New Movies

Source: New Movies

2015 BEST UFO SIGHTINGS

NEW UFO CAUGHT ON TAPE

Whatever you think of mankind, and the unlikeliness that we are alone in a universe filled with billions of stars, take a gander at this recent upload from one of my friends. While attending the UFO Congress in Arizona, I learned a great deal about the alien agenda and the cover-ups from governments around the world. Are we alone, is it possible that Earth is the only planet which lies in the The habitable zone, sometimes referred to as the “Goldilocks Zone” a region around a star that has just the right conditions to find liquid water on a planet’s surface. And liquid water is a key ingredient in the search for life.

RETURNING FROM THE DEAD

RJ 2015

The Master of Suspense

Oh, God, I feel good. That’s not to be confused with a total state of happiness… peace and harmony is another thing entirely. It is mid August 2015 as I tap out this flow of mindful, deliberative thoughts to my fans and friends around the globe.

The heat has been horrendous this year; the sweat glistens on my skin following moments out in the beaming elements.

Perhaps Global Warming is sending us all on a journey of disaster.

I am three months post recovery from surgery that repaired the damage to my shoulder incurred during that bike accident. With the reattachment of a bicep tendon and repairs of tears in my rotator cuff, the ongoing rehabilitation has been painful and long. But the good news is that the operation was successful and I am feeling a lot better every day.

The last 26 months have certainly been challenging, but I have always prided myself on pushing through adversity, overcoming obstacles and climbing back from tragedy.

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August 2015

That’s where I find myself right now. With severe neck and shoulder surgery in the rear view mirror, I am coming back. That’s not to say I haven’t lost a lot; I have. Depression has been great in the knowledge of how great that loss really is to my career.

Artists work hard at their craft, working many years, in the hope of making it to the main stage.

That break came to me in late 2012, and I was excited beyond anything to realize in fall 2013 I would go on an international book tour for my first novel, The Santa Claus Killer. But sometimes fate has something to say about it. Then, sometimes, the recklessness of others ruins everything. Many of you have contacted me, bewildered that the company responsible for my injuries has not accepted responsibility. It’s true Ajax Paving Incorporated has certainly not paid my medical bills or done the right thing by me and my family. A reckless company to be sure, I am just another victim in a long line of people who have been severely hurt by their destructive practices.

I am leaving that up to a fine group of lawyers to handle.

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August 2015

As for me, and the reason why you all come here, let me say this: After two years of surgery and rehab, I am now able to sit at my computer and write a little every day. It’s not at the level that I once enjoyed; I can’t sit here for five hours daily and turn out the manuscripts like before the accident. I no longer have the backing of investor money for tours; all of the events have been cancelled.

That’s just something I am going to have to learn to live with.

But I have been able to develop and create something, and that’s refreshing. The long months and hours away from the computer have given me a lot to think about…. life, it’s shortness and the fact that time continues marching despite what any of us think.

To that end, my work in progress, Mountain Monsters, has been renamed with the Publishing title of Monsters In The Woods. Although I have quite a clip of development and writing yet to do, the manuscript is coming along nicely. The characters are forming, interacting finely and pushing the story through a well thought out path. I suppose this one may best be described as Harry Potter meets Swamp Thing.

This book was supposed to be done eighteen months ago, and I am blessed to have great people around me. From my US Agent, Joyce Keating, who insisted I take the time to heal, to Editor Glenda Findley whose words keep me focused. Just the other day, I spoke with my UK Representative, Mr. Robert Snow, possibly the most upset about my accident. But despite the hard work I have had to undergo to fight through these last two years. they have all stuck by me no matter what.

Sure, I have lost investors and retailers, but the core group of people around me have been nothing but supportive.

Monsters

RJ Smith’s 2016 Release

Monsters In The Woods is something I’ve been thinking about for my entire life. We all remember being young and fretting the Boogieman hiding in the dark closet… back behind the swinging hangers. Many check under their beds before crawling in for a good night’s sleep. I used to pull the sheets up over my head, believing that somehow that would keep me safe. Tales of monsters are ingrained in the young, just the same as Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. We thrive on the tales, pushed around summer campfires and camp.

Childhood would be nothing without the fright-fests we dream into existence. For me, as I grew into my thirteenth birthday at The McQuade Foundation for Boys in New Windsor, New York, we’d all be scared shitless about a race of reptilian monsters that we believed took up residence in the woods.

There were stories every summer, and sometimes in winter. If a tree branch hit the window, the kids would know for certain what was out there in the darkness. Those memories of creatures, hunting our young bodies has stayed with me through the course of time.

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June 2015

A few months back, I was able to visit the place where I grew up. I walked those same woods that brought fear to my then young mind, I crept along the same dirt and leaf strung paths, touched the secret tree where my friends and I carved our initials, and recalled everything about the tale of the Monsters in the Woods that we conjured when the boredom came rushing in.

So this is me, picking myself back up off the ground, brushing off the injuries and moving into the future. I have  a coalition to build all over again, and I’ll be damned if I’ll let a few injuries stop my course through history.

Thus, every day, I wake from my dream and hobble over to the keyboards. There is a book to write… a story to tell, and there isn’t any other way I know… other than to write it all down and send it to my agents for publishing.

 

The Monsters In The Woods

photo_11Hey, fans, and welcome to summer… they say it’s going to be brutally hot. Climate change, maybe something worse, perhaps the beginning of the end. What do I know about it? All I can do is follow the research and stay out of the politics. I have enough to think about.

I’ve just returned from a seriously shortened excursion. You see, I was planning on spending my summer in the mountains of New York, had planned to finish writing Mountain Monsters along the banks of the Hudson River by August. Maybe sit at one of Cena 2000 best tables and stare off across the water. I ended up at the restaurant twice during the one week I spent in Newburgh and New Windsor.

Yes, It’s true; one week barely makes a summer long escapade of novelistic adventure. But it was all my body would allow, as the pain in my back and shoulder nagged so bad that I had to cancel the remainder of my trip and hurry back to Florida and make an emergency visit to the back doctor. PAIN is funny that way, it doubles you over, and I have learned a lot about it since that fateful night in 2013 when my bicycle went into that hole.

You all remember that, right? How could you forget? I can’t, the constant re-emergence of the injuries keep me off my beaten track of selling books. Now, perhaps, it has affected my writing; the travel required to get the story.  Nothing sucks as bad as these last two years since that night.

One of my favorite places in New York and home to the Headless Horseman.

One of my favorite places in New York and home to the Headless Horseman.

But, despite the fact I could not stay up there as planned and write my next great adventure… I did get to return to the McQuade Campus where I grew up and relived the  memories needed to develop the story’s characters and scene development. After all, we have to accept what life gives us, when it wants… and do our best to move forward. Thus, I took hundreds of pictures and made tons of recordings to bring home to assist the memory.

10922810_10206852341246045_7065498960345777183_nMy first day in the northeast was spent at the Yankee game with my AUDIO THEATER business partner, Jeff Douglas. Many of you may remember Jeff, as we were involved in a start-up new entertainment company before my accident.

It was good to see my HBO buddy and we chatted about all things that would have been. Unfortunately, as this art form is still pending trademark and patent steps, you know we still can’t talk about it. The process is long and involves so many working parts in the audio and acting fields.  Talking all this over, we watched as the Yankees were handed their hat here at home by the Rangers. We didn’t stay to see the whole game, as the fifth inning came, the seats became too much for me and we left. YANKEES got killed anyway.

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FRONT ROW from left.  Kevin Lester, RJ Smith, Anson Moore, Roger Miller and Stanley Lewis – we are seen here in a newspaper drinking Mello Yellow during the product release!

Just north of the city sits the small town of New Windsor.  That was my next destination. It was here at a  residential school called The McQuade Foundation for Boys where I found a family as an abandoned youngster from 1976 through 1982. During those years, I banded together with four other kids who’d been through a similar hell I knew of being dumped by a parent.

Kevin Lester, Anson Moore, Stanley Lewis and Roger Miller were my friends…. we bonded, had all been thrown away like trash on the side of the road by our irresponsible parents. That helped us form deep emotional friendship which still bring a tear to my eye in the wee hours of darkness. Those friends and the place, staff and teachers… they saved me. I found a home, a place where all my pain and anguish was understood. I suddenly had brothers; we cried, laughed and shared our dreams for a better life. They were my heroes; we sliced our palms in the solemn oath of blood brothers and life was now good.

Standing out among all the houseparents who worked the cottages was one particular knight in shining armor, the only adult who mastered the magic of making my fears and insecurities melt away.

His name was Clifford Webb. A counselor on the campus and the head of our fifteen boy cottage, he was part time New Windsor volunteer ambulance EMT and we all looked up to him like a father. The glue which bonded our mental injuries; he healed our broken hearts and taught us how to deal with our raging emotions. Clifford was a giant in the eyes of every boy he cared for. The McQuade Foundation was our home. To we kids who were mentally traumatized and physically abused by the actions of our run-off parents, Clifford became what many of us had never known: a herculean father, best friend and last stop savior. As the years stretched on at McQuade, I learned a great deal from him and the childhood relationships formed with the other kids. My life became bearable, the stabbing pain of loneliness faded and I would even say… I was happy for the first time in my life.

Then, I grew up, and when I left that place, life fell apart.

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The Haunted Mansion –  now the administration building. GHOSTS  pacing the old creaking floors can be heard throughout the three story building when nobody is around.

But I never forgot. The friendships I experienced at McQuade would stay with me for the entirety of my life. I knew, many years later, that without those kids and the wisdom whispered into my young ears by Clifford, I may have never made it out of the deep hole my life would later become.

Thus, a few years ago, after I wrote my movie script Destiny, and before my accident, I outlined a novel about McQuade and the frightfest of monster experiences we all conjured there. I started the fictional account in early 2013 right after I sent Cataclysm to the editor. Back then, I knew it was time to write a YA thriller and fantasy novel about the storied place where I grew up… and now, as my physical rehab from my neck surgery was ending and before my upcoming shoulder surgery, I felt it was time to head back in time to the one place which planted the root of writing in that young, frightened boy.

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Hill House is one of the most haunted places on the campus.

I was blessed to have been given free access to search through the grounds and it afforded me the opportunity to cleanse the hole ripped in my heart over my shattered childhood. Investigating what had happened to my three best friends… I learned Stanley died in a tragic fire, Anson languishes in a New York Prison serving 25 to Life and Kevin died in the terrible AIDS Pandemic of the 1980’s. Finding this all out hurt, it was like being kicked in the stomach…. but, it also caused me to realize, I was the last survivor of our clan of friends, and it made writing this story much more important. It would be up to me to write their tales, bring forth their spirits for the world to read of and to help people understand the plight of abandoned kids. Nobody else can do it… this is my tale to tell and I had that sacred blood oath to keep. That promise we all made to be FRIENDS TO THE END.

Fulton Cottage Day Room

Fulton Cottage Day Room

Walking through Fulton Cottage where we all lived, I glanced into my boyhood room… it brought a tsunami of memories pouring back. The nights when we’d hear the wind rattling the windows, the tree branch shadows casting across the moon lighted windows. There were tales of monsters, the constant attacks of ghosts up in Hill House and the weird old caretaker, Seymour. Sometimes, we thought… he’d stalk the cottages with cutting sheers and wipe us all out. That was boyhood, we scared each-other half to death. What fun, huh?

Now, forty years later, things have really changed.

Progress is always forward gaining. People pass on to that mystery in the next realm. Faces change and life goes on.

The McQuade Foundation For Boys is no longer here in name… it has been taken over and replaced by an outfit named Saint Christopher’s Inc.

Fulton Cottage as seen from outside.

Fulton Cottage as seen from outside.

That’s life I thought. Anything is subject to change, like the winds of time, man plans and God… well, you know… he/she/it laughs. Walking out of the cottage that day late last week… I thought of how many other kids died in their search for adulthood. Three out of four of us never made it. I was lucky, the last man standing out of four best friends… everyone else, POOF!

Sometimes I wonder if remaining behind is a blessing or a curse. After all, how many times can a man get knocked down, hurt, almost destroyed? Getting up has always been my strong point, striving for life, hoping against hope, praying on my knees for the experience of life. I suppose I was blessed with a long life, because here I am despite tragedy… and those kids in the picture… they’re gone.

photo_6Walking the campus I came across the BEST THING that is happening at Saint Chris’ McQuade Campus in New Windsor.

The Kaplan Career Academy is a two story educational marvel built on teachers’ hopes and dreams for a better future for disenfranchised kids. I spent three days here, watching the halls as they were packed by ninety students, moving from class to class, each kid hailing from different backgrounds.

I soon discovered talent here, and was happy to have been invited to speak to the English classes of Mrs. Brittany Spoor.

The kids were engaged, bright and extremelychris and rj intelligent. We spoke of writing, poetry and music.

Along the way, and really making my visit resonate, was an amazing History teacher and now my friend, Christopher DiCesare. Watching as he worked his magic in the classroom, I was pleased to see how flawlessly he managed the kids and kept their attention. It takes a special kind of teacher to work with these special kids. Soon, I learned Chris is a very talented writer, and he was scheduled to appear on Coast to Coast with George Noory to talk about a book Chris wrote retelling a ghost attack he experienced more than thirty years prior.

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The book, SURVIVING EVIDENCE (Dark Moon Press – May 26, 2015) is a chilling tale and flawlessly explains a paranormal event that shook the writer’s life when he was a student. I recommend it.

After four days on campus, and only one week after leaving home, my back began to give out, the pain was unbearable, and I knew right away, I had to immediately return to Florida to see my back surgeon. I had been putting off any thought of surgery since my close call with possible death after my December 2014 month long hospitalization due to the very serious complications of surgery to repair damage from the biking accident.

But before I left, I had one more thing I had to do, which was attend an event for The Wounded Warrior Project down at the Newburgh Riverfront. 11377249_861854510535058_7148590259989286142_n

I had agreed to help out the charity and there was no way I would allow myself to let down our heroes.

But soon after appearing at the Wounded Warrior Fundraiser, I returned to the campus and Kaplan School and hastily bid farewell. My summer long trip would not be, and alas, here I am right now, back at my spine doctors office in Florida.

It all makes me wonder, will I ever be able to wander off across the country again and write another novel? Although my passion is there, the pain and agony is so great I really have come to realize that perhaps my career, as I once knew it, is over. I don’t know how to deal with the pain of my injuries, it distracts from my writing ability, travel and it has now been more than two years since I did a signing event.

Despite it all, I am happy I was able to at least see the place where I once grew up, met some amazing people, did the fundraiser and collected a lot of memories for that one day I might be able to actually sit for more than an hour and write my tales.

THE ULTIMATE READER EXPERIENCE

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Tina Evans Sopher & Harley Evans

Every year, I hold a live social media drawing for the fans of my novels and receive great pleasure in giving away the Kindle HDs, iPads, Nooks or Kobo reading devices.

Despite the serious bicycle accident of 2013 that almost killed me, and the two years of surgeries and rehabilitation that left their scars, I still love the excitement in a fan’s voice, or the expression on the face when a name is randomly drawn to win something they never expected. Giving is wonderful.

This year, we add Tina Evans Sopher and her thirteen year old son, Harley Evans, to the winner’s list of the RJ Smith Ultimate Reader Experience. Congrats on beating out more than 100 other entrants to win this 16GB KINDLE FIRE HD with WI-FI .

 

 

GIVING BACK

Hello folks! As I write this in early March 2015, I find myself pounding out the frightening action-packed storyline, plot and characters in the pages of my 11018831_817004215020088_1435237480640282759_nseventh and newest tale, Mountain Monsters. 

I’ve been hard at work creating the EPIC thriller since early January, 2015. As you know, this follows a December 2014 hospital stay and delicate neurosurgery which corrected c-spine  injuries that caused hand and finger paralysis, loss of feeling and a lot of pain. Back there, in that hell of uncertainty, I feared my writing career had ended just as it was exploding onto the commercially viable market.

It’s been almost two years since I tumbled from my bicycle that summer night out on an excavated sidewalk that was not cordoned off by a paving company. Now, thinking back to that evening, and reliving the excruciatingMRI months of pain and surgeries that followed, I’m rebuilding my career. Of course, I cannot undo what was done, can’t recoup the loss of revenue of my first two books, can’t magically bring back the two book tours I lost… and I certainly can’t remove the titanium plates and screws in my neck because of that accident. What else can I do other than to move on? I have to step forward into the future like everyone else. One foot at a time, we all march on, striving to navigate the path life has laid before us to travel. I accept that challenge, always striving to become a better man.

As many of you know…  I have teamed up with some amazing folks  in a reader appreciation give-a-way termed the March photo_1 (1)Madness Ultimate Reader Experience. That designation has nothing to do with the collegiate basketball tournament, but rather… takes on a higher calling… giving back, and passing forward a heartfelt love for another living person without expecting a return. Quite simply, giving back separates the fat from the bone and offers the soul a refreshing hope of the human condition. Yes, giving back strikes a chord; I’ve felt the love and appreciation returned while volunteering in food banks, and most recently, lending a hand to a young man  in a homeless shelter.

I had to go through my own Hell in order to appreciate humility.

Michael Tanner is a young man I met while working the new manuscript at one of my favorite writing places – the Largo Library. Mike is a twenty-one year old, incredibly intelligent kid who became stuck in a homeless sheltermikey called Pinellas Hope. Soon after, I discovered he had joined the United States Army to better his circumstance in life. Originally from Flint, Michigan he’d come to Florida with a girlfriend to find a better life and maybe, one day, he’d raise his own son. But like most of us, life threw its wrench into the plan and suddenly he found himself alone in a Tent City shelter.

I was proud to have been given the opportunity of 10251948_10206023612368341_5226818193016563556_nmeeting him and after getting to know him, I decided to “give-back” and offered whatever help I could.

That entailed taking him out to eat, bringing him to the movies with my friends and partnering with Sea World/Bush Gardens in obtaining a day pass for him to experience their parks.

I learned he loved animals, whales and considered himself a conservationist. Smart as a whip, he scored off the charts when taking his IQ test…. and I couldn’t help but wonder, how had such an amazing individual ended up in a shelter?

Life sometimes throws things as us that we have to overcome.

And yet, we overcome, just like Michael. On the day he shipped out to basic training at Fort Sill in Oklahoma, I was proud and privileged when he asked me to see him off at the recruiter’s office.

After taking him to lunch, I watched as he walked from the car and disappeared into the vastness of a long line of brave men and women who fight for our country.

Today, I am happy to know I made a small difference in his life, and am delighted to know he is getting on spectacularly in basic training.

Sitting here, I realize life always gives us just what we need, exactly when we need it. And at times, although the going may be tough, we have to hang in there and fight for another day.

In appreciation of those who have supported my own career, I am pleased to offer this contest to win a KINDLE FIRE HD. Hopefully, my books will11042983_10206202727726113_3334558569054048845_n be among the vast library of literature the winner downloads onto the device. But if not, that’s okay, too. On March 28th 2015, my US Editor, Glenda Findley, will choose the winner from those who’ve reviewed one of my novels over the last 12 months. It doesn’t matter whether you’ve posted it at Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, iTunes, Amazon.com or any of the other retailers who sell my novels.

10411245_10206134891310245_789456578805947984_nIf you’re a fan of my work, then you deserve much more than I might offer. Suffice it to say, it’s always my hope this machine finds its way into the hands of a true fan who appreciates the emotionally flawed characters who appear in my books and film scripts. It doesn’t matter where you live, or how you strive to overcome great obstacles in your own lives… this small token of my appreciation is the least I might offer for the unwavering loyalty and dedication you’ve shown over the last five years of my career.

Spring is my favorite season of the year, when the earth around us renews itself and recovers from another devastating, brutal winter. In this thing called life, no matter your station, wealth or means, there are battles11011886_10206208865159545_4040141701084343265_n to fight and hurdles to overcome. As I’ve stated in the media and during interviews, I’ve had my own personal catastrophes to climb from… that’s what life throws, circumstances and pitfalls. Yet, somehow we must find the strength to brush off obstacles placed in our path and move on.

As many of you know, over the last two years, I was forced to fight yet another difficult tragedy. Finding myself critically injured in that summer 2013 biking accident, I had to fight for life, struggle with the pain set 10867155_10205556294325682_1126654806_nagainst me and strive to overcome personal injury.

By following me on social media, you are aware my life has been a roller coaster of tests and roadblocks. Tragedy continually strikes when we least expect it, and often we must overcome odds which seem insurmountable.

However, my tragedies are no more important than your own; we all face them, pitfalls that aim to ruin our planned path ahead, the aspirations and all-important life plan we’ve set out before us.

So, what should you do in order to be entered in this drawing? Simply review one of my novels. All you have to do is go to your favorite book retailer and leave an honest review.

On March 27th, 2015, at 9:00 p.m. one lucky reader will be chosen live on video and played on social media.

Will the winner be you?

Follow the link below and go leave your review for a chance to win!

http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00E1PS37C

THE SEAWORLD ADVENTURE

I have just returned from a complimentary visit to Seaworld Orlando, and, the day before walked the Busch Gardens Tampa park. Thus I must thank the wonderful staff and employees for hosting my visits.

                   Seaworld logo.svg

For my amazing fans around the world who are not familiar with this amazingly FUN and EXCITING theme-based entertainment experience (Maybe you live on another planet), Seaworld is a publicly traded (NYSE: SEAS ) company that operates and maintains eleven exceptional theme parks throughout the United States.

10978641_10206018453919383_8703715674632866736_nOur first visit was to Busch Gardens Tampa that we found pumped with excitement thanks to clear skies and a busy park. We had traveled here following a rough month of scripting and location scouting for my newest project… so we were happy to find relief in the EXCEPTIONALLY FUN environment created by SeaWorld Entertainment.

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Although I can no longer ride them due to a spine injury, the park offers an entire host of experiences, from Thrill Rides, Water Rides and of course, land and sea Animals. My personal favorite was the Serengeti Safari (which I highly recommend).

Busch Gardens parks

That brings me to SeaWorld Orlando which was simply amazing. We came for the Animals, and in particular,  to see whales.

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The magnificent sea animals were just stunning; there is no other way of stating it. The show was well orchestrated and handled professionally. Although the handlers no longer enter the water with the Orcas, we hardly noticed the difference. SeaWorld rocks and I couldn’t help but smile.

For more information on the wonder that is SeaWorld Entertainment, please click through to their adventures and check out SeaWorldCares.com and SeaWorld.com/Truth ,

SeaWorld parks

Water parks

Other parks

It had been twenty years since I last visited the home of the Orca Killer Whales and that was our first stop on this rainy day.

Having the opportunity to watch the amazing Bottle-Nosed Dolphin show and then experience the Dolphins Up-Close Tour, I was blown away by the fascinating Shark Encounter where visitors journey through one of the world’s largest underwater viewing tunnels.

But the park has much more than underwater animals.

There are roller coasters, water rides and much more. Although on the day we visited, our experience was rained out and thus we missed out on much of what the park has to offer. We did walk the park and see every experience, but unfortunately, mother nature forced us to find cover.

The park has something for everyone.

I myself am a big fan of the wonderful people who run this amazing company, and I wish I could name everyone who makes this possible. There was a smile on every face at the park and each time we asked an employee a question, they all answered: “Yes, Sir, it would be my pleasure.”

That was wonderful.

For us, we especially want to thank the SeaWorld Communications Team who made this adventure possible for us on very short notice.

To book your fantastic experience at SeaWorld, please visit their fun and exciting website www.seaworldparks.com for videos and ticket information.

FOR PASSES TO THE PARKS:

FOR TICKETS TO THE PARKS:

MONSTERS In The Woods

An EXCERPT from my DELAYED 2015 Manuscript – Monsters In The Woods

THE AMBULANCE MAN

CLIFFORD WEBB loathed the dead.
Especially… if they died on his watch.
Whether a shooting, car accident or heart attack, it was his job… his oath,   really… to do no harm, to try his best to save the wounded and dying. It was a promise he’d made long ago.
And maybe… he failed that task tonight.
Did I do everything I could? He wondered.
The E.M.T. was the only person on Earth who had a chance to resuscitate Jen out on Blooming Grove Turnpike tonight.
But when he arrived on scene, she was a goner.
She didn’t have a chance.
Clifford felt guilty.
By her dying, he felt like he failed the mission.
Now, standing in Harry Mortinson’s basement morgue, he pushed aside those thoughts and studied the old coroner busily unzipping the black vinyl body bag.
“Jen Marks,” Cliff stated, “just seventeen.”
Harry was surprised. “Doctor Phillip Marks’ daughter?” he queried while inspecting the body.
“Yep, Phil hasn’t been notified yet.”
“This is going to kill him.”
Harry and Phillip were best friends. The two met twenty years prior while climbing the ranks at Saint Luke’s Cornwall Hospital. Now, Harry was the county Medical Examiner and Philip the Chief of Emergency Medicine at the hospital.
Both were also premier members of The Powelton Club, the oldest full service private country club nestled in the heart of the Hudson River Valley. In Fall, they swung through eighteen holes on the Devereux Emmet designed 18-hole course, in spring the doctors volleyed balls on the red clay tennis courts, and in summer they brought their families to relax around the pools.
The members will all be at the wake.
Harry felt a pang of sorrow for this realization.
“Who is notifying him?”
Cliff wasn’t sure. “Might be the chief, but he’s out in the woods, and I don’t think Delores has called or been notified of who the DOA is.”
Picking up a red phone, the coroner called Phil and quickly broke the news. Doctors liked hearing things straight, no cherry on top; the quicker the bad news came, the better. Of course, his friend cried in agony for a while and kept repeating that it couldn’t be true… because the family just shared dinner hours before.
But news like this was always true.
Deep down, Phil said he knew something wasn’t right. He told Harry his wife, Suzanne, had suddenly come to him about an hour ago with feelings of dread.
Parents always knew, Harry thought.
“How’d it happen?” Phillip cried.
After twenty minutes explaining what he knew over the phone, the coroner replaced the receiver and walked back to the body to continue his examination.
“There is blunt force trauma to the skull and the eyes are open in the stare of sudden death.”
Clifford nodded. “When arriving on scene, we observed the car had plowed into pine trees.”
“No passengers?”

  “Peter Massey.”

  Harry raised one long, grey, creepy eyebrow. He knew Cliff had a personal interest.

  “He’s missing in the woods.”
“In the woods? During a storm like this?”
Harry had a good idea of what might’ve chased the boy into the woodlands. He’d been living in New Windsor for more than forty years and recognized the legends just as well as everyone else.
The tales hadn’t changed much since he was a kid, running through those same timbers with his own high school friends.
But, he’d never seen things escalate this bad.
“Does the chief think THEY have returned–?”
“Come on, Harry,” Cliff interjected, not wanting to acknowledge what everyone else in town had started assuming since the cadet went missing.       “Nobody believes the monstrosity stories; they are ridiculous.”
Shaking his head and glaring at Jen’s body, Scary Harry shrugged in disappointment.
“This is preposterous.”
Inspecting the body, the coroner noted Jen’s weighted, lifeless body on the monitor. Measuring the corpse, he reached above the table and flipped on a microphone suspended from a popcorn drop ceiling. “The date is December twenty fourth, nineteen seventy seven. The deceased is a white, seventeen-year-old female, five foot seven inches, one hundred twenty pounds with brown eyes and shoulder length black hair. The body has already been identified by law enforcement as Jennifer Marks and consent was obtained for an immediate autopsy.”
Removing her clothes, Harry discovered a peculiar symbol sliced into her pale chest.

  What the hell is that?” Cliff asked.

  Harry took a step back. “I’m not sure.”

  However, the old coroner knew exactly what it was… the imprint had been the cause of many nightmares over the years.

A TIME TO LIVE AND A TIME TO DIE

Sometimes we live our own miracles, and sometimes we don’t. There is a passage in the bible, Ecclesiastes I think, somewhere around the third verse, I’ve read it many times, and it goes something like this:

A  Time  for  Everything

“THERE IS a time for everything, and a SEASON for every activity under the heavens. There is a time to be born and a time to die,  a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal.”

I have been living that verse for along time. Born so long ago the sun is burning my back, I know how that scorch feels. I feel it because the metal meets the bone within me.

“God will bring into judgment
    both the righteous and the wicked,
for there will be a time for every activity,
    a time to judge every deed.”

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RJ in the ICU post surgery

There was a time I considered Everything as meaningless. That we all come from dust, and to dust all return. Who knows if the human spirit rises upward and if the spirit of the animal goes down into the earth?

It’s getting on into the new year and I know most of you have been worried. There have been whispers and nudges… many of them on the money, but much of it second or third hand and passed down the line. So here you have it from me, I’ve been out of the loop for most of the last year, getting on day to week to arrive at another medical procedure. Having my last Christmas at the Medical Center, I suppose I felt like I was fighting to survive.

Indeed, I fought every day just to breathe and swallow.

MRI

RJs neck now

I wont go into the particulars, but its been tough GETTING THROUGH the last eighteen months. I am back now, and in much better shape than before. With a new piece of hardware holding my neck in place, much of that pain has subsided and I’m feeling like  that “Christmas Miracle” the nurses spoke of when I came through the other end.

Life and death… I write about it, I suppose the horrific glare of the monsters and demons that live in these shadows.

Yet never have I come before their countenances like I did this last month.

I’ve seen the orbs of life in the E.R. and the Darkness of the Intensive Carehallway Unit… I felt the spirits moving along the long corridor that rested just outside my hospital room door.

Sometimes, I’d catch a glance at the bag and stretcher which carried away the remains of what we are.

And if I stretched your ear to the corridor, I heard a soft cry, imagined a tear that streaked a cheek of a loved one.

It was scary stuff.

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I saw a lot of this

Writing contemporary Horror and Suspense, well.. it brings things into perspective a bit. It makes the edges a bit less blurry.

For the entire month of December I saw and heard many things, sometimes it would be a muffled cry and a glimpse of families struggling to understand.

I was terrified I found myself slipping into that groove.

It’s a scary place to be, late into the night, when the lights go down and its just you on the bed, lines running through your veins and the outcome uncertain. I’ve been there, it will remain with me forever, and now that I have come out the other side, I wonder… who will be there in the end?

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RJ after 20 days in and surgery

There will always be fine nurses by your side, maybe a doctor or two… I’ve met them by the dozens, they tend to your every need and try their best. But what can they do when the boogie monsters come out of the shadows?

So where does this leave me, late into the wee hours when I sit here and stare out my window for a miracle? With collapsed veins, bags hanging, and a cell phone at the end of my fingers, who should I call when the end come knocking like it did for me?

I lost 25 pounds in December and gave up my soul.

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A few days into the scare.

In the end, the heavens spat me back to Earth to tell the tale.

Maybe one day I will, perhaps, if the edges ever become clear.

Right now I’m just grateful to be here with a few new fans and the knowledge it wasn’t my time.