…Paved With Good Intentions. By P.L. DuPee
I made a mistake. Maybe I should say it in a way that conveys how critical the mistake was— I fucked up really bad. Funny thing is that doesn’t truly describe the severity of it either. I guess I’ll start by letting you know that I am an alcoholic. I go to work every day and have never lost a job or relationship due to my drinking, but I feel like I must drink just to feel normal. My alcoholism is simply defined as me enjoying being drunk more than sober.
For years I looked my wife in her eyes, swearing that I had quit drinking. I would hold my infant daughter and whisper my promise of sobriety to her uncomprehending ears as well. Both of these were blatant lies. I justified these lies by telling myself that they were coming from a good place with the best intentions, but they were still lies. The road to hell is paved with good intentions, right? Trust me, we’ll get back to that.
I didn’t realize at the time that I made a promised to everyone but the most important person– myself.
Drinking had become such a normal routine that I forgot about the possible dangers of driving after a few drinks.…
“Go to bed and wait for the Sandman.”
Even as it came out of James’ mouth it seemed to him a strange thing to say, and he was not sure why he had, but for some reason it worked: Daniel went to bed.
The next morning, though, he asked: “What does the Sandman look like?”
James was making breakfast. Daniel sat at the table, short legs swinging under his chair. “Nothing, really,” James said. “It’s just an expression.”
“What does it mean?”
“Just something people say.” He put a plate of eggs in front of Daniel and kissed him on the top of his head. He thought that would be the end of it.
Until he saw the Sandman for himself.
He was getting ready for bed and stopped by Daniel’s room to check on him while he slept, as he often did. It was such a routine precaution that when he saw a pale, naked man sitting on the edge of Daniel’s bed, rocking back and forth, it took a moment for him to process what he was seeing.
He reacted the way any father would, of course: He ran into the room screaming, and for a moment he thought about attacking the intruder, but then the man on the bed turned, and that’s when James saw that it wasn’t really a man: It was a pale, slithery thing, hairless and warped, its joints turned the wrong way and its body out of shape with itself.…
It all began when our grandfather died.
He had been a solemn man; stoic, dour, he never placed a smile on his face for us, even when we were children. But he had not been mean and he would always bring us candy when he visited. He had dark, piercing eyes, hollowed in a grave, sunken face. We knew he had had a brother but that his brother had mysteriously died when they were both boys. Our mother claimed she didn’t know how he died and told us not to ask our grandfather. My younger brother and I used to tease that he was secretly a monster that devoured his brother and stray children. “He only brings us sweets,” we laughed, “so as to fatten us up and make us taste good!” Mother didn’t like this talk and said that he was simply a lonely man. She had not been close to him.
When he passed, my brother Arthur and I, now young adults, concluded that we wished we had gotten to know him better while he was still alive. We hastily decided to find out more about him or at least pay tribute to him by visiting his old cottage for a weekend, deep within the woods of Pennsylvania.…
As a professional nature photographer traveling to exotic and isolated regions was not uncommon. In fact, I often spent weeks alone in the wilderness camping out; just me and my camera.
While spending a weekend in a small forest, one known for its abundance in wildlife and untouched landscape, I set up my tent and spent all three days wandering trails snapping photographs as I walked. I never saw another person in those three days I was in the forest. I saw only deer, birds, raccoons and other indigenous animals roaming through the trees.
It was only after I returned home that I finally looked at the hundreds of photos that had been taken. One by one I uploaded each image into my laptop. One by one the beautiful natural scenery dazzled my eyes, with the exception of expected few blurry photos that were on the memory cards. Everything was normal, or so it seemed.
As the last image was uploaded into the laptop a chill ran down my spine. It was impossible. This photo shouldn’t exist, and yet there is was plain as day.
The photo wasn’t of the forest, or the animals, or the landscape… It was a photo of me.…
The picture you’re staring at was taken sometime in the 70’s. It’s the only remaining image I have left of my son, and the artificial being known as “ANTRAN”, whom we adopted into our family at the time.
It was a warm summer back in the mid seventies. I was driving home from my logging company after a long shift, when I had to make a stop at the local garbage tip to drop off some old desks my mother had given us. Something caught the corner of my eye as I bent down, and, upon closer inspection was shocked to see what I originally thought was a doll. A plastic outer shell with metal limbs. And more shockingly a humanoid face, with cold, dark eyes. I’ll be honest to say I was curious at the time and incredibly impressed with the workmanship, so I didn’t think twice before placing it carefully along the back seat of my car, and took it home.
My son’s interest was almost as intense as mine, and we bonded over the course of a few days opening it up, looking at its circuitry and seeing if anything had been misplaced or broken. Eventually, to our surprise, the being, or android, seemed to come to life.…
I have nightmares where I’m trapped in a shower. The drain is plugged, and the the water won’t stop pouring down on me. Water rises to my ankles, to my waist, and then over my head. The shower curtain turns to glass, and my screams turn to gargles. A dark figure presses its face against the glass on the other side, and it watches me. I plead, but it won’t let me out. I swallow water and flail helplessly in my glass coffin.
I wake up gagging.
I know where the nightmare came from – I never have to dig deep. The incident is never far from my subconscious. Finding it is easy.
Getting over it is not.
It was the summer of my 12th birthday when the Hudsons moved in across the street. Three people, one of them a really old woman. She was tiny, frail, skeletal almost. Thin white hair, faded, blue flowery dress – her head hung from her neck and it wobbled as the man pushed her up a makeshift wheelchair ramp into the house. At the time I couldn’t figure out if she was alive or dead.
A few minutes later she appeared in an upstairs window, sitting in her wheelchair.…
There had been many rumors of a shooting that was supposed to take place today. All these rumors had me on edge all day and I was still fidgeting in my seat even though I knew it would be fine and nothing would happen. It was lunch time when the school shooting was supposed to happen and that’s where I find myself right now. All I can think is that a school shooting would be such a terrible thing…
I see a kid open his backpack and maybe it’s him. Maybe it’s the kid standing in the lunch line right now. Or the shady kids hanging out at the back of the cafeteria. I’m just sitting there zoning out and thinking about all the possible things that could happen. Then somebody yells, “HE HAS A GUN!” There’s silence… And then panicked screams fill the air as bullets shred through the air. It’s such a terrible thing…
The principal is shot and bleeding out, the school police officer has had his knee caps blown out. The multiple other administrators are laying dying on the ground along with many students. There are screams and gunshots filling the air along with the scent of blood.…
“Relax, son. Close one eye and keep focused on your target.” My father spoke calmly from behind me. I tried to do as he said, letting my muscles relax. One eye closed, ending the double vision I had from having the rifle’s sight so close to my gaze.
“That’s good.” He continued. “Now, when you’re ready, hold your breath. Don’t hold it for too long or you’re gonna start shaking. Just enough. Then, slowly squeeze the trigger down. Like you’re milking a cow.”
I had to chuckle at that.
“Dad, I’ve never milked a cow before,” I spoke as I glanced up to him. He furrowed a brow and adjusted the baseball cap on his head.
“Well, that’s how my dad described it to me. You know what I mean.”
I smiled a bit and shook my head. It wasn’t the first time my dad described how to shoot to me. Or the second. Or even the third. He tended to repeat himself sometimes. I didn’t mind though. I looked back to the target through the sight and concentrated. I still took everything he said in. I relaxed, letting muscles loosen enough. I shut one eye, focusing on that bull’s-eye down at the end of the barrel.…
It was five years ago, during the hot summer months in Texas. We were visiting my aunt in a rural area of the state maybe a couple hours to the northeast of Houston. I had lived in Houston most of my life, roughly fifteen years at that time, so the change in environment from large crowded city to a less densely populated wooded area was something I wasn’t used to. As much as I didn’t want to be there, I had to. This would have been the last time my family would get see her as she had grown gravely ill and there didn’t seem to be any chance of recovery. Though how she left this world is something that I will never forget.
The first Tuesday after school ended was when my mom received the call from my grandfather. Very soon after, it seemed like we were packed for a year-long expedition despite us only planning to stay a week. It was my parents, my younger brother Brandon, our overly-energetic Chihuahua, and me. My dad had to drive the entire way there as my mom was in no state to as she was beyond worried of losing her only sister.…
I’m Nina Rodriguez, i’m a police officer, have been for a good seven years. In my time in the force I have seen some pretty… pretty fucked up shit to say the least: crazed druggies, abusive parents, and even a few calls for help from the suicides. But, none of those could ever hope to compare to an emergency call I’d taken last month.
I now abhor taking emergency calls, not because of the over worried people calling about every little squeak in their house, the noise complaints, or even the occasional prank call, though those could get pretty annoying. No, the worst thing about taking an emergency call is knowing that I had to sit on the other side of a phone and, no matter how much I hoped or how fast a squad car could get there, had absolutely no power over the situation. The following is, unfortunately, this situation:
The day was like any other, monotonous in its predictability. It was a Wednesday night and the end of my shift was still a ways off. Don’t get me wrong, I love being a police officer, but I didn’t sign up to be a secretary. I sighed and flipped through the files on my desk, absentmindedly scanning through the different reports from earlier that day.The…