The faux guide

He wasn’t really spectacular at anything but gullibility. He would constantly give his money away to people who seemed like they were in worst situations than he was. Although that was rarely the case. Hemly was the star child of altruism but wanted to become a little selfish when he noticed he was skipping meals out of a fault only his own.

Exhausted from a day to day life and finances looking grim, Hemly saw a magazine pushed under his door, that promised to make him all the money necessary to achieve his level of optimal level of happiness. As he started reading a knock on his apartment door startled him. “Hey listen buddy I don’t give to shits about whether or not you’re gonna pay me this month but you’re gonna need to get your ass out of here! I’ve got some people coming to see the place next week and I’ve got some people ready to see you if you’re still here!” Mr. Forsynth seemed like a genuinely nice guy and Hemly knew this but unfortunate circumstances but Hemly on the wrong side.

This apartment complex seemed on its way out. Asbestos still hadn’t been abated, the water had to be brought up from a slop sink on the first floor and naturally, Hemly was seated at the top of this kingdom. In order to use the stove, Hemly would have to use the ol’ match trick. If his stove was plugged in to use the electric spark it would shut down his whole floor. He had experienced that several times during his first week there and started to get on the wrong side of everyone directly around him. To make up for the inconvenience he made what he considered his best dessert. A banana bread mix with nuts and icing. Unbeknownst to him he found that his neighbors were either people with wheat, dairy, or nut allergies.

Before the complex, Hemly was a social butterfly in his childhood neighborhood. He made an effort to meet as many people as he could. The crowd he would always hang out with seemed to be the people who were outside all of the time. Whatever they were up to he didn’t pay much mind to. He knew that everyone had a good heart because he did and he was no different than anyone else. No one had treated him wrongly in his eyes. If someone seemed like they were bullying him he just saw it as the way they were brought up and they were actually being passionate; their version of nice. His group of pseudo-friends, started dying but no one actually explained to Hemly what was going on. He was told that they had moved. Hemly saw it as an experience he should have knowing he wanted a change of scenery.

Although he didn’t move far it was a different scenery indeed. Hemly’s giving and positive attitude didn’t get him the same attention. Some people saw his gifts as insults and others saw his positivity as overbearing. Trying his hardest he just wanted to be the best at something. He didn’t know what. His job at a storage facility left him wanting more out of his new life. His co-workers seemed pretty content with their lives and even more so recently. New cars and cell-phones way out of their budget and value bracket were being seen. People around him found a way to purchase these unbelievable items but he was stuck in an awful apartment with bare minimum trinkets and gadgets.

Hemly wasn’t the type to get jealous at the items of others, until a spell of depression fell over him and he started to seek happiness in the worst way. Seeing how happy his co-workers were he asked how were they able to get these incredible things. The information was startling, they didn’t purchase a thing! They had just loaned it from a person who didn’t ask for anything just a few questions about their spending habits and promised them they can be rich like she was. She would persuade the person to ask for anything they wanted. It would be their’s for a week. Then when the week was up, they should come to return the item to her residence outside of town and she will show them how to make the same amount of money if not more! With the thought and need sitting in the back of his head, Hemly read this magazine after the abrupt interruption by Forsynth, and noticed similarities between what his co-workers had explained to him about this philanthropist and the overall theme of this magazine the “Fortune Guide.”

He set an appointment to go to her residence outside of town. Hemly was dressed to impress. She seemed extremely important and he wanted to be sure to make an amazing impression and maybe he could be the best at what she did under her tutelage. Hemly didn’t drive so public transport can only take him most of the way. The walk from the metro station to the residence was 5 miles and the heat of summer. By the time Hemly arrived he was drenched. The time spent on his hair and picking out his outfit, gone. Thankfully his deodorant held through the stress test of anxiety and summer heat.

Out front was a gate that hadn’t looked like it was open for decades. It was riddled with vines and a padlock that had a brand that was older than anyone he knew. Looking around and feeling strange about the silence he called out. “Hello?” A small man with a monocle seemed to arrive out of nowhere. “…yes?” was said in the smallest horse voice heard. “I’m here to see the woman.” The old man seemed to examine Hemly and brought him to a large tree and opened base of it.”Down……th….th……there….. Come now.” Hemly was hesistant but desperate. He saw tools laid out but wasn’t sure what they were for. Each one hanging from a hook but seemingly as decoration down the staircase. At the end of his eternity walk he entered an auditorium where there were so many people but none seemed to have faces. All dressed in uniform all slightly out of focus, even the closest ones.

The long silence of waiting was over and Hemly tried to asked someone near him what was going on. The old man had disappeared long ago and he was left to associate himself with these out-of-focus beings. No one answered him. Not because they couldn’t hear him but it seemed like they just wouldn’t dare. The woman had arrived on stage with a slow walk. “Here. We have it. Everything anything can ever want. Anything that can ever be imagined at anytime. YYYoou Yyyouuuu are here because sss ss ssomething is som ssssomething is out of reach? Out of reach!” Hemly saw the gaze in her eyes and felt emotionless. He didn’t need to response. She knew everything about him as he slowly became out of focus. “Happ ha Happiness. What you need you have found. Happiness. Here.” Her words felt like they didn’t make sense but he understood what she meant. He started to notice as his yearning for happiness and the drive to be the best at something started to dwindle. He felt nothing and was no longer able to focus on anything. “Happiness is what you will have by having nothing. It is no longer yours to want but mine to have. Your gift was giving and you have given it all. I am the taker. I appreciate what you have done and now your needs wants or cares are over. Stay here. Just. Stay.”

The woman left. Hemly left. The old man left. The tree closed. Another day had gone and Mr. Forsynth and the other seemed to not mind the absence of another tenant of the complex. No one asked questions. The tenants began to divide Hemly’s belongings what little there was in a drab organized movement. The room was rented to a new tenant someone, who talked about nothing but getting rich to everyone he knew. “I’ll be famous you’ll see!” That’s what he told everyone he met. He unpacked all of his belongings and heard a shuffle. A magazine was slid underneath his door named the “Fortune Guide.” “Nice! Right up my alley! I bet if I show up in person I’ll make myself known!”


The Daily Post : Fortune


Beneath it all was a drive to be the best at nothing.

The seminar was over and it seemed a new contest had started. The contestants were architects in their early 20s bent on creating their art with the guidance of last words spoken by the famous sponsored guest Felix Steenhouwer. “Be sure to include the best feature about yourself in every brick and pane. Don’t become buried by an obsession to please. Rise high and push the limits of art and functionality!” There seemed to be a unanimous applause and standing ovation that felt rehearsed.

Sara, Zonso, and Ezra seemed to be the odd ones out of enthusiasm but didn’t leave without motivation. Ezra and Sara were siblings and not originally from the area. They just started to work full-time and indulge themselves in these seminars. Living and pursuing their dreams with the old money passed to them through wills and fund managers. Zonso, however, worked his way up rather recently and kept a hard focus on what tasks needed to be done to pursue his goals of exuberant fame. Their friendship had been years in the making through online communication. Zonso had known that they were financially well off but never wanted a helping hand. He felt weak at the receipt of any assistance.

“So he wants us to get high?” said Sara. “Ez, I think you may want to explain to your sis about how buildings work.” Zonso said with an intense disdain for Sara’s sarcasm. “Yeah about that. Anyway so what’s the plan. I’ve had this fun thought in mind. There’s this site where it looks like a funnel to hell, so to speak, and the price is so low it almost has to be haunted or something!” said Ezra.”You’re kidding me right?!” Sara and Zonso said in unison. “How could you possibly be so daft?! The thought of even being near that site is one of folly. To build?! ….. I think I’m just gonna go home and pretend this conversation didn’t happen.”

This landmark was an area guarded by superstition. Generations have past and variants of the story formed an unusual mythos about the arrival of a celestial being. It was given the name воронка создатель in the earlier versions on the myth but now was Vo for short. Vo brought down a rain a judgement on the people of the land and with that caused the Earth to rise up against it bringing up every creature against a common enemy. Versions of this story tell of a light coming from the center of the Earth. Blinding Vo and causing it to stumble into a large fracture. The fracture was thought to be covered by the ocean but the light’s damage was something that could not be recovered from.

Believing that an alteration of this area would be a trigger one of two things were thought possible. Either bringing another one of these celestial beings back or causing this light source to return and causing an enourmous amount of damage.With a heavy sigh and with a hand on Ezra’s shoulder Sara shared her opinion. “I’m game to at least check it out. The damn hole hasn’t had anything special happen to is since that story was made up. I’m sure it was just a meteor that came down and all of the drunks and insane prophets of the time just made shit up. I mean think about it. No seismic activity, nothing out of the ordinary and it’s up for sale? How could they sell it if it were a harm to society. Apparently someone is comfortable enough to see what happens. Let’s be ground breaking and get some publicity out of this.” Ezra’s smile was ear to ear and knew that Zonso couldn’t say no to peer pressure.

“Weeeellllll it is pretty funny that you say ground breaking, cauuuse we are going to be doing a large amount of that. Instead of a skyscraper, I mean come on, this city is riddled with them. I want to do a ground scraper with an observatory deck on the bottom, instead of having people look into the heavens. I’ll have the deck look out into the large cavern, built by yours truly, and have them wonder how far can the blackness go?!” Ezra was saying this while slowly pouring a bottle of water into a storm drain and was overheard by Felix. “Sounds like your take away from the seminar was ambitious! Honestly an idea like that could turn this place on its head, in a good way! I’d like to talk more about this. If you three would have the spare time?”

Zonso stepped forward eagerly and shook Felix’s hand, “We definitely have the time! We’ll be sure to make the first meeting you set up! By the way, what is your take on the ‘Infinity of Ghastly Images’ by Franklin Boreeve? I always just thought of it as a puddle of water encased in plexi-glass.” Felix overwhelmed with the excited energy Zonso was emanating slowly took his hand away from what he felt as a cold clammy iron grasp, “Well I can see why you think that. It is essentially water encased in plexi-glass. The point of art is the take away. Look at something as not the sum of its parts but rather what you think it could be or should be. Maybe the artist interests your current mindset or can bring you to a provocative thought process where you can become inspired. It can also be a piece that doesn’t excite or interest you at all.”

Felix walked with Ezra, Zonso, and Sara toward the metro station. Offering them cigars all declined but Sara. After lighting Sara’s and his own, Felix started to point to landmarks and buildings nearby in visual range and explain most of the thought processes of the architects. “In most cases an art explained, takes the fun out of it. Try to understand it but not too much. In any case I am thoroughly excited and genuinely anxious to see what you will take away from you’re experience with the ‘Light’s Hideaway’.”

After Felix left, the three all spoke about their upcoming plans. None of them, not even Zonso, spoke too much about the meeting. However subtly everyone acknowledged the strange behavior Zonso exhibited. He was never known to be star struck or even overly excited about anything. Whenever he met someone who he felt was an “in” to a new opportunity he was always collective and in control of his emotions. It was a cold side of Zonso everyone knew. Zonso being warm and forward was strange, too strange to warrant a response. Besides ‘Light’s Hideaway’ was around the corner and there were other things to be concerned with.



Was it Henry or Harry?

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This amazing little one is the pet of a stranger my wife and I met while out on a hike during our 1 year anniversary. His stature, facial, and body language screamed regal. I wish I had a small crown to give him. He took extra care not to get an uncomfortable amount of wet but just enough to satisfy whatever standard he had set in his mind.

Pets just seem to have such amazing personalities. It makes me wonder about the turning point of which man started to settle and become less nomadic as a whole. There was a turning period for us to stop worrying about certain necessities and started worrying more about the ease and comfort of society. If given the opportunity would an otherwise wild animal, after generations of domesticity, start to build more on their personality. Start worry about things like style and comfort more so than the need of survival. Is that how we get hilarious candid moments with our fuzzy little sidekicks? I wonder if there are societies of animals that have already established themselves comfortably and tend to do this naturally. They probably do. The world is so large it’s just amazing what possibilities are out there.

Cee’s B&W Photo Challenge

The image drastically flickered.

Laying on the ground one could only see

How belligerent the absence of logic and sensibility

Mind races to beat the panic

Fashion obsession bleeds through the eyes of the manic


A microscope’s view of the bigger picture

Puts the pinhead on the dreamscape landmark

The image drastically flickered

Water drowns the mayor of the dog park


Fizzled silica justice

Cycled in the undertow

Conundrums cause all of the ruckus

Beneath the mistletoe


Sharper than Deneb

During the grand applause

Folding the doors to the crib

Black holes in every wall


Knocks on the calcium orb

Heat on the carbon construct

A steady rise begins from the core

Another day for this mongrel defunct



Living and watching everything through the rear view mirror.

My wonderful city.

It bespoke of an exuberant amount of wealth and prosperity but relied solely on the programmers. They always seemed to have the better end of the stick as well but honestly, in a place like this, it didn’t matter. Work didn’t kill everyone’s dreams. If you deserved advancement you got it. If you didn’t well the rate you got kept you on your feet and no one really had a job that they didn’t fully immerse themselves in.

From the outside looking in I could see why people outside of the city walls can see this as a culted society but it didn’t feel like that. The worst we had was unfortunate news about the outside world. Tales of famine, tragedy, greed, murder, and these horrific nonsensical acts of egotist superiority that made our worst fiction and horror novels seem like the stuff children’s nightmares were made of.

I could not believe it when it happened. My experience of the event was when I woke to begin my day. I went to the coffee shop below my office building. My transaction had been the last one to successfully complete that day. I bought a bagel with peach and habanero jelly and cream cheese. I heard the teller explain to the next customer that her card had been declined and that the cloud cash that was in the till had also malfunctioned and they were going to have to close due to technical difficulties.

Technical difficulties. Fuck…. There weren’t any damn technical difficulties for fucking ever! I should have known right then and there to pack my shit and go. Unfortunately for me and so many others in that coffee shop we just let it sit in the back of our heads till we got to gossip about it when we were in our respecitive offices.

Turns out overnight the programmers set out an update that was not suppose to continue into the morning and life as we knew it should have stayed the same. According to the few consistant rumors I have heard. Shortly after the update past sunrise, there was a large amount of air traffic leaving the city. It took over 2 hours but the traffic died down and then completely stopped. The update was for a reallocation of spending and purchasing of the wellness expenses and what they called “reorganization of caustic matter as per order of //W.A.L.T.E.R//” the city’s public works automated organization tool. You could only guess who could possibly fix this god forsaken new reality brought to us by our dear Walter. You could also guess who was on the damn plane high tailin’ it out of here!

It had been four days since I had eaten anything. The last meal being a dead rat, I thought was for sure, going to put me out for good. Those stories from the outside were true. The news wasn’t this exageratting machine bent on fear mongering. How there are people who have been able to endure these struggles on a consistant basis is hard for me to imagine. Here I am in a city that was once so vibrant and now look at it. Toppled down from the inside out all because someone thought it would be a good idea to try and tweak government finances through automation.

They truth of our city started to rear its ugly head. People who were coherent broke at the first point of not being able to connect to the fabric that held everything together. The older ones seemed to quickly turn paranoid and decided to hold “their” ground and that started the division. That brought about the neighborhoods in front of you. That small detail of this is now mine and no one can have it but me and who I deem worthy.

The outer world was experiencing what was natural. The oddity was us and we need to be an oddity again. We need to find out what they did to us. Shit. I don’t even know who they were I was just brought up to accept how good we had it was how good it was always going to be. Why did it change?


Falling was my best option.

I saw myself forming. One piece at a time in the slowest and most fluid of motions. I couldn’t recognize what was happening before it was too late. The weight of the world’s force pulled me in every which way. The wind guided my movements and I had no say. I could only remember this moment. Everything that was happening was the beginning of what I would experience for the rest of my life.

As I grew heavier the wind was losing its control of me. At this point falling was my best option. It had taken me by suprise, but it felt like I would be fleeing a group of friends that I have known for ages. Just when I had grown accustomed to the choatic rhythym of the wind, this downward pull overwhelmed my whole being.

Faster I fell until I hit some surface. It was black all around me. The warmth of the surface was a comfort I had never known. One that would not last. Comfort turned into panic when I realized my edges began to disappear. I disappeared.

-The Life of A Snowflake

via Daily Prompt: Flee