TOF: The Truth About Fiction #7

Michael D Friedman mdfriedman at
Thu Aug 20 20:11:10 PDT 2015

TALES OF FICTION presents...



ISSUE #7: "Trespass"

Written by Michael D Friedman


PREVIOUSLY: Austin Allen has traveled to Fiction, Nevada to find out why the tabloid newspaper that he owns is reporting that his long-dead Mom and Dad are now alive. Along the way, he's met Jamal Runningbear, an ex-NBA star on a vision quest, with his spirit animal: a goldfish. Now at his deceased grandfather's estate, that same goldfish has decided to float in the air and speak to him.


"Don't go to the Mansion," I repeat to myself. "Why?"

Stupid question. Doesn't matter. I'm going into the damn mansion.

Glowy, which is what I've decided to call Jamal's goldfish, has decided to stop glowing and levitating. He plops back into the bowl in Jamal's hands.

Jamal is completely passed out right now. He's of no use.

I look back at the mansion's windows to see if I can make out the figure I thought I saw. The figure that I thought for a second was my dad. There's nothing there. I'm crazy. My dad is dead.

Why am I here?

I didn't have to drive 7 hours to the middle of nowhere to prove that my father is still dead. I said that I didn't want anything to do with _The World News Weekly_. I've sure come a long way to prove it.

I definitely don't want anything to do with my grandfather's creepy cult, either. But here I am at the R. Joseph Allen Center for Perpetual Craziness, anyway.

"Jamal," I say as I tap his shoulder repeatedly. "Wakey, wakey. We have to go to the Mansion."

"Don't go to the Mansion," Jamal replies in an almost trance-like state.

He's useless. Like I said.

(Great, now I'm repeating myself. I HAVE gone crazy.)

I get out of the car and tip-toe to the front door. There's absolutely no sign of life. There's not even crickets chirping in the background. It's eerily quiet. (Almost too quiet? Now I'm crazy and cliche.)

I walk up the steps of the immaculate front porch. Granite lions snarl at me as if they were frozen in time. Pretty realistic looking. Enough to scare the crap out of me.

What the hell am I afraid of? I mean, it's just my Grandpa Joe's place. I've been here before... I just have to open the door and-- 

It's locked.

Of course, it's locked. Idiot.

I start to head back to the car when I hear a creaking sound. I turn around and the door is slightly open.

"Don't go to the Mansion," I repeat to myself.

Screw it. Was never really good at taking directions, even from myself.


I open the door and walk into the darkened room. Except it's not dark.

I'm standing in a massive, brightly lit foyer. There are several people milling about, as if they were in a hotel lobby. Except these wackos are the Josephists. They are all bald, and they are all wearing the same style powder-blue track suits. Even the women are bald and have poor fashion sense.

And they all call each other "Joe."

Other than that, they seem to be carrying on fairly normal lives. Some Joes are reading the newspaper. There are a few Joes watching TV. There's a Joe vs Joe chess match that looks pretty entertaining.

The normalcy is weird. Shouldn't they be sacrificing goats, or something cultish?

There has to be something more. What was with all the ominous "Don't go to the Mansion" talk?

And then I see it. I say it, because "it" looks a lot like my dad, but I know that "it" cannot possibly be my dad. Still, he definitely LOOKS like him. Hell, he could be his clone.

"Dad?" I yell out, without thinking.

"It" turns to look at me and then runs away, around the corner.

I go to follow him, but that's when all the Joes notice who I am.

"Austin Allen is here!"

"It's Austin Allen!"

"Our savior has arrived!"


I'm engulfed in a sea of mindless Joe drones. They all want to touch me, kiss me, feel me or bask in my presence. A few of them ask for my autograph. One of the female Joes asks me to sign her tits.

This must be what it's like to be a rockstar.


Speaking of rockstars, at this same exact moment, a rockstar was looking for me.

Haley K. knocked on the door of my two-bedroom apartment back in Mission Valley. My roommate, Bubba answered the door in his underwear. To say he was embarrassed would be, well... it would be wrong. I don't think Bubba gets embarrassed. At all.

"Yo girlie, you come to get some hot Asian lovin'?" 

"Is that a very small crayon in your pants, or are you just happy to see me?"

Haley K. walked right past Bubba and his erection and plopped herself on the couch. She blew an enormous pink bubble with her gum and then inhaled it, snapping it as she chewed.

"Why didn't your roommate come to my show?" she asked.

"You mean like 3 months ago?" Bubba replied, trying to cover himself up awkwardly with a copy of _The World News Weekly_. 

"Yeah, so what? I mean, it's not like I just give--"

Haley K. stopped and stared at the paper, making Bubba uncomfortable.

"Stop looking at me, yo."

The pop star wasn't looking at him, though. She was drawn to the picture of my "Mom" and "Dad."

"We need to go," she said, pulling Bubba out the door in his undies.


I'm not aware of any of Haley and Bubba's exploits right now, though.

I'm too busy trying not to get suffocated by the waves of Joes coming at me from every direction. I try to bust through, but it's no use. If I get past one crazy, there's another right behind them. It's as if they are coming out of the woodwork now. Hell, they may be. There's no telling how many secret passages Grandpa Joe had built throughout his gigantic palace, or how many crazies are in his cult.

The Joes start to get more and more aggressive with me. I'm about to start "throwing 'bows," as the rappers say. At least I think that's what they say. Bubba would know better than me. (For those of you not "hip" enough, I'll spell it out: I want to elbow somebody -- preferably in the face.)

Finally, a loud voice comes from above: "STOP!" and then "NOW!"

The Joes all stop. They look up above them, and I do the same.

It's my "Mom." She's wearing an extravagant evening gown and holding a megaphone at the top of the balcony.


She smiles at me, but not in the motherly way. It's a sly grin.

"I have some business to discuss with our esteemed visitor."

The Joes quietly mill about and retreat to the far corners of the mansion. I can hear their grumblings as they slither away: "Aw man!"

My "Mom" walks down the stairs, slow and sexy -- a way that no mom should ever approach her son. It's just damn weird. And I've seen a lot of weird stuff tonight.

"Welcome home, son," she says, giving me a hug.


(c) 2015 Michael D Friedman. 

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