The Expected Part 1 of 4—Preface—The Expected Part 1 of 411 years ago in General Fiction More Like This
This is a walnut.
The walnut has no name. Its Latin appellation, however, is juglans, short for jovis glans. Jovis is what Zeus was called when the Romans saw him and decided they wanted one of those too; glans means nuts. Jupiter's nuts. It is highly probable that, back when this name was chosen, people meant to say walnuts were nuts fit for the gods. Funny, what the evolution of language can do to nuts.
This walnut is lying on the wooden floor of a monastery, a monastery beautifully situated in the middle of a seemingly endless forest.
This is Friar Mattheus. In a moment, Friar Mattheus will step on the walnut, slip, fall down the stairs, and break two ribs. Friar Mattheus really likes walnuts. A little earlier, he was going to crack this one open and enjoy it. At that exact moment, he had a doubtlessly divine inspiration for a chorale praising his saint of choice. The ingenuity of this chorale's words was that they would only make
The Resurrected Part 4 of 4—The Resurrected—The Resurrected Part 4 of 411 years ago in General Fiction More Like This
In a place without time, close to 2005 AD
He makes a telephone in another place ring. He waits. Someone picks up.
"Hello Jacob, it's good to hear your voice."
Someone moves by, someone at a stage where it is hard to tell whether they are someone or something. It, whatever it is, wails and complains. He covers the mouthpiece of the receiver. Then continues.
"You sound tired, exhausted. I am sorry that I had to disturb you in your sleep."
"What with my funeral, yes."
The other end asks a question after a long silence.
"Not so good, Jacob. You have to help me. This place where I am has no sun."
* * *
Jacob, awake in bed, panting heavily. He thought of Miriam's hand. Of the sweet taste in his mouth. He wiped the sweat from his face and went back to sleep.
* * *
In a place without time, close to 2005 AD
He rises through the layers, separates from the slipstream below that pulls those inside it along and returns to them, for a frightful quasi-m
And in Other NewsAnd in Other News11 years ago in Socio-political More Like This
And in Other News…
Yesterday, in an effort of preparation for local and national law enforcement officials, the FBI warned of a possible, nay likely, threat of terrorist attack this summer. "This is a confluence of a lot of activity that would logically be of interest to a terrorist,'' said FBI spokesman LaRae Quy in San Francisco. "Things like buildings, people, sport utility vehicles, and other explosive, valuable stuff," Unfortunately the intelligence showed a surprising lack of detail. "There's no time, there's no place, there's no date,'' Quy said.
In a similar move, the FBI today announced that they have received credible information that someone this summer will be hit by a bus. Though the details are still vague, the FBI warned that the public should be on alert nonetheless. They could not be specific about the time or the place of the likely incident, but said "There have been general rumblings, and we kno
The Corrected Part 3 of 4—The Corrected—The Corrected Part 3 of 411 years ago in General Fiction More Like This
"And it's 10:31pm. We have an update concerning the strange ball lightning sighted earlier today and how we believe it's connected to the storm. On that note, water levels—"
Jacob turned off the radio and unlocked the passenger side door.
"Get in! God, it's pouring."
Paul climbed in and instantly turned around to look out through the rear window.
"So, what's up? What can I—" Jacob began.
"Drive. Please. It doesn't matter where."
The rain pattered down on the plastic of Jacob's blinker, which now rhythmically informed no one else but the rain of Jacob's intention to rejoin the non-existent traffic.
"Fuck," Paul finally said, angry and exhausted. He rummaged through his coat pockets to produce a soaked pack of cigarettes. "Fuck," he repeated, this time merely exhausted. From a dashboard sticker, a bear smiled at him.
Jacob was driving very slowly. The tires of his station wagon worked their way through two fingers of rain water on the street.
"Do you know w
Elf vs. Orc 8Celadon woke up in the elf's arms.Elf vs. Orc 89 years ago in Fantasy More Like This
This sounded a lot more romantic than it actually was.
For one thing, learning to sleep in proximity to another person is an acquired skill. You learn what to do with the arm that always seems to get stuck between you and where to put your feet and whether they mind having a leg draped over theirs and who can use whose arm as a pillow without nerve damage or a sore neck. Then there's the whole complex negotiation of blanket treaties and sheets and who gets what and who needs layers and who has to stick their feet out.
Without acquiring these vital habits, you wake up pretty much like Celadon—stiff, sore, with a knee wedged into your ribs and blankets tangled around both of them like sleeping anacondas.
While it's traditional when parties of the opposite sex find themselves entangled for someone's hands to be in an embarrassing position, that actually wasn't the case. She was pretty much in the elf's lap, where one of his knees was up and digging into
Elf vs. Orc 4She let him go. She couldn't do much else. He was an elf, sure, but there were rules, and you didn't kill healers and you didn't kill priests.Elf vs. Orc 49 years ago in Fantasy More Like This
The rage had to go somewhere. You couldn't go from halfway to gnawing your shield back to normal just like that. Celadon swallowed it, bitterly, the stone shattering, the red sea pouring through the wreckage. She threw her head back and snarled with the pain.
The elf lay sprawled on the ground beside the bed, holding his throat, his eyes closed. He was breathing in tight little gasps. She could have stomped on his head, but of course she wouldn't.
She was furious. Mostly at herself, truth be told. It had been so obvious. He'd checked her bandages, he hadn't been wearing armor, and this was as far from a cell as you could get. What more did she need, a sign saying "Non-combatant, please do not throttle," in several languages? But she'd been so mad—and scared, yes, let's be honest with ourselves—that she hadn't seen past the Enemy.
Elf vs. Orc 9Sings-to-Trees' head shot up. He knew Fleabane's barks like the back of his hand. Short, rapid barks, not grating, hysterical ones--somewhere between a greeting and a warning. Fleabane knew the person approaching, but he didn't really like them.Elf vs. Orc 99 years ago in Fantasy More Like This
That meant it was either one of the humans from down the road (excepting Matilda, who brought cheeses and always had a tidbit for a hungry coyote) or the rangers.
"Shit!" Sings-to-Trees leapt to his feet and began kicking Celadon's armor under the bed, followed by the extra blankets.
Celadon got unsteadily to her feet. "What is it?"
"Company. Might be rangers."
She could have asked questions, like "Are you going to turn me in?" or "Why are you panicking, if they're your people?" but Celadon was not inclined to waste time on stupid questions. She looked around hurriedly for a hiding place.
Sings-to-Trees caught her elbow. "Do you trust me?"
"Does it matter?"
"I suppose not."
Getting her into the hiding place was awkward, but Celadon took it in s
Elf vs. Orc 5Sings-to-Trees's primary thought through the whole violent encounter was Not the throat again!Elf vs. Orc 59 years ago in Fantasy More Like This
His neck hurt. He felt like a troll had used his esophagus as a dance floor. This could not be healthy. If he lived through this, he swore he would be nice to his throat for the rest of the year. Hot teas. Scarfs during winter. Anything.
For awhile, he didn't think he was going to live to see sunrise, let alone winter.
Then she'd apologized. The orc had stood there, with a distinctly sheepish expression on her face, and she'd apologized.
None of his patients ever apologized. Most of them couldn't talk, and it didn't seem to occur to the ones who could.
Half of him wanted to reply automatically—No, it's okay, these things happen, don't worry about it—and the other half was jumping up and down screaming You just tried to kill me, you green-faced lunatic! You can't just apologize for trying to kill people!
Perhaps fortunately, his throat was aching too badly
Freely EnslavedYou poison your mindFreely Enslaved6 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
With beliefs, divine
A part of your life
now left behind
You've no common sense
You weave a defense
Of some plan which was made
Without your consent
You justify how you behave
And choose to be, freely, enslaved
Check the cons
Break the bonds
Don't become their pawns
Escape from the hold
Say you won't be sold
No more messed up stories
From the days of old
Maybe it's time to misbehave
Show them you won't be freely enslaved
Our Own DeviceThe motor of the Harley hummed, pleasantly, between my legs. Darkness had long settled on the Mojave, and the road was empty; the dark mass of sand on either side of the vacant road served as nothing more than a dull reflection of the clouded sky. Wind picked up, cool breeze pressing against me from all sides as the motorcycle purred along; the sky threatened dry lightning, though I had seen none yet.Our Own Device12 years ago in Horror More Like This
My hair, free of a helmet, fluttered softly in its three inches of glory. I could still smell the sweet pina colada on my breath; the rum still burned softly at my throat. Darkness, impending upon my gaze; my breath slowed slightly, my harsh grip on the handlebars loosening.
Road. Long, expansive, dark road. Hypnotically alluring...identical repeating pattern of white dotted lines, stretching into infinity and glowing in the faint gleam of my headlight. The engine purred. I gunned it, surgi
Elf vs. Orc 7This was easier said than done.Elf vs. Orc 79 years ago in Fantasy More Like This
She gave him some very practical suggestions about how to tie the ropes. A bit of slack between the feet, enough to shuffle, not enough to run. A rope around the neck as a kind of leash in case she attacked him. He could tell she'd done this sort of thing before.
Sings-to-Trees, at that point, would have been happy just untying her completely and pointing her in the direction of the outhouse, but he had a horrible feeling he'd disappoint her if he didn't at least try to hold up his end. So he steeled himself to stay awake a bit longer and got the ropes set up, and hauled her out of the bed.
Then she wound up needing to use him as a crutch anyway, since her knees kept buckling, so it was a bit of a moot point.
"Can you hold this?" he asked, handing her the leash rope after a few brutal hops toward the door.
"What if I try to escape?"
He sighed. "Just yank it if you feel yourself getting any ideas."
She started laughing, then they took another step and the
Read This And Remember.You live life the way you want.Read This And Remember.6 years ago in Philosophical More Like This
In life it doesn't matter what people say or do, only what you take from it.
It only matters what you think, it's your life to live
The most important person in your life is you. Remember this.
You will always be there for yourself
Take care of yourself.
Take care of the people that love you, try for you, and hope for you.
To have a friend you must be a friend.
Learn to love and you will love life.
Open your mind, understand
Forgive, never forget
It's life's lessons and pains that teach us
Not everything happens for a certain, predestined reason
It happens so you can learn from it, take from it, and use it for your benefit,
Always keep trying.
Never give up
Never give in
You are a strong person
You will persevere
With love and hope,
Vacant Memory WarehouseThe lighting is dim, so dank are the halls of a room long untapped by its owners. Buildings, like creatures, can grow feral, perhaps turning on their owners, perhaps turning to the wild suburbia to find a suitable prey. And there it festers, hidden from light by walls built long ago to keep intruders at bay--walls that have since closed in and tightened protectively around their prey.Vacant Memory Warehouse12 years ago in Horror More Like This
The floor is stained, the black-dried blood of old prey marking its cry upon cement, twisted in anguish. Chains rattle above; suspended at varying heights, half-faded into the darkness of a pitless ceiling, are the cages. Steel floored and barred, three-foot square and gleaming like knifepoints in the dim light, they hold what was once life and will soon become prey to the beast.
An arm can be seen, severed and bloodied, fingers clenched in death and reaching for freedom. Freedom would not come, not to this poor soul--or, at le
Elf vs. Orc 6He got a nasty start a few hours later, when he came in to check on her.Elf vs. Orc 69 years ago in Fantasy More Like This
He'd tied her hands, her feet, thrown a loop or two around her waist, and roped everything to the bed, the chair, and the fire iron, just for good measure, He'd done everything short of hog-tying. She wasn't going to get loose in a hurry.
He wasn't sure why he was bothering, really, since he had a horrible feeling that if she said "Will you untie me?" he might do it, and if she said "please," he'd definitely do it.
Still, she didn't seem to be a threat conscious, so maybe that was okay.
Then, because his feelings were still churning and there was nothing for emotional turmoil like hard work, he'd gone off, fed the chickens and the gargoyle, picked peas, turned the compost heap, washed his hands and made soup. By the end, he was really quite exhausted, and ready for at least a nap in his chair.
Then he came back in to discover that her fever had vanished and she was shivering violently with cold.
Holier Than Who?I have met, in my opinion, way too many people who refuse to accept new ideas into their life and belief system. Too many people, also, who think critically about any part of their life outside of the material few things that through which they can achieve social acceptance, be it money, status, fame, etc.Holier Than Who?6 years ago in Philosophical More Like This
I know too many religious people who tell me that I don't know what I am talking about. A few, even, who tell me I am a blasphemer for not accepting their Lord, Jesus the Christ, as my Lord. I don't even personally believe the bro ever existed. Can they not respect my standpoint in these issues? I have never gone to anyone of a different faith and told them, in person, that they are damned for believing what they do. Yet, I have people who look down on me for believing that the cosmos and everything in it are one, and in that, our overall being is the true creator and creation.
They believe in miracles and a man who died for our sins, and a man in the clouds, so to speak, who sees ev
Elf vs. Orc 2Celadon Toadstool was delirious.Elf vs. Orc 29 years ago in Fantasy More Like This
The funny bit—uproariously funny, it seemed to her—was that she knew she was delirious. The world was billowing around her. It looked as if someone had meticulously painted the inside of a cottage on silk, and then hung it in a gentle breeze. The corners floated inward and collapsed back out again with a sigh.
That someone would go to all that trouble, painting a cottage on silk, was hilarious.
She knew she was wounded. She couldn't quite remember how she'd been wounded. Imagine not remembering a thing like that!
This also struck her as hilarious.
Her name, in Orcish, was Urrsharruk-gah, and she had skin the delicate gray-green of the gills of cave mushrooms, and eyes the color of stolen gold. Her hair was thick and dark and she wore it tucked under her helmet to keep enemies from being able to grab it, which was problematic, because she'd lost her helmet somewhere along the way, and she wasn't in the best of shape anyway.
Even in her immense good humor
Dear President BushDear President Bush,Dear President Bush11 years ago in Editorial More Like This
I did not vote for you, but I am writing to acknowledge your election to a second term. The election certainly was a merry chase! Although I'm sure it stings to know that nearly half of the country doesn't want you in office, and that substantial parts of your own military didn't vote for you. Liberty County, home of the brave 3rd Infantry Division, is one giant blue dot on a break down of votes, county-by-county. In Chattahoochee County, home of Ft. Benning, you pulled ahead by only 7 percentage points! Let's not forget Ft. Bragg in Cumberland Couty, NC, where you were ahead by a measly four percentage points. Why aren't the vast majority of your soldiers and their families voting for you? The only ones that did seem to vote heavily for you were the ones that weren't heavily deployed! I smell a connection there somewhere…
Despite these facts, I'm sure that you are consoled by the fact that you carried the white male vote, the rich vote, and the weekly church-goer
Sorry We Shot Your Kid...Sorry We Shot Your Kid, But Here's $500Sorry We Shot Your Kid...8 years ago in Articles & Interviews More Like This
For the entire war in Iraq, the press has been kept largely in the dark concerning the number of civilians killed by our forces, and what happened in the aftermath. Now several hundred files posted online reveal some of the true horror while raising questions about lack of compensation.
Here you will find, for example, that when the U.S. drops a bomb that goes awry, lands in an orchard, and does not detonate -- until after a couple of kids go out to take a look -- our military does not feel any moral or legal reason to compensate the family of the dead child because this is, after all, broadly speaking, a "combat situation."
Also: What price (when we do pay) do we place on the life of a 9-year-old boy, shot by one of our soldiers who mistook his book bag for a bomb satchel? Would you believe $500? And when we shoot an Iraqi journalist on a bridge we shell out $2500 to his widow -- but why not the measly $5000 she had requested?
This, and m
Within Your LinesThis is the seed, the catalyst:Within Your Lines6 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
The dawning of a thought that's kissed
The source of all creation.
The mouth of insperation
And now that we have found it
We can never quit
How will we fill this stage
With ecstasy and rage
With naught but songs
We'll trap the wrongs
To wrought our will
To hold them still
What, herein, shall we create
Within this world of hate
Education DerailedWhen boys become men,Education Derailed4 years ago in Songs & Lyrics More Like This
still in bodies of boys,
there's a tiny hand pulling the trigger.
Killing with guns
when they're still playing with toys,
troops get smaller as conflict gets bigger.
If they don't grow up now,
they won't get the chance,
Virtue's just a victim of circumstance.
Guns at the ready, men,
open fire they cry.
But they'll cry even harder
for an eight year old martyr
knowing somewhere the system has failed,
now the children are learning to die.
Education for AllFor many, education is the keystone of a successful life, but not everyone learns alike. Since everyone learns differently, this spectrum of ways to learn should be a tool in the arsenal of education. Since everyone learns differently, teachers should teach differently; different styles of teaching should be embraced. Since everyone learns differently, there should be multiple paces of learning, more of a hill than steps, five or seven paces of class. Since everyone learns differently, everyone should learn differently.Education for All6 years ago in Editorial More Like This
There are numerous learning style inventories one can take, and numerous outcomes on each inventory. One standardized format could be presented, and from there teaching could be designed around the result of each student. With that, since independence is a commonly respected ideal, electives should be more common, as mandatory classes tend to bog down the system, and sometimes hurt the students who hold minimal interest in the subject. That is not to say that basic clas
An Evening With Sings-to-TreesAn Evening With Sings-to-Trees9 years ago in Fantasy More Like This
Sings-to-Trees had hair the color of sunlight and ashes, delicately pointed ears, and eyes the translucent green of new leaves. His shirt was off, revealing the sort of tanned muscle acquired from years of healthy outdoor living, and you could have sharpened a sword on his cheekbones.
He was saved from being a young maiden's fantasy—unless she was a very peculiar young maiden—by the fact that he was buried up to the shoulder in the unpleasant end of a heavily pregnant unicorn. Bits of unicorn dung, which was not noticeably more ethereal than horse dung, were sliding down his arm, and every time the mare had a contraction, he lost feeling in his hand.
It had been nearly two hours, the ground was hard and cold and his knees felt like live coals wrapped in ice. She'd kicked him twice, and if Sings-to-Trees hadn't known that it was impossible, he'd have begun to suspect that the unicorn had arranged a breech birth out of spite.
No, he was being unfair. It couldn't be any more fun for her t