Museum on Shire

December 9th, 2022

The City floats on an ethereal cloud, dancing in and out of the fog of reality. The river connects with the fluid motion of the fabric of time and space .

Museum On Shire

November 16th, 2022

Museum on Shire

The World Beyond the Next Bend in the River #1

(A) A Broken World and NO PLACE TO HIDE (continued)

September 9th, 2022

Frightened, a primordial, irrational terror welled in the pit of his stomach. Fighting a near debilitating urge to vomit, Michael loosened his backpack, letting it drop to the pavement. ” I’ll get it later ” He thought, his mind whirling in near hysteria. The approaching growls were getting louder, the crashing underbrush and cracking dead branches alerting him to the pursuit.

Dashing down the center of the desolate country road, the encroaching woods on both sides formed a surreal, nightmarish tunnel of imagined horrors.

Running now in a near blind panic, he rushed to get away from the imagined monsters that were stalking him. His legs were becoming heavy, and a sharp pain stabbed at his side.

The persistent sounds of the onrushing pursuit, seemed to surround him.

They were getting closer!

The things were after him!

They were stalking him!

Glancing briefly over his shoulder, he could see the movement of several shadowy figures loping behind him, their murky silhouettes outlined against the dark, deserted country road. Stumbling he nearly tripped on an uneven crack in the pavement. That quick look was almost fatal. A momentary break in the overhead canopy allowed a pale beam of moonlight to revealed a snapshot of terror that rivaled his worst childhood nightmares.

He stopped for a moment,panting from exhaustion and fear; fighting to catch his breath.

There were animals, BIG animals,chasing him !

Closing the gap behind him.

There appeared to be three of them.

A flash of lightning lit up the night. And he was able to get an unwanted clear view of his pursuers.

Michael gasped in frightened horror.

They appeared to run on four legs, with 2 additional limbs, protruding from either side of the body., The beasts were nearly 4 feet tall at the shoulder,and were covered with a thick wolf-like fur. Their heads were lupine, with elongated snouts, and razor sharp canine teeth.

That momentary flash of light, gave their eyes a bright red demonic glare.

Bile bubbled up at the back of his throat.

“I’m being chased by Hounds escaped from hell ! ” He thought ,’ Please G-d, let this be a dream.”

He began running again,the visual horror providing a burst of adrenaline,giving new energy to his tiring body.

Twenty feet ahead, on the left side of the road he saw a familiar landmark, a large old gnarled oak tree . He had always thought of it as his stretching tree ; a stopping point on the after hours trip home from work and school.

A low hanging thick branch was a place where Michael liked to stop and stretch, doing a few pull ups, or chin ups to stretch his tired body. At night it appeared as a friendly arm pointing his way down the road towards home and dinner.

Familiarity !

A faint hope of salvation !

He sprinted for the tree; his subconscious, grasping at the landmark as a safe haven; Almost home!

He leaped for the well worn grips on the branch, and struggled to pull himself off the ground.

His body was oxygen deprived and depleted from the sprint in cold mountain air ! He hung from the branch,his arms refusing to respond ! He was unable to pull himself off the ground.

Struggling, tears of frustration spilling down his cheeks, he swung helpless, his legs kicking in a vain attempt to elevate.

There was a musty animal scent, and a steamy vapor of hot breath enveloped the air.

Reluctantly,he turned his head,forcing himself to look.

Three of the creatures, looking like demons spawned from the depths of hell, stood facing him

Their eyes gleamed red.

Their massive chests and muscular legs were covered in a thick coarse fur, two were grey with black streaks,the third, the largest of the three was snow white with reddish brown across his brow, and highlighting his muzzle.

They resembled a distant relative of wolves, but their bodies were much larger almost the size of the stuffed grizzly that stood inside Old McGregors General Store in Cartersville. These monsters had 4 legs for running, but also two muscular limbs,extending from massive shoulders, and ended in razor sharp hooked claws.

Michael hung helplessly from the branch, afraid to move, afraid to let go.

He watched in paralyzed fascination as the large white apparent leader, approached.

The rustling sound of movement in the surrounding woods seemed to grow, as more hulking shadows appeared.

The sound of snarls and snapping trees filled the air.

Their Red demon eyes seemed to float in the night darkness.

The smell of rotted flesh and dried blood was suffocating.

From deep in the woods, a low growl began vibrating, seemingly swelling, growing louder ,the sound was joined by others , from a dozen different directions, echoing and reverberation across the valley.

The white one paused, his massive head tilted to one side, as if listening for something. His mouth hung open, and Michael could see globs of saliva dripping from its enormous jaws.

This momentary respite produced a desperate surge of hope.

Michael released his grip on the branch, and dropped to the ground.

Very slowly, he turned to face the white demon.

Spreading his arms, while holding his hands open in a sign of surrender, he desperately moved his mouth, seeking a drop of saliva to lubricate his thickened tongue.” Hey big fella.” He forced his lips to form a thin smile.” I mean you no h..harm. You guys don’t want to eat me.”

The huge white head towered over Michael.

It took a step forward.

A growl rumbled from deep in its chest.

It snarled, revealing an enormous double row of razor sharp teeth.

Michael took an involuntary step backwards, the monsters breath almost causing him to gag.
A single resonating howl emanated from a place near the crest of Millers Mountain.
The sound seemed to echo from a hundred locations, bouncing from ridge to ridge, and building to a terrifying crescendo.

The monsters seemed mesmerized, frozen, immobile, their voices joining in a prehensile song of vicious savagery.

Michael watched in horror, as the great white Wolfen began to tremble. Wavelike ripples of muscle rolled along his sides.

Its eyes were a bright, burning red, glare.

Its muzzle was pulled back into a fierce frightening snarl.

Its eyes focused on Michael.

Sounds gurgled from deep in its throat.

Michael strained to detect their meaning, a momentary surge of hope of intelligence. “Maybe they understood him!”

It repeated the sounds, more distinctly this time.

They sounded like words, but they were emanating from vocal chords not intended for forming human sounds.

Michael struggled to understand.

The sounds were repeated.

He was almost able to make out the words the words being formed, repeating them slowly, one at a time.

Suddenly Michael was able to grasp their meaning…. he screamed in horror, and turned to run.

” Hot Blood! Food! Eat!” Were the last sounds that he heard.

He wasn’t a big meal, but he was very tasty, and they hadn’t eaten in a very long time.

A Broken World and NO PLACE TO HIDE

August 31st, 2022

Peter M. Lewitin

The howl echoed off the distant mountains.

Reverberating in the thin mountain air, the sound was an unfamiliar eerie intrusion,bringing a momentary stunned silence to the dense wooded areas bordering the deserted mountain road.

The sun had set nearly an hour ago, and it was already pretty damn cold. The steady wind gusting along the river valley carried a fine spray of mist,coating the road, and turning it slippery, as it hit the freezing pavement.

Michael Strickland tried to hunch under the neckline of his hooded sweatshirt, pulling it tight around his neck and shoulders. The heat in the building that housed the Springdale Sentinel, had been, as usual, turned up too high and his body was coated by a thin layer of perspiration. His hair was damp and cooled rapidly as the icy wind swirled..

He glanced at his wrist watch,felt a pang of guilt, and picked up the pace. It was already past dinner time, and his mother was gonna be pissed.

One of her pet peeves was being on time for dinner.” If you think I’m running a restaurant, and that you can stroll in here any time you want, you are dead wrong.” She’d glare over the top of her glasses,which balanced daintily at the tip of her nose, daring you to protest or even to utter a sound.

Truth be told, she was worried about him, and felt guilty that he had to work to help pay the bills. When he was late on Thursdays, she would give him the guilt laden speech, mainly for the benefit of his siblings, but he would always find a covered dinner plate waiting for him in the pantry,

Life was difficult in rural Georgia, and the worsening Depression left them barely scratching out a living on their small rocky piece of land.

Dad caught the flu and had died the previous winter,leaving the family in dire straits.
Mom was forced to work four days a week as a domestic for families up on “The Hill” , and also took in laundry for several families in town. Her formerly robust cheery demeanor had become mechanical,her complexion sallow. She was constantly tired, and too often,Michael would catch her silently crying as she sat, in the dark, staring blankly out of a window.

Michael hated the thought of causing her additional distress.
He had tried to call her several times, but as usual, the phone service in the mountains was unreliable.

His stomach growled, as if in a conspiracy with his brain.

A gust of freezing wind swirled around him. He exhaled in a whoosh, the steam from his breath forming a spiraling wisp of vapor before dissipating into the night. He shook his head, frustration causing a momentary pang of angst.

Wednesdays , being galley day at the paper, was always bad, but this one had been especially difficult, and wasn’t getting any better.

Earlier, at school, a water pipe in the gym had burst, leaving the gymnasium floor wet and slippery. Mr. McGuire, ever the ball buster, insisted that they take class outside.

Early December in Northern Georgia could be chilly, but a hard frost like this, was ridiculous. The soccer ball felt like a frozen snowball. Being a lowly, awkward sophomore made him an easy target, and Michael had several bright, berry colored bruises, as proof. Getting hit was painful, and the game quickly deteriorated into a war of attrition,making for a long rather painful afternoon

Having to work four or five hours two days a week after school, and a full day on Saturday, sucked, but they were having trouble making ends meet, and the money he brought in helped to pay the family bills. The untimely drought had turned their farm into a giant dust bowl, and the insects had been especially voracious this past spring and summer, leaving barely enough food to feed the family.

Michael had been lucky to find a job at the local newspaper office. The Country was struggling to survive a deepening Depression, and jobs were hard to come by.

The Springdale Sentinel published two weekday editions, the Tuesday shopping special, and the Thursday news of the week. The weekend edition was filled with advertisements, the comics, and of course a full section dedicated to sports, most of which was lifted word for word from the Boston Globe.

Wednesday afternoons were always the longest, and usually turned into unpaid overtime.This is when most of the ad copy was set for the next weeks two daily editions, and a general layout was finalized for the Sunday edition, which was always printed on Saturday afternoon. The copy had to be set, and the galleys readied for the presses, before the staff could leave.

This evening had been especially protracted. Marvin, the gofer who usually did most of the heavy physical labor, and Mr. Healey, the copy editor, with his thick rimmed glasses and quick witted tongue, always helped with the Thursday roll out, but both had failed to show up for work today.

Worse yet, neither one of them had called in with an excuse, and Mr. McCoy, the editor in Chief pitched a fit.” Where the hell are they? Too scared to face me” He yelled as he paced the hallway.
When he was angry, his ears turned bright red. Tonight they looked the color of ripened plums.

It was a rhetorical question, and Michael tried to blend into the wall next to the filing cabinet, hoping to escape Mr. McCroy’s wrath.

Mr. McCroy stopped short, and looked in Michael’s direction.” You, in the corner, stop cowering.” He gestured with his hand,” You might as well get started. The galley proofs are on Sally’s desk. ”

Michael stood silently in front of the desk, waiting for further directions. He was a novice at the job, and the stack of freshly printed copy was intimidating to him.

Mr. McCroy picked up the telephone receiver and began dialing Healey’s number for the hundredth time. The fast busy signal indicated that the phone lines were still down, and he slammed the phone back onto the receiver,looking up towards the heavens in frustration and anger.

The work was exacting and somewhat tedious. Accuracy was important, after all, they were printing a newspaper, and this sparsely populated, rural community depended upon the Sentinel for local news and filtered gossip.

Sally Strumpkins returned from a protracted sojourn to the ladies room, gave Michael a quick look of disdain, before settling her ample girth into the worn leather arm chair. Looking first at Mr. McCroy, and then in Michael’s direction, she shrugged.

“Don’t give me that pathetic look,” he growled. “We’re short handed, those butt jumpers didn’t bother to show up for work today, and we still have a paper to get out. “A vein on his right temple began to pulsate.
Sally opened her mouth to argue, noticed the twitch, and quickly lowered her eyes, shuffling the papers on her desk in a gesture of capitulation.” Come on, let’s get started.” She handed Michael a stack of the galley proofs, and gestured towards the long narrow counters along the rear wall, that served as the layout tables.

She glanced in Mr. McCroy’s direction, giving him a look of sweet innocence,” Boss,,” she smiled,” would you please call down to the circulation department and have Marcus from advertising come up here to help with the galleys. At least he has a clue how to lay out a paper.“

The Editor shook his head in frustration.” Sally. You’re my sister’s kid, but you can be one gigantic pain in the ass. Just get up out of that chair and help the kid with the layouts. I’ll get you some help from downstairs, but let’s not waste any more time. I’d like to get out of here before the ‘second coming’ ”.

With all available staff members pitching in, the Sunday paper was put to bed and the layouts for the next weeks Tuesday and Thursday editions were framed out.

A telex news report of a massive explosion in Germany sat unnoticed in the wire room.

A twig snapped in the woods to Michael’s right, followed by the faint sound of rapid breathing. The noise focused his attention back on the dark heavily wooded path that paralleled the road.
“Who is it? Who’s there? “He intended to sound calm and composed, but his verbal bravado was betrayed by a slight quiver.

Truth be told, this stretch of road was always intimidating after dark. Picking up his pace, he glanced over his shoulder, ears straining for a repeat of the sounds. After all, this was an overcast ,moonless night in the North Georgia woods, and there had been several recent reports of large wild animals being seen foraging, unusually close to town.

The gurgle and splash of Jasper Creek played a persistent symphonic harmony to his right.

Off to his left,The sound of dogs barking echoed from a cabin at the top of the ridge.” Must be   old man Johnson’s dogs, sound angry.” He shivered involuntarily.

A yelp and a wail of agony was followed by a scream and a shotgun blast.

Michael froze, shocked by the sudden sound. “Oh my god! No!”A woman’s voice screamed in terror. 

The bedlam of the dogs barking ended in a wine, then momentary silence.

Two more shotgun blasts followed in rapid succession.

Glass shattered.

Wood splintered.

“Help us!! HELP US ! They’re busting in our door!” Her voice was obscured by the angry growl of an animal, possibly a wolf, or a large dog.

Abrupt silence, deafening in its contrast, sent shivers down his spine. He started to call out, and then thought better of it. 

A snarl followed by a howl shattered the breathless silence.

A second and then a third howl pierced the night. In response, dozens of additional snarls and roars created a crescendo, the sounds echoing against the distant mountains. 

Michael gasped for air, the fear wrapping a tightening band around his chest . “ Must be a pack of wolves, “ His mind raced.” Sounds like they attacked the Johnson cabin. Wolves don’t act like that. Hunger must be making them so aggressive. “

A fierce growl emanating from the ridge, became a haunting howl, and then a a blood curdling chorus.

The chilling noise seemed to move in his direction, shaking Michael out of his terror induced paralysis.

“It’s sounds like they are communicating with each other.” He  thought.” I think they’ve picked up my scent.” Michael began walking faster, the rustling noises coming from the surrounding woods seemed to keep pace with his movements, throwing his imagination into hyper drive.

He broke into an easy trot, his breath coming in short puffs of cloudy white vapor. “What the hell are they?” He felt the panic building in the pit of his stomach.” Wolves are pack animals, but this is different. They sound too big, and too well organized.”

A deep throat-ed snarl sounded off to his right. 

The System is Unraveling Before our Eyes

February 23rd, 2021

The system is broken.

The most  extreme on both sides of the spectrum has become the litmus test of our viability.

If you’re not with us no matter how radical and aberrant we have become, then you are the enemy and we will squash you like the slime bag that has the nerve to feel something diferent.

The FED is Creating Wealth out of Thin Air

May 23rd, 2013

Hocus Pocus.

The FED has succeeded in creating a huge Stock Market rally by magically applying printers ink to endless rolls of paper. At least $ 85 Billion/ month out of thin air.

Can this last?

I have been sitting on the sidelines, watching this phenomenon.

A lifetime of economic rules, and logical economic forecasts have been turned upside down.

Used to be that the Market would signal the economic future six months in advance.

If the market went down, you could expect a weak economic future, and visa versa.

When you have a market driven by $ Billions every month, prices are driven by a printing press, and not by economic fundamentals.

The fundamentals are not that good, and certainly not as wonderful as the market rally of 2013.

I may have missed the ride up, but I learned many years ago, that you do not “PLAY” the market. You either invest, or you speculate/gamble( another way of describing a non professional trader)

Bottom line, dear friends. Be Very Careful.

The Market is not what it appears to be.

It has turned into a huge Ponzi scheme, and you the average middle class schnook will end up holding the bag.

Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but it’s coming to a trading account near you


It must be great

May 17th, 2013

It must be great to break the law and get to retire with a pension and other perks rather than get sent to jail.

How do I get that kind of job?

Oh yeah,

Go to work for the Feds

Boston Marathon, Could the Bombing Be a Test Run?

April 20th, 2013

Getting 2 expendable young men with a very misguided set of morals and priorities to do something stupid yet horrible sets them up as fall guys.

Do something dastardly.

Make sure you kill and maim enough to anger the American People.

Do it in a very public venue.

Set it up to be on live television.

Lets see what the Americans can do.

What technology is in place.

What procedures do the Americans follow.

Let them try to catch these stupid and expendable young guys.

If they get caught or killed, no big deal.

We’ve got a million more, just like them.

Then we’ll know what to do next time, with the big one, so we can do maximum damage .

All the American assets and procedures have been laid out in exquisite detail.


December 23rd, 2012

The current” Bull Market” galloping along on Wall Street, is now approaching 4 years and counting.

In the context of a very sluggish, limping U S economy, this “Bull Market” defies  conventional logic.

The markets gains have been fueled by several  non sustainable factors.

A gluttony of government expansion and spending coupled  with the various Q E ‘s ( so far 1-2-3-4) has injected unprecedented amounts of paper currency  into a very stagnant economic climate.

Corporate earnings have increased, not by business expansion, but by payroll shrinkage. The P/ E  ratios and earning per share have come at the expense of steady high unemployment.

As 2012 comes to a close, many companies have pared their overhead a low as functionally plausible. They  will be hard pressed to provide any semblance of  earnings growth going forward as they were able to provide in the past 2 or 3 years.

Beginning in 2009, the Fed initiated Q E 1  to buy distressed mortgage securities, later expanding it to include purchase of treasury bonds, all with newly printed $ ‘s.

The bond crisis in Dubai in late 2009 in which a default was narrowly averted, signaled a       “Every thing is not o k ” sign that the World economy was becoming over  extended.

In 2010 the flush of the massive U S stimulus  was beginning to fade.

The economic stability of Greece became a concern, followed by economic woes in Ireland, Spain, Italy, and Portugal.

The Government of France became Socialist, and the French economy has displayed  signs of distress.

The struggling World economy has spread to all corners of the Planet, with the fissures being  disguised behind  massive amounts of paper money being printed by Central banks ,  to keep money  cheap.

Since mid 2011, the economy has moved laterally yet the Bull Market continues to defy reality.

It is frightening to think that the softening World economy has spread despite  almost $ 90 billion per month of Fed spending on QE 3 & 4,the Euro Central Bank pledging unlimited bond support, and similar actions  being pushed by central banks of Japan and England.

The central bank of China has been forced to instigate several stimulus infusions to bolster the sagging growth of  Chinese businesses.

General Petraeus an American Tragedy

November 14th, 2012

The most successful American military leader since WWII resigned amid scandal last week. He admitted cheating on his wife of 38 years, with a woman almost 20 years his younger.

The General had been the architect of the “surge” strategy in Iraq, turning a dangerously deteriorating quagmire into an emerging success.

He was becoming a hero, someone that everyone admired. He was credible, successful, and best of all a conservative with popular appeal. He was good at what he did, an effective leader, and the Progressives hated him.