Charles Pendelton
      © 2008 Marty Langdon
Chapter 33

               The grim intestine

We were now lurking around in the back of a lonely schoolyard.

It was dark and desolate there, but not threatening in any way
for it had a very tranquil vibe about it. I was just scuffling about,
not trying to make too much sense of anything. In a quiet corner of
the abandoned schoolyard, John asks Pete for one of the colorful
fireworks he has carried with him in his back pocket.

“What’s this thing going to do?” asks John excitedly,
while eagerly vying for the object in Peter’s hand.

“It’s going to emit colors, shoot up into the air and then explode.”

Pete then hands the three-sided object to John,
and he begins to examine it thoroughly.

As John was doing this, I thought of that crazy Fourth
of July family party, back in the summer of 66'.

Of all the family get togethers, none would ever top this one.

For some very strange reason, our brains lock in on certain days. I can
remember, quite vividly, the first time I drank out of an ordinary drinking
glass. I can recall, my mother holding my wrist as we were coming down
the stairs. My legs trying so hard to reach each step. If she let go of me,
I would have surely toppled down them. As we got into the kitchen, she
poured me a tall glass of milk. You have to get used to it honey, she said,
and I was crying because I knew I would drop the glass.

My hands, being so tiny and that glass felt like it was thirty pounds.
My mom tells me it was on my very first birthday, that I drank from
that glass. That is my earliest recorded memory.

I am more than happy to know I will never remember anything beyond this point.
The last thing any child needs is the memory of something so profound as to be
able to
recall suckling on their mother's breast, and I am almost certain it would
have went on to cause lasting psychological damage in my developing brain.

                                        Getting back to that crazy Fourth of July party.

I awoke to the sound of mortars and aerial bombs exploding in a hazy sky.
Today, we would all gather in Grandmother's backyard as we did each year.
My cousins, aunts and uncles, among those present. My paternal grandfather
was speaking to my Uncle Frank (who was my grandmother's sisters husband)
about a popular Staten Island eatery known as Al Deppe's.

“I had the cravin’ for them hot dogs for a week. I took one bite and I was in heaven.”

“They pop.” said my Paternal grandfather.

“Yeah, they pop when ya bite ‘em, and the juice, mama mia!”

From out of nowhere my father and Uncle Bob come strolling into the backyard with a metal
garbage can overflowing with fireworks! There were M-80's, ashcans, blockbusters, cherry
bombs, roman candles, sparklers, mats, parachutes, fountains, rockets, helicopters, pink
elephants. You name it, it was in that pail. As they began blowing up my grandmother's back
yard, I started jumping up and down in excitement. It was at this moment my mother springs
up, snatches my hand and drags me inside.

*To the safe zone*

Fergus, the family Bulldog was cowering in the back corner
of the cellar, for I would assume the noise disturbed him.  

That whole day he looked like a picture of bad health.
Indeed, he seemed to be aggravated over something, for he had that long face on.

It is a well-known fact that dogs do not fare well to enemy fire.

                                                                               Pg 243

My father, realizing I’m gone, goes into the house and decides to bring me outside
again. My mother, screaming and crying as she desperately tries holding onto me.

Not wanting to choose sides, I just sat there in Mother’s arms.
My dad gently coaxing my mother to release me.

“He’s my son too, ya know” (and) “It’s not all about you, Kathy.”

Within minutes, she had let go of me, and was now crying terribly. He took
my arm and led me outside, once again into the heart of a war zone.

It was incredible to walk out into a barrage of cannonry.
To see everyone’s eyes blazing at the spectacle of lights
and explosions, and to just be in the midst of it there.

I could hear mom downstairs, pleading with my grandmother to do
something. That I was going to die out there, but I was without fear.
We were simply a family in our own country, celebrating its freedom.

Who could have known that many years later we would no longer
have this privilege? Then again, we didn't have a word called,
terrorism on the tongue of every red-blooded American either.

It seems that every day a new law comes into effect, whereby hindering our
to choose. One day in the not-too-distant future, you won't be able to
have a few drinks and drive home without repercussions. Next comes the
speed cameras on every block and they'll say it's to protect our children, when
in fact it's just another excuse to cripple the working-class people while the
wealthy sit in judgement; unaccounted for. Soon after this, you won't be able to
light up a cigarette in your own car. . . Then it will be your house, until everyone
we know are packing up their things and
moving to Russia. *(Pun intended)*

The highlight of the whole day came when my
Uncle Bob went up the street
with a short pink stick.

“What’s that he’s got?” I asked my dad curiously.

“That’s a nigger chaser,” he said happily.

“What’s it gonna do?”
“Oh, you’ll see,” replied my father, wallowing in his contentment.

As my uncle lit it and ran, it followed him down the block wedged in
the crack of his ass. Luckily, he moved to the side, and it exploded
away from him. The whole block was in hysterics. Except for Mother
of course, who was still downstairs sobbing quietly in the basement.

“Did you
see that? Replied my uncle Bob a bit shaken;
that thing almost blew my hole off.”

On July 4th, 2005, I put my Polk audio system to the test. Cranking up the volume,
I had the sound of a mortar going off on a TDK MA-R 90 cassette tape. The one in
the solid metal housing. With the speakers facing out both windows, but not visible
for anyone to actually see, it sounded like an artillery shell going off on a navy
missile cruiser.
All day, I had the cops scrambling back and forth to the tune of
car alarms going
off in the distance and dogs howling!

What could they have done to me anyway?

Told me I was disturbing the peace?
On the 4th of July?

                                                                               Pg 244

John signals Pete for a match and Pete offers up his trusty lighter.
After several attempts, John gives it back. “This lighter's a piece
of shit, you got a match?”

“Nah, I don’t have a match, let me see the fucking thing.”

You must understand that Peter was one of those fellows who never
actually used the word no. At least I've never heard him say it.
It's always nah, like nar - cotic. . . Get it?

As Pete begins to fumble with the lighter,
I could see it was not going to ignite.

His face was becoming redder than a boiled lobster, and I was
waiting to see if he would burst into flames like the human torch.

“What the fuck is wrong with this thing?
Hmmm, there seems to be something impeding the mechanism.”

John then says, “Give it to me, let me see if I can impede the back of your head
with it.” We then fell into a fit of uproarious laughter and could not stop.

Peter then casually flipped him the bird, saying, “Fuck you, you ignorant fool.”

John then asks me if I have a book of matches?

I search through my
pockets but find only coins and some pocket lint.
“No man, sorry.” Actually, I did
have matches, but I was dying for
Pete to flip out again, so I told him I didn't.

I could see Peter in the darkness, still fumbling with that damn his lighter of his
and getting absolutely nowhere. “Ya know man, I really don't need this shit tonight.”
Then like an angry pitcher for a losing team, he throws the lighter as hard as he can
at the paddleball wall, where it pops into a million pieces. Peter now looking both
disheveled and disgusted mutters, “will ya look at that; now I don't have a lighter.”

Immediately, I thought of how comical it would have been, had Peter been watching
me as my lighter emitted its last flame just hours earlier. Two lighters in one day was
unheard of. I am almost certain he would have taken it personally. Then for the next
forty-eight hours it would become his full-time occupation trying to make it work.

*Especially if there was still some gas in it*

I then handed John the pack of flattened out matches.
“Here, I just found these
in my back pocket.”
Upon seeing this, Peter's eyes began to bulge out of their
sockets like Ralph Kramden,
when he gets hit on the back by Uncle Leo.

Peter then shook his head before
walking away in complete disgust.

John lights the thing and we scatter. A few seconds later it
began to
fizzle, before puffing a huge plume of smoke into the atmosphere.

Pete then chimes
in, “Oh-ho, what a fucking waste that was; I'm gonna
pretend that didn't happen.” He now
proceeds to hand John one very
coveted M-80. As the flame touches the wick it ignites.

John holds it for a moment and then throws it into the air where it hangs for
a few seconds,
but does not go off. Instead, it falls to the ground and begins
smoking. It then made a loud farting
noise before fizzling out. John waits
a good thirty seconds before walking over to examine the
small explosive.

“The wick came out. Are you kidding me? Pete seriously, where'd ya buy
things, in a fucking joke store? My dog makes better bombs than this!”

We were now laughing loudly, and completely out of control.

do you want me to say? They're old!
Ya know what man, I think I'm just gonna leave.

Looking at Pete, all dejected and more or less spent, I was yearning for one last hurrah.
A loud howling bellow that would pierce through the heart of the night, like the cry of a
werewolf on a full moon with an ass full of buckshot,
but the man didn't have it in him.

Rather than curl his tail up and die, or fall to the ground like a satchel of dry bones,
he surrendered. Inconspicuously, I examined his face and was quite surprised to
find that he was now older than my grandfather, and my grandfather’s been dead
for quite some time now. . . I really hope he doesn't expire on the way home.

                                                                               Pg 245

As my disgruntled friend, leaves for home by way of Amboy Road, we watched
his ominous shadow depart into the night. After the laughter subsided and we
regained our composure, I looked down at the faded tarmac to find a most
disturbing sight. A squirrel, it seems had been eviscerated, and its innards
were sprawled out along the uneven ground. Some lights were on at the end
of the street, shining dimly, but were enough to see the atrocity that either man
or beast had created. I did not want to think that anything could be that evil.

In reality, I knew someone or something was responsible, and so, I desperately
tried not to look down at the mess of slow drying entrails, which adhered to the
ground like glue. Even if we were to leave right now, I would not be able to dismiss
the fact that it happened. The smell of rotten meat decaying in the evening air
started to make me feel like I had been exposed to a deadly virus.

One that was beginning to mutate and multiply inside me.

The archimage had waved his wand from where he stood in another time to befoul
my world. Now a calm and peaceful environment had been turned into
an implacable
miasma. In no way, could I stop thinking about those microscopic
organisms arising
from that viscous pile of decaying entrails. Mixed in with the
very air we breathe were
those nasty and invisible little spores. . . And they were wreaking havoc in my brain.

The next time you go to the movies, sit in the last row of seats near the projector.
All that warm fuzzy matter you see floating around in the lens are none other than
dead skin cells and airborne bacteria from various patrons throughout time. Now
that you are aware of this fact, how comfortable do you really feel taking a nice
deep breath and allowing all those filthy little particles to enter into your lungs?

Seriously, the next time you're in a theater, begin patting the cushioned seats,
and you will
see all that dust and foreign debris exploding upwards into the
eye of the movie projector.
Actually, these germs are around us constantly.

The light only makes them visible to the eye.

I now felt sick, as I thought of being riddled with tiny sores from within.
A life-threatening
infection that would take root in my lungs and keep
growing. It almost felt like pathogens
were swimming in my bloodstream,
making my chest feel tighter whenever I breathed. It was then and there
that I
started to feel like I had eaten a few strands of raw bacon, and my
heart was slowly being

Like a chemist who had mistaken anthrax for cocaine and began snorting.

In the blink of an eye, a happy and joyful night would be stripped
of all meaning, and turned into a combative struggle for survival.

                            Majic Ship - Nightmare

The pernicious drug was running rampant through my system
like an angry cancer cell, and I felt as though a demon had
crawled inside my head and was now holding a gun to my brain.

How could I have known that by simply looking down at the ground,
would leave me
in a nightmare of unparalleled proportion?

That revolting smell of death seemed to
linger in the air,
until I realized what had happened, and by then it was too late.

I was now imbued with wrenching terror, as I came to realize
in but a few short
hours from now, I might very well be dead.
Before long, I came to the conclusion
that the end was upon
me, for I began to feel the onset of anaphylaxis.

I must distract myself somehow.
All right, just calm down.

I was perspiring from worry and trying to keep myself together.
As I thought of the infection
pumping through my heart valve,
I felt a quick murmur or palpitation. I then started to pray
like I
had never prayed before, but felt like a hypocrite.

Why does everything I do seem to exemplify failure?

It was always the same, and now my prayers had
no meaning at all. If I was the Lord, I wouldn't
want to hear anything I had to say either.

Why was I always pushed into praying?
couldn't I just pray like a normal human being?
Maybe because I wasn't a normal human being.

Always off, dabbling in mystery.

                                                                               Pg 246

Maybe all this documentation is just an excuse to do drugs
in the first place.
I don't know anymore. Everything's come
together, and I felt like I had
just painted myself into a corner.

What the hell is going on here?

Please God, forgive me for this.
It was a dumb thing to do.

Do you ever wonder what God thinks of you?
After you sin and you're basking in your sweet resolve.
What does God think of us in that hour?

You pray now? Now you pray?

You had your whole life to pray, and you
dare do it now, in your moment of weakness.

You insolent fool, get ready to be cast into Hellfire!

Lucifer was mean.

He wanted me to suffer like he and his followers were going to suffer for the rebellion.

“I didn’t tell you to leave Heaven.
You made that choice and now you can’t go back.”

It’s not my fault you tried to be king and failed.

You should pray because you want to, not because you have to, I thought.

At that very moment, I truly felt as though God had forsaken me.
I then watched the doors
to the magnificent kingdom of Heaven close.
I was renounced by the God I exalted for
not putting at least one hour
aside each week for the consecration to sanctify my soul.

There was nothing I could do or say that was going to change anything.
I was doomed.

I tried to believe in the power of prayer, but the whole concept
of it seemed to be against me.
Still, I persevered with total
reverence and fear, but yet, without any result whatsoever.

I blame God for not hearing me?
Was I supposed to see an immediate result?

Was God supposed to stop what He was doing and come running to my rescue?
I wouldn't have been surprised if He suddenly appeared and punted me into the
end zone of eternal damnation for not being smart enough to avoid this tragedy.

There are literally billions of people in this world, afflicted by incurable
diseases that do not discriminate. One in particular is called,

How many illnesses and sicknesses are there in
the world?
How many variable and resistant strains of bacteria and viral infections?

Start counting. . .

There are more illnesses in the world, than you can imagine.
Be thankful if you are in good health.

“Do you go to church on Sunday?” I asked John,
trembling with fear, but trying not to convey it.

I go two times a year, that's about it. And you?”

Maybe once a year.

Do you pray?

but not like some people who can pray for hours a day. Most
of the time I run out of things
to pray about after the first minute.

I then started to think of the Bible and its philosophy on us
as human beings.
Catholics and Protestants fighting over the body and blood of Jesus Christ
is about as ridiculous as two children fighting over colored marbles.

If we both believe in Jesus, and we both believe in God,
then what the hell are we fighting about?

That's almost like two goods becoming two evils, and God just wants to fucking explode!

We are all born of free will.

We live for today and tomorrow we lay down and die.
In the following life, we will not have a free will, but we will live forever,
either in the purest of bliss or the most horrible of agonies.

This is the will of the Lord.

                                                                               Pg 247

Here children die, in the next life they will not.

Here people kill one another in war.
In the next life there will be no war; only peace, for those who have earned it.

It is hard to imagine an amorphous being such as a soul that comes forth when
a life should perish, but even more difficult to fathom is the creator of all life.


There is only one crime that is punishable by death in the hereafter, and that is suicide.

It doesn't matter how good you are as a person, or any wonderful thing you've done. If you
are above the age of accountability and decide to end it all, just remember, the pain you will
suffer in the afterlife will be far greater than any physical pain you might experience on earth,
because it will be forever. It will become your eternal damnation.

You cannot commit suicide without facing God's wrath!

To destroy the body, which is a sacred housing
of the holy spirit,
is to reject Gods precious gift.

Suicides cannot be forgiven by God.

                                      Mark 3:28-29

I tell you the truth, all sin and blasphemy can be forgiven,

29) but anyone who blasphemes the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven.

                   This is a sin with eternal consequences.

Your body is a temple of the ---- ------.

Every second that brings strife carries with it, a million years of bliss.
Hell has been described as holding your arm over a raging fire,
while Heaven is said to be that of indescribable bliss.
A place that has no end, and the beauty which
lies therein is said to be immeasurable.

In other words, it is better to live a hundred years in misery on earth,
than to live eternally in the bowels of all anguish.

I have found there are two types of people in this world.
Those who like to hurt, and t
hose who like to help.

It is for you to decide who you are.

In the hours of the evenfall, when the laughter of children begins to settle, the world comes
to realize it is another day older. That is the time for being counted. For every birth, there
is death, and for every little one born there is a renewed sense of hope that we may offer
something useful unto the next generation.

Those who give pain shall indeed receive it, and those who provide
comfort shall be comforted in a land of untold glory, forevermore.

What I find most difficult to understand out of everything in the Bible, is that Jesus Christ, the
only begotten son of God, who had the power of infinity at his side, could have at any time,
summoned a million angels to rain fire down upon his enemy, chose not to. Instead, he let the
Romans beat him, whip him, and then, being barely alive but not quite dead, allowed them
to lay him upon a cross and put nails the size of railroad spikes through his wrists and feet.

How easy it would have been to destroy them all, but then, the son of man would
have been weak, because that is what anyone with eternal power would have done.
It is certainly what you or I would have done, and with incomprehensible fury.

Those of you who possess an ounce or two of faith, shall indeed
see the Almighty Kingdom of God. Like the saints who came before
us, whose trials were so great they pleaded for death to arrive.

The time for being stoic and the time for having faith was now, for there are people in this
world who go to work every day, never knowing that today, they will become a statistic.
You’re driving home from work late one night, when you fall asleep at the wheel and
suddenly, you're scattered remains are under a catamaran. Or you decide to dive off
shallow pier, rather than test it by jumping in feet first, so now, you're paralyzed
from the neck down, unable to move your arms or your legs.

Try living life as a quadriplegic.

Confined to a hospital bed with a respirator tube in your throat that someone
must clean hourly. Unable to clear your own throat or even
cough up phlegm
for that matter. All because you made a life altering mistake.

So now, who do you curse?
Never yourself, it’s always God who gets
cursed because you were given free will.

As my mind began to fill with all these images, I tried to convince myself
that the burden
I carried was small. But the truth of the matter was plain
to see, I am here, and they are there.

No matter how I looked at it, the fact would always remain. I was really hoping
it was a simple case of hypochondriacal anxiety that would subside without warning.
I was overcome and grief stricken by emotions I had absolutely no control over.
I was crying for a world that hated me, while I, myself was dying.

How ironic is that?

I felt myself slipping away into the great abyss and just wanted to be a normal
person again, so I could further deal with the problem at hand, but the drug
was not going away. Rather it would be I, who would be going away.

My brain will be in a jar by the end of the evening,
I thought, and who would explain how it happened?

                                                                               Pg 248

You long for the comforts of home and the things you took for granted
all your life. You'd change everything about your life to make it better,
if you only could, but now, you're left stranded in the very nightmare
you created. A world so cold and lonely it defies reason. The barren
plains where nothing grows and no one ever comes to visit.

A land more desolate than the calm stillness of an abandoned heart.

Strange voices call out to you in echoes from the earth, but your mind
no longer works in the traditional sense. I thought I knew more than the
rest of society, but I knew nothing. How bad it hurts to find you've been
left all alone in the shadows. No one to ever talk to again. Nothing to see
or touch. No emotions to feel. Just heartbeats and long forgotten promises.

That is the drug's design.

You think you were abandoned the first time?
This may be even worse.

Never hearing another sound again because your brain shut down. Not being
able to get up and move about as you've so often done and taken advantage of
No longer will the scent of a flower exhilarate your senses, or the taste of a
mouth-watering steak make your salivary glands open.

No one to ever hold again.
Nothing more, for the one who threw his life away.

Mother prays for you and cries. She pleads for your return, but
it's not real, for you're not there. You now reside in a distant void.
Another galaxy, where no one ever goes and even if they could,
it would take
light years for anyone to reach you; look around.

Our capacity for higher learning is strained, and we've simply no technology for
advancement in that area. Time is at a standstill and your motor skills have stopped.
Communication is lost and the world you've come to know is gone. So abandon all
hope for rescue; no one's coming. Still you'll take to your grave that one question.

How did I get here?

Knowing we couldn't stay here forever, I was now in a catch 22.

If I begin walking, it will spread like wildfire through my entire system
until I succumb to the realization of my body going into shock, and if
we stay, I will only dwell upon it, until it ultimately happens. Full of
anxiety and worry, I made the decision to leave.

As I picked myself up from that spot, I felt like an old civil war soldier gallantly
forging ahead toward his imminent death. My only hope for survival would be
to completely forget about my current circumstance.

So weak and weary was I now, I felt like I had hardly any life left in me.

How I wished I was home; safe in the comfort of my undisturbed bed.
To turn the radio on low and just relax in a sleep-conducive environment.

I wanted nothing more than for this whole night to be just a bad dream. To
open my eyes and forever be beside the one I love. The one who beckons me.
If I could become Almighty God for but a millisecond, I would do just that.
Regardless of the implications involved or the consequences arising thereof.

That blissful thought was the key to unchaining my heart; yet it served no purpose,
neither was it healthy for me to dwell upon for it only flooded the town with rain.

Moving like a hapless cripple, I continued to trudge through
that field as though I were marching for my own country.

As any good soldier would.

                                                                               Pg 249


Reviews for chapter 33

Siobhan Lunsford - What a strange chapter title the grim intestine. But it works so I won't knock it.
I just wanted to tell you I find you wrighting top notch and will eventually start at the begining , eventually.
Thanks for this!

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PG 243) We don't want peace at any price by Charles Twelvetrees -

PG 243) Oedipus
by Aart Prins -

PG 243) Al Deppe's restaurant photograph,
Circa 1950's -

PG 244) Will you go off with me on the 4th
- (vintage greeting card)

PG 245) Letting go
by Esao Andrews -

PG 245) Dragon match box cover

PG 245) Werewolf
by Uwe Jarling -

PG 245) Polkran by Waldo Retamales -

PG 246) Unawang
by Satoshi Sakamoto -

PG 246) Creatures of a luminescent sea
by R. S. Connett -

PG 247)
Disease spell by Szalai László -

PG 247)
Gruss Vom Krampus (Vintage greeting card) -

PG 247)
My bad by Tim French -

PG 247)
Careless love by Randy Mora -

PG 247)
Flight of the churches by Brigid Marlin -

PG 247)
The iron morning in the metallic sunrise by Victor Safonkin

PG 247)
Flames of the apocalypse by Victor Safonkin -

PG 247) Discovery of Plutonium
by Judson Huss -

PG 248) Eggness
by Chenthooran Nambiarooran -

PG 248) Jesus Christ our savior and the saver of all lost souls who beseech him -

PG 248) Sin
by Joe Scorsone and Alice Drueding -

PG 248) Presa del Araf
by Carolina Eade -

PG 248) Confess
by Joe Scorsone and Alice Drueding -

PG 248) Elemental Struggle
by Craig Maher -

PG 248) The Crucifiction
Victor Safonkin -

PG 248) Calvary
by Octavio Ocampo -

PG 248) Sacred Heart of Jesus with Saint Ignatius of Loyola and Saint Louis Gonzaga
by José de Páez -

PG 248) Les petites trônes
by Claude Verlinde -

PG 248) A return to functioning
by Chris Mars -

PG 248) Paysage de Stéarine
by Claude Verlinde -

PG 249) Enroll in Federal adult schools

PG 249)
Disconnected by Samy Charnine