the one where I had a dream

You were there.

But at first, I was alone.

Well, not alone. There were hundreds, thousands of us there.

We were dying.

The bombs were coming down with that cartoon whistle that seemed cartoonish until the explosive hit and churned the world into a geyser of dirt, blood, and body parts. We were all yelling, screaming, charging. I don’t know who I was fighting for, but it was world war one. I was wearing weird spats over the boots, the wool uniform was far too hot and heavy, and the Lewis gun I carried was like an anvil in my arms. I had the feeling I wasn’t supposed to have it, but when we were caught in the crossfire it didn’t matter. It caught a round in the water jacket in the front, and steam was hissing out of it as I burned through tray after tray of ammunition. But then it was gone. I reached to my partner for another and he handed it to me, then there was the boom of a gun and he was gone. Just the tray of bullets – a circular magazine – and his hand still gripping it. A fountain of dirt threw me to the side as the gigantic bullet that killed him hit an embankment thirty feet back.

Tank.

It was not sleek, not fast, almost laughable in the over-designed riveted body struggled with mud and trees, but a tank. I dropped the Lewis gun and ran.

It followed like a death warrent, chewing at the ground with machinegun fire from a dozen ball turrets that jutted like demonic eyes. ahead there was a building and I made for it, weaving in and out of the trees. I got to the road and crossed it, vaulting up over the stone wall and into an unkempt garden. I hit the ground again and sat up.

I sat up. wobbled. It was quiet. I was in my room. It was dark. I touched my phone and saw it was 2 am.

I gently, gently lay back down into the sweat moistened pillows. I thought of you.

 

Again in France I burned with the need to escape. The tank blew a hole in the ancient stone wall behind me, but I had already moved. The castle ahead was the kind built when palace were more massive square mansions than turreted fairy tales. 1700’s? I dove in, hoping the beauty of the place would keep the devil outside at bay for minutes.

High ground. Needed high ground.

It was a mausoleum replete with dusty ghosts, sheets thrown over every bit of furniture as I blew up the stairs, bolt action rifle clapping on my back. my motioned echoed for forever against marble tiles and ceiling, woodwork glowering at me with faces stained dark but unable to hide the eye hidden in the eldritch whorls.

I made the second floor as angry knocking pounded on the front door. I ran down a hall lined with generations of stalwart, stoic paintings. I grabbed a knob and turned. I didn’t so much burst in as was sucked into the dusty gloom beyond. Mold spores burst into the air and I was coughing, coughing. I fell trough a hole in the floor. I fell, fell.

 

I sat up. 3am. I drank some lukewarm water and coughed. The room was pitch black. A cat was wandering down the hall outside and playing with some bit it had claimed as a toy.

 

I lay down, and fell, and fell.

I opened my eyes to pitch blackness and ringing silence. There was nothing. I was totally and utterly alone. I wondered if the darkness had teeth. I wondered if it needed them. I pondered how a man alone might be dissolved in utter solitary void.

And the more I thought about it. The more I became convinced of it.

Then there was a note. A sound. It was music, but it was also burning. I sat up,

But I was still asleep. and I felt the cold around me grow more intense, as if all the cold in the hall was fleeing like forest animals as far, far down the ballroom hall, there came a light.

I could barely see me, barely see anything, but the floor was a milky expanse of mirror sheen marble. The walls had two dozen fireplaces in the walls. candle holders graced every surface and massive chandeliers hid white wicked wax in mazes of crystal and silver.

At the far edge of seeing the light grew. It became more. Fireplace whispered into roaring life and candles shook off the darkness to chase it into far corners. I felt the rifle fall from my shoulder and crash discordantly to the floor. I took off the wool jacket and let it sigh from my shoulders. Tired feet took me step by step toward the light, where I saw a figure emerging from the glare.

It was you.

Your dress was blue and white, hot beyond imagining as it fluttered around you like pure silk. Your hair was the same, curled and pulled away from your beautiful face like a movie star from the 30’s. You walked upright and barefoot, towering over the whole of the world as the lights around you danced to flaming life and cast sparkling droplets of light before you like a carpet of roses.

We came close.

I touched your cheek and you nuzzled into my palm.

I watched your eyes turn blue and green and gray. you reached to my belt and felt the ridiculously long bayonet, almost a sword, handing at my hip.

You asked, mouth not moving. Must you fight?

I took a deep breath, but I did not speak the words, For what I believe in. for who I love.

Would you fight for me?

I already am.

And you kissed me.

I felt our bodies intertwine and the flame flare up around us. I could taste you: sunlight and strawberries, peaches and snowflakes. We kissed and kissed.

And then I could not breathe.

I sat up.

And my tiny room was dark. Cold. empty.

I lay back down and thought of you.

My alarm went off.

 

 

 

the one of gods and (wo)men…

We, those who I grew up with and I, are of that age. Our gods are falling into graves, and we realize with horrible certainty that a whole new generation is seeking their own titans, and that they must be us.

It is a terrible crime to shrink from this duty. To push off children and teens because we are afraid, self centered or unworthy. The next generation demands we rise to be worthy. For without those gods who raised us and ran in fields with us, who taught us the geometry of Euclid, the words of Shakespeare, or the reality of Tubman, how would we even stand this tall?

Perhaps they were like us. Simple children who had gotten bigger. Unsure, unsteady, and wholly unprepared for being thrust into the role of guides and shaman for those that come after. Maybe they were.

Thank God we never doubted enough to pull back the curtain. Thank God they never let us see them sweat.

Or, maybe, that is the last lesson. All lives end. What remains is what we pass on as the giants for those who remember us from when they were small.

 

A beloved teacher is dead.

Let us gather and tell her legends. Let us tell them and determine we will create more for those that come after.

 

http://www.renfrofuneralservice.com/obituaries/Jacqueline-Sroufe-Wallace/

The one that admits it is over, now that it is over, but at least it is over…

My wife and I  spent seven years madly in love. The problem is we were married ten years. It turns out that the last three years I was the only one madly in love.

She sat down with me sixty days ago and said she was not in love with me anymore. She was leaving me. It was over. She was unwilling to try to save what we had, unwilling to even talk about it except for a few hours where she spared me some moments. It was over.

I think I’m telling you this partially to get things straight in my head. Partially it’s my exhibitionist nature. Mostly I think this is the next step.

Sixty days is probably the world record for dismantling a life together. Suddenly I will never hold her, or kiss her. I will never be inside her again. I am not going to ever cry on her shoulder, or feel her tears on my cheek as I comfort her from some horrible tragedy. All this, I have lost.

It is Halloween, and she will be here in a few hours to collect the last of her stuff. I woke up and looked in the mirror, and have hated what I have seen for sixty days now. But she just now left with the last load. She and her brother have returned their keys. They are moving out together, and they are never coming back. They talked while moving stuff. They joked. They sounded so… happy.

Even at the last moment she would rather leave in silence, seeing me in pain, than offer even a moment’s comfort or a kind word.

But now I know.
I know it wasn’t I who stopped caring. It wasn’t I who focused more on myself than my partner. It wasn’t I who pulled away.
It is not my fault that she has left. It does not speak to my character that I wasn’t worth fighting to save.
In the end, I was a toy she had grown tired of, and because I could not be returned, resold, or trashed, she simply abandoned me.

I have discovered a secret: Love is given, and never received.
You may love, but understand it begins and ends with you. You can love deeply, madly, and wholly, but it does not effect the other person even a little. For what you show is not love. What you show is what is best in all Men. You show tenderness, and kindness, caring, forgiving, and mercy. Those are the gifts that reach past your own skin. What you feel is love, but these are what you do.

And by showing none of these, becoming distant, then cold, then mean, she has shown more than any proof created by scientists, lawyers or priests, that she does not love me. And because of that, I am crying, not for her, but for me.

And that’s OK, too. But what I do not need is tears. What I need is companionship. I need to remember that people can be forthright and relied upon. Hard lessons to remember, right now.

But the most important thing I realized is: Now I move on, because she cannot hurt me ever again unless I let her.

the one from the ground zero of my life

Ok, what those of you who follow me (as me) on facebook probably know and those that follow me (the author) do not is that my life has become interesting lately. The Chinese interesting. The one they curse you with.

My wife has decided she does not love me anymore, and nothing I have done has dissuaded her.

So she is leaving. I am still without a job, so paying my bills is now impossible alone. I need to figure out how to get some roommates fast that will not chop me up and leave me in a trunk somewhere.

This has blown my inner muse into confetti, meaning I have not gotten a decent wordcount in over a month, leading to all that brings: nightmares, insomnia, and weight loss (yay!) that was mostly muscle (boo!)
Now my publisher, which has had in reserve the sequel to my personal best seller is going through some restructuring and thus has delayed the only chance to get money flowing soon.

Also the S key seems to be failing on my only computer.
So.. I am living in interesting times.

It’s been a few weeks and I’m cried out. I’m panicked out.
I started by reviewing the file of Fox Crow II: The Opus Discordia.

I punched up the crow-isms and added some detail. Also found something I have to apologize for… but that’s another post.
But here is a post to let people know I have not given up. I’m getting back in the saddle.
Doing work, submitting work, planning for the future, releasing short stories, and getting things nailed down so I can FINALLY tell everyone when FCII:OD is coming…

So, I am wounded, but alive and kicking.

he one without a title

I have a secret.

I have a phoenix heart.

So many times it has been struck through the heart.

But it comes back, ever and ever, lighting the way unto my life with the pure power of creation.

But another secret…

Sitting before the furnace that lays dead and broken…

I don’t believe.

I don’t believe anymore.