The Prey.

Been some time since I have posted anything. However, I have been working on this piece of writing for the last couple of months. With this time of year and with Megan and I’s love of horror/thriller movies — I wanted to take a crack at my own horror story featuring one of my favorite creatures. Would love to hear your thoughts on what type of creature it is. I assure you it is generally not the most obvious of one that comes to mind. Though it should be fairly obvious to some.

Not sure how I feel about this piece yet. As usual though it’s not about how I feel about it. I want to know what you, the reader think of this. Please, let me know your thoughts. Would love to know if this evokes any kind of emotion, I have not written anything like this before. Not with the purpose I did here, at least.

The Prey.

They’re out there. It’s far too quiet for them not to be.

Candles burn as I sit at a lone cherry-wood table in the only chair within this cabin. The Moon has waned deeply and there is little light aside from my small beacons.

I cannot see the creatures, or is it creature? Heard so many noises on my way out it’s difficult to tell. I can remember only singular breathing on the back of my neck when I found this journal within the nearby mines.

Looking down at my leg I can see that my wound from the fall has not bled through its dressing. Before continuing with my find I contemplate ripping off the other long sleeve but decide against it.

The book is so burned, dry, and ashen that pages just crack and fall out as singular leaves. Few can be read but one actually catches my attention. It’s barely legible chicken scratch but the point gets across clearly:

It’s true. All of it. Every word.

Many that also could have served me more information are damaged into obscurity. I frantically shift all the loose pages around the table searching for something else to give me any kind of clue what owned that hot breath with stench of rotten flesh. There’s a stain on my left shoulder. A yellow-brown mucous that has hardened and fused to my skin. I refuse to give thought to what it could be doing to me otherwise. There must be answers within the journal. There must be.

Another legible page, though this one is sketches with notes. One of an appendage, curled and many-knuckled. It is sparsely haired with a rough rock bespeckled hide and a long, curved, bulbous black stinger — at its end.

I can’t be bothered with details like those right now, it’s the mucous, what about the mucous?

In frustration and desperation my hands fling the majority of the papers flipping & crashing into the rotten wood floor beneath my feet. Many of the dry pages break into multiple pieces on impact. I can’t be bothered with them any more, just need to wait until the light comes and the doctor will have a visit from me.

Besides, if there is anything about this shit on my shoulder in there it’s not like I can do anything about it until the morning anyways. Just need to calm myself down and try to sleep for the night. The feeling of being chased seems to have gone. It’s not so quiet out there now.

After blowing out the candles, I lie down on my back with my hands clasped over my chest looking straight into the ceiling. For a moment I second guess myself and look back over at the table. Won’t be much use to myself getting to the doctor if I’m too tired to walk in the morning. Gotta go through with it.

Giving an exhausted sigh I close my eyes and focus on the wind.


I can tell it is light out because it is shining through my eyelids. They’re just proving quite difficult to open. If I could move my arms towards my eyes to find out what is going on it would be useful. That’s just it though, I am completely immobile.

Through what seems like an hour of effort I am able to pry my eyelids open. They crack slowly, painfully. It feels as though I have eyelashes pulled out and stuck to each, other lid. With eyes open it’s noticeable I’m still positioned in the same spot lying on my back staring at the ceiling.

It is morning, and the sun is out. Nothing more can be discerned because I cannot move my neck and my eyes can’t see any part of me other than my nose.  That’s when I cross my eyes and see it — the mucous. It’s spread from my shoulder to everywhere on my body, like an infection.

My mind goes into panic mode for a moment but logic kicks in almost immediately. I literally cannot do anything. Can’t jostle myself or move in any way to attempt an escape, entirely immobile and vulnerable. The only thing to be done is hope that the spreading is over and given time the substance will break down and weaken enough for me to break free.

As the waiting goes on and time passes I begin to feel the wood underneath me shift. Though I am unable to move myself it does not seem that I have fused to the floor beneath me.

The panels on the floor move all around me. From head to toe, and left to right. Almost as if the cabin is sizing me up and down — feeling my weight and shape. There’s a discomfort rising from my gut and into my throat. I swallow loudly. Though the mucous has hardened all over my entire body it is porous enough for sweat to make it through. My senses are hyper-elevated, ears hearing the fear-sweat from my head dripping onto the wood.

That’s when I feel and smell that hot breath again. Coming through the floorboards directly underneath my head. Long, slow, hungry breaths. The stench of death overpowering and many layered, all that much stronger than the night before.

Whatever it is beneath me stays for what feels like an eternity. Nothing but that oppressive predatory breathing — smelling of rotten animal carcass left on the road. A pattern begins of three short breaths in quick succession followed by a long inhale and then low, rumbling exhale from deep in the throat.

I hear scratching start on the floor. Can feel the movement of the boards again but this time it is different. It feels more impatient than inquisitive. It’s everywhere below me and sounding a bit violent.

Experiencing this wakes the panic in me again. It’s been a number of hours since the morning and I have been attempting to gain some range of movement in my head and neck. As I suspected the organic mucous encasing me has been worn down from time and all of the sweat that I have been producing throughout the situation. Everywhere else it is too thick around me to make progress yet, but I can feel the encasement finally crack under the strength of my neck; able to look around at the cabin again.

Then I see it.

Just the small tip of a needle. Jet black, and glistening in the disappearing daylight. Darting in and out of the spaces between the rotten boards. All around me, and from what I can hear… taking little picks at the mucous covering my back.

Starting to get very rattled now. Need to find some way to get out of this situation and get more information out of that book. The mucous only seems to be a way to immobilize prey — do not think I am in any inherent danger from the substance itself anymore.  Danger however, is very close. At this point I am almost certain it was only one creature chasing me out of the mines and that it was only ever one creature haunting this region.

Head has full range of movement now and am starting to be able to shift my shoulders a bit. All activity below me has ceased for the time being and outside of the cabin is quiet. The sun is nearly below the horizon. I’ve begun to be able to use my neck and shoulders as a lift to rock back and forth and flip myself over. After a minute my rocking has enough momentum for me to get the full one-hundred-eighty degrees. My shoulder slowly rounds the apex of the rotation until my chest falls flat onto the ground with a thud.

I hear the hardened mucous on my stomach and knees crack and buckle.

Under the new weight, my arms have increased freedom within their prison. As I wriggle them under me I see that my nose lies between two of the rotten boards and there is a sliver about a quarter inch wide through which I can see blackness. There is little light outside and unless I can free myself there will be none inside shortly.

Carefully scanning the sliver of blackness to spot my tormentor I work my arms free of their trappings. The flakes of the broken and removed mucous rap lightly on the floor like rice shaken in a glass jar. Some fall through the space between the boards but make no sound to be heard. Now that my arms and chest are free I’m able to flip over again and begin to pull the cocoon off myself. Starting with my face I rip off flakes of the stuff, scratching all over and rubbing off as much as I can. As if shampooing, my hands frantically run across my scalp. I use as much strength as possible to dig my fingernails into the crust and rip it off.

There comes a point where I see my black hair come off with it, flakes at a time. Then a sharp pain near my forehead and the drip of blood off my brow which I see land on my still encrusted legs. When I bring my hand down from my forehead I can see more blood covering it, and with this newest flake — skin.

So that’s it then, it is truly fused with my skin.

Upon swallowing loudly It feels as if my throat goes down into my ankles. My chest empties and I am struck with the paralyzing fear that if I survive, this disfigurement could be incurable. What would it continue to do with my body moving forward? What is it doing inside of me even now? Forcing logic to kick back in I work my legs free, as much as possible until getting to my jeans.

I am lucky to have been wearing clothes. The mucous fused to my clothing, but not as much my skin underneath it like with my face and head. Though it takes a layer of two of skin with it to start, I am able move within my clothing and not have it injure me by ripping me apart. I leave as much of the shit on me as I can otherwise, just to protect myself and my skin until I can find a doctor. I must look like the thing, made out of what can only be described as rotten Butterfinger flakes. I dare not work my mouth free — and am surprised with all the mucous coverage that my nostrils were mysteriously unaffected.

Now, able to move again I stand up and limp to the table to get the candles lit. I’ve noticed that it has been quite some time since any activity below me. With the impatience of the scratching earlier I find that perplexing. There’s no time to wonder, however. I light the candles to assess my situation and figure out what to do.

With light again filling the cabin around me I try to look at the leaves of paper scattered all over the floor from the night before. It’s no use, the only pages with anything legible are the ones I found already. For all the shifting below me throughout this ordeal the door to the outside hasn’t budged an inch. The windows are still boarded up and the roof still has rays of moonlight shining through.

Oddly, there’s rays I remember seeing the night before that seem patched up now. Am I remembering correctly? Easily could be not thinking clearly right now. I haven’t had any food or water in almost twenty-four hours. At this point don’t believe I have any choice but to brave the outside. Not spending another day with that creature below the floorboards.

After gathering my things together into the backpack and throwing it over my roughly encrusted shoulder I step towards the door and open it with a creak. On the swing of the door I hear an immediate whoosh above the roof and the rays of moonlight I remember within the cabin re-appear.

Now, frozen solid at the threshold of the cabin I re-assess my decision. Are there two creatures? One above and one below? Which is the better course of action? To die of dehydration? Or… whatever fate waits for me out there.

Deciding there’s no going back I step out into the woods. Small fallen twigs crunch beneath my foot on the very first step. I wait, nervously. There are no other sounds. Then I look up into the sky and see a cloudless night — lit by a crescent moon. We’re waxing now, it is larger than the night before. There’s slightly more light to go off of. Craning my neck all around I see no sign of the thing that made the noise above the cabin.

I start hobbling, slowly, towards outside of the woods and back to my car.


Eyes having adjusted to the night at this point, figure I have made it about half of the five miles from the abandoned mining town to where I have parked. The forest has stayed eerily silent this entire time. All I can hear is the shuffling of my right leg dragging behind the stomping of my left. Flakes of the mucous are still falling off me with every step. My skin dry, cracked, and in constant pain. Blood, seeping from where the joints bend.

Then, a shadow overhead. I feel it wash over me and watch it slink across the forest debris below. I can’t believe with my eyes the shape of the shadow itself — and when get the courage to look up at the place it came from, the forest is too thick above to see through.

This shadow had a great bat-like wing span, wide body, and lengthy pointed tail. It doesn’t make any sense. Nothing about this makes sense. All I wanted to do was find out more about the mysterious disappearance of an entire town and mining operation. Gone over a hundred years ago in one night. None ever to be seen again.

Now I’m limping ever more frantically towards my car, maybe another mile to go? Starting to get more confident that I may get out of this and be able to get to an urgent care. Breathing heavily through my nostrils I can feel the wound on my leg crack open from the trek.

I fall with a muffled scream, something’s very wrong. Upon looking at my right leg I see that the mucous had found its way through the dressing and inside of the wound solidifying the flesh within. My leg has snapped in two just above the knee cap. Separated entirely from the rest of my body is my knee, shin, and foot. Just lying there. Dead and decaying.

Instinctively touch my forehead to feel the spot where I had ripped off some of my flesh with the mucous. It had already hardened again. Heart pounding in my chest I start to pull myself forward with my arms. Dragging myself across the earth and pushing with my left leg. Muffled grunting and screaming with desperation I see the glint of moonlight reflecting off my car’s windshield maybe five-hundred feet ahead of me now.

Then a crushing weight on my back. Enough to stop me in my tracks and make me cough through my nose. Five claws pulsate entering and exiting my lower back at once, in close proximity. Breathing on the back of my head again. Three short breaths in quick succession followed by a long inhale and then low, rumbling exhale from deep in the throat.

My chin dug into the ground I can at least see straight forward. In front of me is the appendage from the journal. Dancing around from left to right stabbing the dirt and leaves in front of my eyes, playfully. Now I know my time is up and have to look. Have to see, just to know before the end.

When I start to turn my head I hear a whoosh, and bat-like wings envelop me removing all light.

Next I smell and feel the wet stench of death, closer than ever before. Saliva dripping onto the back of my head, jaws envelop my skull.

It’s true. All of it. Every word.

 

Thank you for reading.

If you have interest in reading anything else I have written please check the Table of Contents, here.

©2017 Trevor Elms
Featured photo by littlenySTOCK edited by Trevor Elms ©2017

What I Write When Not Writing.

Really haven’t had the gumption or self reflection to want to sit down and write something that I find meaningful. Which are the things I want to post on this website for the most part. My last poem did enough for some time.

I do however find other ways to continuously write and one of them is watching & reviewing film. Recently I have been introduced to letterboxd.com and have created an account. If you have interest in any writing I may be doing in between things that get posted here then that would be the place to go.

Megan and I often watch a new movie together every day so the profile will be updated regularly with films I watch or re-watch. This is a way for me to keep myself motivated about writing without bogging my site down with things like movie reviews.

movie-collection-2017
The Elms’ movie collection as of 8/31/2017.

We have a lot of movies and the collection is growing every day, it is one of my very favorite forms of art & media. A form that my grandfather really spent a lot of time nurturing within me.

If you have interest in my thoughts and writing in general you may like this letterboxd profile.

Please check it out here.

Thank you for taking a look.

If you have interest in reading anything else I have written please check the Table of Contents, here.

©2017 Trevor Elms

Of Worthlessness & Worth.

As like my poem “Last Time” I am going to let this piece speak for itself first — and allow whoever reads it to not have their perception of it affected by my own until after it has been read.

Of Worthlessness & Worth.

I forgive you.
Because you’re worthless.

You took something from me.
Because you’re worthless.

Something I can never get back.
Because you’re worthless.

I’m a better person now.
Because you’re worthless.

I have perspective and understanding now.
Because you’re worthless.

You are worthless.
I hope you become of worth.

This world needs more of that.
I hope you become of worth.

Bitterness is a poison.
I hope you become of worth.

My wish for you is to learn humility.
I hope you become of worth.

People do not need the pain you are capable of weaving.
I hope you become of worth.

I will never stop loving you.
I hope you become of worth.

Be worthful.

This poem has a bit of a double meaning for me. I have written it to represent my journey about a betrayal from one of my very closest friends of whom I cannot any longer give myself to. They hurt me too much, and in a way where as egotistical as it sounds; they do not deserve my presence. Ever again.

This poem also represents me speaking to the woman who molested me in pre-school. I have not been able to express anything about it in writing since I first remembered of the ordeal in high school. It has taken me this long to write something towards her.

As usual, this piece has given me great release and closure from these experiences. I feel I can properly move on now.

On a more positive aside — this is the very first thing I have written in my new book for poetry. It was purchased during a friend’s birthday at the Renaissance Festival this past weekend and is pictured in the featured photo. 100% handcrafted paper and hand treated bound leather.

I felt this piece was the perfect starting point for this new book, and for this chapter of my life where writing is once again a part of me. I feel whole again.

Thank you for reading.

If you have interest in reading anything else I have written please check the Table of Contents, here.

©2017 Trevor Elms
Featured photo by Trevor Elms ©2017
Journal in featured photo made by Poetic Earth.

Presently Present.

Seems like I’ve seriously slowed down with my writing, but there is only so much free time. I’ve been spending a lot of it with Megan and my friends lately. The buddies live across the country so it’s been online playing a video game. I consider that hanging out all the same.

I decided yesterday that too much time had passed and I needed to write something. Could finish one of the many drafts I have laying around now, or write a poem, as the last thing I posted was an article about balance.

So, I again found myself writing about time. I was supposed to get this posted this morning, but didn’t find the time yesterday to get it prepared. Had to do so this morning before work and get it out at 4PM. I really like sticking to specific posting times, at least. Gives me the nice illusion of a proper schedule I have set for myself.

Anyways, here’s my most recent poem about time,

Presently Present.

Tick.
Time.

There’s always so much.
There’s never enough.

Tock.
Time.

Looking ahead so far away.
Looking behind — just yesterday.

Hand.
Clock.

Staring, steadily sweeping.
Swiftly sacking all sense of certainty.

Tick.
Time.

Tock.
Time.

To live in the present.
Conquers some of the meaning.

Behind this rhyme.

 

I do want to continue pushing myself towards writing more regularly again. However really enjoy these periods of reflection when I build up that burning desire to write. I also enjoy consuming media myself and of so many forms that it is easy to get distracted. Trying to release at least something every week. That’s more than I have managed in some time aside from when I first started this site.

Thank you for reading.

If you have interest in reading anything else I have written please check the Table of Contents, here.

©2017 Trevor Elms
Featured photo by Trevor Elms ©2017

Balance.

Been wracking my brain over the last few days for what I was going to write about. Needed to write about something but couldn’t get right back into some of the things I have written previously. Not feeling drained, more like released from so much that I have consciously or subconsciously been holding on to for years.

Decided that writing about balance, and my struggle with it throughout my life would be a good place to start. I am still trying to find a sense of balance within this website, even. I have begun typing this out on May Twenty-Sixth, Twenty-Seventeen. My last post was May Seventeenth, Twenty-Seventeen. Just one day short of one month — from the day this website was started.

In that time, one month; fifty-one pieces were published.

Balanced out to just about half old, half new. I cranked away night by night. So much that I caused a little bit of a rift in my marriage for a few days. I lost a sense of balance in myself and my life. Focused solely on this website and writing — I saturated myself in them. Like the true addict I am. Found something new and interesting, took my fancy, and I dived headlong in. Had it not been for Megan I may have run myself into the ground affecting me and us in all sorts of negative ways.

Balance is something I have always struggled with. Plenty sure there is an earlier memory about it that my parents could recall, but one that sticks out to me most is when Pokémon first came out for the Game Boy. I was in the second grade. Had a friend at that time, Michael. We would hang out after school every Monday before his parents got home from work — so he would have company and could skip day-care.

After booting up Pokémon for the first time, though. Hanging out with Michael didn’t matter to me so much.

Enthralled by this new world that took the gameplay style I had learned from playing Final Fantasy titles, added cute creatures to collect and level, and was portable. I could play anywhere in the house and get away from everyone to play alone if I wanted to. It was the perfect escape. Which video games have proven time and time again — are. For me, and many others I can only assume.

The first Monday after getting Pokémon Blue (Alan got Red) as a gift I didn’t take the bus to Michael’s. He didn’t take the bus either — Michael went to day-care that day. I had told Michael some nonsense about why I couldn’t be at his place. Couldn’t tell you what. When I got home I don’t remember anyone else being present, though the tiles in the kitchen or walkway had recently been re-done. Was in possession of a key to the house but don’t think anyone was expecting me home — so they weren’t.

Awesome. One of my favorite things in the world is a silent, empty house.

There’s something about it. I feel in complete control of my surroundings and in my element. In those times really nothing should happen that I don’t want to. You know, in the realm of a normal calm sunny day, in the privacy of my home.

So I did what my eight year old self wanted to do, and had been thinking about all day. I ran upstairs, grabbed my Game Boy, and plopped down on the stairs to play. Couldn’t have been very far in at this point, but it had its hooks in me deeply. Doesn’t take much for a video game, movie, or any creative media — honestly. A half an hour or more must have gone by before my mom walked through the front door and asked me what the heck I was doing on the stairs with my Game Boy.

Knowing me, some good ol’ baloney came out. My mom had already gotten a phone call from Michael’s about the bullspit excuse I spewed. So she was legitimately just checking to see if I would tell the truth or not. Mom is good at that.

We had a good long talk after that. About balance, and what is important.

What friendships can provide that video games can’t, and how doing what I did would make Michael feel. I abandoned something that meant a lot to a person because I wanted to play in an imaginary world.

Still have a lot of difficulty with balance, and priorities, and how to get them right. Not professionally — there’s an iron fist in life about that able to keep me in tow. Free time though, how I manage it, what I do with it. Still a daily struggle for me.

I am an addict. I have written about that a few times now. I like to get addicted to things. Now, I am not a twelve-stepper, nor do I adhere to the normal living style of recovering addicts. I still drink alcohol and smoke marijuana. Those are two substances I believe I can control myself with and be a functioning adult perfectly well. I have seen alcohol kill plenty of people I am close to or affect them severely negatively. I really just like a glass of scotch or a beer after a long day to take off the edge. I enjoy the taste, and I don’t often get a buzz, but I do feel better about life.

Regardless of how this living style is perceived by other recovering addicts or people who are not addicts at all, I don’t care.

My current personal and professional life give evidence to my ability to be a responsible adult with these decisions, so that’s all I need to provide if you want to question me. Barring a little coke after the death of my cousin, Paul (which is the only drug I have said I would not say no to if it was in front of me, though would not seek out), I have not touched anything aside from pot and alcohol in nearly ten years.

Well, there was that time where I did some molly, also not long after Paul’s death. My [redacted] [redacted] put it best when he refused, though. “There’s nothing else I can learn from it any more”. Lo and behold, I didn’t. Spent more time trying to figure out what the hell it was cut with that I could see in it and feel in my system than actually enjoying it. Done with that one for a lifetime now.

With that said, the things that I was truly addicted to: cigarettes, personal relationships with people brought closer due to hallucinogenic & drug induced experiences, the rush of trying a new substance, and opiates. Those I really do my damnedest to stay away from.

Opiates are a tough one, because our society medically just doesn’t think about it all that much. How it is literally lab manufactured legal heroin. How addictive it is, and how many lives it destroys without proper monitoring, after care, or an alternative. I have had pain killers within these years, struggled with them as well. I am glad to have family support around me when prescribed painkillers. Things would get terribly ugly otherwise.

Feel like I have lost my way on a few paths here in this piece, but both have to do with balance, and my struggle with it.

I was imbalanced even in the beginning of this website. Thinking I could legitimately handle forcing myself to put out two things per day after I ran out of old things.

This piece was a long way of me talking about my issues with balance, and how I am doing this website almost entirely for me. I really, truly appreciate any and all audience, but also need to recognize balance and to keep myself grounded. I do not need to set precedent about how often posts will go live. I also do not need to feel guilty about when there is nothing new up some days. Nobody is paying me to do this, I do this because I desire it.

So, in the future, still expect my posts to come out at eight o’ clock in the morning. Just don’t expect them every day. Sometimes they will be, sometimes they won’t be. I am going to try and have a little bit more balance in my life, and keep things a little bit more realistic for my health.

As always, thank you for reading. The fact that I have an audience means the world to me and does push me to keep writing.

I was afraid that I would find it difficult to write again after over a week off — but as usual, the fear makes it a lot more difficult than it really is. Especially after getting started.

Thank you for reading and following. If you have any interest in looking for things I have written that you have not read yet. Please check the table of contents, here.

©2017 Trevor Elms
A name and relation has been removed from this piece for anonymity. It will not be added in the future.
Featured photo by Trevor Elms ©2006

 

Familiar Fortress.

NetherRealm Studios released their newest video game “Injustice 2” recently. It’s a fighting game with the DC super hero pantheon. As a big fan of comic books, the franchise is my bread and butter. Because it released just yesterday — I haven’t wanted to spare much free time for lots of words.

I played and played, then realized that I hadn’t gotten that feeling of accomplishment that I have grown used to before bed. When I get something written down and completed. So I wanted to write a bit of poetry about video games and what they are meaning to me in tandem with writing as I get older.

Familiar Fortress.

Moving pixels in three dimensional space
give unquestionable escape.

Hunting for treasure,
scavenging for leather.

Climing rooftops,
to collect a feather.

Sated.

Used to be the desires to create.
Polygons streaming across.

Ornate.

Clashing of plate and steel,
feelings easier to process.

Intake.

Moving pixels in three dimensional space
give unquestionable escape.

Eventually no longer,

sates.

Bake thoughts,
share the plate.

Fate.

Not one to believe in it.
Though writing is what it is instead.

Gate.

 

I do now have some sort of sense of accomplishment, and a release from the day in some way.  We will see if I manage to write a lot of words tomorrow, or if I will climb into my familiar fortress and end the night with poetry again.

Thank you for reading.

©2017 Trevor Elms
Featured photo by Trevor Elms ©2017

Human Just Like You.

Remembering the prompt for this one is tough. Thinking it was that I had to write a story of someone oppressed with a classmate, senior year in high school. We ended up writing a simple rhyme with a message that I enjoyed, but I just don’t like simple rhymes. They don’t do much for me. Not to say this isn’t simple, just less so.

I wrote this because I got tired of hearing the word “gay” used as a way to describe things people don’t like. I have a number of gay family members who are some of the best people I know on this planet. Not to mention my other friends from all different walks of life. Love and let live.

So this was meant to have an impact and be pretty visceral.

All you have to do is spend a little time on the internet to see how frequent stories like these used to be, and still are. Marginalizing and mistreating people just because they are different from you is not okay. If it is something they have no control over, that isn’t directly negatively affecting anyone else — they deserve to be treated like humans with respect.

I was also just a fairly angry person at this point in my life. Going back and reading a lot of the things I was writing, I can see why my Mother was concerned about me. I have edited this significantly — the original work needed some help.

Human Just Like You.

There was a boy named Beau,
had a habit of wearin’ his mother’s clothes.

High-heels, lipstick, even pantyhose.

In his mind conflict would grow.
Sexual preference society would sew.

Beau’s first love — found in teenage years.

His name — Louis Stears,
Valedictorian senior year.

When Beau looked in those eyes he saw them gleam.
All he wanted to be — Louis’ prom queen.

Beau had a “problem”, one clinically and clergically prescribed,
in his world he was attracted to men’s thighs.

When Beau asked it took Louis by surprise.
He answered simply “No you faggot! You fuckin’ like guys?”

Beau turned around, went home and cried.

Louis rolled in with a forty-five and a shovel,
along with some friends to help move the rubble.

Louis broke in while Beau was in bed,
immediately the forty-five cocked to his head.

Louis stated “Any last words before I make you dead!?”
These are Beau’s last words this is what he said,

“I may be gay and a faggot to you,
but by pulling that trigger you’re killing a human,
just like you.”

Louis pulled the trigger and ended Beau’s life,
a brave boy who only faced strife.

 

 

Thank you for reading.

©2008 Trevor Elms.
Re-worked ©2017, Trevor Elms.
Featured photo by Trevor Elms ©2015, Sculpture by unknown.

Superman.

Haven’t been reading all that many comic books lately. Not sure why. I think a lot of it has to do with my free time. I want to be writing or doing something else. Sure when the winter comes around again and Megan and I aren’t able to go on so many rides — I’ll be reading more regularly again.

Even though I’m not reading them much at the moment, comic books and their characters are very much a part of who I am. My pantheon, if you will. I’ve written more subtlety at times, and others not; I’m not a believer. So when it comes to symbols and moral compasses that I like to identify with and have a sense of “faith” with,

comic book super heroes fill that space.

One of them above all I really see as the manifestation of being a good person, symbol of positivity, and hope. Superman. If I am ever having a moment where I don’t know what to do, or feel like my issues with my emotions might get the better of me. I just think of Clark Kent.

I wasn’t always this way. For the longest time Hal Jordan, the Green Lantern was my favorite super hero. He still is, to an extent. Originally I loved him because that was the longest and coolest comic book I had growing up. It was a collection of the original Hal Jordan origin, a few other issues, an Alan Scott issue, and then a Kyle Rayner issue or two. If you don’t understand these names, that’s okay. I love Hal Jordan because he is a brash ladies’ man with a cool ring that can do anything with imagination.

That was my kinda gig growing up. I wanted to be and was that guy, with a really powerful imagination and some major reckless abandon. Come twenty-thirteen and Man of Steel, though, everything changed.

At this time I was not much of a Superman person, and I hadn’t read all that many comic books either. Just the stack of thirty or forty I had growing up, none of them being about him. Plus all the New 52 and Post Crisis Green Lantern I had read at the time. I subscribed to the general idea that Superman was a boring character and was overpowered, and I really only read comics for GL.

Man of Steel was on my radar purely because it is a Zack Snyder film.

Zack is the director that really took hold of me with his visuals and unabashed style in my teenage years. My brother Alan introduced me to his first movie Dawn of the Dead not long after it came out on DVD. By the time 300 came around I was able to see ‘R’ rated movies in theaters, and did so for the first time when it released.

Watchmen got me particularly interested in actually heavily reading comic books beyond the ones I grew up with — not long after my mental break with reality. It kind of reawakened that spark.

So when I discovered Zack was working on a Superman movie, I was all in. Didn’t have to watch any trailers and didn’t even want to. Since I had some negative preconceptions about Superman I felt like this was the only way to go in — completely blind. Used to do it less, but I am doing it more and more these days. I honestly think it makes films better — to go in blind.

Know the genre, director, actors, screenwriter, studio — what have you, ignore the trailers. In my experience anyways. If you’re on the fence, by all means. If you already know you are going to go? Why bother spoiling any aspect of it for yourself?

I think this is the best thing I did. Not only that, I went to see Man of Steel completely alone, weeks after release, in a nearly empty theater. That may sound super lonely to some people, and if it does — you can’t imagine how stoked I was.

man_of_steel_poster_3_-625393010135

I’m quite the introvert. Alone time doesn’t make me feel alone, it makes me feel complete. I like to spend time with people but it really drains my energy more than anything else.

That’s why I love Megan so much, she’s one of the few people who wears down my energy incredibly slowly. I still need time away even from her and the pets to center myself, but not anywhere near as often as I do from people. The dreaded people.

Because of this — a nearly empty theater with no one’s crinkling, crying, coughing, or chattering, was great. It also meant that when the movie was loud enough I could do what I like to do in intense moments at home — exclaim. Not loudly of course, certainly not loudly enough to be heard from the single couple more than ten rows ahead of me.

Enough that in moments of great triumph I can feel it even more, though. Even just to myself. I love that feeling. Despite a lot of popular opinion that I have found online, I feel like Man of Steel is filled with many moments of triumph and hope. It’s what really turned me on to Superman as a character. The pragmatism of Jonathan teaching Clark how to be a good person, because he should be. Not for any other reason. Because it is the right thing to do. There was also the realism and fear of what this dark and judgmental world, prone to anger of things they don’t understand — would do.

It all felt so real to me. Hope, intertwined within this constant barrage of life trying to make it all hopeless.

There really wasn’t anything that made me feel like he was overpowered, too. The thing about Superman that “holds him back” is his humanity. He was also just a kid starting out in Man of Steel, so he was super green and didn’t know what he was doing. His humanity would get in the way during the fights though. Either from when he lost his cool for his mother being attacked — causing him to bring the fight into Smallville which gets laid waste. To in the same fight saving a helicopter pilot from a death plunge, leaving him open for attack.

There was just such practical good person and hopefulness throughout the whole movie for me. The real life kind. Which is hilarious considering the subject matter of a man flying around in tights and a cape.

Man of Steel was the movie that got me to start reading Superman comics, which then blew open the doors of the rest of the DC Universe for me, which then blew open the doors of Marvel Universe (616), the Mignolaverse, The Walking Dead, etc. etc.

Superman, though. Superman is my symbol.

I am a person that does not believe in any established higher being, I am one of a very populated species on a rock floating in space that circles around a star. In a universe riddled with billions of floating rocks following this same pattern. It’s hard for me to believe there isn’t other life out there — just based on the pure mathematics of it.

So when I am feeling overwhelmed, enraged, or plain depressed. I can think about the guy in blue tights and a red cape with a giant “S” on his chest. Typically he’s smiling and telling me to pick my head up, ’cause he’s got my back.

He’s a good person, like me, just trying to get through life day by day. He just happens to have more power than you and I. So he chooses to make a difference.

I think whoever your Superman is, if they’re doing the same for you as he is for me, then they’ve got to be a pretty good person. Just follow their lead.

Superman-2
Art by Tim Sale & Bjarne Hansen ©1998

Thank you for reading.

©2017 Trevor Elms
Featured image by Frank Quitely & Jamie Grant. ©2005

Gun.

Recently I wrote in my story Grocery about my fears of losing my mind and potentially going to jail for it. This is going to be the story of how I kept my cool as best I have since my legal troubles — and how I nearly went to prison for it anyways.

I was on probation for felonies, aware that this meant I was unable to own a gun. My awareness however seemed to skip over the fact that I could not even handle a gun. For months I’d been going up to the mountains shooting with a friend.

I am comfortable with and know how to properly handle a firearm.

At this time I was working for Hustle Paintball — and if I wasn’t the Operations Manager yet, was very close to it. Small place, I got in at the basement. I was “important”. Because of this I knew the combination to the gun safe as well as the fact that it already had a handgun with a round in the chamber — and a full magazine to go in case of emergency. I want to say it was a glock.

I look forward to when I do, because I can — I have not held a gun since last holding that one.

I was working late in our first retail location. We had extended some hours of the week to around eight at night and took shifts taking care of it. This was paintball, and I love the sport — but we had plenty of bad customers like any industry.

The particular type of customer I am talking about is the kind that likes to talk really big, buy really small, and then return something after it has been used for a full day. That type of customer.

We as a respectable establishment had allowed it to go on long enough, and stopped allowing it. Then the customer stooped to sending his kid in alone, trying to guilt us into giving the refund.

I had finally had it that day. I wasn’t going to give him the refund no matter what. I explained to the kid exactly what his dad was doing and how it wasn’t cool. That no person with respect would be doing that.

I don’t think dad liked that very much. After the kid left the store, most likely to relay everything just said — he came in with a very large huff.

Now I am not a large man, but I am not small either. I’m more of an actual man now, physically than I was then — and it seems I have gotten slightly taller as well. I was at this time a good 5′ 11″ (and some change), 195 lbs., though.

This chucklehead about my height, maybe a little shorter — looked like his upper half was just sweating with the steroids in his blood stream. Certainly seemed to enjoy his tanning beds, too.

Hey, you do you, I got no problems with it — just don’t be this guy aside from that. I’m only describing him.

With this wild character established, I can continue about how he charged in across an overly large, open, and empty retail area. He had such purpose and anger in his strides. It was really a sight to behold — how confident he was that his money was going to be returned to him and that he would be allowed to continue shopping at the establishment. Like a retail location can’t handle losing a single unreasonable customer.

The veins in his neck were already popping when he addressed me as “kid” — I believe I was twenty-one at this time. Definitely a kid in many ways, definitely didn’t like being called that. It’s been long now and I tuned him out enough during — so I can’t remember minute details of the dialogue.

I just remember a lot of flapping arms and pointing, with threats of friends and loss of money.

I remember telling him politely over and over that his business was no longer allowed at the establishment. That we would not be accepting his return or his refund, as our legal return policy stated we did not have to — and that I would like him to leave the premises as soon as possible. That he was now trespassing.

I knew there were cameras watching, which was a good thing. I however did not think about the fact that they did not record audio. A big mistake I made in being able to press charges or not at the end of this whole ordeal was the fact that I did not point to the exit. I don’t think this is an experience I will go through again as I do not ever intend to work in retail again, but I will never forget that mistake — nor will I repeat it.

Angry-Chicken-Leg-Muscle-Man, didn’t want to hear any of it and refused to go anywhere.

So I did the next best thing, I pretended to give him what he wanted. I told him that if he walked calmly to the superfluous foyer we had, that I would go into the office and process his refund (as I needed to use “managerial computer powers” to do so). I would then walk out of the office, cash in hand and give it to him. The caveat being he had to wait patiently and quietly.

This is when I made a decision for my and others’ safety that could have changed my life forever.

I was not at the store by myself, though I was the only one at the store running it. A couple of friends and one of their girlfriends were there. One of them was at the time the resident part-time paintball marker tech and he was doing maintenance on a bunch of them.

When I walked into the office, which Mr. Aggressive could see through a window from the foyer; I went directly to the gun safe. Made another mistake here — know the gun was a glock now. Did just about everything correctly, I pulled it out of the safe, barrel down towards the ground. Proper finger discipline straight out along grip, above the trigger, not touching it. Then I slipped this loaded and ready firearm with no standard safety — into my waistband.

Mr. Aggressive did not take kindly to this action and left the premises immediately. He then called the cops from his truck. I’m very happy he called the police officers, I just wish they could have arrested him for falsifying a report. This man had already showed his true colors earlier trying to use his kid as a guilt chip on adults for a whack refund request. He took it a step further though when he told the police that I pointed the gun at him, cocked to the side like some wannabe gangster and said:

“You scared, bitch? You want some?”

I get if you’re going to try and embellish to make a point, but at least make it somewhat believable. Thank goodness for those cameras. The police officers honestly seemed inclined to believe him until I showed them the footage. That was only the beginning of my concern, though.

I remember them asking me if there was anything I needed to tell them for the report. Couldn’t tell at that time if they had already run my details and were probing — or if they actually didn’t know. So I told them all about my probation and what I was going through. I told them my concern and that I really didn’t want this to negatively affect my recovery and rehabilitation as a citizen.

I was honest.

If they hadn’t before, I know they did after this because things took an even more serious turn. It went from them asking me questions like I was a victim — to treating me like a criminal. They told me to sit tight and that they needed to get in touch with their superior. I got to sit for a good long while.

If I remember correctly it was about forty five minutes later one of the officers came back with more warmth again. He reminded me that I am on probation for some serious felonies and that I cannot handle a gun. He asked me if I understood that. I told him I understood that I could not be in possession of one by law, but I took that to mean I could not own one. Not that I could not touch one. I was educated this is not the case.

Some may call it luck, I call it being a responsible adult. I was let off with a warning.

I know they talked to my P.O. for a time, I think a lot of me getting let off and not being charged with breaking my probation — is how responsible I was about it.

I did not miss an appointment. I was not ever late. I was always in touch and kept them up to date. I took my probation extremely seriously from day one because I had friends growing up that got on probation for the smallest thing and were still on it ten years later because they couldn’t make smart decisions. Probation gave me the discipline I didn’t manage to learn growing up.

To this day, though. As a normal functioning citizen that is not seeking trouble, this is the most I had feared for my safety and others — from another human being. I feel pretty proud of myself for keeping my calm and for taking care of the situation in a really logical fashion. Especially because at this time I was not taking medication or admitting to my mental illness.

I’m not exactly sure what the deeper meaning is in this one other than keep your cool, be smart, and learn from your mistakes.

It’s not the easiest thing to do all these things, all the time. Though I do think striving to can help us through a lot.

Thank you for reading.

©2017 Trevor Elms.
Featured photo by Douglas Montgomery ©2011, Trevor Elms pictured.

 

 

Last Time.

Normally I will start with a little explanation about my poems. This is a new one that I recently wrote while thinking about past choices. I will be going into more detail at the bottom, because I think explaining the poem at the start could potentially hurt my desired readings of it.

Last Time.

It’s funny,

for the longest time I wanted to remember you.

Give you a ritual,
a grand finale,
one for the ages!

A beautiful view,
alone and introspective,
with the wind blowing across my face…

us two.

But it never was you, was it?

A facade,
fake,
false.

No, no, the forgotten one.
You’re it.
Not a memory to go with you.

Never will I ever remember you.

I think I should thank you for that,

my lack of ‘membrance.

There’s nothing now to tie me to you,
make me think about you.

Nothing about me misses you,

my last cigarette.

 

I’d noticed that I have written about cigarettes multiple times in my work now. It made me want to write about the fact that I have quit them. I am not yet ready to write the story about that journey, but this poem will suffice for now.

Thank you for reading.

©2017 Trevor Elms.
Featured photo by Trevor Elms ©2016