Book 4


Saint Mary's Hospital, where the ambulance took my grandma after she hit a semi.
The Craterhoof Behemoth crested the top of her craggy, dirty mesa and looked down into the village she called home. Her tiny eyes squinted, straining to see. She sniffed the air, smelling for danger. Hunks of flesh had been torn from her side and her face was wounded and bleeding, […]

Level 1: Veteran of the Psychic Wars


The ghostly nuns who haunt the halls of St. Mary's Hospital in Grand Junction.
“Virtue is dead,” said Innocence, his small hands sifting through the shattered pieces of stone. The broken pile of rubble was all that remained of what used to be his wife, “The world has ground her into dust.” “We must bury her,” sang the Siren Phoenix, “deep within the loam, lest ghosts come haunt […]

Level 2: My Grandma’s First Nap



My grandpa is in the Cowboy Hall of Fame because he ran one of the oldest cattle brands in North Dakota and helped heal the wounds between the white man and the red.
The Craterhoof Behemoth stood at the top of the hill that led to the cave. Gollum squatted beneath her, a twisted thing, full of sadness and fear. Her face was battered, her side a mess of exposed ribs. She stood, panting, her flesh regenerating with each breath, her body stitching itself back together. […]

Level 3: The Rabbit Adventure


“They’re putting I.V.s back in her?” I asked, taking another bite of the Chron’s-friendly lunch my sister had prepared. “Yes,” she was sitting on the couch across from me, an uncomfortable thing in my mother’s holistic basement. “So mom was right?” I clinked my fork on the plate contemplatively, wondering if it could be true. […]

Level 4: Noelle Gets High As Fuck



Hospice_GrandJunction
Eventually, we ran out of my sister’s pre-pumped milk. “What do we do?” I asked my mom, The Baby Hannah crying in my arms. “We’ll have to hook her up,” my mom shrugged, looking at her daughter snoring softly on the floor. “But the THC. The Baby Hannah will get […]

Level 5: The Old Rugged Cross


Painting
Where’s the podcast? Well, I live in New York now and this weekend, I decided to hang out with friends instead of recording. It was selfish and I apologize, but there was fire in my blood that only the city could quench. Thanks for understanding. My grandma opened her eyes. They […]

Level 6: Schism



No podcast again this week. I’m beginning to feel my own mortality. I want to finish this book, then paint a bunch of pictures that are so beautiful a gallery here in New York will give me a show. All of this takes time so I’ve dedicated myself to writing […]

Level 7: Cindy


Later that night Dr. Hamner came to visit. She was a practicing M.D. who had tempered her methods with holistic remedies, a white witch with levels in exalted medicine. She stood at the foot of my grandma’s bed, hands folded, staring down, her chin pulled tight into her neck. “What […]

Level 8: Cold Laser



For the first 14 years on the show, only Big Bird could see the Snuffleupagus. The show's writers changed this after a rash of child molestations led them to believe some kids might watch the show and think adults wouldn't believe them about certain things.
All night we defended her from nurses, dutiful Ukranian scions with weary eyes and black axes, our pelts pulled tight against the wind. The old woman lay unaware, dreaming sacred dreams on the border between life and death. “Wake up, Mother,” David tried again. “I need you to wake up.” […]

Level 9: The Day I Killed My Grandma


“Did you ever hear about the cow eyes?” Gaye asked after my mom left. I shook my head. “Well,” she smiled, remembering, “Mom took a pair of glasses and wrapped them in a beautiful velvet box along with a pair of eyes from a cow grandpa had slaughtered. Then she […]

Level 10: Death Rattle



They scheduled the memorial service for three days later. Three days to buy flowers, make slide shows, design programs, send invitations, write speeches, and prepare food. It was a distraction, a way to think about my grandma without thinking about her. While we were busy with preparations, a mortician removed […]

Level 11: Breakfast Club


When aunt Cindy and cousin Anya visited me in Manhattan, they took me out to dinner. We had soup dumplings at Joe's Shanghai, which is something you should definitely try if you ever visit the Big Apple.
After the memorial service Marcus came over. “How’s your family?” He lowered his head to avoid hitting the top of the doorway. “Sad,” I led him into my mom’s kitchen. “Want some water?” The giant, blue-eyed soldier looked at one of the many nick-knacks hanging from my mother’s walls, “Is […]

Level 12: North Dakota



I woke up before anyone, in the basement where my cousin died. They were going to bury my grandma, her muscles and skin, her toe nails and hair, slathered in garish makeup, dressed in someone else’s clothes. I put on headphones and pressed play on my MP3 recorder. It began […]

Level 13: Funeral


After the funeral, my mom decided to stay in North Dakota for 10 days. That meant I had to as well. We spent a few of them visiting friends and relatives, but mostly we imposed on my sister. Ten days is a long time to spend with anyone. It’s especially […]

Level 14: Two Bottles Of Wine



the monolith
A few weeks later, my mom called. I stepped off the ladder and set down my brush, “Hey.” “Hi honey, how’s packing going?” I looked at the half painted walls and the boxes stacked in the center of the room, “I’m getting there.” “Good. I emptied out the trailer so […]

Level 15: Sauron