“Incursio” #6 (Thirty Stories in Thirty Days) by Cherie Ann Turpin

Incursio #6 (Thirty Stories in Thirty Days) by Cherie Ann Turpin


My tabby cat Munchkin first noticed the strange lights in my pool late last night after spectacular meteor shower that lit up the sky. I thought the meteor shower was lightning at first, until I walked outside and peered up from my deck in the backyard. The clouds partially covered the flashes of light, but no thunder occurred. Munchkin scurried inside and ran under the kitchen table, her tail quivering. I leaned over the wooden rail and glanced at the sparkling night sky, slowly dragging a curl of smoke from my cigarette. The air was thick and humid, and the wind flowed on my skin like a moist pillow.

An unnatural stirring of the heavenly realm was afoot.

I finished my cigarette and walked into the house, sealing shut the sliding glass doors and pulling together the white curtains. The outdoor lights were left on, casting shadows on the pool below. I motioned to Munchkin as I walked down the hallway towards my bedroom, and she jumped up into my outstretched arms, purring away like a perpetual motor buried in fur. As I kicked off my slippers and sat down on the bed she curled up at the edge of the bed, her favorite spot. Clicking off the light, I finally fell into a deep sleep.


After what seemed to be hours, I was awakened by a strange howl and hiss. Munchkin paced around the room, visibly disturbed. I looked at the clock on my cell phone: 3 A.M. What the fuck, I thought. I threw on a night robe and stuffed my feet into my slippers, then followed my shaken cat towards the sliding doors and pulled back the curtains. The outdoor lights were still on, and the sky looked, well, odd. Yellowish, like phlegm. I’d never seen clouds like that, but weather wasn’t exactly normal, lately. I noticed Munchkin staring and hissing at something and peered out towards the pool. It seemed to be glowing with lights like that same phlegmatic yellow. The water seemed to churn with an urgency to boil.

I carefully backed away from the glass doors and ran into the bedroom, leaving the lights off. I quickly dressed, and grabbed my purse, cell phone, and laptop bag. My cat looked at me, quietly pleading. I pulled her up and placed her into the opening of my purse and rushed outside to my car. As I pulled away from the house I noticed some people who had wandered outside to stare at the sky, while others were busy packing a few belongings and their children into their cars.

The invasion had begun.

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Immurement #15 by Cherie Ann Turpin (30 Stories in 30 Days) #30Days

Immurement #15
by Cherie Ann Turpin
(30 Stories in 30 Days)

They called to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb!” – Revelation 6:16

Voluntary immurement was not a submission to the torments of old used to punish the sinful, where the guilty were literally sealed behind walls to put them out of sight and left to starve and suffocate, slowly.

To be precise, voluntary immurement, or VI, as it was now called in polite company, walled away citizens from the Phorzhicoa, the collective of Watchers who picked through every conversation, every thought, every emotion, seeking out succulent strands upon which to feed and give purpose for continued existence in this state of ultimate vicariousness.  Those who could afford complete VI immersion enjoyed a pampered existence free of federal and state monitoring, as well as a much-envied freedom from Watchers by virtue of the physical and spiritual walls reinforced with armed drones.  For those who desired a less extreme version and were willing to risk an occasional run-in with Watchers, semi-VI became the choice of wealthy celebrities, professionals and venture capitalists with the cash to burn to secure their dream of living a partially buried existence.

Semi-VI  condo units and VI homes began to appear first in New York, Chicago, Atlanta, London, Paris, DC, Rome, and even sunny LA, as entertainers began to make use of virtual interactive presence (VIP) to “phone in” movie set performances, concerts, celebrity appearances, and interviews, thereby avoiding the scourge of the Phorzhicoa and the Paparazzi.

Complete VI immersion was still considered to an unconventional choice, though viewed by many citizens as enviable, as it was reserved for those few trillionaires who were wealthy enough to build a fully staffed, town-sized compound and farm that included medical professionals, teachers, and other compound workers who committed to ten-year contracts with generous benefits and compensation, including their own customized semi-VI condo units upon completion of their contracts.

Some of the wealthiest people on the planet were no longer seen or heard in public.   VIP technology was now standard practice for business, meaning those of the Oligarch became invisible rulers, while the masses of the outside world coped with squeezing out an existence between the encroaching Phorzhicoa and perpetual government surveillance.

Disappearing from the public became a sign of the leisure class.

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American Nightmare

After reading Kevin P. Keating’scleveland-visitor-bureau post in Salon.com, “Cleveland’s Heart of Darkness,” I felt a need to respond to his description of racism and classism in my hometown:

I lived it everyday in suburbia.

I faced it everyday, as did my parents, brother, and most of my relatives. My parents thought moving to Bedford Heights would protect us from the ills that plague our culture–it was there in suburbia–just hidden under euphemisms.

This latest incident in Cleveland comes as no surprise–but through it all, the people still come together even when the rich and privileged don’t care. Notice I didn’t say that this was about race. Race is only one part here–SOCIAL CLASS has ALWAYS been the measurement by which the institutions and those running them have dispersed services and care in most cities. You see just as many if not more poor Whites getting ill-treatment as Blacks and Hispanics. We just tend to be locked up at higher rates.

To be poor is to be invisible in this country. That, to me, is part of the horror story unfolding in my hometown.

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