Paul Wallis

Born: 1994 Hair: Brown, shaggy Career: Actor

Recent Stories

Published: Jan 05, 2021

On the Railing

He stood on the bridge, watching the ducks, a few geese. He hated birds, because they could fly and he could not. He stepped up on to the handrail, it was six or eight inches wide, made of some kind of silver metal, and there was no issue balancing. The wind blew and he leaned back against it, fearing for a moment that he might slip. Then he remembered that was why he was there, to test his wish for death. It was low and quiet, never bothering him all that much, but it was always there and always aching.

"Hey Dragonman!"

Pounding footsteps rushed closer. Paul was afraid to turn, intent on balancing.

Heavy breathing became apparent and distinct from the cars. "You're the Dragonman, yeah?" Feet shuffled a little.

"I suppose that's true."

"What the devil are you doing up there?" The man sounded dumb asking that question, but Paul felt obligated to respond in some way.

He thought for a moment. "Trying to get a better view of the ducks."

"Down there? Aren't you farther away?" A stubby, fat finger pointed accusingly at the water.

Published: Sep 12, 2020

He Played Guitar

He played guitar for himself. The sound was ugly and often off key. But it was for him, him alone, and he did not mind. Paul picked each string, checking them against the tuner. After many slight adjustments, he strummed a few chords: a major E, a minor A, a couple of Gs, and a D for good measure. It sounded fine to him. His sister and his mother insisted that he was tone deaf, but he wasn't sure they were correct. When he played, he didn't listen; that was not the point. He wanted to escape into the feeling of the music, into another world, where he was doing something for himself.

His fingertips burned slightly because he pressed as hard as he could. Later, he would rub and stretch his shoulders because they will have become strained and sore. But that meant he was alive. No one seemed to understand what it was like to give yourself over everyday to making other people happy, entertaining them. It sucked out your soul, and this was his attempt, a pathetic one, at regaining strength. Paul desperately wanted to repair his soul.

The amplifier hummed, and the strings rung through. He turned up videos of Jimi Hendrix, he played along with Stevie Ray Vaughn, the list went on. The only thing he really got right was their expressions, their stances, their projections. Could he suck their soul from a decades-old recording, the way a live audience sucked out his? It was worth a try, Paul told himself.

Published: Aug 31, 2020


His real name is Paul Wallis, but he prefers to be called Mike because he likes the sound of the name. The kids call him the Dragonman. They follow him down the block to the square, next to the fountain, where he performs with his bag of tricks. They come out of their houses when they hear his shoes squeaking, leaving TV cartoons and bowls of ice cream behind, forgetting shoes and sunscreen.

The Dragonman dresses as a red-nosed clown and plays in a one-man band. In his sack he carries all kinds of props, tools of imagination, which he uses to make the children smile. The littlest ones try to pluck away his toys and giggle all the while. Parents smile and slip a few bucks into his palm.

But the Dragonman is only happy when he's with the kids, away from his real life, away from his memories of the crash and the joy before it. He can't remember his daughter's smile anymore. He can't remember his ex-wife's face because she was driving the car: it causes him too much pain. He lives in a tenement next to a man who lost his job, wife, and kids in succession. They sympathize with each other.

Dragonman, Mike, or Paul enjoys making the kids happy because then he's filled with happiness.