Skip The Porridge

•June 19, 2012 • Leave a Comment

“What a perfect pair they were” Simone said, pointing to the bookcase that held photos and various jars of my years of collecting the remnants of nature.
“Funny you should say that, that was exactly as everyone who worked with them had described them, at least before, and up to that day.” I replied as I removed a photo that sat next to the jar on the top shelf.
I handed Simone the photo of the couple, proof that indeed they were both blonde and had the most vibrant blue eyes, a handsome couple by any definition. They stood out in the glossy eight by ten framed photo.
It had been taken at the office Christmas party, only ten months before their tragic demise. I look at the picture sometimes and feel guilt for my part in the way things turned out.

It was September when I offered the young couple the use of the cabin I had kept in the Ozarks. It was nothing fancy mind you, but a nice get away from the daily rigors of the city, and a great spot for a young couple in love.
It sat on twenty acres and backed up to the Ozark National Forest. Private and secluded enough to offer one complete privacy. They accepted with joy and great appreciation. It seems both left troubled marriages only months prior, they loved the idea of a break from the stresses that go along with it. I felt somewhat bad for them as their office romance had recently become public, and was the talk of the water cooler.
I mean, I am a romantic and felt great empathy for the passion they showed. And I believe in love, no matter where one may find it. So I offered the use of my cabin without hesitation.

It was a sparking September day, crisp, sunny and had a Friday feeling to it as they left the office that Thursday for a long weekend. We all wished them well, and several coworkers sent prepared food along so they wouldn’t be bothered with cooking.
They embarked on the ride with smiles and all the foolish expectations one makes when involved in a new romance.
Tom found the cabin with ease using the directions I had provided him. And I’m certain he found it as advertised. Not opulent by any means, but comfortable. The cedar siding had been redone in June, and the interior was manly, but not over the top according to the e-mail Cindy had sent upon arrival. She teased me about the Bear head mounted over the fireplace, and the Bear skin rug.
The Cabin sat on a ridge surrounded by large deciduous trees and a few scrub pines. Blackberry bushes and native Redbud and Dogwood‘s added to the landscape in season.

Tom went about the business of carrying in firewood as Cindy began cooking their much anticipated romantic dinner. The aroma drifted as she warmed the Spaghetti one of their co-workers had prepared for them. He left the cabin door ajar to haul the wood inside.
The woodpile was thirty feet or so from the cabin. The wood pile positioned to avoid termite problems from becoming an issue for the cabin.
Tom saw the blackberry bush shake as he carried the last armful of wood to the cabin. It startled him, until he saw the Squirrel scamper off to a nearby dogwood and scamper up it, likely storing food for winter he thought to himself. The smell of garlic bread to accompany the spaghetti made its way to his nostrils; the Squirrel was on his own now.

Tom built a fire in the big open hearth fireplace, as Cindy set the table. It looked out over the Ozark mountain range as you sat in front of the big picture window across the back wall of the cabins great room. They allowed the wine to breathe as the both completed their tasks. The late afternoon sunset through the window coupled with the heat from the now raging fire, made for a beautiful and warm atmosphere. They enjoyed their dinner and made small talk. The wine added warmth as well as it slipped easily down their throats.

Once nightfall set in they realized just how desolate the cabin was. The only light visible out the picture window were the reflection of the fire from the fireplace. It was perfect they agreed, as they polished off the wine.
Dishes were left on the table as they began kissing as new lovers do. They stumbled over their still packed overnight bags. They were discarding clothing, not changing to nightwear now. The fire lit the room as he turned off lights. They kissed and undressed one another by its light. They lay on the big Bear skin rug and made love.

Nothing could be sweeter we all speculated, except perhaps the smell of maple flavored bacon. At least that is what the Police report and the report from the Conservation service assumed. We were all left to picture the chaos that occurred.

I assume Tom were the first to smell it, men love maple flavored bacon. According to the coroners report, Cindy was the first to die. Perhaps it was from the very first blow struck by the Black Bear cub. It may have gotten inside when Tom left the door open to load the fire wood?
There was no speculation needed to discover how Momma and Poppa Bear got in to rescue the cub however. The scratches on nearly all exterior walls of the cabin from their sharp and massive paws were visible even now. They had torn the hell out of the cedar siding, the Poppa bear went through the front door, tearing it from its hinges with his brute force.
The Conservation man speculated he must have stood 7 to 8 feet tall when standing upright. His claws three times the size of a human hand, the nails sharpened from a life of living in the rocky mountainous terrain of the Ozarks.
The same type body features Momma Bear must have exhibited when she gave up scratching the siding and burst through the picture window off the back deck.

It was the first death attributed to Bear attack in this county in the last 5 years. The population of Black Bears in this area had exploded in the last decade. According to the conservation department, it had reached a level not seen since the area was settled nearly two hundred years prior. Their efforts had been focused on prevention and education. The cute keep your camp site clean brochures and signs in the state parks.
It would seem Tom and Cindy were now the poster children for a more aggressive approach to population control by the department.

I feel guilt now, not just for the mauling of Tom & Cindy, but knowing what I do about Simone now. A week prior, she and I had discovered the Bears digging in the trash cans. I knew then their den must be nearby. I thought I had covered the grease pit where she emptied the frying pan grease from the bacon that morning. I made a note to only buy microwaveable bacon then. I know she was aware of it too.

Her visit to the office today, well that can just be viewed as me consoling Tom’s widow and giving her the proceeds of the life insurance check. I can end the affair. Actually I did so when I walked her to her car.

I can and will renovate the Cabin once the insurance company pays my claim.

I have no earthly idea how the detail shop will get the smell of maple flavored microwave bacon from her car though.


An Alien Invasion & Zombie Apocolypse is Upon Us !

•June 1, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Well, I see the headline drew you in? Please allow me to explain. Okay I have no actual proof, more like a theory. I realize this may have disappointed you, I’m sorry. But please consider what I tell you here as it may save our world. Remember the mass hysteria surrounding UFO sightings in the 70’s and 80’s? Think back a few years, to the newer fad of Zombies, and their appearance on the scene in the 90’s and to the current popularity of shows such as AMC’s The Walking Dead.
Now I realize claiming alien invasion and zombie apocalypse’s are bold statements. Unlike Fox news, I will attempt to prove my theory. Well…. At least prove it beyond the threshold of another theory that many people believe as the gospel, say…trickle-down economics if you will?
And now that you are committed and have invested the time to read this far, I tell you our country has been invaded by Aliens, and a Zombie apocalypse is indeed occurring before our very eyes. I preface this by invoking a new Fifth Amendment type right, now acceptable when telling tall tales or non-truths,
Of course,” this is not intended as a factual statement.” Senator Jon Kyl R-Az. Brilliant!
Sure I know another bold statement. But this is far more subtle than the movies or television makes it out to be. Yet in every corner of our society it is taking place slowly but surely. I don’t blame you for being skeptical, it is the same feeling I have now each time a Republican politician opens their mouth. Now please understand, I’m not picking on the Republicans. They were just the chosen species the Aliens targeted for their diabolical mission. Likely due to the pea shaped size of a brain that believes their insane ramblings (like tax cuts and cutting government spending stimulates job growth) the poor sad Republicans. I damn near feel sorry for them. But now I’m hurling insults with no proof. (Almost like everything they say when Barak Obama speaks) and we all know that is just not fair.
Let me share what I believe is the proof. Then you as an intelligent human being decide for yourself whether my theory makes more sense than trickle -down economics. I offer the following for your consideration.
Let me take you back to a better time in our country’s recent past. Imagine if you will George H.W. Bush former director of the Central Intelligence Agency, had just concluded his presidency. Coincidentally the Heavens Gate scandal and mass suicides were occurring. Their leader, the infamous Marshall Applewhite had warned us all that the Mother ship was indeed coming. And indeed it did. History tells us, the cult believed they were to be picked up by the Mother ship.(Now here is where my theory begins) Unspoken, and unbeknownst at the time, were the fact that the ship dropped an Alien being in the very likeness of the former CIA Director/Retiring President George H.W. Bush’s idiot son George W Bush. At that time embroiled in several failed business ventures and experimenting with both drugs & alcohol, and as the Governor of Texas. (The jury is still out as to which suffered more during that time period, his brain, or Texas?) I contend a switch was made. This was a clever and cunning move, by the former CIA director. This secret was classified at the highest levels of the administration whose commander in chief were coincidentally George H.W. Bush himself! I maintain he rid himself of his real idiot son with an Alien Clone. Several other high level Republicans were also replaced at the same time.
All of this was shrouded in secrecy, meanwhile the country were embroiled in the Scandalous affairs of the current President and his “Willie”, None other than the honorable William Jefferson Clinton. (This also marked the beginning of a Republican /Alien program of disinformation) Not only was the presiding Democratic President was defending his “Willie”, rumors and investigations regarding “Whitewater” and the mysterious death of a Clinton cabinet member Vince Foster. Yes the Country and the President were so busy building a period of both unprecedented job growth, and a budget surplus. The scandals turned our attention away from our prosperity, and allowed the indoctrination of Aliens in useful places to the Republican /Alien party. (Such as the then speaker of the house Newt Gingrich) The evil plot began to thicken. As it turns out, the mother ship took away the Heaven’s Gate cult, and planted zombie seeds in the American population’s brains. Only the weakest of minds were targeted to assure compliance with the orders of the soon to be new regime. They utilized the list of registered Republican voters.
Hypocrisy was introduced as policy by the leaders and carried out (as history proved) by the “Newtered one” or Ibot one in Alien speak. Coincidentally Fox News channel were launched as a propaganda tool and method of communication/transformation by the evil plot leaders (remember the former director of the CIA) it took time to develop and the zombification of the masses were also a slow process. The Zombie seed were fertilized in the brains, by a steady exposure to the evil empires propaganda machine Fox News. Slowly the plan took shape.
As Roger Ailes the Chairman of Fox was later quoted as admitting “Truth is whatever the public believes.” And so the plot was unleashed. Once you control the strongest country in the world, well you rule the world.
At the end of the second term of Clinton and having convinced 51% of the population that prosperity must take a back seat to Clintons “Willie”. The Alien leaders & their Zombie following managed to get the now pickled and still evolving zombie GW Bush on the ballot.
And my god he won! Well kind of… there was the little matter of Al Gore actually having won by the popular vote, but explaining the Zombie apocalypse is far easier than explaining the Electoral College. I won’t even touch upon the whole” Hanging Chad “issue or that little mess in Florida. It would be pointless, as the invasion is well underway.
At any rate… The Aliens left behind a heartless bastard to oversee the Zombification in the person of one Dick Cheney, A diabolical, conniving, and clever ruler from the planet of Prickton. He was installed as a behind the scenes ruler and puppet master to pull the strings of GWB.
And so the conspiracy began…. Endless wars over oil, deregulation of the financial markets, and other assorted diabolical plots were unleashed to distract the populace from the slow process of Zombification. They integrated the Republican Party with Zombies and bots awaiting the day they could bring the country to its knees.
Think back if you will to the many error filled moments of the GWB days, the blank stares, the incoherent speeches. Yes it seems clear now, but then they were written off as the anomalies of the human condition. They were in fact the flaws in the Zombification process. Changes would come slowly, but surely.
Then the plots were interrupted, as after two terms, the Republican bots & Zombies had to face a general election. It was an unpleasant experience. The full stupidification of the populace was incomplete, as were the full integration of the zombies in the Republican Party. None the less, they put forward John McCain, a well known former war hero and the chosen bot of the party. Along side Mc Cain, the first public display of a true Republican zombie was unveiled in the person of one Sarah Palin.
Mrs. Palin had been hidden in the wilderness of Alaska, biding time and failing as a first term Governor there.
Slowly the aliens unveiled more political zombies. For proof, I submit to you for consideration…..Sharon Angle, Michele Bachmann, Christine O’Donnell, Paul Ryan, Eric Cantor, John Boehner, and Steve King. Let us not forget Herman Cain & Allen West! The list grows daily. They run amok throughout the country all mumbling the same incoherent party line. “Tax Cuts for the job creators” I believe it is a code name for the alien masters. They decry healthcare at every turn, even cheering death at political rallies. They fight contraception for women, hoping to spawn more zombies. Access to safe abortions the target of their legislative efforts. You must be a zombie if you believe this spurs economic growth, or as their leaders proclaim.. “We are focused on jobs.” Their steely eyes focus on ending aid to dependent families, cutting even children’s school lunch programs. A hungry zombie is a better zombie I suppose?
Fox news continues to broadcast its signal all over the country, the rallying cry or call to action for Zombies everywhere.
In the last several weeks, news of a zombie attack in Miami surfaced, a man eats a homeless mans face. Also a WWE fighter rips the heart out of a sparring partner. In New York City, a man rips out his own intestines and tosses them at Police. Is this coincidence? I think not!
Now mind you, this is just one mans theory. However I think as promised I have offered more proof than anyone has shown me on Trickle down economics.
Well thanks for listening, I have to run now, I see Mitt Romney is about to deliver another fascinating plan to right the country via Fox News. The Zombified voices of Steve Doucey & the Fox & Friends team call to me.
Mitt Romney…….Really?

Free Memorial Day Promotion on Kindle.

•May 25, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Free on Amazon Kindle for Memorial Day Reading. My first book of short stories.

If you enjoy it, please leave a review and tell a friend.

Enjoy !

Dark Thoughts & Dark Forces Kindle Edition

•May 23, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Available now on Kindle for $3.99 or free for Kindle Premire members. My Amazon Author page link can be found in the blogroll below. Enjoy !

Saturday In The Park

•May 14, 2012 • 2 Comments

From the main road, you could watch sailboats gently cut through the water. Fit people gliding on rollerblades on the path surrounding the lake. They weaved their way past the chubby walkers who aspired to their fitness. And people walking a fine collection of dogs, sniffing madly at the cornucopia of scents found in a community park.

It began as a cool cloudy morning; it ended up being a beautiful afternoon. It was one of many contradictions of this day.

Balloons and bright signs guided you where you needed to go. Bright colored tents and booths dotted the park space with Creve Coeur (French, for broken heart) lake in the background. To the passer by it may have resembled a company or union picnic. Instead it was an annual fundraiser and Kids Walking for Kids event, supporting Chads Coalition a local outreach organization funding research and help to fight teen depression and suicide.

I was happy to be there, but detested the reason why. Unless one has lost a child, no amount of writing or talking can adequately explain the hollow shell of a parent left behind. I know the feeling, and I saw the look on the faces of many assembled that day. I see the look when I gaze in a mirror each day. The culmination of the many things a parent knows they cannot make better now, and the memories we will no longer make with our children. With a side of guilt for the countless little things we feel we could have, or should have done. No amount of good intentions or consolation from friends and loved ones stops these thought or feelings from overtaking a day, a week, a month, or a lifetime. We carry it longer than a good set of luggage may last. But this is a story of acceptance and hope. It was a day that people from all walks of life came together, straight, gay, black, white, red, it didn’t matter. All in search of understanding, and hope.

It was a Saturday in the park; it was the day before Mother’s day. Face painting booths sat next to informative tables set up to educate and inform on teen depression and suicide. Arts and crafts tables shared space with the make your own luminary to honor the teens lost to suicide.

Chubby children with chocolate on their faces and skinny kids with scraped knees ate things Mom & Dad wouldn’t allow tomorrow. We ate Gourmet Sausage’s from a mobile truck.

Lorri shared her favorite memories of her son Drew, who we were there to honor. I had never met the young man, but feel a connection none the less.

“We went water skiing; I drove the boat she explained. Apparently not fast enough for Drew to get up or stay aloft on the ski’s or water floatation device. Infuriated, he called out to her…You Suck!”

Another memory was of Drew playing the Violin. I picture a skinny kid butchering the violin and I smile. Lorri corrected me to understand that he played the hell out of the instrament,and the satisfaction on his face was priceless.  I notice she smiles when telling the stories. I’m glad.

Our other team members, people who worked so hard, not just for the walk, but every fundraiser Chads holds were unable to attend. I hope Aunt Cara, Sister Jamie, and Brother in law Brian, and Brother Kyle and his Dad Dave, and of course Steve Morris have heard these memories and witnessed this smile.

We sat in folding lawn chairs, sometimes in awkward silence, watching toddlers eat gravel, people watching. Wondering about questionable decisions, a young man who obstructed our view of the stage despite having 3,643 acres of park space available had StL and the area code 314 tattooed to the back calves of his legs. Babies bounced beach balls around us.

Very talented cover bands took the stage. They played very inappropriate songs, Lynard Skynards “Saturday night special”, while speaking of gun control, it likely stung for parents at a suicide prevention gathering. Later Joe Dirt and the Dirty Boy’s rocked the house with disparaging tunes about women the night before Mother’s Day. A lovely young lady followed it with sweet songs of love and hope.

The keynote speaker spoke of Tourette’s syndrome and acceptance. I was moderately confused by it all.

The luminary walk was held in broad daylight. Hundreds, perhaps thousands of the luminaries, each representing a kid lost to suicide, lined the path along the lake of broken hearted park.

A power outage interrupted the final set from the cover band, Fred Bird a Mascot for our Cardinal baseball team pinch hit, while well-orchestrated flash mobs of young people with energy and teen spirit danced in front of the stage.

The wind changed, and a cool breeze came in off the lake. The founder of Chads announced they had met the fundraising goal. The celebrity Disc Jockey/ announcer for the event held the countdown to a beautiful fireworks display. The event was called to a conclusion. I gave Lorri a hug and we walked to our cars in the pitch black night.

As I sat waiting for traffic to exit the park, I tried to make sense of the day, a day filled with contradictions. It dawned on me; this was the same puzzling feeling we all have when trying to make sense of why a young person feels so desperate or hopeless, that they take their own life.

Exiting the park from the back entrance; my car climbed a tree lined road in the pitch black of the night. As I reached the crest of the hill, a star shined brightly in the dark sky.

I hope Lorri and every parent saw it. I also hope no other parent joins the walk next year. And I hope I can participate again.

Drew, you are loved. Your friends and family remember you on this day and every other. I hope you know that. I am humbled and honored to have participated. What a great organization and event. I hope the founders and those who work so hard know that.And mostly, i hope and pray someday the event is unneccessary.

To learn more about teen depression and suicide, and how you can help.

In the St Louis area :

Nationally :

Join Me on The Author Chat Show Saturday April 28 at 5 PM Central

•April 28, 2012 • 2 Comments

Please join me on Blog Talk Radio Saturday. We will be discussing my new book Dark Thoughts & Dark Forces. The Author Chat Show is hosted by Lynda Brown, an engaging interviewer and host. The link can be found on my blogroll for tomorrow and all future shows.

Thank you Lynda for having me, and i look forward to hearing from anyone who wishes to call in.


J.K. Dark

Dark Thoughts & Dark Forces, Just Released !

•April 15, 2012 • Leave a Comment

My new book Dark Thoughts & Dark Forces, is now available for sale. This collection of mystery,suspense & murder is now available via, Barnes & Noble, or an Independent bookstore near you. Enjoy !