the short story project


Awbrey Collins

Mr. Scribbles

[Cover image, a photograph empart by Time Magazine. Time Magazine is a registered trademark out of New York City]


“Are you a knight, or are you a crusader?” Emptor asked. Babalous towering figure above the figure as a hawk with sight, godhead seeking the morning rays of Apollo. The thunder of charriots are heard approaching.

“It is to early to tell,” replies a concealed face, a figure of Demaske. “There is no tell to who I am before who I was.”

“There is tell; and do tell. It will speak louder of who you are shall words be your defense,” again Emptor sheilds himself.

“So, these are the only choices you give?”

“Do you understand the difference between the two… if both are fiction.”

There was a great interest in fiction, and telling stories using arcane manifestations of metaphysics. Transcendence is something that helps to conceal the intentions and insights of one whom may not know who they have become. The healing proccess takes some understanding of language, of whether to be it for the media of the masses or the calls for social silence in disaster. Knowing the two is part of the darkness that shades a distinct line, lines that are abstract of a mask to making faces where a previous memory may not coexist. We guard our masks, and we hope they bring a heavier message. A message that is not created and cannot be destroyed, so distinct to written history. Reading that mask is mere impossible, more likely to speak to safe-havens in allowing a previous use of the mask in, more uncertain in purpose is to bring evil.

“Not if it brings me yesterday’s lot,” the face replied. The face now is attached to a body, although it made more sense that the darkness is the body as a whole. The face is not the mask, and reflects that the body is already active in making the mask, a mask. A mask tells both the fictions of defending cause for God, a knight. The mask a memory of the horrors that are done in the name of God, a crusader. But, a crusader is more likely to be seen as someone who does not feel God coming from within, driving the defense of the purpose to crusade. The crusade itself an information given as reason to vanguard religion, or what little there was. Information wars are something gone on for a long time, and to begin defending the informative as rightrous is the same spies that seek disinformation only to later found themselves among the disinformed. Worse yet, to spread disinformation is the means of making doubt more impassioned in a melee.

“And, each Lot you do see,” asks Emptor, both appolgetic and theraputic. Stern, he lifts the conversation into an air of gratitude.  “You are neither Knight, nor crusader. Though you claim being a knight, you have no castle to defend. And although you have reason to say you are a crusader as you have, your purpose to analogize your successful crusade with the successes of being a knight bring into question your Lot?”

“Do you see,” askes loftly, the shady figure. “As I move inbetween the cheering sounds of Ashanti, the Diaspora that once kept me from peace still forms a hex of halls to greatness. To revel the ends of those who thought they were cheering for peace, when the wounded lay in shambles amongst the negotations of traitors?”

Emptor, “And would that be the reason for one to incite a riot, or is that the reasons behind defending someone who is a tyrant?”

“The earliest report is only of the message. And, the message of those who are to be unmasked is only the reason for such a dark silence to draw. It is not to make a point where no point has been made than to become.”

“And, what have you become,” asks Emptor.

The passing of the morning hour are the bloody after. The synge of laughter and the honesty of one who chose to let go of his fight. To join a mockery of audience members who become hecklers to the lost cause. Being focused more on the erasures of the past and more honed to what causes the speedy changes, as omnipotence and worship, to chivalry, knights and courtship. Like medieval hospitality and vocal grandeour to superstructures and language agreements, silence and welcome recluse.

“What I have become is not something which can be read. And, if I write it again, would be a sham to knowing the truer fiction wrather than the cause,”‘ said the figure beginning to take on a full figure distinction of anything other than a mask would remind of a recent, relevant past. “When I am read, If I am read… to know why to unmask somewhere I have been is to go yourself. What is the point to go somewhere noone has gone before, if not to tell the phenomenon of learning how it began to exist to begin with?”

But, the emptor began to admonish the divine mystery of who he or she is. Asking a question answered with a question does not make the problems worse, just makes them multiply. Noticing that the conversation was going nowhere, it is easier to simplify the nonchalance with fact and credence, eddict and commonwealth. “So you make a point a mystery. I give you a reason to unmask yourself where you have described there being no enigma. And, you do not bring with you a cause for such darkness in mystery.”

“The element of suprise…,” begins the figure before cutting himself off, omnibonevolently.

“Have I silenced your reason for fear, or are you, now, fearful,” asks the emptor angry that he is losing the disguise of having the secret informations of reasoning.

The figure begins to approach, the horizons of Hermes. Becoming another window along embattlements in a long line that leads to the Keep. The recognition of centurion and makings of messengers, a concealed crossbow. He recognizes the service of question and the emptor. He recognizes attempted loss of certainty before standing guard, prior to blending in to becoming his point of defense. Treachery, a learnedness required, reasoning. The covetness to a reason that would not exist among revelry had it not been a long line of truths which become is fabulai. The drama that gives the voices of reason the same jelolus of the divine which becomes treachery, and the same learnedness which requires the judgment to delivering that same message that was written before it was written in the sky, a time capsule.

But, the wishing well is just to dry. “And, do you have anything to say for yourself?”

Emptor has not fear, for buyer be allowed to see what you already subscribed. Subscripted to the consort the same judgments of humanity to allow oneself to be judged as one appears wrather as one appeared. The same subscribed to slavery or magics and Nefroteoric accepting to divine logic, messenger lain across reading scribe before locked into place like masonry. Actual judgment, and no investigation. The figure is indeed man, racing against the traderwings where albatross flutter. A hawk, beneath a shadded grain of strong backed reprose and debates of conlflicts to protecting the weak and innocent. The only fear the Emptor really has is to reveal the same darkness, whethere it was to be seen as darkness if not already.

“In which case, I am a king,” replies the figure lastly. “I am a figure of your propaganda, I am your darkness in true light, I am your voice where not allowed to speak in facing your dead. I am your light when you wish to close your well to the poor and your bread with the each choice to praise for the bountiful hunt of others. I gather you when you are disjointed and I disperse you as you become dismissive. I choose to have chosen for you having seen that enough is too much. I write what you fight, make poetic thought, am the dialog for the incarcerated. I am record where there are Acts and in doing I will be unbroken. I am, King.”




“It looks like it is going to be raining today,” the radio said. The traffic was horrible and made you squirm. Hanging on to the wheel like waiting in line, listen “I hope you brought you’re umbrella!” The voice over the radio was highly sarcastic and vying for a listener response for levity on the same repeat story that leads to a joke.

The radio continued on: “Well, it ain’t rainin’ yet. Well, you know that story about having an umbrella, weather report says the same, it’s gonna be a washout. Well, well, well. I guess I ain’t the only one sayin’ it. Stay inside! And, on another note, the sports!” The rattling off on the airwaves made the traffic worse, clouds rolling over for some sun cover. In the morning coverage was a jazzy tune from a soul band that was taking over in Harlem. Ghetto renaissance and all the traffic that heads into the city was enough to spark the creative. The humor inside itself was still based upon the same failed policy and neglect. The same salesman selling the policy is the death of the same salesman trying to sell the salesman. It was clutter on the interstate, the visions from across statelines taking over for the songs that end with advertisement. The coluded to radio brought singles back from their their love song, which came after some elevator music, which came after the jazzy tune. 

“And, in another note,” continued the radio. Traffic had moved a couple of meters along the stretch of freeway. A turn signal appears in the dashboard, beneath the sign that marks the mile before the exit. The revolutions from the engine signled traffic was moving, but only into another space in line where it was the same feelings of being in traffic before having been in traffic. “If traffic is not bad already, wait until you get a low on this. Last night, a senator and his wife were brutally murdered in a back alleyway. The suspects are still at large. They were at a party and fundraiser last night, and following the engagements were last seen leaving the party of billionaire tycoon Richard Scribbles on foot.”

The other voice from the weather and sports chimed in,” Richard Scribbles, if you don’t remember is the guy who closed public womens health facilities and is advocating for government vouchers for healthcare. He is also the guy who invented that sleep medicine… [uhh], what did they call it?”

“Euphorindalais,” said the other voice.

“Well, whatever you’re gonna call it. Scribbles’ wife recently had gone on a vacation to the Bermuda Triangle, while Scribbles and all of his comrads where at the one night Russian Ballet. A private affair? I really wish I had known about it. I am tired of all the secrecy, and I am tired of the siphon of Union funds into politician’s friends’ pockets.”

“I hate to seive for gold, but I guess whatever keeping people from leaving the Bermuda Triangle, also has the ability to keep them from coming back.”

The city at large were all trapped in traffic. The night owls were touching into REM sleep, as the movers and shakers poured in from the outskirts. A magazine columnist stuck in traffic has his best thoughts. The classical rhetorics a torrent of his mind, the same images of playwrights who write in lectures. The suspect to language are the same advertisements of innocent’s, supermodels, rolemodels and nameless faces to voyage the catechism of thoughts. His thoughts the traffic that backs up the interstate. State workers, tax attourneys, day shift, civil service workers, managers, supervisors, superiors, librarians and educators; all caught up in his rhetorics and thought proccess eventually unmasking villany behind true entertainment. He tries to not honk his horn. He draws attention in his ability to be a lap dog, to be a servant and to be utmost attuned to the dogmatic, the clothes he has on. To be honest, his assistance only makes the passing signage for exits worse. Worsened by his inability to control things out of his control, he begins getting into perspective.

The vision of a magazine’s require collaboration, so the radio is useless. Magazine’s advertisement focus gains readers’ attention and influences the ideas columnists are allowed to give backstory. What report and journalism has any use without the true stories behind unmasking Scribbles for being a party goer, a mobb philanthropist? Meanwhile his wife’s mafia mantra is out lobbying for politics in casablanca? The corruption of magazines is usually an image, when out of focus, catches writers off guard. Its writers are careful of having reality becoming and advertisement for the magazine because the magazines carry their readership. A readership which in traffic can be delineated with a small fender bender or a tardy attendance of a necessary meeting. Everyone had read the article as it was written, blasting non-political figures and shedding light on corrupt politics. If the magazine chooses to publish what was before deemed a falsification, it changes the perspective its readers will take on the continuity or the equity a brand the magazine celebrates.

“And, that’s it for the ones and twos…. back to traffic…” concluded the radio.

Where traffic becomes important is that place in line. For example, had the columnist been leaving for work from somewhere other than home, traffic goes by quicker. From home, the traffic is identified as unusual, unnatural and conspicuous. Where he was last night to celebrate a shift in policies hides all of the promotional materials the magazine had received for a soon to release brand. The red light district: where at night the stop lights are certainly green. Now, these red lights bend comet tails from close contact with the Earth. The pairs of night-lifers conjoined at the hips and frollicing in the columnists birds, bees and butterflies. The early light is as a frost on veggetation, the rising sun a bloom from the earliest flower which will dies without pollination to produce no such perfection. The traffic now a mountain which must be crossed between to towns where the townsfolk of one side speak of love; and, the other speaks of the harshest revelries of lust, young love and resident evils.

At the stop light, the traffic does not seem so illogical. People, crossing cross walks to the beeping sounds that help the blind, dressed to impress. Cross streets that are lined with taxis and construction vehicles, followed by an occasional ambulance of fire truck. Power companies and utilities digging holes or busting out concrete sidewalks with jackhammers. The traffic signal is surely illogical, when it makes more sense that those who use the stop lights to read street signs have hidden themselves behind windows with blankets and dark rooms to only wake for the signs of another night life. The traffic signal is surely illogical, that is another line for people who waited in line all their lives, to wait in line again. The first light after the exit seems to let the traffic in. The next light and the traffic signals after only seem to make the traffic worse. The columnist notices the only taxi that has an advertisement to the ballet he wanted to go. He would know how many taxis actually had the advertisement, the show performing once last week and for that week only. Would the advertisement for a past show suddenly begin to show, he does not know but knows what it would mean if they did. It was a sign of life in comparisson to the bombshell which he left on a publicist’s desk last Friday.

In line again, “Lords and ladies will bow to the sign of Scribbles,” said one of the black guys in front of the columnist. He was wearing the brand they were promoting, all the way up to the people wearing the clothes began to use their brand as a place to leave dead people.

“I heard that Scribbles has a bunch of political friends. He writes his name all over these faceless politians,” said the other black guy to his friend. “If it were me, I’d just run for president.”

“I heard that Scribbles will scribble no more,” he thought to himself.

The columnist had returned to the structure where he worked, next to complex where he had parked. He had his morning coffee, his morning traffic, and his morning filled with heisty gossip that attracts attention to the concrete jungle and all the streets’ hustle. The bustle is enough to compatmentalize anything fromt he night before, and was meant to be power washed away like the smells of the city streets. A columnist has a routine which is easily parralleled, up until passing the desk inside the office. The office manager sometimes runs the desk, for insurance purposes, at the beginning of the week. Later in the week, some intern assistant assists the assistant at the desk and noone really remembers who comes and goes anyways. The mailman could come in, in a hoody, jeans with a ski-mask on and people would not notice. Delivery drivers enjoyed seeing future columnists go from confessional Catholic and Spartan soldier. The columnist felt like washing the releasing brand’s camoflauge off of his name. Felt like wearing a helmet before a haircut, felt like carrying a sheild of the magazine’s brand to protect his phalanx.

You had to undertake that a brand is a magazine’s approaching equity where the value of a writer’s opinion is how many people become willing to hear his oppinions. As the failed opininons of writers become the critiques of society, a magazine is a great place for falling out and homocide. Character assissnation always feels like a lynching and taking pride at knowing others’ privacy can seem like having power over them. The powers columnists have over other people are typically the reflections we see in the traffic. In the regularities from the city, we usually see all of the faces of the office slaves. The power he felt to be the first to admonish the brand, before admonishing something he did not believe in, was the power which empowered him going to a place he felt Scribbles has pushed him out of. He felt pushed out, he felt awkward like an adulterer to a married couple and woman’s other lover.

A marriage of column, vision and editorial perspective would carry the paychecks to pay for the gas coming and going. He had to get lucky in order to see the fallout of what was written in the meat of his column. The columns coming down on the publicists, once omen of the week’s worth before. The columns that are like horseback cavalry, carrying in the warriors, and saddling the dead. Columns that give life, take life, see life as it was taken and become the life that will be lived, both of the columnist and the publisher. Two-by-two and side by side, the published who slides down the super structures of the city chaos and quickly into the comfort of classical formalities, aside the hard working content generators who empower magazines to take on the marketing work of failed underground celebrations and cult followings. The intern’s dreams, not lifting a finger to the hard work yet celebrating with the corageous mass as the lay on an alter the spilt blood, hardwork and tears of an up-and-coming new comer that did not see the lay-in-wake.

The columnist fluttered, knowing that Richard Scribbles and his future oligarchy would lay waste under a three page spread entitled, “Mobb Rich Perfume and Sunglasses on Mafia Faces”. The city has a way of over hearing, ease dropping conversations and turning them into viral complexes of genrecide and cures of the zealous story writers that actually run the magazines and newspapers. The pun on words that detect lawyers who claim they have never seen the product a magazine would hide and the judges paid off to explain the columnist was not last night back at his favoriate club spreading rumors and lies. Butchery is the same terrorism that botches newscasts, but homicide likes to drive home the voices that began as gutter saddness and mafia riots. Union-led voices that were rich with the failures to read someone’s mind that led to these same pearly gates of success, all to familiar for a columnist who’s publicist’s failed acceptance of a truth leads to the success of some garage-beginnings and French clothing-lines not being used as body sheilds.

The case of the columnist seems to dwindle quickly to an alabai, but the story of the people swell. The sacrifices to make all of the puzzle peices fit, and the lack of profits that let the little man tip. Forced back into the darkness of youth, the city seems to alarm the publicist’s likely feedback, leading to a columnist to go from debtor’s prison to pulpit of some semitist-apostolic church. Not hiding in the open, gives a reason to alabai, but does not give to the feedback of honest response to chivalry. Holding gains for the political changes that fancy another side of cult rebellions and the tenacity of personal choreography that leads to stagecrafts of the guilty becoming the jest of a court. Hearing none of his guilt was enough for the columnist to believe how easy it is to throw the sheet over a practical joust, or a new day coverage on a new day.

The light of the covenant is bright, and bending or breaking the white lies of truth. In the safety of the publicist’s courtyard, where behind closed doors the endoctrine and endowed decide whether or not to unveil the monster behind bullet-proof glass. The white lies of truth are the segment an editor gets in any edition where they begin again to follow suit and write. The white lies that are the blood spatter where the convicted columnist quickly turns from truth-seeker to sacrifice on an alter infront of an audience of an absent crowd. In the safety of the courtyard, in the stables where they light up cubicles, the columnist begins to get rid of the evidence. Collapses on himself his research and reason behind deeper questions which led to the rhetorics of suspicion. Questioning in feeback which thwart any evidence of a supported side or abdication for the need of bullet-proof glass to protect a monster from the monster which peered in.

Audiences of mass exist with magazines like empty tubes of something that once was pouring in seized composition from stripped audiences from their immunity. Charged from their fears of change, and instigated by a light which fades, a mass of demand trickles down into the barborous masses. The pensive is indeed a pensive well where one must dictate how how the water will rise, as one must first realize that as short as a column may appear, recognizing what the most striking of points may be the point of writing in a column. The tents of the infantry fold down and the supplies are returned with scribbles to confirm there is no colusion. The facts that stop the masses in their trail, track back the approved materials of the publicist. But, again the silent masses are told to burn bright as a torch in a harbor, a sign of life, and they go silent at the feet of measure and rules given by the master whom set sail in such a direction. The columnist is not guilty. The columnist has been lead down the line of failures to a massacre and wears on his face the crusade, like a knight whom presumed the conflict had died. 




The police and investigators enter the building. The staff at the desk immediatly direct them to the 27th floor. They enter and ask the desk for a certain individual, before continuing onto his desk. “I did not kill her,” he said

“It took courage for you to say that,” one of the police officers added.

“Come on,” said the detective, in dispair. Knowing that the guy they already knew to be guilty had just sealed his fate made the chase of cat and mouse less riveting.

At the police department where the interrogation took place, the detective tried to confirm with the individual he understood what the charges he was being brought up on were: “murder… kidnapping… extortion”

“God told me to do it, is not a defense of your innocence,” explained the detective.

“But, God did tell me to do it, you see?” replied the man. “I was staring back at the faces, all of them celebrating the launch of a story which I wrote. I could hear just her voice in the crowd, and then the separate voice.” The detective blew the air out of his tightened chest, prejuris of defending the innocence as required until proven guilt. Insanity isin’t a proven guilt, just a harsher statement behind how one makes legitamate lesser logic. “It seems,” he continued, “that I could hear all of the people’s voices telling her to do it. She did it because they made her do it. They told her to steal my work because they knew she would get away with it.”

The dective stopped for a moment, knowing that if the mentally ill man was not innocent he would surely be visitng a prison in order to satisfy the later testimony of his proven innocence. “I suspect that the same voice is the voice in the newspaper, the one that leads you to your next story. This is the same voice that reads people answer keys and tells them a punchline for the next Sunday cartoon. Maybe it is even the same voice which is telling you to make it kind of sound like someone may have seen you at home, skipping last night’s party. Is there? Anyone maybe who would have seen you last night during the party? At a bar, dinner?”

“For someone who already knows how the story ends… isin’t it conducive to make more sense in jealousy not something God could have disposed of… as evidence…”

“And who are you trying to protect?” asked the detective.

He was scrambled. “Who are you attempting to protect, give me a name” said the detective. The guy was all over the place. Talking about the morning radio calls for assistance on the way to work, matching the detective’s suspicion. Talking about a specific peice that was written to defame some politian in a magazine for which he worked. None of the peices would align, directing all of the innocence impart to the fact that they were celebrating the death of a mobster to the mobb, the death of a mobster to the seclusion and recluse of mafia motiffs which generate propaganda. Gathering the motiffs and montras to a style of advertisement, advent the model of modern magazine. Drawing from the forms to expel the heinous ideologies of classical magazine columnology.

But, isin’t the detective, God? “Your publicist was murdered last night,” explained the detective. “And, I… want to know where your alabai leaves you.”

“Last night I was drunk. There was loud music. I do not immeditaly recall which of where I was at. I paid, I remember that,” says the man. “My publicist what?” Said the man beginning to shake his head. “‘No.’ I saw her last Friday. Where was she murdered.”

“You do not have a religious motive,” asks the detective. “Where should I begin,” began the detective, “…you motivate yourselves by your collegues. It is known that you have applied to other publications. At night you go to different places and you never visit the same place twice in two weeks. Your publicist does not like you, she always has it out for you. And, the night of the murder, a double homocide, one with the head of a bassalisk Hercules would not mind dispatching, and the other your boss. On one side, a den of snakes is willing to indite you and the other, everyone where you work wants your job.” The detective continues his investigation, “You shop at the same store as her, you even have the same bank. You drive from the outskirts of town and have easy access to everywhere she would have been because you are friends on the internet. Oddly enough, thirty-four percent of collegues are internet accquaintence. Even more oddly, is that strangers usually do not have the same taste in music and choices on Amazon.”

“[Heh],” scoffed the man. “Well I did not kill her, but him, he had it coming.”

“She was not with anyone. What are you talking about?”

“Richard Scribbles. He had it coming. Does he listen to Biggie Smalls? Does he read Awbrey Collins? Is he hated by any family that has common sense, filling all of their minds with face, name advertising?”

“You can throw yourself on a pin-less grenade all you want. It would be more valliant, isntead, to allow your co-workers you feel remorse for murdering your publicist,” said the detective.

“I don’t know what you are talking about. I did not kill her.”

“This time table says you did. You last phone call was made to your bank, your only alabai. Your bar you visited was a place you have not visited in years, on the Jewish side of town. You were seen in the lobby of a hotel. When I asked around this morning that is all people remember. Annd mayybee you did kill Richard Scribbles… as well. A going away gift to your dead publicist?”

“Right…” the man started.

“SO YOU DID KILL RICHARD SCRIBBLES? Something I have yet learned. That you already knew something from your publicist and wanted to take Scribbles out so you could keep your job?”

The man, “Last night I was celebrating the launch of the new brand. Look! I am even wearing it now. I do not know about the murder of anyone, I do not even own a gun.”

The detective massaged is scrubby beard, and adjusted his scraggly attitude. “No, you did not kill Mr. Scrribles. Last night you were drunk. This morning you were coming in for champagne on the job, and a raise for all of your column’s hard work.”

“Indeed,” replied the man.

The detective stopped himself as-if rearing another lead.

“He bought the hill… Omri did what was evil in the sight of the Lord… to anger  the provoked Lord in the sight of Isreal. First Kings. The bible says lay victim, the oppressor,” said the man under his breath.

“No time now,” said the detective as if feeling the man was speaking at him. “I think I know who did it.”


“Murder,” said the detective. “A crime of…” the detective did not want to accidentally relay anything else about his double murder, which irronically was related heavily to how the murder of the publicist had taken place.

“You think it was the mob?” questioned the man. The detective stayed silent. “I have some research on my desk, back at…” said the man. The detective was not hearing it. He waved his hand to motion to innocense of the man, yet the man continued. “A Conspiracy! I knew it. Tell me who you think you did it. I have people who work for the papers. I think it was her ex. He was pretty mobster. It was the guy that does the coffee? No. Can’t be. More likely those jazz musicians at the club who have not seen me in a while. He had it coming.”

“Listen. If you a guilty and trying to tell me about how you set this up…”

“No, it was the bar tender at the club. No! It was the new guy in the cubicle at the end of the row next to her office! He is always to quiet! I knew it! It’s him!”

“SHUT UP,” yelled the detctive. Someone was at the door. His head made a sign language for the detective to leave the man in the room so he could write down his testimony. The man became quiet and cooperative as when he had been drug from his cubicle life and beliefs people read his column.

“If it is worth anything,” said the man as the detective was at the door, “I think that Scribble’s wife was doing right. I think that politicians should have their say on social issues…”

The detective stopped for dramatic pause, “And, whatever your wrote, better not make you look guilty.” He left the man in room by himself.

“Did I kill Scribbles?” thought the man. “If my publicist was murdered, is there anything that I could have done to stop it.” The single should not have gone to the club, he was looking for a deeper vent of rage, a fury who would split tab on a conversation about politics, propaganda and conspiracy. He sat alone in the room knowing he would be back at his job to pick up his car fromt he structure next door. He thought about Sports Illustrated and the time it took to walk from their publication down to the bar where his publicist posted selfies with famous sports stars, musicians visitng Music City and the legal office for the same office that held their publication. It was still all a drunken blurr from the night before. “Did I kill Scribbles?”


“The big light in the fog
Was but a little lantern
When we came to it.” [Richard Wright, Sonnet 556]

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