The Colonel's regiment was marching. It was marching against an enemy no one would remember, in a time no one would remember, in a place that would be beyond recall or desire once its mines were depleted. Yet still the regiment was marching. Not together, because this was guerilla warfare— a term that had long since ceased to bring images of banal natives and exotic jungles to mind and come, instead, to mean there were two kinds of men: careful and dead. They were lucky about as often as struck by lightning.
Thus was the regiment split into tip-toeing battalions creeping toward their destination. This was for the best. Grumbling was what soldiers did best, and splitting them up meant the Colonel didn't have to hear all of them at it at once.
Since when, they wondered, did the Colonel roll over for his superiors? Since when did the laconic, ponderous man agree to missions like this: slaughtering and razing a village of rebels?
They bitched and they moaned and t
An Aged LoveWhy do others compare their love to fireAn Aged Love3 years ago in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
When mine like dwindling embers glows--
Only rarely tasting of their God, desire--
And in tenderest mercy only shows.
For them a fluttering lash would suffice
And sweet longing for kisses and tributes of flesh,
Yet for us a wry smile, forgiving our vice,
And a burden twice shouldered our passions addressed.
So forgive me darling if I sing not of praise
For your childish whims and ignorance,
Because the rose tinted glasses I set all ablaze;
Your confessions, alas, were sweeter incense.
Let us hope that the ring we've held onto so long
Will, as youth's fervent dreams, prove just as strong.
Magnum OpusI wonder if there will come a time when man is surrounded solely by his own creations. Every year, every month, every day that passes man, in his insatiable curiosity, delves into the secrets of the universe. Learning is his opiate; it is his raison d'etre, to grow and change. But it was never enough to be schooled by the disciplines of science or philosophy. No, he must test his knowledge, he must be certain that the flower of the universe has opened its petals to him, has divulged every last, intimate drop of nectar from its tender blossoms. And what greater test, than to fashion the object of your studies by your own hand, what greater challenge of your understanding and wisdom than to improve upon the design? Yes, man has a lust for creation. He was indeed carved in the image of his God.Magnum Opus3 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
Still, God was wise enough to bless his creations with free will, that they might surprise and delight him, that he might grow to love them. Man, too, tried this-- albeit to a lesser extent. As
Aesop's Last FableTHE GIRL AND HER DEMON:Aesop's Last Fable4 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
The girl was pale— so pale that her wan face reflected the jaundiced hue of the light over the dining room table, whose coverlet might once have been white like her skin, but had long since yellowed with age and filth. The girl was also very thin, almost bony. Beneath an untidy frizz of hair she had eyes swollen with fatigue, eyes that burned feverishly as they darted about in astute, fearful scrutiny, sinking ever deeper into their sockets like candles burning at the wick. Her hands were articulate, but curiously bruised over the knuckles. She had a nose and a mouth, as well. But these were small since the frail girl was often to sickly to smell, and her lips were small and clasped, only to be opened under the direst of circumstances. Overall, she was a spindly, awkward creature in black— but one needn't recall any of that. The girl could have been just the opposite. She could have been a boy. It wouldn't have mattered to her, or th
From Man to Man Pt 1.From Man to Man Pt 1.3 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
'I never meant to let you down.'
Draven lifted a stray curl of his wife's hair from her face. She smiled in her sleep as if knowing he was there. As silently as he could, he leant over the bed and kissed her softly on the cheek.
'I've tried everything.'
Rising slowly, as quietly as he could manage on the wooden floorboards, Draven retreated from the bed. By the fractured light from the shutters he made for the bedroom door. The walls of the house were thin and he heard a creak from the neighbouring room.
'Best be off before Kale wakes.'
Reaching for the door behind him, still facing the bed and his sleeping wife, Draven paused. Drawn, painfully drawn like poison from a wound, he found his eyes stray to the chest at the foot of the bed. Shut away from the world under key and lock, he linge
From Man to Man Pt 2.From Man to Man Pt 2.3 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
'So, it's come to this?'
Draven stared down his opponent. The axe was heavy in his grip, knuckled white. Circling to the left, boots crunching on the forest floor, his breath came even and steady. He circled back to the right, sizing, gauging. Hefting the handle high, blade glinting in the sun, Draven's muscles coiled.
'I've traded my old enemies for just this one...'
The axe thundered home.
'...I miss the old ones.'
Crunching the head back and forth, Draven wrenched the axe free. Even as the spray caught him in the face he swung the axe again.
Twice more he struck, then a dozen times more. He felt nothing thought lost in the rhythmic economy of each axe-fall. The spray continued, shards and splinters flying.
From Man to Man Pt 3.From Man to Man Pt 3.3 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
'Any coin's a coin.'
The pouch jingled as Draven shook it. It jingled with the voice of well-earned congratulations, but the voice was a whisper in a large hall. Draven shook the pouch again and this time its jingle sounded more like a rattle. Hollow, more so than an empty promise. He weighed the earnings in one hand. Too much pouch, not enough coin. The purse slumped in defeat.
'But is it enough coin?'
Fisting the pouch deep into his trews' pocket which hardly bulged Draven bowed from Splitter's Cross, slinking back to Hidann village in the evening haze. Hunched and weary, he rested on the axe-haft with each left step, leaning on it like an old man and his walking stick.
The other fellers sidled past without so much as a backwards glance. They counted their coins as if it were a king's ransom, boasting proudly
Beauty Has A Price.To say designer children are beautiful is an understatement. Their skin is the pale cream of an August sunset, dusted with a soft pink blush. Their hair falls in cascades of lustrous blonde curls, their bright blue eyes accented by a fringe of thick, dark lashes. Their noses are slender. Their lips are plump. Their bodies are curved to perfection. And as if to give the finger to us common folk, they are gifted with creativity and intelligence.Beauty Has A Price.3 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
It is maddening, really.
I watch them as they huddle together with their white teeth smiles, their soprano laughter carrying on the air. The sound reminds me of shattering glass. Sweet, playful tinkles, like wind chimes smashed in a tempest. I’ve shattered a lot of glass.
From the cradle they are bonded, one to another, sharing a common point of genetic creation in the test tubes at DK Labs, incubated by a team of god-like engineers who prefer to call the process ‘prefection.’ It figures they're all close friends.
I like to ca
The quiet onesThe Quiet OnesThe quiet ones3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
It's the quiet ones you have to watch out for:
the ones who sit in class, doodling in their notebooks.
Alone they're harmless and keep to themselves.
But don't be fooled, their brains are a flurry of activity.
Put two or more of them together, and you'll wonder what the heck happened.
These "quiet ones" start talking, start plotting.
They've planned each other's brutal deaths....multiple times.
They've discussed the zombie apocalypse....and how they'd start it.
The end of the world has four backup plans....to ensure its demise.
And you can almost guarantee your death has been penciled in for next Tuesday.
So be careful, 'cause it's the quiet ones you have to watch out for.
CherishedI want you to worship this loveCherished3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
I write poems about
I tore it out of a virgin womb
just for you,
and I bear it to you now, naked,
shivering in the nervousness of flesh
exposed to a cold world.
It will suck on the breasts
and kiss the lips of small-town drunks
with their whiskey-tipped breath
and hollow eyes,
and I will touch my fingers
to its precious little mouth
and feel the warm saliva
bathe my skin.
I want you to put your ear
to its unguarded chest and listen
to the murmur
of its shriveled heart,
pulsatingthe warm, lively core.
A tempest, the Red Sea succumbing to Moses.
The fall of the tower of Babel.
Watch the tidal waves thrash the sand
when it raises its fist.
God will crumble at your feet.
You will snatch up the pieces
and rebuild him
in your image, not his.
And you will be lost, crawling on your belly,
for my hand.
And I will reach for you.
I will reach for you.
Loneliness:a limbless spider entangled inLoneliness:2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
its own web,
writhing and awaiting to
only to be devoured by the fly.
Hymn of the FoolIf I were a wise man,Hymn of the Fool5 years ago in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
If I was a sage.
I'd live my life not by years,
But the moments that I age.
And if I were a soldier,
If I was that brave.
I'd live my life not by kills,
But the people I had saved.
And if I were a ruler,
If I was a king.
I'd live my life not by my coffers,
But the songs my people sing.
And if I were a priest,
If I was that holy.
I'd live my life not by a book,
But the outcasts who would know me.
Alas, I am a fool.
So let me be naive.
Yet I live my life as all four,
Because I can believe.
-Copyright Andrew Szczecinski
Objective Proof of GodIf I tossed a coin 2000 times and called it right every single time, what would you think?Objective Proof of God4 years ago in Academic Essays More Like This
I can only imagine some of the things you would be thinking, but they would all stem from one rationalization: that what was happening defied logic.
To make sure we are on the same page, let me give you some quick facts about the Bible: The Bible was written over a span of about 1500 years (from 1445 BC to 95 AD) in 3 continents, in 3 languages, by 40 authors, and has 66 books. It's mostly a collection of letters written to churches. We can verify the dates of the books of the Bible through the efforts of historians, linguists, and archeologists.
" . . . a band of evil men has encircled me, they have pierced my hands and my feet. . . They divide my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing." Psalm 22: 17-18
What event is this verse referring to? If you have a basic knowledge of Christianity, then you know this is talking about Jesus' crucifixion. If you
Words Into FireSlave to the keyboardWords Into Fire3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
neck arched, wrists aching.
Eyes closed, clickety-clack,
a new story in the making.
Take my heart and soul,
twist my words into fire;
burn black font down the page,
my voracious literary sire.
A violent mental tug-of-war frees
the drip-drop patterned thoughts.
Sticks and stones may break my bones;
but words will be my chosen lot.
The Virtue Of Deception Part I of IIITonight Elzio of the Quatronne family was stationed on Hickory Street. His short but muscled frame was terse beneath his trenchcoat as he melded with the city's grime. This was easier said than done in the southern half of Ghileswick where only the wealthiest Ashlanders dwelt, isolated from the extorted hell they'd furbished in the northern Shidaran half. Oh, the weightier crimes and high stakes criminals eventually trickled down to this, the seat of legislation, and they'd left their mark in the gritty residue that dampened the prosperous neighborhood's streets, fulgid and ghoulish in the lamplight. However, it couldn't compare to the hair-raising adventure that was a stroll through the northern docks.The Virtue Of Deception Part I of III3 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
Elzio had begun his career as a petty thief, though. He preferred the simpler, more prevalent filth of the Shidarans, where his family's drug and arms trade resided. Easier to blend with the shadows when the people themselves had arranged their tenements in a manner befitting
Elbows5.22.12Elbows3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
I heard a man ask,
"Why stumble in the dark
when you can turn on the light,"
as if God has magic cures
He rations out in doses
instead of letting us learn
on our own.
It's never been that easy.
It's always more of a
dark journey where
every time I stumble
God holds me up by the
elbows and says,
"It's all right."
The man said, "The sun
doesn't rise hoping
it can overcome the dark,"
but darkness never comes
in fear, only understanding
that all things have their time.
The sun goes down.
I wonder if he's ever
in the darkness at all.
It's not that I don't believe
in the sun, I just love her
enough to know she leaves,
and if she didn't
we'd never need to believe
in that elbow-lifting God
who is the only one big enough
to see though the dark.
polarisshe was the kind of girl that filled herpolaris3 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
chest cavity with stars and her mind with names,
never one to forget her friends of the sky.
she doodled comets and planets in the margins of her papers
where hearts with arrows and initials should have been.
rockets boosted her dreams into the sky, and
she insisted the martians take teeth from under her pillow, not fairies.
she hoarded her chuck e cheese tickets,
even went as far as to dig them out of couch cushions
in order to fill her night sky with glow-in-the-dark stars
so her friends would never leave her even when
mommy and daddy forgot to tuck her in.
sleepless nights were spent at the window with
her battered old astronomy book, teaching
herself to read with polaris and sigma octantis.
by high school, she was as distant as her life-long friends,
already burnt out, just leaving after-images in the sky.
stardust floated out of her ears,
and dark matter clouded her eyes.
nebulous thoughts wafted from her mouth,
catching on the breeze and s
Around the World in 80 Days: Day 2"Didn't we pass that already?"Around the World in 80 Days: Day 24 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Freedom(Open-mindedness is not a power.)Freedom5 years ago in Philosophical More Like This
Hold up your hand.
Straighten it and make a fist. That arm is a solid structure, a column of cells, a staff.
It's simply a cylinder, and that is all.
(Open mindedness is not a force.)
Go up to a trashcan, place your hands on its side, and shove as hard as you can.
Try it. Watch the trashcan fly, its lid clanging open and its guts spilling over the pavement.
You did that. Notice the veins bulging from your arms.
Do you feel at peace?
(Open-mindedness is not a form of knowledge.)
These I know to be true: the sky is blue, blood is red, and the Earth is round.
"Do you deny sunsets, then? Do you expect only oxygen, and disregard calculus?"
i dont want to be wrong, its embarrassing
Now go outside.
Imagine yourself immersed in sky, wrapped in the great blue blanket.
There are thousands of clouds above you, some heavy with rain and others bursting with sunshine, and seagulls dip and dive around yo
don't tell me animals don't feel'i don't hate you,' sobbed the raven to the canary, his black feathers all ruffled and bloodied. but she never sang a melody for him and so, she twisted her beak away and never looked back.don't tell me animals don't feel3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
'tell me now,' broke the wolf to the hyena, 'why do you cry to the earth instead?' she shook her big throat and she laughed, 'the devil always listens.'
'when you're gone,' whispered the hound to the fox, 'it feels like forever.'
And The Angel Said...And the Angel Talked with MeAnd The Angel Said...8 years ago in Articles & Interviews More Like This
Monday November 12, 2007
Today, I met an angel. Well, not like your stereotypical gorgeous, tall, winged-being-from-above angel. He was, well
I was on my home from school on the light-rail (train), just gazing out the window and not really paying attention to what was going on around me. It was cloudy all day, and I was in a somber mood, thinking about various things concerning school, stress, and my health.
A middle-aged man smelling slightly of alcohol and wearing worn-out street clothes took the empty seat directly across from me. I took no notice of this. The train was pretty empty and the guy could sit wherever he wanted, for all I care.
Not a minute later, however, a clear, loud, Hello, cut through the silence between us and snapped me out of my drab thoughts into the present. I turned to him a politely said, Hello, back, not used to being
Star SwallowerShe'sStar Swallower5 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
her head, a stadium drowning with applause.
yet its seats are empty like the notebooks
where armies of words should be marching.
instead she dismantles clocks
thinking she can play with time.
behind the mountains lurks a darker reasoning
a twisted labyrinth of rationalizations
hidden from the suns brilliance.
Years alone beneath the bleached fluorescent
reading those already dancing in the moonlight.
she is living a literary half-life through them
hiding from the symmetry of the writer.
licking salty rocks of excuses.
saving her secrets for posthumous excavation.
decades of productivity left for moths to chew.
you're throwing coffins into the sea
with each day that passes wordless.
denying us the sweet whistles from inside your skull.
meaningful, impacting stories only you could pen.
Stop climbing broken staircases
towards the pale summer stars of obscurity.
these are still fruitful years of beauty.
remove your armor.
claw beyond your fears.
allow us into your wonderla
Cutthroat KidI learned the word first from a song; my English teacher later defined it unintentionally in a lesson. And the word consumed me. I wrote it on the bathroom walls of my godforsaken school. I whispered it into the darkness of my room while I laid in bed, plagued with insomnia. I carved it into my windowsill on a particularly dry and chilled Sunday morning. And I remembered how good it felt...to write it and speak it and carve it. Somehow I felt more alive afterward.Cutthroat Kid4 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
To anyone else, just a simple word. But to me...this word in a sense kept me sane. Because it was me. And until this word, I didn't know who the fuck I was. I don't think I could've survived high school without it. The word gave me a sense of power, perhaps even entitlement. And above all, it gave me a reason.
I bought a switchblade.
I didn't set out to buy one; it wasn't my intention. My eyes just kind've settled on it, and everything around me sort of got tuned out. And then there it was, in my hand. And I was ha