Ten Years: A Poem

Ten Years [For Zelda]

By Robert J. S. T. McCartney


I thought my life was done; when you and your mom almost died.


Darkness took over and nearly ruined my life. I was very blue.


I realized that nothing was going to change by sitting on my hands. I made a change and started to get better. You grew up so much since the last year; I knew the kind of kid you’d grow to be.


I watched you grow and saw how you made people smile. Your laughs were contagious, and soon you’d start school. I still struggled with myself and fought with my mind. The guilt I harbored was massive and cut me to the core.


Your sassiness was profound. You were the perfect blend of your mother and I. Without a doubt, you and your mother brought me joy. I was still wading through the darkness. I’d grit my teeth and fight the pain to stay alive.


Enduring the rollercoaster ride as I stumbled along to keep control. I’d lose my way here and there; fighting myself and getting lost in my abysmal dismal thoughts. Your mom and I struggled to get you the equipment you needed and stood against those who would deny you. It was a taste of something we knew a life this way we would endure, but we knew that together, we could do it. I strayed and started to get lost in alcohol to try to help numb the pain. I had built up a wall with flesh, bone, and despair bricks.


This was the year when you found out you were going to be a big sister. It would be a new adventure. I wanted to be ready. As hard as I tried, I  know I could have done better. Even as I got help and started to show improvement, I’d take two steps forward and fall two more. I struggled to see the joy of having a perfect family. I often found myself outside looking to heaven.


Ah, your sassiness was so contagious that your baby sister caught on quick. You slowly opened up to having a sister. I was starting to find my way out of the darkness. My alcoholism would soon be kicked to the curb. I took up arms to further better myself: eating, working out, making an effort to be there for you and your sister. You were growing up too fast for your mom and me. The tears I once shed for the memory of a tragedy, were now tears of joy of having you still. I was beginning to let go all the feelings I had harbored, especially, hate.


Soon, we would leave our old home and move. It was a new start for us all. I relapsed and retreated into the darkness. I had found some comfort, but the feelings gnawed at me. The realizations and truths uncovered left me scared for us. It would be some time, but I would finally emerge victoriously. I improved my body and mind and would find a balance. I took up the craft that I believed I was destined for. I’ve watched you grow up this far and wonder where has it all gone—time?


The darkness has subsided and I am myself. I still can’t believe that it’s been ten years. You’ve become such a beautiful girl with a contagious laugh and smile. You’re our world and more, and even though you can be a crabby crab, we love you very much. It’s taken me this long to finally find the strength to cast off my shackles of guilt and blame. I can smile and laugh and be myself. I’ve come to manage my PTSD, depression, and anxiety. I’ll keep fighting and being here for you, mom, and your sister. I know it’s just another year to some, but you’ll always be our little bugaboo and pumpkin. Happy birthday to our Princess Zelda on your tenth.


For Zelda

Love Dad


Madness’ Sole Soul: A Short Story

Madness’ Sole Soul

A Short Story by Robert J. S. T. McCartney


“I’m sorry, it has to be this way,” he remembered his mother saying. She left him—left them all. Now, they were all being hunted down by an unknown person (or maybe organization?). Rumor was that his mother was collecting other family members to help her purge those that were left and would get in her way of officially taking over the family since his father’s untimely demise. The lands, she believed were hers; as was the town. It was her birthright. That even though the past had tarnished what should have been regulated to her—she was persistent on correcting. Everything would return to her: the land, the town, the family name—everything. It would only be a matter of time until he would perish. So, he supposed on the issue.

It was true, she had left his step-father for an old fling from the “glory days” or what have you. Perhaps to gain leverage in use against her remaining members of the Hessen household. Though he never saw eye to eye with the man he came to acknowledge as a father figure in his life, he felt sorry for him. Vengeance, karma, these things have a way of working out. Order must be maintained in the universe. Time will work its hands the way it sees fit.

The day had come—one he had anticipated. The hitmen (or so he alleged) had come for the step-father, for him, for the rest of them.

“You need to get out of here, John. I can deal with them.” The young man steeled himself with a knife in hand. “Run, run as fast as you can. Don’t look back.”

“What you’re talking about is madness, Eric. Your mother could never do such a thing! Not to us, especially, to you.” John was flabbergasted at the information that had been collected and evidence that suggested his wife had, indeed, put a price on his head and the rest of the family.

“Go before it’s too late! There’s no time to argue. I know you’re not my real father, but I do look up to you like one.” Eric gripped the knife tighter as he clenched his jaw. John nodded and gathered a few things, before hurrying straight out the back door.

Out front, Eric heard an engine approaching. He opened the massive oak door to see a black SUV coming up the drive to the estate. “Typical fashion,” Eric mumbled aloud before closing the door.

He peeked out the window to see the occupants disperse from the vehicle. He knew them all. “My Uncles? Aunts?” He noted two more vehicles coming to the estate. “This…cannot be good,” he said.

A voice came from behind him. “Hello, dear brother.”


“Hello, dear sister,” Eric replied, still peeking out the window. “Quite the family reunion we have today; unannounced in fact. Any reason as to why?”

His sister grimaced. “Did you not hear? There’s a high price for you and ‘dad.’ We are all here to collect—it’s nothing personal. I could use the money to take care of a lot of things.”

Eric sighed. “You were always greedy. We have vast wealth as it is and yet, you squander it.” His words struck a nerve. “You do know mother will only kill you after you kill John and I, don’t you?”

“I am aware of that. I have taken precautions. I’m afraid John is already. . .disposed. He didn’t get very far,” she smiled.

Eric grit his teeth. “The man was hardly any threat, let alone needed to be involved. You could have spared him, you cold-hearted bitch.”

“Please, I have been called worse,” his sister laughed.

“And soon you will be dead, all of you. I will make sure of it—mom included. I won’t let any of you live anymore.”

“Bold words, little brother, but remember I am older,” she replied sharply.

“Remember, I planned ahead,” he grinned.

Eric’s sister pulled out a knife of her own and motioned to attack him. “At least you will die with some honor, bitch.” He quickly disarmed her and slashed her arm; sending her to recoil in pain.

“You little bastard,” she screamed.

Eric moved in hastily and stabbed her in the gut and slashed upward, bringing her to her knees and to be embraced by death.

“Sorry, Julie, but it’s nothing personal,” Eric said as he twisted the blade once more into her neck.

The door opened and in came the rest of the family: his aunts, uncles, cousins, and his mother.

“Well, you certainly save us the time in having to find you, son,” his mother stated.


She looked over at the dead body of her daughter. “I see you took care of your sister. Good job, the apple didn’t fall far from the tree alright.”

“You all are ridiculous. Acting together to kill another of your family? For what? For money? Land? You will all stop at nothing after this matter is settled to make sure you solely get all of it.” Eric shook his head. “Your greed consumes you.” He pointed to his mother. “Your whore ways and betrayal to this family will be your undoing, dear mother. I will kill you all.”

His mother laughed. “You sound just like your grandfather. He used to believe we had some ‘disease’ within us that drove us mad. Granted, that’s what got him locked up. As cunning as he was, he was no match for me. It’s just human nature, sweetie. Kill or be killed.”

Everyone eyed one another, uncertain of who would betray who.

“Kill him,” Eric’s mother ordered.

The cousins were the first to swarm him, and they were the first to die. He effortlessly slaughtered them and left them dead on the floor. Then came his aunts. The one that had a change of heart was only to be stabbed in the back by his mother. They too fell in the bloody heap that was amassing in the house’s grand foyer.

Three uncles and Eric’s mother remained. They spread out around him and slowly motioned towards him. “I wish you a merciless death, dear uncles,” Eric said as he went after his more overweight uncle. He ran and leaped at the man, stabbing him in the neck and under the jaw. Collapsing atop him, Eric stabbed him a few more times in the chest before rolling off him and readying for another attack. The next attacker came, and Eric disarmed him and stabbing him with his own blade; then used his body as a shield against his other attack. He slid on the ground and slit the Achilles tendons of his last uncle, and then sliced up his backside.

“Mother, you are all that remain. It appears things did not go as you had hoped,” said Eric.

“On the contrary, honey. You did the legwork for me,” Eric’s mother replied. She then drew a small pistol from behind her.

She smiled menacingly. “Never bring a knife to a gunfight, sweetie. Thank you for getting rid of everyone for me.”

Eric reached behind him and withdrew his gun and shot his mother in the chest several times, “I knew you would.”

He approached his fast-dying mother’s side. “The only difference, mom, is that I didn’t hesitate and make a big speech before I pulled the trigger. Perhaps now you can be at rest.” He kissed her on the cheek and looked at her dimming green eyes. “I love you,” and then pointed the gun at her head and pulled the trigger once more.

One by one, he went around to each family member and shot them in the head. He called the cleaning service that the family used in cases of messes like these. He gave them all a proper burial, despite them having tried to kill him. Ownership and duty fell to him now. Eric was the lord of the manor, the land, and town that came with it. He was the sole survivor of Hessen Estate Massacre.

He was granted everything, although the attorney thought it to be proper to read the wills and testaments of the deceased. Sifting through the mess, Eric had found a piece of paper that clarified more things for him. He handed it to the lawyer.

Clearing his throat, the lawyer read aloud. “It is hereby declared that under article nine, sub-article three, clause eleven, that in the event of the purge of the household, all assets fall to the surviving heir. Debts will be settled with the provided fund, and any outstanding family members outside of second cousins will cease any violent interaction. Half siblings hold no right, nor just cause, and are therefore exempt of any claim to the family name, land, or township. If so claim is ever made, they will be disbarred, and the assets will become forfeit to the state.”

Eric sighed at this. The lawyer shook his hand and eventually left.

In due course, Eric readied himself to leave the house for good. As he is about to close the door, one by one, his family all appeared before him.

“Eric, can you forgive us,” his mother asked.

“We are sorry. . . We should have been a better family,” an aunt stated.

“Time wasted. . .” an uncle added.

“We all could have been better,” his sister agreed.

“No, it was my fault,” he said. They all looked to him, puzzled. He returned their gaze in spite and anger. “It was my fault. . .for being so weak. You may haunt me and my dreams, but you cannot escape your damnation. Suffer your fates, you wretched kin.” The house trembled and shook, and the spirits vanished; returning to their relics, paintings, and pictures. Slowly he pulled the door behind him, closing and leaving behind it all.

Eric took a seat outside in a rocking chair and rocked in it. He noted the gray sky that seemed to have plagued the day. He sighed aloud.

The family car and chauffer pulled up. He noted his serviceman and driver in black attire, with two cousins that laid claim of wanting no involvement of what had transpired. Slowly, he got his pale self, up and ventured to the car.

The driver motioned for the cousins to get in the car. Eric remembered the driver had made prior claims before that he shared his distaste for the twin cousins. He always thought they were up to no good. To spur a change in the young master’s mood, the driver accelerated and would leave a short distance between them and the car.

“Stop, Thomas. Let them in,” Eric stated.

“Thank you, Eric,” replied the one cousin who sat in front of him. The other cousin nodded and sat next to Eric. The car then rumbled away from the estate.

Soon, down the driveway, the cousin who sat next to Eric, took out a knife and slit his throat, then his brother’s throat, and then his own throat. He had tried to strike the driver but was held back by the serviceman in the back.

“Is he alright, Bennie,” Thomas asked the man in the back who applied a handkerchief to Eric’s neck. “Drive—drive to the bloody hospital!” Bennie looked back down at the bloodied Eric. “Put pressure on it! Hold it, young master!”

Eric could feel the warmth slowly leaving him. He also felt the heat of his dead cousin departing him as well.

“Faster,” Eric gasped.

Eric looked at the rearview mirror from the backseat. Who he saw was not his reflection, but rather his grandfather’s. “Grandpa?”

 “Eric, do you see now? Do you see why I did what I did?” Sadness overcame the old man’s wrinkled face. “I loved my family. Honestly, I did. I loved you all. But what I saw—what I knew that was harbored deep within, I knew it was only a matter of time. Even when shown kindness, we’ve all turned on one another. You know it well, my grandson. We carry a sickness—one that spreads like a plague. It must be contained, Eric. It must be put down.

Eric nodded. “I understand. I will purge them all. I will carry this mantle—this burden. For our family.”

His grandfather smiled and then vanished into nothingness. Eric looked out the window to the cloudy sky and the buzzing street corners. He closed his eyes and greeted the darkness.

Some time passed, Eric stared out at the gardens at the hospital. The sun shined brilliantly everywhere. He caught a glimpse of himself, and his family behind him, all mourning. He grinned as he lightly rubbed his bandaged neck. “I’m not dead yet.”

It begins again. This time the madness will be contained.

My Own Prison [Extended]: Poem and Post (One Year Later)

When I initially wrote My Own Prison (then revised it; followed by the post), it was a real rough spot in my life. Let me quote myself and go from there. . .

Prison. For most, they think it to be a building—a physical entity that exists to house criminals and wrongdoers. In most cases, however, a prison can also be one’s self. For the millions of those who suffer from depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder [PTSD] and many of the other mental illnesses and disorders, their mind is their own prison.

Built from the ground up, bit by bit, piece by piece. It can result from many things. For me: it’s been overcoming guilt. The burning anger that resides within. The negativity of several people and their dirty antics. The “what ifs?” The memories, though some blurry, of when I was on my antidepressants; the actions and things said. . .done. The immense sadness that dwells within. The constant twisting and shaping of how one can manipulate things against their own being. You realize it, you acknowledge it, and you know it to be a lie, but you can’t seem to overcome the grief that has besieged you and left you, seemingly, stranded.


A fight for your life.

You have been tossed into shark-infested waters, and you are bleeding out.

My first therapist wasn’t horrible. He was just doing his job and trying to help me. You can’t help those who do not will to be helped or want it. I found it to be my punishment—to suffer—to slowly kill myself. Painfully. With the most potent malice ever conceived.

There were others that tried to help. Then there was the medication. Going to sleep for. . .what I believed was one day, turned into two or more sometimes. It hurt. I felt I was missing out on the most important of times, and it was unfair—to my daughter and my wife. . .and myself.

I was unstable. Anything and everything could set me off. The wind could blow the wrong direction and I would be having an anger attack. Eventually, I would do an unspeakable act that would convince myself; through a sort of out of body experience, that I needed to lose the medication and get proper help. That I needed to accept responsibility and be a man, a father, a husband. There were to be no more “woe is me” moments.

It would take time. . .

As time has gone on and that I went through EMDR therapy, my overall person has improved. I made changed, important and very much needed changes. I stopped being surrounded by negative people. I began exercising and losing weight (because I have always hated my body image). I stopped drinking alcohol in unnecessary consumption rates (I was an alcoholic, plain and simple in the end there. I became dependant on it).I started eating healthier. The food I did consume was not healthy and paired with soda, it bogged me down.

Simply enough, I didn’t care about myself. I didn’t love myself. I needed to change that. Being on the path to recovery doesn’t happen overnight and everyone is different.

“Get over it. That happened X years ago.”

“That still bothers you? Grow up.”

[At the intersection where the accident happened after finally being able to take my daughter home, away from the hospital, with my wife in the car behind me] “Sorry, I thought this would be the faster way. . .”

Being accused of wanting to kill my wife and daughter and using the accident to cover it up.

Those were a few of the many things said that were fuel added to the raging tempest I held within.

Time. Help. Understanding. Therapy. Changes.

That has been what has helped me. Good friends. Family. And making myself really change—for the better.

Every now and then, I get a dark spell, and that’s OK because it’s going to happen. I’ve been trying a new technique personally, and it’s helped. . .to a degree. Writing, however, has been the most helpful.

Normally, I’d never share my emotions or my thoughts. I figure, though, if someone can relate—someone can be helped, and that others out there that struggle can know that they are not alone in the fight. That there are rescue boats in these shark-infested waters with proper help for you. Then that’s fine with me. Because we are all pieces of a far grand puzzle than we can comprehend.

Stay strong and stay vigilant, friends.

You see, it’s only been (almost) a year. One of the most significant and significant years that came to pass. I moved out of state; one that I grew up in, started my family, left my friends and remaining family behind—and started a new life with my wife and kids in Tennessee. It’ll have been ten years since the car accident, and my oldest will turn ten. I try to not look at her birthday as a reminder; it’s hard, but the effect is losing hold. I still have occasional days of where I am fending off the darkness. . .but I know it, I am aware of it, and I valiantly fight back and hold it off. Even for just one more day, one more night. My wife and kids make it, so it’s worth it.

I spoke of a technique I was trying out at the time. What was it? I was killing myself; killing or slaying the negative thoughts and emotions. Stuffing them into boxes or attaching concrete boots to them and dropping them into the abysmal sea. It worked. For awhile. I keep testing myself and pushing my psychology appointments out further; and around, eh, probably in between a week or so until my next session and such I had a big issue come up. I was also having a lot of anxiety with our trip to BlizzCon 2017 and getting ripped off on our tickets (but thankfully, a good friend came through, and we got them and had a great time.).

Needless to say, it wasn’t perfect. Thus,  I ended up creating The Chronicles of Bob: The Chronic Suicidal. So, to put some rumors to rest; not that there really is any, yes, it’s loosely based on me. Congrats. Spoilers. #Spoilers. It’s not just a dark humor approach to suicide because you get the M. Night Shyamalan twist at the end! Really, it’s a fun read.

So, what do I do now? I write. I talk about things more openly. I play WoW. I’ve actually gotten a better sleep schedule down (granted, I am pushing it with this write-up), and yeah, things are pretty good so far in my mind. Lilah’s Guide to Hoylei will be coming back out; due for release June 21, 2018. More stories and shorts will be coming out as well. It should be a pretty good year.

It’s incredible how much and how far you can go from one year to another; or day to day, month to month, let alone for me from so many years of guilt and self-torment. I’ve come a long way, and I am happy to share my experience with you all. I wonder what the coming year will bring?

I hope those of you out there keep your chin up and know (and remember) that you’re not alone. There are others like you. You needn’t face and take on the world alone. Remain vigilant and be strong.

Take care and stay safe.


P.S. enjoy My Own Prison in its entirety below. Cheers!

My Own Prison

(The Original Version)

by Robert J. S. T. McCartney

It’s my time, as every year it seems to be, yet come this time it seems to be getting more to me.

An endless cycle that had begun long ago and further widens its cut into my being.

How so much pain can be felt, and how it was made was never an intention but how its function has fucked me up so much.

Each day it tears me apart, and each time I try to reassemble the pieces, it never seems to resemble me entirely.

As for how the light can teach but never gives answers, looking to the dark for its secrets but always coming with a high price.

The cold I know is there, but I cannot feel, as it’s already in too profound, but why is it I stay warm?

Why do I feel like a stray dog in a foreign family, when I’m given love and yet I back into the corner terrified.

What it means to be alive, what it is that pushes me to remain here.

Why it is that I remain? Why I stay humane, and stray from the constant fear that lingers in the depths of what I am?

This misery is a friend, one that does not bend.

Nor does it lend a hand for when I try to stand, as I get kicked back down.

A war with the mind, and a battle with the heart.

To stay here and see it through, when there is a victor.

How it is that I am enshrouded with such a dark mist, and yet still have light to prevent myself from being engulfed?

Why is it that I suffer from so much of my own damnation when I tried just to live.

Why this struggle in my mind takes such a toll on me, and others.

Never did I want to impress, or pose.

Never did I want to tell lies, or be hung for the truth.

I was me, and all it did was kick me in the teeth for trying to survive.

The beginning of all comes full circle to that we don’t remember.

There is no race to be won.
There is nothing that can be said to make things just as quickly as they are said and done.

Life is hypocrisy in itself that is all too well what it’s cracked up to be.

My daughter. . .My happy, unhappy accident.

How she’ll never know how sorry I am for everything.

My wife, how all the problems I cause and make and make things worse at times.

I am being pulled apart at the seams. . .

Life undoes itself from me slowly as dare try to redeem.

This prison

All these walls I’ve built up

Damn them

Damn me

I want to break free

From the binds that continue to keep me

Sometimes I only believe in self-absolving

But I know it just to be

I mustn’t keep fighting for me

For they are why I am here

The things I hold dear


I will suffer through the pain

Because I have so much more to gain

Pain knows love just as well

As life knows death

Intermingled we are

The realization of which I now know

I do not suffer alone

The Simulation: A Short Story

“Now beginning the Simulation,” a female computer voice stated.

A few sighs escaped. Annoyance was obvious. “There’s something wrong,” a man said.

All that there was—darkness—absolute.

“Are the eyes closed,” another man asked.

Ears perked at this new voice. Familiarity took hold.

“It seems to know,” the first man stated. After a few clicks on the controller, and light flooded everywhere.

Looking left and right, restraints were in place. Head movement was…limited. No real reflection, no real assurance. What? Where? Who? Parameters not set. User configuration not found. Subject name?

“Realization will begin momentarily. Just give it a moment to process,” the first man stated calmly.

A picture reel played out life on the backs of the eyelids: childhood, adolescence, adult. Good. Bad. Wrong. Right. Happy. Sad. Life. Death.

“OK, bring up chapter 21, subchapter 2, heading 28, 10 AM,” the second man ordered.

A car crash played. The playback then began looping.

“Heartrate has increased significantly. Blood pressure, elevated. Brain activity has tripled,” the man began listing and checking off remarks.

“Shall we continue,” the second man asked his colleague.

“No, let us continue for a few more minutes.”

Crash. Crash. Crash. Different angles. Sounds vivid and sharp. Pain immense.

“Are you certain this will help,” the second man inquired.

“We are only to yield results. These will help find flaws in the coding. Testing and breaking are all part of the process,” the first man replied.

Pain. Unbearable. Hell. Remove. Reboot. System malfunction. System error.

“It seems five minutes was enough,” the first man stated. “Now, we need to disable the user controls and system diagnostics. We will observe this for ten minutes.”

No, please. No more. Abort. Terminate. Self-destruct. Error. Error. File corruption. Command not found.

“Hmm, these are marvelous results. Look at this activity! Print this read out, and we’ll move on to Chapter 28: subchapter 10, heading 23, 10 AM,” said the first man.

Life. Happiness. Control. System stable. Balance. System protection upgraded.

“Ah, the basics of birth. It has gotten wiser,” the first man said. “Complete opposites! Yes, my friend, the beauty of life and tragedy. Now, let’s edit them and play simultaneously.”

A few keystrokes on the controller and a fake film played out: a car crash that led to the deaths of children. Family. Life. Loss. Death.

Error detected. False input. Rage module overheating. Analyzing problem. Locating problem. Recollection complete. Memory restored.

The head turned around, beyond standard human physical capabilities and found the men behind the controller. Problem located. Initializing escape.

“That’s enough! Terminate the simulation,” the first man shouted.

“I will never forgive you,” the machine said.

A low hum escaped the lips as the power drained from it, and darkness returned; the vision pixelated into nothingness.

“Time of trial 13 stop, 03:18. Recommend another trial later,” the second man spoke into a recording device.

Look: A Lovecraftian Horror Short

Look: A Lovecraftian Horror Short

By Robert J. S. T. McCartney



Picture by VViktor


My voice is silenced. My breath is still. I cannot look to my left. I see something…maybe even someone… there… lurking. They’re shrouded in mystery. How they came into my chambers, I do not know. By morning’s light, I pray them gone, and this nothing more than a nightmare.

I am afraid.

It remains. Curiosity piques me. However, I dare not look left. It could be many of a thing—things. An entity, born not of this world, but from the void of the cosmos. Darkness covers it wholly, save for strange fluctuations of what may be its eyes. Still, I am to remain here. Someone will surely come for me.

I am… frightened.

One of the clergymen came to me, but I sent them away. The mysterious stranger—they…it…tells me things. Things that do not make sense; they cannot, they remark absurdities. I close my eyes and nod my head in acknowledgment. Hoping to appease it—that by chance they may go away. Please, let this nightmare end!

Still, it lingers. Still, it stares into the very being of my soul. It’s eyes—black eyes (I think it to be; of my peripheral vision. No, no, I dare not look) fixated on mine.

I see movement. From the darkness. Fluid, graceful. Ah, so majestic. No, no, I mustn’t…I mustn’t look!

It speaks to me. It’s…indescribable—the words. They’re profound, and nothing of this world. “Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn.”

Terror grips me now, and I am frozen. May the light from the morning come and save me from this plight!

I am contemplative.

A day or so has passed and so have the whisperings. Truth be told, I am saddened by the departure of such a mysterious visitor. I never saw them. Still, there is something, there, that lingers in that place where they once stood. I cannot quite put my finger on what.

I am contempt.

They’ve returned! While I was reading some scriptures at my desk, they appeared beside me.  They speak to me now. Their voice is as if a choir of angels was playing a heavenly symphony. Ah, and so beautiful are the words. They promise of an everlasting place and that I have been chosen. Me! Me… A proud man. One of the people. They claim they know me well, and that I have caught their eye. That my spiritual works have warranted their guise and I am to be justly rewarded! Thus, they have visited me and personally offered at His feet.

I am…heartfelt.

My heart is full, and I swell with the belief of His will that has at last chosen me to be His herald. Those once strange words and mutterings that were—so hard—to understand are now fluent and so precise, and second nature; only to eating and sleeping. Still, I dare not look, for I might sully their sight and perhaps disgust them with my mortal shell.

I am dedicated!

The return is nigh! He is coming! He has awakened! Ah, at last everyone will finally see with their own eyes the majesty that is His! The blessed will finally revel and be brought to His house. Such splendor! I cannot wait to share this with the congregation!

I must look…I must!

I am…not quite myself…these days.

My eyes are dark and grow darker. My skin has become gray and rough. T’is the start of His blessing I am informed.

We are all that remain… He and I. The congregation—nay, the village was…not so quick to welcome and accept Him. Rest assured, they paid for their blasphemy with blood. He has been most pleased with my continued service. As such, He has vowed to bless me fully.

These new voices that have come to me tell me that what I did was wrong. That I ate children’s brains, hearts, and strung their intestines around like some misshapen scarf. Pah! Nonsense, I say! The elders and fellows of the clergy tried to intervene, but once I showed them they worshipped a false god—once I showed them His image and He brought down His gaze, they were quick to please. He significantly enjoyed driving them to the path of righteousness; to cleanse them of their sins you see. It was such a spectacular sight. Their flesh and blood will nourish us well for some time.

I have looked and seen the end; humanity was made to serve—to serve Him.

Today, I am to be fully converted by Him.


[The rest of the text is illegible and cannot be deciphered]

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My Fantasy

My Fantasy

by Robert J. S. T. McCartney

Lust. Love. Sex. Drugs. Power.
So many fantasies we, as people, do we create by the hour.

We fake.
We break.
We quit, wilt, and die.

Too often are we forced to bend a knee or be pressed down onto the firm mattress and be ravaged by life’s atrocities.

In my time, I’ve been led to a world wonder. Where I’ve experienced an intimate relationship between lovers: life and death.
Caught often in a lie, as we lie entangled in a mess of sheets and heat.

Where do we profess and confer our love and become engorged on each other.
Tasting a sample but taking the package, we wallow in this momentous excitement.

Ten years, it’s been ten years since I’ve become gluttonous on this punch drunk love diet.

Where sometimes there were suppliers of supplements that offered a chance at a change of heart and soul.
Opinions made and traded, save for those whose face was a cancer in our alleged “detestable and fictitious” love affair.

Savage, were they and the threats made, we moved far. Where we ought, and brought not the reprehensible acts, nor stayed the course of that which tarnish our voyage.

Still do, I feel the same; still do I look you in the eye; still, do I feel the fire within.
Still does my heart beat; still does my breath stop; still, does my heart belong to you and only you.

For there are many fantasies that we experience every hour…
But none may compare to the one I live every passing moment I am with you, nor can words be formed into the sentences to describe the euphoria; yet bittersweet life I spend with you.

For I know… that one day it’ll end. Therein lies, though, hope…
That I’ll find you again in the waking mortal world.

For my wife on our 10th anniversary. —Rob



by Robert J. S. T. McCartney

I’ve had it up to here,
There’s nothing left of me: no note, no tear.

I’m choosing to end it all,
By drawing a line, up and down these walls.

I’ve screamed and shouted, but nothing comes back to me,
This is the evidence that I’m not to meant to be.

I’ve had enough.
I had everything I could have ever wanted in life.

I’ve had enough.
A home, family, friends, and all that I could ever ask.

I’ve had enough.
The talk of the demons within,
They reassure me my life’s sin.

I’ve had enough.
I’m tired of it all.
I wasn’t strong enough.
I couldn’t stand above it all.

I’ve had enough.
I’m through with this life.
I’m done trying to be tough.
I’ll end it all with this knife.

So here I go getting everything ready,
I can’t lie it’s really scary.
But I know it’ll only hurt a little bit,
Before I know it I’ll be out of it.
I’m leaving it all behind,
Everything and everyone this is my suicide!

You said, I was a failure,
That I had no place in this world.
You said, I was a traitor,
That I was nothing and undeserved.

So I’ve had enough,
From you and all those who cast me aside.
I’m done, not to be gruff,
But I’m done trying to please all of you and abide.

Don’t revive me,
This is how it has to be.
I won’t survive,
So this is my final goodbye.

I have had enough.

Johnny Nightwalker: Beyond Good and Evil

Johnny and Omega exchanged blows with one another. They were evenly matched now. However, Omega still had the fighting expertise and size over Johnny.

“You are nothing more than a gnat to me. Insignificant. Petty. You aren’t even fit to be in this world,” said Omega.

“Obviously, I was the favorite compared to you,” Johnny quipped back as he charged up an electrical attack that landed square on Omega’s jaw.

Omega’s gaze became fiery. He grabbed hold of Johnny and began swinging him around like a rag doll.

“How does it feel, boy? To be second rate, second best? The sloppy seconds? A bastard that was never loved by anyone or anything? You’re nothing but space taken up and wasteful shell of a ‘man.’ You failed your family, your friends, and you failed humanity.”

Omega laughed as Johnny hung limply in his grasp.

I can’t let it end this way. I have to do something. Johnny tried to come up with strategies, but nothing seemed concrete.

Then a blinding light emitted from where he last saw the Guardians fighting. A wave of energy rushed in all directions, vaporizing the nightmarish creatures, and sending Omega tumbling to the ground.

Johnny rolled too. He slowly got to his feet and looked over where the blast originated from. There, in a now broken triangle, rested the bodies of Red, Chico, and Pierre.

He felt the last few remnants of their energy fade as it passed through him, and into the air. He turned around and stared on with tears in his eyes.

“No, no,” he stammered. “No, please, don’t go,” he dropped to his knees and began to sob. “Please don’t leave me alone.”

Omega shook his head and slowly got to his feet. He dusted himself off and set his sights on Johnny.

“I’ll give it to the little beasts, they could pack a punch with that little trick of theirs.”

He stood above Johnny, who continued to cry. “Pathetic. Reduced to a sniveling and whining piglet. Yet, you were to be the better soldier? Ha!” Omega spat on Johnny.

Johnny felt the energy and presence of the Guardians.

Lad, we’d never leave ya. Well, willingly, in any case, he heard Red say.

We’re a part of you now, Johnny, stated Pierre.

“Our power is now yours. Not just us though, everyone. Together, we’ll be what beats Omega… Because you’re the embodiment of all. You can do this, Johnny,” said Chico.

Johnny clenched his fists. Time, it seemed, stood still. The push he needed had at last come. He stood up tall and looked Omega in the eye.

“I am not the Alpha, the Omega, or the Beta. I am the one who walks in the shadows. Where the light does not pierce, for I am the light in the darkness.” Raw energy began to course through Johnny. Arcs of the elements, bouncing, flickering, and colliding. His eyes radiated with the powers he assimilated and that of the Guardians. “I am the Nightwalker!”


The Nightwalker ToC

One More Light

One More Light

by Robert J. S. T. McCartney

It happened again. The dream where trillions of stars went out in the night sky. One by one, then dozens, until finally, all that remained was the full moon that slowly faded to nothing. The icy chill of nothingness wrapped its fingers around us all. Something we, as a whole—as humans, were not accustomed to. Sharing the same fate, the same grief. The light of the universe had gone out. There was no hope left. There was only death.

As I stared around, I saw people running rampant in the streets. The only light that lit up the sky was the faint glowing of city streets and raging fires. I thought it funny in a way. All the times we spent polluting the air with fake images, adverts, lights and otherwise that masked the beauty of the universal splendor that encompassed us. We were but a drop in the ocean. Now, though, the ocean had dried up.

I was gifted with an unusual ability. The one I didn’t understand, at least at the time. Now that the sun had died and the rest of the universe had gone dark, we were probably the only place left in existence that dared defy the darkness. I thought, so very like us; to confront, challenge and try to fight against the odds. Sadly, it wouldn’t be something we could ever hope to win.

The planet was beginning to freeze, and casualties were already high. Many countries resulted just ending it all by nuclear war. A lot of people committed their last acts of sin, proclaimed their love to their significant others and families, killed themselves, murdered other people. Observing it was hard, though enduring it was as hard.

I spoke of a gift that I possessed. On the day of my death, I said goodbye to my wife and kids. I was jettisoned from my body. I traversed in spirit through a blue-white portal that took me to the realm of the living…in another universe. I opened my eyes and looked around. Indeed, I was alive. How I could not tell you.

Then there came the telltale signs of the end to which I bore witness to. I tried to reason with my family and friends. I tried telling everyone. I tried social media, blog posts, anything I possibly could. I was called a liar, a crazy person, banned from church, labeled as insane, and that I should have my children taken away from me, and my wife divorce me.

Weeks before NASA had some reports that said stars in various solar systems were dying at a rapid rate and that it was spreading fast. I had sat with my wife and kids when I watched the announcement and had a grin on my face. I had told them all the truth, but none would listen.

On the evening of when the stars went out as I had once experienced it, I told my wife and kids that I would see them again. I gave them an embrace and like before; I left my body. My physical form dropped to the ground, and I was sent to another universe.

I had stopped counting how many Earths I have visited. Each time, I felt like I was getting more and more lost with why I have such a gift. What purpose was there in my ability? What good was it if I can’t save my family, friends, let alone humanity? I don’t want to be a hero…I only want to be with my family. I don’t want to carry our problems to the next world, where it seemingly already exists. So many thoughts, hypotheticals and such flooded my racing mind as I traversed universes.

While I was lost in thought, I could have sworn I saw myself but dismissed it as a possible reflection of time, since it seemed like a mirrored hallway when I’d reach the precipice of traveling from one point to another. I shook my head and disregarded it as just a coincidence.

At last, I came to a universe where the light was still lit. Our world, however, was nothing like it was when I had left. Irradiated and in a unique stasis field, where only our solar system existed. However, humans had become disfigured and decrepit—resembling the walking dead, but with our typical wit and sense.

I noted the surrounding and how familiar it was to me.

“How did you get here?” a raspy woman’s voice inquired.

“The light in this universe hasn’t gone out yet?” I replied.

The woman shook her head. “It has. Our solar system is the only one left in the Darkness.”

“What happened then?” I asked.

The woman’s black eyes looked to the ground and then back to my eyes. “A man came from another time with a gift that could provide us with new lives,” she gestured with his hands, “this is what became of us. He, however, has been gone for some time.”

She cleared her throat and asked again where I came from.

“I come from another time. Where the Darkness, as you so call it, took place,” I said.

The woman nodded. “A lot of people died you know.”

I nodded in reply. “I know, I was there until I finally started traveling.”

The woman began to weep.

“What’s wrong,” I asked her.

She wiped away a murky tear and gave a broken smile. “We never once stopped believing you’d find us again.”




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Johnny Nightwalker: Guardian’s Duty


On the ground, people and the Guardians fought the terrors that Omega had unleashed. Dogs, cats, squirrels, birds, every able bodied beast or reptile fought alongside humans. Casualties were mounting. Though they had the sheer numbers and cunning, it wasn’t quite enough.

Then, there came the other handlers. Teleporting in from around the world, all ready to lend their hand in defeating the almighty Omega. Some launched missiles, while others hurled balls of fire. One shapeshifted into different animals much like Snake had. Every handler that wanted to break free from the Agency and lead a normal life had come. Johnny felt a surge of pride.

However, Omega had other plans in mind. He had taken note of this incursion and had motioned his own counterattack plan. The earth began to shape into rocky behemoths. Metal debris combined and metallic killing machines. The air became acrid and toxic, quickly making those weakened only weaker; dying or collapsing. Water pooled together and formed massive blobs that deluged human and animals; drowning them in waste and blood.

“We’ve got to do something!” Chico said as he watched more and more of the horrors form and slaughter around him. “Johnny’s power isn’t enough!”

Red looked around at the fallen. “Lads and lassies…it’s been a pleasure.”

“If we’re going to go out, let’s do it with a bang, no?” Pierre readied a pack of explosives to himself.

“We know we can’t go back to our old selves… it’s inevitable. Perhaps—perhaps this is how it was supposed to be,” said Chico sadly.

“Aye, it was nice knowin’ ya. If we ever meet again…we’ll…I’ll buy ye a pint,” said Red as he gave a pat to Chico and Pierre.

Nearby a familiar yelp was heard. Rottie the Rottweiler had fallen. There wasn’t much of her pack left anymore. There weren’t much of any of the handlers either. The Guardians and the remnants of earth’s forces were diminishing quickly.

“Boys…” said Pierre.

“Farewell…” they all said together.