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Sam
Artist | Hobbyist | Literature
Hi, I’m Sam, also known as Ham. I'm an extreme history nerd (seriously four bookcases full of history books) and a comic book geek. I am very spacey and it can take me a while to reply, but it's not because I hate you, it's because I'm lazy.

Currently, my sister, :iconinprismed:, and I are working on six major projects:

1. The first project is my fifteen book science fantasy series: Nothing but Glory:

“It’s never good versus evil, it’s nothing more than a game of god damn chicken. Who is willing to sacrifice more? That’s all it’s ever been and the roles are assigned after the war is over. The good men are the ones who win the war"-Kingsley Montivelo.

The Second Shadow War is over, but veteran Alexander Phillips cannot let it go. After interviewing the surviving participants, Alexander publishes a fifteen book series that follows thirteen leaders as they rise to power, how they handle a world war that is catastrophic in scope, and watches as some are overtaken by their sins-both intentional and unintentional-and some rise to lead a stronger, but dying world into an uncertain future. The first nine book are ‘regional’ books (they focus on each region of my world) while the next six are the about the war itself. Think of my series like the Avengers movies. The first nine books establish my characters (like Marvel phase one) and the next six books are one huge Avengers movie.

2. My second project is the first book for the Nothing but Glory series: For the Next Killer Who Dies: Selected memories of a Revolutionary::

Killers never forget, they never forgive, and they never apologize, but sometimes they explain.

The Second Shadow War is over, but the world has not yet moved on, primarily because the Oppositions’ true motives have been distorted by propaganda. Kingsley Montivelo, surviving member of the Opposition, is writing a memoir. It is a memoir about his people, the Killers, a racial minority being oppressed by the colonial Shivians, and the Killer Liberation Army’s (KLA) attempt to fight back. It begins with a bloody riot and follows Kingsley on his path from being a small time grunt to leader of the KLA.

His memoir has piqued the interest of a historian named Alexander Phillips, who in interested in understanding Kingsley’s part in the Second Shadow War. A deal is struck in which Alexander will publish Kingsley’s novel in exchange for information. However, it quickly becomes clear that truth is relative and that yesterday’s terrorist can become today’s hero.

3, My third project is the second book in my Nothing but Glory series: Strangers in a Familiar Land

It focuses on the rising king of the desert, Sargon, and a leader of a multi-organizational terrorist group, Karif. Both men struggle to shape the desert in the midst of familial strife and a series of colonial wars and only time will keep who will merge as superior ruler of the Ignis Desert.

4. My fourth project is Heroes: a dystopian novel about Singularity gone wrong.

“We offer you Peace, Security, and Prosperity. We ask for your Privacy and your Obedience.”-Turing

Heroes is a world where there is no death, no war, no disease, and no crime. It is a perfect world as long as everyone follows the rules and does not mind being observed by the four guardians at all times. There is a small movement known as the Time Keepers who are desperately fighting the Guardians and bringing freedom back to the world.

5. My fifth project is Stairway to Heaven is about Greg an individual with a very special talent-he can morph into an anteater. His parents were superheroes during the golden age of superheroes and, unfortunately, the apple has fallen far from the tree.

After years of boozing and whoring, Greg hits a depressing low and starts to think about his life choices. While doing so, he is pulled over for reckless driving and must perform 300 hours of community service. His solution? He opens a boarding school for other gifted people and quickly regrets it.

6. My sixth project is The Undesirables In the 1850s the Ancient Ones were nearly brought to Earth, rendering the Heavens and Hell apart and merging those worlds with Earth.

Jump to the present and the angels live on Earth, running a complicated holy Interpol while Satan and his Devils slowly take over the world. Archangel Michael, desperate to win the war, enlists the aide of ten damned and irreverent, but gifted individuals. They are the Undesirabes and they will go into the blackest parts of the world-places that the angels dare not go-in order to protect the world.

My pinterest: www.pinterest.com/pepperdaphoe…
My Tumblr: pepperthephoenix.tumblr.com/
My story Tumblr: withnothingbutglory.tumblr.com…
Interests
Another idol gone. It seems strange to think that only Monday I was wishing David Bowie farewell, not I have to let go of another legend, Alan Rickman. I’ll admit that I’m just numb right now. I have no more tears to shed and I still haven’t gotten over David Bowie’s death. I will probably fully feel Alan Rickman’s death later this weekend, probably after I watch Die Hard Galaxy Quest, and Dogma in his honor.

Alan Rickman has been part of my life as long as I can remember. I must have been only five or six when I first saw Die Hard (my parents are either really cool or really deranged) and while I was a big John McClane fan, Hans Gruber always fascinated me. It remains today my favorite action movie of all time and my family and I watch it every Christmas Eve and Hans Gruber is still one of my all-time favorite villains. I’m sure people can see Hans in many of my villains. I think Alan Rickman also sparked my fascination and love for voices. I don’t know why, but there was just something about Alan Rickman that inspired love even when he was playing a European criminal/terrorist. Also, quick frankly, he was just cool.

My love for him only increased after seeing him in Galaxy Quest and Dogma by the age of eleven (again one has to question my parent’s parenting skills). He had a great sense of humor while also giving his characters that need gravitas. As I grew older, I was introduced to Alan Rickman’s serious works and discover his true range as an actor whether he was Eamon DeValera in Michael Collins or Judge Turpin in Sweeney Todd, there was something in him that reminded me of the great actors such as Peter O’Toole, Claude Rains, and Paul Schofield that held me spellbound. Actually because of his performance in Michael Collins, I was introduced to the history of the IRA and it was one of the many things that started that obsession. Devin Tossier is actually named after DeValera, which is in part because of Alan Rickman. And, of course, being a Potterhead, I will never forget his performance as Severus Snape. It is rare that an actor replaces how a character looks in my head, but Alan Rickman was Snape and no one else will ever be able to play him.

If simply a good actor just died, this death wouldn’t be so tragic, but more than an actor died today. Of course, I never knew Alan Rickman personally, but his mere presence on the screen was enough to build a connection with him that very few actors can replicate. Even when playing the villain, his warmth and compassion came out on the screen and his interviews were always witty and friendly. He was such a pillar in my childhood, I cannot imagine a world without him.

R.I.P. Alan Rickman. Thank you for everything and for make this world a little warmer.
  • Mood: Sorrow
  • Listening to: It Ain't Easy-David Bowie
  • Eating: bologna sandwich
  • Drinking: water
I don’t normally do this, because in some ways I find it odd to be so upset over the death of someone I’ve never even seen in person, let alone interacted with, but I have to write something about David Bowie’s death. He has shaped my life in so many ways and inspired me in ways no one else ever did or ever could, that I owe him this.

Like most people, I didn’t have a completely happy childhood. I don’t like going into the details, but a number of factors made me feel very isolated, stupid, and a waste of space. I also had this great disgust for being human and for weakness. I wanted to transcend the ‘fallen’ state of humanity and be something more. No one understood this feeling better than David Bowie.

His entire life was about metamorphosis and defying the human condition. He was chaos and the absurd personified and, in a lot of ways he was a burning disaster, but in others he shone brighter than anyone else. He was this wild and uncontrollable ball of energy that existed almost in spite of everyone else. David Bowie wrote albums because he wanted to, it didn’t matter if no one else got it. He showed that people defined themselves, they didn’t have to be defined by gender or sexuality. It didn’t matter what society thought, all that mattered was who or what you wanted to be. Also, my god, the songs he wrote. They could range from catching dance songs to heartrending ballads about death, immortality, insanity, and murder. He understand and captured the sound of isolation and being an alien in his own skin. He knew how to rage at society while parodying it. He was in on the joke of the universe while acknowledging it was being told at his expense. He could channel my anger, frustration, fears, and disgust and he provided me with an outlet and voice. Listening to his music was like finding a friend who had been through the same shit you went through and had survived and knew I could survive too. I know he wrestled with many demons and there were times when his persona nearly destroyed him, but he also managed to come out on top each and every time.  He had his share of defeats, but he also proved that a man could be in control of who he was and his life. Hell, he even died on his own terms.

I was introduced to David Bowie at the tender age of fourteen. My aunt had sent me Jim Henson’s Labyrinth and it was love at first sight. I don’t know why, but there was something about him that spoke to me, somehow I instinctively knew this man understood everything. My first album was Scary Monster (Super Creeps) and it was the end of me. I had never (and have never heard since) anything so visceral. It wasn’t just that all the anger I had been suppressing was in that album, but that album gave words and images to the dark side of human nature, something I was natural drawn too, but had no way of wording. In that album alone there were songs about the holocaust, isolation, murder, bullying, and addiction. I had always known those things were there and my family never shied from talking about those things, but listening to that album was like someone pulling open the curtains and say, “Yes, you can talk about it. Scream about it! The rest of the world may want to ignore it, but you don’t have to. I understand. You’re not alone.” All my life the world seemed to live in this polite bubble of willful ignorance because they were too afraid of offending someone by revealing how miserable life really was. That album liberated me and gave me permission to speak.

The next two albums I bought were Ziggy Stardust and the Spider from Mars and the Man Who Sold the World. Now everyone praises Ziggy Stardust (and they should because it’s an amazing album), but for me, the Man Who Sold the World, will always be his best album. That album affect my life and my writing more than anything else I have ever read/seen/listen to. I mean the fact that there is religion built around the concept of the man who sold the world in the Nothing but Glory series should tell you how big an influence this album had on me. That album, combined with his song Heroes, created the plot for my sci-fi story Heroes and helped inspire many of the characters and plot ideas for the Nothing but Glory series. If anyone was to look back at my life for a life defining moment, it would be the first time I listened to that album. I don’t know why it had such an impact on me, but it changed everything. I next bought Heroes and Low and finally Diamond Dogs. Out of the hours spent listening to those albums came the twisted Sargon and Damon relationship as well fine tuning the plot for Heroes. Not only were these albums great sources of inspiration, but they also helped me understand my world and my emotions. Low and Heroes took a second to adjust to because it was very different from his previous albums, but somehow it hit harder than his other albums. He was able to capture loneliness and isolation without needing any lyrics. Finally I bought his last two albums, the Next Day and Blackstar. I had to listen to Blackstar on repeat before I got it, but it’s one hell of an album to go out on. I just bought Aladdin Sane after learning about his death, and while I haven’t had the chance to truly appreciate it, I know it’s going to be another life changing classic.

It’s hard to put into words what David Bowie meant to me. He was simultaneously a friend, confident, and idol. He represented everything I wanted to be but was scared of. He proved that something beautiful can be salvaged from complete wrecks and that identity isn’t something set by the age of twenty-one, it is something that is constantly being redefined. I hope I can be as brave and brazen as he was and I hope my stories-which borrow so much from his persona and music-can be worthy of their inspiration. The world has grown darker and the stars have gone out now that he is gone, although I like to think that he isn’t truly dead. He just went home.

R.I.P. David Bowie. Thank you for everything. I hope you found what you were searching for.
  • Mood: Sorrow
  • Listening to: Lazarus-David Bowie
  • Eating: bologna sandwich
  • Drinking: water

Critiques

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“And by the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, amen.”
“Amen.”
The vast and overbearing church echoed as the various believer crossed themselves. The priest stood at the front of the intricate stone church, his hands raised as he praised his lord, Christ nailed to the cross behind him. The pews were full and the devoted bowed their heads and prayed. Only one man was out of sync with the rest of people there. He kept his head down and flipped through the pages of the Bible, muttering corrections himself whenever he came across a jarringly erroneous passage. His skin was as smooth and dark, and his eyes were as black as the darkest pit in Hell. While he had become an expert had holding his human appearance for hours at a time, someone watching him closely to see him twitch and his true form burst forth for a split second before disappearing again. His hair was in dreadlocks and caused more than a few people to glance his way. He smiled as he heard the heavy foots of Alister Starr and his teeth were sharp needles, as if he had taken a file and filed them down to pinpricks.
“You know I’m not even mentioned in this book?” he said, his voice the voice of three men, all deep and guttural, all damned.
“Why would you be? You’re just a leech, latching yourself onto the biggest, bloodiest animal.”
He looked at the Demon hunter and laughed, his laughter casting the church in shadow for a quick second.
“There will come a time when you will be on your knees, begging me for mercy.”
“Yeah, well that’s not going to happen as long as I know your true name, now is it?”
The Demon hissed as the confident man took off his newsboy cap.
“Now what have you got?”
Alister Starr had the build of a boxer and the scars of a street fighter. Nearly every inch of his skin was covered in elaborate and arcane tattoos and he wore a number of amulets, each one providing protection from many of the monsters that he came face to face with on a daily basis. His face was harsh and beaten and his droopy blue eyes sparked with a fierce fire. His black hair was cropped and gave one the impression that he had served in the military at one point in his life. He had been handsome once, but the wear and tear of his lifestyle was beating him down. He carried a number of weapons, partially behind by his large overcoat with the popped up collar.
“First, you have what I asked for?” asked the Demon.
Alister pulled a pouch out of his coat pocket. The Demon lunged for them, but Alister held him back.
“Oh, no, first you tell me what you got.”
He stared at Alister.
“Anytime now, Bernie. I don’t have all day.”
Bernie growled before pulling out a number of papers from his inside pocket.
“You’re no longer on the top ten most wanted list in Hell.”
“Ah, isn’t that a shame,” drawled Alister, taking the papers from Bernie, “What happened? I’m already starting to lose my appeal?”
“After how useful Colin has proven himself to be, I think not,” laughed Bernie, enjoying the rage burning in Alister’s chest, “It seems that a bigger idiot than you crossed paths with Lucifer and left him more than a little pissed.”
Alister studied the crumbled wanted poster for a man named Booker Jones. The picture was a charcoal sketch of dark skinned man, he must have been Indian or Pakistani, with thick black hair, a moustache and five o’clock shadow, and bloodshot eyes. He as short with wide shoulders and quick hands. Alister’s eyes widened when he saw the offered reward.
“What the Hell would he offer a reward like that?”
“Alister, this is a church,” grinned Bernie.
“This isn’t a trick is it, Bernie?” asked Alister, grabbing the Demon by the collar of his shirt, “Or should I address you by your real name?”
“No, no!” pleaded the Demon, pawing at Alister’s hand, “It’s not a trick, I swear. It’s true. He really is allowing the lucky bounty hunter to determine the terms of the reward. That’s why I thought you would be interested. It may be the only way to save your brother.”
Alister stared at him before tossing him back into the pew and studied Booker’s wanted poster again.
“Just think about it, Alister.”
“I’m no fool,” he snorted, “Say here I have to develop Booker to Satan personally. I would be a goner as soon as the deal was made.”
Bernie shrugged but didn’t disagree.
“But a lot of bastards are going to be after this idiot. Why? What did he do?”
“No one knows.”
Alister threatened the Demon, causing Bernie to whimper.
“I’m telling the truth. No one knows for sure that is.”
Alister’s face hardened.
“There is a rumor that Booker Jones is the only man alive to ever beat Satan at his own game.”
“Explain,” said Alister, furrowing his eyebrows.
“The story is that Booker challenged Satan to a game of poker on one condition: that Satan play in human form. If Booker won Satan would give him his most prized possession. If Satan won, he would take the souls of Booker and his entire team of thieves and con artists. They reached an agreement and Booker won the game.”
“How?!”
“Nobody knows for sure. Some say not even Lucifer knows, that’s why the bastard’s got such a large bounty on his head. When he’s brought in, Lucifer is going to make him suffer like no man, Demon, or Angel has ever suffered before.”
Alister thought it over.
“Do you know Lucifer’s most prized possession is?”
“No.”
“You said something about Booker’s team.”
“Yeah, they’re also wanted. Booker’s the most wanted man is every world and universe. I think he’s the most wanted man ever. His wife, Arya Booker the Naga is third most wanted while Melvin Wilkinson, Booker’s right hand man, is fifth and Brutus Waterford is the tenth most wanted. But none of them have as large a bounty on their head as Booker does.”
Alister studied the wanted posters again as he thought it through.
“These poor bastards aren’t going to last long on their own.”
“No, they are not.”
Alister studied the Demon.
“Where are they?”
The Demon smiled and handed Alister a card with an address written on it.
“I was supposed to give this to Lucifer directly.”
“I’m touched,” drawled Alister, raising an eyebrow when he noticed it was a bar in the middle of nowhere Boston.
“There’s something else.”
Alister stared at him warily.
“I’m not sure what to make of it,” said Bernie, pulling out another two piece of papers, “It’s causing quite stir downstairs.”
Alister raised an eyebrow as he stared at the strange wanted posters. The paper was a silvery grey and thin and smooth to the touch.
“This isn’t from below.”
“No.”
Alister looked at the dark skinned Demon.
“Who’s it from?”
“We don’t know and the angels don’t know. Rumor has it, it’s from the ancient ones.”
“That’s bullshit. The ancient ones were sealed from our world.”
Bernie shrugged and Alister studied the wanted posters. They were for a pair of twins. One, Manfred Boelcke, a young kid with tightly curled brunette hair, a thin face, and a round nose. The second twin was Nadzieja Boelcke, a young girl with the skin was mercury and she had long loosely curled silver hair that swayed down her back.
“Do you know who they are?” asked Bernie.
“Should I?”
“They’re Raphael’s twins.”
Alister looked up in shock.
“Who the hell would put a hit on Raphael’s twins? They’re protected up the ass and not only by angels. They say a beast watches them as well, a beast of shadow and light.”
“I’m not the one who put out the hit. I’m just passing along the information,” said Bernie, shaking his head.
“And what kind of reward is this? A place within the next world? What does that even mean?”
“Apparently this was designed for those in the know.”
Alister shook his head and shoved the pieces of paper in his coat pocket.
“It doesn’t make sense. You don’t go after kids who are watched 24/7 by the angels, not unless you want your ass handed to you.”
Bernie shrugged and Alister glanced at him.
“You know something you’re not telling me?”
“If the ancients are involved and they find a way back, not even Lucifer or Jesus Christ will be safe.”
“Yeah, well that’s not my problem now is it?”
“Come now, isn’t Jesus Christ your savior?”
“Not mine,” said Alister rising, “That son of a bitch never did me any favors.”
Bernie clapped his hands and laughed.
“You’ll make a great Demon when you’re finally brought in.”
Alister flicked Bernie off as he walked out of the church.

Alister, drove his beat up but enchanted car down the dark highway, keeping his eyes opened for a rundown bar with at least one person being thrown out a window. Why Booker was staying here was beyond him. It seemed like a fucking dumb idea. Then again it didn’t seem like Booker was the smartest guy out there. He gave an aha when he saw the rundown bar Threeways and pulled into the parking lot. He barely had a chance to step out of the war when a large and ugly demon was thrown through the only window. Well, at least this was the right place. He grabbed a machine gun before hopping out of his car and running into the bar. He killed the door open and started shooting the machine gun, hitting a number of Demons in the process. They were all in their demonic forms, their skin tarred and burnt, their horns were sharp and jagged and their tails were twisted. They were low ranking demons, poor kids trying to prove they were tough. They didn’t stand a chance. Alister tore through the inexperienced Demons and sending them to the floor, their sulfuric blood staining the wooden floor.
“Who the fuck is that!” shouted a small man with a rat face and a shortly clipped beard, throwing a glass bottle at one of the Demons-Melvin Wilkinson.
“As long as he doesn’t shoot at us, who gives a shit?” shouted Booker Jones, ducking behind a table as a demon shot fire at him.
Alister ducked as a large snake tale knocked three demons into the wall. His eyes widened as they landed on a gorgeous naga. Her bottom half was that of a black snake, but her top half was of a dark skinned Indian woman, her skin burning as the demon’s blood landed on her skin. Her fangs were bared as her tale wrapped around one Demon and she tore into its neck, sending its soul back to Hell. Alister took a bright flash of holy light into the crowd, causing the Demons to scream and some of their bodies burned and their souls howling back to Hell. He took the few seconds to join Booker’s small group in the corner of the bar and threw the machine gone at Melvin.
“Hold them back!” he shouted, pulling a piece of chalk out of his pocket.
“Chalk!” shouted Booker, “Now is not the time to play with fucking chalk!”
“Shut up and keep them back. Naga, get your ass over here,” he shouted, drawing one of Solomon’s seals on the floor and muttering a protection spell in Hebrew.
“Arya, here!” shouted Booker, throwing the naga a handgun.
The bar echoed with gun fire and the smell of smoke as Alister concerned on his spell.
“Whatever the fuck your name is, hurry up,” shouted Booker.
“Don’t distract him!” snapped Melvin.
Alister shouted the last part of the spell and an electric current spread throughout the bar as a translucent shield generated in front of them.
“What the fuck?”
“It’s a protection spell,” said Alister, rising and pulling out a handgun, “They can’t get thorugh but we can shoot the shit out of them.”
“Who the fuck are you?” snapped Booker, reloading.
“Does it matter?” Melvin snapped shooting up another Demon.
Suddenly, there was a bright flash of light and the Demons howled and disintegrated. His head spun and spots flashed before his eyes as a bright light pulled itself together into human form in the center of the bar. Alister’ his head still ringing, but his vision slowly returning. He was tall and almost inhumanly thin and wore a well-tailored Gucci suit that had been adjusted for his wings. His two tone eyes (one green and one blue) were striking as were his sharp cheekbones and narrow face.
“Who the fuck are you?!” snapped Booker, rubbing his eyes.
“An angel,” gasped Arya.
Alister took a step back as the angel flexed its wings, clearly enjoying their stunned awe.
“Yes, I’m Archangel Michael and I am here to offer you a deal.”
The Undesirables: Church on Time
So this is a quick thingy I wanted to write before I lost it. It gave me a chance to explore some of my Undesirable characters. It's a little rough, but meh, it's a start.

Enjoy!

(c) me
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“I am Susan Harkins and I am outside Leeview rehabilitation center waiting for the release of Gregory Zook, CEO of Trinity Associates, a lobbying firm for the gifted. Mr. Zook was last seen last year during his arrest for soliciting sex from two under aged prostitutes. Mr. Zook was not pressed on charges and checked himself into rehab shortly after”
The camera turned to the front of the luxurious complex and the crowd of reporters twittered as the doors opened and a disheveled and annoyed looking Greg stumbled out. He was tall and thin, unnaturally thin, with unruly, greying dark hair and wasted brown eyes. His face was the typical beaten look of most Eastern Europeans and his skin, while whiter than most of his relatives, still retained its olive color. Wrinkles and shadows were beginning to form under his eyes and his high cheekbones were still sharp enough to cut through glass. He was wearing a black t-shirt with David Bowie on it and faded blue jeans.
“Mr. Zook! Mr. Zook!”
The man tried to duck back inside when a large black Maserati car drove up to the front door and out hopped the U.S. agent Jaunty, Awesome, Courageous, Kind, Amazing, Super Simon. He had windswept blonde hair, a full piece spandex suit, and golden goggles. On his chest was a golden double s and he had a number of gadgets hanging from his golden belt. His army of rabid fangirls parted the crowd as Super Simon strode towards Greg.
“Back away, everyone. Super Simon is here to save the day. Hey, Greg, how’s it going?”
“No, not you,” Greg moaned as Simon wrapped an arm around his shoulder.
“What are you talking about?” he whispered while he grinned and waved, “Rose asked for me specifically. All right, everyone show’s over.”
“Super Simon, why are you involved?”
Super Simon motioned to his fangirls and they cleared a path for him and Greg.
“You’re driving my Maserati?!”
“Yeah, Rose has been letting me borrow it.”
“Borrow it?!”
“Can we talk about this inside the car?” snapped Simon, “My fangirls are getting tired.”
Greg glared at him before throwing the door open and climbing in.
“What the hell? Why is the seat moved all the way up?”
“Yeah, sorry, Trixie likes it that way.”
“Girls? You’re bring girls into my car?”
“Not girls,” snorted Simon, pulling out of the driveway and waving to his fangirls who disappeared, “She’s one of my fangirls. Oh, search the glove compartment, I got you a surprise.”
Greg raised an eyebrow as he did what he was told and ah haed in joy.
“All right, I hate you a little less now,” he said, pulling out a cigarette and lighting it.
“I can kick you out of this car you know,” said Simon, clearly enjoying this, “Oh and don’t tell Rose I had Kris buy those for you.”
“You sent in one of your fangirls? Aren’t most of them fourteen?”
“No, not all of them. Fangirls come in all shapes and sizes and ages.”
Greg glared at him as Simon shifted.
“I’ve gotten more creative as the years gone by. Remember when I created my first batch? All five of those little darlings were blonde, blue eyed, five feet tall.”
“Yeah, you had a whole Aryan race thing going on,” said Greg, rolling the window and blowing out smoke.
Simon glared at him as he stopped at a red light.
“I see rehab has only succeed in making you grumpier.”
“No, Simon, seeing you made me grumpy,” said Greg closing his eyes and rubbing his forehead.
“I told Rose that would happen, but she said you’d prefer me over her.”
Greg looked at him.
“She’s still furious?”
“Furious does not begin to cover it, buddy.”
“The freeze out?”
“The freeze out, the changed locks, and packing all of your items up. I think she even let that thing that lives in your dryer eat all of your socks. Oh! She’s also giving away your cars.”
“I thought you said you were borrowing this!”
“Borrow, accepting it as a gift from my friend’s attractive aunt. What’s the difference?”
Greg made a face as he tried to picture Rose as an attractive woman.
“Are you sleeping in my bed as well?”
“Only once.”
“Don’t you fucking work for the government?! Can’t they put you up in a hotel?”
“Listen, buddy of mine, this is an election season. That means the government is tightening its purse strings.”
“My heart breaks for you, it really does,” said Greg, puffing on his cigarette.
“Still, I attend a nice ribbon cutting ceremony yesterday. That was fun.”
Greg pushed his seat back and closed his eyes as he blew out a cloud of smoke. Simon glanced at him and his lips twitched as he thought it over.
“Are you going to stay out this time?”
“That’s the plan.”
“Seriously, Greg?”
Greg opened his eyes and blew smoke out of the corner of his mouth.
“Why do you care?”
“I don’t. I just want to know when I’m picking you up from rehab again.”
Greg rolled his eyes and puffed on his cigarette again.
“Where they really minors?”
“No they weren’t minors!”
“But they were prostitutes?”
“It was the one prostitute.”
“What?”
“Well, technically two,” admitted Greg, leaning up to knock ash out the window, “But it was one girl.”
“I’m still not getting it.”
“She could split into multiple copies of herself so it was two people, but one girl.”
“Ah, nice.”
“I know,” grinned Greg, “Tried to convince her to split three ways, but she wasn’t having any of that.”
“Always looking for trouble,” smirked Simon, shaking his head.
“Oh, you’re one to talk with your army of fangirls.”
“Hey, I create them to help me on missions and to get me out of sticky situations, not for my own pleasure.”
“Whatever helps you sleep at night.”
Simon rolled his eyes as he took a sharp turn.
“Hey, careful!” snapped Greg, trying to get comfortable in his seat.
“Who I’m sure you’re put it through worse.”
Greg rolled his eyes and blew out another smoke ring. They sat in silence as the bustling city of Seattle turned into the thick evergreens of highway 405.
“I have my own theme song now,” said Simon, not used to silence.
Greg crooked an eyebrow.
“You have a theme song?’
“Yeah, it’s a song they play whenever I have to attend these stupid award ceremonies. It’s very catchy.”
“Jesus, I should have stayed in rehab. Hey, when did they put in a Walmart?”
He pulled up his seat and looked out the window as they passed a large, grey building.
“A lot has changed since you’ve been gone.”
Greg made a face as they passed a billboard with his company’s logo.
“We really need to fire our marketing team. That is hideous.”
“At least they replaced the infamous weed headshots.”
Greg glared at him.
“It was medically prescribed to keep me relaxed. I had high blood pressure at the time, remember?”
“Right.”
Greg threw his cigarette out the window and folded his arms across his chest.
“Should have just hitchhiked home.”
“You would never have escaped the reporters without me,” said Simon smugly.
“Yeah, how did Rose convince the government to let you pick me up?”
“Uh, well it was a sanctioned pick up.”
Greg furrowed his eyebrows.
“I didn’t really tell them what I was going to do. I just asked for some time off.”
“But they’re going to find out!” said Greg, “It’s going to be all over the news.”
“Oh, yeah, I’m going to get my ass handed to me,” nodded Simon, “But it’s all right. I’m always getting yelled at.”
“They’re going to fire you one of these days.”
Simon pffted.
“I’m more important than you think I am.”
Greg nearly died laughing as Simon glared at him in deep annoyance.
“Oh, yeah, I’m sure you and your fangirls are just vital to our national security,” said Greg, coughing as he laughed, “We would all be lost without you.”
“You’re an asshole,” said Simon, a frown carved onto his lips.
Greg shrugged and pulled out another cigarette.
“Yeah, what else is new?”
“You know you can still work for us. I’m sure I could pull a few strings.”
Greg stared at him skeptically.
“Why the hell would I want to do that?”
“Because the board is probably going to fire you.”
“My parents left me enough to live on.”
Simon glanced at him.
“Besides what would the government want someone like me? Unless there are terrorist ants running around, my power is useless.”
“I’ll keep that in mind when Mario, the insect master, escapes jail again.”
Greg snorted and slouched in his seat, groaning as they neared his mcmansion on the outskirts of town.
“Can’t we drive around a little longer?”
“Hey, I’m not dumb enough to anger Rose,” snorted Simon, “I told her I’d get you to her by 2:00 and not minute later.”
“You realizes she’s at least thirty years older than you.”
“I’m the same age as you, you idiot.”
“Oh, all right, twenty years older.”
“Hey, age don’t matter when you’ve got an ass like that.”
Greg made a face of extreme disgust.
“Shit, man, that’s my father’s cousin!”
“What can I see? The women in your family got all the best genes.”
Again Greg made a face of disgust and shook his head.
“You’re sick.”
“Oh you should talk!” snapped Simon as they pulled into Greg’s long driveway.
“Shit,” said Greg, whitening as he realized he was about to face an irate Rose.
His fingers wrapped around the door handle.
“Hey, don’t even think about it,” said Simon, grabbing Greg by the neck of his shirt, “You’re not jumping out of this car and running away.”
“She’s going to kill me,” choked Greg, as Simon awkwardly kept a tight hold on his shirt and tried to stir the wheel.
They drove through the vast and flourish garden, passed the gardener and his three sons, around the hideous water fountain and pulled up to the marble porch. Greg tried to duck as an elderly woman as severe as a blizzard and as still as a mountain, stood on the porch, her arms crossed around her chest, smoke threatening to issue from her thin nostrils.
“Oh man, she’s pissed,” said Simon, his voice breaking, his eyes wide, “Maybe we should drive away.”
“I second that idea,” croaked Greg.
Simon licked his lips before turning the car off.
“What the hell are you doing?!”
“Right now she only wants to murder you. If I drive away, she’s going to murder me too,” hissed Simon, climbing out of the car, “Hey, Rose, looking as lovely as ever.”
Rose stiffly, as if she had forgotten how to move, walked down the marble steps towards Simon. She pecked his cheek and said shortly, “Thank you for picking him up.”
Greg, trying to hide under his seat, yelped as Rose looked into the car.
“Get out of that car right now, you son of a bitch!”
Greg swore as he hit his head on the dashboard and painfully tumbled out of the car.
“Hi, Rose,” he sputtered, “Looking good.”
Rose was a tall and powerful woman in her sixties. She took had the pinched and beaten look of most Eastern Europeans, except her skin was a deep tan and her nose was long and curved. Her cheekbones were sharper than Greg’s (if that was possible) and she still retained the beauty of her youth, despite the onslaught of wrinkles that had finally caught up with her. While her hair was grey, it was also long and thick and still soft to the touch. Her eyes, while normal large and full of life, were slits and shattered Greg to his core. While at first glance, Rose seemed to be wearing an elaborate jacket or shawl, it was actually her highly decorated, thin, mothlike wings.
“Well this has been fun,” said Simon, clapping his hands, “But I should get going.”
“Get going?!” gasped Greg, all color gone from his face now and his eyes the size of hubcaps.
“Yes, very busy being a government official you know,” said Simon, puffing out his chest.
“But today’s your day off!” said Greg, his voice hilariously high.
“Uh, yes, but…what is a day off, honestly,” said Simon, “Especially for a superhero. Oh, Greg, can I borrow fifty bucks?”
“What? Why?”
“Gas,” said Simon obviously.
Greg stared at him exasperated.
“Why don’t you use your own money?”
“Where am I going to put a wallet in a costume like this?” snapped Simon, gesturing towards his seamless one piece.
“Here, Simon,” said Rose handing him the money, “I gave you a little extra for the torture it must have been to pick up this idiot.”
Greg rolled his eyes as Simon pecked her cheek.
“Thanks, Rose, you’re amazing. See you later, Greg,” said Simon climbing into the car.
He rolled down the window on Greg’s said and added, “You know-hopefully.”
He winked with a grin before taking off, leaving Greg with a woman who had killed before and would gladly kill again.
“Inside, now!” snapped Rose, pushing passed him.
“Actually, I’d rather stay outside. There are more witnesses out here,” said Greg, with a pathetic smirk.
Rose whirled around, her eyes flashing in white hot rage.
“Fine!”
She stomped in and slammed the front door shut.
“Rose!” said Greg rolling his eyes and walking up the steps, “I was joking, Rose!”
He turned the knob and his eyes widened.
“Hey, that’s not funny. Open the door! Rose?!”
He pounded on the door and tried the doorknob one more time before kicking the door and swearing.
“Come on, Rose, unlock the fucking door!”
He looked through the window and couldn’t see her.
“Come on, Rose!”
“Senor Greg, good to see you again.”
He whirled around and jumped for joy when he saw…Marwan? Jose? Miguel? No…oh whatever the hell his name was. The gardener, yes!
“Yes, you, come here! I need you to open the door!”
“Oh, sure, senor,” chuckled the gardener, pulling out his key, “You locked yourself out again?”
“No, Rose, did.”
The gardener’s eyes widened as he dropped his keys.
“Senora Rose locked you out?”
“….no.”
“Sorry, Senor Greg, I cannot help. She has had the crazy eye all day. Not good.”
He stumbled away as Greg looked up at the sky and swore.
“God damn it, Rose, come on! I really have to pee! Rose!”
He kicked at the door, hoping he could kick it down, and sighed.
“That was pathetic. Auntie Rose! Come on, Auntie Rose, please let me in,” he said, pawing at the door, “Crap, um….Ciocia Rose. Shit is that the right word? Ciocia Rose, please let me in.”
He pushed away from the door and ran a hand through his hair. Shit.”
Greg snapped his fingers and ran to the door again.
“Bua Rose? Is that right? Or is it phi-phu….puuuu…Shit!”
He leant against the door and slid to the floor with a defeated sigh. He reached in his pockets for his cigarettes and couldn’t find them.
“Oh, no!” he snapped, “No! No! No!”
He pulled his pockets inside out, throwing his wallet and cellphone onto the porch.
“Son of a fucking bitch!” he shouted, bashing the back of his head against the front door.
He had forgotten his cigarettes in the car.
“Fucking perfect.”
He performed a jig sitting down as he kicked at the air. The gardener’s children waved at him and laughed as they pushed a wheelbarrow across the ridiculously huge lawn. He furrowed his eyebrows at he took the time to seriously study the lawn. It was fucking huge. His father must have been overcompensating for something. How the fuck was he supposed to get in? Maybe he could tunnel a way in. Yeah, in his anteater form he could cut through mounds of dirt and sometimes wood. Yes, because that would get Rose to like him again. A sweaty and dirty anteater emerging from the dining room floor. Besides there were probably a lot of bugs and icky things under that house. Uck. He shivered as he thought about it. Hm… He jumped up, grabbed his wallet and phone and shoved them in his pocket and ran towards that large oak tree that was a safety risk. It was planted so close to the house that if a bad storm came through it would land square on their house. However, the good thing was that it lead directly to the attic. It was how that stupid cat came in and out of their house. Greg gulped as he looked up the tree. Jesus that thing was tall. After many failed attempts of trying to get a grip on the tree, he grunted as he swung onto the third branch. He had to be nearly there right? He looked up.
“Son of a fucking bitch!” He hadn’t even reached the second floor yet.
Grunting and swearing and falling down more than a few branches now and then, he shimmied, crawled, climbed, and threw himself up to the second floor. He still had a good five feet to go before he even came close to the god damn attic. He swung around on a branch, straddling it, and sighed.
“Shit,” he gasped, his heart threatening to burst from his chest, stars forming in his eyes, and the world starting to spin, “I need to work out more.”
He stared ahead of him, wondering if he could simply jump from the branch through the window and into whatever room that was. Wait was that his room?
“You’ll never make it,” purred a soft, velvety voice that sent an unwelcomed shiver down Greg’s spine.
He looked up and flipped off his grandmother’s cat.
“Fuck off, Poof.”
“No need to get angry. Just trying to save your life.”
Poof was a black mancoon that liked to wear a large, purple, wicker hat with a long and poofy black plume. Her tail was so poofy that if it was ever shaved it could make another cat.
“Why don’t you help me get inside?”
“Oh, no,” said Poof, slinking down the branch and jumping into his lap, rubbing against his head in an attempt to get her ear scratched, “I would never disobey Rose’s explicit instructions.”
He growled, picked up Poof who meowed in surprise, and threw her to a nearby branch. She barely managed to sink her claws into the wood in time.
“You’re just as useless as everyone else, you know that?”
Poof hissed and jumped away as Greg rolled his eyes.
“Fucking useless, the whole lot,” he muttered, jumping to another branch, “I’m not buying you that fancy kitty litter anymore, you hear me! You hear-shit!”
The branch broke and he fell down three more branches before oafing and managed to barely hold onto another branch for dear life. He winched he pulled himself up and let out a long string of swear words as he realized he was back on the first floor.
“Fuck!” he snapped as he felt his ribs, “Well that has to be broken.”
He looked up and nearly cried at the pain.
“God fucking damn it.”
He gingerly climbed down and leant against the tree to catch his breath and to ensure that his lungs weren’t punctured by the damn rib.
“Senor Greg, what are you going?” laughed a small child.
He glanced at the youngest boy….Garcia maybe….who was only nine. He came mostly during the summer, supposedly to learn the family business, but really to eat all of Greg’s candy. Right now the little bastard was chewing on a snickers form his secret stash. Oh man he was sleepy now. Stupid low fucking metabolism. He couldn’t share DNA with an active animal. Noooooo it had to be a god damn anteater.
“I’m trying to get in,” he panted, his heart still racing and his side burning.
“Why not use the front door?” asked the young boy, chocolate smeared across his lips.
He glared at him.
“Because I like a challenge,” he drawled.
“Hm,” said the young boy, nodding his head as he thought it over, “Still, it would be easier to use the front door.”
“You don’t say?”
The boy wiped his lips on the back of his hand and Greg finally thought of something.
“How did you get that candy?”
“I went inside, senor.”
“No shit, you little-argh!”
Greg tightened as he took a second to regain his control.
“How did you get inside?”
“The back door.”
“The back-god damn son of a bitch!”

“That was quite a fall, Mr. Zook,” said Doctor Samuel Conner, wearing a nose plug as he felt Greg’s ribs.
Greg, whose head was already swimming from the stench, swore and tried to pull away, but Rose, who was holding onto his shoulders, dug her nails into his flesh, causing him to swear again.
“The good news is that there appears to be no internal bleeding,” said Dr. Connor, “But you managed to break two ribs.”
“Only two?” smirked Greg.
“You’ll break more when I’m through with you,” growled Rose causing Greg to gulp.
“There’s not much I can do except prescribe some medication,” said Dr. Connor, taking out his bad, “Although, given your history, I am a little wary of prescribing pain killers.”
Greg glared at him.
“My side looks like someone beat me with a baseball bat. You’re giving me fucking pain killers. Oh, my god-you bitch!”
He gasped for air as his small and pungent smelling grandmother poked him in the bruise area.
“You’re lucky Rose even called a doctor for you, you worthless sack of shit.”
Rose snapped at her aunt in Polish as the doctor shook his head, more than used to the insanity of the Zook house.
“Oh go back to the attic you-”
Greg didn’t finish his sentence as his grandmother threatened his bruise area with her heavy purse.
Greg’s grandmother was a shriveled up golden raisin with steellike grey hair that was pulled back in a severe pun and bifocals. Her face was more wrinkles than anything else and her practically blind eyes were always squinting. She wore a green dress with a grey, hand knitted jacket and pink bunny slippers. She always carried a bright red handbag. However, the only thing people ever remembered about her was her overpowering stench. It took many years to get used to the stench and the unexperienced usually passed out within a half hour of being in her presence.
“Rose may only threaten you, but I’ll actually beat you,” she warned.
“Irina, you can beat him when I leave,” said Connor, “But until then, I must ask you to refrain from abusing my patient.”
Dr. Connor was a silver fox that was more than familiar with the strangeness that followed the Zooks wherever they went. He was at the epitome of his health, despite being in his sixties, and his silver blue eyes had not yet succumbed to old age. Many people chalked his good health up to luck, but the real reason was because of he could not spend more than a few hours out of water. He spent, at max, eight hours on land, before having to return to a large body of water and releasing his true form-that of a merman. Connor, being gifted himself, had made a career out of helping the other gifted in the world, and many said that was the origin of his relationship with Rose-although no one could understood what that relationship was. He was always impeccably dressed, but seemed to make more of an effort whenever he was around Rose.
“I will give you some painkillers, but I’m entrusting them to Rose.”
Greg groaned.
“However, Mr. Zook, you have to promise me that you wouldn’t move for the next week or so. We want to give the ribs a chance to set and heal. After that, I would only recommend minimum movement for the next two or three weeks. Depending on how you’re feeling after that, you can resume a normal lifestyle, but stay away from anything incredibly strenuous. I’ll come back six weeks from now and determine if you can resume climbing trees.”
Greg glared at him as Connor smirked and took out his nose plugs, nearly fainting the moment Irina’s stench hit his nostrils. He quickly patted the trouble making Zook on the shoulder before rising.
“I’ll walk you out, Sam,” said Rose, “Aunt Irina, be nice!”
The old smelly woman rolled her eyes as Greg stared at her uncertainly. Rose shook her head and Dr. Connor followed her through the house.
“Thank you for coming on such short notice,” said Rose as they walked down the magnificent staircase.
“You know you don’t have to thank me, Rose,” said Dr. Connor, “Just doing my job.”
She smiled as they reached the bottom of the stairs.
“If you need any further assistance,” he said, pulling his coat from the room sized closet and putting it on, “Just call.”
“I know, thank you.”
He studied her and instinctively grabbed her hand and squeezed it.
“You should let him know you’re happy he’s home.”
“I will,” said Rose with a small grin, “But he has to suffer a little first. Lord knows he deserves it.”
He smirked.
“You should probably get going,” said Rose, pulling her hand away, although there was still that warm smile on her lips.
“Yes, Phosphorous Phil did sound rather urgent on the phone,” said Dr. Connor with a small frown.
“Goodbye, Sam,” said Rose, opening the door for him.
He walked through the front door and turned around with an uncertain frown.
“I mean it, Rose, anything you need me just-”
“I know.”
He met her smile and slowly walked back to his chair and she closed the door with a sigh.

Greg groaned as footage of his released flashed across his television screen.
“They weren’t under aged!” he shouted, wincing as he did so.
“You tell them, Monsieur Greg,” said the couch he was lying on.
“Thank you, Pierre.”
Greg was lying on the large cushioned, grey couch with a stain on his cushions that resembled a black moustache watching the news on his 24 inch flat screen TV. He was covered in blankets and a plate with a complete peanut butter and jelly sandwich sat on the floor next to the couch. All the lights were off as it must have been close to midnight and Greg assumed the rest of the house’s inhabitants were asleep.
“With Gregory Zook’s release, everyone is wondering what his future at Trinity Associates entails,” said news anchor Susan Harkins, “Word is that the board will take a vote earlier next week about his continued tenure at the company.”
“That is not good, Monsieur Greg.”
“Yeah, I am aware.”
“Trinity Associates was founded in 1965 by Gregory Zook’s Father, Julius Zook, a former crime fighter and part of the League of the United and Gifted Superheroes back in the 60s and 70s. The company was originally founded to provide a voice for the many gifted who were being employed by various governmental agencies and felt they were being exploited.”
Pictures of Greg’s family flashed across the screen as Greg rolled his eyes.
“The company was founded only a year after the mysterious disappearance of Tamara Zook and many of Julius’ friends believe it was an attempt to cope with his grief. One such friend and former crime fighter Zachariah Templeton also known as Golden Boy, had this to say.”
“Oh go to hell Zachariah!” shouted Greg as one of his father’s old partners gave an interview.
Zachariah was a young boy with curly blonde hair, large blue eyes, and adorable dimples
“You are aware he cannot hear you.”
“Yes, Pierre, I am aware!” snapped Greg, wincing.
“He took Tamara’s death very hard and he was never the same again,” said the young boy, “And this was only exasperated by his son’s behavior.”
“Ah, shit,” muttered Greg as a video of a shaky young man came on.
“Fuck off, man,” the boy laughed, his leather jacket wearing friends making lewd gestures.
“Mr. Zook-” attempted the reporter.
“I said fuck off. Haha. No, wait, come here, come here. Yeah, fifty bucks and you can blow me, haha.”
“Gregory Zook was only nineteen when he was first arrested for possession of marijuana,” said Susan, coming back on the screen before it switched back to Zachariah.
“It destroyed Julius and his health only deteriorated further as Greg got worse.”
“Greg spent the next two decades in and out of jail and rehab, making many wonder who Julius would leave the company too. A question that was answered in expectantly with Julius’ will.”
“It is easy to imagine everyone’s surprise when his will was read,” said Zachariah, “I mean that kid.”
“Julius died on June 7th 1980 under mysterious circumstances and left the company to his wayward son. The will stipulated that if Greg could clean up his act and run the company successfully for the next ten years, he could keep his inheritance/”
“We all knew he was on the snuff,” said Leah Clearwater, a red headed and tight lipped woman and Julius’ former secretary, “But he performed miracles for the company.”
“I say, Monsieur Greg,” said Pierre, the couch as a video of a hyped up Greg in a suit appeared, “How much were you on?”
“I’d rather not answer that,” said Greg.
“Greg seemingly kept up his end of the bargain and when the ten years were up he kept his company and his inheritance,” said Susan, “However, his good behavior did not last long soon after and he resumed his own habits, almost irreparably ruining the company’s stocks. Now, as the board considers its options, one must wonder if Julius Zook would be proud of what his son, and his company, has become.”
“Fucking bitch,” he snapped shutting the tv off, “Glad I doubted your ass for Julia Tremont.”
“The actress?” asked Pierre surprised.
Greg swore as someone turned on the lights.
“Good, you’re awake,” said Rose, briskly walking towards him.
“Yeah, now I am!” he snapped.
“Doug and Keith just called.”
“God, those two should just get married already.”
“The board wants to meet with you next Thursday.”
“Shit,” said Greg sitting up and immediately regretting it.
“According to Keith, they are taking the CEO position away from you, but you will keep your stock options and, out of respect of your father, they’re letting you keep your position on the board.”
“I had a position on the board?” blinked Greg as Rose glared at him.
“They are giving the CEO position to Keith.”
Greg blinked.
“It’s a good decision and he’ll take good care of the company,” said Rose.
“Better than me, you mean.”
“That goes without saying.”
Greg frowned.
“We’re just lucky they didn’t take everything away from you.”
“Yeah, real lucky,” said Greg, lying down.
Rose stared at him before sighing.
“You haven’t eaten?”
“Well considering that you gave me a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and I don’t want to die, no.”
“I’ll get you something else.”
He looked up and raised an eyebrow as Rose walked towards the kitchen. It did not take long before she returned with a bowl of soup and a cup of tea. She handed him the soup and sat down in one of the armchairs, wrapping her hands around his steaming cup of tea.
“Is this poisoned?” he asked, staring warily at the soup.
“Would I tell you?”
He had to admit she had a good point.
“No crackers?” he hissed as he painfully sat up.
She glared at him.
“Joking, Rose, I’m just joking,” he withered under her glare.
“Did you see the Susan Harkin’s piece?” she asked curtly.
“Yeah.”
“Zachariah was always a little shit.”
He faintly smirked as she took a long sip of tea.
“And he was always jealous of your father and your mother.”
“It’s not their fault no one takes children seriously.”
She smirked unwillingly. Greg ran his spoon through his soup as he waited for Rose to strike.
“So, you gave Simon the Maserati?”
“Yes, and Douglas the Mercedes.”
He looked up with a start.
“You gave Doug the Mercedes?”
“Yes, but only because he didn’t want the Ferrari.”
He stared at her incredulously and she snorted.
“Don’t look at me like that. You brought it upon yourself. If you hadn’t been such a fucking piece of shit-”
She caught herself and sighed and Greg looked down.
“You know I’ve never gotten an apology from you.”
He looked up surprised.
“You’re not expecting one, are you?”
“No, not expecting,” she sighed and took another sip of tea.
“Well, you’re not alone,” shrugged Greg, still playing with his soup.
“I know, but that doesn’t negate the pain.”
“Maybe I was just waiting for you to calm down.”
She stared at him knowingly.
“Do you even want an apology?” he snapped, “You know they’re mostly bullshit anyway.”
“I’m thinking of moving out.”
Greg’s face fell and he nearly dropped his soup.
“What?!”
“You heard me,” said Rose, taking a sip of tea, “I’m done.”
Greg’s eyes widened and his mouth dropped open.
“I’ll wait for your ribs to heal and then I’m leaving.”
“Auntie Rose,” he gasped, her name almost getting stuck in his throat, “You wouldn’t…”
“Yes, I’m done, Greg. I have spent enough of my life watching you ruin yours. I can’t take it anymore and you obviously don’t give a shit. I’m done.”
“But-where would you go?”
“I think I’ll move in with Sam.”
“Dr. Connor!”
“Yes, he has offered many times and it is a nice place and he has a young girl, Jane, who could use with some female guidance. I would make more of an impact on her, than I’ve ever made on you.”
“But what am I supposed to do?”
“What you’ve always done, I imagine.”
“And what about Grandma Stink? Are you taking her too?”
“As if I could ever move her out of that attic,” Rose scoffed.
“You’re leaving her here!” he snapped, “God, Rose, I don’t want to take care of her. Can’t you smother her before you move?”
Rose rolled her eyes and took another sip of tea. Greg, placed his bowl of soup on the ground, folded his arms across his chest, and stared at her.
“You’re bullshitting me. There’s no way you’re leaving.”
“I assure you, I will be gone within six weeks’ time.”
“Why? I’ve done worse.”
“Because you haven’t grown, Greg, and you’re not going to and I can’t stand watching you destroy yourself anymore. You’re just an ungrateful piece of shit that’s going to overdose one of these days and I’m not wasting my time on you anymore. Not when I have so little left myself. Honestly, I should have listened to Angie and left a long time ago like she did.”
Greg’s face sharpened.
“That’s cruel, Rose, that’s real fucking cruel.”
“It’s true.”
“Fine, go, see if I fucking care,” he snapped, pain shooting up his side, “I never asked for your fucking help anyway.”
Rose watched him as dispassionate as ever and it drove Greg mad.
“You know what? Fuck you. I never asked you to look after me! I never asked you to put up with my bullshit! So, don’t you dare sit there and try to make me feel guilty for the bullshit you put yourself through. It’s not my fault you decided to stick around. Nobody asked you to. Fuck you, Rose. Fuck you and the rest of this fucking miserable family!”
She took another sip of tea.
“Do you think I asked for any of this bullshit?! No! I didn’t want this fucking company! I never wanted this fucking house! I just wanted to be fucking left alone. So fuck you. Yeah, you should have left a long fucking time ago and it’s your own fault that you stayed, not mine. You should have been smart like Monica and Angie who ran as soon as they could, but you didn’t and now it’s my fucking fault that you’ve wasted your life? No, fuck that and fuck you!”
She finished her tea and rose.
“Good night, Greg.”
His eyes widened as she walked away.
“Come back here, you fucking bitch! I’m not done yelling at you!”
“Well done, Monsieur Greg, simply splendid.”
“Ah, fuck you, Pierre!” he snapped as he gritted his teeth, “And fuck this.”
He nearly fainted from the pain as he jumped off the couch.
“Monsieur Greg, what are you going?”
“Rose!” he screamed as he tumbled across the living room, “God damn it, Rose!”
He grabbed onto the wall for support as the pain blinded him.
“Fucking son of a god damn bitch. ROSE!”
He heard someone running towards him and someone smacked him across the back of the head.
“What are you doing you idiot?!” she snapped, draping an arm over his neck and leading him back to the couch.
He painfully laid down and grabbed her arm.
“You’re a bitch, you know that?” he panted as the pain became a throbbing creature within him.
She smirked and brushed strands of hair out of his face. His vision slowly returned although his side was still killing him.
“And I really need those painkillers.”
“I’ll think about it.”
He stared at her incredulously as she pulled the bottle out of her pocket.
“Let me get you a glass of water.”
He shifted as Pierre said, “You, Monsieur, may be the biggest idiot I know.”
“Thanks, Pierre, thanks a lot,” he moaned as he drew his blankets around him.
“Here, only two,” he said, gently placing the small pills in the palm of his hand and handing him the glass of water.
He sat up to sip the water and watched her closely.
“You’re not really leaving are you?”
She sighed as sat down on the floor next to him.
“I am thinking about it. I just can’t do this anymore, Greg.”
“I know.”
“Do you?”
He quickly took a sip of water to avoid her stare.
“It’s just, I know you’re better than this, Greg. What can’t you see that as well?”
“Because I don’t want to be better. I don’t want to be Julius Zook’s golden boy. Fuck, Rose, you know what it was like growing up. I don’t owe that man anything.”
“And what about me?”
He looked at her and shrugged and she smiled bitter sweetly.
“That’s what I thought.”
His face fell.
“And that’s no reason for me to stay, Greg.”
“What do you want to say, Rose? That I’ll get better? That I’ll change? Why lie?”
“That’s why I have to leave. Because I refuse to believe in a lie and you refuse to care.”
“Rose, you’re all I have.”
“But I’m not enough.”
He sighed as she rose and kissed his forehead.
“Good night, Greg.”
“Is it really going to be six weeks?”
“I don’t know,” she admitted, “I haven’t truly decided on the time frame just yet.”
He nodded his head as she walked away.
“Rose, I love you.”
She didn’t even look at him and she said, “You always were a terrible liar.”
SH Should have Stayed in Rehab
So the only reason this is mature is because the language is really bad. Greg doesn't have a clean mouth on a good day, so you can imagine what his language is like on a bad day.

This would be the first chapter of my novel Stairway to Heaven. It is about Greg, the son of a superhero, who can turn into an anteater trying to clean up his act and make something of himself. Also, in this world, everyone knows about superheroes and people are so used to them that they're actually kind of boring.

Anyway, I know this is rough, but I just had to jot it down before I lost it.

Enjoy!

(C) me
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Paivatar Featured By Owner 1 day ago  Professional General Artist
Thank you kindly for faving :)
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Delta-13 Featured By Owner 1 day ago  Hobbyist Writer
No problem! It was an awesome piece!
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Randomedude7 Featured By Owner 5 days ago  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you very much for the favoriteFeeling of being watched 
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Delta-13 Featured By Owner 5 days ago  Hobbyist Writer
No problem! It was an awesome piece!
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FinAngel Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks so much for the faves!:D
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Delta-13 Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
No problem. They were awesome!
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Melancholita Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2016  New Deviant  Traditional Artist
Thanks for the watch, it's much appreciated!
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Delta-13 Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
No problem! I read your interview on Tumblr and really like your work. You do some amazing stuff.
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Bonorye Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
thanks for the fave!
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Delta-13 Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
No problem! It was an awesome piece!
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