Sunday, June 13, 2010

I think i will be back on here soon

Monday, September 29, 2008

M.I.A

Ok, I was going to make this thing a four part story but I think in order to get the full effect you need to read it in one sitting... that’s what Edgar Allen Poe said is a key component to a good short story, and since he is the master of the short story, I'll go off of his word. Here it is in its entirety M.I.A… enjoy.




It had been almost three months since he had seen his sister. “I wonder who the baby will look like, Ash or Larry?” His thoughts danced around the idea of being an uncle as he laid stretched out, all six foot one hundred and eighty-five pounds of him, across the last row of seats in the 737 he was riding in. He was on a red eye from Las Vegas to Salt Lake City at the arrival of his sister Ashley’s first baby; a little brown haired, green eyed boy named Crew.

As Jason lay across the seats, his mind drifted from his sister to the briefing he had with the FBI’s Counter Terrorism Unit, Las Vegas branch, earlier in the day. The agent stated they had received reliable information that a few cities in the United States, including Las Vegas, were said to be targets of a forthcoming terrorist attack. The agent didn’t have any information on when the attack was going to be carried out, but he did mention talk of a possible hybrid atom bomb being developed in the UK. The bomb is said to have no toxic after effects-the toxins are converted into energy before the detonation- thus making the bomb two times as powerful. On his way out of the briefing Jason overheard a conversation between two senior agents. One of them was saying to the other, “this bomb represents the most dangerous threat out there, if it’s real. Can you imagine it? You could move right in and take over an area after totally destroying it with no worries about toxins.”

For eight years Jason has been assigned to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) Homeland Security team. Now thirty-two, he remembers and cherishes the memories he has of being a regular patrol officer, working a beat on Fremont Street. No work to take home. No thoughts of local sleeper cells. Just go to work, complete your shift and go home.

The landing was not the best he had ever been through, though it certainly wasn’t the worst. The air was cold as he stepped through the doors leading to the passenger pickup and as he exhaled his first breath into the night air he could see it rise like smoke from a burning building.

“How was the flight?” Cindy asked him as he stepped into the car.

“Good enough” Jason replied as he sank into the passenger seat. “The landing was a little rough, but other than that it was ok. There was hardly anyone on the plane so I took the back seats and stretched out.”

Cindy looked over at Jason with an awkward smile, “Brice and The Bear were terrors the entire way up. We had to stop six times to eat and change diapers. If you think I’m ever letting you fly leaving me to drive up alone, you are out of your mind.”

Jason tried to hide a silly grin as his wife elaborated on the trials of driving up to Salt Lake City alone with their two kids; Brice a ten month old boy and Nevaeh a.k.a The Bear a three year old girl. “Well I’m here now” Jason said proudly, “and the drive home will be better with daddy in the car.”

From the day his children were born, Jason’s outlook on life changed. He realized there were a lot of things he wanted to do, but now could not. He desperately wanted to be a musician, and while he had the talent to be a one man band, the time and opportunity had been stolen away from him; he blamed the kids for his lack of career options.

He never intended to be a cop. In fact, before he became one, he hated police with a passion. He hated the better than you attitude so many cops exude. He hated the fact that even if you didn’t do anything wrong, a cop could stop you on the street and harass you. Well, that’s what he thought they did, but after his many years on the department he decided it was not the cops that were bad, it was everyone else; the cops were just trying to find the bad guys and bring about some type of justice.

As Jason entered the maternity ward of the hospital he could hear the familiar laugh of his sister Ashley; in fact, anyone within a half a mile could hear her laugh. She didn’t just laugh; she would wind up, taking in extraordinary amounts of air, and then belt out a sound that could only be described as something of a human fog horn. Jason had a nice visit with his mom, dad, two sisters and their husbands and even held the newest thief of dreams to enter the family; Crew Nicholas Odom.

“It’s getting late” Jason announced to all in the room, particularly his wife Cindy. “Let’s get out of here, I’m exhausted.” Good nights were exchanged and Jason toted along his little family to their car and headed for the Hamilton Inn.

Sleep came quickly to Jason. While he could not remember dreaming, he knew by the renewed energy he had in the morning, he had spent a good portion of the night in R.E.M sleep. Unknown to him; that was to be the last good night’s sleep he would get for a while.

He awoke early, about six forty-five and headed for the Inn’s modest gym. It was not a great gym but it had the basics, some dumbbells, a bench-press machine and a few free weights to do curls with. In one corner of the room, mounted to the wall was a flat screen TV, about forty inches. Jason usually liked to listen to his IPod when he worked out, but had left it at home in Vegas and decided to settle for a little CNN or Fox news; whichever he came to first.

As he began to sweat and feel the burning in his muscles, he unconsciously banished the news broadcast into the background to serve as ambient noise.

Halfway through a bench-press set an oddly familiar sound broke through Jason’s lifting induced trance. He set the bench bar back and grabbed the white hand towel from his pocket, wiping the sweet from his face as he turned toward the TV. The noise he heard was the short piece of music that plays just before the announcement of breaking news. On the screen appeared the familiar blue backdrop sheet with the White House emblem hanging on it, and the dark wood podium with four or five microphones attached. “Breaking news from the White House? The hell’s going on?”

He barely broached the thought in his mind before a man entered the picture and stepped up to the podium. The man pulled out a pair of gold framed reading glasses from the inside pocket of his black suit and put them on. He had salt and pepper hair, more on the pepper side, with deep lines in his face announcing to all that he had been through not a few trials in his life. As the man began to speak the words “Secretary of Defense” appeared at the bottom of the screen and Jason turned up the volume.

Jason sat stunned; he couldn’t believe what he was hearing. With each sentence from the man, Jason’s mouth dropped a little more and his mind pushed all thoughts out his ears. Jumping up, Jason tore out of the room, and as he ran down the hall the flower patterned walls seemed to blur into lines. In his haste Jason forgot his room key and found himself pounding on the door.

“Cindy answer the door, you’re never going to believe this. Something terrible has happened. Cindy open the…”

The door swung open with Cindy standing in her night gown glaring at him. “What’s so important that you had to wake me up at,” glancing at the alarm clock, “seven ten? And why don’t you have your room key?”

“No time for questions” he barked back grabbing the TV remote and turning to the news broadcast he’d been watching.

The man was now gone and pictures from what must have been helicopters were being shown on the screen. A male voice was giving commentary in the back ground. “It is unsure what caused the destruction, and communication into both Las Vegas and Chicago seems to be down. Reports are coming in that the damage in Las Vegas is around ninety-five percent, and eighty percent in Chicago.”

As pictures flashed on the screen, Cindy felt her legs turn from bone and muscle into jelly; thankfully the edge of the bed caught her as she fell. With a trembling hand lightly covering her wide open mouth, she began to cry. The commentary started again. “The death toll is estimated in the hundreds of thousands for both cities right now. Authorities are urging all who have loved ones in Las Vegas or Chicago areas to not call in, as the few lines of communication being found are needed for emergency personnel.”

“What happened?” Cindy whimpered to Jason.

“I don’t know” he replied. But of course that was a lie. Quickly Jason’s thoughts were dragged back to the FBI briefing he had the previous day. His thoughts were disrupted when he heard the buzz of his cell phone, vibrating on the dresser. He looked at the screen and it read “emergency connection.” His heart sank, his knees gave out and he also found himself saved by the edge of the bed.

“Hello?” he asked. The voice on the other line was unfamiliar.

“Officer, I have Sergeant Opey on the line I will connect him.”

“Jason?” The familiar voice of his sergeant sounded strong and gave Jason the strength to stand.

“Yeah man I’m here. What’s going on?”

Cindy could only hear her husband’s responses but she knew by the tone in his voice things were not good. After Jason hung up the phone Cindy didn’t even have to ask, with a single look she knew; he was leaving.

“Why you, you are three hundred miles away. It is going to take you at least five hours to get there, and that’s without traffic.”

“Cindy, you don’t understand. I am the only guy on my squad my sergeant could get a hold of. The other guys could be dead for all we know. It is my duty as a cop to go back. I have to go. You and the rest of the family will stay here at Ashley’s house until things get better, and then I will come back and get you and the kids.”

Cindy looked at him with tears in her eyes and said, “But every one you care about is here. I can’t stand the thought of loosing you.”

“I’m coming back to get you, Ok? I love you” The words seemed almost reckless as they rolled off his lips.

Cindy nodded in duressed approval, and with that began to weep.

The ride back to Las Vegas was quiet and lonesome. As Jason raced down the freeway he couldn’t help thinking of what Cindy had said to him, “every one you care about is here.” The words cycled over and over in his mind as the Utah ever green trees gave way to the Joshua trees that freckled the Utah/ Nevada border.

After what seemed an eternity Jason pulled slowly over the pass into the valley, but all the meetings, training and trial exercises he’d been through could never have prepared him for what he saw.

By now the sun had almost completed its decent behind Mount Charleston which set the twilight sky ablaze. Clouds loomed over the valley in hues of red, orange with fleeting bits of white still visible in the very farthest expanses to the north. The city, or what was left of it, was almost a mirrored image of the heavens burning high above. The outskirts of the valley looked like a sea of brick, wood and concrete with the occasional pillar of wood or brick breaking the surf. Jason could barely see the famous Las Vegas strip through all the smoke and fire that plagued the inner areas of the valley.

Jason’s first order of business was to meet up with his sergeant. Looking at his phone Jason saw he had very poor reception but figured it was worth the effort to call.

“Hello?” The voice sounded vaguely familiar,

“Tim?” Jason asked inquisitively.

“It’s me Jay, where are ya? You make it to Vegas yet?”
Jason’s nerves seemed to be settling a bit at the familiar sound of his sergeant’s scratchy voice.

“Yeah man I’m in Vegas. I think I’m by the Craig and I-15 overpass, out by where your house used to be.” Of course this was just a guess as all remnants of the area seemed to melt together in large piles of debris.

“Ok Jay look I was able to get a hold of Corey and Ian but that’s it, we are all staging at the Cheyenne and I-15 on ramp. Well what’s left of it.”

The journey to meet the others took a little over half an hour to go about three miles due to the vast amounts of debris that riddled the streets, but he finally located his colleagues.

Ian, a short, well built white man gave Jason a stiff handshake followed by a quick pat on the back and said “man it’s good to see you Jay.”

“Good to see you too Ian; what the hell happened here? It looks like a bomb went off.”

“Yeah that’s what we think happened.” Once again the familiar scratchy voice of his sergeant brought a little hope into an otherwise dreadful moment.

“Searg, you think a bomb did this?”

The raised eyebrows and slight frown of his sergeant’s face gave the answer; though he didn’t say anything. Jason knew what his sergeant was thinking and could hear him saying, “The hell could do such damage genius? I’d like to hear your idea if you have the balls to suggest one.”
Jason knew there was no need to fight with the Searg, he was a good man but could be a real prick, especially if you tried telling him he was wrong.

As the guys were talking amongst themselves, Sergeant Opey walked up and stood in the middle of the group. “Ok guys, listen up. I just got a call from Lieutenant Perry; there are about four hundred of us meeting downtown next to where City Hall used to be. We’re going to stage there, then divide up into four units and start searching for survivors. We’ve got two trucks, so leave the cars here and we’ll come back to get’m in a few days.”

Jason was a little hesitant to leave his car unattended even though he knew the probability for theft or vandalism was low. All the same, the thought entered his mind, “what if some asshole comes and tries to take my ride. In times of crisis people these days loose all sense of right and wrong; if they had any before.”

As a result of Jason’s years of service as a Police Officer he became very cenacle. He had the impression that most people-if not all people- were inherently bad and only had a few fleeting moments of righteousness in any given day. He never did anything to change his way of thinking, but in the very farthest, most secluded corners of his soul, Jason’s outlook on people bothered him greatly.

As the men climbed into the trucks and began the trek into town Jason looked back at his car wondering what would happen in the days to come.

Arriving around the center of town, the men could see that the destruction was worse than any of them could have expected. Every casino that once stood as a monument to human ingenuity was now a pile of broken glass, wood and twisted metal. In the center of the town was a large crater about three hundred feet across and a hundred feet deep at the lowest point. There was nothing left of the colossal buildings that once stood in the spot. This was obviously the epicenter of whatever had caused the destruction.

The briefing was quick and precise. There would be four teams consisting of one hundred men each. With each team being assigned to either the A sleeping/eating roster or the B roster; one roster slept and ate while the other searched. The objective was to search out and render aid to all those found alive. Those found dead were to be identified, if possible, and the locations of their bodies were to be recorded. This specific directive proved especially hard to accomplish, as many times during the search one would find parts of people not attached to a body; an arm here, a leg and a foot there, it was a complete mess.

Jason and Ian were partnered up in their team and were assigned to the B roster; the grave yard shift. There were as many search strategies as there were people searching. One team would take sticks and hit the debris listening to see if there was any response from below. Others decided they would pick a spot and just start to move debris in hopes of finding someone. They usually did, only it was parts of people they found. Jason and Ian decided to adopt a logical approach to their searching.

Jason looked at Ian with an irritated look, “The news was just breaking the story at about 6:50 a.m. Utah time which is 5:50 a.m. here, so a lot of people in this area would have been in their homes, let’s look around the debris that resembles a demolished house.” Ian agreed this was the best course of action, so they set out on their search.

The hours passed like minutes and before they knew it they had searched for eight hours locating numerous parts of people and rescuing five; two of which were on the verge of death, suffering from severe burns and open, bleeding head wounds. With each living person they rescued, Jason and Ian found a renewed energy and worked that much harder to locate the next survivor.

The sun cresting over Sunrise Mountain signaled the end of the grave shift and the beginning of shift for A roster. Sleep had come easy to the men who worked B roster, but not to Jason. As he lay on one of the cots the guys from A roster had concocted- mostly ply board stacked on a few bricks with tattered shirts and bits of cloth acting as pillows- Jason could not get the images of little bodiless legs and arms out of his mind.

“What a horrible way to die. Some of those limbs couldn’t have been from children older than two. And some of those guys we pulled out of the debris, what complete waists of skin. I know I’ve arrested two maybe three of them for violent crap. But then, why would they die? God knows only the innocent end up dying when things like this happens. Hey Ian you listening, I’m talkin’ to you; hey Ian?” Getting no response, Jason figured Ian had gone to sleep, so he rolled over, and with thoughts of his family in his mind, succumbed to exhaustion.

No one, not even Jason would know that Ian was awake, in fact, he was wide awake. He had one specific image plaguing his mind. The image was that of a little boy’s head he had discovered about two feet from the body. The boy had scraggily black hair and small, but full, lips. His body a few feet away was still dressed in spider man pajamas, with the spider man hood attached to the neck of the suit. One of his little black hands still clutched a half empty bottle of what must have been milk or formula. When Ian found the head it was face up with the eyes open; the boy was staring right at him. The image played over and over in his mind, and Ian wept silently as his heart broke into a million pieces at the thought of the terror this little boy experienced just before he died. Ian wept silently until exhaustion stole away all pain and sorrow, with sleep inviting a welcomed respite from the reality of the day’s events.

The next two days brought more of the same, finding people and pieces of people in piles of debris. At night, Jason mostly complained internally about the heat he was forced to sleep in and the dirt bags he was rescuing. Occasionally he would take a few minutes to call his wife and kids to let them know he was ok.

A few of the survivors gave helpful insights into what happened. One man said he heard a small plane flying over city hall just before he heard a loud blast and then went blank. Jason recognized him as a man he had arrested a few weeks back for armed robbery. “He must be out on parole” Jason had told Ian as the man walked past them.

The third day started out badly for A roster. A family of ten was found dead underneath the remnants of a single wides’ tin roof; the youngest maybe two, the oldest well into their teens. By the time Jason and the Guys from B roster took over searching, thirty survivors had been located.

Jason looked around and noticed that a few of the survivors had joined in the search efforts. And as the night progressed, he noticed that a good portion of B roster was made up of survivors. Some bandaged and searching with one arm splinted, while others had head dressings and crutches to work around; but all wounded were working with the same fervor as those who were whole. Even Jason’s “waists of skin” survivors were working side by side trying to rescue others.

After his shift, Jayson took a walk by himself. The images he had witnessed during his shift were bothering him greatly. Only these were not images of death and carnage, but rather images of compassion and bravery on the part of the survivors. He recalled scenes of hardened criminals, working alongside the very cops that arrested them. He’d taken particular notice that a few of them did not take as many breaks as the others, they just pushed on with their search.

Jason remembered the amazement he felt when a man he knew to be a robber showed great compassion toward a survivor he’d located. Taking the man into his arms, the felon carried the survivor over the rough terrain to the nurses for treatment of the many cuts and burns that scourged his broken body. Then the man went right back to the spot he located the survivor and continued searching. “What's going on here?” Jason had wondered to himself. “Regular citizens do that type of thing, not hardened criminals. They don’t care about anyone but themselves.”

The sun rose on another B shift, and survivors were being located less and less frequently, while more and more of the located survivors were taking a place on the debris piles, aiding in the search for others. Jason and the others worked hard all through the night. Jason took a break to call his wife and let her know he loved her and hoped that he would be coming back to them soon. After loving words were exchanged Jason hung up the phone.

The sun was just starting to crest over the top of Sunrise Mountain as it had many times before, sending the night sky running from its title wave of light; but this time it was different. Jason surveyed the destruction that lay all around him, the hundreds of men and women working side by side, criminal and cop alike, and all of the sudden he realized something. He realized by our very nature as humans, we can overcome all differences, put aside all prejudice and come together for the greater good of our specious. While he stood there atop a pile of debris that was once a home, Jason realized the world in which he once lived was gone, and the person he once was, had changed. And for the first time in a while Jason smiled as he quickly fell asleep on his ply wood bed.

I hope you enjoyed the story.
CiAo!

Monday, September 22, 2008

News from Home

Ok, so I forgot to post this morning and for a very good reason…I had to get up and be to school by about 0945 and I woke up at 0857. Sooo, I had to throw on some clothes, get beautiful-which by the way, usually takes upwards of thirty minutes or so…I mean, it does take a while to make a prince out of a toad- I also had to eat, get my laptop ready for school and get out the door; all in less than ten minutes. Needless to say I did not have the brain power to remember that you all would be waking up with an insatiable appetite for part two of M.I.A- News from Home.


Hopefully you have enjoyed the first part of M.I.A and were left clawing at the screen in anticipation for part two. In fact, I am hoping that you have been sitting there since last Monday staring at the screen in hopes that I would decided to pull some shenanigans and post part two early. If you have been, let me know and I will send you a fully bound, signed, numbered and custom addressed copy of M.I.A, because you are a true fan…take that Stephenie Meyer, you and your best seller “dreamed” book series! If you can’t tell there will definitely be a rant coming to a computer near you about the pandemic that is all things Stephenie Meyer. Here is a little teaser for the rant…


“Friends, family and loved ones, did you hear this from those who got you to read the Twilight series?

‘oh, you might hate them at first, but tough it out and they will grow on you, and you’ll be hooked.’

oh, I'm sure most of you heard or said that to someone in one form or another, but I wonder if the same insane logic could work regarding other things.

I know. Here is a question for ya… what else will you hate at first but grows on you??

give up…

A FUNGUS! A fungus you will also hate and it grows on you. So using that same crazy logic, your friends could be asking you…’hey (insert your name here) a few of us are going swimming at the local sewer treatment plant. Sure you will hate it at first, sure the air is almost as acidic as battery acid, and burns like fire as you breath, but tough it out and it will grow on you.’

yep that sounds like a great idea right? Well to those of us with sense, that is how ridiculous the persuasive argument is in support of Twilight.”


Soon that obra maestra de divertido (means "masterpiece of funny" for all those not named Christina) will be unveiled.


And now, the second installment of my epic...




*****NEWS FROM HOME*****


He awoke early, about six forty-five and headed for the Inn’s modest gym. It was not a great gym but it had the basics, some dumbbells, a bench-press machine and a few free weights to do curls with. In one corner of the room, mounted to the wall was a flat screen TV, about forty inches. Jason usually liked to listen to his IPod when he worked out, but had left it at home in Vegas and decided to settle for a little CNN or Fox news; whichever he came to first.


As he began to sweat and feel the burning in his muscles, he unconsciously banished the news broadcast into the background to serve as ambient noise.


Halfway through a bench-press set an oddly familiar sound broke through Jason’s lifting induced trance. He set the bench bar back and grabbed the white hand towel from his pocket, wiping the sweet from his face as he turned toward the TV. The noise he heard was the short piece of music that plays just before the announcement of breaking news. On the screen appeared the familiar blue backdrop sheet with the White House emblem hanging on it, and the dark wood podium with four or five microphones attached. “Breaking news from the White House? The heck’s going on?”


He barely broached the thought in his mind before a man entered the picture and stepped up to the podium. The man pulled out a pair of gold framed reading glasses from the inside pocket of his black suit and put them on. He had salt and pepper hair, more on the pepper side, with deep lines in his face announcing to all that he had been through not a few trials in his life. As the man began to speak the words “Secretary of Defense” appeared at the bottom of the screen and Jason turned up the volume.


Jason sat stunned; he couldn’t believe what he was hearing. With each sentence from the man, Jason’s mouth dropped a little more and his mind pushed all thoughts out his ears. Jumping up, Jason tore out of the room, and as he ran down the hall the flower patterned walls seemed to blur into lines. In his haste Jason forgot his room key and found himself pounding on the door.



“Cindy answer the door, you’re never going to believe this. Something terrible has happened. Cindy open the…”


The door swung open with Cindy standing in her night gown glaring at him. “What’s so important that you had to wake me up at,” glancing at the alarm clock, “seven ten? And why don’t you have your room key?”


“No time for questions” he barked back grabbing the TV remote and turning to the news broadcast he’d been watching.


The man was now gone and pictures from what must have been helicopters were being shown on the screen. A male voice was giving commentary in the back ground. “It is unsure what caused the destruction, and communication into both Las Vegas and Chicago seems to be down. Reports are coming in that the damage in Las Vegas is around ninety-five percent, and eighty percent in Chicago.”


As pictures flashed on the screen, Cindy felt her legs turn from bone and muscle into jelly; thankfully the edge of the bed caught her as she fell. With a trembling hand lightly covering her wide open mouth, she began to cry. The commentary started again. “The death toll is estimated in the hundreds of thousands for both cities right now. Authorities are urging all who have loved ones in Las Vegas or Chicago areas to not call in, as the few lines of communication being found are needed for emergency personnel.”


“What happened?” Cindy whimpered to Jason.


“I don’t know” he replied. But of course that was a lie. Quickly Jason’s thoughts were dragged back to the FBI briefing he had the previous day. His thoughts were disrupted when he heard the buzz of his cell phone, vibrating on the dresser. He looked at the screen and it read “emergency connection.” His heart sank, his knees gave out and he also found himself saved by the edge of the bed.


“Hello?” he asked. The voice on the other line was unfamiliar.


“Officer, I have Sergeant Opey on the line I will connect him.”


“Jason?” The familiar voice of his sergeant sounded strong and gave Jason the strength to stand.


“Yeah man I’m here. What’s going on?”


Cindy could only hear her husband’s responses but she knew by the tone in his voice things were not good. After Jason hung up the phone Cindy didn’t even have to ask, with a single look she knew; he was leaving.


“Why you, you are three hundred miles away. It is going to take you at least five hours to get there, and that’s without traffic.”


“Cindy, you don’t understand. I am the only guy on my squad my sergeant could get a hold of. The other guys could be dead for all we know. It is my duty as a cop to go back. I have to go. You and the rest of the family will stay here at Ashley’s house until things get better, and then I will come back and get you and the kids.”


Cindy looked at him with tears in her eyes and said, “But every one you care about is here. I can’t stand the thought of loosing you.”


“I’m coming back to get you, Ok? I love you” The words seemed almost reckless as they rolled off his lips.


Cindy nodded in duressed approval, and with that began to weep.


Part three "The Journey Back (Worse than expected), will be posted next monday. Until then CiAo!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

My First

So here is something a little different for you all. For the next four weeks, every Monday, I will be posting parts of a story that I wrote in anticipation of it being published. However, due to unforeseen lack of taste on the part of the editor of DOOM TOWN (the book I was to be published in) I will not be making my first million via publishing a short story. He stated that the “writing was weak.” Well I and one of my English professors at UNLV don’t think so. In fact, she was the one who told me to submit it for publication to the gentleman. Oooh and did I mention that she is the English professor with the most tenure currently teaching at UNLV??? Well she is, so his loss is now your gain. The story is entitled M.I.A and yes it does stand for Missing In Action… I know what you are thinking…llllaaammmmeee!!! But allow me to illuminate the meaning behind it.


The story, in essence, is a journey surrounded by chaos and disaster. It is told from the vantage point of an omniscient narrator who, at times, explores the inner most thoughts and feelings of the main character. The journey is not only a physical one, but is also introspective. Within the midst of all the chaos, carnage, sadness and misery our hero undergoes a change in the way he views the world and in so doing ends up Missing In Action. However, in what way he is M.I.A I will leave for you to read and interpret.

After I have posted the last part of the story, the post following will give all the particulars regarding the stories conception, style characteristics, detail on the whole concept of M.I.A and address any questions that might have arisen after reading.

I have broken the fifteen page short story up into four sections entitled respectively:

-New Addition
-News from Home
-The Journey back (worse than expected)
-The Search (usual suspects, unusual heros)

I sincerely hope that you find enjoyment in reading this and can take from it something that helps make this world a better place.

Without further adieu…

M.I.A.
Part One:
New Addition

It had been almost three months since he had seen his sister. “I wonder who the baby will look like, Ash or Larry?” His thoughts danced around the idea of being an uncle as he laid stretched out, all six foot one hundred and eighty-five pounds of him, across the last row of seats in the 737 he was riding in. He was on a red eye from Las Vegas to Salt Lake City at the arrival of his sister Ashley’s first baby; a little brown haired, green eyed boy named Crew.


As Jason lay across the seats, his mind drifted from his sister to the briefing he had with the FBI’s Counter Terrorism Unit, Las Vegas branch, earlier in the day. The agent stated they had received reliable information that a few cities in the United States, including Las Vegas, were said to be targets of a forthcoming terrorist attack. The agent didn’t have any information on when the attack was going to be carried out, but he did mention talk of a possible hybrid atom bomb being developed in the UK. The bomb is said to have no toxic after effects-the toxins are converted into energy before the detonation- thus making the bomb two times as powerful. On his way out of the briefing Jason overheard a conversation between two senior agents. One of them was saying to the other, “this bomb represents the most dangerous threat out there, if it’s real. Can you imagine it? You could move right in and take over an area after totally destroying it with no worries about toxins.”


For eight years Jason has been assigned to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) Homeland Security team. Now thirty-two, he remembers and cherishes the memories he has of being a regular patrol officer, working a beat on Fremont Street. No work to take home. No thoughts of local sleeper cells. Just go to work, complete your shift and go home.


The landing was not the best he had ever been through, though it certainly wasn’t the worst. The air was cold as he stepped through the doors leading to the passenger pickup and as he exhaled his first breath into the night air he could see it rise like smoke from a burning building.


“How was the flight?” Cindy asked him as he stepped into the car.


“Good enough” Jason replied as he sank into the passenger seat. “The landing was a little rough, but other than that it was ok. There was hardly anyone on the plane so I took the back seats and stretched out.”


Cindy looked over at Jason with an awkward smile, “Brice and The Bear were terrors the entire way up. We had to stop six times to eat and change diapers. If you think I’m ever letting you fly leaving me to drive up alone, you are out of your mind.”


Jason tried to hide a silly grin as his wife elaborated on the trials of driving up to Salt Lake City alone with their two kids; Brice a ten month old boy and Nevaeh a.k.a The Bear, a three year old girl. “Well I’m here now” Jason said proudly, “and the drive home will be better with daddy in the car.”


From the day his children were born, Jason’s outlook on life changed. He realized there were a lot of things he wanted to do, but now could not. He desperately wanted to be a musician, and while he had the talent to be a one man band, the time and opportunity had been stolen away from him; he blamed the kids for his lack of career options.


He never intended to be a cop. In fact, before he became one, he hated police with a passion. He hated the better than you attitude so many cops exude. He hated the fact that even if you didn’t do anything wrong, a cop could stop you on the street and harass you. Well, that’s what he thought they did, but after his many years on the department he decided it was not the cops that were bad, it was everyone else; the cops were just trying to find the bad guys and bring about some type of justice.


As Jason entered the maternity ward of the hospital he could hear the familiar laugh of his sister Ashley; in fact, anyone within a half a mile could hear her laugh. She didn’t just laugh; she would wind up, taking in extraordinary amounts of air, and then belt out a sound that could only be described as something of a human fog horn. Jason had a nice visit with his mom, dad, two sisters and their husbands and even held the newest thief of dreams to enter the family; Crew Nicholas Odom.


“It’s getting late” Jason announced to all in the room, particularly his wife Cindy. “Let’s get out of here, I’m exhausted.” Good nights were exchanged and Jason toted along his little family to their car and headed for the Hamilton Inn.


Sleep came quickly to Jason. While he could not remember dreaming, he knew by the renewed energy he had in the morning, he had spent a good portion of the night in R.E.M sleep. Unknown to him; that was to be the last good night’s rest he would get for a while.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Fashion Fopa

So there I was minding my own business, sitting in terminal D on what the airline said were padded seats but, as I was becoming despondently more aware, could be better compared to, or described as, “rock-hard-leather-thrones-of-death.” I was waiting to board my plane headed for Texas with a final destination of San Juan, when I saw a few things that sent my ranting juices flowing like a tsunami

I looked a down the row of death thrones I was sitting on and saw this woman that had on a pink shirt. She was a very lovely woman; not ugly but not the hottest thing out of the oven. Now she was facing me so I didnt give her a second thought at first that is. But then she turned around and I saw her fatal flawshe had on a hideous salmon colored bra that had one of the clasps unclasped.

But T-man you might ask, “how on earth did you manage a sneak peak of her bra? And for the love of all things Victoria’s Secret, Fredericks of Hollywood, and the Kathy Ireland Collection (exclusively at Wal-Mart), how did you know this womans bra was unclasped????” Ooohhhh my friendshad my eyes their own mouth with which to retell the horrific sights they be held in that instant, they would surely enlighten you of things too forbidding for the faint of heart and small children to hear, but had you been present, surely you would now share in the same infirmity that ales mea mind sickened with images of the vilest of perversions against all things fashionable.

See this pink shirt had on the back, one button at the neck and one button on the bottom hem, and was open to reveal her most inner, or outer, back area and thus the bra was exposed to the world.

Allow me to digress for a moment and explain something to you allI am definitely not a normal guy, and I am absolutely of the anti-machismo attitude. I have two great loves in this world next to my family. Most of you that know me wont find this shocking but my first great love is my art in all its forms (i.e. my writing, music, paintings and sketches) the other is fashion. I cant speak as to this womans artistic choices but I have a mouthful to say about her taste in fashion and esthetic visions.

Funny enough I can sum it up in one sentence..so here it isuuuuuuuuuuuhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! <-- me taking in a big breath. You have absolutely no concept of what looks good, just because some half twitted retard decides that they have a few extra pieces of fabric lying around the doublewide and steal two buttons, then they put it all together creating an utter fashion atrocity they call a shirt, does not mean you need to supply them with the funds for their next keg of Steel Reserve(ridiculously cheap beer), you should be ashamed for spending money on that shirt, you should be ashamed for even having that shirt, no, you should be punished and thrown in jail for assault, assault on my good fashion senses and assault on every eye whose gaze was sucked into the vortex that is your hideous open backed shirt that by the way, WAS PINK and you had the audacity to wear a salmon colored bra, which given what I have deduced of your fashion sense thus far, should not have come as much of a surprise to me, but I do have just one question before I banish the thought of you and your fashion fiasco to the nether regions of all things lost in time (you know the place they should send things like halter tops, ankle socks with the puffy ball on back of them, slap-n’-wrap bracelets, lawn darts, Speedos, bikinis for ages 10 and under or weights of 200+, any car manufactured in the 1980s, the guy that produced Harry and the Hendersons, the guy that took ALF off the air, whoever came up with the show Sex in the City, the creator and manufacturers of oversized necklace charms studded with fake diamonds and Paris Hiltonby the way Paris I HATE YOU!!!) WHAT WERE YOU THINKING WHEN YOU PUT THAT THING ON?????

I would bet, if I were a betting man, that you were thinking, “yeah! This shirt makes me look gooooood.”

Ooopppee, wait, breaking newsthis just in to the woman in the hideous pink getup, this is your brain, I am sorry I left without telling you a month ago, but it was just exhausting being in your head everyday so while you were sleeping I hopped out and filled your head with cheese. Im back from holiday and we can start the long road to recovery now

Oh wow ladygood luck. Really, I hope you can get things straight with that brain of yours and get that cheese out of your head.

I would be remiss if I did not also mention a few other fashion disastersthat I have encountered in my short life. Join me on this ride through time as we give a shout out, or just a dishonorable mention, to the best of the worst things in fashion for the past twenty five years….

And we begin:

The base ball cap promoting a beer company that has a bottle opener built into the brim of the cap, glasses being hung from the top button on a button up shirt, sunglasses being worn on the back of the head (yeah, its a good idea to shade the area that would encompass the entirety of the surface area that your brain must occupy within your skull, good job!), those who wear socks with flip flops (all who do this are committing an especially egregious act as your foot looks like that of a turtle and turtles are stupid so exo-factowell you do the math, the Im with stupid t-shirts, the I (heart) (–PLACE NAME OF CITY HERE)” shirts, big scrunchy socks, anything spandex, tube socks rolled down, any and all things FUBU-Baby Phat and Racca Wear, oversized headbands, low rise jeans that allow the tops of your underwear straps to show, any neon colored bra that is allowed to be seen, MC Hammer parachute pants”, the Vanilla Ice haircut (flat top with three lines of increasing length shaved in just above the ears), thepocket poochyou know the ones people carry around in their purses, the mullet as rocked by the one and only Billy Ray Cyrus, anything worn by Chaka Khan, the side of the head pony tail the one that is set about the middle of the skull, any shirt with a short stupid tag phrase like “-(Place exploitive here)- happens”, any shirt that says I survived (name of random experience)”, people who wore a band t-shirt to that same bands concert (buying one at the concert and wearing it for the duration is ok though), portable Boom boxes carried on one shoulder so as to place one speaker next to the carriers ear and playing the music at decibels inciting the deaf to complain about the volume, Kriss-Cross and EVERYTHING regarding the wearing of ones cloths backwards, the infamous one piece jumpsuit underwear, and the always disgusting fanny pack. Just to name a few.

I think it could suffice to say that the years of 1988-1999 could be considered the Dark Ages of fashion.

If you find that you have anything before mentioned in your closet do yourself a favorRUN!!! Run like your life depends on it!! Run fast and hard like you are running an imaginary marathon. Run like you are being chased by some crazed lunatic trying to get you because you are... you are being chased by the stigmata that is bad fashion sense. Run to your closet and grab every item you have that violates all areas of sensibility and good fashion and then sprint to the nearest incinerator and toss it all inthen you have an excuse to go buy things that can only be described as stunningly awesome.

CiAo!

P.S. My holiday to the Caribbean was great, but its good to be back and ranting again.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Welcome back!!! Man it has been a while since I was able to get my thoughts out and onto this screen for all you to feast on. And let me tell you something… I HAVE A TON TO SAY!!!!!!!!!

So the reason for my latest hiatus-means absence- is, I was inundated with reports and reading for the two classes I was taking at UNLV; English 460 and English 477. The work was tedious and took up a lot of my time, but I don’t mind as long as I get an A in the class. The only thing I have to complain about, well not the only thing…I mean let’s be honest… if I only had one thing to complain about The Rant Shack would be a lost cause…. Ok back on topic… ONE of the things that infuriated me- means made me really really mad-was this girl in the class named Jasmine…yep that’s her real name and I’m not afraid to use it. So, Jasmine if you are reading this I have something to say to you so get close to the screen and listen up…I HATE YOU!!!! Aackkehhmm ßme clearing my throat… And here are my top five reasons why.

Jasmine you suck
(The top FIVE)

5
You seemed to come in late to class every day with some type of new perfume on. And let me give you a little advice, ok….the maker of the fragrance intended the bottle to be used more than once…I mean honestly…do you smell so horrific that you feel the need to mask whatever noxious gas is obviously seeping out of your pores on a mission to assault all the nostrils within a two planet radius?? Because if that’s your purpose and the reason for your perfume showers just before crossing the threshold into the classroom…you got the amount right on the money…HOWEVER!!!!! If for some reason-unknown to the class, myself and science professionals-you have saturated your clothes with this “stink of the day” in an effort to smell pretty, let me let you in on a little secret…YOU ARE RETARDED and you smell like a mixture of stale hot dog water and burnt grits…oh and by the way…do you hear the words deet-dee-dee often in your head?

4
Ok sweetheart, I know you know that class started at 5:00 pm… and I recognize that you have an intense need to stroll in at about 5:23pm for that “gatta make an entrance” routine, but can I just give you one suggestion/question/complaint/observation??? WHY FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THINGS CRAIG’S LIST DO YOU FEEL IT A NECESSITY TO WEAR YOUR SUNGLASSES INTO A DARK ROOM…90% of the time we were watching a movie with the lights out when you entered class…SO TAKE OFF THE WANNABE STUNNA SHADES AND OPEN THOSE BIG FAT EYES OF YOURS!!!!!!! Ok I could really blow a gasket if I continue on this one, so ill save my own life and move on…I just have to say one last thing on the subject…I Hate You!!!

3
Can I be the first one to say Welcome to the year 2008. We have lots of cool things going on in the world right now…scientology in all its retardedness, California leading the way in pole on pole marriage, we even have two interesting presidential candidates. One I guarantee knows old grandfather time personally and, if elected, could possibly meet Thantos** while still in office. The other candidate has an upper class mind set, says he is sympathetic to the “working middle class” and when referring to his teenage daughter said “I don’t want to punish her with a baby,” that is, if by chance she can’t keep her legs in the same time zone and practice a little thing I like to call moral integrity…but then again what would I know..

Well enough about the world let’s get back to you…

Allow me illuminate one thing for you… Spandex, yeah it only has one real function in society today…that function is for all the ultra thin or super big guys to wear as they strut around the local Golds Gym or 24hr fitness…you know so that everyone can see what they’re packin…even if it’s only a few tic-tac’s and a slurpee straw. But hey, I have to congratulate you on the spandex capri’s you have worn in a kaleidoscope of colors for the past four weeks solid…you have recovered the ancient “super spandex of 1981”…you know that type of spandex that really, reaLLY, REALLY holds it all up and in and together and around and down…I mean your spandex is soooo tight, I mistook your tan pair for two small children clinging to your legs as if your legs were a long lost friends or loved ones…I mean honestly, it would have taken the Jaws of life to remove those things…yikes…what if you got a sudden case of Montezuma’s revenge??? I guess your tan pants would be polka doted then.
**Thantos- The Greek God of a non-violent death**

2
I’m a big fan of the accessories…anyone who knows me will attest to the fact that I like all things sparkly and heart shaped…with that said, one can take the accessories a bit too far…my dear…it has been made universally clear to me that you are in dire need of a fashion consultant…if you don’t believe me, confide in your full length mirror…yes you twit, it has to be a full length mirror, you have to see how you look, all of you, in totality. I am confident that I could transform you from the disgusting, sloppy cow you appear to be now, into something befitting a Monet or Van Gogh print.

There is one accessory you are constantly bringing to class that just exacerbates me-means to aggravate strongly, beyond reconciliation; almost as much as the Blue tooth ear piece, and everyone who has been with us for a while knows my distain for that ear cockroach. This accessory being that suitcase sized purse you always drag into class…that thing is like Mary Poppins crazy carpet bag-o-goodies. I know you are thinking economical, economical, but really??? 157 yards of thick, dark leather sewed together in a disgraceful fashion, is just a bit much…I’m not sure, but I think bright red might be a bit too tacky even for you..well maybe not.

The more I fester over the thought of your big, fat, ugly purse clutching to your big fat arm like a first time bungee jumper clings to the scaffolding before a jump, just exhausts all my energy..Bright RED… Who does that type of thing??awwgghh, PLEASE.. choose colors that go together or, at the very least, compliment each other a little. But then again, why would you wear anything that had coordination and class? I can tell you right now what will be your best, most flattering look…but I’m not sure if Versace (pronounced Ver-sachi) has come out with a summer burka line yet… oh well, here’s to hoping.

1
The number one reason I HATE YOU could encompass its own rant, but for our purposes I’ll limit my length. After typing until 2:45a.m I’m now a bit punch drunk. I have on many an occasion thought it would be comical to play dumb in school, at church, or when my wife asks me to do some chore I’m just not diggin’…but in the end I know it’s just a facade …my playing dumb, coy or a little Deet-Dee-Dee is just temporary and a means to an end…that end usually paying off with me declaring victory over my couch with my butt impressions in the couch not having the opportunity to re-adjust and fill back out…but you Jasmine, YOU have got to be one of the most mind numbingly dumb people I’ve ever had the extreme misfortune of interacting with… and here is one example of why…

In class, one of the things the professor said to help gauge the depth of poverty a story character was in, was whether or not the person owned a Radio…but the idea of everyone not having a radio was just not an option for you now was it??? In fact your exact quote to the class was “like, I thought everyone had a radio back then…because like, in every movie I’ve watched, like, I always see people sitting on the stoop listening to the radio.” OOOHHH Yes...silly me…I forgot… back then everyone got a clock radio at birth…you know, as a baby shower gift from the Radio Gods. AAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYHHHHHHHHHAAAAAAAA!!!! (me Yelling out loud) But what made things so much worse, if such a thing were possible, you were dead serious when you said it.

Over all I think you have driven me past the point of lunacy with your crazy antics and your retarded gimmicks. Please do me a favor…give it a break!!!!

There you have it Jasmine, the top five reasons why I HATE YOU!!!! By the way, the comment about being punch drunk, yeah it has nothing to do with anything; I just thought I’d let you in on something from beyond the screen…

Now a little note to all reading
…the proceeding pictures are of the infamous Jasmine herself. All pictures were taken by me using ninja-esque stealth and craftiness. I was sitting in front of Jasmine in class and took the pictures with my cell phone’s camera. I acted like I was playing with the phone and took all the pictures. Then at the end of class, the professor asked her to stay after because she never reads the assignments and never has anything of real intellect to share with the class about said readings. So I took the opportunity to snap a few pics of Jasmine standing at the professors desk…notice the snooty posture she stands in……aaarrgghh. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed our little reunion. Talk to ya again soon.
CiAo!















Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Coming soon

The Top Ten Reasons I HATE YOU!!!! No not you, please give me the bennifit of the doubt, its about this chick in one of my summer classes. She is quite possibly the DUMBEST human alive. oh and by the way.... I only tell people I hate you behind your back...

CiAo!!