Short Story
                                  The Wind Carries My Bones
                                                             By Judson Michael Agla

     The skeleton of a raven brought me a message.  He left laughing towards the sky and the moon, and
there was no moon that night.  I saw fire in the sky, I saw blood on my hands.  I looked at the message, it
was written on a piece of rolled up skin.  I did not know who or where it had come. The words moved as if
seen through glistening waters.  I had no need to decipher, I had seen the Devils script before. It was my
death sentence, and this also I’ve seen before. The Devil taunts me with these promises, these invitations
to walk through the forest and cross the river into the Abyss. I’m always left standing, holding a piece of my
skin, blood on hands with the skeleton of a raven laughing in the moonlight, where there is no moon.

                             The Vines Have Stopped Creeping
                                                                     By Judson Michael Agla

     The vines have stopped creeping, the walls won’t have them, and they bleed on the dead flowers that
have lost their keeper.  Dust and rust are all that remains in this garden. I’d give my bones, my flesh and
my crippled mind, just to see a single bud, a sparkle of color, but the bolt already flew and there are no
other offerings because the vines have stopped creeping.

                                          Monkey Insurrection
                                                             By Judson Michael Agla

     I woke to the shivering realization that I forgot to take my pills the night before, an ever growing self-
destructive routine I’ve slipped into. As it goes, the length of my room, the distance between my bed and
my pills becomes insurmountable in my inflicted state of mind.

     I’ve been in this fucking room many days and nights, I’m not sure exactly how long as I’ve burned my
calendar in hopes that the pain from the flames on my fingers would distract that vengeful obsessive sick
organ that some call a mind. Cutting myself had lost its potency days ago.  Besides, I was running out of
space on the non-lethal areas of my skin.

     A cool city breeze was coming in through the open window, tragically masked by the stench of the
room and my soiled body. I pissed out the window and shit in a bucket. Everything I owned was on the floor
forming a solid mass, developing a toxic ecosystem of mold spores and even what looked like grass
growing close to the walls; it would all have to be burned eventually. Before crawling into my usual fetal
position, I turned on the tube and layered myself in blankets which helped with the sores that were forming
on my skin. There are different kinds of pain, some help, some, not so much.

     I had destroyed the phone and my alarm clock the day before in a drunken rage for no good reason at
all. I had acquired a good sum of booze, usually the sickness comes without warning. However, as I get
older, signs appear before the abyss has me by the balls. This sign shown above the liquor store.

     I grabbed some pills and bourbon and drifted into a midway between sleep and wakefulness.  I don’t
know for how long but from what I saw, revived as I could be under these conditions, caused me some

     It was a “MONKEY INSURRECTION”. I’ve heard of this before from books and drunken stories from
ostracized old men in seedy bars. I knew it would inevitably swing my way but you’re never really prepared,
you’re never quite sure that you believe.

     Just to be clear, I’m crazy.  I take pills, or rather I’m prescribed pills, it’s all documented and I have
many friends and professionals who will stand by this truth. It is also true that I’ve taken large quantities of
acid, mushrooms, PCP, ecstasy, cocaine, grass and every type or flavor of alcohol. I suffer from bi-polar
disorder, OCD, ADHD, ADD, depression and occasional thoughts of suicide.

     I agree that in light of these confessions, I may have revealed myself as an undependable source or
correspondent but I assure you that what happened really happened.

     After a quick shot of bourbon, I began to open my eyes, which was difficult as they were stuck shut. I felt
like a pig shat in my head and the noise was driving spears into it from all angles. I began to become more
alert, having a huge ball of monkey shit smacking me dead center on the face. Pissed off and wiping my
eyes, I saw that there were several monkeys that had chewed their way through the walls and ceiling.  They
obviously had the upper hand. I couldn’t imagine what they wanted.  What’s worse, I didn’t believe that they
did either.

     I watched as shit flew across the room and whatever hadn’t already been destroyed was being
destroyed. I hadn’t been able to discern their numbers, they were moving too fast for my blurred vision. I
did notice that a few were trying to eat my television which I was not going to permit.  However, what kind
of retaliation could I possibly unleash?

     I had a large cache of knives, swords, machetes and such (some call it paranoia, some call it being
prepared). I even had a crossbow but after the first shot, they could be all over me in a flash of teeth and
claws.  Using the blades would definitely end up in a fierce blood bath besides they could probably use
them against me. Yes, I was definitely fucked. I made myself into the smallest ball I could at the corner of
my bed and pulled my soiled sheets around me, laying as still as I could.

     Things weren’t going to be the same in the aftermath but wasn’t that what I wanted, what I was craving,
a new spark, a fire under my ass, a meaning, some driving force leading me to a new beginning. Maybe I
was destined to be brought down in a monkey insurrection. I’ve tasted death so sweet I’d crawl towards it
hands and knees, my savior, my benevolent stranger, my vaccine. I’ve been chasing this ghost all my life.
People don’t realize what it’s like when your own mind is in the throes of battle against itself, to fantasize
about the end with no want to walk through the promise land but to step over the precipice into the abyss,
into nothingness. Gods don’t get me off and religion is unintelligible marks scratched into a bloody wall
centuries old and rotten.

     Will I get sicker? Am I fighting to live or living to die? I think about suicide on a regular basis.  I’ve never
tried because I believe I’d fuck it up and one thing worse than having a mental illness is being hospitalized
with a mental illness.

     It’s hard to describe the horror I feel when the realization that things won’t get better begins to rise, to
boil over, to consume. And things won’t get any better, the pills suppress the illness but they don’t release
me. There’s only one release. I can’t say how many different pills I’ve tried, prescribed or recreational but I’
ll say this; if there is a god and I have a chance to meet him, I’ll sack him between the legs and stab him in
the neck.

     Thanks for the life you dangled in front of my eyes.  For the sorrow that never leaves.  For misleading
me down the path of dirt and dust.  For giving me faulty parts.  For giving me a soul that anguishes for

     Murder and rockets, the peaks I’ll never summit. I’m watching you through my mind’s eye, that’s how
close I’ll come to finding myself amongst all this garbage.

     The belief in deities is one thing; being trapped in a room with monkeys going ballistic is another and
certainly more pressing. Maybe if I only had some bananas or dynamite, I could end this chaos (the one in
my mind as well as the monkeys). It would leave a hell of a mess, a fine civilized way to go. I thought of
overdosing, drinking myself to death is too expensive, I’d let these monkeys tear me apart but I won’t give
them the satisfaction.

     It seems as though the monkeys are leaving, there crawling back through the holes they made,
nothings left standing and while I was distracted by my melancholy, they did eat my fucking TV
(FUCKERS). As the last of the monkeys made their way back through the walls and ceiling the holes
closed up behind them leaving no signs of their presence.  Even the state of my room could be attributed
to one of my rages, although the condition of the T.V. could be cause for question. So this is how it goes,
every day they come, every day the “monkey insurrection “seems realer than real. Maybe it is, maybe I’m
just trying to exit, save up for that final ticket out of here.
About Judson Michael

I’m a spiritually blind man
creeping through the Arts
on hands and knees
through the streets and
bars of Toronto. Being
blessed with attributes
such as O.C.D. and Bi-
Polar disorder life has
been a continuous crawl
towards the surface. I
paint, draw, write, carve
wood, sculpt, fight
monkeys (real or not), take
a lot of pills (prescribed)
and wait for Death, not to
die however I just think we
could have a nice
conversation over coffee.
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