Suicide Watch

I wrote this a few weeks ago. It’s a near and dear story for me for personal reasons and I think it appropriately conveys the confusing feelings that each party involved would feel.

Scott McKinney

Jonathan’s phone dinged once. He picked it up to see a text from someone that he hadn’t talked to since his senior year of high school. It said, “do u care if I call you?”

            “Sure. But why?” Jonathon asked, pushing himself to his feet. He was sitting next to his mother watching reruns of Family Feud. He walked to the front porch and sat down on the rough fabric of the outdoor loveseat. Kicking his legs up on the pillars that made up the waist high fence surrounding the porch he awaited the call, pondering what it could be.

            Nicolas responded, “I’ll call you in a minute or two,” then he sent another text that said, “it’s bad news.”

            Jon scrolled through his newsfeed while he waited, trying to figure out what Nicolas wanted to talk to him about, but didn’t want to scare himself by thinking of the possibilities, so he tried not to let his thoughts wander. What he knew for sure was that it had nothing to do with Nicolas’ college education since he had dropped out after one semester and it wouldn’t have to do with Jon’s brother or parents because otherwise, he would have heard it from someone else. He continued to scroll through his newsfeed and tried to contain the anxiety that was tickling his stomach and brain, making his hairs stand tall and his mouth dry.

            “R u ready?” Nicolas sent.

            “Yeah,” Jon replied.

            The second that Jon sent the text, Nicolas was already calling him. Jon held it in his hand and felt the vibrations as he contemplated not answering at all. He took a deep breath and picked up, staying as strong as he could in the uncertain circumstance that he was handed.

            “Hey, what’s up?” Jon said.

            “Sorry about calling so late. I just thought you should know as soon as I found out.”

            “Don’t beat around the bush. What’s up?”

            “Did you know CJ Wilkinson?” he asked after a drawn-out pause.

            “Yeah. I knew him a little bit. My brother knows him better than I did, but I know him.”

            Jon’s throat constricted and he felt his heart jump. Not only did his brother, Devin, know CJ, but they were best friends. They met years ago when they were in second or third grade and they actually hated each other at first, then they got into a pretty big argument that ended in some punches, but soon after they developed a mutual respect for each other, that eventually blossomed into the relationship that they have now. Knowing that the news was bad and about CJ gave Jon tunnel vision as he braced for it.

            “What about him?” Jon asked, since Nicolas hadn’t said anything for a few seconds.

            “He’s dead,” Nicolas said.

            “What do you mean?”

            “He’s dead.”

            “What happened!” Jon yelled, then hushed his voice so his mom didn’t hear him from inside.

            “I don’t think anyone knows for sure yet, but I’ve heard through the grapevine that it was suicide.”

            “Are you serious?” Jon said in a whisper. “How did you find out?”

            “I don’t feel comfortable saying. The news isn’t out yet, but I heard from someone else and felt like you had the right to know.”

            Jon stayed silent and looked up at the stars that shined with the same brilliance that they had every night of his life, but they were mocking him tonight. Nicolas was breathing heavily on the other end of the call, sniffling every few seconds.

            “How are you holding up?” Jon asked.

            “I’m fine I guess,” he said, then sniffled. “I didn’t know him too well either but I was really close to his family. He was a good guy. He didn’t deserve to go so young.”

            “I know he didn’t. Thanks for letting me know. I know it wasn’t easy telling me about this.”

            “I’ll be okay. I just feel bad for his family. I’m going to pray for them after we get off the phone.”

            Usually Jon would make a sarcastic remark about how religion wouldn’t help, but he didn’t have the heart. He just wanted Nicolas to feel better and hoped that the prayers really did work. He really hoped that there was something out there that would make CJ’s family feel better.

            “Thanks for letting me know,” Jon told Nicolas. “I’m gonna let you go. I need to make another call.”

            “Okay. Sorry that I only called to give bad news. I wish it could have been for something a bit happier.”

            “It’s okay. I’m glad I know.”

            “But don’t tell anyone that I’m the one that told you. I don’t know if the Wilkinson’s are ready to make the news public.”

            “I won’t. Have as good a night as you can. Give them my prayers.”

            “You too.”

            Nicolas sniffled one last time and hung up the phone. Jon leaned back, resting in the chair. After a few minutes, he stood up and walked back inside, sitting next to his mom on the couch who was still watching reruns of Family Feud.

            “What was that about?” his mom asked.

            Jon said, “It was Nicolas.”

            “You haven’t talked to him in a while, have you?”

            “No. It’s been a while.”

            “What did he want? You look as white as a ghost.”

            “CJ’s dead.”

            “What!” his mom yelled, muting the TV. “What happened?

            “No one knows for sure yet, but Nicolas said it may have been suicide.”

            “Suicide, really? He always seemed so happy when he came around.”

            “I thought so too,” Jon said. “I guess he was good at covering it up.”

            “Your brother is going to be devastated.”

            “I know. I’m thinking about calling him.”

            “Do you want me to do it?”

            Jon ignored his mom and sent Devin a text saying, “Hey, can I call you for a minute?”

            “Do you want me to do it?” Jon’s mom repeated.

            “No, I can do it.”

            Jon walked back to the porch and sat on the rough fabric of the outdoor loveseat and waited for Devin to respond. Ten minutes later, he responded saying he stepped away but didn’t have long. Jon dialed his number and listened to it ring once, then heard Devin pick up and say, “hello?”

            “Hey man,” Jon said. “I have some bad news for you. Are you at a place that you can take it?”

            “Yeah,” he laughed as his girlfriend mumbled something that Jon couldn’t hear clearly. “I mean, how bad can it be?”

            “Are you sure you’re in a good place to talk?”

            “I’m fine. Stop delaying whatever it is that you need to tell me. Out with it.”

            “Okay. CJ’s dead. I heard that it may have been suicide.” The noise died on the other end of the phone as Devin said something and stepped away from his girlfriend. “I’m sorry. I know this must be really hard for you.”

            There was nothing but silence for a minute before I heard Devin clear his throat and take a breath, then he fell silent again. Jon didn’t know what to say, so he waited, keeping his head clear so as to not assume anything about what Devin was feeling or thinking.

As time progressed, thoughts of how Jon had never experienced this form of grief flooded his head, and maybe that was why he was so comfortable being the one to tell him the bad news. Jon thought to his kindergarten friend who passed of heart complications and to a tragedy that affected his school when he was a freshman and three seniors drove their car into a lake, unable to escape before tragedy befell them. He was too young to understand the pain of loss in kindergarten and was too self-obsessed to understand the loss of the three boys in high school, since he had never met them.

Time passed and the stars continued to mock Jon, who was starting to feel his thoughts bombard his brain. “Should I have been the one to tell him?” he wondered. “Should I have told him in person? Would it have been better for me to let him find out through the grapevine when the family was more ready to make the announcement? Was I acting selfishly by believing he’d handle it better coming from me?” His thoughts spiraled, but the last one to enter his head was, “Is Devin okay?”

“It’s fine. Thanks for letting me know.” Devin hung up without saying another word and Jon was left alone on the porch with only his thoughts and the mocking stars to keep him company. He stood up and leaned against the railing on his porch. He breathed in as deeply as he could and held it in, then when his lungs were going to burst, he let it out.

            The door opened behind him. Jon’s mom stood there, staring at her shrunken son with watery eyes. “Are you okay?” she asked him.

            Jon let out another breath as his lungs were going to cave in and said, “Yeah. I’m fine.”

            “Did you tell Devin?”


            “How did he handle it?”


            “Do you want some time alone?”

            “No, I’m okay. I’ll be in in a minute.”


She closed the door slowly and quietly as Jon took one last deep breath. He let the air out and walked inside, sitting down next to his mom and watched reruns of Family Feud.

I Love Lamp

Art can come from the most unlikely of places, and from the most unlikely of people.

Scott McLampshade
Photo by Dmitry Zvolskiy on

At the thrift store, Marie got an old lamp with a vintage gold finish. The lampshade was mostly purple and beige, with large roses of red and white scattered throughout. Green stems stretched around in every direction, giving the entire thing the look of flowers and ivy growing up the side of an old brick building. In the 60’s, the lamp would have been beautiful to all who saw it, but today it looked like the wallpaper in a house that had been condemned with asbestos, mold and bad structural damage.

She stopped at a fabric supply store on the way home and grabbed styrene, glue and some new scissors with a sharp blade, and drove home giddy with excitement. The last time she treated herself to anything was years ago before she graduated from high school. She chose not to go to college and instead worked in the deli of a local grocer, learning about different types of meats and cuts.

While at the deli, Marie used her off time to figure out what she was really passionate about. In school, she tried cheerleading but was too small to be a spotter and was too scared of being dropped to be a flyer, so she quit after a few practices. She liked her art classes, but she hated everything she made, throwing it away immediately. One of the last activities that she tried to find passion in was reading, but she had a hard time focusing on the letters because they always seemed to move or be organized in nonsensical ways.

After years of feeling lost, she finally found her hobby when an annoying customer came into the Deli and screamed at her. The customer was upset with the cut of the meat that he got, insisting that it was shaved and not sliced, even though she remembered slicing it for her. She even brought a slice of meat to the customer after cutting a piece off and the customer said it was good. The way he lost his mind, screaming for no reason, made her retract to her happy place which was in elementary school, doing arts and crafts.

The second she finished work, she went to get the lamp, knowing that it would take her mind away from her bad day at work. The woman behind the counter at the fabric supply store even told her how to properly take a drum shade from its wire frame and add a new one with different fabric. She helped measure the frame as well because that can be a bit tricky with a drum shade and offered to help measure and cut the new fabric, but Marie left it in her car and politely declined.

Marie got in her car and drove home with all of the new supplies that she purchased. She went inside quickly, carrying her new supplies and material, and cut the old fabric away from the lamp. The wire frame was thin and bent a little as she was pulling some of the fabric away, but she bent it back into place without affecting the integrity of the structure. She measured the exact dimensions that she needed from new material and laid it on the kitchen table that she was using as a work bench.

She flipped the material over and wiped it with a damp washcloth, then scraped away any of the impurities that remained. Once the surface was completely dried, she added the styrene to the center, leaving about half an inch of the material on the bottom and top, trimmed the material to be aligned with the styrene on the right side, and left extra hanging over the left.

Reaching into the bag from the supply store, she grabbed the brand-new bottle of glue from the bottom and opened it, applying a thin layer to the left side of new material. She walked to a drawer in her kitchen and pulled out a little clip that she puts around important bills and then wrapped the lamp shade into a cylindrical shape, clamping the left and right ends together.

The wire frame from the old lamp was an imperfect circle, but Marie placed it into the top of the cylinder and shaped it as well as she could, wrapped the top end of the material over it, tucking it under the frame and gluing it in place. She then took another smaller wire and placed it in the bottom of the lamp, doing the same thing that she had just done to the top.

With the most care that she gently lowered the undried new lamp shade on the body of the lamp, and it hung delicately over the bulb. She took it to the desk next to her reading chair and plugged it in. The bulb flickered on, then held its shine, lighting up the entire room with a reddish-pink glow that made the boring white walls look like the setting sun. She sat in her chair and picked up the book that was sitting next to her and opened to the most recent page that she had read.

The light turned the yellowed pages a strange orange that felt soothing to her eyes as she read about proper sewing technique, machines and designs that ranged from Betsy Ross’s American Flag to Coco Chanel’s first pieces of clothing. The designs inspired her to improve her skills, but she was still proud of her work. The lamp next to her was still shining it’s reddish hue and brought a smile to her face.

Marie set her book down on the arm of the chair and walked to the kitchen to the small sewing kit in the corner of her room and pulled out a black thread and needle. She unplugged the lamp and set it in her lamp as she sewed her name into the new lampshade so that none of her future guests would ever question if it was hers or someone else’s. Gently, in a cursive writing style, she stitched in “Marie Gein.”

She looked to the kitchen table at the leftover materials that hung over one of the chairs that were around it. It was beautiful, covered in unique patterns and colors that Marie never expected to get her hands on. She stood up and walked up, sitting in the chair next to the material, staring at the hole that was left from her cutting some out for the lampshade and smiled.

Inside the hole was a collection of organs, from kidney’s the heart. She left the entire body of the man from the deli intact, except for the skin she took from his stomach and the wound in his neck that was so deep that it almost decapitated him. His skin had tattoos all over and he was an unpleasant entity in the world, so when Marie thought about what her hobby could be, she knew at that second; she’d take undesirables out of the world and turn them into something that people could be proud of, such as art or a waterproof cover for her book.

The man screamed at her for no reason, and that was enough for her to make his the next in her growing line of human art. His head would join the other six that were mounted on her wall, the rest of his skin would be turned into either part of a sofa or a sheet for her bed and his organs would be thrown into a meat grinder at work and sold to the undesirables that she couldn’t get to after her shift.

With a smile, she dismantled the body, inch by inch, finger by finger, and stored it away to repurpose it. She decided to make the skin a bedsheet, put the organs in a lunch box to bring to work tomorrow and used the bones as the beginnings of a throne that she planned to build for herself and victims. Recently, she got a polaroid camera and knew that she could turn her house into an art gallery, featuring the dead sitting on a throne of bones, showing that humans can only survive from the atrocities of those that came before.

Picture after picture, Marie waved them clear, nailing them to her wall, thinking of how the world would see her and envy her when she was ready to show them her magnum opus. She would sell tickets to her home and allow anyone who came by to admire her work. Still smiling, Marie took off all of her clothes and sat back in her reading chair, also made from the rough, leathery feel of old skin, and laughed to herself as she rubbed her clitoris with one of the deceased customer’s fingers.


I got the idea for this while watching Evil Genius on Netflix. I have quite an active imagination so this short was written from the perspective of genuine fear that someone was constantly watching me, but as I wrote it, it took on a kind of mystical form.

Scott McCablesucks

adorable blur breed close up
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Whether I’m showering, sleeping, reading or eating, anytime I blink, I stare into the deep, dark, endless abyss of her black, unloving eyes. I see hatred that has been brought on by years of neglect, misunderstanding and hatred that cuts deeper than the sharpest blade. The unblinking focus gives me chills. She wants to do damage to someone – anyone that will be terrified and resent her, because those are the emotions that she feeds from.

adorable animal blur cat
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I open the shower curtain and before I dry my face, I shake my head to make sure she’s not standing in the doorway waiting for me. I dry off quickly because I know that it would only take her one second to pounce and change me to a state of rigor mortis. She could be anywhere, real or fake, causing entirely real fear. The eyes are the worst. She could be holding a knife and want to skin me alive, but the genuine nothingness in her eyes signaling only the worst intent is really what causes fear… and gives her enough to feed off of for months.

Falling asleep is a chore. The sweet, relaxing feeling of waking up in the morning, well-rested after eight hours of sleep is no more. I can’t fall asleep because I see her. I don’t dream happy thoughts because I see her. I wake up and before I can have the resuscitating powers of coffee, I must check every room of my house to know that I’m alone. By the time I get coffee started, twenty minutes after I wake up, the paranoia has driven me to a state of exhaustion. The fear it drives causes an eight-hour work day before I have to go in for my eight-hour work day.

photo of gray cat looking up against black background
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She’s not real. I don’t know why the paranoia drives me. It’s maddening. Reading is impossible. My focus is split between the pages and the occasional movement that my eyes and brain trick me with. Sometimes when I stare back to the pages, the eyes appear and stare back at me. They hold their gaze and watch as I begin to panic, rubbing my eyes repeatedly to make sure that they are fake. They aren’t there but they feel so real.

Eating has turned to a stage of weakness. I won’t let myself get lost in my taste buds because the second I close the eyes on the back of my head is when the other one’s strike. All food tastes the same, a mix of blandness and hideous textures. Chewing tires my jaw like never before. I’m in a state of insatiable hunger. When I put the dishes in the sink, I see the eyes in the drain, still unblinking, still watching.

Her shape, size and appearance mean nothing. She could be the most beautiful woman or the most hideous. No matter the aesthetics, I stare only into the portals of insanity. She won’t leave me alone. When I speak with her, she doesn’t respond. She’s watching my every move. Her eyes tell all. She’s pure evil.

close up photography of tiger


Idea from Kyle Deddo. Written by –

Scott McSeerightthroughme

“You wouldn’t believe me if I told you the truth.”

“Try me. I’ve heard all sorts of stories from all sorts of people and I’m sure this one isn’t too different from the others.”

“That’s what all of the others shrinks said.”

“I know that you haven’t had much luck before but I’m really here to help you. I’m sure the others were too but I’ve been in the industry for a long time, and sometimes therapists have this weird way of trying to relate to their clients by pretending that what they have isn’t real.”

“I mean, I’ll tell you everything that I’ve told the others, but it won’t help.”

“Well Harold, at least give me the chance to prove you wrong.”

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“Fine, but if you’re like the rest then I’m not coming back. I didn’t want to do this in the first place. My mom’s making me do it. Give it a few more months and I’ll be able to make the decision on my own, and I know I won’t be coming back.”

“And that’s okay, but let’s make the best of the time that we have together. Please tell me more about why you’re here.”

“Okay, well when I look at you, you’re translucent.”


“Yeah. When I look at you, I see the lab coat and I see your skin, but I can also see the orange and yellow floral pattern on the chair that you’re sitting in.”

“Do you know why you see it that way?”

“Wow, you’re the first shrink of four who didn’t try to get me to prove it. Doctor Thomas kept trying to get me to guess what he had written on a piece of paper that he held behind his back.”

“Could you do it?”

“No. That time I couldn’t see through him. I can see through some people, but not him.”

“Why’s that?”

“You wouldn’t like it if I told you.”

“You should still tell me.”

“Soon. I can’t yet.”

“We’ll come back to it then. When did this start for you?”

“Do you mean seeing through people?”


“It’s happened for as long as I can remember. I think the first time that it happened was probably when I was five or six.”

“Do you remember what you saw?”

“Yeah, it was my grandpap.”

“Why was he translucent?”

“I don’t remember.”

“I think we both know that you do. Just tell me. It’ll make this whole conversation a bit easier for the both of us.”

“I don’t… remember.”

“Fine, but you’re going to have to learn to open up.”

“And you’re going to have to learn when to stop pushing.”

“You’re right. I’m sorry.”

“I know I’m right. Again, you’re the fifth shrink I’ve seen.”

“I thought you said that I’m the fourth.”

“Does that really matter right now, doctor.”

“I guess not.”

“Good. My mom’s paying for an hourly rate. Why don’t you start asking questions that really matter instead of wasting both my time and yours?”

“Okay. Who was the second person that you saw as translucent?”

“My friends’ mom.”

“How long ago was that?”

“It was probably around the same time that I saw my grandpap like that.”

“And you said that was around the age of five or six?”


“Great. Who was next?”

“This one’s harder to explain. It was my mom’s stomach.”

“Why wasn’t it your mom? Why was it just her stomach?”

“I don’t remember. The next instance that I saw of it was this guy who was next to us at a stop light.”

“So, it’s not just people that you’re close to? It can be anyone?”


“What happened to the guy in the car?”

“He drove away when the light turned green. What did you expect?”

“I don’t know. I guess something else.”

“That’s very professional of you. I love hearing from an expert in their field that they ‘guess’ something.”

“I’m just trying to fill in the blanks that you clearly won’t fill in. I’m doing the best that I can with what I’m being given.”

“You’re doing better than the others. I’ll give you that.”

“Thanks, I guess. Did you tell them anymore than you’ve giving me?”

“The first two, yes but then they requested that I see someone else ‘more suited for my special circumstance.’”

“That’s peculiar. I get why you’re a bit nervous about therapists.”

“It’s because they can’t do anything to help me. They always treat me more as a case study than a patient. If I told you what it meant, then I’m sure we’d be having a different conversation. And, just to save a conversation, no… there’s nothing I can do for you.”

sea blue transparent moon
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“What does that mean?”

“I’m not telling you yet.”

“But you will tell me?”


“I guess that’s a step in the right direction.”

“There you are, guessing again.”

“… who else do you remember seeing as translucent?”

“One time my dad drove passed a dear that was translucent.”

“Interesting, so it’s not just people?”

“Wow, great inference. You’re doing great, ya know that?”

“I’m not… thank you – I’m just trying to help.”

“I know what you’re trying to do. I’m just trying to get through another impractical crazy session.”

“Is that how you see yourself? Crazy?”

“Can you think of a better word?”

“I really don’t like for my patience to use the word crazy. It can be really bad for self-worth and self-esteem.”

“Yeah. You’re probably right, but I don’t feel like I really need a better self-esteem at this point.”

“Why’s that? Everybody deserves to feel better about themselves. You’re no different.”

“Okay Mister Doctor. I’ll work on my self-esteem. The next thing I saw as translucent was Spot.”

“What was Spot?”

“She was our family dog. She was a beagle, but she had this weird spotted pattern on her back. When we got her, the owners said she was a purebred, but no one really believed that.”

“Tell me more about Spot.”

“What more do you want to know?”

“Honestly, just anything. That was the most you’ve given me since we started.”

“Well I don’t have much more to say about her.”

“Okay… well who else have you seen?”

“Doc, the list goes on for a long time. I could go through a lot of different people, animals and whatever else you can think of, but I don’t think my mom’s that rich.”

“Do you know why you see these things as translucent?”

“I thought I made that clear at the beginning of this conversation.”

“I just wanted to be sure. Tell me more about your grandpap.”

“Is that what this conversation is going to be now; you just asking about people who I’ve seen as translucent?”

“If you’re not going to tell me what it means then I’m going to figure out what I can.”

“You don’t want me to tell you and more than that, I don’t want to tell you. It’s hard enough living with it, let alone breaking the news to other people.”

“What are you talking about?”

“Nothing. It’s nothing.”

“Even if you won’t tell me, at least tell me how it makes you feel. If nothing else, I’d like to make you feel better about it.”

“Do you have a wife or kids?”

“Two kids and an ex-wife.”

“I’ve never understood how a therapist, or someone who helps people with their problems, can get divorced.”

“It was a complicated situation. Every relationship is different.”

“Do you love your kids?”

“Of course, I do.”

“Do you tell them that regularly?”

“What kind of question is that?”


“Yes. I tell them that I love them. What are you on about?”

“Calm down. You’re the first shrink who’s gotten confrontational. I just want you to feel better, too.”

“I feel fine. What are you getting at?”

“Spot disappeared later that day. My parents said that he went to a distant relatives farm, but I knew better.”

“Can you stop being so cryptic and just tell me what it means?

“When my dad and I were driving home that night, the dear was on the side of the road. It had been hit by a car. I think our neighbors hit it because their car was in the shop the next day.”

“Okay? What does that have to do with anything?”

“The guy who was next to us at the stop light, he sped ahead and no more than five miles later, we saw his crumpled car on the side of the road. My mom miscarried who was supposed to be my younger sibling. My friend’s mom died after a long struggle with breast cancer. My Grandpap had a heart attack later that day at the age of 66; I never really knew him.”

“So, wait – are you telling me that whatever you see as translucent dies?”

“Yes. In the same day.”

“Well yeah, that’s unusual, but that’s not the end of the world. I can’t believe you went through four – or was it five – different shrinks before me. This is peculiar for sure, but not too bad to help.”

“I’m sure there will be more than four shrinks.”

“What makes you say that? You don’t think I can handle you? Ha! Harold, I’m sure I’ll do just fine now that I know what the problem is.”

“I’m sure you will Doctor Vann… I’m sure you will.”

“This is a great start! Now that I know what the problem is, how about we schedule something at the same time next week and we can hash out even more details!”

“That sounds great Doctor Vann. I’ll see you then. One last thing before I go, have I told you how much I like the design on your chair?”

“No, I don’t think so.”

“Well it looks great. I like it a lot.”

“Thanks, Harold. I’ll see you next week.”

“Good-bye, Doc.”

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A lot of terrible things happen every day. My stomach randomly started rebelling against ice cream, I need to replace a part in my toilet so that it won’t run infinitely and sometimes people find the only thing that they can do to feel better is some heinous stuff that hurts the ones that they love and some that they don’t even know. People who commit disturbing acts of violence are looked at with only eyes of hate, and although I understand why, they’re human too and probably feel worse inside than anyone that I’ve ever met.

Scott McSnappingturtle

broken heart love sad
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Imagine your friend, your mom, your dad or your sibling. Imagine your son or daughter or your significant other. All the people that you respect and love. People that you would sacrifice your own life to help if they needed it. Imagine what would happen if they snapped.

What if your loved one brought a loaded gun to a school? What if they ran a car through a crowded sidewalk? What if they made a bomb and took it to a stadium?

At the end of the day, you’d know that they did something wrong. You’d know that they harmed innocent people. But you’d still love them. You would just wish that it never happened.

You would see the entire world turn against the person that you love. People that have never met them, full of hate and nothing else. The tragedy is replayed over and over on every form of media, but it’s only noise and hate. Everyone wants a change, but a solution is never reached. All that’s passed around are false promises of change.

No one is happy about your loved one’s actions and you are no exception. The difference is that, unlike every other loud opinion, you truly want real change. You want to make it so that this kind of incident can never happen again…but no one listens. Everyone just wants to spread hate that’s veiled in cheap, unfeeling support for the victims.

You’d know more than anyone that no matter what words are spoken, what laws are proposed and what patriotism is evoked. You’d know more than anyone that no matter what, it’ll happen again.

Unfortunately, all you can do is wait. Wait for when the time comes again – and it will come again – then you could lend your hand to people whose loved ones have also snapped… because you’d remember a time when no one was there for you.

Last Words

I think about death all the time and I know I’m not the only one. Whether you’re 15 or 100, the idea of death is terrifying at every turn. The unexpected timing, the unbelievable pain, the lack of control and the sudden goodbye that you can’t make, it’s all horrifying and nothing can prepare you for it. Immortality isn’t real and even if some pseudo immortality is reached in our lifetime, it won’t be anything close to what our lives are now. We can try to create stuff that lives a longer life than us, but that’s finite too and once you’re dead it doesn’t matter. I don’t know what people fear more, the thought of being forgotten or the thought of making more memories. Regardless of the answer, everyone is scared for their own reasons and I hope that in the future, you can all find solace in the eventual darkness ahead.

Scott McReaper

I lay in this bed. I stare at that ceiling. I feel each breath painfully leaving my lungs. New air forces its way in, like a piece of popcorn forces its way between your teeth. All I can do is sit here. Sit here and think.

The cancer has really taken a toll. I used to be so agile. So quick witted. So alive. Now, all I am is the decrepit shell of the man that I used to be. A shell that might as well be picked up and skipped into the ocean. A shell that no one will ever see again.

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My family surrounds me constantly. My wife. My kids. My parents. I never thought I’d die before my parents. They swarm me with flowers as if they’re going to give me the strength to keep going. The strength to fight through this again.

I don’t even have the strength to speak. Oh my, that’s what I was thinking about anyway. It’s so hard to keep my mind straight. My wife is crying again. I must look worse than before. No, I probably look the same.

Never mind that. Prisoners are always gifted last words before they die. I didn’t have that privilege. Instead, I’ve just had to witness my death through the mirrors of my family’s eyes. I wish I could say a proper string of last words. They would make me feel much more at peace.

Actually, the more that I think of it, maybe they wouldn’t. If I said something, it may just leave everyone wondering if I was going to say more. They would think that I was trying to fight. They would think that I didn’t want to die. The truth is… the truth is that I’m very tired. I’m ready to go.

I wouldn’t know what to say anyway. I would say that I love whoever was there, but what is that going to do? They know I love them. If they didn’t, they wouldn’t be here. I wish I could at least have the option to say something. I don’t know if I would.

I don’t need proper last words. I don’t even want last words. My last words were… I don’t remember what I said. But I don’t think there is anything else for me to say. I said enough through life. Even in the bad times, I was around. That alone should be good enough. I’m okay with this.

I feel a breath painfully leaving my lungs. I feel my heart stop beating. I hear the melancholy tone of the machines connected to me. I feel the tears of family members falling to my cold skin. I hear their cries. Words can’t explain how I feel. Last words are a trick. A trick in assuming your words will live past you. I am not my words. I am a memory.