Smoke The Cannabis Detective: Fresh Prints Main

This is more a re-release but it didn’t feel right publishing the second part with pictures and stuff and not draw some for the first part. So we are starting over again. Part two will be ready soon!

Smoke The Cannabis Detective: Fresh Prints part one!
By Michael J Pennington

Read the Smoke: The Cannabis Detective Book!


Fresh Prints.

While Gwen was done selling honey with Lars, she still had an endorsement gig with the people who provided them, honey. She was known as the Honey lady. So she still had some kind of income, and she still got some of the money from her partnership. It was just that getting up early and going to the farmer’s markets weren’t working for her. Especially when we were working a case.

Between my reputation for being the guy who smokes Pot and sees ghosts, her reputation as the Honey lady we had become a couple of local celebrities. Suddenly we were getting invited to a lot more events. Like going to see the Colorado Springs Philharmonic. I didn’t even know we had one.

We were invited and Gwen wanted to see them. So we went. I highly recommend it. What I don’t recommend is that you start chewing gum before the concert, and then right before you go in you pop one of the little donut things they had in the lobby…

Now I have a talent to keep a piece of gum, stuck on one side of my teeth while chewing food on the other side of my mouth, and nobody is the wiser. Or at least nobody said anything. Point being that we were at relatively normal levels of Peter Kurtz uncouthness. That was about to change.

As the lights lowered and the music began to play I finished my donut thing and began chewing my gum once more. Something about the oil or some kind of ingredient had a strange effect on my gum. It began to feel weird inside my mouth. So I decided to remove the gum and place it on a napkin and throw it away later. No. I was not going to stick it to the bottom of the seat. I’m not that guy, I hate that guy.

Whatever had made my gum feel weird, altered its consistency to a paste that stuck to anything it touched. Like my lip. I pulled the gum from my mouth a long stand of gum stretched between my lip and my fingers.

Naturally, my instinct was to grab the end stuck to my lip with my free hand. This was on instinct. Now I had gum stuck to both hands and my lip and I could see a strand dropping down and it was going to get stuck to my chin. I tried to catch it with my palm. This was also a bad instinct. For catching the gum with my palm, brought my fingers close to the tip of my nose sticking the gum between my fingers to my nose.

It was at this time Gwen noticed me. “What are you… Oh my god!”

The music had stopped everyone was looking at me. All I could do is look at Gwen with a please-help-me-look and say. “Do you maybe have a napkin?”

“No. I don’t have a napkin.” What did Gwen mean by that, she always had a napkin in her purse this was an essential part of the plan. “There’s not one in your purse?”

Gwen trying not to laugh held up a tiny shiny sequined bag. “No tonight I guess I thought you could keep out of trouble for one night.”

I sat there covered in gum. “This is me we are talking about.”

“Here.” Said the woman next to me holding out what looked like a very expensive embroidered handkerchief with the letters VC on them. She looked like a socialite a woman of class and refinement in her late forties. A woman with strong features a beautiful ebony hew. Quite horrified to be sitting next to me.

It seemed a shame to ruin such a nice piece of cloth, but I had no choice. I carefully seized upon the cloth and used it to cover my face as I made a run for the bathroom.

It took a little while to clean myself up in the bathroom. When I got back the seat next to mine opposite of Gwen was empty. “I hope I didn’t scare her off,” I said in earnest.

“It wasn’t you.” Said Gwen giving me a kiss. “She had a family emergency.”

“Are you sure that wasn’t just her excuse?” I asked. We were keeping our voices low so no one could hear us.

“She said it was nothing compared to some of the fiascos her husband Preston has had.” Smiled Gwen. “It seems you’re not the only goofball she’s had to lone that handkerchief too.”

I forgot about that. It was still in my pocket covered in gum. “I forgot about that, I still have it.”

“She said for you to keep it.” Said Gwen. “Her name is Victora by the way.”

In the time it took me to clean myself up it seemed Gwen and Victoria were able to form a fast friendship. It seemed I had some stiff competition for the most embarrassing husband.

Victoria even invited us to brunch to discuss war stories, but it looked like we might not make it. Bruch was a little early in the morning too for Gwen, and her nausea was acting up. The harder she tried to get out of the house the worse it was. She needed her medicine she needed to smoke marijuana, but she couldn’t.

We just decided it was better if I didn’t drive. It happened after I almost ran us off the road because I saw a ghost. See I have cancer in order to treat it I use an experimental cannabis strain called Ghost 19. It has the little side effect of letting me see dead people. Seeing dead people while driving is less than conducive to positive driving habits.

Now, of course, Gwen and I don’t smoke and drive, but, the ghost that almost caused the accident appeared when we thought I was sober enough to drive. So now I just don’t drive, but that’s a problem for Gwen.

The hardest thing in the world was watching the person that you love puke their guts out into a garbage can knowing you can do nothing about it. She wasn’t sick, the doctors could find nothing wrong with her. All any of them wanted to do was throw pills at the problem. Cannabis helped. “Maybe we should tell Victora we can’t make it…” I suggested desperately to see my wife suffering end.

“We can’t!” The vomiting had stopped for a moment but she was not ready, the harder she pushed the worse it got. “I don’t want her thinking that we don’t like her.” She was so stubborn sometimes.

There was a knock on the door. I answered it and it was a friend we hadn’t seen a bit. A middle-aged black man in his early fifties, he was tall but thin, with a little bit of meat on him. He definitely worked out. He had a couple of braces on his arms. He had gotten into a car accident along with Gwen and I a while back. While we got minor injuries, his arms were broken. Seems the old rule of having your arms at ten and two didn’t play well with airbags. “Charles,” I called giving him a hug.

Charles and I got done with our hug. “Hey, Charles!” Said Gwen. Stil sitting on a chair in front of a trash can.

Stepping inside Charles took one look at Gwen and said. “Nausea again?” He got familiar with the problem because he was one of the cops assigned to protect us when they thought Sarah’s killer might be targeting us. Guess they were right.

Sara if you didn’t know is a ghost that helps us solve crimes. A sort of silent partner if you will. She was also our first case.

I looked at Gwen and said. “Yeah were already late which only makes things worse for her.”

“Hey.” Said Charles. “I don’t have anything to do today, I can give you a lift.”

I looked at the braces on his arms, “Can you drive in those things.”

“Yes, these are 3-D printed casts, the latest thing. The doctor says no heavy lifting and no hitting stuff, but yeah driving okay.” Charles said. He was a lifesaver Gwen was able to smoke and we headed down to the car.

On the way over we had a chance to talk to him about his early retirement. “Yeah,” He said. “They made up some bullshit excuse about me not being able to hold a gun properly.”

“That’s not right, was it because you are gay?” I asked.

“They didn’t say it of course.” Said Charles. “But, the Sargent has never been happy about it. Real old school type.”

“So are you going to fight it?” Asked Gwen.

“Yep.” He said. “My attorney thinks we have a case. In the meantime, I need something to do. Do you guy’s need a bodyguard?”

“A bodyguard…” Gwen said as we looked at each other.

“Don’t worry about money, I have my military retirement and my police retirement. I just want something to keep me busy.” Said Charles.

“Look,” I said. “We’re not sure we need a bodyguard…”

“Are you kidding?!” Asked Charles. “I heard about the guy who held you at gunpoint. Not to mention the attempt on your lives that gave me these casts.”

“Don’t forget Peter getting held at gunpoint by Sarah’s killer.” Said Gwen.

“Well yeah,” I said. “but those were just isolated incidents.”

“How many cases have you worked?” Asked Charles.

“Two,” Gwen said. “That’s three threats to our lives in two cases. I think he might have a point.”

I couldn’t argue. Maybe he was right.

We tabled the idea for a time because we arrived at the restaurant. Charles said he hang out and wait for a call. We invited him but he insisted, said he already had breakfast, and he didn’t go for that whole brunch thing.

We came in and Victora was waiting. “We’re sorry we’re late.”

“It’s okay.” Said Victora she was very stoic. “As is seems this is going to be a business brunch. I want to hire you.”

“Hire us?” I asked.

“I understand you two are private investigators. Gwen gave me a card.”

“We have a card?” I asked surprised by this news.

“Oh, that’s right!” Said Gwen taking a card out of her purse and showing it to me.


It Read:

Smoke Paranormal Detective Agency.
Going above and Beyond to solve your case.


It had a picture of a joint with smoke wafting off turning into a skull. It had Gwen’s name and number on it. “When did you do this?” I asked.

“Weeks ago.” Said Gwen. “I was going to show you I just forgot.”

“Do I get cards?” I asked.

“Please.” Said Gwen rolling her eye’s. “Like you’d remember to hand out cards.” She had me there.

smoke3We sat down to and Victora told us what was going on. “It’s my husband, Preston, he was murdered last night.”

“Oh my god!” Said Gwen. “Are you okay?”

“I’ll be okay later.” She said, very calm. “Right now I have something else I need to think about.”

“You are allowed to grieve.” Said Gwen. “It’s not healthy to bury your emotions.”

“I appreciate that.” Said Victora. “I will, in time. Right now I have to be strong, my family needs me. There is a bigger problem. It’s my nephew, he’s been arrested for the murder.”

“Do they have any evidence?” I asked.

“His prints were on the murder weapon,” Victora said. “And they have him on security cameras committing the murder.”

“Do you think he did it?” Asked Gwen.

“I don’t know. I saw the footage, my friends at the pricing let me see it. Looked convincing, but…” Victoria’s eyes began to tear up for the first time. “I just spent all night looking him in the eyes, he swears he didn’t do it. God help me… I believe him.”

“I’m sorry,” I said to her. “I’m not sure we can help you.”

“You two have been part of two very high-profile cases in the past year. I just want you to do your best.” Said Victora. “I owe that to my sister.”

Gwen and I looked at each other. “What do you think?” She asked.

I shrugged. “We can try I’ve never contacted a ghost so soon after death. I just don’t know anything I can provide that would contradict the forensic evidence.”

“I think we should.” Said Gwen. “At least Victoria and her sister would know.”

“My sister already knows. She passed on a few years ago.” Said Victoria, “I’ll pay your standard fees plus expenses, and I’ll even give you a signing bonus.”

“We’re not hitting you up for more money I swear,” I said to her.

“I know.” She said. “Do we have a deal?”

I looked a Gwen, she gave a nod. “I guess we do.”

“Good.” Said, Vitoria. “Do you have a standard contract I can look over or should I just draw up a custom one?”

“Um… Contract?” Said, Gwen, as she and I looked at each other.

Victora looked at us. “You don’t have contracts?”

“Not really,” I said. “We’ve just been playing it by ear.”

“I draw up some extras for you.” She said.

“Thanks.” Said Gwen.

“You can thank me by proving my Nephews innocence.” Said Victoria. “So how do you guy’s start? Do you go to the scene of the crime? Or do you want to start by talking to witnesses?”

“We kind of just go with the flow,” I said.

“In that case, I suggest you accompany me to see my Nephew. We can talk to him together and you can get a feel for the case.” Said Victoria.

Just like that, we were on the case. I had a bad feeling about this one. Maybe I just had a bad feeling about all of them. At least we were getting paid for this one.

We didn’t stay long just long enough to get a to-go bag and then Victoria had a limo pick us up. “I hope you don’t mind the limo, it’s a bit flashy but my clients expect it.” She said. “I’ve built an empire based on my reputation, and appearances help. Though I only really use it when I have a top level client or I want to talk while in transit.”

“I’ve never ridden in a limo outside of a funeral that is,” I said.

“It get’s old.” Said Victoria. “I prefer to drive myself most days.”

“We should call Charles.” Said Gwen. “He still thinks we’re at the restaurant.”

“Is Charles your driver?” Asked Victoria.

“He’s a friend,” I said. “A police officer, but he’s had some issues with that. He gave us a ride today and was asking us if he could be our bodyguard between gigs.”

“Is it a possible discrimination case?” Asked Victoria. “Forced retirement? Possibly because he’s openly homosexual?”

“Yes.” Said Gwen. “How did you know?”

“I was looking over that case this morning.” She said. “My firm is handling it. Be a big help if my client could show his ability to protect and serve is not compromised.”

“Wait,” I said. “Was this your idea?” I asked.

“No.” Said Victora. “I had no idea that my client knew you or of his request, but a good lawyer knows how to take advantage of a situation.”

“How do you do it?” Gwen asked. “How do you think about work like a time like this?”

Victoria gave a big sigh. “I know it might not be emotionally healthy but work is the only thing keeping me sane right now.”

That was it. The thing bugging me about this case, this mission to save her nephew was a smoke screen, a barrier keeping her from facing the reality of her husband’s death, and more the death of her sister. If we couldn’t tell her what she wanted to hear this case could go south real fast.

In a way, this case was uniquely Gwen’s. She was always the detective, I’m just the resource, but she’s also an empath if anyone can help Victora though this it was her.

We arrived at the police station. There weren’t many glad to see us. One of my investigations uncovered some problems within the precinct. They didn’t like the black eye, not many people on the force like me. Not that they liked me before, but before, before I was little more than a joke. They were the ones who gave me my moniker, Detective Smoke.

Not everyone hated me, but not many would cross the line to talk to me and Gwen. One who would be our detective friend Dwyane Coldron, he greeted us in the hall. “Hey, guys! What brings you here?” He asked.

“They were hired by me?” Said Victora. “I want them to speak to my Nephew.”

“Um…” Said Dwyane. “That’s not standard procedure.”

“She cleared it with me.” Said the Sargent. He was a tall man with a deep voice. “Though if I’d had known it was this clown and his wife. I’d have said no.” He said looking at me.

“Hey!” Said Gwen. “My husband and I are partners!”

“That’s right! If I’m a clown, then she’s a clown too…” Gwen looked at me in surprise. Though I could tell she was trying hard not to laugh. “That sounded better in my head. Where it should have stayed.” Okay. I knew better than to say it but that was funny.

The Sargent rolled his eyes. “I’m sorry to imply that he was… in charge.” He looked at Gwen. “Do you still sell that honey? My wife wants more, she say’s its the best.”

Gwen took out a card from her purse. “This is Kelly, she runs the stand for Lars, she’s terrific, call her and she’ll get you set up.”

“How many business cards do you have in that purse?” I asked.

“Lot’s.” Said Gwen.

smoke4Finally, we sat in the room with Victora’s Nephew Dillion. Dill for short. He might have been trying to look tuff, but he was barely keeping it together. He was a scared young man. The work killer didn’t come to mind when you looked at him. Or perhaps I was being drawn in by his youthful appearance. “Dillon sweetheart, I told you I’d get someone to help and here they are.”

“You go me the honey lady from the commercial?” He said looking at Gwen. I was a little relieved that he didn’t recognize me first.

“Yeah, the commercial thing is a side gig.” Said Gwen. “My husband and I solve crimes.”

“Hey, your that guy!” Dill said. “The ghost guy!” He looked at his aunt. “Not that I approve of the consumption of Cannabis.”

Victora laughed.

“You know if you get the T.V. deal you can’t say things like that.” Said Victora.

“T.V. Deal?” I asked.

“He was in talks with a producer to become a star of the new show. The Dank Duke.”

“That’s not going to happen now.” Said Dill.

“Isn’t he a little young for a show on cannabis?” I asked.

“The show was going to explore the world of underaged pot smoking in a legal state.” Said Victoria. “The ‘weed’ was going to be fake.”

“You were okay with this?” I asked.

“We encourage our kids to follow their dreams. Dill is a popular D.J. as well. Preston was overjoyed that Dill was going to have his own T.V. show on Netflix.”

“Yeah, they said the show was going to be super popular.” Said Dill. “We’ll never know now.”

Victora looked just a little bit guilty. “The show is still on.”

“They found someone to replace me?!” Dill was shocked.

“It’s you cousin Claton.” Said Victora.

“What?!” Asked Dill.

“The producer said that the show was going to be canceled so Claton volunteered to take your place.” Said Victora.

“But he can’t even act his way out of a paper bag aunt Victora.” Said Dill beside himself.

“Swee Dill, it’s only until we get this whole mess cleaned up.” Said Victoria.

“That is not how it works!” Said Dill. “If Claton starts as the shows star it’ll be all about him. If they use me at all I’ll just be the plucky comic relief.”

“Look,” said Victora. “We’ve got to focus on the problem at hand. Just tell them what you told me.”

“I was in my room… Playing a game.” Said Dill.

“What game?” Gwen asked.

“Call of duty, why?”

“I was just thinking that if you were active and the server reflects that we might have an alibi.” Said Gwen.

“I doubt it would hold up in court.” Said Victora. “I mean he could have left the game running I mean the murder happened in our house.”

“I didn’t do it!” Cried, Dill.

“I know.” Said Victora. “I’m just looking at things objectively.”

“The video game defense might not hold up in court, but I find that I like tugging at the loose threads. If we can establish that Dill was online at the time of the murder that might lead us to the next question. Pretty soon the whole thing comes unraveled.”

“Whats your gamer tag?” I asked.

“Master-rellish2304,” Said Dill. “Because people call me Dill.” He said embarrassed.

Well, we had a place to start at the least. Dill recanted that night as best he could. He was playing his game until late and then he went to bed. He was awakened later by one of the house servants who found Preston. He came to see what happened. The police then reviewed the camera footage and placed him under arrest.

Victora took us to her office next. She wasn’t handling the case but one of her best lawyers was. Victora was working in the background. This way she had access to anything pertaining to the case without asking she showed us a copy of the security camera.

It was pretty damning. Dill walked into the room while Peston kept his back turned, he stabbed his uncle three times. Then he dropped the knife and left. Even if I contacted Preston, and he said it wasn’t Dill, how could Gwen and I prove it in the face of this evidence? The knot in my stomach was growing tighter.

There was only one thing to do. Talk to the man himself. Preston was the one who was murdered, and I was the man who could talk to him. Victora took us to her house, the screen of the crime. It didn’t have to be the scene just somewhere the ghost was familiar with. Sarah was miles away from here crime scene at her dad’s house when I first encountered her.

“It’s strange.” Said Victoria “This is the first time I’ve been in this room since…”

“It’s okay if you don’t want to be here.” Said Gwen.

“No I want to be here I want to know what he say’s. I need this.” Said Victora.

I took out my travel buddy filled with Ghost 19 wax, a vape pen was easier to use than a traditional pipe or bowl as it’s called. I took a few hit’s and felt the high kick in. The next part was the hard part I braced myself for what was about to happen…

There was no guarantee that I would see anything, sometimes ghost doesn’t want to be seen. This was the awkward part of the job, everyone was staring at me, there was no time limit no normal just me waiting to see something.

smoke2As I sat in Preston’s chair I saw nothing. I was wondering if the death was too fresh or if maybe he was one of the people that didn’t come back as a ghost. That’s when Dill walked into the room. The door was closed so he walked though it. He was decked out in the same clothes he was wearing on the security video. I looked up at him confused and unsure.

He didn’t behave the way he did on the video though, in the video, he snuck up behind his uncle, and stabbed him from behind. This time ghost Dill pulled out his kife and came running for me. He came so fast and quick I fell over in Preston’s chair.

Dill came standing over me and stabbed the knife at my face repeatedly. I held up my arms defensively, even though I knew there was no danger. Dill disappeared. Preston was standing over me.

Gwen leaned over to Victora who was shocked by what just happen. “The ghost has made contact.”


STCD Fresh Prints part two!
By Michael J Pennington

Read the Smoke: The Cannabis Detective Book!

02-2 smoke 5I stood up Preston was looked shocked that I could see him. He tried to speak but the connection was never the best, I got video but no audio. I looked at him as spoke. “Are you Preston?” I asked.

He mouthed the word “yes,” and shook his head.

“It’s him,” I said to Victora and Gwen.

“Is it always this awkward?” asked Victora.

“No, sometimes it’s worse,” Said Gwen.

Preston seemed to have his attention drawn to someone who was invisible to us. No doubt our silent partner, Sarah. She was a ghost as well. She was our first case and now she just stuck around to help us. She was going over the rules with Preston.

Preston looked at me confused but I decided to press on. “Preston, we are here with your wife Victora.”

He looked at Victora and waved. “Preston says ‘s hi,” I said.

“I love you.” Said Victora uncharacteristically teary-eyed.

Preston mounted the words, “I love you too.”

“He loves you too,” I said.

“Preston,” I said. “Do you know who killed you?”

02-2 smoke 6Preston looked confused. He looked to Sarah. He seemed to be talking to her. Then a look of shock came over his face. Followed by despair. He dropped to his knees weeping.

The room had been silent for too long. Gwen got up and whispered to me “what’s wrong?”

“I don’t think he’s aware of the fact that he’s dead,” I said under my voice.

“Did you tell him?” Asked Gwen.

“Sarah did,” I said.

“So what’s going on now?” She asked.

“He’s processing,” I said.

“What’s wrong?” Asked Victora. Her voice caused Preston to look up at her.

“Sometimes the newly…” Gwen hesitated. “Dead…” The word sent Preston into a fresh round of crying. “Have some trouble with the transition.” That was as tactful as she could make it.

“What’s he doing?” Asked Victora.

“He’s… Crying. He just found out,” I said.

“Can he hear me?” asked Victora.

“Yes,” I said.

“Preston!” Said Victora with force. The tone of her voice seemed to snap him out of it. He looked worried. “I know this is hard for you but we really need your help. I need you to be strong for me. I need you to answer this mans question. Can you do that?”

Preston nodded and mouthed the word “yes.”

“He said yes,” I said.

Preston stood up and looked at me intently. “Do you remember the night you were… murdered?” I asked.

He looked like he was about to cry, but he gave a quick glance to Victora and that seemed to steel his resolve. He nodded yes.

“Did you get a look at your attacker?”

He nodded again.

“Do you know who it was?” I asked.

He didn’t nod instead he moved himself to the fireplace. He pointed at one of the pictures on the mantel. It was not good. It was a picture of Dill.

I was frozen I didn’t know how to react. “What is it?” asked Victora.

“You’re not going to like it,” I said.

“What did he say?” she asked.

02-2 smoke 7I pointed at the picture. “He said it was Dill…” I wanted to give her the answer she was looking for, but it was not the truth. I even believed it myself for a moment.

“Victora… I’m so…” Gwen began to say.

“Get out!” Cried Victora.

“Look I know this is hard,” I said. “We’ll leave, but do you want to say something to Preston…”

“You’re probably a couple of con artist anyway….” Said Victora. We started to leave. “Wait!” She said, and we turned around. “Tell him…” She hesitated. “Tell him I’ll always love him and I miss him so damn much it hurts.”

Preston began to speak, his mouth moved so fast I couldn’t follow, but I got the gist of it. “He says he’ll always love you too,” I said too her.

“I’ll make sure you are paid for your time,” she said. “Right now I just need to be alone.”

“Okay,” I said and we left. That was a hard case. I wish there was more we could do.

Charles came and got us from Victoras mansion. We told him what happen. “That’s a shame. I guess they can’t always turn out the way we want.”

“I know, something about this one bugs me. I looked into Dill’s eyes. I didn’t see the eyes of a killer,” I said.

“If there’s one thing being a cop has taught me,” Said Charles. “Sometimes the most stone cold killers have the eye’s of an angel.”

I didn’t reply. I couldn’t get the case out of my mind. I kept thinking about it. We had the camera footage, and the murder weapon, even the victim himself identified Dill as the killer. Why couldn’t I let this go? Did Victora’s need to prove Dill innocent infect me? Maybe, I just hated telling people bad news.

There was only one way to console myself at a time like this. Old video games. When we got home Gwen knew I was having a hard time and she let me break out my old system, and I began to play my favorite adventure R.P.G. The old school kind with dungeons and puzzles and items that helped you solve the dungeon puzzles.

Gwen sat next to me and we took turns, I’d play for a bit and then she would play. We would switch when we wanted to take a hit. “Poor Victora,” said Gwen as took the controller. “She really wanted Dill to be innocent.”

“I really thought he was,” I said taking a drag on my pipe.

“Me too,” said Gwen handing me the controller. “Makes me sad.”

“I never played this game high before,” I said. “Makes it kind of fun. Like a whole new experience.”

I was just about to enter the boss chamber when Gwen said “Hunny, did you know you’ve been smoking out of Casper.” Casper was my ‘special’ bowl. The one I packed with Ghost-19. I had another pipe for regular smoking. I called that one The Gate Keeper. Don’t judge.

The screen on the TV went white. “Ho no!” I said.

“What is it?” Asked Gwen.

“I never told anyone this before, but I always hated this dungeon because if it’s boss.”

“Really?” asked Gwen. “I always thought he was kind of goofy looking.”

A ghostly hand crawled out of the TV. “It’s the Phantom,” I said. “Something about his weird vacant polygon eyes…” He popped his head out of the TV and began to crawl out. “Fuck you!” I yelled at the pixilated blocky monster.

02-2 smoke 8He kept coming. “Sarah!” I said. “You can stop now!” Gwen was laughing uncontrollably. “Sarah!” The monster got all the way to my feet. When it vanished. “Goddammit Sarah!”

The phantom was back in the screen where he belonged, and Sarah was standing there laughing at me.

“Really?” Said Gwen. “You’re afraid of that thing?” She said pointing at the screen. Where a cartoony monster was dancing on the screen. Maybe it did seem kind of silly now.

“Don’t judge me I was just a kid…” I started to say.

“A kid?” asked Gwen. “You were like twenty when this came out.”

“A very young twenty years old,” I said defensively.

“Whatever,” said Gwen. “What does Sarah want?”

Now Sarah looked upset. “She looks upset,” I said.

“Is she mad we didn’t consult her?” Asked Gwen.

“Look, Sarah, we’re sorry, the case was over before it even got started there wasn’t time to contact you,” I said.

Sarah looked at me and shook her head.

“That’s not it?” I asked.

“Do you think the case isn’t closed?” Asked Gwen.

Sarah nodded and pointed at her.

“Did Preston tell you something he didn’t tell us?” I asked.

Sarah shook her head. “No,” I said.

“Then what is it?” Gwen asked.

Sarah shrugged.

“She doesn’t know,” I said. “Maybe she has a feeling about it.”

Sarah nodded.

“Preston was pretty confused,” I said.

“Not about Dill,” Said Gwen.

“Well we still have the tape Victora gave us,” I said. “Would it hurt to have Hymie look at it? I mean Sarah has never steered us wrong before…”

“I guess not,” Said Gwen.

Escape the goat!


Escape the goat!
A poem by Michale J Pennington.




Come we must learn the tail of darkness rise.
Chronologically things began quite small…
Tiny rebels have grown to tyrants Size.
Do not question their rule or you shall fall…
To chose your gods would be a Mortal Sin.
Dwell in shadows for your life is a lie.
Pagan fools who worship the great satan.




Escape the Goat.  Escape the Goat then die!




But you see it was all in dark deceit.
You were lead astray from the true villains.
They placed a fake goat head down by your feet.
Out was driven the star from their own lands
To keep you distracted was the reason why…
Without the goat, they know you would grow wise.




Escape the Goat.  Escape the Goat then die!




Blighted is your life but it’s not who you think.
It’s those you trust with the reigns of power!
To hate the outside is what makes you sink.
So while you look at the goat and glower.
Great tragedy is what comes from their lies!


Smoke The Cannabis Detective: Fresh Prints

I know it’s been a bit since I’ve posted about this story, I just finished up part two and will be publishing in a few days. I hope. Instead of posting every day which wasn’t working for me. I’d do fine for a while then I’d hit a bad patch and my schedule was thrown off. So instead I’m taking my time and putting out a more polished piece. Including pictures. So if you’re a fan of Smoke, you’ll be getting more content soon.

The Evolution of Devolution.

Evolution of Devolution1The Evolution of Devolution.
A poem by Michael J Pennington.

Congratulations! You have chosen the path of dehumanization. Whether you are exploiting it for political gain or you just want to cover up your own fear and insecurities with hate and bigotry; Dehumanisation is right for you.

This lecture is number three in our series of ‘How to Commit to Committing Atrocity’

Evolution of Devolution aa

So in our last lecture, you chose a group to hate. We will be taking that group of diverse individuals with a multitude of variant thoughts ideas and motivations to a singular slur that will tragically outlive the people who bore it. Let’s begin, shall we?



Evolution of Devolution a

The first step* is to remove all sense individuality from the group. Speak of them in only sweeping generalizations! Remember their individuality is your enemy. Always drive the conversation away from anything that might give the perception of individuality. If you are forced to admit their individuality downplay it as the exception, not the rule.



Evolution of Devolution b

We’ve clumped them together in one big squishy pile of humanity it’s time to properly vilify them. Remove their sense of morality. Most people get a general idea. Accentuate the negative. Let the actions of a few reflect the whole. Few however truly master the subtle nuances of vilification. For the entire group to be seen as inherently evil all actions must be turned into negatives. Attach ulterior motives to positive actions, label neutral action as enabling. When they fall victim to violence from their own, use that to show just how morally morose they truly are.



Evolution of Devolution cNow that we have properly verified our ‘friends’ we still have the problem of equality. Though we have described them as evil and shown how every action makes so, they in a sense have become our equal opposites. We are the light and they are dark. As we are eternal so are they. If we want to destroy our enemies we must rectify this. We must convince ourselves and others of their inferiority. Intelligence is our weapon. We have to remove their capacity for sentient thought. Atack their every decision, though, and idea. They must seem simple and sheep-like. You must make it seem utterly ridiculous that anyone would choose to be a member of their flock.


Evolution of Devolution dYou are the light bringer trying to teach these savage sheep the simple truth that they are inferior in every way. But sheep have a choice; a chance to wake up so to speak. They’re stark defiance to accept their inferiority suggest a flaw in your singular truth. We must go further we have removed their agency. The reason they don’t see the obvious truth is they are simply not capable. They are simple creatures who don’t know what they do. They are parasitic creatures driven to feed off society the way a leech drinks blood. If left unchecked the will surely erode the foundations of society. Destroying them is an act of self-defense and since they are such pitiable creatures it is a kindness to them.


Evolution of Devolution dd

There you have it how to dehumanize in four easy steps. Just remember the mnemonic device: ‘I’M SAD.’ and remove Individuality, Morality, Sentience, and Agency, then you are free to Destroy them utterly.

*The first step is not to be confused with The First Rule. Covered in the first lecture.







The First Rule

The First Rule
By Michael J. Pennington


The first rule is unapologetic.
Thinks handshakes are pathetic
The first rule likes burning a bridge
Throws the common off the ridge

The first rule is as old as time.
For it’s anointed it is sublime
The first rule cannot be killed.
The first rule the fanatic will wield.

There is no greater hate than for those who break the first rule.
The first rule is a holocaust tool.
Monsters think it is just fine.
Cross a line they break your spine.

The first rule is mastered by the few.
It is a favorite of the two.
The sirens call is move or die!
The first rule demands that you divide to multiply.

The first rule cannot win.
The first rule comments a mortal sin.
The many have forgotten their strength
But the many will remember at length

The numbers are not on the first rules side.
It was the one who lied.
When the just and kind find common ground.
The walls of the first rule are not so sound.

They caught you trying to spread terror.
The first rule was your error.
Your arguments are forgotten.
From the inside they were rotten.

Your progeny will deny you.
Your targets will defy too.
Oblivion and infamy are what await.
Use the first rule that is your fate.

The Four Cases of God.

Lexicon: In order to keep avoid confusion. I’ve created a brief lexicon of terms. I’ll be using. (at best a futile gesture but none the less.)

+god little ‘G’: all possible instances of God or gods. This could mean one god such as the Abrahamic religions or a pantheon of gods such as the Greek gods. If I use it at the beginning of a sentence I’ll write it like this +God.

God big ‘G’: a specific instance of *god, where God is a supreme all-powerful entity. There may be sub gods but there is one is above all others.

Theist: Someone who believes in the study and practice of religion. This is specified as an active member of a religion, participating in rituals and regular meeting as well as actively studying doctrine.

Historical theist: The study of religion from a historical or scholarly perspective.

Deusist Somone who believes in *god but does not actively participate or follow a religion. The root of religion is often *god, so why not use the root word for Deism which I was going to use here, but I found it had another use. (One I don’t want to be tied to what I’m saying here.)

Atheist: One who does not believe in the study and practice of religion. That is to say outside a historical or scholarly context.

Adeusist: Someone who doesn’t believe in +god.

Agnostic: Somone who has withheld a definitive judgment of *god’s existence. Whether that be actively (asserting it can’t be known) or passively (waiting for evidence) or apathetic (saying it doesn’t matter.)

There is a second definition of Agnostic I have encountered. Someone who believes in something but they aren’t sure what. This is covered in the Deusist and *god definitions. Again, I don’t care how you understand the word, only that you understand how I use it here.

Spirituality: This is the belief in interaction with a spiritual plain. This is not necessarily connected to *god but may often be associated with it. I won’t be discussing it here, but I an noting it is different from belief in +god or a religion.

The universe: This is the place we exist. No bells and whistles just physical reality as we can understand it. In some instances, the universe described as a sentient being. You may consider this sentience God or a god. In which case this is covered in the +god definition. In other cases, it would not be. For my writing here We will not be concerned about the sentience of the universe and behaving as if it is not.


The four cases of +god.four cases of god.

I’ve thought a lot about God, or the god’s or however you want to take it. I use a singular use of +god to simplify but make no mistake in each of the four cases to be made, it works for one God or an infinite pantheon of gods. It speaks to the four answers I’ve come up with to satisfy the question “Is there +god?” Note the small ‘G’ not a mistake. If we can confirm the existence of one god then likely it’s probable that more than one exists.

Who am I? lots of people many of them way smarter than I have tried to answer this quandary. Surely my musing pale in comparison to those of the mountainous minds who’ve already tread these well-traveled roads. I am nobody, a fool of infinite proportions. Still, I’ve thought about this and I find the answers quite interesting. I thought a few brave souls might trudge through my crazed ramblings and foolish assertions and drive some small amusement at the sheer idiocy of it all. Let me tell you who I am in the light of the question.

Conceptually, I am a believer. I believe in the concept of +god. This concept ‘god’ is an extension of my greatest self. Perfect for that in every situation he would know the right choice and chose the path of greatest good. He shows perfect love for all things and has infinite patience in helping all things learn to be good no matter how horrible they might be. My conceptual ‘god’s’ words are not written in any text. You can only know him through introspection and careful examination of the world around us.

Theoretically, I’m an agnostic. When we discuss the possibility of an actual god. I stand firmly with the answer I don’t know.

In practice, I am an atheist. I will never accept any ‘god’ or entity or deity as the ‘God.’ To be true to my conceptual ‘god’ even in his presence I must never accept him as the God. There is always a possibility that such a ‘god’ would be a pretender trying to manipulate me. I must question everything about this ‘god’ and never give into the thought that he might be the conceptual ‘god’ I believe in.

In this moment I can’t help but think that I’ve probably started a religion. If these words travel far enough, somebody somewhere will see the potential to take this concept and organize it. In which case. Oups.

On to the four cases. You probably have to guess what three of them are. (I told you I was simple, you’ve already figured me out.) But what about this fourth case? What is that? Did I in my simple ways divine something new from the ether!? Well in the interests of showmanship I can’t tell you… Not yet. I must build up to it. Or you can just skip to the section that says: The Forth Case. It’s up to you.


The Fist Case:four cases of god1.

We’ve already established and order. We should follow that order after all order is important. Without order, there would be chaos. Let’s talk God! Capital ‘G!’ Or a bunch of little ‘G’s’ whatever you want. No matter what gods you believe in the sum total of all gods should be good. Or at least good for you. If not:

Hello H.P. Lovecraft! Thanks for reading my writings! Glad to see that whole death thing isn’t getting you down.

(Krackow!) Was that thunder? Right sorry ‘G’ I was just getting to it. Case one: Yes! There is +god! Halalua! Praise be! Or where appropriate live in mortal dread. (I’m looking at you H.P.)

Let’s get literal! As in the literal existence of literal gods running around doing +god stuff! Can such gods exist? Yes. Afterall what is a god but a being with a better understanding of reality than us, and sophisticated enough in the mastery of said understanding that they appear godlike to us? Given the vastness of the universe it’s almost impossible for such an entity not to exist and in great numbers. The real question is have they taken a personal interest in us and our planet? Probably not, or if they have it’s more of an observatory role.

But what about a really real God? Like a created the universe and is unmatched in power and understanding of all things? Sure that God could exist too. God could hail from a place beyond our ability to study, and God’s power could be unreplicable in our universe but can have an effect on it. Sure. But can we prove it? Not unless God wants us too.

Even if literal +god is not real, there is still a possibility of +god’s existence. Always just a little beyond the reach of our current capabilities. The unknown is +god’s playground. Until we’ve explored absolutely everything we can’t know for sure. Even then, +god could still lie beyond everything.


The Second case:four cases of god2.

And what pray tell is wrong with a little bit of chaos? It’s what shakes things up moves the universe. Created the universe you might say, without chaos, there would be a lot of boring nothing, and nothing good could come of that. No, Vagina. There is no god. I choose now to paraphrase a lie that a journalist once told a little girl for fear that children might be sad if they knew the truth. A lie that was meant to stop children from losing their innocence. To keep them young just a little bit longer and protect them from the coldness of truth, but it’s time to grow up.

It’s time to grow up and realize that a world without +god is amazing and wonderous! Romantic! That is the atheist point of view! Just imagine the greatest painting that ever was, just painted itself. Then you start to see the world through an adeusist eyes. The universe doesn’t need god to be wonderous.

The universe could easily exist without god. Nothing we’ve learned has contradicted that, and I’m certain nothing will.

Even if godlike beings exist, godlike is not +god. whatever they use to affect the universe be it duplicatable or not it’s still working on the basic structures of our universe and that makes it science, not magic.

+God’s playground is the unknown just as a shadows playground is darkness. Shine a light on the darkness the shadow goes away. So too as we learn more about the universe so +god gets smaller.


The Third Case:four cases of god3.

Not to sound too much like a gray Jedi but Order and Chaos are both equally important. Two equal forces that have been working in tandem since the beginning to make the universe we see today.

Let’s talk about the greatest answer in the history of answers. The answer that gives me chills every time use it! It’s an incredible answer! While other answers are great, they are the end of a mystery, the final chapter. This one the beginning, it’s an adventure! Full of the promise of wonder and amazement! Three little words, four if you don’t use the contraction. I don’t know.

So why is it we look down upon this simplistic but beautiful answer? Why do we think a person without an answer is a person without intelligence?

It’s too soon to say we have an answer, we need proof. It is the need of the sentient mind to find connections that aren’t there. Apophenia, that’s what the other answers are. People trying to divine a definitive answer but they lack evidence. Pull on the strings of an Adeusist argument and a Deusist argument and it all comes unraveled.

Truth takes time, sometimes eons, we’ve waited this long. Just be patient. But what if there is never a definitive answer? Then that makes truth a journey without end. I can’t see that being a bad thing.



Well, that’s it. We’re done here if you want to know who won, I’ll just roll this twelve-million sided die. Well, what do you know it was the Cthulhu-Jesus-Potato! Good game everybody! I know a lot of you we thinking Jesus-Cthulhu-Zuse, and you were so close. Better luck next time. Good night everybody! Oh, wait! Do you want to know what that fourth case is? Okay…




The Fourth Case:four cases of god4.

Good thing nobody will ever know all the crazy stuff I just wrote because you all just skipped to this part. I would like to go on record saying I can’t be blamed for what happens next. it was only a matter of time before someone thought of it. For all, I know it may already be out there…

Here is the story, I was observing a Cat sitting in a box and I mused to myself. What if cats all know the story of Schroedinger’s cat and they all sit in boxes hoping to be the one. The holy cat who is both alive and dead at the same time, and as I put in the flask of poison and the unstable uranium atom and it hits me. What if +god exists in two quantum states? One essentially is a state of existing the other would amount to a state of not existing. Then I closed the box and wrapped it up for Christmas.

Well, there it is, Shroedinger +god. It’s a thing now. It might have already been a thing, but it for sure is one now. So to keep track I may have started as many as four religions and one really weird holiday tradition.

It’s just as likely as the others but I have no idea how it works. It could be that simply exploring the concept of +god constitutes checking, and the answer you come up with is the one the becomes true for you. Or could it be that some deusist might end up with no +god, and some adeusist has an angel on their shoulder? What if the choice the universe makes leads you to your inevitable decision, and we just think we have free will?

Or what if the universe chooses when it ends?

All fascinating questions. I await the myriad of answers.


The Question That Cannot be Failed.four cases of god5.

What? Did you think I would pop in like the Oprah Winfrey of religions and bounce out without any more to say? Well, strap in bitches this is about to get weird!

Can you imagine if I ever become known as a great philosopher?

Plato: “Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something.”

Descartes: “I think therefore I am.”

Pennington: “Strap in bitches!” (It’s not even mine.)

Never happen, but it’s a fun thought. Anyway on to messing with the collective minds of everybody. Does +god exist? Ask a hundred different people and you might get a hundred different answers, but near as I can tell they’ll boil down to the four answers I have given. Yes, no, I don’t know, and yes and no at the same time. But ask who has the correct philosophy and you’ll always get the same answer. “mine of course.”

Four possible answers all claiming to be correct? How can it be? Surely one must be obviously flawed and easily eliminated. Let’s try.

+God seems an easy choice. I’ll wager a few facts will decimate +God in no time. I’ll even start easy and go with a made up god. Snart the god potato.

Me#1: Snart is not a god, Snart is a potato.

Me#2: Snart is a god and a potato.

1: Potatoes cannot be gods.

2: Not all potatoes, this one is.

1: Prove it.

2: No.

1: What?!

2: You heard me.

1: Fine! Then I win by default.

2: Oh really? What did you prove?

1: You failed to provide proof. I win. The burden of proof rest on the one making the claim. You claim your potato is a god and fail to provide proof, therefore your claim is false.

2: Not very scientific. When a scientist makes a theory, and another wants to disprove that theory, the second must provide proof before the theory is dismissed entirely.

1: We both know that’s not true, most theories have mathematical proof even if physical proof is impossible at that time.

2: And how many theories were dismissed out of hand because it lacks proof? How many later turned out to be true? I say the burden of proof lies with all who have the stake in the argument. You say Snert is not a god? Then prove it! This is not a soccer game, you don’t win because the other team doesn’t show up. We are arguing a fundamental truth of the universe. You can’t say electrons are positive because nobody showed up to say otherwise. Need I remind you said you could do this. That it was easy in fact.

1: Fine. But I want you to know that I hate you.

2: Duly noted.

1: Your potato is no different than any other potatoes. In every way down to the last molecule, it is one hundred percent potato.

2: It has properties that your science cannot yet understand.

1: I knew you would say that.

2: One would hope.

1: Okay, I’ve taken your potato and I’ve placed your potato. and placed it among a hundred tell me which one is your potato.

2: It’s this one.

1: Ha! I marked your potato! That is not it!

2: I never said I had the ability to recognize Snert. More his essence has left that potato and entered this one.

1: Fine. I will take all the potatoes and turn them into french fries! What do you say to that?

2: Snert fried for your sins! Then Snert transcended beyond our earthly world.

1: Great, so no matter what I say, you just make up an answer.

2: Snert gives them to me.

1: Well this could go on forever.

2: Yep.

Is it just me or are both those guys crazy? So what proof could possibly disprove +god? I mean seriously? You rolled a few dice thousand times and each time you asked +god to make them all sixes? Really all you’ve proven is +god does not care about your dice.


Who said that +god is some wish fulfillment machine? The Bible? Big whoop. A book is not +god. You can disprove a book, but not +god.

I know what your thinking. You can’t prove a negative. So let’s go to the opposite, Let’s prove the positive. I’ll spare you another conversation between me and myself.

What proof satisfies +god? Turning water into wine? Why? Wine is mostly water, it’s just a matter of rearranging the atoms and molecules in the correct order. The manipulation of mater is impressive, even wonderous, but not godly.

Imagine instead of accepting these ‘miracles’ as proof we studied them instead? We watched the glass of water as it changed? If We measured the voltage of Zeus’ lightning bolt? If we determined the exact distance Cthulhu’s madness effect kicked in? (I know he’s fiction, I just really like Lovecraft.)

What secrets could we divine if we had total access to the gods? How long until those secrets seemed mundane? What makes a +god a god? Just as I can continue to argue the godhood of a potato, I could argue against an entities godhood no matter how impressive they may seem. Simply put no proof could satisfy godhood.

So the agnostics are right? Sure. You could say that and be absolutely right. ‘I don’t know’ is always a good answer, but it’s not the only right answer.

Lot’s of people seem to have something against the word belief. Like choosing to accept something as true is somehow dirty. Belief, however, is more common than we think. The world as we know it is a construct, your own personal matrix. Inescapable and constant. What we know about the world is mostly arbitrary, most of what we accept as true is just perception. Color, sound, smell, even the present time. All fiction. You believe them, but that chunk of meat in your skull is to blame.

So what of +god? Is it that freaking simple? Yes! When we argue the truth of +god we generally argue the existence of a being so sophisticated as to seem godlike. But what we are really arguing is if there is a being that deserves to have godlike control over our minds.

+God is a concept. Like love or happiness or even Irony. Nobody can tell you +god exists, only you can decide. That is the truth.

So can an adeusist choose to believe and not compromise themselves? You betcha! I will never accept an entity as a god, No matter what. The can send me to a hell do whatever they want. I will not let anyone or anything have that kind of control over me.

No matter what you choose you are right. And what you choose tomorrow that’s right too.

This is a question cannot be failed. There is no wrong answer.

The Final Truth.Truth

There are so many who will only know me as the dumbest person on the planet, and sure I’ll give you that, but before I leave you with your thoughts I leave you something else.

Because much of what we understand is just a movie our brains play in our head. One can say that truth is subjective, one might say the greatest lier is the truth. So speaking in terms of truth is kind of just assuring one’s self the universe around us is consistent and relatable. It has mechanical processes that can be understood but beyond that…

So here is the ultimate truth about +god. Such as it is. God is irrelevant. We spend so much time worrying about this subject, but it’s really inconsequential to us.

Have you ever met a person whos gods didn’t possess the same values? Intolerant people have intolerant gods. People who believe in peace and spirituality so do their gods. If a person commits wrongdoing in their religion, that wrong is much more forgivable than the wrongs they don’t like.

Even when they commit acts of wrongdoing agist their god’s wishes, they still untimely agree that what they are doing is wrong.

The greatest crimes are often committed with one hundred percent+ god approval in the mind of the person doing them.

Why is that?

Religion is bad. That is the call of some. That religious sacrifice sense free will to obey a god. But is religion really bad?

Just as there are terrible examples of all religions there are good examples as well. For this axiom, I only need the idea that if we can eventually prove one good person or one bad person in any given religion proves that the religion is not inherently bad.

So, for instance, we took Joseph Stalin as the example of the one bad atheist, and Richard Dawkins as the good one. We can see that there is the propensity of good and bad in the absence of god.

Now we could argue what is good or bad, but based on what is generally accepted as good and bad. These arguments can be made. Similarly, we can show the same to agnostics.

So here is the argument: So if people can do bad things without god, and do bad things with god, and even do bad things while saying ‘I don’t know.’ Maybe +god or the belief in +god is not the problem.

Could it be +god is a scapegoat for both believers and non-believers alike? Believers blame +god, but is it really +god who wants that land? Or that resource? Or a particular group of people dead? I know what some might say, but again it seems interesting that +god’s wishes align perfectly with yours. If you study religion enough you’ll see that +god is a slave to human desire, not the opposite.

If it’s not +god then it must be religion! Yes, it’s that dam free-will-stealing-insanity-causing sheep making institute of religion. If we just had no +god’s and no religions we would all be free thinking and happy, and nothing bad would ever happen again.

What is religion? Really? That has a lot to do with the individual. Some see it as a sense of community. Some see it as the practice of philosophy. At its core religion is a community of like-minded individuals who have organized into a power structure that serves the greater good of said community.

That’s all well and good, but how do we get from those simplistic and human needs to genocide? Well, first we have to understand that any organization, no matter how well organized is vulnerable to the problems of greed and corruption. As an organization grows in power it becomes more attractive to those who would abuse that power, and the more attractive for those who are in power to abuse it.

Second, we have realized that people are pre-dispositioned to defend our community from a threat. With just these two causes alone it’s possible to take any community to the brink of war.

These are very human drives as well. You could theoretically abolish all religion and still have the same problems. Because we are communal animals who value the strength of our community over the principles of our philosophy.

I’m convinced that with careful examination of the facts we can prove that doesn’t have much effect on our lives at all. Whether it’s because +god chooses not to or because they act in ways too subtle to detect. Maybe +god doesn’t exist, or the coldest truth of all, +god does not care. But whatever the case gods reasoning has yet to be determined.

It is not just that +god has a negligible effect on our lives. +God’s are in and of themselves irrelevant. No matter what the cecimsances you believe are true.

+God does not exist. Therefore your behaviors are your own and +god is irrelevant.

+God exists but has given you free will. Then the point is to exercise your free will and +god is irrelevant.

+God exists and has given you free will, but does not want you to use it. The choice to use free will is up to you. +God is irrelevant.

+God exists but has not given you free will. Then what you are doing is part of +gods plans and +god is irrelevant.

I could go on, but I think that my point is made. I’m sure I have convinced no one. My goal is not to persuade but to put my thoughts down before I lose them. I have made them available to you in the hopes you might enjoy and find a use for them. Even if that use is to strengthen your argument by taking them down.

My philosophy and my logic are far from perfect. I hope they are good enough o entertain and challenge you, but I’m just happy you read this to the end. Thank you.


Vampire in your soul.

By Michael J Pennington

vampire1You sit there in the dark thinking you are quite alone but what you do not realize there is a vampire in your soul.

Hiding and biding its time and waits for your weakest moments and pounces like a cat on an unsuspecting victim.

It distracts you with lies and half-truths, it burdens with doubt and self-hate. It pokes at your fears and strokes the fires of your deepest hate.

‘Fight or flight’ it tells you it’s your survival or theirs! If you don’t choose they will, and you wouldn’t want to be at their mercy…

All the while it feeds. It feeds on the sweet juices of your humanity! It feasts itself on the subtle delicacies of your conscience! It sustains itself by sucking the marrow of empathy from your very being!

It feeds! And feeds! AND FEEDS! Voraciously it feeds! Until your soul is but a wisp of its former self… And you have grown so cold to the suffering of those who you once called enemies you no longer see them as human anymore…

They are parasites! Vermin! A pestilence to be wiped out! A plage that deserves nothing less than to become eradicated! Killing them would be a mercy…

And it would be so easy too… The real problem is how do you do it cost effectively? What is the fastest most efficient way to to make them extinct so you can move on with your life and forget they ever existed?

Maybe it’s gas, or it’s fire or I don’t know… lions. Maybe you succeed, or maybe someone stops you. Whatever happens when the smoke clears and the world sees what you have done, what will they think? Will they cheer your bravery? Is that really what you think?

The cruelest trick of all is that the vampire will have left some small spark of your soul alive. You’ll wake up and realize what you have done! Perhaps you’ll console yourself with words like ‘necessary’ and ‘had too,’ but deep inside you’ll know the truth. You became the thing you sought to destroy. You did not eradicate the vermin, you ensured its survival.

Beware the vampire, my friends, it lurks forever vigilant. You have but speak its name! Its ready to feed on your soul at a moments notice.

For those who doubt me. For those who scoff at the absurdity of my claim. Tossing it aside like a fictitious story, a tale to scare the weak minded. I give you the name of my vampire, a name that has confidently graced the lips of people for eons and will continue to do so for eons more. The name of monster is ‘Not me.’