Repeat

A scratching silence fills my life, repeating repeating an endless loop.

Nothing changes, nothing moves, the needle on the record skips and skips, an endless loop.

Repeating, repeating never moving, nothing new, always used, left behind.

No reason to smile, no reason to be, this endless repeat is all thats left of me.

Graveyard Shift – Retail

“So, you’re starting up tonight at that new clothing store huh? Strange that place has a graveyard shift, but whatever. I’ve heard some stories though, you want to hear?”

“Well first off, you’re not supposed to go in the back, where they keep the mannequins? That’s a nono, manager only apparently. You’ve been back there huh? Best keep that to yourself. I’m not sure why they’re weird about it, but the last girl that went back there? Well, she didn’t fare too well job wise after it.”

“After that, the clothing they sell? It’s all leathers, good leather but still an all leather clothing store open 24 hours? That’s just awkward, yeah fucking creepy really, seeing all those bone white mannequins all dressed in dead skin more or less.”

“Another thing, don’t go messing with the mannequins, those things are normally creepy enough but that place? I don’t know but they give me the…oh shit. Your manager is right there, staring at us. What…oh fuck…fuck…shit fuck hell! Run! Run damn i-”

“Where are we? The store? Why the fuck-oh hell…nononnon-”

The girl’s voice cuts off and your manager stands before you,  a smile stretching their mouth into a macabre grin.

“I have to thank you for being such a dedicated worker, if you wanted to work overtime as a model, well all you had to do was ask. Since you’re doing it pro bono though, I have to say thanks dear. Oh don’t worry, kill you? Oh no, no, none of my girls are dead. They’re out on the floor, just as pretty as you please, see look I’ve kept their faces, why? So you could see them smile. Now dear, hold your breath, it’s your turn.”

“Skin? Oh you’ll have your own lovely jacket to wear, your skin seems smooth enough for it. Don’t you worry about a thing.”

Graveyard Shift

(Just so its here –  strong language and violence after this line)

Hey can you let me in dude? Thanks, you new here huh? You ever work graveyard shift at a gas station before? Just started huh? Well, I’ll tell ya man, it gets strange. I’m not talking someone wearing something funky, or people with just odd habits. We’re talking sci-fi b movie special on prime time strange.

Examples? Well shit, oh hey, just two nights ago had a guy pull in, bought some oil and some gas and some paper plates, I’m not thinking anything of it ya know? Whatever needs some oil, some gas for his mower and some plates, no biggie. Then, then it gets strange.

Some creepy as dogs, think they were dogs anyway, they start barking and baying, and the place gets cold, like I wanted to go into the beer cooler and warm up cold. The lights flicker and all of sudden that guy outside has all that stuff in a super soaker and I’m just seeing these balls of flame and hearing yelping and I’m thinking, I’ll call the cops. Doesn’t work, phones are out, shoulda been obvious right? No dude, no shitting ya phone was out, not even a busy signal. Then one of those mutts burst in through the window, seriously ask the manager, he’ll tell ya drunks did it but you should be knowing better if you’re working here.

Where was I? Oh yeah, so I’m covered in glass and that things blood and it fucking burns man, it’s like I got bleach on me and that guy comes in, douses me in alcohol, and sets the other thing on fire. I’m thinking I’m toast, literally, this guy is gonna light me up. He just smiles, hands me an envelope and asks if any of em got to me. I tell him no, he nods, says to give that to the manager for repairs and what to say and he tells me if I see someone looks like they got bit not to let them in. Apparently it’s like some vampire shit ya know?

What? Me? Oh well, might have lied. Really shouldn’t of let me in dude.

Cause I’m fucking starving.

 

Scarecrows (Muffled Cries)

The family stands in the field, the cold wind of the northern farmlands blowing across their faces as they look at their start towards making a scarecrow, muffled cries can be heard.

The father turns towards the two children, he hands them a coat with a smile, the two children and put the coat on the scare crow, muffled cries can be heard.

Smiling the mother hands them a hat, a large hat, but its something they’d wear to keep the sun off the their face, the children put the hat firmly on the scare crow’s head, muffled cries can be heard.

The father pulls out a tool, to the give the scare crow the proper face. The muffled cries get louder and the children smile. They make the face, the muffled cries getting weaker until they go silent.

Now only the laughter of children remains, as the cold wind blows across the form of the new scarecrow and the children’s faces. Father drags the old scarecrow away, silence remains now, and the children go back inside. There is no more muffled cries, only weeping and the wind.

A Reading  (Read by me)

A Return and Recognition

Shuddering shaking and shivering in fear, the tapping, tapping that I hear so near.

The fear has returned, my bloodied muse at my back, her tortured hands upon my neck as her twisted  face a broken smile  of recognition.

Such a saddened thing at the return of my grim fate.

Lashed to the page, chained to the well, my pen drips the black ink, the color of my soul that I know so, so well.

My form ephemeral, my purpose not set, I am the writer, to my muse, a fond pet.

She neither cares for me, nor clothes me, or sees to my feed, for she devours not but fear and twisted dreams, and it seems, to me, expects myself to do the same.

My (In)Stability

Writing without wanting, writing without will, I turn out another piece of garbage, another piece for burning-I can’t rhyme, I can’t reason, I don’t know why. Why do I bother? Why even try?

I feel it shouting, screaming, taunting laughing “YOU CAN’T! YOU CAN’T!” as it shouts in glee and tries to hand another razor blade to me. “You’re worthless and weak and won’t amount to much, look how many you’ll help if only you put a little touch, a tiny bit of red across that pale wrist, they’ll hardly notice you’re gone, you’re really not one to miss.”

I hear it shouting and screaming and laughing at me, this doubt that I live with, every damning day, every day it screams and screams, waiting for me to see. Waiting for me to know as it does, my purpose is nothing, I’ll never amount to much, a little bit of red really should be the final touch. It’s not very poetic, it’s not my best work, but really my response is short and simple and something that works.

Fuck off.

Tales From Gera – Lore Building

The book before you is a fine thing, bound in supple black leather with a simple gold lettering on the front. The pages aren’t paper, but fine vellum, the ink faded and light but still clearly legible. The first page seems to be a forward of sort, having no name of the author but containing a simple message, scrawled in an imperfect script.

Perhaps I should call this the ramblings of an old man? Or maybe not, I’ve not written something I’ve assumed would be read you see. Most of what I write will never, should never, see the light of day.

But this will, for whatever reason. Perhaps, hopefully, in sharing this you’ll find some amusement, something to be distracting ye from yer troubles. Either way, I suppose it’s a fitting memoir, the stories of others from a man never known by the world, whose own story should never be told.

C.

There are several pages missing from the book, but a bit of the tome still remains, the fine pages preserved somehow from the ravages of time and civilization, the first story, a collection of events and personal knowledge, is simply titled “On the Matter of Slavers” and refers to a country that borders the kingdom of Gera, that kingdom of wild and unstable magic.

Really, when one thinks of slavers one inevitably thinks of the Pits, and who or what they are, but well, while the tools that feel they run things can be described I hesitate to say such a strong word as describe can be applied to that which they serve, and don’t seem to realize they serve at all. You see it started quite some time ago, when Arthur and Roland weren’t yet even born, that was, around, nearly six hundred years or so again from this day and age. Gera wasn’t yet truly unstable, there had been no need for a Sanctum yet and the country that would be known as The Slave Pits to all but those that live there hadn’t even been formed.

You see that area had always been a bit dark, a bit wrong, those wastes. Even the magic that caused Gera to bloom left that place untouched, barren and scarred. Suppose that shoulda been a sign, but nay, we didn’t take it. Those that were there, meself included, or a me I can barely recall, we were bandits, just rogues looking for a place the Guard couldn’t, wouldn’t get to us. The land was hard though, and the only way to get things to grow was with sweat and blood, and yet more blood.

The writing in the following bits grows a bit sloppy, as if written by a shaky hand, the diction of the words changes as well, more anger showing in the harsh lines of ink set down by the quill, the splatters of ink across the faded vellum. Its obvious that, whoever the author is, this part is close to home, and closer to the soul. Merely writing this bit was hard, thinking about it, remembering it, must have been a thousand times so.

Ye see, in Ulsir, the name the Slaver’s have for their own kingdom, the land isn’t fertile unless you feed it. That’s what we did then, all those years ago, we fed it, and then we were fed. We thought we’d find a new calling ye see, that perhaps with this we could be farmers, away from Gera and magic and just have a simpler life. Should have known it wouldn’t be that simple, it could never be that simple.

The brambles grew in a week, the forests coming in quicker. A haze, the blood mist, rolled in with it all and then, well, then the thoughts started. The idea of having others work it for us, having others do our toil.

Having more to feed that hungry land.

The writing, already scrunches together here, pulled tight on itself, as if the author was fighting against the next lines, forcing them to be small, to go unnoticed.

It gets in yer ‘ead ye see, draws ye in pulls on ye and ye hear it, hear it, and it echoes, and repeats nigh constant it is.

Blood for the land, souls for the dark.

Blood for the land, souls for the dark.

Blood for the land, souls for the dark.

The lines Blood for the land, souls for the dark continue for two pages after this, a large portion of pages have been torn from the binding before and after this bit before the next bit of legible writing can be found, continuing the story being told.

Every day that repeats, and every day we listened, and things just…got bad and even here, talking as I am, ye can feel the pull of that can’t ye? The corruption of it all. It turned a bunch of bad men worse, and they’re all still there. All of us that’d gone and been making that place into a power, we’re all still around ye know. Sem of us, well, some of us learned, some of us went to feed the land, unable to take the voice of it all. Idiots don’t realize we can’t stay dead, we don’t go that privilege. As long as that land is fed, we’ll be here, it’s gift to us for waking it.

Let that be a lesson to ye, ye find something left alone by near everything else? Leave it the hell alone. Else ye might just find out why it’s left alone…and that reason?

That reason might just be hell. Still don’t be knowing what be claiming me, don’t be knowing what caused the change, or near anything else, but that’s one thing I learned fer sure. Ye find something like that, something wrong, something, a bit off? Ye can be sure there is a thrice be damned reason for it. I can put a name to it, tell ye what it is, but describe? Give a reason to it? Ye might as well ask why we exist at all to ask such a question.

What is it? That’s simple, it’s Evil, what else could it be? Don’t be going thinking we were misguided men mind you, weren’t no good then, ain’t no good now. If there is one thing a bad man can be claiming well..

I know Evil when I see it, and that? That’s about as evil as it gets. If you value yer sanity, and yer morals, I’d say leave well enough alone and let em sort themselves out. I’m sure they’ll be dead or monsters, jes give it a few more centuries.

While there are yet many more pages that aren’t torn the writings on later pages seems to move and change, blurring or simply forming the lines Blood for the land, souls for the dark, visible on each page before you blink and the writing clears for a time. Whatever it was the author talked on, one notices it once they read of it, once they view it clearly. The issue stands however that when one does notice something so vile, so foul as the corruption of that place…it notices you in turn.