Thursday, March 24, 2011

Damian Alonzo - Untitled

It was raining outside, and Greg Nelson was driving from the lot of a local radio station. This was the first time anyone had expressed any interest in his professional opinion about anything, and it did not go at all how he had expected. He turned his radio on and tuned in to his interview. Due to delay, he was able to catch the last portion.

And we’re back with Greg Nelson…full-time spiritualist and part-time professor. As I’m sure everyone’s well aware of by this point, we’ve seen a disturbing increase in homicides and otherwise violent behavior lately, and while some are quick to crack down on parents or the police, there are others who have a very different take on what is going on. *pause* Ghosts! Demons! *laughter* In all seriousness, the commercial shamans and warlocks out there really have come into their own. Greg, could you fill us in on what you think is going on here?

Well, as I’ve said numerous times already, I’m not either of those. I’m morally and ethically opposed to the idea of furthering the pollution of the spiritual environment. But…

So you’re like the Green Peace of ghost hunters, basically.

I’ve never thought of it that way, but I suppose so…even though I don’t “hunt” anything. In any case… as you’ve already alluded to, yes, I do believe that we’re at the forefront of an assault by otherworldly beings. This is only a warning, and I believe that if we do not stop this wanton abuse and desecration of the spirit realm, things will get progressively worse.

Let me see if we’re on the same page here. So we’re at…war…with ghosts

Not yet. And I never once said “ghosts”, so I’d appreciate it if you didn’t put words in my mouth.

*laughter* Well, what else could you mean?

What I mean is that there could be a thorough, cladistic breakdown of the various types of otherworldly beings if anyone took the time to do it. Problem is that it’s a bit difficult, as you could probably imagine.

What, like goblins and unicorns? Orcs and hobbits?

Goblins, perhaps... Otherwise no, we’re not discussing mythological beasts or creatures of high fantasy.

Okay, all right. Jokes aside, what do you think is happening, or will happen?

Thank you. *pause* These commercial warlocks that you’ve mentioned…they’ve been tampering with something that they know full good and well will have detrimental effects on our world. These malevolent spirits have toyed with us for centuries, though I believe what we’re seeing right now are otherwise benign spirits that have been forced into “action”, basically.

Action against the warlocks?

Not in particular, no. Just against us.

*long pause* I don’t know, Greg. That’s a, uh…pretty crazy theory you’ve got there. Wouldn’t something have already happened? Why now?

Because it’s not on their terms anymore. We’re forcing them out into the open when they don’t want to be. I can’t be certain, obviously, but if I had to take a guess, I’d say that they were probably just as interested in our idea as we were at first.

At first? Humans have been communicating with ancestors and earth spirits since time immemorial.

Communicating respectfully, yes. And with good intentions, for the most part. Commercial warlocks force them into being without asking. There is no give and take. We aren’t asking for a fruitful harvest anymore, for example. Instead, farmers are contacting these warlocks to force earth spirits into slave labor, essentially. And they don’t even know what they’re getting! I’m surprised the fey world hasn’t done us over already, to be perfectly honest.


Faerie. The “folk”, if you will.

*pause* Um...right. I’m being told it’s time for a commercial break. We’ll be right back.

Greg shook his head as he punched through a yellow light. The rain was falling hard, now, as water danced erratically off the hood of his car. He turned off his radio and checked his phone. Two new voicemails and six text messages. He tossed it on his passenger’s seat and kept driving to his apartment. Just one more thing to add to the list of failures in his life. It reminded him of the time his brother first joined the military and shot right to the top. He’d always say how surprising it was, and how great it felt being trusted to lead men into battle. Their parents were always happy to have Tommy around. Greg was the one expected to struggle, and get little out of his efforts. He constantly had to remind his dad what it was he was going to school for, and what he was doing with himself after he graduated. Well, now there wouldn’t be any surprises. The whole family was tuned into that fiasco.

He approached the garage to his apartment and slowed down, noticing a red truck parked in the small guest lot. Pulling into his spot, he checked the text messages on his phone. One was from Tommy, who was “coming over with some beer”. He smiled and walked up to his unit.

“Not exactly what you had in mind?” Tommy said as Greg walked in. He already had a couple of beers and was watching a sitcom.

“Eh, you know. Gonna take some time for people to understand.” Greg sat down and opened a can.

“Screw ‘em. I’m with you, man. These idiots running around…making money off that stuff. Isn’t right.”


They sat silently for a little while, watching the terrible comedy play out on the television. The rain outside seemed to be letting up.

“You know,” Tommy began, “I was thinking about starting something up. I’m in R&D now, and there’s an awful lot of talk going around about this spirit stuff you’re interested in.”

Greg put his beer down. “Tom, you know I’ve been wanting to set up my own business…”

“Yeah, yeah,” Tommy cut him off. “I’m trying to help you out, too, Greg. I could bring you aboard as an advisor or something. You’re worth a whole lot more than this. I’m just asking for you to not be stubborn this one time. It doesn’t have to be about you or me, it can be about helping people.”

“Isn’t that convenient, though? The government is totally okay with these guys coming to power, and now they’re establishing a new program to take them out. Right.” Greg sipped his beer and looked at Tommy.

“I know how it sounds, but we have the resources that you never will. If I get this unit on its feet, it’ll be the break you’ve been waiting for. People will take you seriously, Greg. Hell, I wouldn’t doubt it if you were the primary advisor to the whole thing!”

Greg started to respond when his phone rang. And then Tommy’s. “Private number. Yours?”

“Same,” Tommy responded. “Answer yours.”

Greg slid his phone open and set it to “speaker”. Tommy’s phone stopped ringing. “Hello?”

There was deafening static on the other end for a few seconds before he got a response.

“Mr. Nelson…We must ask that you stop.” His phone chimed, indicating that the call was dropped.

“What the hell?” Greg asked his phone as he stood up, staring at it like he’d never seen or heard anything so weird in his life.

“Give it to me, I’ll have it traced and get back to you. Make sure you’re actually answering your house line.” Tommy said, marching out of the apartment.

Greg sank into the couch, staring out at the night.

Damian Alonzo is an Anthropology graduate and a native of Los Angeles. His focus for the last ten years has been on folklore, with an emphasis on Germanic Heathenry, the supernatural, and youth culture. Most of his free time is spent playing too many hours of PC games, otherwise he might actually have more writing done.


  1. Damian, I never knew you could write so well! I could even see this as a movie.

  2. Damian here. Really should get an account. Thanks! I've had a lot of fun chipping away at this thing. Kinda shooting for a "The Walking Dead" approach, where it's not so much about the horror or weirdness (though it's certainly the vessel), but how people/society might deal with these sorts of things more realistically.

  3. I read the whole thing and wanted to keep reading more so that's a good thing.