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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This is a revolution

Hear now what the children cry

Wake now from confusion

Your Savior stands in the sky

Your time is fast approaching

Life or loss, the choice is yours

Quickly, now, in this moment

Before time secures its doors


Can’t you see

Can’t you feel

Can’t you tell

The conflict’s real

That we war

For your soul

To leave you empty

Or make you whole


Here He stands while the battle rages

You want to destroy yourself

Give up to the Rock of Ages

Only He saves people from Hell

He calls to let Him save you

He wants to give you life

All He asks is that you believe Him

For your old self give Him the knife


Put to death your old self

Crucify your lusts forever

Bury them, six feet deep

Never to rise, forever to sleep

All this for the love of God

All this for your own sake

All of this to tell others

Veracity from fake


Can’t you see

Can’t you feel

Can’t you tell

The conflict’s real

That we war

For your soul

To leave you empty

Or make you whole


The time is now

The time is here

Why wait now

What do you fear?

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Metallic love

I can't focus... it's getting to me, more each day.. 

my thoughts stretch like clay, & unfortunately mold me, here & there.. 

I wish so much for you to of been able to stay.

was it really mean't to be this way..?

cause I surely feel unsatisfied.. 

comfort is something we all crave.. 

but you were like security to me, & I watched it all get ripped away..

what a waste of a night.. what a realization, I couldn't fight..


I miss you more then the depths of the ocean go deep..

some nights like this.. I have trouble trying to sleep.. 

we yearn, we learn.. forever burn...

tables turn..

I want to take back so much i've said..

because they were useless particles floating around in my head..

6 months pass.. everything falls to ash but the memories.. 


fuck me for letting other opinions get in the way of my true heart..

fuck them for denying love.. as if they really knew.

sorry I can seem like a rainbow of emotions.. or a bleak cloudy day.. 

but I can promise much sunshine after being drenched in such heavy rain.. 


will another 6 months make a difference..?

or would it just be a whole year spent needing you..

it's not like I can't live... or breathe without you..

but it's to the point I really just don't want to... 

sorry about getting "distracted".. 

I don't excpect you to still feel like you need me,

want, love or care about me.. 

though I feel all the same & even more.


this incense continues to coil... & I could watch it for hours.

as i'm thinking.. when I die.. would this all of passed right before my eyes?

I want to know that instead of sitting here, waiting..

hoping, wondering.. not knowing.. 

instead, I'll get to see you smile again..

that for me, would never ever be a waste of time.

at least i'd know that's what I did with my last bit of life.


I don't know if I have the power anymore to get you to laugh without trying..

or the privilege of being on your mind... 

when I take my last breath, please tear this heart out of my chest..

put it in a jar.. keep it preserved.

if you go first.. i'll remember your wish, if it's still what you'd want.

i'll hold onto yours too.. even though it's no longer beating..

always I will love you.. through my hands this blood is seeping..

like treasure... from the chest.

metallic love..  

Author's Notes/Comments: 


Facade of a clown

Seems I worry for no reason.. I fall asleep wishing for a change of season.. 

so much for surrounding yourself with "people that care" ..  we all need some fucking fresh air.


in matrimony you bled, everything twisted backwards..

you fled, flew away from your mistake..

she hurt you, it's something that can't be erased..

newly wed, lay in bed... with sorrow written all over your face.


was I but your placid escape..? like a rope thrown out to sea, for you who was drowning..

age doesn't matter, because who was counting..?


my thigh hurts now.. at least it's only my fault, & no one else.

funny how when people hurt you, they blame you for it..

& when you hurt them unintentionally, they still place blame.

either way, it's all the same.

so that's why I alone, will be the one to hurt myself.

you just stay the fuck away.

the damage is already done, no need for you to put me down.. i'm not a silly clown..

your laughter brings disgrace... I want to rip out your teeth... 

everything you've said to me won't be tossed to the side so willingly..

but i'll try to forget.. & let God take care of my revenge. 


whatever you've inflicted upon me, will come back to you.. 

you think you're so righteous, so holy.. the one & only...

you think you've crushed me...

silence will be my greatest defense.. a smile will be my shield..

i'll carry a knife, dug within this heart..

& next time you start, i'll dig it right into you.


this battle is far beyond our comprehension.. it's between the angels & demons, God & the devil..

so it might not look like i'm doing anything.. but I have both on my side, both defending me.

because he who knows the war runs deeper then words..

deeper then feeling.. deeper then anything you could possibly see..

will be the one winning. 

the angels know what you've done.. they touch my hand, to re-assure me of their loyalty..

the demons have a chamber for you, down in hell.. you'll be put to work, under a spell..


my fragile existence will not crumble..

this crippled mind will not give in... 

you'll be entranced by the spell of eternal misery...

working to pay back the debts you owe, to those whom you've put down..

criticised, judged... beneath that facade, you're the clown.. 

Secrets in the sand

knowing you the way I got to, helped me really appreciate the rain pouring down, & to look past the clouds.. 

I never felt one with the sand until you touched my hand.. even the fireworks weren't ever as breath-taking.. 

you to me, were like a piece of breathing earth, with eyes, & ears.. a heart.. but too many fears.. 

I can't say you have much more then me, though.. & it doesn't matter which one of us is less flawed..


I wish I could fly away to a paradise, somewhere i'll finally have all the closure I need... for everything..

I feel like I have to fight with myself everyday.. battle of self esteem, hopes, dreams, disappointments, needs.. 

I battle to stay awake, & I battle to fall asleep.. 


wherever did the peace go? whatever happened to the flow...

I got lost in the forest of my mind, trying to become free..

but more then a few of these deeply rooted trees have collapsed & fallen on top of me..

scratching at the dirt, gripping at the grass.. I can't breathe..


is love just as much baggage as hate..? because they both seem to feel equally heavy..

maybe inside i'm just overweight.. 

maybe that's what i've been seeing.. 

how can I work from the inside, out..? 

how can I prevent these ups & downs..? 

do you even know..? I didn't think so..

it's all up to me.


learn to appreciate the rain... even if it's drenching you in pain..

i'll always be your secret.. 

Author's Notes/Comments: 


King Over Death

Light and Dark

Colder growing

Skin is showing

Looks like snowing

Plot bewoeing

Life, I’m owing

Death bestowing

Mercy is glowing

Passing I’m knowing


But as death lays his cold hands on me

A stranger comes, who can it be

Is it Him I truly see?

Finally, see Him who died for me?


He comes like a groom

For who wears His ring

Death, where is thy vict’ry?

Now where is thy sting?

This is not an unusual thing

For everywhere, Christ Jesus is King!

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Cutting (Epilogue)

Pain scorches my mind

As I peruse the novels

Of my recollections

Every night is identical

Read, reminisce, agony

So I incinerated the library

Of my long kept memories

And their embers seared a hollowness

Into my soul

The ashes of my past

Floating away into the blood-red of the firmament

Or is it of my veins

I can’t say

I can’t remember

I don’t care

The stars sing tenderly to me

Their mournful cry from afar

Helpless to relieve me

Powerless to help

Incapable of aiding

A dying man

A vanished cause

A solitary shadow

I’ve given up the contest

There is no longer a challenge

No longer the next battle

Just eternity at my fingertips

And the doorway in my hand

A slit across the open earth

And I fade into nothingness

Perhaps they will miss me when I’m gone

Funny how they listen

When you can no longer speak

Yet, perhaps they will forget me

I do not know

Another life aborted

Gone into I know not where

Author's Notes/Comments: 

Note: I do not cut now, this is just a story.  Written after the end, therefore subtitled Epilogue. I won't say to enjoy this one...

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The Tamping of the Vulmandr

Yield to they, the Vulmandr:
the fiery rain upon worlds.

Nestled be these war machines,
born as keen blades made marrow and
flesh, in their Maddening Scar.
Fed by wide-scattered surpluses,
their momentum built on strife;
the wagging lips on elected
oracles and emperors
made slick by the spoils of war.

These, the tortured Vulmandr:
men, or non-men, with might threaded
into every sinew
that binds each finger to their hearts,
remain a subject of awe
to we few that had held witness
to their duplicitous raze:
cast down from sky, burnt free of air;
they envelope, immolate
and suffocate those in their wake:
poor laymen roiled by faith,
yet sadly doomed from the start.

But from infancy they've stood;
from discovery they've ravaged
and been a decisive force
in all matters, civil or not,
until this: an alliance
formed by those left firm underfoot
and floundering under siege.
A coiled fist of allegiance,
made taut and unfeeling by
generations of oppression
and tributes taken in greed,
is driven through the country's throat.

The gibbering heads of state,
teeth chattered and drool run afoul
of the mouth, plead and grovel
at archaic shrines made holy
once more by necessity.
But when their white icons collapse,
so, too, do they leap and fall
behind marching lines and units,
placed as an infernal shield.
The mighty Vulmandr hold true
and exhale broadening sheets
of devastation; all in vain.

Once thought of as eternal -
their empire, a beacon placed
by time immemorial
among stars atop their bright peaks -
felled swift by those they once saw
as detritus bred for conquest.
In their burning capital,
the poorest Vulmandr lay slain
while their survivors tarry,
wounded deep and awash in blood,
as those held aloft by pact
quickly devolve into debate.

What of they, the dreaded, dear,
furious Vulmandr, now lost
and without kingdom to cull?
To which powers will they be dealt?
To what ends will they be launched?
What of populations who kneel
to this influence they've known?
What semblance will they have of home?

Weep for they, the Vulmandr:
downtrodden tools, now changing hands.
A family of fragments,
scattered, and forced to war with kin;

the hell they produce: a cry.

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Wulfman Adventures

There are no battles, wars or fights.
All that rattles me is the love for my son.

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