Irvin made it home before eight and found his mother in her recliner watching TV. Most nights she slept there, which made Irvin feel like he was taking bad care of her.
She heard him open the door and pick up the scattered mail. “There you are. You didn’t come home last night.” When left with an empty space, Irvin’s mother tended to fill it in with the worst possible scenario.
“If there was a better way to go, then it would find me.” -Fiona Apple
I started writing a novel on Twitter because I have a young baby at home and it’s hard to find time to officially “write.” But I noticed that I have time to sit in the nursery and play with him and send text messages to my friends. So if I have time to text, I have time to tweet, and if I have time to tweet, I could be writing a novel on Twitter. Voila, The Place Below was born.
And like so many artistic works, The Place Below was born with problems. None of them are insurmountable, exactly, but each new story is a learning experience. (If viewed through the proper cardboard tube, everything is a potential learning experience.)
Huddled under the building’s overhang, Irvin took a furtive drag from his cigarette. The wind was cold and, as usual, he’d forgotten his coat. “You look like a little urchin out here,” Clarice had said the last time she had bumped into him smoking, on her way back from Starbucks.
“This word has a few interesting meanings. It connotes a leather covering that conceals or protects something. Esoterically, this refers to the human skin, or human body, that conceals the soul. In Greek the word apoko, means ‘peel away’ or ‘remove,’ as in apoko olemo, or ‘I peel a fruit.’” -Michael Tsarion
The wizard watched a black spot appear on the back of his hand. It spread as if someone had dropped ink. A wisp of smoke untangled itself from the blackened skin and rose toward the mildewed ceiling.
The wizard watched with detachment. Sometimes his magic scraped and sparked along the guardrails. That’s what happened when you pushed things harder, further. Or perhaps he had become imprecise. Either way, he had become more powerful.
These apartment buildings have been filled with immigrants for years now. Since before you were born. I mean, a few’s one thing, right? But there hafta be more and more of them all the time. They don’t just stop at one. They come all the time. And kids! You’ve seen how they have kids. I don’t think there even is one white person in Building 4 anymore. That old lady died at Christmas. You didn’t hear about that? If my father were alive to see this, I tell you he would have fuckin’ puked.I’ll tell you what, they like it here because it’s cheap. I never said they were stupid. But they’re not like us. Their values are different. Very different. You’ve seen the way they look, and you can smell their food coming out the windows. It makes me sick. I’m happy when winter comes now so I don’t have to fuckin’ smell it. And don’t even talk to me about that church they go to, or whatever they try to call it. I’m not religious but I believe in God and that’s not God. All that waving your arms around and stomping. Ha ha.I haven’t been down to Saint Peter’s for years — not since about sixth grade. It’s full of pederasts anyway and I hope they do close it up. But, listen. Even though my father’s dead, I feel him still with me and if that’s God, then that’s God. I can feel him here, in my chest. I’m not joking around, seriously; I’m not being cheesy. Sometimes it’s like he’s right here with me and he can talk to me but I can’t understand what he’s saying. I wish he could tell me who did it to him.
No, they never arrested anybody. Not a single person. Once my aunt told me the police thought one of his friends did it. Somebody he owed money to. And who would think that’s what a friend would do — tie you to a mattress and set you on fire? That’s when I realized you don’t know anybody, not really.
And so, no, I’m not gonna go talk to them. You might think it’s cute to eat those dirty leaves with them and do that stuff they do. But you’ll never know them, not really. I think they’re all fucking terrorists.