Saturday, December 31, 2022


 In this world of metal rivets and assembly line fractures, we peddle ourselves to a “higher good.” Anything to be seen as favored by our peers but in the end its striving against the monotony that pushes greatness. We’re so convinced we want more but aren’t willing to pay the cost. We fall into disrepair and grime. We fall into themes of hope and disillusionment. We are led by scientists that flail about with the accuracy of weather reports. In the name of progress we pledge our lives for the greater good.

Chemicals rain down on umbrellas made of PVC. They splash in puddles of oil and slops, corrosive, on our shoes. We throw spectrums at it and call it art. Each painting is exactly the same. Each is coveted by the masses and hangs on the walls of the elite. We would murder for this piece and think nothing of it. Anything for a taste.

The needle pierces the skin and injects energy. If it gets in a vein, it’s lethal. There’s no coming back from that sort of elation. It’s a death with a crooked horrifying grin frozen on its face. For a while it was the only way to go. The value skyrocketed. We were children looking to have a good time. Politicians pushed it to clear the streets but all it did was kill the rich.

Standing atop skyscrapers like gargoyles, we look out into the night. Like clockwork we could watch the wave of corruption flow through the streets. There was a time when we would have welcomed a savior. Now, we’re certain our only future is read through tarot cards on a dirty street corner. We’re above that. We will watch the dismal fall. 

Political cartoon propaganda aimed at those pushing change gets plastered like shitty wallpaper over shop windows. They cover broken glass and drafts in irony.

We watch the fires start. The flames are green and they crackle wildly before shooting tall and unnatural. Men come with hoses and spray corrosion to contain the blazes. Their sirens provide a beautiful break from the monotony and we start to throw out bodies against each other in a mosh above the world. A government employee tries to pass out drugs. His screams feed the flames as he’s thrown over the edge. His face, a horrifying grin as it cackles wildly and his heart stops. 

Friday, December 30, 2022

French Letter

 His red Converse always moved to the beat and the music was everywhere. Most of the time, headphones were in his ears, spilling rhymes he didn’t hear. He would argue he didn’t hear any of it. He felt it. Felt it in his blood as it moved through him, carrying him from this life onto wherever those shoes took him. Should the odd chance happen that it was inappropriate to wear his beats, he sauntered to the beat of the chatter, of the traffic, or of the symphony in his head. The world was never silent. He was sure if there was a hell, it was silence, and it’d be deafening. 

His hair bobbed along with each step on the sparkling streets. New York had never been so beautiful. He would tell anyone that listened that faeries must walk amongst men. They ordered Chinese at three in the morning and bought fresh bagels at dawn. They helped guide the snowfall in Central Park. Snow he marred with his quirky steps as he looked in awe around him. 

Hands shoved in deep pockets he pressed on. Never stopping. Never wavering. His soul was a fire that no element could extinguish. 

He had a studio in SoHo that he couldn’t afford. His best buddy tried to make him an influencer videoing him as he strolled through the city. No one cared and he never noticed. The music played on and carried him higher. He was a no one in an anonymous city. A caged bird that loved to sing. 

He liked to make up names when ordering coffee and some days he was Mark. Some days he was Luke. He wanted to see the variations of marker spellings. Cafés were great for vibing. Great for his subtle dancing as he walked to get his scone. He’d sit and watch for the great ones that made his city come alive. He wrote poetry and love letters to no one and everyone on paper napkins  and coasters. Sometimes he’d leave them behind but more often than not, they would be tossed in the trash by the exit on his way out. He was a soul not meant for this world.

Thursday, December 29, 2022


The scent was light in the air but they could smell it wafting towards them. The saliva dripped from their jowls watering the foliage beneath their feet. One by one they raised their heads in solidarity, singing to the moon and giving respect to the hunt. Eyes wild and teeth bared, they ran, padding softly in shadows. 

Nothing else mattered but this. The pack was getting weaker and food was scarce. This would not escape them. It could not escape them. Their fur shone in white glimmers as they rushed ahead. There should have been a sense of danger but this was desperate times. This prey was dangerous…perhaps the most dangerous. The last time they attempted they had lost valuable members. Desperation can lead to bouts of strength not previously achieved. Desperation can lead to stupidity.

They fanned out into attack formation as they approached the fires around the outside of the camps. The fires were placed to keep predators out as most animals feared the flame. The pack moved in, ignoring the lick of the flame. A call to arms rang out strong and the pack wove and dodged. They brought down one, then two — dragging them back and into the shadows so the young might survive. The leaders understood what this meant. They must sacrifice their own or find new territory. The humans would not sit idle. Only problem was, there was no new territory. It was fight or die.

The pack howled in victory but took the spoils away from the pack for consumption. They would have to be careful and strike hard and fast but only when necessary. They could not risk depleting this food supply. 

And thus began the never ending war, which led to the curse. A human witch turned on their own and gave humans the powers of the wolf. The spell was designed to give humans the upper hand in battle but those infected gave in. The call of the wolf was too primal. Too strong. It devoured them from within. With humans fighting their infected brethren, all hope seemed to be lost that this village would be lost forever. 

The pack gathered once more for a hunt to end it all. Their claws raked and ripped the earth in their speed. Their teeth ripped at the soft skin. The call of the wolf within the infected bowed to the power before them and were cut down without mercy. The humans lay down their weapons and hid as their diseased were eradicated and carried away. 

An effigy was placed to this new god of mercy and war. The humans left offerings of meat that were always gone in the morning light. As long as penance was delivered each night, the wolves were kept at bay and the peace returned to the land.

Wednesday, December 28, 2022

I Love You

 Small whimpers in the dark carry through the apartment and into dreams of its sleeping guardian. Eyes open and vague forms fill the vision as the moonlight cast faint illuminations. A sigh is heard from the guardian and the whimpering stops. The guardian smiles and closes their eyes, ignoring the cries until morning light despite the pulls to their heart. The guardian did everything they should have done. There’s stuffed animals, familiar scents, and warmth provided. Food, water, and a place to use the restroom were also provided, though probably unnecessary. It would be only a matter of time before the new lifestyle is adapted on both sides. Until then, this would be new night time music.

The morning was met with silence. Heavy footsteps attempting to be silent walked down the hall and towards the cage. The guardian started singing softly to wake the sleeping angel, which started wiggling in happiness. It was met with soft kisses and unconditional love.

The guardian watched over its charge as it grew. It adapted to the guardian’s schedule, learned their language, ate their food, and slept beside them. It was there to listen, to challenge, to guard, and most of all, to play. It became a warrior who would no longer be caged. It had earned the guardian’s trust and together, they would wage wars.

As the years progressed, the guardian noticed small whimpers during the daylight. The sleepy angel sometimes had troubles moving. It no longer wished to eat. The guardian sat beside its charge and offered it time and patience. The charge had offered its life in service to the guardian and together they felled many enemies. They had overcome obstacle after obstacle but there was a price and the guardian had been selfish. They did not take the brunt of the blows. 

The guardian came to lay beside their charge. They decided these last moments would be one of comfort. One day, the whimpering stopped and the guardian wept. They offered a funeral of great respect and honour to this fallen companion and the gods reclaimed what gift they had given.  

Tuesday, December 27, 2022

Comme Au Premier Jour

Eos and Azmehr stand proudly waiting for their daughter. She is back temporarily from her studies and they were throwing a ball in her honor. A banquet table is set with a massive feast. Monol stands with them idly chatting as dignitaries and friends mingle, feast, and dance.

Eos: she should be down by now

Azmehr: she will be, she will not disappoint

Monol: ((takes food off a passing tray and thoughtfully chews as he watches the two of them converse)) 

Eos: I should go get her

Azmehr: she’ll be down. I made it very clear the expectations behind tonight and what it means for her future

Eos: …what do you mean

Azmehr: Eos this is standard protocol. She must accept her place.

Monol: what’s going on?

Eos: she will officially accept her ascension to the throne tonight. 

Azmehr: appearances only of course. She will never actually sit on the throne

Eos: well…

Azmehr: or be accepted as a half elf. Just ridiculous. 

Eos: ((sighs)) she’ll also be announcing her engagement to the kingdom. We thoroughly vetted the boy she’s been dating and while he isn’t ideal…

Azmehr: he can be molded 

Monol: wow 

Eos: yeah…she’s very late hun, shouldn’t we see what’s happening?

Azmehr: no. She’s an adult. Go mingle and enjoy yourself. The evening will continue on as it will

Monol: I’ll go ((pats Eos’s shoulder))

Monol doesn’t go looking for her but instead just retires to his room in the palace. He stands in silence for a moment and then starts packing a bag when there’s a light knock at the door. He opens it to find a distressed Ioline. She’s dressed in a light purple and silver evening gown. He ushers her inside quietly and shuts the door before verbally greeting her.

Monol: You’re missing your party

Ioline: I don’t think I want to go

Monol: are you sure? You look quite ready to join in the festivities

Ioline: maybe I don’t want that life

Monol: there’s a steep price to pay for your absence, my lady. I would make sure you’re absolutely certain. You have a little time, but not much

Ioline: I don’t want the throne

Monol: ((stops packing)) why? You’d be respected and be a beautiful change to the kingdom. Are you afraid you won’t live up to your parents? Your dad will be proud and … well, like I said, you’ll be a beautiful change from your mother.

Ioline: I want to join you in your adventures

Monol: …my lady, they’re dangerous. 

Ioline: I can look after myself

Monol: ((frowns)) I appreciate that you liked the taste of that life, but its tough. You’d be throwing away your future for something you’ll get sick of in six months. I think you do want this. You got ready to stun the world with your presence. Seeing me shouldn’t change your mind…and you should be happy to share your engagement. I…((clears throat)) congratulations.

Ioline: my what?

Monol: …go enjoy the evening and tell me all about it when I return

Monol grabs his packed bag and leaves Ioline in his room. He makes he way down to the stables, taking the long way to clear his head before he rides out. As he enters the stables, he’s surprised to find her there waiting for him. She’s changed into her riding leathers.

Monol: My lady?

Ioline: you didn’t say no

Monol: didn’t I?

Ioline: please

Monol: until tomorrow you’re still considered heir to the throne my lady…its your decision, and a hefty one. I’m not sure your fiancé will understand? I don’t think I would, in his position.

Ioline: He’s not my fiancé. 

Both pause and start saddling horses. A few glances are shared between them and soft smiles when the other isn’t looking.

Monday, December 26, 2022

More Than You Know


Lunarin nodded reluctantly and held out his hand. Rai smirked in satisfaction and took ahold. Her grip tightened as the ground beneath them started moving. Her eyes sparkled in excitement as the flat land they had been standing on fell away tumbling down in a steep slide. “Are you doing this?” Rai’s words were shouted and nearly lost in the rush of wind. He didn’t let go as they slid rapidly down heading towards a river. He tugged sharply and pulled her into the water letting the current carry them away as the landscape reformed around them.

She panicked in the water and thrashed about looking for a way out but his hand grabbed at the back of her shirt yanking her back. He held her above the water until they were a safe distance from the rockslide. He pulled her from the water and let her go. She gasped and he watched as it seemed steam was coming off of her. “Hey, are you ok?”

She glared at him. “I don’t swim.” 

Lunarin smiled. “Your parents didn’t teach you?”

Rai rolled her eyes at him, now completely dry. “What, on the lake of ice?” She stood and placed her hands on her hips, looking down at him playfully. “What’s it like to take forever to dry?”

“Lake of ice? As soon as you touch it, doesn’t it melt?” Lunarin stood and started gathering sticks to make a fire.

She watched him smiled wickedly as she started to light the sticks while he was carrying them. “It doesn’t work like that. Besides, Aemon was stronger than me. I’m lucky I was able to warm the room for mom and I.” 

Lunarin dropped his lit torches into a haphazard pile. “If you’re going to do that, can you collect the kindling then?” She shook her head no and he sighed, kicking the sticks together before she turned up the flames. 

“You know you didn’t have to collect anything right?” She plopped down close to the flames. Lunarin watched curiously, thankful that he was finally starting to dry. “I don’t need an object to burn…the fire can just exist.”

“Good to know.” Lunarin sat further back and warmed his hands. “I figure from here, the plan is  get to the castle and meet with the king.”

“Boring.” She flopped back into the sand and stared up at the clouds. “Do you think it’s weird we’re opposites?” She could feel Lunarin’s eyes move to her. “You have black eyes and golden hair and I have black hair and golden eyes. Spooky.” Lunarin smiled softly and remained silent. “You never answered me. Did you do that back there?”

Lunarin shrugged. “It was the quickest way down.”


Lunarin laughed and stood, offering his hand to her once more. “I did, yes. Come on, we’ve got to get moving.”

Sunday, December 25, 2022


 I could hear the emergency sirens through my apartment walls. My neighbors started bustling, gathering what they could. They had an elder parent, who thankfully only lived in the next town over. I heard the door slam and their footsteps running down the hall. I wished them luck silently. I turned on the news as the police sped by and read a scrolling marquis asking all citizens to go to their nearest shelter. The reporter was talking about how authorities were urging people stay where they were and to not go outside. Above all, do not answer the door. The lights flickered twice before the power died. I glanced over at my dog who had been silent and motionless, sitting next to me. “I hope you don’t have to piss any time soon.”

I stood and the dog was instantly at my side. We walked to the front door and I switched the dead bolt to secure my space. I made it to the kitchen and was working on getting the dog’s food when I heard the knock. 

It was such a weird thing for authorities to say. Maybe I had misheard. Why would they not want anyone to answer the door? I went to put the food down and noticed the dog was no longer at my side. Curious, I poked my head out the door and found him growling low at the door. The hairs on his back were standing. 

I heard someone thundering down the hall. They tripped on the stairs and screamed. There was a horrible noise and gurgled crying that led to silence. Someone was knocking on the door. Dread was all I felt. Dread at the realization that that fucking door was all that was separating me from whatever was out there. I heard the pop of gunfire outside and more police cars went screaming past. I closed the curtains. The knocking wasn’t stopping. 

Saturday, December 24, 2022

Anax 12/24/22

 It was the quiet before the charge. There was a faint shifting of armor, clinking and shuffling as the soldiers adjusted their shields, and a snort of an impatient steed. All were glimmering bright. All believed in their righteous cause. 

There were rumors that there was a dispute on how the day’s battle should commence. Some wanted a stealth attack in the night. Come in silent and swift. Clear out most of the enemy before the call to arms rang. Some wanted a charge at first light. They were charging from the East which put the sun at their backs. With any luck, the skies would be clear and the sun would be a distraction, putting them at advantage. This was the side that won and planned the attack. No one thought to mention the battle would fill with air with smoke and debris. The position of the sun was irrelevant. 

The battle cry rang out as the commander raced along the front line. Her steed was wild with bloodlust and foaming at the mouth. They slapped their swords on their shields and started moving together as one. An aerial view would have likened them to water pouring forward over the field in perfect synchronization. 

The commander frowned. There was no response at the enemy’s site. No one was coming to meet them for battle. She stopped the assault sensing something was wrong and sent scouts to get any intel from behind enemy lines. What they found was disturbing. 

“What do you mean they’re all dead?” The color drained from the commander’s face but her tone did not waver.

The scout answered with a salute. “Forgive me Commander. The tents were all checked. The camp is full of the dead. Their throats were slit, likely while they slept. Guards remain at their posts with the same wounds as those sleeping.” The scout bowed and quickly made their exit. 

The commander’s face flushed in anger and her voice could be heard outside her tent as she screamed at her compatriots. “What honor is there in this?” A pause while she was answered. “This is abhorrent and not what we stand for. For as long as I am in command, this will never happen again, do I make myself clear?” 

Several soldiers snuck to the door of the tent to hear more.

“We won didn’t we?”

“You butchered men in their sleep. That is hardly a victory and you certainly should not feel proud.”

“You have your ways and I have mine. Your men would have been overwhelmed and hit with heavy losses. I have no problem leaving if you don’t like my methods.”

“I think perhaps that’s best. You’re despicable.”

They heard laughter in response. “It’s exactly the same thing except the body count is on my head alone. If you had seen what some of them were doing…we got here too late, and all because you insist on this pomp.”

“Enough. Do you need to be escorted out or will you leave on your own?”

The soldiers scurried away and sent a silent prayer to Justice. They worried about the state of the army losing opposing reason to the commander. They hoped Justice would watch over them and allow them to see their families once again.

Friday, December 23, 2022

Close Every Door

 My mother’s eyes were full of sorrow and hatred as she tried to explain for the first time how the world sees us. Papa spat at the floor but didn’t argue or disagree. She said no matter what, never forget that I had worth. She made me promise to bow to no one, knowing full well I’d break it at the sun’s rise. I only realized later she meant my spirit. In that, my word has been true, despite everything. It wasn’t long after that night that they took us. She was ripped away from our grasp. Papa’s spirit broke. We were not essential humans. We were of less value than the food neglected to us. One day, Papa did not return.

I learned to bend around the restrictions. I learned to never pray out loud. I learned to keep my eyes open and my lips closed because it seemed the easiest way to survive. I never tried to stop what was happening. I never tried to run away. Later, those choices would haunt me. Could I have saved anyone? Just one life? What’s one life when millions were ended. Millions. It was a number I could not fathom. What were the odds that I became one of them? Would luck be on my side if I kept my promise?

We were the skeleton crew. We were the ultimate replaceable force. The plague that made the streets that we had built run red. We were a thing to be obliterated as efficiently as possible. The world was so loud we were all shell shocked. Echos of our former selves. I argued with no one that this was not the same as giving up. We were simply trying against everything to preserve our sense of self. 

Our eyes would haunt the world on the covers of magazines and it was easy to be outraged. It was easy to feel our plight and do nothing. They took our vitals and measurements daily to see the progress of their regime. They sold our photographs to medical journals across the world and told us we finally had purpose. We would help cure the world of our disease.

The lights feel dimmer. The sun lost its warmth. New faces flood in fresh and innocent. They look at us with pity and fear at the faces of their future. I pray again and again silently pleading with my god to allow this transgression in his dogma. I pray for death. I pray for salvation. We have become the desperate and the repulsed. We have become what they said we were. Is death my only respite? 

My last breath in captivity was full of ash and despair. They made the entirety of us stand in formation. They open fired and no one fled. We all fell, in our turn. No one stood. No one moved until it was safe and slowly, five of us moved. Five of us stood among the dead, abandoned by our own and by our captors. We thought it a test. We returned to work. We kept our eyes to the ground. When the gates opened and men walked in carrying our pictures, we fell to our knees and wept. We wept the sorrow of those that died before us. We wept for the freedom denied to us. They carried us away and gave us warmth.

Thursday, December 22, 2022

I Close My Eyes

 She stood like a tall glass of water on a hot summer day. A coveted picturesque figure  sashaying to the music she chose on the jukebox. Her black hair bobbed and I wondered what shampoo she used. I considered thanking them for creating this luxurious shimmer before me. She reflected human desire in nonchalance and disregard for anything other than the cognac in her glass and the music in the air. Sweet jazz filled the restaurant and she closed her cat drawn eyes as she swayed.  One massive cube rolled around in her glass as she never set it down. Mamma didn’t raise a fool. 

I flag down a waitress and order a sensible meal for myself and my date who has been excused to the restroom for far longer than expected. Conspicuously as I presume, I do a bump and itch at my lip. 

Someone has gone to retrieve the jazz dancer and I wonder how much she would be for the night. She doesn’t look like a pro but everyone has a price and I’ve got money and blow. We could raise the town and dance to hell dragging everyone along the way. As she walks by she steadies herself on the back of my chair. Diamonds drip off her skin and tickle my hand as I grab her to prevent her fall. I drink the blue rush of her eyes as our eyes meet and the diamonds stay in my hand as she pulls away. I pocket them next to the baggie in my coat and sip my water, waiting.

“Did you order?” 

The chair is pulled out and I remain sitting as I am joined. The lights dim as the night enters the atmosphere. “I thought you left.”

They study the jewelry adorning their fingers and look at me expectantly. “I almost did. I hate this place.”

I stand tossing my napkin table side and smirk at their horror. “It hates you too,” I mumbled. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2022


 He exhaled slowly as his head lulled against the back of the sofa. Smoke danced in ribbons until it joined the hazy fog gathering about him. Somewhere in the distance, someone was laughing. Somewhere in the distance, someone was fucking. It all sounded the same to him.

His eyes opened slightly and the world was alive. Textures had taste. A nearby fire flickered on the wood and it settled like smoked honey on his tongue. His nearby mug of half drunken spirits still had residual powder slopped up the sides of the glass. He fumbled in his breast pocket for another capsule to break open. The world wasn’t spinning. He reached forward with the pill between his fingers and his head fell back as his eyes closed again. The drug fell to the floor and stayed at his feet.

He felt weightless and impossibly heavy. Immeasurable comforting pressure was holding him against the velvety embrace of this tavern sofa. His cigarette lay forgotten in a forgotten hand. Someone was asking him to play for them. His eyes opened without focus. Golden eyes dilated large as he smiled and won the crowd with his charm. He felt the cigarette pulled from his grasp. The touch was stale chocolate and promises he had yet to make.

Someone handed him his violin. He ran the bow across the strings not fully aware of the sounds he was creating. It was haunting and beautiful. The best he had ever played. He winked at the crowd before taking a drag. 


He heard his mug scrape the glass as it was pulled away and refilled. Honey, yeast, he drank it all and then swallowed another pill. His body got warm and he let go of all inhibitions - all stress. He kicked off a shoe and dig his toes into the stone to keep the world stable before he passed out in stasis.

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Lo Fi Groovy

 I was walking through the the market…it was so long ago I don’t remember my original intent. I do remember there was a commotion. Two men were dragging a woman through the streets and she was fighting them - kicking and swinging about. I walked over, intent on throwing my status at them and demand to know what this was about. These men were not guards and under normal circumstances, this could be considered assault but the girl was a half-elf. At that time, no one would care if she was murdered in this crowd. If the story that the men told was good enough, they might even have been celebrated. 

At any rate, I approached and they stopped and saluted me. I was wearing the royal robes so my demand for an explanation was not met with fists but words. They told me the girl was a thief, which was good enough to be a death sentence for simply daring to stand up to the lord of the house. I asked their proof and they said they had witnesses

I demanded judgement of a higher authority than theirs and to transfer her to my custody for further questioning, which of course, I had every intent on simply letting her go. Next thing I knew, the three of us were paralyzed as sparks radiated from her. The two men fell, releasing her binds and she dashed away in a cloud of smoke. I think it was that moment that I fell in love. She hadn’t hurt me. I believe I was just standing too close and got residual effects. Her two captors appeared to be dead however. I smirked and let her run to see where she would hide.

I let her live freely for weeks before approaching her again. She had shaved her head and bound her breasts to live as a boy. She was working as a field hand outside the city as a picker. Long hours and back-breaking work. I thought she was so brave.

Dressed in light leathers I approached her as she harvested. She knew me instantly but was not afraid. I let her know she was no longer being pursued. The trail had gone cold and the only witness had not been able to give a good description. She flashed her beautiful smile and asked me to lunch and I suppose the rest is history. I learned she was a thief by trade but was working on groundbreaking advancements. Alchemical formulas that allowed for the replication of spells for non magic users.

With me, she felt safe. Loved. I wanted to abandon my life and rebuild it with her. We talked of starting a family. She didn’t know if it’d be possible. She had never heard of a half-elf being able to conceive but we could always adopt. The monasteries took in those abandoned and she said I’d be able to get a child as long as they didn’t know she was at my side. I married her that day. 

Two years later she tells me she’s pregnant. Pregnant. I remember I laughed. I was giddy with happiness and didn’t share in the fear she carried. She wondered if she’d lose the baby. She wondered if people found out they would stone her. She had my blades protecting her. Nothing — nothing — was going to touch her. And nothing did. She carried to term. She didn’t want a healer present. She didn’t trust them and she said she had done enough reading she could handle anything. She had her alchemical formulas….They did nothing to stop the hemorrhaging. I lost them both that day. 

Monday, December 19, 2022

Somewhere Out There

 Five of them sat around the campfire quietly. It had been only four in the group for so long it felt almost uncomfortable to have a guest with them. This man felt so ominous and powerful. He wasn’t a stranger. When they first met a small smile would still meet his eyes but as their time together wore on, his expression hardened. Lunarin observed Rai always went quiet when he was around. She was drawing a curtain around herself. It served well to hide what lie within but if she wasn’t careful, Lunarin knew she would burn down everything around her. 

“So, where are you from?” Lunarin’s voice cut into the silence. All eyes slowly moved in his direction except for the man he wanted to get to know. His companions stayed silent in curiosity.

“You don’t need to do this.” His black eyes never left the fire.

“What do you mean, your grace?”

The man frowned. “Call me Silanus. And I mean you don’t have to make small chat. I’m here at Rai’s request.” Silanus looked at her and she blushed and immediately looked down. He itched at his jaw and stood, stretching and dusting his pants.

“Do you remember me, Silanus?” Lunarin leaned forward as he asked. His voice unsure but steady. “I grew up in a monastery. I can remember no other home…” Silanus’s head jerked toward Lunarin as he listened. His hands moved to his hips as he stood over them in silence. “My hair was brighter then. Wild. The monks told me they’d shave it but I screamed so much when they tried they gave up.”

Silanus’s eyes softened for a moment before getting swallowed once more in stoicism. “Long ago I would visit the orphans. I’d bring them presents…”

“Teach them how to play ball.” 

Rai’s eyes widened in surprise as she looked back up at Silanus. “Is this true?”

Silanus frowned sadly. A lost look in his eyes as he stared into the distance. “Feels like a lifetime ago. I do remember you. Golden child laughing in the sun.” He sighed and sat again, looking back to Lunarin. “Very well, what did you want to know? Where I’m from?” Silanus’s expression curled in distaste.

Lunarin pursed his lips. His black eyes flickered with emotion in the light of the fire. “I just wanted to know you better. You meant to much to me then…I understand if you don’t want to talk. It’s getting late.”

Silanus raised his eyebrow and leaned back, getting comfortable. “If you’d like to know me better, I’ll tell you a story. Will that do?” 

Lunarin noticed Rai’s jaw clench. “Yes, of course.” Lunarin smiled kindly and patted her knee. Rai looked deathly curious but retreated further inward.

Sunday, December 18, 2022

Don’t Play With It

 The rain made a patter is it bounced in puddles and pooled in trash clogging up the drains and the gutters. She walks without fear in these streets. Diamond so big her bitches tease it must weigh her down but she’ll strike out first and ask questions later. After gouging enough faces on the street, only new blood is dumb enough to mess with her. The men proposition her as she walks. Her head stays tall despite them. Through the rain they call out, offering their bills for just a moment of her time. Her heels click clack on the concrete as she heeds them no mind. She’s here for another sort of business.

She lets herself into a motel that charges by the hour. The desk clerk sizes her up and tells her not to OD because he’s not willing to clean up her shit. She winks and grabs a key. “Do I look like a junkie baby?”

She tosses her purse on the bed and starts to change. Red leather. Boots with three inch heels that protect up to her knees. She leaves her arms bare, mostly because she thinks the outfit is too fucking hot and she wants a space for her skin to breathe. This choice leaves her vulnerable and maybe as the weather turns cold she’ll adjust.

She slides her hands into her gloves and squeezes her fists, flexing and admiring the metal outlining each finger. She had it custom designed and poured everything she had into the weapons. Each crest was set with diamonds and a small claw. The pretty boys that threatened her people would bleed tonight. 

Saturday, December 17, 2022

The Sound of Settling

 Golden fields stretch on aimless and endless. At the center grows a singular tree. Superstition let it grow and protects it. Its leaves sway in its solitude, providing shelter for no one as it is to be left, undisturbed.

The tops of the grasses sway in the breeze as it brushes by, light and unassuming. Any other person would find peace with the light blue skies and cotton ball clouds in shapes of balloon animals. There is a hint of birds’ song, but mostly the rhythm of the grasses passing along each other as they sway and dodge the aerial pursuits is the only sound that can be perceived. 

What other people don’t see is the danger. The snake in the grass. The predator stalking the prey in this unassuming atmosphere. There’s always an oncoming storm. Couldn’t they smell the rain?

The scythe mars the beauty and brings green into the myriad of colors in this landscape’s palette. The other people protest. They picket with signs that have environmentally safe paint. The colors will bleed if the weather gets hot. They stand, bound together in shackles blocking the arm that bares the blade. Don’t they know the voice behind the blade doesn’t care? 

The snakes slither from their holes and strike at the closest intrusion. The wall of protest cries out and stumbles. The storm rings true and the protesters becoming lightning rods. The scythe smiles at the beauty of destruction. Its song rings loud and clear as a symbol of fear and distraction. The protesters try to run but those dying from the venom drag in the muck. The chain tries to break as it tastes copper. An arc of white spreads through each in their turn, threading hearts and changing minds. No one remembered the violence of life. 

The little people that reside in the singular tree at the center of the field tremble and pray. The rain is welcomed but the summer has been dry and the risk exists for fire should the gods will it. They dance in a circle around the tree and feel rewarded when the wrath is directed at the humans at the edge of the field. They join the scythe in its song and might.  

Friday, December 16, 2022

Open Your Eyes

Visions of the past play in my eyes like some montage in a sitcom when the writers want a break. By the gods, she was beautiful. Her eyes were alive and full of wild energy. Wonder made them sparkle as she listened attentively. Her light laughter flowed easily but quietly because through it all she was still afraid of making too much noise. It didn’t matter that the threat was long gone. The mind maintains and keeps the fear alive. I would have destroyed the world to keep her safe. I think knowing this is why she left. 

The question now is will my love for her prevail? Separated, will I still sacrifice everything to save her and those under her care? The answer is resoundingly yes. Yes, even though I suppose that makes me the villain. She is too pure for this world. Those that dare defy will have to answer for any transgressions.

She knocked on my door in the rain. She told me she was pregnant. She said that made a lot of mistakes and that she was scared. She didn’t want to marry him. She said that she loved me and cursed herself for her stupidity. 

I held her tight and relived every moment. Every touch we shared replayed torturously. I thought for a moment my mind would break and as I kissed her the heavens thundered and the earth shook. I let her know she had not lost me and whatever she needed was hers. She stayed with me for four days before I woke to an empty house. She left a note. She was doing the right thing. She would marry him.

I raced after her. She had picked duty instead of love and I could not abide. Sometimes you can’t go back. She was walking in the street and I screamed after her. She looked back and smiled. Her eyes alive and full of love. I ran to meet her and heard the screeching of tires. I heard shouting. Yelling. I heard her weeping. Begging. Please don’t leave me. Stay with me.. I love you. Damn it! Don’t leave…

Thursday, December 15, 2022

Without Me

 He gathered his long hair into a loose bun. Soft curls threatened to escape but he just needed it out of his face to work so it was of no consequence. It was simply part of the creative process. A trigger to let his brain know it was time to plug in and zone out. Popping in his AirPods he faced the canvas and studied it waiting for inspiration.


He hummed in response and pulled out his phone, looking for a song that might take him forward. A text popped at the top of the screen. Turn around. Smirking, he looked over his shoulder at a beautiful sight. Julian stood smiling, staring at him, tapping at his watch. “You heading out?”

“To the market, yeah. We need produce.”

His smirk turned to a smile as he found a song suitable to start the piece. “Jules, the grocery store has produce.” Hie phone was pulled out of his grasp as Julian took over the music selection. 

“Babe…” He reached for his phone but Julian was quicker. “I’m going to pretend you didn’t just say that.” Julian started typing, searching for something. “Let me be your muse.”

“Jules, you know you are.”

He turned away and started to gather his color palette. He’d go with blues and purples for the base. Splash a pink over perhaps for a highlight? He felt wet lips and stubble press against his cheek as Julian slipped the phone back into his hand. “I’ll get dinner while I’m out.” 

“I won’t be hungry.” He looked down at the phone and saw System of a Down and arched his brow. That wasn’t expected. He ditched the blues for red and heard Julian grab his keys at the door.

“I know darling, that’s why I said I’m getting dinner while I’m out.” Red streaked rudely across the canvas. “Bold baby…I’m bringing you something anyway but I’ll be late.” Julian knew his boyfriend was lost in the music and it made him smile, proudly. “Someone has to look out for you.”

“I heard that.”

Julian smirked. “Love you!” 

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Here In My Room

 “What would have happened if I came back?” 

Her words startled him as he opened his front door. “You’re here now…” He stepped into the sunlight and turned to lock his door. “I don’t understand what you’re asking.”

She stared off into the distance. “Not now. Then.” He turned towards her, frowning. He pocked his keys and motioned forward and they walked together. “The night you left. What would have happened if I showed back up at your door.”

He squinted at her and slowed as the sun went behind the clouds. “Like you just did?”

“Why are you so daft?” He rolled his eyes and she grabbed his arm to stop him. “What if after you got home, all those years ago, there was a knock at the door and it was me.” 

“I’d be confused…kinda like I am now. What are you trying to ask?”

“If I showed up. If I didn’t give up and let you leave.” His face softened at her words. “Would you have turned me away? Would it have mattered?”

His eyebrows furrowed. “Do you really want to do this?” She looked away in thought before nodding and meeting his eyes again. “We can’t go back and redo life, honey. It doesn’t matter what my answer is because it won’t change anything.”

“I still want to know.” 

Smiling, he fixed her hair that had been carried out of place from the wind. She gently let go of him and he looked down where her touch used to be. “If you had knocked at my door that night…I don’t know. My thoughts were conflicting then.” He wrapped his arm around her back and guided them forward walking together once more. “ I would have wanted to break down. Shut the door and leave you in the dark. Kiss you and pull you inside with childish hopes that you’d never leave.” She glanced up at him quickly and tried to slow but he urged her onward. “I guess it depends on what you said when I opened the door.”

“I’m sorry.” 

He winced and kept the pace. “We’re going to be late.” She pulled away from him and grabbed his hand before it fell back against his side. “I don’t know what you want to hear, honey. I really don’t want to be late.” He shrugged. “We moved on. That’s what people do.”

Her lip quivered. “Did we?” 

His eyebrow raised slightly before his body language shifted. His palm was warm against her cheek. “You still love me.” It wasn’t a question but a statement. She stepped closer and closed her eyes, leaning into his touch. He pulled her into his arms in a hug. “I wish you hadn’t asked.”

She chuckled and leaned against him. Her fingers tickled his side as she wrapped her arms around him. “Do you still love me?”

His lips were warm against her forehead. “It doesn’t matter.” He pulled away and urged her onward. “I don’t want to be late, come on.”

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Who Can It Be Now

 “One. Two. Twist. Snap!” The instructor stood at the front watching the group. “And, spin! Spin! Snap that head ladies!” One of the girls stumbled in dizziness. “No no no, all wrong. Everyone stop.” They stopped. Some held out a hand to their neighbor to stop the world from turning. Some tumbled somewhat gracefully and landed looking like a stock photo in their various poses. 

“When you spin, always keep your head facing forward.” The instructor tutted at their confused expressions. “Watch.” She started their routine, demonstrating perfect form. As she got to the spinning portion, to prove a point, she kept going as the song continued. Her students started to applaud and she stopped and bowed. “Wiggle your toes to get your bearings and we’ll resume in five.” 

The instructor sighed and drank from their water bottle. She wondered what in her life led her down this path. Teaching girls who didn’t care about the dance. They needed to check the box that they were involved in an extra curricular. None of them had any particular talent. About the only thing they had in common was a lack of self-awareness. She glanced at the clock high up in the gymnasium wall. Ten more minutes until class was over. She cursed herself silently for not paying more attention. After the five minute break they’d never resume their focus. 


The instructor scratched at her high bun, pushing at the wisps that dangled down in attempt to smooth them with her sweat. She had heard the soft voice but she wanted them to find their gusto. She would ignore it.


Painting a fake curt smile, she spun to look down on the student that summoned her. “Yes, child?”

“Madam, will you watch me please? I think I’ve got it.” The young girl moved off to the side and started snapping her fingers nearly in time with their song. The instructor motioned for her to stop and started the music. The young girl started to dance. Her knees moved quickly drawing her feet back dramatically near perfect. Her toes pointed as she drew her leg high as she started the turn. She spun three times before stopping and bending to grab her knees. She closed her eyes tight. Her face, blotched pink in nausea and embarrassment.

“Do you know why you’re dizzy?”

 “Yes, Madam.” 

The instructor nodded. “Much better, Ellie. I hope you all were paying attention. I expect everyone to be able to nail this next week.” At her words, the students grumbled and started to move to their various bags of belongings to change their shoes and slip a hoodie over their clothes before clomping to the exit. Ellie stood straight once more but remained. 

“Once more, please?”

The instructor checked her watch. “Two minutes Ellie…you don’t want to keep your mom waiting.” She smiled, kindly. “You’ll show me next week.” Ellie blushed and nodded before running to grab her bag and jog out of the gymnasium. The instructor sipped their water once more before collecting her own things and their portable speaker. 

Monday, December 12, 2022

Deus Ex Machina

 Spires coated in soot and grime reached towards the heavens. The tarnished city had forgotten what it once was — a pillar of light in all that was good in the world. Now it stands, resolute yet tarnished. Its layers of grime infect the air and the people of the city. They lash out in poverty and violence, pushing back at the feeling of oppression on their skin. There is talk of cleaning the streets in the light of day but the days grow shorter now and empty promises lie forgotten.

A young man with golden hair and a fire in his heart is determined to scale the spires. He wants to prove to the masses that they can overcome. He sees the gleam that lies beneath and the promise of hidden destiny. He starts his ascent and the masses gather. He moves alone as their rising Adonis. They watch in wonder, jealousy, revolt, and capitalism. They steal from their neighbor in the delightful distraction and slowly, they start to see the path as he climbs. Ages of forgotten pollutants wipe away clean as he climbs. 

Someone screams and receives no attention. They point up, crying out for the golden man as he starts to fall. The crowd jostles, assaults, cheers at the downfall, and cries out in despair at the potential loss. 

The snap of bones is unmistakable as he lands in a scream so loud all the birds of the city take flight. Hs is accepted back into society’s loving and cruel embrace but as the masses disperse, some yet remain. They stare at the changes brought by this man. They question the state of disrepair in the world. They fall to their knees in prayer for a future brighter than what they’ve fostered and allowed to grow. They leave their handprints along the base for proof they existed on this day. As they turn away, the needs of the many pull their thoughts until all trace of what transpired that day dies in their memories.

Sunday, December 11, 2022

Kill or be Killed (thanks, Muse)

 One. Two. Three. Bounds, I’m out the door. Parachute strapped. Guns loaded. For a fleeting second a sociopath comes to play and tells me to shoot my comrades. I tuck it away for another moment. Pin drop to gain speed. Camouflage blending us into the night. I want to pull at the last possible moment. A flirt with death before I gift her souls to guide. 

Boots touch down, propelling me forward into a roll as I disengage the shoot. Guns drawn we move in formation. We’re a machine. We trust in each other and yet understand at — Any. Given. Moment. — we will snap. Delta went last week. Motherfucker looked like cocaine on a Sunday.

Wordless commands as we search for the target. I step out of line. Sound to the East. Papa looks back and I nod. She understands and directs the rest of them. Three join me to flank. We pick up speed and the voices get clearer. Language I can’t understand. Charlie stops and listens. Fist in the air. We wait, tense and ready. She sizes up the building and starts scaling. Target acquired. The flicker of excitement passes to each of us as we swarm.  Sounds of popcorn riddles the skies. Sticky sweet. 

Saturday, December 10, 2022

Love the Way You Lie

 She said she felt like Cinderella. Made her dad frown and stay silent as he opened the door for her date. He didn’t like the kid. No one will be good enough for his baby girl, especially now that it was just him watching out. Mom got caught. Thankfully, mom didn’t seem to be effecting her tonight, and for that, perhaps he should smile.  

Her heart was elated. A warm glow filled the air as fairly lights flickered softly. She wasn’t there for her date. She wasn’t there for her friends. She wanted to feel. Escape. She wanted to hold this moment in her heart until she burst. 

She felt her date’s hand grab at her in a clumsy sensuality, pulling her out of her thoughts. She frowned and moved their hand back to her waist. She tried to go back to that place but the intrusion ruined her mindset and the date wasn’t getting her unspoken wishes. They pouted and presented a stronger argument. She saw herself pulling away but her date had a firm grip around her wrist. Trapped. It was three minutes to midnight in her mind and she smiled softly. 

Her fist was quick, and though she was smaller and weaker, she had used their strength pulling at her to add power to the hit. She made contact center of their throat. They squeaked and let her go as they clutched at themselves as though that would force air through. They fell to their knees in baffled confusion and panic, barely seeing her flee to the door. A crowd formed around them. Call 911! They shook their head in protest and looked up with watery eyes. Did she leave her shoe? Wheezing they fought their way through the sea of people that wanted to help. The crowd fought back, swarming as the date struggled to chase the girl. Siren’s merged with the music as she called her dad.  

Friday, December 9, 2022

Crooked Teeth

 A light rain falls in a city so bright it feels like mid day but my watch says the sun slept long ago. She laughs at me and says it doesn’t rain here love, its people misters. Mr. Peoples feels cool on my skin, but I still think he’s rude. I walk over advertisements of women and they stick to my shoes. Perhaps my sole is melting. Perhaps they’re damp from the rain. Mr. Peoples’s coating their nakedness making the colors run from their missing shame. She buys a necklace from a white man etching white names on brown grains of rice. She’s upset the rice man doesn’t have her name but the flyer on my shoe does. I am the cheese, standing alone in my amusement.

She leads me down a loveless tunnel with silent digital fireworks on repeat, arching over me. It looks like technology from decades ago that someone was once proud of and now someone is too lazy to fix. I count the pixels that have burnt out. Inverse stars in the city that cannot sleep. I name a constellation Morality and decide its up to the reader to decide if its a celebration or condemnation.

We walk in silence and questioning of my naming abilities. She’s considering renaming it Performance so I ask her if people kill their tigers before or after they attack the circus? She laughs and says before, and this is why they attack. I call them bastards and pay a drunk driver to take us away. As we drive I question every bump on the road and attribute it to a name. Fluffy? Prancer? Crystal. She doesn’t like my games but doesn’t argue that I’m wrong.

Our driver says for a hand job they’ll take us to see the real show. I let them know the car was too dark for me to see their hands and besides, I had no work for them so they let us out and we got to see the real stars. She cried too loudly at a missed opportunity. She never employed a real hand model before. I told her one day. One day.

Thursday, December 8, 2022

Pushing Me Away

An avalanche of rock and stone cascades down. Its a free fall rush of wind and debris as you’re pulled along by an unseen entity. Be not afraid. This is not the end of things, though, do watch your head dear. At these speeds, the air feels like a wall. A wall against your skin that holds you and threatens to bruise you. It’s hard to breathe. Hard to pull the cold into your lungs but instead of a gasp, you hold it until it burns. Your cheeks flush and your eyes look around in wonder as the world crumbles.

You can see the end. The rocks bounce back up as they crash and you consider for a moment if they might hit you before you land. Wouldn’t that just be your luck? You have to make it. 

You take a moment and look behind you into the abyss. Chunks of debris rain down with you and you question for a moment if perhaps maybe this was a bad idea. Carpe ad nauseum. You brace yourself for impact by going limp hoping it’s like a car crash. And just as you’re so close you can almost taste it, your vision glitches. Everything goes black. It’s quiet.

“Junie, I think the stupid simulation crashed again.”

Your eyes are seared as the headgear is ripped off your head. “It didn’t crash, it’s just not programmed for this.”

You squint at them as your eyes adjust to the real world. “Then we have work to do.”