The Last Day

Today is the last day of my life.

Ignore the inconvenient fact that this is the seventh day in a row that I had declared as such. As it turns out, setting into motion the end of my existence was proving to be more troublesome than I had imagined. The irony that I was failing at ending a life of failures was not lost on me.

That is my life. Failure. I’m too good for this shitty world. That is the only explanation. Everyone is against me because they are jealous. My art should have made me rich and inspired the hearts and souls of people all across the world, but instead, here I was. Miserable and alone. Well not anymore. Fate was in my hands.

At first I attempted the tried and true method of a razorblade. There I was, blade primed across the throbbing veins of my wrist, my heart pounding but resolute. I nicked the skin and saw the first beads of blood form. Then, quite without warning, I passed out. You see, I’m deathly afraid of blood, and the slightest sight of it always renders me unconscious. I had figured that a swift enough action, combined with the iron will of committing to death, would have avoided such a reaction, but alas, my feeble body betrayed me, just like everyone else. Continue reading

Truth Lies Beyond the Lines

The sun shone brightly as John Solorus made his way down the suburban street toward the local church. He had already helped a lost woman that morning and felt that he had done his good deed for the day. Not that he intended to stop at only one. Clouds loomed on the horizon, threatening to cover the sun and bring rain but he did not mind. Today was a good day. 

Just as he was nearing the wide wooden doors of the church he saw that an elderly lady was handing out copies of ‘Good morning magazine’. Slowing, he bought one with a smile and entered the church with it tucked beneath his arm. The vicar had not begun his service yet so John seated himself and opened up the magazine. He skipped past the first few pages that were dedicated to a young man from the village who had been killed in Afghanistan, instead favoring the more cheery articles about charity and marriage. Reading too much into negative things just left him sad and angry. Not like his wife who loved to read sad things like Shakespeare.

Despite the sun, inside the church was cold and grey, lit only by carefully arranged candles and what light was able to flood through the stained glass windows. John liked the atmosphere. Most modern churches were too bright and clean cut. They had no soul. If it was up to him, all churches would be grand buildings of stone fit for the Lord’s worship.

Mrs Clenmoor entered the building and took her seat on the front row of pews. She offered him a slight nod of her head. She was short and wore clothes that had not been in fashion for decades. The clothes hung from her bony body. She too was devote of faith. Continue reading

The Lost Watchmaker

God

The Father, the Son and the bastard ghost

The mirage in the sweltered landscape of humanity

As true as anything in a false world

Of false people who wander through life

Like sheep to be flocked

Wish away our problems

Wish away our responsibilities

To dwell in the darkness of our minds

Lit by a flickering bulb of yellow

When the sun is just outside

Who are we to deny the Lord

We the animals grown beyond our bounds

We who are gods and madmen

Warped mirrors of ourselves

As we are warped mirrors of Him

And He is a warped mirror of us

All powerful in a powerless world

All seeing among the blind

All knowing to those bathed in ignorance

Never forever the one and only collective

Love is the sacred soul spread thin among us

Eternal like a legal contract wrought from toilet tissue

The Lord our savior

Our Creator

Our creation

Our damnation

Free will gifted as a catch twenty two

Excuses for abandonment

Blood and flesh is wine and bread

Artificial constructs created to appease our wants

Needs augmented to suit our tastes

A need for answers embodied by our minds

To fill our forms and childlike search

For guidance from the wise infallible parents

We left behind to become who we are

He who burns cities, floods worlds

And requires the blood of children

This thing that we call Father

This king of men who died for our sins

Yet still we suffer and always sin

We hate like we love

With a passion burning from unnatural fires

Yet never do we stop to think

To think is to find thoughts that we fear

And fear is to realise we are but beasts

Beasts in the dressings of a civilised society

Under a civilised God pissing enlightenment

Like the Bible cursed rich who piss money to the poor

God’s chosen children orphaned

As their father is dragged drunk to the insane asylum

Babbling at the walls

Screaming for a mother never had

Lost in a sea of faith that none can know

Because who could know the unknown

The flows of life and death

That bind and separate us in chains of fate

Chains that we as humans make

To live, to die, to procreate

Beneath the eyes of Heaven

The eyes so misted by the time

Between each blink eternity

How could we comprehend it all

The vastness of the universe

And how could the universe possibly feel

Comprehension of an ant in space

An ant, a man, a race

A myth to our own imagination

An idea blowing in the wind 

A cry to God and Allah and Buddha

And to Thor and Superman and Santa

And the ghosts who lurk in the peripheral vision

The visions of madness and glory and destiny

The ravings of the lost souls

Desperate for a hand to hold.

The Hymn of Humanity

I walked down the streets and the only thing natural I see is the sky.

Stone walls surround me, tarmac ground supports me 

and fake people are everywhere I go.

Am I fake too? I never knew.

What is fake and what is true?

My eyes look up and I spy a cloud, or is it just toxic smoke?

I don’t know. Do I even care? Does anyone?

Is that why God no longer guides us, blocked from us by our own poison fumes?

Is that the deal we made, equivalent exchange?

The world for our comfort is so obviously fair?

I cast my eyes down to avoid more philosophical thought

And try to spy ground between the carpet of waste.

I despise all this scum. What have humans become?

Just when will it end?

A drop hits my hand and my head becomes raised

Another and another and soon the clouds pour.

So fast does it come that it obscures my view

Covers the buildings and cleanses the floor.

Even the heavens cries for the Earth’s pain.

Rain keep a coming and wash the world clean

Because no matter how hard we try it is too late for us

Rewrite the wrong that became our undoing 

And sing us a song for the start of our ruin.

Smile

“Smile.”
“Why?”
“Because it is your job.”
“But I do not feel like smiling.”
“Nobody does. Act. Put on a mask and smile.”
          “Smile.”
          “Why?”
          “Because that is how you form social interaction.”
          “We form bonds through lies? Wrap ourselves in deception to deceive the deceiver?”
          “Yes.”
          “What about reality? The truth?”
          “Truth is what the masses believe. If everyone is fake it becomes reality.”
                    “Smile.”
                    “Why?”
                    “Because you are having your photo taken.”
                    “So I must grin like a fool?”
                    “It is a moment locked in time forever. You must look happy.”
                    “Like a wax model? Constructed by others? Locked in falseness forever?”
                    “Wax and photographs last while flesh rots to dirt.”
                    “I surrender to opinion.”
                    “Cheese.”
                              So I must smile. Wear the face that is kept in a jar by the door.
                              Coat up in my imitation leather jacket and synthetic shirt,
                              Walk among the dyed hair, bottled tan and altered bodies.
                              Eat the processed meat and drink the juice untouched by fruit,
                              See the reality shows that could be from another universe.
                              I question life and life questions me. I question myself.
                              You can do anything you want in life if you try.
                              That is what they say as you are forced through school,
                              Forced into a job that you hate. Forced to grow old and die.
                              I use to watch the wildlife from my window as a child.
                              Rabbits ran through hills, frogs swam through ponds and I smiled.
                              Then the bulldozers came. Nature was replaced with housing
                              And left me stranded in a sea of humanity.
                    “Smile.”
                    “Why?”
                    “Because you are alive.”
                    “A smile is just muscles that are used to express emotion.”
                    “Do you not feel happy?”
                    “I am happy. There is no need to express it every second though.”
                    “That is what is expected of you.”
                    “I do not understand.”
                    “Good. We are making progress.”
          “Smile.”
          “Why?”
          “Because the world is watching.”
          “Watching what?”
          “You, me, and everything. Nothing.
          “But I am unimportant.”
          “That is why you have no right to frown.”
“Smile.”
“Why?”
“Because I have told you to.”
“I am my own man. I will be passive because I am free.”
“You will smile because you are a puppet of society.”

Ode to Education

I realise why we students drink

Bullshit

Lest we remember all that

Is shovelled uselessly into our brain

Idiocy in academia’s robes

Oh, why but we the tortured souls

Who listen to minutia incarnate

Pretentious intentions

Interpretations

Intervention for the love of Dog

Drink to dull the ache

The ache that bullshit must create

To me the curtains are forever blue

The interpretation as clear as the vodka in this glass

Border Collie Ballad

Lush fur of black with streaks of white

Brown highlights to add colour

A small black nose and eyes so bright

A mischievous sleeve puller

 

The way she whines when she’s ignored

Those dazzling big toothed smiles

She keeps me active when I’m bored

And loves to run for miles

 

Though she may have an angels face

She’s got a nasty mood

If you ever get upon her case

Your hand will be her food

 

She’s not a dog who likes a hug

But rather likes to fight

Her favourite game is pull and tug

She cries alone at night

 

And now around my feet she’s curled

I watch her fast asleep

I wouldn’t change her for the world

She dreams of chasing sheep.

Words of Fate: Darkness of Men. (Issue 3)

A low fire crackled in the predawn several miles north of the segmented city of Moorhenda. Sytheis Tia Menrha, a young wordsmith, prodded the flames idly with a stick to keep the fire burning. It cast a red light through the trees around him, illuminating the sleeping forms of his unlikely companions.

Strange circumstances had him working the a Banndnori mason called Fortas Tillor, a beggar child known as Chipper and two street thugs known as Rantier Zalnot and Bibbi. Together they had entered the inner city’s sewers to hunt a monster but had ended up fleeing for their lives from Draknori warriors who were thought to be long dead. Their escape had left them in woods miles from the city with one less man than they had begun with.

The sleep that Sytheis had managed only served to stiffen his battered limbs. He had been set to watch the camp for an hour now and that time had been spent trying to loosen up his protesting muscles. There was little else to do. His journal and ink bottles had been destroyed and he had left his instruments back at his room. Luckily his Klash cards had survived inside their waterproof case but he had no desire to handle them in his numb hands.

The air was humid and warm even without the fire. Sweat prickled his skin. He stood up and stretched before walking a short distance from the camp to gather more wood. The sun would be rising soon but a meal of cooked rabbit before they set off would go down a treat. Rantier had assured them that he could catch something for them. Continue reading

Words of Fate: Monsters of the Past. (Issue 2)

Buildings shimmered sickeningly outside the window of a second floor room of an inn called The Rose and Thorn. The distant towering wall of Moorenda’s inner city was little more than an indistinct blur. Sytheis Tia Menrha stood by the window staring out at the city beyond. The sun hung heavily in the sky and only the most determined of people were out in the streets unnecessarily. The days were only getting hotter it seemed and Sytheis had no intention of leaving the shade of his rented room.

He studied his reflection in the glass for a moment, running a hand through his sweat-slick blond hair before slumping back into the chair at his desk. Papers lay scattered all across the surface and words were scrawled across every piece. Some of it was his own work while others belonged to other tellers or bards. He grouped them all together into a category that he liked to call ‘the competition’.

At the top of the pile was Moorenda’s most popular Venndi news pamphlet The Stag. Most of the issue was dedicated to the battle that had taken place outside of the city on what was now referred to as Queen’s Hill several days back. The centrepiece of the pamphlet was written by none other than Sytheis himself. It had been written under a pen name to avoid awkward questions but all of the coin had gone into his pocket. It was pure propaganda filled with buzzwords and emotive phrases but with little depth. This was what sold best though.

He had also sent another version to a Chalemite teller under a different name that outlined the events of the battle in a grim, unflattering light. It had been a commission from the queen of Chalem herself and had paid well. It was that bloodsoaked retelling of the battle that had allowed him to rent this room within a good district of the city.

Absently he flicked through the pamphlet, skimming over the pages about the battle and its political implications, until a rough sketch caught his eye. It depicted some kind of large animal lurking in the shadows. The artist had tried to make it appear terrifying while applying only the vaguest of detail to what the creature actually was. He read through the accompanying writing with growing interest. Continue reading

Thorns of the Shadow: The Taste of Lead and Lightning – Chapter 1. (Book 2)

(Book two of Thorns of the Shadow. Contains spoilers of book one.)

Heat rolled in shimmering waves across every surface. The sun hung proudly in a cloudless sky above. It was the kind of day that seemed to drag on and seep the energy from the world. 

On a suburban street, in a house like every other upon it, a young woman sat slouched across a sofa where she had been for the past few hours without moving. She was called Catherine Redthorn, but preferred to go by KT. Her black hair ended half way down her back and she had an athletic build that was currently clad in black jeans and a simple white vest. A few scars marked her arms but many more lay hidden in a chaotic pattern across her torso.

On the other end of the sofa was the sprawled out shape of her twin brother, Mordekai,  known better as Kai. He was taller and broader than his sister but shared her green eyes and love of dark clothing. He too bore scars, as did their mother and father, but nothing near to the level that punctuated KT’s skin. Continue reading