Archive for the ‘1’ Category


Rated for 18+ in Russia

September 20, 2018

This hurricane season, spend the day playing the president’s favorite video game…




More of the Mortui Philosophies

June 18, 2018


 Mortui Philosophies

“The spawned element,
Rudra*,  consumed
The Living Darkness”

“Rudra uncovered the Light
Rudra gave the Darkness
To his Mother and Father
This was a gift.”

“These elements consumed
All the Darkness.
And gave birth to life.”

“The Elements gave
Life to us.”

“Then the Darkness was gone.
And our Mother and Father
Consumed their children.”

“The elements then birthed

The Mortui Philosophies
The sketchbooks of the author
Matthew Sawyer

(BTW- that is Rudra’s brother, Awaran, who is speaking)

Images and music composed by Matthew Sawyer
All rights reserved

The horrible fiction of Matthew Sawyer is available for purchase from

Ebooks available from



Lessons Young Fighting Men Learn

June 6, 2018

“Right, men, put down your whack-a-daddy artificial p*ssies and take that hill.”

“Sergeant, I don’t have an artificial p*ssy.”

“That’s it, boy, we’re all brave men today.”

“No, I mean I didn’t get one.”

“Well, if you wanted someone to just give you a p*ssy, you should have volunteered at an animal shelter. You gotta get your own, son.”



The Bee and Gun Argument

May 7, 2018

Many Internet click-bait headlines themselves tell the story. It is probably best to read the article, yet, I am content that I understand the narrative. For instance, I encountered the headline, “How Moving Your Grass Less Can Save The Bees.” Without a single click, I concluded, “Of course, the whole idea is like that argument about the abundance of firearms in America.”

“If everyone mowed their lawns half as often, fewer bees will be involved in fatal lawnmower accidents.”

“Fewer bees, who seek only to rest upon a blade of grass and enjoy the few warm bright days of their lives, will be halved by searing hot, grass-stained metal blades.”


The Beast Father of Westerly Farrell National Park

May 6, 2018


The Beast Father of Westerly Farrell National Park

(for an older brother)

At ten years old, a spooky relative or a scary friend may have told you there had been a woman killed in nearby Westerly Farrell National Park. Her killer was never caught. This had not happened yesterday back then on that day you heard the tale. The horror legend was years old. Whoever had told you probably said the murder was mere months ago, but even then you knew. You knew a woman had died, but until that day, you did not know precisely where in Westerly Farrell National Park that this happened, nor any other detail. Gory minutiae was late to shimmer inside your mind’s eye. Whoever hoped to make you pee your pants surely told you about the Beast Father.

The Beast Father caught her,” they said then claimed, “And he fed her dismembered body parts to the animals.”

So much was nearly all of what you ever more heard. “There in Westerly Farrell National Park.”

Even so, there is where your family probably created your vacations. Westerly Farrell is where my own went camping and fishing. There are hiking trails, I’m sure you know about them, but my family never went hiking. Nobody was interested. My brother and sister and I went swimming.

We swam with the fishes, because there were so many. Have you seen them in Beckman Lake? They were always visible just beneath waves, they sometimes splashed from below. We went swimming almost all day almost every day. I wonder if the fish are still there; probably not with the drought. I do not know if swimming is even allowed anymore.

I wondered if the Beast Father was still there. Supposedly, he was; he still is. A bogeyman never dies – especially with all the fishes and tourists to eat. But Climate Change is real, and a killer madman cannot deny that. Even he has got to feed himself. I went looking for a man.

I was curious, and there was no risk. There had been no news of the Beast Father nor his victims since a thirty year old Halloween story was reprinted in the local newspaper twenty years ago. The writer laughed at himself then and pretended he was Stephen King. The impersonation of the more revered author was a costume. The reporter wore his stressed jeans and a tattered fleece jacket in a black and white photograph that he had snapped of himself on Merry Bluff in the park. Both scribes wore beards in that year. The photo appeared next to the printed text. Gary Foegel, I think was his name. I do not know what became of him and I have lived here all my life. The man might as well have vanished; for me, that is.

There had been nothing since I was a kid, and even that was old news – but, oh, the power of a tall tale. If the story is scary, it’s easier to remember – remembering is a survival mechanism. And this whole thing probably happened yesterday for a new ten year old kid. She or he may already dread to tremble alone in bed throughout this night.

That day I went to find the Beast Father, the sun was shining and I followed a trail in the park. This was ‘that’ trail; you know the one. Everyone says to this day, “If you want to meet the devil, take the path on the left, the untended, trodden footpath.”

The path was wide enough to fit a horse the year I climbed the trail – it’s all uphill. I noted and remember water must have washed through this way on its way downhill – smooth rocks resembling polished foreheads appeared from the yellow dirt. Even being dry, they were slippery. I almost broke my neck and I knew why nobody ever dared seek the local legend.

Even then, climbing back down was more risky than gaining the top of the hill and finding the second trail around the back. You now about the second trail, right? It’s not a secret. It’s on the maps, if you look.

So the road to Hell ends at a dead spring on the top of the hill; that sounds like a Greek fable, right? Like and unlike Sisyphus – hey, I bet that’s where the water came from and washed those rocks on the trail. Well, I guess that spring is not dead anymore, if that matters to anyone; after a hundred years.

There is a glade on top of the hill. I saw that and a bear. I almost crapped my pants for real, but before I did, I heard a hollow tone – someone chanted a song; a man, the man, I suspected. His rasping grunt vibrated the air with words I clearly understood. I remember what the Beast Father sang.

Atop the world to all the coasts

Our nation has long sailed

Our father dead

Our warriors bled

Through peril, his son prevailed.

Brother, we pledged to you our oath

You who adorned the crown

We took up oars

We lowered sails

And conquered foreign shores.

Oh, brother, when you, too, face death

Our love pledged to your son

For his promise

For your promise

And that of our father.

Our nation is yet one.

I can’t know if I sang that right. How did it sound? In honesty, I have no idea where it comes from. I never heard the song before. Have you? You will have if I sing it to you again. Play it back in your head and save me some time. I’ll tell you about the Beast Father.

I’m not talking about the wild fiction we tell each other as children. The Beast Father is nothing of whatever you have read of him in newspapers. I met him there, on that day. He is an element of nature. We all are, I suppose we all expect, but the Beast Father is integral. Where we mortal beings survive a matter of cycles, he stands outside the wheel and, at once, within.

Here is when I am telling someone all about the Beast Father, and they will buy me a beer – but not to listen to the whole story. No, I’d get my beer and they would tell me to go and sit down, stop talking. The same thing happened to him, whether you believe it. More than one brave stranger sought to explore the forest and get the Beast Father drunk.

I brought no beer with me that day; I don’t know anyone who could make it up that wash with that sort of load. Honest again, I never expected to find him. I did not expect to encounter a Brown bear, either.

Before the animal spotted me, it just laid down and curled in the long grass. I know the song rocked the bear to slumber; I myself felt a heavy serenity in my heart – like a load you are only content to carry for a king.

The presence of the Beast Father is exhausting. I do not believe there was any majestic magic connected to the whole deal. I graduated High School and all my electives were Science classes, and so, I was skeptical. It was hard to breathe, out there in the trees, and I think the Beast Father sucked oxygen out of the air, or maybe had his song. The bear fell asleep because of a de-oxygenated brain. My own head hurt after the affair.

I told you what happened, I talked to the man. The Beast Father came from my left in the shape of an average human being. He wore contemporary outdoor clothes. Most notable were the thistles and thorny briar stuck in his brunette hair, his beard, and the layers of cuffed socks. The needling weeds were as fruit plucked in passing. I had picked up a few on my pants.

The Beast Father wore oversize boots and multiple pairs of socks to fill that empty space. Each sock had been rolled over the top of the one below. All the them came folded at the shin over the top of worn combat boots. The thistle and briar were so thick here, they formed spiked wreaths around his denim clad calves.

The song had stopped and so had his approach. The bear yet slept yards away and I noticed the leaves on their branches stopped waving. I myself had not then noticed there was never a breeze. That is one of those after-facts – when you look at the evidence of that day, like the weather in the newspaper. You then realize something impossible happened.

Already overcome with awe, I asked the ordinary shambling figure in my peripheral vision, this man I knew at the core of my being was the Beast Father, I asked him, “What was that song? Were you singing?”

Aye, I don’t remember the song,” he told me. “I only remember the words and I guess that’s how it goes.”

It sounded like an anthem,” I commented.

He told me, “Aye, it is old.”

Fixated visually upon the sleeping bear, I was cautious when I asked, “Who are you?”

Mit B. Reign,” he told me. “The B is for Boris, and that Reign is not like rain falling from the sky. It’s what a king is suppose to do.”

A king,” I repeated yet somewhat absent. “People call you the Beast Father.”

I am,” he answered my accusation with no hesitation.

Stupid in youth, I informed him, “People say you killed a girl in Westerly Farrell Park.”

The legendary Beast Father laughed with the same extinguishing inhalation consumed by his song. A Mit B. Reign then said, “Seventy years ago! A girl did die, but it wasn’t this park and I was here.”

I heard about it then because I was asked so long ago.”

Are you old?” was the foolish thing I did wonder aloud.

Aye,” the Beast Father said. “One as me stands besides Time and we intervene upon our wish or need. I, myself, step inside Time only to be next to Nature. This, an example of our own selfish needs.”

Selfish needs?” I said to myself. Back then, I did not have the purist mind. My thoughts were libel to drift with the current in a water bed. I was somewhat then certain I knew how the Beast Father, Mit B. Reign, got his nickname. I did not need to ask, but the legend explained himself.

I feed birds and squirrels dried legumes, flower seeds, and those birds get suet throughout the year.”

Shaken from my own distraction and eager to disclaim my depraved imagination, I was clumsy and I asked the Beast Father non sequitur questions.

Where do you come from? Here, the park?”

Whether the Beast Father was an accustomed witness to stupid reverence or he overlooked my fumbling interview skills, the man answered. He told me, “No.”

I mean,” I said, “Were you born outside time? Is that where you come from?”

When were you born?” I recall I asked and I felt pretty coy about that.

The Beast Father told me, “I remember Prussia and the Empire in Austria – if that is what their nations are now called. Neither place is from whence I had come.”

Eager to actually be helpful, I asked, “Was that song you were singing your national anthem?”

Aye,” he said. “I don’t know, but your idea sounds truthful; and not only because you said as much.”

Well,” I proposed, “Your anthem is about a king, and Prussia and the Austrian Empire were there until, like, 1920 – if there was a king in the 1920s, that must have been an eastern European country…”

The Beast Father sought to correct me. “Great Britain has a king,” he said. I now realize what he was saying. Too late, I told him, “But your song was about sailing and conquering foreign lands.”

Aye, I suppose,” he mentioned.

I ventured to say, “You look Slavic, a little, maybe some Celtic blood in you.”

You probably came to America in the 1920s,” I suggested to the Beast Father. The man nodded his unkempt head. “What did you do then? How did you come to Westerly Farrell National Park?”

The bear still slept, and myself yet drowsy because of the song, I leaned against a stump. The Beast Father remained standing. He had stayed in place since we started our conversation.

The Beast Father revealed to me, “I worked as a hired hand…”

So, you are a mortal man,” I shouted, “Or were.”

Undistracted by my internal musings, the Beast Father continued to say, “I bought a small farm but lost everything in a fire. I never gained much and I always sought less.”

I came to the wilderness but lost everything, too, in the first year.”

I managed to blurt, “Man, horrible break.”

Without acknowledging my empathy, the Beast Father said about himself, “I was lucky to survive winter – the animals helped me.”

Now I help them survive the winters.”

What about the Law of Nature?” the early conservative inside me interrupted to protest. “What about the Cycle of Life?”

Nature is big and tough,” the Beast Father assured me. “Survival is a rigged game.”

But Nature doesn’t mind if somebody has to cheat to get by. She always finds ways to drop all of us to the ground.”

Uncomfortable with the direction the Beast Father sounded like he was taking our topic, I demanded, “So, you feed the animals. What else do you do? Do you have any powers? Do you do anything else?”

Do you control the animals?”

He said, “They don’t do what I tell them to do. You can’t make a feral animal follow your will. They must want to help.”

Oh,” I said unimpressed. “You have good English,” I told the Beast Father, “And nice clothes.”

Mit said, “I talk to everybody.”

Do many people come up here?” I wondered and asked.

The Beast Father informed me, “I get a lot of practice all the time talking with human being. I am given gifts.”

But people think you’re crazy,” I abruptly informed the man. “Well, those who don’t know you are really here.”

Mit replied, “I hope not for those I’ve talked with. Who says this. your friends? Have your friends talked to me?”

As I’ve told you,” I warned my new friend, “Nobody is even sure you’re here. Not just my friends think you’re a myth, but the whole world does… except, I guess, for a select few.”

The Beast Father then blessed me and said, “I think that now includes you.”

I’m not hiding,” he said. “People often find me when their not looking. No effort besides a climb is all; you found me and you only overheard I was here.”

His misconception had to be corrected. I confessed to the Beast Father. “What if I said I went looking for you before?”

Mit Reign said to me, “I would tell you, you didn’t really try at all.”

Then is when that bear I was telling you about, it woke up. The Beast Father did not have to tell me it was time to leave, because I remembered he reminded me there is no telling a wild omnivore what to do. There were no more words exchanged, just a hush from one of us – you can ask the Beast Father if you ever see him – I don’t remember which of us made a sound. We both waved farewell.

Go have your own experience with the immortal hairy man in the woods; he is there. If you don’t have a pass, go on Veteran’s Day when the park is open for free. I cannot be certain my own meant anything, but after these years, I have thought about that encounter.

There’s nothing very special about the Beast Father, except, maybe he has some authority because of who he is – living forever, and all. With authority, you don’t have to play by rules. But to gain that authority, an ordinary man must be selfless. You have to be kind and feed the little animals.


Matthew Sawyer

Read other stories not quite like this one at the author’s publisher page on



Two Women and the God of Trolls

April 20, 2018


Two Women and the God of Trolls

Mr. Binger

Two racially diverse women, and yet in affinity with one another, speak to each other. They stand together upon a wooden walkway surrounding a blue two-story apartment building. Here, there are sixteen units, eight on each floor. The two bilingual ladies linger on the northwest corner and watch the sun set under Los Angeles. The light of day is still intense, but the women stay safe, hidden from yet potent UV rays because the shadow of an intervening hilltop home. A cramped parking lot and dry concrete seasonal wash separates these landmarks.

The two women speak a common language this writer without merit does not understand. Taking the liberty, as the author of this story, I interpret what they say. This is not the future nor the past, but this conversation between women happens now, during a time while California Governor Brown ends homelessness on the West Coast of the United States.

“He’s down there,” the shorter woman said to the other. Despite a difference in height, measured in substantial inches, the two share the same girth. Their hips are wide, but both ladies still wore the same jeans they each owned before the birth of their first and only children.

The first woman to have spoken clarifies herself. “The troll, he lives in 2.”

“Is he a troll?” the second woman asked the first. She had seen the man. He had shouted at her, “Be quiet,” when he once complained about her screeching infant.

“Is he really a troll?”

“Yes,” claimed the first.

“You can see. Trolls don’t wear clothes. If you peek through his door, you see he is always naked.”

“I don’t look into my neighbor’s homes,” preached the second woman. “Neither should you.”

The first tells the other, “I don’t – one time, I saw. He doesn’t like anyone making noise but his door is always open.”

“That’s because trolls like to live in caves, and caves don’t have doors. A small apartment is like a cave,” said the second.

“You believe me!” shouted the first. “You know he’s a troll.”

The taller second woman answers her friend. “No, I said trolls like to live in apartments because they’re like caves.”

The shorter first woman asks, “I thought they like to live under bridges? You always hear about one under an overpass.”

“Caves are better,” said the taller of the two.

The shorter one answers, “Then why…”

“Because there are only so many caves.” The taller woman speaks of trolls. “Their population is booming. My husband says it’s Climate Change, but I know it’s the pollution. It’s always pollution, that’s what trolls eat.”

The first woman says, “I thought they ate children.”

“No,” claimed the second. “That’s just in folk tales, to scare children to sleep. Do you ever see him by the dumpsters?”

The short one says, “Yeah… at night. I think it was him. I guess trolls bundle up when they go outside.”

The second interrupts. “There you are. He was getting his food.”

“Ugh,” commented the first. “Don’t they get Food Stamps? The state pays for them to live here.”

“I don’t know,” said the taller woman. “But the city must save money because all the recycling that trolls do. I guess they’re good for the environment.”

“Why would trolls live here?” wondered the shorter woman. “It’s obvious they don’t like people.”

The taller one tells her friend, “As I was saying, there are only so many overpasses. Our caves are better because they come with running water.”

“They’re so pale,” said the short other. Hung upon her elbow and over a metal rail, the woman waves her draped arm back and forth. “He is – the one who lives down there.”

“Imagine,” said the taller lady, adorned in a printed shirt filled with images and scripts the pair can surely understand; though foreign to this writer. “They live in caves or under bridges. Trolls hate the sun as much as they do noise.”

“Light doesn’t hurt them,” plead the first lady to have spoken in this narration. “They’re not like vampires. The sun doesn’t kill them.”

“No,” replied the woman who answered her friend. “I heard that trolls believe the sun is God, an evil god, and that’s why they’re not religious.”

The first gasps. “Ay!”

“When is your husband coming home?” The taller second woman asked. The pair then speak of the imminent future.

“After work,” said the first. “He’ll bring Joe home from his grandparents.”

The second woman volunteers, “Mine should be home; there must be traffic.”

“Always,” the short lady said. She then inquires from the other woman, “The 101? Yeah. Is Bonita sleeping?”

“Finally,” the other answered. “For a short while, thank God.”

Although the fact went unsaid, everyone in the rent-controlled apartment complex who had met both women agreed Bonita was a noisy child. The girl never rested and she became louder growing more tired. Poor Bonita may suffer croup, but no one in this neighborhood would know. Without truly helpful suggestions, the girl’s mother remained without hope. Everyone nearby suffered the child’s cries and coughs all the time. All the same, there were other loud children living here, too. Some were sick, but trolls had nothing to do with them.

“You know what,” declared Bonita’s mother, “Do you remember who was living in 5? Were you living here then?”

The shorter lady, Joe’s mom, says, “If you were here, I was. I moved here before you did. What are you talking about?”

“Did you see what happened when 5 left his truck idle in the parking lot?” the second asked her friend.

The shorter woman answers, “No, I might have been away. You’re talking about that guy with the broken truck, yes? It was loud. I thought he got it fixed.”

“I don’t know about that,” the second stated. “Yes, about the noise, but, I saw what happened. I was coming to see you and they were in the parking lot.”

“There’s your answer, in your memory,” the shorter lady said when she teased her friend. “You were coming to see me, so I must have been living here…”

“I know,” countered the taller woman.

“Anyway, I saw the troll raise his middle finger when he followed 5 back into the parking lot. He flipped off the pana. They almost had a fight. This was in the daytime. I didn’t know he was a troll at the time.”

“What happened then?” asked the shorter lady.

“That’s it,” the tattletale said. “They went home.”

Outraged, the shorter woman who spoke first shouts, “What, well…”

And in a soft voice, she then asks Bonita’s mother, “What did he look like in the daylight?”

“Hey,” Bonita’s mom alarmed her friend, “You said you saw him naked.”

“In the shadow,” Joe’s mother explained. “I really didn’t look, but I know he’s short like me. His skin was glowing.”

“He looked strong,” the taller woman answered. “He was almost naked, but he was white – like albino white. He was wearing new ragged pants, sweatpants. They actually looked old, but I had never seen them before, so I thought they were new for him.”

“He was wearing old black boots with stripes, the kind that were really expensive thirty years ago, before I was born. And they were unlaced. I don’t think I saw socks.”

“Red stripes?” asked Joe’s mother. “Were the heels worn off the boots?”

“Yes,” the taller lady affirmed.

The shorter one tells her, “I saw them at the dumpster a while ago. The troll must have recycled them, too. I thought he took them.”

Bonita’s mother tells her, “I thought he got them from that thrift store. It’s closed, if you didn’t know; remodeling, I suppose.”

“Oh, no,” Joe’s mom said. “There might be trouble.”

The shorter women spoke of the young man she spotted coming around the southern end of her apartment building. An obese thirty-year old teenager had moved into his mother’s one bedroom apartment in a separate structure. The whole of the apartment complex shared this one of two paved lots, and the misshaped man was waddling to his car.

All the gossiping renters knew the impostor fat kid had lost his wife to a meth binge. The woman was still alive, but she had gone missing, as she would so frequently do. The rent was also due and the grown man needed his mother to help feed and raise his own child. He came home with half a family.

In the parking lot, directly outside the apartment entrance belonging to the troll, the distressed young man was known to play his music too loud. No one asked if he sought to taunt the tenants inside the adjacent apartment building, or whether he knew who lived there. That the music he pumped was modern Country, that hip-hop crap that real artists such Steve Earl lament and the late Merle Haggard would have despised, that genre alone indicated the malcontent sought to aggravate an encounter.

Joe’s mother knew the troll was provoked once the plump noise-maker prompted his car horn to beep while he repeatedly remotely opened and closed the doors and audibly switched the alarm off then on and off again. Once that racket was done, the music came on. The grown kid did what he should not have done and he sat idle in his car, allowing the engine to grumble. The bass in his poor taste in music rumbled windows while he sat smoking a cigarette with his own rolled down. Here came the troll.

His voice was the noise made by a warped foot-board chest; the wood being so dry that its metal hinges sound as if they tear through petrified furniture every time the lid is opened.

“What’s that?” shouted the troll. The crack of his voice echoed once dulled against golden grass upon the opposite hill.

The white figure wearing a Caucasian-colored robe yells at stationary vehicles in the parking lot. “Is that circus music?” A sleeve was missing from that bland robe. The troll had slipped his colorless arm through the frayed amputation and it appeared a whole new limb regenerated through sloughing skin.

In reply to a critique in his listening taste, the sensitive man-child rested upon his steering wheel in such a way he pressed against the car horn. The blare was continuous. This noise enraged the troll; his nose and ears flushed pink. Bonita’s mother wondered if she saw the gray hair on his head come to stand on end. She had, as far from when she watched elevated outside her friend’s second story apartment.

“You,” yelled the troll. The two women went ignored. The young man was made guilty. “Stop!”

The music connoisseur swings upon his car door then rocks himself upright from his vehicle. The instigator puckers his face and tosses his half-smoked cigarette toward the troll. The smoking missile drops short onto a concrete sidewalk.

“What are you going to do, big man?” he challenged the troll.

“Big man?” the trolled shouted back. The two were no more than some yards apart.

The challenger explained, “You’re shorter than me.”

“Do you know what that means?” the troll growled as he begun a charge into the parking lot. The fat man held himself stationary. As there was a small distance between the combatants, the troll had more time to say. “I have to get you on the inside. I have to tear at your guts.”

Joe’s mother tells Bonita’s mom, “Uh oh.”

Both ladies saw with their brown eyes the troll wore no shoes this evening. Thick sallow talons curled over his toes. The warped nails were long and formed spirals that inclined his insteps. Both women said only to themselves, “That’s why he walks funny.”

They then hear the troll yell, “I have practiced tearing at guts.”

Joe’s mom answers to her friend, “I’m calling the police.”

The troll kicks forward and into the distended belly of the large roisterer before the shorter woman vanishes into her apartment so that she might fetch a phone. She is gone from sight when the truly big man falls to the asphalt. The circus music White people today call Country continues to thump an automatic amplified percussion. Whomever sings has been Autotuned so that he or she or some robotic AI sounds as a child from another planet. No one believes the intent the artists had was to ever have done so was intentional.

The taller woman calls into her shorter friend’s apartment. “I hope my husband doesn’t come home until this is done.”

From shadows inside, Joe’s mom mentions, “You are lucky if they don’t wake up Bonita.”

“It’s okay,” her friend answered. “We would hear her from here.”

“I know,” attested the shorter woman whom now returns to reddening outdoors light. “The police are coming.”

The taller woman whispers, “I think it’s over.”

Assumed to be miraculous, the larger man lays on the ground doubled up, otherwise, uninjured. Blood had splattered his face and the chrome hubcap on the front driver’s side wheel. Bonita’s mother assures her friend. “He bumped his nose when he fell.”

The shorter woman says, “He looked like he would fall on his face.”

The fallen accoster sobs. “Please, I’ll turn the music off.”

Unsatisfied with the conduct of men, the troll is seen examining the weighted knobs on the ends of his fingers; all that remained of his sheared claws. Plainly frustrated, the troll snags the talons of his foot into a speaker mounted inside the opened car open. Below torn noise, shredded plastic and black paper spill out from under the troll’s bare foot, and the questionable music from the radio is reduced from quadraphonic into a thinner, unbalanced stereo.

Driven because of the racket, the troll climbs into the young fat man’s automobile. The two female spies stationed on the second-story walkway are not able to see clearly inside the automobile. The kicked man outside was also yet blinded by blunt pain. All heard the three remaining speakers squelched one after another.

Unable to define the shadows she spotted inside the automobile, Bonita’s mother assumed she saw sickles flung into the dashboard, and that was so repeated in the back seat. The rear window cracked into the shape of a skewed web upon impact against the foot of the troll.

The disabled overweight man coughed into the ensuing silence. He had already started crawling home before the troll jumped from his vandalized vehicle. The man regains the clarity of his vision in time to see said troll then hurl a key chain into the concrete wash separating the parking lot from a blossomed then dead hill. The metal keys are heard to knock away pebbles and a plastic water bottle, likely one of those that nearby apartment tenants often cast toward the Pacific ocean.

The fat man gasps, “No.”

The troll then goes back into his apartment. This time, the two ladies hear his door slam shut. The only noise then outside is churned by chirping sparrows, and rush hour vehicles passing the scene outside with the troll on a major freeway a quarter mile west and away. A late garbage truck collects trash a shorter distance toward the east. The diesel machine beeps each time it frequently traveled in reverse. Although, its stops were orderly and those beeps were more pleasant to hear than that so-called music the angry man played to interrupt a quiet late afternoon-into-evening. That repetition was also moving away toward the foothills and up into night.

The two women waited outside while the fat man regained his footing before he staggers back home. Neither intervened nor made their presence clear; although, the ladies did not hide. The police then arrive and the parking lot becomes dark and without lamps to fend away the suffocation of night. Both the taller and shorter women remain on the elevated walkway and neither of their husbands were yet returned. Small Bonita never dared attempt to join the birdsong with screeches.

Joe’s mother calls down to the Los Angeles city police officers who scope the parking lot in their cruiser. “I called you.”

“It’s over,” the taller woman pronounced for the officers. The English of both women was fine. Their identical accents blended with those that varied throughout San Fernando Valley. The police officers, too, spoke with lisps of foreign speech.

“This is the incident with a troll?” solicited the officer riding shotgun.

“I don’t think anybody was hurt,” Joe’s mother said.

Bonita’s mom tells her and the police, “That man was kicked.”

“I think he’s okay,” the shorter woman rushed to say in her native tongue.

“You better check,” Bonita’s mother suggested to the officer visible in the vehicle at starboard.

The police cruiser goes into an empty parking stall, one that belonged to neither Joe’s nor Bonita’s absent fathers. After gathering themselves, the pair of officers exit their car and personally address the two women.

Gazing upward, the driver, a cleanly shaven corporeal, asks both women at once, “Are you Ms. Calafia Montalvo?”

“Yes,” the shorter woman replied in English.

“Your name, ma’am,” the corporeal asked the other, taller woman.

She tells him, “Radaria.”

He answers, “Thank you.”

The other police officer, ranked yet unknown because the sparse light, he asks Ms. Montalvo, “Someone was hurt? Where is he?”

“The building in back of this one,” the tall Radaria answered instead of her friend. Little Bonita then wailed.

“I should go, anyway,” she told the shorter woman.

“Yes,” Calafia said in her accustomed language.

That same time, Radaria told the passenger law enforcer, “I’ll show you.”

Led to the gargled howls of her awakened daughter, the taller woman strolls away with an officer come to assess the potential damages of an aggravated assault. Although, by international law, the endangered Scandinavian troll was graced with some exaggerated exceptions – especially this strain now considered native to Southern California.

Governor Brown graces this lucky blanched bunch derelicts with luxury apartments. Granted, these homes are offered in more squalid parts of LA. All the same, this could be heaven for a barbaric troll, except for all the people, human or however they come. All know trolls will not tolerate the company of others, not of their own, nor even their reflection in a mirror.

Joining the shorter woman named Calafia Montalvo at the top of a short flight of stairs, the corporeal tells a complaining citizen, “Trolls can make trouble, but we need them, right?”

“Huh,” the shorter woman grunted and she frowned.

The police officer says, “Global warming, right?”

Calafia asks this public servant, “What are you saying?”

“It’s getting hotter, yeah?” he explained in yet his affirming way of speech.

“Yes,” the woman told him. “Fossil fuels…”

“No,” the corporeal insisted, “The trolls are right, the sun is getting closer.”

“That’s just a story,” she educated the man. “It’s their religious thing.”

The badged man evangelizes. “Maybe, you haven’t heard that story – trolls are trying to keep the sun away. They don’t worship their god, they hide from him. That’s all there is to it. They’re like monks, polite Hare Krishnas without all that singing and dancing.”

Small Calafia had suffered enough. She tells the corporeal, “Officer, I called the police because a man was attacked.”

“Because he was making noise?” the corporeal said and, this time, he waited for the citizen herself to confirm the statement.

“Yes,” she said. “It’s always about noise.”

“That’s what I was saying,” the corporeal insisted. The bald-faced man tells the woman, “The god of the trolls is coming because all the noise we make. Trolls are here to keep things quiet – that would save us from work, but now the police in California guard endangered species. Trolls don’t like being guarded, either.”

“He’s fine,” announced the Los Angeles police man without rank as he ascended stairs behind his partner. “The guy is scared out of his mind that he was attacked by a troll, but he’s not hurt. There’s property damage and I told him to make a claim at city hall.”

“That’s all?” gasped Calafia.

“That’s it,” replied the corporeal.

She objects. “Don’t you want to know where the troll lives?”

“We know where he lives, ma’am,” the corporeal told a diminished Calafia. He says, “We know about this troll. How about we leave him alone?”

“Uh,” Calafia grunted.

More prejudiced and overcome by a foul waft no one in the apartment complex cared to notice, the rank-less police man motioned toward full dumpsters. He mentions, “He might not be here if you would stop feeding trolls. Recycling helps.”

Calafia nearly vomits. “Gah!”

Without reply until the police have descended the stairs, she suddenly believes she acts wry and questions the police. “What about giving them a home?”

This whole division of Los Angeles law enforcement walks away as these two wave their good-bye. Small Calafia Montalvo would not let this city and state to govern with so much indifference. This night she vowed to vote in whichever election. She, herself, has an idea and says in a strong voice, “At least, they should have to cut their toenails, too.”


Read other stories not quite like this one at the author’s publisher page on



Said Of For Which Looked

April 2, 2018


Said Of For Which Looked

I have written about cockroaches before. I even wrote a short piece of Doctor Who fan fiction featuring a cockroach as a lead character, but I have nothing practical to present about them in neither the Arts nor Sciences. They periodically encroach my apartment bathroom and, hence, the bugs regularly come to my attention. I might otherwise be inspired to write about something fantastical or political, depending on wherever that veil of reality may part. Instead, I concentrate on those insects I doom to drown – those sentenced to death because I know they come for the water in my pipes.

I am certain the insects come for the water, it’s an animal instinct, and it’s common human knowledge thanks to documentary film making recorded in macrovision. If my own cockroaches were hunting for something more substantial, I would expect to find a few in my kitchen or near a trash can, but I don’t. And it’s not that I am not looking. I expect to find bugs when I awake. Recall that older classical song by Steely Dan, Do It Again, and that is how I start my days…

“In the morning’ you go gunning’ for the man who stole your water…”

Now, I am not so cruel and I would never deny a last wish sought by a condemned living thing. In truth, I aid each in a final quest and quench their individual thirsts. And there remains opportunities in which any epic hero might escape Charybdis, the whirlpool conjured in my toilet. A cockroach might go flushed and vanish down the drain then return, either resurrected or preserved; I know not what power preserves them. But I am that hateful titan who always watches. Once spotted, no heroic cockroach has ever escaped my wraith. All go drowned, fed to the sea monster whirling under the Pacific ocean off the coast of Los Angeles in southern California.

Otherwise, obviously other than Franz Kafka, few would find anything poetic to narrate about the pests. Each begin inside a translucent egg stuck against other identical hardened tear drops of phlegm clung upon an elongated ovipositor. Unhatched, the tiny cockroach babies – and they are babies inside those eggs because these insects grow up fast – they do not linger through stages of larva then pupa. Cockroaches begin as writhing oblong globs of bloodless mucous. None emerge without being encased in shells.

Nearly until birth, until the day each hatch, fetal cockroaches resemble hairless newborn gerbils; cockroach pups with six blanched arms. Their joints are yet unformed, without the support of a chitinous exoskeleton. Their blind eyes appear as dark specks, the same color as those eyes infant gerbils yet develop for days beneath shut eyelids. But a cockroach never opens its eyes. An earth-tone carapace completely covers the insects; the head, and eyes, and limbs and abdomen, except in places meant to bend. There is where spider bite them and wasps sting their prey. Nevertheless, a cockroach can see through itself as if its helmeted head had come with visors. And cockroaches always only see us giants as enormous globular shadows.

Born, a cockroach eats garbage, filth, and that is the waste then excreted through pores. This hardens on their pale skin, like that of a three-dimensional gravy stain on a garbage can. Both pollutions become elevated in layers until they cast soiled shadows. The waste becomes an armor, their exoskeletons, and holds them upright everywhere but places that bend. They, also, live their whole lives with so few brain cells that scientists can count them.

Although cockroaches cannot connect together enough neurons to develop a language nor give each other names, if there was a God who is one with a son and one other, I suppose cockroaches, too, would be blessed like any other animal and speak for an hour at midnight after Christmas Eve. Still limited in their innate capacity to think, our God would impart the generation of insects currently hatched into existence with a single identity, come to each like an instinct. They all at once would at least be aware a savior had been born and their own identity. One might say to another, “Hi, Bill, Hallelujah, have you seen Bill?”

“Yeah, Bill is over there,” the other Bill may answer.

The first awakened cockroach, who is also named Bill, could very well correct its brother. “No, the other Bill.”

More brethren, all each called Bill, might then confirm the inquiry of the first. “Oh, yeah. Whatever happened to Bill?”

“Bill is right here,” another Bill may tell them.

Everyone then would inevitably ask, “Who?”

Remember with your own, cockroaches have so few brain cells, even at midnight on Christmas Eve, none could possibly help themselves and each would inevitably forget what they were speaking about, or that one ever spoke. A suspicious insect Bill might yet ask, “What?” But, once that hour of Christmas magic was almost passed, the most any cockroach might yet say to one another is, “Oh, hi, Bill.” Perhaps their blessing from our magical God was to not to speak but to forget. But, where then is the karma in a regeneration into a speaking cockroach about to be flushed because of trespass into the home of our Lord’s most beloved creation?

“Not under the heaven of our God,” I would be surprised to hear echo from my bath.


And Yet Sought.









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