He Wore Robes

Credit: Garrondo, Wikipedia

It’s a desert town called Sarabarbara, more village than anything. The houses here were made from stone and clay, painted over in a grey mud that showed mild care.

It was cool that morning, and that was something the people didn’t like. And they didn’t like it for good reason.

Off in the distance, crawling slowly over tall dunes otherwise frail was a sandstorm; a menacing wall over 3,000 foot high. The people hid in their homes. Their shutters were tied shut, towels shoved in every crack and crevice. Even the farm animals; the cattle and others such seemed to find a hole to crawl into. Everyone stayed off the streets.

Everyone, except one.

His name was Roger Folly, and he was the town loon. Seventy-three years old, his stark white hair was muddied with dust and dirt, lying limp against his liver-spotted scalp.

He wore robes, something not uncommon in the desert, yet it was his manner that made others weary.

He walked with utter confidence, seemingly unaware of his baseness on the social ladder.

Now, he stood in the streets, watching the storm roll closer. In his hands he wielded an old shepherd’s crook.

Roger was waiting, because Roger controlled the storm.

Habits Never Die

Credit: Garry Knight, Flickr

*Sorry for the lack of uploading, my noble folks. I’m having a story published in an anthology, so I’ve been working with my editor. Also, my book is still being worked on!*

A cold Chicago night. The snow falls, and the wind blows that snow into alleys otherwise warm. People stay off the streets, not for some worry of danger, or a lack of want, but because of cold. The streets are empty, save one man.

His name is Don Allister, known around the streets as Dirty Alice.

Dirty Alice wears ruffled, shit-brown clothes with one too little layers. He walks with a cup of coffee in his hands.

He likes coffee. A lot. It reminds him of his days trading stock. He would drink coffee every morning to start the day.

Nowadays, he drank coffee on mornings he could afford it. This was one of those mornings. Some habits never die.

Writing is like Necromancy

Necromancy: the practice of communicating, and even resurrecting the dead.

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It is understood among writers that all stories have been written, and it’s a writers job to reinvent the story, to show it in a new light. To… resurrect it.

For new writers, the process of beginning a story is a scary one. Writers commonly see their ideas as a perfect, almost idyllic vision, one that cannot ever be sullied. And this idea of the perfect story is exactly what stops them from writing.

If this describes you. If you are worried about ruining your story, of not doing it justice, stop.

I want you to sit down, and I want you to rip that story apart. Rip it open, examine the insides.  Cut apart this and that, tear off a bit of this because, hell, who needs it, really? Dessecate your story.

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Because that’s all a first draft is, it’s ripping into your idea. It’s quartering the body, ripping it open to see what lies underneath. Your first draft is meant to be gory, messy, disgusting.  It’s meant to be something that doesn’t touch the light of day.

And then you have your second draft. The second draft is your stitching, the carcass – twine that pulls your story back together. The job of the second draft is to take that horrific aberration and give it shape. Before it was simply butchered meat on a table, now it has form.

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But it is still too horrifying. So you take smaller drafts, you dive into detail. You cast your magic to bring burning fire into the lifeless eyes. You throw arcane energy into the body’s limbs and brain, giving it movement and thought. You powder the flesh to give it a less, how should we say, rotting-in-a-latrine sort of smell?

And when you’re finished, you’re left with something new. Something powerful. You’re left something you built with your own hands, something that you can look at and say “I made that.” Frankly, you made something a little fucked up. But that’s okay, because you’re a necromancer, a writer.

Waiting on a Subway Line

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

In the August of 1985, Charles Bander waited outside the East Trimm Railway Line. The summer sun beat on his back like it tends to do, drawing more sweat into his jacket. The heat on the east coast made a poor man want to die, and a rich man turn up the AC.

Charles leaned against one of the many columns holding up the glass paneled ceiling, too expensive for Trimm, too poor for Washington DC. He shifted the weight onto his arm, and cringed at the dampness under his armpits. It reminded him of his childhood, the days when he could play football throughout August, ducking and dodging in the streets with no sweat to be found.

Shifting his weight, his knees creaked. As a kid, Charles could’ve fallen out of a tree with nary a scratch, now he has to swallow aspirin like tic-tacs just to bear through another meeting on distributed alarm sales. The carbon monoxide alarm business didn’t seem as fantastic as it once had. That “once had” being ten years ago, when a thick youth of twenty four was willing to take any job for an eight-thousand dollar higher salary.

A few people watched him from the corner of their eyes, clutching their purses tighter as Charles glanced over at them. They looked like they’d never seen a black man in their lives. If they’re so scared, why the hell come downtown?

Doesn’t matter. Charles thought. The alarm business is shit, but not shitty enough to steal some frightened white people’s purses.

He smirked at the thought of that.

WoW Short: Steal from a Warlock

 

Credit: Ola Einang, Flickr

I’ve been getting into World of Warcraft lore, and what better way than writing a story? This is a short thing, written in an email thread. Enjoy.

The sundered buildings of Moonbrook lay quiet as dusk settled on the plains of Westfall. This calm wasn’t held by it’s denizens. The drifters and crooks normally inhabiting the small mining town were gone, sensing the danger like rats. Under the shadowed eaves, bandits hid in the shade. Their eyes watched, vigilant. Hardened criminals, and predators of men, these thugs were being hunted.
     The sun was hanging just above a hilltop, and as the bandits watched the sun set, a shadow covered their faces. A black silhouette of a man blotted out the sun, his long staff held firmly in one hand. The fear tightened in the stomachs of the bandits, some cried out, some continued licking the burns they already had.
     The figure raised his staff and struck the ground.
     The bandits waited. Nothing.
     Moments drew longer, their suspense still held. No one moved.
As they waited, a faint whistling could be heard. The few who dared looked to the skies, searching for the sound.
     A meteor smashed through the church’s shambled walls. Cobblestone exploded, sending molten shards into the faces of the hiding bandits. They cried out once again, staring in awe at the fel-green pit that was once a church of the Light.
     Emerging from the pit, the meteor took shape. It creaked and groaned. Tearing chunks from the earth; first a leg, then an arm, shambling into an odd construct of a humanoid. As the bandits watched, the looming abomination of fire and rock howled at them. They turned to flee, only to see more monstrosities leaping through purple portals.
     Thatcher abandoned his posse. Running, panting, sweating, he sprinted for the plains. He looked back to see the once quiet town of Moonbrook awash with the demon-green of felfire. A rock appeared beneath his feet, tripping him.
     He spilled into the dirt, chipping a tooth on an upturned piece of flint. Blood spilled into his mouth, and a sharp ache shot through his gums. He struggled to get to his feet, exhaustion draining him. He looked up, and saw a visage of evil.
     A mask, or veil of pure darkness only pierced by two bright, burning eyes. The figure stared into the bandit, a wisp of green emanating from his hand. Thatcher felt his mind slip, he tried to hold onto his sanity, but as quickly as he tried, it fled. Lost control, his hand mechanically reached into his jacket pocket, and pulled out a jade statuette. The figure held out a gloved hand, and even with his mind gone, Thatcher shuddered. Thatcher reached out, and dropped the jade statuette into the figure’s hand.
     The figure gave a deep breath, like smelling new spring air among the burning buildings.
     The robed figure pocketed the statue, and raised a hand to the bandit. Green fel fire built into his palm, and like it had a mind of its own, the felfire gasped and clutched for the bandit. Thatcher broke out into a sweat, his mind still awash with confusion.
     The ghastly hand pulled back, charging. “That’ll teach you,” he began, “to steal from a warlock.”
     Thatcher screamed.

A War

Credit: Unknown, Wikipedia

Fighting a war never so hard fought.
Singing a song never so heart-sought.
Burning in the desert of a country with a ‘stan,
because the government can’t find another man.

And the plague of death
Only grows stronger.
As we hold our breaths,
Time grows longer
In the hubs of Afghanistan.

And the people
Hold a pierced light,
Separated by a want of freedom
And a lack to fight.

And we walk dusted streets
Where the bombs hide underground.
Where our voices cried out,
The explosions drowned
All sound.

Never to rest in peace.
Never to rest at all.
Never watching war cease.
Never hearing my son’s call.

Forever stuck in a war never fought.
And a song
I never sought.

Trouble with Death

Credit: JamesDeMers, Pixabay

I watch from my kitchen window
white lilies and birds flying gaily.
Soaring the sky with utter frailty.

But while I watch these things,
these things that make me joyful and gay,
I know that they will rot away.
Crying out as they decay,
rot away, like a rope too frayed.

And there’s nothing I can do
but pass the time with terrible thoughts
and write.

Fighting off the devil of death
before I rot away.
When I can no longer feel hopeful and gay.

My life can be snipped
like scissors and string.
And when I examine the lilies
I feel a mortal sting,
and the trouble that it brings.

For time is endless,
but ours is not.
We can only hope
that we don’t rot.
Rot away.

Out of My Grave

Credit: Activedia, Pixabay

When the mountains hold a treacherous fall.
Mountains as high
as the sky is tall.

When the people are caught in a sudden squall.
Winds so strong,
unprotected from a shawl.
Beaten high, beaten low
from the wind’s maul.

When a baby’s cry
takes to space, to fly.
And the mother looks to the sky
to ask why.

When the father prays
for a day
when his sins will take his family away.
When there’s nothing to say, and no one to call.
And the gray bodies of thralls
continue their treacherous crawl.

When I see the stillness
of the last fighting wave.
When there’s no energy to be brave.
When humanity is returned to the collar,
returned a slave,
is the day I step out of my grave.