The Dark Park – Part 5

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Cherrywood Hospital

“Is he going to be okay?” nodding in Stephens’ direction, Police Chief Adams conveying his concern to the nurse on duty. He asked quietly, not wanting to disturb Stephens resting.”

“Yes, he’ll be fine, but we want to keep him overnight for observation and to make sure he rests. The concussion we suspect he has, if not taken seriously, could have him presenting him with other symptoms. This way, he would get our immediate attention. We’d rather be safe than sorry.” Nurse Parker checked his head wound, adjusted his IV, and made a notation on his chart. “Is there anyone else we should contact for him?”

“No, I’ve got one of my other men letting the family know. They should probably be here shortly. Thanks for taking good care of my man, Nurse Parker.”

The nurse just beamed and was about to say something when Stephens’ family arrived. “You’re welcome, Chief,” as she quickly left the room.

“Thanks for letting us know, Steve. How is he doing?” his wife Linda asked.

“Well, someone hit him over the head so hard he has a severe concussion. They had to stitch him up too. But they think he’s going to be all right. He needs rest for now.” He gave her a short hug to reassure her. “Now, will you excuse me? I’ve got to figure out who did this to him.”

“Sure, sure,” Linda said with gratitude in her eyes. 

Cherrywood Recreation and Entertainment Park

The police chief combed the area for any clues, finding none. Adams scratched his head in confusion but did notice an unfamiliar feeling creeping upon him; he felt as if on high-alert. He suspected this rush of adrenaline was a natural response to the attack. 

He noticed another man approaching, rushing towards him actually, and he had what looked like fire red eyes. Adams immediately placed his hand on his service pistol. He swore he heard something reminiscent of a war cry.

The man charged and left Adams with no other recourse but to shoot. He killed him.


It wasn’t the last time that happened. For the next few months, any person who set foot on the property became filled with rage and hatred. And they took it out on the men, women, and children who visited the park. Approximately 500 residents had either been killed or injured severely. It didn’t take long for the recreation commission to decide to close it to the public.

What the people of Cherrywood didn’t know, the Chenwalk were no longer in the flesh, and they were exacting their revenge on the white man. It took many hundreds of moons, but their reanimated consciousness took shape after the waste had reached their bodies deep in the ground. The tribe remained ever vigilant and protected Washenka. Had it not been for that white man who cursed them, their spirit form would not have a reason to hurt those occupying the land now. In their new ethereal state, they could project their anger into the white men and let them do all the dirty work. 

The Chenwalk people had the last laugh.


Thanks so much for your support of this series! See you next month!

The Dark Park – Part 4

white metal gate
Grant Durr – Unsplash

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

The white man who encountered the Chenwalk tribe quite by accident had unknowingly spread smallpox. A team of scouts from the tribe had heard a shot ring out in the woods, and they went to investigate. They found the man getting ready to gut the deer. Upon seeing the Indians, he calmly sliced a large piece and offered it to them. Realizing he was not going to harm them, only being generous, they cautiously accepted his gift. They were even showing the man how to make better cuts to salvage the hide. In the hours they were squatting together around the dead deer, none knew what was to follow. Well, maybe the white man once he finally started showing symptoms himself. But he was already long gone from Washenka at that time. 

The Chenwalk people were dead within a month of the white man stepping onto their land. As was their tradition, they arranged the dead on funeral pyres and burnt them, offering their souls to the sky gods. Those still well enough took on the responsibility of ushering them on to the next step into their supernatural journey. With whole families dying simultaneously, it became clear they could not recover from this curse that had befallen them. Knowing this was their end, the elders decided to burn all the dead in their tents, wiping out evidence of their existence. With each fire, the village returned more and more back to the wilderness. When the last Indian died, he became food for the earth, and Washenka was no more.

Present Day – Cherrywood Police Station

Police Chief Adams read through all the statements taken from the five oldest teenagers who were in custody. None of them had any previous criminal records, but here they were, having beaten their friends to a pulp with fists and weapons. And what they recalled was nothing, no reasons nor motives to drive them to do what they did that night. All of them sat in their jail cells confused, hysterical or crying. He shook his head and sighed deeply. What the hell was going on?

“Stephens, what do you think happened tonight?”

“I don’t know, sir. It’s like they all just went crazy. And they act like they don’t know what happened to them tonight. Maybe we should consider getting them drug tested? Perhaps they were tripping?”

“Yeah, I think that’s a good idea. Go ahead and call the hospital and see if a lab tech can come over and draw their blood.”

“Yes, sir. Right away, sir.”

Stephens picked up the phone and made the arrangements. The hospital said it would send someone over as soon as possible, probably within the next 15 minutes. “Thank you,” Stephens said and relayed that information to Police Chief Adams.

“Stephens, I’d like you also to go back to the park and see if you can comb through what was left there for any evidence of drugs.”

“Yes, sir.”

When Stephens arrived at the park, the hair on the back of his neck stood up. When he stepped out of the police vehicle, he felt amped up, like electricity was circulating in his body. Then nothing.

The next thing he remembered was waking up in the hospital with a big gash across his forehead.




I Write Her

 Conflict erupts, yet again. Respond or slink away?

If I stay, I face the cacophony of fieriness; I put myself in danger of being wounded.
Leave, and I’m embarrassed that I didn’t defend myself.

It’s a lose/lose scenario.

How do I represent? Why do I care? What do I gain and what is at stake?

All thoughts are firing amidst the chaos playing out in front of me. WHAT DO I DO??

The internal struggle dominates in this external battle, this the more pressing issue.

The voice deep within gets louder. WHAT DO I DO?!?!”

I hesitate, I’m crushed.
I match the tone, I’m angrier.
I fear, I lose.

The indecision is killing me. Thebest of us dies too.

I bloody my world.

I feel red.

It’s the anger at myself, and others who put me into the mode of having to figure it out.

I see…

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Teaching Moments


it’s annoying
and disappointing
you vow one thing
and do another

where is the care
you promised
i count on it
only to be let down

i gave you
too much credit
trusting you
to do your one job

fulfilling the deed
you signed up for
i should be able
to believe you’d deliver

“My word is my bond!” you said
that commitment
was and is

things get
out of hand
you expect me
to pick up the pieces

like i always do
like an obedient servant
avoiding defeat

but in the end
take the hit
this party’s over

Past Lies


“Whites saw Indians as obstacles to settlement, not rightful proprietors. Whites possessed presumptive rights because they represented a superior civilization. Indians were merely “savages”, incapable of putting the land to its highest possible use.” “Feel-good morality tales, in which the good guys can do no wrong and the bad guys can do no right, are far from harmless. They feed the notion that one side, inspired by righteousness, possesses the right to kill. They fuel the destructive cycle of revenge, for the villainous acts committed by the bad guys must be avenged. The emotions stirred in stories such as The Patriot are elemental but base: we want the enemy to go down. Justice is achieved through killing.”
Ray Raphael, author of Founding Myths – Stories That Hide Our Patriotic Past

This thought-process explains why the military defense gets over half of the US budget. The mindset of the powerful is and has always been one of conquest. They expect everyone to feel the same and fall in line. Those who whitewash history know this. It’s precisely why our children don’t learn the reality of this country’s past as teachers shovel feel-good stories about patriotism. The United States tries to deflect on every level all the shit they have done.

It’s disgusting.


It’s Lacking


this on-again
off-again affair
it’s all just practicing
at the grown-up table

the repetition of the immature
the relationship nostrum
of the stupid
hot-cold-over, hot-cold-over

the connection fails
time and time again
when the heads in the game
are unequipped to love properly