Rigorous
Volume Three, Issue 4



Shannon Avery


A Shocking Announcement

My brother was found dead in a hotel room today. My mom and I have been talking for the past few months about how me and my brother had pretty severe adhd, and how my brother was possibly Autistic. He is the most intelligent and generous person I know.

If only he could have gotten treatment for adhd, I think there is no way he would drink himself to death. He just didn't get the help he needed. And it hurts so hard to have survivor's guilt. So I hope that you sisters out there can check in with your brothers. We don't know what actually killed my brother but I know he didn't deserve to suffer his whole life.




Heir is Gone

I had a couple brothers, but now I got one.
Life is rough, people suck, broke and on the run.
One kicked last week, celebrity style,
hotel California was his last stop. Floor covered in bile.

Loaded with cash and fast cars,
he couldn't buy his way to happiness,
immediately I was in denial.
That last bender shut down his organs.
I'll never forget his dimpled smile.

In kingdom fuckery long live the king!
We started with an heir, and what's left is the spare.
Watch the zombies rise to fight in the ring
And with another drink, our grief now easier to bear.

Puppet masters like vultures, feeding the medicine.
The heir not even 6 feet down,
I watch the spare drown.
Please don't make me face death again.

The booze flows like bad news. I threw away my crown.
I can see through the smoke and mirror games.
One's laywyered up, and they keep trying to take me down.

This isn't grief its greed. Relax, I have venom that kills with its sting.
I have something to say, words are everlasting.
I've got to keep going, in spite of truth showing.

The love this family brings is glitching in every scene.
I look for that white rabbit--
surrounded by zombies with bad habits.
What more can I endure? I'll have to take a stab at it.

Sorry we are related.
I find your fakery too dramatic.
Like toys in the attic,
I'm soon dead to you and your static.

I'm already free, and glowing.
My health is really showing.
I cope with this news in sobriety.
I'm not the enemy, not your property.
Just passing through and growing up properly.

And the most shocking thing of all,
It wasn't the family after his fortune.
It was a fake friend who had the gall
To take a million dollar life insurance policy
And bully him to death about lack of hope --
A tragedy and hypocrisy

A life cut short due to jealousy and envy
And greed beyond imagination--
we just can’t find serenity
Now we are left with the pain,
And a murder scene, this just can’t be reality




If I could go back in 10 years and call myself, this is what I would tell me:

Call your brothers now, especially Matthew. Warn him of the complications of alcoholism, and take him to treatment at Project Turnabout. Make sure he gets the proper diagnosis of ADHD, takes his meds and support him in his aftercare. When you figure out you had ADHD, you need to contact your brother. He is drowning, being bullied and drinking himself to death. Find him, immediately, do not give up on getting him help. Let him know that ADHD is causing his executive function to not make staying stable easy.

Tell him he will amass a fortune due to his hard work and smarts, only to have it stolen by those who he called friends at one time. One will claim to be his best friend and take out a million dollars in a fake life insurance policy, and push Matthew over the edge and collect it within a month of finding him dead in a hotel room under suspicious circumstances.

Gather all the things he has left at various friends’ places and store them and tell no one but Matthew. Keep him protected from false friends, and enjoy your brother while he is alive. He is about to die, and you need to help prevent it by making sure his mental and physical health needs are met. Show him tips and tricks to manage symptoms. You will be very sorry when he is bullied to death at age 45. But perhaps this death is preventable.

HUG him every chance you get, tell him you are sorry for everything that you did to hurt him and that you can and will be there for him at anytime. Tell him the meds for adhd will allow him to break free from the alcohol addiction if he so chooses to make changes to improve his life. Show him what it means to have a great marriage, children, and that if he wanted that, you will help him get that. Show him that rebuilding a life is possible, and necessary if we are to survive and find some happiness and enjoyment. Send him videos of his adorable nephews and their kids. Show him that he is always welcome and insist he make it to every family gathering.

Take that new tv and German turbo boosted car on a road trip to Portland, watching Portlandia all the way. Take the time to do more spontaneous activities of mischief. Make him understand how much he is treasured and loved by all family members. Remind him of all the times we laughed, and take every moment to make him smile.

Tell him you both have gone through the same things in life, and how much better life would be to work as a team instead of some competition. Show up and find him every chance you get when he gets away from you and wouldn't talk to the family. Recognize signs of bullying and beat the shit out of anyone who hurt him and took advantage of him.

Then, make sure his social and career needs are met. You are your brother’s keeper until you die or he dies, which he will right after you face years of tragedy, self induced harming due to domestic violence, and gambling addiction. You will not hear from him for months, and only learn how sick he was coming off the alcohol in between binges. You will cry for him the rest of your life. At some point, you will be so enraged by the company he kept. And you will fight.

To those who have profited on his death just over a month ago, you will hunt them down like the rotten thieves they are and make them pay!



Shannon Avery: "I am a trained professional technical writer who is going to be a phenomenal writer and movie producer. I have two sons, and was born and raised in Minnesota, the granddaughter of Indians and immigrants. I have a B.S. in Business Administration and M.S. in Education. I have extensive experience as a computer programmer, database manager, systems administrator, construction management, the responsibilities of being an owner’s representative on multimillion dollar commercial construction projects, and has brought in nearly 10 million dollars for a northern Minnesota Tribe. I enjoy poetry, creative fiction writing, and spending time with her child and grandchildren."




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