May 5, 2011
Insanity has possessed me; by evidence of this imprisoning institution, but also perchance a dream, no, a nightmare, carrying with it the revelation of a dark knowledge proved unavoidable. My friend, Arthur, penned many marvelous works up until his last few narratives, which held the weight of a strange and unnerving burden, shown course by his haggard face. They found his limp body swinging from the limb of a tree outside his estate. He had been a distant memory until he appeared in my dream. He led me to a dark place below several flights of winding stairs, a cellar place, oozing with black slime, interrupted by red puss, all flowing from the source: a locked chamber door, hinged and latch, ready to collapse under the weight of the pounding from what was behind it. One wall was fixed with a makeshift desk of rotten wood, a typewriter holding a block of papers with etchings of ancient hieroglyphics scrawled in blood. Arthur screamed and scratched his face until it bled. I retreated to one of the walls and felt the slime reaching for my skin. He wrote with a crimson dipped finger on one of the pages and ordered me to complete what he was unable to finish. “They demand it,” he said, and pointed to the door. “I must go, leave now, or they’ll take you, too.” He started for the door and opened the latch. I chased in rescue but was too late. There on the abysmal edge was an evil too gruesome to describe. The recollection of which pricks my spine with ice. Screams from that darkness fills my mind, even now. I sleep to dream, to replay this horror, to finish what they demanded. I dream to hear their whispers, that Arthur may find peace.
That I may find peace.
April 25, 2011
A white flash, a series of concussive thumps, our clocks stop at 1:19; twice a day the time will be right, and that’s more than you can say for who is left. What survived obliteration is buried under the rubble and debris thrown to the edges of the crater. Too many dark plums rule the sky, the sun cannot shine through. Forever night. Snow falls from the sky and smudges our skin like charcoal. The ground shakes during the day, the earth’s answer to disaster, asking what we have done to Her. We ask ourselves the same question: what have we done? How could we let this go so far? Is it only a matter of time until we rebuild a civilization and continue where we left off? There’s a well spoken man standing on a makeshift stage preaching a message of humanity. He’s organizing, forming commissions and designating individuals to head clean up squads and rescue missions. His attempts are noble and very much needed; but, when will it stop? When will we learn? How long before the best and brightest discover the human potential again? We’ve experienced the depths of that potential: destruction. All of us blind to the glamour of our own ingenuity. The higher we build, the harder we fall. True night falls. There are things in the dark more foreboding than what we’ve proven to be capable of. The age of belief and magic has returned.
April 24, 2011
A mother calls her daughter from play into a fatherless home. Bring this basket to grandmother, she says. Stay on the path, the woods are dangerous. The daughter peeks inside the basket. Is grandma ok? she says. Yes, says the mother, if you hurry. The daughter leaves for the path and looks back to the house for the last time. Her mother stands on the porch with her hands covering her face. A woodsman makes camp not too far through the woods. His dog barks and trots to the little girl. Hello, puppy, she says, and pets him. A little girl like you shouldn’t be out here alone, says the woodsman. Excuse me, says the girl, I should go. Scream for me, says the woodsman, if trouble finds you. He strokes his axe handle and spits tobacco. The dog pouts as the girl continues on the path. Gray clouds collect up ahead where a thick mist has settled just before grandma’s door step. Something ruffles in the woods. Hello, says the girl, is someone there? A girl in white glows with pale skin laughs and says, come, come, then darts into the dark. Wait, says the girl, and tries to catch up. Through thickets and trees, ditches and trash, she follows the glow to the foot of the lake. Hold my hand, says the girl in white, and walk with me. The water is cold, says the girl and squeezes her basket. You will get used to it. Not so bad after a while. Only hurts at first. Soon enough, you’ll never want to leave. The woodsman never heard the scream. Grandma remained unmoving in her rocker. The mother still cries.
April 22, 2011
He called forth the four most competent blades for an order to go into the city and slay all who proclaimed allegiance to the insurrection. Women and children, old men and young men, virgins and harlots, the frail and strong of heart. Start from one end of the Kingdom, He said, and fear not the screams of the traitors. They have refused my mercy, and so I shall give no more. The chamber doors opened to a blind man dressed in white robes, transcribing in haste the words of the King. Defile their homes, He said, for they have ravaged mine. Go forth and fill the city with the dead. And so they went to slay the city. As their blades met with flesh, I was left with the scribe and the King, where I fell to His feet and cried, will you banish all who do not reflect your authority? This path is beset with more bloodshed than there already is. Wise King, heed the consequences. He dismounted his throne and struck my skull with a scepter. Man is doomed to the sins they will continue to commit after I am gone, He said. Look, here, the land is already drenched in blood, and not one is blameless of perverseness. What misery I declare on an already miserable people means nothing more than a droplet of rain in the Oceans of the West. Greed is to greed, as murder is to murder, as treachery is to destruction. We destroy ourselves. I have little to do of the matter other than accord order. This world will soon be a desert. When the bells of the church sounded, the blind scribe stepped up and said, it is done as You have said, my Lord.
April 2, 2011
He rises from his grave underneath the looming arm of the willow tree. His armor, once waxed to a blinding lustre, now rough with rust and dents, clinks and breaks the silence of the narrow land between the sea. The ground is soft and disturbed, from where man came he has also returned, only to have risen again. The one he loves is found elsewhere; he seeks while his heart, as withered as his chain-mail, aches. In love we die to ourselves, like sleep before waking. There sings a dream within a haze amidst the lucid glow of images, recalling a time where what was once real has long since passed. Since that passing, decay has taken hold of his life, like wisteria to a pocket of lattice. The ground was cold, as chilling as his broken heart, and what reason there is for his timely waking is known only to the God who watches above. The sun is warm and colors the sky in burning orange, just before it sets behind a cloud. In his mind he sees his love, her shape, her touch, her smile, and opens his eyes to the willow’s trunk. There in the bark, he sees his love, her shape, her touch, her smile, and with his worm eaten hand, unsheathes his sword, brittle yet as sharp as in the day of its forging. He says a prayer in an ancient tongue, and whips the air with his sword and stabs the heart of the willow. Like an earthquake’s rumble the tree splits in two. In the opening holds a skeleton wrapped in yellow lace. He has found his love, yet weeps for she is not the same as he. She will never again be who she once was; for, she has returned to the earth, where all men go to die.
February 18, 2011
Dad liked the bottle so much he never let go. I didn’t enjoy the taste, some kind of stale licorice, bitter, thick, and smelling of death. That’s how he died, too. Kidney failure, liver damage, yes, but choking on his vomit is what did him in. Since Mom has been gone longer than I can remember, he was alone that night, and I don’t want to take responsibility, since I was out with friends, but I can’t help myself. Not that I feel bad about it, I’m glad–and I think I feel more funny about that than not being there to see it finally happen, to see his suffering finally end. You can consider me an orphan, now, I guess. Technically, I have no parents, and that’s what an orphan is, right? Excuse me if I sound rash, but I’m supposed to feel something, aren’t I? I never loved my father–who does at my age? But, with the help of my mother, he gave me life! He always said–between his drunken stupor–that I have her eyes. Her eyes, I’ve been told were beautiful. You can look into them and just get lost. These eyes of mine have gotten me in trouble, so far, just like Mom. It’s her fault, that’s what I say. If she hadn’t left that night, she would still be around, and Dad wouldn’t have had to find love at the bottom of a bottle. I hate her. I hate her for leaving. I hate her for the qualities I’ve inherited from her. I’m alone now, and it’s all thanks to her. This is my strongest feeling, when I should be mourning my poor father, I’m hating my wicked mother, who left our home for something that was more appealing. Nothing will bring them back, neither of them. Even if she’s still alive, today, she is as dead as Dad. They were weak and so am I. Does that mean I hate myself as well? That smell, it’s not smelling so bad, now.
February 17, 2011
She wants a spark that isn’t there, that never was, but always burned. Routine remains in comfort where love should have reside, a mistake more common than a cold. Two hearts turned frost are made warm when one, and only joined together when separate. This truth implanted like a Holy Revelation to a girl who is as broken as the lives she’s left behind. Intentions are fueled by the hope of a road clear ahead of the fallible thicket their feet fall on now. Toes are scarred from entangled roots scattered the width of the path. To stray is to stay on course, she says to him. He accepts without ado. The fill of a thrill from a chase already deemed triumphant balloons his wings from underneath, and soars in the sky to rival the eagle. However, even she cannot ignore the threat of temptation. Indirect iniquities thrive in the life of the one who began the experimental feat by fault of suppressed ignorance now made alive. Infidelity envelopes the lackluster relation between the two. They wonder if there ever was anything there at all. A friendly companionship confused as love? What is love but a connection between friends. His protests fall on deaf ears. She has felt the flames, and they are warm. Their paths are clear, but not as they had predicted. Into the sunset they walk, between them another heart, more cold than the one once shared.