just follow my lead.” Morfran said.

Morfran began to hum a victorious melody as he led his prize to locate his cane before exiting the Indwell.

A hellish warrior cry echoed from behind as his beloved cane came flying towards him. The electric prongs scraped his face, etching grooved wounds into his right side. the cane surged, leaving behind a souvenir from their clash—white electrical scars spread across Morfran’s face like branching tree roots.

Morfran screamed in agony, releasing his grip of the tenant. The tenant limped over to IP. Morfran backpedaled, trying to address his wound. IP gave chase to the privateer who was now stumbling through the wreckage of the cargo bay attempting to find the airlock.

Castor, who had now fully regained consciousness, watched the fray from afar. He attempted to limp towards IP’s position to help detain Morfran, but the ichor coursing through his veins continued to cripple him with fatigue. He lowered himself to the floor to alleviate delirium brought on by the ichor. 

As Morfran meandered through battle debris, he struggled to find a clear path. IP followed closely behind him. Rubble blocked the aisle, causing the wounded privateer to be sandwiched between an open container and IP. With nowhere to escape, Morfran was forced into an uncomfortable shipment, crammed between narrow racks of oxygen canisters and medical tubing. 

IP sealed the container, locking Morfran inside.

“Lorelei, eject the container on my position,” ordered IP.

Lorelei activated the gantry crane which moved horizontally across the hold’s ceiling until it locked onto the container. The crane descended vertically to pick the container up and placed it in the airlock. The airlock sealed itself and depressurized its contents. As the airlock floor swung open, Morfran’s crate floated into the void of space. IP’s aim shifted back to Dr. Acres. 


Dr. Acres stood there with the same bewildered look she first found him with. IP motioned to Acres using her gun to move deeper into the ship. IP followed Dr. Acres, with her gun to his back, down the cylindrical corridors of the Indwell.

“What are you going to do with me?” Dr. Acres asked.

“For now, you’ll be staying in one of the empty cabins until we arrive at the next port. From there, you’re on your own, Doc.”

“And my destination?”

“Your new life.”

“What do you mean new life…am I a prisoner?”

Inhibited memories flashed through Dr. Acres’ mind as IP led him down a hallway to an empty cabin. He visualized his excavation team and the ancient wonder hidden beneath the Horn of Africa which, by his logic, seemed to be the cause of his current plight. Dr. Acres’ last memory before the Indwell was that of an advanced architecture forgotten beneath a pillar tomb in Miandi, Somalia. The bizarre amphitheater had a unique, bimetal wall that formed a semicircle. On the face of the wall were meticulous impressions that could not be engraved by primitive tools, or even modern-day tools for that matter. A light flashed behind the symbols in waves, almost like a pulse. There were thousands of fingerprint-like symbols, each one unique arrangement of swirls and dashes.  

The center of the semicircle wall had a square pillar, believed to be the lower half of the stone pillar discovered on the surface. However, the pillar’s base was made out of the same strange metal that the subterranean structure had been composed of rather than the stone bricks of the pillar above ground.

Bones from the distant past were strewn about the cavern floor; superstition rattled locals hired to assist with the excavation, leading others to believe the discovery was a bad omen. Colleagues, fellow archeologists, knew, if anything, this was a good omen. This discovery would bring accolades and grants for future endeavors. So, they began documenting and examining the alien structure. Dr. Acres, mesmerized by the incomparable markings, touched the symbols with elation. He recalled a tingling sensation rush through his palm, then his recollection came to an abrupt halt. 

Dr. Acres snapped back to the present when IP nudged him into his small cabin.

“Lorelei, lock—”


“Our dock date is 225 GY,’” Lorelei said.

IP was visibly irritated by Lorelei’s incompetence and Dr. Acres’ persistence.

“You have to tell me something. Why won’t you help me?”

“Sometimes an explanation makes things worse. No matter what I tell you, it won’t change the course of your fate.”

It was all strange to him. Dr. Acres wished his new reality was a dream and that he had only discovered a mirage induced from the scorching dry heat of Somalia. The fantasy he hoped was true, that a dream state fabricated his experience at Ergo Station, dissipated into disillusionment. The frustrated archeologist clenched his hands into a tight fist and browsed his five by eight-foot cabin.

“Lorelei, lock Cabin 4 and limit all voice commands to Castor and myself.

“Acknowledged. Cabin 4 has been sealed and voice signatures have been filtered, master navigator.”

Dr. Acres paced back-and-forth in the small room, processing the day’s course of events. A port-hole in his room offered clarity two-fold. This new life IP mentioned was to be experienced in the vastness of space. Large space vessels docked and undocked from the large station outside his window. He stared at the wonder that was Ergo Station. He noticed a stranger staring back at him—a reflection. 

At first, he imagined the body must be a younger version of himself, but it didn’t resemble the body he had inherited from his parents. The man in the port-hole mimicked even the slightest of movements and facial contortions. As Dr. Acres’ hands reached to touch his face, the man did the same; his skin was never tanned by suns, never bathed in the gallium lakes of Beor’Bashan. The soft flesh reminded him of his newborn grandchild who he feared he would never hold again. He theorized that his muscle weakness was a symptom of atrophy, but he later learned that his mind had to relearn how to send messages to his body. The realization of having a new life was a heavy burden; he felt forced to forget his family and career, for he knew not how many stars were between earth and himself. He laid down on his cot, falling asleep as thoughts raced with an eternity of unknowns.

In the hallway outside of Cabin 4, Castor hobbled behind IP, placing a comforting grip on her shoulder as they made their way towards the flight deck.

“The tenant mentioned a planet I hadn’t heard of. He called it Somalia.” 


IP shook her head yes.

“I’ve never heard of such a place.”

“He didn’t say much, but he did faintly describe the petroglyph he activated. I think the artifact that brought him is in a completely different system, it may not even be in this galaxy,” IP said.

“It’s a big galaxy, I wouldn’t be so quick to validate the tenant’s story. Have you forgotten what happened to us the last time we crossed paths with a tenant—what we’ve lost today?”

“You don’t need to remind me. I’m still grieving for Maisie and Bannon just as you are. Maybe you shouldn’t be so quick to prejudge him. Don’t we owe him a chance to prove himself? We can’t hand him over, not yet.”

Castor’s face contorted at the idea of crossing Sicsin.

“Maisie…Bannon…Zere…Redmon…Grae. How many more do we have to lose? I’m the captain and we’re going to settle our debt with Sicsin and move past this hide business.”

“Don’t try to pull rank on me. He has a name…Dr. Wayne Acres. He had a life before he showed up in our cargo hold.”

“There’s no way in hell.” 

“We owe it to the dead to make sure he’s not dangerous. What were their deaths for if not to free an innocent man?”

“Well, we could use a doctor…”

“Actually, I think he’s some sort of academic.”

“Oh, right…even better…”

Though Castor was the ranking officer aboard the Indwell, their relationship was more similar to an ornery couple. And like any couple there was always one half that caved. He couldn’t argue with IP’s humanitarian logic which spared Dr. Acres from certain anguish. Castor silently agreed yet he couldn’t help but to be wary of Dr. Acres. After all, you never truly know what kind of person has taken up residence within a hide. He had an infinite number of reservations surrounding the true identity of Dr. Acres. He may be a member of the Ascendant Party, or worse yet, a hide jacker sent to locate and collect cradles. He could be anyone, Castor thought.

“I know you’re upset. I’m not saying he’s going to walk the ship freely, but I think once we’ve had a chance to feel him out, he’ll fit in just fine. You didn’t see him when I found him. He’s either one hell of an actor or he’s truly lost. Plus, you know what Sicsin does with unidentified tenants. I would feel worse having delivered the doctor to an excruciating death than trusting him and dying for it,” IP said.

“You won’t feel anything when we’re dead.”

“It’s a risk I’m willing to take and that’s the end of it.”

“And what of Sicsin?” Castor said.

“That’s your problem. I’m just the navigator.”

Castor mulled over the tragedy that befell his crew and ship. He believed he could cushion their problem by convincing Sicsin the Indwell was targeted by a rival syndicate.

“The blaster marks in our cargo bay may be enough to convince him that one of the hides was stolen and that we managed to save two of them. I’ll pump a few more shots near Acres’ cradle and we can blame Morfran.

“You think he’ll go for that?”

“We’ll find out soon enough. We’ve already been delayed long enough; let’s get this hunk of metal on the move.”
    IP found her chair on the flight deck. 

“Lorelei, shove off and set a course for Genesse, Outpost II.” 

As the aft thrusters pushed the Indwell further from Ergo Station, the ship drifted deeper into the darkness of space. Lorelei propelled the ship forward at thruster speed, and the Indwell gradually passed the threshold of lightspeed.

“Lorelei, what is our ETA?”

 The AI replied, “You will reach your destination in twenty-six lightyears.” 

The ship travelled the uncharted void at lightspeed, making its way to Sicsin’s rendezvous point on the ocean moon, Genesse. 

“I noticed you upped Lorelei’s commands beyond the flight deck…master navigator?”

“Ha-ha, wait until you hear what she calls you…”

A Stranger from the East

Gone are the days of monument strolls and metro rides; peaches from the 7th street market and shared cigarettes from the stoop are nothing more than a warm memory on cold nights.

Sometimes I wonder if I’ll see her in an airport waiting for a delayed flight with a look of loneliness painted on her face.

What would I do? Would I approach and try one last-ditch attempt for all the marbles? Or would I continue to accept her brutal wish and not exist in her life?

Never before our meeting and ever since our departure, she remains the only person in my life to ask, “If I were to say to you, I’m a Stranger traveling from the East seeking that which is lost”…

My response was and will always remain, “I would tell you I am a traveler from the West. It is I whom you seek.”

Sometimes I wonder if she thinks about me.


Cold January and February had a baby, March was its name.

Halfway through the luck shines gold while wet April sets its aim.

May and June got together, and gave us July.

August evenings melt into September, and then comes the red October sky.

November is a loner, dreary and damp,

Now onto December, but wait until New Years to drop the lamp.

7th Street Station

Kyle Schreiber  

I’ve found myself imprisoned in a dimly lit subway station for the past three years. All around passengers waited for trains, ready to move on with their lives. Every now and again a train would approach. The bright light fixed on the engine’s nose would illuminate the ugly puke-colored floor tiles and bring a short burst of life into an otherwise dreary environment. A loud hum of the overworked engine would huff down the track until an ear-piercing shriek of the braking process caused passengers on the platform to wince in pain from the awful cries of friction. With a mechanical pop the door opens allowing passengers to step off and in return those waiting to get on once it was clear.  Day after day, night after night, these trains passed by and people got off and more got on, but I never did. 

Unlike the flow of passengers occupying this lonely station, I stayed still. When the opportunity arose I found something wrong with every train. Sometimes the doors wouldn’t open fully, other times a hesitant conductor would creep toward the platform with paranoia hovering above. Majority of the trains looked to be in good condition, but some held paint blemishes and chipped decals. My nitpicking even came down to the specific characteristics of the travelers. There was always a handful of faces you couldn’t trust; ones with deceiving and alluring eyes of soft blues or sharp greens, the heartbreakers of the bunch. Passengers would glance my way but only for a moment before continuing on with their own life. The negativity grew so large for every item, a hill of complaints was formed in the center of the platform delaying my desire to board even further. The train authorities (or whomever puts the cars on the tracks) could roll out a brand new high-tech train with gadgets and warmed seats for a cold ass on a rainy day, or better yet, a massage feature with a fresh pair of comfortable clothes, and I still wouldn’t board. On occasion, someone would stop and ask if I needed assistance or if they could help me board a train. With a smile and a sad tone I would push them away, leaving myself to rot for another evening of pity.

I was waiting for a train that has long departed the station. A train that I will never have the opportunity to approach again.  Any jury in America would convict me without hesitation as guilty for my destruction of engine parts and the blame I placed upon the conductor without admitting full responsibility. I’ve written to the train authorities on several occasions apologizing for my selfish acts and lack of thought or consideration of the conductor’s emotional state but my letters fell on deaf ears.  Those that would listen to my explanation would grow bored with the story after hearing it time and time again with no alternate ending nor character development from its narrator. 

Like so many days in the past I awoke saddened and alone surrounded by the same cell I’ve sentenced myself to for countless months. However, in a strange turn of events, a familiar sounding engine echoed down the dark tunnel. The traffic on the platform was sparse; very few chose to catch their trains today. From the tunnel came a single beam shining down the tracks toward the platform. When the engine emerged, I was amazed. Painted in a sleek silver coat fitted with emerald green numbers 1018  was the train I had longed for. The brakes engaged silently, there was no loud scream of metal on metal, nor an accompanying hiss of hot air releasing down onto the tracks. When the doors opened no one stepped off or stepped on. Then, before I could take a step closer, the doors slammed shut. In an instant the train powered off down the tracks screaming at rapid speed. At my feet was a piece of paper folded up like a note. 

It read:

Passenger, while life continues all around you, what have you done to live? We have received your letters, we have heard the information you’ve wished to pass our way through third party representatives, we know (for the most part) what you’re up to…so why haven’t you moved? What’s done is done. Yes, you did in fact alter one of our prime engines and the conductors had to step away in the best way possible for themselves, but only you are responsible for the torture you’ve put yourself through. Engines can be rebuilt better than the first model and conductors can be given time away to clear their heads before returning to the tracks. How many opportunities have you let pass by waiting for THIS train? How many people have offered to help you get onto a similar train but you’ve refused because you desire this train? We’re tired of seeing you at the same station with the same defeated look on yourself day in and day out; we acknowledge your errors and we want you to know that our engine runs better now.  We hope this letter heals you and allows you to get off the bench and stop watching life go by. Trains arrive every fifteen minutes, if you’re willing to board. 

-Internal Management

I felt at peace. Closure and clarity had been finally grasped; I placed the note in my pocket and knelt down to tie my shoes. Upon standing I realized that the puke-colored tile had become a lighter hue of blue and that the walls were polished white. The station lights had suddenly changed from dim and depressing to warming and optimistic. The surrounding travelers conversed about weekend victories and promotions. I stepped onto the escalator and began to ascend. At the top an early afternoon sun was shining down onto the busy streets. I put my sunglasses on and started walking.

Elliot King and The Midway Mile

Kyle Schreiber 

The following story is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

Part I – Fear and Loathing at Seattle-Tacoma International 

I was still drunk when Pat woke me up. It was sometime just before 8 AM on the west coast, and the city of Seattle was already starting to hustle for the day. Last night, to close out my visit, Pat and I got hammered drunk off a combination of local beer and dreaded shots of whiskey down in Ballard and somehow, someway, climbed the winding road back up to his apartment in Fremont. This morning, groggy with a high BAC, I had to be at the airport for a 10:30am flight.

With the remnants of the local breweries’ top sellers on my breath and my vision still mildly blurred, I slapped myself in the face a few times, packed up, and got into the car. Pat turned the key. The quiet Subaru engine hummed on without fault; we were off. 

“Do we have time to stop at a dispensary?” I wondered aloud.

“Oh shit. We never got to one yesterday, did we? I think there’s a few on the way, hang on, let me check.”

We sat idle at a residential stop sign for a few moments. The intersection was quiet. A few runners jogged by in nifty clothing of the finest trends giving us puzzled looks as we sat. Pat searched his phone intently. The handsome redhead I had met in college by chance one night had become a dear friend; one always down for adventures and reason to explore. 

“Ah ha!” Pat shouted, “There is one five miles away. We can do this!”


“What are you going to get?”

“Those mints. They do the trick.”

“How many come in a package?”

“Twenty? I’m going to hide them in my bag.”

“You’re a madman! I’ll just send you some.”


We pulled into the dispensary – oddly placed in a strip mall. Inside there were two clerks working behind a large glass counter with all sorts of pipes and bowls, sodas, and candy sitting below them all injected with mass amounts of potent THC. I walked up, found the mints, paid one hundred dollars in cash for four containers, and was back in the car in less than ten minutes. Pat got on the highway and headed for Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

I figured I might as well take a few mints right now. That way, I’ll breeze through security, get a coffee, and by the time I arrive at the gate I’d already be sailing away, no stress needed. My drunken stupor was slowly concluding, soon to be over. Stepping out of Pat’s car before entering the sliding glass doors of Seattle-Tacoma Airport, I reached into my bag and opened up one of the four containers, fishing out two mints. The mints were delicious to a degree, but you knew that there was weed in there; the taste was hardly concealed [In 15 to 20 minutes, after my salvia has soaked the mint up into my system, the effects will kick-in]. I waltzed into the airport expecting a small line of travelers heading home after America’s birthday. I was dead wrong. There must have been a thousand people waiting to go through security! Cue the paranoia.

“Woah.” I muttered under my breath. 

It was packed tight. A litter of people from all over surrounded me as I sauntered into line trying my hardest to not look conspicuous. A group of European tourists were ahead of me – socks and sandals, cameras around their necks, very naturally beautiful people; Directly in front of me was a young woman, probably in her early twenties, holding onto a hand on the other side of the belt barrier. Behind me was a family – mom and dad, older teenage son, younger daughter, and a toddler, a boy. The father sounded southern. I’d guess Texas, maybe close to Dallas with his forthright speech inflections. I started to zone out for a second, fantasizing about driving across Texan pastures in a pickup truck chasing the sun. If I couldn’t reach the sun I’d stop into a small town bar where there is no such thing as a credit or debit card. Towns not even on the map living by their own rules, oblivious to the rest of the country and to the laws of our land; secluded from the corruption of marketing and advertisement and greedy politicians. 

First, I needed to get through this line. I had some time, but at the rate it was moving, I was going to be stoned by the time I walked through the TSA’s security threshold. The line inched up slowly. I started to really focus on the father’s accent, it was starting to bother me; I knew I had heard it somewhere before, but where? Ahead of me, the young couple continued holding hands. When the line made a turn, the man would let go and run to the next turn, the closest he could get to her without jumping over the invisible security line displayed by a wall belt. Sooner or later,he was going to have to let go for good. 

My anxiety started revving from within. I could feel the panic start to leak into my already corrupted thoughts seeping all the way down my spine. I shouldn’t have bought this many containers! 

The overly affectionate couple ahead of me finally let go of each other. The moment was sad for everyone. The entire congregation of people flying this morning watched these two hold on as long as they could until the next time they saw each other. Someone started clapping. A few more joined in. I did too. The little things in life, the small moments most tend to overlook, that is what makes living so special. To experience as much as you can and find true happiness within yourself while watching others along the way. The woman stopped, the line halted behind her. She walked over to her significant other and passionately kissed him. The crowd erupted with cheers.

Of all the times to fly out of Seattle, and of all the times to get looped up on pot mints, the security line doesn’t fail to entertain. Small orchestras of claps followed, and then, back to business. Keep the line moving. 

It was then that my bag started feeling heavier. I placed my belongings on the belt with my heart thudding louder and louder. I walked through the security threshold, no problem. I stepped to the end of the conveyor eagerly waiting for my bag. The belt stopped.

“I GOT SOMETHING!” An agent yelled from behind the X-ray monitor.


This was it. My life was over. 

They’ll probably make an example out of me. Death by lethal injection, I’m sure of it. Maybe not here in Washington, the higher powers might just beat the shit out of me in the holding center and send me on my way with low bail. Hopefully Pat would come to my rescue. But back home, in New York, where everything is illegal, they’ll be waiting to take me away. All of them, every single branch and division – like I was a national fugitive; Sheriffs, FBI, DEA, National Guard, all waiting at the airport ready to make the arrest in front of the news cameras giving the people of the Queen City something to masturbate to for a few days until another mass shooting or sex scandal steals the show. I’d be granted my one phone call of course…

“Hello? Mother? Father? I’ve been arrested at the airport for attempting to sneak edibles across the country. They’re going to kill me, lethal injection; the judge is signing the order now..”

And then, they’d shackle me up in leg restraints and tighten my handcuffs. Two officers will take me down a poorly lit hallway and some big bastard will be standing in front of a heavy door with a small window at the top. With every swing of his billy club the overflowing and unchecked rage from high school that propelled him in becoming a corrections officer in the first place will intensify until the two escort officers leave me at his feet, begging for mercy.

The TSA agent spoke, jolting me away from intrusive thoughts of my soon to be  demise. 

“Sir, is this your bag?”

I gulped a large swallow.

“Yes…” I sighed.

“Do you mind taking it? We like to keep the conveyer clear at all times!”

I was shocked. My jaw dropped open coming to a rest six feet down on the shiny tiled airport floors.

“…Oh! Of course! Of course. I wasn’t sure if you wanted to search it.”

There was a pause. I could see two of the three agents glance at each other suspiciously.

“Do you want us to search your bag sir?”

“No! God no! I’m heading home from vacation! The only things in there are dirty clothes stained with bad decisions and the scent of a one-night stand with a lawyer named Hillary.”

The surrounding TSA agents fought their hardest hold back laughter. My mind was racing at warp speed with no connection to the central processor. I had absolutely no idea what I was saying.

“Have a good flight sir.” The closest agent said.

The bag they were ”after” belonged to the southern fella behind me. Maybe he was stowing away one hundred dollars worth of marijuana mints and was easily discovered. I never knew what happened to that man and his family, maybe they’re back home in their southern dwelling (wherever that could be), or up North at the son’s baseball game. Hell, the father might be in jail; or the whole thing could have been worked out. And the couple from before, the romance that I’ve desired for so long playing out in front of me, who knows if they’ll ever see each other again? 

For a moment, Kathleen crossed my mind. I quickly ran away from the thought.

I grabbed my bag and headed toward the gate.

PART II – Elliot King

My seat was 10B – the middle seat; riding bitch for three and half hours to Chicago. I prayed that my seatmates weren’t lunatics. At the window in 10A was a fatter man with a kind smile dressed in a light blue business shirt and tight khakis; even sitting down, his belt was ready to explode. 

My face was flush, my brow sweaty. I turned the air on. The man in 10A turned to me.

“You look nervous. Is this your first time flying?”

“No, no. I fly all the time. I..I made a stop before heading to the airport.” 

I gave him a look – the look. Anyone that dabbles in smoking pot knows the look. This man had no idea what the look meant. The silence scared him; his eyes showed it. He forced a grin. 

“I think I know what you mean, buddy. Say no more.” He started carefully looking over his shoulder.

The man started fumbling in his carry-on. 

“Hey. What are you doing?!” I quietly snapped.

“Don’t worry. I didn’t think I’d make it through security either.” 

Laying on his lap was a full sub. A WHOLE GODDAMN SUB! Smuggling food onto an airplane! The flight was only three and half hours, maybe four with a delay, couldn’t he wait? This was amatuer on his part.

The mints were really starting to work their magic. I had gone from one state of inebriation to another with little to no sobering period in between. 

The sandwich man was named Seth – he was a nice guy, a business accountant from Kirkland heading to his sister’s wedding in Mount Pleasant, Illinois. I felt bad about getting upset at his smuggled sub, but still, a whole goddamn sub; I’ll never forget that. I was about to move from the middle seat over to the aisle when out of nowhere a bulky purse came flying at me.

“Take Cover!” I hollered.

Seth didn’t flinch. His mouth was agape as if he was going to eat the purse.

The thrower of the purse appeared. The woman was dressed in blue jean shorts and a large white sweater with one side sagging below her shoulder. Her chestnut colored hair was fastened up into a sloppy bun; sunglasses dangled out of her mouth.

“Oh, I’m sorry. I wanted to get rid of my purse before putting my carry-on above.”

“No problem at all. I’ve had worse things thrown at me than a purse.”

She smiled, partially amused. I moved back to my seat and within a minute or two the flight attendants began their safety procedure. We taxied out to the runway. As the flight attendants continued their spiel the purse thrower turned to me.

“Do they really expect us to calmly head for the exits if there ever was an emergency?”

“That’s one of the reasons I don’t sit in the emergency exit rows – too much responsibility. With my arms, I could barely open the door!”

She smiled again, but this time much wider.

“At least you’re honest about it. I can’t even open my suitcase half the time, I couldn’t work that door either!”

We shared a small chuckle. Seth made some strange noises as he finished half of his sub. To his credit, the thing did look delicious. Layers on layers of chicken and lettuce with green peppers and some kind of orange sauce, probably spicy cheese and spinach, all placed on a seeded wheat roll. 

The flight attendants took their seats. The turbines screamed loud. Our jumbo jet bound for Chicago raced down the runway at speeds I only dream of driving. The wheels lifted, we were in the air.

As the atmosphere on the plane started to adjust for the next three and a half hours of flying, I had completely checked out of this galaxy. Internally, my body slowed down and began to process everything that had happened in the last thirty minutes. I was completely gone, in a good way.

“You’re not going to be sick, are you?” The purse thrower asked.

“What? No. No. I had a hell of time getting on the plane and……….well I just had a hell of a time.”

The purse thrower looked confused.

“Are you okay?”

“Yeah, I’m great! I’m just…stoned, frankly.”

I peaked over the seats looking around anxiously. 

“I’m from Buffalo, and weed isn’t legal, not yet at least. So I bought some mints from the dispensary and took some when I got to the airport. There was a hiccup in security which made me think I was caught, and now I’m here processing.”

The woman with chestnut colored hair and brown eyes looked down and back up, containing her laughter.

“Do you have any more?” She asked curiously.

“Of course!”

“Do you mind if I join you, and have one?”

“Well, I have this…policy. I don’t like to share with people if I don’t know their name. I’m Reid, by the way.” 

I extended my hand out for a desired shake. Instantly her hand met mine.

“Nice to meet you, Reid. I’m Elliot.”


“I know, I know, it’s a very masculine name, but I promise I’m not a tough person.”

This time Elliot’s teeth started to show in her smile. 

“I wasn’t even thinking of masculinity. I don’t think I’ve ever met an Elliot before.”

“I’ve never met a Reid.”


An uninvited hand from the window seat jumped into our greeting. Seth the sandwich man wanted to say hi. Quickly he shook hands and he went back to licking his fingers and starting on the second half of his sub.

“I’ve gotta finish this before the drinks and peanuts come! That’ll be my palate cleanser!” 

Elliot King grew up in Seattle with two younger brothers and a dog named Shepard. Two years ago she graduated from the University of Washington and began pursuing her career as an artist. Elliot’s mother works as a news producer and her father is a local anchor; I’m sure you can imagine how the two met. Her youngest brother just graduated from the police academy and was on his way to becoming one of the many newest editions to the Seattle Police Department. Her other brother, the middle child of the bunch, was a sophomore in college at the University of Washington. We exchanged stories about the differences growing up on opposite sides of the country; where we would travel with our families for vacation or an embarrassing story. Our initial small chatter turned into bigger conversation. Hobbies, cars, believable conspiracy theories; Former bosses, recent travel, dream jobs – a lot of information was exchanged in row 10.  Our flow of words glided down a smooth stream of conversation passing the time faster and faster cancelling out the rest of the plane.

Elliot reached for her purse. Concealed in the large buckled bag that nearly wounded me earlier was a Moleskine sketchbook full of drawings I couldn’t believe were real. The colors were extraordinaire and vibrant; these drawings looked like photographs with lines stenciled over the image. Elliot removed a smaller Moleskine case. She opened up the rectangular case showing colored pencils sharpened down to a fine point. 

“These pencils are my everything!”

They looked pristine. Each side of the case had ten pencils tucked behind two leather straps ensuring no movement or risk of tips breaking. 

“You were worried about your mints…these could be considered deadly weapons! Especially this.”

Elliot removed the strange looking tool conveniently tucked away in the side of the case. The sharpening tool was something I’d never seen before. It looked like a knife, but didn’t have a large blade. There was a handle with a red stone imprinted on the top (possibly a ruby) connected to a narrow silver blade. The tool looked ancient. 

She let me hold the sacred-looking carving tool. How was I supposed to hold it? I didn’t want to look foolish, but I also didn’t know how to properly hold a vital tool to someone’s creations. 

Every artist has something they hold true to their hearts. For some it’s an easel and certain type of paint. For others it’s a significant typewriter passed down from family member to family member. For me, it was my manifesto. Other than the editors Hunter Diana, James Broadway, Ruth Clinton and on occasion Nelson Liebler, when he isn’t off being a financial genius, no one can see, know, or hear about my work until completion. I’m anal about perfection and the manifesto holds all of the edits to each story by said editors, whether they’re published or not. The manifesto contains all. Elliot was the same way, but with her pencils and sketchbook; they were her tools to success. I placed the small case and sharpening tool face open on my tray table and shifted back to conversation for the remaining time we had in the air. 

The saddest part about all of this was that the conversation would eventually have to end and at this rate, it was sooner rather than later. I had no idea where we were in the sky but I knew Chicago wasn’t far off. Elliot would continue on and fly to Charleston for her vacation. I have to connect to Buffalo and go back to work. The content was there, the timing was off. Sadly, there is no stopping this intangible non-linear measurement that constantly rules our lives.

The flight could have been from Seattle to London direct and that still wouldn’t have scraped the surface of the iceberg known as Elliot King. I wanted to know more. I wanted to keep talking. I had no interest in returning home and unpacking only to answer the same follow-up questions from my circle of friends asking jealously about my trip and then commenting, “must be nice” in their passive aggressive whiny tones. All my life people were jealous of my travels as if I was an unmarked rich man gallivanting around the world for no reason other than to rub my adventures in others faces. The masses would get upset when I would reply and instruct them to “open your laptop, pick an airline, pick a city, type in your credit card, pack your bag.” They never liked this explanation. The people back home were always angry about something it seemed. They wanted the process to be more complex so they’d have an excuse when it didn’t work in their favor. Laziness and insecurity were the two known culprits of a lot of misplaced talent on the eastern shores of Lake Erie. 

From the cockpit the pilot informed us, we were beginning the descent into Chicago. The smooth river of conversation previously mentioned was about to branch off back to our respected reservoirs. Elliot and I were running out of time with what seemed like years of conversation left to finish.

A flight attendant came by and reminded me to put up my tray table as we were about to land. 

The tray table went up; The tool and pencil case slid into the seat pocket.

The pilots touched down on the runway with incredible force. Collectively everyone lunged forward in his or her seats; the flaps went up, and the pilot began to break. We all lunged again. Seth didn’t move an inch. His sheer mass anchored him securely into the seat. 

“Ladies and Gentlemen,” the pilot began “Welcome to Chicago, Midway Airport. The local time is…”

I looked at my watch, Where had the time gone? It feels like we just took off. I had thirty minutes to get to gate B23. Our plane taxied in while everyone collected his or her immediate belongings. Elliot gathered her drawings from the bigger Moleskine and placed them back into her purse. She began to fidget around. 

“Reid! My pencils!”

Short-term memory loss chimed in at the worst possible time. I tried and tried to remember where I placed the goddamn pencils, but couldn’t. That was it; there goes my chance, if I ever had one, with this beautiful purse-throwing artist. 

In a matter of seconds I ruined everything. I went to open my seat pocket to check for trash. THE PENCILS!

“WAIT! I’ve got them!” I screamed. 

The entire plane fell silent. I could feel the look of curious eyes from all directions staring at our three seats in row ten. 

“Oh my god! Thank you!”

Elliot was relieved. She opened the case glancing quickly at the pencils and went to close it when the man behind her bumped her seat standing up. The case fell to the ground. Quickly, she scrambled her hands on the floor grabbing the case.

“That was close!” She said, “I don’t think anything came out.”

The masses in front and behind arose and wrestled their luggage out from above. I offered to get Elliot’s bag for her but she kindly declined my offer. 

“Well, I’ve got to catch that flight to Charleston. It was really nice to meet you Reid.”

“Absolutely, Elliot. It was great talking with you.”

“Believe me, we could have flown around the world and that still wouldn’t have been enough time to talk! Good luck with your writing, I’ll look your page up!”

“I’m available next week. Good luck with the art shows.”

Elliot and I shared one last smile and said goodbye. The man that bumped her seat let her merge into the aisle, but then quickly blocked Seth and I as he went to grab his luggage from above. What a jerk. 

“Some people man.” Seth said quietly under his breath. 

The man shot us a look. He took his bag out slowly and then dramatically started ambling toward the door. 

“Sir, do you mind? I have to make a connection flight.” I said.

“Pfft” he scoffed “I heard you yapping the whole flight, you need to take a break.”

What an asshole. What an aggressive man. Since when is chatting on an airplane with a stranger a crime of annoyance? People are too serious nowadays, no one is comfortable and everyone has to hear about it, what a bunch of bullshit. 

I looked down at the floor to divert my energy elsewhere instead of telling this guy to fuck off with an audience of twenty-five rows behind me. 

What the hell is that?

I reached down and grabbed the object. Elliot’s ancient-looking sharpening tool had fallen out of the case! 

Now, I held a lethal weapon in one hand and a cache marijuana mints in my bag. I was starting to look more like a national fugitive now.  I tucked the tool the best that I could into my pocket while trying not to pierce my thigh. When I saw an opening I merged. Looking back, I saw Seth smiling and waving.

“Good flight, man!” 

“Take it easy, Seth.”

I had twenty-two minutes to catch my flight. But first, I needed to find Elliot and  deliver her the sharpening tool. The whole colored pencil setup was more important to her than the Baltimore Ravens were to me, without this, she had no quarterback; at least that’s how I rationalized it.

Thanking the crew as I hurried by I took a quick whiff of Chicago air between the airplane and arm. Ah, the windy city and its distinct “capital of the midwest” smell.

Part III – The Midway Mile

Midway Airport is the busiest mile in all of Illinois – including Chicago, or so they say. I needed to navigate through this sea of travelers and find the flight monitors to try and catch Elliot’s connection to Charleston. All these faces, confined to one area. Some are dressed to the nines looking like a poor attempt at glamour and fame. Others are dressed in sweatpants and other baggy clothes to help ensure comfort over the upcoming hours of flight. Airports are a lot like grocery stores in the sense that no one moves! Travelers from all over the country and world are slowed to a crawl looking at all the coffee mugs and keychains that say Chicago. Their eyes become fixated on the merchandise for the major sports teams and the giant bean for tourism. All of these people forget that they need to connect flights and instead get sucked into buying overpriced trinkets for unappreciative people back home. 

Finally, I found the wall of monitors. My flight arrived at Gate A6; the connection for Elliot was gate A18- the complete opposite way of my gate, B23. Time was ticking, there was no room for bitching about the current circumstances, and I needed to act. Swiftly and strategically I began dodging around the slow- moving travelers in Midway airport. There was urgency in my steps, but not full- blown panic, at least not yet. 

Where are all these people going?

The ascending numbers associated with the “A” gates continued to climb. Some of the destinations were interesting; Jacksonville, Florida; Richmond, Virginia; Bangor, Maine; Tulsa, Oklahoma. I always liked looking at the different flight destinations and wondering what it would be like to travel there one day and witness the daily routines of the citizens in their tight communities – like driving in Texas, racing after the sun.

A13, A14, A15, I glanced down at my watch, less than twenty minutes now and I was on the other end of Midway. At last, gate A18. Scanning the area with my head held higher than normal, I didn’t see Elliot anywhere.


And then, I found her. She was sitting at one of the seats facing outward looking out onto the airfield. I ran up to her, out of breath. 



“Elliot, you…”

“Reid, did you decide to come to Charleston? I was only kidding about sleeping in the bathtub, I’m sure you can afford your own room.” She grinned.

“I didn’t…I didn’t know the offer stood. But, you forgot this. It must have fallen out when you dropped the case.”

I held out the odd looking sharpening tool. Elliot’s brown eyes lit up with glee. 

“Thank you so much! I would have been devastated if I’d lost this!” she said, “And you chased me down to give it to me?” 

Elliot fluttered her eyes. She lunged at me with open arms and  hugged me tight. For a brief moment the airport foot traffic and the roaring Rolls Royce turbine engines of scattered airplanes fell mute. She looked down gently biting the corner of her bottom lip. Our eyes locked, the noise came back. She stepped back.

“Thank you, Reid. You’re a kind person for doing that.”

“Well, I mean, I’d ask you out for a drink but, we’re going to two different places.”

“Are you going to be back in Seattle soon?”

“I live by the seam of my pants when it comes to traveling.”

Elliot reached into her purse and pulled out a small business card and a green pen. 

“When you’re out in Seattle again, you can buy me that drink. And I’ll buy you dinner.”

“I’ll make that deal.” I confidently agreed.

“For now though, you better catch your flight!”

“My flight….MY FLIGHT!”

The doors were closing in eight minutes! Elliot handed me her business card.

“Call me, Reid.”

We looked at each other fantasizing of what could be if life hadn’t gotten in the way and timing didn’t shit on our parade. We smiled and turned away. I looked down at my watch, seven minutes. I tightened the shoulder strap of my blue bag and was off to the races.

“Enjoy the Atlantic!” I hollered, galloping off into the herd of travelers once again.

Comparable to OJ Simpson in that one commercial from years past, I started leaping over luggage and dodging small children. Just like the supermarket and bathroom lines at Ralph Wilson Stadium (it will always be Ralph Wilson – and I’m not even a Bills fan) no one moves! Everyone stands in the line of traffic like a statue waiting to be toppled by an angry mob. On occasion you’ll get a few dancers – you know the ones, people coming at you, rarely also in a hurry, and you both hop to the same side to avoid each other but end up dancing back and forth for a few seconds until one has to stop their momentum completely and allow the other to pass. I never stop the momentum; I’ll dance all day if I have to. But no, not this time. I wasn’t looking for a partner; I was looking to get to my goddamn flight. Spinning and turning, dipping around and at one point straight sprinting across the airport rushing past faces I’ll never see again and don’t care to look at anyway with the only goal in mind, make the flight! 

Anyone that lets a child roam freely in an airport is an asshole. Keep an eye on your children at all times. Otherwise, a one hundred fifty pound twenty five-year-old might come steaming by at what feels like fifty miles an hour on his feet, and he might bump your kid to the ground unintentionally. I helped him up. He didn’t cry, everything was okay. Back to the gallop. 

I’ve never missed a flight. Sure, a few have been cancelled out of my control, but I’ve never allowed myself the misfortune of missing a flight. At all costs I’ll get to that damn gate and sit in that goddamn seat if it’s the last thing I do. I refuse to let the people of Illinois laugh and snicker at my helpless cries to the airline staff pleading to let me on board minutes after they’ve shut the door. I won’t allow it. My body was screaming through the stress of the day as my overall energy was starting to slow down. I hadn’t eaten much on top of waking up drunk and then transitioning to weed, and changing time zones. I pushed harder, ran faster. At one point I held my bag like a football and envisioned myself running a historic 99-yard touchdown for the win. For airport staff and other travelers, I probably looked like an escaped con, alluding the authorities through the airport destined to flea arrest once again. I saw the gate. My legs started to wobble all rodeo-like, it felt like my knee was about to blow out. 

I barely made it. Literal seconds left to spare. No one back home is going to believe this tale, but I didn’t care about that right now. I made my flight! And I had done it in record time – the fastest time. On the brink of exhaustion, I plopped down into my window seat, 12C. 

The plane to Buffalo was much smaller than the first bird I boarded earlier today. There were only fifteen rows or so with two seats to a side. I let out a sigh of relief thanking the man upstairs for not making me sit bitch again for the next hour and ten minutes. 

The captain spoke.

“Ladies and Gentleman, welcome aboard and thank you for flying with us this evening. We are all set to push back here and get you on your way to Buffalo, but we just heard some flights are running late so we’re going to hold for a few minutes to make sure we’ve got everyone onboard.”

Son of a bitch.

An excerpt from an upcoming book by Josh Klafter

Day 82

June 1, 2020

America has made a collective decision, one that seemingly unifies the vicious divide of the party line. COVID-19 safety is a thing of the past. It’s over, done, finished. 

Initially, this was out of pure, unfiltered selfishness and stupidity. That’s the only realization I could come up with, when, upon pulling up to a restaurant for pickup, I see 30 or so individuals, many unmasked, standing not even two feet apart, let alone six, from each other. 

But now, it seems that, to many young Americans, COVID-19 is the least of our worries. We are at the precipice of the anarchic entropy of the systems formerly foundational to our country, and not without just cause. This resentment has been building and building since as far back as the birth of our nation, more prominently since the illusion of victory at the close of the 1960s civil rights movement. It took a slew of murders from textbook-swine police over the past few weeks to incite revolution, and the revolution is underway, my friends. 

The endless bombardment of raw video evidence and textual anecdotes has awoken me to the horrors of this war coming from both sides of the battle. Police brutality is at an all-time high as we find ourselves slipping closer and closer toward a martial-law society. It’s as if they see the justified anger and enragement brewing from the American people as one big “oh yeah?” opportunity. It riles them up to the point that they shoot at journalists and beat the shit out of peaceful protestors.

This is not to say we haven’t seen a fair share of savagery from individuals claiming to be a part of the revolution as well. So many businesses, small and large, have been turned into ruins, their owners beaten, and sometimes even slaughtered, for simply trying to defend the property they hold so dear. 

There are also cops who have resisted the temptation of savagery too, standing together with the revolters in solidarity, understanding, and willingness to meet their demands for strong, systemic reformation.

I guess what I’m trying to say here is the following. The greater revolution is more than justifiable. Hell, I would even consider myself a part of it; though I won’t dare give myself much credit when brave soldiers are going out there in the depths of the pandemic to fight for what’s right and I’m sitting at home typing on my keyboard. However, the hypocritical savagery coming from some of the protestors themselves undermines the very mission of the revolution in the first place. 

It’ll be very interesting, unnerving, sickening, but ever so important to see how history unfolds in the coming days, weeks, months, years… decades? It’s all a domino effect, after all. For now, I will try my best to keep you readers updated as frequently as I can muster.

Day 88

June 7, 2020

There is no going back at this point, at least no justifiable regression from the way I see it. The United States police force is no longer protecting and serving. It has morphed into a fascist organization hell-bent on the brutalization and subjugation of its subjects, these subjects being the very people they swore to protect. 

I may have said this before, but somehow these monsters saw peaceful protests against police brutality as their opportunity to become more brutal than ever! This has moved so far along from just the already terrible matter of stray racist cops killing innocent black people. Now they’re sending their forces out by the thousands, enacting savage brutality on innocents regardless of race, gender, or even press status.

When an institution meant to keep the peace and enforce justice has devolved into an institution composed of thousands of militarized sadists committing literal war crimes against thousands of their own, innocent people, there is no going back. 

At this point, the only solution must be the demilitarization and defunding of the police to the point of necessary restructure. The institution must be completely reshaped into something unrecognizable in our modern view. Only then, with a fresh new system, can we rebuild. The police entity, as we know it, must be stopped. They must stand down. 

Until that day, we must keep fighting. Acceptance and complacency because of the conviction of the officers involved in just one murder simply isn’t enough. The police have shown their true colors as an institution that isn’t compatible with the fundamental nature of the United States.

All I’m trying to say here is that we must keep protesting peacefully, keep fighting, until we have a protection system in place that doesn’t turn against its own people.

Remember: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”- Edmund Burke.