This is my psychiatrist's couch. Take from it what you will.
But do leave a note.
I still am a late middle aged former government worker marking time until the cliff.
Short Fiction, Doggerel and Insensitive Opinion are spoken here.
Every time you comment, an angel gets its wings. If you like what you see, please follow and share.
Running through thick
woods, he wondered why? Branches and
rocks littered the way, reaching up to grab and scratch his body. Feet about 25 feet behind him. Hurry up.
The fetid smell of rotted leaves and bodies ran up his nose as he jumped
a large log. The path cut sharply to the
right here and broke into a large pasture.
He heard a thump and the cursing of his stepfather as he hit the
Across the field was
an old farmhouse. As he started towards
it he wondered if there would be anyone there to help. Over toward the right was a herd of cattle
with a large bull standing guard. The
bull just stared as he came across. As
he approached the house, he could hear the clank of the shotgun. He hits the steps….
“Randi! Honey, are
you alright? Wake up. “Kari asked as she shook him. “You were yelling so loud I could hear you
over the engine. Anyway, we are at my
house. Come on. We’ll get you cleaned
Disoriented, Randi slapped out at the Geisha face. She took his cold, shaking hand gently and
kissed it. Then she put the hand back
against his chest and kissed him lightly on the lips. Another strung dude
coming off a binge. He’ll sleep it
off. Kari stood over him and rubbed his
head and arms until he calmed down. Then
she gently lifted him off the camper’s bench and on to the cracked driveway.
A forlorn structure, the house’s grey and white paint had chipped and faded over
the years. The porch looked like it covered the gate of hell. Tuning his head, Randi saw the abandoned rail
yard at the end of the street and wished there was a car he could hop. But he was too weak to even considered
escaping the grasp. A small black boy
stared as the two lost souls staggered through the door.
The living room was mess. Ashtrays were scattered around the room
unused, but the cigarette smell was everywhere.
A pack of Camels and a small Bible sat next to an easy chair, with a
sofa sitting sideways along the wall.
Strange. She wasn’t smoking last
night. No plants or indications of
animals. The house had an air of quiet
“Sit down, Sweetheart.”
Kari said “And I’ll make some tea.”
Stepping over to the sofa, a framed poster of a skull caught
his eye. “Those who live, live off the dead.”
It startled and disturbed him. He
wasn’t where he should be or wanted to be.
Can’t he just spend his time in peace?
He was part of the dead and he resented this bitch’s attempt to live off
of him. The bank across his chest
tightened. He began to cough.
Kari brought in two cups full of steaming liquid. Smiling, she handed him one.
“Sorry about the mess.
I really haven’t cleaned this place since Mom died.” She paused.
“She used to sit in that chair smoking and reading Bible and rail at all
the sin in the world. It seemed to bring
her comfort. But she couldn’t see the burning stick in her hand was just as
bad. I never did see the use for it. All I knew how to do was party. “
She flipped on the IPod and set it in the dock on the side
table. Harry Chapin’s scratchy voice
began talking about a better place to be.
A slow smile came across her face.
She looked up at Randi and it disappeared.
“You don’t look good.
Let me feel.” She touched his
head. “Lord. You are feverish. Wait here”
She came back with a towel, blanket and a couple of
“It’s all I have right now.
Let’s get you out of those wet things.”
He was too weak to
resist as the blouse and skirt disappeared.
His hairless chest shown like the sun, ribs prominently showing through
the skin. He reminded Kari of an injured
bird she had found when she was little.
She cried when it died in her hands.
Lovingly, she dried his small, naked form and wrapped the blanket around
him. The question came to her mind.
“Honey. Are you
positive?” She asked as she handed him
The cup shook in his hand.
He nodded slowly and the tears began to flow. The shame of his condition was finally
released. No longer in control of his
fate, he began to cough. She knew and
the whole world knew he was lower than dirt.
He had sinned against the world and was now paying the price. The revolting Geisha face began to waver and
the room spun.
Kari helped him drink
the warm liquid and wrapped her arms around him.
“It’s alright, Baby. I
Randi’s body convulsed.
He was more confused than ever.
“You’re safe. If it
is your time, I’ll help you there. No
one should go alone.” She began to sing to him softly.
Randi kept shaking. A
hole appeared in the floor and he could see the farmhouse again. He saw the belt in his Stepfather’s
hand. He also had a hole in his chest
where Randi had ducked the shotgun. He
relaxed a little. The end was in
sight. He was aware of the Geisha’s
soothing contralto lullaby. He turned to
see her smiling face, thankful she was there.
There was a light under the front door of the house. Better and brighter than any he had ever
seen. But his stepfather’s corpse was
there. He had to get past it to go
in. He felt the Geisha’s lips against
his own. It was the deepest, most loving
kiss he had ever known. As she loosened
her grip, he felt his wings unfold. He
looked and hers had unfolded as well.
The Angels had claimed him. Randi
flew over the body and joined the rest on the other side.
Bittersweet tears ran down Kari’s face as she finished her
duty. It wasn’t the first time she had
helped someone as the Angel of Death.
The pain of the finish was always there.
The poor and broken helped through the transition not of their own
making. After a brief prayer for the
healing of their souls, she reached for the telephone. She winced as the cramp went through
her. She went to the bathroom to
“Ladies and Gentlemen, this is your Captain speaking. We are on our final approach to Atlanta and Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. We’ll be disembarking at gate E-63. We at Delta Airlines appreciate you flying with us and we hope you will remember us for your travel needs. Please prepare for landing…”
The droning voice faded away. Bill had heard the speech too many times. Mechanically, he shut off his laptop and put it in his case. He took one last sip from the soda can and gave it to the attendant. There was weather and the view out the window was completely gray. The only indication the plane had touched down was a small bump and the high pitched whine of the reversing engines.
It had been a long trip from Gatwick. And now there were three hours to spend in the terminal before connecting to Louisville. At least he was going through Atlanta. You can actually find your way around there, compared to JFK or Newark. Traffic from Aylesbury was worse than usual. But that was still better than Heathrow, with the crowds and all of the soldiers standing around.
The text from Corporate had come whilst he was in security. There were going to be guests at the product rollout. Lovely. No indication of who they might be. He guessed it was going to one of the Chinese widget vendors. They were polite enough. But this was one of the most important presentations of his career. He didn’t need another group of people judging his performance. But he soon put that out of his mind.
The flight itself was uneventful. Six hours alternating between PowerPoints and power naps. Of course, all of this did provide a nice lifestyle. Nice detached house in the suburbs. A wife that put up with him being gone. He’d been doing it so long, that nothing ever surprised him. Weather, arguments, death. He had seen them all. He always looked on the bright side of life. The attitude just worked for him.
The attendants performed their normal routine as they pulled into the gate. They wished him a good day as he went down the gangplank and started towards Customs. He stopped a moment as he entered the concourse to get his bearings. As he walked towards the customs desk, a muffled sound came into his ears.
“This is Delta Airlines paging a Mr. Bill Henderson. Mr. Henderson, please report to the nearest gate agent. Mr. Bill Henderson...”
Really? I haven’t been on the ground three minutes and someone wants me? There was an information desk just to his right. A bored blonde woman, looking like she wished she was anywhere but there. Bill gave her his name and she handed him an envelope. Inside was a note with a new itinerary. The flight to Louisville was departing from gate T-16. T Concourse? That was all the way back at baggage claim. At least the departure time was a few minutes later.
He looked at his watch and wondered who sent it. Corporate would have just sent a text. No, this message had come from somewhere else. The agent didn’t know anything other than it had been passed along from someone at security. It probably didn’t matter. There was something else in the envelope. A printed sheet of paper with his name and what looked like a credit card account number. No other explanation. Corporate must be up to games again. He shrugged his shoulders and ambled over to Customs.
The Customs agent was an affable fellow. Bill handed the bag and itinerary over. The agent smiled through the talk and grope session, returning the bag none the worse for wear. There was an agent with drugs dog that was casually strolling through the crowd. On a prior trip, he witnessed a rather scruffy fellow taken away after the mutt sat down beside his bag. Apparently that was the signal for the arrest. No such drama this time.
Bill moved on towards the people mover to the T concourse. The sleek tube was cleaner than any subway he had ever used. Fellow travelers stared blankly toward the center, only moving when their stop is reached. A detached feminine voice announced the stops.
“We are approaching terminal D. Please stay seated until the mover comes to a complete stop. Please check to see you have your belonging before you exit…”
His fellow travelers flowed off then on the tube as the doors opened and closed. Bill thought about how many times this was repeated during a typical day. So many people going different places and most of them have no idea where they want to go.
This repeated until they reached the T Concourse. As he was exiting, he noticed a woman holding a baby. She was holding a piece of paper similar to his. He wondered if she was going to be on the same flight. The thought of a baby crying, even on such a short hop, made him wince. He decided not to say anything.
Finally, they reached the correct concourse. Stepping on to the main escalator, he tried to think which way he needed to go. At the top was a sign saying: T8-15 to the left, T1-7 to the right. He looked down at his paper. It definitely said T-16. A chill went through him. Something wasn’t right. It must be over by T15, right?
As he approached T-15, he noticed a door on the hall opposite the gate. T-16 was posted in small letters. Bill paused a moment. He knew that most of the solid doors were secured areas. As he was standing there, the woman with the baby opened the door and disappeared inside. It must be the gate. He pulled the door and went inside.
The gate agent here was a small man. His uniform coat looked to be about two sizes too large. He reached out his hand.
Bill handed it over. The agent nodded and gestured to his right.
“Have a seat over there and we’ll be calling for boarding shortly. “
The chairs in this section were plush leather. Very similar to what was in the Crown Clubs. The ones on the other side of the room looked like broken benches. Looking at the paper, there wasn’t a departure time listed and the destination had disappeared. Another chill came over him. He was going to get up to say something when the gate agent came over the speaker:
‘Good evening, Ladies and Gentlemen and welcome to Saint Peter airlines. Most of you have checked in and have had your flights assigned. But as a reminder, flyers to my right, your left. Your flight to Heaven will be departing in ten minutes. For those on my left, the flight to Hades has been delayed. And as always, we thank you for letting us interrupt your destiny.”