An exceprt from     Parallel Worlds, Perpendiclular Dreams     due in 2018 -

He looked out the kitchen window; he knew he couldn’t see the ocean from his house, but sometimes he could hear it, and oftentimes he could smell the sea salt drifting on the breeze. He couldn’t see very much from this window at all; his car in the driveway, somebody’s dog making a poo against a palm tree across the street, three white kids trying to look black, a pink and white ice cream truck. Welcome to Florida. He looked around…     …and looked around again and found himself in a bar.

What just happened...

It was dark out, and the place was a bustling hive of activity. Karioke, pool tables, ping-pong, an ancient Ms. PacMan and several retro pinball machines filled the place. The bar was long and the woman behind it stood six foot seven at the very least.

There was a time when Mason would have known his surroundings without fail, but at the moment he was having a hard time recalling just how he came to be in this bar at this time. The ride up…

He was perfectly adept to the friends that were sitting amongst him at the tall round table on the right side of the bar. He was here drinking, playing pool and, from the fact that he was holding a wireless mic in one hand and a mugga-mick in the other, he must have been singing and drinking. Good God, Mason couldn’t sing! It sounded like people were squeezing cats on the rare occasion that Mason had enough liquid in him to attempt to break out in song. At the table with him was his friend Linda, and Linda’s sister Callie, and Linda’s friend Kimmie.

Now that Mason was aware of his surroundings he quickly caught on to the sounds and smells around him. Salt water. Fried foods. Ringing bells, chattering kids, the thwock, thwock, thwock of pool balls being knocked together. Distant noise, closer noise, the distinct verbiage of the area. It was ten pee-em, and Mason was in a bar on the boardwalk with three gorgeous women and, considering what he was holding in his hand, he was either attempting to sing something, or was about to spout some of those hideously corny jokes he was known for.

He grinned at Linda, who smiled back at him, and asked, “what’s wrong? You kinda spaced on me for a minute there. You ok?”

“Never better,” Mason replied, and he meant it. It was all good; he knew where he was, he knew why he was there, he knew who he was with. The only thing he didn’t know was when he had gotten there and from where he had come. But he knew, no biggie, I’ll either remember that in a few seconds, or this will spin into something really bizarre and I’ll eventually wake up. He was getting used to it…

A big-breasted bottle blond sidled up to him from behind and complimented him on the way he’d belted out Margaritaville. Linda giggled, as if to say please, yes, do stroke his ego, he can’t sing for shit but he has a hell of a lot fun trying, and the other girls rolled their eyes at this blatant come-on. What kind of bitch cozies up to a guy who is sitting at a table with three stunningly attractive ladies? Granted, Mason was rather good-looking himself, but again, what kind… And <wait, whoa, what did she say? Margaritaville?? Really? I was singing Mar… couldn’t come up with something better than that? Jesus, pretty soon I’ll be crooning Bread songs… I – found a diary underneath a tree – holy shit>. And now a second woman was there, next to the first, larger of breast and louder of mouth, gushing about how fabulously cool his rendition was, to local it up the way he’d done, and how everybody in the place knew exactly when to shout out “salt” in triplicate and wave a shaker around.   

<the mic’s still warm…so I was singing Margaritaville in here and…where the hell is this place and…it looks familiar…but, oh yea, now I remember, the shore house. And the show is on tonight, they’re filming down the street...> 

They were filming tonight and anybody who was anybody wanted to get close enough to be picked up on camera, to be seen in the background and maybe even offered a starring role in next week’s episode. No wonder there were so many women around… but

<ok, shithead, either come back to the now or wake the fuck up, this is beginning to annoy me. I think I’m bananas…a boy off his rocker, a fellow around the bend, a lad insane… in the bottle, what, Aladdin sane…>

And maybe in that parallel world that he liked to blame the really weird stuff on, maybe over there was a Mason Baker who could sing like Jimmy Buffet, write like Stephen King and play his investments like Donald Trump. Or maybe he was dreaming again and he’d find himself waking up to Margaritaville on the Pandora, waking up to the music that ran through his dreams like sugarplums, not unlike that time he dreamed himself out of a bus crash in the Everglades. But for now…

…and especially liked the way he intoned she’s a real beauty, a Jersey Shore cutie to the applause of the women in the place – must be back in Jersey, Mason thought distractedly, looking around for his friends, who just didn’t seem to be there anymore. Uh, oh, now what… Looking out onto the boardwalk he could see a young girl throwing up, and he could see another young drunk being walked like a lame old dog by her peers, in the general direction of… of… oh, God, they were about to hustle her in here. Why? Why drag a drunk into a bar? What sense… Mason saw Pete Townshend ambling along the boardwalk in the direction of where the filming was taking place, Pete with his guitar, and while Mason thought it was very cool that this icon of rock royalty was right here among the crowd like a regular geezer, he also could tell something was just not right. It was Pete alright, or maybe not, maybe some homespun boy who resembled Pete but, and that was the key, the key word, it was boy and this was 2013 and Pete may still be a lot of things, but he was definitely not a boy! This was a rendition of Mr. Townshend in his younger days, scruffy near-beard across his face, tousled hair semi-long but still dark, lean and fit looking very English eccentric in his clothing; this was a guy who could still leap, split, windmill and smash his guitar to smithereens on the stage. This was Pete at least thirty years back.


An excerpt from     Palm Castle    already here 

 The first accident began slowly, but culminated quickly. A chunk of ceiling tile no bigger than a donut plopped down on his desk, then a metal strip about two feet long fell to the floor beyond his desk. Then another chunk, this one about the size of a loaf of bread, came down and just missed his head. Seconds later the light fixture cracked, then the panel and the fluorescent tubes shattered and rained down into the cubicle. A bellowing voice drowned out the sound of the breaking fixtures as the man broke through and landed flat on his back across Gary’s desk.

“What the fuck?” Gary calmly asked of the sprawled and sputtering workman, then said, “hey man, you OK." 

“Oh Gooodddd, what’s happening, oh woe, oooohhh!!” squealed Shell Shapp, the recently-installed office manager, dashing around the corner from her own cubicle. She raced past Howard and his clients, an elderly couple, and promptly tripped over a ripple in the rug.  She fell flat; she did not stumble or topple but rather fell flat, splat, like a great magnolia tree after the final stroke of the axe. A chunk of falling plaster landed about six inches in front of her Marge Simpson-like bouffant hairdo and she wailed again. Elle, the senior receptionist on watch at the moment, raced from behind her station to help Shell up just as fellow number two blasted through the ceiling yelling, and plunged to the carpet. He landed prone in the corridor along the cubicles on the left side of the office, bringing down with him bits of ceiling tile, clouds of dust, hammers and wrenches, chunks of plaster and wood and several more fluorescent tubes.

“Holy shit!” cried Beth Raycorn, as fellow number three burst through the ceiling less than a minute later, took his plunge, and landed horizontal on her desk in the second cubicle, behind Frank and in front of Gary. He brought with him three smashed ceiling tiles, more dust, an electric drill, a spool of wire and a bucket of water. The bucket caught the corner of Beth’s desk, flipped over, and splashed across the front of Beth’s pretty blue blazer, soaking up most of the client’s important paperwork that was spread over the desk. The client, Mrs. Fennimore Terwilliger Livergood (Fenny to her friends at the yacht club), of the Turnbull Bay Livergoods, screamed holy bloody hell and fell over with her chair as the workman rolled off Beth’s desk and landed splat on top of her, shearing her wig away in the process.

“It’s raining men,” remarked Bill Fredericks, the Senior Advisor with the company. Bill worked in the fourth and last cubicle in the row, the cubicle just behind Gary, directly behind where the first fellow plummeted.

Such goings on were not unusual for this office, which held the reputation of being one of the more bizarre locations in the district. It was definitely the busiest, most productive of the offices under the tutelage of Dag Paulson, the District Leader who had recently relocated from the company’s wealthy Coral Gables/Coconut Grove district. In this Palm Castle office the bulk of the clientele was also well-moneyed and fashionable, but happenings like the afore-mentioned spilling of men through the ceiling were more commonplace than out of the ordinary. It might be something in the water, or in the location of the building (or what might lie under the building), or in the position of the moon, or even something as inane as the weather. But this place was definitely what the staff referred to affectionately as a freak-magnet.

Several hours after the fall of the men, Egbert V. Spratt sat in the backroom/breakroom/storage area, eating Rex Beans cold and out of the can, with a plastic fork. For those of you who’ve never had the pleasure of dining on Rex Beans, they smell like human excrement.  I’m told they are rather tasty though, but cold from the can…no way!

 “Hey, man, you at least microwave that shit?” asked Bill as he shuffled into the backroom.


An excerpt from     And in the End - 2034    due in 2018 


Rivers dry up, lakes spill over, crops go bad. Sinkholes swallow up entire cities. Mists appear. Golems are seen (Jehovah’s orcs?). Riots break out, rival gangs are slaughtering each other like cattle (something that should have happened a long time ago...), organized crime figures are doing the same, killing themselves extinct. Bad crops cause mass poisonings; drug and alcohol related deaths skyrocket. What is basically happening here is that mankind is finally destroying itself. Tearing itself apart, descending into chaos, disorder and destruction. Towards the end, what’s left of the armies and police forces run amok, seizing power as authority and government figures disappear one by one. Towards the end, entire cities are burning merry hell. The mass graveyards in high density locations are abandoned and the bodies left to rot. Disease is bred from the filth and bacteria of the dead, exponentially increasing the death toll. Death is feeding on itself and the earth slowly but surely becomes empty. People are literally choking to death on the stench. By December 2, it becomes non-reversible, and civilization becomes the Titanic, slipping under and rending itself apart. On this day, the last radio and television transmissions are sent, and then all is silent. Power is out, there is no Internet, there is no more news media.

Headline of Awake! Magazine on 12/2/2034 – “Jehovah’s Killing Apparatus Wipes Away the Wicked Globally.” And then the story. Jesus Christ, ever and ever, Amen.

Also on December 2, which would be Britney Spears’ 54th birthday if she even still exists, the last live television news broadcast is delivered. And on this last live broadcast ever, which emanates from Savannah, the word Armageddon is used. It is proclaimed by the anchor, who looks like he has recently gone totally insane, that they were right, right all along, this is it, what they called Armageddon. He predicts that by Christmas the world will be empty, he expects no survivors. That they were wrong about; the righteous were perishing right along with the wicked. He then reaches off to the side and produces a gun. He reaches around and places the gun to the back of his head, hollers “Damn Jehovah!” and pulls the trigger. Because of the way he placed the gun, the explatter blows directly into the camera. The last thing the viewers see is his exploding face, then their TV screens go completely red. Things went to hell quickly after that.