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Sharon Talbot
Massachusetts, USA    Teacher, writer, introvert, dreamer.
Sharon Carpenter
Sharon Flynn
70/F/Brimfield, MA    I have one collection of poetry published titled "Dance With The Brazen Moon." I was awarded a publishing contract for this collection at a poetry ...


Hole in Hollow

The end was brought by men of sand
born creeping blood and streaming water.
Apocalypse fought in the heart of nature
by the hands of her heartless keepers.

In these glorious hours, mourn the grieving
this last morning, this gory evening.
Victory swept when they were dead in treason,
the ****** drenched in sweat and the wet bodies lie bleeding.

This is the end of everything,
the final fall season.

Foreword: My Plague

   This is that dream.
   I found myself on a long barren road, winding, far from the city, civilization for that matter.  My road meanders, slowly reaching my destination in what could have been a straight and focused line.  The curb reads my mind and takes me further as I try to escape it, following me.  I stutter in cursing and the clockwise becomes counter, but I age.  I age more rapidly than ever as the tape rewinds, or the record spins backwards.  My record sings supposed messages from the Devil as my existence lessens yet my sins become more.  How can I repent when there is nothing left?  There will be no wrong when I am done, but I will suffer for what wrong I had.  I will be a lie when I am not here to give the truth.  If this pain cannot be corrected, it will be shared.  This is my plague.  I will drown in this sea only knowing that I've spilled insanity's seed to blemish the water, blot the page.  This is my plague and you will feel it with me.
   I am telling the story and you are listening, with every page you read, you are the sinner's dream.  I have you.  This is my plague.  Action.

Chapter One: Love and Marriage

   "Oh, God, Bill, you must be ******* me."
   "No, Drake, I am never ******* you," I nearly shoot myself in the face and respond.
   "Same lady?"
   "Same lady," I think about how ugly she must be to keep calling and how much makeup it must take to bring her face to a tolerable state of viewing.
   "Drake, it's an outstanding fine of five thousand dollars, it's not even that big of a loss for you."
   "Then it sure as hell isn't that big of a gain for Master Rentals, BILL.  Are we even talking about the same money-******* corporation for Christ sakes, Bill?"
   "Drake, this will end in a lawsuit.  You don't have much of a choice."
   "Bill, God ******, BILL!  Stop repeating my name.  This is the reason I shouldn't have hired a male secretary in the first place, I'm entirely stressed the Hell out and have no one to comfort me because I'm not even the least bit attracted to you."
   "Drake, you're getting married," casually.
   "Bill, you're getting fired," seriously.
   I throw the phone and its base out of the open window, screaming in a wave of relief as it leaves me, and again, in pain, when I find the line still connected to the wall, and the unit hanging outside of my 12th story office which pans a great view of the Los Angeles sky and the pathetic bums beneath it.  At this point I would much prefer the phone's position in hanging from a ledge to mine, sweating in hatred, with a possibly homosexual secretary.  "Homosexual ex-secretary," I shed a tear of happiness upon this remembrance and see him in a daydream bleeding from several moderate wounds, with the only real puncture between his legs.
   I leave my office and would proceed to stab to death every male co-worker wearing a tie with a graphical pattern, but I have to get back to my apartment as soon as possible because I miss Sharon, my soon to be better half.  I am confronted by a beggar upon my exit of the building.
   "Amazing!  Two and a half seconds into hearing the door open you're already asking me for cash.  I bet you would be happy with yourself if you weren't such a worthless *******.  You'd make your father proud, but he's probably dead by now."  I remember the phone and shove the homeless Mexican to the ground, where he probably thanked me for acknowledging him.  I turn to my office window and wave a ******* at the device, dangling, swaying back and forth still.  I realize now that I had left my lights on when I came to work, but it doesn't really matter because I've only been here for a half hour and I'm already leaving.  I use a handkerchief to open the door because the handle is ***** and I fear the *** may have touched it.
   I remember on the drive home that people are **** when I see the passenger of the car in front of me throw assorted trash out of his window.  I consider beating him and the driver to death with their own exhaust pipe in the next ******* toll booth we pass through, but notice a police car following directly behind me.  The rest of my drive is calm and quiet and I try not to push too ******* the gas, as an inconsistency in acceleration is considered illegal in Los Angeles because these inconsiderate ****** don't have anything better to do than harass people who make more money than they do, maybe even by doing less work, of which I am incredibly proud to be in that sort of a position.
   I take a deep breath and enter my apartment.  I smile firmly as I notice my fiancé's puppy leaving a surprise on the welcome mat and carpet before me.  Startled, he stops abruptly and skips gleefully into the kitchen where I'm sure he will soon finish.  I apologize for interrupting.  I see the blood of my lover puddling on an expensive leather sofa that, to my memory, wasn't even present on my last visit, and follow a trail of the substance leading to the bathroom.  I realize I am fantasizing when the bathroom door swings open and Sharon smiles to my own disappointment.
   "Hunny, you're home!"
   "Hunny, I'm home.  Why did you buy that dreadful couch?"  I light up a cigar and pass her open arms for a fall onto the sofa's cushion on which she should be lifeless.
   "They say smoking causes cancer, you know?  It will **** you," sarcastic, but at the same time realistic.
   I shake my head back and forth, looking up as if I were falling, then looking down as if something fell in front of me.  Rolling my eyes in dismay, I'm thinking of something else to tell her.
   "They also say professionally trained dogs don't **** and **** on expensive carpet," quick, but at the same time commanding.
   "Why are you always so **** negative?" She screams softly, tearing up more quickly than usual.
   "Why are you always so **** positive?" I wonder if she's ever thought of dying her hair a ***** sort of blond, or dying at all.
   "Drake, you are killing me!" She screams, at the top of her lungs now, confirming my subconscious inquiry to be as positive as she is.
   "I'd have to see it to believe it."
   I am now calmly and cleverly reading the sports section of an outdated newspaper, wondering if the dog's already claimed territory on today's, showing neither affection nor displeasure in my response.
   She leaves the room crying in a manner too painful and obnoxious for me to ignore.
   "I LOVE IT HUNNY, I LOVE IT!  Keep it coming, baby.  The cameras are going wild!"  I mention this in reference to her joke of a career she took with modeling.
   How I love that woman so.  I confuse myself as I dream about making her swallow that engagement ring I got her at some point for a reason I don't understand or have lost the compassion for.
   "Did you know it was supposed to rain last month?  Have you seen today's paper?"  She had already left.  I know this because I heard the door shut two minutes ago and she left the way I came in.

Chapter Two: Milk and Eggs

   I try to act surprised as I answer the phone, but I'm entirely too fake.
   "Hey darling, I'll be home in about an hour, I decided I should get some milk and eggs before the supermarket closes."
   Milk and eggs?  Does she realize she was having a nervous breakdown only ten minutes ago?
   "Shannon, milk and eggs?"
   "Sharon, milk and eggs?" A smooth recovery.
   "Yes, milk and eggs.  We're all out." Alright.
   I hang up the phone slowly, stalling when the receiver almost touches, waiting... nothing.  Disappointed, I walk into the kitchen and forget what I was going to do.  I remember my high school sweety as my first real loss, Shannon.  Thirsty, I reach for the milk carton and upon lifting its weightlessness, I scream and hope Shannon knows what to expect when she gets back.  Sharon.  I look at my watch, quickly realizing I had spaced out for a time period of at least forty-five minutes.  I have fear that she will get back sooner than she expects, so I leave and choose to head for my office, but panic at my choices in transportation.  I never have this problem in the morning, I'm always wholeheartedly Bentley or Mercedes, but the afternoon is an entirely different story.  Sporty or speedy?  An eye at my watch tells me I don't have time for this, so I sob and hail a taxi.
   I can't become comfortable upon settling into the cheap interior with the non-leather backseat and realize I should have taken the Mercedes.  It's too late now because Sharon might be back.
   "Whey' you wan' go?"  The hardly English-speaking driver wails like a Puerto Rican, but upon further study, seems to be quite a Mexican.
   "Wan' go office."  The driver gives me shifty glances after this, squinting with a suspicious paranoia, first into the rearview mirror and secondly after turning around to face me.  I laugh and tell him to just go straight and stop stealing all of the American jobs.
   We pass by my office building where I wish my phone had fallen to some young child's death, or a welfare-dwelling tax-money-******* minority, but it hangs, relentless to my hunger.  I aspire to one day not think of ******, but I could stab the driver and roll him into a pond and be on my way just as well.
   On the walk home, I notice the relationship between the night sky I sleep under and the monster of which it makes me.  I'd try to elaborate, but I'm not quite sure I could.  My sleep is done when I wake up with Sharon nudging me, taking the best of one world and murdering it with the worst of another.  It is so unnecessary but happens nonetheless, hopelessly.
   Here I am, on my bed soaked in a cold sweat, Sharon crawling naked over me, salt on my tongue from my cheeks' streaming.
   "Good morning, sunshine.  Why the tears?"
   "What happened to the evening?"
   Upset, I'm sure now that I should remember something of the night before, probably better than I just made it out to be.  I've just had problems caring since she began speaking to me two years ago.  She flattens herself, chest to my lap, smiling to my reaction.
   "That always happens when I wake up." I try my best to **** her satisfaction.
   "I'm so sure."
   She has a great body, I'm just not sure I want to remind her.  The television suddenly turns itself on as the button on the remote must have pushed itself under the sheets, her eyes roll and she stammers, then passes out on top of me.  I slip out from beneath her, making that light slurping sound that means you're being careful with my lips tightened to the muscles in my neck.  I realize that was entirely unnecessary when I see the empty pill bottle on the counter, Xanax, prescribed yesterday.  I slam it against her face and pull her off the bed by her hair.

Chapter Three: New Girl

   "So, what's been in your system lately?" Roger asks lightheartedly.
   "It's been a heavy rotation between Bright Eyes and Chevelle."
   "Bright Eyes can cry me a freaking river with Justin Timberlake for all I care.  Goodman, the indie scene *****, get over it.  Have you listened to the new Hawthorne Heights I loaned you?"
   "Well, did you like it?"
   "Yes and no..."
   "Yes, I liked it... and no, I lied."
   "What's wrong with it?"
   "You know how you said cry me a river with Justin Timberlake?"
   "Whatever man, they scream and stuff though."
   "I'm leaving."
   "What did you do with my CD?"
   "I don't remember.  I would check the surrounding dumpsters of the place at which you forced it onto me."  I almost interrupt myself.  With frustration, "Again, I'm leaving."
   I get out of the car and walk around the traffic jam around us.  I arrive at the office thirty minutes before Roger's emo ***.
   "I thought you were carpooling with Roger this week, Drake?"
   "I don't carpool, I'm rich."  This nameless ****** is wearing a tie with a Christmas tree on it, out of season, and he will regret it one day, if I have to do it myself.
   I'm sitting at my desk and my view of the new secretary's skirt is brought to a sad closure when Roger bursts through my door, interrupting her sorting of my files and sending her backward about two feet in fright.
   "Where is my CD, Goodman?"  He has this real joke of a ******* look about him and it really makes me want to see his small intestine hang from a ceiling fan.
   "I'll get you a new one once you apologize for what you said about Conor."
   "Yes, Conor."
   "... Oberst?"
   "Yes, Conor Oberst."
   "Oh my GOD, you are still not over that whole Bright Eyes thing?"
   "Get out of my office, you little ******!"  I seriously pelt him with tens of pencils from the intricately placed holder on my desk and he leaves, feeling my superiority reign.
The phone rings three times and I let my machine pick it up, I thought it was set for two rings.  I remember now.
   "WHO the HELL put the PHONE BACK IN MY OFFICE?  WAS IT YOU?  YOU LITTLE *****!"  I'm sure she hears me and is petrified, wherever she has run off to in the time of my distraction.
   "I'm sorry I can't make it to the phone right now, I am at an important meeting with representatives from an almost higher power.  If you are calling for business discussion, leave a message at the beep.  If you're Sharon, take the phone and-"  Click.  They forgot to leave a message.  I paper airplane a death threat into the back of a fellow employee's head, he's been standing outside of my office looking at something on the floor for at least thirty seconds, ***** looking skater hair.  I quickly get back to reading papers of a nature similar to the one I just used.  He turns ninety degrees and reads, almost aloud, I surprise myself as I read his lips to remember what I put.
   Another ninety degrees and I see him glance at me in the corner of my eye.  I lower my forehead to see past my reading glasses, raise my eyebrows, and then tighten my chin, waving ninety with my left hand leisurely.  He turns as my waving registers, entirely stiff, ninety to the left, robotically, and continues on his way, probably to a cubicle.  I shake my head.  Left, right, tilt down seamlessly, left, right.  I hope my secretary saw that, as it was a rather smooth execution.  She already left.  ****** at this, I throw my papers outside of my window and the phone rings.  "Who put my phone back in my office, anyway?"  I'm ******.  Sharon leaves a message this time, still at the third ring.  "... I was just wondering if you wanted to go with me to church tomorrow.  That's all."  This just reminds me that I'm at work on a Saturday, I don't remember why.
   "Idiot."  I swear I hear her digestive system breaking down a variety of entire pills, maybe whole bottles, as she hangs up.  "Sunday ****** Sunday" by U2 surprises me on the radio.  Nothing that good ever gets played around here.  I'm not going to church and I'm leaving work early today to wring some dove's neck in the park.

Chapter Fear: Satisfaction

   Fear is a funny thing.  Some people claim they've known it all of their life and then they go on to say that they can smell it.  You can NOT smell fear, if you could I would be among the first of its acquaintances.  You can see fear, you can hear it, feel it, sometimes I think I taste it, but you only smell sweat and body waste.  Sweat can be brought about by many different methods, but it smells the same within all of them.  Fear is only one of these occurrences.  Jogging too fast makes you sweat, even I sweat.  Seeing someone's eyes grow wide with awe is fear.  Watching their body twitch before you've even touched them is fear.  A grown man crying is fear.  Hearing it... the certain deep breathing not attainable by jogging too fast is fear.  It sounds as though his or her life is about to end and he or she wants to take as much air as he or she can with him or her in one breath just in case it is his or her last.  I feel as though I've rambled or that you've lost yourself somewhere, but far beyond that, it is disappoint
In all my years as professor of Paleontology at Ublique University, I never thought I'd have a bad day. My life was a happy one. I had a car that was payed for. A cold refrigerator, full of food. New & improved gadgets & gizmos. A wife who would rub my back on request. & it all changed when I turned 42.

It was the morning of August 12th when things changed. An orange & cool, slightly windy day. The sun had a warmth that started as soon as I woke up. No heat. Just warmth. I woke up to find nobody at my bedside.

"Bacon." I quietly whispered in excitement.

If Sharon woke up before me that meant breakfast. & that meant coffee. I could use some. The night before, we had a party celebrating my 42nd birthday. A special one I think. Making it to 40 is a feat. Surviving the next year is an accomplishment. But, driving gracefully past 41 into a mature 42 is... smooth.

I stretch & roll out of bed. Squeezing into my slippers I noticed the bedroom is messier than usual. A few things are missing out of my drawers & the rest of my room. The bathroom is missing a few things as well. Soap, washcloths, towels &...

Oh dear, lipstick!

There's a lipstick message on the mirror in elegant cursive. "Goodbye" is all it says & needs to say. Sharon's left & taken my heart & soul with her. & the bacon.
"Alright, time to think." I keep repeating in my head. I'm thinking, but only one thought comes to mind.


Sharon's gone. I get up from the bed. My heart drops to the floor. That's not her handwriting. We've been robbed & she's been taken for ransom.

I sit down for a minute.

Not for ransom!

It's a sicker crime. They only want her. For their own sick, twisted reasons.

"****, what should I do?" the only thing rushing through my body.

Again. Stop it.

I run downstairs into the kitchen. Alright, i have a knife. I'm armed & dangerous. I run into the living room. My blood runs cold. They're still here. ****, ****, ****, ****, ****, ****.

I run back upstairs.

In a flash of white light the scenery changes.

I'm in a hospital.

"How did I get here?" I ask myself. My stomach hurts & my left arm & leg are wound in casts. There's a vibrant red lipstick stained kiss on my left foot with the words, "You knew all along" written in cursive along the bottom of the kiss. Before I can collect my thoughts, a sharp looking doctor walks in.

"Didn't your mother ever tell you not to run with scissors? Or rather, knives?" he asks.

She did & I musn't have listened. I had a hard time listening. Sharon! She almost slipped my mind.

"Doctor, I need to go home." I semi-ask.

He rebuttals with, "Nope, the wound in your stomach isn't life threatening, but we want to keep you here for a few days."

I bite my tongue ax logic kicks in.

"Okay." I say.

I'm going to escape.

I pull out the IV's in my arm & look for my clothes. Can't find them, so I settle for the guy's down the hall. They're a little loose on me, but the belt fits. The shoes however, do not. ****. How am I going to get past the guards?

Wait, there aren't guards in hospitals. Are there?




Definitely not.

I take the elevator down to the main floor & walk out the front door. It was easier than I thought to escape from a hospital.

I'm outside & no one is chasing me. I hail a cab & realize my wallet is back at the hospital. This whole thing is crazy, I know.

I arrive at home & pay the guy with some of Sharon's jewelry. Looking around, I realize the living room isn't trashed. & only Sharon's purse & shoes are missing downstairs. Maybe she wasn't taken for ransom.

Again, time to sit down & relax. Not relax, but think.

Last night. Something must have happened last night.

Okay, there was a party. It was a surprise party. Ron, Sue, Burgundi, Jon & a few people from the campus were there.

I'm not that guy who hates surprise parties. Or surprises for that matter. They're great. So, I remember walking in the door a spectacular Friday. All my students  wished me a happy birthday.

The house was dead dark when I walked in & then, KABOOM!

The place lit up. "Happy Birthday!" they all shouted & champagne is thrown my way. All was normal there. I talked to everyone. Had cake & opened my presents. My favorite was the pen/pencil combo.

Then I went outside to the backyard, lit a cigar & watched a silvery, grayish cat scurry along our wooden fence. Night had fallen & the moon was half full.

I can't believe I broke my leg, my arm & stabbed myself in the stomach. I walk back upstairs to change.


There's no blood on the stairs. & who called 911?

It's quiet in the house. Too quiet. Someone's here. I'm three steps up the stairs, no point in turning around. The bedroom & office are safe. So are the closets. Under the bed as well.

Relax. Change clothes & relax. It's difficult getting into pants now, but I make it happen.

Back downstairs. The living room, kitchen & bathroom are safe. Okay. Either I don't bleed or something strange is going on. Maybe, Sharon came back & saw me.
But she couldn't be that heartless as to leave me in the hospital alone, could she? Oh no! Maybe she didn't come into the house. Maybe, she really has been kidnapped.

I'm staring at my hand. Noticing the deep & fine wrinkles along with my veins & cuticles. My palms look like satellite images of rivers & microscopic views of capillaries. There is a candy bar on the coffee table. I eat it & instantly feel better.

My head swings back & my body warms & tingles. I close my eyes & see my granpa showing me how to measure & cut wood to turn it into something useful. We're making forms for a concrete pathway from the house to the garden. A blooming garden with peas, onions, spinach & okra. I reach my hand to write my name in the wet concrete & a bee stings me. It hurts for a millisecond. Then the pain moves away. My granpa looks at me from in the garden. Then he hunches over to look at something in the ground. My arms goes numb as I walk towards him. I feel something pulling me back.

I look behind me & see myself unraveling. The threads of my shirt & cast are being unwound like thread from a spool. In a few steps, I'm naked. I keep walking as my granpa shouts my name. I see his mouth moving, but can't hear him. My body feels lighter with every step. I look at my bee wound & find that my hand is unraveling along with my arm & the rest of me. Layer by layer I'm being unwound. I'm down to my nervous system, brain & eyeballs when I open them & see my granpa's face. he's smiling. I'm down to my eyes when I start to look at what my granpa sees.

Time slows & my eyeballs unravel,
leaving me in complete & silent darkness.