Tag Archives: Micro Story

A Wedge Between Pt. 5 (Final Chapter)

14 Jun

A Wedge Between Pt. 1

A Wedge Between Pt. 2

A Wedge Between Pt. 3

A Wedge Between Pt. 4

Chalk out line

“What are you doing here?” Stodler asked.

“My private dick saw everything and I thought I could help” she answered, feeling victorious. “Is the old man really dead?”

“I don’t know, but I think so” he answered.

“And the dumb bitch? Looks like you haven’t taken care of her yet.”

The last sentence hit Stodler like a ton of bricks. He realized just then that Isabel was a problem that had to be dealt with.

“Isa, honey” Stodler kneeled down and took her hand. “We’re gonna get through this, right? You can be quiet about this?”

Isabel snapped out of her catatonic like state, turned her head to Stodler and said “Fuck you, you’re gonna rot in jail” She tried to pull her hand away to stand up but Stodler tightened his grip.

“No, my love, it can’t be like that. I’m sorry”

Isabel let out a shrill scream that was cut short. Blood sprayed the wall behind her. She slumped over. Stodler turned to see a smoking, silenced .40 caliber in the dectective’s hand.

“This is gonna cost you, miss” the detective said to Amanda.

“I’m good for it, besides, the bill is only going to get bigger. I’m going to need you to clean this up” Amanda replied.

“Consider it done” the detective said.

Stodler was relieved. He had seen his future come to an end only to have it resurrected by the hand of the detective. Stodler and Amanda ending up dating. Amanda eventually threw Stodler away when she became bored with him. Stodler was none the happier, he was with her more out of self-preservation anyhow. In the years after the incident, Stodler graduated top of his class and enjoyed a successful career in politics. In two decades he ran for a Senate seat. He won.

Politican

A Wedge Between Pt. 4

11 Jun

A Wedge Between Pt. I

A Wedge Between Pt. 2

A Wedge Between Pt. 3

smashed table

“What have you done?” Isabel cried.

“I dunno…I went blank. I wasn’t in control” Stodler answered.

“We have to call an ambulance, the pol…” she said before Stodler interjected.

“NO! We have to figure this out first” he said, visibly shaking all over.

“What’s there to figure out? My father needs help!” she barely got the words out through heavy sobs. She knew her father was beyond help and she saw Stodler through different eyes. He was a monster to her now.

“This can really fuck everything up I’ve worked for, so far” he said.

“What are you even saying?” she said as she reached for her cell phone. Stodler promptly slapped it out of her hand.

“Let’s calm the fuck down here. We can take care of this. Together. I hope.” Stodler started to become eerily calm.

Isabel could only cower. She was truly afraid of Stodler. She was now looking for a way out of this alive.

“He was going to ruin us anyway. This is for the better. We can hide the body. Nobody will know” Stodler said with a wild look in his eyes.

“Monster! Who are you?” Isabel shrieked, snapping out of her trance.

Just then an Audi pulled up and immediately turned off the headlights. A pretty young woman and a balding man with a pot belly got out. The man was so sloppy about concealing his weapon, the hand grip of his .40 caliber Glock was showing above his waistline.

Stodler went to the window to see who arrived. “What the hell?” was all that he could mutter. The new arrivals didn’t even get to knock on the door, Stodler opened it before knuckles made contact with the wood.

“I bet your glad to see me” the woman said. She surveyed the room. She saw a broken table, a dead man and an almost catatonic woman on the floor.

“I haven’t seen you since high school” Stodler said, searching his mental data base for a name. He finally came up with one, “Amanda?!”

 

A Wedge Between Pt. 5

 

 

A Wedge Between Pt. 3

7 Jun

A Wedge Between Pt. I

A Wedge Between Pt. 2

 

Night Road

Mr. Decker’s driver raced up I-95 towards Providence. He kept repeating to himself “That girl will be the death of me”. He was too intoxicated with rage to take in the familiar sights along the way. He compulsively opened his phone to look at the disgusting pictures of his little girl in compromising positions with a plebian. The pictures were sent by an anonymous “concerned individual”.

Landmarks that lined the road, unmovable like boulders on the bank of a river, passed in a blur until the car finally slowed to a stop.

“Shall I wait here, sir?” the driver asked.

“No, go to town. Have a coffee. I shall ring you when I am ready” Mr. Decker replied.

“As you wish sir”

Mr. Decker knocked on the door and a handsome you man, wearing nothing but basketball shorts answered.

“Hello, can I help you?” the athletically built, polite youth asked.

“Are you Frank Stodler?” Mr. Decker asked.

“Yes I…” Stodler answered but was cut off.

“Daddy?” a voice cried from within the small house.

“Isabel?” he answered.

“Uh, excuse me, what’s going on here?” Stodler asked when in fact he had a pretty good idea of what was going on.

The well-dressed elderly man pushed Stodler in the chest. He was deceivingly strong. Stodler fell back, stumbled and hit his head on an Ikea end table that broke to pieces immediately. Stodler’s world went black with hints of red in a fit of rage. The only things he saw were the objects in his immediate focus. His anger had cut off his peripheral vision.

Stodler was abused his whole childhood. His state appointed counselor posited that it was the source of the fire that drove him to succeed. Though he worked hard to try to eliminate these demons, they were only weakened and could still be triggered and triggered he was.

Before standing up he grabbed a piece of the broken end table and went straight at Mr. Decker. He unleashed years of pent up fury on the gentleman. The piece of wood fell upon her fallen father with such speed and ferocity that Isabel stood frozen in time and space.

To be continued…

 

A Wedge Between Pt. 4

A Wedge Between Pt. 2

3 Jun

A Wedge Between Pt. I

detective

Amanda had gone to high school with Stodler. She lost her virginity to him. She has never gotten over him. Her sole obsessive purpose in life was to get him back. She enrolled in Brown just to be close to him. Stodler had no idea she was going to attend Brown. For Stodler, Amanda was just a high school fling; he had politely rejected Amanda’s attempts to take their relationship to the next level. Amanda was unrelenting.

When she found out about Isabel, she took the news so poorly that she had to go home for a week to recover. Amanda, though not to the extent of Isabel, was of means as well. She was used to always getting what she wanted. She was set on getting Stodler.

She hired two private investigators. One was to trail Isabel and the other was to delve into her life, past and present. The former was used for masochistic indulgence. She basked in the jealousy of seeing her beloved in intimate situations with another woman. The latter provided her with much needed intel that could destroy the relationship between her obsession and her newly found rival.  Each was worth every penny.

She put together a packet of lewd photos and reports of Isabel and Stodlers’ nightly activities and sent them off to Isabel’s father. Even though she clearly had enough dirt to bury the couple, she continued to dig. She let go the detective who was researching Isabel’s background but kept on with the detective who was trailing the couple and taking photos.

Her thirst for the painful pictures was insatiable. She knew she could call off her dog. She knew it was not only unnecessary at this point, but might actually be doing her harm. But like a true addict she woke up saying to herself, “Yesterday was the last day, today I stop”, only to find herself dialing the detective as if working on divine auto pilot.

As the couple grew closer and happier, Amanda grew angrier and more unwound. She was no longer attending classes. She spent her days poring over the detective’s bounty from the night before. Although she was self-aware enough to feel herself becoming unhinged, she felt powerless to stop it.

A Wedge Between Pt. 3

The Tragic Story of the Womapog Tribe

23 May

Headdress

In 1951, deep in the wilds of the Adirondacks, in upstate New York, researchers made an almost miraculous discovery. Almost 50 years after the industrial revolution took place in the United States, an uncontacted tribe of indigenous people was observed for the first time. It would be last time a new indigenous people would be contacted in the country.

Immediately after discovery, a fierce debate arose. Over the course of two years, two sides fought it out in the press and in the courts if the tribe was to be contacted or not. In 1953, the former won and researchers descended upon the tribe.

The tribe was very receptive to the researchers. There was no hostility, in fact, the opposite was the case. The tribe was hospitable to the outsiders. At first, the natives mistook the researchers for a displaced tribe. Not only did the tribe take them in as a rescue mission, daughters were offered to the researchers in marriage to strengthen the newly formed bond.

The tribe, at the time of first contact was as primitive and self-reliant as could be. They were primarily hunters and gatherers, though they practiced a good bit of agriculture. It was observed that they had no contact with other tribes so there was no trade practiced.

The tribe quickly adopted many features of modern life that the researchers unintentionally introduced. The first was modern clothes. The tribespeople appeared to have had an insatiable appetite for garments with colors and patterns.

The next feature adopted worried researchers. The tribe migrated from hunting and gathering and moved towards more of a typical “American” diet. The change was very quick as was the adoption of the use of electricity. The researchers tried not to change the Womapog way of life, but failed. The Womapog were practically modernized in a matter of three years. They eventually gave up hunting and gathering all together. They grew very few crops. Some of the food crops that they were cultivating when the researchers made contact made way for tobacco and marijuana, both accidentally introduced by the new guests.

This shift caused a great conflict for the researchers. In very little time after discovery, the tribe was completely dependent on them. Funds started to run out quickly. Supporting the tribe was not in the budget. Furthermore, as the tribe modernized, interest in them waned. The more they looked like the rest of the country, the less compelling they became.

A few members of the Womapog tribe broke off. They were never seen or heard from again. After the fiasco the researchers caused, they were reluctant to follow deserters. It has been rumored a few survive today, deep in the forest. Sightings of them have become almost as mythicized as those of Bigfoot.

In little less than one decade, the grant was almost gone with no perspective of being renewed. Few researchers were left. In 1962 a team of five remaining researchers were on site and they were not so much researching as playing the role of social workers to keep the tribe alive.

Late in March, 1962, a two hundred years storm was forecasted to come suddenly and violently. Researchers were advised to evacuate immediately. They were to be helivaced out and there was only room for them. In later interviews, it was said, with heavy hearts they made promises of returning and said their goodbyes. Little did they know at the time, it would be forever.

The storm lasted over a week. Heavy snow, Arctic temperatures and hurricane force winds caused massive destruction. All roads that led even near the site of the tribe were decimated. The last five researchers, who barely escaped, raised funds privately to make a rescue attempt. A month and a half later, they acquired the necessary funds. It would take another two and a half weeks to get to the tribe. It was too late.

The researchers, now a rescue team, descended upon a horror movie scene. Not one Womapog tribesperson survived. There was evidence of cannibalism. Womapog oral tradition stated that cannibalism was never practiced and in fact was a major sin in their belief system. Mothers were frozen in place trying to warm their children, who shared the same fate.

This was the last time an indigenous tribe was contacted on the North American continent. The case has been studied all over the world and has spawned new protocols for contacting indigenous peoples. In the 1990’s, a monument was approved in the New York State Senate to erect a monument at the site of the tragedy for the Womapog people. Until today, the project has not been started. Works are in the way to make a movie about their story.

Going Viral

17 May

CEll Phone

Howard was obsessed with making a viral video. He was constantly filming in the hope of catching a magic moment that would be shared worldwide by hundreds of millions of people. It was starting to affect his relationships with friends and family. Furthermore, it was affecting his sanity and decision making.

Howard once got a taste of what it might be like to have a video go viral. He caught his cat peeing on his bed while making a funny face. The video got 50,000 hits on YouTube; a good start. A still shot of cat’s face was turned into a mildly popular meme. This helped fuel Howard’s obsession.

Howard filmed himself sleeping, eating and even using the bathroom. When it was brought to his attention he was trying to do this so masses of people he didn’t even know would watch and possibly give some kind of worthless internet point, such as a like, he shrugged it off. A co-worker suggested that he stage a video. Howard rejected the outright. He considered himself a purest.

One night he heard hissing in his backyard. He ran to see what it was. He tripped over a rake that he didn’t see because he was fumbling with his phone to film what was happening. Just as his foot caught the rake, he hit record. The phone flew from his hand. It landed on two parallel wash lines in such a way that it continued recording perfectly from a good aerial vantage.

Writhing on the floor in pain, Howard saw what the commotion was about. A raccoon had his cat cornered on the porch. Its overly aggressive behavior and the foam coming from its mouth indicated one thing; rabies.

Howard had hurt his leg badly and was completely immobilized. He breathed a sigh of relief when he saw that the phone was recording. He said a quick prayer asking that his fall had been recorded as well.

When he focused his attention on his cat, his emotions were torn. On one hand, he loved Mr. Dinkle and didn’t want anything to happen to him. On the other hand, if the raccoon tore him to pieces, he’d have it on tape, sure to generate a lot of views and likes. The problem with that was, depending on how violent and bloody the attack was certain platforms like Instagram may not allow such a video. That would greatly reduce shares and in turn, decrease viralability.

His brow was dripping with sweat. He had decided on rooting for the attack to happen. There was a chance it would not get too violent, therefore able to go viral. No attack would mean no video and all would be for naught, unless the raccoon and the cat hugged it out, but that was highly unlikely. He saw an opportunity to guarantee the attack.

He reached for a fallen broom to prod the raccoon. This would surely provoke the attack, he thought. The plan backfired. The raccoon turned around and attacked the source of the provocation.

At first, it bit his boney hand until moving on to the much fleshier face of Howard. His nose was gone in one bite. His cheeks were shredded and his neck chewed on before the raccoon darted off into the night. Howard passed out in pain and in a pool of his own blood. He woke up the next day in the hospital.

“You’re lucky your neighbor heard you groaning” the nurse said. “But you are not out of the woods yet. You are all infected and the rabies could still be fatal”

“Where’s my phone?” was his only response.

The nurse rolled her eyes and pointed to the stand next to his bed.

He went right for the video. The whole attack was caught on tape. He was ecstatic, though smiling hurt and one would never know with his half missing face. He immediately uploaded the video.

He obsessively kept checking his stats for the next few hours. The only hits registering were his from going to the video to check the stats. “What’s a guy gotta do to go viral?” he said aloud.

Over the course of the night, Howard slipped into a coma. He didn’t make it until morning. The rabies took him to where there was no internet access.

The news picked up the story. First it was only local news, but the story showed to have legs. The cable news channels picked it up. There wasn’t much going on that day and they had 24 hours to fill. And fill them they did. Hours were dedicated to the story. Rabies experts chimed in, urban wildlife experts debated with urban planners and talking heads about the future of the raccoon in modern America.

In the meantime, the video blew up. By noon, it had millions of hits. There were already parody videos and a few reaction videos. It was a trending topic on Twitter. Howard finally went viral.

The Hill Climb

2 May

Running in dark

Mary came home from a long day of work and immediately changed into her running gear. It was a hard day so she really wanted a challenge. She decided to take the shorter, but very steeply inclined route behind her apartment complex. The route was a dark, 3 KM hill climb that she liked to push herself up, than coast back home with her heart pounding and thighs pumped.

She passed the guard shack at the entrance of her complex and gave a thumbs up which was in turn, returned. She rounded the perimeter wall and entered into the darkness which was the welcome mat of her challenging route. She passed a few houses and waved to the people on the porches.

There was one small obstacle, an outdoor bar she hated passing due to the drunken hoots and hollers she received as she went by. As she climbed the first incline, the Christmas lights strung on rusty poles came into view. She had already switched sides of the street to give a wider berth. She wished she could momentarily become invisible.

As she braced herself for being in full view of the bar and within earshot of the drunken grossness, she was relieved to see only two patrons at a rickety, makeshift table and the barman. She even briefly fantasized they hadn’t seen her at all.

That fantasy was shattered when she heard “Damn, dinner is fast tonight!” followed by, “Why don’t you get over here and meet the man of your dreams and sit on his face?”

Though she was skeeved out, she had heard worse. She blew by the pickled trio and forgot about them. About ten minutes later, on the second steepest incline, she heard foot steps behind her. They were far, but apparently close enough to be audible. She was worried that she was worried. Although rare, she has seen other runners on this route but something was making the hairs on her arms stand up. Her instincts were telling her something.

Mary tried to run faster but didn’t have it in the gas tank. Her lungs were burning. She had been climbing for most of the run. The plodding footsteps behind her were getting closer. She looked back and saw nothing but stumbled when she looked forward again. Fear and fatigue were making her clumsy.

Wild thoughts made the tips of her fingers tremble. Her thighs started to weaken. She starting giving into the idea that she was going to be raped, murdered and thrown into the sugar cane only to be found after the harvest.

Her heart froze over when she heard a “Hey” followed by quickening footsteps. She looked around for a weapon but found none. She thought of running into the cane but it was too thick to get far and besides, the leaves hanging from the stalks would cut her to shreds.

She resolved to be a difficult victim. She imagined that when the news spoke of her attacker, they would mention how mauled he had been by his victim. She stopped dead in her tracks and faced the approaching footsteps.

As the owner of the footsteps approached it was made apparent it was one of the patrons from the bar. She recognized him immediately as the one who called her “dinner”. His tee-shirt was drenched in sweat and his face was tomato red.

“Hey” he called again.

“What do you want?” Mary shrieked.

“Just wait” he called back, huffing and puffing.

“I’ll wait” she thought “and claw your fucking eyes out and bite your balls off”

As he came closer Mary saw he had a wild look in his eyes. He was breathing so heavy; Mary thought he might throw up. At least she had that going for her.

“Ma’am” huff, huff, huff, “You dropped your license in front of the bar”

“What?” Mary shrieked with her shaking hands making a pathetic attempt at a defensive guard.

“Shit, I ain’t run that far since high school, I might puke!” The man said “I saw your license fall from your shorts. I done lost mine once; it was a pain in the dick to replace it”

Mary slowly put her hands down. She felt the area around the small of her back, where she usually tucked her license into her compression shorts, it was gone.

“Oh my god, I don’t know what to say” she stammered. “Sorry”

“Huh?” he said, perplexed.

“I mean, thank you! Thank you so much”

“No problem, little lady. I’m gone crawl back to the bar now”

“Here, take a twenty and buy a round for your troubles” Mary offered.

“I couldn’t, wouldn’t and won’t” he refused “And sorry for hasslin’ you when you run by. We’re bored. We don’t get many people going by. We’re just joshing” he might have been blushing but it was impossible to tell, his face was burning hotter than the sun from the run.

“Oh, it’s ok” she said and offered her hand.

As he took it he looked into her eyes and said “You take care on this here hill. The world is full of crazy ass folk”

 

Tonight’s the Night!

22 Apr

Orgy

 

 

[NSFW] *Note from the author: This story is a little raunchy. If you have delicate sensibilities, it may be wise to move on, otherwise, please enjoy.

 

Tonight was the night Stan had been waiting for since he signed himself up as a participant months ago on Facebook. The event billed itself as the largest orgy North Dakota has ever seen. Stan’s interest in orgies peaked when he saw some graphic videos at the tender age of thirteen.

Stan had no plans for the day, until 8:00pm, the start time. He figured he’d need his stamina so he decided to take an early run before breakfast. On his run, Stan saw a pair of the most beautiful women in spandex leggings. He ran behind them for an extra mile as to not lose his privileged view, even though it meant him going out of his way to do so.

This stimulation was too much for Stan. Upon arrival in his home, he immediately ran to the upstairs bathroom and released his sticky tension into the sink while thinking about those two bodacious bouncing butts that he dutifully trailed. He figured he’d be ok, the event wasn’t for hours and besides, “taking a bullet out of the chamber” would help him last longer, later.

Stan finished his breakfast and thought about how he could kill more than ten hours. He knew he’d have to be careful about getting excited. He needed to save his virility for the orgy.

He went to his room to play video games. He scored a touchdown in a college football game. Cartoon cheerleaders flashed on the screen with exaggerated sensuality and even more exaggerated proportions. This got Stan thinking about the orgy. Before he knew what he was doing, his shorts were down and he was depositing more DNA into a tissue, though considerably less than the first time. That’s ok, he thought, he had hours to recuperate.

After lunch, he got a text from a girl he was flirting with in his Economics class. She said her parents were out of the house and asked if he would like to come over. After a hard fought mental debate with himself, he agreed.

Almost as soon as he arrived he realized he wasn’t there to talk about the finer points of Adam Smith’s invisible hand. She led him to the hot tub, already running, on the back porch, clad in a bikini. They made out for a while and then she slid her hand under the bubbles. She was surprised to find him softer than a cone of ice cream in the hot July sun. He told her he was nervous because he found her so attractive and he had been dreaming of this moment and he couldn’t believe it was coming true. After some serious coaxing, she was able to get him just stiff enough for entrance, where in turn he immediately orgasmed.

He apologized to his disappointed lover and went home. He was a little worried at this point. There were only a few hours until the orgy and he had already had three orgasms that day; the last one being embarrassingly unimpressive.

He took a nap and upon awakening, reached for his cell phone. He flipped through Facebook and Instagram. He came across one of his favorite fitness models and lurked her page for a while. Without consciously realizing it, he was rubbing himself.

As if on some kind of pervert autopilot, he had already clicked over to a porn site and was going to town on his barely erect self. He caught himself in mid-stroke when he thought, “What am I doing? The orgy is tonight!” He couldn’t help himself, though. Stopping at this point would be like taking a steak from the jaws of a famished pit-bull. He finished with a dribble and lamented over it for a while.

As 8:00pm neared, Stan agonized over how he was going to perform after what he had done over the course of the day. Furthermore, he was quite drained and didn’t even feel like going. 8:00 struck and Stan made up his mind. He wasn’t going if it was just to make a fool of himself.

He watched a movie and decided to go to bed. He brushed his teeth and lay down. He looked at Facebook for some time and realized he wasn’t all that sleepy. There was one thing he could do in this situation. He went to his “go to” porn site and typed “orgy”. As the video loaded all he could think was “What is wrong with me?”

 

 

 

For the Kids

16 Apr

hyena

“Let’s take the kids to the zoo?” Mindy asked as she meticulously wrapped sandwiches into clear baggies.

“It’s such a bummer for me to see all the animals far away from their natural habitats, not doing their natural things” Katie said as she watched Mindy.

“Oh come on, do it for the kids, they don’t know any better, for them, they are just looking at animals” she said, admiring her growing stack of sandwiches.

“Ok, but I’m gonna leave a joint in the car if I can’t bare the sadness”

“That’s the last thing you’ll want to do, get all hyper sensitive”

“You’re right! I’ll down a few zanbars and bring a squirt bottle with vodka. You’re such a good friend, Mindy!”

Mindy just rolled her eyes.

As the SUV rolled into the parking lot Mindy turned to Katie and said, “Take it easy on that squirt bottle, we have a long day ahead of us. Pace yourself”

“Relax” Katie said with a slight slur. Mindy rolled her eyes once more.

After about an hour into the visit, Katie declared she needed to sit down and catch her breath. She told the group to go along without her and that she would catch up with them later.

As she sat there, counting the seconds, seven to be exact, from the time the sun made light, to the time she felt it on her tingling skin, a handsome zoo worker sat beside her. “Hi, I’m Justin”

“I’m Katie”

“I don’t do this often” Justin lied, “But I’m going to feed the hyenas and I’d like to take you behind the scenes and show you how it’s done” This was Justin’s go to move when he saw a pretty female by herself. He usually offered the more majestic beats, but they have already been fed that day.

“Oh my God, that would be awesome!” Katie said imagining how cool it would be see with her 8 out of 10 buzz going.

When they got behind the hyena pen Justin asked Katie to put rubber slickers over her sneakers. “One important thing, always look down, the hyenas take eye contact as a sign of aggression” Justin warned.

Katie barely paid attention while she fumbled with the slickers. Her foot seemed to be three times larger than the hole.

“Let me help you there” Justin offered. As he slid the slicker on, his hand traveled up to Katie’s thigh. “Oh, sorry” he said.

“That’s ok” Katie assured. Justin moved in for a kiss and Katie acquiesced. For a moment Katie enjoyed it, until her head spun in dizziness and a wave of nausea passed over her. Justin’s hand already found its way up her shirt and onto her breast.

Katie pulled away “Let’s go do this? We can still make out after, I promise”

Usually the women had already succumbed to Justin’s advances or had run away in disgust at this point. He had never actually taken one into the animal holding. He was nervous.

Not seeing a way out he stammered “Ok…”

Katie had already forgotten Justin’s instructions.  She immediately skipped up to a group of resting hyenas, hand outstretched.

“Get back you crazy bitch!” Justin cried.

Mindy and the kids happened to have just wandered up to the hyena pen. “It’s feeding time kids” she said “Oh look, Aunt Katie is in there!”

They hyenas all rose up on their feet, baring teeth, cackles reaching for the sky and with backs arched in an aggressive manner. Katie thought they were being playful.

“Oh no” Justin murmured.

With lightning quickness and a sniper’s precision, the lead hyena jumped up at Katie’s throat. It landed back to the ground with a considerable chunk of flesh in its powerful jaw. The others immediately pounced, toppling Katie. As they tore her to pieces, Justin ran away. He was never seen inside the zoo again. It took the law one month to find him. He, much like the hyenas, ended up spending many years in a steel barred pen.

Aghast Pt. 3

29 Mar

psych aghast

Leticia listened to distorted versions of her radio hits on a loop that seemed to have gone on for an eternity. She felt herself breaking. With tears running down the inside and outside of her cheeks she whispered “I’ll be true to me”

The voice goaded her “Say it again, baby”

“I’ll be true to me”

“Louder!”

“I’ll be true to ME!”

She filled her lungs with what she felt was the love of the universe and blasted out “I’LL BE TRUE TO ME!”

Suddenly, everything went white and familiar voices surrounded her. She could make out Dawson’s raspy voice “What’s she saying… Hold up! She’s coming to!”

Leticia was still mouthing “I´ll be true to me…” when she realized, despite a splitting headache, reality was returning to the way she remembered it for most her life. There were medics all around her. “What happened?” she asked.

“There was a gas leak, hun. You passed out. We found you writhing on the floor muttering some phrase over and over, we couldn’t make it out, though” Dawson informed her.

“I’ll be true to me?” Leticia asked.

“Yeah, that sounds about right” Dawson said, “I guess it doesn’t matter that the auto tuner is fixed, let’s call it a day. You need some rest. We were really worried about you”

“Let’s call it a career. I don’t ever want to use an auto tuner again. I want to go back to making real music” Leticia said.

“Yeah, yeah hun. Let´s get you home so you can take a load off and get some rest” Dawson replied.

Almost one year to the day, Leticia received a champagne gift basket from the record company. She ripped the card off and her eyes welled up as she read:

“Congrats, girl for rocking the charts! We can’t stop bopping our heads to “I’ll Be True to Me”. It’s your catchiest tune, yet! With our trending data, we are confident it will stay at number 1 for another month. You’re so dope! LOL”

Leticia openly wept. She knew she was not being true to herself.