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At The Track

The PA system crackled.  The walk-around was complete.  Those in the stands clung onto their tickets tightly. They had that that hopeful glow all about them.  There’s always something magical about horseracing. The Gamblers, while most would leave the track with far less money than they had before arriving, each and all, had the possibility to hit it big, and that was what kept each of them coming back.  This was what made the anticipation so great.

 

The Announcer started rattling off each horse:  A Ghost Named Rain….Therefore, Contagious…Marty’s Martian Landlord…Felicity’s Dancing Dominatrix…Mike’s Vulgar Rainbow…Somewhere over the Backstop….Dream, Dream Patchwork Innocence and Sweet Cake and Rum to round out the field.

Eight chances to cross the finish line Win, Place or Show…

 

The Starting gun was pointed…shot…and they were off.

 

Marty’s Martian Landlord pulled up lame just moments after the quarter-mile.  Sweet Cake and Rum, the odds on favorite, was lagging bad.  Neither would be claiming victory this night, taking their 4 to 1 and 2 to 1 odds with them respectively.

 

Six remained and the odds increased.

 

Therefore Contagioushad five strides between his back shoe and A Ghost Named Rain, who was followed closely by Mike’s Vulgar Rainbow, Felicity’s Dancing Dominatrix and Dream, Dream Patchwork Innocence.   Following the pack, just a few strides back, was the other 4 to 1 horse, Somewhere Over the Backstop.

 

Dirt kicked up high.  Faces strained in the stands.  Three separated themselves, leaving hope to balance out over the final section of track.

 

Sweat was dripping from brows about…yelling,”C’mon, C’mon” and the like, phrases heard easily a thousand times over in a little over a minutes time…

 

In the end…Mike’s Vulgar Rainbow Won, Therefore, Contagious Placed and Dream, Dream Patchwork Innocence Showed.  80 to 1, 65 to 1 and 9 to 1 respectively

 

This Big White-Haired man screamed some reveling words and fainted flat over the bleacher seats…

 

“Paramedics, Paramedics,” a gangly, weasel looking of a man shouted loudly…seconds before he pried the winning trifecta from the old man’s pudgy finger and thumb.

 

I tried setting things straight, but nobody would listen….I felt bad, but at least I had a really nice Show.

The Hit

My cousin Daphne, a real lost soul that one is, yet, I can’t really think that with a straight face now can I. Shit, I guess I can…I, done so much worse now, hadn’t I. Anyhow, she saw me take out Jimmy the Snitch. It wasn’t planned to go down like it did, that’s for sure. But there I was, cleaning up and who walks by the motel room, yep Daphne. Kind of funny actually, there I am knee deep in bone and blood and she’s standing there in some fishnet tramp suit, lipstick smeared and all, just sitting there and watching me. What do I do, I start yelling and screaming at here, threatening to tell her ma what a whore her little girl turning out to be. That’s when she said, “go head call Ma, but just to make things fair, you do, I hit 911,” touché was all I could come up with.

Now, not that you all gonna shed no tear for me or anything, but I’m trying to get this blood out the carpet and she’s going on and on about how much I make, how’d I learn, any openings….blah, blah, blah…so I said, “if you wanna learn go find a mop or something”

So that’s how my cousin daphne switched careers. Guess, in a way, was fortunate for her. That was her last John, while two days later that trick killer started his slash-dance through slutsville, hitting all the local dives, including that fine establishment she was just at.

So, Daphne aint’ the best yet, nah, not nearly, and she’s a bit too ambitious too. I keep nittin at her to slow things down, go spend some time in the alleys picking off the bums, perfecting craft and all, but she wants the greenbacks. The other night took her on a gig wit’ me, east side, big Eye-Tal-Yan spot, lots of good fellas and guidos around, enough hair gel to start a fire, a really damned big one too. Joey Clack Clack Do-Re-Mi, sometin like that, he was this big fat shit who runs numbers for Bobby Biscuit, who was the target. But the thing is, no one seen Biscuit for months, been hiding out low, running real intricate shit, coded messages and only clack clack and Tony Talladega, they the only two that seen him, and been at a different spot each night too…so figure we’d catch a ride with Clack Clack.

You see, I heard it was pay-up night for Clacks, and knowing Biscuit like I do, figured he’d still be keepin up on his accounts, so like I figured, the call came in and old clack-clack got up off his fat ass and pedaled on down to district four, then back out to two to three and then, as funny as it is, right back to Paisons, name o’ that spot we was just at. Clacks was all out the breath by time he got up dem stairs, and we snuck in on after.

We waited till clacks went back on down and snuck in through the escape. We snuck on through the house until we found Bobby B hanging out all covered in white stuff, Daph asked, “that coke,” and knowing Bobby B like I do, “nah, we in luck, take a wiff…” I told her, “Is that, smells like amaretto” she whispered back, “yep, making his famous biscotti,” I filled in the blanks, adding, “and looks like some espresso’s ready to brew as well…

The hit wasn’t very glamorous like you see on TV, kind of boring actually. You see, turns out Bobby was hiding out from his mother-in-law, and although we didn’t then, she was probably the one that put out the hit. He banged megan, that shot girl from Lopes, that latino club, and she went on braggin’ how she got herself a real gansta, well that don’t sit well with mrs. B, no, not at all, but she aint got the balls to question Bobby herself, so like normal, she called that roller pin toting hag…anyhow, I was gonna sit down with B for a bit, shoot the shit and try to figure things out, maybe get him out to Canada or someplace, but Daphne, eager as she was, pulled out the glock and started waving it all over the flat…

Bobby may be a gangster, made man and all, but he aint the violent type really, he talks a great game, and no one’d wanna mess with him, so no one did, but he aint really all about the roughing up bit, his joy is food, cooking up mean dishes too I hear. Actually had these Biscotti bunch times before, he’d pass em’ round the pool hall lots of time, bragging his skills up and all…but before had a chance to work things out, there was my cousin, acting more trailer park than hitter…and poor bobby, well his heart just gave out right there, boom, all done no bullets, no confrontation…

Daphne went to grab a biscotti and make some espresso, but we didn’t have the time now, but there, right there, was his recipe, that much was too good to let go…and in fact, it’s the type of thing that gets you pinched.

Six months later, there I was, out of the business, opened up a little joint, west end. Had lots of customers, till Bald Sheila wandered in as she passin by, saw me in my apron and said she had to stop…Old Sheila was one of Bobby’s side dishes and the minute I saw her head tilt back and sniffing like a dog do, I knew I was done for. And yep, she knew, I knew, and she knew I knew that she knew. Didn’t have a piece anywhere near me neither. So tried keeping things cordial, but Sheila took me down with that tiny thing in her purse. Luckily for me she wasn’t as good a shot as she was a bloodhound…

I had to close the joint down, turn states on bunch a people and they got me out in Oregon. Been like this for a few years since. And they got me working stock at a local hardware spot. Aint life like I was used to, but, can’t really complain…that was until today. Came home from doing a double and when I walked through my apartment door, I could smell the amaretto in the air, and about same time I saw Daphne sitting there in the chair, gun pointing right at me…

…and you’s all thought us types were big into family like that…

The Bazaar

Upon exiting the car, we instantly noticed how early we’d arrived. When we were younger, it never meant much to get there first thing, before the crowds started to settle in. Nope, in fact, back then, watching them, was kind of the point for going there in the first place.

Today, well, I don’t make many trips to the Bazaar. Haven’t been there in some time and don’t spend nearly the time I had as a kid. It’s not even close really. Where we’d spend a good afternoon meandering about the various stands, watching all the different peoples, mingling amongst themselves, bartering with customers, transforming from seller to buyer, where they’d then, become minglers and barterers themselves. Now, it’s a case of knowing what I came there for, where it’s located, and trying to get in and out as fast as I can.

There are many reasons for the change. First would have to be: with age, time constraints seem to alter the courses steered. Then, I recall there’s several more, but only one comes to mind, that being: How rundown and dangerous the areas become.
So back I go, to days lost in time. Back to youthful loitering, watching the characters that exist in full frame, making up the conversations we cannot translate, predicting the next actions individuals would make, and then following them about, just to see who had won the Peach soda and the Gelato cone.

Upon exiting the car, a beat up Pontiac Bonneville, seated seven, yet most days it was but three, Myself, Mark and Johnny. Repaving was a language this parking lot never knew. Mark would say the cracks gave the Bazaar character, Johnny would just say the owner was cheap.

Dirty grey, should be white, building on the fringe of what is and what should be considered for the list to be condemned. Paper signs, written in pencil, taped in Scotch, line the lampposts that hadn’t worked in twenty years, providing the sales, for those who took the time to scribe away.

Upon arriving to those double-doors, we’d check to see which autographs were new since the time before. To open those doors, you knew you’d arrived, for the scent was as distinct as an odor could be, at first unpleasant, quickly unnoticed, yet that first whiff of food, dirt, sweat and dust, is one you’ll never grow conditioned of.

Leon, four hundred pounds and all, would sit upon that wobbling stool, checking bags and frisking the incoming patrons tight. Johnny always thought he frisked the girls a bit too long, but, in all the times we’d gone past, never did a woman stop to second guess. When he was done he’d grab a cigarette and make some off-the-cusp innuendo or two, which were humorous the first few hundred times you heard them through. He wasn’t a cop, just somebody the developers knew, that could be trusted in keeping things in line, and would work off the books for many less the dimes. Mark would always kid him, “you lost a couple since last time, eh?” to which he’d whip out his wallet and show a conveniently placed picture of a little baby girl, say had her just the other day. We’d go on and laugh, and I’d reply, “Leon, how old is she by now anyways?” to which he’d always say, “older than you, older than you.” And in we’d go, and once in, we’d roam the aisles mighty slow.

Denisia and her fresh fruit were always the first to see. She’d flirt with us as we passed by, until a more likely mark would catch her eye.

Tristene, she had a stand close by there, but no one ever got a straight answer, as to what exactly she peddled by.

Marquez and those fresh Goya drinks, first stop we’d make, pick up a pack of seeds, enough to bide away the morning day. He had issues though, wouldn’t make eye contact, not one bit at all. So of course we’d play that game, drooping and bending knees, watching him avert his gaze, over and over until he swam us with his hands, and we’d laugh it up down the way…

Only slowing to a crawl, when we saw Mr. G, and his carved wood carved ware. But as interesting as they were, I’m pretty sure he knew we were too old for some toys, and if that wasn’t enough, he must’ve had to mop up the drooling pools that formed, the second his eldest daughter Tina came out to view.

Once we had our libido’s sparked, we skipped on out and passed quickly by a bunch of stands we cared not for, and ventured deep, into the heart of this bazaar place.

Exotic fruits and flowers were the first place here, can’t remember her name, but a nice old Chinese woman manned the space, always smiling and nodding to us, didn’t speak a lick of English, but none of that mattered much, the goods explained themselves, and they always changed from week to week.

The fish stand was my favorite of them all. Here you’d get fresh catches from the lake, where you could purchase them freshly fileted, right there, if so you liked. Big burly Samoan guy, probably not really Samoan, but to this day, Singh is the only Samoan I ever met, so I always say that’s what was his nationality.

More of the same stands there stood; fish, fruit, flowers, snacks and meat, each owning their own nuance and novelty. A uniqueness they couldn’t hide if it was what they one day decided to try for. Just to watch the customers interact, sometimes successfully, sometimes in scenes from sketch comedy, perhaps a parody you’d expect to see upon late night TV, or, in some cases, unlike anything you could possibly dream.

We’d watch the couples meander closely near, examining the products and looking to deal, speaking foreign tongues between themselves, as if to tell the shop-keep, “hey, you can’t understand us, so we’re talking about how we can make you give us a huge deal,” of course, their efforts fell, for the most part on deaf ears.

Lovers would walk hand in hand, picking things as if they had a plan, when reality was they were caught up in the atmosphere, as were we all, walking short yet feeling tall.

There wasn’t any music in the air, just the sounds of old AC units chugging through, combined with the sounds of a mix of languages galore. At all different pitches and randomly paced beats, the sounds we heard were never the same, and unique from one moment to the next.

Olga’s stand we love, at least my mother did, as she’d send us there specifically for her homemade pierogies, three dozen potato, four dozen cheese and a half dozen Kraut, as only my father would eat those. She was a nice woman in her mid-forties back then, who spoke English, yet had the coolest little accent, the one that forever reminded her of the home she left behind, so her children had the opportunities she and her husband never knew. Her girls were cool, but a bit on the wild side, we knew one of their friends, and saw them out here and there, and laughed between the three of us, as the picture they presented there at their parent’s stand, couldn’t have been more different, something Olga and Tom, would never accept or understood.

To get to the back part of the Bazaar, you had to pass through a dark, dark tunnel, where the lights hadn’t been on in years it seems. This was a place where the scents were not unique, as they could be found in any restrooms across the land.

I’d always find it amusing; in fact, this was something we’d bet upon as well. We’d stand alongside the raised café platform, where we’d eat our Gyros and sip our tea, looking down at those who were emerging from the tunnel’s dark. We’d wager as to how many of the sweatered uptown folk, would pat their butt, as if no one could tell that they were making sure their wallets were yet sitting still.

One last place before we would venture back. It was always hit or miss though, for this news shack was open when Adibi chose to come in. You see, he didn’t need to open at all, for one day he bought one of the lottery tickets that he would sell, and he it hit big, yet, for traditions sake, he never retired completely though. So, we’d go there, as he wouldn’t proof for dirty mags, cigarettes or beer, which we didn’t complain, but found it mighty strange, that he would ask for ID when we tried to buy a scratch off lottery ticket. Go Figure?

Out we’d go as we came, a bit quicker of a pace than what we first had made. Some days Johnny would make us stop though, at one last place, the comic exchange, where he’d pick up a bunch of terrible titles that never sold at the other shops in town, and there he would get his dimes and quarters spread clean across the chipped glass counter, and the two Korean brothers would curse at us, well, Johnny more than me and Mark. And here’s the kicker, Johnny would come back every time, and say that he needs to learn Korean, because he needs to know if he should take offense to what they were saying.

Well, one day, this little girl, probably nine or ten, popped her head from behind the jewelry cage across the way, and spoke, as if she was ashamed for needing to correct the lack of knowledge possessed by us three, “ They say, ‘you fool, same thing every time, coin, coin, coin’… not Korean, this is Korean,” and she rattled off a string of words, “what they say is Vulcan…geez,” as she ran away, but not before she waved her fingers at us in that spockish way…

Then, we returned, back to the parking lot, and stood today, just Mark and me. We’d lost track of Johnny after he moved away. At first we all made a point of keeping in touch. In fact, he came up and crashed in Mark’s basement now and then, and we’d return the favor once a year or so. But as time grew further removed, he met a girl, and they moved in together and had a child of their own. And somehow, we faded from priority, and now, once a year or so, we’ll get a postcard, showing his family, where, despite the soreness over losing such a one-time link in our three piece chain, his happiness could be seen in each these cards, a happiness I was glad he found.

And we were wondering how things could have changed so much. The faces were distant, the mood was bland, the parking lot was rife with needles, and gangs of boys trying to earn their stripes as men. The stands were more spread apart, not nearly enough to warrant a trip from the suburbs in.

As depressing as it was, we still heard a myriad of foreign tongues, mainly bickering over the economy, or so we thought. But the voices were there, just not as many of them, and that, although not we had looked forward to. And once we got over the disappointment of the memories from way back when, I guess, was still enough to bridge the gap of time, returning, at least a part of those memories…

Out in the lot, I asked Mark, “ Feel like Fondue,” to which he replied, “Sure, where to,” and then I simply said, “well, The Melting Pot, of course”

Brian Miller is spending his night hosting Poetics by People Watching. Head on over to D’Verse, and share in what our poets see. While you’re there, we’d love to read, or hear, what your people-watching expeditions have produced. This piece is another longer piece, as you know by now. I had this idea for awhile now, getting down a short story that revolved around change, and how it can be explored through the examinations of character. In this case I mainly used people as the foundation, but the settings and the scenes themselves I’ve also attempted to treat as characters themselves. To keep the short story in a poetic state of mind, I amended my speech patterns in the recordings, hopefully creating a more musical/poetic effect, something I also tried dearly to do within the words themselves, by replacing traditional prose with, I hope turned out to be the most part, poetic prose. Another great them tonight at D’Verse, can’t wait to head on over and dig into what y’all watched. Hope to see you there.

The Unexpected Announcement of Muriel B. James

Muriel James was on particular edge. The men had just completed dropping their wives off at the old Brownstone that Muriel’s father had passed down to his only child many years before. William James, Muriel’s loving husband of nearly 35 years, knew today was not the day to be mulling about the parlor. He didn’t mind as much that the house would soon be filled with forty or so women, ranging from the very young to the extremely old. What irked him though, was how Muriel had been acting the past day and a half or so, being on edge and easily reaching temper’s flare. He didn’t think too much upon the situation, as his wife acted quite similarly whenever a large crowd of family would gather at their home. This time, was ever an example of such a situation as any. Everything had to be pristine, in place, as if the house was never in a state of anything less than immaculacy.

William was on his way out of the house, when Darlene, his youngest daughter, to whom this party was being hosted for, entered the door, promptly and unprovoked, she gave her father the dearest, “dadeee,” complete with a loving hug. William kissed her on the cheek, wished her a good day as he leaned over to kiss her wonderfully pregnant belly. He paused a moment, whispering sweet thoughts to his future grandbaby, and then, moments later, he left the women to themselves.

Muriel came quickly to Darlene, as frantic as frantic could be. Darlene, seeing the distress upon her mother’s face, tried calming her down some, “Ma, just slow down, everything looks beautiful.” But Muriel would have nothing of it, ranting on about this and that and that and the other thing she can’t quite recall, until she reeled slightly. When she recovered she peered about hoping nobody caught a glimmer of the display, which of course, Darlene had, but her eldest daughter Beth, who just then entered the room, had also arrived in time to catch the sight as well.

“Mom, sit down, you look terrible.” Beth quickly pointed out, in her ever to the point way of speaking. “ Ma, bet’s right, you don’t look yourself…look at you, flush and pale, sweating like it was summer outside,” added Darlene, “not to mention you’re shaking something awful.”

“No time for this, I’ll be fine, just skipped breakfast, that’s all, nothing more to this story,” Muriel added in her normal, ain’t no big thing laissez-faire, which was a red flag to the girls, as such a stance of character, typically indicated that something was bothersome and weighting to their mother. The girls, of course, read this like a book they’d read so many times before.

Beth, as usual, was first to reply, “ Cough it up, what’s the matter.” Muriel poo-pooed it away, and begin prattling off little snide remarks, which was another indicator that whatever this thing that was bothering her, was much bigger than the girls had thought mere moments before. Darlene spoke up in an overtly sentimental tone, not uncommon to her demeanor when under stressful situations, and certainly in line with her present condition, “Ma, you’re scaring me and the baby,” which garnered a quick snark of a look from her sister, as to any who knew the girls, would not have found this glance the slightest bit out of place.

“Now look, I said I’m fine, and that means I’m fine…I really don’t want to think of anything but your shower…don’t concern yourself none…this is your day…Bethany, take your sister to the couch, she shouldn’t be on her feet this long…and while you’re up and about, might as well make yourself useful, grab the long stems from the cabinet and put them out for me…if you want to help, that’s the best I got.”

The girls wouldn’t budge, and didn’t say a thing, something they learned quite well growing up. To which, Muriel’s tone started getting more curt, until she started to cry, something the girls had not expected, as was never their intention, and something the silent stare had never provoked previously. Typically a quick slant of the upper lip, followed by a shake of the head, and a short giggle, but today, now, the girls were in unknown territory, and were feeling more ill-at-ease, the longer this situation lingered on.

“Mom…”
“I’m fine,” as she fruitlessly tried wiping away the tears.
“Ma, please…we’re scared”
“Listen, you know you’re going to have to tell us. This party won’t be happening until you do…might as well settle up now, before the others arrive. If this is still going on after Lori and Maureen get here, you know… you don’t want that… cause if it does…well, you know Lori will call Jimmy, and he’ll call dad and then the whole day’s gone…is that what you want.”

Suddenly, Muriel stopped crying. She wiped away some of the wet and looked directly, somehow, at both her girls simultaneously. Her gaze stared intently into her daughter’s eyes, speaking as slowly as she could, “Well, ok then, best you each grab a chair…You know how much I love you girls…you know how much I love your brother and your father too… but…there is something, something I’m afraid will ruin everything,” to which Darlene interrupted, ”ma, now, don’t leave him, he loves you so much…sure you’re beauty’s outlasted his looks, but he’s your heart, ain’t that what you always say…” Beth had that deer-in-headlights bewildered look about her. She was speechless, which, for Beth, is something that never occurred. “What are you…no, not at all…couldn’t be more off base…look, you want to know what’s bothering me…then listen quietly until I’m done,” their mother chimed back in retaliation, grabbing a glass of water and then proceeded to tell her secret. The girls nodded and let their mother continue:

“As I was saying, all I ever wanted in life was to watch you kids grow up, have children of your own…so I could spoil them rotten…and live out the rest of my days with your father. There’s nothing more to me than family, I hope I’ve made that point clear over the years, but now, I’m afraid, for myself and for your father. In two weeks I’ll be 63 years old, and yesterday,” pausing as she takes in another swig of water, “ yesterday I found out, somehow, I’m once again with child.”

The girls froze to the news. After several moments of silence, moments that lingered into what felt like hours. Beth, spoke first, “ Do you think dad suspects anything,” to which Muriel shook her head side to side, softly saying, “no, I don’t believe so… I haven’t had the nerve to tell him neither.” Darlene then spoke up, “ I thought daddy had that taken care of a long time ago…it is daddy’s isn’t…” Muriel chimed in with a little more pitch this time, “ Yes, of course it’s your father’s…and he definitely had that taken care of too…I was with him when it was…but I used the computer and found out it’s not as rare of a thing as you’d expect…there are percentages…”

Beth stood up, “Ma, whatever you decide,” to which Muriel broke down in tears again, “I know, I know, but there’s no decision to be made, it is what it is…a blessing is the only way I can look at it” “What about the risks,” Beth was quick to bring to light. “Risks are what risks are, probabilities that may or may not take place, this though is not a risk, it’s a gift…Is there a chance I don’t make it through, of course there is, but there always is, just maybe a little more in this case….it’s never been about the baby…no, I’m just as happy as I was when I found about you girls and your brother…it’s just…how do you tell a seventy year old man…who’s been wanting to buy a condo in Florida…that he’s going to be a father once again…how does a wife tell him that…and, then there’s the issue of being able to take care of the baby…after all, we aren’t spring chickens anymore…but it does feel better talking to you girls about this. The girls and their mother than huddled close, each with moistened eyes and dampened cheeks, when Darlene broke in, “I can’t believe this…Bet’s we’re going to have a little sister,” which sent an air of ease throughout the room. Beth giggled a bit, which you could tell they liked seeing, as they don’t see it often enough, “and you know, your baby is going to be a little older than her aunt or uncle…a best friend.”

The family moment would be cut short prematurely, as the doorbell rang, the first of the guests had arrived. Muriel stood up, wiped off her face, redid her hair, put a spring in her step, and greeted her guests as cheerfully as ever. Meanwhile her two girls stood where they were, glowing something wonderfully, wet faces and all.

I’ve been away from the computer for the most part of the past 4 days or so, but got a chance to read through many of the poems linked up to this past Saturday’s Poetics, hosted by Manic Daily. It was a really great theme, and as usual, was very impressed with the posting itself, and all the responses it garnered. So, even though I missed out on the party itself, the impetus for this short story came from pondering the “unexpected,” and thought I’d post it today.

Alden Albern

My name is William Skye. In the past so many days, a talking cat has been discussing the rehashing of plots, themes and stylistics in the world of film. Knowingly or not, this intuitive feline has broached a very guarded subject, and one many hold dear to their heart.

Out of this internal gnawing that has suddenly become my every impetus, I am now going to reveal a secret you may or may not choose to believe. However, I do assure you, that as far fetched and outlandish all the accounts and instances you are about to hear may sound, these are the facts, and no embellishments have been included in any of what you soon shall become privy to.

This information comes from a very secretive and historic place. Any and all associated and/or implied will most assertively deny any knowledge or participation. What I am about to tell you is both closely guarded, and, until this very moment, had never been leaked to the public before now.

My true name is Alden Albern. In fact, it is all our names. We bear one appellation, as to not insert individuality into our sole purpose for being. My name means Wise Guardian of Noble Valor. It is not but all of our names, but in fact, the definition of who we are.

I come from a long line of Guardians and our histories date, as far back, as to when time itself first began. There are thousands of us living in secrecy in this modern age. There have been millions of us to come before and there will, one does hope, be millions more to one day come again.

Our mission is simple. It is based upon the notion that God has gifted mankind with many things, none more important than his ability to think freely and to act accordingly. Every thought is precious. Every action is unique. This is the basic groundwork to all of our study. We protect thoughts, ideas, and most notably, the completed product that such thoughts and actions then produce. Our number one credo is to ensure that our creations have their own defenders, their own guardian angels looking upon them favorably, protecting them all, from the ever-plaguing presence of plagiaristic villainy, that runs rampant from one end of this planet to the other. This evil, as I shall, from this point forward, refer to both plagiarism and all its many incarnations, is much more than a nuisance to the creative minded individual. It is a scourge upon God himself, eating away at the very fabric that differentiates mankind from the other creatures in all the other planets and universes coexistent with our own. To take away, to rob man of his ability to creatively construct and build unique endeavors, you belittle and degrade the magnificence of the most beautiful and unbelievably intricate creation of all, that of course being mankind itself.

This evil is consistently present. It has been wherever man has been, where man currently resides, and is laying in wait, for those uninhabitable tracts of space where man will one day find the ability to safely inhabit. It is an evil that simultaneously infests and infects everything it comes into direct contact with. It is present in every seed of doubt our very minds concoct. It hides and operates under many veils, preying upon man’s neuroses, therein cultivating these unavoidable seeds with a fertilizing component so dark and smothering, that if we choose not to abandon our uniquely creative tapestries, we will then find this evil resorting to tactics comparable to militaristic campaigns birthed and found in the deepest nooks of Hell itself.

It is our duty to analyze all things for such possible infestation. We find and locate such diabolical dealings and refer each of them to a higher order, for analysis and if at such times designation is deemed legitimately threatening, well, then, in those instances, further actions will be taken.

These actions can range from simple revisionist procedures, enabling minor exorcisms and/or extractions of falsities that had non-organically found its way into any of such creations, to a full-on insurgency, where casualties will most regrettably accrue.

Early on, God himself handled such responsibilities solely. He would locate, analyze and sever threats himself. But as time marched on, and our species bounded in numbers, God, while still easily capable of overseeing such activities, decided to imbue his creations, at least a fraction of his creations, to wield the first wave of responsibility in preventing such damaging predicaments to rear their ugly presences.

At first, all went swimmingly along. Mankind was advancing as a species in ways beyond what any of the forecasting polls had predicted. It was truly a magnificent time for all creativity. Through experimentation, testing and the utilization of our free will, man was able to increase his knowledge base exponentially. It was a magnificent time to be human, as it was to be an Alden. Here, the evil, while most certainly alive, as it had arrived some times after the first case of patricide, but it had not discovered an efficient way to undermine God and his human toys. This all, of course, changed; when it learned the blasphemy and discrediting acidic nature of plagiarism, us Alden’s were not prepared, nor efficiently able to filter out such widespread attacking patterns. It would take us many years to devise a system that would be effective.

This system, while not adverse to fault, and most certainly, as is inherent in all things, had flaws, from both the external, as well as the internal realms. But, as a whole, while not as dominating as it had once been, the Alden’s were effectively able to keep creativity safe from the evil that sought it out daily. This was the second wave of Alden prosperity. It would last for centuries.

Then, somewhere in the mid-centuries, the evil had changed its modus operandi. Here, it had learned, the biggest flaw, in the Alden’s system, was in fact, what made it so special in the first place. It had realized that the Alden’s were, themselves in fact human. While certainly endowed with gifts beyond the normal scope of mankind, at their roots, they too felt and desired everything, and in many cases, if not more, than those desires of his non-Alden brothers. The Alden’s were part of mankind itself, and this, in and of itself, illuminated the limitations and weaknesses that the evil would focus upon. Unfortunately, this plan devised by the evil, worked better than even God could have predicted.

A corruption like none seen before affected all corners of free will. Alden’s were thriving in their mortality like they never had the opportunity to do so previously. It was easy to spot those in contempt, yet, God stood by his defenders, stating that his Guardians had the right to think as they would, that by chastising and/or punishing those in betrayal, would, in essence create a permanent stain upon the notion of free thought itself. God allowed his guardians to think for themselves, fully believing in each of them, that one day, they would realize what their behaviors were responsible for, and return to their duty to God, without any question ever being implicated, where only God’s ever-understanding and ever-open arms would be and always had been, ready to console and comfort each of them, as he did for every one of his creations. Yet, in the meanwhile, plagiarism boomed and free will was dealt a myriad of blows, all of which were high in severity.

Such corruption lasted for hundreds of years. The older generations did not teach their offspring of the Alden way, and the numbers thusly suffered. Today, there are but thousands Alden’s walking this earth, where when operating successfully, millions were needed, and this, mind you, was at a time before mankind’s earthly population had exploded. So, where once their were millions, now have but thousands, many of which, had never even been taught the nature of their lineage, let alone, having had the opportunity to fully learn the great responsibility they have to themselves, their family, to mankind, free thought and expression, and to God himself.

And here we are, in the present time. In an era that sees plagiarism at its most severe, the task at hand seems insurmountable, for facsimile and theft seem to be the normal fare, the primary vehicles for what is out there, for art itself. Certainly there are some rare instances of truly inventive people, those that use their free will and creative thoughts and expression near or at maximum efficiency. But these cases are few and far between, and even in the cases of these folks, they are only able to hide behind the man-made gauze known as copyrights and trademarks for so long before mass replication of their thoughts and ideas are produced in ways that the individual creative never could have devised on their own.

The battlefield is bloody. The mentality of mankind is fragile, belligerent and obedient to a plagiaristic society, in many cases the only regime they’ve ever known. The guardians that do exist, cower in caverns and live in remote locations, fearful that they will be found by the evil and be impotent to defend against its vicious attacks. There are many Alden’s out there that are in a virtual state of hibernation. It is a gift that God granted some upper level Guardians, to safeguard their offspring from evil’s grasp. They are in-sleeping, and while their propensity to Aldenship is still there, it is dormant and must be reawakened in order to aid in this seemingly unwinnable war. Yet, because of this dormancy, the evil cannot locate them, even when utilizing its most advance of locating equations.

Yesterday I was but a simple living man, only going through the day to day obligations, as if sleepwalking my way through life. I always had the feeling I was destined to do more with my life, just never was able to figure out what more meant. I had always felt different, as if I was not part of societies master plan, yet until yesterday, I resigned myself to believing I was merely an outcast, an unworthy leech upon the rest of what is determined normalcy. I always knew there had to be a reason I was never included in such events, never was informed of opportunities, could not appreciate what a healthy and thriving society I was living amongst. Now, I know. I know I am part of something much bigger than any and all of this. I am an Alden, a descendent of men and women chosen directly from the hand of God himself. I am a Guardian, a defender of men. I posses the ability to help revive this world to how it was intended to be, to assist in the restoration of mankind, to it’s imagined state of noble valor. I am an Alden, my history is rich, and today, I found out that there are thousands if not more of those just like me, ignorant as to who they are, blind as to where we come from, and I now know what I must do. I must seek out each of my brethren, and wage a war against the evil that is enmeshed in almost everything. Together, we must defeat the evil and restore mankind to its rightful and designed fate.

My name is Alden Albern.