The Great Adventure – Part 1 –

“The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.” ― Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild
The trip began by assembling simple items that would benefit a grand adventure in the wild forests of unknown. A can opener, lighters, a couple of pocket knifes, cans of beans we surreptitiously obtained from mom’s cupboard, the obligatory camouflage jackets and pants, and of course a machetes to hack our way through the grass and brush. We made the mile trip to the wooded point right on the cliff above a shallow gulch. Pine trees formed a tidy circle around a clearing and their needles made a nice bed. The sound of wind blowing through these made an eerie sound, especially for boys like us at the ripe age of 14 and 15. Many long days were spent filled with exciting adventures into this government reserve, which by the way, we weren’t supposed to be in, which added to our sense of danger that all boys crave to some extent.
Climbing through the 8 foot chain link fence that surrounded it, we pushed our way through the tall grasses and crossed a couple of dirt roads worn with the convoys of jeeps, tanks, and supply trucks. The last obstacle we clambered across was a double row of razor wire that lined the fields. We knew all the paths and shortcuts here and had already squashed this down and laid branches over it to tip toe on. Finding things while we hiked was an awesome thrill. The biggest finds were items lost or left behind by the troops, MRE’s being the supreme score, followed by empty ammo bags that clipped on to belts, and shell casings, with which we filled our little bags and bringing a smile that only being incredibly stupid and getting away with it can bring to the little men we were.
Reaching the clearing, we built our rough lean-to and found sticks to build a fire. We didn’t understand that if you’re not supposed to be there, lighting a fire on the edge of cliff that overlooks much of the land around it, is not a good idea. But in our exuberance, we lit our little fire and boiled some water to add to a spaghetti MRE I found and heat the beans we stole from Mom. Night came soon and we settled in under our shelter and played with the fire, watching the sparks swirl and find their way up to the star filled sky. Our spot was lit up to the edge of clearing showing the trees and brush around us, beyond that it was pitch black and made the more so by gazing into the fire before we looked out toward the dark. The evening this far was uneventful and our stay in this forbidden zone an apparent success.
Suddenly, right behind our lean-to, a loud snap of branches shot through the night and right up our young spines. Hairs on end, we stumbled forward in a blind panic and grabbed the machete and large walking stick, hewn in boredom just moments before. Standing back to back, gazing at what we couldn’t see, our eyes struggled to make out any images, our ears keen to the slightest twitch of grass. Was it an animal? Or worse, the Military Police? The MP’s were more trouble but we out ran them several times because of our knowledge of the nook and crannies and subtle shortcuts and paths, but, the animals were a big problem. The paths we found were theirs and running wasn’t a good idea. We whispered back and forth having seconds to decide what to do and like most options presented to those caught, running like hell seemed to be the best way out. We sprung through the trees and bounced through the razor wire like an Olympic hurdler fueled by adrenalin and youthful agility. Hearing more snaps and bushes shaking supercharged our escape and made the dark obstacle course easy. Soon the mile was behind us and we dove through the fence finding our way home. We collapsed in excited jubilation with our hearts pounding out 200 beats a minute. The escape was pulled off without a hitch and our confidence grew to heights that can only be reached by imagination. This was a success, however there where things in life that wouldn’t be so easily overcome and these tests waited for us with hungry anticipation.
First published in Opinions Of Eye

Spiritual Guidance –

“She’s not showing any interest in me and she looks like she doesn’t want to be here. Should I take off her handcuffs? I thought kidnap victims were supposed to fall in love with their captors?
” ― Jarod Kintz


Help me! I can’t see and my eye is swollen and throbbing, my lips cracked and parched, and I taste blood. He has me bound and my breathing’s painful from what I think are my broken ribs. I cough up blood and spit it out on my dress, why did I think he’d take care of me, protect me and guide me? That innocent dream’s gone as I hear the sound of his breathing in the next room. Does anyone know I’m here? Does anyone care? I should’ve made different choices, followed advice, and been more careful. This is my fault isn’t it? I begged for this he said, because I dressed the way I did. My walk was the lure, because my hips swayed a little too much, because I was confident and had long hair that fueled his desire. I struggled against the stiffness settling in on my body and mind, perhaps the shock’s wearing off. God I hope someone is praying for me. I feel around trying to find something that will help me out of here. As I fumbled around I bumped the door and it budged! Peering out of the small crack I see evidence of him all over, liquor bottles and clutter. Opening the door a little farther and I notice that he’s passed out on the chair with drug shit all over the table in front of him. Seeing my chance , I struggled to stand and barely made it up before falling with a thud on the floor. A shudder of stifled terror filled my panicked breaths believing that the fall would wake him. With my head on the floor I saw a knife just at the edge of the couch. With great effort I managed to get my hands on it, and began cutting the leather belt that held my hands. Damn the movies make this look easy, but it takes for fucking ever to do it and I manage to give myself quite a few slices before I’m actually am free. My adrenaline is kicking in hard but it beats back the haze that’s growing over my thoughts and making me dizzy when I stand. I hold the knife firmly, thinking that as I work my way past him I would drive it right through his eye, but I didn’t, I just wanted out of here and a chance to live. I didn’t think I wanted to live and I’m ashamed now knowing how bad I just want out of this and to be alive. I opened the door and ran through the street grabbing a cab that happened to be dropping off his passenger. I should go to the cops, but I don’t, I just go back to my apartment. He knows me and he’ll be back, after all, every pastor should know where the ladies in his congregation live.

Also published in

Angel, Part 6 – The Flip Side –


Driving her to the club once again, my eyes showed the strain of working all day and watching her all night. We parted with our usual exchange of kisses and hugs. I drove away, looking back at my Angel, her innocent looks were slowly changing, leaving traces of fear and emptiness. My Angel, I want to take you away from all this. Gathering myself, like I always did when I had to leave her, I drove away slowly. The day I drove away faster than I came to her would be the end. Halfway home, my phone vibrated to life…its Angel, “Baby, don’t come back, I’m staying here.” “What!” I screamed into the phone, “What’s wrong, what happened?”. “They told me you were screwing another dancer, that you would hurt me, and that I needed to stay with them”. Swerving off the road, pulling a two point turn that would make a stuntman jealous, I peeled out back to her, stones and dust chasing me.

I hit the gravel parking lot, cranked the wheel and slid sideways toward the entrance. Flinging my door open, I jumped out, the car was still rolling. I didn’t give it the least thought, my only concern, was finding out who was sabotaging my relationship. “Fucking jealous haters, always gotta try some shit to get what they want. This time they went to far, I’ve had it.” It’s a bad thing when I talk to myself like that. The bar was still closed, the girls getting ready in the back. Kicking the door open, completely breaking the lock, I began my incursion. A want-to-be bouncer put his hands on me, I looked at him with rage lighting up my eyes. He let go almost immediately, standing back with both hands up, saying “Calm down man!”. I wasn’t a small man, throwing around logs all day had toughened and thickened me to serious looking potential, and this perhaps kept him at a distance as well. I kept screaming, “Who is the mother fucker who is spreading this shit about me?”. I grabbed a stool, throwing it across the bar into the one of the many mirrors, mirrors reflecting now, a passion of a very different sort.

Breaking glass announced to the rest of the club that something is about to go very, very wrong. Leaving a path of destruction, I found the dressing room, threatening anyone and everyone, screaming for my accusers to show themselves. Dancers ran, screaming, scared. Another bouncer looked frantically under the bar, probably going for a gun, which apparently wasn’t there. I sent mirrors flying, the carefully arranged makeup, scattered like cockroaches in the light as I flipped over tables. Smashed lipstick resembling bloody smears littered the carpet, as  I continued my enraged foray. Confronting her I used all my control to not be rough with my angel. She boldly said, “it was the owner, Paul and his wife”. “Fucking players, they just want a threesome with you!”, I responded, knowing Paul’s intentions from the start. They had to remove me from the game, for the very reason that was now playing out, their worst nightmare, a jealous raging man, with nothing to lose. I stormed out of the dressing room, now a disaster area, and focused on finding Paul.

Going back toward the entrance, I saw him, puffed up and proud, yelling at me. I ran and grabbed him with both hands, lifting him off the ground, pinning him to wall by his neck. I drew back and was just about to punish him, when I started to calm down. If I hit him like this, I would crush his cheek bones, ruin his jaw, and screw his life up for a good amount of time. I let him down as my Angel grabbed me and pulled me to the bathroom. She had an evil grin, an excitement at all this done for her, over her. She loved it, every minute. When I heard the crackle of police radios, she smiled again “there here for you”. Yeah they were here for me. From now on, the police would come four men and two cars deep when they heard my name.