The rustle of the door opening downstairs signals its arrival. With that soft noise, the fog rolls slowly up the staircase, cold and heavy and noxious. Engulfing everything, it soon obscures the bottom of the stairs from view.

But from the base of the staircase comes a piercing shriek. Rising like a siren’s wail, it pulses out in all directions, causing the glass to vibrate in the frame. Louder and softer, it ebbs and wanes with an unpredictable pattern. For a moment  it stops–and then, with the penetrating sharp staccato shriek of some small animal being devoured alive, in never-ceasing torment, it returns.

Doors slam and voices ring out, heavy feet pound up the stairs, down in the shrouded grey mist. The voices sound stressed, tense, often angry. You can never quite make out what they are saying, it sounds vaguely oriental (perhaps), but you can’t be sure because the siren cry often drowns out all other sounds. Perhaps they only sound angry because they must yell to be heard.

Like the narrator in a Poe story, I cover my ears, praying that some day soon it will end. But night after night, it continues. And like a Poe character, I fear that it just may be driving me mad.

How much worse for those poor, lost souls at the base of the stairs, so much nearer to the horror, the dreadful baleful inevitability that this evil will return again tomorrow, and the next day, and the next? How can they live with the sheer, inescapable Cthulhuian dread of what awaits them, and me, tomorrow at the same time?

I reach for the remote, increasing the volume, trying to block out the strange and awful cries. But it never does any good. Tomorrow, inevitably, my downstairs neighbors will again return.

It must be an Alien-Demon Spawn, I tell my wife. Nothing human could possibly make cries like that, surely.

RecDave Seal


! Create

Fill in the blank: “Life is too short to _____.” Now, write a post telling us how you’ve come to that conclusion.

I’ll admit, this one did cause me to stop and think a bit.

Life’s too short to…

  • Farm cubicles
  • Regret
  • Throw away (on smoking or drinking or whatever)
  • Waste At Wal-Mart
  • Spend in your car commuting
  • etc.

Lots of catchy t-shirt wisdom is bound to spring from this topic–there’s endless aphorism potential here. Little comics with pithy captions…do we have any comic artists in the house? Internet meme fame awaits you!

But I finally decided to flip the assignment; what is it that I cannot skip and be happy?

If life seems jolly rotten, there’s something you’ve forgotten,
And that’s to laugh and smile and dance and sing.

That’s what that “!” is, in the title–coder-speak for “Not”. Life’s Too Short To Not Create. Isn’t that clever? Hey, stop throwing things!

I draw happiness from creating things. This week, that’s writing. In the past, it’s been hacking code or digital art or sketching or even my “rock star” guitar-god period. Aren’t you glad you missed that one?

Annie digs her quilting and her photography. Everyone has their own ‘thing’, or several things.

I was doing some browsing on etching (stone and glass) yesterday. Seems like something I could quite enjoy (I was a Chemistry major, ya know). Some science, some creative…captured my interest. More research is in order! Is there hobby potential here, or just enormous start-up costs? Thank god for Google.

These are the kind of things that do still engage me; make me smile and even inspire passion.

You’ll see it’s all a show, keep ’em laughing as you go.
Just remember that the last laugh is on you.

Thank you, Mr. Idle, for the excellent advice. Life’s too short.

RecDave Seal

Give the audience a grin

This isn’t that post

I woke from a dream, just now. I was having one of those semi-lucid creative moments, when several post ideas were chained together into one delightful mega-post, with perfect segues from each theme to the next, verbal construction that dazzled with humor and interest and pathos and…it was going to be great!

This is not that post.

I got up and went to pee. And (as so often happens), during that few moments, the brilliant plan faded away. I could feel it dispersing…until I lost each and every plank in the platform of the self-evident brilliance was…just gone.

So I’ve gotta stow a notebook and a pen (or something) bedside so that I can scribble on the way to the potty. Try to save something, some core of idea(s)…

Because in the A.M. I will undoubtedly turn on the Idiot Box, watch the re-run of last night’s Walking Dead…and post some kind of drivel instead.

Sorry readers, that I have a bladder. Or else I would be in a furious keyboard-pounding haze of J.D. Salinger, and the next Great American Novel would be taking shape right now!

Damn you, Dr. Pepper company, damn you.  All your fault.

RecDave Seal

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.