Following the journey of award winning author, Alex Azar, as he travels the publishing world and all things interesting. To reproduce or publish any material found within this blog, please contact me at

Thursday, December 30, 2010


by Alex Azar

 There was nearly a year gap in-between ‘E’ and ‘F’ not because I couldn’t think of what to write, but I had been focusing on some of my other work, and unfortunately let the Alphabet Project fall by the wayside. Once I did decide to write this, it came pretty naturally, and really reinvigorated me to do this, so much so that it was done in a day. And I really like this one for two particular reasons; one, the first line. Not even, the first part of the first line, I feel really should grab your attention. And secondly, the story is disturbing, but on a different level than most of my other stuff, like Anger Management, enjoy!

Freddie’s mom lied to him when she said his dad was an ornithologist; well she actually called him a bird specialist. His father had, in fact, left them for a girl half his age when Freddie wasn’t even a year old. This lie, however, lasted longer. Approaching the big ‘one-oh,’ Freddie still thinks his dad is studying exotic birds in Madagascar.
An avid bird watcher in his own right, Freddie grew to love all things ‘bird.’ And lacking any male guidance or figurehead, he unknowingly attempted to fill that void with another love, comics. Living a dual life like one of the heroes from his books; Freddie spent half the time as his mom’s little bird genius, and the other half as a comic recluse who lacked all social skills.
Trying to encourage both of his passions, his mother helped him fuse the two into a comic character they called Falcon-Man. This brought the two closer, but didn’t help Freddie gain any friends.
Falcon-Man was everything Freddie looked for in life, a loving father to his son Birdie, able to communicate with birds, fly, a genuine hero. This was the person he pictured his father to be, when he allowed himself the luxury of ignoring the truth he knew in his heart.
Unfortunately, this obsession had an adverse affect on Freddie, who now only answered to Falcon-Man, even at school, often to be ridiculed and nicknamed Birdbrain. He spent most of his days in his own world, with hand towels tied to his arms in place for Falcon-Man’s wings. He would cry and threaten to hurt himself whenever his mother would take the towels in order to wash them.
Afraid of what might happen if this continued, his mother sent him to a psychiatrist. After a few sessions, the psychiatrist suggested to try and integrate other children into his world to build social skills. And from there, try to bring him into their world.
Freddie’s mom set up some play dates with other kids from his school. Some of the other kids really got into the world of Falcon-Man, particularly the boy who played Birdie, a product of a single parent home as well. These play dates were to culminate at Freddie’s costume birthday party at their apartment.
There was no question what Freddie wanted to be for the party, nor Birdie, who arrived in a homemade costume that left much to be desired. Falcon-Man, on the other hand, wore a hand sewn spandex/pleather outfit complete with helmet and wings made of wire and mesh.
As the kids went about their business, Freddie’s mom thanked the other parents for allowing their children to play with Freddie who has become the 4th grade black sheep. As the women went about their conversing, which gave way to gossip, the children continued to play throughout the apartment.
One of the children who was several years older than the rest, but was kept back due to a ‘lack of initiative’ mocked Falcon-Man and Birdie for acting like such babies. Birdie stood up for the two exclaiming the bully wouldn’t call them babies if he saw what Falcon-Man could do.
After listing off the various powers that comic Falcon-Man has, Birdie ended with flying, saying it in a way he believed meant the end of the argument. Bully didn’t seem impressed and asked to see it. So while the parents talked in the kitchen and living room, the children made their way up the stairs to the building roof, complete with pigeon coup.
Birdie tried telling Freddie that he didn’t think this was a good idea, that this wasn’t the comics, but Falcon-Man would have none of that. Bully pushed Birdie out of the way, telling him to shut up and let the hero fly if he wants to fly.
At this point the parents noticed the lack of noise coming from the children, and began searching throughout the building. Falcon-Man, standing on the ledge of the 10-story building, looks back to Bully and Birdie, telling them not to worry he’s ready to fly.
Just as Falcon-Man is about to take flight his mother exits the front of the building and looks up to see her son standing on the ledge of the building with his arms stretched out. She yells, pleading for him to get off the ledge and back in the building. Looking down Freddie sees his mom and waves to her, not quite hearing what she said. Still waving to his mom Freddie shouts back telling her not to worry, “I’m going to see dad finally.” His words weren’t heard over the noise of the traffic, but his mother, ten floors down knew their intent and was helpless to stop what happened next, as she watched her son take flight.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Empire State Building

Empire State Building
by Alex Azar

This is another story that took me six days to think of and not much time to actually write.  I was reading up on the building when I came across this little known fact about it, which shaped the story to come.  I'm most happy with this story because it shows there’s more to me than ‘Anger Management.’

“Sweetie, did you call the hall yet?” Tricia asks while slipping on her shoe, supporting herself on the bedpost.  Not even looking in Eric’s direction, Tricia knows from his delay in answering, he hasn’t called. 
Making sure his tie is on straight he sees her in the mirror and, before she can yell at him, Eric explains, “Trish, I have a surprise, but it needs to wait another week.”
“What does this surprise have to do with you reserving the hall?”
“The surprise is the hall.” Knowing this is going to start an argument, Eric turns around and puts his hands up defensively.  “I know. I know we decided on Excelsior, but I know that’s not what you wanted, right?”
“Right, but…”
“But nothing, we are going to have a small reception right?  Your parents, and sister, my sister and her husband, my cousin, and some friends are the only people we’re inviting, right?  So, why are we going to rent out a hall your not happy with for about ten people?”
“So, what? You don’t want to have a reception?  We’re already not getting married in a church…”
“Hey we both decided we didn’t want to get married in a church, and this is dealing with that.” Eric is still holding his hands up defensively waiting for Tricia to become fed up with his secrecy game.
“Wait, are you trying to change where we get married too?  What happened?  We decided on the conservatory for the ceremony, and you were supposed to be calling the Excelsior for the reception.”
Wanting to see how long he can keep pushing Tricia till she’s had too much, Eric nudges a little further, “I was thinking we change the date also…” Eric pauses, waiting for Tricia to burst in a furious rage of curses and otherwise harsh words, but instead she simply stands in front of him, mouth hung open, shoulders slumped low, and if Eric were to look closely he would have seen her left eye twitching uncontrollably, however, he’s too impressed with his plan.  He doesn’t notice these things; only that she’s not interrupting him, so he continues.  “I mean, why get married on the 16th of February?  Just because it’s a Saturday?  We chose that time of year because of Valentine’s Day, but instead of getting married on the 14th you want to settle on something else.  First we’re not getting the kind of hall you want because we can’t afford it, then you have to compromise the conservatory because there’s another wedding the same day, and now we’re going to change the date you want to get married because it’s not on a weekend.  I can’t take it anymore.  I may not be able to afford everything you deserve, but I promised you at least the wedding will be all you’re worth and more.”
With her eye no longer twitching, Tricia calms down, but is no closer to figuring out what Eric has planned.  “Eric, Sweetie, that’s romantic, it really is, but it’s already December and we need to get everything settled soon.”
“I know, honey trust me I know, and all I’m asking for is another week and a half.”
“But that’s Christmas time, what’s going to happen then?”
He holds up his hand extending his index finger, asking Tricia to wait, as he shuffles through his brief case, on the counter next to the bed.  Fishing out the single piece of paper he’s looking for, he hands it to Tricia, “Here.  Read this.”
Still confused, Tricia notices the sincerity in his eyes and the tone of his voice.  She knows he’s no longer trying to be secretive and telling her all she wants to know with this paper.  Instantly she sees that it’s a bad photocopy of another piece of paper he had hand written, she knows her computer savvy husband must be trying to make a point by hand writing whatever is said in this letter.  She delays no longer, and reads:
Dear Melanie Maasch,
It has recently come to my attention that it is possible to have my wedding ceremony performed at the Empire State Building on February 14th, on Valentine’s Day.  I understand you only choose several couples for this privilege, all based on a letter sent to you explaining why they deserve to have their wedding at the most romantic place in the world.  I would love to say that my fiancé, Tricia, and myself met there, or that I worked there when her and I met, or that our first date was at the Empire State Building.  Although we did have dinner once at Chipotle within the Empire State Building, but that was long after I had proposed to her and we were planning on getting married.  She did comment how beautiful the building looked at night as we passed by one night, and Sleepless in Seattle is one of her favorite movies, but aside from those minor details we have no strong ties to the building.  And I know there may be other couples more deserving of having their special day at your establishment, but no bride-to-be is more deserving to have the most romantic wedding imaginable, than my Tricia.  Unfortunately, I’m not a wealthy man, nor is she a wealthy woman, and we can’t afford the kind of wedding she’s envisioned since she was a child.  And for this reason, and this reason alone, I implore that you find my wife worthy of having her special day, to truly be a special day that she will remember for the rest of her life.  Whatever you choose, I thank you for taking the time to read my letter.
Eric Bertrand

With tears in her eyes, and her hands shaking immensely Tricia wouldn’t be able to read any more of the letter, if it were any longer.  She tries several times to say something, anything, but all that comes out are choked up sobs.  Assuming this is a good reaction, Eric hugs Tricia, holding her tightly against his chest. 
Wiping the tears from her eyes, and those that trailed down her cheeks, Tricia looks up at Eric, finally able to speak whole words, “We should tell my parents we won’t be making it to dinner tonight.” and places a deep, long passionate kiss on Eric’s lips.  Whether they notified her parents or not, it’s safe to assume they didn’t make it to dinner that night.  Having decided to not tell anyone of their potential wedding plans, until they knew for sure one way or the other, they had lied to her parents saying that Eric wasn’t feeling well.
The following week and a half felt like half a year for the couple.  With Christmas only two days away, and still no response they began to fear the worst, until Eric remembered that whether they were chosen or not, they will receive a response.  They both have trouble sleeping that night, Eric has troubling thoughts of other couples who have stronger ties to the building receiving the blessing, and Tricia finding it hard after all the turmoil of her short life, that a childhood dream of hers could still come to pass.  She may never have thought about getting married in the Empire State Building, but after reading Eric’s letter, no other ceremony will please her the way this will. 
After hours of uneasy sleep the two wake up in each others arms, and want to run to their mailbox, but know the mail won’t arrive for another two hours.  And again these two hours seem to be the longest moment of their lives.  They currently forget that it is Christmas Eve, they are completely unaware that later that very night they will be having dinner with her parents and his sister.  All they are conscious of is that the mailwoman is already five minutes late. 
Giving up waiting for the mail second by excruciating second, Eric and Tricia decide to have breakfast then check the mail.  As they turn from the window, they hear the familiar squeak of rusty hinges and moments later the clank of metal, which today might as well be the mailwoman trumpeting that their fate has arrived.  The couple runs out the door and grabs the mail from the box before the mailwoman even takes three steps.  Eric has the mail in his hand and begins tossing the letters to the floor one by one as he notices they aren’t from the Empire State Building, or Melanie Maasch, but in traditional fashion they’re mail is littered with unwanted pictures of other couple’s kids. Fortunately, halfway through the pile Eric comes across an envelope that’s not so boxy like the others but instead an elongated business class envelope adorned with a crude image meant to be the glorious Empire State Building, and just below the image is the name “Melanie Maasch.”  Eric hesitates opening the envelope, and his anxious fiancé not wanting to wait anymore rips it from his hand and tears the envelope open.  She unfolds the letter and with Eric looking over her shoulder, they read together.

Dear Mr. Eric Bertrand.


Thursday, December 9, 2010

First Book is Here!

I would like to invite everyone to purchase the anthology School Days from Static Movement. It contains my first published story called "I Knew we Kept you Around for a Reason".
Please follow the link below:
Buy my book here!

After you get the book, please let me know what you think, thank you.

Have a good one.

What Happened to the Art of Commercials?

I don't watch as much TV as I used to, and I won't say it's because of the decline of skill put into commercials, but I sure as hell don't miss them. We used to be able to enjoy commercials like "Where's the Beef?"

or Slinky, (made even more famous by Eddie Murphy)

But now we've got some crappy commercials, and I don't mean small company independent commercials, but legit 'money spent' recognized commercials. Like for one, what's the deal with the "musical" Kit-Kat commercials that don't even have a melody. Usually when advertisers use individual sounds of the product to make music, they actually try to make a tune or melody thats pleasant to hear, not a cacophony of unrelated sounds.

or a Target commercial whose focus is the one item in the commercial that wasn't bought from Target (how does that make sense?) The commercial follows a female who purchased a tiny Christmas tree and proceed to decorate her small apartment with items purchased from Target. If anything, shouldn't she have purchased a fake tree from Target?

Best Buy has a commercial for Beats by Dre where an entire club has the headphones on. Really Best Buy/Dr. Dre? Who's wearing headphones at a club besides the DJ?
...A commercial so dumb I can't find the video online.
Another commercial, one I refuse to post, is the new Hess truck commercial because they got rid of the classic song because it mentions Christmas (even though the jet is cool). I respect Toys R' Us for making a point to mention Christmas by name during this season (it doesn't hurt that my cousin and good luck charm work there).

Because of these crappy commercials I don't watch anything that's not DVR'd (mostly because I'm never home but that's besides the point)

Send me some newer commercials you feel hit the mark, or completely miss.

Have a good one!

Monday, December 6, 2010

He's on fire!

The global take over continues, as Azar Rising just had it's first view from Australia.  Thank you to everyone that has supported the blog, and lets continue to spread the word.

But more importantly...

I just received word this weekend that a third story of mine has been accepted for publication, and this one pays! As soon as more info is available, I'll be sure to post it here.

Thanks and have a good one.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Daylight Savings Time

 How I hate the letter ‘D.’ What you have before you is probably the third or fourth attempt at a story on this topic, and I unfortunately broke the two rules I put before me on this project. 1) No supernatural and 2) One week to write it. The first story was done in a week, possibly even the second, but they were so unworthy of having my name attached to them, I couldn’t even admit ownership. It was at that point that I decided I’d sacrifice the two rules for the sake of the integrity of the project. The result is the story you have before you, and while it may not be the best example of my writing, it is light years ahead of the shit that came before it.

Daylight Saving Time

Many people see Daylight Saving Time as nothing more than a nuisance, requiring you to change your clocks twice a year. Few people know of the many stories that revolve around this significant time change. However, the people of Tampa Bay, Florida will always remember the “Daylight Death Dealer,” a serial killer who killed two people a year, one on the spring occurrence of DST, and another on the fall occurrence for six years. He or she was never captured, however, during the seventh year of DST when the people of Tampa Bay were waiting for the grim affair, nothing happened. His methods of electrocution, and fatal car accidents were attributed to a pro and con of DST, unfortunately his reasons remain a mystery to this day.
Another instance was the Savior Son, a child destined to be born on the 25 hour day, and bring forth an enlightened age of men if he wasn’t sacrificed on the 23 hour day, by those who feared his potential. His name is whispered in underground religious circles, and preordained to return on another 25 hour day, his protectors will be ready next time.
But not all instances need be so morbid or grandiose as the first two. There was also a pair of lovers, Cory and Leslie Bell, whose love was so intertwined with this time of year, they may never have gotten married if it weren’t for Daylight Saving Time. I know that sparked you’re curiosity. Leslie, a beautiful young woman, fell in love with Cory, a luckless dope, who had died on the first Sunday of DST. They spent the following eight months together falling more in love everyday. Unfortunately on the last day of DST in October, the curse of their love was realized, the man who died that fateful hour in March, returned to the dead. Then again in the following March, on the anniversary of his death, Cory came home to her, who never gave up hope on him. And so the curse went, during DST he was as corporal as you, but in October he once again walked the Earth as an apparition waiting to touch his love again. They lived this way for many years, and even had several kids during their marriage until Leslie passed away of natural causes. What happened to him his kids never knew, but after their mother died he never returned.
But alas, this isn’t a tale of an enduring love that was so strong it defied death itself, but another man whose life and death revolved around Daylight Saving Time. Charles Beck can’t explain it but ever since his father passed away he felt different inside, and not in the way as when his mother died, or in any way he thinks is normal. For most of last year he felt weaker, if only slightly, but weaker. Also, which he’s scared to say aloud, he feels older, and again not in the normal sense an otherwise healthy 35 year old would. Then, inexplicably one day he woke up feeling great, almost youthful. His wife, who hadn’t noticed his ‘weaker’ or ‘older’ state, had noticed her husband reinvigorated and rejuvenated. Every night that week they had better sex then either of them ever had, and it seemed to just get better.
But as sure as DST ends, it begins again and this year Charles had noticed his decline in health, which was greater than last year, seemed to be correlated more to Daylight Saving Time, than the passing of his father. All doctors he saw said that this was just a coping mechanism his mind was using for dealing with the passing of his father. Even Charles’ private physician, who had noticed a change in Charles, agreed with the other doctors, saying that this change was his mind’s way of forcing him to deal with these pent up feelings that he was hiding or ignoring.
Always having been a man of faith Charles turned to the church, which unfortunately, even devastatingly, had no answers that appeased Charles. Seeing no solution or at least an answer to what ales him, Charles was at the end of his rope. Then one Sunday morning in October he woke up feeling like a new man. Newly formed wrinkles vanished from his face, he had an extra hop in his step, and again he connected this change to DST. Unfortunately, this joyous realization was accompanied with the realization that come March chances were he would revert to his weaker state.
And sure enough when Daylight Saving Time began again he seemed to age almost five years, in actuality it was six, but Charles wouldn’t figure the pattern out until later, until it was too late. His wife, who had the patience that only few females possessed, stayed by his side through it all. On his 38th birthday, although at his point in June he looked to be in his 50’s, Teresa took him to a fortune teller, unrealistically thinking this may be able to help her Chuck, with whatever was cursing him. But as much as Charles and Teresa doubted it, MadaM ZadaZ noticed something was wrong with him the moment he sat down at her table. “I see you are stressed, you were right in seeking my assistance.”
“Oh my God Chuck! She can tell something’s wrong, maybe she’ll know how to help.”
“Calm down Teresa, if there was nothing wrong I wouldn’t be here, isn’t that right MadaM ZadaZ?”
In a better ‘Mrs. Cleo’ accent than even Mrs. Cleo has, which is surprising for a white girl from California, MadaM ZadaZ asks Charles, “So you do not believe in the abilities of MadaM ZadaZ?”
“No, I don’t believe in the abilities of someone who has to say their own name so often. You say I’m stressed, big surprise, tell me something you don’t say to every other person who walks in that door.”
MadaM ZadaZ begins laughing, and not just a chuckle but a full belly roar, that frightens Teresa, but angers Charles. So much so, without another word he gets up out of his seat, grabs Teresa’s arm and strides towards the door.
“You’re younger than you look.” MadaM says as Charles is reaching for the doorknob. Stopping in his tracks MadaM continues. “And that’s not something you were used to hearing until this year. Is that the kind of thing you wanted to hear Mr. Beck?”
Shocked Teresa asks, “How did you know? How do you know our last name we never told you.”
Again MadaM laughs explaining, “It was on the credit card you paid with, what wasn’t on the card, is that you, Mr. Beck, are only in you’re mid thirties. MadaM ZadaZ believes you are cursed.”
Slowly beginning to have faith in the MadaM, Charles inquires further, “Cursed? How could I have become cursed? Why am I cursed?”
“Usually when people are cursed and they can’t recall being cursed they inherited the curse from a loved one that just passed away. Have you recently lost someone?”
“Yes! My father died shortly before I began having these weak phases, but they would end when… and I know this sounds dumb (but so do fortunetellers)… they would end at the end of Daylight Saving Time in October. And then, then they would start again in March after Daylight Saving Time would start. Does that make sense at all?”
“It’s not uncommon for curses to be anchored to something else; objects, places, people, or in your case times. But I am sorry my knowledge and abilities are in fortunes not curses, I can give you a contact of mine who may be able to help.”
Feeling relieved for the first time since this whole ordeal started, Charles thanks MadaM ZadaZ, and apologizes for doubting her, before he goes on his way with Teresa to the MadaM’s friend. Little does he know that MadaM was right in thinking that this was out of her league, but grossly wrong in thinking this was a curse.
“Wait a second, Mister Moloft, what do you mean this is worse than a curse?”
With clear frustration in his voice, “MASTER, Master Molloph, and this is worse because, curses have cures, there is no cure for you. You are possessed.”
“I’m possessed? Like as in the devil is in my body?”
“Yes and no. You are possessed but it’s not by the devil, nothing that powerful, probably not even a demon, but take this not lightly you are possessed. You share your body with an apparition who’s using you as a vessel, trying to expel you from, well, you.”
“But what does this have to do with Daylight Saving Time and me?”
“This apparition must have a close link to Daylight Saving Time making it more powerful during this time.”
“Oh my God! My dad, my dad died around that time. I’m possessed by my father. Is that possible?”
“Not only is it possible, it sounds likely. You’re father probably doesn’t even know it. He was most likely on his way to the afterlife, but the dead are most powerful in the days after their death, while simultaneously you were at your weakest state when mourning your father.”
“So what you’re telling me is that reason, if you can call it that, dictates that my father’s spirit accidentally possessed me after he died, while I was morning him, and now he’s forcing me out of my own body.” Unable to comprehend what he himself just said, Charles rises from his chair and begins pacing the room.
Uncomfortable with the silence, Teresa has to ask the obvious question, “What are we going to do? You said there’s no cure, nothing we can do. My husband is going to continually age every year during Daylight Saving Time, until his father finally wins and kicks him out of his own body?”
As calm as ever, as if this were an everyday occurrence Master Molloph states, “True I said there was no cure but there are several things we can do. For instance the logical step would be to have a séance, to try and communicate with your father, Charles, letting him know of the situation. In cases of accidental possession this usually works, however, if this does not work we could try an exorcism…”
“Excuse me? Did you just say ‘we could try an exorcism.’ What are you a rebel priest curing curses on the side? Because correct me if I’m wrong but I was under the impression that only priests can perform exorcisms. I get sent here because you’re partner thought I was cursed, but it turns out worse than that, yet you can still help. What the hell is going on here. And if you could exorcize me, what happens to my father, I don’t want his eternal soul banished to hell, or snuffed out of existence, or whatever happens to exorcised spirits. He may be dead but he’s still my father, and how do we know he won’t just ‘accidentally’ possess someone else?”
“Chuck breath!” Teresa has to cut her husband’s rant short. All these questions were beginning to make her feel sick. “I’m sure Master was prepared to answer those questions already. Right Master Molloph?”
“Absolutely dear Teresa.” Molloph answers in his signature calm swagger. “You are right, a priest can only perform exorcisms on demons, but as I said earlier this isn’t a demon. Of course now you are wondering, ‘How does he know it’s not a demon?’ And rightfully so, but the answer is simple, my meager abilities wouldn’t be able to detect a demon. As for what will happen if we do the exorcism, let us wait to see if it is even necessary, as I said with most accidental possessions the séance will work.” Molloph pauses to allow the information to sink into Charles’ mind, and give him time to calm down. After several minutes Charles’ breathing begins to return to normal and he takes his seat once again. Molloph now continues with some bad news, “However, séance of this caliber are quite taxing on me and need preparation, and how shall I say this, resources.”
Disgusted at the implications Charles responds coldheartedly, “I have money to pay for this but you won’t see one cent until I return to normal.”
“Very well, I meant no harm, but simply put this is my chosen career and a career which needs revenues. I apologize and beg your forgiveness. Unfortunately, by ‘preparations’ I meant two nights meditation. Return in three night’s time and all shall be prepared.”
Charles and Teresa left Master Molloph’s ‘place of business’ with very few words. In actuality they spoke very few words for the next three days. Neither felt particularly happy or sad. They had reason to be upset for simply being in the situation, but as any optimist would point out they also had reason to be happy for this conflict was about to meet it’s end. But how wrong they were. If they knew of the incredible depths of shit they were about to step in they would never be happy again, truth be told one of them may never have the chance to be happy again.
Charles and Teresa returned to Master Molloph’s gaudy trailer home as scheduled, anxious to get this awful ordeal over with. After the customary pleasantries, Molloph and Charles sit across from one another with a picture of Charles’ father placed between the two. Molloph began the séance by lighting several ceremonial candles, chanting non-English gibberish, and igniting earthly aromatic incense creating an atmosphere that Charles hasn’t experienced since his college hippie days. Trying to clear his head of such thoughts, Molloph instructs to do just such a thing. “Okay Charles, I want you to clear your mind of all thoughts save your father. Concentrate on the picture before you and think of a specific time with your father, preferably a happy one. Let the aroma take over, let the lights calm you, and think. Go to that particular moment with your father… Are you there? Just nod don’t speak… Good, now I want you to think of what you would tell your father at this very moment. Would you warn him of his death, would you tell him you love him, or would you simply relive the time you had with him? Do you have it? Do you know what you would say? Good, now take my hands. Okay, now I want you to envision your father to be here in the room with us, picture him just as he is in your memory. You see him? Good, now tell him those words you have with you now in your heart. Tell him out loud, all the emotions you have within you. Don’t mind my incantations, just continue talking.”
“Dad you remember when I was just a little kid, here in this very park and you taught me how to throw a football? I never did learn too well, but I always loved the fact that you tried. You always tried no matter what the task was, you always tried. Even when mom died and me and Jill started to slip away, you held us together. You said we’re a family always, and that brothers and sisters don’t give up when one parent dies, or even when both. You said that’s when we need to be even stronger. And you were right, even to this day me and Jill talk everyday, we’re closer than ever because of you. Because you never gave up, you always tried. Even when the odds were impossible, so why did you do it? Why did you kill yourself? You had me and Jill we were there for…”
Charles is cut off by Teresa’s gasp. Finally the spirit that was possessing her husband came out. “Charles look! It’s… it’s not your father?”
Fully snapping out of the daze the candles put him in, Charles realizes she’s right. There’s some ghost or something in the room but it’s not his father, he doesn’t even look older than Charles, or what Charles should look like. Molloph, too weak from the séance slumps over barely conscious. Charles and Teresa begin slowly moving for the door backwards, keeping an eye on the ghost in the room, that seems to pay them no mind. Teresa turns to Charles to ask him what they should do, but notices that he looks young again. It’s only the middle of June and he looks young again. “It worked!” Teresa yells, and instantly realizes the folly of her actions.
The ghost turns to her and floats directly towards her. Both her and Charles too scared and in shock to move allow the ghost to come close enough to touch her. It’s touch is so cold, she instantly goes numb. Realizing his wife is in peril, snaps Charles out of shock, sending him in a fury of punches that pathetically pass though their intended target every time. Understanding he can’t do anything offensively to the ghost, Charles resorts to defense, by grabbing Teresa by the arm and forcing her out. The ghost begins to float towards them stumbling, crawling on the floor but stops abruptly. This clever ghost nonchalantly returns to the trailer, leaving the couple in peace.
Once in the trailer again the ghost finds exactly what he was looking, Master Molloph, a human with a spiritually weakened body. The ghost enters this new vessel and finds the struggle-free home he’s been looking for. A nameless, formless, ghost no more, he is now Mister Molloph, and happy to have a home.
And who am I you may be wondering? Well I’m quite disappointed you haven’t figured it out. I’m Cory Bell, the luckless dope that was cursed by love. See, after my wife died, the bond that kept me on earth remained but wasn’t strong enough to keep bringing my body back with it, so I became a wraith. That’s right a wraith possessing people, but still with a curse based on Daylight Saving Time. I mean you should have seen it coming. Guy in love, with a weird curse around DST, Cory Bell: Charles Beck; CB and CB. Honestly I picked the guy for his name alone, little did I know his wife would remind me so much of my own, Leslie. Her unfailing love, her fortune to fall for a dimwit like me, sorry like Charles, spending 6 years in a guy does things to your mind you don’t want to know.
After Charles was free of me, he and Teresa went on to have a happy life in Tampa Bay. Oh I didn’t tell you? Yes, they lived in Tampa Bay as well, just like me and Leslie. That’s right so did the Daylight Death Dealer, although I never liked the name, I figured I’d live up to the name, of course that was until I found good ole Charles Beck who was kind enough to give me a few year ride.
Well time to find out what this fat gypsy slob can do. Ta ta for now.
What? Why are you still here? Oh you want to know how the Savior Son ties into all this. Well you shouldn’t believe everything you hear, right?

And the holidays are upon us.

I decided to watch some TV today while relaxing, and if I had forgotten that Thanksgiving was only a few days ago, TV quickly reminded me that we are officially in the "Holiday Season."  Being a Christian, it's the Christmas season in my mind but apparently that's not PC any more.  So I have to admonish an employee if they say Merry Christmas to a customer, even if they know they're Christian.  But I wonder if they'd equally be wrong for say Happy Hanukkah to a Jewish customer, but I'd rather not have to deal with that H.R. nightmare, so "Happy Holidays" it is to everyone, but I digress...

To my actual point, I saw a commercial for Robert Zemeckis' A Christmas Carol, and couldn't help but shake my head thinking, 'those aren't the right ghosts'.  I think most people from my generation will agree that the three ghosts of Christmas, are supposed to look like this:


For those of you who don't know these characters, they are the ghosts from the movie Scrooged starring Bill Murray, in my opinion, the best rendition of 'A Christmas Carol'.  I give a strong recommendation to all those that haven't seen, to watch it this Christmas Season.

If you're Jewish, I guess you can settle for Adam Sandler's Eight Crazy nights or songs like this;

Unable to end on a Jewish note, I present to you various holiday light shows;


Black Friday:


Merry Christmas, have a good one, and remember the words of Arnold Schwarzenegger;
"If you give a man a jingle, he will jingle for a day. If you teach a man to jingle, he will jingle all the way!"

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The kid has done it again!

I just received word, that another short story will be published in an anthology.  And with this contract I can give a little more information.  The story is called "I knew we Kept you Around for a Reason" and it's about the horrors some people will go to fit in and be cool. As soon as I have info on where and when you can purchase, rest assured you'll find it here.

Have a good one.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Rejection #6: Full Circle

I felt it only fitting that following my post of announcing that I will be published that I post another rejection letter. I wish I had a rejection for the story that was accepted as a show that persistence pays off, but it was accepted by the first publisher I sent it to.

So instead I present a different story rejected.  Like most of the rejection letters I've received they were encouraging in their dismissal, so it's not a complete shut out.

Dear Author,

Thank you for your submission to Fallen: An Anthology of Demonic Horror. Unfortunately, it wasn't exactly what we were looking for at this time, so we are going to have to take a pass on it. This is in no way a rejection of your story based on quality; it simply means that our anthology is moving in another direction.

Best of luck,

** *****
N***** F****** P********

Like I said, they weren't completely dismissal of the story, but having reread it I wonder if this wasn't a generic rejection they send to all authors.  If you notice, they don't mention my name, nor the name of the story that was submitted.  They do say the name of the anthology, but it is much easier to copy and paste the book name, than the author and story title.  But I will give them the benefit of the doubt because one of my good friends is being published within the anthology, so it's safe to assume they know what they're talking about..

Next time I'll get them, have a good one

Monday, November 22, 2010

Azar Rising is getting published...

...well not Azar Rising per se, I'm getting published.  Contractually, I cannot go into details, however it is a short story that will be in an anthology with other authors.  As soon as I have more details to share, you can read about it right here, stay tuned.

Have a good one.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Coaching Team Sports

Coaching Sports Teams
by Alex azar 

Standing on a bench Coach Conic preaches to his audience about the importance this night entails.  With a lump in his throat and a tug at his heart he fills the otherwise silent locker room with his sermon.  His words fall on 24 pairs of ears, all belonging to soon-to-be men, who for three hours a week worship this man as their savior and leader.  This is high school football.
“Gentlemen, tonight begins your journey to manhood.  Most would say that journey ends the first time you have sex, but if that were the case, half of you would already be men, and the other half won’t become so for another 20 years.”
After a quick chuckle from the group, Thomas Johnson, a transfer student and the only player on the team to not have had the privilege of playing under the guidance of Coach Conic for the past three years raises his hand with a puzzled look.  “Coach, I know I’m new around here, but this is just high school football, right?”  The entire rest of the team seems to lower and shake their heads in unison.  Noticing this, Johnson defends himself, “I mean guys, come on don’t you think he’s taking this a little too seriously?  It’s just football, it’s not pro, or even college.”
Professionally hiding his anger and disgust Coach Conic composes himself, “Johnson, you’re right you are new here, and you better be damn glad I let you on the varsity team.  This is my first year coaching an entirely senior team.”  Jumping down from the bench, he points to the entire ensemble before him.  “For each and every one of you, this is your last real season of football, in fifteen minutes you start the first game of the only season that will matter in your life.  Furthermore, this is my last year coaching, when the season is done, so am I.”
Everyone in the locker room drops their jaws, including the defensive coach who was also clearly unaware.  “Larry, what are you talking about, you’ve still got another ten years coaching, minimum.”
“I know, I know but I’m going to end on a high note.  I’m going out with a team of seniors after winning nationals.  I understand that’s still another four months away, but that journey starts tonight.  After this season, you’ll all go on to play college ball, and that’s the beginning of the end.  High school ball is the pinnacle period of the sport, because this is the last time the sport is played for the love of the game.  From here you go to college, were all that matters is what pro team you can go to for the most money.  And love is replaced by greed, passion by money, that Johnson, is why this season is so important.”  After shooting a look at Johnson, Conic jumps back on the bench, “Team, the moment is at hand; on three tell me who you are.”  The entire team begins slamming the locker doors repeatedly, and over the clamor, “One, two… THREE!”
In a unified eruption, “Devils!”
With a final synchronized slam of locker doors, “BLUE DEVILS!”
The team runs out of the locker room, down the long dark hallway, and explode onto the football field, led by their captain quarterback, Jermaine Worthman.  The team’s greeted by the roar of the crowd, a crowd ecstatic at the sight of the team they know will bring home a championship again this year.  The roar continues for another ten minutes until little Amy Presley steps onto the field at the fifty yard line.  She sings a rousing rendition of the “National Anthem,” with a voice so loud and powerful it has no right coming from this tiny 95lb girl.
After little Amy steps off the field the chant starts, “Devils!” And it doesn’t end until the victorious Blue Devils walk off the field after a record breaking opening day 56 point shut out.  The team’s journey to manhood has truly begun this glorious night.

And so the season went, victory after victory, shut out after shut out.  In total, the team amassed over three hundred points in this single season, allowing less than 60 total points.  Truly a record breaking season; a season, more than any other, meant to go into the history books. 
If asked what they attribute the teams stellar performance, the fans are torn.  Half accredit Coach Conic’s passion for the game and infallible coaching skills, and the other half accredit the immaculate playing by this incredible team of All Stars, all destined for fame.  However, if any player is asked, they all attribute their victories to their desire to please Coach Conic, during this, his final season.  To the team, every victory, every touchdown, every interception, even every tackle is dedicated to Coach Conic, the man who single-handedly ushered them into manhood, even the doubting Johnson. 
Standing on a bench Coach Conic preaches to his congregation about the importance this night entails.  “Gentleman, it seems like it was only yesterday that I was atop the bench in our own locker room, preaching to you all how important this season would be.  Well, here we are four months later and I’m still standing on top of a damn bench, we’ve still got another 15 minutes before kick off.  But the difference is, this bench is in the locker room of the Arizona Cardinals, and in 15 minutes we kick off to the last game of our lives.  Gentlemen, welcome to Nationals!”
The team erupts in a wail of joy, the moment is almost enough to bring a tear to Coach Conic’s eye, but not quite.  That’s when team captain Jermaine stands up just before Conic and quiets down the team.  All eyes on him, but Conic’s the most confused, “Coach, in appreciation of all that you’ve done for everyone of us, we all pitched in together and got you something.”  Jermaine directs Conic with his hand to look towards the door, where Johnson is coming in with a large box.
“Gentlemen…”  Too choked up for words Coach Conic can’t find anything to say.
Coach Rice, the defensive coach puts his hand on Conic’s shoulder, “Larry, you didn’t even see what they got you, don’t cry yet.”
Laughing, Conic hops down form the bench and opens the box that Johnson and Jermaine placed before him.  He pulls out a 12’ bronze statue of a football team, holding up a coach, and an engraving on the front.
Coach Conic
Coach of the Millennium
Thanks for the Memories

Now Conic does shed a tear, “All I can say is, let’s see if I can live up to it.  Here we go again for the last time, on three tell me who you are.”  And in a practiced rhythmic pattern the entire team begins slamming the locker doors repeatedly, and in labored breaths through the tears Conic yells for the last time, “One, two,… THREE!”
Slamming the locker doors for the last time, slamming the doors as a sign of their dedication, slamming the doors for the love of the game “BLUE DEVILS!”
Led for the final time by Jermaine Worthman, down different yet familiar hallways, the team runs out to the field, they run to glory.  
This is high school football.


This was another one where it took me six days to think of the story and only a short while to actually write it.  The major difference being the two-three paragraphs that I edited out of the end.  After the halftime speech in the final game the original ending had the coach kill the entire team and himself so they wouldn’t be corrupted, but that seemed too extreme even for me, and just altogether out of place.  So what’s left isn’t much of a story per-se, one friend likened it to a journalistic piece, which I can’t wholly refute.  I would like to mention that the name Coach Conic was a coach from my high school track team and felt it worked well with the ‘c’ theme.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

What if?... The Social Network

Just came across this video of different director's takes on The Social Network.  I'll admit I didn't see the actual movie, but I know enough about it, and the parodied directors, to enjoy this video to no end.  It contains alternate takes by Guillermo Del Toro (highlight of the video), Michael Bay, Quentin Taratino, Wes Anderson, and more, originally posted here on College Humor


Monday, November 15, 2010

Rejection #5: Little Changes

Hi Alex,

Thank you for sending us your story, but unfortunately it isn't right for this anthology. Best of luck with it elsewhere.


This rejection letter was so short it felt very impersonal and cold.  And while she doesn't outright say it, it makes me feel like she hated this story. I can admit it's not my best writing (I was rushed on the deadline after my previous attempt went far beyond the word limit), but I feel it deserves a little more tact.  She doesn't bother saying whether she liked it or not, just that it wasn't right for the anthology, but can't spare the few key strokes to explain why it didn't fit.  I'm typically not a very bitter person, but I'd expect a little more professional courtesy from a publisher/editor. 

I've decided while writing this, that I will post the story here next week, to see what you think.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Quiet on the Bus

Quiet on the Bus
by Alex Azar

Bruce Robert Tanner has a rage within him, a rage that manifests itself as a hulking behemoth. The only thing that can abate the rage if it becomes agitated is Miles Davis' “Blue in Green.” The melodic notes send Robert to his happy place.
In this time of technological advancement, Robert refuses to upgrade his 1st gen MP3 player that holds less than a gig's worth of music. All he needs is “Blue in Green” and he's happy. The MP3 can play at a volume of 50, but Robert finds 25 ideal; not too loud but loud enough to block out most distractions.
The MP3 is especially needed today. The August heat beating on him through the window of the crowded bus is relentless. Coupled with the broken A.C. and standstill traffic, Robert tries to lose himself in Miles' trumpet, raising the volume from 25 to 30.
Making it worse, there's a baby crying two seats in front of him, whose mother is oblivious of, unable to pry herself from her phone conversation. Volume from 30 to 35. There's also an Asian couple sitting on either side of the aisle. Robert can't tell if they're arguing or not but he's positive they're talking too loud. 35 to 40.
“Can you keep it down please? No one wants to hear your conversation.” He says it to no one in particular, hoping everyone will listen. They don't. Later, he'll think maybe the Asian's didn't even understand him, and it's not the baby's fault.
The traffic lets up and the bus finally starts moving. The two men behind Robert begin a conversation about the heat. “Really? You're talking about the weather. Please, just keep it down.” 40 to 45.
At that point, a woman standing in the aisle dials a number on her phone. “Hi honey, I'll be home in five.”
“How was that necessary?1?” 45-50
Momentarily the bus quiets down, and Robert can see the bus driver looking back. The moment passes and the conversations resume. 50.
The baby continues to cry. 50.
The bus breaks screech. 50.
The cacophony is enough to drown out “Blue in Green,” Robert can't hear the piano, or even Miles' trumpet. He tried to stem the rage, but the intrusive conversations begged for him to join them.
Despite his efforts, the rage took over and Robert was no longer there on the bus. After a few short minutes of unbridled rage, Robert returns to find the bus in complete disarray and no passengers left alive, except for the little baby still crying.
Robert is now sitting on a medical gurney, with an EMT checking his pupils. “Heh.”
“Is something wrong, sir? You seem to have survived the crash with no injuries.”
            “Hmm? Oh, would you be able to charge my MP3?”

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Rejection #4

This rejection was a little surprising.  I was pretty positive that it was exactly what the editors were looking for but alas I was wrong.  I think part of the buildup for me was that I hadn't received the rejection when they had announced all rejections were sent.  In my mind I believed that meant it was accepted, I just hadn't been notified yet so I inquired, and...

Alex Azar,

Thank you for querying. We did read your story, not sure why the response
didn’t reach you. It pasted below, and sorry for the delay:
Thank you for your giving us the opportunity to read Hypothermia. Sadly,
we regret to inform you that we are declining acceptance at this time.
This was an interesting story, but it just didn’t make the final cut for
Seasons in the Abyss. Thank you again for sharing your work with us and we
wish you the best of luck placing this story in another market.
We do our best to reply in a timely manner so please report our response
time at Duotrope’s Digest
****** ***** & the ***** ***** Staff

I find it odd that even though I hadn't received the response when I was supposed to, they would ask me to 'report their response time.'  This was the same publisher that had rejected No Lights in my Rejection Letter #2, and I'll admit they rejected that pretty quick (I still think it's because they knew I lied haha)

I want to tell you more about this story, Hypothermia, but it is actually the story for 'h' in my Alphabet Project so I'll save it for then.

Monday, November 8, 2010


It's come to my attention that some may not have noticed the 'pages' I currently have.  If you look below my profile picture to the left you'll see my current three pages "Rejections" "Top 25 Books" and "Overrated Top 5."  The pages are fairly self explanatory, but I wanted to make you are aware of them before I began adding more.

On that note, if you have any recommendations for future pages, please feel free to comment.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Best Thing to Come out of the TV Show 'Shit My Dad Says'

CBS has a new show on the air called Shit My Dad Says, or more accurately $h*! My Dad Says, starring William Shatner.  The premise of the show is that it's based off this guy's twitter account where he posted a bunch of dumb/funny things his dad 'supposedly' says.  I don't know if any of the tweets are actual quotes from his dad, but I know the TV show is pretty painful to watch.  William Shatner is the only thing worth while on the show, but it's bogged down by so much cliched sitcom fodder that he rarely has a chance to shine.

However, the show has produced one good thing, William Shatner, in keeping with the 'beeped' theme of things you can't say, sings Cee Lo Green's 'Fuck You' on the Lopez Show... comedy gold.

And keep an eye on the back up singers dressed in some of Shatner's more famous TV uniforms, like Captain Kirk and Sergeant T.J. Hooker.  The third singer is wearing his clothes from Shit My Dad Says

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


by Alex Azar

“I’m sorry Walter you’re…”
“Excuse me, I’m 77 years old, I have a son that’s 56 and a grandson that’s older than you.  Only my family and friends call me Walter, you can call me Mr. Carter.”
“Very well, Mr. Carter, as I was saying, you’re going blind.  You have some nerve damage in the cells located in the rear of…” 
“It’s probably for the best.  These eyes of mine have seen more than their share of tragedies, and not enough miracles.  Well Dr. Musa, for how long does this old man have his dignity?”
“Actually Mr. Carter, you have several different options available.  There is surgery, medications, or even laser treatments.  All of which have made substantial advancements in the recent past.  Your glaucoma is still in the early stages, I think medication would be your best option.  However, if at anytime you feel the need to move on to a different treatment I will be more than happy to give you all the information to make the proper decision.”
“So long as you’re the one who gets paid”
“Excuse me?”
“Nothing. One would think a man at my age would be through with all his important decisions.  OK Dr. Musa, why don’t we go ahead with the medication for now and as for the other processes, we’ll cross the bridge when the water’s right”
“You’re the boss Mr. Carter, see Jackie at the desk and she’ll give you the prescription.  Have a wonderful day Mr. Carter.”
“Thank you and the same for you Dr. Musa.”
At a local diner, where Mr. Carter has become a regular over the ages, he sits at the corner table, alone, as always.  He mulls over his untouched tomato soup, fidgeting the prescription with his thumbs.
As a waitress passes by, she observes, “You OK Mr. Carter?  You haven’t touched your soup yet, usually by now you’d have already been done and paid for.”
Not bothering to even look up from his soup, “Just another chapter in this old book we call life, Mrs. Johnson.”
“Now Mr. Carter, how many times do I have to tell you to call me Lucy?”
Responding as emotionless as ever, “I’ll call you Lucy when I think it’s proper for you to call me Walter.”  Attributing his rudeness to his age, not to mention his sour mood, Lucy shrugs the comment off and continues with her duties.  Finally ready to eat his rapidly cooling soup, Mr. Carter is interrupted, yet again.
“Hey Mister, how come you look so sad?”
Turning to see who this rude intruder is Mr. Carter turns to face a young boy no older than six.  “I just received some very disturbing news, I’m going blind.”
“That’s not nice, you should be sad.”
Chuckling at the child’s innocence Mr. Carter responds, “You know child, you’re right, I am sad, but I also feel a sense of relief.”
“How come mister?”
“Even you can tell I’m old, and I’ve seen a lot in my time, and when you get older you’ll learn it’s not all good.”
As the child contemplates the old man’s words, Mr. Carter is again ready to dive into his soup, when he is yet again interrupted, “Hey, Lucy’s shift is done, I’ll be your waitress now. Walter was it?” Asks the new waitress, cracking her gum with her teeth. 
Again shying from his soup, Mr. Carter’s demeanor is not that of a happy one, “Excuse Mrs. I am 77 years old, I have a son that is 56, and a grandson that is 38, my friends call me Walter, you may call me Mr. Carter.  You may also leave me be, your tip shall be awaiting you when I leave.”  Shocked, the waitress stammers off, leaving Mr. Carter to finally enjoy his now cold soup, under the unwavering gaze of the little boy.
Silent, the child just watches Mr. Carter eat, as he himself tries to understand the meaning of what the old man had told him.  Just then the boy’s father vigorously grabs his arm.  “Billy I told you to sit still while I went to the bathroom.”  Turning to the old man, “I apologize for my son bothering you.”
Still concentrating on his soup, “No, it was no bother at all; children are the only people that don’t treat us old folks like children.”  With that said he gives the father a crooked look.
Ashamed for being scolded, the father begins to shy away when he recognizes Mr. Carter, “Oh my God, you’re Walter, Walter Carter the famous journalist.  Walter I’ve read…”
Cut off by his son, “Dad he’s 77 years old with a son that’s um… 56 and a grandkid your age, only his friends call him Walter…”  Realizing he just called him Walter the boy covers his mouth with his hands.
Finishing for the boy, “That’s right, and you can call me Mr. Carter.”
At a complete loss for words, the father simply lowers his head and begins to walk away.  “I was telling your son that not everything in this world is perfect and that me going blind could also be a blessing.”
"You’re going blind?  That’s terrible, throughout your days and you experiences you must have seen more than most handful of people ever will.”
“That may be so, but I’ve seen more tragedies than miracles in my time.”
Refusing to accept Mr. Carter’s look on life, “But you did so much for this city as a cop, and even more for the country as a soldier, and all the wonders you must have seen as a journalist.  You can’t truly mean to say that the negatives of the world outweigh the positives.”
Having given up on enjoying his soup, Mr. Carter sides the bowl away still holding the prescription, “Was there good in all that I saw? Sure, but were they more miraculous than the tragedies I experienced?  Why don’t you be the judge?  Sit down and listen.”  With that the father takes the seat across from Mr. Carter, and places his son on his lap.
Still toying around with the prescription in his hand, Mr. Carter begins, “When I was a cop, still walking the beat around 125th and 9th Ave, a little kid no older than your son here, came running up to me crying.  He said his brother was in trouble and they needed help.  Not knowing what was going to happen I called for backup, and went with the kid.  What he didn’t tell me was that his brother was 19 years old and trying to get into this thug gang.  His initiation was to rape and kill a senior citizen in front of all his loser thug friends.  Here I am, a rookie cop on the beat charging into a small dark room with about a dozen thugs all of whom were more heavily armed than I was.  They saw a ‘pig,’ and I saw my life flash before my eyes for the first time.  The bullets started flying and the only casualty was the little kid who came and got me, the only one of them to do the right thing.  Ballistics claimed it was one of the thug’s bullets but to this day I still feel like it was my own.  In any case it was still my fault for charging in there without a handle on the situation, for not even knowing the situation.”
Almost too scared to ask the question, the father stammers “What about the senior citizen?  Did she live?”
“The boy that died, was so worried about upsetting his brother, that he waited until they were almost done with her to come looking for help.  She was dead for at least half an hour before I even showed up on the scene, at least that’s what forensics claimed.  And this is the world so many of us refuse to see.”  Mr. Carter intensely looks at the father, hoping that the story made his point.  The father went into a slight depression, and a long silence ensued.
Breaking the silence, the son asks, “What’s a senior citizen?”
Again laughing at the child’s innocence, Mr. Carter light heartedly replies, “A senior citizen, is an old person like me.”
“Oh OK, so what did they do to the old person after you saved her?”
Unable to answer the child and scar him forever, “I think I’m done telling stories for today.  If you and your son ever want to hear more, I’m here every Friday at the same time.”
Not willing to leave it at that, the father intervenes, “But what about that serial killer, the 2nd St. Strangler, a lot of good was brought about, right?”
“It’s hard to claim any good comes from a killer like the Strangler, but yes two rival gangs set aside their differences when members from both were killed by this psycho.  Some black gang and a Spanish gang , they pulled together and actually inspired people to get out of their homes and do something about the killer.  Word has it they still, to this day, have an agreement, a type of respectful parley.  But it can’t be forgotten that the Strangler killed four females before he was stopped, also let it be known these people are still thugs and killers themselves.  They terrorize the streets on a daily basis, and for a longer period of time than the serial killer.  For whatever good they did, they should never be glorified.”
Somewhat content with this revelation the father replies, “I’ don’t think anyone is trying to glorify these gangs but they did bring the city closer in a time of desperation.  So that should count as some good you’ve seen in your time.”
Frustrated at the man’s ignorance Mr. Carter retorts, “Some good?  During my time as a soldier, not only was I captured and tortured for three months nonstop, upon my negotiated release I became over glorified.  I was glorified for surviving three months of torture, but more so for enduring a life time of horrors that still follow me to this day.  The demons in my closet aren’t of my own doing, but those forced upon me while serving for the good of my country.  But after that, in a follow up tour, I had to witness three quarters of my platoon burnt to the ground with napalm, an act that was deemed a crime against humanity, and its use illegal during war.  This for the same country that used not one but two nuclear bombs in a single war.  Oh don’t for a second think the ‘good’ memories end there.  Later yet, as a war journalist for the army, I did a joint reporting with a local news channel in the Middle East.  While there, we had to drive by and watch a community wide killing of all women, while the men were away fighting a territorial war.  Worse yet the children were forced to watch their mothers and sisters murdered.  And what did we do as this was going on?  We were given orders to stand down and not initiate, because we had the news crew with us, and couldn’t endanger innocent lives for a foreign war.  All of which ignited a war that rages on today that we hear no word of because America is ‘the best country in the world’ and is so self absorbed that it’s blind to the truth outside it’s borders.”  Slamming his cup of water on the table Mr. Carter stands with tears in his eyes, “That’s the good these eyes have seen, that’s the positive of this world!”  Out of breath, Mr. Carter sits back down looking intently at the father.
Unsure of how to respond, the father feels it best to leave now, “I’m sorry we bothered and agitated you.  You clearly have enough to deal with.  We’ll leave you be.  Have a good day Mr. Carter”  With that the father stands up begins to lead his son out. 
“Bye Mr. Carter, sorry you’re going blind.”
Patting the child on his head, “You’re my friend you can call me Walter.”  As the two walk away Walter places the tip for the waitress on the table, still holding the prescription.  Fumbling with it in his hand, deeply thinking about what just transpired and what’s going to happen from here.  Walter still contemplating, pounds on the table unsure of what to do.
           As if on cue, the waitress passes by asking, “Was that your family Mr. Carter?”  Walter tosses the prescription into the soup and walks away.

Now that you’ve read the story, let me tell you that I actually met Walter Carter.  I was in the ER several years ago, I think for coughing up blood, anyway not relevant.  What is, is the fact that I got bored waiting to be seen by the doctor after waiting to get a room for three hours, even though I worked at the hospital, so I started walking around.  I passed an open curtain with an elderly black man sitting there talking to a nurse, and she called him Walter.  He said the line that I used several times throughout the story verbatim, a line I’ll never forget.  The nurse walked away upset, so I went over and started talking to him.  He told me he was a former boxer that trained with Muhammad Ali when he was still Cassius Clay.  I was enamored for the 20 or so minutes I talked to him until his doctor came back to him.  I told Mr. Carter that I’ll leave him alone with the doctor, when he pointed at me, and said “You, you’re my friend, you can call me Walter.”  It made me so proud, even more so when I heard the doctor call him Walter, and wasn’t met with the same kindness I got.  When blindness came up as the topic, I knew I wanted to steer away from the extreme I went with in Anger Management, and as a result is the story you just read.