Starting Tomorrow

I finally have enough of my new story written that I feel comfortable starting to put the chapters up on here. The first one will go up tomorrow. The next one will go up a week after and so on. I’m going to keep writing on it sporadically and I should be able to keep up with it going forward.

So, I hope you’re all ready to meet the Southside Protector.

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Small

Coworker talking about a pallet of radios:

It’s kinda small. That’s why I didn’t touch it.

Me:

That’s what she said.

Maintenance

Own your own home, they said. It’s so much better than renting, they said. You can do whatever you want to it, they said.

What they fail to tell you is the work that goes into it. Sure, there’s the little things that you know, like mowing the lawn during the summer. Unless you’re some asshole who can afford to pay someone to do that shit for you. I’m not that kind of asshole. I’m the poor kind of asshole.

Then there’s the optional things, like painting. So far, we’ve painted four of our rooms since we’ve bought our house. Baby E’s room was the first. It is now a bright pink (we’ve already told her that it’s staying that color until she’s old enough to paint it herself). Over the past month, we’ve painted most of our downstairs (kitchen, dining room, and living room). I don’t want to paint again for a very long time.

What really sucks, however, is when things break down and you have to fix them yourself. I, personally, have had to replace a faucet that was leaking. Thankfully, that’s a small job. What I’m going through right now, is not.

I am very fortunate. Not only do I have the best wife in the world, her dad is really awesome too. He’s a cool guy, plus there is not a lot out there that he can’t do. If there’s anything around the house, or on a car, that needs to be fixed, he can do it. I had never seen him attempt something that he did not figure out how to do it… until now. Although, to be fair, it’s not that he doesn’t know how to do it. It’s that he can’t get the equipment needed to do it.

It’s something that needs to be done. It’s not something that can be done cheaply. It’s all just one giant pain in the ass and I highly dislike it.

But, it’s still better than living in my old apartment.

On the Porch

I sat on the porch, idly passing the time away. As I sat there, an old man pulled up in an old truck. He made small talk with me. While he was talking, a cat jumped up onto the back bumper of the truck. It was too big to be a kitten, but too small to be a full grown adult. Bright orange fur covered the cat. I watched as it jumped up into the truck bed.

The old man finished talking and pulled away. I knew I should have told him about the cat, but he left too quickly. I put it out of my mind until the truck pulled back up a couple of minutes later. This time, the old man didn’t say anything. He just stopped long enough for the cat to jump back out.

As he pulled away, I noticed flames start coming from the truck bed. I jumped up and chased the truck, but it was too fast. It was soon out of view. I suppose that I could’ve called the police to warn them, but I didn’t. I just sat back down on the porch.

Then, a new car pulled up. The back window was open and the cat jumped through it. As soon as it did, the car pulled away. I thought this was odd, especially when it came back a minute later with the front seat in flames. The driver’s right arm was covered in a long sleeve shirt that was on fire, but he didn’t seem to notice. The cat jumped back out and the fiery car drove away.

I just let it happen this time. That decision seemed to work out as the same situation happened a few more times. A car would pull up, the cat would get in, they’d leave, the car would come back on fire, the cat would get out, and the car would leave.

Then, my daughter walked up to stand next to me. She ignored the flaming vehicles and asked me to make her something to eat. I walked inside, grabbed some pizza rolls out of the freezer, cut to the front of the long line of people waiting to use the microwave, and put her pizza rolls in it.

…. and that’s when I woke up.

Not Normal

About 50% of the time, I keep a book in my locker at work to read on my breaks. The other 50% of the time is usually spent on my phone either writing or watching something on Netflix while on break. It’s been this way for the past couple of years now, but for some reason, one of the people who have worked with me since I started here almost 7 years ago just now noticed it.

I was in the breakroom waiting for my food to be done when he mentioned that he saw me reading a lot. I said that I did. Then he asked if I read a lot at home and I answered that my leisure time at home was pretty much divided equally between reading, watching TV, and playing video games. His response to that was, “Oh, so you do normal things too.”

“….”

I didn’t know what to say to that. Mostly because he ranks much higher than me and I need my job. So, I nodded absently while thinking about what a tool this guy was.

Since when is reading not normal? I realize that nowadays it’s not as prevalent as it was in the past (at least, not overtly. A lot of people read on their portable devices instead of books today so you’re not sure what they’re doing on them), but when did it become not normal to read?

If this guy was younger than me, I might expect an attitude like that, but he’s at least 10 years older than me. I would think that someone like that would think it more normal to read a book than have my head buried in my phone. Then again, most people do have their heads buried in their phones most of the time now. I’m certainly not immune to it. I just don’t do it as often as most of the people around me. Maybe that does mean that I’m not normal.

If it does, so be it. I’d rather be not normal and read than be normal and not.

Live Hard

Thirty years ago, he had been killed. Twice. The first time, his death had not lasted long, a few hours at most, but he wasn’t in a position to judge time that well. The second time he was killed lasted longer, probably closer to a week. When he woke up from the first death, it was fine. He remembered where he was and what he had been doing. That wasn’t the case the next time.
It was shocking, and disturbing, when he woke up in a casket. The fact that he didn’t remember who he was, or how he got there, didn’t help any. He panicked. Not a single thought registered in his mind before he got out of the casket and ran until he couldn’t run anymore. When he stopped to survey his situation, his thoughts were a jumbled mass of German and English. That made some sense since he found himself in Germany.
He found the nearest public restroom and looked himself over in the mirror. There were multiple scars on his chest. Somehow, he knew these were made by bullets. He also had bruises and marks on his neck, but his mind didn’t try to tell him where those had come from.
Without any memories of who he was, he had nowhere to go, so he wandered around for a time. Whenever he saw something he wanted, or needed, he just stole it. Something about stealing stuff just felt right to him. Then, one day, someone tried to stop him from stealing their car. Using a gun that he had taken from a local street thug, he shot the car’s owner. That felt right too.
So, he started working as a hired gun. It combined the two things that felt right to him. Granted, it took him some time before he made anything at it. Not many people trusted a homeless man with no name to do hired gun jobs, but he eventually made a reputation as someone who could get things done. That opened up new horizons for him and he found himself traveling all across the globe.
During that time, two strange things happened. First, he noticed that he wasn’t aging. Not as fast as everyone else was. Looking in the mirror five years ago, he noted that he still looked the same as he did when he had first run away from the casket. The second thing was that he started having flashbacks. They were always the same. He was using a chainsaw to cut some wires while a man with short blonde hair and glasses protested. The blonde man was important to him, he knew. He just didn’t know how. Since he was attracted to women, he knew the blonde man wasn’t his lover, but he felt like he did love him in a different way.
None of it made any sense to him until he took a job in L.A. and he saw it. It loomed large above him, but as soon as he saw the Nakatomi building, everything came back to him.
A white cop had hanged him by his neck with a chain. That’s where the marks on his throat came from. He came back to life only to have a black cop shoot him in the chest, killing him again. The blonde man was his brother. His name was Karl. He still didn’t know how he had come back from the dead, but that didn’t matter to him. He had work to do.
Using favors he had earned over his time as a hired gun, he found out that the black cop who had killed him still lived in Los Angeles, though he was retired now. Without thinking, Karl went straight to the policeman’s house. At the moment, he was standing inside it.
“Thirty years,” Karl said as he spat on the body of Sgt. Al Powell.
That was one cop down. There was one more who needed to be put down. This man was someone who Karl hated even more than Powell. This was the man who had killed his brother and hung him from a chain. His vengeance wasn’t complete. Karl’s vengeance wouldn’t be complete until he flew to New York and killed John Mcclane.