Waking up on a desert island is a lot less terrifying of an experience you’d think. Although, it did take me two months to accept the fact that I was never going to be found; to abandon all hope. But once you realize that the concept of time doesn’t apply to island life the way that it does to society, two months seems like the blink of an eye. Or maybe it seems like a year, but that’s the point, you have no way of telling the difference.
I guess the only scary thing is not knowing how I got here. It didn’t take me long to realize this desert island is far from being a desert. Lush with jungle and wildlife, sources of food would not be an issue. Luckily my time in the Boy Scouts growing up taught me all of the essential skills to survive in the wilderness, but as a kid you never imagine having to live that way for the rest of your life. Those skill are taught for emergency situations…does that mean my life was now in a constant state of emergency? Not at all.
Shelter, fire, food, water. The only things you’re concerned with at first. But once you have all of those things and are living as comfortably as the situation allows, you will want to find other ways to spend your time. You will try your yoga on the beach, you will fail at painting in caves, and you will lose your only friend in the waves. Do not let the boredom discourage you, always remind yourself to appreciate the little things. Smile at the birds in their nests overhead, at the dolphins swimming in the surf. They’re really all that you have here anyway. So if you have found this, I both apologize and congratulate you. I am sorry that you have to leave you’re old life behind but I am so excited for you to experience this place in the same way that I have.
It took me nearly a life time of living here to gather all of the necessary resources and produce these letters. Do not let yourself go crazy. You are only as alone here as you let yourself be. Don’t be scared look for company, most of the monkeys are a lot friendlier than the movies make them out to be. Try not to take life so seriously. It’s more fun that way.
-Pilot of Malaysian Airlines Flight 370
The Grey (Part 1)
The yellow sand stretched on further than Shane’s eyes could see. His mouth was dry, skin burnt, and for whatever reason he could not remember exactly how he ended up on the back of a camel in the middle of the Sahara Desert. Despite feeling some faint recollection of a long plain ride and an even longer ride in a bus laden heavily with B.O., Shane could not recall any specific memories or details. From somewhere far beyond the golden dunes, a voice thundered across the sky…
“Pretty neat, huh?”
And then, all at once, like a swift jab to the diaphragm, Shane found himself sitting in Mason’s bedroom. He was rendered speechless. How could that entire experience have been instilled in his brain by a computer? It was all too real; he felt the hot wind on his face, his dry lips cracking, and such a real thirst for water. Even more baffling to Shane was not the fact that he had just experienced the most incredible virtual reality simulation on the planet, but that it was designed by his friend Mason. The first friend Shane made when he first moved to Huntington Beach. The kid who sat inside and read books and played computer games while the other kids played in the streets. The guy who worked on computers while other guys worked on cars.
At a complete loss of words, Shane couldn’t help but stare wide eyed at his friend Mason, his mind racing with possibilities and potential for his friend’s new invention.
I hadn’t seen Mason in over a week. Not that his absence from school was TOTALLY unusual, in fact, it was common for Mason to go AWOL for days at a time following the release of whatever video game it was he was excited for that year. Hell, it may have even been 10 days when World of Warcraft came out back in 2004.
No, it wasn’t his prolonged absence that concerned me, it was the fact that Mason had decided to play his little game of hooky during finals week. No matter how long Mason stayed away from school, he never missed a test. However, in the past week Mason has successfully managed to fail his senior year of high school by not showing up for a single one of his finals.
At that moment every other student in the school stood like Pavlovian dogs, eyes glued to the clocks in the front of the classrooms, waiting for the bell that would set them free from the “prison” otherwise known as Huntington Beach High School, counting down the seconds.
I know I should have been more excited, I mean I was only 8.5 seconds away from graduating high school after all.
But as I sat and looked at the empty desk next to me, I couldn’t help but worry for my friend.
The school seemed to tremble at the force of the roar of a thousand students being let out for summer vacation. I really didn’t notice the raucous being caused in the halls, my best friend had just voluntarily thrown away an academic scholarship to Stanford University and maybe his entire future, and I had no idea why. As I pushed my way past the hoard of anxious teen angst I thought to myself, “Whatever it is Mason, it better be fucking worth it.”
It was only a short walk from the high school to Mason’s house, and I didn’t mind it either, not only because Mason was my best friend but also because he happened to live on Pacific Coast Highway, in a three-story, double wide mansion overlooking the ocean. It was one of those houses that could be found on the front cover of any real estate magazine, some real high society shit. At first, I was hesitant to ring the doorbell. Despite walking to his house, I still had not actually been able to get ahold of Mason, and I knew how he reacts when someone distracts him while “in the zone”. If he did not want me to be at his house, this wasn’t going to end well. After, three more unanswered phone calls I rang the doorbell. It took multiple rings of the bell and about two minutes before anybody cared to answer the door.
My cheeks flushed red with blood before I could manage any words. Standing there in front of me was Mason’s sister, Michaela, the girl I have had a crush on for a majority of my life. “Hey Mickey!” I was finally able to let out. I noticed her eyes hadn’t left the screen of her iPhone. I took full advantage of the opportunity by just looking at her for a few seconds. Her blonde hair, her green eyes, my heart fluttered.
“I go by Mick now,” she said, entirely unnerved by my obvious staring, “Mason is in his room…. click click click click” Her voice was being drowned out by the sounds her phone made every time she pressed one of the keys on the keypad. For being infatuated with this girl since I first became friends with Mason, I can’t believe she’s never seemed to notice.
There was nothing I could have done to prepare myself for the events that followed…
And after an unexplained and unnecessary break I have found myself returning to my writing. I have a few stories that I have been working on recently, both shotty and loosely assembled, but still stories just the same. It is becoming quite apparent to me that I need to spend more time developing my writing skills. I feel as though I have potential that I can not afford to let go unexplored.
Why is it the miserable so often develop an affinity for written word? Why have so many great writers died by their own hand? Why is it that those individuals that are blessed with the ability of storytelling seem to also be some of the most troubled?
It’s saddens me to see that so many people around me are losing touch with their creative minds. Cell phones are a plague, technology has completely restructured society, fuck the system…all that jazz. But really though, when I see dozens of kids sitting in the library staring at their game of “8 Ball Pool” on their phones rather than doodling or talking to the person next to them, it makes me sick.
Anyway, the rambling could go on for days but I will stop it here. I’m still not too sure how I’m planning on putting these two stories together but this will be the first place they will be available. In the meantime, I’ll be on here fucking around like always.
Flash Fiction: A New Start
Kyle was a nerd. He knew it, his friends knew it, so did every other kid at his high school. And he was okay with that, because he was in college now. This was Kyle opportunity to wipe clean his reputation and for a new start. It was move in day at SFSU, and Kyle grew eager for the night. This was the night he would go to his first party. He hugged his parents and kissed them goodbye as he carried the last of his boxes into his new dorm room. After a short time spent unpacking, another boy entered the room and placed his belongings on the bed across from Kyle’s. Kyle knew he needed to act first to act confident, but before he could speak he noticed a stack of comic books in one of the kid’s boxes.
“Hi, I’m Kyle,” he said as he extended his hand. He was nervous, shaking, for what? He realized this kid was a nerd too, meaning he could hold on to his old life for just a little bit longer. His hand steadied.
The other boy dropped his boxes on his bed and reached for Kyle’s hand, “Ray,” he said,”nice to meet you.” One of Ray’s boxes tipped off of his bed, littering the floor with Batman comics.
“I love Batman,” Kyle said awkwardly as he bent down to help Ray pick up his comics. Batman was Kyle’s favorite superhero after all.
“Me too,” Ray replied. The two boys then turned their backs and unpacked their things.
After about an hour of unpacking, the sound of clinking glass broke the awkward silence the two boys created. Kyle turned to see Ray holding one bottle of vodka in each hand. “I’ve never drank before, but I stole these from my parents liquor cabinet. I told myself that I’m going to my first party tonight, so I brought one bottle for me and one for my roommate. You want to come?” Ray asked as he extended his hand grasping one of the bottles.
Kyle grew ecstatic. He had never been to a party as a result of having strict parents and the most overbearing conscious known to mankind. But his parents were nowhere to be seen, there was nobody left to restrict him. He took the bottle from Ray and the two boys left their new dorm in search of a party; a search that did not take long.
This party was surreal to Kyle and Ray, like something out of the movies. In reality it was about 25 people drinking around a long wooden table. Nothing that the average teenager would get excited about. But to these two boys, they had struck gold. A place where nobody knew who they were; where they could leave their old self behind them. “You have to take the first sip,” Ray said, “since I gave it to you.”
Kyle was nervous, he did not know what to expect. He took the lid off the bottle and sniffed. It smelled like a Sharpie. For the first time in his life, Kyle tasted alcohol. It tasted like a Sharpie. The taste was vile, and it burned on his tongue, down the back of his throat and into his gut.
“It’s not really that bad,” Kyle was able to mumble while trying to hold down the contents of his stomach. Over the next hour Kyle drank the equivalent of two shots of vodka, and he was drunk. He couldn’t find Ray, but he didn’t really care. He stumbled around what he discovered to be a frat house, until he was hit in the face with a ping-pong ball. Kyle tossed the ball to a guy in a tank top but couldn’t help but wonder where the paddles were, as he saw none. He sat on a couch, and realized his tongue was numb. He took another sip of vodka straight from the bottle, which having a numb tongue made easier to drink. Kyle grabbed the guy next to him and could not stop thanking him for letting him come to the party. For a minute, he thought he saw Ray, but his vision was blurry and he couldn’t tell. Kyle did not care though, and put his lips back to his bottle.
The next morning Kyle woke up on the floor of the bathroom with his arms wrapped around a toilet, the classic passed-out-drunk-person position. His head throbbed, his stomach burned, he vomited. Kyle barely remembered anything about the night before. He was miserable, and it was in this misery that he vowed he would never drink again.
One week later Kyle went to a party…
Flash Fiction: Spent Days
James sat down in his seat, preparing himself for the long day that lay ahead of him. He thought back to his childhood, and could not remember a time in which he was free from the prison that now bound him. He had spent too many days as a captive; it was now his life.
The walls were wet with fresh pitch, and the entire hull of the boat smelt of tar. It was only 8 in the morning, but already the sun beat down upon the ship enough to warm the interior of the hull to a degree just shy of that of an oven. James was now surrounded by dozens of other slaves, all taken as children and forced to work. The haze of restlessness and angst filled the room to the point where one could almost feel it on their skin like a heavy layer of humidity. Slowly the Captain emerged from his quarters. The Captain was old, weathered by battle and time. He was a monstrous figure, and slowly he began to speak. The words the Captain spoke, however, were foreign to the slaves, and James could not comprehend. James looked to the man to his right and they exchanged a puzzled glance. But, James did not need to understand what the Captain was saying; he knew the task that lay ahead of him. James knew that from now until midday, he would row. The thirty or so slaves all reached out and grabbed the oars in front of them to begin their long day’s work. As the slaves began to row, the Captain walked the length of the ship, stopping only to mutter words James could not understand to his fellow slaves. James kept his head down, and rowed.
Out of the corner of his eye, James could see the Captain slowly making his way down the aisle. James continued to row. He then saw a pair of worn brown boots stop at his feet. He looked up at the Captain, and could see his mouth moving but could not hear any words. James could not divert his attention away from the sound of the girl next to him tapping her foot. He tried to focus…
“James, do you have your homework?” the Teacher asked again.
“Not today,” James replied. He looked around and was back in a classroom
It was at this point in time that James realized he was exceedingly high to be at school.
Flash Fiction: Writer’s Block
It was on a particularly hot day in August that Timothy found himself struggling to concentrate on his work. What normally is just a nuisance known as, “writer’s block”, became a serious problem for the now desperate Timothy, considering the deadline for his current novel was only 72 hours away and he was nowhere near the end. The common reader may question why an author would have waited so long to finish his novel as to risk not meeting a final deadline? However, that question would also make the assumption that all writers get to write their novels at their own pace. Writing to meet deadlines makes money, it’s capitalism, people.
For whatever reason, Timothy could not seem to position himself in the seat at his desk as to avoid an annoying beam of sunlight from bursting through the slits in his shutters and into his eyes. He tried for twenty or so minutes, before deciding that there was no chance that he would be writing at his desk today. So, Timothy lugged his rather heavy type writer from the desk in his bedroom out to his kitchen table. It was hot there. At least the windows had provided him with a breeze; no matter how warm, a gust of wind always feels nice in the heat. The air was still, hot, and dry. Just as Timothy began to write, he felt a large bead of sweat forming at his hairline. Again, his concentration was broken, as he focused on this large drop of sweat that began to roll down his face.
Timothy began to think about how much he hated the heat. And he blamed living in the heat on the fact that he needed to move to Los Angeles to fulfill a job offer. His thoughts began to flow freely again: he hated the city of Los Angeles, the traffic, the people, the filth. But most of all he hated the heat. Timothy knew however that someday the source of this heat, the Sun, would die, along with all traffic, all people, all filth; and this made him content.
Timothy began to write.
Flash Fiction: Rock Show
It had been six long months since Anthony bought tickets to see his favorite band, the Aquateers, live in concert; today was finally the day. Anthony had never been more excited for anything in his life. He worked significantly more hours over the past summer than any healthy high school freshman should, and all of his earnings went towards this one ticket. But it was not just any ticket, it had three letters written across it that made it special, “V-I-P”. This meant that in less that 5 hours, Anthony would be standing back stage with the members of the Aquateers. He watched the clock tick and tock in his class room, but his mind had wandered far beyond the walls of the school.
Anthony is late to his concert due to LA traffic on the 405. Fuck traffic.
Anthony is upset because he missed the opportunity to meet the band before the show. So he waits and enjoys the show from the side of the stage. He is living his dream, and he is only 4 songs away from being face to face with his favorite musicians of all time. The show ends, the band walks off the stage dripping with sweat. Anthony eagerly approaches them with an extended hand. The singer tosses Anthony a half drank water bottle as a souvenir, which splashes in his face.
“There you go kid, that’s the most you’re going to get out of us after a show like that,” the singer says as he pulls out a bag of cocaine.
Flash Fiction: Margaritas
A young man and his date are sitting together in a Mexican restaurant. This young man has recently lost some weight. When the waiter takes an order for the first round of drinks, the man eagerly hands over his ID, proclaiming, “That’s me! Just twenty pounds heavier!” This all being done in a lame attempt to somehow impress the girl sitting across from him.
The waiter studies the ID for 7 long, uncomfortable seconds. He hands the man his ID back, saying, “I’d say 10,” before turning a shoulder and walking away.
I decided today that every week I will put out a movie review. I want these reviews to be able to be read and understood by the everyday movie-goer. They are non-academic movie reviews and I intend to keep them that way. Using layman’s terms I will breakdown the film, and do my best to keep the review spoiler free. These reviews will not necessarily be on movies I see in the theaters, but rather the movies I can watch from home (Netflix, HBO Go, Hulu, YouTube, etc.) I constantly try to find new movies to watch, but I am always open to suggestions! Expect the first review sometime this weekend.
As a side note I really wanted to thank those who have followed my blog already! I get more and more excited about the possibilities/opportunities this blog has to offer every day.