Radical Part IVCinder and Yura were standing at the center of Cosm's ring of law offices. Not the geographical center, as they were standing on the ring itself, but the metaphorical one for certain.
Yura's father was the chief of police, after all, and this was his HQ. Cinder, ever fascinated with history, had a healthy appreciation for how terribly a bad force could tip the scales and how what a good force did shouldn't be impressive or awe-inspiring so much as keeping everything smooth enough that day-to-day life could press on.
Cinder loved the station, but Yura and she knew better than to wander any farther than the commons, and there they planted themselves in a corner so as not to be trampled by the men and women hustling through. The round badge of a safety meter under the officials' garments glowed orange and not green, a warning of their status even when they weren't in uniform. Those uniforms were dull dark green and in a more contemporary (twentieth-century military) style than civi
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.
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
Aesop's Last FableTHE GIRL AND HER DEMON:Aesop's Last Fable3 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 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
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
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.2 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
Hymn of the FoolIf I were a wise man,Hymn of the Fool4 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
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.
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
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.
Star SwallowerShe'sStar Swallower4 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
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.'
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
Around the World in 80 Days: Day 2"Didn't we pass that already?"Around the World in 80 Days: Day 23 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
MEi. I fell in love with a girl who catalogued darkness,ME3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
sat in her room with the blinds closed and wrote down
187 ways it felt
in all of the different times she couldn't see.
My name was one of them,
#143, ash velvet, and I didn't know what she meant at the time
but the only description she wrote beneath it
was good night for stuffed animals
bad night for worn pillows.
And I'm sorry I made you dream of the rivers.
ii. I fell in love with a girl who never looked in the mirror
but dressed to perfection, somehow
in her blue skirt and black socks
white tennis shoes
and a smile crooked as the bottom side of Indiana
yeah, I fell in love with a girl
who could never quite get it straight but hey,
I've never been 100% straight either,
and the one corkscrew curl you have
opens me up like fine wine
each time I see you smile in that cracked bathroom mirror.
Makes me half-drunk,
iii. I fell in love with a girl who was depressed by Paris,
but loved Italy beca
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.
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.
the clockwork liari. we dusted dreams off people like the first snowflakes of the season. you'd take one and rest it on the center of your tongue because you hated the taste of ice cream and wanted to reset what cold tasted like to you.the clockwork liar3 years ago in Stories & Vignettes More Like This
you taught me that the cold could be bitter, and so could people's dreams.
you drank out of out-of-order wells because you believed they still worked and that the government was keeping it all to itself.
i never realized how insane you made me before i wrote this all down.
ii. i wished on the sun because i ran out of shooting stars.
and just to spite me, you began wishing on raindrops because you believed that they were so many, one of them was bound to remember you.
but we both ended up laughing hysterically with protruding knives on a bloodstained floor, didn't we?
iii. i talked to clockwork towers and told them to lie because if they stopped for just a while, all the time in the world would seize.
one human, two human
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