THE NIGHTLY CHILL
By Steve Arviso
FIGHT THE DAWN!
As the sunlit sanity of the waking world burns the night to ash,
embrace the unbound madness of your wildest dreams,
laugh into the endless abyss of your darkest fantasies,
and rage against the coming dawn.
The Nightly Chill is the unstable experience of the mind and madness of Steve Arviso (@AmoralCrackpot). Mon-Fri. Ish.
- WHERE STARS COLLIDE
- THE SHADOW KNOWS
- TRACK OF THE NIGHT
Painting isn’t about filling the canvas with every combination of color, shape, and brush stroke. Similarly, writing isn’t about this mythical struggle to fill the dreaded “blank page.” Like Bob Ross said, “This is your world. You’re the creator. Find freedom on this canvas.”
WHERE STARS COLLIDE
Something else. Still Different.
I never thought I could kill anyone.
Until I did.
All I wanted was some fuckin’ ice cream, man.
It’d been pushin’ a hundred all week,
and I was sweatin’ like crazy every night, all night.
Y’ever been so hot you stick your head in the freezer just to cool off?
Y’ever get stoned out of your mind just so you can forget how hot it is?
Well, when you’re both,
The last thing I remember before it all went screwy,
it’d have to be standing in line in this sweatbox of a gas station,
right around the corner from my place.
I had that ice cream in my hand, man.
Sweatin’ there in this long fuckin’ line,
wondering the fuck there’s a line at at like two in the mornin’.
Then I finally pay, step outside, and then nothin.
No stars, no black, no nothin’.
Didn’t even get to open the wrapper, man.
I remember the way the man cried.
how do I put it?
He was fuckin’ losin’ it, ya know?
I remember’ just kinda blippin’ in to that, ya know?
One minute, I’m all about that ice cream.
The next, I’m in the middle of a fuckin’ canyon.
The sun’s coming out.
It’s finally cold as shit, and everything’s wet.
And there’s this guy tied up next to me.
He was just layin’ there, losin’ his fuckin’ mind.
He was cryin’ and screamin’.
Shit was runnin’ down his nose.
He was chokin’ on his spit and everything.
I don’t know what happened.
He looked fine.
Nothing had happened yet.
Maybe I’m the weird one for not acting like that.
She wore a Coyote mask, jeans, and a Ramones tee.
Her voice sounded young, but
something about the way she talked,
I don’t know,
it’s like she’d been doin’ this a while.
Like, there’s that way people talk when they’re really comfortable doin’ shit,
Like, they got this shit handled. No worries.
Real boss-lady type shit.
The whole thing’s really fucked up.
The whole fuckin’ thing.
That’s what she said.
She tossed me a fuckin’ tire iron, and said, “Pick one.”
And I just look at her like, I don’t know.
Like someone just kidnapped me,
dragged my ass to the middle of a fuckin’ canyon
with some dude who looks and sounds like he’s shitting himself,
and then gave me a tire iron and said, “Pick one.”
Then she pulled out a piece.
So, I picked one.
She took our phones, our wallets.
I had to walk out of the canyon, and down the highway.
Caked-up in dirt, and tears, and vomit, and blood and brains and bone.
I don’t know how long I walked.
Maybe it was a few minutes, maybe longer.
Eventually CHP pulled me over.
It was the second time someone pulled a gun on me.
Not that I blame him.
You should have seen me.
You think she was watchin’?
Sleep is hard.
Being awake ain’t easy, either. I guess.
But sleeping is harder.
I should probably see someone about that.
Money’s a bit tight.
But sometimes when I can’t sleep, I think about her.
Did she know what I would do?
I didn’t know the guy. He didn’t know me. Probably.
She could’ve picked anyone else in that gas station.
Why me, huh? Why him?
Or that piece of hers.
It’s not like she fired a warning shot, or whatever.
She just kinda held it, waved it around a bit.
Do you think she meant her too?
Did I kill some guy I didn’t know when I didn’t have to?
Maybe if I had, that guy would still be alive.
Maybe if he had to pick, we’d both still be here.
Did I fuck up?
Does it even matter?
THE SHADOW KNOWS
Adena’s lil’ audio love note to the (great) granddaddy of pulp vigilantes, The Shadow. Listen to it now on Spotify, sub to the PulpBusters audio feed, or even download a free MP3 of The Shadow Knows using the links below.
TRACK OF THE NIGHT
Thriller (1982) by Michael Jackson.
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YOU ARE NOT ALONE
THE NIGHTLY CHILL