An Ember in The Dark

I inhale the curls of smoke as the fire warms my empty soul. The soot and ashes giving me something real, a destruction of sorts to hold.

It reminds me I’m alive, even as I know it lets Death take hold, the cold chill grip reminds me of my place, of this time, of my life, of this limited race.

I remember why to pick up my pace, to put one foot in front of the other, despite the rage, despite the pain, the lacking I feel inside.

I’m short on time, and burning fast, the candle’s flame never does last. So burning away some more, to let that feeling in, I soothe my troubled mind, before I delve the dark again.

Echoes & Currents/Wanderer’s Demon

Echoes and currents of thoughts and ideas, of dreams that died and words left unsaid.

The regrets that haunt my sleep and rattle around inside my head.

Ephemeral currents of sadness too deep, of happiness unknown, and this anger I keep.

It’s like a ghost on my shoulder, the demon that speaks, it provides unspeakable inspiration, yet the cost is too steep.

The exile is lonely, the wanderer is cold, I stumble through this night, and all I want…

All I want is a home.

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.

 

Awkward and Odd – Lines

I’m an awkward person, with an odd sort of mind.

From time to time, I’ll cross a line.

I don’t mean to offend, the intent to harm isn’t mine.

I’m an awkward person, with an odd sort of mind.

I’ll talk out of turn, or say something forward. Still…

I don’t mean to offend, the thought to harm or alarm is not what’s on my mind.

It’s awkward and strange and an odd sort of place, that place behind my eyes.

I’ll step across that line, I’ll offend from time to time.

Without intent, I dare say that no harm was meant, no cause for alarm was offered though it was taken all the same.

I’m an odd sort of person, with an awkward frame of mind, I might step across the line, but I didn’t see it there, with my gaze up in the air.

Consider this an apology if you must, a way of saying sorry for a skewed perception of me, for I can’t say I consider myself mean.

As an awkward person with an odd frame of mind, I can’t be blamed for miscommunication, for lack of conversation that would otherwise show me, tell me when to draw back as I’m about to cross that line, your mind isn’t mine, how would I know to pull back when it was you who drew the line?

You who decided where to take offense and where to make a friend? With no intent to harm I offered my words freely, you took them as knives to wound you dearly and silenced the words completely.

Takes this as you will, but despite my crossing your line, for which I did apologize.

In ignoring me, you have crossed one of mine.

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.

Writing My Soul

I have a strangeness in my hands, a tingling in the soul

My muse is calling, my muse is carving

Worlds and words only she does know

Not quite the tool, not quite the art

Something in between

This place in which I reside, thoughts in front words behind

With pen in hand and paper near, thoughts of my muse I hold so dear

I am the writer, not quite a tool, not quite the art

The soul of language flowing forth like ink I impart

This task I have, this place of mine

It’s what my muse made of me, not something I desired but something I did find

My ink my blood, my words my pain, the bits of brightness shine

I share my life, I share my soul, I bare it all and the scars do show

But this is my place, this is my part

This painful digging at scars is all part of writing, language’s art.