Viral Image #31 by Cherie Ann Turpin (30 Stories in 30 Days) #30Days

Viral Image #31

by Cherie Ann Turpin

(30 Stories in 30 Days)

#30Days

viral
The pictures on my walls started moving and talking last month.

It’s a virus, something that traveled through several layers of probable realities as a result of an experiment launched by a group of physicists in Switzerland.  The word “virus” is about as close a term as one could use to refer to or at least approximate what has happened to digital photography, film, music, and sound.  The “virus” has somehow rendered our actuality more porous than its previous state of stability, reworking digital codes of compressed audio and visual data into multi-dimensional portals.

Infected computers have been quarantined at a secret facility near the port, but as the virus is already in the cloud, the virtual world is taking on a version of reality not yet understood by most physicists or IT specialists.  Every single picture, movie clip, and sound clip is now subject to the virus’ rewiring of its nature into a separate actualization.  Worse, some of these realities are pushing into our reality.

I have seen long-dead relatives appear in my living room, wearing the same clothes they wore when the photos were snapped.  They aren’t quite flesh, but more than ghosts.  My grandmother encountered a much younger version of herself in my hallway, much to her own shock.  I have ex-boyfriends fighting each other, fading in and out with each emotional flare-up.

My car is now gassed up for a long trip, something I should have done when my neighbors escaped from a slightly psychotic uncle with a penchant for knives.  I just have to find a way to use my driver’s license without my previous version of myself sliding out from my purse.

“Fractal Hant” #30 by Cherie Ann Turpin (30 Stories in 30 Day) #30Days

“Fractal Hant” #30

by Cherie Ann Turpin

(30 Stories in 30 Day)

#30Days
coppersulfate
You find a strange blue crystal on your driveway one evening while picking up the newspaper.  You take it inside and placed it in a glass of warm water, thinking it to be a nice stone to use in your endless collection of homemade jewelry sitting in your bedroom.  It sits on your window shelf over the kitchen sink for about five days, upon which you, after forgetting its existence, glance up at the glass while washing dishes.   You almost jump back at what you see.

Two crystals now occupy the glass, and two others are now sitting on the shelf.  You pick up the glass, and, using paper towels, scoop up the other crystals, panicking at what seems to be an impossibility.  Each crystal is equal in size and each one now seems to cast a reddish hue when close to each other.  You dump it all into a small plastic bag, including the glass of water.  You dump it all into the green garbage container you’ve already rolled out to the curb for the early morning garbage guys.  It takes four men to lift the garbage container into the truck to dump out the trash.

Kneeling on your couch cushions, you peek through your living room curtains to see them step back at the container’s contents mixing with the neighborhood’s trash:  dozens and dozens of crystals that seem to glow like fireflies.  You close the curtain and slowly stand up, as you turn around to see something you don’t want to see:  a single crystal sitting in the middle of your living room carpet, turning red, then black as it levitates up to the height of your face.

Turn around.

And run.

“Guardians” #29 by Cherie Ann Turpin (30 Stories in 30 Days) #30Days

“Guardians” #29

by Cherie Ann Turpin

(30 Stories in 30 Days)

#30Days

angels_here
The elevator stood at the far end of the ticketing and refreshments area of Gideon Cinema, a movie theater housed on the seventh floor of Galleria Fantasia.  The room was filled with movie goers eager to depart into the night after being subjected to two hours of non-stop shooting, bombings, exploding body parts, as well as an endless stream of completely gratuitous and unnecessary use of expletives.  For Margo and Jack, the movie was background noise to the real purpose of their presence in the theater, which was discussing strategies for battling the Phorzhicoa and taking back their territory.  The sounds of the movie and the audience’s consumption of sweet and salty junk food masked the telepathic exchange.

Margo and Jack stepped into the elevator and pressed the button for the Street Level.  The other moviegoers stood back from the elevator car, staring at Margo and Jack with more than a little trepidation.  The doors slammed shut, and the elevator quietly slipped down the shaft towards the Street Level.  Margo opened her mouth to ask Jack what just happened, but hesitated before closing it  and deciding to wait until leaving the building.

The doors of the elevator opened, and with that, Margo and Jack stepped out onto the marbled floors of the shopping center’s entrance.  A six-year-old boy who had walked a few steps up from his mother pointed to the space behind the couple and giggled, as he said, “Pretty!”  Margo and Jack smiled and waved as they walked past to the exit.

After seeing them walk through the revolving door, the boy turned to his mother and with a smile he said one sentence: “the people behind the boy and girl got wings, Mommy!”

“Sleeping Beauty Did Not Know How to Wake Up” #28 by Cherie Ann Turpin (30 Stories in 30 Days) #30Days

“Sleeping Beauty Did Not Know How to Wake Up” #28

by Cherie Ann Turpin

(30 Stories in 30 Days)

#30Days
bedroom
Once again, I found myself lying in a bed next to Stephen, watching him sleep in a nondescript room with a bed, wardrobe, and drawers.  It resembled a room in an airport hotel that needed some color.  I had not seen or spoken to him in well over two years, but for the last two months I felt myself being pushed into his dreams, his Guardian Spirit showing me the world from its charge’s perspective, and showing me its desperate efforts to wake him from his deep sleep.

I battled demons and dragons on his behalf in the dream realm in years past, but never this….silence, this void that kept him locked out from his own feelings.  It was an emptiness that left his soul in a coma-like state in the dream realm, while leaving him hollow and bereft in the harsh light of the day.  window

This was the first time I actually encountered his dream body in its true state–asleep to the richness of the dream realm.   Unable to imagine a landscape while trapped in the void, Stephen’s dream self remained oblivious to its status as a prisoner.   I felt myself drifting into a light slumber and quickly jerked my dream body out of it with a sudden roll onto the floor.  I felt a sharp pain in my left arm from my elbow to my pinkie as it hit the carpeted floor.

I stood up and leaned over him, rolling his prone body towards, jumping slightly as I discovered his eyes open, staring.  He blinked, and looked at me with a slightly confused look.  A realization came to me:  he doesn’t know how to switch to lucid dream state.  I could feel my dream body’s energy draining as he drew from me to stay awake.

“Stephen, I am tired.  I cannot continue to carry this for you alone.  You have to help me help you heal and get out of this trap.  You must be lucid, aware, and awake in your dream state.”  I saw a shadow crawl from the ceiling towards the bed.  I felt my waking body snatch my astral body back across the realm.  My waking body sat up in my own bed, quivering.

I needed to talk to Stephen in the waking world, and I needed to do it fast.  I had no idea whether he would believe my story, but he needed to learn what I learned so he could fight the monster holding him as a prisoner in his own dream realm.

But I had to find him first.

“Rehab” #27 by Cherie Ann Turpin (30 Stories in 30 Days) #30Days

“Rehab” #27

by Cherie Ann Turpin

(30 Stories in 30 Days)

#30Days
junk
So, I’m on a plane headed to Santa Fe, New Mexico.  Mind you, I’m in my traveler’s coffin, the one with the tacky sky-blue lining and extra pillow to help me sleep (I have neck and back issues).  I don’t want to go, but my vampire posse staged an intervention and threatened to kick me out of the group house and report me to my maker, something I feared more than being homeless in a city known to be hostile to derelict vamps.

My drug of choice is heroin, or more accurately, heroin addicts’ blood.  The first time I got high was I was at a party and I ended up feeding on this frat boy who I thought was drunk.  I didn’t realize he’d snorted some heroin/oxy party powder in the kitchen earlier.  I almost puked the blood out the first time, but after a few minutes I felt like I was floating into space.  He didn’t even feel me biting him again, but I was careful not to drain him.  I wanted to keep my drug cow healthy enough to keep me high.

It worked for about two months.  He’d score the drugs, and I’d pay him to let me feed on him after he snorted or injected himself.  Then, after a two month run, the frat boy dropped dead from an overdose.  According to one of his frat mates at the frat house where they found him, he thought he could do more of the drug and not get sick because he believed I was sucking away his addiction.  Maybe I was, but if I did, I ended up with an itch that burned through my core stronger than my urge to drink blood all by itself.  It set my hunger on thermonuclear, and made me a danger to not just humans, but other vampires who smelled like they recently fed on addicts.
opium
When my friends found me I was staying at a motel with a recently deceased prostitute who, like my frat boy supplier, OD’ed after spending two weeks with me on a heroin binge.  He sat on the toilet with a glassy-eyed stare, the needle still stuck in his arm.  I’d already fed on him, but I guess he wanted to top off his waning high to augment what my feeding had done to him.  He looked disappointed, a corpse not happy to be a corpse.  The vamps quietly wrapped him in sheets and dumped him into the river.

Clearly, I am not the only one dealing with this issue:  human junkies have been showing up in ER with gaping bite wounds and severe loss of blood by the dozens over the last six months.  The human authorities still don’t know we exist, but it’s only a matter of time before that changes.  If that happens, the Vampire Council will put me down like a rabid dog for sure. That’s why right now I am packed away in the baggage area, waiting for the plane to land so I can be transported to the vampire rehab facility just outside of Santa Fe.

I hear detox feels like you’re being exposed to the sun.  Not looking forward to that.

“Girlfriend Experience: Part 3″ #26 by Cherie Ann Turpin (30 Stories in 30 Days) #30days

“Girlfriend Experience: Part 3″ #26

by Cherie Ann Turpin

(30 Stories in 30 Days)

#30days

[BREAKING NEWS] Health Alert Network (HAN) CDC EPA Taskforce Issue Public Alert on Genesynthetics’ Bio-Environmental Crisis”
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
by Chris Henner
Lunar Manhattan – Wednesday, 7 November, 2046
(Reuters): Officials with the (HAN) CDC-EPA Taskforce issued a public alert and recommended a complete recall of the Gen-3 through 5 versions of syns manufactured by Genesynthetics, Incorporated in the wake of the recent plant explosion in Greenland, Terra Corporate Republic.  The October accident left 300 plant workers dead or missing, and exposed thousands of Greenland citizens to biochemical toxins that could take well over decades to complete cleanup of the site.  The Taskforce also revealed a potentially devastating obstacle in the removal and detoxification of the soil and water, as well as repairing the now-closed manufacturing plant.

According to the released alert, scientific investigators inspecting the damage discovered poorly maintained storage tanks filled with discarded syn parts and sections which were, upon closer inspection, floating in a dark red, pus-smelling fluid later to be determined as partially biological.  Some of the legs and arms were moving in life-like fashion.  Water Pollution in the Huai River Basin

The investigators also noted several large syn “growths,” where the discarded parts were beginning to merge or grow skin connecting limbs and torsos to each other.  An anonymous source associated with Genesynthetics confirmed this finding, but would not confirm or deny reports of talking heads or mutated syns growing into partial sentience.

Genesynthetics’ popular product Gen-4, widely known as “the Girlfriend Experience” has not been determined to be a chemical or biological hazard.  However, in light of concerns regarding the possibility that these and other syn products may have been manufactured with mutative factors, the Taskforce has strongly recommended that all but two of the Gen syn lines be recalled until further notice. heads

Legal counsel representing Genesynthetics, Incorporated has stated that they will file an injunction to block the recall if it becomes compulsory or if it extends beyond a 60 day inspection of the lines.  The recent recall of 10,000 Gen-4 syns was not mentioned in the alert, but industry experts have suggested an overhaul of the process of the syn approval process at the U.S. Department of Science and Technology (USDST).

Again Part 3 #25 by Cherie Ann Turpin (30 Stories in 30 Days) #30Days

Again Part 3 #25

by Cherie Ann Turpin

(30 Stories in 30 Days)

#30Days

Fire

The traffic on I-66E was unbearable. Suleena Davis could feel the sweat pooling underneath her in the leather seat she was confined to while sitting in a 2002 Ford Focus. The a/c was fried, and the night air was thick with a fine mist of water and summer bugs. She could feel her throat itch and her nose swell in the mix of humidity and pollen.

 

At 11:58 pm a fog had formed over the I-66/I-495 junction in Northern Virginia, just a few miles out from downtown Washington D.C. Nothing seemed to make sense, least of all the four lanes packed with late night drivers unfortunate enough to be caught in the traffic jam that locked down both sides of the highway. Eighteen-wheelers were lined up in the far right lanes like cattle cars on a railroad on a slow cruise. A steady swarm of fire trucks and police cars, along with black unmarked cars and vans save for a singular flashing blue light continued to make its way towards a yet to be seen accident scene.

 

After simmering in the heat, the traffic began to crawl again on I-66, and miles of cars were squeezed into two lanes, then a single lane. By the time Suleena drove past the incident point the line was in the breakdown lane. As she inched down the highway she noticed the site of the incident was below the piece of I-66 crossing over I-495. An oval-shaped object lay embedded across both lanes of the highway below, while dozens of cars were flipped, crushed or otherwise mangled by what seemed to be an emergency landing. Huge pieces of concrete and soil partially buried the still smoking object.

 

Suleena could see firefighters and police attempting to attend to the wounded who were pulled out of the endless wreckage. She kept looking over to see if anyone or anything had been pulled out of the object, almost running into the car in front of her. With shaky hands, she darted her eyes back to the road in front of her and took the next exit.

 

The news covering the incident made no mention of an object crashing on the highway, but noted an ongoing investigation by the FAA on single engine plane flight paths and safety.