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Ono's Sojourn

Ono shook the dust from his weather-beaten slacks as he got to his feet. The firm grimace upon his face was unwavering as he loomed over the bloodied carcass of a young woman; her dainty-looking pink and white gown stained and tattered and her coin pouch open and surrounded by stray piece lying just inches from her left hand. She lay face down with her features buried in the arid dirt. Her skirt had been hiked up just below her thighs and her legs were cut in several places, with deep, darkened bruises up and down along each side. Drying blood showed clear in the mid-day sunlight, and many flies and parasites had already begun to gather above and around in her in an advancing circle. Her hair was still a bright and golden wheat-color, but it was matted with dirt and badly frayed and tangled.

Ono's long-billed cap kept his deep, sunken eyes in heavy shadow. He stared at the body, silent and still, breathing slow. He thought that the girl was probably very pretty once, but now she looked sad and terrible - a used and defiled parcel, cast aside and then disposed of forever. He wondered what type of person was responsible; if they had followed her here and done grotesque things to her, robbed her and left her for dead. Maybe they had been accompanying one-another; maybe that had been friends. He found himself staring far into the distance, lost in these strange thoughts. The wind whipped at him from the east. The stench of the girl's rotting flesh was being chased away with each gust, replaced by the scent of a strong storm that was moving quickly. Ono watched the clouds billowing just over the incline ahead, and absentmindedly ran his index finger over the hilt of his sidearm. With one final glance at the young, unfortunate victim at his feet, Ono turned and began to walk into the storm's oncoming pressure. His boot came down hard upon something hard and round. Ono stopped with a start, and looked down at a small, delicate silver pocket-watch attached to a matching chain that had been splintered at the far end. His boot had cracked the smooth glass surface of the clock face.

He bent down slowly and scooped the watch into his hand. He examined it a moment, and then brought it to his breast pocket, placing it inside before rising up and continuing up the incline. Thunder could be heard rumbling in the distance. Ono could feel the air growing wetter around him as he climbed. At last, he came abreast of the incline and was able to watch as a flat sheet of rain approached him. The storm was upon him in moments, yet he continued his progress unhindered, holding his cap down against the clawing wind that was fighting against him. His fading starchcot shirt was drenched completely through in minutes as the downpour completely enveloped him. Ono couldn't be sure where he would find shelter next, but he intended to keep moving forward regardless. He had been through far worse weather on much colder days than this. In time, he would find someone else to speak to, and they would point him in another direction. Then he'd walk until he could walk no longer, and then he'd continue moving from there. He wasn't sure where he was going, but it didn't really feel right to be still. He couldn't be still for long.

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The wise wooden bookshelf

I remember how enthusiastic he gets whenever he wants to read a book, and how his eyes open wide whenever he sees such the simple rectangular shape of the book. If I were his sense of smell, I would swear that I would like the smell of old books. If I were his sense of sight, I would affirm that I would like any shadow of any book projected on the table. He tells me with a smile on his face that he has loved books and knowledge since he was a kid. He studied and read on the roof of his house every afternoon until a faint ray of light announced the arrival of the moon and nighttime. He doesn’t like to throw out his books. Instead he keeps them on the bookshelf in order to have them protected like a pearl inside its shell. Whenever he wants to read something, he goes directly to the bookshelf, and because he knows how the books are put in order he doesn’t spend a lot of time searching. I observe his behavior when he’s near the presence of the books, and he seems to be happy in the moment he opens them. Hundreds of small letters written on white paper and elaborated drawings every second page he understands and knows as if they were very old friends. He orders his books according to their size and thickness, but he never orders them according to the color of the cover. At home and in his office, not only are his bookshelfs always full of papers, documents and books, but he also keeps CD’s there of his favorite music. He loves to show me everything he has there, as if to explain to me that if someday I want to see something about his life, I can find almost everything there I want to know. I remember him reading books in front of his bookshelf for hours, and it seemed that his only moments of distraction were when he stood up from his chair to find another book on the bookshelf. He takes care of it as if it was trunk filled with treasures, so he tries to check that every book is placed there, cleaned and organized. My father also takes care of it as if it was a time machine that transports him to the past of what he has read and that will transport him to the future of what he will learn. This wooden shell of a bookshelf will show us my father’s memories and pieces of his whole life written on paper. My father loves books.

The Flatlands (Chapter 1 - An Excerpt)

The folding months had come quickly this year, with air so crisp and biting and the ground beneath growing harder as the temperature descends. Though the sun as it rises is near-blinding, its light has not the power to chase away the cold that comes with the change of seasons. With each passing moment, the day grows brighter, and the dreary veil of dust and shadow is lifted and cast away by the first strong breeze of the fold morning.

The Ellis Farmlands stood out as the sole beacon of civilized and occupied land amidst the endless rolling plains that surrounded it. For many stepps in every direction, there is almost nothing besides few beaten dirt roadways, small and wiry patches of brush and thimble bushes and the occasional ruin of an abandoned shelter or farm house. Dillans can be seen wandering in tight packs and nipping at the ground, their coarse fur growing thicker in preparation for the cold that is well on its way. Jacob "Jericho" Ellis stood atop the warped and creaking floorboards of his farmhouse patio, gazing out at his few meager plots of cultivated land. The closest plot, the one just left of the old hazel-coated barn, was giving him his only decent yield of the season. Mottled turnips were his personal favorite, but they never sold particularly well, and he often ended up keeping a majority of them to eat and cook in stews.

He ran his hand through his thinning blonde hair and breathed a heavy sigh. He knew that the folding months would be simple and easy; they always were. Lichenwit grows tall and bountiful in the folding months and will usually sell quickly to the right trading posts, and there will be opportunities to trade for livestock to make Polla a little simpler. But Polla itself would be quite the burden this year. The old Ellis farmhouse was getting draftier and Jericho knew that he would not be able to afford any repairs until the following year. On top of that, Oliver, his sole remaining farmhand still under his employment, was requesting fewer and fewer days of labor. Though still quite capable for a man in his fourth sweep, Jericho could feel his age weighing upon him, and the thought of manning his crops alone worried him a bit. But perseverance was a farmer's most valued trait; Jericho knew this well and he knew himself well. He would survive, as would his business and his farm.

He lifted his arms over his head and stretched, groaning loudly and closing his eyes. He could feel the morning's stiffness draining from his body as he readied himself for another day of hard work. After a moment of stillness, he placed one foot on the matted dirt and made way for the barn. Today he would attempt to salvage his largest, furthest plot of land, as it had been completely overrun by stray stones and clumps of chunked mud after the previous week's windstorm. It would be a tough and grueling task, but if it wasn't done with soon, he may not be able to plant a new thatch of seeds in time for the fold yield. As he rested his hand on the old barn door, he felt a slight tremor through his boots. He stopped abruptly and waited for another. It came, stronger this time, with enough force to rattle the many tools hanging on the inner wall of the barn. Jericho stood like statue, his blue eyes widening, unsure of what the cause could be. Land quakes weren't unheard of in the Flatlands, but they were not common, nor were they usually noticeable. He turned from the barn and surveyed his surroundings. Could there be a caravan nearby? Maybe one of those steam-powered vehicles he had seen here or there around Galloway?

He scanned the horizon, watchful for any moving clouds of dust that signified the passage of a transport. He saw nothing, not even the slightest hint of movement. Again, he felt the odd and alien rippling of motion beneath him, and again it felt stronger. Jericho was frightened now, fearful for his property, unsure whether or not this strange force would grow immense enough to do serious damage to his home. He began to walk briskly from the barn towards the nearest of his three plots and surveyed the mottled turnips growing there. They seemed undisturbed by the tremors and were growing quite healthily, serenely ignoring all things besides the sun and the ground below. The land's quivering was becoming less idle and more frequent now, and the turnips' few small leaves shook briskly with every quake. With a cold sweat running from his forearms to his palms, Jericho turned from the plot and intended to sprint into his home in order to brace it and himself for what may be the worst land quake the Flatlands has seen in many years.

But before he could take a single step, a queer sight caught his eye. Above his farmhouse, high in the air, a stirring cloud of dust was twisting and writhing, obscuring the blue of the morning and becoming more violent in its motions by the second. More and more dust was kicking into the sky, and with a sudden start, Jericho realized that the dust was not at all far from his property. In fact, it seemed to be directly above his largest plot of land, the one he had intended to clear this very day. Despite his fear, Jericho gathered himself and quickly sprinted around the side of his farmhouse. He stared into the distance as he ran, looking for any movements, any signs, any significant thing that may explain what is causing this to happen to his land. His thoughts were loud and incoherent, falling over top of one-another. He heard the voice of his late wife; her firm yet loving tone easing his strain as he swept by the tall weeds near the outhouse, the broken barrow that he hadn't found time to repair and the many stones that he gathered from his fields at the start of every season.

"Calm yourself, love. Be sure that there is nothing to be afraid of just beyond our home. There must be an explanation for these tremors, and you will find it, won't you?"

As he approached, the air grew thick with stray dirt. He found it difficult to breathe, but continued to push through, eyes closed against the sting of the airborne flecks. The ground was shaking violently now; Jericho could hear pots and plates toppling in his kitchen from the open window. The agonized squeal that resonated from beneath his home terrified him - the very foundation itself seemed to be giving way. He turned the corner around the farmhouse and laid eyes upon his shoddy, near-useless plot in the distance. Blanketed almost completely by shifting dirt and sprays of loose gravel, Jericho was at first unable to see what could cause such commotion. Squinting, daring not to approach just yet, he peered into the swirling earthly vortex and could faintly make out a large shape, moving restlessly up and down, disappearing and reappearing over and over. He held his breath and waited. He could not keep his body from shaking, and his mind reeled with possibilities of what exactly was tearing his land apart. Nothing that made any sense came to him, and he felt helplessness. Suddenly, all at once, the ground's shaking ceased, and the disturbing figure beneath the dusty curtain ahead of Jericho suddenly sunk out of sight. Slowly and steadily, the air began to clear.

Though the quaking had let off, Jericho could still feel a strange vibration in the soles of his feet. The ground seemed to swell and pulse lightly. Jericho squatted down on to his hunches and waited; for what, he wasn't entirely sure. He watched with fierce concentration as the cloud of dust finally settled and dispersed, looking for any faint signs of movement. He saw nothing, and slowly rose to his feet once more. Though hesitant, Jericho felt something drawing him towards the plot; an otherworldly compulsion that demanded he investigate and find out just what caused such a ruckus on his own land. Stepping lightly and struggling to be as quiet as possible, he began to move forward. He could feel his fevered heartbeat and was unable to calm himself down as he approached, his entire body now coated in a thin layer of sweat. As he came closer to the plot, he noticed a strange warmth permeating from the ground below him, as if there had been a fire upon the land just moments earlier. Just ahead, Jericho could see the sorry state of his field plot, now in even worse condition than it had been in before. There were gaping holes littered throughout, and the ground itself looked as if it had been clawed and chewed by some colossal beast. It barely even resembled a farmer's plot anymore, and Jericho felt disheartened at the sight of it. He continued his gentle approach, hands at his sides, eyes affixed firmly upon the ground in front of him. At last, he stopped a short distance away from what once was the southern edge of his field plot, and waited. He sniffed the air there and beyond the stale scent of shaken dirt, there was a faint aroma that he couldn't quite make out. It was a sweet, mild smell with a touch of spice to it. The warmth below him was more noticeable than before at the edge of his plot, but just as he had grown still, the small, puny vibrations in the ground had quietly ceased.

Jericho stood there, beneath the rising sun of this folding morn, and mourned the loss of his plot. His worry over the cause of the destruction was trumped by his worry for his farm. How would he be able to salvage this land now? There was nothing left here to be used; no solid dirt to plow, nowhere to lay seeds. He trudged forward and slumped to his knees at the very edge of his field, taking two handfuls of dirt in his hands and staring at them with eyes now swimming with angry tears. He let the ruined earth slide between his fingers, and placed both of his hands on his heart, saying a quick prayer. The wind licked at his ears and dried the tears now falling from his eyes to the ground below, some landing on his knees. He watched as his tears stained his maderals, turning the faded-blue fabric to a deeper, darker blue. He retreated into his thoughts. Patiently, he awaited the voice of his wife, with a comforting word or an anecdote. She never came.

From the ruined land which Jericho mourned, a violent shiver suddenly issued forth, rippling in every direction. Jericho woke from his trance and sprang backward, crawling away from the plot while dragging his bottom along the ground. The heavy vibrations then centered and became focused directly in the center of the old field, and the ground there bubbled as if water set to boil. Jericho watched in awe, mouth agape, as he paid witness to the sight of a monstrous, long-snout creature rapidly rising from the dirt. It ascended towards the sky, its gigantic body coated in scales of brilliant greens and golds. It had no limbs that Jericho could see, but he could just barely make out two crooked and ancient-looking horns atop the beast's head. Its snout was elongated and thin, with long, red tendrils hanging off each side. They strangely held semblance to cat whiskers. Sunlight beamed from of the creature's body, reflected off of its beautiful scales. With one fluent, incredibly graceful movement, the creature's rising ceased, and it allowed itself to plummet downward, suddenly arching and diving snout-first into one of the many holes that it had created in Jericho's land. Jericho remained poised on the ground, lost in shock, unable to move any part of his body, least of all his eyes. He watched as the beast fell into the earth, and waited for its inevitable tail to appear. He had to know the size of it - had to know just how far the creature spanned. But the tail never came into daylight. Its strange, long face abruptly rose above the ground just behind its steadily sinking girth, rising towards the heavens once more and then disappearing into the ground just as quickly.

The shaking beneath him came to a gradual stop, and the heat that rose with it began to taper off, becoming a soft, almost comforting glow that Jericho could only barely feel. Lazily, the creature rose up and down, diving into and out of the ground, as if a simple-minded fish swimming in a child's jar. As it came into view once again, Jericho was able to see the shape of its eyes: like strange and crooked tears, completely blue without any iris. They seemed to look at nothing and everything at the same time, as if watching a whole different world that Jericho could never see. It ignored Jericho's presence, serene in its passage through the field, constricting through every layer of dirt and turning the land into a completely loosened, sunken pool of soil. It swam, oblivious to all around it, its movements lilting and smooth despite its incredible size. At last, Jericho rose to his feet, with little caution or stealth. His hands limp by his pockets, his gaze firmly locked on to the new denizen of his land; he licked his lips, and took a deep, shaking breath.

"A farm serpent." Jericho said, his voice just barely a whisper.

Author's Notes/Comments: 

If you took the time to read some or all of this, please, PLEASE leave me some feedback.

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*Torn pages from the book of life*

Weve torn the pages from the book of life,

many people give many a sacrafice,
The consequences have been harsh
the world stopped living for free
we were born with prices to pay,
the book is unfinished and in need of repair,
The missing chapters are here
But to put them together we really need to prove we care.

Vital information was kept from us all,
That information wich may have prevented us from a downfall
Before the earth gets to old we must come together
and start living for real
The key to being free is to come together and live as one family
Stop tearing from the pages and ruining the different ages,
We don’t have to be in despair
The missing pieces are there ,
just where?

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The Theorized Space

We gathered our intelligence and ran
with suggestion upon suggestion, turning
to the darkest depths of our collective
imagination, hoping to come upon
some other-worldly presence that
would prove beyond the shadow of doubt
the worth of us and our capabilities.

We composed a house of broad equation
that delved into sightless and soundless waves
of possibility, intangibles that become tangible,
and lucid prescience in the face of the blind.
Our experiments grew wilder with each
exhausted resource that left our disposal.
We refused the climbing unease within
that left us desperate for a result and
an answer with which to ease our pained
curiosity and our standards to which we're held.
Suddenly, as if by accident or fate itself,
we had come upon the Theorized Space,
and sought immediate access to its answers.

Within the Space we couldn't probe -
beyond man's eye the static dark
would flex and bend and wield itself
as a force of unaware allegiance
to the possible and the unknown.
And so we stood and silence fell on
every man and woman present as
the only clear course of action
became apparent to we who dreamt.

With the stature of a morgue's man carried,
we did what those of insight must:
we spread and searched and came upon
a lonesome wretch whom none would miss.
And strapped him in we did well fit
to a machine that we'd hope could stand between
the worlds of which we knew and uncovered,
ignoring his stammered cries and pleas.
His words were choked by flying volts
that found a home beneath his skin and cells,
scrambling him, his very being to
something beyond what we'd suspected.
Light devoured the room we had taken
and became something of a tomb for this
boy and his humanity, for as the bright
subsided, he had gone from us here,
and had become something far beyond
what we were able to comprehend,
or even control in the slightest sense.

We struggle to observe this young man,
this Daniel that moves between phases
and submits to nothing and no one that
could utter a word towards his understanding.
And as he prevails against reality's norms,
we'll fight to deny our hands in the matter of
such delicacy and such implications;
with which while had, could cease our endeavors
for the rest our lives.

Author's Notes/Comments: 

You are a bad, bad man Dr. Maynard.

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Understand the book

Folder: 
Random Poems

Ugh im tired of all these words -- tired of all this fightin -- so let me clear ur head up -- & give u sum enlightenin -- u say im difficult -- that im hard to read -- but u kno wat this is who i am -- my own fucckknn breed -- a mystery -- so if u aint ready u should leave -- cuz i want a girl who wud fight for me -- who wud take da time to put da pieces together -- cuz she knos that im her true forever -- so why dnt u google my thoughts so u can have an idea -- of wat will come next -- that way u wont fear -- da possibilities are endless wen it comes to me -- so much so i'll leave u askin jeeves -- but if u da type of girl who loves to read -- u shud kno dis mystery novel aint free -- its gonna cost u ur key -- but in return u get a glimps of ur destiny -- filled with unlimited chapters of me -- of us -- of we -- our lust -- our love is dat limbo fantasy -- & i kno wen u turn da pages u can bearly breathe -- da thoughts buzzin in ur mind like orgasmic bees -- like a romance ecstasy -- a fish out of water u flip & flip & scare to see da fin -- but readin my words gives u dat oxygen -- so u survive -- & u survive -- yea fly into my heart -- baby fly -- to the skys -- yea we high -- on dis love baby girl i cant lie --so we fly -- yea we fly -- makin love on this cloud all nite -- & da final chapters in dis book cud neva bend -- becuz baby ur my happly eva after till da end --& these last final words come from my heart -- baby we'll neva neva eva be apart.

.

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Highlight Life

I read everyday // yea i see everything // my problems are my prey so they run everyway // I'm living in da future so I was done yesterday // i stay going straight // never looking back never in da past // so i got dat perfect vertebrae // cuz im just one away to the master holy J // thats why every single day i runaway just to pray // i got da answers in dis mind traced & outlined // so i be feeling at ease & i never have to strife // cuz the world is my book so I just highlight life // making everything I do just feel so right // cuz this is my story & I define & design how I get on my grind // u can't decline & deny dat I don't redefine mankind // entwined in my own mastermind // cuz I'm da only bind wunderkind // so i cut da haters off with my knife & I dined with this world so I'm full of life

.

Author's Notes/Comments: 

comparing my life as if it was a book.

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Batter Mansley

A step ahead of his drunken hoard,
with toting guns and carry-ons;
a walking slab of swatted meat,
all scars and snuff and alcohol.
There is no time for the walking man,
with a loud and bellowed chain of command,
to sit at ease for a length of time
which could be used to raze a hollow.
A favored sound, the clink of coin
and the fragrant boom of lichen powder;
he finds his center upon the field
where many lay - where blood may harden.
His soul is chained and tethered to
a link upon his neck. Whereas he
had sold it off, he draws it back
and sees that his profit is entirely his own.
For all the women of the land,
he sees no reason for a pause,
and for every weak and fragile man,
he sees a boot atop their skulls.
An independent contractor -
a deviant through sin and shrapnel -
a man named Batter Mansley,
who will come calling, for a price.

Author's Notes/Comments: 

I love coming up with character names.

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Blank Pages (*song)

Verse 1
----------
I used to say
that I loved you
beyond all words
Oh the irony
because words are
all I have left
all I have left

Chorus
-----------
Flowing ink
from this pen
falls upon
blank pages
Blood from my
heart spills and
falls upon
blank pages

Verse 2
-----------
Precious memories
taken for granted
haunting my dreams
and I'm wide awake
Now memories are
all I have left
all I have left

[Chorus]

Bridge
----------
Line after line — I write
Even so I — can't write
enough to make — things right (No)
No I can't make — things right
All I have left — blank pages

[Chorus]

June 17 / 2011

Author's Notes/Comments: 

[Dedicated to Ariana Bragg and Alexis Bragg]

This is the first song that I have written in years and I was really surprised at how easily it just flowed out of me. I love you both very much.

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