Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The brighter the light

The darkness was stifling. The cold damp air was stale and putrid, reeking of filth. Laying in the corner, gaunt and pale, was a lone old man. The shackled binding his wrists and ankles, once tight, now hung loosely. If he had cared the man could have slipped from them easily.

Pale white hair reached down to his knees. Anyone looking upon him would mistake him for a ghost, so pale was his skin. He'd been here so long he had forgot what the sun looked like, forgotten his own name. But one thing the old man would never forget, was why he was here.

His family had starved. All but one of his children had died the year before and his wife would not be long for the world. All around him the people were starving. They were dieing, while the in their palaces the lords and ladies grew fat on their sins. No one had the strength to fight. They were to busy trying to live one more day, or so they thought.

He was from far away. Some place no one asked. His clothes were fine and his voice was strong. Tanas was his name, or so the people said.

Crowds flocked to Tanas. They rallied around his call. "Rise up" he would say! The lords tried to put down the rebellion but as long as Tanas lived, he would raise the call of freedom.

It looked like they were going to win. Tanas had organized the leaders of the many local groups. They were going to plan it all out. The final push. But some one had betrayed them. The lords and their armies came forth in the night. The old man was there, he remembered that night more clearly then anything else. It looked liked they were trapped, but the old man saw a way. He managed to distract the lords, and give Tanas a chance to flee. The old man expected death. Instead, they locked him in this hole to rot.

"You won" said a voice. A voice the old man knew.
"Tanas? Is that you?"

"Soon, the cell doors will open, and after 45 years you will be free" said Tans, with almost a chuckle.

"Tanas! You came back! I knew you would! I knew as long as you lived there would be hope!"

A dim red light began to bathe the room. The old man blinked. His eyes taking several seconds to focus on the form before him. It was Tanas. It was the Tanas he remembered. Exactly as he remembered. Almost

"It is you! Oh thank the Lord! But, you haven't changed? You haven't aged a day!?"
Tanas looked down at the pitiful fool and smiled. "It took quite some work to keep them from just killing you. Some times, a martyr is needed. But for this one you were worth more alive."

Tanas crouched beside the dazed old man. The red light glinting off Tanas' wickedly sharp teeth. Small horns just peeking above his sharp dark hair. "Soon, they will fling the door open. You will be a hero and a new age will be ushered in. A age of peace."

"What? What are you talking about Tanas?" cried the old man. This is what he had lived for, so why was it all so wrong? "You are the hero! I followed you! We all followed you!"

Tanas through his head back and laughed. A deep laugh that shook the old man to his soul. "Me? Oh no it was all you! You called my name. You gave yourself to me, in exchange to see an age of peace. Peace for your children, for your grandchildren and so forth. Shame none of them survived."

"I. I. I don't understand!!" cried the old man, burying his head in his hands.

"Oh, but you do! You just wont admit it! Face it my old friend. You made a deal with the devil. You asked to see an age of peace, and you will."

Tanas stood up and spread his arms, looking up at the harsh stone ceiling. "The forces of good will prevail. Love and joy will spread across the land." Turning to the old man, with the cruelest smile on his face "And they will grow weak and content. An evil will descend and they will be swallowed by darkness. A darkness all the more horrifying for the knowledge of the light that was lost."

Monday, October 27, 2008

November 2008 Quote

The previous 2 quotations both had me writing pretty dark. In an attempt to change things up a bit:

When I despair, I remember that all through history the ways of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants, and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall. Think of it--always.

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi 1869- 1948

Sunday, October 26, 2008

A Taste of Things to Come

I hope that God is what everyone says He is. I hope that He is perfect in every way. I hope He knows everything and sees everything and I hope He has the power to do whatever He desires. Because, if He isn’t perfect – if He is, in fact, the most powerful being in existence but can not actually do whatever He puts His mind to – God is in trouble.

I only say this because I recently had an epiphany, and it was about time. I was starting to feel sorry for myself and I really did think I would regret the things I’ve done in my life. I really thought this eternal suffering deal was the end of the world, but now I know better, and it only took me who knows how long to come to this conclusion.

I used to think that Satan was cruel, and that he was such a tool; a tool of the Lord. Basically, he caused such pain and suffering that I hated him. I wished him harm and I cursed him. I wanted to damn him to Hell, but I was too late. But, now I know better. Satan may be cruel, but he’s not just a tool of the Lord; Satan’s intelligence almost scares me. I say almost mainly because I’m on his side.

You see, everything Satan has done to me, no matter how horrible, has all been to improve me. He exposes me to my worst fears constantly, until they no longer are my worst fears. He gives me pain until I no longer feel it. Satan slowly is turning me and everyone else around me into super soldiers, the likes of which no one has ever known.

It’s my understanding that Satan is eventually planning to get revenge on the Lord. No one knows when, but I don’t wonder when, as I know he will initiate the attack when the time is right. Really, God needs to be exactly what everyone says He is, otherwise I would be worried if I were in His shoes. If Heaven is anything like I imagine, the Lord is very underprepared at this point; what will His army of angels who lived a wonderful afterlife in paradise do when confronted by soldiers who know no fear and feel no pain? And you know what the kicker is? This happens when Satan says it does. God isn’t calling the shots; the advantage is clearly on my team.

All in all, it makes me sleep better at night.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Trolls, bridges, tolls.

The lonely spirit took its toll from all those who trespassed in its domain, and there were so many now, coming and going.
Each time just a few hours he took, just his due.

What kind of fools were these now? Trading their time for such a fleeting glimpse? Only a few choose to stay anymore, it thought, to dance the fields as glorious as could be imagined or to sail the tides of their own madness on a ship of fear.

These were the great ones, kings of a realm of transients; second only to the one they named Jack. None could stay his hand. None would brave his gaze. For he stole and took and held, keeping his power to himself, all the stolen minutes of all the wasted lives. These lesser king rarely demanded more then a brief entertainment from those that came to their lands, a glimpse at the lands outside. Not that that is the right word, this place had no outside.

They could gain my power, I know it. I see them scheming to over throw me, each time someone comes and I take my toll they are tempted to try. But they heard what happened the last time. Still the land there will support nothing! I cannot be stopped; soon I will have it all. Then all will be peaceful and I can go back to the void.

So the kings watch and despair and Jack grows fat and greedy and strong on the stolen moments. Only a few in the other realm suspect and after a few passages though Jacks realm, even these few stop believing it could be any other way.

Sensing a shred of belief coming close, someone who suspects comes close to the other realm. Only then do I come close, close enough to be sensed, if any thought to look and try to see, and I wait to take my toll. Just a few hours I’ll take, just my due, but it adds up over the years and decades they have here. Soon I will have all the time in the world. Strange that they no longer try to hold me at bay, it is as if they stopped fearing the darkness underneath.

“But mommy, I don’t want to go to sleep, the monster will get me. Its under the bed, I know it.”

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Scum of the Earth

Emilio was loved by everyone, if you use the term “everyone” very loosely. What wasn’t there to like about him? He had style, wit, and a charm about him that couldn’t be matched. If he came to your party, you knew it was going to be a success. Naturally, he never spent a Friday or Saturday night alone. And on the other nights, he thought up ways to increase his ever bulging fortune.

It wasn’t that Emilio was a bad person. Or, rather, it’s not that he tried to be a bad person, but he just couldn’t help but feel superior to others. He looked down upon his fellow man, or even completely ignored his fellow man’s existence, which led him to accomplish things in ways that some people may consider unethical. But, why should he care about ethics when he could think that the end justifies the means? And his ends justified everything to him.

To Emilio, money was the answer to all problems in life, and who could blame him for thinking this way? Whenever there was an issue, he just threw money at it until it went away, and everything he didn’t want to think about eventually did go away. This made his life quite uncomplicated in this regard, as he had copious amounts of money for which to throw away. That, in turn, also made Emilio feel like a very generous individual.

At this point, Emilio was walking down the street, about to meet one of his friends for lunch, not to say that he had friends in the same sense that you or I do. They both had been dying to try this new, trendy place that everybody had been talking about. About a block away from the restaurant, he noticed a man begging for money. As sad as it was, he was feeling generous as he always did; he reached into his wallet and took out a fifty dollar bill, which he had to ask for specifically at the bank, as they normally gave out twenties. He placed the bill into the man’s dirty hat, and he continued on his way.

There came a voice from behind Emilio, immediately identified as the beggar’s, “I don’t want your money.”

Emilio was stunned, “What was that you said?” He must have heard incorrectly.

“Your money’s no good to me,” repeated the man.

Apparently the man was amazed at Emilio’s generous nature and, in his conscience, couldn’t bring himself to accept such a large amount. “No, no. I insist; you should take the money, even though it is a large amount. I want you to have it.”

“No, you don’t understand. I can’t take it,” added the beggar.

Now Emilio was officially confused. “You’re right; I don’t follow you.”

“As long as I have a conscience, I can’t accept money from you, knowing who you are. You look at me and think that I’m dirty, but my dirt washes off, unlike yours. Your foul money comes from the suffering and misery of others. It’s men like you who are slowly destroying the world,” His voice was getting louder and he was beginning to stand up. “So go, keep your filthy money, and look inside yourself, and ask yourself how you can live with yourself after you’ve become greed and corruption personified.”

The man threw the money onto the ground between them. They just stood, staring at each other, hatred in the beggar’s eyes and merely a look of shock on Emilio’s face. People passed by, pretending not to notice what was happening. One person looked a second time and spoke.

“Emilio!” it was Emilio’s friend, Xavier. “Hello there. Come on, I don’t have much time for lunch.”

Emilio looked at the hatred for a moment more then walked away with Xavier. They walked to the restaurant and were told there would be a thirty minute wait. Not wanting to think about this, Xavier threw some money at the problem and it went away. They were seated on the second floor, away from all the riff raff. The whole time, Emilio’s mind was elsewhere.

Xavier was very cheerful as he spoke. “…but, anyway, you’ll never believe what he said to me.” He saw that Emilio wasn't really paying attention. “Hey, hey, man. What’s the big deal?”

“That man, on the street. No one has ever talked to me like that before.”

“Ah, forget about him. He’s just a lousy bum. Besides, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that he’s mad at you.”

Confusion in Emilio’s eyes once more. “Why do you say that? Because I’m better than him? Because I have everything, and he has nothing? Does he resent me for my success?”

Xavier laughed. “Well, I’m sure that could be a part of it. But, you know that company that you bought out recently? Rockwell enterprises?”

“Of course, how could I forget? I ran that company into the ground and made a cool eighty mill.”

“Well, that man used to work there.”

After lunch, Emilio went back to his office. Xavier told him not to worry about what one man like that, scum of the earth, thought. But in the back of his mind he couldn’t stop thinking that it wasn’t just one man; he’d done this countless times, and thousands upon thousands of men and women were affected. Emilio wanted this problem to go away, but it wasn’t something he could just throw money at. So, he felt it was better to stop thinking about it altogether, as he would never have to associate with these people if he so chose. But, for a small moment, Emilio realized what a monster he was.

Friday, October 17, 2008

The Monster

It hunts me. No matter where I go, no matter where I hide, it always finds me. The monster I’ve named Jack. This time I thought I’d managed to finally get away from it. But I can feel it’s eyes upon me once again. Apparently half a continent isn’t far enough.

I make my way down the street, being careful to avoid the glance of passing strangers. I don’t want to draw attention to myself. You never know who or what is watching you.

The sun is setting behind me, the brilliant colours like laughter, mocking me. Even the sun knows what will happen when his sister shows her bold face to the sky.

Suddenly I am aware of the shadows lengthening, painting the nearby buildings in ink. I glance at my watch in dismay; I’ve made a grave miscalculation. Now I do not have enough time to walk home. I reach into my pockets, hoping to find enough change for the bus. One key. A paperclip. A scrap of paper with a few book titles scrawled on it. And two quarters. Not enough.

I pick up my pace a little more. If I can’t take the bus, then I’ll just have to hurry; I can’t be out on the street! I’ve worked too hard to get away from the monster to give up now.

"Hey, watch where you’re going!" someone yells at me as I narrowly miss crashing into them. A crowd of people suddenly surrounds me, having come up to street level from the subway.

"Sorry," I yell back, fighting to get free of them. I glance over to the other side of the street. Way less traffic. I stop to wait for a crosswalk, fidgeting until the walking symbol flashes to life. I bolt across, earning a few more annoyed looks as I go.

And then it hits me. Like a kick to the gut, my insides suddenly feel like fire. I fight to stay upright, looking around frantically, ignoring the startled people around me. There! I spy an alley which will have to do. I scramble into it as the second wave of pain hits me.

I hope . . . I double over, clutching my gut as the pain becomes unbearable.

There is . . . Now the fire has spread, until I burn from the top of my head to the tips of my toes.

Some way . . . Dark hair sprouts everywhere, rapidly growing until my body is covered.

To save me . . . My face elongates. Joints reverse directions. Limbs lengthen.

From Jack . . .

The moon pokes its head through the clouds. The monster named Jack lets out an earthshattering howl, then stalks through the night on its way to its first victim.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


Walking with a cane and a limp, an old man comes down the street. Children flee at his approach, persons of means or dignity cross the street lest they enter his path. Darkness seems to follow the figure, clinging to his long coat in the cold autumn drizzle. He makes no attempt to shield himself from the damp air or the terrified stares, his hands scarred and powerful, gripping a silver tipped cane of ebony.
In the darkness of his mind they are fleeing their superior; he once owned this street and is now rich for it.
They are fleeing their liege; he owns the mortgages up and down these streets and most of them are behind in their payments.
They are fleeing their god; terrible and wrathful and full of power and judgement.

He made himself he would joke, back in the days when he was still invited to people’s homes and gatherings, with his own 2 hands. He walked with a cane even then, though it was heavier in those days, oak shod in iron, and not for supporting his weight. None dared cross him he recalls, limping in the rain. A grin plays over the old mans face, it would still be charming if everyone had not learned.
He had friends everywhere back then; everyone welcomed him with open arms, a smile and a wad of bills. The minimum payments, he always shook his head at those ones, he’d explain calmly about interest, how it was best for everyone if he got his money faster. A few heeded him; those few got to keep their homes, and good health, when the depression came.

Shaking himself out of reminiscing the grey old man noted he had arrived at a grand house, poorly maintained. Fond memories, this was the first house he’d claimed in lieu of payment, from all those years ago, the beginning of his empire and he was about to own it again. How nice. It seemed like it was yesterday that foreclosure, the crying children, the cowering wife, the husband broken and bleeding, signing a document he couldn’t read. No one could stand against him back then, he was quick and sure and strong.
He had found a better way now he though, pinning the eviction notice softly to the door. Now any could stand against him, old and growing frail. It was just that none dared. Nearly dancing down the steps he took his cane by the end and took and experimental swing with the weighted head. It was comforting to know he still had some of the old strength and speed; that he could if it came to it, make himself again.

The depression, he almost laughed out loud at the thought of it. It would not have been possible to come out of it richer. He was never on the stocks, never trusted wealth he couldn’t reach out his hand, touch and snatch. When everyone else was scrounging to survive he was living well and foreclosing on bad debt. Suddenly he had gone from a small scale loan dealer to a large scale land owner and now that none could buy homes everyone had to rent slums. Sure it wasn’t much, but it let him ride out the worst of it until the war.

Thank god for the war. As one of the few real investors he was able to ride it to the top. Business man and corner stone of the war machine there was no thought of him being included in the draft, he was essential to the effort. Grinning again, this time in a leer, he recalled all the poor lonely ladies working away in the factories in need of consoling, their husbands so far away. How many of these kids struggling to pay the bills were really his children or grandchildren. This time he did laugh out loud, heirless his legacy was quite safe, his empire was not about to fall over night and he had grandchildren aplenty, each case quietly paid off for the thinnest fraction of his wealth. Indeed he came for visits in his old neighbourhood, to see the family that could have been. It was his gift to them; to show them how high they could go.

Walking with a cane and a limp, an old monster comes down the street. Children flee at its approach, persons of means or dignity cross the street lest they enter it path. Darkness seems to follow the beast, clinging to it long coat in the cold autumn night drizzle. The monster makes no attempt to shield itself from the damp air or the stares, its coat billowing in the chill wind, its hands scarred, gripping a silver tipped cane of ebony.