Monday, August 31, 2009

Proposition :)

John was a happy man. He lived in a happy home, which was located inside a happy country, which was on a happy planet. Everything was so very happy because of the Pills, which were small and circular, and yellow, and imprinted with faces smiling earnestly.

Every day after waking up, alongside each meal, and before going to bed, John took a Pill. Except at lunch on the weekdays; at Foundry where John worked the Safety Officer said Pilling, although in all other ways beneficial, reduced Awareness and become more of a Hazard than a Help. So for hours at a time John was not happy and satisfied, which was a horrible feeling indeed. When he went home from work he always made sure to take two pills in the AutoCar, to completely obliterate his not-happiness, and he was like the State ads for Pills said: "Doubly bubbly!"

And one day at work a bit of molten iron got onto John's shin, somehow getting past his protective clothing. It seared violently, with a hissing sound and a nasty smell, and the Pain shot up from his shin and tried to cut through John's mind and strike at his Soul, where --as all State Co. ads said-- the happiness which the Pill retrieves lives. This naturally made John terribly, awfully distraught, so on his way home he Pilled three times. It was especially fateful that he did so, because as soon as he got home, the very first thing he saw as he walked through his front door, was his wife lying very happily under his equally happy friend. Even with three Pills in his bloodstream, stress threatened to topple the plastic walls in his head, but he swiftly strengthened the foundations with another Pill, and soon they all laughed happily about the embarrassment together.

Later that night John walked into the kitchen. His wife had already gone to bed. With a cheerful smile on his face, he drew a long knife from the block, a knife which had a decorative hook on it. He didn't really use it for decoration as he skinned his wife from her big toe up to her head, however. She struggled, giggling, as he did the deed, and he chirruped a bit himself, because they were both still happy. At least until the stress from her body finally overcame the Pill's influence. And she started screaming very, very shrilly as she died, and John had to take another pill because he began to feel morose that she would die unhappy.

And the next day the police came and took him away to a big white prison where big white guards in clean uniforms fed him yellow tablets with imprinted smileys, and he was happy. A smiling judge sentenced him to three hundred years in prison for the crimes of Assault, Murder in the First Degree Fahrenheit and the Negative Seventeen-and-One-Fifth Degree Celsius. Or something equally silly; it was immaterial exactly why, because it had no effect on John.

The big white guards fed him and clothed him and so on for two hundred and fifty years, which would have been an eternity to you and me, but was simply a cavalcade of pleasure to John -- pleasure patented, manufactured, and distributed by State Drugs Co. It was the same routine that John had followed at home, with his wife -- Pill after waking up, Pill after every meal, Pill before going to sleep. Except now, John didn't have to skip the lunch Pill, so he was much better off, even though he sometimes missed the greater fun he'd had when he had triple- and quadruple-Pilled.

He could hardly be very concerned about that, however. One of the big guards, an exceptionally burly and chirpy specimen named Warren C. Childing, often stopped to converse with John and they had very intense and deep conversations about how joyful everything was. Sometimes Warren reached through the bars of John's cell and grabbed a strong hold on his head; then they would play a game. Whoever couldn't see first for the blood flowing into their eyes from pounding the iron bars, won. John loved that game because he always won, and winning gave his happiness an extra edge.

So two-hundred and fifty years passed by. Quite a while, even though the State had abolished mortality.

Outside John's prison -- the Valyeschenko Regenerative Penitence Pen -- people began to go insane, or went sane, or did nothing at all -- which was a new one for any kind of animal.

John never ever saw that. He only saw that, one day, no one came to give him his Pill. And food. He had a hard time deciding which one worried him more (worry being a stranger to him, really); the food or the Pill. With the Pill, he wouldn't worry about food, but without the Pill food seemed rather more worrisome. Deciding which was of the most concern between not being able to not worry and something altogether very worrisome, was, he realized, terrifying.

And he collapsed back onto his cot, breathing heart, hard slamming itself to pieces on his sternum -- even the narrative became confused, suffering from a sort of aphasia while its codpiece--character!--suddenly barreled and garbled across the battle of infusion. Infusion of what, John really had no idea, but whatever it was he couldn't stand it. There was nothing behind his eyes except a huge yellow disc smiling placidly into where his Soul would have been. It was incomprehensibly frightening and reassuring, telling him that all could be well. But it was not well. =)

Then his cell door rattled and shook and screamed in a metallic whine for somebody to come and help this occupant, please, he keeps on shaking me and won't stop crying! Nobody came to see what the door was on about, though. No nice white uniforms came running with TranquiLiters and a full cup of smiles for to put him down. But John -- what else could he do? -- barely took notice and shook his cage some more and more.

After two weeks, the Emergency Limited Release kicked in -- Valyeschenko Regenerative Penitence Pen had a failsafe system wherein, should there be a complete lack of activity on the Pen's caretaker's parts, the automated cell doors would unlock and allow the inmates to find sustenance. The Pen's outer- and most of its inner-doors would not open, however. When John finally walked out of his cell, there was nobody else around -- all the other cells were empty, there being few enough serious criminals over the past centuries. Well, one cell did have someone in it -- but she was in a catatonic state for one reason or another, not moving, just staring. John rifled through her cell and clothing, and all the other cells, and LO!

There was one halfway dissolved thing, yellowy, underneath a lonely cot at the end of Prison Block A. John scarfed it greedily. Instantaneously, terror receded, replaced by -- not quite happiness, the potency had certainly diminished from being gummed by whomever -- befuddlement. Still concern of a sort, but the almost inert kind -- deciding whether or not getting a box for your leftovers would be too gauche for this particular establishment, opposed to sacrificing either your mother or your lover.

The second one wouldn't bother John too much, though; the continuity of these metaphors (in the context of this story) is lacking.

Eventually, he found himself some food in the kitchen. And two more Pills, which he decided to ration but accidentally ate wholesale. John then wandered aimlessly, smiling at the abandoned structure, thoughts skittering perpendicular to his intellect before being blasted by chemicals. An awful lot like skeet shooting, he might have said.

This went on for nearly a year, during which time the world outside deteriorated into progress.

If you were wondering; the State had fallen apart. People everywhere stopped reporting for work -- something which had always happened with the Pill. But before State Co. Policing Units had been available to bring them in and Produce. But eventually, the same plague hit the Policing Units, which meant the current Policing Units had to go and recover their own members, which worked for a while until everything started to spiral out of control. At an exponential rate. Soon, there was nobody to do anything -- glassy-eyed bureaucrats never filed paperwork, cashiers did not cash, and so on. A few brave Staters tried to stop the descent by restricting usage of the Pill, or charging for it so that people had to work, but that failed miserably -- instead of being motivated to get what they had lost, people went mad with grief and terror until it was given back to them.

Eventually there was nobody to give it to them, and everything ended.

Except -- this is not a sad story, there will always be an exception -- for a fortunate few. John's compatriots at Foundry, and at Construction, and at Mechanics, and at Medicine, had already been exposed to lack of Pilingl. Its absence did not affect them so totally as it did others -- instead of a psychotic breakdown followed by vegetation, perhaps a quarter of these colossal men and women functioned. They refused to die, and refused to let their husbands, wives and children die -- even force-feeding them to stave the inevitable off.

And these people lived -- stealing from each other, plundering what once was a civilization, starving, and killing one another in anger. More than a few tried to go back to how things were, and just as many said no. Some barricaded themselves into Pill Factories; others besieged those Factories, and still others tried to kill everything in order that it might be saved. No one liked that last group. It was all senseless and grotesque, but there's life for you.

John wasn't really aware -- he wanted another Pill, still, and never bothered looking out of windows or taking advantage of the six Emergency Communication Modules. He had scrounged and scavenged the whole of Valyeschenko Wing 2, and an aggregate mass of three gram's worth of Pill had been found. Not sufficient at all, he had verified.

So he decided to leave his prison. Not decided; forced to.

Through a necessarily ingenious contrivance, John succeeded in separating the twin safety doors of Valyeschenko Wing 2, and stepped out onto a concrete yard which had seen little enough of human activity for some time now. Only a few limpid bits of detritus cluttered here and there.

The bloated sun shone a sickly pink on the earth. But not The Earth. Plato's theory on forms attests that the highest plane achievable on this plane is mere illusion; so this earth is merely a shadow of an idea which constitutes -- which defines -- which creates -- Earth, the ideal. This landscape, imbued pink, was not even a shadow of a shadow, but the tiniest shade colonizers of space could create.

And it was dying, the blindest of the eyeless could see that. John couldn't.

He crossed the yard to the inner security gates of Valyeschenko, pausing only to investigate a forlornly wandering shopping bag. How did a shopping bag find its way into the confines of a prison? What was propelling it, on this windless day? Why did there have to be a shopping bag in what was, until recently, an era of quantum mechanization?

John dug greedily through the bag, finding a few crumpled pieces of paper inside. He tore these open with equal avarice, but no Pills were forthcoming. The bag was tossed aside, and he set himself to the conundrum of passing out of Valyeschenko Regenerative Penitence Pen. There was no wall demarcating the inner-periphery of the prison, merely a single red line circumnavigating the yard and building, its two ends terminating at the security gates. Upon crossing this line at any point (but not when passing through the gates' portal), a prisoner -- which was any body with a special implant -- would receive a huge stimulation on his neocortex, resulting in instant debilitation.

On this line, there were an infinite number of points. John vaguely remembered this fact from school (school was a more serious requirement for workers at Foundry). It probably made no sense to him -- something could hardly be composed of an infinite number of anything, could it? Because, if there were a never-ending amount, the majority of these individual whatevers would have to be no size at all. And how could something be composed primarily of nothing?

John ran his thumb over the piece of the implant which stuck out from the nape of his neck. There was a significant physical presence so that it could be removed at the time of repatriation with a minimum of surgical invasiveness. And this physical presence felt like bone sticking out, which it was very close to -- synthetic bone with synthetic nerve endings, to synthetically short-circuit John's brain. There was no off-switch, which would have been very useful.

The inner gates were the only way through then, he determined, unless he could produce an epiphany to the effect of reprogramming bionic machinery. This problem was obviated quite effortlessly, however, when the security gates detonated ten seconds later. Not detonated, precisely -- they had been rigged with shaped charges who delivered their force in such a way that the heavy metal doors sailed off their hinges in several odd directions, giving the sense that this was a spontaneous explosion. The blast's effulgence blinded John, but he was eminently lucky in that the varied forces of atmospheric resistance and thermite shaped the trajectories of all shrapnel into paths not intersecting with his wobbly pink flesh.

There was no realization of the miracle of life on John's part as he fell back onto his bottom, all the rods and cones and whatnot of his eyes temporarily shut down thanks to overwhelming visual stimulation. And his ears rang. In fact, his whole body felt as if two hands had violently clapped -- and he was in the middle of it, where the palms struck hardest.

This worried him badly -- feelings he could barely handle, we have already seen. The concrete did not score beneath his fingernails as he scrabbled on the ground, feeling to make sure that he still lived. He was an ineffectual thing, unable to change anything around him, unable to take control of himself or anything because of his single-mindedness. He would not see the Pill's loving smile again; two-thirds of the planet's sensory experiences would be denied him. What kind of a happiness was that?


John threw himself away from the sudden introduction of dialog, shocked as much by the realization he could still hear as by the atonality of that screech.

"John! HahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahHAhahahahahAha! Never did I think our fates, twain in every seeming respect, would be so closely conjoined in this the hour of doom!"

The voice was...strange. A vibratto was held beneath, whilst the surface appeared strong and unyielding; deep and assured, yet at odd moments unstressed syllables were stressed, stressed syllables were unstressed. To John, who had forgone speech for so long, it was quite strenuous to follow and understand. He opened his eyes, hoping to see, but everything was still too much -- streaks and blots and polygons of electric intensity arced hither and thither cross his eyeballs, starkly contrasted somehow to the plain whiteness. A field of snow populated by varied tribes of neon/argon/xenon/krypton/helium lights, perhaps.

"Are you rendered speechless with shock? Or has my entrance robbed you of all sense?"

John swallowed, cleared his throat, and slowly spoke. "I...I can't see. Please, do you have a Pill on you? Only, none have been brought to me for so long."

"Yes, naturally you want a can't have heard from a person in over a year, and you want a Pill. Well. If you can't see, no wonder you don't recognize me! Warren C. Childing, your prison guard, your newest ally on this earth, returned from death to preach the words!"

Childing didn't look too good. Acceptably so, if he really had been dead and returned hence, etcetera etcetera, but still not good at all. If John could have seen him he would have espied less than he did while blind. His prison guard uniform was torn, raggedy, and splotched with some unspecified residue. Its hue was no longer white, but more of a brownish-grey. On his back there was a huge leathern sack, bulging gluttonously with an assuredly seedy cargo. Where once a taut, muscular man of hawk-eyes strutted, a huge but emphatically deteriorated personage clutched himself nervously while shuffling forward, eyes still sharp but tinged of fever, hunched over by the weight of what sloshed inside his head. "Of course, you must be wondering all about my story, how I came to be, why I blew up the gate, no?"

"Why," John began, his vision improving so splotches of color clustered around definite objects, "has no one been coming? That is cruel, you know. Was."

"Why indeed," Warren said, sounding none too sure himself. "Let me put it this way for you, John, since you've been out of circulation for so long. You remember the State ads? 'The Pill reaches deep on down, picks up your Soul and reverses its frown!'"

John nodded, then shook his head. What did it have to do with him?

"So, they were saying that the Pill uses what's already there to make you happy," continued Warren, "and they were right. The Pill reaches on down into you and pulls off a bit of your soul. The essence of what's you -- that'll make you happy, better believe it. But the Pill doesn't replenish what it takes. Just pulls and pulls until you're no longer you, just someone who looks like. Then you stop being. And that's what happened!"

John nodded again.

Stopped nodding.

Squinted at Warren. His vision was clearing up quite nicely, and he began to see how ragged Childing was. How the man shivered periodically. "Our Souls? The Pill ruins our Souls?"

C. Childing shook his head emphatically. "If you believe in Souls, at least! Whatever it does, people stop caring about themselves, about the Pill, about anything, when it's taken from them. And if that doesn't happen, they only go one of two ways." He smiled broadly at John. "Which way do you go, John?"

"Wait, don't answer!" His left arm extended, a long snub-nosed cylinder held in his fist. "Remember when me and you used to play our game? You tortured and murdered your wife, and you didn't care because of that smiling tablet. So I stopped taking mine, when I realized. Then I got angry, and beat the hell out of you saying it was a game. And now I've got you, to kill you!"

He even cackled afterward. The cylinder made a sizzling noise -- it was a Repolarizer. Wherever its beam struck on your body, your constituent atoms' polarizations were immediately reversed. It created a sort of free-for-all on the atomic level. Chaos and anarchy; the enemies of life. The woman who came up with the weapon had been reviled as a Seriously Uncool Individual when people still cared about anything beyond happiness.

Rigorous narrative structure aside, John did not get splattered. For a variety of reasons! Mostly, distempered individuals such as Warren C. Childing are prone to maddened outbursts, jabbed to ludicrous ravings by the wreckage of what were once strong, able minds. Childing once been a strong, able mind, mind you, at one point -- he had been one of the few to willingly forgo Pilling, just as he said.

His downfall came as the result of being too strong. He was the only one, and it drove him insane. We can blame John for that; John who is not a human being, and who went for the jugular when he caught a scent.

Childing heaved against him, but he was weak from a long, long sickness that scoured his body entire; the huge sack on his back hissed and crinkled as thousands of Pills rubbed and slid against each other. The RePolarizer lay useless on the ground, the mystical energy cores galvanizing its deadly rays long since spent (if ever they worked), and John who had been eating very healthy prison food just to keep alive now had the advantage. His assault was entirely bestial; tooth, nail, jabs, whatever he could to harm Warren. The self-proclaimed reanimated prophet screamed shrilly, shielding his eyes from John's stabbing fingers, then was thrown to the ground into a heap. The straps of the sack burst under the infinite pressures of a desperate thing's lust, and the golden avalanche -- more delicious than all the bounty of the land of milk and honey -- poured out into John's mouth.

C. screamed again, reached to his belt and his blocks of thermite -- to destroy the things, as he had meant to. To spare people that fate. John was not a stupid animal, however, and he kicked Warren in the face until there was blood pudding. Then he ate the crimson-coated Pills.

It had been a long journey for him, although he never left Valyeschenko Regenerative Penitentiary Pen. He had come dangerously close to not completing it. One of the scraps of paper, from earlier, in the shopping bag, blew by, carried on the weakening wind. John grabbed hold of it, able to afford curiosity now that the Pills had obliterated him. It was in a primitive typeface; the kind found in garage printing presses. The words, microscopic when not in the observer's direct focus, only enlarged to fourteen points when put into focus. Sheer barbarism, really, and quite difficult to read at that. He quickly scanned the last few lines, wondering if maybe there were instructions on how to locate additional Pill dispensaries after the Apocalypse.

" sum, this Pill is the most ingenious invention of at least modern biochemistry, if not all fields taken collectively. Making the user totally blissful without regard to his true condition , with no recorded ill effects. The long-sought drug without consequence has been found, and State Drug Co. is going to retail it at ten-penny per pill! Now, when it comes down to it, there are two types of governments; the government which will expressly condone and aid in the dispersal of this sort of drug, and the kind of government which will outlaw it. You may thank your lucky stars that the government of the United States, imperfect as it is, still remains the latter type, for it is the pursuit of happiness which gives happiness its worth; all else is slavery by another name. And with that admonition, Lucky's Gazette strongly urges voters to check the "NO" box on their ballots this August ninth for Proposition ColonEndParentheses. Lorem ipsum! Luctor et emergo! "

John shrugged and threw the paper down. It was not meant to make him happy, so he discarded it from mind and body.

Conversation on a Stupidly Minute Scale



So. There are two people. The two who just spoke. Sitting across from each other. Four hands--one pair dainty, rolling a silver band between thumb and forefinger; another pair thick and clenched around a mirror-image band--lay on the rosewood table. It's a small table, but they’re squinting across the vastest plateau imaginable. For the woman, this is not a good look - it makes her face pinched and desiccant. The man, however; it might well be his normal expression, like he has bad vision but is too proud to get glasses.

Apart from the brief dalliance into monosyllaby, it's apparent they've been sitting here silently for some time. Squinting, staring, fidgeting, the tension is a thick toxic sludge between them. Perhaps one or the other is hoping that in the absence of words cluttering space up, they will be able to achieve deeper understanding through the melding of conscious thought with their rosewood table counterpart. Maybe they have nothing to say to each other. Either way, the poison atmosphere eats away at their composure.

Possibly, there are no words capable of bringing out their feelings, but the man begins to try. As he speaks, his voice - initially hesitant with the characteristic treble emotionally distant men use attempting to speak emotionally - begins to pick up strength, fed by the heat of fires long tamped down, but now sparking. "Listen, Mary, we've had a....a good...I mean, I just don't know you anymore. It's like the little bird I loved and sheltered has up and flown the nest, leaving a dozen dour little chicks squawking at me in her place!"

"Loved? Sheltered?" The woman's voice is more of a hiss than a squawk. Its heat is of a different sort from the man's; not intense in sudden combustion, but smoldering; a furnace kept warm in preparation for the cold, bitter nights, now fully coming to life. "If by that you mean taking me in so that all your other little irregularities would go unnoticed. A nice looking woman living with you certainly settled a lot of questions at the Club, didn't it? Or did it? Jocelyn mentioned Vander might be having a few reservations about your business deal...whatever way, you certainly can’t afford to lose me now."

"Love, Mary, it was out of love, whatever you think you know about me," ground out the man. Heat retreated from his words momentarily, but traitorous knuckles continued tracing the table’s whorls. "Don't think you can rattle me, turn the tables, like you always do. Try to do. Fact is, you're more the hypocrite, however much you claim I am. I did shelter you, when you needed it, when your drunk of a father tossed you onto the street for a whore-"

Silver shot from the woman's hand, flicked expertly so it caught the man right between his eyes. Twenty-four karat diamond - expensive, flawless, meaningless to match the price - gouged a little nick on his sun-bleached skin. The man smiled, his eyes screwing up tighter than thumbscrews, and a single drop of blood squeezed out. Expelling a long and long-suffering gust of air – which would have reeked of bile, if life could reflect reality – he relaxed further into his chair. It was the affectation of men in his station, to sit at ease when most ready to lash out.

Mary smiled as well, but hers was the daring kind, the sort of facial contortion which screams to be rearranged forcefully and underscores a castrating viciousness. "There, dear. Now you know my thoughts on our situation. You only ever bought and paid for me - if you want to call that love, then fine. But don't call my acceptance of your trinkets, your moneyed trash, hypocrisy. It was an arranged deal; we both got something out of it, and I've never tried to pretend otherwise. But now I no longer wish to take part."

The man did not speak for a while, electing instead to dab at his forehead with a silk kerchief printed over with white roses, staining it indelibly. When he finally tossed the rag aside, his countenance was wholly that of the bemused husband. Anger and all signs of it had disappeared – his knuckles were relaxed. Mary recoiled, strangely stung by this particular wasp.

"If it was an arranged deal, then perhaps I can renegotiate the terms, change your mind?" His voice was bemused also, and Mary might well have wondered if perhaps he was a bit touched in the head by shock. The words though—those were not spoken by a man unmoored from reality, but rather obsessed with it. "I propose that you stay here. There is no love between us, you said so yourself, but you certainly cannot return to your father...that is a tenuous situation at best. And our children, Mary, do think of them. All in all, it is best for you to stay; it can do no harm, and preserve us both from quite a lot of it."

"Of our children, Glen is a father and husband himself, and Teddy hasn't lived with us for years." She talked sharply now, wary, ready for deceptions. “This is not a decision springing upon me from the shadows, either, as you seem to think. I am fully...cognizant of the consequences, and prepared to accept them.”

"But surely it would so much better for us both," whined the man, leaning forward across the table, reaching to clasp the woman's fingers - who scuttled away to the edge. “We can hardly afford to be seen as alone. People will…take advantage."

Now she believed he had come to it, and her smile was now that of the predator as it pounces. "Ah, but this comes back to you. And your strangeness. No, I won't be your cover. Not anymore."

He shook his head violently, clasping his hands together on top that rosewood table, and another streak of blood coursed down from his wound. “What do you think I am? Why, why, why is it so repulsive to you?”

Mary laughed, the companion noise to her taunting smile – she had him on the run and was enjoying the power. “You know what you are well enough. You’re only lucky the Club doesn’t. And why does it make me want to vomit whenever I see you? That’s simple,” she said, all traces of vindictiveness fading in an instant.

In its place: The void. “You’re a carbon copy of my father. One of those poisonous snakes midst the geraniums, down by the river where children play.”

“Your father?” asked Mary’s husband, swaying in his chair drunkenly, side to side, forcing her eyes to follow. “He was a grotesque! I have troubles, surely, little peccadilloes, but Mary, God! You must know I’m not like him…”

His face was melting away, skin flowing, merging, hardening into a snout, scales, flaps for nostrils. Mary quailed, terror pouring into her void, filling her up totally. Her husband’s drunken swaying was not drunken anymore, but serpentine undulation. It draws your eyes here, there and everywhere but from whence the strike originates. Where her ring had nicked his forehead there now was a long gash from slit-eye to mouth, red and raw but already speckled over with sloughs of dying flesh. Black lymph streamed out from the cyst, acrid to smell, and when what had been her husband opened its jaws—diamond teeth set in silver gums, etched in mockery, tarnished, menacing.

Its voice was still his, with a small overlay—an integument which stuck on the outer edges of his words, leaving a hint of sibilance as air passed round the obstructions. Only a hint. “Why? What is so wrong about me?”

The serpent’s smooth, sickly-pale stomach slid onto the rosewood table. Snakes are not slimy; they glide, not stick. This one glided across the short distance towards Mary, its head wriggling side to side so that first one slitted pupil, and then the other, could fixate upon her, and so that the whole room was brought under its gaze even as it advanced. Mary fell away from the creature, out of her chair, throat constricted with that horror which wells up inside when you realize the familiar is, and always has been, alien. Incontrovertibly wrong. Grey and black scales approximated the fine suits her husband had worn, colubrine eyes, as she knew too well, were his paranoia. The festering wound, the teeth…

It was all there. The story of her life with him, his life with her, and now it was slithering implacably onto her lap. A free hand groped madly for the chair, for a vase, for a poker, for anything which she could swing at the creature—where its inky blood landed on her dress, the material charred. But there was nothing, and in a moment she was fully encircled in her husband’s coils, tied with a living rope—it was no longer a simple metaphor for her domesticity. The gaping jaws loomed again before her, and a bit of sparkle made its, her husband’s, diamond teeth beautiful again for a moment—for an instant they were held apart from the whole.

Then the moment took its leave—or did it eject her?—and there was a unified monstrosity enveloping her once more. Her husband took her head into its mouth, and her memories were jolted by putrescence. The olfactory senses, after all, evoke the strongest memories—and this stench somehow brought all the terrible ones to the surface, and took the good ones and made them terrible. The diamond teeth pressed down on Mary’s throat firmly, easily and jaggedly slicing where they would, and she closed her eyes, taking some final sanctuary in the knowledge she would soon be dead. But those teeth did not rend her completely—the arteries were slashed, but were so pressed that Mary could not bleed out and her brain could not die. Instead she existed. Hardly living, but still aware of her pain and misery. Drops of acidic saliva and venom fell and rolled across her skin, stinging fiercely, leaving red welts in their wake.

Mary tried to cry, but she had no voice—what was still her husband used its voice instead, grumbling contentedly. “You won’t leave now, Mary. I can keep you here and, even if you won’t love me, I can pretend.” Black blood sizzled on her dress.

How could it speak so with its mouth filled up by her, keeping her alive only by the tightness of foul jaws?

Well, that’s the real question.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

How Things Are

I carry a picture in my pocket
And kiss it everyday
So when God comes to take my soul
He’ll know just where it stay

I keep my anger in its socket
Tho' it says come out and play
So when God comes to take my soul
I will have squeezed it all away

I write happiness on a docket
To plan it well for its display
So when God comes to take my soul
He’ll not hear my regret pray

But my love? It is on a rocket
To take off in fiery noisome way
So when God comes to take my soul
Blazing triumph’s colors say what I would never say.


Look, a poem. Needs some work.


There is a wall in front, between.
Perhaps nothing on its opposite.
Waiting, long and patient, makes the scene.
Boldness, the prop pickaxe, holding it
So that it will not fall until the moment come
When director overhead cuts quick to action.
And this actor leaps, heart moved to some
Deeper emotion, a place of passion.
Down tumbles the wall! He has broke it all
As he constructed it; solid but at one spot.
If you tap it, strike it well, it shall fall;
The weakness hope and faith has bought.

But what lies there he as yet cannot tell.
Elysium or a statue or a sober lonely cell.

Sunday, January 18, 2009


Little bit of a delay in the posting, sorry about that! In short, I'm working on the next bit for A Quest for Justice, but it's taking a tad bit longer than expected (in other words: I just started working on it today and forgot how time-consuming watching football is). So probably by tomorrow evening I will have that out there. Let's hope this is the last time.