by Shawn Phillips

One - Conception



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Flashing, flashing, brilliant and blue. Has to be blue. To cover the blood red stains in these images of endless detail. I am not homicidal! Oh god I think I'm going to be sick again...

I can see my heart pounding behind my ribs, graveyard granite grey. You can see me. You all can see me. You all can see through me. See my heart beating, pumping tirelessly. At the heart of it all. At the heart of it all is this thing, this essence that controls me, moves me, instructs me, leads me... and is me. It is here that I am not paranoid, struggling to contain my secrets. There is no other high that warms me so. All the memories. The brown corduroy freshness of my mother's breast. Embers off sunlight upon the face of a new day. Whispers hundreds of feet above the rushing sensation of sex. More and more of them flow in through the rib cage, swirling around, encompassing my heart and penetrating it.

My heart stops.

I am awake.

I remember now.

And then I run around the corner to the bathroom to vomit.

Laying on my side in a fetal position I try to understand who I am, where I am...

What I am.


I've lived with this for so long now I am content not knowing who I am. All there is to me is this idea that possesses me. In the beginning was the idea, and the idea was my shepherd, and my shepherd guides me to greener pastures.


I am becoming the madman
I once was
Coming around full circle.
Loophole upon loophole,
Replay at eleven.
I will miss the peace.
I will miss the serenity.
I do not want to be forgotten.
I do not want to fade away.
But I do not
Remember who I was
Or will be.
And even now I am a blur in the sunset.


A man sits in a coffee shop, trying to relax. A pouch, a coffee mug and a spoon sit before him. He slips into a waking dream. Zombies of his victims, headlines, crime scenes... He screams and runs out the door, knocking over unsuspecting customers.

Insanity won.

A blue jeep full of newly licensed teenage girls drowns out the sound of the body being grated across the grill.



Grain walks the walk, acknowledging no one acknowledging him. Autumn is setting in for its duration. Jimbo trots up.

"Hey, man, howzitgoin'?"

"It's not."

"Hey, I thought I'd apologize for what I said yesterday. I babble too much."


"Hey, how about I treat you to some coffee? At least I'd feel better about it."


they enter the cafe, a man with the look of too many expressions is upon them, trampling Grain down as he passes.

And the accident occurred.

"Somebody call an ambulance," cries Jimbo, crouching, reaching for Grain. "You okay?"

"Yeah, fine," as Grain accepts his outstretched hand and pulls himself up. Looking at the scene briefly, he turns to Jimbo. "I think I could use that cup of coffee now."


Here I sit once again in this coffeehouse, day after day, having my usual, thinking about the usual. Two years since I've seen Andra. No one has any real idea what happened. The authorities consider her a runaway, the locals have their own tabloid suspicions, It doesn't help that Stacy Kurt's been gone for six. At least we know he just got up and left with his wanderlust. Andra left everything untouched. So I sit here on the anniversary of her "exit", wondering. Wondering if I should vanish next, or if that is even my choice. Wondering what Andra and Stacy Kurt have been doing all this time. Wondering what I've been doing all this time. And wondering what this pouch is doing here on the table. Jimbo didn't leave it behind, did he? Then again,...


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