Fletcher's Ambition

A ‘bad reflex’ that’s how he had called it. Oh, he knew Giovanno Baldassare, one of the gang’s most frequent customer that was currently in New York, was dead. It just wasn’t a bad reflex. He shot the gun because he wanted to, it just took him some time to realize the truth. A few weeks back he probably couldn’t have imagined himself doing something like that (messing with the code) but now he knew what he was capable of. Some people say that the first thought that pops into your mind comes directly from your subconscious’ will. Your deepest, most darkest desires trapped inside layers and layers of consciousness and rationality. For Fletcher, there isn’t a border between those. It’s called being impulsive. Doing the first thing that comes to your mind, sometimes for the heck of it, other times because of lack of control. 

Andrew Fletcher doesn’t believe in that. 

He likes to give in to those because he believes it’s a life style. He thinks that there is no reason why someone should trap that 'evil’ or 'naïve’ version of one’s self deep inside when there could be so much potential in that little monster. So yes, if the question is 'was Fletcher aware that he would get kicked out of the gang because of that?’ the answer is yes, he just didn’t know it until he shot the man. Maybe it was that the gang’s dreams were getting a bit too small for him and he still wanted to become a mafia member like his father. So he quickly made that decision. But there is something that impulses don’t show you when they’re presenting you such a thrilling experience in such a beautiful way; consequences. Andy was out of the gang, he could take that. But have some of the most powerful gangs after him when he killed such an important character? That was another thing. He tried to hide and he did as best as he could but sometimes he was just too close to getting caught. 

One day, when he was running away from Baldassare’s men and tripped. He knew he would just be a body in a matter of seconds and as he felt a gelid hand touch his arm he felt chills run all over his spine knowing just knowing that the next sound he would hear was going to be the one of a bullet firing and passing through his brains. 

But it wasn’t.

A soft angelic voice spoke instead. “Are you alright, dear?” the angel asked. Well, it must’ve been one he thought. Maybe he was already dead. “Ooh that looks painful. Let’s get you cleaned up.” Then Andrew looked up and he saw a small figure, it was an old lady, and as she acknowledged the scrape on his leg he realized he was alive and that there were people after him. He quickly got up and pushed the woman inside an old building covering her mouth. After he saw the men run by without noticing him he let out a sigh in relief and looked at the old lady who was now trembling in fear. “It’s okay, I’m not going to hurt you.” he said releasing her. “I’m sorry for the inconvenience, I was just hiding from someone.” he apologized and headed to the door. “Wait-” the lady stopped him. “It can get pretty dangerous around these streets especially at night…why don’t you stay here, sweetie? I have a vacant in room 2A.” she said with a soft smile and Fletcher just couldn’t resist the temptation. A real bed. He hadn’t slept in one in four years. So he agreed. The woman cured his wound and fed him, giving him a place to stay until the gang left but when they did, he decided to stay permanently. Maybe Andrew’s education wasn’t all about values but one that was very important, especially in the mafia, was family. And the old lady quickly became his family, she took care of him bringing him food and he helped her out lifting heavy stuff, providing security for her and buying records in the store for her to have money. She’s the person he has the strongest relationship with in the apartment building he now calls home and probably the only one he really cares about. 

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idea for a book, maybe




“Can I take your order, sir?”


I jump, startled at the voice and look up. Just the waiter.

“Just a black coffee please.”

“Any pastry or dessert to go with that?”

“No. Just the coffee. Please.”


As he walks away, I glance at my watch, for what must be the thousandth time. Two minutes past eleven. He said be here at eleven. It’s two minutes past and he still hasn’t arrived. Did I do something wrong? Is he not coming? And, since when does a doughnut in Wimpy count as a pastry?


And, Patsy….?


I feel a twisting in my gut; my vision swims as I feel the nausea rise again. Overwhelming. The stench of stale coffee and burger fat… I lose my breathing and start to gag.


“Your coffee’s arriving. That wouldn’t look seemly.”


I catch my breath again, open my eyes. As the dark whirlpool explodes into a million shards of light, I see the waiter approaching with my coffee. And a pair of dark sunglasses, opposite me, at the table. So black, can’t see my own reflection.

“Make that two coffees. And… how are your brown derbies today? Haven’t had one those since I was a kid.”

“The finest in London, sir.”

“We’ll have two of those, as well. My friend skipped breakfast again, this morning.”


Behind the sunglasses…

Short brown hair. White skin. No facial hair…. Can’t even tell if it’s man or a woman… just those sunglasses.


“We spoke. Earlier. On the phone.”

Is it him? He came? I gotta tell him everything….

I open my mouth and gibberish comes out. The blahs and slabberings of an idiot.

A straightening of his (her) jawline. A deep breath.

A deep exhale, relaxing the muscles.

“You are confused. Stressed. Feeling panic, maybe. Do like I do. A deep breath in. And slowly, let it out.”

I do as instructed and feel exhausted as the tension leaves my body.

“We spoke on the phone. Earlier. You said you needed help.”


“Yes, I need help. Definitely fucking… Yep… need help! I found him…. they said…..” and I fall back into silence.


“I find these situations are easier if you start at the beginning.”


“Start at the beginning? What the hell does that mean?…..” I start gagging again.


“Breathe….. in…… out….. breathe….

“Okay.. let’s start from a different angle…. how did you find me?”


A deep breath in, to pause and recollect my thoughts.

“I googled…. ‘need help, don’t know what to do.’

“After twenty five pages of links to dying from cancer and buy your Russian bride here websites… I came across  ‘Odd-Job Man. You don’t know what to do and you need help? I do the oddest of jobs. Discretion Guaranteed!”


“You just went all tense and scary, what did I say wrong?”


A deep breath from Sunglasses… exhale…. slowly….


“Nothing…. seriously…. google search? That’s really how you found me?”


“Just, straight google?… not dark web… private VPN… summin like that?”

“No, no…. just google. Don’t even know what the other two are.”

“OK. Google.” A deep breath in. “I’m really gonna have to work on my advertising and promotion…. OK…. Why did you call me?”


“They got Patsy. They killed him. They say say they going to kill her.”

Having said them, my words chill me. I feel my skin prickle with the iciness of fear. My stomach just melts into warm mush. My vision melts into kaleidoscopic images as the tears well up in my eyes…. I feel a crushing pressure in my shoulder and look up to see an outreached arm and the hand gripping my shoulder.


“Remember to breathe. Slow…”

I follow that advice. The madness dissipates…


I look up into those sunglasses.

“Who’s Patsy?”

“Patsy?… Patsy?… who’s Pa…”

It’s like a firework went off…

I sit up straight and look around. A burger bar… a coffee in front of me… and Sunglasses sitting opposite me.


“Patsy’s my sis……”


The world explodes into a cacophony of madness. One giant ‘BOOM!’ unleashes the 1812 overture…. loud, deafening bangs… tables splintering and falling… the wall puckering out… spitting debris all over me.. people falling.. and screaming…


A pressure forces me to me knees… I recover myself and look up… to see Sunglasses beside me, pushing me down….

“Get low! Stay down! Do as I say!”


He has a gun in his other hand… what the…..


The world explodes into the brightest light I’ve ever seen… the loudest thunder I ever heard… blind… deaf… I try to stand… feel a solid… and know nothing but blackness…..












I feel a rhythym, a rumbling….

I hear…. everything… nothing… it’s all indistinct.…

I open my eyes.


And close them as burning pain racks every fibre of my being…


“Ah. You’re awake. Breathe in… and out… sorry, but your head’s gonna hurt for a little while. Things went bad, back there and I had to… improvise…”


Little by little, I open my eyes again. Everything still hurts, but not as much…

The blackness of a million fireworks exploding, slowly fades into the back seat of a dimly lit car.

“You were saying… Patsy’s your sister…?”


Patsy? Sister?…

I start to sit up as I remember.


“NO! NO! Stay down for now!”

…. and the back window explodes in to a million splinters…. prickling me a thousand times over as I’m showered in the debris.


My stomach heaves as the car lurches to the left.


The indistinct sounds dissolve into squealing tyres and… bangs… pops… repetitive, explosive drumbeats… and crashing glass and whispers buzzing past my ear…


“Who’s they?”


“What? What the f…. where am I?”


“You said, ‘They’ve got Patsy. Who’s ‘They’?


“What the… Patsy… who’s got Patsy?” My head feels so sluggish…warm… I close my eyes.. just a second… so warm…


“The ‘THEY’ who are shooting at us!”


…. shooting… WTF?….

I sit bolt upright….


“Yeah, damn, right, shooting at us!”

My left cheek explodes into warmth as the window shatters beside me.

And I huddle, right down to foetus, birth position, on the back seat of a strange car. Nearly thumb in mouth, baby-style, as glass splinters rain over me.


I scream…. “Please, WTF is going on?”






Author's Notes/Comments: 

thought i'd have the heroic hitman/hitwoman as the sidekick and make the victim the hero, hehe

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UBER peril

Exiting the party late Saturday night, I had ordered an UBER through my iPhone app. Julian, the UBER driver had texted me that he had already arrived at my location. I hop onto his Volkswagen Jetta and a 25-year old man with a beard dressed in a suit greets me. As we start driving he offers me water and a magazine, the usual routine for this type of chauffer.

The streets are empty and the dim mercury lights are the only things illuminating the coarse dark Monterrey streets.

Suddenly I see the lights of another car through the side passenger mirror. The car is going quite fast, way over the speed limit of 50 km per hour. As the ambiguous driver approaches the he honks his horn, which instantly reveals that it is a taxi cab driving a Tzuru.

The drivExiting the party late Saturday night, I had ordered an UBER through my iPhone app. Julian, the UBER driver had texted me that he had already arrived at my location. I hop onto his Volkswagen Jetta and a 25-year old man with a beard dressed in a suit greets me. As we start driving he offers me water and a magazine, the usual routine for this type of chauffer.


The streets are empty and the dim mercury lights are the only things illuminating the coarse dark Monterrey streets.

Suddenly I see the lights of another car through the side passenger mirror. The car is going quite fast, way over the speed limit of 50 km per hour. As the ambiguous driver approaches the he honks his horn, which instantly reveals that it is a taxi cab driving a Tzuru.

The driver murmurs in spanish “Ay carajo! Virgencita por favor ayúdame!”

By the look in his face I assumed this wasn´t a good thing.

Like a call of a hyena to the rest of the pack, the taxi horn assembled four other taxi cabs that were now chasing us each time approximating even more to the back bumper of the Jetta. I hear gun shots, and Julian starts driving faster.

“What is happening?!” I asked Julian.

“The taxis, they are ganging up on us! They are against UBER drivers because they say we are taking their jobs” Julian answered. “But don´t worry I know what to do, just calmly open the glove compartment and read the instruction manual and read it to me.”

As I open the instruction manual I go to the Index,  to the ‘Mortal Peril’ section and to subheading “In case of taxi persecution” in page 57.

I start reading:  “Underneath the passengers seat, lift the matt and take out the weapon.” I searched and took out an AK-47 and could not believe my eyes. “Pass it to the driver and open the sunroof (this will allow a more comfortable angle for shooting). At this moment I was in complete shock.

“Take the wheel!” Julian says as his upper body disappears through the sunroof.

We are now going at 110 km/hr and I´ve never driven so fast in my life.

Julian starts shooting  and in between shots he says WHAT... DOES... THE MANUAL..... SAY.... TO... DO..... NOW?!

Jualian had an excellent aim and had hit both of the front tires of one of the taxicabs: One down, three left.

It was extremely hard to multitask, I mean, reading a manual and driving at more than 80 mph was no walk in the park.

I read the subsection, which said: “If more help is needed” I looked up and realized I was about to hit a street light pole so took a sharp turn. Julian grunted and kept on firing. Some bullets hit the rear window of the car and shattered them into thousands of small crystals.  I kept on reading: 1) Push button to spray the windshield three times 2) When ready shift the gear from D to N in the panel *CAUTION this does not stand for Neutral* 3) In three seconds the NITRO feature will be activated, anticipate jets of fire, high speeds and if possible avoid using it in very flammable places. I did as the instruction manual indicated and at first nothing happened. Three seconds later a heavy cloud of black smoke exits the muffler making the taxicabs vanish completely from sight and suddenly I felt a gust of wind as the Jetta accelerated exponentially. A hellish fire could be seen by the rearview mirror. The plants and street lines just whizzed by, but the adrenaline somehow made it all happen in slow motion. Luckily Julian had gotten into the car before the Nitro started.

The buzz from the nitro lasted about 20 seconds, for a moment I felt I was in my videogame ‘Need for Speed’, a dream come true for every teenage boy.

We lost the three taxis.

“You did an excellent job kid.” Jualian told me, as sweat drops ran down his face.

He drove me home, and at the end of the ride offered me a card.

“Sorry for the inconvenience, this card will give you free UBER rides for the rest of your life” Julian said “ have a good night.”

He drove off and left me in the sidewalk like if nothing had happened.



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        With my free hand I gripped my stomach. That unique hunger; savage as it always was, began to course through me. Nearly flat on my back and propped up by one elbow; I scrambled backwards to gain ground from this lurker - this stupid thief that had appeared in the dead of night to partake of what was mine. My canteen of all things.

        Before we came to blows he had attempted to flee as quickly as he’d swooped into the camp. I’d hoped to make quick work of him; bold as he was to try and make off with my favorite starch, and gave pursuit – led further into the valley where lush hills began to rise and fall. Only minutes into the chase, he stalled at the top a short incline and turned to face me. From this stance, his movements took on a strange and familiar rhythm. Each arm gestured rigidly, tracing incoherent patterns through the air before both hands came to rest at his chest. I could only increase my pace and attempt to intercept him before he was able to act. My vision bobbed with each stride. As I went, I attempted to lock his gaze with mine; obscured as it was by the tattered hood of his cloak. Little distance separated us now. But before I was able reach him, he took a bold and high step, bringing his foot down in a thudding stomp — the force of which generated a spherical and colorless shroud that erupted from the earth, enveloping him. Its appearance was not unlike that of an ornamental glass bauble so battered by filth and age that you could no longer peer through it. An intense and frightening heat exploded from the shroud, producing an errant bolt of dim lightning that was thrust screaming in my direction - passing just shy of my right side as I dodged sharply and threw myself to the ground. Its weak luminescence was indicative of nothing, as its raw, destructive power spoke for itself.

         Deafening cracks, hundreds of them by the sound but only the many echos of one, beat against my eardrums as I crawled on my belly towards sanctuary. Light showers of dirt and rock rained down on me; thrown high into the air from where the bolt had mangled the terrain. I sprang to my feet the moment cool air struck my face and sprinted ahead, veering widely and descending with the shallow curve of the hill in order to build some distance between me and my foe. I glanced quickly at him as I went: his chest had swollen unnaturally and the whole of his upper body had taken on a disturbing paleness. In each arm he held a faint glow that was barely visible even under the near-total dark of the night. I focused on steadying my breath and tapered off, slowing my movement as the familiar pressure began to build in both of my forearms. The rolling hills that surrounded us, unspoiled and ruled by tall grass and wildflowers, could serve well as natural barriers. Thankfully, traveling had made me lithe and quick – there was little difficulty in navigating the terrain while simultaneously remaining aware of the thief’s position, forcing him to lag behind as I found an ideal spot to conceal myself. I brought my run to a slow canter and rolled beneath a sharp incline just out of view, crouching down on my haunches and listening for oncoming footfalls. I would need to be patient if I hoped to take the scoundrel by surprise. I could soon make out haggard breath and heavy footsteps drawing closer, accompanied by the intermittent jingle of metal against metal. Carrying rings, probably, but perhaps something more valuable. Now there would be incentive beyond simply protecting myself and retrieving my own possessions. A welcome thing, it was.


        Though I had been left with little in my reserves after spending many days on the move, I found it simple to manage my exertions by means of a new-found athleticism. Those of my kind that had been blessed by the Great Expanse often chose to rely solely on grand and sweeping displays of their power, hoping to simply overwhelm their opponents before any sort of battle could take place. They scoffed at those who did not share their gifts - the outliers who had been denied favor by the Great Expanse. Never would they consider how easily they might be outfoxed, outmaneuvered or even outran by those who had only ever had their physicality to rely on.

        Due to my own supposed heresies, I had been forced to learn how to survive and manage in the unforgiving wilds. And should I have gone without aid from the outliers in the low country, I would have likely wound up maimed and bleeding out in a ditch, watering the grass with my innards.


        Now I feel nothing but gratitude for my exile. I’ve come to know the outliers well: these “weaklings” that my kin refer to with such disdain. I know them now better than I know my own family. They hold no semblance to the downtrodden mongrels depicted by our society. They build and deconstruct by hand, travel and battle by way of their inventions - their bodies ever stronger and more resilient, while their minds expand and sharpen like thinking blades tucked into sheathes of tanned flesh. As I’ve come to discover, this pejorative of “weakness” has clung to the outliers at the behest of the well fed and others, who seek influence and control wherever it’s to be had. The outliers - to whom I now owe my life - have no ignorance that brains them, no arrogance that blinds them and no gluttony that forces their guts to protrude and hang below their waists. In these and other ways, they tower over us. They shame us with their genius – genius clearly propelled and invigorated by we, the tyrannical and derisive force constantly set upon them.

        A sudden quiet fell. No crunching footfalls leveling the grass - no sputtering breath over the faint tinkling of a mysterious prize. Silence had drawn a veil over our would-be battlefield.

        I cursed at myself while sinking to one knee, pressing the palm of my right hand against the packed dirt. I held my breath and waited, hoping to catch any subtle vibration in the ground that might give sign of the thief’s presence. This was a trick favored by the hunting men that had been in repose alongside me. I’d yet to master it, but was hesitant to risk exposing myself, lest he be waiting at a superior vantage point. Judging by the precise, jerking motions he undertakes to produce his ghastly bolts, one could assume that this thief knows a thing or two about subtlety in his movements. Great care would have to be taken to not inform him of my position.

        As I tended to my strategy, a faint clicking reached into my ear from just over the lip of my incline. It sounded of moths bumping against electric lanterns. Crackling; a faint buzz, growing in volume… Before I had time to react I was flung backwards, stricken half-blind and without anchor; the length of my body quickly bombarded by clumps of hot dirt and fragmented stone. The mad sounds of a muffled explosion were ringing in my head. I tumbled over backwards three times before I was able to plant both feet and stabilize; my fingers plunging into the flattened grass to aid me as I came to a shaky stop. The ground felt wet and slick in anticipation of the morning. I raised my head and briefly surveyed the remainder of my hiding spot. What was once a green and rounded hilltop had been turned to a jagged and smoldering ruin of dirt and sod. From what distance he’d attacked I couldn’t be certain. My approach would need to become quick, and aggressive.

        The swell I had gathered and contained, partially held at bay in each forearm, began to trickle down into my fingertips. My extremities gave off a weak glow as I readied myself for retaliation. Wafting clouds of dust enveloped the point of impact; my enemy remained hidden from my sight. I picked myself up and, ignoring the protesting ache of my knees and the tight coiling of my hamstrings, broke into a gallop that brought me up the charred hill and through the ashen cloud. I became emboldened by the risk as I ran with my engorged limbs acting as a shield, held high in front of my face; eyes wide and attentive despite the hovering dirt I barreled through. I sought a launching point as I moved and found one in the form of a partially shattered and elevated stone. Using one foot I catapulted myself from it. Long, thin streams of burnt soil trailed behind me as I rocketed forth, free of the acrid cover. Our eyes met just then; briefly and in that one moment. He was much more waif-like than I’d imagined. Such small shoulders on a thin and wiry frame made him appear so young; almost childlike from my perspective. His weather-beaten attire bore no identifying charms or insignias. He was grounded, unprepared and on ill-footing. Such boldness in the face of his assault had taken him well off his guard.


        All remaining tension drained from my body as I descended. The exposed thief turned and began his attempt to flee. His cloak whipped and fanned outwardly as he retreated - his weaponized limbs held high at his sides. Time seemed to stagger just then. With one deep exhalation, I swung both arms out at breast-level in a wide and sweeping arc; fingers stiff and straightened with both palms facing up, as if begging for coin. The faint glow I’d held onto surged until both limbs were like two swinging pillars of superheated light and sound, and that old, familiar pressure erupted forth into an immense and gushing wave. From the core of my body came a swath of destruction colored a fluorescent indigo that followed the tracing path of my extremities before spreading out and growing in size. A frightening and otherworldly sound - like the bellowing of some heinous beast - bathed the surrounding area in rapid, thunderous echoes; each bouncing from hilltop to hilltop and back again. My opponent fled down the slope in a panic as the earth behind and below him was overtaken and scorched by the expanding, now-translucent bubble. The aerial release of the swell had sent me careening backwards at a steep angle towards the battle-ravaged hillside. I landed on my back with a wet thud, my legs stretching overhead before falling down to rest on the ground beneath me. Sudden and extreme hunger pains racked my torso, forcing me onto one side as I hugged my knees into my midsection and gasped for air. The wind had been forced from my lungs. Despite all the restraint and composure I had cultivated whilst living among the outliers, I had still over-exerted myself. From my spot on the ground I could still hear the inhuman growl of the swell as it tapered off into nothingness. The scent of burning vegetation assailed my nostrils.

        Daylight was starting to creep over the horizon. The stars yielded to it and began to disappear. I had come to rest in a shallow indentation created by the force of my impact. I waited there, jaws clenched and teeth grinding, for my agony to subside. It felt as if my guts had been scooped out by a hot spoon with a serrated edge. The curve of my stomach had sunk inward sharply. What little body fat I’d saved was now mostly gone, and my thinness showed through my skin, which sagged unnaturally against the contours of my frame.


        Ignoring the pain that ran through me, I hoisted myself up; gently coming to rest on my right hip. Each small movement was accompanied by an ache, a pop - the occasional crunch as a joint or bone settled back into its place. I surveyed what remained of the landscape and could see the burnt and flattened path that my swell had traveled on before succumbing to its expansion and dissipating into the air. Its guttural siren had given way to the tranquility of the wilderness. Much of the nearby fauna had fled at the onset of battle and would be unlikely to return until no sign of we, the violent intruders, remained. There was no movement left to catch my eye, no mutterings to catch my ear; no evidence of my adversary or his whereabouts.


        I used what little strength remained in my upper body to push the ground away and right myself. Had the thief chosen to go on the offensive once more, I would have been thin and easy pickings. But in the full minute or so it took me to find root on my own two feet, no advances were made. An eerie silence hung over the valley that housed us. My vision blurred against the encroaching light of the morning, and as my eyes adjusted I led them along the perimeter of the scar I’d left along the face of the land, hoping to spot remains or signs of his escape. Towards the very bottom of the effected area lay a lone, mangled figure. Snaking puffs of smoke periodically rose from both the body and the ground upon which it rested.


        Daybreak was coming on strong now as I began a tentative march towards where my opponent had fallen. Our battle had been short but clumsy on both parts, and were it not for my own stupid luck and bullheaded risk-taking, it may very well have been me lying there: newly-rendered as a pulverized sack of charred meat. My steps felt heavy and uneven. Each footfall sent blood trickling from various wounds, some of which would likely become infected if not tended to for long. Still I kept pace; anxieties prevailing over my exhaustion. After passing into and through the putrefied segment of earth, I arrived at my enemy’s side and couldn’t help but frown at the sight of him. He was face-down with his shoulders held rigid. His entire body, from head to toe, was horribly discolored. No touch of the neck would be needed to confirm his demise.


        I allowed my legs to give and dropped gracelessly onto my behind. My spine seemed to ripple. I looked at the thief’s corpse and tried to recreate his last moments in my mind. He had made a valiant effort to outrun the swell. Most of his body had eventually been overcome - only a long, ovular patch of pallid flesh, stretching from his left thigh to his collarbone, remained untouched. This narrow stretch of land we rested on together, once dense and overgrown with living things, was now spent and used up; just as he was. It provided no comfort for my weariness. I straightened my back and let out a long sigh. Dull pains were beginning to settle in everywhere, and I decided to act before becoming too stiff to return to camp. I pulled myself onto my hands and knees and began to rummage through the scoundrel’s remains. In his right back pocket I found my beloved canteen. Its casing had been mostly burned away on one side and what remained was black and twisted, but with a shake I could hear the thick swishing of its contents. I returned the canteen to its belt-sling and continued my search. He had kept little on his person. In the remaining pockets on his leggings I found no coin, nor anything that identified him. What few scraps of paper he’d held onto had not survived our encounter.


        Frustrated, I pushed the thief onto his back and felt along the hem of his ruined cloak. In time I could hear a light clanging; like metal against metal. I grinned before plunging my hand beneath his neckline; ignoring the unsettling coarseness of his skin and searching for whatever payload he had carried. Small plumes of dust and smoke materialized with each crease made in his attire. I continued to frisk blindly whilst swallowing down my disgust. He smelled of burning hair and flint. As I searched, my hand brushed across two egg-sized objects that hung from his right shoulder by a pair of thin wire loops. They had nestled into in his armpit and felt somewhat cool to the touch. I gripped them in my fingers and pulled away with what limited strength I had left. The wiring did not fray as I’d hoped, and instead a disgusting sound like warm saws cutting through wet tree bark rang out as the thief’s arm was separated from his torso. Soot and dry ash belched from his sleeve as my hand freed itself from his cloak. I flopped onto my back and scrambled in retreat, holding my prize against my chest as I moved away dejectedly from the desecrated corpse. I settled when I felt the soft texture of the grass under my palm, and came to rest on my side; suppressing the brief urge to be sick.


        It was pleasant to lay against the living ground again. I closed my eyes momentarily before placing the two recovered objects on the ground just inches away from my face. I took my time examining them. Two steel figurines: both squat and rounded, with sad, exaggerated faces that were almost comical in appearance. They looked to be identical, down to their matching soldiers’ uniforms – the only distinguishing features I could locate were the differing, yet equally-incoherent symbols that had been engraved onto their undersides. Their luster seemed unaffected by what had happened to their carrier. I marveled at them and wondered of their worth, but became unsettled by a feeling of dread that had begun to well up in the pit of my stomach. Something about these figurines was familiar to me. What stories might they contain? If only I could read their senseless markings - maybe I’d be able to glean some information about my slain adversary. I admired the way the sun glinted off of their curves, growing more unnerved as the sinking in my gut persisted.


        I started and brought myself upright. The sudden, jerking movement provoked a series of aches to surge through my muscles. Realization dawned in me as I stared vacantly into the palm of my hand where the figurines sat. His stance, the strange ritual he undertook to jettison his attacks… It had all struck me as something I’d witnessed before. And I had. The two steel statuettes could only confirm the suspicion. The late thief had held rank amongst the Eunengraad: a hugely powerful familial order of fighting men who were rumored to be one of the earliest bloodlines favored by the Great Expanse.


        Before their time as renowned warriors and clergymen began, the Eunengraad had emerged as a ragtag clan of marauders. They were violent and loyal only to each other. Much of the their early history was spent in conflict; having to endure perpetual war with other roving clans just to survive and maintain hold over what was theirs. But the early onset and utilization of their gifts had allowed them to break free from the feudalistic bloodshed. Such power coupled with an uncanny perseverance led the Eunengraad to survive as the last of the olden legions, having acquired vast knowledge of combative arts as the ages went on. With no enemies left to subdue, the Eunengraad took root and became sedentary; organizing their ranks into a guild of disciplined mercenaries who would act as impartial enforcers to anyone who could offer enough coin. This new lifestyle allowed them to flourish and accrue vast wealth, but the great fervor that surrounded their mastery over the Great Expanse began to imbue them with new ambition. The more spiritual members of the Eunengraad soon aspired to take control of the public through appeals to their zealotry. Demonstrations of their abilities coupled with lengthy sermons became commonplace, and the Eunengraad’s influence swelled. Soon they had cultivated a reputation as firm, yet pious and wise upholders of the common virtues. Many of their outposts and complexes soon took on an air of sacrosanctity: wherein the clansmen would often be forced to expel visitors and worshipers when they inevitably became too numerous. In modern day, any who seek to oppose or question the Eunengraad or the veracity of their claims are often soundly eliminated, via subterfuge or outright murder.


        And there, only feet away, lay the dead and burnt body of one of their own; slain under dark of night by a commoner – one who would now be labeled a sacrilegious cur for turning his own mastery over the Expanse against the holy men who sought to protect it.


        I’d grown tired of trying to maintain my composure. It was all I could do to support myself as I heaved sick onto the ground. There wasn’t much left in me to lose. I coughed dryly, and made a strained attempt to rise to my feet. I thought that this might just be the worst I’d ever felt in my entire life. Maybe something in me sensed the substantial threat this man presented and forced me to overreact. I hadn’t meant to toss so much of myself into the swell. The gentle curve of the land was disorienting as I came to stand. The pain was sharper now, locking parts of my back and forcing me to slump. I plodded towards the thief and tried to decide what should become of his figurines. I’d been told as a child that every member of the their order is issued two of them in remembrance of the first twin sons that had been born after the clan unified under the title Eunengraad. Their distinct markings were meaningless to anyone who did not hold rank amongst them. I kept my fingers bound tightly over them as I went. The day had grown beautiful, almost in full spite of the events it illuminated.

        I came to stand over the thief’s remains and could only gawk at how he appeared in the light. He looked not unlike a statue made of coal, dressed in rags and laid on its back. His right side was cracked and fragmented, continuing its breakdown from where I had severed his arm. I lowered myself to my knees and settled. After waiting for the aches to die down I bent forward and examined his face. His teeth showed through the gap where his lips had peeled away. They were mostly intact but had been rendered a clouded gray color. Little remained of his nose and both eyes were blotted out completely by ruin. I reached forward and lightly brushed aside the small remainder of his cloak from his midsection. Tiny flecks of black fell away from the corpse with every minor disturbance. I could make out hints of his physique where his attire had covered him. He had been healthy in life but likely close to starvation; his stomach deeply sunken in.


        Did he fear he wouldn’t last the night, and so deemed it justified to steal from me? Considering how he’d fought, I couldn’t imagine it. At first sign of movement he had fled from me like a coward, hoping that I would not follow for something so meager as a canteen. And at first sign of pursuit, he attempted to take my life.


        A thief such as this did not deserve my pity nor my regret, no matter his origins. We could have spoken to one another. I would have gladly given him anything, anything at all that would have aided him, had he only asked. But he chose to take. I brought myself to my feet and loomed over him, thinking of how well he represented the well fed in his own way. The Eunengraad parlayed with them quite well; they being so heavily-versed in the lore of the Great Expanse and able to wield their gluttonous ambition in support of their own agendas – as well as the agendas of their comrades. I drove the toe of my boot into his side and felt it give. A narrow rift sprung open, stretching from his hip to his ribcage as his midsection soundlessly collapsed.


        I left him there. Soon he’d turn to powder and be cast off by the breeze. With no intention to return home I sought the comfort of my camp. I’d grown unsure of its distance. My slow and persistent shuffling would get me there in time if my sense of direction didn’t fail me. Rest would come, and I’d make some decisions afterward. The figurines clacked together in my breast pocket as I went. The thought of keeping them as souvenirs no longer seemed so perverse.

        Maybe the outliers would have some interest in them.

Author's Notes/Comments: 

Finally finished and peer-reviewed by a Tumblr friend.

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* 52 Poems To Action Within Inaction, The Way Of Water, Economy of Movement

Economy of Action




The way of yielding water..

flowing.. being ...never preaching
is the teaching of the ancient ..I Ching


The daybreak sun in a state of ever-rest faster than
any mountain climber has scaled Everest



What are the jobs of appletrees? To breathe and to be
.. while apples come automatically.


(to Steve Jobs)




Gently opens the lake lotus
the sun with his long fingers
.. and whether He sets or rises
.. His light forever lingers




Jesus said that neither
do the lilies toil
nor do they spin
but Solomon in all his
finery is not
arrayed as one of these.

Yet do God's light threads
pour through their looms
They are lilied by His Love.
.. they are spun
by the Sun


(to Nancy B Lynch)




If I want to eat
1 fruit
2 organically grown.. no insects killed
3 nonmachine harvested.. no small mammals killed
4 nature packaged
5 locally risen
6 with ethical labor

perhaps I should plant the seeds myself




ideas were oblivious
to the origin
of olives
.. until on
Mt Olympus
she saw
how precious
were the groves





Each moment of life
one can expand
in love or
contract in selfishness..
can choose to
love or
choose to fear
.. can choose to
forgive or
to resent..
can choose
to give
or choose to hoard..
can choose to
chain or
to set free




While others are
busy doing
with lawnmowers
butterflies de-winging
Mother Earth is busy
and meadows with
nectar dew-ing




The UN inspectors
forced missiles into specters..

Iraq.. followed Isaiah
in turning weapons into plowshares..

To the peacemakers belong
The world's power sceptres




With one stroke of brush
the artist makes cataract rush
in the mountain's hush




What is the magnet
for the haystack needle
of love?
The heart




Let us not eat the fortune
within the cookie
nor the mango's seed
.. nor fork ourselves
in the heart
said one

yet Sea Biscuit chomped
on the flowers of his
victory wreath..
after all they had
already been plucked




Is there
a frame for Infinity.
Never slakes the thirst
.. the bitter
saltwater near mother earth.
.. never satiated is the
belly of many tongued Fire
.. Never filled the soul
afflicted with unGodward desire.
Never at rest.. the
mercurial mind.

Only the heart immersed
in the waters of God
is at peace.


(to Yogananda, teacher
in a past and present life)




Jupiter's moons..
his satellites
.. glide around
his awesome light

not needing
energy of will
to soar effortless
through the night

as those
merged in God
are in
the mystic flow
.. and need
no effort
no striving
to grow




The day
did the night

She is grateful
for the rest.

She leaves
her body each night
for her
soul's loving nest




The sun doesn't
darkness oppose
nor punishment
but need only
darkness expose
as it melts in  
light pinkrose




Without striving
rivers flow.
Without effort
flowers grow.
Without sweating
the sun glows.
Without working,
the wind blows.

They all say..
end ever




The sannyasi
with the head shaved
spent no money
on shampoo




I don't need to strive
I will just grow.
Relax now and float
I need not row.
If I put out my sail
The wind.. it will blow
I need not climb
Just let love in to flow

(J Freundschuh heard in
meditation: You need not
change.. just grow)




Some cherrypick
Some plumpluck
but Newton
was given
an apple windfall




Need the seed of
huff and puff and try
to burst into
the plant of rye?




As effortlessly as a river
unfolding his blue carpet
does your life quietly
gather the streams of love
and power.




In the folds of the fields
.. Mother Earth has
.. phlox.. foaled

She asks us
to till no more
but rather to gather
dropping fruit by the crore




Waters slowly rising in an ancient
Roman temple
.. gradually cover the states of
.. as love in the heart upwelling
quenches the fiery craving for war




Touched by an unseen Moses rod
a spring breaks forth
atop a terraced Chinese mountain
.. waters of life
awaken the top tier of green rice shoots
first.. trickle
and slowly fill the scalloped fountain




The mountain valley
river upwells
to fill the sheath entire
with a newborn lake
and spring
.. fairies quickly transplant
threatened wildflowers and bees
animals birds and trees
for now there love shall dwell




The poet's shell game
...wrapping infinite ideas
in tiny nuts




The Treemaker Thinks
His Will...
effortlessly the
Divine Architect
grows 3000 year old




God caused him as a child
to have soles
.. with rainsoaked holes
to foil by contrast
the beauty of
his soul
compassionate and whole

(to Pete Hamill, author
of A Drinking Life, Forever
and many other works)




Some Muslims bow
to the Caliphate
Making joy for all
is Kali's fate.




Seeing the garbage disposal
the ant was wistful
wishing that the elephant
was not downthedrain wasteful




He was very careful
kneedeep in goldenrod
that he wade through the meadow
not harming the bees of God




Breathe the peace
you are"
is the refrain
   of the rain




What Jesus and Buddha said
because of their soul fire
without striving
found scribe amplifiers




Writers watch their words
across the world take wing
simply by touching
a blue light link




The forest
is for rest.." said
the trees who wished no
raucous running
on the moist moss carpet
or trampling the tiny tendrils
of baby trees




She would no longer
be a time whore,
focusing on the material priorities
of others, rather than her own spiritual
goals, doing not the work
of her own heart.
She severed the rope
by which she was jerked
by the commands of a boss.
Her own soul was sovereign.




She watched
the orange and gold leaves
and the grey smoke rising
in the blue sky..
She saw the wind blowing
from the west
and rays of light arriving
from the east
.. four directions..
which of infinite paths to
take? Perhaps her spirit
could control her mind's
compulsion to unconscious




As she watched a wasteland
become wild woods through
the years, she realized
that sometimes doing nothing
is doing everything.




The second hand's 3600
acts have the same
as only one movement
of the hand of the hour.

The artist tried to
make the world violet
with millions of dollars
of purple paint
The master donned
purple spectacles.

The traffic policeman
with great effort moved
his arms.
But the green light
effortlessly moved
hundreds of cars.

The unripe fruit had
to be hacked to
the ground.
The ripened fruit fell
without effort.

The swimmer exhausted
himself after a few thousand
The sage found an
ocean current which
carried him
thousands of miles.

The hunter in vain
chased the deer through
many woods
.. the deer came unsummoned
to the nonviolent
forest meditater.

The beekeeper chased
but they came unbidden
to the blooms.

The hard worker chipped
away hour after hour
at the ice
while the serene
did more pleasant things
and allowed the sun
to melt the crystals.

The bunter had to scurry
around the bases.
The homerun hitter
could take his time.

The treasure seeker dug
everywhere and risked
his life under water.
The meek was given
a treasure map by God.

The fearful built an army.
The fearless with perfect love
needed only God.

The scarcity conscious saved
thousands of dollars
but the friend had in his
bank only the hearts of
his friends.

The lovehungry traveled
the world seeking love
but the Godlover became
Godlove and love came to him.

The pyramid builders caused
death and suffering to slaves
but the saint moves mountains
with a mere gesture.

Scholar worms toil thousands of
the saint is given an
honorary doctorate.



(to Saint Jeff Miller of Canton, Ohio)




The egg and sperm..

The Trinity of
the morn horizon
where sky and sea
join sun rising

The evangelical becomes
the mystic

the convex flows into
the concave
in the sea's naves
and coves and caves

the heart does by love
and see streaming from
foe's eyes
God's eyelight

Do beeloved
flowers chase bees?
Does Mother Earth bite?
Do rivers run backwards?
butterflies gather
speeding tickets?  
It is to the meditater
at the
tree's base and not to the
hunter that the gentle deer come.

(to bee attracting C Nevada who juggles 3 careers)




The heart's molten
love forges keys
which of all
other hearts
are the unlocksmith


(to C Smith)




If one has
to choose
it's better to
be a bookkeeper
than a beekeeper
when the former
are crushed
in the racks
.. there are no
dead bees
left in the tracks




When there's mowing
butterflies have
no mo wings

Machine deflowerers
remove the petaled
frocks of dandelions
and daisies and dahlias

and turn green tree saplings
into sticks
sending tree souls
to the River Styx

doing nothing
nonmowers create




There was a second birth
.. of breath within him
and he began to go
to breathe.. not eat
.. to relax
to breathe.. not read
  for diversion
to breathe.. not caffein guzzle
  for energy
to breathe.. as the path
to the Spirit which he was




Once as he was slowed
down by a dooby
he saw to cloverdew
come a bee
and suddenly he knew
it is less important
to do than to be

After that he
needed no dooby.




How do you do?
said the rose to the bee.
On the dewclad rose
said the bee to the rose
I would rather do
than to be.




The first thought
Whenever obstacles
his way arrest
that God might
want him to rest

The second that
the scene
does his will test

They called the wind
but because he in freedom blows
the world will never
lack for daisies..


(to Laurie Otto
Milwaukee Wisconsin advocate of wild lawns)




Some praised him that he
worked so hard
and to noble goals did aspire
Others knew the cruelest
taskmaster in all hellfire
was the whippings of his
own desire




Be Over Do
Bee Over Dew




His soul sloop
from its moorings slipped and
as the tide gently slapped it
he slid down a waveslope to sleep

-saiom shriver-


A Longfingered Sun is based on a parable
of Sai Baba

Bhagavad Gita: It is
better to do ones own
duty poorly than to do
another's well.





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