Alternative Death Care

For weeks the group couldn’t agree on the name for the club.  Some thought it should be “Eternal Love.”  That name invoked positive feelings and explained to an extent the group’s purpose.  Others wanted the emphasis on the technical capabilities that the group was promoting.  They gravitated towards the name “Craft Embalmers.”  Several other names were suggested that had lower appeal. The members battled back and forth until in compromise and desperation they decided upon the name “Alternative Death Care.”  Everyone agreed that the name fully captured the purpose and intent of the organization.  Certified members became known as “Deathers.” 

This is Audio Stories with J.B. Simien and this is the story of Alternative Death Care.  Please join me each Saturday for a new original story at

It’s a cold Saturday Morning in February.  Shelly Grey is sitting with two members of her new club (Tom and Jenny Stuart) in her kitchen.  They are enjoying coffee and freshly baked pastries.  The Stuart’s are advising Shelly on how to host the home funeral of her recently deceased infant son.   The three of them just spent the last hour discussing the logistics of the process: receiving his body, washing his body, dressing him, preparing him for the viewing and the basic laws covering this alternative process.  This afternoon these two Deathers will guide Shelly through the process.
Alternative Death Care is not just an organization of volunteers who help its members with the home funerary process, They also advocate, in court, for the right of their families to live with their deceased loved one’s in their homes (as they lived with them when they were alive). 

There are other groups like theirs, which advocate for a home funeral process.  However, they are not seeking to preserve the bodies of their loved ones.  They are only trying to be more involved in the process of personal care for their deceased loved ones.  They (like Alternative Death Care) don’t want their deceased loved ones to be given over to strangers for what has historically been the duties of the family.  They see their connection with their loved ones as a contract to be there in a loving way from birth through life to death.  Also, the high cost of the commercial funeral process encourages a do it yourself approach.  They simply want to be part of the process then dispose of their loved ones with dignity.  Alternative Death Care wants to keep their loved ones at home.

In rural areas of the U.S., in many countries throughout the world, and for all of human history, the family handled the care of deceased family members from death to burial.   In the twentieth century, in urban areas, we surrendered all aspects of death to commercial processes.  It is normal for the sick and the old to die in hospitals and nursing homes.  The process of death has become a mystery to us.  We pay others to take care of it.  We are told: what is dignified and what is acceptable.  We are told what we should do, how we should act and finally how we should display what we feel.  So, we turned what had been a loving close to our relationship with a family member into a nuisance to be handled by strangers for a large amount of money.

Shelly’s son James was just three months old when he died.  She doesn’t understand why he died.  He was sleeping peacefully in his crib and hours later he had simply stopped breathing.  He couldn’t be revived.  He was her miracle child.  She was forty-five when he was born.  She and her husband had tried for more than two years to have a child.  Finally, a year ago she became pregnant.  Now, just three months after delivering James, she can’t let him go. 

Alternative Death Care is going to help Shelly preserve his body.  He will never get older and he will never decay.  She can keep him with her and see him and speak to him when she wants.  Her husband Carl thinks this is wrong. He wants to bury their son.  She said that she won’t allow that.  She can’t let him do it.

It’s not so strange to live with the dead.  Think of all the famous unburied preserved corpses like Vladimir Lenin in Russia and Eva PerĂ³n in Argentina.  With expert preservation, they have remained lifelike in appearance.  If a body is embalmed with a superior method it will appear to be alive.  The club has many members who maintain their deceased loved ones at home.  They care for their loved ones as if they are still living.  They clean them, dress them, groom them, and talk to them.  The deceased loved ones still participate in the family’s activities (especially holidays).

The club has members skilled in many advanced technological and medical processes.  The newest preservation process involves bionic implants.  The Technological Service Section of the club (TSS) is experimenting with implanting bionic servos into muscle tissue.  The results are stunning.  The servos activate the muscle tissue and stimulate the movement of the body parts.  They also control tissue decay since synthetic oxygenated blood circulates throughout the body (because of the servos).  Although the effect is artificial, the body is capable of controlled animated movement and it does not decay (it is self-healing).  The mind is gone but the body is ok.  This is the process Shelly wants James to have. 

Tom and Jenny are finalizing the details.  They and Shelly will prepare James body this afternoon at home in the garage and display him at the wake tonight in the Livingroom.  Just the immediate family will be there tonight.  The funeral is on Sunday.  All family and friends can attend.  On Monday, Shelly will observe the technical section implant the servos into James’ body and transform him. 
Carl doesn’t want this final stage to happen.  He wants to bury their son and live with the memories.   Shelly says, “I don’t understand why we should limit ourselves to memories when we can have our child at home.  This is not a denial of death.  It is a transformation of death to a useful level.”

For the past ten months, James has lived at home with Shelly.  The servos are preserving his body as planned.  Every day, Shelly grooms him and dresses him.  Frequently, she places him in his baby carrier and goes shopping, or to work, or to church, or to visit friends.  When strangers see James they think he is sleeping.  They always remark what a good baby he is to be so quite.  Shelly’s associates at work and church have asked her to stop bringing James with her.  She still brings him.  She just keeps him in a large purse out of view.  He is always near her.

Today, James and Shelly are enjoying Christmas Day dinner with twelve members of the club.  They have gathered at Tom and Jenny’s house with their animated loved ones and some loved ones that didn’t undergo the servo process.  The club members have become Shelly’s extended family.  She says, “We share a common view of the world.”  She has drifted away from most of her old friends (the ones that she had prior to joining the club).  “They seem repulsed by my decisions regarding James,” she says.  Over the past ten months, Carl has become increasingly distressed.  He is worried about Shelly’s sanity and his own.  Shelly said, “Carl is a good man and I miss him but I have chosen to care for our son.  He will be OK.  James needs me more.”

This concludes the story Alternative Death Care.  I hope you have enjoyed it and that you will leave some comments about the story.   Please join me next Saturday at for a new original story.  Thank you and take care.

An Artist Who Dreams

The next morning while meeting with my attorney, I told her that I had found the murderer.  She didn’t believe me but she did think it couldn’t hurt for the police to have another suspect.

This is audio stories with J. B. Simien.  This is the story of an “An Artist Who Dreams.”  Please visit me at There you can download this and other podcasts through a link on the home page and listen to them at your leisure.  You will also find a link below to rate us in iTunes.  If you do that you will help other people find and enjoy this podcast too.

I moved to New York City to become a famous artist when I was nineteen.  Specifically, New York was where I had chosen to make my living as a Painter.  When I was a small child, I made pencil sketches that earned praise from my family and friends.  My parent’s encouragement at that early age convinced me that I had an extraordinary talent.  So, with their financial and emotional help and a great deal of learning, I advanced into the local world of art.  As a teenager, I became a highly skilled artist with a growing reputation in my hometown of Seattle, Washington.  I viewed my move to New York, falsely, as advancing from the minor to the major leagues of the art world.  It was my opportunity to associate with the greatest living artist on this planet and improve my talents.  

Thought I was a known artist with a good reputation, I didn’t have the red carpet rolled out for me in New York.  With the help of my network of associates, I was determined to support myself by painting portraits of the city’s elite residents.  The wealthy pay incredible sums of money for a celebrity artist to paint them.   If I could successfully build up clients in this niche, I would be able to pay the bills as I worked on expressing art that challenged my talents and creativity.  Unfortunately, to that desired niche of citizens, I was not enough of a celebrity.  

My clients were the niche pretending to be wealthy.  These were the people who would actually prefer to have a photo made but the pretention of their social status required a portrait painted by a known artist.  They are good people but very price conscious and highly demanding.  They want everything but they wanted to pay for it with a discount coupon from Groupon.  They didn’t want an interpretation of their image based upon the artist’s vision.  They wanted a Sears’s photograph.  That was not what I wanted.  So, naturally, the customer hire the artist who would give them what they want.  I fell from an unreliable income for painting portraits to haphazard income from making sketches of any person who would hire me in the farmer’s market pavilion.  

Greg Kinkaid was my life saver.  He is a successful celebrity artist who allowed me to live in his art studio in exchange for helping keep the place clean.  He kept me feed and in art supplies.  He let me exhibit my work in his studio in the hopes that some of his wealthy clients would purchase it or commission me for some additional artwork.  I was grateful for Greg’s help.  Still, I was deeply depressed.  I felt lost.  The stress of my failure took a toll.  I would sleep whenever I could to just to help the time pass but in my dreams, I was still unhappy.   

I was sleeping a few days ago when I awoke out of a vivid dream.  In my dream, I was in a crowd of drunken merrymakers on New Year’s evening in Times Square.  We were watching the ball drop and counting down to the New Year.  I had a god’s eye view of the activity and the same time I was in the crowd just like everyone else.  Through my god’s eye view of the activity, I watch a young teenage woman murdered.  

She was selling marijuana in the crowd.  Then she moves to the edge of the crowd and was watching the activity from the entry way of a courtyard of one of the buildings.  She was waiting for more customers and enjoying herself.  As she was focused on the descending ball and counting down.  I observed man come up behind her.  She was unaware of his approach.  He lifted her off her feet and carried her deep into a more deserted location within the courtyard.  She screamed for help but her cries were absorbed within the crowd noise.  Once the man was in his chosen spot.  He choked her and crushed her windpipe. He robbed her of her marijuana and her cash.  He dropped her body like discarded piece of trash.

Though it is morbid, I was inspired to sketch the murder as I had envisioned it in my dream.  The angle I chose was to contrast the public celebration against the edge of the crowd murder of a teenage girl from my god’s eye view.  In my dream, I had seen the faces of both the victim and the murderer.  In my sketch, I left both the victim and the murder as faceless people.  I wanted an observer to project their own face onto the subjects.  However, I was exacting in all other detail. From the sketch, I make a painting that looks like a Sears photograph.  It was an excellent theme.  The painting hung in Greg’s studio for less than an hour before the owner of an art gallery purchased it for a thousand dollars.  She prominently displayed the painting in her gallery.  

Two days ago, I was visited by police detectives.  They made an inquiry about the subject in the painting in relationship to an ongoing murder investigation.  To my surprise, the location of their murder inquiry was the same as in my sketch and painting.  The details of the murder location and my painting were exactly the same.  It was as though my painting was a photo of the murder scene.   
At the location of the murder, the police and the prosecutor questioned me.  I told them everything I had seen in my dream.  In my complete foolishness, I didn’t realize that they thought that I had committed the murder.  They believe that my painting was a confession and I had just incriminated myself.  Based upon my help, I was charged with the murder. 

The judge was convinced that I was a flight risk.  So, I was held without bond.   Thanks to Greg, I had a private attorney instead of a distracted public defender.  The woman who had been murdered was the daughter of a well-connected family.  The state wanted this case solved and resolved quickly.  I was the only suspect in the murder.  I was in very serious trouble.  My attorney advised me to cut a deal.  She wanted my answer in the morning.  

That night I had another vivid dream.  I was still in jail but I was out of my cell walking the corridors.  As I wandered the corridors, I looked into the cells that I passed and observed the inmates in their activity.  In section K west, I spotted the murder of the teenage girl in one of the cell.  I recognized him immediately.  I awoke from the dream and make a new sketch of the murder scene.  This time I include the faces of the murder and the victim.

The next morning while meeting with my attorney, I told her that I had found the murderer.  She didn’t believe me but she did think it couldn’t hurt for the police to have another suspect.  She took the sketch and spoke with the prosecutor.  The detectives on the case had wondered why there was no surveillance video of me in the sounding area on the night of the murder.  They recognized the murder in the sketch. He was a well know stick up man.  They had lots of video surveillance of him in the area on that night.  However, there were no video cameras in the area where the murder had occurred.  

The detectives arranged to question the new suspect.  They laid a copy of the sketch on the table between themselves and him.   They set silent and stared at him, smiled and bluffed.  One of them said, “That’s murder one.”  The new suspect looked at the sketch and said to the detectives, “So, you know!”  The detectives replied, “Yes, we have a witness.  This is your chance to avoid murder one.”  The murder then confessed to the crime.  He cut a deal with the prosecutor for a charge of manslaughter. 

After the charges against me were dropped, I was released from jail.   Still, something that the detectives remarked upset me.  When I made my sketch of the murder scene, it was a day before New Year’s Eve.  The murder victim was still alive.  It seems I had dreamed of a future event.  She could have been saved. 

 The years have passed.  I continue to have vivid dreams of murder scenes.  I am compelled to make paintings of my dreams.  Those paintings have made me a multi-millionaire.  Yet, I know that with each dream the victim is still alive and can be saved.  I have confirmed later that all my painting depict actual murders that happen in the city.  I feel I’m supposed to help but do I dare risk it? 

That concludes, “An Artist Who Dreams.”  I hope you have enjoyed this story.  Please check the links below to hear other original Audio Stories and please visit me at  Thank you and take care.

The Black Eyed Jordon

Jordon and his cat Nicole live in a studio apartment in a historic building (in the pioneer square section of downtown Seattle).   At one point in its history, the basement of the building served as a temporary morgue for victims of the Seattle Fire of 1889.  Over the years, starting with that event and others, the apartment building gained a reputation for being haunted. 

This is Audio Stories with J. B. Simien and this is the story about a weird YouTube video called The Black Eyed Jordon.  Listeners, you can subscribe to Audio Stories through a link at the website  Please tell your friends about Audio Stories and come back and visit with us again on Saturday each week for a new original story. 

Until a few days ago, nothing unusual ever happen in Jordon’s apartment.  Then one evening he came home from work to discover the water in the bathroom and kitchen sinks were turned on.  He thought that it was possible that he had accidently turned the water on in one of the sinks (and forgotten about it) but not both sinks.  The next day, he again discovered that the water was turned on in both sinks.  Perhaps, he thought, there is a problem with the water pressure in this apartment.  However, after an inspection, of the apartments plumbing by the building maintenance team, he was assured that the water pressure wasn’t the cause.   On the third day, he again discovered that the water in both sinks was turned on when he returned home from work.   That weekend, he installed video surveillance cameras in his apartment.   He was able to check on the activity in his apartment from work over the internet. 

Today, on YouTube, I discovered some of that surveillance video posted by, my friend, Jordon (shortly before he died).  I hadn’t seen it until now.  I have been consumed by emotion over his death last week.  We had dated on and off for years.  We had an unspoken understanding that we would eventually be together.  It’s so strange to find this video now by accident.  According to his sister Jill, I’m experiencing some of the same issues he experienced before he passed.  She and I are viewing the video together looking for answers. 

The video is edited.  It’s a narration about a doppelganger (a ghost that could be Jordon’s twin except for his large black pupil-less eyes).  In the start of the video, Nicole is alone in the apartment.  She hops onto the kitchen counter and moves toward the sink.  Then using one of her paws, she moved the single handle of the water faucet until water begins to flow.   Next, we see Nicole drinking from the flowing water.   Later the video shows Nicole repeating the process at the bathroom sink.  Nicole had learned the importance of turning on the water (to get a drink) but she had not learned the importance of turning the water off (when she was done).  That resolved the mystery of who opened the water taps in his apartment and mine.

The video was a third through its run.  We next observed Jordon, suddenly appear in the main room of the apartment (from nowhere).  His eyes are large and completely black like a demons.  We can hear the water still running in the sinks, as Nicole, strikes an aggressive defensive posture and backs into a corner of the living room.  With her back against the wall, she hisses at Jordon as though she does not know him.  She is afraid!    We see Jordon opening and pulling things out of his kitchen cabinets and fridge.  He is throwing the items violently onto the floor of the apartment and making a big mess. 

Some minutes later, Jordon (wearing different clothing with no black eyes) enters the apartment from the outside hallway.  The black eyed Jordon turns his head and moves towards the door.  He appeared to want to speak to the Jordon who was coming through the door but he disappeared as the other Jordon enters the room.  We see the Jordon who just entered the room looking at all the damage and shaking his head.   We see Nicole come to the door to greet him.  He had been shopping for clothing.  Next, we see him looking at his phone.   He appears to be reviewing the video.  His hand covers his mouth.  He is shocked by what he sees. 

Later, we see Jordon and Nicole sleeping.  We see the black eyed Jordon standing next to the bed (silently watching the pair).  Black eyed Jordon appears transparent.   He extends his arm and touches the sleeping Jordon on the back of his neck and disappears.   Jordon is now having a seizure.    After he recovers, the spot on the back of his neck that the black eyed Jordon touched him is swollen and appears to be causing him pain.   He checks himself in the bathroom mirror.   He lets out a scream of distressed.  Turning to one of the surveillance cameras, he reveals squiggling worms embedded in large holes in his skin on the back of his neck.  Jordon squeezed the swollen spot, in front of the camera, and several squiggling worms fell from the holes.  The video ends at that point. 

I was told by his sister that, though the video was edited, it was not fiction.   Everything happen.   The day after that incident, she helped her brother edit and load the video to YouTube.  He refused to go to a doctor.  He didn’t have health insurance.   She claims that the worms appeared to be migrating under his skin towards his head.  By the end of the day he had become violent towards her.  She had to leave his apartment to avoid a fight.  Within twenty four hours, Jordon had killed eight of his coworkers.  The clothing he was wearing on the day he murdered his friends, was the same clothing that black eyed Jordon wore in the video.  The medical examiner found two unusual issues during Jordon’s autopsy.   First, he had large black eyes with no pupils.  Second, a colony of unidentified worms were discovered nesting inside his brain.  The examiner speculated that the nesting worms could explain his murderous behavior.

Since I live in the same building, I adapted Nicole after Jordon’s death.   Almost immediately I begin to experience water turning on by itself in my sinks when I was out of the apartment.  Now, I know that Nicole is the cause.   Today, I found my stuff pulled out of my cabinets and thrown onto my apartment floor like Jordon.  I am putting in a video surveillance system this weekend to monitor my apartment.  I’m not sure what the hell I will do if it’s a demon.

This concludes the story of The Black Eyed Jordon.  I’m J. B. Simien.  I hope that you all have enjoyed it.  Please tell your friends and your fans about Audio Stories with J. B. Simien.  There is a link below that will take you all to iTunes.  Please rates us there.  Your kindness will help other people find us.   We will be here for you next Saturday.  

Thank you and take care.