Tagged: homeless

1,000 Words

Dear Planet Earth,

Let’s talk about the picture. Everyone else here is. Private McCarthy and I found it on the side of a pizza joint downtown. Some others are talking about seeing similar graffiti on a Dumpster and a garage door.

It’s your typical tyrannical propaganda poster, or so says Dr. Eimer. An image resembling a mole man gas mask is framed by the phrases “OBEDIENCE IS LIFE” and “DISOBEDIENCE IS DEATH.” This is the same mantra that ended their last message plastered across cyberspace.

We’re looking at this with muted concern, holding back fears of a counterattack or spies within our ranks (the two saboteurs’ execution is still fresh in our minds). If we were worried about anything, it would be the fact that the graffiti was remarkably clean in an area that was definitely a part of the fighting when we retook Seattle. Someone had to put it up recently, or so logic would tell us. But the one consolation we can all count on is the fact that logic died long ago.


The Mole Men Chronicles

Dear Planet Earth,

I’m probably not dead if you don’t see any updates on here for awhile. Our ragtag resistance is finally moving on out, somewhere north if the rumors have any truth to them.

Some people are talking about not going, still clearly upset about the military’s execution of those two homie spies. I’m embracing my neutrality, not convinced either way whether traitors should be killed or locked up. No one’s really qualified to answer that. My new friend Ray or Roy or Brad or Barry said it best today:

“It would be easier if they weren’t just mole men, but something completely alien. Like Martians or something. Those people are just people though. And when you have to fight against an enemy that looks just like you, you might as well be fighting against firemen or librarians.”

It sounded a lot more logical and optimistic when he said it.


Dear Planet Earth,

I’m getting a lot of feedback here about my last post. I haven’t been able to go to the makeshift mess hall and eat a meal by myself for more than minute without someone coming up and asking me if it’s really true, if General Talpa really did kill those homie spies in cold blood.

Half of them get angry and curse, they say we’re losing our humanity, inching closer and closer to living under a police state. The other half nods, sometimes smiles, and says, “That’ll teach the bastards.”

I don’t know where I am. I’ve always framed this as an invasion of the mole men. I’ve been convincing myself that I could kill them, those inhuman tyrants. But their homeless minions are just as human as me. They look like me, they talk like me, they bleed and eat and drink and shit just like me. But then again, does someone who’s sold out their fellow humans have a right to be called “human” himself anymore?

I’m going to go crazy if I spend a second longer brooding on this. Here’s a funny cat video:


Dear Planet Earth,

I don’t know how to write this. I don’t know how to interpret it. But here goes.

General Talpa asked me to see him after the most recent cyber attack by our mole men invaders. I met him in the laundry room underneath the hotel. It was dark, only a few of the many fluorescent lights were on, giving each industrial sized washing machine a dim glow against its steel exterior.

“Mr. Panus,” Talpa said from the other side of the room. “Come.”

I was able to make out the unsettling scene as I approached. The general stood with four other soldiers flanking him on either side. They partly encircled a young man and woman on their knees. They were both blindfolded and had their hands and feet tied together.

“I need you to write about something, on your blog.” He pulled out a pistol from his holster. “We found these two playing with the fuse box last Wednesday. They cut the power to the hotel, and had a truck packed up with three children along with some rifles and grenades.”

He slowly circled the prisoners as they began to wail and affirm their innocence.

“I need you to write about how our resistance has a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to humans selling out their own species. Tell your readers, tell the world, that these ‘homies,’ as you’ve decided to call them, are just as guilty and susceptible to our wrath as the invaders themselves.”

He pointed the pistol toward the man’s sweaty forehead.


He pointed the pistol toward the woman, whose piercing scream will follow me in every future nightmare.


“Write about that.”

Early Epilogue

Dear Planet Earth,

Like I guessed, it was General Talpa and his resistance fighters who attacked the transport truck outside of the slave labor camp. Mr. Ozawa, the homie spy, ran back to the mole men with his tail between his legs, which let Talpa’s crew rescue Rachel, Randall, and Mrs. Bing. (Mrs. Bing is apparently in an even worse state than before right now.)

They planned a 200% more organized assault than we did, scouting the area and getting the tanks in position. When they finally attacked, the mole people and their homeless underlings had practically no time to get together a defense. We rolled out together with few casualties about an hour later.

We’re all in pretty high spirits — happy to be reunited with lost friends, invigorated that all hope is not lost, and planning our next attack on our clearly vulnerable invaders.


Dear Planet Earth,

Karter gave me a green bandana and told me to wrap it around my left arm. I noticed he too had a green bandana around his arm. He said it was so we could tell our own people apart from the mole men and the homies battling outside. He opened the rusty hatch that reminded me of a submarine and we were instantly propelled into a scene from a war movie.

Large plumes of smoke grew on all sides. Mortar blasts continuously pummeled groups of short people I had to assume were mole people. The steampunk towers creaked and melted from the constant volleys.

Karter lifted his rifle and started firing wildly at a troop of people clearly not wearing green bandanas. He yelled something back at me, but I had screams, explosions, and gunfire in surround sound. I followed closely behind him, crouched like a ninja, just as we did when we first tried to sneak into this tenth circle of hell.

We scrambled up the slope of a dune, climbing over the corpses of about a dozen mole men, the red eyes from their masks watching us all the way. We saw human bodies too, homies and our own people, if their left arms could be believed. I tried not to view too much of those images.

We made it to the lip of the desert bowl where we greeted by a familiar-looking boy. He was firing toward the battle below and quickly pointed his rifle toward us. The hardened look on his face swiftly changed to fear to shock to relief before letting us pass out of the contained war zone and into freedom.


Dear Planet Earth,

It was the first day in a while that Perry hasn’t come by to dispense fatherly advice or spread the Good Word about the mole people. He’s been trying to interpret passages for me from A History of the Inheritors, the ancient manifesto of our underground overlords. It’s all bullshit, and I’ve told him as much since he started his temptation to bring me to the dark side and join him so that we may rule the galaxy as father and son.

I did have another awkward conversation with my gruffy gaoler to make up for Perry’s absence. He dropped off my usual gruel at the usual time, and I asked him, “What’s your name?”

He looked through the window suspiciously.


“It seems important,” I said. “You feed me everyday, recharge my laptop, clean my bedpan. But I don’t even know what to call you.”

His gaze eased, perhaps understanding the bigger conflict on my mind.


I nodded.

“Well, nice to meet you, Ryan.”

I briefly considered offering him my hand. He was about to go, but I stopped him with another question.

“You have any kids, Ryan?”

“Look, pal, this ain’t the Marriott here. You’re not a guest and I’m not your friend. Any issues you got with The Big Guy are between you and him.”

He stormed off after that, leaving me with a half-full bedpan and dreams of a paternal relationship I never knew I wanted.