Write Everything.

I found myself in a bit of a jam the other day. I knew I had to write, but I couldn’t find a voice or tone to use. My topics all seemed petty, my vocabulary was dower, and everything seemed wrong. So: I just wrote anyway.

The result? I wrote a script. Not a good one, but it did loosen up areas of insight in my mind. It seemed to be the concept that was drowning my thoughts and not allowing me to continue to write different things.

I will admit: it’s loosely based on a real conversation I had with someone. It paints “me” in a rather pretentious light and her in a horribly arrogant one. I enjoy it, but also acknowledge that it’s very poor in quality. I will be releasing it in the new year under the anewsinPublishing banner because I don’t like to hold anything back.

That brings me to the idea I want to put out there. I am a firm believer in that whatever comes to mind should be written down. That includes if it’s bad. Just get thoughts out there. I find myself stuck on, what feels like, nothing for days on end. I have a document on my desktop full of half-stories that will probably never see the light of day. I just need to get them out, then my brain is no longer full of stupid and generic shit.

Oh! I should mention that it’s my birthday on the 12th! I will be posting my usual masterbatory BIRTHDAY message then vanish for the remainder of the year, like I always do. I’m not entirely sure if it’s going to go the same way that it has in the past, though. I have “foam” coming out on the first, which I am stoked on finally releasing to everyone. I also have a couple applications for things that I want to address as soon as any sort of result comes from them.

It’s starting to be Christmas season once again. Please, consider donating to my Patreon so I can afford to give my wife something nice and my pets food. Even a dollar means the world!

Epic {ANEWSIN VOL.10 — Jason Garden}

//Edited by Luka Riot

Michael was having a normal day.

He had to work at his retail job for eight hours: so his break was dealing with his girlfriend at the house, texting him constantly about how useless he was. To top off his fantastic day, his band was without a concert for the next few weeks.

…it sounds, when written down, worse than he believed it to be…

He enjoyed his life. This is where he was happy, and he felt accomplished to have two albums out in his early twenties. The slacker life suited him just fine.

His store was on the main road in the city he resided in. He worked full-time in a music store. He got to pretend that people know more about music than him, meanwhile he was secretly judging them and their choices. It was separate from the local mall, but its proximity makes it easy to run up to the ‘building full of shit-no-one-needs’ for a bad meal of fast food. He made this run often. It was cheap, and only tasted a bit of failure and hate. If he made good time, he could get the fresh fries!

Today was different.

He peered into a store where his friend worked to see if he could bother them. He was confronted by the most beautiful girl he had ever seen. Her eyes cut through the miasma of bodies and clothing. He was stunned into shock-induced stillness.

“Hey Mike, good to see you!” The vixen raised a hand to wave coyly, as if she knew who he was, but was unsure if she was right. Knowing his name was the easy part for most. He did not know why.

Michael was tripped up, but was still able to reply with a friendly wave. His eyes darted around the strangely shaped store to see if his friend was there for a social bumper.

“Oi! Mike! How ya doin’ ya ol’ so and so!” clamoured Jake. Mike felt better.

“Jake! What’s up?” He pretended that he missed the siren’s call and headed right for Jake.

“Dude, who the fuck is that and how do we know each other?” Michael keeps his voice as low as he could. “Do we know each other?” His tone was serious, despite the smile he kept on his face to erase suspicion.

“You fool. That’s Mary! You guys hung out at that ska show the other day.” Jake picked up on Michael’s body language and kept smiling as well. His tone, however, conveyed a guise of disbelief and disgust.

Mary was making sure a pile of shirts were in order.

“Dude. She’s fucking beautiful. How the fuck do I not remember her? Was I drunk?” Michael asked, dropping the bravado charade and allowing the frown he was concealing to come through.

Jake looked angry, but kept his calm. “No. You are just an idiot.” He then walked away. “Hey! Mary! Go say hi to Mike!”

Mary gestured that she will when she was done cleaning the stack of shirts she was fiddling with. Michael looked for anything sharp or heavy to throw at Jake. He had hoped to get a little background. He was truly disturbed that he had forgotten someone so beautiful. He was also upset with himself that he was betrothed to another.

It’s not cheating if there is no physical contact. If it’s nothing but a fantasy with a girl you will probably never see again. Nah. She’s probably super stupid or something. Why else would I forget a face like that?

Mary launched into conversation quickly. She was working, after all: customer service made you become social. “How are you, Mike? It’s good to see ya again!”

Michael hated that he did not remember her. She had the biggest blue eyes, and a small scar under her right eye that just added to the mystery of her aura. Her voice was high and small to match her stature. Her hair was long and blonde. Her perfume was strong but not overwhelming.

You’re dating someone, you fool! Just say hello and walk away. Do NOT get her number. Do NOT compliment her. And, for Christ sake, do NOT invite her out for coffee.

Mary carried on the conversation, ignoring the fact that Michael had not said two words. She’s fucking good at her job! Mike thought to himself

“I’m done at 4. Want to go to that cafe that just opened downtown? It’s a bit far from my house, but that coffee chain that’s closer to mine has no idea how to brew coffee.” Mary asked while starting on another stack of shirts.

“YES!” Michael blurted out before even thinking about the ramifications of what was going on. “I have wanted to go to that place for the last little bit, finally I have an excuse!”

(SHOEHORN IN HONESTY, MIKE)

“My girlfriend keeps saying that we’ll go, but we never do. She also says that my band doesn’t suck, but every time we have a show, she has to work. Mysterious, right? Like, if you don’t like it, that’s fine. You need to stab someone before fixing the issue. If you never stab in the first place, it’s just hiding your end. They know. Of course, I’m ‘they’ in this poorly conceived metaphor.”

The words spilled unceremoniously out of Mike’s mouth before he could think about them. He almost wanted to hand Mary a raft to keep afloat of all the ridiculous things he said.

…a good portion of that didn’t even make sense… Mike thought to himself before Mary could reply. He wanted to hide.

“Wow. Bit of a ramble there. You okay?” Mary still had a smile on her face, but it was more the ‘customer service grin’ as opposed to a human emotion at this point.

Michael sighed. “Yeah. I’m fine. Just had a rough couple of days.”

Mary’s posture softened. “Well, let’s do coffee and you can tell me all about it.”

On that note, a customer walked up and whisked Mary away before Michael could reject the offer.

“I’ll be right there, sir! Mike, we’ll talk soon.”

She turns to look at Michael one last time before walking away. “If it means anything, I really like your band. Different for around here. It’s a nice change of pace.” Then, she vanished behind a stack of merchandise.

Fuck you. Thinks Michael. Of course, the world hands me perfection while I have too many demons to deal with as is.

“So Mike, do you work today?” Jake asks, seeming to appear from the racks of clothing. He startled Michael, who had long since assumed that Jake was off doing his job.

“Yeah. I go back in about thirty minutes or so. Just taking a break from my customers to see yours.” Michael tries his best not to look rattled by the sudden human in his vicinity. “Do you care to join me for a smoke outside?”

“HAH!” Jake replies, his volume far too inappropriate for the surroundings. “Dude: last thing I need is another session of you pining over some girl that you have met at the wrong time and everything is out to get you blah blah blah..”

“I can’t decide whether or not I feel hurt by said implication.” Michael bowed his head in despair. Half as a joke, half in earnest. Was he that predictable?

“Thinking about how predictable you are, aren’t you?” Jake pokes the bear. “I also bet that you are going to get a coffee, have a smoke, then head back into work.”

Michael stands still for a moment, face emotionless.

“Jake:” Michael pulls out a cigarette and starts heading for the entrance of the store. “Fuck yourself.”

He pats Jake on the back as he heads past him. He was too focused on the fact that he accidentally got a coffee… not date… later that week. The concept was almost too much to handle, and Michael felt guilty about the whole idea.

You know; Michael thinks to himself. If I actually felt like this was a bad move, I would just leave my girlfriend. He puts the cigarette in his mouth to hold it until he got out of the building.

If I was a good person, I would probably realize that I am shooting myself in the foot. I would probably realize that this is a bad move.

Something different for everyone. Much less depressing and dystopian. This story is dedicated to my best friend, Shannon. Check out my other works. PLEASE consider supporting me on Patreon.

The Moments Prior

I fucking hate the day before I release a project. The release tomorrow (Epic), though different for me, is probably my best work to date. No one dies, there is no mention of a loss of anything but individuality and the illusion of choice. I should clarify that, the illusion of an illusion. I am putting way too much into a few words and phrases.

I believe in “Death of the Author.” By that, I mean that a piece of work should stand on its own. I think the author should butt out of any release they make. Future explanation and definition means that you were ambiguous with what you were trying to say. That may have been your intent, but leaving something open with the assumption that you can explain if someone doesn’t understand is just bad writing.

(I am aware that I am using only one interpretation of that phrase. Let’s talk about it if you think I am wrong in feeling the way I do, or if you just do not appreciate my use of a term out of proper definition.)

That is why I tend towards short tales as opposed to full novels. I get great enjoyment out of writing something and having people pine for either further explanation or a grander world. This contradicts my enjoyment of the death-of-the-author trope, but I enjoy ambiguity. I have expanded on “Martha.” and “The Above” and will probably not release them for a very long time.

Please, feel free to ask me questions regarding a work or a theme. I will answer to the best of my ability. I won’t even be a dick about it: I will answer honestly and without pretension. What I would like to see is everyone who is reading something get together and discuss what it meant to them. I want to see everyones interpretation of what I’m doing.

Anyway, big release tomorrow! I am very excited to share it with the world. Hopefully I will have other big news this week, but that might be the last you hear of anything in that vain forever.

Meet The Editor

A little while ago, you may remember that I hired Luka to do editing on some of the ansP stuff (starting here). What you may not know is that I have known Luka for over 15 years and consider her to be my best friend.

She is one of the only people that I trust implicitly and one of the few that actually challenges me on pretty well everything. Before I met her, I thought my grammar was okay, my HTML skills were adequate, and my music knowledge was rarely tasked. Luka fucked it all up by being far better than I in every regard.

She also owns Hellhound Fashion, works under Therianthropic & Co. and has always made fantastic costumes, jewelry, and trinkets.

Her dog, Maila, is beautiful and loving. I miss hanging out with that beast very much.

Anyway, that’s all I’m going to write about Luka. Cannot do too much before I start diving down a rabbit hole of stories. Trust me: NONE OF US WANT THAT. We have over 15 years of bullshit I can dig up.

OH! I should mention that I pay Luka on a gradient based on Patreon donations. 10% on what I receive every month goes towards paying her rent and making sure her dog is fed. I would love to do more, but I have similar pressures that I need to maintain. Plus, she said she would yell at me if I dared to do more.

Why Blog?

Alternative name for this post was “Why Write?” but I feel like the answer to that is too broad but can still be answered very easily (I have to to get the demons out). For now, I will stick to this topic, because it’s easier to answer and less etherial.

As everyone is no doubt sick of hearing me harp on about, I got sick in 2013. Equally harped about is how I died at least twice, once made very public. I have mentioned how over 100 people showed up to say their goodbyes, to which I am overwhelmed and elated by the show of support for both me and my family. That event really is what got me started on this journey, though. I was both trying to figure out my standpoint on the whole event, and explaining it to everyone. It is nice having a place I can get someone to read a more structured version of the events as opposed to my trying to ramble my way through.

Now, for the less structured explanation. I have to write. I have to do something artistic. It’s like a knife driving into my brain. To relieve the pressure, I need to do something. So, I write. The book came together by accident, and I realize that I enjoyed going down that path.

Another thing it gives me is (at least an illusion of) a voice. I can say things in a public forum and have ways to get feedback. I have, in the past, only received feedback in semi-private areas like FaceBook or Twitter. I always apreciate comments and I hope that, one day, a conversation about the topic I just brought up can happen.

If what I write is not comedy that day, it is meant as a conversation starter. I try to bring up topics to create dialogue. Often, I see the topics as (at the very least) personal issues that people would appreciate discussing. I moderate every comment as to prevent ass-hattery. By that, I don’t mean if someone disagrees with whatever. Just comments like “LAWL YOUR SAD” or whatever because they can be unneeded.

For as much as I write about it, I don’t choose ventures that make money. First music, now writing. I am the worst bread-winner.

Regardless, I am enjoying writing the more blog situation. I get the freedom to express anything I want, and you people choose to read it! Good Lord, you’re all strange…

Jeremy {ANEWSIN VOL. 9 — Jason Garden}

//Edited by Luka Riot

Jeremy rolls over in bed, legs and arms sore. His head still misty from his day prior. The sun has started rolling its beams of light through the window. His blinds do little against the cascade of morning light.

His dog, Tidus, barks and whimpers at the foot of the bed. Tidus is making it very clear that he wants to go outside, and requires someone with thumbs to make that a reality. Jeremy, however, refuses to donate his thumbs. This is a day that he wants little to do with.

The night before had been busy. Jeremy was in charge of making sure that business went well in his department. His department, in this instance, was being a decoy. The plots were not nefarious, or he did not think so. He was to distract onlookers, security, and anyone else who would otherwise tamper with what the event planner was concocting in the background. Usually, it was just harmless tagging or some superficial defacing of a government monument.

Last night was different.

The original plan, from what Jeremy was told, was to simply tag a wall. Victimless crime, more or less. The wall in question was erected to celebrate the corporation coming to power over the citizens in the area. The actual takeover was quiet, and the corporation did little to be considered corrupt. Their intentions actually seemed to be for the greater good, and most people were happy.

Keyword: most.

The economy was swapped from a monetary focus to that of a point-based system. If you had x-amount of points, you were just given things to keep your life at a certain comfort. You could work your way up to a higher echelon, but it was very easy to falter. To make it less fair, faltering could be against your will.

Disability, mental health, and region swapping. These were just three ways that things could turn in a heart beat. If you were walking down the street, and were stricken down by something resulting in a broken back, you would go onto some sort of recovery program set up by the state. If you were high in the ranks of society, you could expect a shift in your day-to-day, but that is about it. If, God forbid, you were in the lower tier, you could assume that everything you knew or held dear would come crashing down around you. Not only would you lose everything that made you feel human, but you would actually be forced to depend on things that are in place to hinder progression.

So, what was Jeremy doing? He was working with a group that wanted to raise awareness of the practice of this corporation. He was to run interference with the forces that would stop any sort of progress the rest of the group would be making with the wall. He was told that they were just spray painting and generally defacing the exterior which points towards the masses. He was to ride his wheelchair up and down the street, asking for help opening doors and crossing roads. The kinds of things that people assumed that people needed when they were as broken as he appeared to be.

His evening was going well, until he heard the blasts.

Two explosions rang out over the otherwise calm night. Jeremy was not harmed by debris flying through the air, nor by any glass erupting from storefronts. It was the cascade of panicked humans who forgot any compassion and pushed him out of the way. He hit the ground, his chair one full metre from his body. It had fallen onto the side, which made it cumbersome to right. All of this would have been a non-issue if it happened in the safety of Jeremy’s house; streets being pounded by hundreds of people is hard to prepare for.

No one offered to help him. It took the better part of an hour to right himself, and that was after many failed attempts.

That was a brief overview of what Jeremy had to deal with last night. Today was a new day, but that fact does not mend his sore muscles. Mend his joints from the forces they were not used to. Mend his already fragile ego from feeling dejected and used.

Tidus barks, and pulls Jeremy out of the fog his mind was in. Jeremy needed to let the dog out. In that moment he figured that keeping his head to one plan at a time was better than circling a drain of remembrance and rerouting. What was done is done, and no matter his roll, he could not change a thing.

Jeremy transferred into his wheelchair and rolled towards the patio door, all the while making sure that Tidus is behind him. He opened the door for the dog, who thanks him with a playful snort in his direction. Closing the door, Jeremy lazily rolled towards the kitchen. Coffee is the only thing that he craves. He places the cup under a filter and drains water through the beans. The whole process takes about five minuets, in which time Tidus makes it clear that he is ready to come inside.

He places the mug full of the hot coffee between his knees and rolls over to open the door. As expected, he is greeted by the big, slobbering face of his best friend. Less expected was the bullet travelling right over the head of Tidus and between the eyes of Jeremy. It appears that he was marked – that he was made the scape-goat for the entire operation.

The coffee cup crashes to the concrete and brown liquid graces his spokes. Tidus gets upset and ducks his head down as he scampered away.

#vss365

For starters, thanks for waiting. Between moving and changing auto-payments, I would have nothing to update about. Things are calming down a bit now, so: here I am!

I have been doing this thing every day over on my Twitter. It’s fun and challenging. I tend to use the prompts for morbid rambling which actually find an audience.

(An audience is something I rarely have.)

I am writing this after only completing four, but I will share all of what I have done at the end of the year.

Why the wait? I am lazy. I am too busy to figure out a way to display them right now. I am moving. Pick an excuse, I promise that it’s right.

If you have a Twitter, you should follow me. I know that I have the widget thingy somewhere on this site, but I have not directed eyes that way. I don’t spam updates. It only gets updated (automatically) when I post something, and otherwise it’s when I think of something really witty and no one is around to hear.

Now, the update schedule includes these vss365 posts.

I need reasons to update my Twitter more. Using it as a play-by-play for my day sounds boring. Most updates would be “sitting in a wheelchair #relatable” or something like that. I treat my social media with a similar discretion that I do this site. I tend to only update with things that I think are “important” for people to read. On my FaceBook, I do post more about politics and religion with no assumption that anyone will take my opinion to heart. I also post a lot about the music I am currently digesting because that is something I, personally, find very important.

Speaking of which, do you remember Touché Amoré? I just gave their album “Parting the Sea Between Brightness and Me” another spin and I remember why I love this art. The most powerful lyrics I have heard in a very long time that any touring musician can relate to. Give it a listen, and bask in the bleak (yet strangely beautiful) portrait they paint.

[Something cool happened yesterday. More later]

New book idea

I have been working on a new project for a while now. I have a non-traditional idea for my next publication that would make everything more natural for me, but I am still unclear on how it’s going to scan.

I have an idea of compiling my short stories into a print function. I have a few dozen more that I didn’t publish on this site, and I have about a dozen or so that I am currently writing.

The really intriguing part for me will be how next month is received. The plan I have right now is to have a story, then put a fact instead of a title.

My end goal is 100,000 words, so at 1500 words a story, I will have to put almost 100 stories to print. Is that too much? Am I keeping things too short? Should I just stick to what I am doing?

To be clear, I am not going to be pulling the stories already published on this site. I also plan on releasing stories from time to time to keep both Patreons and the public happy. As far as depressing facts go, I can generate literally thousands of them.

I should probably explain why those are important. I think it is equal parts humbling and important to realize just how fragile life and happiness is. I feel it is important to normalize how hideous times can be as a kind of preparation for when (not if) things go sideways. Life is amazing. It can be equal parts beautiful and horrible, and at our darkest it can be next to impossible to see the light. The flip of that is that people tend to forget just how dark things can be, and they get stuck into the sludge when it comes to the forefront.

Martha {ANEWSIN VOL. 6 — Jason Garden}

The journey continues into the cold, empty void of space. Martha’s voyage takes her far beyond the scope of what we have explored.

She leaves another mark faintly with a pencil on the metal of the cockpit wall. One for every 24 hours she is contained in this cage.

Space is a horrible place to be left alone. She started this voyage in hopes of finding someone, or something. When traveling at 95 percent the speed of light with no objects nearby, one loses track of everything: speed, direction, purpose and reason. Her metal sarcophagus continues to drift through the great beyond.

“Just remember that your mission is knowledge for the masses. Not recognition. Not praise. ‘The noblest pleasure is the joy of understanding.’ You can do this.” Martha keeps repeating this to herself under her breath. She is alone with her thoughts. It would cost the agency too much to send anyone else on such a journey.

Recon and Discovery. That was her only criteria for the mission. She knew that it sounded too easy to be a good thing. One would imagine that sitting in front of flashing lights and knobs for hours would be the furthest thing from mentally taxing, but that is far from the case. There are times when she cannot remember not staring at them. There is a disconnection between reality and dreams. Just the other day, for instance, she saw everything go wrong: lights lit up warning of hull breaches and oxygen leaks. It was just a dream. She awoke to a completely ordinary spread in front of her.

Martha took this position with the promise of discovery, she took the job in spite of her dreams of reading over ancient texts discussing the possibilities of dragons. She wanted to better everyone, or at least she thought she did. She had to keep reminding herself that this was all to better the human race.

“The noblest pleasure is the joy of understanding. You’re a fucking hero.” She was starting to question her beliefs.

It was clear at one time why she took this torch. She wanted to find something new in this vast universe. She could not believe that we are all alone. It would not make sense. She has been in the metal sarcophagus for over 100,000 hours so far, and found nothing. To assume that she would find the same in the next 100,000 hours is insanity.

She wasn’t expecting something as advanced as the human race. The idea of a civilization as developed as us in the same ways seems arrogant. The only way that could be possible is if there was some sort of agreement that we would remain ignorant on purpose, because we are a snapshot of evolution. She could not fathom that to be true for this long, unless it hasn’t been long in the grand scheme of everything.

We are just arrogant enough to think 300,000 or so years is impressive. Martha dwells on her view of the situation and realizes the irony in her declaration of arrogance.

Just then, the console lights start flashing. It is just like in her dreams. Martha feels the surge of sweat beads pouring from her brow as she scrambles to react to every warning. Then, something she was not expecting: the front window opens slowly to reveal a launch command centre.

“Martha.” A man with a name tag that reads Jacob is speaking loudly to get her attention. “Martha, you’re okay.”

The lights are bright. She is in a large metal panel room. For a moment, she wonders if this is what happens after death. Martha is faced with her own mortality for the first time that she can remember.

“Okay, she’s not calming down. We need a debriefing team here on the…” Jacob was mid sentence when Martha’s brain shut down.

When she comes to, Martha is in some sort of hospital room with only “Jacob” by her side, sitting on a white stool.

“What happened?” Martha massages her face with her hands. “Where am I?”

“That was a simulation, Martha.” Jacob starts to talk disregarding her condition. “That was the seventh one that you have been a part of. We tried something different, remember? The last one was too muddled with delusions flashing back to prior events, so you went into this with your mind blanked.” Jacob’s voice is calm and he is doing everything he can to be deliberate with his words.

“Why would I agree to that? None of this makes sense, and it seems unnecessary.” Martha could feel rage building inside of her. She felt as if she has been tricked. She felt like this “trial” was just a financial burden on the agency, and a mental burden on her.

Jacob did not say a word and swiftly pulled a recorder from his pocket and pressed play.

“This is Martha. I understand that my mind will be cleared in hopes of bettering the practice. This recording is to be presented to me if I question the practice when I wake up.”

“That was you just the other day.” Jacob said with a slight of empathy in his voice. “The idea was yours. We all thought it brilliant! We did see the flaws, however. So we asked you to make this tape to prove the procedure to yourself in the event you would need to.”

Martha leaned back into the pillow and locked her eyes to the ceiling.
“If we’re done for now, I’d like to sleep.”

“Of course.” Jacob got out of the chair, nodded his head, and turned towards the door. He stopped. “I just want to tell you, because you may not remember me saying it before, but I am honoured to be working with you.”

Jacob shut the door behind him. Martha’s head started to fill with ideas and worries that were not answered so far.

I know of this time, but is this the first time? How many times have I been in through that procedure? What is the mission even about?

Martha’s eyes welled with tears as she thought of the most daunting of all of the ideas.

Did any of that happen? Or was I just told that it happened?

I am proud to announce that this was edited by the amazing Luka Riot! Because of fantastic donors over at Patreon, I am able to employ her for ansP editing. I hope her and I work together for a long time.

You’re Not Dead ch.3 : Home {ANEWSIN VOL. 5 — Jason Garden}

Cambridge.

The Hero spent the majority of his life loafing around the centres of that city, and he loathed that place very much.

It was horribly arrogant, and had little reason to be.

Oh: it was pretty. It was at the intersection of two rivers, and forests lined the banks of the water. That was, however, being destroyed in attempts to make everything more commercial. More “convenient” for residents and tourists alike.

Forrest were destroyed at a rapid pace. Rivers were exploited for their eye-candy, and ironically treated horribly during their exploitation.

He was brought into Cambridge Memorial Hospital. It was explained to him that this was his second time inside that building since his journey started. He cannot remember the first time.

He finds that haunting – wrong almost. He feels like the month before he fell into a coma was narrated by someone else, but he still acted out the conclusions of his actions. He was left to wonder: did he really mean everything his husk did?

The first room he was placed into was a grand size (or at least he thought it was). He had two other roommates, which was something he was very not accustomed to.He had been kept in solitary rooms until this point in his journey. They kept to themselves. He never did hear much regarding their stories.

The one guy was about ten years the Hero’s senior. He seemed very sick and was quarantined several times in the week they shared that room. The other gentleman was much older: probably in his 60s. The younger gentleman had a few visitors, mostly friends and family, that seemed to come on an almost daily schedule. The older patron had, what the Hero assumed, a wife that came when she could. She came out to be a healthy amount, but the man was left alone more often than not.

There was a sense that whatever the older man was in the hospital for was acute and he would be out in time. The Hero had the feeling it would not be to his house, but at least back into society.

Not so much with the other gentleman. The Hero wished he knew what was wrong. He was under quarantine most of the time.

This was all just speculation made by the Hero, however.

The nursing staff was horrible. They were clearly overworked.

Or they were just incredibly apathetic.
Or they were just horribly stupid.

One such nurse seemed to mean well, but would just say and do all the wrong things.

The Hero was reminded of that person who would be in your high school class that, no matter how right or wrong she was, you would just cringe with every noise she made. She would always speak to everyone else in the room, and talk to the Hero as if he was a child.

He wanted to tell her off. He wanted to remind her that he was human.

He still could not speak.

The Hero was visited several times by his friends Shannon and Ryan. He loved them both very much, and was glad every time he saw their faces. They would crack jokes at everything they could, and kept everyone in good spirits. Shannon, in particular, has been a friend of the family for many years. Her presence was greatly appreciated by the present company.

During one visit from the pair, the Nasal Gastric tube that was in the Hero was bothering him.

A Nasal Gastric tube is a tube that travels through a nose, down a throat, and creates a clear path between a face and a stomach. It is used to administer medications and some paste that is meant to pass for food.

It was annoying and obstructive. there was a chance that, if he got food into his mouth somehow, he would choke and die.

The Hero still did not have movement in any part of his arms. So, in pathetic attempts and whimpers, he gestured towards removing it. The nurse he did not like refused on multiple occasions.

“It’s necessary.” She would harp without further explanation. This statement was usually followed by a sharp turn to anyone else and disregard for any further attempt at communication made by the Hero.

The Hero hated her so much.

Shannon noticed how uncomfortable the tube made the Hero immediately. Carefully, she removed it. The Hero could feel the plastic rubbing against the inside of his throat, which was mildly uncomfortable. The hated nurse stood and watched as the tube came out.

She waited for the tube to be fully removed before making her presence known.

“WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!” The nurse shrieked as loud as she could. It was piercing. “DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOU HAVE DONE?!”

She ripped the tube from Shannon’s hand and grumbled as she left the room. Funny enough, the Hero never saw her after that. He hoped that event caused some sort of hammer to be brought from on high to get her in trouble. He kept wishing she would just stick her head in and apologize so he could refuse her existence entirely, but he never wanted to see her again.

The Hero was moved around the hospital often. He had a constant worry that something would vanish, and stuff did, but nothing important ever got left behind.

He did loose a stuffed toy that his friends Chrissy and Adam had given him. It was a Narwhale. He was fantastic, and the Hero was not above admitting that. Yes, it was juvenile, but he breathed through a machine. The Hero doubted that anyone would give him a hard time right now.

The exact time or place that went missing is unknown. The Hero assumed that is had been gone since he left Toronto.

The hospital in Cambridge, though close to friends and family, was lonelier than his solitary room in Toronto. The fanfare of his survival has subsided, and he was reduced to spending much of his time alone.

To be clear, he did have a few visitors, but not as many as he would have liked.

He felt selfish. He knew that it must have been far from entertaining to talk to a lifeless lump, but he still wanted someone to talk at him. Yet, day after day, he was left alone with nothing interrupting all of his thoughts.

***

The medical staff decided that he needed what they referred to as a “PLEX” about a week or two days or a few hours after he got there.

PLEX is the removal of the Plasma from his blood followed by its reintroduction within seconds. It is kind of like a blood transfusion mixed with a blood cleaning. The Hero did not quite understand, but he was in no position to object.

Another needle: after what the Hero had been through, he was far from afraid.

He should have been.

He still did not know his age and barely knew his name.

On a winter afternoon, or day, or night, or morning, the Hero was wheeled across the hospital. It was quiet, and the wing he was brought to was relatively empty. He was deposited into a room where he waited for the specialist.

The Hero was in and out of conscious during the whole ordeal. After all was said and done, he was assured that he missed little, but the following he remembered all too well.

The PLEX required a major artery. They went through the Hero’s jugular. For the uneducated, that is the major artery in the neck.

Surprise!
The Hero had feeling there.

He really wished he did not have feeling there.

After the piercing of flesh, the machine turned on. Out of view of the Hero, the machine made stereotypical machine sounds: a constant buzzing and whirling permeated the room with a great weight and volume.

The needle hurt. Even after all of his piercings and two tattoos, the needle was the worst pain the Hero had ever felt. That time he broke his ankle was preferable to this. It was probably not five inches long, but you could have fooled the him.

There was a sharp sting as they pierced the flesh in his neck. He stayed conscious, but just barely. Everyone involved looked incredibly bored, like it was just another day at the office.

The nurses, who were normally smiling, had faces of stone. His mother could do nothing but hold his hand and reassure him that everything would be over soon. His brother remained stoic in the corner of the room.

He was completely unaware of how long the procedure actually took, but it felt like an eon.

People swear the room was well lit. It was in a hospital, and they have very sterile lights that light the corners with uniform persuasion.

He remembered it as a dull grey room full of hate, despair, and pain.

The sounds from the machine coupled with the long shaft of metal in his neck probably altered his view on the situation slightly.

“Why me? Why now?” He thought to himself while trying to distract himself from the pain. The whole thing was horrible. He wanted to scream out. All he could manage was darting eyes from corner to corner of the ceiling while tears were streaming from his eyes.

This was horrible.

He already had a blood transfusion back in Toronto.Apparently, he has a very rare blood type for no good reason. His mother is A+. His father is A-. His brother is A+. The Hero, for some reason, is O-. Less than 7% of the world population is O-.

The first donation of blood came to him because that night a man died in a motor vehicle accident. Not ideal, but it came at the eleventh hour, apparently. He was in the coma at the time, and heard the story from a doctor who was having a particularly bad day. The blood donation involved with the “PLEX” came in a similar fashion: someones death.

Now: he could claim to be a new man, and mean it! He died twice, he had the blood of at least two other people in his veins. This came with new responsibilities, however. Now, he felt the burden, of not only being the best he can be for him, but of also the best for everyone involved in his life. He was given a second and third chance.

Finally, the machine wound down, the needle was removed and he was set free. The nurses moved the Hero from where they were doing the operation back to his room. Luckily for him, his bed had wheels. This meant that he never had to try to hobble down halls or be awkwardly placed into a wheelchair. He could not help but feel a twisted sense relief in this situation.

Back to his corner of the world, surrounded by a thin curtain. He laughed at its existence. It was supposed to somehow guard against infectious diseases and viruses. The Hero could make shapes of people out through the pale yellow veil it cast in the room. The curtains did nothing to inhibit light from outside gracing the corners of his bed.

It was around this time that he was fit with a (temporary) wheelchair. Hospital grade, it gave him some sort of mobility. He still could not move his arms, legs, or neck. He still could not speak. The Hero still did not know what was actually going on, even though he had heard the stories, and every time he has to remember they are about him.

I thought that I would share parts of the rewrite of You’re Not Dead. Please support me on Patreon. Donating $3 or more a month will allow you to see the parts that I have not made available to the public. There are, at time of writing this, two additional parts of the story I have completed.

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