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I’m Josh Hale and I’m a writer based in Chicago. I write short fiction pieces as well as poetry. I like creating work that resonates with people by creating convincing characters and settings. You may not be able to relate to all of my characters. My hope is that you’ll understand them as they are. I’d rather give you a scene than describe a setting. I believe that small details are sometimes the largest ones.

Some literary influences are David Foster Wallace, Chinua Achebe, Mark Danielewski, Emil Ferris, Margaret Atwood, James Baldwin, Charles Bukowski, Stephen King, Robert Heinlein, and Lois Lowry.

I’m in the process of updating this site and I add stories as I write them. I hope that you enjoy what you see here and if you really enjoy it, please considering donating an amount that you can afford to keep this thing going. I genuinely enjoy writing and I hope to be able to do it full time at some point. Thank you for visiting!

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Latest Writing

Billionaire Night

There was the sound of a helicopter landing outside and it woke Jeff from his lackadaisical binge watching. Company was here. He wouldn’t go downstairs to greet them yet. He’d wait for his servant to announce whoever it was. Only then would be leave the confines of the $20,000 leather chair that was giving him a butthole massage as he sat on it naked. The chair would have been only $12,000 normally, but the state of the art prostate massager added on an extra $8,000.

“You would think that the cow skin they used to make this massager would be cheaper considering that the cows don’t have to do that much aside from die,” he once said. But then, someone had to pay for the existence of the poor farmers and factory workers…pity about that. Someday Jeff would engineer a solution to that problem. If he could figure out how to fix world hunger while delivering the lowest prices to the customer, then surely you could figure out how to bring down the price of the prostate massager on a luxury chair via cheaper labor. Fixing world hunger would be easier though, he would just have to starve enough people to death.

There was a voice message notification on the smart screen in front of him and he had to pause the video of Peter Thiel’s inspirational sermon on market necessity to answer it.

“Mr. Bezos, Elon is here.”

“Great, send him to the Fulfillment Lounge.”

He resumed the video of Mr. Thiel.

“Alexa, set prostate massager to Shiatsu Heat mode. Let’s do level 5.”

“Very good sir,” an automated voice said. He fired out his aging semen seconds later just as Thiel was outlining how the plot to Stephen Spielberg’s Jaws was actually related to market cap acquisition. It was a great orgasm, not the best but a really great one. The best one in recent memory had been when Charles Koch had called him to say that several congressmen were considering strategies to roll back of the worst government meddling in recent memory, child labor laws. Until the time for that to happen, he’d have to keep using senior citizens for labor. Damn shame too, those young kids made better chairs and at a faster rate too! He casually took a few sips from the jar of rogue Amazon employee tears he’d gathered via a system of microscopic traps in the factory floors. It hadn’t been a cheap installment, the floors had to be re-shaped and the tears went through a tedious purification and shipment process, but at the end of the six weeks that it took to deliver a fresh jar he could enjoy the salty by-products of their labor. And best of all, it was organic!

His live-in robot dressed him and he took the elevator downstairs. He walked through the double sliding glass doors into the Fulfillment Lounge, $25,000 each. The lounge consisted of TV’s, several oversized leather couches and a bar with a small kitchen. Elon was sitting on the couch already in his boxers and white undershirt.

“You’re all ready to go aren’t’ you, ahahahahha!” Jeff roared with that trademark bullhorn laugh of his.

“Well, from your email I gathered you’ve got something really innovative to show me.”

“I do, but we have to wait for Bill and Warren.”

“What’s with having ME wait ten minutes for you to come down here Jeff? You know you’re not top of the food chain anymore. My net worth is $200 billion as of last week. You should be waiting downstairs for me!”

“You won’t be worth half that once your stock price plummets and I’m buying your company, but let’s not dwell on the obvious.”

“Ok, so what are you worth today?”

“Hang on,” Jeff said, opening an app on his phone. “205 billion! Hah! I beat your score. I fucking LOVE Covid!”

The in home computer system beeped again.

“Mr. Bezos, Bill is here.”

“Very good send him in. Is Warren with him?”

“No sir.”

“Strange…all right show Bill to the Fulfillment Lounge and then you can have the night off. Remember to clock out too! I’m not running a fucking charity drive.”

“Yes sir.”

Moments later, Bill, a mild-mannered sixty something, made his way into the room. He was wearing a large watch and carrying a long cylindrical milking contraption.

“The hell’s all this, Bill? Where’s Warren?”

“A little under the weather I’m afraid but he’ll be joining us on zoom.”

“What’s with the milking thing?” Elon asked.

“It’s a prototype intended for masturbatory simulation. We’re means testing it right now to see if we can get the price low enough for people in sub-Saharan Africa so we can curtail the birth-rate.”

Elon rubbed his chin thoughtfully and spaced out for a moment.

“Well if you figure out a way to sell it let me know so I can sell it and lessen the cost burden on the consumer,” Jeff said.

“It’s going to be proprietary software, sorry,” Bill said.

“Tight assed bastard. All right, guys let’s get started. There’s pizza and beer at the bar, help yourselves.”

They all got pizza slices and sat in front of the large home theater screen. Jeff hit a button and long black out shades descended from the ceiling obscuring the view of the majestic, tropical paradise Jeff had paid $50 million dollars to have wiped off of Google Earth. Of course, he’d gotten the IRS to issue a $50 million tax reimbursement the following year under some vague, possibly invented just for him, tax designation like “preventing the spread of Islamic terror to the Caribbean.”

There was another notification on a smaller screen.

“Video request chat from Warren Buffet.”

“Alexa, answer the call.”

The screen beeped and an even older white man’s face appeared. Like Musk, he too had paired down to just an undershirt and was doing his best Winnie the Pooh impression.

“Aw man! Give some fucking warning!”

“My eyes!”

“Apologies, I thought we’d started,” Warren said.

“Oh my god it’s so fucking wrinkled. Is that what I have to look forward to?” Elon said.

“I’ve got a good ball-tuck surgery guy if you want Warren,” Bill said. “Very affordable and they really do look like early 20’s condition when he’s done.”

Jeff walked to the front of the room and stood in front of the the TV.

“All right fellas, I won’t delay any longer,” he said. “Now you all remember what a good time we had when we renovated that poor neighborhood in Cozumel last year and built a beach for our grandkids?”

“Now that was a fucking good time,” Elon said. “And the people we displaced really seemed to appreciate the free bus service to Mexico City we provided.”

“I think we stuck them in the trailer of an 18 wheeler,” Warren corrected. “But, tomato-to-mah-to.”

“They were weeping,” Bill said. “I almost felt bad for them, but you know, these people in poor countries these just keep having kids. What are you gonna do?”

“Bill great point. They were weeping! Yes, they were and do you all remember what you told me you felt afterward?”

“Well,” Mr. Buffet said “I felt an immense sense of power and a noticeable restoration of my fading masculinity which lasted several weeks. I was particularly excited by the prospect of creating real estate value in that area. It reminded me of the early days at Berkshire-Hathaway. There’s this feeling you get when you’ve been talking to a poor family and you can’t seem to find a way to deny their loan application and then, all at once, you find that loophole, you find that vaguely legal rationale to do it and it….feels….so….fucking……good.”

“I have to admit,” Bill mused. “Later on after the bus was well out of our sight, I even had a little erection going.”

“Yes!” Jeff said. “It feels good. There’s nothing wrong with it. It’s a primordial sense of power going back to our ancestors. It’s the bedrock of our 23 chromosomes of DNA. We need to feel powerful in order to succeed and have our vitality…..we also rely on our power as a means of sexual release, which is just as important as it keeps us level headed so we can drive our companies forward. As such, we need to rely on something to provide us with a certain sense of erotic excitement. I’ve said in numerous Amazon addresses that every CEO makes perhaps ten key decisions in a companies’ lifetime that launches it into the future and the men who make those kinds of decisions, men like us, are not going to have normal interests. I think we’ve all acknowledged that, right?”

The others nodded their heads and murmured approval.

“Elon, for instance, you’ve told me you can no longer have sex with a human being because doing so would involve appreciating the other person’s humanity.”

“It’s true,” he said shaking his head with a wistful look “I can’t explain it, but it just doesn’t work for me unless it’s a robot or like a really broken, weak person.”

“Yeah, I mean Melinda and I still have sex but most of the time I have to wear a sort of VR apparatus and imagine myself signing some really unfair labor agreement.”

“For me,” Warren chimed in, “the only thing that gets me hard anymore is selling property and denying poor families loans. My wife and I have taken to putting cameras in some of the Hathaway offices so we can listen to that key moment when a person’s soul breaks.”

“Warren! Yes! Warren, you’re going to be with me on this one. I think I may just have made one of those key ten decisions I’m always talking about. Behold….Alexa, cue Factory View.”

“Yes Mr. Bezos,” a dead voice responded. All at once a new image flipped onto the screen. It was an older woman in her 60’s wearing an Amazon vest. She was standing in front of a fenced shelf full with unopened packages. She was crying.

“Guys, you don’t know who this woman is because she doesn’t matter. What’s important is we’ve implanted her with a chip, fully voluntary on her part, though she would have been fired more or less had she refused, and this chip measures her metrics to gauge when emotions of extreme despair are occurring. And guys, let me tell you, this thing is accurate. Now we can watch her on one of the several million cameras I’ve had installed to monitor people. Look at those tears.”

“Oh my god….” Bill said “I’m……I’m aroused. I haven’t felt this way since I denied healthcare benefits to one of my long time, very poor workers. That was months ago. I…. oh god…. it’s incredible.”

“I’m rock hard,” Warren proclaimed.

“Just like when you turn down people for those loan applications, am I right?


“Jeff, how do you scale something like this.”

“Rather easily. I have recently forced a large number of my workers to implant this biological software under similar threats of disenfranchisement and I can more or less cycle between them like TV stations as they break down.”

“Incredible!” Warren said. “Jesus this stuff is FIRE!”

“You know, I hate to say it,” Elon began. “But even this isn’t working for me….am I just completely sexually broken?”

“Not at all!” Jeff said. “It just means you’ve reached the point that I have. You’ve _transcended _the human level. You recognize that we are above most people and able to conquer them and this has inhibited your ability to look at them as equals. Not to worry! You just need something new, something different.”

“Yeah I guess so,” Elon said. “I guess if you spend a couple of decades dreaming about flying to the moon on the backs of a horde of ignorant, desperate serfs you start to realign your own sense of what you desire. I’ve read Jordan Peterson’s analysis on this. It essentially relates to why Octopus hierarchies tend to organize the way they do.”

“Jeff at this point I’d like to broach a question…”

As Bill was saying this Warren and Elon were beginning to take the rest of their clothes off. Warren, the nudest of them all sat astride his bed looking into the computer screen, eyes glazed over and distant, his camera being jostled by the tell-tale thumping of an elbow against a bed. He seemed to be muttering something through gritted teeth and it was something like “yeah, that’s what you deserve peasant!”

“Sure, I’ll take a question Bill.”

“Well, as you put it, Elon might not be able to get off to people anymore. What sort of enjoyment is available for a man of his caliber?”

“An excellent question. As you all know I recently partnered with Elon’s people to install an Amazon brand camera under the hoods of the new Tesla’s. We then convinced one of our workers to install a car-cat.”

“Car-cat? Is that some kind of app that finds you a car that’s good for cats?”

“No,” Jeff said. “We installed a live cat under the hood of his car and made it impossible for it to escape….with this cat concealed from the consumer via some clever engine redesign, we then waited for the inevitable because we knew from Elon that the new Tesla’s were going to have a planned critical operational failure in the engine at the two-year mark.”

“Jeff! You….what did you do?”

Jeff grinned.

“I’m sorry, I couldn’t tell you earlier buddy, I wanted to but I had to wait two years….and damn it’s been a long two years, but now I can finally give you….Alexa, show cat view!”

“Yes sir Mr. Bezos,” droned the voice behind the house speakers.

On a separate screen appeared a cat inside of the hoof of a car on fire. It was burning to death and meowing in a horrific way.

“Oh….oh fucking hell….Jeff….you’re a fucking…..mind reader! THIS…..IS……HOT!”

With that, Elon stood up and pulled off his underwear. He applied some lube to himself. Reminded he should follow suit, Jeff reached under his television into a cabinet and pulled out a container of Ama-Lube, a prototype he was currently testing. He applied it to his dick as well.

“Hhhhoo….oooowww….ddd…..iiiddd….you…kn-kn know I wanted thhiiiisss J-j-j-jeff?”

“Because, I’m into it too. Buddy!”

“It’s really thoughtful.”

“I’ll say, the real challenge was figuring out the way to keep a cat alive and feed it just enough so it fits in the small compartment and gets extra crispy when it incinerates.”

“Incredible! Never in a million years did I think this would be possible. It wouldn’t by chance be a female cat would it?”

“Of course it is. We didn’t use male cats because we analyzed your Twitter posts and figured out females would be your preferred entertainment.”

“Absolutely brilliant.”

“Cat death porn. Totally untapped market, it’s just like Amazon’s early days. Which reminds me, I should do something. Alexa, compose email.”

“Yes sir Mr. Bezos.”

“Dear Team,

On Monday, I want to examine the feasibility of patenting live-streamed cat deaths for our prime amazon XXX members ONLY. This isn’t for the masses. Alexa, send that email to our legal department.”

“Yes sir.”

Bill looked around at the others sheepishly. He was the only one still not completely naked as he had his underwear on but a tell-tale bulge lifted like a camping tent.

“I feel so conflicted,” he said quietly.

“Bill, what’s wrong?”

“This…I….I mean jerking off to some guys crying via a spy cam in our HR office is one thing but this I feel crosses a line.”

“What line?”

“I mean….you’ve executed a cat in a car trunk…..and you didn’t even make that much money off it. I feel like if we’re going to masturbate together we should at least do it to things that are actually profitable. I mean, I’m running a business after all.”

“Bill, this isn’t the 90’s anymore. Hell it’s not the early 2000’s anymore. This is an age for people to explore their true feelings, to be more in touch with themselves and be woke to the world around them, to tap into mindfulness and the ever playful human soul. You need to stop viewing everything as a transactional narrative, it’s a very unfashionable attitude now.”

Bill looked over and put his hand on his milking device as he stared at it thoughtfully.

“Warren!” said Jeff “how are ya? Haven’t heard anything in a while.”

“Fucking…PEASANTS! I EAT YOU FOR…..BBBREEAAAKKKKFFFFAASSSTTT! Ahhhhhhhh! Shit! Came everywhere just now! Looks like it all hit the floor. I hope the rhumba’s on to slurp that shit up.”

“Warren, are you tapped out?”

“Oh HELL NO! That orgasm was a formality. I’m still a multiple orgasm man. What can I say fellas, screwing people out of perfectly reasonable and affordable loans keeps me young!”

Bill had in the meantime put his aging penis into the rubber maw of the contraption and pumped it tight against himself.

“Well shucks, this think is hooked up to my online fitness account. I’ll get some good bio-metrics!”

“Bill,” Elon said. “Is that like a penis pump man?”

“Oh it’s so much more. It milks my dick and provides KPI’s on my orgasms…also comes with a handy jizzum collection compartment so I can freeze more copies of myself for longevity.”

“You do that too?” Elon asked.

“Aw fuck….I love this,” Jeff said. He was watching some up close footage of protestors being crushed by a tank, arm pumping furiously as he did.

“This was in New York,” he added. “We bulldozed a section of Harlem last month to build a new fulfillment center and we gave people Alexa systems for their new homes…..we didn’t pay for the homes mind you. Just the Alexa systems. This isn’t a bloody charity! Anyway, these are all the pains in the ass protestors who refused to leave. NYPD took care of that for us. Easy job considering that we privatized them five years ago. Yeah, you wanna climb on a tank you entitled, commy, pinko son of a bitch! You’re gonna ride it right….BOOM….RIGHT INTO THE DIRT! Oh fuck, look at that blood! Shit….I’m getting close to the edge.”

“Hey Bill?” Elon said turning to him. “Do you have any spare lube? I’m drying up?”

“Well not really well, it’s sort of built into the machine and it just keeps dispensing in there as the machine goes, but I don’t have any to give you otherwise.”

“Elon, you need lube?” Jeff asked.

“Yeah, can I have one of yours?”

“Sure. I just need you to sign up for an Amazon Adult Prime account.”

“Really, I can’t just burrow one of yours?”

“Well, I can let you have one,” said Jeff, who hadn’t stopped jerking off or looking at the dying protestors on the TV screen as he spoke. “You just need to have an account. It comes with one for just the $5 sign up fee. Takes just a second

“You fucking serious? Why can’t I just give you $5 then?”

“Elon, you more than anyone should know the importance of measuring engageme…..awww fuck that’s a gruesome way to go! Look at those bones break. Ohhhh! Ohhhh! OHHHHH!”

Elon typed for a few moments on his phone.

“There you cheap ass cue-ball, I’ve done it. Can I get the fucking lube now?”

“Sure thing,” said Jeff.

Only now did Jeff drop his penis so he could reach into the drawer of that cabinet. In doing this he revealed that the cabinet was filled with perhaps a hundred jars of the lube. Elon smeared some hastily on his dick and went back to work on it. This cat was burning to death and it was glorious!

“These videos are great!” Bill said. “I’m staying hard and I’m getting some really good readings on heart rate and blood pressure level.”

“I fine-tuned it so once an employee’s tears start to run low and they start becoming happy again it automatically switches to the employee with the next greatest level of hopelessness metrics.”

“Brilliant,” Bill said under his breathe.

“Jeff,” Warren said from the screen. “This isn’t a very P.C. request and I don’t mean personal computer, but do you have anything with an African American couple being denied their loan? I could really get off to that right now.”

“Seriously?” Jeff said.

“Yeah it’s a…it’s like a fetish, you know. Takes me back. You don’t have anything like that?”

“Warren, no. That’s really racist and frankly, sick. You should hate everyone in humanity in equal measure. Like me. I don’t see color, just servants.”

Jeff shot Elon a look and rolled his eyes.

“These fucking boomers.”

And so the billionaires sat in a semi-circle, gathered around the projector like a campfire, their fore-arms furiously pumping back and forth to the collective sadness of humanity as they stroked their aging penises, trying to edge but not finish. And as they stroked themselves, they discussed the new future Bezos had opened up with his hidden cameras.

“Oh god! Oh wow man!!! Look at these KPI’s!”

“I feel like this has solved a very real problem!”

“We’re in a 2020’s world right now, but by 2050 we’ll all be in New Zealand and in our eighties early 100’s for some of us, the golden years. We’ll be masturbating to the demise of most humans in the world and it’s going to be wonderful. I just hope we all live to see it.”

“I think as performance indicators for health tend to increase, we’re going to have our age to death ratio grow many-fold.”

“I won’t eat anything but soylent green after I’m 80. I think this will enhance my longevity considerably.”

“We’ll hoard more wealth and power, as is our socially Darwinian right to do and we’ll use the collective semen we accumulate in sessions like these to perfect a super-race, next generation humans.”

“Don’t say that too much sir. You’re GOING to make me cumm!”

“It’ll be like humanity going from VHS to DVD!”

“Aw fuck! Old daddy War War is going for lucky #10! Here comes a semen BUFFET! Hah! Get it! Ah screw all you guys anyway, I invented the shit you’re doing. You just applied it to the computer and tech industry….fffffff-uuuuuucccckkkkk!”

Many orgasms later, the billionaires were sitting around the television watching old snuff videos from the 70’s, but not so much for sexual stimulation at this point, as just background noise.

“People are so quick to judge, but you know everyone has a fetish,” Jeff said. “So what if I need to watch people dying in order to cumm? Everyone has their fetish you know, everyone needs to get off. Donald Trump likes young Russian piss, I like seeing angry protestors crushed to death by a steam roller.”

“Asexual people,” Elon said drunkenly. “They don’t need anything to get off.”

“Yeah, well, there’s something wrong with those people.”

“Jeff, can you just give me my $5 back man. I don’t even want your useless lube ya know? I just wanted to burrow it?”

“Elon, would you quit being such a cheap prick? All sales are final, you know that. Just enjoy the damn lube while I let you have it.”

“While you LET me have it?”

“Oh yeah, any unused lube is the property of Amazon and technically can be reclaimed at any time, it’s just like the books.”

“Have to admit that’s clever,” Bill chimed in. “What do you do just lease the stuff?”

“Sort of, I’d tell you but it’s proprietary….Warren! How are ya buddy?”


“I’m glad we could do this,” Bill said. “I’ve got some stressful calls coming on Monday. My garbage worker employees are threatening another work stoppage; which I guess I can understand on some level. But I mean, $10 an hour? I’ll go out of business.”

“I get the same crap over at Amazon. People don’t like the digital productivity timers, but you know if they want to make more money they should do it on their own power the way we all did. My parents never gave me anything.”

“I think everyone in this room can recognize the truly transformative effect of hard work and how it can take anyone to success with the right mindset.”

“Sure, we’re all well-balanced and successful people. That’s not an accident.”

“I abhor laziness in a person. I just abhor it.”

“Hey, Jeff where do you want me to throw this plastic plate away?”

“On the goddamn floor! The cleaning staff comes tomorrow morning.”

A few minutes passed and the room got quiet. Jeff had a somber look on his face that seemingly came from nowhere.

“Guys….all this activity tonight has made me very reflective.”

“How so?”

“I just….well….you know I can screw people out of their livelihoods all day long without feeling a thing…..I can put bookshops out of business, fire crying senior citizens who have to go to under-funded hospitals or the homeless shelters as I whack it to their tears…….I can even watch cats dying in car fires of my own creation….but…..if I don’t die a trillionaire I don’t think I can ever live it down.”

Bill reached his hand out and touched Jeff on the shoulder.

“Bud, I feel the same way. Totally normal.”

A single tear dripped from Gates eye and Bezos cried too at the thought of not having had the floor in this room equipped to collect the tear for his later consumption.

Elon’s hand was on his other shoulder.

“Jeff….you have such…..feeling……you really move me….”

There was a profound beautiful silence now and it might have gone on for a long time had it not been shattered….

“ARGH,” Warren cried. “Hey look at that. DIRECT HIT! I landed it right on the rhumba!!!! Take that, peasant scum.”


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