FICTION

Everyday Encounters [beginning excerpt only]

Synopsis: An elder scientist, Mortimer, sets out on a quest to find his several artificially intelligent human robots scattered throughout the world, each preserving an emotion and feeling of his that he long ago left inside them, because he wishes to feel again.

The clock struck seven o’clock. It’s the busiest time at the airport, the hustle and bustle of rolling luggage and chatter from the help desk fill Annie’s ears. It calms her. After a long day at her, she can be anyone she wants to be going anywhere she wants to go. Although she knows deep down, there is only one thing she is.

“Excuse me miss.”

Annie turns to an elderly man with eyes that seem to seek new information. He’s too happy for being so old, thought Annie. The wrinkles on his hands and face resemble a crumbled world map. He didn’t have a smell either. No smell at all.

“Is anyone sitting here?” He points to the seat next to her.

“Not at all, make yourself comfortable.”

He carries only a small brown suitcase, the kind Wall Street jerks drag around, and a small brown paper bag. It seems odd to her that he doesn’t have any other luggage but then again neither did she. This notion grew louder and louder like a kettle that was left unattended.

“These planes sure do make a lot of fuss,” remarked Annie.

She used her peripherals to gauge his reaction. A small sideways smile crept on the old man’s face.

“You see the noise doesn’t come from outside of the airplane, it comes from within. We are the perpetrators of the noise. The noise would not be if we were not noise ourselves.”

She took a moment to digest the load of hooey the elder was feeding her. It didn’t make any sense but suddenly a quick jolt in the left arm made her hand extend for a greeting. He accepted and responded.

“It’s a pleasure to meet you, finally. My name is Mortimer but you can call me Mort.”

What does he mean by finally? She began to panic, thinking that this old sleazy bag o’ bones was stalking her.

“Don’t panic, miss. I’ve noticed you frequent the airport is all. You see, I too am fond of the noise, the clean bathrooms, the new places, and the new faces. Yes, I think it’s mostly the new faces.”

This man may be a whack-a-doo but he sure knows what he’s talking about it.

“The name’s Annie,” she exhaled. Sitting back in her seat, she stayed quiet as a big group of Japanese tourists galloped by. She looks out of the window and beyond the planes into the forest that fills the rest of her view.

Back when she was a little child, all Annie Mclaine ever did was play outdoors. There was very little time for television or Barbie dolls. Exploration was the key. She would climb trees, talk to lizards, and build structures out of sticks and stones. Now in her early thirties, she finds it difficult to get in touch with her inner child. Graduating with a master’s in psychology, most of her time was spent in the office with patients, at home or at the airport.

The airport was a strange place to be but there was something about its peculiar nature that kept her going back. It allowed her thoughts to wander.

“So, Anne,” said Mort from behind a newspaper.

She sighs in defeat as she musters up the energy to continue this charade.

Everyone calls her Anne but she always introduces herself as Annie. Annie was her childhood name. Annie was the girl that built tree houses and dug for treasure in the forest. Annie was the rushing wind between the leaves and the soft mud under bare feet. But Anne was none of those. Anne was mundane, mediocre, and run of the mill.

“What’s it to ya, Mort,” she says and this time a jolt in her right leg kicks the small brown suitcase sitting next to him. She didn’t kick it with very much strength, although it still ends up under a chair two rows from their seats.

“Oh dear, I didn’t mean to do that!”

“It’s quite alright,” says Mort. “That suitcase is for Wall Street chumps anyways, right?”

Who was this Mort? And specifically, how does he continue to mention things I have only said to myself, in my own brain. She turns to look at Mort, knees now in her chair as she leans closer and closer to his face. She closes one eye and then the other as if she were examining her vision at the optometrist.

“What’s the big idea, wise guy? How is it you know certain information that has only crossed my mind.” That sideways smile creeps back on his face.

“I know more about you than you know about yourself. I created you.”

 

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Politricks [beginning excerpt only]

Synopsis: A woman Q  tests her morals and values when she goes rogue in a shattered world in the hopes of setting things right.

1:00 A.M.

Q sat on the couch watching reruns of the evening news. This was her daily routine followed by a couple hours of perusing the internet for political articles that might not have been covered on the news. Articles of what was actually happening on the ground, in local communities. The people suffering, left to be forgotten in endless clouds of smog or streams of radiation water. She knew better than any that televised media was a load of crap and never really covered what was actually going on.

“In order, the top five financial contributors for Donald Trump are: Renaissance Technologies, McMahon Ventures, Walt Disney Company, GH Palmer Associates, and Mountaire Corporation” spits out CNN on a story they called Who Funds Your Candidates. “And for Hillary Clinton, also in order is: University of California, Alphabet Incorporated, EMILY’S List, JP Morgan & Chase, and U.S. Government.” The announcer continues “My, my, it seems that this year will top the charts in most money spent on a President’s campaign, placing yet another burden on the American citizen. This is Pete Padsburg, bidding you a lovely day.”

Her blood starts to boil. How much longer will we sit around while the wealthy do what they want? She shivers at the thought, wondering what it is that hinders the masses from standing up to the oppressors, to ending systemic barriers, and redefine what we think is normal. Get to the root of the problems. But how can you say that Q? You aren’t scoping out the wealthy, or playing rogue Robin Hood and you sure as hell aren’t taking matters in to your own hands. She gathers up the energy to get off the couch and walks over to look out of the window.

Her studio resembles a small log cabin, room for only the essentials. The television sat on a table opposite the front door. On one side of the door, a circular window and on the remaining side: a cot with a single pillow. In the middle was a one person recliner with build in wheels. The only other pieces of furniture was a chest and a desk. The chest brimmed with books; a laptop and typewriter await their cue on the desk.

2:00 A.M.

As she looked out of the window, a homeless man is seen digging through the trash. She’d seen him before and stands there for what seemed like hours. She saw the man slowly pick out almost every bit of trash, tossing what he didn’t consider of use over his shoulder. He doesn’t find anything that can stop the incessant growling of his stomach, anything that will keep him warm, and nothing that will keep his mind off the fact he hadn’t decided where to sleep that night: the bridge or the tunnel in the playground.

She thought he’d been kicked out of many places while he slept. She didn’t know any of this. Her mind wandered for what seemed like hours. She can tell he’s too tired to put the garbage back in because he grabs a few pieces and stops. He slouches over the trash can as his shoulders slump down. The boiling blood in her veins starts to cool and her eyes fill with tears. She wipes a few away and stands up straight. Something must happen. NOW.

5:00 A.M.

Three hours of sleep was enough for her.  Four was always better. There were some days, often consecutively, where sleep was out of the question. A crack of sunlight through the window, the embracing chill from a lack of insulation and the soft echoing persistence of the birds surrounded her mornings. Sunrises made each day bearable, but this sunrise was different. This sunrise was full of empty promises and packed bags. As she tossed the hiking bag over her shoulder, the corner of her right eye started to twitch madly.

She closed them both and imagined herself in the middle of a sunflower field. No one else could see her as she spread her arms to touch the thick stocks, then the suede soft pedals. A breeze surrounded her and the sun began to burn her face. She felt something cold press against her throat. Her eyes opened and a small knife slit her throat. The last thing she saw was a red sunflower before she opened her eyes again. You should have slept, out of all the days to not be able to sleep. Get your shit together, Q.

;

What you have just read is indeed the story of a woman on a search, the hunt. A majority of the political references are completely factual. That is a very important part of unearthing lies and exposing myths. Every detail was written as close to what actually happened because only then can the perpetrators learn and the blind masses enlighten.

Q acts as a vessel for all human beings. The deep rooted by stander effect, the unconditional empathy, the pangs of fear, ignorant bliss, a love so strong that bodies are willing to die, a bond so sacred even God is put to shame, the pull and tug of psychological transformations, the hunger for purpose, the hunger for righteousness, the hunger for truth: waking human life.

 

Pre-Order Book: $20 (use code PT1)

Send the corresponding code to any of the options below:
Paypal: gladysharlow@gmail.com
Cashapp: $gladysharloww
Venmo: @gladysharlow