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.”

 

 

 

This was also posted on A.B.Normal Publishing and Media Group.

Hanging on to a Thought

Even though you’re gone,
We’ll keep moving on.
You’ll be another thought—a memory,
Someone who was just like me.

You should hear the things that they say
That you “quit and threw it all away.”

That “you didn’t care about the rest world,”
“Selfish. Good riddance.” Other “sentiments” hurled.

Though, I know that you’re somewhere around,
Safely watching all the things that will become unbound.

They say it’s a joke, a cop-out, and easy to quit,
“Live. Let love.  C’mon, man, take another hit.”

To leave behind all that you love and make a great escape,
When we live and breed in a world full of greed and hate.

For when the demons have finally won, what more is there to say?
“Why did you give up. Why didn’t you stay?”

So often we say that we’re fine,
Debating, procrastinating, biding my time.

When will it be?
All this misery…

Too many times I’ve put it all down,
Not to let myself be consumed, pulled under and drown.
Letting others know that it’s not my time to go.
And though I smile and try to be strong,
My thoughts, they’re dark; caged, I don’t know how long.

Eventually, the dam will break,
All that has been locked away—will I wake?

It’ll be a day where there’s no preparation,
Maybe then we can have our conversation.

In the end, we die alone,
But in life we’re lights, shone.
To each other in the dark,
We guide one another, looking for our spark.

And so your story might have ended,
Those who are lost will continue to be tended.
Our invisible wounds from which that we bleed,
All the pain and agony inside which has sown its seed.

We’re not alone in our daily struggle,
But the world makes it harder to “love your neighbor.”
Frowned upon and looked down on,
Being called “a freak,” and “you should kill yourself.”

The problem isn’t us or those that already hurt,
It’s those that antagonize and do so spurt—
Content and think they’re “safe” behind their computer screen,
When they’ve never even met you or me.

So I understand why you felt you had to go,
I only wish you could have lived to see life so.

What wonders that maybe… the world will bring,
Even if though we’ll never hear you sing.

…Again…

Comfortably numb do I exist,
Still, I’ll fight and continue to resist.
The darkness and horror that lives within,
So that maybe others can be helped—that they can see what life’s like when it begins.


Rest easy, and thanks for all you’ve done.

This was also published on www.abnormalpublishing.com

A Poem: Bedtime

Bedtime

By Robert J. S. T. McCartney

As I lie here and rest my head
Next to you, where we’ve made our bed

In the dark, where my eyes dare play tricks
My view obscured by the plight of the night

The light, faint and ever growing tired, it mimics
A heart, and lungs, breathing

I often worry, though
That, how of which you lie
Restful slumber; your silhouette
Is as much as death, forever sleeping

So I cling and often toss and turn
Waking to the demons that dare try to come and take you away;
Wildly swinging, and shooing them tirelessly
“Begone, pest from another plane!” I growl

And so I’ll fight until my eyes do tire
The morning light comes, and then you stir
Then I can rest until the night comes again

As long as I have you by my side
I’ll try and try, defend and brave against the darkness and the demons that lurk

Otherwise…

I’m nothing without you
I can sleep when I eventually die

For my wife.

A Novelette: The Crystal Manor’s Secret

The Crystal Manor’s Secret

“Time heals all wounds,” he remembered someone saying. He thought it to be horse shit.

Simon is a 14-year-old dealing with plenty of things: depression, suicide attempts, parental issues, and being the subject of plenty of kids’ jokes at school. His parents take the advice of their son’s psychiatrist and go on a family vacation to the fabled Crystal Bay Estate.

This family trip, however, is anything but helpful. Read on to read the story in its entirety. Continue reading

A Poem and Post: Time

I have a story outlined in my massive stack of “Untold Tales: Volume X.” One of them, in which I will actually be finishing up here soon, is something along the lines of a double-edged sword. It’s sweet. It’s terrifying. It’s loving and caring. It’s selfish and damming. The end is coming, and life as we know it will cease to be. One man’s vision and in all of his smarts creates a time stasis field where he can live out the rest of his life with his family until the True End comes.

It probably sounds confusing because when you start involving time and getting all “timey-wimey.”

So, I figured I would have a piece dedicated to the inevitable friend and foe of us all, next to death. Time. It’ll appear again, soon.

There will be new things coming up as well as far as writings (or musings. . .whatever have you. . .) goes.

Until next time,

RJM


Time

by Robert J. S. T. McCartney

My greatest enemy and my most cherished friend.
Grandfather, father, husband, brother; bringer of the end.

You’ve watched me grow from afar.
You’ve shown me what life has to offer.

Lies.
Truth.

Beginning.
End.

That it is continuous, whether we are in it or not.
That we can exist, be remembered, and our lives forgot—

—Ten years it’s almost been.
Nothing more than a drop in the endless sea.

I’ve lived, yeah, I’ve seen,
What this mortal life has yet to bring.

You are my enemy and my friend.
Still, I will welcome you, all of you, at the end.

 

Poem: Black

Black

by Robert J. S. T. McCartney

All these scenes I’ve painted black,
To hide the pain, I’ve yet to have attack—

Me; nay, us, for the day will eventually come,
An assassin lying in waiting, where it shall strike from?

They say to “go in faith” and “take this tome,”
Tis often true, tragedy strikes close to home.

Where I’ve found myself on my back,
crippled from a fall; an attempt to snap—

My neck, my limbs, my life. . .broken,
The words I’ll never utter, never spoken.

As darkness comes and overwhelms what I see,
I know you’ll never understand who I really was. . .me.

“It’s better this way” I once thought,
To give up, that it’s all for naught.

However, I’ve learned that there is much more, to this thing called life.
And that is why I am so happy to have you as my wife.

Though, I fight, the right and wrong; with the light and dark,
I know you’ll be there to guide me along the way, on this journey we embark.

For I now see, I was selfish and wrong,
That alone, I was weak but together, we are strong.

The scenes will become clear, and on that day, we may weep,
For when one goes down to eternal sleep.

That’s alright because at least we will be there,
No one else, with nothing left to care.


This was originally posted on A.B.Normal Publishing’s site.

Suicide: A Poem and Post

Depression, anxiety, PTSD, and other disorders. Let none rule your life and hold you down. Talk about your problems. We all live together, in one shape or form.

For several years, I’ve struggled with depression. As such, I’ve attempted suicide a few times, often to make it look like an accident. From much trauma, chaos, and disorder, I went through adolescence and went without help.

Now, after enduring with my PTSD and anxiety; coupled with depression, I sought out help. It’s taken many years and many sessions. . .but so far, so good. I’ve learned to cope, to deal, and to make the best out of things.

Everyone handles their stress, depression and such differently. It’s good to talk about things that are occurring and impacting your life. Just know this, you are not alone in the fight.


My Suicide


To some, it’s a taboo,
To others, it’s nothing new.

It’s a choice we’ve come to make,
Either to live or die.

Fake.
Cry.

Alone.
Atone.

Always putting on a front,
Being told it’s just a stunt.

It’s ours to take.
A choice.

Live.
Born.

Give.
Die.

Abstract; we live in denial,
The End, its impact; a hung jury, mistrial.

I, too, have suffered and wandered alone,
I’ve tried plenty; to also push beyond it and overcome grief.

At times, it’s gotten to be the end,
There was always a reason to stay, it was just beyond me.

Now when I look into your eyes, I know I was right,
Being led through the dark, with you as my light.

I’ve killed myself and let go,
All the feelings of pain and guilt.

No more hate or regret,
Of the things that could have, should have been.

Silhouette.
Forget.

Sin.
Has-been.

Empty words to try and make it worse,
To lay us to waste and curse—

A reminder: for we are all one in the same, just trying to make it through the day.
Don’t be scared of the darkness or give it blame, this I say.

Call it friend.

For I tell you, friend, this is not your end.
I will not influence your choice for if you are set, but let me tell you: life is a test.

Trials we must face and endure. Make the best of any situation, even in death.
For when you take your last breath, sigh in relief. Friends help friends, even strangers; close and far, through grief.

I wish you well, friend, and to those very same who may suffer alone.

Here is my hand, let me help. Here is my ear, let me listen. Here are my lips, heed my words. These are my eyes, they see you.

May you be, released from your prison. . .be free.


Originally was posted on A.B.Normal Publishing

 

Expectations

What are your expectations? It doesn’t matter if it’s in business, life, a career, sex, your spouse (or significant other/mate), food, eating out, a new video game, your president, your government, etc.

Where did you set the bar? High? Low? Somewhere in the middle? Do you set certain expectations high in your list that only you know about?

With people nowadays, you can see something like:

“10/10. Would bang again.”— Internet Troll

“Drove like a snail in rush hour traffic. Wouldn’t recommend. 1 star.”— Anon Uber App User.

or maybe something like:

“They looked great but was horrible in the sack. Also found out now I have The Clap.” — Anon, Booty Call App User

I mean, we have a president that uses Twitter to influence others; ratings can go up or tank at a single whim.

This leads to the next point: Reviews—they’re similar you know. In fact, they’re mostly just the faux mask that covers “expectations.” You are reviewing your expectations and addressing those expectations of an establishment, book, place, person, etc.

Some folks nowadays can’t function very well out in the world without the strong opinion of “the elite.” You know the folks that are on Yelp that say “Elite ’15, 16, 17,” and so on? Or “highest reviewer” accredited to their username via Google+.

No, I am not one of those folks.

There are tons of horrible people, sure. However, there are a lot of good people in the world too. We’re humans. It is expected. You can sort and sift through reviews and you get a glance—a glimmer of what type/kind of person someone is. Not only by their history of visits, purchase history, and the sort but by how you are being told how they interacted with whoever they are reviewing [this also constitutes an establishment, customer service, etc.].

“I had a bad experience here. They threatened my fish.” — Anon

“Food was horrible. I wouldn’t even consider bringing it home and giving it to my dog.” — Anon couple; I actually overheard this one.

There are millions of reviews out there. Those who feel the need to make a point. Those who must feel the need to feel needed. Those that seek others satisfaction.

Ah, the Digital Age.

The Internet is a wonderful, yet, scary place to be on. You have an insurmountable wealth of knowledge and tools. Yet we spend hundreds to thousands of hours watching cat videos. Fragging people [Nothing wrong with that, game on! And yes, that is me being bias.]. Stealing other peoples’ identity. Hacking elections. Ousting pedophiles that have horrible images on their computer drives. I can keep going.

Technology has changed us—humanity. The human race. Technology knows no racial bias (except maybe console versus PC; Sony vs. Microsoft, .etc but that’s reaching at best.). It knows what we have programmed it to be. What we want it to be. What advances we want. Cures. Curse. Death. Damage. What can we do to inflict unto others? The good intermingled with the bad and vice versa.

You may ask, “What the hell does that have to do with expectations? Why did you bring up reviews? Who the hell threatens a fish?”

Well, we expect a lot. So much from businesses, people, schools, etc. Our family. Some men expect women to put out on the first date. We expect food to be hot (or cold) and served at our preference. We expect to be put first, high up on a pedestal. Some people expect their religion is right and is superior to another person’s. We expect the loser to go home crying. . .with a participation trophy. We expect too much—as a society, a whole. It’s a path that can—and will—lead us to our downfall. We cater too much, while not giving a damn about consequences. Enter your “keyboard warriors,” cyber bullies, trolls, etc.

Great expectations.

We are not a community that is so transparent. Well, we are. . .when it comes to greed. But that’s another lengthy discussion, though. We’re not a close-knit community that really backs each other up, helps one another without expecting something in return, gratification, or simple enough—money.

Technology has sped up our dehumanization and desensitization. When we are able to truly modify our bodies as cyborgs and/or androids, will a person even care about anyone else? Would we still exist as being. . .human?

That “eternal salvation” of uploading your memories and consciousness to the Internet (Transcendence on crack), while say, a meteor that will destroy mankind indefinitely here on Earth, but elsewhere in the galaxy or universe, we are beamed via satellite signal to space and wake up in new sleek android models. It was just a few seconds in delay to us, but in actuality, it was a hell of a long time.

I digress. Simply put, times have changed. The radical evolution of societal influence and lack of actual human interaction, the lessening of empathy, lack of sympathy, morals tossed out the window, common sense that is now rare, and so on.

We often like to say that we are the superior race, especially, when it comes to man versus beast. However, are we really that much better? Cool—poseable thumbs, a large neocortex, “alleged capabilities of complex problem solving, and operating weapons of mass destruction.” Sure, I guess we are. I suppose I would say that sardonically, because I know even after we are all gone, Nature will go on without us. It has for millions of years and will.

Sure, I guess we are. I suppose I would say that sardonically because I know even after we are all gone, nature will go on without us. It has for millions of years and will continue to.

You can consider this, I suppose a young person rambling on. Perhaps. But would you disagree? That there are a lot of issues that are presented here that are of importance and relevant, that are just tossed aside like everyday refuse? Swept under the rug. Dismissed and barred from public discussion because it’s a “no-no” and would make someone else upset and they might break out the whips and chains [Not the good kind either.].

Suicide, depression, anxiety, PTSD [Post Traumatic Stress Disorder], bullying, all of these and more are getting quite out of hand. As a sufferer of one of these many. . .side effects. . .I’ve made it my way of life to explore them, help others, learn other peoples’ stories and experiences, and even just listen. We all bleed the same. We all break. When, how, and why, though will come in to question.

So, you will see posts about suicide. Depression. Anxiety. PTSD. Other mental health issues and such. Writing is my therapy. It’s my way of sharing with others. Though it may be fiction in some ways, you do not have to feel silenced, judged, oppressed. With how news, media, and press are getting gagged, misinformation everywhere, etc. What’s next? Writers of fiction and non-fiction are hunted? We’ll see, right?

While I hope to entertain people, make it my career, provide expectations, get reviewed—I do it for myself. Do you want to know who my most cynical critic and ball-breaking is? It’s me. Granted, I am changing that way to not giving a damn completely, it’s still a process. I want to write just for the pure enjoyment I get out of doing it; being a god amongst men and women, creating worlds, life. In the very same manner—becoming death, chaos, a destroyer of worlds and relationships.

I could go on and on. . .though I would like to know: what are your expectations in life right now?

I will end with one of my favorite quote from the movie Legend with Tim Curry and Tom Cruise.

“The dreams of youth are the regrets of maturity. Dreams are my speciality. Through dreams, I influence mankind.” — The Lord of Darkness; Tim Curry

I wish you all well. Be safe and take care. The world is a mess. . .but it is a beautiful mess under all those bandages.

RJM

 

P. S. While I reintroduce some works, I invite you to check out a free ebook on the Kindle store: Abnormal Side Effects. If it’s not free for your region, then I invite you to a free copy here.

Feel free to talk with me, too. I don’t bite. Too hard.

The Final Countdown! Last Excerpt of Lilah’s Guide to Hoyle.

LilahsHoyle3D (1)

I know I haven’t posted a blog post much “here” as I have over on A.B.Normal Publishing. I’ve been busy doing some other short stories, and getting outlines done, while making sure everything is ready for the Kickstarter for Lilah’s Guide to Hoyle.

I wanted to share the final raw excerpt before it goes through ch-ch-changes and gets red inked to death. So, here you go!


Dana flipped through the newspaper, sighing at the uninteresting articles. Another tragedy? The whole goddamn world is a tragedy. Give me something worth reading on this goddamn toilet paper. The rain beat angrily on the car, as rhythmically as a tribal ceremony, with the flashes of lightning here and there, painting the various gray-streaked sky. Dana leaned forward, looking up towards the heavens through the windshield of the car, noting the giant blobs that pooled together and were then swept away clean by the windshield wipers. He sighed again and let himself collapse back into the car seat. He looked over to his left, waiting for Walter to come out from the coffee shop. Goddamn it, Walter! What the hell are you doing, ordering the whole damn store? Dana rubbed his forehead and glanced back up to see Walter scurrying in the rain to the car. Walter opened the driver’s side door and got in, handing a warm paper coffee container to Dana; setting down a white and brown paper bag beside himself, placing his jumbo coffee cup in the cup holder. Walter buckled his seatbelt, giddy as a schoolgirl. Licking his lips, he reached for his ‘goody bag.’ “Don’t eat it all in one sitting now, Walt.” Dana jokingly jabbed Walter.

Walter sighed and slowly drifted his gaze at Dana, annoyed, “Are you seriously going to do that, every damn time I get a few doughnuts? I mean c’mon Dana.”

Dana snickered at Walter, “Easy, Walter, easy.I’m just pulling your leg, Walt. Don’t go having a coronary on me.”

Walter mumbled something incoherently about a ‘third leg’ as he reached into the paper bag, and grabbed a giant frosted raspberry jelly doughnut. He eyed it, having already turned ‘ignore Dana mode’ on, and then took a massive bite from it. “Mmm, this one, mmm, man, it’s so great.” Walter licked his lips, catching bits and pieces of jelly.

Dana shook his head at the sight of his partner’s eating matters. “Walt, use a damn napkin man. God, you are acting like a dog.”

“Yeah, well, at least I’m housebroken,” Walter mumbled, to which Dana grinned.


I hope you all join me in helping raise the necessary funds to get Lilah’s Guide to Hoyle out in your hands, and the hands of folks around the globe.

See you all Tuesday!

RJM

Blood

"Blood Cells" Photo by Andrew Mason. Andrew Mason has no affiliation with me or A.B.Normal Publishing Media Group, nor do they support my work and/or practices.

Photo by Andrew Mason. Andrew Mason has no affiliation with me or A.B.Normal Publishing Media Group, nor do they support my work and/or practices.

The serum that flows within our veins and helps give us life. It links us, as family and is an alleged bond. It is forensic evidence, life to others, and the preferred choice by vampires. Red by oxygen, blue by carbon dioxide. Recycled until the cycle of life ends.