Sparks Of Insanity By Vinny "Bond" Marini Monday, February 26, 2007




The first thing he noticed looking in the mirror was the pallid yellow cast of his skin.

The next thing was the two black dots in the middle of the seas of red that were his eyes.

The palm of his right hand traced his jaw line feeling the stubble of his unshaven face. When was the last time he had shaved? Andy Simons could not remember. He couldn’t remember the last time he had eaten either. Looking in the mirror at himself, he wondered how much longer he could go on.

Turning, he looked to where the windows would be. Of course he couldn’t see out of them. He had nailed plywood over every one of them, what was it a day ago, a week, a month ago? He had left just the top 12” uncovered to allow the light of day to come into the home. When dark came, he would turn on the small night lights he had plugged into almost every outlet throughout the house.

How long had he been inside? How long had this nightmare been going on? Why did it all have to change? Why did his parents have to die? Why did his sisters have to run to the other side of the country? Why had he slugged the manager of the fast food restaurant where he once worked? How long ago was that?

Then he heard the scratching again. He walked to the door leading to the basement and opened it just a crack. “QUIET” he bellowed, and slammed the door.

His feet padded down the hallway, barely separating from the worn beige carpet which covered the entire house. Andy had even placed carpet in the kitchen. He hated bare floors of any kind.

Approaching the refrigerator, he tore off a single sheet of paper towel and grasped the handle on the door and pulled gently. The refrigerator door opened and Andy Simons shrank back from the light. Even such a low wattage bulb was too bright for eyes which had been in the semi-darkness for so long. The hand with the paper towel reached out and he slammed it against the bulb shattering it into hundreds of tiny shards.

His head snapped around at the sound of a car passing the house. He stood stock still until the sound drifted away. Just yesterday he had feared the worst when he heard a car come to a stop outside his small ranch house. The neighborhood he lived in was almost totally deserted, the residents having moved away from the increasing intrusion of gangs and drugs.


Andy was not moving. They could not make him move. The plywood on the windows gave him a sense of security. His house now looked like all of the others which were abandoned. As long as the hoods and druggies stayed away, there would be no problems.

If they did attempt to invade his domain, they would come face to face with the end of their existence. Andy Simons was not a large man at all. In fact, most of his life he was pitied for his stature. Now, after such a long period of time in the house, he was even more emaciated then before. Only 5’7” tall, before his self-imposed exile he weighed barely 150 pounds. Now, he could not guess at his weight, but could see the skin clinging to his bones, and knew he was slowly shrinking to nothing. Could a person just disappear from weight-loss he wondered?

But he was not worried. Throughout the house he had weapons hidden. Weapons of all sorts were stashed; knives, axes, baseball bats, mace, and even two rifles. No, they would not survive if they tried to storm his castle.

How long had he been inside? How long had this nightmare been going on? Why did it all have to change? Why did his parents have to die? Why did his sisters have to run to the other side of the country? Why had he slugged the manager of the fast food restaurant where he once worked? How long ago was that?

That was when he realized he was still standing in front on the open refrigerator. When he looked back inside, he wondered why it was so dark. Why was the light not working? And then he saw the shards of glass inside. How did the light break he wondered?

Reaching inside he grabbed the can of baked beans with the hand still holding the paper towel. Walking to the counter, he placed the can down and, still using the paper towel he pulled open a drawer and grabbed a fork. Andy went to grab the can and stopped short. He had almost touched the can with his bare hand. How could he be so stupid?


He tore another sheet off the roll with his left hand and picked up the can. Using the tines of the fork, he pulled back the top which was open, but still attached, and looked inside. It was hard to see since the daylight had begun to fade but Andy thought he had opened this can just yesterday. It felt like yesterday, yes, it must have been yesterday. Scooping the fork down inside Andy pushed the fork into his mouth and immediately spat the beans into the sink. Looking closer he saw tiny white larvae squirming amongst the beans.

He dropped the can into the sink alongside the maggots and beans and grabbed the faucet and turned it. Leaning his head under the stream of water he gulped and spat, gulped and spat. How could you be so stupid, he chided himself?

Turning, he tossed the two paper towels and the fork into the garbage and reached for two more paper towels. He then opened the cabinet above the sink. Reaching in, he grabbed one of the 50 other cans of beans that were stacked neatly there, each can aligned perfectly. He put the can into the automatic can opener on the shelf and pushed the button. He watched carefully and when the top was almost entirely cut, he stopped the device and removed it.

He then opened the drawer once again and grabbed another fork. He stuck it into the can and began shoveling the beans into his mouth. As he did so, he began to shuffle out of the kitchen toward the living room area. As he passed the basement door he kicked it and yelled “QUIET!” Then he stopped and tilted his head. Had he heard a voice, or was it a noise, or was it in his head?

How long had he been inside? How long had this nightmare been going on? Why did it all have to change? Why did his parents have to die? Why did his sisters have to run to the other side of the country? Why had he slugged the manager of the fast food restaurant where he once worked? How long ago was that?


Continuing on, he found himself in the living room and practically fell into the lone chair. Andy sat there, the room in almost total darkness now, continuing to scoop the beans into his mouth. As he did so, his head was cocked to the side toward the outside, listening. It was almost night and that is when they came out of hiding. The denizens that now inhabited this once thriving neighborhood.

Andy had grown up in this house, when it was a home; with his parents and two sisters. They were all gone now, mom and dad to cancer when he was in his late teens. His sisters had left after that. He had not spoken to them since. How long was it now? Andy could not fathom. It would mean knowing how old he was and that was something he hadn’t known for a long time.

The tines of the fork clanged against the bottom of the can. Andy was surprised he had finished the whole can, but maybe it was better this way he thought. At least he knew he would not have to experience the maggots again.

From outside came new sounds. The sound of car engines moving up and down the street…slowly. The trade had begun. The users from the nicer neighborhoods were rolling up and down the streets looking for the dealers with the best products and the best prices.

Andy tossed the empty can of beans against the far wall in disgust. Why did it all have to change? Why did his parents have to die? Why did his sisters have to run to the other side of the country? Why had he slugged the manager of the fast food restaurant where he once worked? How long ago was that? It was the only job Andy ever had. After that, well he had all the money he wanted from the inheritance. When his sisters left, they left all the money behind.

He had everything he could want. Before he locked himself away he had purchased 100 cases of baked beans. They were the food of the gods in Andy’s mind. They had all the nutrition you needed. He also had the 50 cases of canned black bread for when he wanted to clean the bean cans of their juices. When was the last time he had opened a can of bread? Again, Andy could not remember. So many things were slipping from his mind these days.

The noises from outside grew louder and then there were voices. Close. Andy leaped up and walked to the front window and put his eye against the small hole he had left in the center of the plywood. The lights on the street no longer worked, but he could make out bodies gathered across the street.

A large group, and their voices grew louder and louder. They were gathered around a 55 gallon drum in which they had started a fire with odd pieces of wood and papers. The air must be getting chilly Andy thought, they would be building more fires as the winter set in. He hated the fires, hated them. "GO AWAY" yelled the voice in his head. Or did Andy scream it out loud? He could not be certain, but watched the animals to make sure they ahd not heard him.

A car came down the street slowly and as Andy watched he saw a flash from inside the car and a millisecond later heard the report from the gun. One of the bodies by the fire fell to the ground and the others scattered. The car did not speed up as more gunshots came from inside.

Then those on the street began firing back. Loud gunshots filled the air and the dark was broken with the muzzle flashes.

Screams filled Andy’s ears and his hands went up to cover them. The gunshots continued and then Andy felt himself fall to the floor.

The screams, he realized, were his. And then the pain came. Andy looked down to see a small circle of red on his white shirt. As he watched, the circle began to grow wider and wider.

His hands fell from his ears as he stared in wonder. He wondered who would eat all the beans and bread now.

How long had he been inside? How long had this nightmare been going on? Why did it all have to change? Why did his parents have to die? Why did his sisters have to run to the other side of the country? Why had he slugged the manager of the fast food restaurant where he once worked? How long ago was that?


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34 Of Your Sparks

  1. Travis Cody Says:
  2. Wow. Just wow.

  3. katherine. Says:
  4. I'm at wow as well.

    The maggot line caught me by surprise and I almost lost it.

  5. TRAVIS: TY my friend...means a lot coming from you

    KATHERINE: Honestly, it came out of no one for me also! LOLOL Glad you enjoyed. I need to come by and visit you late, but now I must get some sleep.

  6. Unknown Says:
  7. A (yellow) WOW, too. =)


    All my after-christening visitor leftovers are gone - I´m glad to have time (and place) back to take seat on THE COUCH! Missed you!

  8. great writing my friend. the maggots got my breakfast though honey. but that's okay, cause in two more days i'll be on the carnival legend and they will be bringing me breakfast in my room!!! bwahahahahahah

    smiles, bee

    oboy oboy oboy (i'm not excited, am i?)

  9. Peg Says:
  10. Dude...you drew me in...hugely!

    Now, the writing was different--I really like your writing style--but the feeling I had in reading it was the same as when I start one of Stephen King's really kick-ass novels. [In case you were wondering, LOL, that is an enourmous complement coming from me--no one scares the shit out me like SK...!)

    Encore, encore! *applauds wildly*

  11. SANNI: So glad you enjoyed it and you are finally complete with all of your christening obligations.

    BEE: TY vm for the compliment. HEY...TOTALLY JEALOUS...can I fit in your luggage perhaps?

    PEG: I take that as a huge compliment. I am a huge SK fan. Even if the writing isn't the same, the fact I gave you the "heebie-jeebies" means I succeeded in my quest.

  12. Schmoop Says:
  13. I love Baked Beans...Maggots, not so much.

  14. Gattina Says:
  15. Very good, and with that I don't know what to comment, lol !

  16. Dude, you totally creeped me out! [[shivering violently]]

  17. MATT-MAN: well we agree on that!

    GATTINA: LOL...the dark side of my mind!

    SONGBIRD: Then it worked! LOL

  18. Tisha! Says:
  19. whoa I could feel Andy's agony from your intricate description. Now I'm curious if Andy was actually held up in a physical structure or just in his mind! Great Twilight Zone story Bond baby! mouaaaaah

  20. TISHA: Belle...I smile as I read your curiosity comment. You have read into it something that floated around in the back of my mind the entire time I wrote. Thanks!

  21. Anndi Says:
  22. There it is... the monster that lurks under my bed or in the back of my closet.. the yellow eyes that peer at me...

    Where is Andy... who is Andy... is he in his home? is he sitting in a straightjacket in a mental ward somewhere in New England... is he real... what's in the basement... is there a basement or is something trying to escape his mind...

    Excellent creepfest Vince... This is you at your best..

    Welcome back.

    Um.. does Andy have an endless supply of paper towels? Can I borrow some? I think Travis piddled over there... bwahahahahahaha!

    Love ya much!

    SMOOCH you creepy man you!

  23. ANNDI: OK, both you and Tisha are in my head too darn much...
    So glad you enjoyed it Anndi my friend... HEY WAIT...was this about YOU???? Andy...ANNDI... hummmm let me see those eyes...
    Did Travis piddle AGAIN?!?!
    So glad you enjoyed...Love ya SMOOCH

  24. Angell Says:
  25. WOW - that was incredible. I could see his form, all skin and bones, in my mind. The house, I pictured it as if I had been there.


    (not sure if you got this the first time - having network issues today)

  26. From the pallid yellow skin, to the spreading red stain of blood against his white shirt... a very viscerally moving story.
    And I kept wanting to shout "What's in the basement?"
    Was there anything down there, or was it just in his mind? That's very good writing, when the story is told and there are still things crawling around undisclosed in the readers mind. Like maggots in the beans.
    A very cool story. I think, one of your best.
    It reminded me of Richard Matheson's I Am Vampire, which is a good thing -- that story creeped me out, too.

  27. Coco Says:
  28. Psychotic. Hopeless. Lost. Sorrowful. Chilling. Breathtaking. Wonderful. I was lost in it for a few minutes, and for that I thank you.

  29. Meribah Says:
  30. This was definitely creepy, and well done! I, too, thought the thing in the basement was some kind of "mental demon" he was trying to contain, just like he was trying to keep out all the real-world nasties.
    I really like reading these stories of yours, vince. Keep it up!

  31. MORGEN: TY Sir... glad you appreciated it...Love taking the manic Monday word and always using it in the first sentence of my Monday Matinee

    COCO: You talking about me or the story!?!

  32. Cathy Says:
  33. Oh my goodness Bond...That was something...Really something!

  34. ANGELL: I love that I painted a picture for you to see...ty

    MERI: Ah the thing in the basement.. I also wonder what it was...

    CATHY: TY Ms. Cathy... I appreciate your delight

  35. Travis Cody Says:
  36. I don't piddle - I drool dammit!! And this was not a drooling story.


    Anyway - the thing that really intrigued me was the repetition of the one paragraph. Very Poe-esque.

  37. Being towards the end of the list, it's hard to come up with an original comment because they've all been made!
    I figured his family was in the basement being kept alive on beans and canned bread (yuck!)...
    Way to go, Spooky! (Sounds better than "Creepy.")

  38. Mimi Lenox Says:
  39. Bond - I'm so glad I'd already had dinner before I dived into the maggot tale. Creepy and surreal and totally Kingish. I keot waiting for Anthony Hopper to jump out!

  40. Unknown Says:
  41. :shivers:

  42. i never saw YELLOW drool before Travis! LOLOLOL

    That was the very last paragraph and I kept rereading it over and over then I decided to sprinkle it throughout thanks for noticing

  43. Janna Says:
  44. Yikes, wow... I love bizarre stories like this, where there's no obligation to have a 'happy ending', and things don't always have to make perfect sense.
    People are strange creatures; it's fun to try capturing that in words. You tackled the job nicely.
    Except I may never be able to eat baked beans ever again.

  45. Terra Shield Says:
  46. Wow... that was an interestingly disturbing story! I was at the edge of my seat!

  47. TopChamp Says:
  48. Hello - I loved that. Exactly the right length for a pre-work read on a Tuesday morning and it kept my interest piqued right up to the end.... That's a compliment in case it's difficult to tell.

    (I'm practising being nice to everyone at the moment at schools too.)

  49. Julie Says:
  50. Whoa V-man! I'm so glad I backtracked and read this.

    I USED to like baked beans and now I have to think of you and maggots whenever I eat them? Now that's NOT a good pairing!

  51. Lizza Says:
  52. I like creepy, dark stories, and this one was very good! I also like the repetition of that set of questions in the story.

    Good work, Bond!

  53. Liz Hill Says:
  54. You do some of your most interesting writing when you let yourself explore Bondbaby. Excellent piece--spot on.

    Here's a thought--remember the piece you did called "the drive'--I loved that one--that's a neat dark companion piece to this one and your little serial killer finger taker dude--Why not link em up?


  55. JANNA: Just look in the can first!

    TERRA: Thanks for showing ... glad you enjoyed... you did enjoy..right? LOL

    TOPCHAMP: Was it hard to be nice to me??? LOL

    JULIE: TY my friend..and ummm I wasn't sure anyone ever thought of me and Baked beans ever

    LIZZA: TY VM.. glad you enjoyed

    TURN: Thanks very much...interesting thought.. might just do that...SMOOCH


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