Science and Spirituality

If we were to venture outside of our physical realm, what would we find? More questions than we already have and very few answers. The realm that exists beyond our physical existence still remains a mystery.

Science and Spirituality seem to exist at opposite ends of the spectrum, yet both delve into matters concerning our existence and our reality. Where did we come from, where are we headed and why, are fundamental, existential questions we seek answers for. It does go deeper than wherefrom and whereto. Many of us have an intrinsic need to understand the nature of our reality.

Perhaps we can find answers to some of our questions if we attempt to make a connection between science and spirituality.

Carl Sagan argued that science is not only compatible with spirituality but is a profound source of spirituality.

The impact of science on Western Society has called into question many myths and religious theories, but what do they have in common?

They all seek to provide a support system for our core beliefs and understanding of the physical world we live in. They offer an explanation for what lies beyond what we can see. Before we embraced and looked to science for answers about the wonders and mysteries of the universe, and our place in it, there was religion.

The future is unknown to us all. Science and spirituality/religion, all seek to foretell future events in their own way. 

  • Religion does this through prophecies 
  • Science does it with research, data, accuracy and repeated demonstrations of reliability 
  • Pseudosciences have been predicting the future with astrology, alchemy, numerology tarot and natural magic since the 16th century, when they coined the term Occult Sciences

Looking up at the night sky is as close as I ever came to understanding the mysteries of what lies beyond the physical realm and beyond this life. As a child, I witnessed the landing of Apollo on the Moon. Exciting, enlightening, and frightening, all at the same time.

It was July 20th. 1969, only two days away from my 12th. birthday. Sitting cross-legged on the floor, my eyes glued to a black and white TV set, as I watched Neil Armstrong step out onto the surface of the moon, I stepped out of my body, and for an immeasurable moment, I felt connected to the entire planet and beyond. An unexplainable and intangible energy had wrapped the planet and it wasn’t science, nor was it religion. It was something greater, that united all of mankind. I felt intensely alive, with a profound sense of oneness and of belonging to the universe. I had no words for it back then. I felt what I felt and it stayed with me to this day. Buddhists refer to this heightened mental alertness as ‘mindfulness’, and they emphasize, interestingly, that mindfulness is deeply rooted in the body. Spirituality, then, is always embodied. We experience our spirit, as “the fullness of mind and body.”

Despite science’s leaps and bounds and technological achievements, we have only scratched the surface, when it comes to solving the deepest mysteries of the universe. Even human consciousness is still being debated. Perhaps the uncharted territories of the human mind could be the next frontier in helping us expand the science of what connects us all, so we may reach new understandings about the nature of our reality.

Scientific discoveries point to the fact that the material world, ultimately, is a network of inseparable patterns of relationships. They have also discovered that the planet as a whole is a living, self-regulating system. The view of the human body as a machine and of the mind as a separate entity is practically outdated and being replaced with a view that embraces the whole of our being, physical and none physical. The brain, immune system, bodily organs, and every single cell in our bodies are being recognized as a living cognitive system. A world, within a world, within a world. 

On a personal note, I believe our future depends on science and spirituality working together. As Albert Einstein said, “The important thing is to never stop questioning.”

BLOG ARTICLE – Modern Coffee Tables

Title:Blog Article Referencing Modern Coffee Tables
Category:Shopping and Product Reviews
Keywords:modern coffee tables
Word count:500

Objective: Inform and Educate.
Describe modern coffee tables in a manner that informs and educates, convincing the shopper that these coffee tables are worth the purchase. This article is put at the footer of a catalog of items for sale.

Things to Avoid: Avoid using words like purchase and “buy these” phrases

Modern Coffee Tables

When the first coffee houses opened in London, in the year 1652, clients soon aired their complaints. There was no place to set down their hot mugs, in between sips. Coffee tables were designed to meet these patrons’ needs, and this is how they first came to be. Coffee tables became the focal point for socializing and conversation, while enjoying a hot beverage and were all the rage amongst the bourgeoisie. Soon enough, coffee tables materialized in the private homes of wealthy Europeans. These early coffee tables, were ornate and typically much taller and narrower than modern coffee tables. In time, as the appreciation for hot beverages became commonplace, so did coffee tables.

Why You Should Buy a Modern Coffee Table

Modern coffee tables have come a long way from their tall, narrow predecessor. Modern coffee tables are functional, space savers and decorative. Ranging from traditional to ultra modern designs, you can choose from a variety of materials, sizes and shapes. Modern coffee tables are practical and add style to your home decor.

Advantages of Modern Coffee Tables

Aside from adding panache to your home decor, modern coffee tables are functional and a focal point for friends and family to gather around. Whether it’s popcorn movie night with the family or Sunday Football, a coffee table is the hub and heart of a home. I have two modern coffee tables. A small one, which sits next to my armchair, where I can set my phone, reading glasses and a cup of coffee or use as a foot rest. The larger coffee table sits in front of the sofa, perfect for serving snacks and drinks to family and guests.

Average Price of Modern Coffee Tables

The price of modern coffee tables will vary according to size, materials and brand, ranging from under $100 to over $1000. The average price is in the $200 to $400 range.

Modern Coffee Tables Shapes and Sizes

Standard sized modern coffee tables measure 30 to 50 inches and work best with sofas six to seven ft. wide. For wider sofas, a coffee table over 50 inches is best. Small modern coffee tables can measure under 30 inches, and are best suited for settees, armchairs and loveseats. These are the most popular shapes you will come across, while shopping for modern coffee tables.

  • Round
  • Rectangular
  • Square
  • Oval
  • Free Form
  • Triangle
  • Half-Circle
  • Hexagon

Modern Coffee Tables Styles

The power of creative design merged with technology and new materials, has resulted in an ample selection of unique and versatile styles of modern coffee tables available on the market.

  • Traditional
  • Contemporary
  • Modern
  • Rustic
  • Industrial
  • Vintage
  • Novelty
  • Stacking
  • Folding
  • Low Platform

Modern Coffee Tables Types

The diversity of materials, used in modern design, contributes to the ample choice of modern coffee tables you can choose from..

  • Wood
  • Glass
  • Marble
  • Faux Marble
  • Metal
  • Mirrored
  • Plastic
  • Acrylic
  • Leather
  • Faux Leather
  • Rattan

Modern coffee tables are a must have for every household. A modern coffee table will add elegance, warmth and functionality to your home decor.

BOOK REVIEW – Prospect Customers

Target Audience: Prospect Customers
Comprehension level : Newbies
Target demographic : Not specified

Objective: Inform and Educate
Article purpose: Review For click-bank product.

Tone of Writing: Everyday Informal- Friendly tone

The Woman Men Adore

The Woman Men Adore, is a culmination of Doctor Bob Grants’ counseling women and couples for almost two decades. More than a book, it is an engaging 5-step program, packaged in a 115 pages ebook, with specific real life examples. The book is broken down into 5 modules, brimming with advice, tips and techniques. Most of it will come to you as a surprise. Whether you are in a troubled relationship or you are looking for that special one, The Woman Men Adore, promises results. Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of this book, is that the ideal woman it depicts, in great part, describes the woman inside many of us. The book is a call to action for women’s emotional powers, strength and passion. The Woman Men Adore, is in some aspects, an ode to the power of feminine energy.

A Game Changer

Get ready to trash any preconceived ideas you may have with regards to what men want. This book is a game changer and will destroy many of the myths women have held onto about men and relationships. The author doesn’t mince words, he comes right out and tells it like it is. Get ready to wrap your head around a whole new way of being, doing and communicating with men. This book is a life changer for women ready to take charge of their love lives.

What Men Want

I’ll be the first to say that a woman’s purpose in life should not be focused on making a man happy, however as I began leafing through this book, I realized, to my utter dismay, that I have been doing many things wrong, when it comes to men. How is this possible?

It turns out men will often tell us the opposite of what they truly want from us. According to The Woman Men Adore, men don’t want to be looked after. Bob Grant says, in no uncertain terms, that men want to be possessed, seduced, lured and finessed. In an interview, for NEWSWIRE, several years ago, the author said, “render men powerless, and bam, you’re a happy woman for ever.”

Ladies, you can forget about always attempting to be accommodating in your relationships. Next time your man does something that warrants a confrontation, don’t hold back! Be yourselves. Your man will respect you for it. Stop worrying about whether you’ve said the wrong thing or used a bad tone. Say what is on your mind and your man will trust you more.

What Men Need to Fall In Love

Love, everyone desires it and needs it. It is a powerful emotion which can fill our lives with joy and torment. There is no woman alive that wouldn’t want to possess the secret to make a man instantly drop what he’s doing and listen to us when we’re upset. According to The Woman Men Adore, part of the solution is to make your man feel as though he can not be at peace with himself, nor rest, until you are happy. Some of the information will seem obvious, such as ‘no man needs you to be his mother’, however the solutions aren’t always as obvious as you’d expect.

If you want to turn up the dial on the desire end of the spectrum, the secret is to create tension. You need to make your man uncomfortable. Another priceless piece of advice, ‘always give back less to a man than you receive from him’. I may be oversimplifying, for the sake of this article. You’ll have to read the book to get all the ins and outs to these love spells.

5 Steps To Getting The Love You Desire

The Woman Men Adore is divided into 5 comprehensive modules. There is more than simple reading involved. Be prepared to put in some work to make the changes you seek in your love life. You’ll need 8 weeks to complete the 5 modules. Let us have a quick peek at what you can expect to cover in these 5 modules.

Module 1

The Critical Emotion Men Need to Fall in Love

In the first module the book delves into why efforts to be attractive, desirable and appealing will be of no use unless a man can feel ‘a critical emotion from you’. This critical emotion will be revealed to you if you choose to purchase The Woman Men Adore.

Module 2

His Deepest Desires in a Woman

The second module, is a line up of counter intuitive advice, all of it quite contrary to everything we’ve been told on what makes a man devoted to you.

Module 3

What to Expect in The Coming Days – The Transformation Process

Module 3 focuses on the changes in yourself and your relationship, which will start to manifest themselves, once you’ve started the program.

Module 4

Simple Changes That Trigger Arousal In A Man

Module 4 brings to mind that old saying, ‘It Takes One To Know One’. Here Bob Grant shares his valuable insights. He outlines how to behave in a manner which men find attractive, how to mesmerize a man. You’ll have him wrapped around your little finger, in no time at all. You’re wrong if you think that what it takes are 6 inch heels and black lingerie.

Module 5

Your Dream Comes True – He’ll Cherish You Always

The final module’s title speaks for itself.

The Woman Men Adore is a liberating experience, an invitation to shed your outworn and obsolete myths about men, love and relationships. To find strength in your femininity. It prompts women to reclaim their feminine powers and harness the nurturing, supportive, loving energy which creates life.

About The Author

Bob Grant is a licensed professional counsellor, also known as the ‘relationship doctor’. In a period of almost twenty years, Bob Grant has assisted countless women deal with the ups and downs of love relationships and helped couples from breaking apart. Bob Grant is dedicated to helping people have healthier, fulfilling relationships. For more information: https://womanmenadore.net/long-page/index.php

PROMOTIONAL – Prospect Customers

Article written for an established growing company providing year round emergency service and maintenance for AC, heating repair and other related services

Target Audience: Prospect Customers
Comprehension level : Basic Knowledge.
Target demographic : Adults 25 40, Adults 40 60.
homeowners who live in mesa Arizona who have a central air conditioning

Objective: Motivate to Purchase

Indoor air quality Mesa AZ

Our mission, at Mesa Air, is to provide homeowners and their families with fresh, clean air, at an affordable cost. Your family’s health is dependent on the quality of the air in your home. There are several factors which contribute to the quality of the air your family breathes. These can be weather conditions, outdoor air quality, dust, pollutants and how well your air conditioning or heating unit is performing.

Living in Arizona means dealing with dust. The dust accumulates in the air conditioning ducts and eventually you and your family could be breathing it. These conditions can be hard on children and older family members. When was the last time you had your air conditioning unit checked? AC maintenance is important to guarantee that the air you and your family are breathing is fresh clean air. Poor quality air in your home can translate into health risks. Don’t take any chances, have your units and ducts sealed and sanitized. Our technicians use uv tiles and air scrubbers in order to eliminate germ particles.

Are you a home owner in Mesa, Arizona? Call us at Mesa Air for an Air Quality service check up. Let us help you improve the quality of the air in your home. Is your air conditioning unit older than 5 years and no longer under warranty? At Mesa we can help you find the right solutions to meet your air conditioning needs and budget, in a timely manner, with no overtime costs.

Mesa Air has a reputation for being amongst the best in the tune-up and maintenance of Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning systems. With over 30 years experience in the business, we bring the expertise, reliability and a level of service and competence which speaks to our excellence and to our client commitment. At Mesa Air we pride ourselves in providing low-cost, instant installation, repairing and service solutions in a timely manner.

We are located in Mesa, so we know first hand what scorching hot days at 120 F feel like. We also know it means air conditioning units are running overtime, which can lead to malfunctions, untimely breakdowns and poor air quality. With young children and the elderly at home, a malfunction or breakdown of your air conditioning unit could turn into a health hazard. A quick intervention is necessary. That’s where we come in. At Mesa Air we provide fast, efficient emergency services. Our skilled, experienced technicians and service engineers are able to offer you instant AC solutions.

Are you a home owner in Mesa with an AC or heating unit which is five years or older and no longer under warranty? At Mesa Air we can provide a solution that satisfies your needs and budget. If your air conditioning unit has seen better days, check with us at Mesa Air and let us assist you in replacing your AC Unit with an affordable model suited to your home and budget.

Installation, repairs and 24 hours a day, 7 days a week service, all year round, to help you and your family rest easy. Our commitment to excellence has earned us a reputation at Mesa Air. By constantly and diligently meeting high standards of cleanliness and providing exceptional services in a timely manner, without overtime charges, we have more than lived up to our mission.

Are you a homeowner or a business in Mesa, in need of servicing your air conditioning or heating unit? Is your AC unit worn out, low performing or broken and no longer under warranty? No matter what situation you find yourself in, you are in good hands with Mesa Air. Our team members are EPA certified. Mesa Air is a licensed, bonded and insured air conditioning and heating company, servicing every part of Mesa and its surrounding areas. Let us take care of everything, while you and your family relax, knowing that you are in the hands of one of the most reputable air conditioning experts in all of Arizona.

We recommend having your air conditioning and heating units serviced and cleaned regularly to avoid any unpleasant malfunctions. Don’t wait, call us today and together we will ensure your home and family are getting the clean, fresh air they need and deserve.

BRAND STORY

Company Info: Established/Growing.
Company established in 2007, “MarkNature” brand registered in 2019. Supplies quality products, Plant Nutrients, Natural Extracts, Food Ingredients, Excipients, Lab and Speciality Chemicals. Professional team /Strict quality management system. B2B and B2C

MarkNature

OUR MISSION

Improving agricultural productivity has always been at the heart of our business. MarkNature’s website and online shop may be new, however our experienced team of professionals, quality service and products are not.

MarkNature was conceived in 2019 as a new branch of Reach International Inc., a company which has been looking after the agricultural needs of growers since 2007. Reach International has been on the forefront in its field, since the on-start, with products and B2B services designed to assist growers. At Reach International we are dedicated to the battle against the detrimental effects on agriculture which are derived from the continuous deterioration of the environment, such as acid rain, the decrease of pH in natural bodies of water and nutrient depleted soil.

THE EARLY YEARS

Between 2007 and 2010, Reach International produced agrochemicals, feed additives, natural chemicals, excipients, pharmaceuticals and other specialty chemicals. These were all produced in our lab at Reach International. Our plant production and capacity position us well in the Agrochemicals industry. Demand for food is driven by population growth. It is forecast that by the year 2050 the population will have risen by one third to approximately 9 billion people. Since the 1980’s the demand for field crops has increased by almost 90%. With the increased demand for food and feed, Agrochemicals play an important role. How can we meet growing demands with limited resources such as water, soil and nutrients? By improving productivity. Our products are designed to protect crops, improve productivity and increase yield, all deployed as part of an integrated system.

By 2015, Reach International was a solid, well established company and still growing. With an eye towards the future, we expanded our production and our offer via a Joint venture and began producing a series of bio-stimulants and organic fertilizers. We have since been committed to the development of quality bio-stimulants for agriculture. Bio-stimulants are microorganisms whose function is to stimulate natural processes and benefit nutrient uptake, nutrient efficiency, improve the plant’s tolerance to abiotic stress and improve crop quality and yield. Because we are professional bio-stimulant manufacturers, we are able to supply bio-stimulants directly from our production plant to you or. your company, at competitive prices.

We are diligent about quality management. Our quality management is the result of a clear and authentic company mission, fundamental beliefs and values, which strictly abide by. Our technical team and service team work together to provide our clients a one-stop seamless experience. Our team will guide you through the entire process, from consulting, design and planning to manufacturing, shipment and installation. For more in depth information on Reach International Inc. visit our website: http://www.reachemical.com

WHAT’S NEXT?

The good news is that MarkNature is an online shop. A platform where we make our expertise in the business, quality services, products and shipment available to smaller businesses and the private sector as well. Behind MarkNature’s brand you will find a team of dedicated professionals, ready to answer your questions and assist you in finding the most suitable solutions for your growing needs. Our range of products are suitable for organic farming, home gardening, horticulture, orchards, grasslands or greenhouse farming.

OUR SERVICES

Our team of experts at MarkNature are committed to providing quality service. We offer what every grower needs to maintain a healthy soil environment, robust plants and generate increased yields. The soil is too dry, too wet? You have pests, fungus, mold, or nutrient depleted soil? Whatever difficulties you are faced with, at MarkNature we have a solution for you. We take care of everything so you can be serene.

OUR PRODUCTS

We produce and sell plant nutrients, natural extracts and ingredients for plants. Our extensive line of quality products for agricultural, farming and gardening are now available for purchase online.

Some of our featured products are;

  • Humic Acid
  • Fulvic Acid
  • Seaweed Extracts
  • Chitosan
  • Organic Nitrogen Fertilizer
  • Microbial Fertilizers
  • Microelement Fertilizer

If you are new to growing and have no idea how or why these products are used, MarkNature will make your online shopping experience stress free. On our company website we provide detailed product specifications and instructions on. use. These are featured in a short, clear and concise form, or you can contact our of our experts for advice. We are always here to help you make the right choices and pick the right products, designed to help you succeed. with your growing projects, no matter how big or small.

Our website also provides a series of in depth, well written, clear and concise articles of interest to anyone who is a grower, whether you have a backyard vegetable garden or acres of crops to tend to.

Much time, effort and investment go into growing plants, whether you are growing vegetables and fruit to be enjoyed by your family and friends or growing home grown flowers to add color and life to your home. The products and services we provide at MarkNature are essential to any successful growing project, no matter how big or small.

Plants need to get fertilized because most soil does not provide the nutrients required for optimal growth. Plants need a little extra help to combat otherwise detrimental growing conditions. MarkNature’s products are committed to getting results. Our products and our team at MarkNature will help you overcome from the most common to the least common adversities which growers are faced with.

OUR TEAM

MarkNature is more than an extensive line of quality products for agricultural, farming or gardening needs. Behind the MarkNature brand you will find specialists in crop and soil science. At MarkNature, a professional team awaits you, with the skills, knowhow and products to support you in your quest to maintain a healthy soil environment and generate increased, healthy yields.

At MarkNature we bring the expertise of a solid established company in its field, the reliability and know how of a professional team and a level of service and competence, which perfectly reflects our commitment to excellence and to our clients.

Please visit our company website and our online shop.

CHIMERA -CHAPTER I

A ray of light spills through a slight gap in the curtains, a slash across Anna’s face, like a glowing blindfold. The quality and color of the light suggests it is artificial light and still dark out. 

Anna is heaving, as another wave of nausea washes over her.  She will never get used to the state in which she wakes up, almost every day, lately.  The void in her head, the sickness in her gut.  

She fumbles for the light switch on the wall and the room is instantly bathed in bright incandescent light, which momentarily soothes Anna.  This momentary respite is cut short the moment she spots a man’s suit, on the armchair, across the room.  It is a pearl grey,  sharkskin suit.  She hurriedly hurls the covers off the bed.  It is clear from the indentation in the mattress and pillow, next to her, that someone else had been in bed with her. 

She leaps out of bed, naked, except for her flaming red ponytail and a pair of leather panties constructed entirely of intertwined leather laces.  Her arms and legs are exceptionally long.  Although she has a slender build, her breasts are round and full.  She looks around the room, it’s a hotel room, nowhere to hide really.  Did the mystery man leave without his clothes?  She can’t remember a thing.  She stumbles towards the washroom where she vomits violently.  She rinses her face, then takes a hard look at herself in the mirror. She rips off her red mane, to reveal a bleached blonde.  Next she rips off the false eyelashes and removes her contact lenses to expose steely, sharp, blue eyes which had been masked by the lush green lenses. The transformation is notable. 

As Anna heads back into the bedroom she spots a pair of feet protruding from underneath the bed.  Her initial reflex is to jump back.  She takes a deep breath, then haltingly approaches the bed and crouches.  She gently touches the left foot, there is no movement, then she shakes the entire foot, still no movement.  The palms of her hands are sweating.  She is uncontrollably shaking as she wipes her hands on the bed covers, then latches on to both feet and starts to pull with all her might.  

Anna’s sympathetic nervous system has been activated by the sight of the dead body under the bed. She is experiencing accelerated emotional, psychological and physical changes.  Emotionally, she feels intense fear.  Psychologically, her senses are heightened enabling her to make fast decisions.  Her heart rate has increased and blood flow diverted to essential parts of her body, furnishing Anna with increased strength and stamina.

She has dragged out most of the body from under the bed and can see it is a white older male in his late fifties, privy of clothing.  The corpse’s head is still hidden under the bed.  Anna gives the body one last pull.  Nothing. It appears the dead man’s chin is lodged against the lower edge of the bed frame.  Anna leans in and attempts to turn the man’s head on its side, so as to clear the bed frame.  The body has stiffened.  No matter how hard she tries, the head is not budging.  Rigor mortis begins with the eyelids, neck, and jaw.  

Anna is resolute as she stands up and positions herself with one foot on either side of the body. She then leans over and with gargantuan strength, lifts the front end of the bed just enough for her to use her feet to push the body outwards and clear of the bed. She is careful not to make any noise as she slowly places the bed back down.

Who is this man?  He seems familiar to her.  She feels his pulse, no sign of life. There is no blood.  Did he have a cardiac arrest?  She then spots the angry red markings on his throat.  Strangulation?   

She fetches the suit jacket and rummages through the pockets where she finds the dead man’s ID.  A dark realization wipes across her face.  Of course when you’ve never seen a person naked, it’s possible not to recognize them immediately, should you find them dead and naked under your bed. 

Anna turns back towards the naked corpse, “Judge Czerny, now how the fuck did you end up dead under a bed in a hotel room and what am I doing here?”  

Judge Czerny had presided over one of the cases Anna had interpreted, on behalf of a plaintiff and the plaintiff had lost.  Anna had secretly disagreed with Judge Czerny’s deliberation and final judgement, that still did not explain what he was he doing dead under the bed in a hotel room, with her.  She had quit legal interpreting once she started modeling. Almost two years had gone by since.

A calmness has descended upon Anna, the initial fear has been replaced with alienation. She throws on a bathrobe and hurriedly steps out of the room, carefully and quietly shutting the door behind her.  Her emotions have flattened, she has gone into automatic mode.  When someone finds themselves faced with an unavoidable task, as in Anna’s case, a certain mechanical involuntary reflex kicks in. 

She may have had sex with the Judge, either way her DNA was certain to be on him.  She would have to shower and scrub him to make sure no trace of her could be found on his body.  She would need to clean the room just as meticulously and leave Vancouver at once.  

It is 5 AM, the hotel is deserted as she silently creeps down the hall in her bare feet, she checks and is relieved to see there are no security cameras in the hallway.  She quietly makes her way to the end of the corridor where there is a storage room.  She finds an empty laundry cart and hurriedly fills it with towels and bed sheets that are all neatly folded on shelves.  She grabs rubber gloves, industrial strength cleaners and a scrub brush, tossing everything into the cart.

Once she is back in the room Anna proceeds to drag the judge into the washroom.  She struggles to set the body into a sitting position which is proving to be impossible. She would need to break his back to bend him.  She gets an idea.  

She runs out of the washroom and into the bedroom, where she grabs four decorative, weave rope, curtain holders and runs back to the washroom.  

She struggles as she pulls the body up from the armpits and into the shower stall. In order to stop the body from sliding down, she leans into it hard with her own body, keeping it in place, as she proceeds to tie the judge’s wrists to the safety bars, with the curtain holders.  A tub would have made the entire process so much simpler, she thinks to herself.

She puts on a pair of rubber gloves, grabs the cleaners and a brush from the cart then steps back into the shower.  She begins fiercely scrubbing down the judge, using a brush which is normally used for scraping stubborn stains from floors and floorboards.  She instinctively turns away when she reaches the judge’s genital area.  She is relieved there is no blood, just a dead body.  

Once she’s done scrubbing him from head to toe, being careful not to break his skin, she dries him.  Although she had used force, the skin had not changed color, it hadn’t turned red as it would have, had he been alive.  What strange thoughts are these, Anna asks herself as she hurriedly wraps the dead man’s body in the sheets. 

Once he is all rolled up, she ponders how to get his dead weight into the laundry basket. He is too tall to fit unless she can manage to fold part of him over. 

She rolls the dead body out of the sheets again and rolls him over on his stomach.  She grabs onto the left leg. If she can manage to get the knees in a praying position, it would work.  Luckily for Anna, in most rigor mortis cases, the manually perceptible resistance is not only related to the intensity of rigor mortis but also to total muscle mass. The judge’s legs were thin and lacking any real muscle mass.  

Once Anna has successfully bent both legs at the knees, she proceeds to use the curtain holders to tie his legs in this position.  She then wraps the body up, sets the cart on its side and rolls the stiffened corpse in. She tosses in sheets and towels to conceal the corpse.  The Judge’s clothes and wallet she would dispose of elsewhere along with the sheets that were on the bed.

Next she sets to the task of wiping down the room and furniture, she would leave no trace of ever having been here. Once she is done, she removes the rubber gloves and places them in the bag she will dispose of.  She dresses, makes the bed up with a set of clean sheets so as not to awaken any suspicion when the room is being cleaned.  She grabs the overnight bag which she had brought along and quietly exits the room.  It’s  now 6.30 AM, she is able to safely dispose of the body and leave the hotel unseen.  

What delineates good people from bad people? It is not always clear who is the aggressor and who is the victim.  

IF  YOU ENJOYED THE FIRST CHAPTER OF THIS SHORT STORY YOU CAN PURCHASE IT ON AMAZON, ebook and paperback available  BUY NOW

THE GIFT THAT LASTS FOREVER

I was a small inconsequential man, yet my actions, or lack thereof, have had their consequences.  Stripped of love, self respect and a future, even an insignificant man, such as myself, becomes capable of doing the impossible. Only once I’d lost everything and everyone that mattered to me, only then, did I find myself and my life mission revealed to me.

It was in this manner that I discovered my true mission in life to be death.  

I have embarked on a path of solitude, although my solitude is not entirely self imposed. 

When I look ahead there is only fog, thick and cold, promising more emptiness. With nothing to lose I have nothing to fear. My shadow and I are inseparable.  

Once, I was no one, now I am everyone’s nightmare.  I have found my place in the dark recesses of your mediocre minds.  Any who dares walk away from my shadow will not be spared, of this I am certain.  

You read about me in the morning paper as you sip your fresh brewed coffee in your favorite mug, that reads, “The World’s Best Dad.”  

You serenely send your children off to school. Absently kiss your wife goodbye without even a glance, just another empty gesture.

You are so distracted by the seemingly important chores of your mundane life, not knowing that today will be the day that will break you, reshape you, twist your insides out, cut your breath short and slowly, silently, contort you into an unrecognizable version of who you’ve been until this moment.  All your dreams will be crushed in an instant. Your reality, altered forever and they say nothing lasts forever. I bring you the gift that lasts forever. 

You may not appreciate this sacrifice of life, that frees you from your stupor, from the Xanax blindfold you willingly wear, which smothers the outlines of your life with an iridescent blurry glow, softening the edges of your constructed reality, making you feel safe. No one is safe in life or in death.  

Once you awaken to the reality that you are alone, your deepest dreaded fear, the fear of being alone will be replaced with something new. A numbness which will brew and turn into a deep spiral of dark and torturous thoughts. Regret and guilt are perfect partners in crime and are always by my side. 

Rebirth often feels like death. Do not hate me or try to avoid me for I am your destiny. I am true to my nature which is more than you can say for yourself.  I am not your chance at redemption, do not mistake death with life.  I am the doorway through which your volatile splintered self can be released. In my company you will die many times, before you die. As I reveal my dark and punishing eyes to you, I will lead you towards a more authentic experience of yourself. Truth will rise and set you free of your greatest fears.

MATING RITUALS

“I don’t like the way I acted towards Barbara last night. I was experiencing her as a very attractive woman, yet the whole time I acted like a single-celled, lower-level asexual organism. When I feel like a man, I want to act like one and not like a polite eunuch.”

“When you say you didn’t act like a man, do you mean to say you were not comfortable being yourself?”

“No, what I mean to say is she makes it impossible. This is our third date and I’m starting to believe she does it intentionally. She emanates superfluous amounts of sexual energy, but it’s as though she has a shield and I’ll get electrocuted if I as much as touch a finger of hers or even lean in too close as I speak. I mean I can actually feel this sort of energy shield – I can’t see it but it’s there and it’s scary.”

“We both know that is unlikely Benjamin.  I do register a high level of anxiety on your part. Do you know what it is you are afraid of? Rejection?”

“That’s the least of it, rejection ha, if only it were so simple. When was the last time you dated Doctor Thompson?

“What about the other woman you are seeing, Emma?”

“She’s getting married soon and that won’t be with me. It’s just great sex between us. We don’t even like each other, I mean she dislikes me a whole lot more than I do her. She hates absolutely everything about me, the way I look, especially my ears, she told me, my drinking, smoking, the music I listen to, everything. But the sex is, was great. I imagine it will be over soon, at least I think so, we never really discussed it.”

“I see. How do you feel about it?

“How am I supposed to feel? Feels like summer is over, you know. Time to buckle down again. Women, so much work really and for what? I mean it’s as though I have to clean up all of Disneyland for 1 free ride.”

“So you’re saying that the women you meet are not inclined to invest any real-time or energy, leaving you to do all the work for just a bit of fleeting joy, why do you think that is Benjamin ?”

“How am I supposed to know that? You would have to ask them.”

“Have you thought that perhaps it is you who chooses these women, for exactly those reasons? I want you to reflect on that Benjamin and I want you to try something.  With women, try not to have any expectations, especially of a sexual nature. Try to get to know the other person and be yourself. Try doing simple things together like going for a walk in the park.”

“What? You mean instead of doing shooters at Hooters?”

“I’ll see you next week Benjamin .”

Benjamin leaves the doctor’s office and heads outside where his friend Tony is waiting for him in a convertible lemon yellow Mustang. He hops in.

Perhaps the saying that the greatest friendship is that created of opposites, might explain Benjamin and Tony’s friendship. Two men made of entirely different cloth and weave. Benjamin is a tight weave, like expensive Egyptian cotton compared to Tony’s weave, which is as loose as a fishnet made for catching big fish.

“How did it go with the shrink?

“There are no immediate solutions.”

Listen to me, Benjamin. What is your objective? Getting chicks?

“It’s not like that.”

“Ok maybe I’m not a gymnast with words  like your shrink, but if you want to score with women you need a dog.”

“Are you kidding me? What would I do with a dog?

“ It’s the easiest way to meet women.”

“While I’m picking up my dog’s excrement. Huge dollops of stink,  that is how I’m going to meet women?”

“Trust me, a cute little puppy will open a lot of doors for you. A shrink can’t do that for you but a little furry puppy, with floppy ears and big doe eyes, can make miracles happen. Besides, if you get a small dog, one that won’t grow too big, they poop like rabbits, small stuff, easy to handle.”

The Mustang pulls up in front of a store window with a large sign that reads, ‘Adopt don’t Shop’.

“ Let’s go in and get you a miracle worker.”

“ An Animal Shelter, Tony? Are you sure? I mean aren’t these all abandoned, mistreated, traumatized, dying, or dysfunctional?

“They have puppies, come on let’s have a look.”

They enter the animal shelter. “See, what did I tell you, there’s a cute pup.”

Benjamin leans down to take a closer look at the dog Tony is pointing out.

“How much do you actually know about dogs, Tony? Just because a dog is small does not make it a puppy. Look at it. It’s so old its eyes look like soft boiled eggs.”

“How about that little guy over there?” Tony is looking at a cage where a perky Jack Russell Terrier is housed.

“See what did I tell you, floppy ears, furry and small, chick magnet.”

Tony is referring to the red-haired young woman standing next to the cage housing the Jack Terrier.

“At least this one is still standing. I’m referring to the puppy,” says Benjamin.

The puppy is wagging its tail, executing little jumps while circling the cage.

“Hello and welcome to our shelter, I’m Wendy, This is Jackie Chan. We named him after the actor, Jackie Chan for his agility. How can I help you today?

“Hello, Wendy. Hello Jackie. My friend Benjamin here is looking to adopt. He wants a dog that won’t grow too big.”

“This breed tends to reach their full-sized framework between six and eight months old, and they typically fill out to their full weight by 12 months old.  Jackie is almost two years old.”

“Right, well I would need to give it some thought. I’m not very good at keeping things alive like plants and so on.”  Benjamin turns on his heels heading for the door when Tony grabs him by the forearm.

“Always kidding around, he can’t help it, he’s a natural-born comedian. Excuse us just a moment.” Tony leads Benjamin away from Wendy’s earshot.

“This one is perfect, think about it. Women won’t be able to resist the colossal amount of cuteness that little furry fella can generate. You won’t regret it.”

3 DAYS LATER:

“There you are, what took you so long.” Benjamin almost pounces on Tony entering his apartment.

“Whoa, take it, easy buddy.” Tony shuts the door behind him with his foot. He is holding a box.

“In this box is everything you’ll need to get a handle on your situation.”

“My situation is your doing Tony. Why did I listen to you? My home can be officially classified as a disaster area. Look, just look around. There is nothing that the dog hasn’t chewed on. That’s not the least of it. I have  been scooping up dog feces and urine off of my floors for 3 days now.”

“Don’t you take him out to do his business?”

“How am I supposed to know when he needs to do his business? It’s not as though he says “Hey Benjamin, I’ve really got to go to the loo!”

“You’re doing that funny voice, Benjamin .” Benjamin’s voice rises 3 octaves when he’s stressed.

“Fuck that Tony. You take the dog, I can’t deal with it, him, whatever. I’ll have you know that I did take him to the park, once. He was dragging me the whole way, pulling on the leash like some big Ox.”

“You just need to let him know who’s boss Benjamin. Dogs can be trained to be obedient.”

“Tony, this dog is possessed. I actually think he is the reincarnation of an old pervert. He pissed on a woman who was napping on a blanket in the park. It was horrific! She was furious at me. I was not the one who urinated on her!”

“He’s your dog, your responsibility.”

3 WEEKS LATER:

Benjamin is in the park attempting to walk his puppy, Jackie Chan. To anyone walking past, it appears Jackie is walking Benjamin.

“What a beautiful puppy.” says a young woman walking past. She stops and crouches as Jackie takes a flying leap towards her. Benjamin loses his balance and trips as the leash violently tugs at him unexpectedly.

“Spirited puppy as well, what’s you’re name? She asks Jackie as she rubs his ears.

“Jackie Chan, on account of his superior agility. He is, you know, more of a monkey than a dog. In that sense. If that makes any sense.” Benjamin is recovering from his fall, dusting himself off.

“The name suits him. I am Chloe, nice to meet you, Jackie.” Jackie jumps up placing his two front paws on her thighs and Chloe leans over to kiss him.

Benjamin can see Jackie is getting aroused. He tugs at the leash and jerks the dog back.

“We really need to get going. Nice meeting you Chloe.”

“Maybe I’ll see you around Jackie. Well goodbye then.”

Benjamin is pulling at the leash and it’s a tug of war.  Jackie barks and cries at the same time, he wants to follow Chloe.

“Well, this is embarrassing.” Benjamin takes a step back as Jackie growls at him.

“Is it your first?” Chloe is amused, Benjamin seems out of his element.

“Is it that obvious?” I had no idea what I was getting myself into. My friend Tony convinced me. But I’m not so sure anymore. It’s as though we speak different languages.” Benjamin is still pulling tight on the leash.

“Just give it some time and you’ll be best friends.”

“You really think so?”

“Having a puppy is like having a toddler, I had 2 dogs growing up. Why don’t I walk with you and Jackie, that is if you don’t mind.”

Benjamin loosens his grip on the leash, his jaw drops by 4cm as he tries to believe his good fortune. Jackie practically jumps into Chloe’s arms.

“Well, that settles it then. Jackie is seriously smitten by you Chloe  and he’s made it quite clear he won’t move unless you come along.”

GOOD THINGS COME IN SMALL PACKAGES

Annie is single, has no siblings and does not own any pets. She works at Glitters, a Nightclub featuring Burlesque acts. You might refer to Annie as a petite woman, due to her childlike stature and features. She has youthful features, heart shaped face and cupid lips. Her eyes as big and soft as a doe’s, a cascade of red hair curls framing her face. Annie is not a dancer at the club where she works, at least not yet.  She spends hours choreographing, in her mind, the most delicious moves, wearing spectacular costumes to mesmerize her audience.

The stage lights are off, Fleetwood Mac’s Gold Dust Woman starts playing on the massive speaker stacks on either side of the stage. The house lights are dimmed.  A single spot light slowly fades up to reveal a woman dressed in a thin layer of tiny gold sparkles. She greets her audience and leaps onto a Trapeze where she performs an aerial dance. The act concludes itself with her picking up a small gold colored pitcher with a long spout, for watering small potted house plants. She lifts it up high above her head, leans back and slowly pours water down her chest. With her hands she proceeds to wipe away the shimmering gold covering her body, sending clouds of gold dust into different directions. 

“Very original strip tease.” says Annie, turning her head towards John, the bartender.  

“Indeed, first time for everything I guess. In my times, Burlesque performers wore elaborate costumes and actually needed to know how to perform, make people laugh, it wasn’t all about nudity, it was about seduction and well now they come on stage naked, not much left for the imagination, if you ask me.”

John has seen more sunrises than sunsets in his life and has grown old mixing cocktails behind a bar.  He is from the old school of bartending and the old school of gallantry. Tall, thin, high ckeekbones so chiseled his skin is stretched tight and smooth.  In the right light he looks 20 years younger than his actual age. His full head of hair is snow white, his eyes are crystal clear and a vibrant blue. 

It is now time for the Champagne act and Annie’s attention turns back towards the stage. ”Thank you John.” John had been thoughtful, as always, and had sent a waitress to deposit the tray with champagne glass on a small table next to the stage. 

The act has started and the song playing is Big Spender.  Lights spill onto center stage, revealing a giant champagne glass made of plexiglass, filled with bubbles. A step ladder painted pink, leads to the rim of the giant champagne glass, where a girl is reclining with her right leg beckoning attention her way, as she points her toes towards the ceiling.  Her back is arched, with her breasts floating up above the bubbles.  Annie heads over to the ladder, tray in her left hand, her right hand guiding her up the ladder, she moves slowly, as she places her feet on the steps one at a time, careful not to spill any champagne. Once she reaches the top, she extends her arm holding the tray towards the dancer, who is not doing any dancing. Although the dancer could meet Annie halfway, by simply sitting up slightly and extending her right arm towards the glass, but she doesn’t.  Instead she watches as Annie is clearly not able to reach far enough with her arm and keep a steady hold at the same time. 

The dancer makes a brusque move as she reaches for the champagne glass in a sweeping motion, water splashes onto the ladder, catching Annie to lose her footing. One of her shoes lands on the stage a second before she does. Annie notices the heel is broken. These are her favorite shoes.  

To Annie’s horror and dismay, there is laughter coming from the audience, as John the bartender comes to her rescue, whisking her off stage.

“How can I ever show my face again?” Annie is beyond distress, as her lifetime dream is rapidly being drained into a vortex powered by negative forces. “All I want to do is bury my head in a pillow and cry.”

“Let’s make sure nothing is broken first and then it’s either the hospital or straight to bed for you.” Once John is certain that Annie has not broken any of her tiny bones, he drives her home.

“Thank you John, you saved me tonight.” They’ve reached Annie’s apartment, John turns off the engine and turns towards Annie.

“Don’t give it any thought, it’s the least I could do for a pretty maiden who lost her shoe.  I’ll get the other shoe back for you Annie.”  

Annie is touched by John’s kind heart, as she breaks into tears. 

John hands her a tissue. “Annie, Annie, believe in yourself, you are special, unique, talented and beautiful beyond words, so don’t let anyone tell you different.  When God created angels you were amongst his masterpieces on earth” 

“Oh John, what would I ever do without you.” Annie and John say goodnight. John waits till Annie is safely in the building before driving off. 

Annie’s home, is like being backstage at a theater. Racks of costumes, hats, feather boas and sequined dresses.  Everything about Annie, her demeanor, her tastes, her choice of words, are right out of a vintage film.  She places her single red pump down and slips out of her dress to reveal bruises starting to form on her left arm, shoulder and hips, from the fall.  She is wearing a stunning handmade lace bustier with garters, pink and white. She removes this and slips on a loose fitting shimmery silk poncho, with a deep v plunge in front and back.  It is sewn together with hundreds of long teardrops layered one upon the other.

Framed photographs hang on the walls, we see Bettsie Bon Bon & Gypsy Rose Lee, 2 famous Burlesque stars in their time. There are some turn of the century sepia toned pictures that feature a troupe of midget performers from a 1920’s Burlesque act.

Annie slips a tape into a player, she switches off the main light and turns on a Tiffany floor lamp, which gives the room a warm and cozy feel. She slowly begins to sway to a classic 40’s tune. Transported by music, she transforms into a sinuous vixen, swaying one hip at a time, striking poses and playfully, tauntingly, smiling at her invisible audience. She has all the moves down, every glance, every breath and single batting of her eyes, strategically timed. She is limber and willowy as she closes her act in a tourbillon, swallowed in the whirlwind of transparent shimmering silk, practically defying gravity.

The sun would be rising soon. Annie heads towards her bedroom. Her style and grace are ever present even though she hobbles slightly, only when she walks, not when she dances. It is fairly common in people of extremely short stature, to limp a little, especially if the legs are unusually short, as is the case with many Midgets such as Annie. 

Water and Blood

Living on the Prairies can be a challenge, not only for people but also for trees.  

The extreme cold, blistering heat, withering droughts, and overpowering winds can be detrimental to life in general.  Luckily most Conifers can manage to survive even such extremes.  Nancy’s Farmhouse is nestled in a forest populated with Firs, Spruces, Pines and Larches which drop walnut sized cones. On windy days the air is permeated with the fragrant citrusy scent, which distinguishes conifers from other trees.

Nancy relocated to the prairies, in Canada, as a young woman with her husband who has since passed away. She has been living a life of solitude, in a place that had fallen between the cracks.  In a sense, Nancy has also fallen between the cracks.  The nearest neighbors are 65 km away, the closest town 120 km and Nancy never learnt to drive, not even a bicycle. Gary had taken care of everything. There had been no need for Nancy to drive. Over 20  years have passed since her husband died of cardiac arrest.

Nancy gets up out of bed and inserts her fleshy arms in the sleeves of her sad faded pink flannel robe, as she does every morning.  For a woman her age she is sprite and moves with vigor and determination.  Her posture suggests she is on a mission, with her double chin jutting, and her neck bent forward as she walks. 

She heads down the stairs, into the kitchen, where she turns on the radio, already tuned to her favorite Country music station. Listening to country music, with a hot cup of coffee, is Nancy’s morning ritual. She enjoys the hot sun, spilling through the windows, the steam rising from the hot cup she holds between her palms.   

Little Richard called country  music ‘White Man’s Blues’. Nancy has her reasons to feel blue. She also feels as misunderstood as country music is. Willie Nelson is the last man standing from Nancy’s favorite stars of Country musicians. 

Soon her favorite talk show would be on air. The commercial for an early retirement plan always played right before the show was about to start.

“Welcome to today’s show on CML radio where we play country music you love. Our guest today, Doctor of Psychology Wellesley will be answering your questions but first let’s hear from the Doctor.”

Doctor Wellesley, please tell us about stress and how it makes people’s lives more complicated and can lead to illness.”

“Many turn of events can lead to stress, such as losing a spouse or a your job. Much of this stress is self-imposed and is the direct result of confusing your wants with your needs. Many people believe they need things when in reality these things are merely wants. 

“Another major contributor to stress, is that some people tend to be controlling or perfectionists. It’s tempting for some to fill in every waking second, checking off tasks from their to do list.  It isn’t simple to sum up in so many words, since there are various contributing factors, for example disclosure and addressing uncomfortable topics is also very important in avoiding complications in one’s life, that will otherwise lead to stress.”

“Well you heard it from the Doctor, our lines are open so please call us  at 5551212 with your questions and comments for Dr. Wellesley.”

“ We have our first caller, hello what is your name and your question for the doctor?”

“Hello, I’m Michelle, single mother of 3 and I am totally stressed.  I’d like to ask Doctor Wellesley what is wrong with wanting things, why would that complicate my life, I mean sure the kids need new shoes this year, again, but I want a weekend at the spa even though I can’t afford it. So now you tell me Doctor, what exactly is complicating my life, the fact I want it or that I can’t afford it? “

“Hell of a question for the Doctor, Michele .”

“Oh and another thing, wouldn’t a weekend at a spa be what the doctor would order for stress reduction?” 

 “Sounds like you want it and need it as well Michelle, now let’s hear the Doctor.”

“Okay, you have a point Michelle, nothing is ever 100% proof, not even the birth control pill.”

Nancy decides she’s heard enough nonsense about wanting and needing. She’d had to take care of her own wants and needs for as long as she can remember. Even her husband had never cared to understand her needs, let alone her wants. Her young girls dreams of romance and glowing love, had a short lifespan. These were extinguished on the day she walked down the aisle with a man old enough to be her father.

Nancy heads out into her yard, it’s cooler in the mornings, before the sun reaches around to the back yard, the best for watering plants. She grabs the hose and as she waters the Clematis and the Peonies she thinks how in just a little over three months they would all be under a blanket of icy snow again. Come spring they would be back, exploding with life and color. If only people could do the same.

Once she’s done watering the plants, she moves over to a white plastic table, with matching white plastic chairs. She grabs a pail and cleaners nearby, then begins to meticulously scrub the surface of the table. She is very thorough, exaggeratedly so.  The furniture had not been in need of washing. Nancy had given it a good scrub the previous day and she remembers perfectly well.  Her favorite part is pointing the water jet, set for maximum pressure, watching as the soapy foam slides off the surface, leaving a glossy white finish. A thin layer of water reflecting the cumulus clouds that are gathering in the sky, promising relief from the heat.

Life is but a disappointment for Nancy.  She married exceedingly young to her father’s wishes. Her family was poor, and the best they could do was marry her off while she was still very young to a man 22 years older than her.  

Her husband Fred, had been a second father to her, except for her wifely duties.  When he would lay on top of her in the dark, panting and sweating from his brow, she became disconnected from her body. Her husband was not an accomplished lover, not that Nancy would have known what one looked like or cared for one. For Nancy, those 90 seconds lasted an eternity, until her husband rolled off her and promptly fell asleep, as he did every time. She would then make her way to the washroom where she would bathe herself scrupulously, sucking in all the pain while removing any trace of her husband from her body. 

Luckily, her wifely duties had stopped with the onset of premature menopause at barely 32 years of age. Nancy had welcomed the change.  

On her honeymoon night, once her husband had fallen fast asleep, Nancy had almost burnt her skin off, submerged in a tub with running boiling water. It had been an act of violence, not remotely close to any story she had read. No one could have prepared her for what awaited her on her wedding night. The passion which flowed in her husband’s veins was tainted with irritation and antagonism.  Submerged in the hot boiling water she watched the blood that flowed from her loins blend with the water in swirls.