Once Upon A Time. A simple phrase that starts an introduction to a story is only began in fairytales. This story however is so much more. This tale for which I write, is not ordinary, nor
extraordinary. It’s…to put it as simplistically as I can, fucked up. Yes, that’s right, it’s as fucked up as a troll doll on crystal meth. If that is to give you any indication at all, this is not
for children, but there are children IN the story, though I would advise against reading this to your 3 or 4 year old little sister or brother, as mom and dad may not have an explanation why
sleeping beauty is popping sleeping medication like candy, while prince Phillip is supplying her said medication, whilst sneaking out in the dead of night and bedding enough women to make even Hugh
Hefner proud. With that in mind, let’s begin our descent into madness, going where no fairytale has really gone before. Stripping away the mask of Disney, and facing the monster within, wondering
what will happen next and at the same time, questioning of the author who is writing said story of the use of recreational drugs. Sorry readers, you don’t get these awesome ideas from mind
altering—actually I may stop there as incriminating myself is not part of this fable. I will however begin this story with the way all these overhyped expositions start –
Once Upon A Time, there lived a loving but poor family in the slums of the worst neighborhood in New York City. They were hardly ever able to make ends meet, but they tried their best, and that
was all that really mattered. Though with the rough times of our economy, love alone isn’t enough to pay the bills, and hugging your landlord abruptly is considered assault. So when the going
gets tough, the only thing you can do is to adapt to the situation you’re in. For the Halloran family, it was just another morning like every other – with the exception of one small teeny, tiny
detail. The first of the month – rent day.
“Yo! Where’s my fucken money!? You are thirty days overdue! I give you till end of today to get my money or I lock and throw you out! Capiche? Are you even listening to me? I want money or bye
bye. That’s only warning I give you!” The landlord screamed through the crusted out door, pounding it for good measure to make his point clear. The noise vibrated clearly through the small
apartment, which in turn, awoke Emory Taylor Halloran from an unpleasant slumber he had managed to succumb to only an hour before. Of course he couldn’t complain, for the most important thing in
his life was sleeping safely on the bed beside his cousin, while his brother slept soundly in a one person armchair, with no cushion. He had slept with no pillow or coverings, making sure his
younger brother had been somewhat comfortable, and their children were peaceful. Besides, the screams outside his window kept him awake most nights, sometimes even gunshots could be heard. Those
were always the worst, and left him wondering if the person who screamed was alright.
With another kick and yell, Morgan Ira Halloran jolted uneasily from the chair, glaring his unfocused eyes to the door, mentally wishing the asshole outside of it dead, then again – the dude was
a walking heart attack waiting to happen. A man with enough blubber to make even a whale sweat, was saying something. Considering they barely had enough to eat and the fat fucker could consume as
he pleased. That always angered Morgan, because the man lived in greedy mutton excess while some days they made due without.
With a groan, he answered. A growl underlying his tone.
“We heard you, you stupid prick! Now go and shove another slice of pizza in that pie hole and blow me! We’ll get your damn money when we have it! You gotta give us thirty days’ notice, otherwise
if you lock us out I’ll sue your pathetic Italian ass for illegal eviction. Now fawk off its six in the fawking morning and we’re trying to sleep! Not that you or that Italian wart downstairs
would know what a job or courtesy call means!” Morgan yelled, trying his best to watch his language as the kids were both starting to stir.
Emory shook his head and stood up slow, rubbing the exhaustion from his sad and tired blue eyes, going over to Morgan and leaning on the broken armrest next to his brother, watching the door as
the man began swearing at them in Italian.
“That’s not a very nice thing to say, man. We were asleep, you woke us up. Now go and be an annoying Wop someplace else.” Morgan continued to antagonize as Emory shook his head, signaling to his
brother that enough had been said, as the kids had just opened their eyes.
“You want courtesy call? Here’s your courtesy call, you beggars!” Yelled the landlord with his thick Italian New York accent.
For a moment it was silent, before a zipper could be heard, followed by a steady stream of liquid splashing against the door, another moment he could be heard spitting, before storming off with a
string of curses following.
The children had sat up by then, watching silently of the commotion that was ensuing, but by that time there was little to take interest in. Which for Emory, he was thankful.
With a forced smile he clapped his hands together and left his brother’s side, going to sit on the bed next to the two children, who were only at the tender ages of six and seven. An
impressionable time, but one he sought hard to see them through. Especially in a world where children grow up fast, and the world of make believe is gone before they can blink. That’s why it was
important to Emory to instil both life and make believe together, so with gentle hands, he pushed them back with fragile strength into a laying position, but stayed sitting where he was, which
meant he had a story. Morgan always seemed to like adding his own little subplots into them, but they made them funnier at times, especially if his brother was telling them in the usual platonic
“Once Upon A Time, there lived two young boy named Roth and Ross-“Emory could hear his brother groan slightly, knowing he didn’t really approving of the names. So with a sigh he changed them,
knowing the story he was telling finally had to be told.
“Lucille, Alexander-this story is very important to me- to Morgan to actually, and I think it’s time that you heard it.”
“What story daddy?” Alexander’s small curious voice sounded before Lucille piped up. “Yeah, what story Uncle Emory?”
Emory smiled at their enthusiasm.
“The story of love, and sadness. Your dad’s story, and mine. How we fell in love-“ Emory paused swiftly, realizing how awkward it sounded, and how the truly smartass smirk on his brother’s face
meant he would be getting hounded for it later.
“Your dad is trying to say – the story of when we first met Abigail and Selene, your moms. Not us together because that would be incest and they frown upon that in New York, though West Virginia
is another st-“
Emory glowered in warning for him to shut up, which Morgan did, but his smirk didn’t disappear.
“What’s incest?” Lucille asked, moving slightly to get comfortable, watching her Uncle Emory squirm. Something that made Morgan laugh internally at his older brother.
“Something I’ll explain to you when you’re older, now, back to the story.” Emory said hastily before clearing his throat, bringing it to a soothing level. “Once Upon A Time, there lived two boys,
no older then you guys. Their names were Dad and Uncle. Now these two boys were young, rowdy and full of energy. They got almost everything they wanted, but even toys weren’t enough to satisfy
their own curiosity to what life had to offer, and as they grew older, they realized the one thing they were missing was love. Their parents were kind, but they didn’t often use words, but rather
material things to show their love to their children, which was cool when they were younger, but as they grew, it was the one thing that seemed just wasn’t there. On a particular Wednesday
afternoon they had just returned from school, arguing and stumbling about like always – but as they neared their home, which was about a mile from their Elementary school, they noticed a police
car, followed by a white unmarked vehicle. Something bad had happened. While their parents were on their way to the airport to pick up an old friend, a truck veered off of its lane and into the
lane their parents were in, crushing them against the side of a concrete railing, smashing it to a can. They died instantly. The driver had fallen asleep, and-it just happened.”
Morgan took a small steady breath, picking up where Emory left off.
“They were sent to live in a foster home, where all they got was a smack upside the head and every now and again, a belt to the back and butt when they misbehaved-or even sometimes when they
didn’t. It was a hard time, but the two had each other. When they were eighteen, they escaped from that hellhole, but the grass is not always greener on the other side. No, it took two years
sleeping on the streets and begging for a chance before even finding someone to even hire them for a job, but it was worth the wait. They did what they had to, to survive.” Morgan smiled at the
memory, picturing Abigail’s brightly colored hazel eyes and curvy body, but it was a sad smile, a reflection on what was but could never be again. Lucille was the perfect image of her mother with
the long blonde hair and big eyes. It was the one thing from Abigail he could treasure.
Emory agree with a wistful smile of his own. Remembering Selene and how she taught him how to make pizza, how to cook, how to enjoy life and be happy. It was during that time they started to fall
for each other. but there was to be no happily ever after. It was two years after they started dating that Selene began to get sick. Nothing sufficient at first, but as the days grew on, he
noticed she had trouble moving or doing any little thing by herself, which turned out to be the baby inside her, he was making her sick, causing the body to turn on itself, and by the time they
realized what was happening – it was too late. She had died on her way to the hospital, but the baby by a miracle, had been able to be saved, but that did not stop the sadness that eradiated from
him like a dark cloud, and even after the baby was put into his arms, he felt nothing but regret.
Struck by grief, Emory went through a period of dejection, but after a year and the breakup of his brother Morgan and Abigail, who had slipped from the bed in the middle of the night, leaving
nothing behind but a note and the precious daughter they had made – it seemed their life couldn’t get worse, but it had. The years following, it was a hard and long haul, but each brother did
what they could to contribute to one another and worked hard on raising their children together, so neither would have to be alone. It worked for a time, but now things were getting desperate,
and even they didn’t know how long until their heads went completely under water.
Morgan saw the children’s eyes flutter closed again, the story finally coming to an end – but Emory turned the story into a happy one, after all, all fairytales need a happy ending. The happy
ending came when both brothers realized how special their children were, and how despite the nature of things stacking against them, they had each other – and their friend Eugene. That was a
jaded story in itself, and a past they would rather forget – but Eugene helped them babysit, and cared for the children. So in the chaotic world of Halloran, that was already forgiveness
“We’ll wake them in another hour or so, Eugene should be here by then to take them to school, and I have to get to the landfill before all the other crazies get there, see if I can find anything
good – perhaps a bit of dumpster diving after.” Emory sprouted thoughtfully as he got up again, stretching his 6’1 lanky frame and heading towards the small closet like bathroom, coming back with
a scrubber and heading towards the door to clean the piss up before it smelled up the hallway.
“Disgusting pig.” Morgan said, wrinkling up his nose at the thought of having to clean up someone’s piss. Aside from his own, he could handle that but that piece of filth? No way in
Nonetheless he counteracted with his brother’s statement.
“Yeah, I’m going to go and look around, see who’s hiring, or if there’s some interests in the street corners today. I mean I made good money being a John for a day, enough to pay the rent. Maybe
I could just-I dunno, see.” Morgan shrugged as Emory sighed, coming back inside, looking slightly perturbed.
“Do what you want M, but if Captain Pierez catches you on a street corner again, he’ll arrest you and I don’t have enough money to bail you out. Neither does Eugene, so please – if you can, find
something else. Besides? When Lucille gets older, what do you expect her to think of her old man if he goes selling himself for money? She’ll think it’s ok and it’s not. You’re not a male whore,
M, you’re better than that.”
Morgan mumbled something but agreed with Emory, he said nothing else as he got dressed and ready for the day. They needed money and he needed to get some, so what his brother didn’t know wouldn’t
hurt him. At least that’s how he saw it.
With aged brown eyes, and brown hair, like Emory’s only a slight shade lighter, he stood at about 6’0 with a well built, though boney physique, and strong jawline while his older brother had a
soft, yet feminine structure, matching with his complexion. He was only twenty-nine years old, and through his short life, he seemed to have most of the answers, while Morgan was only
twenty-eight, but still lacked the sense and the why’s, or in his case most the time, the why not’s.
He smiled at Emory and continued getting ready, walking out the door before either children awoke, leaving his older brother to care and get them ready by himself, which wouldn’t be hard when
Eugene showed up. At that thought he continued down to the corner. Morgan wasn’t proud of what he was doing, but soon – all that wouldn’t matter. Everything he and Emory have ever known would
change, and there was nothing to be done about it. In fact it would begin just like this one. Once Upon A Time. The kind only weird dreams and acid trips are made from.